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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 10


Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0063-0001

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-09-03

From C. W. F. Dumas

[salute] Monsieur

Je vous felicite de tout mon coeur de la bonne nouvelle que nous venons de recevoir, de la prise des Flottes Angloises or. et occid. par la Flotte combinée Fr. et Espagnole. Prenons cela comme un Avantcoureur d'heureux augure, pour ce qui doit s'être passé de la part de Mrs. De Ternay, Rochambaut, Guichen et Solano. Je voudrois être en ce moment la de mon favori Virgile: pernicibus alis hoc ipsa nocte volarem caeli medis, terraque per umbram stridens, nec dulci declinarem lumina somno; Luce sederem turribus altis America, gaudens hinc, veri nuncius, recreans fratres, inde territans tyranos.1
J'ai vu avec un très-grand plaisir, dans la gazette, l'article de l'Académie Americaine des Arts et des Sciences, dont vous êtes digne Membre, ainsi que de la Société philosophique Américaine.2
Je me suis jusqu'ici flatté en vain d'être honoré de vos Lettres, comme vous me l'aviez fait espérer, Monsieur, en nous quittant à Leide. Je serois bien aise, Monsieur, de savoir quelques jours d'avance celui où vous vous proposez de revenir dans ces quartiers ici, non seulement afin de ne point m'absenter en ce temps-là de cette ville, mais aussi pour aller à votre rencontre à Leide. Il y a un Seigneur Hollandois, ami de l'Amérique, à qui j'ai inspiré une bonne envie de vous connoître, et qui m'a prié de vous amener dîner chez lui à Sa Campagne, qui n'est qu'à 2 lieues d'ici. Sur un billet que je lui écrirois, il nous enverroit Sa voiture, Soit à la Haie, Soit à Leide. Il m'a promis que vous serez incognito pour tout le reste de sa famille.3
J'espere, Monsieur, que vous jouissez d'une parfaite santé, et de toutes sortes d'agrémens, à Amsterdam, avec Mrs. vos fils, que j'embrasse de tout mon coeur, ainsi que ma famille. Je serois charmé { 124 } d'apprendre comment vous plait le séjour d'Amsterdam. Les Etats d'Hollande vont s'assembler ici après-demain. A vue de pays, il ne se passera rien de fort important dans cette Assemblée. Nos Anglomanes, pour se consoler du dernier désastre, réchauffent leurs anciens contes d'un prochain racommodement entre l'Amérique et l'Angleterre.
Mon Epouse vous présente ses honneurs. Je suis avec beaucoup de respect, Monsieur, Votre très-humble et très-obéissant serviteur,
[signed] Dumas

Docno: ADMS-06-10-02-0063-0002

Author: Dumas, Charles William Frederic
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-09-03

C. W. F. Dumas to John Adams: A Translation

[salute] sir

I congratulate you with all my heart on the good news that we have received of the capture of the English East and West Indian fleets by the combined French and Spanish fleets. Take this as a happy portent of the exploits of De Ternay, Rochambeau, De Guichen, and Solano. I would like to be at this moment Fama from my favorite Virgil: pernicibus alis hoc ipsa nocte volarem caeli medis, terraque per umbram stridens, nec dulci declinarem lumina somno; Luce sederem turribus altis America, gaudens hinc, veri nuncius, recreans fratres, inde territans tyranos.1
I have seen with great pleasure the article in the gazette concerning the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of which you are a distinguished member, and also that on the American Philosophical Society.2
So far I have waited in vain to be honored by the letters that you promised when we parted at Leyden. I would appreciate knowing a few days in advance when you plan to return to this quarter, so that I will be in town and able to meet you at Leyden. There is a Dutch gentleman, a friend of America, whom I have inspired with a desire to meet you and who has asked me to bring you to dinner at his country house, which is only two leagues from here. Upon receiving my note he will send his carriage for us, either at The Hague or at Leyden. He has promised me that you will remain unknown to the rest of his family.3
I hope, sir, that you are enjoying perfect health and the many pleasures of Amsterdam with your sons, whom I and my family embrace with all our hearts. I would be delighted to learn what you think of your stay in Amsterdam. The States of Holland will meet here on the day after tomorrow and at first glance it appears that nothing of importance will occur in the assembly. Our Anglomanes, in an effort to console themselves over the latest disaster, will rehash their old stories of an imminent Anglo-American reconciliation.
My wife sends her regards. I am with great respect, sir, your very humble and very obedient servant.
[signed] Dumas
{ 125 }
1. The Latin is Dumas' adaptation of Virgil, aeneid 4. 180-187, and reads: on swift wings would I fly on this very night, shrieking through the gloom mid-way between heaven and earth, nor would I let my eyes rest in sweet sleep. By day I would sit on America's high towers, finding joy in this, a messenger of truth and refreshment to my comrades, so bringing terror to tyrants.
2. Dumas is probably referring to the article in the Gazette de Leyde of 29 Aug., but see JA's letter of 22 Aug. to Jean Luzac, and note 2 (above).
3. The discreet Dutchman has not been identified, nor is there any indication in later letters that the proposed meeting took place.
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, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/