Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO RICHARD BLAND LEE. - The Works of John Adams, vol. 10 (Letters 1811-1825, Indexes)
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TO RICHARD BLAND LEE. - 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 RICHARD BLAND LEE.
Quincy, 11 August, 1819.
I thank you for your oration on the red letter day in our national calendar, which I have read with mingled emotions. An invisible spirit seemed to suggest to me, in my left ear, “nil admirari, nil contemnere:” another spirit, at my right elbow, seemed to whisper in my ear, “digito compesce labellum.” But I will open my lips, and will say that your modesty and delicacy have restrained you from doing justice to your own name, that band of brothers, intrepid and unchangeable, who, like the Greeks at Thermopylæ, stood in the gap, in defence of their country, from the first glimmering of the Revolution in the horizon, through all its rising light, to its perfect day.
Thomas Lee, on whose praises Chancellor Wythe delighted to dwell, who has often said to me that Thomas Lee was the most popular man in Virginia, and the delight of the eyes of every Virginian, but who would not engage in public life; Richard Henry Lee, whose merits are better known and acknowledged, and need no illustration from me; Francis Lightfoot Lee, a man of great reading well understood, of sound judgment, and inflexible perseverance in the cause of his country; William Lee, who abandoned an advantageous establishment in England from attachment to his country, and was able and faithful in her service; Arthur Lee, a man of whom I cannot think without emotion; a man too early in the service of his country to avoid making a multiplicity of enemies; too honest, upright, faithful, and intrepid to be popular; too often obliged by his principles and feelings to oppose Machiavelian intrigues, to avoid the destiny he suffered. This man never had justice done him by his country in his lifetime, and I fear he never will have by posterity. His reward cannot be in this world.