Recipient: Adams, John Quincy
[Amsterdam, 28 April 1782
[salute] My Child
Yours of March 20/31 I have received.
I am well pleased with your learning German for many Reasons, and principally because
I am told that Science and Literature flourish more at present in Germany than any
where. A Variety of Languages will do no harm unless you should get an habit of attending
more to Words than Things.
But, my dear Boy, above all Things, preserve your Innocence, and a pure Conscience.
Your morals are of more importance, both to yourself and the World than all Languages
and all Sciences. The least Stain upon your Character will do more harm to your Happiness
than all Accomplishments will do it good.—I give you Joy of the safe Arrival of your
Brother, and the Acknowledgment of the Independance of your Country in Holland. Adieu.