A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-07-01

Wednesday July 1. 1772.

He, who contends for Freedom,

can ne'er be justly deem'd his Sovereign's Foe:

No, 'tis the wretch that tempts him to subvert it,

The soothing Slave, the Traitor in the Bosom,

Who best deserves that name; he is a worm

That eats out all the Happiness of Kingdoms.1

When Life, or Death,

becomes the Question, all Distinctions vanish;

Then the first Monarch and the lowest Slave

on the same Level Stand, in this the Sons

of equal Nature all.

1. Note by CFA : “These lines are taken from a play, now little read: [James] Thomson's Edward and Eleanora, act i. sc. 2, and act ii. sc. 2” (JA, Works , 2:297).