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so overstrained that I cannot write a line. Poor Starke remembered nothing, and could talk of nothing but the battle of Bennington! ******** is not quite so reduced. I cannot mount my horse, but I can walk three miles over a rugged, rocky mountain, and have done it within a month; yet I feel, when sitting in my chair, as if I could not rise out of it; and when risen, as if I could not walk across the room. My sight is very dim, hearing pretty good, memory poor enough.
“1 answer your question,_Is death an evil ? It is not an evil. It is a blessing to the individual and to the world; yet we ought not to wish for it, till life becomes insupportable. We must wait the pleasure and convenience of the Great Teacher.' Winter is as terrible to me as to you. I am almost reduced in it to the life of a bear or a torpid swallow. I cannot read, but my delight is to hear others read; and I tax all my friends most unmercifully and tyrannically against their consent.
“ The ass has kicked in vain; all men say the dull animal has missed the mark.
“ This globe is a theatre of war; its inhabitants are all heroes. The little eels in vinegar, and the animalcules in pepper-water, I believe, are quarrelsome. The bees are as warlike as the Romans, Russians, Britons, or Frenchmen. Ants, caterpillars, and cankerworms are the only tribes among whom I have not seen battles; and Heaven itself, if we believe Hindoos, Jews, Christians, and Mahometans, has not always been at peace. We need not trouble ourselves about these things, nor fret ourselves because of evil doers; but safely trust the 'Ruler with his skies.' Nor need we dread the approach of dotage ; let it come if it must. ******, it
seems, still delights in his four stories ; and Starke remembered to the last his Bennington, and exulted in his glory; the worst of the evil is, that our friends will suffer more by our imbecility than we ourselves.
“ In wishing for your health and happiness, I am very selfish ; for I hope for more letters. This is worth more than five hundred dollars to me; for it has already given me, and will continue to give me, more pleasure than a thousand. Mr. Jay, who is about your age, I am told, experiences more decay than
do. “I am your old friend,
“ JOHN ADAMS."
This correspondence excited attention in Europe. The editor of the London Morning Chronicle prefaces it with the following remarks :
“What a contrast the following correspondence of the two rival Presidents of the greatest Republic of the world, reflecting an old age dedicated to virtue, temperance, and philosophy, presents to the heart-sickening details, occasionally disclosed to us, of the miserable beings who fill the thrones of the continent. There is not, perhaps, one sovereign of the continent, who in any sense of the word can be said to honor our nature, while many make us almost ashamed of it. The curtain is seldom drawn aside without exhibiting to us beings worn out with vicious indulgence, diseased in mind, if not in body, the creatures of caprice and insensibility. On the other hand, since the foundation of the American Republic, the chair has never been filled by a man, for whose life (to say the least,) any American need once to blush. It must, therefore, be some compensation to the Americans for the absence of pure monarchy, that when they look upwards their eyes are not always met by vice, and meannesss, and often idiocy.”
John Adams joined his fellow-citizens of Quincy, Mass., in celebrating the 4th of July, 1823, at the age of 88 years. Being called upon for a toast, he gave the following:
“ The excellent President, Governor, Ambassador, and Chief Justice, John Jay, whose name, by accident, was not subscribed on the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, as it ought to have been, for he was one of its ablest and faithfullest supporters.--A splendid star just setting below the horizon.”
It would be difficult (said the Boston Patriot,) fully to describe the delicate manner in which this toast was received and noticed by the company. Instead of loud acclamations, which succeeded the other toasts,
it was followed by soft and interrupted interjections and aspirations, as if each individual was casting up an ejaculatory prayer, that the two illustrious sages might pass the remainder of their days in tranquillity and ease, and finally be landed on the blissful shores of a happy eternity.
In September, 1825, President Adams, with his family, left Washington, on a visit to his venerable father, at Quincy. He travelled without ostentation, and especially requested that no public display might be manifested. At Philadelphia, Mrs. Adams was taken ill, and the President was compelled to proceed without her. This visit was of short duration. Called back to Washington by public affairs, he left Quincy on the 14th of October. It was his last interview on earth with his venerated parent. The aged patriarch had lived to see his country emancipated from foreign thraldom, its independence acknowledged, its union consummated, its prosperity and perpetuity resting on an immovable foundation, and his son elevated to the highest office in its gift. It was enough! His work accomplished—the book of his eventful life written and sealed for immortality-he was ready to depart and be
The 4th of July, 1826, will long be memorable for one of the most remarkable coincidences that has ever taken place in the history of nations. It was the fiftieth anniversary—the “JUBILEE”—of American independence! Preparations had been made throughout
the Union, to celebrate the day with unusual pomp and display. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had both been invited to participate in the festivities of the occasion, at their several places of abode. But a higher summons awaited them! they were bidden to a “jubilee” above, which shall have no end ! On that half-century anniversary of American Independence, at nearly the same hour of the day, the spirits of Adams and Jefferson took their departure from earth!! Amid the rejoicings of the people, the peals of artillery, the strains of music, the exultations of a great nation in the enjoyment of freedom, peace, and happiness, they were released from the toils of life, and allowed to enter on their rest.
The one virtually the mover, the other the framer, of the immortal Declaration of Independence—they had together shared the dangers and the honors of the revolution—had served their country in various important and responsible capacities-had both received the highest honors in the gift of their fellow-citizens—had lived to see the nation to which they assisted in giving birth assume a proud stand among the nations of the earth—her free institutions framed, consolidated, tried, and matured—her commerce hovering over all seasrespected abroad, united, prosperous, happy at homewhat more had earth in store for them? Together they had counselled-together they had dared the power of a proud and powerful Government-together they had toiled to build up a great and prosperous peo
ple-together they rejoiced in the success with which a wise and good Providence had crowned their labors --and together, on their country's natal day, amid the loud-swelling acclamations of the “national jabilee," their freed spirits soared to light and glory above !
The venerable ex-President Adams had been failing for several days before the 4th of July. In reply to an invitation from a committee of the citizens of Quincy, to unite with them in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of American independence, he had written a note, from which the following is an extract :
“ The present feeble state of my health will not permit me to indulge the hope of participating with more than my best wishes, in the joys, and festivities, and the solemn services of that day on which will be completed the fiftieth year from its birth, of the independence of the United States : a memorable epoch in the annals of the human race, destined in future history to form the brightest or the blackest page, according to the use or the abuse of those political institutions by which they shall, in time to come, be shaped by the human mind.”
Being solicited for a toast, to accompany the letter, he gave—“INDEPENDENCE FOREVER !!" He was asked if anything should be added to it. Immediately he replied—“Not a word !” This toast was drank at the celebration in Quincy, about fifty minutes before the departure of the venerated statesman from earth.
On the morning of the 4th, which was ushered in by the ringing of bells and firing of cannon, he was asked if he knew what day it was ?—“O yes,” he replied, “it is the glorious fourth of July—God bless it!