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Francis Adriaan van der Kemp to John Adams

2 Oct. 1813

My Dear and respected friend! Olden barneveld 2 Oct. 1813

I can Scarce persuade myself, that I Stay’d with you So many days—and conversed on So few Subjects only, upon \which/ I did want your information, I could only glance at your Library—had no time to Satisfy my greedy curiosity—and forgot even to look at the consolato del mare and other rare Publiations in your possession but I am apprehensive, this would have been the case had I protracted my visit during So many weeks:—So interesting a Society—So much information to be gathered—So many civilities—what do I Say? So many kindnesses to be hoarded up! how could I find time for recollection—and then by which all this, how highly valued, dwindles to a Shadow—your affectionate tender friendship—your distinguished regards—So far exceeded my most Sanguine expection, that I could not but enjoy, not even reflecting, as I am apprehensive I did not, that I could not but imbue others with an indifferent opinion about me by my bluntness and casual reveries. It could not have this effect upon you, I know I did not, and it was an exquisite pleasure to experience, that it did not So on your excellent Lady—She would not else have condescended to honour me with so many proofs of her regard, which Shall never be obliterated—

The communication of the Letters of John Quincy—has increased, if possible, my exalted admiration of him—now I know Him as a Christian—able to instruct others in what he learn’d to believe. I have a faint hope, that—Sooner or later—I Shall be gratified with the continuance of these letters:—Well may His Parents pride themselves in Such a Son! what blessing has a bountiful God bestowed upon them in this gift. But—how Shall I my Dear and respected friend! shew you my thankful heart if my warm expressions are deficient—I hope—they are not—All the distinctions—bestowed upon me—all the kindnesses I received muneris id tui est—I am nevertheless apprehensive—that your too partial encomiums must have disappointed the curiosity of Some;—I Should regret, if all had been disappointed;—No—not quite so,—one and other penetrated thro the veil—which clouded my uncouth appearance and did justice to my Strange Situation being alternately the prey of joy and anguish. No language can express—what I felt—Such exquisite raptures—Such torturing pangs—you knew—the impetuosity of my manhood—in my old age I am carried away by the Same resistless torrent, and begin to ponder—how to controul it, when I have indulged those feelings even to excess—Such a Strange creature is man when not governed by reason—and yet—if She—with Religion as her aid—Springs Soon enough to our assistance—I am disinclined to shrink at the danger—I would not prefer that cold phlegm character—which can look a fall’n brother—unmoved. I can earnestly endeavour to draw attention, but am not Satisfied—if this is not followed by esteem—and that again by love of friendship—while these must be glowing warm at my own hart—or I Suffer—! I lament yet Buckminster’s death—more so after I have Seen his features

What then must have been the feelings of my bosom at the bedside of my young friend charles—in the presence of his deep afflicted—and yet composed—yet resigned Mother and Sisters! I was motion less Speechless—grasping now and then his Stretched hand, when a Faint Smile on his visage—a kind word of intended comfort—a Strong proof of attention, as if nothing more Serious occupied his mind that instant—to dispel our gloom—was given—and then returning to his distressed venerable Father, who in vain endeavoured to hide his Sorrows—while a barring tear Startled in his eye—when I was compelled—to crush a moment my own feelings—to cheer him up—o! my friend! this—this was yet the Severest trial—

Much time Shall pass away—before my ruffled mind regains its wonted composure—I remain in an anxious Suspense—having not yet received a line—not wishing—that his lingering may be protracted—and not darning decidedly desire his departure. But how I wander—raving indeed—and wanting an apology—if I did not write to Adams—of Such a failing wanted one by Him—I did intend, when I toke up my pen, to write you—few lines only to accompany Goëthens exposition of the two mosaic Fables—I shall now inclose it.

Present my respectful compliments to Mrs[expansion sign] Adams—remember me to your Honoured family—do not forget to recommend me to Mr Shaw—while I remain / My Dear and high respected frend / Your affectionate and obliged frend

Fr. Adr. van der Kemp

P.S. Will you remember me to Mr & Mrs. Quincy—? Does Is that Biography of the Quincy’s—Send to Mr Allen by your Lady—published? what is the title?

Again a mail arrived—and not yet a line from my dying friend—Ah! why are you not yet in the vigour of your age, or in his neighbourhood, then I Should dare to request you the boon of visiting Him—now—I request you—to Sollicit and induce your friend Shaw, to oblige me with this act of kindness.

4th of octr

This instant [...] the Sad tiding—Charles is no more

5.th

RC (MHi: Adams Papers).
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