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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 6

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0054

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1785-05-18

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Dear Sir

After a very warm and dusty Journey, setting out early, and riding late, I arrived here on Monday the 16th. instant at about 4. o'clock in the morning. As soon as I had taken a little rest, I enquired for Mr. Barclay; and immediately went for him. He would have been in Paris, before now, had he not been retained by illness: he is not yet well but seems determined to go for Paris to-morrow morning: as Auteuil will be in his way, I desired him to stop there before he goes into Paris, and he will do so, if he arrives in the day Time: he has been exceedingly kind and serviceable to me, and was even so obliging as to offer me a Chamber in his House here: but I thought it would be best to remain at the Inn, as it was very probable that we should sail yesterday: the wind is now directly contrary, which for me is a lucky Circumstance, as it will enable me to receive the Letters, which I expect from Paris, this morning. I have got an excellent, and very airy birth, which I owe to the kindness of Mr. Jarvis and Mr. Williamos, who were so <kind> good as to write to the Captain in my favour: I have this morning been on board with my trunks; and as soon as the wind changes, if it is only 3 points, we shall certainly sail.
With Respect to my Cabriolet, I have been much luckier than I expected: as the wood of which it is made was quite new, the heat of the Sun, had split the pannels in a number of places, and it was otherwise much damaged: yet the man who sold it to Mr. Randall agreed to take it back for 25 louis d'or's, which was much more reasonable than I had hoped: I have received the money, and the Carriage has been delivered. The Imperial was of vast Service to me, for the Linen that came in my Trunk, was very considerably rubb'd, { 153 } while every thing, that was put in the Imperial, arrived here without any damage at all.
Please to present my best respects to Mr. Jefferson, Coll. Humphreys, and all our friends in Paris. If you see the Marquis, you will inform him, that his Dogs are on board,1 and shall be well kept, if my attention to them has any Effect.
Believe me to be, your dutiful Son.
[signed] J. Q. Adams
1. Lafayette was sending seven hounds bred in Normandy to George Washington. In a letter of 18 May (Adams Papers), which JQA probably did not receive before sailing, Lafayette asked JQA to see that the dogs were properly fed, and to deliver them to Dr. John Cochran in New York, who would send them to Mt. Vernon. See Lafayette to George Washington, 13 May, in Lafayette in the Age of the Amer. Rev., 5:324–327.

Docno: ADMS-04-06-02-0055

Author: Storer, Charles
Recipient: Adams, Abigail (daughter of JA and AA)
Date: 1785-05-24

Charles Storer to Abigail Adams 2d

I wrote you this, Amelia, in answer to yours, No. 8,1 received a day or two ago, for which accept my thanks. I had really begun to think our correspondence had, to use a common phrase, “seen its best days,” as you had suffered so long a time to pass without improving it. Now I hope other things. The number of this I cannot give you, as, being in the country, I have not my memorandum book near. But 'tis time I had put some date to my letter, that you may know when and where I write. 'Tis the 24th of May, and I write you from Woodford, a mile or two beyond Epping-Forest, from town. Here I have been some time, but mean to return to London again tomorrow. The Spring in this country is delightful—that is, the months of May and June—and this is a most charming spot. Hill and dale, lawn and grove, are upon each side of us; and melody is there without end, from every tree. Here is the noble prospect, seats, temples, castles, the river, villages, &c.; and here, too, are scenes where

“Nature wantons as in youthful prime,

And plays at will her virgin fancies.”

This is being quite romantic, you'll say. This is the season, Amelia, and here the place. But I quit these pretty scenes, to reply to your letter, and change as far as change can carry me: I mean from hence to a court drawing-room.
You ask my advice respecting the dress necessary at Court. I of { 154 } myself know nought about it, but have made some little inquiry. They tell me that the queen appears always in silk, and very plain, except on the king's birth-day. The princesses, too, generally appear in silk. The nobility dress variously. The last year muslin was much wore, worked with gold sprigs, flowers, &c., and may be worn this year also; 'tis worn over pink, lilac, and blue silk. The laces that are used are what the French term spring and summer laces, as I believe point is only worn in winter. But all join in telling me that you had not only better provide yourself in every common dress, laces, silks, &c., before you come here; but had also better make up a fashionable court dress, such as is worn at Versailles, which will just be the ton here; as fashions here are most all borrowed. This going to court will be very expensive. You must go upon all public days, and cannot appear twice or above twice, in the same suit. So you see the worst is not the presenting. This, to be sure, will be disagreeable—not, however, on account of being before their Majesties. You have too much good sense to be afraid of a king and queen. But the court all have their eyes upon one, and are too apt to make their remarks, sometimes aloud. This is very unpleasant, especially where there are—and there will be many, I believe—ill-natured observers. I should like, however, to bear you company, was it only to see how the king would receive your father.
How a certain young man will bear his late change, I cannot say. It will require some philosophy, and he has much good sense. As to the Knight of Cincinnatus, I know but little; I wish, however, they were as coolly received in America as they will be here.2
And Mrs. Jaris3 is at Paris? I had not an idea of her coming to Europe. Please to return her my best compliments, and assure her I shall be very happy to wait upon her, on her arrival here.
To your papa and mamma you will not fail to present my best respects. I wrote him a few posts ago respecting his lodgings, and hope to have his instructions by to-day's post. I shall do my best to get him good accommodations.4 I hope you will inform me dans quell endroit vous proposez descendre, that I may be ready to receive you.
Adieu! mais sans adieu! Qu'il vous puisse arriver tout ce que vous pouvreiz desirer, avec un bon voyage! Yours,
[signed] Eugenio
MS not found. Printed from (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:35–37.)
1. Not found.
2. If “Knight of Cincinnatus” was correctly transcribed as singular from the lost MS, Storer may refer to Col. William Stephens Smith, the recently appointed secretary of the American legation in Britain whom neither Storer nor the Adamses had met, but whose membership in the Society of the Cincinnati { 155 } was known to AA2's parents (AA to Mercy Warren, 10 May, and note 5, above), and probably to AA2 and Storer. Whether Storer wrote “Knight” or “Knights,” however, he may simply be responding to a general question or remark about the Cincinnati in some lost letter from one of the Adamses. The “certain young man” at the beginning of the paragraph refers to JQA.
3. Probably Amelia Broome Jarvis; see AA to Lucy Cranch, [5] May, above.
4. See AA to Storer, 18 May, note 3, above.
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.