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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0007-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-28

28th.

Writing all the forenoon. In the afternoon I went out, with my brother Tom, upon a shooting party: indifferent sport. Somewhat fatigued in the evening. I sit down every day to write journal, but here events in general are so trifling, that a relation of them is not worth committing to paper: and as to sentiment, there is nothing here to raise it in the mind; if I had a brain as fertile as that of some of my friends I could write without a subject, and fill up page after page, upon nothing: but gifts of this kind are very partially distributed; and I was never yet able to write without knowing upon what. I frequently think hour after hour, and with a great deal of pains endeavour to call up some wise reflection or observation, but so sure as I attempt this I always find, that some wild association of ideas, will carry me off in a tangent, and after half an hour's reverie, I awake, and am almost ready to ask myself where I am. At present I am a mere { 269 } cypher in creation; without any employment and without any character: when I get to Newbury I expect the study of the Law, will furnish me with something to say.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0007-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-29

29th.

Attended parson Wibird the whole day. He recommended very highly humility, or spiritual poverty; his sermons were I thought, better than usual. Miss Sarah Taylor, a young lady between 60 and 70 years old dined here this day. I have seen, when I was a child in books of fairy tales, figures very much like this lady, astride upon a broomstick riding Jehu-like through the air. This is a sufficient description of her person, and as to her mind, it will be enough to say that she has been a genuine old maid, these forty years.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0007-0030

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-30

30th.

Writing all day. Dr. Tufts was over here in the afternoon. Weather very cold; a fire in dog-days seems quite unnatural; but is very comfortable at present.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0008-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-07-31

31st.

A cold north-east storm.
Reading and writing all day. Wrote a letter to my mother, and one to my Sister.1 Read some pages in Bolingbroke's philosophical works: the stile and matter both inferior to his political writings.
1. JQA to AA, 1 Aug. (Adams Papers); his letter to AA2 has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0008-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-08-01

Wednesday August 1st. 1787.

Tom set out this morning for Haverhill. I expected to be there before now; but one thing and another has prevented me from going, and I suppose I shall be kept here as much as a week longer. I wrote a short essay this forenoon,1 but was not pleased with it, when I had done. Ben. Beale, was here in the afternoon, and drank tea with us; I proposed to him to go with me to Haverhill next week, but he said he could not make any positive promise.
{ 270 }
We pass'd the evening as usual in playing on the flute and singing.
1. Not found.
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/