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prowess as astonished surrounding nations, now humbled to the dust by an imperious and haughty woman, backed by the troops of Prussia, for a mere trifling affront; or rather, this has been the specious pretence for all the horrors which are brought upon the patriots and friends of liberty in Holland. May her name descend with eternal obloquy to future ages.
Poor Dumas and family have lived in a state worse than death ; since to exist in constant dread of being dragged a victim to an enraged mob, who were constantly threatening him and his family with destruction, is worse than death. His friends all forsook him, or dared not appear in his behalf. He wrote a most afflicting account to your father, and begged him to claim protection for him, as acting for the United States; but, as he never had any public character, or, rather, never was commissioned by Congress, it could not be done. Mr. Dumas, you know, has been engaged in the service of France, and has received a salary from that government, besides his being opposed to the measures of the Stadtholder; all of which renders him particularly obnoxious to the Princess and her party.
This nation piqued at the treaty of alliance which was last winter made between France and Holland, has been ever since seeking revenge, by fomenting the troubles in Holland, and seized the first opportunity she had in her power, to bully France. The death of Vergennes, the deranged state of the finances in France, and the dispute between the King and his Parliament, all, all have contributed to hasten the downfall of liberty in Holland. England has held a very high tone, and given it out, that, if France marched a single man to the assistance of Holland, it should be considered as a commencement of hostilities; and, from the conduct of France, she appears to have been intimidated and held in awe by it. This is another lesson to us not
to put our trust in princes.” England, not content with the tame and pacific conduct of France, is arm. ing with a zeal and eagerness really astonishing to every person of reflection, who can see no object which she can have in view adequate to or a compen. sation for the horror and distress she must bring up. on her subjects by the increase of expenses, and the accumulation of the national debt.
If I was not present to hear and see it, I could scarcely credit that a whole people should not only tamely submit to the evils of war, but appear frantic with joy at the prospect; led away by false glory, by their passions and their vices, they do not reflect upon past calamities nor approaching destruction; and few of them have better reasons to offer for their conduct, than the lady with whom I was in company the other day, who hoped there would be
“Pray,” said I, “ how can you wish so much misery to mankind?” “0," said she, “ if there is a war, my brother and several of my
friends will be promoted.” In the general flame, which
threatens Europe, I hope and pray our own country may have wisdom sufficient to keep herself out of the fire. I am sure she has been a sufficiently burnt child. Remember me to your brothers, if I do not write to them. Your ever affectionate mother,
TO MRS. SHAW.
Richmond Hill, (N. Y.), 27 September, 1789. I WRITE to you, my dear sister, not from the disputed banks of the Potomac, the Susquehanna, or the Delaware, but from the peaceful borders of the Hudson; a situation where the hand of nature has so lavishly displayed her beauties, that she has left scarcely any thing for her handmaid, art, to perform.
The house in which we reside is situated upon a hill, the avenue to which is interspersed with forest trees, under which a shrubbery rather too luxuriant and wild has taken shelter, owing to its having been deprived by death, some years since, of its original proprietor, who kept it in perfect order. In front of the house, the noble Hudson rolls his majestic waves, bearing upon his bosom innumerable small vessels, which are constantly forwarding the rich products of the neighbouring soil to the busy hand of a more extensive commerce. Beyond the Hudson rises to our view the fertile country of the Jerseys, covered with a golden harvest, and pouring forth plenty like the cornucopia of Ceres. On the right hand, an extensive plain presents us with a view of fields covered with verdure, and pastures full of cattle. On the left, the city opens upon us, intercepted only by clumps of trees, and some rising ground, which serves to heighten the beauty of the scene, by appearing to conceal a part. In the back ground, is a large flower-garden, enclosed with a hedge and some very handsome trees. On one side of it, a grove of pines and oaks fit for contemplation.
“ In this path How long soe'er the wanderer roves,
each step Shall wake fresh beauties; each last point present
A different picture, new, and yet the same.” If my days of fancy and romance were not past, I could find here an ample field for indulgence ; yet, amidst these delightful scenes of nature, my heart pants for the society of my dear relatives and friends who are too far removed from me. I wish most sincerely to return and pass the recess of Congress at my habitation in Braintree; but the season of the year, to which Congress has adjourned, renders the attempt impracticable. Although I am not the only person who questions their making a Congress again until April, yet the punctuality of Mr. Adams to all public business would oblige him strictly to adhere to the day of adjournment, however inconvenient it might prove to him. He has never been absent from his daily duty in Senate a
single hour from their first meeting; and the last month's business has pressed so hard, that his health appears to require a recess.
Shall I ask my sister why she has not written me a line since I came to this place? With regard to myself, I own I have been cautious of writing. I know that I stand in a delicate situation. I am fearful of touching upon political subjects; yet, perhaps, there is no person who feels more interested in them. And, upon this occasion, I may congratulate my country upon the late judicial appointments, in which an assemblage of the greatest talents and abilities are united which any country can boast of; gentlemen in whom the public have great confidence, and who will prove durable pillars in support of our government.
Mr. Jefferson is nominated for Secretary of State in the room of Mr. Jay, who is made Chief Justice. Thus have we the fairest prospect of sitting down under our own vine in peace, provided the restless spirit of certain characters, who foam and fret, is permitted only its hour upon the stage, and then shall no more be heard of, nor permitted to sow the seeds of discord among the real defenders of the faith. Your affectionate sister,