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An absence of 5. or 6. weeks, on a journey I take three or four times a year, must apologize for my late acknolegement of your favor of Oct. 12. after getting thro the mass of business which generally accumulates during my absence, my first attention has been bestowed on the subject of your letter. I turned to the passages you refer to in Hutchinson & Winthrop , and with the aid of their...
Another of our friends of 76. is gone, my dear Sir, another of the Co-signers of the independance of our country. and a better man, than Rush , could not have left us, more benevolent, more learned, of finer genius, or more honest. we too must go; and that ere long. I believe we are under half a dozen at present; I mean the signers of the Declaration. yourself, Gerry , Carroll , and myself are...
I wrote you a letter on the 27 th of May , which probably would reach you about the 3 d inst. and on the 9 th I recieved yours of the 29 th of May . of Lindsay’s Memoirs I had never before heard, & scarcely indeed of himself. it could not therefore but be unexpected that two letters of mine should have any thing to do with his life. the name of his
Ἴδαν ἐς πολύδενδρον ἀνὴρ ὑλητόμος ἐλθὼν, Παπταίνει, παρέοντος ἄδην, ποθεν ἄρξεται ἔργου· Τί πρᾶτον καταλεξῶ; ἐπεὶ πάρα μυρία ἐιπῆν. and I too, my dear Sir, like the wood-cutter of Ida, should doubt where to begin, were I to enter the forest of opinions, discussions, & contentions which have occurred in our day. I should exclaim with Theocritus Τί πρᾶτον καταλεξῶ; ἐπεὶ πάρα μυρία ειπῆν . but I...
Since my letter of June 27. I am in your debt for many; all of which I have read with infinite delight. they open a wide field for reflection; and offer subjects enough to occupy the mind and the pen indefinitely. I must follow the good example you have set; and when I have not time to take up every subject, take up a single one. Your approbation of my outline to D r Priestly is a great...
Since mine of Aug. 22. I have recieved your favors of Aug. 16. Sep. 2. 14. 15. and ___ and mrs Adams’s of Sep. 20. I now send you, according to your request a copy of the Syllabus. to fill up this skeleton with arteries, with veins, with nerves, muscles and flesh, is really beyond my time and information. whoever could undertake it would find great aid in Enfield’s judicious abridgment of
According to the reservation between us, of taking up one of the subjects of our correspondence at a time, I turn to your letters of Aug. 16. & Sep. 2. The passage you quote from Theognis , I think has an Ethical, rather than a political object. the whole piece is a moral exhortation , παραινεςις , and this passage particularly seems to be a reproof to man, who, while with his domestic animals...
I have great need of the indulgence so kindly extended to me in your favor of Dec. 25. of permitting me to answer your friendly letters at my leisure. my frequent and long absences from home are a first cause of tardiness in my correspondence, and a 2 d the accumulation of business during my absence, some of which imperiously commands first attentions. I am now in arrear to you for your...
This will be handed you by mr Rives a young gentleman of this state and my neighborhood. he is an eleve of mine in law, of uncommon abilities, learning and worth. when you and I shall be at rest with our friends of 1776. he will be in the zenith of his fame and usefulness. before entering on his public career he wishes to visit our sister states and would not concieve he had seen any thing of...
Since mine of Jan. 24. your’s of Mar. 14. was recieved. it was not acknoleged in the short one of May 18. by mr Rives , the only object of that having been to enable one of our most promising young men to have the advantage of making his bow to you. I learned with great regret the serious illness mentioned in your letter: and I hope mr Rives will be able to tell me you are entirely restored....
It is long since we have exchanged a letter, and yet what volumes might have been written on the occurrences even of the last three months. in the first place, Peace, God bless it! has returned to put us all again into a course of lawful and laudable pursuits: a new trial of the Bourbons has proved to the world their incompetence to the functions of the station they have occupied: & the recall...
