Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO J. H. TIFFANY. - The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes)
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TO J. H. TIFFANY. - 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 J. H. TIFFANY.
Quincy, 30 April, 1819.
Of republics, the varieties are infinite, or at least as numerous as the tunes and changes that can be rung upon a complete set of bells. Of all the varieties, a democracy is the most natural, the most ancient, and the most fundamental and essential.
In some writing or other of mine, I happened, currente calamo, to drop the phrase, “The word republic, as it is used, may signify any thing, every thing, or nothing.” For this escape, I have been pelted for twenty or thirty years with as many stones as ever were thrown at St. Stephen, when St. Paul held the clothes of the stoners. But the aphorism is literal, strict, solemn truth. To speak technically, or scientifically, if you will, there are monarchical, aristocratical, and democratical republics. The government of Great Britain and that of Poland are as strictly republics as that of Rhode Island or Connecticut under their old charters. If mankind have a right to the voice of experience, they ought to furnish that experience with pen and paper to write it, and an amanuensis to copy it.
I should have been extremely obliged to you, if you had favored me with Mr. Jefferson’s sentiments upon the subject. As I see you have an inquiring mind, I sincerely wish you much pleasure, profit, and success in your investigations. I have had some pleasure in them, but no profit; and very little, if any, success.
In one of your letters, you say that my Defence has become rare. This is strange. Mr. Dilly published an edition of it in London. An edition of it was published in Boston, another in New York, another in Philadelphia, before the adoption of the present constitution of the national government, and before one line of the Federalist was printed. Since that, Mr. Cobbet, alias Porcupine, printed a large edition of the whole work in Philadelphia, and Mr. Stockdale, of Piccadilly, has published another large edition in London. It has been translated into the French and German languages. And what has become of all these copies? Have they been torn up, or thrown away, to line trunks?