John Quincy Adams to John Adams
Braintree June the 2d 1777
I Love to recieve Letters very well much better than I love to write them, I make but a poor figure at Composition my head is much too fickle, my Thoughts are running after birds eggs play and trifles, till I get vexd with my Self, Mamma has a troublesome task to keep me Steady, and I own I am ashamed of myself. I Have but Just entered the 3d volume of Smollet1 tho I had designed to have got it Half through by this time. I have determined this week to be more diligent as Mr. Thaxter will be absent at Court, and I cannot persue my other Studies I have Set myself a Stent, and determine to read the 3d volume Half out, If I can but keep my resolution I will write again at the end of the week, and give a better account of myself. I wish sir you would give me Some instructions with regard to my time and advise me how to proportion my Studies and my Play, in writing and I will keep them by me and endeavour to follow them I am dear Sir with a present determination of growing better yours,
John Quincy Adams
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To The Honble. John Adams esq Philadelphia”; endorsed: “Mr. J. Q. Adams.” The writer’s punctuation has been left unaltered.
1. JA’s copy of Tobias Smollett’s A Complete History of England . . ., 16 vols., London, 1758–1765, is in the Boston Public Library and is described in Catalogue of JA’s Library description begins Catalogue of the John Adams Library in the Public Library of the City of Boston, Boston, 1917. description ends . See, further, JQA’s letter to his father of 8 June, below, and the Descriptive List of Illustrations in the present volume.