Early Diary of John Adams, volume 1

[On Some Friends Who Nourish Wounds in Their Hearts, October–December 1758.] <a xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0" href="#EJA01d045n1" class="note" id="EJA01d045n1a">1</a> JA [On Some Friends Who Nourish Wounds in Their Hearts, October–December 1758.] Adams, John
On Some Friends Who Nourish Wounds in Their Hearts, October–December 1758. 1

Vulnus alit Venis, et caeco carpitur igni.2

Alo, alere, alui, alitum, to nourish. Vulnus, a Wound or Hurt.

Carpo, carpere, carpsi, carptum, to waste away. Carpor to be troubled. Carpitur, is consumed, wasted.

He nourishes a Wound in his Veins, and is consumed with a blind hidden fire.—Warner, Fessenden, Clark, Cranch, Quincy.3 All of them cherished by their incessant Thinking, the Wound in their Hearts, and all consume, with a hidden internal flame.


Nothing in this detached entry furnishes a clue to its date, but since it was inserted upside down in the blank space below the draft letter to Quincy, we may suppose that it was written after that draft was composed.


Virgil, Aeneid, bk. IV, line 2. Said of Dido’s secret passion for Aeneas.


Of the five persons listed, all of whom must have been Harvard, Worcester, or Braintree friends of JA’s, two bear names (Warner, Clark) too common to permit identification since they do not occur elsewhere in JA’s early records. Fessenden is probably the “Benjamin Fessenden” with whom JA discussed Col. Josiah Quincy’s character in April 1759 (JA, Diary and Autobiography , 1:81–82). Cranch is of course Richard Cranch, JA’s most intimate friend, who had long nourished a “Wound” in his heart, inflicted by69 Hannah Quincy. Writing from Worcester, 18 Oct. 1756, JA told Cranch that it would be a great triumph if he could “conquer a Passion for a Lady so greatly accomplished as Mrs. i.e. Mistress, Miss H—— Q. . . . [T]he more engaging the charms of her person and the more distinguished the Refinements of her Mind, the more noble your Resolution will appear” (Tr, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 114). That Cranch was still in Hannah’s toils in 1758 seems evident from JA’s letter to him about “Orlinda” in the following entry in the Diary Fragment. As for the last name in JA’s list, it is no doubt that of Samuel Quincy, who was at this time courting Hannah Hill of Boston, whom he later married; see Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 13:479–480.