Fortify Your Mind

“You are about to enter on the career which is closing upon me, and I feel much more solicitude for you than for myself. You have so reluctantly consented to engage in public life, that I fear you will feel too much annoyed by its troubles and perplexities. You must make up your account to meet and encounter opposition and defeats and slanders and treacheries, and above all fickleness of popular favor, of which an ever memorable example is passing before our eyes. Let me entreat you, whatever may happen to you of that kind, never to be discouraged nor soured. Your father and grandfather have fought their way through the world against hosts of adversaries, open and close, disguised and masked; with many lukewarm and more than one or two perfidious friends. The world is and will continue to be prolific of such characters. Live in peace with them; never upbraid, never trust them. But — ‘don’t give up the ship!’ Fortify your mind against disappointments — aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem, — keep up your courage, and go ahead!” (John Quincy Adams to Charles Francis Adams, 28 Nov. 1840)