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and by both them and himself this was deemed an event of some genuine importance in his career. On the 11th of July, 1806, he began hfs first course of lectures, and continued to hold the position until appointed Minister to Russia in the summer of 1809. In 1810 these lectures were published in two volumes, and may justly be classed among the most valuable contributions to the literature of that day. Although many recent, advanced works contain all the ideas of importance, connected with the theme, which are to be found in Mr. Adams's lectures, still no other old American work in this field rose to such dignity and respectability. Were it a search after scientific information, or patterns to adorn the finished oratory of today, these lectures might well be shunned, but these old works have in them other sources of interest. While they abound with the display of Latin and Greek learning, and research in a dead, if not also worthless past, which may have been, to some extent, excusable, in even wise men at that period, they also abound in beautiful sentiments and lofty precepts on many a topic in which the wise never lose interest. In this respect they are not works of the past, as may be seen in a few extracts placed among the sayings of Mr. Adams in the closing chapter of this volume.
RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES—JOHN QUINCY ADAMS ABROAD—DIPLOMATIC DISSIPATIONS.
AT the end of 1808 Mr. Adams made this record in his Diary :—
"The year which has now closed has been among the most eventful of my life. It has removed me altogether from public life, and placed me in public consideration far behind the station to which I had attained. I have the approbation only of my own conscience, and the conviction upon my own mind of having done my duty at every hazard. My private concerns have suffered in proportion to those of the public, and are already under no small embarrassment."
A man with political promises and expectations would hardly have written in such a tone, and yet to Mr. Adams's unfriendly critics, the event which now follows was positive proof of all the charges they had made against him. Late in the winter he went to Washington to conduct some business before the Supreme Court, and was present at Mr. Madison's inauguration. On the 6th of March, 1809, he visited the White House by invitation, and was notified by the new President of his desire to nominate him as Minister to Russia, a country with which diplomatic relations had not yet been established by this Government. After some consideration as to the character and probable duration of the mission, Mr. Adams determined to accept it, and his name was at once sent to the Senate. But this body, by a small majority, declined to establish the mission. The favorable course of the Emperor of Russia towards this country, and other circumstances arising, induced Mr. Madison to press his views as to the necessities of the establishment. On the 26th of June, he again put the matter before the Senate with Mr. Adams's name for confirmation, and on the next day the Senate reversed its former decision, at the same time confirming the appointment of Mr. Adams.
A storm of abuse now broke afresh upon him, and it was claimed that the acceptance of this office on the part of Mr. Adams furnished all the evidence required to show, beyond a doubt, that he had sold himself to the Republicans. This new and uncalled-for outbreak caused Mr. Adams to take up his pen in defense of the Administration, and his own course, and in a revengeful and severe attack upon the conduct of the Federalists. This he did in a number of published articles in the way of a review of the writings of Fisher Ames, meaning in the performance, to indicate, unmistakably, his utter abandonment of the Federal party.
On the 5th of August, 1809, Mr. Adams sailed from Boston to enter upon his mission at St. Petersburg. Accompanying him was a very pretentious retinue composed of his wife, her sister, Catharine Johnson, his youngest child, Charles Francis, his sister's son, William Steuben Smith, as his secretary, and two servants. Two young men, Alexander H. Everett and Francis C. Gray, also accompanied him, to be attached, without pay, to the legation. After a perilous and vexatious voyage he reached the Russian Capital on the 23d of October.
England and Denmark being at war at that time American commerce became common prey. At Christiansand Mr. Adams found thirty-eight vessels belonging to his countrymen which had been brought in by pirates, and notwithstanding his immediate efforts in their behalf nothing was accomplished towards their relief until he had sought the interference of the Czar. The British officer commanding in the Baltic arrested his own progress, and with much difficulty did he succeed in maintaining his right, as the representative of a neutral nation, to proceed on his mission. During the peaceful moments of his voyage Mr. Adams engaged in preparing himself for his diplomatic duties, and in reviewing his classical knowledge. He also devoted some time to letter-writing, and especially were two or three letters written by him to his children during this trip of unusual interest, indicating the character of the man, and his uncommon efforts to make his children exemplars of his most carefully devised and elevated principles.
See these extracts :—
"You should each of you consider yourself as placed here to act a part; that is, to have some single great end or object to accomplish, towards which all the views and all the labors of your existence should steadily be directed.
"The generality of mankind are under little embarrassment in fixing upon this purpose of existence. Since the sentence upon our first parent, that he should live by the sweat of his brow, toil has been the ordinary price of subsistence, and the labor of a man's life is appropriated by Providence to its own support. At the entrance upon the threshold of life your principal concern will be to procure to yourself the supply of your wants, and this may be sufficient for the exercise of all your faculties. . . .
"Take it, then, as a general principle to be observed as one of the directing impulses of life, that you must have some one great purpose of existence. And if you should ever be relieved from that which is imposed upon you, that of providing for yourself, let it be one of your most ardent solicitudes to select another which may best promote your own well-being and the happiness of your fellow-creatures. Obvious as this principle is when thus expressed in general terms, it is not without its difficulties when we attempt to carry it into practice. How to employ our faculties in such a manner as shall produce the greatest quantity of human happiness is a problem of no easy solution. Good intention is but one step towards its solution. The good which an individual can do to his fellow-citizens is seldom proportioned to his dispositions, and the inclination to do good itself, unless enlightened by a clear perception, guided by a discriminating judgment, and animated by energetic and active resolution, evaporates in the dreams of imagination, or proves a poison instead of a healing balm. . . The object of existence,
when selected by yourself, should be as much as possible within your own control; for if ^ou choose that which depends upon the will of others, you not only prepare for yourself probable disappointment, but you diminish your means of usefulness by rendering them precarious."
On the 5th of November, Mr. Adams was presented to the Emperor, Alexander the First, and from that time began a wonderful system of diplomatic visits and dinners, which were continued with little intermission during his residence in Russia, however little he desired to spend his life and time in that way. Nor was Mrs. Adams free from diplomatic exactions. In due time she was notified by the master of ceremonies as to the part she would be expected to take, and, although not in the employ or pay of her country, she proceeded to do as she was required.
After a month spent in this dissipation, Mr. Adams wrote in his Diary:—
'' We rise seldom earlier than nine in the morning, often not before ten. Breakfast. Visits to receive or visits to make until