From John Adams
Quincy Decr 12 1816
I return the Analysis of Dupuis with my thanks for the loan of it. It is but a faint1 Miniature of the original.
I have read that original in twelve Volumes, besides a 13th of plates.
I have been a Lover and a Reader of Romances all my Life. From Don Quixotte and Gill Blas to the Scottish Chiefs and an hundred others.
For the last year or two I have devoted myself to this kind of Study: and have read 15 Volumes of Grim, Seven Volumes of Tuckers Neddy Search and 12 Volumes of Dupuis besides a 13th of plates And Traceys Analysis, and 4. Volumes of Jesuitical History! Romances all! I have learned nothing of importance to me, for they have made no Change in my moral or religious Creed, which has for 50 or 60 years been contained in four Short Words “Be just and good.” In this result they all agree with me.
I must acknowledge however, that I have found in Dupuis more Ideas that were new to me, than in all the others.
My Conclusion from all of them is Universal Tolleration.
Is there any Work extant So well calculated to discredit Corruptions and Impostures in Religion as Dupuis.
RC (DLC); at foot of text: “President Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 25 Dec. 1816 and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in MHi: Adams Papers). Enclosure: enclosure to TJ to Adams, 14 Oct. 1816.
The volume of plates was Charles François Dupuis, Planches de L’Origine de Tous les Cultes (Paris, year III [1794/95]). gill blas: Alain René Le Sage, Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane (Paris, 1715–35, and later French and English eds.; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 4346). tuckers neddy search: under the pseudonym of Edward Search, the English philosopher Abraham Tucker published The Light of Nature Pursued, 3 vols. in 9 (London, 1768–77).
1. RC: “feignt.” FC: “faint.”
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