Paris. Varietés; at the palais Royal. Small Théatre, built in three weeks time. Le nouveau parvenu. Le palais du bon gout. L’lntendant Comédien malgré lui. Le mensonge excusable.2 Volange,3 an excellent actor for the lowest kind of Comic-plays seven or eight parts in one piece with a wonderful facility. One or two other actors, good in their way. Yet I wonder how people of any delicacy, and especially Ladies can frequent this and the other small Théatres in Paris. The plays acted have seldom much wit, and almost universally are very indecent. I know not what this People would not run to; their taste seems to be entirely corrupted. The french Théatre is deserted, when those pieces, which do honour to the nation are represented, and these theatres are always crowded, though they present nothing but low buffoonery, and scrurrility. O tempora, O mores! Letters from America4 when we return’d. None for me.
1. JQA most likely intended to continue his Diary on 2 Jan., but “4th.” has been written over in its place. The fourth is probably the correct date (and hence, the entry following this is incorrect), as AA in letters she wrote between 3 and 7 Jan. makes several references to letters received on 4 Jan. (See letters by her cited in note 4, below.) On the other hand, AA2 has placed these events in her diary on 3 Jan. (Jour. and Corr. description begins Journal and Correspondence of Miss Adams, Daughter of John Adams,... edited by Her Daughter [Caroline Amelia (Smith) de Windt], New York and London, 1841-; 3 vols. description ends , 1:39–40).
2. Le nouveau parvenue, Paris, 1782, Le palais du bon goût, n.p., n.d., but first produced in 1785, and Le mensonge excusable, Paris, 1783, all by Charles Jacob Guillemain; La fête de campagne, ou, l’intendant comédien malgré lui (title and subtitle are sometimes reversed), Paris, 1784, by Louis Dorvigny (Brenner, Bibliographical List description begins Clarence Dietz Brenner, A Bibliographical List of plays in the French Language, 1700-1789, Berkeley, 1947. description ends ).
3. Maurice François Rochet, called Volange (Lyonnet, Dict. des comédiens français description begins Henry Lyonnet, Dictionnaire des comediens français (ceux d’hier) biographie, bibliographie, iconographie ..., Paris, 1908-[1911?]; 2 vols. description ends ).
4. These included at least four letters, all dated 6 Nov. 1784: Elizabeth Cranch to AA, Adams Papers (reply, 3 Jan., in AA, Letters, ed. CFA, 1848 description begins Letters of Mrs. Adams, the Wife of John Adams. With an Introductory Memoir by Her Grandson, Charles Francis Adams, 4th edn., Boston, 1848. description ends , p. 222–226); Royall Tyler to JA, and to AA2 (letters not found, but referred to in AA to Tyler, , Adams Papers); and Mary Smith Cranch to AA, Adams Papers (reply, 7 Jan., MWA).