A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

{ 6 }

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0001-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-03-23


I did not hear the Bell Ring this morning, and was tardy at Prayers. Every time a Student is tardy at prayers he is punished a penny; and there is no eluding that Law, so that a Student must prefer not attending prayers at all; to being ½ a minute too Late. After prayers we went in to Mr. James to recite in Terence. The manner of reciting this is, the Persons at the head of the Class, read an whole Scene in the Latin, and then the same into English, and when they have finished the next read another Scene and so on.
Cranch went to Boston in the forenoon. Thursday, is a Day which commonly both Tutors and Students take as a leisure day, and there is seldom, any reciting, except in the morning. After Prayers the President read a Paper to this effect. That on the evening of the 15th. it appeared the Sophimores had assembled at the Chamber of one in the Class, and had behaved in a tumultuous, noisy manner; that at length they sallied out, and were very riotous to the disturbance, and dishonour of the University. But as their conduct till then had been such as deserved approbation, and was submissive and, as they early shew a proper repentance for their fault having, presented an humble petition to be forgiven. Therefore, it had been voted that no further Notice should be taken of it; but it was hoped the Students, would not abuse, the Lenity of the government, but rather show that they were deserving of it. The Fresh men, who are always, as a Class, at Variance with the Sophimores, thought the government had been partial; and the Consequence was, that Mr. James, the Tutor of the Sophimore Class, and who was supposed, to have favoured them, and to have been the means of saving them from severer punishment; had four squares of glass broken in his Windows. Such was the Effect of the Lenity, which was to induce the Students to do their Duty.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0001-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-03-24


No reciting, for any of the Classes, on Fridays, for the whole, Day. I wrote some Problems out of Ward1 to carry to Mr. Williams, next Monday Morning. After Prayers, I declaim'd, as it is term'd. Two Students every evening Speak from Memory, any Piece they chuse, if it be approved by the President. It was this Evening my turn, with the 2d. Abbot, and I spoke, from As you { 7 } { 8 } { 9 } like it. All the world's a stage &c. When I came to the description of the Justice, in fair round Belly with good Capon lined, Tutors and scholars, all laugh'd, as I myself, truly represented the Character. But the President did not move a feature of his face. And indeed I believe, it is no small matter, that shall extort a smile from him when he is before the College. This Afternoon I took from the Library, Montesquieu's Reflections on the rise and fall of the Romans, and an Anacreon.2 The two elder Classes have a right, every second friday to take from the Library, each person three volumes, which he must return at the End of a fort'night.
1. John Ward, The Young Mathematician's Guide. Being a Plain and Easie Introduction to the Mathematicks... with an Appendix of Practical Gauging, London, 1719, and other editions (Harvard, Catalogus Bibliothecae, 1790, p. 92).
2. Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence, Amsterdam and Leipzig, 1759; Works of Anacreon, transl., with the original Greek, by Joseph Addison, London, 1735, and other editions (A Catalogue of the Library of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge, 1830; Harvard, Catalogus Bibliothecae, 1790, p. 12).