John Adams to Abigail Adams
Philadelphia January 22 1794
My dearest Friend
I am weary of this Scæne of Dulness. We have done nothing and Shall do nothing this Session, which ought to be done, unless We Should appropriate a Sufficient Sum of Money, for treating with the Algerines. We are afraid to go to War, though our Inclinations and Dispositions are Strong enough to join the French Republicans. It is happy that our Fears are a Check to our Resentments: and our Understandings are better than our Hearts.
One Day Spent at home would afford me more inward Delight and Comfort than a Week or a Winter in this Place.
We have frequent Rumours and Allarms about the yellow fever: but when they come to be traced to their Sources they have hitherto proved to be false. There is one at present in Circulation which is not quite cleared up, and the Weather is extreamly warm, muggy foggy and unfavourable for the Season.
The River is open and some Say is never frozen over after this time. Others Say there have been Instances in the last Week in January.
Thomas visits me of Evenings and We converse concerning Hampden and Faulkland, Charles and Oliver Essex and Rupert of whose Characters and Conduct he reads every day in Lord Clarendon.1 I fear he makes too many Visits in Families where there are young Ladies. Time is Spent and nothing learn’d. Pardon me,! Disciple of Woolstoncroft! I never relished Conversations with Ladies accepting with one at a time and alone rather than in Company. I liked not to loose my time.
I begin now to think All time lost, that is not employed in Farming. innocent, healthy gay, elegant Amusement! enchanting Employment! how my Imagination roves over my rocky Mountains and through my brushy Meadows!
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Janry / 22. 1794.”
1. John Hampden (1594–1643), a lawyer, represented various constituencies in Parliament and became a supporter of Oliver Cromwell. During the Civil War, Hampden helped to organize a regiment but was mortally wounded at the Battle of Chalgrove Field and died shortly thereafter. Lucius Cary, 2d Viscount Falkland (1610?–1643), an M.P. for Newport during the Long Parliament, served as secretary of state for King Charles I. A royalist, he was killed at the Battle of Newbury. Robert Devereux, 3d Earl of Essex (1591–1646), was general of the Parliamentary Army. He had limited success militarily and resigned because of political differences with Cromwell shortly before his death in 1646. Prince Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine and Duke of Bavaria (1619–1682), was the son of Elizabeth, queen of Bohemia, and the nephew of Charles I, from whom he received a military commission in 1642. He was eventually named commander-in-chief of the royalist forces. The Parliament forced him out of the country following a series of military defeats in 1646, though he served again in British government after the Restoration. All of these men are discussed in Lord Clarendon’s The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England (DNB description begins Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., The Dictionary of National Biography, New York and London, 1885–1901; repr. Oxford, 1959–1960; 21 vols. plus supplements. description ends ).