Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THOMAS JEFFERSON. - The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes)
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TO THOMAS JEFFERSON. - John Adams, The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes) 
The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson Charles Francis Adams (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856). 10 volumes. Vol. 10.
Part of: The Works of John Adams, 10 vols.
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TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.
Quincy, 23 February, 1819.
As you were so well acquainted with the philosophers of France, I presume the name and character of Mademoiselle de l’Espinasse is not unknown to you.
I have almost put out my eyes by reading two volumes of her letters, which, as they were printed in 1809, I presume you have read long ago. I confess I have never read any thing with more ennui, disgust, and loathing; the eternal repetition of mon dieu and mon ami, je vous aime, je vous aime éperdument, je vous aime à la folie, je suis au désespoir, j’espère la mort, je suis morte, je prend l’opium, &c., &c.
She was constantly in love with other women’s husbands, constantly violating her fidelity to her own keepers, constantly tormented with remorse and regrets, constantly wishing for death, and constantly threatening to put herself to death, &c., &c., &c. Yet this great lady was the confidential friend of M. Turgot, the Duke de la Rochefoucauld, the Duchess d’Enville, M. Condorcet, the only lady who was admitted to the dinners which Madame Geoffrin made for the literati of France and the world, the intimate friend of Madame Boufflers, the open, acknowledged mistress of the great D’Alembert, and much admired by Marmontel.
If these letters and the fifteen volumes of De Grimm are to give me an idea of the amelioration of society, and government, and manners in France, I should think the age of reason had produced nothing much better than the Mahometans, the Mamelukes, or the Hindoos, or the North American Indians have produced, in different parts of the world.
Festina lente, my friend, in all your projects of reformation. Abolish polytheism, however, in every shape, if you can, and unfrock every priest who teaches it, if you can.
To compensate, in some measure, for this crazy letter, I inclose to you Mr. Pickering’s1 Essay on the Pronunciation of the Greek Language, which, very probably, you have received from various quarters before now, and with it, I pray you to accept assurances of the unabated friendship of your humble servant.
[1 ] Mr. John Pickering, distinguished for his learning and his literary pursuits in paths little explored in America, in his day.