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in the delightful Science of Husbandry. do ascertain what Marle is that we may know whether we have it here or not. I can tell you no news but what you will have more directly from other hands. they may tell you how our Constitution operates in practice, how our Executive support their dignity and how our Legislature preserve their Independence. 'I am quite a private Man, a distant Spectator that sees but little, enough, however, to feel some disgust, detestation and Contempt. The Papers will shew you in what manner Mr. Temple is persecuted here and his defence. this matter has formed Considerable Parties and I think Temple gains Ground fast. I need not tell you that your Family are well. You will undoubtedly hear from them by this Opportunity. I am your Friend.
The Muse, Mrs. W., wishes you Health and Happiness. I beg your Care of the Inclosed. it contains one for my Son, I wish to go safely, and am told there is no dependence on the common Post form Amsterdam to France.
MERCY WARREN TO JOHN Adams
SIR,- Many Months have Elapsed and many Great Events have taken place since I took up my pen to address you, among which few are more important to this Country than the Dutch Negotiation, and perhaps None have been attended with Greater Difficulties and none more Replete with Honour to the prime actors than this. Yet I should not have Ventured to pass my Censure on its opposers, or to Give sanction to the Measure by a full approbation of the spirit and Dignity which has brought it to a Completion, had I not been repeatedly called upon in the late Letters to your FRIEND, a Friend who, though now a private Gentleman, is not less Attentive to the Interest of the public, nor less Attached to the Minister at the Hague than when you both, stimulated by the Noblest Motives, of patriotism, and bound by
the strong ties of Mutual Friendship, Nursed the Embrio of opposition, Discussed the Nature of Government and Formed the plans of Revolution by the social Fire side at Plimouth. But the Enthusiasm of Poetry has Languished under the hand of Time: and the Muse Grown too timid amidst the Noise of War to attempt an Elogium on the Virtues of patience, perseverance and patriotism, Though the sterling Worth of those Capital Virtues have been tryed in the Fiery Furnace of Intrigue, Deception and ingratitude.
But the Historian must be very Negligent of Fame who is not ambitious that all the Extraordinary Transactions in the Diplomatic system should stand Conspicuous in his Work. But when the poignancy of sarcasm is strongly felt by the too susceptable Hearts, some little thirst of revenge will arise in the most Good Naturd of the Human Race. nor is any office so illustrious, or any character so sacred, but he must submit if he provokes the threatenings Even to the Menaces of a Woman. He will not find himself secure though hid in the pallaces of princes, or shielded by the stronger Bulwark of his own integrity. therefore Depend upon it a Blank shall be left in Certain annals for your Dutch Negotiation, unless you Condescend to furnish with your own Hand a few more Authentic Documents to Adorn the Interesting Page.
If the Refinements of the European World has Wrought the Divine science of Politics into a Mechanical system, composed of all the Foperies of Life, be assured, sir, America is not a Century behind them in Taste. You will not therefore be surprized when told that the test of Merit is Wealth: And that every thing which is Lucrative is Honorable in this Country. But as Mankind in all ages are governed Less by Reason than Opinion, it may again become Fashionable to be Virtuous and the Man be more Respected for the Probaty of his Heart than for the Trapings of his Horses. But as the Morals of a people Depend more on the Genius of their Rulers than the Mode of Government, the leading Characters among us do not at present promise such a Happy Revolution in Manners. And so little prospect of success is there to the struggles of the uncorrupted few, that I do not find myself quite willing your much estemed Friend, Mr. Warren, who has
but just retired from the public Walks (sickened by the servility and weakness of Man and wearied with the unremiting Vigalence of Near twenty years in the Field of Politics) should again return to the Embarased scene. Yet Convinced of the Necessity of sending our best men to Congress, and knowing you deem it a point of the utmost importance, I dare not urge my Arguments against his repairing to Philadelphia to you. Were it prudent to transmit them beyond the Atlantic, some of them you would Acknowledge Weighty. Others you might place to the score of Female Timidity, Delicacy, or perhaps Pride.
What a Many Headed Monster is a Republic grafted on the Principles of Despotism. Nor is a sovereign without a Crown a Less Dangerous Annimal than the Monarch whose Brow is Graced with the splendor of a Diadem.
