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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0012-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-11-19

19th.

I lodg'd at Mr. White's again last night; went this morning up to Mr. Shaw's and past an hour; and between 10 and 11, Set off { 319 } for Newbury-Port. Got home at about I. Called at the office. Found Amory was gone to Salem for a week. Mr. Parsons says, he will spoil himself in spite of any thing that can be done. Town-send dined with me. We were not much in the office, in the afternoon. Little spent the evening with me.
Rather unwell.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0012-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-11-20

20th.

Proceed slowly in the third volume of Blackstone. As this is the most important author of all those that will occur, I make large extracts from him, which takes me up so much time that I cannot read above twenty or thirty pages in a day. Townsend pass'd the evening at my lodgings. Dull weather. This afternoon there was a town-meeting for the purpose of choosing members to represent this Town in the State convention which is to meet in January, and canvass the proposed federal Constitution. The persons chosen were Mr. King, Judge Greenleaf, Mr. Parsons, and Genl. Titcomb. They are all in favour of the constitution, and the town appears to be very unanimous for it.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0012-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-11-21

21st.

I this morning requested of Mr. Parsons his opinion, whether it would be most advantageous for me to pursue, the professional study in those hours, when I should not attend at the office; or whether it would be best to devote those of my evenings, which I shall pass at my own lodgings, to other purposes, and a diversity of studies. He answered by observing, that I could not attend to any useful branch of Science, in which I should not find my account; he would rather advise me, to read a number of ethic writers: it was necessary for a person going into the profession of the law, to have principles strongly established; otherwise, however amiable, and however honest his disposition might be, yet the necessity he is under of defending indiscriminately, the good and the bad, the right, and the wrong would imperceptibly lead him into universal skepticism. He advised also Quinctilian, and the best writers upon Christianity; He himself, he said, was convinced of the truth of the Christian religion; he believed revelation, and it was his reason, that had been convinced, for he entered upon the world rather prejudiced against revelation.
{ 320 }
It stormed in the afternoon, I pass'd part of the evening at Mr. Parsons's, and the remainder with Townsend at his lodgings.