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to be a reputable, religious man, was more eloquent than the rest. He was upon the danger of despising and neglecting serious things, and said, "Whatever person or people made light of them, would soon find themselves terribly mistaken." At length I heard these words: "It appears to me the eternal son of God is operating powerfully against the British nation for their treating lightly serious things."
One morning I asked my landlady what I had to pay? "Nothing," she said, "I was welcome, and she hoped I would always make her house my home. And she should be happy to entertain all those gentlemen who had been raised up by Providence to be the saviours of their country." This was flattering enough to my vain heart. But it made a greater impression on me, as a proof how deeply this cause had sunk into the minds and hearts of the people.
In short, every thing I see and hear indicates the same thing.
Uncle Quincy's,1 half after 11 o'clock, 13 February, 1778.
DEAREST OF FRIENDS,
I HAD not been twenty minutes in this house before I
1 Mr. Adams started upon his first voyage to Europe from Mr. Norton Quincy's house, which was near the water side, at Braintree.
had the happiness to see Captain Tucker1 and a midshipman coming for me. We shall be soon on board, and may God prosper our voyage in every stage of it as much as at the beginning, and send to you, my dear children and all my friends, the choicest of blessings! So wishes and prays yours, with an ardor that neither absence nor any other event can abate.
P. S. Johnny sends his duty to his mamma and his love to his sister and brothers. He behaves like a
Passy, 12 April, 1778.
MY DEAREST FRIEND,
I AM SO sensible of the difficulty of conveying letters safe to you, that I am afraid to write any thing more than to tell you, that after all the fatigues and dangers of my voyage and journey, I am here in health.
The reception I have met in this kingdom has been as friendly, as polite, and as respectful, as was possible. It is the universal opinion of the people here, of all ranks, that a friendship between France and America is the interest of both countries, and the late alli
1 of the frigate Boston.
ance, so happily formed, is universally popular; so much so, that I have been told by persons of good judgment, that the government here would have been under a sort of necessity of agreeing to it, even if it had not been agreeable to themselves. The delights of France are innumerable. The politeness, the elegance, the softness, the delicacy, are extreme. In short, stern and haughty republican as I am, I cannot help loving these people for their earnest desire and assiduity to please.
It would be futile to attempt descriptions of this country, especially of Paris and Versailles. The public buildings and gardens, the paintings, sculpture, architecture, music, &c., of these cities have already filled many volumes. The richness, the magnificence and splendor are beyond all description. This magnificence is not confined to public buildings, such as churches, hospitals, schools, &c., but extends to private houses, to furniture, equipage, dress, and especially to entertainments. But what is all this to me? I receive but little pleasure in beholding all these things, because I cannot but consider them as bagatelles, introduced by time and luxury in exchange for the great qualities, and hardy, manly virtues of the human heart. I cannot help suspecting that the more elegance, the less virtue, in all times and countries. Yet I fear that even my own dear country wants the power and opportunity more than the inclination to be elegant, soft and luxurious.
All the luxury I desire in this world is the company of my dearest friend, and my children, and such
friends as they delight in, which I have sanguine hopes I shall, after a few years, enjoy in peace.
I am, with inexpressible affection,
Passy, 25 April, 1778.
MY DEAREST FRIEND,
MONSIEUR CHAUMONT has just informed me of a vessel bound to Boston, but I am reduced to such a moment of time, that I can only inform you that I am well, and enclose a few lines from Johnny to let you know that he is so. I have ordered the things you desired to be sent you, but I will not yet say by what conveyance, for fear of accidents.
If human nature could be made happy by any thing that can please the eye, the ear, the taste, or any other sense, or passion, or fancy, this country would be the region for happiness. But if my country were at peace, I should be happier among the rocks and shades of Penn's hill; and would cheerfully exchange all the elegance, magnificence, and sublimity of Europe, for the simplicity of Braintree and Weymouth.
To tell you the truth, I admire the ladies here. Don't be jealous. They are handsome, and very
well educated. Their accomplishments are exceedingly brilliant, and their knowledge of letters and arts exceeds that of the English ladies, I believe.
Tell Mrs. Warren that I shall write her a letter, as she desired, and let her know some of my reflections in this country. My venerable colleague' enjoys a privilege here, that is much to be envied. Being seventy years of age, the ladies not only allow him to embrace them as often as he pleases, but they are perpetually embracing him. I told him, yesterday, I would write this to America.
Passy, 3 June, 1778.
MY DEAREST FRIEND,
ON the 13th of February I left you. It is now the 3d of June, and I have not received a line, nor heard a word, directly nor indirectly, concerning you, since my departure. This is a situation of mind in which I never was before, and I assure you, I feel a great deal of anxiety at it; yet I do not wonder at it, because I suppose few vessels have sailed from Boston since ours. I have shipped for you the articles you requested, and the black cloth for your father, to whom