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Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 3 January 1796

My Dearest Friend

I will try to write tho it is with much difficulty I hold my pen, oweing to a very painfull Soar which gatherd at the Root of one of my nails on my Right Hand. It has been so painfull as to allarm me for several days least it must.be opend to the Bone, and to deprive me of rest. It has begun to discharge, and the yet painfull, is less so since I have not been free from my old Rhumatick complaints, tho, not confined with them, to the House. We have had very moderate weather and our Farmers have improved it by getting out the mannure upon the meadow and spreading as much as they could. They finishd this day getting it out. We do not go on so rapidly as some, but we are very steady. I setled with Bass and paid him his 16 dollars as was your agreement, and engaged him till the Eleventh of April for which I am to give him 22 dollars. The Farm Noat is taken care of and the the Wheels &:c.

Our weatherwise Soothsayers have been as much out in their calculations as yet respecting the Severity of the Winter, as the political prophesyers respecting the stormy sessions of Congress, but I do not yet think the Scene opened. I calculate however from a combination of circumstances, the Triumph of virtue and National prosperity. I received your Letters of the 16 [John to Abigail, 16 December 1795] , 17 [John to Abigail, 17 December 1795] and 21 [John to Abigail, 21 December 1795] with Randolphs poor poor story, three O! jimmy Tompson O! Months in Hatching, A dark Buisness at best, and

The President whom Mr. Randolph treats so very unhandsomely appears with more dignity for the tenderness he shews to The Man who can never be considerd in any other Light than the Fool of the party, the weak unstable politician, assumeing to himself an influence over the mind of a Man infinitely his Superiour and reminding one of the frog in the Fable who tried to swell to the Size of the ox till he burst. Where there is vanity there will be folly. Fauchet dispatches shew a pidling Genius. He knew very little of the real Character of the people whom he described, and less of their politicks, no extensive views, comprehensive no comprehensive mind, but as the Republick of France can comprehend any thing and every thing, they may possibly make out a system in Fauchet dispatch, Tis beyond my comprehension. Many parts of it I own not withstanding Randolphs precious confessions. I propose the old play of a Wonder, a Woman keeps a secret should change its title, or else let the Lords of the creation confess that Nature is equally weak in Male and Female. A Mason and a Randolph have taken of the reproach from the Female Character. The answer of the Senate to the Presidents Speach I liked much. He hath deserved worthyly of his Country, and hath so planted his honour in their Eyes, and his actions in their Hearts, that for their Tongue to have been silent, and not confess so much were a kind of ingratefull injury; to report otherways

were a malice, that giving itself the lye would pluck reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it. Shakespear. My finger is so bundled up that my writing is rather worse than usual. You are so used to it that I suppose you can pick it out, and if you cannot, there will be no great loss. Shall I remind you of the New Year, and congratulate you that we are one Year nearer the End of our Journey? Can it be a subject of Congratulation, that our Years as Life declines, speed rapidly away.

And not a year, but pilfers as he goes Some youth full grace, that Age would gladly keep A tooth or auburn Lock.

But Soloman tells us that in a multitude of years there is wisdom, "That Life is Long, which answers Lifes great end, Whilst we can be serviceable to mankind, and enjoy the blessings of Life. I believe we may rejoice that our days are Lengthend out and write in mutual congratulation upon revolving years. I inclose a paper of Russels. Cato is as restless and as dissapointed, as factious and as turbulent in plimouth as the Cato of N York. Your Mother is as well as when you left home. She walked here this week, and desires to be rememberd to you. I am ashamed to send such a Scrawl, but I know you would be uneasy if you did not hear once a week from

Your affectionate

A. Adams

[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 3 January 1796 [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, 3 January 1796. 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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