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CHAPTER XVIII. - Gouverneur Morris, The Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, vol. 1 
The Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, Minister of the United States to France; Member of the Constitutional Convention, ed. Anne Cary Morris (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1888). 2 vols. Vol. 1.
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The queen intriguing with Mirabeau. Morris’s impressions of the Abbé Maury. Madame de Nadaillac’s salon. Madame de Tessé converted to Morris’s political principles. Vicq d’Azyr’s eulogy of Franklin. Morris takes supper with Condorcet. Paris illuminated. First introduction to Lady Sutherland. Conversation with the Abbé Maury. Death of Mirabeau. Discusses with Montmorin Mirabeau’s successor. Mirabeau’s impressive funeral. Strictures on his character. Robespierre comes to the front. Morris predicts to M. de Montmorin the speedy dissolution of the present Assembly. A visit from Paine. Madame de Nadaillac talks of religion and duty. Madame de Flahaut asks advice as to marriage. Morris prepares a note for the king on the rations for the French marine. Madame de Staël reads her tragedy “Montmorenci.” Morris gives her some advice. Brilliant society in her salon.
“Walk about the Champs Elysées to-day [March 3d] with Madame de Flahaut and Mademoiselle Duplessis. Propose to M. de Favernay, whom I meet, to go to the restaurateur’s, but Madame proposes that we should bring our dinner to her. We go to the Hôtel des Américains, and, having made our provision, return and eat it there. After dinner I return home, read a little, and dress. M. Brémond* and M. de Bergasse come in. We have much conversation on public affairs, which form the object of their visit. They tell me that the Queen is now intriguing with Mirabeau, the Comte de la Marck, and the Comte de Mercy, who enjoy her confidence. They wish to visit me again. They tell me that Mirabeau, whose ambition renders him the mortal enemy of Lafayette, must succeed in ruining him by the instrumentality of his compeers in the department. I incline to think, however, that Lafayette will hold a good tug, being as cunning as anybody. Mirabeau has much greater talents, and his opponent a better character. When the two gentlemen leave me, I go to Madame de Nadaillac’s. We have here the Abbé Maury,* who looks like a downright ecclesiastical scoundrel, and the rest are fierce aristocrats. They have the word ‘valet’ written on their foreheads in large characters. Maury is formed to govern such men, and such men are formed to obey him, or anyone else. Maury seems, however, to have rather too much vanity for a great man. Madame de Nadaillac is vastly attentive, and insists that I must be un aristocrat outré. I tell her that I am too old to change my opinions of government, but I will to her be just what she pleases.”
“To-day [March 5th] the Comte de Ségur calls on me. I ask him the character of the Comte de la Marck† and the Comte de Mercy.‡ He tells me that the former is a military man who understands his business, and that in the affairs of Brabant his plan was to raise a popular party which, in case of the independence of that country, should be considered as the French party; or, at any rate, by sowing dissension, facilitate the re-establishment of imperial authority. The Comte de Mercy is, he says, one of the ablest statesmen in Europe. Visit Madame Dumolley, who is very desirous of my visits, because she finds I keep company that she cannot reach. Leave her, go to the Palais Royal, and sup with the Duchess. Madame de St. Priest, who is here, wishes to know my opinion of what has lately passed at the Louvre. I evade it handsomely, and Madame de Chastellux tells me so, being a little vexed, because she says that they will quote against her what I have said, and which they will understand very differently from the true meaning. I ask her about the Comte de la Marck, and find that I am acquainted with him. He is intimately united with Mirabeau, is devoured by ambition, and of profligate morals. Nous voilà donc au fait. M. d’Agout comes in. He is just arrived from Switzerland, and brings me many civil sayings from Madame de Tessé, who is become a convert, she says, to my principles of government. There will be many more such converts.”
“This morning [March 7th] I write, being still unwell. In the evening Madame de Flahaut calls at the door, and sends to know how I do. She will not come up, although her husband and nephew are with her. Go to Madame de Chastellux’s, where we take tea; a trio, of which the Duchess makes the third. Visit Madame de Nadaillac, who has been ill. We converse about her malady, afterwards upon religion, and she wishes to know whether I have the virtue of an American, which she doubts, because she is pleased to say I have the amiableness of a Frenchman. I leave that matter a little doubtful, but she seems a little displeased that her husband comes in, which is a good sign. Make my visit neither long nor short, and I perceive that both are content.”
“I go to the Louvre [March 12th] to take Madame de Flahaut to drive; but the Baron de Montesquiou is here, who wants to get into office, and then comes the toilette, and then Mademoiselle Duplessis, so I go to call on Madame de Chastellux. Swan calls and tells me what I had hinted to him; viz., that Roederer’s motions and resolutions have cut up the régie by the roots. Ternant calls, with whom I converse a little on those things. Dine with the Comte de Montmorin, and, as Montesquiou comes in after dinner, I mention those things to him. He wishes me to have a mémoire drawn. Go, after dinner, to the Academy of Physicians, where Vicq d’Azyr* pronounces the eulogium of Doctor Franklin.”
