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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0012-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-11-27

27th.

Better than I have been for these ten days past: all the time again at the office, or at my own lodgings. It is of great advantage to us to have Mr. Parsons in the office. He is in himself a law-library, and a proficient in every useful branch of science. But his chief excellency is, that, no student can be more fond of proposing questions than he is of solving them. He is never at a loss, and always gives a full and ample account, not only of the subject { 322 } { 323 } proposed, but of all matters which have any intimate connection with it. I am perswaded, that the advantage of having such an instructor is very great, and I hope I shall not misimprove, it, as some of his pupils have done. Where nature is deficient, application must supply her place, and if Nature is liberal, there is so much more reason, for turning her partiality to advantage, for

Nature never lends

The smallest scruple of her excellence

But like a thrifty goddess she determines

Herself the glory of a creditor

Both thanks and use.1

1. Measure for Measure, Act I, scene i, lines 37–41.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0012-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-11-28

28th.

Finished the third volume of Blackstone, and began upon the fourth, which is upon public wrongs. Took something of a long walk with Thompson. He, and Little and Putnam passed the evening with me. Mr. and Mrs. Smith came into Town this evening, and brought me a bundle.
Mr. Parsons after making much difficulty has finally consented, that we should pass the evenings till 8 o'clock at the office, At Townsend's importunity. It will make at this Season a large addition to the time which we employ in the professional studies, though I do not know that it will be of any great advantage to me.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0012-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-11-29

29th.

Thanksgiving day: between 8 and 9 o'clock this morning I set out for Haverhill and got to Mr. Shaw's a little before eleven. I attended meeting: Mr. Shaw preach'd a long sermon, and a good one. Mr. Parker1 and his wife dined with us: I did not admire them, the woman particularly; she has a hard masculine countenance, and black eyes, which express as much softness as those of a tyger. But she is a very good woman: only has rather too much temper, or as it is called in New-England too much stuff. I went down to Mr. White's in the evening, but Leonard was not at home: I was going to Mr. Duncan's, but met all the younger part of the family, in the street. I found Leonard White at Mr. Shaw's, and Mr. Flint who came this day from Lincoln.
1. Benjamin Parker, formerly minister of the Fourth Congregational Church of Haverhill (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 10:220–222).
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