Late 1772192

    Thursday, 2 o’clock

    Honored Sir,

    I thank you very sincerely for your solicitude and good wishes; being convinced of their sincerity. The expression of them gives me a proportionate satisfaction. My fever the last two days and nights seems almost wholly to have left me. My slumbers are sound and undisturbed, and the light of the morning finds me refreshed. The Dr. (Warren) thinks (at least very solemnly says) that my symptoms are very favorable, and my prospect of health (humanly speaking) certain. Be this as it may, my appetite and my relish for food extends beyond the limits of my prescription.

    Thus much to gratify you Sir with particulars, and to do it has been as much my pleasure as my duty—A little now to gratify myself.

    The decease of giving advice is one of the most difficult of any. Yet both the male and female would think themselves adept in it. But of the few who are any way skilled in this nice art, how few know their mode of application and the time to administer.—But of the empyrics in this mystery with which the world swarms, how few are truly solicitous about the real welfare of the pretended object. How many are actuated by the felicity they feel, from gratifying the pride of their own hearts? This may not be any justification of an obstinate mule, but they may serve as some palliation for the conduct of those who feel, and those who can see. There are those who have the gift of prophecy, and many who have the gift of tongues, but also how few have the gift of persuasion.

    Don’t be concerned that I worry myself with this letter. Tis’ rather sport than labour.—And it gives me some pleasure to see you puzzled to find out its meaning.

    For how to apply

    (says Hudibras) Has vexed me more

    Than all the fellow said before193

    Give my hearty and sincere love to my mother, and tell her, I will be very compliant with her advice if she will give it to me as in times past for I do not recollect she ever pleaded with me in vain.—Give my warm affections to sister Lincoln, and tell her that our friend Governor Hutchinson is always telling us “we shall never all think alike in this world”.—With my best wishes for the family, and a grateful remembrance of your attachment, and goodness to me.

    I am your very affectionate son

    J. Quincy jun.