The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations - Vol. 3

The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations - Vol. 3

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The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations - Vol. 3

The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations - Vol. 3

Read FREE!

Excerpt

ON PRIVATE REVENGE - Man is distinguished from other animals, his fellow inhabitants of this planet, by a capacity of acquiring knowledge and civility, more than by any excellency, corporeal, or mental, with which mere nature has furnished his species. His erect figure and sublime countenance would give him but little elevation above the bear or the tiger; nay, notwithstanding those advantages, he would hold an inferior rank in the scale of being, and would have a worse prospect of happiness than those creatures, were it not for the capacity of uniting with others, and availing himself of arts and inventions in social life. As he comes originally from the hands of his Creator, self-love or self-preservation is the only spring that moves within him; he might crop the leaves or berries with which his Creator had surrounded him, to satisfy his hunger; he might sip at the lake or rivulet to slake his thirst; he might screen himself behind a rock or mountain from the bleakest of the winds; or he might fly from the jaws of voracious . . .

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