I am forty-five years old. Two-thirds of a long life are past, and I have done nothing to distinguish it by usefulness to my country or mankind. I have always lived with, I hope, a suitable sense of my dutes in society, and with a sincere desire to perform them. But passions, indolence, weakness, and infirmity have sometimes made mwe swerve from my better knowledge of right and lmost constantly paralyzed my efforts of good. I have no heavy charge upon my conscience, for which I bless my Maker, as well as for all the enjoyments that He has libersally bestowed upon me. I pray for his gracious kindness in the future. But it is time to cease forming fruitless resolutions.
John Quincy Adams, July 11, 1812 (while United States Ambassador to Russia)