This forenoon at 11 o'clock, I went, in Company with My Lord Ancram, Mr. Stewart1
and my father to see the Academy of the Abbe L'epée,
who has undertaken to teach, people born deaf and dumb, not only to converse with
one another very fluently, but also, to read and write, and he has succeeded entirely.
It is astonishing to see how fast and how easily they make themselves understood,
to one another, and still, more so to see them write, whatever he pleases, by the
signs he makes them; there is not a word in the French Language which he has not found
some way of expressing, and making them understand. He does it all gratis and receives
whoever chooses to come to his Lessons. When the present Emperor of Germany3
visited Paris this was what pleased him the most in the whole City. He sent afterwards
his Picture set in Diamonds to the Abbé, and accompanied it with a Letter written
with his own hand; praising this humane institution.
I Dined at the Duke de la Vauguyon's the French Ambassador at the Hague, here by Congé
at present. In the Evening I went to the French Comedy, where were represented Le Philosophe sans le savoir,
and La Maison de Campagne
The first piece seems to be very Confused; all I could make of it was, that it was
Calculated to show the foolishness and the wickedness of the Custom of Duelling: which
have been shown many and many a Time; but always without effect and will be always
so: as long as the laws which subsist about Duelling, have force in this Country.
A Person here who fights a Duel is condemned to Death, and if any body is provoked
and refuses to fight he is regarded as infamous, and if in the Army, he is broke and
declared incapable of serving the King. This is exposing every one who is insulted
by a scoundrel to the cruel alternative of infamy or Death.