Friday Evening January 17th.
The reproof I received in your Letter of the 11th. & which I was favoured with only last Evening would have been more keenly felt if I had not written you one in the Morning. And now once more permit me to beg your Indulgence untill I can be relived from the daily Toil I am subjected to by the Duties I owe to the S. J. Court which now sits both forenoon & afternoon six Days in the week, & will do so for a fortnight longer, and leaves me at Night with a mental & bodily Languor. Our Docket is loaded with Business, & the Gentlemen associated with me are averse to appearing in Court.
I do rejoice that I have brought the old Gentleman “out” My Views were very different from those of the avaricious Fanatic Priest you mention. He was desirous of writing a Book which Should help his Purse and in some Degree restore the Reputation which his Imprudence & Conceit had so much tarnished. The energies of mind, & exalted Independence which he found in his Correspondent terrified the Man & made him shrink from a literary Converse which his narrow Soul could not appreciate.
No, sir, I want to posses the Evidence that shall convince Posterity that the Vigour of Mind which led to the gigantic & extensive Plan of ensuring the Freedom of a Continent, & founding an Empire on the Basis of correct Liberty, & social Rights continued to a very late Period unimpaired; & grant to his Memory that Justice which Malice, Envy & Faction attempted to depreciate.
You must not after such spec[im]ens of Encouragement as you have kindly given leave me to the Regret of having fatigued or offended You.
I have many more Inquiries to make, and you shall know them, if I obtain your farther Permission.
The Freedom with which I write, you know how to excuse. My Letters are for yourself alone. Libellers, Demagogues & Englishmen with all their Dupes might place to the Score of Flattery, feelings which never fail to arouse my utmost Indignation against them all.
I am most truly yours
MHi: Adams Papers.