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MY DEAREST FRIEND,
LAST night the Consul General, de Etombe, made me a visit with your kind letter of the 18th. He looks older than when I last saw him, and he is indeed a fortunate man. He gave me many details of affairs in France ; a gloomy picture of the reign of terror, and a smiling one of the present reign of moderation ; but he is not without inquietude on the subject of a constitution.
By the turn which the debates and deliberations in the Senate took yesterday, we must sit next week, and I have now little hope of liberty till the last day of it. Some members, perhaps, wish to give time to Mr. Adet to open his budget, which, it is conjectured, may contain propositions on the part of France.
The sun is terrible here as well as at New York. I beg you to be afraid of him, and keep out of his beams. I dread going out to Lansdowne to dinner at Mr. Morris's, on Sunday, according to his invitation.
The news you mention from Halifax is very disagreeable. I wish that misfortune and adversity could soften the temper and humiliate the insolence of John Bull ; but he is not yet sufficiently humbled. If I mistake not, it is to be the destiny of America one day to beat down his pride. But the irksome task will not soon, I hope, be forced upon us.
All this is under the rose. My love to the family.
- John Adams