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imagination pained with a repetition of past pleasures and present pains seeks a new source in anticipating future events.

You are I hope sensible of the peculiar advantages you are receiving. Very few at any age of life possess so great a share. It is your own fault if you neglect to make a right improvement of the talents that are put into your hands; your reflections in a future day will be brightened if you can look back on your past conduct conscious of not having deviated from the path of your duty. I will not draw a contrary supposition.

Some persons Lives are scarcely clouded by any event unfavourable to their happiness, fortune seems to court their favour and pour liberally her blessings on their wishes. We see another character struggling with events through life: all their intentions appear to be frustrated, and every wish is clouded by a disappointment. To judge from the few years you have passed in Life the former seems descriptive. But do not be deceived by appearances; she may yet have in store for you, trials and troubles unthought of; neither distress


Adams, Abigail 2d. Letter to John Quincy Adams, May 3, 1782. 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 319-321.