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From John Adams to Benjamin Rush, 15 July 1789

To Benjamin Rush

New York July 15 1789

Dear Sir

I have read Dr Rush, de moribus Germanorum, with pleasure.1

As I am a great lover of paradoxes, when defended with ingenuity, I have read also the Phillippic against Latin and Greek, with some amusement: but my reverence for those Languages and the inestimable treasures hoarded up in them is not abated. Jean Jaques Roussseau’s phillippic against the arts and sciences2 amused informed and charmed me—but I have loved and admired arts and sciences the better from that time to this— What an ingrate was he to employ arts and sciences to abuse them? and are you much better, to use the knowledge and skill you derived from Latin and Greek to slander those divine Languages

Yours Ut Supra


LbC in CA’s hand (Adams Papers); internal address: “Dr B Rush—”; APM Reel 115.

1Tacitus, De moribus germanorum, et de vita agricolæ, London, 1788.

2Jean Jacques Rousseau, Discours . . . des sciences & des arts, Geneva, 1750, a copy of which is in JA’s library at MB (Catalogue of JA’s Library description begins Catalogue of the John Adams Library in the Public Library of the City of Boston, Boston, 1917. description ends ).

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