John Adams letter to Abigail Adams, 24 April 1797

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Philadelphia, 24 April, 1797.

MY DEAREST FRIEND.

THIS day you promised me to begin your journey ; but if the weather is as disagreeable with you as it is here, I could not exact the fulfilment of the engagement. I fear you will have bad roads and unpleasant weather. You talk of your perplexities and say you must get out of them yourself. Do you think mine less severe, public or private ?

My dear and venerable mother! alas, I feel for her. She can compliment her daughter yet that is a good sign. As to the husband, it seems to me that the mother and the daughter ought to think a little of the president as well as the husband. His cares! his anxieties ! his health ? Don t laugh. His comfort ; that his head may be clear and his heart firm, ought to be thought on more than the husband. Provide every thing for my aged and worthy mother. I hope to see her yet again before October.

You, and such petit maitres and maitresses as you, are forever criticising the periods and diction of such great men as presidents and chief justices. Do you think their minds are taken up with such trifles ? There is solid, keen, deep sense in that morsel of Ellsworth's. You ought to be punished for wishing it not published. I warrant you, I shall soon be acquitted of the crime of Chronicle, Argus and Aurora praise. Let it run its rig, however, and say nothing at present. Your moral reflections on worldly possessions and earthly comforts, your look into futurity for brighter scenes and fairer prospects, are wise.

You can t imagine what a man of business I am. How many papers I read and how much I write every day. I fear you will effeminate me when you come. I have determined to send my coachman and horses to Paul us Hook for you. As soon as I know the day you will be ready to get your coach over to the hook, I will endeavor to contrive that the horses shall be ready to be harnessed at your command. You will find the coachman very attentive, sober, skilful and obliging.

I am forever 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