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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0012-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-11-27

27th.

Better than I have been for these ten days past: all the time again at the office, or at my own lodgings. It is of great advantage to us to have Mr. Parsons in the office. He is in himself a law-library, and a proficient in every useful branch of science. But his chief excellency is, that, no student can be more fond of proposing questions than he is of solving them. He is never at a loss, and always gives a full and ample account, not only of the subject { 322 } { 323 } proposed, but of all matters which have any intimate connection with it. I am perswaded, that the advantage of having such an instructor is very great, and I hope I shall not misimprove, it, as some of his pupils have done. Where nature is deficient, application must supply her place, and if Nature is liberal, there is so much more reason, for turning her partiality to advantage, for

Nature never lends

The smallest scruple of her excellence

But like a thrifty goddess she determines

Herself the glory of a creditor

Both thanks and use.1

1. Measure for Measure, Act I, scene i, lines 37–41.