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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-02


Young Mr. Symmes lodged here last Night. This morning before breakfast My Brother Charles left us, for Cambridge, as the fall vacancy ends to day. He went with Leonard White, and Walker, and several other Gentlemen and Ladies who were going to Boston. I have lost in Leonard and Charles two good friends who in my leisure hours were great sources of pleasure { 351 } to me; but the separation from them is necessary, and from that I must derive my Consolation. Finished the first chapter of John. I hope I shall not continue to proceed as slowly as I have done; and I believe it is in Learning Languages, as the french proverb says, il n'y a que le premier pas qui coûte. Cloudy, chilly weather all day; in the Evening it rain'd considerably. Very stormy in the Night.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-03


Mr. Shaw went to the lecture of a neighbouring brother, and dined out; I was pretty close, all day, and did not go out of the house. Events cannot be interesting, when one is in this Situation, and few Reflections can be made, by one entirely employ'd in acquiring those of others.
I feel a degree of Melancholy which may be owing to my having been so much confined these three or four days, but I rather imagine proceeds from another Cause. When our Reason is at variance with our heart, the mind cannot be in a pleasing State: I have heretofore more than once, been obliged to exert all my Resolution, to keep myself free from a Passion, which I could not indulge, and which would have made me miserable had I not overcome it. I have escaped till now more perhaps owing to my good Fortune, than to my own firmness, and now again, I am put to a trial. I have still more Reason, than I ever had, to repress my feelings; but I am also perswaded, that I never was in greater danger; one Circumstance there is, which gives me hopes; and if it takes place, will put an end to my danger and my fears.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0013-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-11-04


Reading over the Salem paper to day, I found an account of the death, and funeral of Mr. Hardy, a delegate in Congress from the State of Virginia, a gentleman, from whom I received the politest treatment while I was in New York, but what is of Consequence, a firm and steady friend to his Country, a mild Republican, and a worthy man. In the evening Mr. Thaxter return'd from Salem, where he heard of the decease of my aunt Tufts, whose excellent Qualities endeared her, to her relations and to all her acquaintance: The continual occasion which every person has to reflect upon the slender thread of life, has drawn from great and ingenious minds every observation, that can be made respecting mor• { 352 } tality: happy is it in this aweful seperation from those that are near to us, when we have only to grieve for our own sakes. What a source of Consolation in these Circumstances, is the perswasion, that our friends, have gained in the Change, an advantage incomparably greater than our loss. Ah! what can the reflections of an Atheist be, at the death of a dear friend; (if a mind of that cast is capable of friendship) what Idea, can support him: the mind which contributed once so greatly to his happiness; he supposes to be annihilated with the body, it animated, and he can derive no soothing thoughts from resignation to a Providence the existence of which he denies. Just Heaven! whatever misfortunes it may be my lot to be afflicted with hereafter, grant, that the frenzy of infidelity, may never be of the number! Mrs. Tufts died on Sunday the 30th. of last month. A few days before, when not only she herself, but all those around her were in hourly expectition of her dissolution, her only Son1 to whom she has always been the tenderest, the most affectionate of mothers set off on a journey: and has nature given to any human hearts, the coldness, and the hardness of marble, who, that is blest with the smallest degree of Sensibility, would not shudder at the idea, of abandoning a dying parent, was it for the dominion of the world? Heaven, be praised! I know only this Character in this family, that is deprived, of every amiable virtue of the heart.
Mr. Hardy died October 17th. and in him these States have lost, a patriot, from whose virtues, they would I doubt not, have derived great advantages, had the all wise ruler of Events, thought proper to continue him longer in the world. The respect shown him, after his death by the august body, of which he was a member, proves how much he was esteemed and beloved by them.
1. Cotton Tufts Jr. (1757–1833), AA's cousin and longtime postmaster of Weymouth, whom JQA later described as “a man who has lived nearly to the age of four score; having had a liberal education, but never emerged from obscurity and retirement” (JQA, Diary, 6 May 1833).
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.