“I go [March 17th] to supper to-night at Madame d’Angivilliers. Madame de Condorcet is here. She is handsome, and has un air spirituel. Talk with Condorcet† after supper on the principles of the économistes. I tell him, which is true, that once I adopted those principles from books, but that I have since changed them from better knowledge of human affairs and more mature reflection. In the close of our discussion I tell him that if the impôt direct be heavy, it will not be paid. Madame de Flahaut was taken ill to-day while she and Mademoiselle Duplessis were driving with me. We returned to the Louvre, put her to bed, and played whist by her bedside. Vicq d’Azyr comes in, and we have a little conversation respecting the conduct to be pursued by the Court. I give him some hints as to the past by way of elucidating the future, and he is equally surprised at the information and at the force of my reasons. I see this in his countenance.”
“Spend the evening [March 20th] at the Louvre. Several persons come in and go out. At length we divide into parties to see the illumination of Paris for the King’s recovery. It is a dreadful night, the wind very high indeed, from the westward, with rain. The illumination was the poorest, barest thing imaginable. M. de St. Foi comes in between ten and eleven, and tells us that the Pope has laid the kingdom under an interdict. This must produce some movement as soon as it is known. The Duchess of Orleans to-day, when I dined with her, is so kind as to reproach me with absenting myself. After dinner, I visit Madame de Nadaillac. Her reception is rather that of a coquette than a dévote.”
“I cannot work in my apartment to-day [March 25th] because my servants want to clear my chambers for the reception of company. I therefore go to see Madame de Flahaut. The servants being out of the way, I announce myself. Madame is tête-à-tête with M. de Ricy. She cries out, with suddenness and alarm, ‘Qui est-ce là?’ Upon naming myself, ‘Je vais vous renvoyer tout de suite;’ I turn and leave them. I have to dine with me Mesdames de Lafayette, Ségur, Beaumont, and Fersensac. The Abbé Delille is one of the gentlemen. I tell Short, who is one of the guests, that he has but little chance of being appointed to this Court; that Jefferson wishes him to return to America, and that the appointment rests entirely in Washington’s bosom; that it is to be made this session. I show him the mémoire and notes I have made about tobacco. Speaking about the actings and doings of the Assembly in this regard, he says that the Duc de la Rochefoucault is led by Roederer and Condorcet, who are both rascals. I remind him that I had judged the latter long since by his countenance.”
“Visit Madame de Chastellux [March 26th]. The Duchess, to whom I mention the reason why I did not ask her to breakfast, expresses a great inclination to come some day or other. Madame de Montmorin to-day shows me the letter of General Washington* to the Assembly printed in one of the public papers. It is not what the violent Revolutionists would have wished, and contains a hint respecting Lafayette which his enemies will not fail to notice. Hence to Madame de Ségur’s, who presses me to stay and dine, which I refuse. Dine, as I had promised, with the Duchess of Orleans, to see her daughter. It is a pretty little princess and has an air très fin. Go from thence to Madame de Foucault’s. The conversation is immediately turned upon love. In the course of it I observe that I have remarked ‘deux espéces d’hommes. Les uns sont faits pour être pères de famille et les autres pour leur faire des enfants.’ She is delighted with this observation. Chaumont reads me a part of Laforêt’s letter to him, giving a very exalted idea of the situation of America and counselling purchases of land and stock.”
“At Madame de Chastellux’s [March 28th] there is a breakfast. The English ambassador* and his lady are here. If I might judge from her manner, I have made a little progress in her esteem. We shall see. This morning I got a fall in the street which barks my stump a little. Go to sup with Madame de Nadaillac. Tell the Abbé Maury that I expect he will get the hat the Cardinal de Lomenie has sent back. I tell him also that the Holy Father has done wrong in not laying the kingdom under an interdict. He answers that opinion is no longer with the Saint Siége, and that without an army to support the interdict it would be laughed at; that the instance of England makes Rome cautious. I reply that the cases are somewhat different, but, further, as the Assembly have left the Pope nothing he might play a sure game, since he can lose no more, and at any rate he had better have done nothing than only one-half of what he might do, because mankind may, by degrees, be habituated to everything. He agrees to the truth of this, and owns that he should have preferred extremities. I tell him that, from the moment when the church property was seized, I considered the Catholic religion at an end, because nobody would be priest for nothing. He agrees fully.
“To-night, at the Théâtre de la Nation, there is a dreadful representation of monastic vengeance and guilt. See Madame de Chastellux, who tells me that the British ambassadress is much pleased with me. She says the poor Princess is very ill at ease.”
