John Quincy Adams to Lucy Cranch
Paris june the 1st 1778
I having wrote Twice to your brother1 & not having yet wrote to you I now take a pen into my hand to write a few Lines to you to inform you of a Little excursion I took last.2 Mr. Lee his nephew My Pappa & I went to the theatre Calld the Italien Comedy where we had the women & the Secrets of which we See but very Little the next was Silvain in which the Scene represented on one side an old house & the other a row of trees the next was Calld the nymphs of diana in which the scene represented a beautiful place in Which Stood a Statue and in the middle of the Stage a Block for another Statue & all the actresses had on white Silk gowns with Part of them dragging behind them on the ground with a case of quivers at their Backs.3 I am &c.
LbC (Adams Papers); at foot of text: “To my Cousin Lucy.” Text is given in literal style.
2. That is, “last week”?
3. The dramatic pieces seen by JQA at the Comédie Italienne may be identified as follows: Les femmes et le secret, a comedy by Antoine François Quétant, 1767; Silvain, a comedy by Jean François Marmontel, 1770; and Les nymphes de Diane, a comic opera by Charles Simon Favart, 1747 (Clarence D. Brenner, A Bibliographical List of Plays in the French Language, 1700–1789, Berkeley, 1947, Nos. 10294, 8868, 6292).