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I have been So much gratified with the Specimen of your Register, which you were So kind as to Send me and I recollect So many Extracts from it, that I had Seen in the Newspapers, that I wish to possess the whole. If you will get the thirteen Volumes, including the Index, decently and Solidly bound, without Elegance and transmitted to me, I will find means to transmit You your own Price. There...
Are the works of Apuileus in Harvard College Library or in any other collection in America Have you read his Metamorphosis which he calls his Ass of Gold, his Assinus Aureus, or Asinus Runi.” Among these novels, fables, tales or whatever you please to call them, is his Amours of Cupid and Psyche. Have you read Molier’s Psyche? Have read La Fontaines Psyche? Have you seen a splendid translation...
Where the Fine Arts are Studied or practiced there Should be a Trybunal of Criticism always in Session, before which every new production Should be arraigned and tried; by no other laws however than Truth or Nature, and no other penalty than Reputation in the public Opinion. “Are We not in too great a hurry, in our Zeal for the fine Arts”? This is as noble and beautiful a question, as that of...
Graüs Ingenium dedit Musa. the Greeks refined and polished every thing. The Competition between Apelles and Protogenes, and its termination in Unchangeable Friendship is one of the most amiable Tales of Antiquity. Yet these keen Greeks must always have something marvellous; Something Supernatural. The Spunge, after all, wrought the miracle. The froth of the exhausted hound could not be hit,...
Have you read certain Strictures upon Painters and Paintings, in the Newspapers? what do you think of them? I am pleased with his gratitude to Copeley—but I believe he was not perfect Master of Copeleys Merit. There is a Portrait of Justice Dana in his Robe bands and Tie Wig of a Barrister at Law, now no doubt in possession of his Descendants. There is a fault Length Portrait of Governor...
The Metaphysical, Theological, Ecclesiasticcal and political Pendulums, which all go to gether, like clockwork, have swung to the Utmost extremity, one way: and are now, taking a Contrary direction, and there is reason to fear, will produce as many Calamaties to mankind as the former Vibration.—Our dear Country my dear Tudor, has an important Part to act in the drama before us.—How humble...
I thank you for a Curiosity, which, for anything I know, is as inexplicable, as any thing in Antiquity.— At what time, and by what People was that Monument to Daniel erected? If by the Jews in the time of the Captivity, would not the Inscription have been in Hebrew? Would the Chaldeans have permitted the Jews to erect such a Monument, even with an Inscription in their own or in Egyptian...
Your favour of 24th. Janry. is received. Inclosed is your Basanister and a Monthly Repository, which you may Send to Montecello if you please. I have not read the constitution of the Kingdom of the united Netherlands and possess none of the Books you mention I have looked for the “Zeti,” but cannot find them. Perhaps they Should be Spelled Zetæ. Many a learned System has been founded on as...
Your worthy son, William, in a kind letter of the 2d. has asked my opinion of “Pownall’s Administration of the Collonies, and of its auther.” It is nearly forty years since I read the Work, and I cannot read it again; but I would advise Mr Tudor to read it, and his Memorial to the Sovereigns of the United States Europe, and another to his own Sovereign, and a third to the Sovereigns of the...
In our good old English language of Gratitude, I owe you and give you a thousand thanks, for Tracy’s Review of Montesquieu which Mr Dufief has sent me by your Order. I have read an hundred pages, and will read the rest. He is a Sensible Man and is easily understood. He is not an abstruse misterious incomprehensi Condorcet. Though I have Banished the Subject from my thoughts for many Years, yet...
In our good old English language of Gratitude, I owe you and give you a thousand thanks, for Tracy ’s Review of Montesquieu which M r Dufief has Sent me by your order. I have read an hu n dred pages, and will read the rest. He is a Sensible Man and is easily understood. He is not an abstruse misterious incomprehensi ble Condorcet . Though I have banished the Subject from my thoughts for many...
I thank you for your kind Letter of the 21st, and for the three Magazines inclosed, of December January and February. They contain curious and Usefull Matter. You ask my Opinion of the Essays of Franklin. You have Stated your own Opinions frankly fairly and candidly; you have explained your reasons for those Opinions, dispassionately—and your readers, I hope, will judge them, with Candour and...
