1603 H Street
8 Janry: 1886

My kind friend,

I should have
written to you before, but
have put it off from day
to day as a thing that
could better wait till I
had found out what
had happened to me,
and where I was. Even
now I cannot quite
get rid of the feeling that
Clover must, sooner or

later, come back, and
that I had better wait
for her to decide everything
for me. At last the im-
pression is growing weaker,
and I am able to think
and act without much
sense of the old dependence,
but the wrench has left
me like a child, amusing
myself from day to day,
without a plan or an
interest that grown people
commonly affect to have.The rattle-snake has been
my baby-rattle since it
arrived. Everyone has
thought it an alligator,
and the price of our
Florida lands has fallen
visibly whenever I ex-
plained that this was
my stock, and that I
grazed thousands of 'em.

The two deeds arrived
safely. I hope that my
deed of conveyance to you
arrived also. I executed

it promptly, and the com-
missioner undertook to post
it. What price shall we
put on our property? About
a thousand dollar an acre,
I suggest. Meanwhile I
I want to give figs on it.
I eat figs, but not oranges.
By the bye, if you can be
trusted to send me the
bills, I would like another
box of lemons some day.
If the winter here becomes
very rough, and I can
get my new house tolerably
in order, I may run down to see you; but as
yet the winter is superb,
and my house needs all
my wits and time. It is
really a wonderful triumph
but it takes ages to finish
and furnish. I want you
to see it. I can't ask you
to stay with me unless
Mr. Fell is with you; but
if you will fetch him up
here for once, you shall
have my elegant upper
suite of rooms. Absolutely
it amuses me to think that I must respect pro-
prieties and prejudices. If
I cared a (future) fig
for society or its opinions,
or for propriety or impro-
priety, or had any fancy
for shocking or pleasing
anybody, I should really
see a career in store.

The only advice I have
for you is to get all the
fun you can out of life.
The only moments of the
past that I regret are
those when I was not

actively happy. As one
cannot be always actively
blissful, one must be con-
tented with passive
content, but it is a poor
substitute at best, and
makes no impression on
the memory. My only
wonder is whether I could
have managed to get
more out of twelve years
than we got; and if we
really succeeded in being
as happy as was possible,
I have no more to say.The world may come and
the world may go; but no
power yet known in earth
or heaven can annihilate
the happiness that is past.
I commenced this moral to
your careful consideration.
As you once said, the worm
does not turn when he is
trodden on hard enough.
I am one of those worms.
I don't turn. I don't com-
plain. I don't tear round.
But I had my twelve years,
and have them still.

Ever truly yrs
Henry Adams

17.4 cm x 11.2 cm

From Henry Adams letters to Anne (Palmer) Fell