How shall I answer my dear friends last charming letter where find words adequate to the pleasure I experienced at reading it the idea of your returning almost compensates for the pain I felt at parting— Yet shall I confess fears arise which never presented themselves before. When I reflect upon the part in life I shall have to act with the little I have seen of the world my conscious deficiency appears manifest and I already think I see you blush for my awkwardness but I know the generosity of your disposition and am convinced you will forgive and encourage me by your kindness to mend—
You ask me how I spend my time I wish my friend you had touched on any other subject for I must candidly confess I have profited little by my retirement but it is yourself who are the cause by (shall I say it) intruding too often on my thoughts— Permit me to beg you will let me know some time previous to your departure as 372 Papa & Mama wish for all possible time to prepare themselves for the seperation and hope it will not be very sudden—1
Alas I feel this the only drawback to my felicity but I must not always expect cloudless skies I acknowledge my lot has been cast in a fair graine and on this ought to acquire a little of your philosophy that Heaven may hasten the time when we shall meet and propitious winds blow you safely to England where you will find a harbour is the sincere prayer of your unalterable friend
RC (Adams Papers).
JQA would not depart The Hague until 28 June 1797, arriving in London on 12 July (JQA to JA, 29 June, 22 July, both Adams Papers).