Adams Papers

From Mercy Otis Warren to Abigail Smith Adams, 24 August 1799

Plimuth August 24, 1799

As you my dear madam wrote last it may be my part according to the rules of Etiquette to Congratulate you on your perfect restoration to health, but the unceremonious friendly pen should be seized by the hand first able to hold it.—

the similarity of our recent situation—tottering many months on the verge of the Grave, has been to my mind affecting indeed, when I have contemplated our next meeting beyond the Vail of life, delusory appearances. This may yet be the case though you hale fully, and myself partially recovered health unless you should as mrs Warren would, were our situation, reversed, take up your cariage and visit one so loved as has been by you. your feeble friend—I have rode only three miles since my late sickness: and for more than thirteen months have set my foot on the Ground but once, and that only to walk the width of the street—But I do not complain. I have had my three score years and ten. Checker work indeed.—Yet many a brilliant ray has illumined the darkned spots, though I claim no relationship to the family of Wishaupt—

I cannot but smile here—and methinks I this moment see your shoulders shake, as I have done on many other occasions at the noise made about this obscure insignificant character: if really such a person exists—

That infidelity has for more than half a century made astonishing progress in Europe, and has many years been Gaining Ground in America their is not a doubt.—

For more than thirty years I have dreaded the influence of the Opinions of Voltair. [As I clmbed] on the rising generation: and in more modern times, have held in equal Contempt those of Hume Gibbon and Godwin—But as we hear the sacred Volum is again coming into fashion from meer detestation of the French Nation, I hope my Countrymen will be so far Nelsonized as after the example of that gallant Commander, to place their Bible, in their bed Chamber instead of the metaphysical, or atheistical trumpery, imported either from France, Germany or Englan—

The long habit of conversing on anything that at the moment arose must be my apology if any is necessary for touching on any subject that first occurs, for like the Great Sully, I find myself “too old to change my habits.”—

Do you feel like takeing your flight south, with other birds of passage in the ensuing autum.

If you do may health attend your progress, and a safe return before the Summer heats of a more burning clime than our own.

be assured madam that all due respect and esteem from the corner of Warren Square, await the President of the United States.

With a heart you have known from your first entrance into life subscribe, with sincere / affection your Friend and / Humble Servant,

Mercy Warren

My Curiosity is not so far extinguished by the whirl of time or the rapidity of revolution, as not to wish to be informed if you know the name of the sensible writer of letters introduced to the world by Gifford.

MHi: Adams Papers.

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