Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 1

Sunday September the 3d 1780.

Tuesday September the 5th 1780.

66 Monday September 4th 1780. JQA


Monday September 4th 1780. Adams, John Quincy
Monday September 4th 1780.

This morning got up at about 7 o clock dressed and breakfasted. After breakfast Pappa wrote a line to the rector1 desireing him to let MY brother Charles and I come to his lodgings every wednesday and Saturday.

Reading a volume of the Spectator I found something in it which is worth copying and therefore I will do it.2

There is another which I will take down also.3


Not found.


Here follows a quotation of twelve four-line stanzas of a poem in The Spectator, otherwise unidentified by JQA, beginning “When all thy Mercies o my God.” No edition of The Spectator exists in either JA's or JQA's library, though a later citation by JQA to a piece he copied from it indicates that he was using the less common nine-volume edition. Notes regarding JQA's copied passages from The Spectator are based on the five-volume Oxford edition of 1965, edited by Donald F. Bond.

The poem, published in The Spectator No. 453, 9 Aug. 1712 (ed. Bond, 4:96–98), contains thirteen stanzas, the sixth of which was left out by JQA, probably inadvertently, and the rest were numbered out of order by him in the Diary. Like nearly all of his transcriptions, this one has many discrepancies in capitalization and punctuation; in other respects it is faithful. There seems to be no pattern to JQA's choices of poems to copy.


Joseph Addison's “translation” of the Twenty-third Psalm, which appeared in The Spectator No. 441, 26 July 1712 (ed. Bond, 4:51).