16 March 1784747

    Braintree March 16 1784

    My dearly beloved Grandson,

    Your Uncle Phillips, was yesterday so good, as to wait on your dear Mamma, and made us happy in a friendly Visit, by whom, came safe to hand your welcome Letter, of the 10th ultimo, where in you have given me, not only a Testimony of your filial Affection, but a convincing Proof of your Proficiency in Learning. Be assured, your Pleasure in writing, could not exceed mine in reading, whilst I indulged the pleasing Hope, that by your Assiduity and Perseverance in the Paths of Science, you will one Day equal, at least, if not exceed your Predecessors in every respect; though some of them were remarkably distinguished for their superior Abilities. However, you will please to remember, and ought never to forget that, from early youth, through every Stage, and in every Department of Life, they owed their Emminence to their unwearied Dilligence and Application. But, besides Dilligence and Application to your Studies while young, it is indispensibly necessary to the forming a distinguished Character in public Life, that, Truth should be the invariable Object of your Pursuit, and your End the public Good. These are Maxims of Wisdom, which I have every Reason to think, your Great Grand father, as well as your dear deceased Father also, strictly adhered to; and by which the Former became emminent as a Judge and the Latter was highly esteemed in his Profession as a Lawyer; and had he lived, it is probable he would have been equally emminent as Statesman in public Life. For he was early taught, and strongly inculcated upon him, what I hope you will ever carefully remember; “if a Thing is not right, never to do it, and if it not Truth never to speak it, as also that,

    “True conscious Honor is to feel no Sin:

    He’s armed without That’s innocent within.”748

    These are Sentiments, which you may not be so able to comprehend at present, as when Experience and Observation have matured your Judgment; but, should they be preserved, ‘till that happy Period arrives, and are duely attended to, the inestimable Importance of them, I hope, will fully appear, and have its genuine Effect.

    It is more than probable, you will soon hear that, your aged parent is numbered among the dead749; but to the last Moment of my Life your temporal and eternal Happiness will be devoutly implored, and ardently wished for, by-

    Your affectionate


    Jos. Quincy

    P.S. Present my respectful Compliments to the reverend Mr. French and Lady.750