John Adams Letters document,


Passy, 30 December, 1778.


WE wait, and wait, and wait forever, without any news from America. We get nothing but what comes from England and to other people here, and they make it as they please. We have had nothing from Congress an immense while. Every merchant and every merchant's apprentice has letters and news when I have none. In truth, I have been so long from Boston that every body there, almost, has for gotten me. I have expected, every moment for al most two months, my recall.

Carlisle, Cornwallis and Eden are arrived in England, but bring no good news for the English, or we should have had it in the Gazette. The two houses of Parliament join ministry and commissioners in threatening fire and sword. They seem to think it necessary to threaten most, when they can do least. They, however, show their disposition, which they will indulge and gratify if they can. But be not dismayed. They can do no great things. Patience, perseverance and firmness will overcome all our difficulties. Where the Comte D Estaing is, is a great mystery. The greater, the better. The English fancy he is returning to Europe. But we believe he is gone where he will do something. The English reproach the French with gasconade, but they never gasconaded as the English do now. I suppose they will say as Burgoyne did, " Speak daggers but use none." But I believe, however, that they and he would use them if they could. Of all the wrong heads Johnstone is the most consummate. The Tories at New York and Philadelphia have filled his head with a million lies. He seems to have taken a New York newspaper for holy writ. Parliament is adjourned to the 14th January. Of this you may be assured, that England can et no allies. The new secretary at war makes a vast parade of the number of men in their service by sea and land. But it is a mere delusion. They intend to byngify Keppel to all appearance ; but killing him will not mend rotten ships nor make sailors.

I dined to-day at the Dutchess D Enville's. When I saw the companies of militia on their march to fight her husband, I did not expect this. Did you ?

John Adams