Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 1



17th. JQA 17th. Adams, John Quincy

Paris. Italian Theatre. 1st. Representation of Alexis et Justine.1 Went before 5. o'clock. Could not find one place high nor low. Went to the Grands Danseurs du Roi,2 in a fiacre,3 for neither Servants nor carriage were to be found. Le trousseau d'Agnes. Le Qui-pro-quo de l'hotellerie.4 Rope dancing. Sophie de Brabant, Pantomime. Just such another Théatre as the Varietés. Plays just calculated to please the mob. Rope dancing, is surprizing at first sight, and pleases. Placide. Le petit Diable et la jeune Anglaise,5 very good. Comedy of Errors all this evening. Lost Appleton, and the Ladies. We however all met at Mr. Jefferson's, where my father spent the Evening. Late before we got home.


Alexis et Justine, Paris, 1785, by Jacques Marie Boutet de Monvel, with music by Nicolas Dezède (Brenner, Bibliographical List ).


A vaudeville troupe founded by Jean Baptiste Nicolet, which performed “au fronton de” Théâtre de Nicolet on the Boulevard du Temple. These outdoor performances or “parades” were used to draw a crowd, and this company, within the theater, performed comic opera from the repertoire of the Comédie Italienne. Louis XV gave the troupe its title of the Grands Danseurs du Roi in 1772. They performed the two pieces described in note 4 (Emile Campardon, Les spectacles de la foire, 2 vols., Paris, 1877, 1:384; 2:151–152; René Héron de Villefosse, Histoire de Paris, Paris, 1950, p. 225–226; Journal de Paris, 17 Jan.; Brenner, Bibliographical List ).


A small French hackney coach.


Le trousseau d'Agnès, ou, la veuve à marier, an unpublished parade by Alexandre Louis Bertrand Robineau Beaunoir; Le quiproquo de l'hôtellerie, Paris, 1779, by Antoine François Quétant (Brenner, Bibliographical List ).


Placide is probably a verse tragedy, London, 1786, by Père Joseph Romain Joly (same). Petit diable et la jeune anglaise has not been identified. "Placide" was Alexandre Placide (1750–1812), a French ballet dancer and acrobat, who performed in London from 1780 to 1785. "Le petit Diable was probably Placide’s friend Pol; "le jeune Anglaise, likely another member of Placide's performance troupe, has not been identified (ANB; Sylvie Chevalley, "The Death of Alexandre Placide," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, 58:63 [April 1957]).