Accept my Thanks for your Inaugural Oration. It would have been a great pleasure to me, to have heard it: but at my Age, all Such pleasures are forbidden me. The Edinbourgh Reviewers have Said, that, “if the whole of American Litterature were annihilated with the exception perhaps of something of Franklin, the World would loose nothing of the Usefull or agreable.”! These Gentlemen have merited...
My Thanks are due to you for your Inaugural Address of Decr. 11th. I rejoice that Such a Professorship is established and that So accomplished a Professor has been chosen. I am afraid to express my wild Ideas on this Subject. We are all Chymists from our Cradles. All Mankind are Chymists from their Cradles to their Graves The Material Universe is a Chemical Experiment, Its Author and Conductor...
Bernard, Hutchinson, Oliver, the Commissioners of the customs, and their Satellites had an Espionage as inquisitive, as zealous, and as faithful, as that in France, before, during, or since the Revolution, by which the Tories were better informed of the anecdote, which I am about to relate to you, than the Whigs themselves were in general. That the Tory histories, may not hereafter...
Last night your Brother brought me your delicious Letter of 29th Octr. How do you know that Bees and Ants, and even Caterpillars and Cankerworms never enquire into the Why and the “Wherefore”? You cannot prove it. St. Justin and Dupuis, Dr Priestley and my Neighbour Colman all agree in the Precept “Be good.” I do not find however, that any of the Popes or their Janisary Loyola, or Luther or...
Thanks for your favour of the 14th. You urge me to explain the secret of Hutchinsons conduct. I have explained in my letter of the 11th. It was fear of explanations before the people of the doctrine of Impressments You may have but another nail upon the head; and there had been before and were afterwards many such nails, but they are too frivolous to be remembered one only, excepted, before...
I ought long ago to have acknowledged my obligation to you for the loan of Grim who has afforded me a sumptuous feast for many months. In several of his scenes, most characteristic of the age, I was present and a witness, and could add some comical circumstances, that he has omitted. This philosophy, which was nearly that of Pythagoras, is as credible & intelligible to me, as that of the...
Montezillo, in the Spanish language signifies “a little hill.” You will search for it in vain in Italy; none of the Alps, the Appenines, no, nor the Pyranees, nor Asturians, ever bore that name. the City, Village or Villa, ever arrived to that honour. Search, and research. find it if you can. Neither Montezillo, nor Monticello desire many of your thoughts; but the Italian Republicks, like the...
What Temples Statues, Mausoloumes, pray, have you seen, that you cannot could pretend to entertain a Man who has read Clark, Porter, Chateaubriand, Eustace, and, Dupuis.? Yet I should read your Journal with more cordial Satisfaction than all of them.— If any of my Letters have given you an agreable hour the information of it has given me more than one. Though the Barriers of Party in our...
Dr Morse having undertaken to continue Trumbul’s History: wrote urgently to me to assist him. I wrote him a few Anecdotes in a few Letters which he regularly acknowledged but my Facts were so new to him and so ill calculated to promote the Sale of his projected Book, that he soon neglected to answer me. There our Correspondence ended. You attempted to “bring the Old Gentleman out.” You have...
Thanks for your favour of Novbr. 13th. Of Lord Holland, I know nothing. I pity the people, I pity all men of destinction. I pity Emperors, Kings and Popes. they are all when invested with a little brief authority, hurried, and driven by their associates, into measures, they do not and cannot approve: What is to be the fate of Napoleon? no matter; Split him for a Mackerel and broil him for the...
I have recd your Letter of 24th. of Decr. with the Pamphlet. I am Sorry to see in our American Reviewes an affectation of imitating European Reviewers. They generally discover an unnatural Appetite for Sour Plums: more Sagacity in discovering little faults than great Merits. I will now for a Moment undertake the Office of a Critic, not for publication: but between you and me. In my Opinion you...
I have received “the Constitution of the Kentucky Society for promoting Agriculture” with your certificate of my Election as an honorary member.—As I have never heard of any measure for the promotion of that great object in this, or in any other country without pleasure; this Institution is so delicious a climate, & in a soil so exuberantly fertile, could not fail to be a peculiar...
I thank you for your letter of 23rd Decbr. & your Register, which is the first I have ever seen. I have an ardent curiosity to know, who you suspect to be your “Anonymous Correspondent.” I am intuitively certain it cannot be Governor Johnson, Secretary Thompson or President Jefferson. Of all the speeches made in Congress from 1774 to 1777 inclusive of both years; not one sentence remains...
