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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-23

23d.

The weather has look'd snowy, for several days past, but has remained, in Statu quo, till this evening; Which is pretty stormy.

The cherish'd fields

Put on their winter robe of purest white.1

I am not fond of seeing this Robe; there is something so dreary so gloomy, to me, in looking, all around, to see a dull lifeless sameness, every where, that the first appearance of snow, is quite disagreeable to me.
{ 361 }
1. James Thomson, “The Seasons: Winter,” lines 232–233 (Poetical Works, ed. J. Logie Robertson, London, 1908, p. 194).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-24

24th.

Thanksgiving day in the State of New Hampshire. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw spent it in the upper Parish: the meeting house of which, being, one half in this State, and one half in the other they keep both. Ours will be three weeks from this day.
I spent the whole evening at Mr. White's. Miss Priscilla McKinstry was there, a very pretty, agreeable young Lady. I read to them 2 or three of Mrs. Aikin's Poem's. I have seen, verses, not better than these from illustrious pens; but I saw little, that I thought soar'd much above mediocrity. Corsica, has some very pretty thoughts in it, but often falls into prose, which must be the case, when the Emphasis cannot be laid on the last syllable of the line. But Ladies ought to be, exempted from the severe scrutiny of Criticism, and we should be willing, only to praise and admire the productions of their Apollo; the groans of the tankard, is either above or beneath Criticism, I will not say which.1 Mrs. White is yet much indisposed.
1. “Corsica” and “The Groans of the Tankard” were written by Anna Letitia Aikin Barbauld (Works, 2 vols., London, 1825, 1:1–11, 23–28).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-25

25th.

The Rev'd. Mr. True dined here: a person of a peculiar Character I am told, and from what I have seen of him to day I should have judg'd as much. At about 4 in the afternoon, my Uncle came in, and handed me, a noble Packet of Letters; 3 from My Mother 2 from my father, a long one from my Sister, and several others.1 It has made me as happy, (I will not say as a king,) as I can be. One Letter from Mamma, dated, as late as Octr. 5th. I went down in the Evening, and read them to My Cousin and Peggy White. I greatly regret that I have not time to write to my Parents, and my Sister so often as I should wish to. My Studies necessarily take up almost all, and I have not enough left for necessary relaxation, exclusive of all the writing, I should do. In short it appears to me, that was every minute, I have, an hour I should not be at a loss to employ it. And at this very minute the Bell rings for nine of Clock, when I had no Idea, of its being yet 8. { 362 } Snows and storms, highly this Evening: winter is coming forward with hasty stride.
1. These probably included: JA to JQA , 31 Aug., 9 Sept.; AA to JQA , 6, 12 Sept., 5 Oct.; and AA2 to JQA , 26 Aug.–13 Sept. (Adams Papers).