Adams Papers
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John Quincy Adams to John Adams, 13 May 1781

John Quincy Adams to John Adams

Leyden May 13th 1781

Honour’d Sir

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.”

1Cornelius 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).

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