If any Expression in this appears like a Decay of public spirit in the Wane of Life, a Line from your pen might Revive the Languid torper, though not as the Rescript of a Minister but as the Admonishion of a Friend. . . .
As I have touched on the Domestic feelings, to which you are not insensible, I shall Mention a son, Dear to his parents and amiable in the Eyes of a Friend. has any part of his Conduct since in Europe rendered him unworthy, that Mr. Adams has Never once Named him in his long absence. if he has, your tenderness will still impose silence; if not, the Fluttering Hopes of a Mother will be strengthened in your Next Letter to one who subscribes with much Respect and unabating Esteem Your assured Friend and humble servant
JAMES WARREN TO JOHN ADAMS
MY DEAR SIR, I made my acknowledgments of the receipt of your favors of June 17 and July the 2d by Capt. Grinnall, who sailed for Amsterdam about a fortnight ago. Since which I have the pleasure of yours of August 19th with the Inclosed Pamphlet,
conveying a State of the origin and progress of the Treaty with Holland, an Event which will make a figure in History in Proportion to its Importance, when Justice will be done to the Integrity and Ability, the Zeal and Perseverance of him who negotiated it. All the Honest part of America do that now equal to his wishes; but there are others, and some of them in high Stations and great Confidence, who have been stunned and mortified at this Success, some of them, perhaps, Influenced by Envy and some by Interest. but you know all about it. I need not tell you that Foreigners of high rank and character would not believe it possible. That the mighty of this part of the Globe condemned the measures taken to effect it, and at last believed the accounts of the success of them with reluctance. I wish I could know your Ideas of our present domestic Situation; of men vested with Imperial powers and, what is as bad, furnished with sources of Corruption equal to a King of Britain; of the Sagacity of that Congress which has found Abilities and Integrity where the Congress in 1775 and '76, etc., would never have suspected they were to be found. but I quit a subject I hate to reflect upon. I have conceived a great Opinion of Mr. Jay. he has conducted, if I am well informed, with great dignity. I dont believe it will be your fault or his if matters do not conclude well. if I was to give you two Instructions, they should be very discretionary. I have some Conception what you and he and Mr. Dana have endured. I dont wonder if you are all weary. The Good Dr. is now appointed to negotiate with Sweden. no doubt he will succeed and add a new Plume to his Cap.
I wish Mr. Jay may make an advantageous Treaty with Spain. it will be no unfavorable Circumstance to have it done at Paris instead of Madrid, or any other place, or places where he has danced attendance on that Court. Great Expectations and fears are formed here upon the fate of Gibraltar. if it falls, we expect a Peace, if it does not, we expect at least another Campaign, but I hope we shall be prepared for either.
You have, indeed, a large Field before you. The Questions to be decided are numerous and Important, quite enough so without descending to the Trifling Consideration of the Tories; and can it be possible at this Time of day that the British Cabinet should
interest themselves in their favor. what would they do for them. surely they would not wish them to have Neponset Hill. they deserve Nothing. but if they must have anything, they can expect no more than the Money their Estates sold for, out of the respective Treasurys where it is lodged, and that I hope is more than they will ever get, at least till Britain pays for all the devastations made on the Estates of honest Men. Mrs. W. writes you by this Opportunity. Great Events must find a place in her History, especially when Impartiality and Friendship combine to Insert them. That you may enjoy Health and Happiness is the Prayer of your Friend
Not a Word about the dear Commonwealth of Massachusetts]. Yes. The first Magistrate is; the Executive Council is The Legislature is in the Usual Stile, sometimes making wise Laws and sometimes not; however, constantly making New, or repealing old ones. The present Members of Congress elected are, Gerry, Osgood, S. Higginson, Gorham, Holton and J. W. I believe the last must stay at Home and cultivate his Farm.
Nov. 24th. The preceeding Letter was designed to go by the Firebrand, who slipd away unexpectedly and left that and many others for you behind. Other owners might have been complaisant enough at least to have taken Mrs. Adams', but even Fortune cannot change the Spots of the Beast, or alter the Skin of the Ethiopian. since she saild nothing worthy your Notice has taken place. The French Fleet are still here and not quite ready for Sea. The French Army is expected soon, in order to embark on Board the Fleet. Mr. Gorham and Dr. Holton set out for Congress in a few days. I suppose Higginson will refuse and I am uncertain whether Gerry will go.