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[13]

Soon after I was seated in Mr. Adams's parlor,—where was no one but himself and Mrs. Adams, who was knitting,—he began to talk of the condition of the country, with great earnestness. I said not a word; Mrs. Adams was equally silent; but Mr. Adams, who was a man of strong and prompt passions, went on more and more vehemently. He was dressed in a single-breasted, dark-green coat, buttoned tightly, by very large, white, metal buttons, over his somewhat rotund person. As he grew more and more excited in his discourse, he impatiently endeavored to thrust his hand into the breast of his coat. The buttons did not yield readily: at last he forced his hand in, saying, as he did so, in a very loud voice and most excited manner, ‘Thank God, thank God! George Cabot's close-buttoned ambition has broke out at last: he wants to be President of New England, sir!’

I felt so uncomfortably, that I made my acknowledgments for his kindness in giving me the letters, and escaped as soon as I could.

A few days afterwards (22d Dec., 1814) I set out on my journey, having the advantage of Mr. Samuel G. Perkins's company as far as Washington. He was one of the prominent merchants in Boston,— a man of no small intellectual culture, and of a very generous and noble nature. He had been a great deal about the world, and understood its ways. His manners were frank, open-hearted, and decisive, and, to some persons, brusque. All men respected, many loved him.

Mrs. Perkins was the daughter of Mr. Stephen Higginson, Senior, —an important person at one time in the political affairs of the town of Boston, and the head of the commercial house of which Mr. Perkins was a member. Mrs. Perkins was at one time very beautiful. Talleyrand, when I was in Paris in 1818, spoke to me of her as the most beautiful young person he had ever known, he having seen her when in exile in this country. She was always striking in her person, and very brilliant in conversation. Her house was a most agreeable one, and I had become intimate and familiar there, dining with them generally every week.

The journey to Hartford occupied two days then; and one of those days, there being no one in the coach with us, Mr. Perkins filled wholly with an account of the Revolution in St. Domingo, where he then lived, and from which he barely escaped with his life. I have seldom been so much interested and entertained. We arrived at Hartford on Saturday afternoon. The Convention, as I have said, was in session. The members from MassachusettsMr. George Cabot, Mr. William Prescott, Mr. H. G. Otis, Mr. Timothy Bigelow,

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