A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-01-01-02-0003-0001-0012

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1758-10-18

Wednesday [18 October].

Went to Boston.
Bob Paine. I have ruined myself, by a too eager Pursuit of Wisdom. I have now neither Health enough for an active Life, nor Knowledge enough for a sedentary one.
Quincy. We shall never make your great fellows.
Thus Paine and Quincy both are verging to Despair.
Paine. If I attempt a Composition, my Thoughts are slow and dull.
Paine is discouraged, and Quincy has not Courage enough to harbour a Thought of acquiring a great Character. In short, none of them { 52 } have a foundation that will support them. P. Chardon seemed to me in the directest Road to Superiority. Pains Face has lost its Bloom, and his Eye its Vivacity and fire. His Eye is weak, his Countenance pale and his Attention unsteady. And what is worse, he suffers this decline of Health to retard, almost to Stop his studies. And Q’s dastard soul is afraid to aim at great Acquisition.
Paine (to me). You dont intend to be a Sage, I suppose.
Oh! P. has not Penetration to reach the Bottom of my mind. He dont know me. Next time I will answer him, A Sage, no. Knowledge eno’ to keep out of fire and Water, is all that I aim at.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.