The simultaneous movements in our correspondence have been really remarkable on several occasions. it would seem as if the state of the air, or state of the times, or some other unknown cause produced a sympathetic effect on our mutual recollections. I had set down to answer your letters of June 19. 20. 22. with pen, ink, and paper before me, when I recieved from our mail that of July 30. you...
Of the last five months I have past four at my other domicil , for such it is in a considerable degree. no letters are forwarded to me there, because the cross post to that place is circuitous and uncertain. during my absence therefore they are accumulating here, & awaiting acknolegements. this has been the fate of your favor of Nov. 13. I agree with you in all it’s eulogies on the 18 th...
I have to acknolege your two favors of Feb. 16. & Mar. 2. and to join sincerely in the sentiment of mrs Adams , and regret that distance separates us so widely. an hour of conversation would be worth a volume of letters. but we must take things as they come. You ask if I would agree to live my 70. or rather 73. years over again? to which I say Yea. I think with you that it is a good world on...
Your two philosophical letters of May 4 . and 6. have been too long in my Carton of ‘Letters to be answered.’ to the question indeed on the utility of Grief, no answer remains to be given. you have exhausted the subject. I see that, with the other evils of life, it is destined to temper the cup we are to drink. Two urns by Jove’s high throne have ever stood, The source of evil one, and one of...
Your letter, dear Sir, of May 6. had already well explained the Uses of grief, that of Sep. 3. with equal truth adduces instances of it’s abuse; and when we put into the same scale these abuses, with the afflictions of soul which even the Uses of grief cost us, we may consider it’s value in the economy of the human being, as equivocal at least. those afflictions cloud too great a portion of...
I recieve here, dear Sir, your favor of the 4 th just as I am preparing my return to Monticello for winter quarters; and I hasten to answer to some of your enquiries. the Tracy I mentioned to you is the one connected by marriage with La Fayette ’s family. the mail which brought your letter brought one also from him . he writes me that he is become blind & so infirm that he is no longer able to...
Forty three volumes read in one year, and 12. of them quartos! dear Sir, how I envy you! half a dozen 8 vos in that space of time are as much as I am allowed. I can read by candlelight only, and stealing long hours from my rest; nor would that time be allowed me indulged to me, could I, by that light, see to write. from sun-rise to one or two aclock, and often from dinner to dark, I am...
Absences and avocations have had prevented my acknoleging your favor of Feb. 2. when that of Apr. 19. arrived. I had not the pleasure of recieving the former by the hands of mr Lyman . his business probably carried him in another direction; for I am far inland, & distant from the great line of communication between the trading cities.    your recommendations are always welcome, for indeed the...
After revolving upon some suitable apology for intruding myself with the following statement and request, I have thought it most respectful to decline offering any, except to observe that if ought appears to your better judgement improper in either, that you will attribute it to any thing else than a willingness on my part to act so, in any respect towards you. For six years ending with the...
A month’s absence from Monticello has added to the delay of acknoleging your last letters; and indeed for a month before I left it our projected College gave me constant employment; for being the only Visitor in it’s immediate neighborhood, all it’s administrative business falls on me, and that, where building is going on, is not a little. in yours of July 15. you express a wish to see our...
I was so unfortunate as not to recieve from mr Holly ’s own hand your favor of Jan. 28. being then at my other home . he dined only with my family, & left them with an impression which has filled me with regret that I did not partake of the pleasure his visit gave them. I am glad he is gone to Kentucky . rational Christianity will thrive more rapidly there than here. they are freer from...
It is very long, my dear friend, since I have written to you. the fact is that I have was scarcely at home at all from May to September, and from that time I have been severely indisposed and not yet recovered so far as to sit up to write, but in pain. having been subject to troublesome attacks of rheumatism for some winters past, and being called by other business into the neighborhood of our...
The public papers, my dear friend, announce the fatal event of which your letter of Oct. 20. had given me ominous foreboding. tried myself, in the school of affliction, by the loss of every form of connection which can rive the human heart, I know well, and feel what you have lost, what you have suffered, are suffering, and have yet to endure. the same trials have taught me that, for ills so...
