A Diary of the French Revolution

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In going away she is pleased to say that she is glad to have met me, and I believe her. The reason is that I dropped some expressions and sentiments a little rough, and which were agreeable because they contrast with the palling polish she constantly meets with everywhere. Hence I conclude that the less I have the honor of such good company the better, for when the novelty ceases all is over, and I shall probably be worse than insipid.

It could not be worse if we praised it.

She seems to be a woman of sense and somewhat masculine in her character, but has very much the appearance of a chambermaid. A little before dinner M. Necker enters. He has the look and manner of the counting-house, and, being dressed in embroidered velvet, he contrasts strongly with his habiliments. His bow, his address, etc. The Duchess of Biron, formerly Lauzun, is one. I observe that M.

Supplement: A Diary of the French Revolution ( ed., emended)

Necker seems occupied by ideas whch rather distress him. He cannot, I think, stay in office half an hour after the nation insist on keeping him there. If he is a really great man I am deceived, and yet this is a rash judgment; but how can one help forming some judgment?

If he is not a laborious man I am also deceived. From dinner I visit Madame de Chastellux. After being there some time the Duchess of Orleans enters. We have a trio for half an hour.

She repeats that she is very glad to see me there. This is very kind, but I do not exactly know what it means. After a pleasant hour with the duchess and Madame de Chastellux, a supper with the Baron de Besenval claimed attention. This young man is the Lovelace of his day and as remarkable for seductions as his father. He does not want for understanding. The tone of the society here seems to be that it was not worth while to call the States-General for such a trifle as the deficit amounts to.

The business of M. Necker therefore stands thus: If any mischiefs happen they will be charged to him. If he gets well through the business others will claim the reputation of what good is done by the States-General. He loves flattery—for he flatters; he is therefore easily deceived. He believes that many persons support him out of esteem, who I believe only use him, and will throw by the instrument when it can no longer serve their purpose.

Necker is in blast till May, but will probably Edition: current; Page: [ 46 ] blow out unless further means can be devised. Consequently both the means and the inclination to afford succor are wanting. He appoints to-morrow. Call on Madame de Chastellux. Her visit is short, being engaged for the evening. A look from her Royal Highness opens the idea that M. Morris est un peu amoureux de Madame la Marquise , but Madame la Duchesse is mistaken. However, this mistake can do no harm to anybody.

She is by no means deficient in understanding, and has, I think, good dispositions. Nous verrons. But the Marshal objected to the salt provisions because they must encourage this commerce with Ireland, the Irish buying large quantities of Bordeaux wine. Necker will, on the contrary, I presume, be of opinion that the payment of the debt is of the utmost importance. Has no antipathy to the gentler passion. Madame ——, sister to the late M. She complains of a headache, but is, I think, rather out of temper than in ill-health. Morris seems to me not to be such agreeable company as before. Take leave and go to supper with Madame de Corney.

After a little while Madame de Flahaut enters. Presently, M. Reads us his speech. Necker is Edition: current; Page: [ 48 ] blamed, and the company do not appear inclined to mercy on his subject.

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This intelligence is not disagreeable to the company here. DeVille Delville are violently prejudiced against him. This Nesbitt ought to have known, for in his affair he met a beautiful woman, the sister or cousin of his creditor, and in the second affair M. Thus a little negligence has involved him in a manner which I shall find very difficult to extricate him from.

She is in bed and her brother-in-law is sitting with her. So it appears she has, as she says, forgotten her engagement to me. She sends us forward, and is to follow. This is done.

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A Diary Of The French Revolution

We walk over the court of the Louvre, through the mud, view the statues—the paintings we cannot see, that pleasure is for another opportunity. Return to her quarters. Monsieur, presuming that I was about to follow her upstairs merely out of politeness, apologizes for me.

In consequence I take my leave, and thus a scene, which my imagination had painted very well, turns out good for nothing. The weather contributes to render it disagreeable— Edition: current; Page: [ 49 ] wind, rain, and, of course mud without, and dampness within. But this is human life. Monsieur, as I go away, expresses a hope to see me again soon, and requests to be commanded if he can be useful in anything. This politesse is always agreeable, though a man must be a fool to believe in it. In going from hence I slip as I step into the carriage, and bruise my shin very much.

Thus everything goes wrong.

Visit the Comtesse Durfort. She has company and is but just risen. Pressed to dine, but decline it. She is going to sup with the Baron de Besenval, and I promise to be there if I can. She says if I do not go, it is because I will not. I am certainly good for nothing, and the only tolerable thing I can do is to go home. This is done, and, being out of humor with myself, I find the dinner very bad. Threaten to deal with another waiter—extremely ridiculous.

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The waiter, who behaves with great humility, must, I think, despise me for talking angrily before I can talk French. Madame de Chastellux and Madame de Puisignieu are there. In conversing about public men and measures I am so weak and absurd as to express many opinions which I ought to conceal, and some of which I may perhaps find reason to alter. Call on Mr. Jefferson, and sit an hour with him, which is at least fifty minutes too long, for his daughter had left the room on my approach, and waits only my departure, at least I think so.

He lies on a couch, or rather sofa—the gout in his right hand, which is his only hand. Madame de Chastellux and another lady are there. I think I was wrong to come here, and for that reason find it difficult to get away—vastly awkward. At length make a shift to take leave, and, to avoid all further folly for this day, determine to go home. Dearth of wheat at Lyons. Morris offers Necker a cargo. Graciousness of the Duchess of Orleans. Ladies vexed by long arguments in the salons.

Ten thousand troops ordered out. Swiss guards within the barriers.


  • Online Library of Liberty.
  • Investigating Science Through Bears.
  • Eyewitness accounts of going to a show;

King and princes oppose liberty. Political talk with the Bishop of Autun. Makes a plan of finance for France. Election excitements. A water-party on the Seine. An eventful day at Versailles. Meeting of the States-General.