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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.
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.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/