John Adams to John Quincy Adams
Amsterdam Dec. 28. 1780
The Ice is so universal
now that I suppose you spend some Time in Skaiting every day. It is a fine
Exercise for young Persons, and therefore I am willing to indulge you in
it, provided you confine yourself to proper Hours, and to strict Moderation.
Skaiting is a fine Art. It is not Simple Velocity or Agility that constitutes
the Perfection of it but Grace. There is an Elegance of Motion, which is
charming to the sight, and is useful to acquire, because it obliges you
to restrain that impetuous Ardour and violent Activity, into which the Agitation
of Spirits occasioned by this Exercise is apt to hurry you, and which is
inconsistent both with your Health and Pleasure.
John. Letter to John Quincy Adams, December 28, 1780. Adams Family Papers,
Massachusetts Historical Society. Published in Adams Family Correspondence,
Volume 4: October 1780 - September 1782 (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of
Harvard University Press, 1973). Pages 55-56.