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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-11

Aug. 11th. Monday.

This morning Mr. Hartley1 the British Minister for making Peace, came to pay a visit to my Father, but as he was out he desired to see me. I had some Conversation with him. He says he hopes the Peace will be soon signed. In the afternoon I went with my Father to Passy, and saw there Dr. Franklin and Mr. and Mrs. Jay. I also renewed my acquaintance with young Mr. Bache.
We went at the same time to see the Abbés Chalut and Arnauld2 two gentlemen of letters, with whom my Father has been familiarly acquainted ever since his first arrival in Europe. We found with them the Abbé de Mably,3 famous for being the author of a work entitled Le Droit public de l'Europe; and of another entitled principes des Negociations, and the Abbé le Monnier4who has given to the world an elegant French Translation of Terence's Comedies. As the general Turn of the Conversation was upon Politicks; there was nothing in it, necessary to be transcribed here.
1. David Hartley the younger (1732–1813), M.P. for Hull and opponent of the war with America, had been serving the Fox-North coalition since April as plenipotentiary to negotiate and sign the Definitive Treaty (DNB; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:303; 3:112–113).
2. The Abbés Chalut and Arnoux taught JA French and advised him on book purchases (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:317; 4:60).
3. Gabriel Bonnot, Abbé de Mably, French publicist, historian, and philosopher, with the Abbés Chalut and Arnoux, was a regular visitor to the Adamses. The two works to which JQA refers, Des principes des négociations, pour servir d'introduction au droit public de l'Europe, fondé sur les traités, The Hague, 1767, and Le droit public de l'Europe, fondé sur les traités conclus jusqu'en l'année 1740 . . ., Amsterdam, 1748, are among JA's books (Catalogue of JA's Library). For the significance of the JA-Mably friendship, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:315; 3:102, and the source cited there.
4. Guillaume Antoine Lemonnier's three-volume Comédies de Térence was published in Paris in 1770.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0005-0009-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1783-08-12

Aug. 12th. Tuesday.

This morning my Father went to Versailles. At half past 12. I met the Abbé Arnaud at the Thuileries, and we walk'd together to Passy. I dined at the Abbé Chalut's there, in Company with the Abbé de Mably and some other Gentlemen. The Abbé has travelled thro' Poland, and talk'd a good deal about that Country. For the Climate he says that for the first fortnight in November it commonly snows there continually, and from that time untill the latter end of February, a continuation of very severe, colds. { 183 } He has seen Reaumur's Thermometer at the degree of 28 below.0. This is quite different from the weather at Petersburg. There, it snows every day more or less from the middle of November to the middle of January, and then commonly they have 3. weeks or a month of extreme colds. I have seen Réaumur's thermometer in Petersburg at 31. degrees below.0. He also said something upon the Constitution of Poland, upon the Slavery of the people, the Tyranny of the Nobles, and the humiliations the Kings of Poland are obliged to undergo, and yet he said the Ambition of every one of the nobles was to be King. As they might expect it, because the Kingdom was Elective, and that they seldom choose, a King out of the Family of the preceding one, he said that in Poland the nobility had the vanity of desiring to be King, as the nobility in France, had the vanity of wishing to be a Duke. He says also that they could not Live in Poland without the Jews. T'was they who carried on all the commerce. The Nobility were too proud to engage in Commerce, the Slaves could not; every thing that was done there in that way, was done by the Jews, As there were very few other foreigners, who would chuse to settle in that Country. In the evening as my Father return'd from Versailles to Paris, he stopp'd at the Abbés, and took me in his Carriage. Mr. Hartley came and paid a visit to my Father; but it was intirely Political.
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, 2018.