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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0013-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-12-25


Christmas day. Parson Bass, preached a sermon, but I did not go to hear him. I dined with Townsend, and pass'd the afternoon there. At about dusk, I took a long walk with him, and then returned to my own lodgings. The Dr. this day took a ride out of Town. In the evening I fell to speculating upon political subjects. I regret exceedingly that I have so little time, at my own disposal. A thousand subjects call my attention, and excite my curiosity: most of them I am obliged to pass from without noticing them at all; and the few to which I can afford any leisure, only lead me to regret, that I cannot go deeper. The tedious study of a profession, which requires indefatigable industry, and incessant application, is alone sufficient employment. But the arts { 334 } and sciences in general, and in particular the liberal arts must not be neglected.
I suspect I shall soon drop this journal.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0013-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-12-26


Office as usual. Dr. Kilham, returned to Town this evening. I passed an hour or two with Mr. Tufts.
The most amiable of the roman Emperors, at the close of a day, which had presented no object upon which he might exert his benevolence, exclaimed “I have lost a day.” To a man placed in a situation which enabled him so eminently to be useful to his fellow creatures, it must really be a misfortune, that one day should pass over without offering him an opportunity, to display his virtues: but as this was his peculiar duty in his sphere of life; so has every individual, (however humble the tenor of his way may be,) his own; and every day to him is lost which does not render him more capable of fulfilling the duties for which he was created. Such however have been many, many of my days, and even this among the rest was so barren, both of occurrences, and of observations, that unless I had recollected that circumstance I should have had nothing to say.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0013-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-12-27


St John's Day. An entertainment for the Society of free-Masons.
In consequence of Stacey's exertions, we had this evening a good dance. There were only thirteen gentlemen and fifteen ladies. The diversion was general, and the company spirited: upon such occasions there is almost always somebody who makes peculiar amusement for the rest of the Company. A Captain Casey, was this evening as singular as any of the gentlemen. As a Mason, he had the generosity of his heart, at dinner, rather than the reflections of prudence, and as this like most virtues increases by being put in action, he had not laid any illiberal restraints upon himself in the evening; it increased exceedingly his activity, and after all the Company had done dancing, he retained vigour to walk a minuet, and to skip in reels. In all this there was nothing but was perfectly innocent; yet so fond are the sons of men, to remark their respective foibles, that the Captain, was not totally exempted from the smiles of the company. This { 335 } was the most particular circumstance that took place. In general, I was much pleased. It was between four and five in the morning before we broke up. Putnam came and sat an hour with me and Little, in garrulous conversation. A Little after the Clock struck five, Putnam went home; and I much fatigued retired to bed.
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.