|Dear Sir.||London March 21st. 1796.|
I have received your favour of December 10. by Mr. Hall and that of January 26. by Captain Bernard, together with the Centinels until the last of these dates. I should have written you in answer to the former by Mr: Gardner Frazier, and since by Mr: White but having by some accident unaccountable to me it may perhaps be less so to my friends, [. . .] the pattern of sattin which you sent Mrs. Welsh, so that I could not execute the Commission with which you handed my brother; I was ashamed to tell the honest truth untill it was too late [. . .]. I hope you will not however on account of this deficiency be discouraged [. . . .] me with your future commands, and I think the consciousness of my [. . .] this instance will operate to make me more effectually careful hereafter.
From another inattention similar in its nature, but much more excusable because it affects only myself, I left my lottery ticket which you mention to have drawn a prize of fifty dollars, behind me at the Hague. I expect to return there in the course of a short time, and shall then take the first opportunity to enclose it to you. If it should arrive too late, the misfortune will not be great, considering the application which I presume will be made of the sum forfeited.
I am not much surprized to hear of Ripley the account which you mention in your last Letter. If he is not a swindler he is at least an extremely imprudent and foolish young Man. I lent him the money to keep him out of prison, and [. . .] him to go home. He assured me that his relation and particularly President would supply the money to pay this debt on his return, but I confess I never [. . .] it as very valuable.
I am much obliged to you for the hint in your last Letter respecting the article of Cotton. If it can be reduced in any considerable quantities it will certainly become a very valuable export.
The speach of our Governor at the commencement of the last Session of the Legislature has been known here since [. . . .]. The answers of the house, and more particularly that of the Senate must necessarily have been unpleasant to him. I most cordially concur in the wish that the course of Events may shew that in this instance he was not among the prophets; and shall add a hope equally sure that his speech may never answer the purposes of party for which it was doubtless delivered. But both the Governor and his supposed principal adviser understand very well the art of political manoeuvering and indeed it is but too well understood by the whole of the party to which they belong throughout the United States. They concert and combine with much more industry and skill than their adversaries and they have always the advantage of not suffering even when they are defeated.
The Times have been for the last three month remarkably calm and tranquil, in Europe, for a time of War but the season, and a convention between the belligerent armies have suspended hostilities on the most important theatres of the War. The intelligence of a new campaign is daily expressed: there are many reports of negotiations for Peace but they do not appear to have much foundation. The scourge of War will continue to afflict Europe another year at least. I rejoyce to think that from the present prospect of things we may expect the blessings of Peace will still be preserved to our Country.
There has been a great scarcity of grain and flour here as well as in other parts of Europe, for several months past, and a more formidable scarcity still has been apprehended. at present however the alarm has in some measure subsided. The most abundant Harvest however would not be sufficient to take away the demand for all that we can supply. In France there appears at present to be no great want
Please to remember me particularly to Mrs: Welsh and your young family with my thanks to your son Thomas for his present of Mr: Paine’s Poem.
I remain with invariable regard, your obliged friend & very hble. Servt
John Q. Adams.