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Your letter of the 28th. of October has been received with pleasure—First because it is sprightly ingenious and agreeable—Secondly because it is a proof of your continued punctuality and Correspondence—Thirdly because it gives us a most refreshing assurance of the abatement of the epidemic in Washington, Georgetown, and its neighbouring region Fourthly, because you appear to be pleased with...
I thank you for your letter of the 31st. as well as for that from New York—I have been reduced so low in health that I have not been able to write answers to letters as I used to—Your letter to Claudious was sent to him, as soon as it was received—I have long been anxious for your Mother—presuming her to be unwell—And rejoice in her Convalescence— I am impatient to hear Your admiration of the...
I have mislay’d your letter and therefore cannot refer to it. I hope Mr Russell has his fill, your Father’s rejoinder is as some of the Southern papers express it, like the waters of the Mississippi, without “o’er-flowing full” There is but one vocce in this part of the world, and that is of disapprobation of Mr Russell’s conduct. The testimony’s of Mr. Brent and Mr Bailey are clenchers, and...
I thank you for your letter of the 4 Nov. I am very glad you have got so far through Hallams middle ages to hear that you are so nearly through Hallam’s middle ages. I am travelling through the same country from the benevolence of your friend Quincy, who after travelling through it himself gave me a lease of it for a term. It is a valuable compendium and I am very glad to find that he gives so...
I have received your letter of the 18th. November—your comparison of the horse race with the presidential race is happy. I believe that the partisans, of the cavalry are more zealous than those of the presidency. I rejoice that the discussion has begun so early. Characters will now be sifted, and the decision will show the national character” Know thyself ought to be the motto of this nation....
Thanks for your No 5. I have now finished reading and hearing read the Four volumes of Hallam’s middle ages. It is a great work and deserves to be kept constantly in your view. It has a good Table of contents and an ample Index, without which accommodation, a book after the first reading, is commonly a useless piece of Lumber. I esteem it the greatest work of the 19th Century. He has made good...
You have expressed a wish—as I am told—that I would write to you—but what shall I say—we are all pritty well—so are your Father and Mother— I advise you to Study the Character of Cecrops, and the Country of Cecropia—and also the great festival of Eleusinia—and the Mystery’s of Eleusis— Show not this letter to any body living—if you show it to any of your Classmates or Collegians—they will...
I have been pleased with your Journal. I envy, or rather I wish, I could have Shared with you, your Evenings with, your Father. Your Worthy Præceptor might have Said that the whole Christian World is and has been divided, in their Interpretations of Some Texts in the Epistles of St. Paul. But Greek and Latin, and Mathematicks ought to be your Objects at present. Metaphisicks you may leave,...
The information in yours of the 30 Nov. & that we have from Susan of the health & spirits of you all is a cordial comfort to me. I am glad you have read Blackstone. As you say you are not yet informed what you are to read next with submission to your more learned preceptors I would advise you to read Sullivans lectures but above all I pray you to make it as a perpetual maxim “petere...
yours of the 9th. is received, you do not give me any account of your Studies as formerly—Mr. Smith and your Aunt have been very fortunate in escaping the Plague at Pensacola, please to give my love to them. I hope the Mexican Ambassador and his eight Gentlemen companions have brought with them plenty of Milled dollars, and Mexican Bullion, and after teaching our Merchants and Manufacturers...
I am glad to learn by your No. 12—that you are reading Burlamaqui and as he is sound in philosophy morals and Religion, I hope that you will not only read, but study him. Make an abstract or analysis of him, for I inculcate on all my young friends the maxim “studium—sine calamo, somnium.” My early patron Mr Gridley of whom you have so often heard me speak with veneration, who educated more...
I have received your favour of the 5th. instant full of wise reflections philosophical and moral. I am glad you think so much and so prudently. You must be very happy all of you together I wish I could be one of your family circle during the vacations notwithstanding all the silly trécasseries of the times. Your Fathers notice of General Smyth was brought to me last night and read to me by Mr....
