1778. May 29. Fryday.
Dined again at Monsieur La Fretes at the Foot of Calvare. Madam La Fretes four Sisters dined with Us.
Monsr. Rulier , who has always dined with me at that House, dined there to day—the same Gentleman who wrote the History of the Revolution in Russia. He has also written the Revolutions of Poland. I asked him who was the best Historian of France. He said Mezeray. He added, that the Observations upon the History of France by the Abby de Mably were excellent.1 He told me I might read his History of the Revolution in Russia, when I would.
The Inclination and the Apparatus in this Country for Amusements is worthy of observation. There is scarcely a genteel House but is furnished with Accommodations for every Sort of Play. Every fashionable House at least has a Billiard Table, a Backgammon Table, a Chess Board, a Chequer Board, Cards &c.
1. Gabriel Bonnot, Abbé de Mably (1709–1785), historian and philosopher, with whom the Adams family were to become very friendly later and whose Observations sur le gouvernement et les loix des Etats-Unis d’Amérique, Amsterdam, 1784, was addressed to JA. For an account of Mably’s career and for JA’s marginalia in his De la législation, ou principes des loix, Amsterdam, 1776, see Haraszti, JA and the Prophets of Progress description begins Zoltán Haraszti, John Adams and the Prophets of Progress, Cambridge, 1952. description ends , ch. 7, “The Communism of the Abbé de Mably.” See, further, entry of 5 Jan. 1783 and note, below.