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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0002-0004-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1772-07-01

Wednesday July 1. 1772.

He, who contends for Freedom,

can ne'er be justly deem'd his Sovereign's Foe:

No, 'tis the wretch that tempts him to subvert it,

The soothing Slave, the Traitor in the Bosom,

Who best deserves that name; he is a worm

That eats out all the Happiness of Kingdoms.1

When Life, or Death,

becomes the Question, all Distinctions vanish;

Then the first Monarch and the lowest Slave

on the same Level Stand, in this the Sons

of equal Nature all.

1. Note by CFA: “These lines are taken from a play, now little read: [James] Thomson's Edward and Eleanora, act i. sc. 2, and act ii. sc. 2” (JA, Works, 2:297).
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, 2014.