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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-01

Sunday July 1st. 1787.

Attended Mr. Wibird all day: in the afternoon, four children were baptised. We remain'd after meeting to hear the singing. { 248 } Read some of Bolingbroke's metaphysical speculation in the evening. Dull times.

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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-02

2d.

Miss Betsey and her brother pass'd the afternoon at Mrs. Quincy's. I was quite indolent and idle almost all day.
I was walking alone in the church-yard, rambling through the grass which waves unmolested over the alternate hillock, and reading or endeavouring to read the inscriptions, which love and friendship have written on the simple monuments, which the indefatigable hand of Time, had nearly worn out, and as if envious even of their humble pretence to fame, had scatter'd over with moss. I was startled by a rustling noise, look'd round and saw a large snake, winding himself along between the bending blades. I pursued him, but he soon found his hole, into which he slip'd and escaped my pursuit. Was it the genius of the place? Or was it the guardian spirit of any one whose bones are here deposited? Yet methinks, if it were a gentle spirit, some more amiable shape than that of a serpent might have been assumed; some shape, which might engage the affections, and call forth the soft and pleasing passions.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0007-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-03

3d.

At about 8 this morning I went set off with my Cousin, for Cambridge, where we arrived, just after 10. At 11 the exhibition began, with the Latin Oration by Prescott. It was upon the military art, and the composition appeared to be very good, but it was not very well deliver'd: this person indeed was never form'd for an Orator. This part was followed by a forensic disputation, upon the question, whether the conduct of mankind in general is much influenced by a prospect of future reputation? between Grosvenor and Baxter. The former appeared to much better advantage than his opponent. Both introduced perhaps more scripture than was necessary. The syllogistic dispute came on next by Weld respondent. Bradbury, Churchill and Payne opponents. The question was, whether the approbation of conscience makes any action virtuous. This was followed by the dialogue between Haven and Thayer both of which spoke very well. Cutts delivered the greek Oration and Kirkland the Hebrew, and both were approved; the literary performances closed with the English Oration, by Gordon, the subject was patriotism. It was well { 249 } written, and well spoken; though he took rather too high a pitch of voice, and imitated Mr. Otis rather too much. An anthem was sung, and several pieces of music perform'd extremely well.
I dined with Mr. Andrews in company with a number of other gentlemen; among the rest several of his class mates. Cranch went over to Mystic, and pass'd the evening there, but as I had some business to transact I remain'd at Cambridge.
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.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/