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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-06

6th.

Went and dined in Paris with Mr. Jefferson. Immediately after dinner Coll. Humphreys, Mr. Williamos and myself went to the Louvre, where the Academy were setting, but we were so late that we could not get places, to sit, and the Room was much crowded. Several memoirs were read, but all in such technical expressions that I could not understand much of them. There was also read an éloge of some German, I did not perfectly make out his name. It is an established custom in this Academy, that at every Session the Secretary reads a short account of the Life, and of the productions, of the Members of the Academy, that died since the preceding Session. Coll. Humphreys finding there was no good place, went immediately away: Mr. Williamos and I stay'd till about five o'clock: and then retired, as we saw no Prospect of getting in a better situation, and as we were not quite at our ease on account of the crowd. We afterwards went to the Hôtel de Bretagne, Rue de Richeslieu, where we found Mr. West. Mr. Williamos soon after returned to Mr. Jefferson's, and I went with West to the Théatre des Varietés in the Palais Royal. Fausses Consultations; à bon vin point d'Enseigne. Boniface Pointu et sa famille: Les pêcheurs Provençaux a ballet.1 The last piece but one, is the best I have seen upon this Stage: I was much surprized to find but very little Company in the House, which was not above half full: but the public are very capricious. After the { 246 } | view { 247 } entertainment was over we walk'd half an hour under the arcades.
1. Louis François Archambault Dorvigny, Les fausses consultations, Paris, 1781; A bon vin point d'enseigne, Paris, 1781, by Phillippe Alexandre Louis Pierre Plancher-Valcour, called Aristide Valcour; Charles Jacob Guillemain, Boniface Pointu et sa famille, Paris, 1782; Anon., Lespêcheurs provençaux, first performed at the Variétés Amusantes the previous evening (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-07

7th.

Mrs. Hewson, and her children Mr. Franklin, Mr. Ruston,1 Mrs. Barclay, and Mr. West dined with us. Mrs. Hewson, goes next week for England.
1. Dr. Thomas Ruston, who practiced medicine in London and Exeter and wrote numerous essays on American finance. He was briefly visiting Jefferson and Franklin in Paris before his permanent return to Philadelphia later in the year (James McLachlan, Princetonians, 1748–1768: A Biographical Dictionary, Princeton, 1976, p. 402–407).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-09

9th.

In the afternoon went into Paris. Carried 21. Louis d'ors to Mrs. Barclay. Got of Froullé an Eutropius, and a Historiae Augustae Scriptores;1 called at Mr. West's lodgings but he was not at home. Walked half an hour in the Palais Royal. Not much Company. Met Captn. Paul Jones, and Mr. Starke,2 who offered to take any thing for the Hague. He goes on Monday. Went to Mr. Jefferson's and spent the evening there. They are all ill with Colds: Mr. Williamos was not there: the Marquis de la Fayette came in while I was there. He is going into the Country in a short time. He talk'd upon various subjects; and among others concerning the Dukes and Peers, he said, he did not believe that upon the face of the Earth, an order of men could be found, so numerous, in which there are so few men of Sense: they are a parcel of fools, said he and in the whole band there are not more than five or six men of any tolerable understanding. The only privilege of any consequence attached to their title is, the right to take a seat in Parliament: where if they had any ambition and abilities, they might serve to counterpoise in some manner the power of the king: but he gives them to understand, that he wishes they would not go to the Parliament and in true Courtiers they give up this precious right. “I3 am continually spurring them up, (continued he) and I tell them, it is folly in them { 248 } not to assert their rights, but all without effect, and among all those I know, the only one of knowledge and abilities, I am acquainted with is the Duke de la Rochefoucauld:4 he is a true patriot; but is not an eloquent man, and being entirely alone, he can do nothing.” I thought the Marquis spoke somewhat openly and freely for a french nobleman: especially for one so nearly allied as he is to two or three Dukes. Perhaps he thought that among Americans, he could freely speak his mind without any danger.
1. Flavius Eutropius, Breviarium Historiae Romanae, Leyden, 1762 (Catalogue of JQA's Books); Historiae Augustae Scriptores VI Aelius Spartianus, Julius Capitolinus, Aelius Lampridius, Vulcatius Gallicanus, Trebellius Pollio, et Flavius Vopiscus, Leyden, 1661. Both are now at MQA.
2. Possibly Edward Stack, an Irish officer attached to the French navy on Jones' Bonhomme Richard (Augustus C. Buell, Paul Jones, Founder of the American Navy: A History, 2 vols., N.Y., 1902, 2:2–3; A Calendar of John Paul Jones Manuscripts in the Library of Congress, comp. Charles Henry Lincoln, Washington, 1903, p. 191–192).
3. Quotation marks have been editorially supplied.
4. Louis Alexandre, Due de La RocheGuyon and La Rochefoucauld d'Enville, who took an active interest in French science and learning and politics (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale).
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/