John Adams Letters document,


Paris, 27 February, 1783.

MY DEAREST FRIEND, " L AMBITION dans Poisivete, la bassesse dans Por- geuil, le desir de's enrichir sans travail, Paversion pour la verite, la flatterie, la trahison, la perfidie, Pabandon de tous ses engagemens, le mepris des de voirs du citoyen, la crainte de la vertu du prince, Pesperance de ses foiblesses, et plus que tout cela, le ridicule perpetuel jette sur la vertu, forment, je crois, le caractere du plus grand nombre des courtisans, marque dans tous les lieux et dans tous les temps." It is Montesquieu who draws this picture, and I think it is drawn from the life, and is an exact resemblance. You cannot wonder, then, that I am weary, and wish to be at home upon almost any terms. Your life would be dismal in a high degree, you would be in a hideous solitude among millions. None of them would be society for you that you could endure. Mrs. Jay is in this situation, ardently longing to come home. Yet she is much better circumstanced than you are, to be abroad, as her family is smaller and younger. You must leave a part of your family.

No. Let us live in our own country, and in our own way, educate our children to be good for some thing. Upon no consideration whatever would I have any of my children educated in Europe. In con science I could not consent to it.

If Congress had been steady and continued in force my commission to make a treaty of commerce with Great Britain, I should have gone to London, and have finished the treaty before now ; but I should not have thought of residing in London long. I should have resigned and returned to America in a year or two at farthest. If Congress should now revive my commission and send me a new one, which I think altogether improbable, but believe they will complete their work by sending another man upon that errand, I would not stay longer in England than a year or two at farthest. I cannot bear the thought of a long banishment from my own native soil where alone I can ever be happy or comfortable.

I write you by every opportunity, lest you should embark for Europe when I am upon my passage home, which would be a terrible disappointment to both. My intention, is to come home, whether I receive the acceptance of my resignation or not, unless 1 receive a commission to St. James's. Don t you embark, therefore, until you receive a letter from me desiring you to come. If I should receive such a commission, I will write you immediately by way of France, Holland and England, and shall wish you to come to me on the wings of the wind. But the same influence, French influence I mean, which induced Congress to revoke my commission, will still continue to prevent the revival of it. And I think it likely, too, that English influence will now be added to French, for I don t believe that George wishes to see my face. In this case I shall enjoy the satisfaction of coming, where I wish most to be, with all my children, living in simplicity, innocence and repose.

What I write you upon this subject is in confidence, and must not be communicated but with great discretion.

Yours entirely and forever,


John Adams