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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-28

28th.

Mr. West came out to Auteuil and dined with us. After dinner I went into Paris, with him: we went to meet Dr. Ruston and then proceeded all together to the Italian Comedy, where we saw Theodore,1 a new Opera Comique, acted for the first time, with l'heureuse Erreur, this evening. Theodore, had not a brilliant success, but a tolerable one. The Subject, is as old, as the Theatre I believe. A Man who proposes marrying his daughter to one of his friends of his own age, instead of which she marries the young man she loves, is the whole plot. Nothing new is introduced, but there are some pretty good sallies, and some excellent Sentiments (which by, the by, the french don't consider as ornaments to a dramatic performance, especially in the Comic Pieces). The Music, is I am told the first performance of Mr. Davaux, in this way: its success was pretty much like that of the Words: there was however one arriette which began thus.
{ 258 }

Le Coeur d'une fillette

Est assez souvent

Comme une girouette

Que tourne au moindre vent.

That was encored, and another,

La tendresse

Ne Vaut pas la sagesse

Mais encore, elle a son prix,

was very highly applauded. After the play was over I went and met my father at Mr. Jefferson's. Coll. Humphreys, was this morning suddenly taken very ill. He has been twice bled this day, and is at present much better than he was, although he has yet a fever upon him.
1. Théodore, ou, le bonheur inattendu, an unpublished musical comedy by Benoît Joseph Marsollier des Vivetières, with music by Jean Baptiste Davaux. It was first performed at Fontainebleau on 4 March (Brenner, Bibliographical List).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0006-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-04-29

29th.

We expected to have had a large Company to dine with us; but Mr. Hailes brought the excuses of the Duke of Dorset; who was this morning sent for at Versailles; and could not therefore come. M: de Gouvion, has also excused himself, and Coll. Humphreys's illness prevented him from coming, so that we were reduced to eleven only. Marquis de la Fayette and Lady: Count Sarsfield, M: de la Bourdonnais, Mr. Hailes, Mr. Williamos and Mr. Jarvis. The Marquis brought us a number of American News Papers, as he receives them very regularly. Mr. A.s appointment to England, is in one of the New York Gazettes of march 3d. Coll. William Smith,1 of New York, who has been heretofore Aid de Camp to Genl. Washington, is appointed Secretary to the Legation.
Memorandum: Count Sarsfield made me promise him, I would write him a Letter in french the 29th. of next October.2
1. William Stephens Smith (1755–1816), designated as WSS by the Adams Papers, was appointed by the congress without the prior knowledge of JA, who initially had some doubts about his suitability. WSS, who had received a certificate of commendation from Washington for his military service, was a member of the Society of Cincinnati, a distinction that both AA and JA thought incompatible with republicanism; but they were mollified by his high sense of honor and modesty of demeanor and soon came to like him. AA2, having rejected her suitor Royall Tyler, became en• { 259 } gaged in due course to WSS, and they were married on 11 June 1786. The marriage was not a happy one. None of the variety of offices which WSS subsequently held turned out well for him; his ambition, extravagant habits, and unwise investments led to desperate straits, and AA2 had to endure periods of drunkenness and desertion (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:183–184 and sources cited there; AA to Mercy Otis Warren, 10 May 1785; JA to CA, 31 Jan. 1795; and M/LCA/6, p. 147, all in Adams Papers).
2. If written, not found.
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/