Elizabeth Palmer to Abigail Adams
Satterday evening July 15th [?] 17741
I have this moment finished Copying The manuscript you was kind enough to Lend me, and must write a line, to beg your excuse for not Sooner returning it.2 I could not Steal the time to Copy it before, and was Loath to Lose it. I think it is a very Pretty thing; tho, (if you can excuse my Seeming arrogance, in Presuming to Criticise,) there are Some expressions in it, that Seem not quite according to the rules of good Poetry; I mean, a too frequent repetition of the Same Words; for instance, the word, woe, and woes, Comes in so often as to, in Some measure flatten the Spirrit of it, but, I am Sensible Im runing out of my Proper Sphere, and Shall Doubtless expose my own ignorence, Pray Pardon me, and accept my thanks for the Books, Part of which I Shall return tomorrow; My impatience Prevail’d upon me to Send on monday last, to Your office, for the other Vol’s of Charles Wentworth; and expected Josey would Send it by the Return of the Chaise at night, but was disappointd; I long to have the rest of it but the fates are against me.3 Miss Nancy left us this morning; her aunt moves out of town on monday. Company is at the door So adieu.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To Mrs. Adams Present.”
1. 15 July 1774 was a Friday; the letter was probably written on Saturday, 16 July.
2. This MS poem has not been further identified.
3. The History of Charles Wentworth, Esq. In a Series of Letters, a novel in three volumes by Edward Bancroft, was published anonymously in London, 1770 (BM, Catalogue description begins The British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books, 1881–1900, Ann Arbor, 1946; 58 vols. Supplement, 1900–1905, Ann Arbor, 1950; 10 vols. description ends ). For JA’s opinion of it see his Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 4:72–73.