About a week before I recieved your favor of Dec. 30. the 22 d N o of the North American review had come to hand, without my knowing from what quarter. the letter of mr Channing to mr Shaw , which you have been so good as to inclose, founds a presumption that it was from mr Channing , and that he is the editor. I had never before seen the work; but have read this N o with attention and great...
I am indebted to you for mr Bowditch’s very learned mathematical papers, the calculations of which are not for every reader, altho’ their results are readily enough understood. one of these impairs the confidence I had reposed in La Place’s demonstration that the excentricities of the planets of our system could oscillate only within narrow limits, and therefore could authorise no inference...
your letter of Apr. 2. was recieved in due time, and I have used the permission it gave me of sending a copy of that of Mar. 3. to the editor of Tracy’s Political economy. M r S. A. Wells of Boston, grandson of our old friend Sam l Adams, and who proposes to write the life of his grandfather, has made some enquiries of me relative to revolutionary antiquities which are within your knolege as...
I am in debt to you for your letters of May 21. 27. & June 22. the first delivered me by mr Greenwood gave me the gratification of his acquaintance; and a gratification it always is to be made acquainted with gentlemen of candor, worth and information, as I found mr Greenwood to be. that on the subject of mr Samuel Adams Wells shall not be forgotten in time and place, when it can be used to...
Three long and dangerous illnesses within the last 12. months must apologise for my long silence toward’s you. The paper bubble is then burst. this is what you & I, and every reasoning man, seduced by no obliquity of mind, or interest, have long foreseen. yet it’s disastrous effects are not the less for having been foreseen. we were laboring under a dropsical fulness of circulating medium....
I have to acknolege the reciept of your favor of Nov. 23. the banks, bankrupt law, manufactures, Spanish Treaty are nothing. these are occurrences which like waves in a storm will pass under the ship. but the Missouri question is a breaker on which we lose the Missouri country by revolt, & what more, God only knows. from the battle of Bunker’s hill to the treaty of Paris we we never had so...
A continuation of poor health makes me an irregular correspondent. I am therefore your debtor for the two letters of Jan. 20. & Feb. 21. it was after you left Europe that Dugald Stuart, concerning whom you enquire, and L d Dare, second son of the Marquis of Lansdowne came to Paris. they brought me a letter from L d Wycombe whom you knew. I became immediately intimate with Stuart, calling...
I am a great defaulter, my dear Sir, in our correspondence, but prostrate health rarely permits me to write; and, when it does, matters of business imperiously press their claims. I am getting better however, slowly, swelled legs being now the only serious symptom, and these, I believe, proceed from extreme debility. I can walk but little; but I ride 6. or 8. miles a day without fatigue; &...
I was quite rejoiced, dear Sir, to see that you had health & spirits enough to take part in the late convention of your state for revising it’s constitution, and to bear your share in it’s debates and labors. the amendments of which we have as yet heard prove the advance of liberalism in the intervening period; and encourage a hope that the human mind will some day get back to the freedom it...
Your letter justifying & glorifying the character of Junius Brutus is the most masterly apology for that prodigy of patriotism & integrity I ever read. I have read it so often that I have it by heart. I wish all my crude political notions had met with such corrections.— My letters to you of late, have been the productions of an easy &, as you suggested, a happy mind; but this one is not of...
I am just returned from my other home, and shall within a week go back to it for the rest of the autumn. I find here your favor of Aug 20 and was before in arrear for that of May 19. I cannot answer, but join in your question, of May 19. are we to surrender the pleasing hopes of seeing improvement in the moral and intellectual condition of Man? the events of Naples & Piedmont cast a gloomy...
