Adams Papers

From John Quincy Adams to Thomas Boylston Adams, 14 June 1800

14. June 1800—

Doctor Johnson somewhere says that a short letter to a distant friend is a sort of insult; but I hope you will not be of that opinion—I know however that it is an unpleasant disappointment, after having your expectations raised by the sight of a distant friend’s superscription and seal, to find them only [. . .] for a duplicate, or a letter to a third person; and I therefore add a few lines, on enclosing to you a letter from my wife to her sister Caroline, and a duplicate of my last letter to you upon business.

Louisa desires me further to tell you, she supposes your thoughts are so much engrossed by the matrimonial projects you seem to hint in your late letters to me, that you have entirely forgotten her; which she takes much amiss—She says she answered your last letter, and therefore that you can make no pretence for not writing again, from her being a bad [correspondent]. you will perceive by this that her health is pretty good—We intend next month to make a tour into Silesia.

Of Berlin, I have not much news to tell you. The Brandenburg gate stands where it did when you left us, and I roam the park more than ever—The works of man endure indeed longer than man himself, a reflexion that occurs to me, in mentioning the death of a woman whom you know—The [Landgraviner] of [Hesse-kassel] died very suddenly of an apoplexy a few weeks ago.

Old Count [Golovkin] likewise died, instantaneously, in the same manner, some months since. Count Neale, and his son, and daughter Paulina have just return’d from an excursion of several months to London and Paris—The Count likes France, and Paulina, England the best.

No Politics for this time—Yours affectionately.


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