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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0006-0002-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1784-09-11

Saturday[11th].

[Had] Company to dine with us.1
{ 212 }
1. Following this last entry in D/JQA/9 are the following notations:
Wednesday Octr. 13th. first made a fire in my Chamber.
Filled my J. S. Decr. 4th. took 3. p:
March 20. 1785. no fire.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0001-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1785-01-01 - 1786-06-30

[Titlepage]

Ephemeris
Volume. I.1
From January 1st. 1785. to June 30th. 1786

La Mol[l]esse est douce, et sa suite est cruelle.2

[signed] Voltaire.
1785.
1. Titlepage for D/JQA/10, covering the inclusive dates mentioned, with only occasional gaps. The top line on this and the following page are written in an earlier hand, presumably the date on which he purchased the blank book. The same inscription appears on the top of the titlepages of D/JQA/11 and 12, which are identical 380-page leather-bound books all measuring 4¼” × 6¾”.
2. Indolence is sweet and its consequence is bitter (Voltaire, Zäire, Act I, scene ii, [line 13], in Oeuvres complètes de Voltaire, 72 vols., Kehl, Germany, 1784–1801, 2:43).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1785-01-01 - 1786-06-30

[Dedication]

Vitanda est improba Syren, Desidia.1

1. Horace, Opera, London, 1744, p. 149 (inscribed “J.Q. Adams, Paris, March 15, 1785,” in MQA), Bk. II, Satire III, lines 14–15: “You must shun the wicked Siren Sloth [the quotation continues] or be content to drop whatever honour you have gained in nobler hours” (Horace, Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica, transl. Fairclough, p. 153). These two lines appear on the second leaf, between the titlepage and first page of Diary entries.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-01

January 1st. 1785. Saturday.

Compliments to the Royal family at Versailles. My father carried twenty Guineas to distribute among the servants of the great folks, a tribute every minister is obliged to pay annually.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0003-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-01-04

4th.1

Paris. Varietés; at the palais Royal. Small Théatre, built in three weeks time. Le nouveau parvenu. Le palais du bon gout. L'lntendant Comédien malgré lui. Le mensonge excusable.2 Volange,3 an excellent actor for the lowest kind of Comic-plays seven or eight parts in one piece with a wonderful facility. One or two other actors, good in their way. Yet I wonder how people of any delicacy, and especially Ladies can frequent this and the other small { 213 } { 214 } Théatres in Paris. The plays acted have seldom much wit, and almost universally are very indecent. I know not what this People would not run to; their taste seems to be entirely corrupted. The french Théatre is deserted, when those pieces, which do honour to the nation are represented, and these theatres are always crowded, though they present nothing but low buffoonery, and scrurrility. O tempora, O mores! Letters from America4 when we return'd. None for me.
1. JQA most likely intended to continue his Diary on 2 Jan., but “4th.” has been written over in its place. The fourth is probably the correct date (and hence, the entry following this is incorrect), as AA in letters she wrote between 3 and 7 Jan. makes several references to letters received on 4 Jan. (See letters by her cited in note 5 4 , below.) On the other hand, AA2 has placed these events in her diary on 3 Jan. ( Jour. and Corr. , 1:39–40).
2. Le nouveau parvenue, Paris, 1782, Le palais du bon goût, n.p., n.d., but first produced in 1785, and Le mensonge excusable, Paris, 1783, all by Charles Jacob Guillemain; La fête de campagne, ou, l'intendant comédien malgré lui (title and subtitle are sometimes reversed), Paris, 1784, by Louis Dorvigny (Brenner, Bibliographical List ).
3. Maurice François Rochet, called Volange (Lyonnet, Dict. des comédiens français ).
4. These included at least four letters, all dated 6 Nov. 1784: Elizabeth Cranch to AA , Adams Papers (reply, 3[–4] Jan., in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848, p. 222–226); Royall Tyler to JA , and to AA2 (letters not found, but referred to in AA to Tyler, [4 Jan.] , Adams Papers); and Mary Smith Cranch to AA , Adams Papers (reply, 7 Jan., MWA).