Papers of John Adams, volume 15

Sir The Hague, 18 July 1783

Mine of the 11th had been sent when Mr. Fitch forwarded to me your esteemed letter of 12 June. Right away we gave the grand tour of the legation and The Hague to him and his ladies and to Mr. Boylston and Mr. Grierson. When they left, we accompanied them on their yacht as far as Delft.1 We are greatly indebted to your excellency for having introduced us to such dignified and agreeable company. In England they would very much like to host your esteemed son for some time, and I had to promise Mrs. Fitch to write to you, sir. I am fulfilling my obligation, even though it costs our hearts dearly to separate from your worthy son and his agreeable company, to which we have become so accustomed. It will only be with the sharpest regrets that we will be deprived of him sooner or later.


Today we are finishing Caligula, which he will have the honor of presenting to you in his own version. We will continue with the life of Claudius. We have finished the fourth book of the Aeneid and Plautus’ Pseudolus. We are reading Terrence’s Andria. He is doing wonderfully.2

I would like to be able to say the same of our friend Gyselaar, who is leaving today for Dordrecht. More generally, we live here in a state of political inactivity, which is rooted in that of Paris. We may hope that after the prorogation of Parliament, the English minister, freed from this troublesome superintendent, will think more seriously about finishing up and consequently that you will honor us with your presence here.

The writer of the Ouderwetse Patriot etc. was foolish enough to let himself be caught and locked up in Delft.3

My family with our young squire sends you, sir, our humble greetings. I am with great respect, your excellency’s very humble and very obedient servant

C.w.f. Dumas