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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0006-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-06-26

26th.

Mr. and Mrs. Boyes [Boies] with Miss Lucy, came over and dined here. After dinner we went to Squantum, to Mr. Beale's:1 there was a large company. Mr. and Mrs. Woodward, Mr. A. Alleyne, and his mother, Mrs. Quincy, Mr. Woodbridge and his Sister from Salem, with Miss Robertson and Miss Peale. Miss Woodbridge is called very handsome, but her features are too regular: She has a very fine set of teeth, which every body must know who has ever seen her. She appears sociable, and of an { 246 } open, frank disposition. Miss Robertson, would not generally be called so handsome, nor has she so amiable a countenance; but her complexion is still fairer, and there is an expression in her features which the other wants. She wears a small patch of court-plaister on her cheek, which has a pretty effect. But, when I see a patch of this kind, on a Lady's cheek, I consider it as I do a brand on a man's forehead; the one convinces me that the man is a rogue; the other that the woman is a coquet; and I endeavour equally to avoid them. After tea we walk'd down to the chapel, form'd by the cavities between the summits of several sharp rocks. These rocks are broken off, so that the sea, bathes their foundation, and the perpendicular descent is not less I suppose than 50 feet. The perpendicular surface is not smooth, as at the cliffs of Dover, but craggy, and rather concave. The tops of the rocks are sharp and verge to a point. From this place, it is said, one of the female leaders of the indians, in former days, plunged into the sea, after the loss of a battle; preferring this death to captivity, like the bard of Snowdon.2 But what foundation there may be for this tradition, I have never heard. After a pretty long ramble, we set out and return'd home, in the evening. Miss B. Apthorp, stopp'd for a few minutes at my uncles.
1. Benjamin Beale, a merchant with trading interests in Liverpool, where he married and had a family. He was the father of JQA 's classmate and later was JA 's neighbor (Pattee, Old Braintree and Quincy , p. 241; AA2, Jour. and Corr. , 2:124).
2. Probably a reference to Thomas Gray's Pindaric ode, The Bard, about the Welsh bard who jumped to his death rather than face execution at the hands of the conquering English (Thomas Gray, Poetical Works of Mr. Gray, new edn., London, 1785, p. 33–39, at MQA).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0006-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-06-27

27th.

Two Miss Greenleaf's1 came here this forenoon, and still remain. Mr. Cranch went to Boston this morning. Mr. Weld and his lady, and Parson Wibird drank tea here, and we had a quantity of music in the evening.
1. Probably Rebecca, who later married Noah Webster, the lexicographer, and Anna (Nancy), who married William Cranch, JQA 's cousin, in 1795; they were daughters of William Greenleaf, the Boston merchant (James Edward Greenleaf, Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family, Boston, 1896, p. 218, 222).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0006-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-06-28

28th.

Took a long walk in the morning with my Cousin and the Ladies. When we return'd we found, my brother Charles, with { 247 } Mrs. Hillard and her daughter; who dined here, and return'd to Cambridge in the afternoon.
We all drank tea, at Mr. Apthorp's, and pass'd the evening there: this man is certainly a little crack-brain'd; his conversation, is ingenious, but he flies from one topic to another, with the utmost rapidity, and some of his speeches are extravagant. The least that can be said of him is that he is very singular, and between singularity and positive madness the distinction is but small.