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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0003-0003-0003

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1758-12-18

Monday. December 18th. 1758

I this Evening delivered to Mr. Field, a Declaration in Trespass for a Rescue.1 I was obliged to finish it, without sufficient examination. If it should escape an Abatement, it is quite indigested, and unclerk-like. I am ashamed of it, and concerned for it. If my first Writt should be abated, if I should throw a large Bill of Costs on my first Client, my { 63 } Character and Business will suffer greatly. It will be said, I dont understand my Business. No one will trust his Interest in my hands. I never Saw a Writt, on that Law of the Province. I was perplexed, and am very anxious about it. Now I feel the Dissadvantages of Putnams Insociability, and neglect of me. Had he given me now and then a few Hints concerning Practice, I should be able to judge better at this Hour than I can now. I have Reason to complain of him. But, it is my Destiny to dig Treasures with my own fingers. No Body will lend me or sell me a Pick axe. How this first Undertaking will terminate, I know not. I hope the Dispute will be settled between them, or submitted, and so my Writt never come to an Examination. But if it should I must take the Consequences. I must assume a Resolution, to bear without freting.
Heard Parson Wibirt exert his Casuistry to J. Spear.2 Warned him against selling his [drowned?] Sheep for merchantable Mutton. It was not so nutritive nor palatable as Mutton butchered and dressed, and therefore, was not worth the same Price, and it would be an Imposition and a Cheat that his Conscience must disapprove to describe it and sell it as good Mutton. He could not [sentence unfinished]
1. In the case of Field v. Lambert.
2. This detached paragraph may have been written on 19 December.

Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0003-0003-0004

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1758-12-20

Wednesday [20 December].

I am this forenoon, resuming the Study of Van Muyden. I begin at the 99th Page.

Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0003-0003-0005

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1758-12-21

Thurdsday [21 December].

Yesterday and to day I have read loud, Tullius 4 Orations against Cataline. The Sweetness and Grandeur of his sounds, and the Harmony of his Numbers give Pleasure enough to reward the Reading if one understood none of his meaning. Besides I find it, a noble Exercise. It exercises my Lungs, raises my Spirits, opens my Porr[s], quickens the Circulations, and so contributes much to Health.

Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0003-0003-0006

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1758-12-26

Tuesday, 26 of December.

Being the Evening after Christmas, the Dr. and I spent the Evening with Mr. Cleverly1 and Major Miller.2 Mr. Cleverly was chearful, alert, sociable and complaisant. So much good sense, and knowledge, so { 64 } much good Humour and Contentment, and so much Poverty, are not to be found, in any other House I believe in this Province. I am amazed that a man of his Inginuity, and sprightliness, can be so shiftless. But what avails a noisy fame, a plentiful fortune, and great figure and Consideration in the World? Neither Prat nor Gridley, Mayhew nor Eliot, Stockbridge nor Hersey appear more easy and happy with all their wealth and Reputation, than he with neither. Major Miller was sedate, but the Conversation was not to his Taste. He began to tell what this and that fellow said, what Coll. Oliver3 did at Dorchester and what he did at Deadham, but he said very little on the whole. Both of them took unused freedoms with Coll. Quincy and his Brother.4 They are determined to esteem them both Knaves and fools.
1. Probably Joseph Cleverly (1713–1802), Harvard 1733, JA ’s first schoolmaster.
2. Ebenezer Miller (1730–1811), of Braintree; militia officer, selectman, Episcopalian, and loyalist.
3. Andrew Oliver (1706–1774), Harvard 1724; secretary of the Province and later lieutenant governor.
4. Edmund Quincy (1703–1788), fourth of his name and brother of “Colonel” Josiah. His Boston mercantile firm having gone into bankruptcy, Edmund was currently a farmer in Braintree, living in what is now known as the “Dorothy Q.” house, still standing on Hancock Street in Quincy.