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THE spring advances very rapidly, and all nature will soon be clothed in her gayest robes. The green grass which begins to show itself here and there, revives in my longing imagination my little farm and its dear inhabitants. What pleasure has not this vile war deprived me of? I want to wander in my meadows, to ramble over my mountains, and to sit, in solitude, or with her who has all my heart, by the side of the brooks. These beautiful scenes would contribute more to my happiness than the sublime ones which surround me. I begin to suspect that J have not much of the grand in my composition. The pride and pomp of war, the continual sound of drums and fifes as well played as any in the world, the prancings and tramplings of the Light Horse, numbers of whom are paraded in the streets every day, have no charms for me. I long for rural and domestic scenes, for the warbling of birds, and prattle of my children. Don't you think I am somewhat poetical this morning for one of my years, and considering the gravity and insipidity of my employment ? As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love or admiration. I should prefer the delights of a garden to the dominion of a world. I have nothing of Ceasar's greatness in my soul. Power has not my wishes in her train. The Gods, by granting me health and peace and competence, the society of my family and friends, the perusal of my books and the enjoyment of my farm and garden, would make me as happy as my nature and state will bear. Of that ambition which has power for its object, I Don't believe I have a spark in my heart. There are other kinds of ambition of which I have a great deal.
I am now situated in a pleasant part of the town, in Walnut street, on the south side of it, between Second and Third streets, at the house of Mr. Duncan, a gentleman from Boston, who has a wife and three children. General Wolcott, of Connecticut, and Colonel Whipple, of Portsmouth, are with me in the same house. Mr. Adams has removed to Mrs Cheesman's, in Fourth street, near the corner of Market street, where he has a curious group of company, consisting of characters as opposite as north and south. Ingersoll, the stamp man and Judge of Admiralty ; Sherman, an old puritan, as honest as an angel and as firm in the cause of American independence as mount Atlas ; and Colonel Thornton, as droli and funny as Tristram Shandy. Between the fun of Thornton, the gravity of Sherman, and the formal toryism of Ingersoll, Adams will have a curious life of it. The landlady, too, who has buried four husbands, one tailor, two shoemakers and Gilbert Tenant, and still is ready for a fifth, and well deserves him too, will add to the entertainment. Gerry and Lovell are yet at Miss Leonard's, under the auspices of Mrs. Yard. Mr. Hancock lias taken a house in Chestnut street, near the corner of Fourth street, near the State House.
We this day received letters from Dr. Franklin and Mr. Deane. I am not at liberty to mention particulars, but in general, the intelligence is very agreeable. I am now convinced there will be a general war.
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume I, 1841