Abigail Adams, Letter to John Quincy Adams, June 10 1778:
You have enterd early in life upon the great Theater of the world which is full of temptations and vice of every kind. You are not wholy unacquainted with History, in which you have read of crimes which your unexperienced mind could scarcly believe credible. You have been taught to think of them with Horrour and to view vice as
a Monster of so frightfull Mein
That to be hated, needs but to be seen.
Yet you must keep a strict guard upon yourself, or the odious monster will soon loose its terror, by becomeing familiar to you. The Modern History of our own times furnishes as Black a list of crimes as can be paralleld in ancient time, even if we go back to Nero, Caligula or Ceasar Borgia. Young as you are, the cruel war into which we have been compelld by the Haughty Tyrant of Britain and the Bloody Emissarys of his vengance may stamp upon your mind this certain Truth, that the welfare and prosperity of all countries, communities and I may add individuals depend upon their Morals. That Nation to which we were once united as it has departed from justice, eluded and subverted the wise Laws which formerly governd it, sufferd the worst of crimes to go unpunished, has lost its valour, wisdom and Humanity, and from being the dread and terror of Europe, has sunk into derision and infamy.