John Quincy Adams to John Adams
Leyden May 13th 1781
As you may possibly not come here before the 18th I write to know, if I must leave these lodgings at that time, as the month will then be up, and if I stay any longer I must begin another month.
I have finish’d Phaedrus’s fables and the lives of Miltiades, Themistocles, Aristides, Pausanias, Cimon, and Lysander; and Am going next upon Alcibiades in Cornelius Nepos, I shall begin upon Alcibiades next.1 I transcribe and learn also a Greek verb through the Active, Passive and Medium Voices every day.
We have no news here, though as you know Sir, this is a barren place for that. Please to write me them if you have any. I saw Mr. Luzac last evening he desires his respects to you.
I am your dutiful Son,
John Quincy Adams
P.S. I hope brother Charles has got entirely well. Dr. Waterhouse says he gets flesh. I should be very glad if he would write to me.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A Monsieur Monsieur Adams. Sur Le Keizers Gragt prés du Spiegel Straat à Amsterdam”; endorsed: “J. Q. Adams. May. 13. ans. 14. 1781.”
1. Cornelius Nepos was a Roman biographical writer in the first century B.C. JQA was doubtless reading some school text of Nepos’ De viribus illustribus, of which he acquired his own copy of a Latin and French edition, Paris, 1771, in St. Petersburg later this year (Catalogue of JQA’s Books description begins Worthington C. Ford, ed., A Catalogue of the Books of John Quincy Adams Deposited in the Boston Athenaeum. With Notes on Books, Adams Seals and Book-Plates, by Henry Adams, Boston, 1938. description ends , p. 114).