Adams Papers

From John Adams to Benjamin Waterhouse, 14 August 1817

Quincy August 14. 1817

Dear Sir,

I fear I have not answered your letter of 20th of June. That of the 8th: of August, I certainly have not. I have been justly accused of Imbecility & Dotage for twenty years past. Yet I seem to be a Man of more consequence now, than I ever was before in my whole life.

What a cloud of Reminiscences, has your last letter, exhailed in my old brain! Several of with whom I gazed through a telescope at the Satelites of Jupiter, from the roof of old Harvard Colledge, sixty two years ago: & Langdon with whom I put the first Flagg of the United States forty two years ago, upon a floating castle.

I read Forsnoy again with pleasure. He will <te> excite reflection & purify Taste. Eustace shuld have read Gibetin, Bryant, Farmer & Decssius before he travelled. It is plain that with all his classical knowledge of the Poets he understood nothing that he saw. He is a ferocius Roman catholic John Bull, with plausible Affectation of Candour Moderation & Toleration. In one word he is a Catholic & I believe a Jesuitical Priest. At the same time a tedious fatigueing writer. I have no better Opinion of Gibbon than of Eustace, Books written for money have no authority with me.

I wish our Navy Officers knew what they were about when they visit Rome. Eustace & Gibbon did not.

The Massachusetts Register which you put into Mr Munroe’s hand in Manuscrip, will be a clue to New Englands Modern Politicks. American History; wither in Fable, Alegory, Painting, Sculpture Architecture, Statuary, Poetry, Oratory or Romance: which forgets to acknowledge James Otis to have been the Father of the American Revolution; will be nothing but a Lie

My Susan is embarked on the Ocean with a modest Sailor, God. prosper their Voyage. We thanfully accept your kind congratulations on the arrival at New York, I remain your friend.

John Adams

MHi: Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.

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