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feel the ingratitude and Baseness of private Men. The one I doubt not you will allways be quick sighted enough to discern; the other I wish you may never be thoroughly taught. For with all your thirst for science you will be Happier to die without the acquirement of this knowledge.
I have indeed seen Mrs. Macaulay. she has been treated in Boston and its Environs with every mark of Respect. she is a Lady of most Extraordinary talent, a Commanding Genius and Brilliance of thought. this in my opinion often outruns her capacity of Expression, which is often a little too prolix both in Conversation and Composition; or rather, the Periods are a little too lengthy to please at once. I dare say this will be corrected in future, as one of her American Friends had the Courage to tell her of it. she Replied she believed the observation just, as she had always aimed more at the investigation of truth than the ornaments of style. But I think in this age of Refinement the Graces of the Letter ought to soften the harshness of the Forms and prevent the mind from Fatigue while listening to the Humiliating story of Human Conduct.
We have a subscription out for an American Edition of her History down to 1744. it fills very fast and I dare say will succeed to her Wishes.
It was kind in you to wish the World would spread a Vail of Candour over a Circumstance you mentioned. Doubtless that Ladys Independency of spirit led her to suppose she might associate for the remainder of Life with an inoffensive obliging youth with the same impunity a Gentleman of three score and ten might marry a Damsel of fifteen.
Mr. Warren, perhaps, will not write by this ship. we had short Notice. He is going a Journey and the season requires his Care and attention — in his Private Walks. But in whatever Department or wherever he resides, be assured you have there a Friend. You know his attachments are strong and when he likes or dislikes, either men or measures, the shaking of a leaf will not alter his opinion.
We wish for some of your excellent long Letters, some in that style directed to him at Philadelphia, Depend upon it were not
useless, either to you or to your Country, though from a Concurrence of Circumstances he was not there.
I will not tell you his opinions with regard to our personal situation. He will do it himself ere long. He has wrote you very particularly several times since Mrs. Adams left us. I believe the intercourse will be more secure while you Reside in England — A pleasing Circumstance to your Friends, particularly to yours Respectfully
JOHN ADAMS TO MERCY Warren ADAMS MSS. AUTEUIL, May 6, 1785 MADAM,- My Son would go home very improperly without a Letter to Mrs. Warren, whose Virtues and accomplishments his Father has so long admired.
The time is at length come in which the United States of America are to have a Minister at the Court of Great Britain, a time foretold by the Prophets and Seers, and Dreamers of Dreams, but never until very lately stedfastly believed by any to be so near at hand. It is much to be wished that they could have had one to general satisfaction in America, and more Respectable in many Points than the Person on whom the lot has fallen. It is Fortune and Figure, Birth and Grace, Titles and Ribbons, that make Impressions on Courtiers and succeed with the fair, as they say. This is true in a Sense. But how do they succeed? Why, to be earnestly courted to every Ball, every Entertainment, every Horse Race and Gaming Table, and perhaps to receive certain other Favours which shall be nameless, but all this at the Expense of incessant Fatigue and Chagrin, to the consumption of all his Time and an Inattention to Business and neglect of all his Duties. This is a success of which our Country has no occasion and for which her humble Minister has no Ambition. He has not the less. Reason, however, to wish that he had more Advantages and better Qualifications for the Service, and above all that he had former Health and better Spirits, since he will probably meet with enough to try the strongest Nerves, if you consider the Groups
upon Groups of Tories and Refugees in that Country in the Variety of their Shapes and shades of their Colours, the Numbers of Emissaries from other parts of Europe, the Concourse of unexceptionable Americans, the impassioned English, Scotch and Irish, all watching his Motions and most of them wishing and contriving his Fall. Whatever lustre in the Eyes of some People there may be in the Feather of being the first Minister to England, you, Madam, will easily see that his Situation is more to be dreaded and pitied than envied.
All this, however, does not distress him. His Age is too far advanced and his Character too fixed, to have any Apprehension of being drawn into any intentional Fault, or imposed on to betray the Interest of his Constituents. He will therefore have no Penalties to apprehend but the loss of his Place, and to this Idea he is perfectly reconciled.
