John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 17 May 1794

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Philadelphia, 17 May, 1794.

MY DEAREST FRIEND,

THE long continuance of the session, and the uncommon heat and drought of the weather, have made this to me an unpleasant spring, and to increase my mortification, I have this week received no letter from you. I have not, for several months before, failed to receive a delicious letter, worth a dozen of mine, once a week.

Well ! Boston comes on. Mr. M. is now to be its leader. How changed in reputation since 1788 ! I wonder not at the choice of Well-born Winthrop. He might, I suppose, have been chosen at any time. His father was one of my best friends, and the son was a good son of liberty. I know of nothing to his disadvantage. The federalists committed an egregious blunder in a very unwarrantable and indecent attempt, had almost said, upon the freedom of elections, at their previous meeting for the choice of governor. The opposite party, to be sure, practise arts nearly as unwarrantable in secret, and by sending agents with printed votes. But this is no justification, unless upon Cato's principle : In corrupta civitate corruptio est licita ; i. e., in a corrupt city, corruption is lawful. Elections are going the usual way in our devoted country. O ! that I had done with them. We shall realize the raving in the Tempest, which C. quoted to me in his last letter :

" I the Commonwealth" we shall "by contraries Execute all things ; for no kind of traffic Shall we admit ; no name of magistrate ; Letters will not be known ; wealth, poverty And use of service, none ; contract, succession, Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none ; No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil ; No occupation ; all men idle, all; And women too ; but innocent and pure ; No sovereignty :

All things in common nature should produce Without sweat or endeavor ; treason, felony, Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine, Would I not have ; but nature should bring forth Of its own kind, all foizon, all abundance, To feed my innocent people."

This is lubberland, indeed, Le pays de Cocagne, I believe the French call it ; but it is terra incognita. I am afraid we shall have too many of its qualities without its innocence.

I have no hope of Congress rising, before the last of May. Never in my life did I long to see you more.

I am, most ardently, your

J. A.

Author:
John Adams

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