Diary of John Adams, volume 1

Feb. 1.

Worcester Feb. 11. 1759.

Feb. 2. 1759. JA


Feb. 2. 1759. Adams, John
Feb. 2. 1759.

At Westtown, in Dr. Webbs Chamber at Hammonds. His landlady is an odd Woman. She seems good Natured, and obliging too, but she has so many shruggs, grimaces, affectations of Witt, Cunning, and Humour, as make her ridiculous. She is awkward, shamefaced, bashful, yet would fain seem sprightly, witty, &c. She is a Squaddy,1 masculine, Creature, with a swarthy pale face, a great staring, rolling Eye, a rare Collection of disagreable Qualities.


I have read several Letters, this afternoon and Evening, in the Turkish Spy.2


Squaddy: “Short and thick-set; squat, squab” ( OED ).


Letters Writ by a Turkish Spy ... at Paris , prototype of numerous “secret histories,” was first published in Paris, 1684, was later greatly amplified, and became a popular work in both French and English. On its multiple and probably international authorship see Joseph E. Tucker, “On the Authorship of The Turkish Spy ...,” Bibliog. Soc. of Amer., Papers, 52 (1958):34–47, and references there.