A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 4

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-22

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

[salute] Honoured Sir

I have this day received two letters from you of the 20th. in one of which you say you would have me attend all the lectures in which Experiments are made, but I shall have to attend two lectures upon { 45 } law, and therefore shall have no time. As to the lecture upon Greek; there is but one, and the Gentlemen with whom Mr. Thaxter has consulted, think that it is necessary, to have made some proficiency in the Greek Language, to be able to attend it.
I have this day seen the master who is to teach us greek and Latin.1 He is to come to us twice a day; from twelve to one oclock and from five to six in the afternoon, so that I shall be two hours occupied with our master an hour at each lecture is two more and the rest of my time I shall be writing from Homer, the Greek testament, of Grammar, and learning lessons for our Master.2
This is a famous day in new England. The anniversary of the landing of our forefathers at Plimouth.3
Our master is to begin with us to morrow.
We are all invited to drink tea with Mr. Luzac to day.
The scene in which Shakespear speaks of Brownist is in the third volume page 121. in Twelfth night or what you will, Act 3 Scene 4th. If you borrow Mr. Searle's Shakespear you will see it there.4

[salute] I am your Dutiful Son,

[signed] John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams. Chez Monsieur Henry Schorn. a Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Mr. John Decr. 22. ansd. 23,” to which CFA added “1780.” This letter was originally enclosed in Thaxter's to JA of this date, following.
1. JA on 11 Jan. 1781
“Was present [in Leyden] from 12. to one O Clock, when the Praeceptor gave his Lessons in Latin and Greek to my Sons. His Name is Wenshing. He is apparently a great Master of the two Languages, besides which he speaks French and Dutch very well. . . . He is pleased with [his pupils] and they with him” (Diary and Autobiography, 2:451).
John Thaxter in his letter of this date, following, gives the tutor's name as “Wensing.”
2. Punctuation as in MS.
3. See note 3 on Mrs. Warren's letter to AA of 21 Dec., above.
4. Sir Andrew Aguecheek: “An't be any way, it must be with valour; for policy I hate. I had as lief be a Brownist as a politician” (Twelfth Night, Act III, scene ii, in modern editions). The volume- and page-reference furnished by JQA is to an edition of The Works of Shakespeare published at Edinburgh in 8 vols., 1769–1771, Alexander Donaldson printer.

Docno: ADMS-04-04-02-0028

Author: Thaxter, John
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1780-12-22

John Thaxter to John Adams

[salute] Sir

I had the Honour of your favour of the 20th1 this Morning. I am happy to hear that your Eyes are better.
Altho' I have not as yet been able to obtain a Master for the Children, yet they are pursuing their Studies. The Master that is recommended is said to be the best in the place, and has a happy Faculty { 46 } in teaching the Languages. The Vacancy begins to day and lasts for three Weeks. The Lectures of a Public kind finish to day also, for the same Term as the Vacancy. This is a great Misfortune, but nevertheless the Time may be profitably spent in the Languages with the Master, who will have perhaps the more Leisure.
There are public Lectures here of various Denominations—namely, upon the Law of Nature, upon Grotius, Natural Philosophy, Theology, Medicine, Chymistry, Anatomy, and one upon Greek. Besides these there are private Lectures upon the History and Constitutions of particular Countries and Nations; but these are given to young Gentlemen of those Countries and Nations for their own Information and Instruction. The Professor of Law is a celebrated Character—his Name is <Pestle> Pestel—a German. He gives the private Lectures above-mentioned.
Since writing the above, I have recieved your other Letter of the 20th and the Inclosure.2 I have engaged the Master this Moment, at the rate of thirty Guilders per month—his Name is Wensing—he is an Usher of the high School here. Mr. Gunter who has resided here for seven Years, and is a Governor to a German Baron, has been very polite in this Business. The Master will attend the Children two Hours every day, and I am informed his Price is modest. He comes tomorrow to give Lessons, and I hope things will go on smoothly.
When I am more informed of the Constitution, Laws and Arrangements of this University, I shall be particularly happy in communicating them to You. As to my Situation, it is agreable as any European Spot of Earth can be. You have desired to know all my Wants and Wishes. I esteem it a fresh Instance of your Kindness to me, Sir: but few fall to my Share at present. Some You know, Sir, every one has, that there is an Impropriety in revealing.

[salute] I have the Honour to congratulate [you]3 on the day, and to be with perfect Respect, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient Servant,

[signed] J. Thaxter Junr.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “M. Thaxter Decr. 22. ansd. 24. 1780.” Enclosure: JQA to JA, 22 Dec., preceding.
1. Not found.
2. Neither letter nor enclosure has been found.
3. Word editorially supplied.
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.