I have received your Letter of the 26th. of December 1817 inclosing a Postnote upon the Branch Bank of The United States at Boston for nine hundred and One dollars and Ninety five Cents, being the Amount of the dividend of five per Cent upon the debt proved under the Commission of Bankruptcy of Robert Bird and Co. at New York. I am your affectionate Father MHi : Adams Papers.
Your kind Letter of the 26th. of Decr has given me more pleasure than it would be prudent or decent for me to express. Your design has my cordial Approbation and best Wishes. But you will please to remember that the Burin and the Pencil, the Chisel and the Trowell, have in all Ages and Countries of which We have any Information, been enlisted on the Side of Despotism and Superstition. I Should...
I have read your letter, and thank you for the Amusement it has afforded me. We in Massachusetts, however, know not why the Name of Adams Should be thought “ of evil omen .” The Rumors you heard in Washington, of a disposition in Massachusetts, to declare for Neutrality, were not well founded. If an Individual or So, in the Agony of his heart has suggested such an Idea, this would no more...
I cannot say whether I ought to laugh, or cry, or scold, in reporting the trial of Michael Corbet & his three Comrades. You must remember it. A volume would be necessary to relate this cause as it ought to be, but never will be related. The trial was before a special Court of Vice-admiralty, instituted by a special act of Parliament for the trial of piracy and murder on the high seas. The...
I do declare that I can write Greek better than you do, though I cannot Say, So well as you can, if you will. I can make nothing but Pot–hooks and Trammels of the Frontespiece of your amiable Letter of the 15th. If you had quoted your Authority I might have found it. Jesus is benevolense personified. An Example for all Men. DuPuis has made no Alteration in my opinions of Christian Religion in...
Your Letter of the 29th of September has not been answered by me as it ought to have been. Your Excursion Horseback gave me high hopes; and excited vain Recollections. Dean Swift bragged; and why Should not I.? Swift crowed over Pope Arbuthnot &c and boasted that he could ride 500 miles upon a trotting Horse. In 1777 I rode on Horseback from Penn’s Hill in this Town to Baltimore, more than 500...
I have seen but one of your Papers. I know nothing of the Transactions in England or America. The Will is a Phenomenon. A Neuton a Saunders a Barrow or a Bowditch might make the Algebraick Calculations necessary to explain it: I am totally incapable of it. I know not whether the Will has been proved and approved in Europe, or America. I know not what questions are depending before the Court or...
Your kind letter of the 13th contains much truth, and nothing but the truth. I may return to it hereafter, but at present, with your leave, I will continue a few hints on the judicial character of Chief Justice Hutchinson. I pass over that scenery which he introduced, so showy & so shallow, so theatrical & so ecclesiastical, of scarlet and sable robes, of broad bands, & enormous tie wigs, more...
I beg leave to introduce to You Col. William Sumner; and to Mrs Madison, his Sister, Miss Elizabeth Sumner, Children of our late Governor Sumner. They have requested an Introduction from me. And as I think it right that the President should know, and that his Family Should know Something of the Characters who appear at Washington; I beg leave to say, that Mr Sumner has the Advantages of...
All our intelligent Travellers to Washington, I find have an ambition to See both the present, and future President of the United States. I beg leave to introduce to you Colonelt William Sumner and his Sister, Miss Elizabeth Sumner, Children of our late Governor Sumner. Col Sumner has not only the Advantages of the best public Education at Colledge, and the Bar, but of many years service in...
I beg leave to introduce to you Col: William Sumner, and to Mrs Madison his Sister Miss Elisabeth Sumner; children of our late Governor Sumner. They have requested an introduction from me; and as I think it right that the President should know, & that his family should know something of the characters who appear at Washington I beg leave to say that Mr. Sumner has the advantages of Education,...
Your Letter dear Sir of Nov. 15 from Poplar Forrest was Sent to me from the Post Office the next day after I had Sent “The Analysis with my Thanks to you. “3. Vols. of Idiology!” Pray explain to me this Neological Title! What does it mean? When Bonaparte used it, I was delighted with it, upon the common Principle of delight in every Thing We cannot understand. Does it mean Idiotism? The...
Your Letter dear Sir of Nov. 15 from Poplar Forrest was Sent to me from the Post Office the next day after I had Sent “ The Analysis ” with my Thanks to you. “3. Vol s of Idiology!” Pray explain to me this Neological Title! What does it mean? When Bonaparte used it, I was delig h ted with it, upon the Common Principle of delight in every Thing We cannot understand. Does it mean Idiotism? The...
