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I HAVE but yesterday received yours of October 21. Your letters of the following dates I have received, 8 and 10, 16, 29 September ; 1, 9, 21 and 22 October. I These letters, and indeed every line from you, give me inexpressible pleasure, notwithstanding the melancholy scenes described in most of them of late. I am happy to learn that the family is in health once for three of these letters. Extracts only from the rest were given in the Memoir, for reasons there stated, pp. zlii. ct seq. more, and hope it will continue. My duty to my mother. I wish she would not be concerned about me. She ought to consider, that a dysentery can kill as surely as a cannon. This town is as secure from the cannon and men of war as the moon is. I wish she had a little of your fortitude. I had rather be killed by a ball than live in such continual fears as she does.
I can't write as often as I wish. I am engaged from seven in the morning till eleven at night
Two pair of colors, belonging to the seventh regiment, were brought here last night from Chambly, and hung up in Mrs. Hancock's chamber with great splendor and elegance. That lady sends her compliments and good wishes. Among a hundred mea, almost, at this house, she lives and behaves with modesty, decency, dignity and discretion, I assure you. Her behaviour is easy and genteel. She avoids talking upon politics. In large and mixed companies she is totally silent, as a lady ought to be ; but whether her eyes are so penetrating, and her attention so quick to the words, looks, gestures, sentiments, &c., of the company, as yours would be, saucy as you are this way, I won t say.
But to resume a more serious subject You ask me to write to your father and sister, and my heart wishes and longs to do it, but you can have no conception what there is to prevent me. I really fear I shall ruin myself for want of exercise.
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume I, 1841