I received this Morning your No 18—It is a universal complaint that the english Language furnishes no word to express the feeling of ennui in french. why will not inoccupation, or unemployment or idleness or leisure, or lassitude, or vacancy, answer the end. When I can write or read, or hear any one read, whether in Sermons or Romances, in Philosophy or Frevolity. I never feel ennui; It is...
Some of Jobs afflictions & some of Jobs comforters have prevented my answering your letters as far as No 30. I hope you will persevere in studying Barbaracque. I hope you will critically study his notes & his quotations in latin & Greek from the Ancients. Endeavour to pick & search out their meaning. Mr Russells letter & your fathers remarks are arrived and running the round of conversation &...
I am well pleased with your No. 31 & 32 I hope you will continue the subject. I see nothing in the quarterly reviews but the Johnsonian antipathy to Scotland. That Mr Locke has had greater influence on the intellectual moral & political world than any man of the last century I believe; but to deny that Reid, and Stuart, have made no improvements, upon Locke appears to me uniniquitous...
Do not the cannon which have thundered this morning in honour of your Namesake, in flame a holy Ambition in your breast to imitate his Virtues talents and qualities? you have received, no doubt Alexander Everetts Europe. It has been read to me. It discovers attentive observation, Sedulous inquiry and profound reflection. But it wants in many points the maturity of Judgment which is only the...
I have received your No 19, 24, Feby. When I recollect the freedom of speech, which I indulged, and in which I was indulged, and which I fear I sometimes abused in congress from 1774, to 1778, I ought not to be very severe upon Mr Randolph, or on Mr M. Durfee, I must say however that the liberty I claimed I always granted to others, and my pertness was plentifully retorted upon me. I think...
Your beautiful letter of the 8th has given me great pleasure I call it beautiful because the style is handsome and handwriting marvellous for you. You cannot be in a better school than when writing for Your Father. You will return to Your Studies with greater pleasure after having written for him George! I have read I believe in Anacharsis a law of one of the democratic republics of Greece I...
Your No 33. has pleased me much and I beg you to continue your observations on the cavilling and chicanery of the quarterly review. I grow more and more every day in love with Stuart and the Scottish school. I have had read to me three volumes of Browns lectures on Metaphysics and ethics and I recommend them to your careful perusal as well as to your brothers. They are a rich mine and mass of...
I thank you for your letter of the 4th. November I am very glad to hear that you are so nearly through Hallams Middle Ages.—I am travelling through the same country from the benevolence of your friend Quincy.—who after travelling through it himself gave me a lease of it for a term.—It is a valuable compendium and I am very glad to find that he gives so great a character of MU RATORI, whose...
I am delighted with your number 22. It is not too free. It is modest enough. It is wise learned and ingenious. I have sometimes the feelings of Theophrastus who at 115 as I learn from casauban, thought it hard to die when he had just learned to live. Never was I more ardently interested in historical and political studies or Amusements. Hobard Johnson Morton, Winslow Bradford and a hundred...
Your letter has given me great pleasure, and so have those of your brother John—they are lively, animating and cheerful, and at the same time judicious and prudent, which to me is of more importance than all the rest. This great nation appears to me to be as well satisfied as so great a nation can be and in their satisfaction I sincerely rejoice. What obligations does this event impose upon...
If you have a desire of a long life and a happy life I advise you to read Cicero. Your Father has expressed sufficient admiration of his office and his other writings but I wish at this time to recommend to you particular his treatise on Friendship. his dream of Scipio his letter to his brother Quintus about to take upon him for the third time the Government of Asia, and above all his treatise...
The splendid account we receive from you and others of the dinners parties and balls from Washington almost persuade me to give you an account of the splendour of my family In addition to those which you know very well, we have Mr Shaw Mr DeWint and his lady & two servants. Your two brothers who by the way are very studious & skate, cut & saw wood no more than is beneficial to their health....
I have mourned with your mourning in your No. 9 of the 16th Dec. for the loss of Colonel Trimble, and laughed through your gaiety concerning the Ball at the English Ambassador’s. The transitions from grave to gay and from gay to grave are very frequent in this mingled world and we ought to make sober reflections on them all. But I must transide from the letter to a former one.— You are reading...
