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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0190

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1782-02-05

John Adams to John Quincy Adams

[salute] My dear Boy

Yesterday I received your Letter of Jany. 1/12, and thank you for your account of the Place where you are.
I will send you a Dictionary, as soon as I can, but it will be a long { 283 } time before you can have it. I am very anxious for your Studies. Write me what Books You can procure there, and what others you want.
I am much pleased with your Letter to Mr. Thaxter,1 but it is a Mortification to me to find that you write better, in a foreign Language than in your mother Tongue. Your Letters discover a Judgment, beyond your Age, but your Style is not yet formed in french or English.
You must study accurately the best Writers in both, and endeavour to penetrate into their Spirit, to warm your Imagination with theirs, to inkindle the flame of Wit by their Fires and to watch the Delicacies in the Turn of Phrases and Periods which constitute the Charms of style.
I have a Letter from your Mamma, 23d Jany.2 All friends well.
With her Blessing to you, She sends her Wishes to hear from you, as often as you can write.
Your Brother was not arrived, on Christmas day when the Alliance Sailed.
Your Account of the Difference in the Air, in and out of your Chamber, allarms me for your Health but more especially for Your Patrons.3 You must take Care, not to make the Air of your Chamber too hot, and to change it often, otherwise your Friends Health will suffer immediately and yours after a little time, perhaps more than his.
Pray, what is the Language of the Russians?
Do you find any Company? Have you formed any Acquaintances of your own Countrymen, there are none I suppose. Of Englishmen you should beware; Frenchmen probably many. It must be an unsociable dull Life to a young Man, if you have not some Acquaintances. Alass! I regret that the Friendships of your Childhood cannot be made among your own Country men. And I regret your Loss of the glorious Advantages for classical studies at Leyden.
[signed] Your affectionate Father.
RC (Adams Papers). Early Tr (Adams Papers), in JQA's hand.
1. Dated 2/13 Jan., above.
2. Error for 23 Dec. 1781, above.
3. That is, for the health of your patron, Francis Dana.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0191

Author: Lovell, James
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1782-02-28

James Lovell to Abigail Adams

“Mr. Lovell, do let me entreat you, this thirtieth time, to write a few Lines to Mrs. Adams. Are you not clearly convinced that it is { 284 } in vain for you to determine, as you have done, day after day, that you will go to see her? You are betrayed, by a thousand Interruptions, not merely into Unpoliteness, but really into Ingratitude to that Lady. If you do not feel for yourself, I pray you to convince her that I am not insensible to her repeated kind Invitations and other Proofs of her friendly Thoughtfulness of me.”
Stop, prithee, stop, Mary. I will write, this moment. Thou art indeed a good Woman. What Pity 'tis, as Some Folks think, that you have not a better Husband!1
And now, my esteemed Friend, do you not willingly conceive that it is very difficult for me to seize Hours sufficient to secure the great Pleasure of seeing you at Braintree.
Be assured that I am not yet so quit of pressing Business as to have found Leisure to visit at the South West or North parts of this Town many Friends of my early Love or my later Gratitude.
I have many Things to tell; many also to ask about. I will not omit any possible Opportunity of doing both within the next Fortnight.2 In the mean time, be assured of the Reality of that Regard which is now jointly professed by, Madam, Your obliged Friends,
[signed] J. & M. Lovell3
1. Lovell was in Boston on leave from Congress for the first time in five years. He had last attended Congress on 23 Jan. and later returned for a brief period of service, 3–16 April, but thereafter took up the duties of his new appointment as Continental receiver of taxes in Massachusetts. See above, AA to Lovell, 8? Jan., and note 4 there.
2. Whether or not the Lovells visited AA at this time does not appear.
3. Text and signature are in Lovell's hand.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.