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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0005-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-05-13

13th.

I took a walk with Pickman up to Sawyer's tavern, and drank tea there. The evenings are now so short that it was nine o'clock before we got back. Our Future prospects in life were the Subject of our conversation. The appearance before him is very fair: his father is a man of large fortune, which although divided among several children, gives each of them a sum sufficient for starting forward: He will now in a few months be ready to enter upon the profession: he is paying his addresses to a young Lady whose fortune will probably be amply sufficient; and from appearances I should judge he will be married ere long. Yet even he is anxious for his future welfare; and how much greater reason { 403 } have I to look forward with terror. I have two long years yet before me, which must be wholly employ'd in Study, to qualify myself for any thing. I have no fortune to expect from any part, and the profession is so much crowded, that I have no prospect of supporting myself by it for several years after I begin. These are great causes of discouragement; but my only hope and comfort is, that diligence, industry, and health may overcome them all.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0005-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-05-14

14th.

I walk'd with Thompson up to Mrs. Atkins's. The old Lady is gone to Boston to spend a fortnight. Mr. and Mrs. Searle were there; and Mr. Atkins came home soon after. Atkins is a man of abilities; but of strong passions; and as he was cramped in his youth, by his penurious circumstances, his disposition was soured, and he is now excessively irritable, and his natural frankness has degenerated to the unfeeling bluntness of a cynic. He has now the expectancy of a considerable fortune, at the decease of an aged relation; and it is to be hoped that when that circumstance takes place, it may soften his temper and reconcile him more to his fellow mortals.
I still continue quite unwell; it has had one good effect at least; that of making me rise early for several days past.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0005-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-05-15

15th.

Club met this evening at Pickman's. All there but Little, who is going through the small pox. Mr. Farnham was there; the evening was agreeable. Pickman left us at half after eight, to call on a Lady, who came this afternoon from Salem. After nine we took a walk of a mile or two before we retired; just as I got home I met a number of people; who had just come from the town-house, where it seems they were entertained with a concert this evening.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0005-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-05-16

16th.

Took a walk after leaving the office, with Thompson and Putnam. We were for calling in at Mr. Frazier's, to see the young girls, but upon the presumption they were not there, I would not stop; accordingly we proceeded. Thompson left us: Putnam, was very impatient, but just as we had turn'd the corner into high { 404 } street, both Miss Frazier's, and Putnam's own Harriet appeared. He was as happy as present enjoyment can render any one. We walk'd with the girls, and after conducting them home, took our leave. Putnam afterwards called to see me. He had no idea of meeting the girls, nor did he even suspect, that Harriet could be with them. The most exceptionable part of this young fellow's character, is a spirit of deception, a disposition to be cunning, even in the most trifling occurrences of life: in which a complicated policy, would require an appearance of the greatest candour and frankness. He is deeply smitten with his Harriet; every look, and every action afford demonstration strong of this. Yet he pretends to deny it. He is sure to meet her every evening; and yet he boldly declares that it never happens but by accident. Upon this subject it is true his friends have no right to catechise him; but he himself leads the way by making declarations, which any person of common sense, and any ways conversant with him, must know to be totally repugnant with the truth. We laugh at him for this conduct, but he does not appear sensible, how much it lessens our esteem for him. And he still attempts to carry on a deception, which we have told him was long since detected.
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/