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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0001-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-01-29

29th.

It snow'd part of the forenoon; then turn'd to rain, and after making the streets very disagreeable, cleared up in the afternoon. I dined with my brothers at Mr. Bradbury's; we had some conversation upon the subject of Ben Hooper's funeral. I could not agree in sentiment with Mr. Bradbury. I told him that although I abhorr'd the action itself, as much as any one, yet after a man was dead to refuse to attend his funeral, would only be an insult upon the feelings of his friends without being any kind of punishment to him. And indeed I cannot but think that Laws against suicide, are impolitic and cruel for how can it be expected, that human Laws which cannot take hold of the offender personally, should restrain from the commission of this crime, { 354 } the man, who could disregard, the natural and divine Laws, which upon this subject are so deeply imprinted upon the heart? When we consider too how easily such a Law may be evaded, how many ways a man might put a period to his own existence, without exposing himself to the severity of any law that the human fansy could invent, we can only suppose, that these punishments must fall merely upon a thoughtless youth, or upon one ignorant of the existence of such regulations. Mr. Bradbury however thinks differently and is perhaps in the right.
I pass'd about an hour in the evening with Putnam; he then went with G. Bradbury and my brothers, into a company of young Ladies, and I cross'd the street and sat till nine o'clock, with my friend Thompson. Tom lodg'd with me.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0001-0030

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-01-30

30th.

I went up to the office, in the morning, and sat a couple of hours; but I felt restless and dissipated: I could not study, and therefore walk'd down in town and saunter'd about. Dined with G. Bradbury and Charles at Mr. Hooper's. He is very sanguine in his hopes for the adoption of the Constitution.
Pass'd the evening at Mr. Bradbury's. Dr. Smith and all his family were there. We had some music in the beginning of the evening, and afterwards play'd a number of very amusing sports, such as start; what is it like; cross questions, I love my love with an A, and a number more. My opinion of such diversions I have already given: when it was confined to a number of young persons; but that the most inexcusable levities of youth should appear in the garb of old-age is something that calls for more than disapprobation: nor will a grey hair'd trifler excite our pity merely; but must raise our indignation and contempt. Mr. Bradbury however is a very respectable man, and as this conduct has here the sanction of custom, it is not him but the manners of the times that I blame.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0001-0031

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-01-31

31st.

The weather somewhat cold. My brothers dined with me and between 3 and 4 o'clock, we all set off for Haverhill. We got there just after five, a little fatigued. The riding was not bad but in some places the cold had not been strong enough to harden the snow; and the road was sloppy.
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