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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0013-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-12-13


The repetition of the same events, from day to day, is the only variety which can supply materials for this record of my transactions. Conversations, are seldom interesting. New characters seldom arise, and I am employed more time in thinking what I shall say for one day, than I am in writing the occurrences of a { 329 } week. Fertility of imagination, might supply the deficiency of materials, but my soil produces no spontaneous fruits.
I passed this evening with Thompson: his father was taken very ill this afternoon with a nervous disorder, and was so sick that we broke up our assembly before eight o'clock.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0013-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-12-14


I was about an hour with Dr. Kilham at his shop, Immediately after dinner; I took up one of the volumes of Junius's Letters,1 and carried it with me to the office; I read the whole afternoon, and was interrupted only by the shadows of the evening. I called upon Little, and brought him home with me, to my lodgings: we pass'd a very sociable evening together: after he was gone I took up again my volume of Junius, and just before I finished it, the midnight Clock reminded me, that the hour of retirement was again come round. This hour, and that of rousing from the night's repose are equally disagreeble to me. My mind seems in this respect to partake of the vis inertiae of matter. I cannot possibly rise early, and I am obliged to run forward into the night for those moments of contemplation, and study which perhaps would be more advantageously taken before the dawn of day.
1. A collection of letters, written between 1769 and 1772, attacking the British ministry, 2 vols., London, 1772. The authorship of these letters has been a source of debate, having been attributed to several dozen different writers.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0013-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-12-15


A violent North-west wind, blew, the whole day, but we have no snow yet. Dined with Amory at Mr. Farnham's.1 Mr. J. Greenleaf, and Mr. J. Carter were the Company besides the family. I saw Mrs. Hay, whom I had not before seen these three years. We did not pass the afternoon there, as Amory was called away soon after dinner. I went for about an hour to the office, and spent the evening with Putnam; who has lately taken a great fancy to digging in metaphysical ground: though he is not perfectly acquainted with the nature of the soil. He has drank just enough of the pierian spring to intoxicate the brain, and not sufficient to sober him again.2
1. William, the second son by that name of Newburyport lawyer and tory sympathizer Daniel Farnham (Currier, Newburyport, 2:229–232).
2. “An Essay on Criticism,” lines 215–218.
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