I have finished the Sprit of the King. About 3400 pages, as romantick as any of Scotts Novels and as ennuiuse as they are Sprightly. The great modern novellist is as true an historian as any We have. L’Esprit de la Fronde concludes with an Observation which every reader must have made on every page of the Work. It is, “It now remains to profit of a great truth, of which this history is but a...
I will not trouble you, to read a history of my pains and aches, as an apology for neglecting to acknowledge your letters which I have regularly received as far as No 28. I am now better and thank you for your punctual attention. I preserve all your letters in a bundle—hæc olim meminisse juvabit—your observations upon Congress, and its Members, are as they ought to be, candid cautious and...
I have received your letter of the 23d ulto. & your father’s letter & octavo volume mentioned in it The book will answer for itself wherever it goes & I hope will satisfy the world. If you take the “Old Colony Memorial” you will see some ancient documents concerning the fisheries, if you do not take that paper I hope you will subscribe for it, for it is of great importance to the history of...
I agree with you in your number 34. that the quarterly is guilty of damning Stuart, and Reid, with faint praise, or rather with insidious praise; but they may say what they will, they can never destroy the reputation of either, as a profound investigator of the science of the human mind; both have added to the stock of human knowledge, and cleared up many perplexing points and questions; They...
A cold frosty snowy morning. I have received your No 11. I am glad you have got through the spirit of laws. You ought to read the Persian letters, the temple of Gnidus, and the other works of Montesquieu. But before you proceed further, I advise you to read, again, your father’s lectures on Rhetoric and Oratory, and that with close attention, steady care, and keen discernment—for although you...
Though the theory of Government is a nice and dangerous Study as I have found by experience; Yet I am glad to find that the lectures you have attended have drawn your Attention to it—Without Some knowledge it, you will be always in confusion, blown about by every Wind. It is a melancholly pursuit, because it is humiliating to human Nature. Selfishness prevails over benevolence; Knavery over...
I will not trouble you to read a history of my pains and aches, as an apology for neglecting to acknowledge your letters, which I have regularly received—I am now better and thank you for your punctual attention. I preserve all your letters in a bundle—hec olin meminisse juvabit—Your observations upon Congress, and its members, are as they ought to be, candid cautious and prudent; It is an old...
Tell your Father that I have found the old circular pedigree which looks like so many wheels within wheels of Boules de savon and that Miss Abigail and Miss Elizabeth have undertaken to copy it, and as they yesterday had the courage to go to Boston without a beau I presume they will be able to accomplish this enterprize. We are all well or convalescent. / Your affectionate / Grandfather. MHi :...
Thanks for your No 15—Your Father advised wisely to the Abbe Condilla. I knew him personally. He was an intimate friend of the Abbe De Mably and either by blood of Monastic order, a Brother. His course of Study, for the Prince of Parma is a learned and valuable work.—With the character of his metaphisical works you already know much from Stuarts philosophy of the Mind, and will know more from...
If you can obtain leave of absence I wish for the pleasure of your Company here on the twelfth of the month—and I wish you to present my Compliments to the President, and Tutors whose consent is requisite, and ask the favour of them There is not any topick of Conversation here, but the horrours of duelling—and Mail Robbers, we do not meddle with politicks— love to John—and am affectionately /...
I thank you for your letter of new-years-day, and congratulate you on your arrival in the great City that is to be where you will have an opportunity of seeing the great world & making many observations & reflections upon it: you may there see a variety of sentiments on government: despotism to the depths of sansculotism, & religious opinions; from the sublimities of Catholics to the...
I have received a very pleasant letter from you of the 21st. of the month; your close attention to the lectures of your professor Chief Justice Parker, would be of great benefit to you—my letters will not be lectures, but only hints— The proper Study of mankind in general is man, but it is the peculiar duty of law givers and legislators to study human nature in all its intricacies, to search...
Your account of the first part of your journey, is quite as entertaining and instructive as is that of the latter part, recorded in your former letter. The seventy persons on board the steam boat who were obliged to sleep in mats covered with a blanket, reminded me of my excellent friend and physician, Dr Holbrook’s account of the treatment of the small pox in Canada when our Revolutionary...
