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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0008-0003-0027

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1778-04-27

Monday. 27.

Dined with Mr. Boulainvilliers, at his House in Passi, with Generals and Bishops and Ladies &c—In the Evening went to the French Comedy, and happened to be placed in the first Box, very near to the celebrated Voltaire who attended the Performance of his own Alzire. Between the Acts the Audience called out Voltaire and clapped and applauded him, the whole Time. The old Poet arose and bowed respectfully to the Audience. He has yet much Fire in his Eyes and Vigour in his Countenance, altho very old. After the Tragedy, the[y] Acted the Tuteur, a Comedy or a Farce of one Act. This Theatre does not exceed that at Bourdeaux.
I will attempt to keep my Journal in French, in order to familiarise myself to that Language.1
1. In his Autobiography under this date JA says that he attended the theater primarily in order to improve his French. Another measure to the same end was, as he says here, to keep his journal in French, but “I found it took up too much of my time.” The French entries that follow have been kept as literal as possible. They were omitted in CFA 's text of the Diary because “not sufficiently good to merit publication” ( Works , 3: 145, note). When JA set out seriously to learn French, he called on the services of the two inseparable French clerics Arnoux and Chalut; see entry of 4 July, below.