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's account of Beaumarchais' outspoken attack is essentially correct. On reading Le mariage de Figaro,
Louis XVI determined never to allow it to be played, but was forced by court pressure
and by the persuasion of his wife, Marie Antoinette, to allow a private performance
in Sept. 1783. This was followed a year later with a public production, which proved
an instant success, especially effective in its assault upon the ancien régime and
the censorship of the press. Beaumarchais' replies to his critics at this time offended
a prince of the blood, who asked Louis to arrest him. Finally, after public outrage,
the French playwright was released from St. Lazare on 15 March (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel
; entry for 15 March
, below). On 16 April JQA
bought a copy of Beaumarchais' play (n.p., 1785), which is now in the JQA
pamphlet collection at MBAt
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.