John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 9 February 1794


Philadelphia, 9 February, 1794.


So ! the tables are turned on the French faction ! and the English faction will exult, in their turn, in the prospect of the West India Islands, a conquest to England, the French navy wholly ruined, and insurrection spreading from province to province. Alas ! I see no cause of joy in all these exultations in either side. I am compelled to console myself as well as I can.

" Durum ! sed levius fit patentiA, Quidquid corrigere est nefas."

" Est aliquis et dolendi decor : hie sapienti ser- vandus est : et quemadmodum in ceteris rebus, ita et in lacrimis aliquid sat est. Imprudentium ut gaudia, sic dolores exundavere. Aequo animo excipe neces-

Don t be impatient for the meaning of these mysteries. Wait till John comes up to translate them.

Indeed and in truth I see no consolation upon these occasions but in stoicism or Christianity. I am no more delighted with the idea of the West Indies in the hands of the English, than I was with Brabant and Flanders in the power of Dumourier.

Yours, affectionately.

John Adams

Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume II, 1841