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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-25

25th.

Paris. At the Opera. Panurge dans l'lsle des Lanternes;1 a new Opera. 12th time. Words, which are very indifferent M: Morel: music, which is exquisite M: Gretri. I dont know how it happens, but the more this gentleman composes, the better his music is, I think. The dancing was also admirable, Gardel,2 and Vestris,3 perhaps the two best dancers in the world, performed together; and strove to surpass one another. Mesdemoiselles Saunier, Langlois and Zacharie, were much applauded. Such { 227 } magnificent Scenery, such rich dresses, such delicious music, vocal and instrumental, and such inimitable dancing, combined together, appear rather an effect of enchantment than of art: I never yet saw an Opera, with so much Pleasure. The words are very bad.
1. A comedy by Étienne Morel de Chédeville (sometimes Chefdeville), Paris, 1785, with music by André Grétry; it was performed at the Académie Royal de Musique (Brenner, Bibliographical List; Journal de Paris, 25 Feb.).
2. Probably Pierre Gabriel Gardel, “le jeune,” French dancer and choreographer and brother of Maximilien Joseph Léopold Gardel (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale; Journal de Paris, 1 March 1783).
3. Probably Marie Auguste Vestris, son of the Italian dancer Gaetano Apollino Baldassare Vestri, called Vestris (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale ).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-26

26th.

M: de St: Olympe: Mr. Franklin and Mr. Williams dined with us. The first is a west Indian; who is going in a short time to America: Mr. Franklin has been so long in France, that he is more a Frenchman than an American: I doubt whether he will enjoy himself perfectly if he returns to America.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-27

27th.

Mr. Pickman1 brought a Letter2 from Mr. Tracey. Cold weather.
1. Benjamin Pickman, son of the Salem merchant of the same name. The father disapproved of the course of pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts politics and left America for England in 1775. The son was making a tour of France and returned to Boston via London with his father in the spring. Later he studied law, spending some time in Theophilus Parsons' law office with JQA ; but like his father, he entered commerce (George Francis Dow, The Diary and letters of Benjamin Pickman . . . and Genealogy of the Pickman Family, Newport, R.I., 1928, p. 27–28, 146; Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates , 14:489–492; entry for 23 Feb. 1788, below).
2. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0004-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-02-28

28th.

Paris. Bought of Froullé bookseller quai des Augustins Crevier's Histoire des Empereurs Romains.1 Spent half an hour with Mr. Blakely: he goes for London next monday. Mr. Pickman was not at home, nor Mr. Waring, nor any body at Mr. Jefferson's; I waited there an hour for them to return; but in vain. I passed an hour with the abbés de Chalût and Arnoux: Abbé de Mably was with them. This gentleman is very famous in the litterary world: he has written a great deal; upon the subject of { 228 } morals and politics, and of late four letters containing Observations upon the Constitutions of America,2 which he addressed to my father.
1. This may be the twelve-volume, Paris, 1749–1755, edition of Jean Baptiste Louis Crevier's Histoire des empereurs romains, depuis Auguste jusqu'a Constantin at MQA, which bears JQA 's bookplate.
2. Observations sur le gouvernment et les loix des Etats-Unis d'Amérique, Amsterdam, 1784; transl. Remarks Concerning the Government and Laws of the United States of America: In Four Letters, Addressed to Mr. Adams, London, 1784. Copies of both are in JA 's library at MB.