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can cause, for which John Bull abused and fought her. But John will come off wretchedly. He will be beaten. He has been beaten. There have been more British men of war already taken and destroyed than they lost in two former wars, and more sailors, prisoners.
MY DEAREST FRIEND,
Passy, 30 December, 1778.
WE wait, and wait, and wait forever, without any news from America. We get nothing but what comes from England and to other people here, and they make it as they please. We have had nothing from Congress an immense while. Every merchant and every merchant's apprentice has letters and news when I have none. In truth, I have been so long from Boston that every body there, almost, has forgotten me. I have expected, every moment for almost two months, my recall.
Carlisle, Cornwallis and Eden are arrived in England, but bring no good news for the English, or we should have had it in the Gazette. The two houses of Parliament join ministry and commissioners in threatening fire and sword. They seem to think it necessary to threaten most, when they can do least.
They, however, show their disposition, which they will indulge and gratify if they can. But be not dismayed. They can do no great things. Patience, perseverance and firmness will overcome all our difficulties. Where the Comte d'Estaing is, is a great mystery. The greater, the better. The English fancy he is returning to Europe. But we believe he is gone where he will do something. The English reproach the French with gasconade, but they never gasconaded as the English do now. I suppose they will say as Burgoyne did, "Speak daggers but use none." But I believe, however, that they and he would use them if they could. Of all the wrong heads Johnstone is the most consummate. The Tories at New York and Philadelphia have filled his head with a million lies. He seems to have taken a New York newspaper for holy writ. Parliament is adjourned to the 14th January. Of this you may be assured, that England can get no allies. The new secretary at war makes a vast parade of the number of men in their service by sea and land. But it is a mere delusion. They intend to byngify Keppel to all appearance; but killing him will not mend rotten ships nor make sailors.
I dined to-day at the Dutchess D'Enville's. When I saw the companies of militia on their march to fight her husband,' I did not expect this. Did you?
1 In 1746. "England was not more alarmed with the Spanish Armada in 1588 than Boston and the other North American seaports were with the arrival of this fleet in their neighborhood." Hutchinson, vol. 2, p. 425. This expedition
Passy, 1 January, 1779.
I WISH you a happy new year and many happy years, and all the blessings of life. Who knows but this year may be more prosperous for our country than any we have seen? For my own part I have hopes that it will. Great blessings are in store for it, and they may come this year as well as another. You and I, however, must prepare our minds to enjoy the prosperity of others, not our own. In poverty and simplicity we shall be happy, whenever our country is so. Johnny sends duty. Mr. Williams waits. I knew of his going but this moment. I think I shall see you this year in spite of British men of war. If it should be otherwise ordered, however, we must submit.
Passy, 9 February, 1779.
MY DEAREST FRIEND,
Ir is now a year, within a day or two, of my departure from home. It is in vain for me to think of wri
was fitted out by France and commanded by the Duc d'Enville. Mr. Adams was then eleven years old. Mrs. Adams only two.
ting of what is passed. The character and situation in which I am here, and the situation of public affairs absolutely forbid my writing freely. I must be excused. So many vessels are taken, and there are so many persons indiscreet, and so many others inquisitive, that I may not write. God knows how much I suffer for want of writing to you. It used to be a cordial to my spirits.
Thus much I can say with perfect sincerity, that I have found nothing to disgust me, or in any manner disturb me, in the French nation. My evils here arise altogether from Americans. If I would have. enlisted myself under the banner of either party,' I might have filled America, I doubt not, with panegyrics of me from one party, and curses and slanders from another. I have endeavored to be hitherto impartial, to search for nothing but the truth, and to love nobody and nothing but the public good, at least not more than the public good. I have hoped that animosities might be softened, and the still small voice of reason heard more, and the boisterous roar of passions and prejudices less. But the publication of a certain address to the people has destroyed all such hopes. Nothing remains now, but the fearful looking for of the fiery indignation of the monster party, here.
My consolation is that the partisans are no more than
1 Among the former members of the commission, Franklin and Deane, and Arthur Lee, supported by his brother.
2 Written by Silas Deane.
"bubbles on the sea of matter borne,
They rise, they break, and to that sea return."
The people of America, I know, stand like Mount Atlas, but these altercations occasion a great deal of unhappiness for the present, and they prolong the war. Those must answer for it who are guilty. I am not.
MY DEAREST FRIEND,
Passy, 13 February, 1779.
YOURS of 15th December was sent me yesterday by the Marquis, whose praises are celebrated in all the letters from America. You must be content to receive a short letter, because I have not time now to write a long one. I have lost many of your letters, which are invaluable to me, and you have lost a vast number of mine. Barnes, Niles, and many other vessels are lost.
I have received intelligence much more agreeable than that of a removal to Holland; I mean that of being reduced to a private citizen, which gives me more pleasure than you can imagine. I shall therefore soon present before you your own good man. Happy happy indeed shall I be, once more to see our fireside. I have written before to Mrs. Warren, and shall write again now. Dr. J. is transcribing your