Your frolicsome letter of the 10th of October has come to hand this morning and amidst the sinking and fainting infirmities of age has given me a temporary flash of spirits and has tirminated in the solid comfort of the arrival of your father and Mother and Miss Mary at Washington after tot et tanta discrimina rerum. The ladies must have had a severe trial your Mother is so much in the habit...
In the reign of Charles 1st of England, Henry Adams came to America from Devonshire and settled at Mount Wollaston with eight sons, one of whom returned to England. Four removed to Medfield, Medway, Bellingham and the neighbouring towns—two to Chelmsford Thomas and Samuel by name; Joseph only, my great grandfather, and the great grandfather of Samuel Adams of Boston, remained in this place...
Your letter, of the 21st. sprightly and entertaining like all the rest, has been recieved. I participate in all your apprehensions concerning the election. The odium, which has been conjured up against the family, is indeed a formidable motive of national action. Not a reason, not an argument even original; it is a prejudice! and it is a consolation to see that it does not prevail in...
Your letter of the 28th: Decr. is an epistle of a sage. I will tell you a story, of ancient days. “When I was a Sophomore at College, my mother and her Sister Ann Adams, Wife of my Uncle Ebenezer Adams, came to spend the day with me. On looking round my room, they thought I wanted several little articles of accomodation, which they did not see. They asked why I had not this thing, that thing,...
I thank you for two letters written at two notable periods of your life one at the happy meeting of your family at Providence and New York, the other at Washington all in health written with the vivacity, and spirit for which you are so remarkable. They gave me and the whole family a great deal of pleasure and excite an appetite for your account of the first part of your journey. We have...
Your letter of the 18th of January is full of candid, temperate and accurate criticism I know not whether a more lively idea of Mr Clay’s eloquence could have been given me, by Aristotle, Longinus, Dyonisius Halicarnassus, Horace, Vida, Boileau and Pope. Mr Clay must have great powers of Oratory. Your remarks upon emphasis, are judicious and important. I have written this pedantic list of...
In compliance with your request in your condescending favr. of the 30th. Ulto. that I should transmit the Pedigree of my family. I applied to my Father, who had taken some pains to inform himself respecting his Ancestry—being incited thereto, very much by the important circumstance, that One of the name had risen to the highest honours of our Country; and others, to very distinguished honours...
Your kind letter of the 22d: February No 15 is as pleasing to me as the former numbers. I have not seen the Pilot. The young ladies, you speak of instead of tinkling verses and frivolous novels, had better read Dr Barrows sermons, get them by heart, and deeply impress them upon their souls. As to the Caucus I am glad you have not written me upon that, fir it si a very unedifying topic. The...
I recieved, as usual with great delight your letter of the 12th inst. Your account of all things is satisfactory—but on this great occasion, my dear Grandson, let us all reflect on the obligations this event imposes on us. Our joys ought to be no greater than the joys of the public. We ought all of us to collect ourselves and not suffer a single unbecoming word or action to escape us. A friend...
I also am an advocate first for universal suffrage 2dly. for universal emancipation 3dly for universal toleration & fourthly for universal education. But I must still inquire, what is meant by universal suffrage? If reading & writing were necessary, that rule would in the middle ages have excluded all mankind except the clergy and a greater part of them and even Charlemagne himself. I have...
Your No 42 has given me pleasure like the rest. I ought to thank you for your assiduity in giving me kind entertainment in so great a number of letters. As you have all the Newspapers, you have all the news that we have and more. New England has settled down in calm satisfaction with her own vote. The circumstance you mentioned of Quincy & Braintree and their unanimnity has delighted me as...
Nothing from your Family gives me more pleasure than to hear as I do, that you are a diligent Student and good Schollar. Do you know the meaning, of the Words, Patience of Application ? Patience of Study ? My little reading, you may well Suppose is not fresh in my head: but I remember to have somewhere read that Sir Isaac Newton used to Say that “all he had done in Science was by patient...