Papers of John Adams, volume 16

Sir The Hague, 16 September 1784

Nothing new here since my last. We are waiting for the response from Vienna to that of Their High Mightinesses. While waiting, the antirepublicans here, and the pusillanimous and indolent, are making comments about the last memorial of Mr. Bérenger. According to them, it is a defeat for France, not to tell it like it is. “We are not interested in getting mixed up in your affairs; disentangle your own knots as best you can.” According to others, it is only the fashion and the customary considerations between courts for what they term their dignity, in order to remove mutually all grounds for complaint and the pretext for disclosing their complaints to other powers, which might be inclined to take umbrage. In private we go further, and we whisper in each other’s ears the assurance that if things were pushed to the extremity, which we do not think will happen, the promised mediation would be very energetic. In certain quarters here, it has been seriously said these past few days that the abovementioned memorial is a result of the solicitude with which the king regards the queen’s pregnancy.1 By this noble detail you may get the idea without my having to explain any more from what quarter this comes and what the deep minds are who thought it up.

Mr. van der Heim, who left by the post to go take the waters at Pyrmont, returned here because a certain person of note, being alarmed by his absence, they say, had him run after, they say, in order to persuade him that 327 the waters are too cold and that the burgundy that he can have here would be better for his stomach dulled by the sorbet that the grand Turk, etc., etc., etc., etc., made him swallow.2

We assure you and your ladies of our respects.

Your excellency’s very humble and very obedient servant

C.w.f. Dumas