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From Parliament, therefore, expect no favor but what proceeds from fear,—from the people here expect no aid. It is yourselves, it is yourselves must save you; and you are equal to the task. Your friends know this, and your very enemies acknowledge it. But they believe you are as corrupt and as corruptible as themselves; and as destitute of union, spirit, and perseverance, as the friends of freedom are in this country. For your country's sake, depend not upon commercial plans alone for your safety. The manufacturers begin to feel,—they know, they acknowledge,—they must feel severely; and if you persevere, they must be ruined. But what are these men,-what are the body of this people ? The servants of their masters. How easy it is for the ministry to frow or flatter them into silence. How easy to take the spoils of the nation and, for a season, fill the mouths of the clamorous. It is true, your perseverance will occasion, in time, that hunger which will break through stone walls. But how difficult is it, how impracticable is it, for mere commercial virtue (if indeed it have any existence) to persevere. I repeat, therefore—depend not upon this scheme for your deliverance. I do not say renounce it-I
continue it; but look toward it in vast subordination to those noble, generous, and glorious exertions which alone can save you. Before I came among this people, the friends of liberty desponded; because they believed the Americans would give up. They saw the irretrievable ruin of the whole cause, lost in that fatal yielding. I feel no despondence myself—I am sanguine my country must prevail
. I feel the ardor of an American; I have lighted up the countenances of many ; I am speaking conviction every day to more. In short, I am infected with an enthusiasm which I know to be contagious. Whether I have caught or spread the infection here, is no matter needful to determine.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF “TASTE.”
[“ Journal of a Voyage,” etc. From the Same.] W!
ENT again over Bath in order to review the buildings. Spent
the afternoon with Mrs. Macaulay, and went in the evening to a ball at the new rooms, which was full and very splendid. The rooms. are very elegant, and the paintings which cover the windows, taken from the draughts of the figures found at the ruins of Herculaneum, have a fine effect. This evening I had two hours' conversation with Colonel Barré, and from him I learned that he was once the friend of Mr. Hutchinson in opposition to Governor Pownall, but that he had for a long time, and especially since his last arrival in England, wholly de
serted him. Colonel Barré, while we were reviewing the pictures taken from ruins found at Herculaneum, said, “I hope you have not the books containing the draughts of those ruins with you.” I replied, there was one set, I believed, in the public library at our college. “Keep them there," said he, "and they may be of some service as a matter of curiosity for the speculative, but let them get abroad, and you are ruined. They will infuse a taste for buildings and sculpture, and, when a people get a taste for the fine arts, they are ruined. 'Tis taste that ruins whole kingdoms;—'tis taste that depopulates whole nations. I could not help weeping when I surveyed the ruins of Rome. All the remains of Roman grandeur are of works, which were finished when Rome and the spirit of Romans were no more,-unless I except the ruins of the Emilian baths. Mr. Quincy, let your countrymen beware of taste in their buildings, equipage, and dress, as a deadly poison.”
Colonel Barré, also added in the course of conversation, "About fifteen years ago, I was through a considerable part of your country ;—for in the expedition against Canada my business called me to pass by land through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Albany. When I returned again to this country, I was often speaking of America, and could not help speaking well of its climate, soil, and inhabitants; for you must know, sir, America was always a favorite with me; but will you believe it, sir (yet I assure you it is true), more than two-thirds of this island at that time thought the Americans were all negroes !”
I replied I did not in the least doubt it, for that if I was to judge by the late acts of Parliament, I should suppose that a majority of the people of Great Britian still thought so ;—for I found that their representatives still treated them as such. He smiled, and the discourse dropped. Colonel Barré was among those who voted for the Boston Port Bill.
[Observations on the Boston Port-Bill. 1774.] TO 10 complain of the enormities of power, to expostulate with over
grown oppressors, hath in all ages been denominated sedition and faction; and to turn upon tyrants, treason and rebellion. But tyrants are rebels against the first laws of Heaven and society; to oppose their ravages is an instinct of nature—the inspiration of God in the heart of man. In the noble resistance which mankind make to exorbitant ambition and power they always feel that divine afflatus, which, paramount to everything human, causes them to consider the Lord of Hosts as their
leader, and his angels as fellow-soldiers. Trumpets are to them joyful sounds, and the ensigns of war, the banners of God. Their wounds are bound up in the oil of a good cause; sudden death is to them present martyrdom; and funeral obsequies, resurrections to eternal honor and glory,—their widows and babes being received into the arms of a compassionate God, and their names enrolled among David's worthies. Greatest losses are to them greatest gains; for they leave the troubles of their warfare to lie down on beds of eternal rest and felicity.
Abigail Smith Adams.
BORN in Weymouth, Mass., 1744. Died at Quincy, Mass., 1818.
A GLIMPSE OF MADAME HELVETIUS.
[From a Letter to Lucy Cranch. - Auteuil, 5 September, 1784. The Letters of Mrs.
Adams. Revised Edition. 1848.)
HAVE been in company with but one French lady since I arrived;
for strangers here make the first visit, and nobody will know you until you have waited upon them in form.
This lady I dined with at Dr. Franklin's. She entered the room with a careless, jaunty air; upon seeing ladies who were strangers to her, she bawled out, “Ah! mon Dieu, where is Franklin? Why did you not tell me there were ladies here?” You must suppose her speaking all this in French. “How I look!” said she, taking hold of a chemise made of tiffany, which she had on over a blue lutestring, and which looked as much upon the decay as her beauty, for she was once a handsome woman; her hair was frizzled; over it she had a small straw hat, with a dirty gauze half-handkerchief round it, and a bit of dirtier gauze, than ever my maids wore, was bowed on behind. She had a black gauze scarf thrown over her shoulders. She ran out of the room; when she returned, the Doctor entered at one door, she at the other; upon which she ran forward to him, caught him by the hand, “Helas ! Franklin;" then gave him a double kiss, one upon each cheek, and another upon his forehead. When we went into the room to dine, she was placed between the Doctor and Mr. Adams. She carried on the chief of the conversation at dinner, frequently locking her hand into the Doctor's, and sometimes spreading her arms upon the backs of both the gentlemen's chairs, then throwing her arm carelessly upon the Doctor's neck.
I should have been greatly astonished at this conduct, if the good Doctor