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Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 2 February 1794

My dearest Friend

I last Evening received your kind Letters of Jan'ry 18 [John to Abigail, 18 January 1794] , 20 [John to Abigail, 21 January 1794] and 22d [John to Abigail, 22 January 1794] accompanied with the Negotiation's. I have read the two pamphlets You sent me before. If the American pamphlet is the production of the person to whom report ascribes it, I think very little honour is due to his Head, and none to his Heart. I am sorry he is calld to fill so important an Office, as the one to which he is lately appointed. His Ideas are many of them derived from the Gambling Table and his allusions from a Brothel which he coarsly distributes without respect to his readers. He might not imagine that his subject would draw the attention of a Female reader Yet he who respected himself would have been more delicate, if the Ideas had not been too Familiar to him, and his uncloathed Negroes had blackned his mind. I cannot give free credit to his representations respecting the Banks and funding systems, nor can I ascribe such dreadfull plats to those who have the management of them as this Modern Argus sees. That multiplied Banks are productive of many of those evil consequences which he enumrates I both see and feel, that many persons are making fortunes from them I believe, that they are an indirect tax upon the community, I fully credit, but his proposed remidy would be worse than the disease. His attempt at Wit and his affected ridicule upon the balance of power, proves his grose ignorance of a subject, upon which his Ideas, are all bewilderd, and Incoherent. It is plain however that this pamphlet is the continuation of the system adopted last Winter and Breaths the same spirit with Giles and his veterans.

The Letter addrest to Mr. Pitt, is well written, and contains matter of weighty concequence, and serious consideration, the writer accounts in the most rational Manner for that spirit of Frenzy and Madness which continues to swallow up reason, reflection and all the social affections and manly virtues, in the French Nation. Shakspear has well described these scenes too applicable to the present.

"The gates of Mercy are all shut up;
And the flushd Soldier, rough and hard of Heart
In liberty of Bloody-hand, doth range
With Conscience wide as hell, moxing like Grass
The fresh fair virgins, and the flowering Infants
Fathers are taken by their silver Beards
And their most revered heads dashd to the walls
Or spitted upon pikes, whilst their enraged wives
With their loud howls, do break the clouds
What rein can hold licentious wickedness
When down the Hill he holds his fierce career."

The warning to Great Britain I have not read. Our Son brought it up one Saturday Evening but not having read it himself and being obliged to return it on Monday prevented my reading it. I wish it might be a sufficient Warning to us to continue our Nuetrality unimpared.

The dull and gloomy weather I recieve had influenced Your Spirits, and the Politicks of the day had made You sick. You wanted the repose of your Family and the Bosom of your Friend. I know how it was by your letter.

Pupil of Woolsoncraft confesses the Truth, and own that when you are sick of the Ambition the intrigues the duplicity and the Treachery of the aspiring part of your own sex, it is a comfort and consolation to retire to the simplicity the Gentleness and tenderness of the Female charactar. Those qualities, says a candid writer are more beneficial to the human race than the prudence of all its individuals, and when conducted with good sense, approach to perfection.

You can do much service to your Sons by your Letters, and advice. You will not teach them what to think, but how to think, and they will then know how to act. I am glad You have read Barnevelt, and do not think him too roughly handled. His Age only intitled him to any respect. He evidently felt himself in the back ground, and sunk out of sight, but secretly from the dark shoots a poisond Arrow.

I shall attend to Your wishes with respect to every thing which can be done. The winter has been unfavourable for busines. The pond is hard enough frozen, if we had but sufficient snow to cover those parts of the Ground which are bare. The wood we get when practable, but I have made an important discovery viz that an old man is not a Young man. Belcher however is in every respects preferable but cannot be so active as when Young. He is not devoted to the Rum bottle. I informd You that I had recieved the Bills, and have dischargd the accounts of Phipps Samil and bought an other load of Hay. Paid to Mrs. Brisler ten

dollars which She had occasion for which You may mention to him. I have been to visit our parent who is low and weak I do however see any imediate danger, I hope the Phylidelphians will keep a viligent look out, and if the dreaded fever should break out, remove the inhabitants. The Rain or three days which I mentiond to You was warm and relexing to an allarming degree. It affected me so much that I was several days sick, and all the servants were debilitated in one way or other. It brought on your Mothers Illness and in many instances in Town a Lung fever. Mrs. Field now lies sick with it, Mrs. Brislers mother. Your Letters was the first intelligence I had of the return of Cheeseman. I shall make inquiry into the Matter.

Adieu my dearest Friend and be ever assured of the affections Regard of Your
A Adams

I received a letter last Evening for Mrs. Brisler which I sent to her. She was finely to day the Boy is stout and strong.

[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 2 February 1794 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, Abigail. Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 2 February 1794. 4 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Adams Papers Editorial Project. Unverified transcriptions.
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