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MY DEAREST FRIEND,
I HAVE this day, by special permission from their majesties, obtained by Mr. West, the painter, who with Mr. Copley does so much honor to our country, seen the apartments in the Queen's house, as it is called, or Buckingham House. It is a great curiosity indeed. There is an inestimable collection of paintings by the greatest masters, Raphael, Rubens, Vandyke and many others. There is one room which the King calls Mr. West's, as it is ornamented with a collection of his works the return of Regulus the death of Epaminondas the death of Bayard the death of General Wolf, &c.
The cartons of Raphael are a wonderful production of art. The library is the most elegant thing I ever saw. But the King's military and naval room pleased me best, as it is a collection of plans and models of every dockyard and man of war in his empire. Come to Europe with Abby as soon as possible, and satisfy your curiosity, and improve your taste by viewing these magnificent scenes. Go to the play. See the paintings and buildings. Visit the manufactures for a few months ; and then, if Congress pleases, return to America with me to reflect upon them. I am in earnest. I cannot be happy nor tolerable without you. Besides, I really think one trip across the sea would be of service to you and my daughter, to whom my love. I shall expect you constantly until you arrive.
I mourn the loss of my father, but it was time to expect it from his age. You must be melancholy and afflicted, and I hope that the voyage will divert your thoughts. Mr. Thaxter is in America before this, no doubt. My dear son is the only secretary I have or propose to have at present. I believe I shall go to the Hague and reside chiefly there ; but write to me, until you embark, by Portugal, Spain, France, England or Holland. The nearer you arrive to the Hague, the nearer I believe you will be to me, yet I may be in Paris. I shall stay but a short time in London. You will read in the newspapers innumerable lies about Jay and me. Regard them as little as I do. I have met with an agreeable reception here, as agreeable as I wish ; in short I have been received here exactly as I wished to be.
Yours, with tenderness unutterable,
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume II, 1841