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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


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

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-14

14th.

Walk'd into Paris in the morning. Hôtel de York Rue Jacob. Mr. Pickman set away for England by the Diligence, at noon. Found Mr. Boling at the Hotel de York. He arrived in Paris only three or four days ago. Mr. West of Philadelphia, arrived from London, at the Hôtel; before Mr. Pickman went away: he said he had a letter from Mr. Jackson, for my father.1 I went with Mr. Boling, to the hotel de Bretagne, and saw Mr. Waring, who thinks of { 235 } going to England, in the Course of next week. Returned to Auteuil on foot. The walk was too long. The distance from the village to the place de Louis 15. is more than 3 miles and I did not walk less than 2. about the City. A Large Company to dine with us. Mr. Brantsen, the Dutch Ambassador extraordinary, the Chevalier de la Luzerne, Marquis and Marquise de la Fayette, Mr. and Mrs. Rooker, Miss Ramsay, Mr. and Mrs. Bingham, and Coll. Humphreys, Mr. Williamos, &c. Mr. and Mrs. Rooker lately arrived in Paris and propose staying here about a fort'night. They came in a very dull time for, the Theatres were shut up last Sunday, for Three weeks, as they are yearly. The only public amusements open during that time are at the foire St. Germain, and three concerts a week at the Chateau des Tuileries.
1. See entry for 16 March, note 1 (below).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-15

15th.

Paris in the afternoon, with Mr. A. Got of Froullé, the Horace and Ovid of Brindleys edition.1 While I was in the Shop, we heard a little bell in the Street; immediately every body in the shop, but myself, fell on their knees, and began to mutter prayers and cross themselves. It was a priest, carrying le bon dieu, to a dying man. This is one of the most revered ceremony of the Romish Religion. Whenever this bell rings, (which is to inform People, that god is passing by) every man woman and child fall upon their knees and remain so till it has passd quite by. Every carriage that meets it, even the kings, is obliged to stop; and the persons in it bend the knee: formerly they were obliged to get out of the carriage and kneel in the street: but this is no longer customary. The Priest that performs this ceremony is called porte-dieu. (The word is to revolting for me to translate it.)
Louis 15 revenant du palais de la justice, ou il venait d'exercer un acte d'autorité envers le parlement de Paris, rencontra au bas du Pont Neuf le viatique de la paroisse Saint Germain l'Auxerrois. Tout son cortège royal s'arrêta; il descendit précipitamment de son carrosse, se mit à genoux dans les boues, et le prêtre sortant de dessous son dais, jadis rouge, lui donna la bénédiction. Le peuple émerveillé de cet acte pieux, oublia l'acte d'autorité qui lui déplaisait, et se mit à crier vive le roi! Et tout le long du jour il répéta: il s'est mis a genoux dan les boues!
{ 236 }
Le porte-dieu à qui cette bonne chance arriva, eut une pension de la cour.
Tableau de Paris vol: 4: ch: 28. title porte-dieu
Went to see Messrs. les abbés. Abbé Arnoux told me that Beaumarchais was set at Liberty. I imagine he will be pretty humble, after this lesson. We spent all the evening with Mr. Jefferson.
1. Horace, Opera, London, 1744; Ovid, Opera, 5 vols., London, 1745; both are inscribed “J.Q. Adams, Paris, March 15, 1785” (Catalogue of JQA's Books).
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/