September 5 1815: Britania No Longer Rules the Waves

“My correspondents increase so fast, that it puts out my eyes to write to them all. I have employd all this rainy morning in writing to Caroline to Abbe Shaw and to John Smith, the last Mail, did not give me the opportunity of writing to you this morning. I think with you that mrs A’s is a very good correspondent. She feels, what I experienced when I was in her situation; all is ceremony, all is show, few of the charities of life, are exhibited in high Life unless you can obtain notice by a dash—a stile, as it is calld, a grand monte, which would cost an American minister half a years sallery in one Evening, even tho according to English Hospitality your servants should furnish your candles and card’s

When mrs A. lived there in her youth she was under the care and protection of her parents the chief of the company they entertaind were Americans, her father being American consul, and himself a Native American—she knew only by report the manners of high life. she may now become acquainted with foreign ministers and their Ladies, but the united states have never given their ministers a sallery which will permit them to be conversant with the Nobility, except in the way of Buisness. men of learning and talents will value them and cultivate them in all Countries and societies. Beside the American minister cannot be very cordially received in their hearts, after such an assendency has been obtaind over them by his countrymen, both by land and sea [ageless] sea! there’s the Rub, Britania no longer rules the waves, and all Europe knows it—and all England feel it—”

— Abigail Smith Adams writes to Harriet Welsh, on September 5 1815.

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