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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-26

26th.

Paris afternoon. Froullé, books upon astronomy. Went to see Mr. West and Mr. Waring but neither was at home. Messieurs Van den Yver bankers Ruë Royale, Butte St. Roch.1 Spent part of { 240 } the evening with the abbés. While I was there a Gentleman came in, who was a great partisan, for animal magnetism, that he very strenuously defended. Speaking of Dr. Franklin, he said j'aime beaucoup M: Franklin, c'est un homme de beaucoup d'esprit et de génie; je suis seulement faché pour lui, qu'il ait signé ce rapport des Commissaires. He spoke this with so much naïveté that I could not help smiling. When he went away the abbés told me he was a man, worth 50,000 livres a year, of an exceeding benevolent disposition, and that he does a great deal of good: a sensible man, but very firmly persuaded of the reality of animal magnetism. Mesmer the pretended discoverer, has certainly as yet, behaved like a mountebank, and yet he has persuaded a great number of People, and some persons of great Sense and learning, that he has made an important discovery. An extraordinary System, a great deal of mystery, and the art of making People, pay a hundred louis d'ors for a secret which no body receives, have persuaded almost half this kingdom, that Mesmer really has the secret that he pretends to have.
1. Van den Yver Frères was the Paris agent for W. and J. Willink, Amsterdam bankers. On this day JA drew an order of 4,800 livres on the firm for JQA (Diary and Autobiography, 3:172).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0005-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-03-27

27th.

Sunday. Mr. Adams dined with Mr. de St. Olympe's and spent the evening at Mr. Jefferson's. At about seven o'clock in the evening the Queen, was delivered of a Son, who is Monseigneur le Due de Normandie:1 this is one of the most important events that can happen in this kingdom; and every Frenchman has been expecting it, as if the fate of his life depended upon it. One would think that after having a Dauphin they would be easy, and quiet, but say they, the Dauphin is young and may die; and tho' the king has two brothers one of whom has several children, yet the Capital point is that the crown should pass down eternally from father to Son: insomuch that they would prefer being governed by a fool or a tyrant, that should be the Son of his predecessor, than by a sensible and good prince, who should only be a brother. The Canons announced to us the birth of the Prince. The Queen was taken ill only an hour before her delivery, a Circumstance which must have been very agreeable to her, for a few minutes before she is delivered, the doors of her apartment are always { 241 } opened, and every body that pleases is admitted, to see the child come into the world, and if there had been time enough, all Paris would have gone pour voir accoucher la Reine. The name of the young Duke of Normandy, is not yet known.
1. Louis Charles de France (1785–1795), later Louis XVII (Larousse, Grand dictionnaire universel).
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/