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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 9


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0164

Author: Sarsfield, Guy Claude, Comte de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-05-06

From the Comte de Sarsfield

[salute] Dear sir

Not for your Sake but for mine I make use of the english language when I do my Self the honour of writing to you. When man ceases to Acquire in matter of learning, he begins to lose. Let my Stock of english be what it may, it is very dear to me; And so I have laid a tax upon the Kindness of my friends which is to allow me the liberty of writing to them in english. I am Sometimes gone so far as to desire them to make corrections. That agreement we Could make, with advantage to both.
As to the book which you wish to have,1 you have but to send me one of your servants tomorrow morning and I will deliver it to him how I could get it you shall learn the first time where I will have the pleasure to See you. I can Say only that you have it on the Cheapest terms possible as you have nothing to pay.
My compliments to Messrs. Dana & Thaxter and Believe me Sir Your &c.
I take off compliments and invite you to do the Same.
{ 279 }
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams ministre plenipotentiaire des etats reunis d'amerique a l'hotel de Valois Rue de Richelieu” endorsed: “Comte Sarsefield.”
1. For the book, see JA 's letter of 24 April (above).

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0165-0001

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Sarsfield, Guy Claude, Comte de
Date: 1780-05-06

To the Comte de Sarsfield

J'ai reçu, Monsieur, la lettre que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de m'ecrire, hier.1 Je vous fais mes remerciemens Sincéres, pour le Soin que vous avez pris, de me procurer le livre. J'accepte avec Empressement, la proposition que vous avez fait, de vous ecrire en francois, pour l'Avantage de vos corrections et Je permets d'entreprendre la Correction de votre Anglois. L'Amour propre est la seule Motif de cet accord, parce que, vous ecrivez deja tres bien en Anglois; et Moi, Je ne puis pas ecrire, point du tout, en francois. Vous avez proposé de laisser tous Complimens; mais Je ne puis pas en convenir; parce que mon francois sera mauvais, Sans quelques Complimens. Au lieu de “I am Sometimes gone so far &c” I have Sometimes gone So far &c—pour “When I will have the pleasure” lisez When I shall have the pleasure. Avec ces petits changemens, votre lettre Sera parfaitement exact. J'envoye mon domestic, avec mille Complimens, pour le livre, et J'ai l'honneur d'etre tres parfaitement, Monsieur votre &c
[signed] John Adams

Docno: ADMS-06-09-02-0165-0002

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Sarsfield, Guy Claude, Comte de
Date: 1780-05-06

John Adams to the Comte de Sarsfield: A Translation

Yesterday I received, sir, the letter that you did me the honor to write.1 I thank you sincerely for the trouble you have taken to procure the book for me. I enthusiastically accept your proposal that I write to you in French so that I may profit from your corrections and that I should presume to correct your English. Friendship can be the only motive for this accord, since you already write so well in English, whereas I cannot write at all in French. You have proposed to lay all courtesies aside, but to that I cannot agree, for without them my French would be very poor indeed. Instead of “I am sometimes gone so far etc.,” I have sometimes gone so far etc.—for “When I will have the pleasure,” read, When I should have the pleasure. But for these minor changes, your letter is perfectly correct. I send, with a thousand thanks, my servant for the book, and have the honor to be most perfectly, sir, your &c
[signed] John Adams
{ 280 }