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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


{ 268 }

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0007-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-26

26th.

Employ'd myself the whole day in writing. Dr. Tufts was here in the forenoon. I am now waiting here, and preparing for a tour of three or four weeks, before I take up my final abode at Newbury.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0007-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-27

27th.

Wrote all the forenoon. In the afternoon I read a novel, which arrived from England by the last vessel. The title is Louisa, or the cottage on the moor.1 It is light and airy like most novels. The stile is rather unequal; in some places pretty, and in others very defective: it appears to be a lady's stile. There are no marked characters in it; and very little acquaintance of human life. In short this novel cannot give instruction but it will, entertainment: the story is interesting, and affecting. The incident of Danvers' carrying off Louisa, from Dover is theatrical, and related with more circumstances of probability than are usual in Scenes of that kind, but it must be confest that probability is but little consulted in the general course of the story. I imagine it is the production of a lady, and that is sufficient to screen it from the severity of criticism.
1. By Elizabeth Helme, 2 vols., London, 1787.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0007-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-28

28th.

Writing all the forenoon. In the afternoon I went out, with my brother Tom, upon a shooting party: indifferent sport. Somewhat fatigued in the evening. I sit down every day to write journal, but here events in general are so trifling, that a relation of them is not worth committing to paper: and as to sentiment, there is nothing here to raise it in the mind; if I had a brain as fertile as that of some of my friends I could write without a subject, and fill up page after page, upon nothing: but gifts of this kind are very partially distributed; and I was never yet able to write without knowing upon what. I frequently think hour after hour, and with a great deal of pains endeavour to call up some wise reflection or observation, but so sure as I attempt this I always find, that some wild association of ideas, will carry me off in a tangent, and after half an hour's reverie, I awake, and am almost ready to ask myself where I am. At present I am a mere { 269 } cypher in creation; without any employment and without any character: when I get to Newbury I expect the study of the Law, will furnish me with something to say.