It is very long, my dear Sir, since I have written to you. my dislocated wrist is now become so stiff that I write slow and with pain, and therefore write as little as I can. yet it is due to mutual friendship to ask once in a while how we do? the papers tell us that Gen l Starke is off at the age of 93. Charles Thomson still lives at about the same age, chearful, slender as a grasshopper, and...
Your kind letter of the 11 th has given me great satisfaction for altho’ I could not doubt but that the hand of age was pressing heavily on you, as on myself, yet we like to know the particulars and the degree of that pressure. much reflection too has been produced by your suggestion of lending my letter of the 1 st to a printer. I have generally great aversion to the insertion of my letters...
I have racked my memory, and ransacked my papers to enable myself to answer the enquiries of your favor of Oct. 15. but to little purpose. my papers furnish me nothing, my memory generalities only. I know that while I was in Europe, & anxious about the fate of our seafaring men, for some of whom, then in captivity in Algiers we were treating, and all were in like danger, I formed undoubtingly...
I recieved in due time your two favors of Dec. 2. & Feb. 10. and have to acknolege for the ladies of my native state their obligations to you for the encomiums which you are so kind as to bestow on them. they certainly claim no advantages over those of their sister states, and are sensible of more favorable circumstances existing with many of them, & happily availed of, which our situation...
The wishes expressed, in your last favor, that I may continue in life and health until I become a Calvinist, at least in his exclamation of ‘ mon Dieu ! jusque à quand’! would make me immortal. I can never join Calvin in addressing his god . he was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Dæmonism. if ever man worshipped a false god, he did. the being described in...
Your letter of Aug. 15. was recieved in due time, and with the welcome of every thing which comes from you. with it’s opinions on the difficulties of revolutions, from despotism to freedom, I very much concur. the generation which commences a revolution rarely compleats it. habituated from their infancy to passive submission of body and mind to their kings and priests, they are not qualified,...
I do not write with the ease which your letter of Sep. 18. supposes. crippled wrists and fingers make writing slow and laborious. but, while writing to you, I lose the sense of these things, in the recollection of antient times, when youth and health made happiness out of every thing. I forget for a while the hoary winter of age, when we can think of nothing but how to keep ourselves warm, &...
My friend and correspondent of Richmond, Col o Bernard Peyton will have the honor of delivering you this letter. he was a worthy officer of the late war, and now an equally worthy member of the mercantile body. proposing to visit Boston, he has the natural ambition of being presented to the first of the revolutionary characters now living. I ask, of your friendship to give him a few moments of...
I have duly recieved the favor of your invitation of the 12 th inst. to join you on the interesting occasion of the reception of Maj r Gen l La Fayette. in testifying the veneration of the citizens of Richm d for his character, their sense of his services, and their affection for his person. no one would harmonise in all these sentiments more cordially than myself, no one perhaps having had so...
It is long since I have written to you. this proceeds from the difficulty of writing with my crippled wrists, and from an unwillingness to add to your inconveniences of either reading by the eyes, or writing by the hands of others. the account I recieve of your physical situation afflicts me sincerely. but if body or mind was one of them to give way, it is a great comfort that it is the mind...
The people of Europe seem still to think that America is a mere garden plat, and that whatever is sent to one place is at home as to every other. the volume I forward you by this mail was found on Maj r Cartwright’s death, to have in his own handwriting an address for you altho’ mistaking your Christian name. his friends having occn to write to me on another subject, and supposing we were but...
Your letters are always welcome, the last more than all others, it’s subject being one of the dearest to my heart. to my granddaughter your commendations cannot fail to be an object of high ambition, as a certain passport to the good opinion of the world. if she does not cultivate them with assiduity and affection she will illy fulfill my parting injunctions. I trust she will merit a...
My grandson Th: Jefferson Randolph, being on a visit to Boston, would think he had seen nothing were he to leave it without having seen you. altho’ I truly sympathise with you in the trouble these interruptions give, yet I must ask for him permission to pay to you his personal respects. like other young people, he wishes to be able, in the winter nights of old age, to recount to those around...