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MY DEAREST FRIE1YD,
THE anxiety you express in your kind letter of 31st December, which I received this morning, for your country and the happiness of your children, is very amiable. The prospects of this country are gloomy, but the situation of all Europe is calamitous beyond all former examples. At what time, and in what manner, and by what means, the disasters which are come, and seem to be coming on mankind, may be averted, I know not. Our own people have been imprudent, as I think, and are now smarting under the effects of their indiscretion ; but this, instead of a consolation, is an aggravation of our misfortune. Mr. Genet has been abusive on the President and all his ministers, beyond all measure of decency or obligations of truth, and in other respects not yet publicly investigated, his conduct has been such as to make it difficult to know what to do with him. But I cannot explain myself fully. You must wait for time to bring forth events and eclair cissements.
Mrs. Washington always inquires affectionately after your health, and I never forget to present your respects.
The news of this evening is, that the Queen of France is no more. When will savages be satiated with blood ? No prospect of peace in Europe, and therefore none of internal harmony in America. We cannot well be in a more disagreeable situation than we are with all Europe, with all Indians, and with all Barbary rovers. Nearly one half the continent is in constant opposition to the other, and the President's situation, which is highly responsible, is very distress ing. He made me a very friendly visit yesterday, which I returned to-day, and had two hours conversation with him alone in his cabinet. The conversation, which was extremely interesting, and equally affectionate, I cannot explain even by a hint. But his earnest desire to do right and his close application to discover it, his deliberate and comprehensive view of our affairs with all the world, appeared in a very amiable and respectable light. The anti-federalists and the frenchified zealots have nothing now to do that I can conceive of, bat to ruin his character, destroy his peace, and injure his health. He supports all their attacks with great firmness, and his health appears to be very good. The Jacobins would make a sortie upon him in all the force they could muster, if they dared. I run on and say nothing, so I will conclude. Your ever affectionate
- John Adams