I return the Analysis of Dupuis with my thanks for the loan of it. It is but a feignt Miniature of the original. I have read that original in twelve volumes, besides a 13th. of plates. I have been a Lover and a Reader of Romances all my Life. From Don Quixotte and Gill Blas to the Scottish Chiefs and an hundred others. For the last Year or two I have devoted myself to this kind of Study: and...
I return the Analysis of Dupuis with my thanks for the loan of it. It is but a faint Miniature of the original. I have read that original in twelve Volumes, besides a 13 th of plates . I have been a Lover and a Reader of Romances all my Life. From Don Quixotte and Gill Blas to the Scottish Chiefs and an hundred others. For the last year or two I have devoted myself to this kind of Study: and...
Knowing as I do the importance of your office & the punctuality with which you fulfill the duties of it, your apology in your favour of the second was unnecessary for me, who have so long known your fidelity, and your friendship. You ask me to sketch the portrait of Mr Hutchinson. your pencil is more polished than mine; I will enter into contract with you; if you will paint Mr Washington and...
As I feel a kind of Ambition to introduce to the past present and future Presidents of U.S. Some of our most amiable Men, least bigotted least Superstitious Characters, and most catholic Minds, (in the moral, not Ecclesiastical Sense of the Word) I take the Liberty to introduce to you the Rev. Mr. Henry Colman. As it was known that he intended a Journey to the Southward for his Health which is...
Although, our good old Massachusetts, has encore quelques Prejuges; yet I find that all our liberal minded Men have a Strong desire to See our past present and future Presidents. They hesitate not to ask me for Introductions; and I hesitate not to give them; knowing as I do the past, present and future President to be as liberal Men as themselves. They all return So full of Gratitude for their...
John Sergeant Esquire, a Director of the Bank of U. S. is appointed by that Board to negotiate for ten Millions of Spanish Dollars, offered by a commercial House in London This Gentleman, a Son of Jonathan Dickenson Serjeant Esq, once an intimate Friend of mine in Congress in times of difficulty and danger, requests an Introduction to you. I give it, with pleasure, both because I hear a good...
As I feel a kind of Ambition to introduce to the past present & future Presidents of U S. Some of our most amiable Men, least bigotted least Superstitious Characters, and most catholic Minds, (in the moral, not Ecclesiastical Sense of the Word) I take the Liberty to introduce to you The Rev. Mr. Henry Colman. As it was known that he intended a Journey to the Southward for his Health which is...
The Newspapers, throughout the Continent are announcing to Europe and America, Somewhat imprudently, that you are recalled and to be made Secretary of State. I know not whence this comes: but whether true or false, I hope it is true. And if it is true, I hope You will accept the Office of Secretary of State. If there is no Truth in it I hope you will demand your Recall and come home. And if...
I have received your favour of the 18th: and thank you has your “Idea”; Your reasoning upon it is that of a modest prudent philosopher & Statesman. It is more; It is classical enough for a member of the Academy of inscription and Belle letters. I who am neither Philosopher Statesman or Academician, would if I had power cause medals to be struck of every conflagration, Massacre, prison stripe,...
We need not fear that Mr Hutchinsons Character will be injured with Posterity—His every Virtue, and his every Talent and his every Service will be recorded in polite Language, and blazened in Splendid colours; when we, poor Beings who resisted him shall be thrown in Shades of blackness of darkness in the back ground.— I may not live to see, but you may live to see, or if you should not your...
I believe I must endorse you over, or rather bequeath you as a Legacy to The Philosopher of Montecello! What! Why! Wherefore? Is not the Life of Jesus, in the four Evangelists? Where else can you find it? In the Gospell of St. Thomas? Of the Evangellian Jesus, The Philosopher of Monticello, knows as much as you know, and has Studied it with as critical Attention. And could write it as well in...
Your favour of the 11th. has conjured up, in my Imagination so many Ghosts that I am in danger of being frightened as much as the Old Lady of Endor was at the Light of Samuel.— Many are the Years, in which I have Seriously endeavoured to Strip from my Mind every prejudice, and from my heart every Feeling, unfavourable to Mr Hutchinson. The subject is so familiar to my thoughts that I could...