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Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 9 February 1794

My dearest Friend

Vive la Baggatelle! Duke est desipere. I have no other Resource in my solitude, amidst all my gloomy forebodings of the future Miseries of my beloved species. Our Allies, our only Alies as the Demi=Crazies pathetically call them, have completed their System by turning all their Churches into, Je ne scais quor and if they should have any government erected among them either by themselves or others, they may substitute Chorus's of Boys and Girls to chant Prayers like the Romans.

Hic bellum lacrimosum, hic miseram famem
Pestemque, a populo et Principe Caesare, in
Persas atque Britannos,
Vestra motusaget prece. Hor. Ode. 21.

Their Prayers will probably be heard, and War Pestilence and Famine may be ready to sieze the Austrians and Britons; as soon as they have satiated themselves with Havock in France. I hope however that the awful example of that Country, whether it shall be like to those of Tyre and Sydon, Sodom and Gommorohs, or whether it shall terminate less fatally; will be a warning to all other Nations and to Ours especially.

The Britons and Spaniards by taking the West India Islands, and attempting to hold them will only foundations for future wars, to restore them. In short I see no End of Wars. It is a Comfort to reflect that they can do no greater Evil to Men than put an End to their Lives.

What think the Clergy of New England? What says Mr. Wibird? Do they still admire the French Republicans? Do they think them Virtuous? Do they wish to see them imitated by all Nations? Do they wish to resign all their salaries? and to have their Churches all turned into Riding Houses, and the Sabbeth abolished and one day in ten substituted to sing songs to the Manes of Manat. Oh my Soul! come not thou into the Secrets of such Republicans.

The Guillotine itself would not make me a sincere Republican upon such Conditions.

The Spirit, Principals and System of rational Liberty to all Nations is my Toast: but I see no tendancy to any Thing but Anarchary, Licentiousness and Despotism. Mankind will not learn Wisdom from Experience.

Yours affectionately,
J. A.

[Endorsement -- see page image]

Cite web page as: Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 9 February 1794 [electronic edition]. Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. Massachusetts Historical Society. http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/
Original manuscript: Adams, John. Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 9 February 1794. 3 pages. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
Source of transcription: Adams Papers Editorial Project. Unverified transcriptions.
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