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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0005-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-05-21


I walk'd with Pickman in the evening to Sawyer's; where we drank tea; and made it almost ten o'clock before we got home. I then went up with my flute to Stacey's lodgings, our general head quarters. About a quarter before twelve, Stacey, Thompson, Putnam, with a couple of young lads by the name of Greenough and myself sallied forth, upon a scheme of serenading. We paraded round the Town, till almost four in the morning; the weather which was not very agreeable, when we first set out: and was growing worse continually: at length it began to rain smartly; upon which we all separated; and respectively retired.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0005-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-05-22


I was up before eight, and had not slept well, even the short Time I was in bed; I felt stiff and unfit for almost every thing. I read but little at the Office; and omitted one thing, which for three weeks past has claimed my attention, very constantly: The Club, were at my lodgings this evening; Stacey however went away somewhat early; to meet some of his friends from Andover, and we were all too much fatigued, by the last night's jaunt, to be very sociable, or gay. At nine we separated as usual.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0005-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-05-23


Continual North east winds have prevailed for a week past. This evening, I past, with Thompson at Captain Coombs's. We found Mr. Porter and Mr. Kellogg, two young Parsons there. The evening was tolerable; and something more. Fanny Jenkins was as easy, as good natured, as talkative as usual. Jenny Coombs is sensible and clever. Her Sister Polly it is feared, is in a consumption: a disorder by which Captain Coombs has already lost two of his children...1 Poor, miserable beings we are! Dependant for our happiness, not only upon our own conduct, but equally upon the caprices of fortune, and the casual occurrences of a day. What must be the feelings of a Parent, who after rearing a numerous family of promising children, just as they are entering upon the Stage of Life; and when he begins to reap the rewards for his pains in educating them, by being witness to their usefulness in the world; when he fondly hopes to leave them in the enjoyment of prosperous circumstances; to see them drooping, and { 407 } dying under the operation of a long, lingering disease, in which the terrors of death are increased, by its slow and gradual approaches. Yet, this is the situation of many Parents. And if the causes of misery are thus distributed, as well to the virtuous and the good, as to the abandoned and unprincipled, what is the lot we have to expect in the world? I look forward with terror; and by so much the more, as the total exemption from any great evils hitherto, leads me to fear, that the greatest are laid up in store for me.
1. JQA's ellipses.
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.