When shall I have the Pleasure to hear again of my Friend Warren in public? His Retreat has been a great Mortification and Misfortune to me. Yet I cannot blame him, for I catch myself wishing myself on the next Hill half a dozen times in a day. I hope, however, to hear by some of the next opportunities that he is again called to the Service of his Country. I am anxious to know if Mr. Dana is to be again in public at home or abroad. I hope he will not be suffered to retire too. Our Country has not such Characters to spare from her most important Employments.
I promise myself from Mr. Gerry's Attendance in Congress all those changes for the better in the Management of the general Affairs of the Union, which I have often seen proceed from the Clearness of his Head and the goodness of his heart. I know of scarcely any Man of more Address, more Industry or Perseverance. He never appeared in Congress without a great Influence. He deserves to stand higher in the Estimation of the Massachusetts than he has appeared to me at this distance to stand. He has merited more of that State than I am afraid they know of.
But I am wandering into Speculations which may be suspected of Impertinence. Be pleased to present my best Respects to Mr. Warren and believe me, with the greatest Esteem, Madam, your most obedient servant.
MARTHA WASHINGTON TO MERCY Warren
MY DEAR MADAM, — I had the pleasure to receive your obliging letter of the 14th of april by Mrs. Macauly Graham
the kind expressions of which, added to the recollection of those days in which you honored me with your friendship, fill me with agreeable sensations, and will ever be dear to my remembrance.
I thank you for introducing a lady so well known in the literary world as Mrs. Macauly Graham, whose agreeable company we have had the pleasure of a few days. She now returns to make happy those whom she left.
The friendship which subsisted between General Warren and Mr. Washington will never be forgotten by the latter; it was among the first formed, and most lasting at Cambridge, and with equal pleasure would be renewed by him. why it has slept, the general cannot tell. he recollects writing a long letter to Genl. Warren in the year 1779, when the army were Cantoned on the Raritan near Bound Brook in the Jersys. since which, all intercourse by letter has ceased: tho friendship is the same.
He joins me in every good wish for you and General Warren, and begs me to add the strongest assurances of the sincear esteem and regard he has for you both. With sentiments of friendship and affection I am, Dear Madam, you obedt. and obliged.
CATHERINE MACAULAY GRAHAM TO MERCY WARREN
DEAR MADAM, — I think I hear you say, with all that animated severity which I acknowledge has sometimes offended the delicacy of your friend's sentiment, Well there is no trusting to the boasted sincerity of that idle Woman. how was I deceived when I believed her capable of the solid qualities of the mind, can patriotism dwell in a heart where friendship has no place, with what indifference of temper does she fly from society to society, pleased
with the present set of companions regardless of the past, how have I mistaken a plausibility of speech and diction for the real language of the heart.
Before you proceed any further in your observations, I must tell you, my Dear friend, that your vivacity has led you into an error that I have never forgotten or remembered with a cold indifference the many endearing obligations which we have received from our friends at Milton. That this is absolutely the first moment which I have been able to snatch from a crowd of company or from the fatigue of travelling to express those sentiments of esteem, of friendship, and of gratitude which I have always felt for Mrs Warren.
A variety of reasons have at length determined me to give up all thoughts of a subscription for a new publication of my history in this country.
The state of my health, inclines me to take the advantage of two or three years' residence in the mild and steady climate of the South of France and the delicacy of my sentiment urges me to leave my visit to the Americans free and unclogged with any considerations of interest.
I am informed by Mr. Gerry that your Son is returned from Hispaniola. I flatter myself that your Journey to Plymouth was made with the intention of establishing him in business in this place and consequently that his present state of health is equal to such an undertaking.
Had I resided any time in America I should undoubtedly have made Boston the seat of my residence, but as the calls of maternal affection and the interest of our families oblige us to a separate residence in different quarters of the Globe I shall with your leave continue our Epistolary correspondence when I am established in a Domestic way in France.
We must now take leave of you, my Dear Madam, as we are on the eve of our departure for France. we must beg the favor of you to preserve us a place in your affection and that you will remember us to the General, to the young Gentlemen of your family, and particularly to our sick friend; we also desire to be remembered particularly to Mr. Russel and his family. The uninterrupted