John Adams Letters document,


Philadelphia, 14 January, 1797.


You say Mr. H. is very full of his praises of Mr. Monroe. So is Dr. Edwards. He says Mr. Monroe's correspondence will do him infinite honor when it comes to be published, and all that. Monroe's house has been a school for scandal against his country, its government and governors, Mr. Jay and his treaty, &c. Edwards says, as Dr. Rush told me, that Washington's character was in total contempt in France. This I shall not believe till I have better evidence than that of any or all these great person ages ; nay, than all the Directory, Ancients and five hundred.

Mr. Madison is to retire. It seems the mode of becoming great is to retire. Madison, I suppose, after a retirement of a few years, is to be President or Vice President. Mr. Cabot, I suppose, after aggrandizing his character in the shade a few years, is to be some great thing too ; and Mr. Ames, &c., &c., &c. It is marvellous how political plants grow in the shade. Continual daylight and sunshine show our faults and record them. Our persons, voices, clothes, gait, air, sentiments, &c., all become familiar to every eye and ear and understanding, and they diminish in pro portion, upon the same principle that no man is a hero lo his wife or valet de chambre. These gentlemen are in the right to run away and hide. Tell Mr. Cabot so if you see him. His countrymen will soon believe him to be a giant in a cave, and will go in a body and dig him out. I wish, but don t tell Cabot so, that they would dig up Gerry.

I have bespoken a chariot, and am treating for horses. We read of a vessel from Rotterdam arrived at Lisbon, or its neighborhood, by which I hope there may be letters from our young friends, as late as the middle of November. My anxiety for letters from them increases every day. They have more accurate views and intelligence than any others, and, what is of more importance still, more application and industry.

The weather has moderated a little. I am, with anxious desires to see you, which I fear cannot be gratified before July,

Yours forever,

J. A.

John Adams