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MY DEAREST FRIEND,
BY this day's post I have your letter of the 26th ultimo. I believe that some incomprehensible sympathy or other, made me low-spirited all the time you were sick, though I neither knew nor suspected it. I rejoice to be informed of your recovery. If I were not afraid of every change in your situation that might endanger your health, I would plan a project for next winter ; but I must leave that for a tete d tete.
To a heart that loves praise so well, and receives so little of it, your letter is like laudanum, which Mr. Henry the senator, says, is the Divinity itself.
The French Convention has passed a number of resolutions for the regulation of Jacobinical clubs or self-created societies, founded in eternal reason, perpetual policy and perfect justice, which every other nation must adopt or be overthrown. I wish Mr. O. and every other minister would preach a sermon, once a quarter, expressly on that text. Affiliations, combinations, correspondences, corporate acts of such societies must be prohibited. A snake with one head at each end, crawling opposite ways, must split the snake in two, unless one head is so much stronger than the other as to drag it along over thorns and stones till it loses its headship. So the King of France's constitution acted. A man drawn between two horses is a neat image of a nation drawn between its government and self-created societies acting as corporations and combining together.
Hay for the horses I know you must purchase, and I always expected it. Buy the best and enough of it. The weather is here this day as fine as you describe the day before Christmas, when our friends were so good as to visit you, bright, clear, mild ; farmers ploughing every where. Letters from Connecticut say the cankerworm millers, and slugs, are going up the apple trees. Tar our trees in the garden and see if you catch any.
There is an unusual calm and dearth of news at present. Most important events are expected to be imported by the first vessels. I am myself much inclined to doubt whether the French will get to Amsterdam. There are obstacles in their way very serious and which may be made invincible. Amsterdam may be defended by an inundation. Even with out an inundation, it is capable of a good defence. A strong wall, a wide, deep ditch, a numerous artillery, and I am not willing to believe that the people are asleep or will be idle. I am, with the tenderest of all sentiments,
- John Adams
- Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Edited by His Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, Volume II, 1841