“I dine [April 1st] with the Duchess of Orleans. After dinner go to the opera, and leave it early to take Madame de Flahaut to Madame de Laborde’s. In the way, we call to inquire about Mirabeau’s health. Guards stop us, lest the carriage should disturb his repose. I am shocked at such honors paid to such a wretch. On this subject I quarrel with Madame de Flahaut. I stay at Madame de Laborde’s till eleven, and then go to Madame de Staël’s. The English ambassadress is here, and receives me very well.”
“Madame de Lafayette tells me to-day [April 2d] that I am in love with Madame de Beaumont. I own it, though it is not true. She says that her company must be insipid, after such agreeable people. Que veut dire cela? Go to M. de Montmorin’s to dine. After dinner go to the Louvre. Mirabeau died this day. I tell the Bishop d’Autun that he should step into the vacancy he has made, and to that effect should pronounce his funeral oration, in which he should make a summary of his life, and dwell particularly on the last weeks in which he labored to establish order; then dwell on the necessity of order, and introduce properly the King. He says his thoughts have run much upon that subject this day. I tell him he has not a moment to lose, and that such occasions rarely present themselves. I spoke to the Comte de Montmorin about a successor to Mirabeau this day, but he tells me that he cannot easily see who shall be put into his place. He owns that Mirabeau was determined to ruin Lafayette, and says that he had held him back for some time. He says that Lafayette is a reed, good for nothing. He thinks that there is no chance now left but to convoke the next Assembly as soon as may be, excluding the members of the present, and that the meeting should be far from Paris. The theatres are shut this day. The weather is fine.”
But of what use was it, if Mirabeau was dead—so all Paris and the Assembly felt, as they sat and stared at the vacant chair, where the immense athletic creature, with “a vast forehead which seemed made to carry the burden of thought,” had so lately sat. During this day of mourning, amusements were forbidden. A marquise dared to give a ball. The furious crowd besieged the house, and maltreated some of her noble guests, who were obliged to take out their swords to defend themselves. For eight days all the departments were in mourning, as for a national calamity. The Bishop of Autun administered ghostly consolation to the dying Mirabeau, and the people mourned him dead. Nothing like it had been known before, not even when lamentations rent the air, and ringing bells sounded through the streets with the cry, “Le bon Roi Louis, père du peuple, est mort.”
“A wonderfully fine day [April 3d]. I go to Marli. Madame du Bourg receives me with the joy of one who wishes something from a city to vary the sameness of the lane. After dinner we walk much about the garden, and we see many scenes of rural love. The shepherds and shepherdesses seem to care but little for the appearance of strangers, but pursue their gambols as freely as their flocks and herds. This furnishes the matter of our conversation. Return to town, and spend the evening with the Duchess of Orleans. Madame de Lootange is here. There is a violence of aristocracy in her, as in many others, which is diverting. She is handsome.”
“To-day [April 4th] I go along the boulevards as far as the convoi of Mirabeau will permit; then go back to the Marais, where I visit M. and Madame de la Luzerne. They receive me d’autant mieux as that, being no longer minister, my attention cannot be suspected. Visit Madame de Nadaillac, where I am led into an altercation un peu vive with monsieur, who, among other ridiculous notions of aristocratic folly, expresses a wish for the dismemberment of France. I call on Madame de Chastellux for a few minutes. She is to inform me to-morrow whether the expedition to Sceaux takes place the day after. I cannot wait for her Royal Highness, but make a short visit to the Louvre. It has been a prodigious fine day. The funeral of Mirabeau (attended, it is said, by more than one hundred thousand persons, in solemn silence) has been an imposing spectacle. It is a vast tribute paid to superior talents, but no great incitement to virtuous deeds. Vices, both degrading and detestable, marked this extraordinary creature. Completely prostitute, he sacrificed everything to the whim of the moment. Cupidus alieni, prodigus sui; venal, shameless, and yet greatly virtuous when pushed by a prevailing impulse, but never truly virtuous, because never under the steady control of reason nor the firm authority of principle, I have seen this man, in the short space of two years, hissed, honored, hated, mourned. Enthusiasm has just now presented him gigantic; time and reflection will shrink that stature. The busy idleness of the hour must find some other object to execrate or to exalt. Such is man, and particularly the Frenchman.”
Marat alone was violent against the dead man, and called upon the people to give thanks that Riquetti was no more. In less than three years the Convention of the Revolution decreed that, “Le corps d’Honoré Gabriel Riquetti Mirabeau sera retiré du Panthéon français, celui de Marat y sera transféré.” In 1794, in the silence of the night, coldly and strictly was this arrêté executed, and the man who had been so fêted was put, near the meeting of many streets, into a nameless grave, over which daily the hurrying crowds pass.
Lafayette told Morris that he thought the Bishop of Autun would replace Mirabeau in the Diplomatic Committee; but the man whom Mirabeau had contemplated with apprehensive curiosity for so long, the man whose words were so carefully prepared and arranged and whose attitude was so grave, was the man who was to take his place and go far beyond him. When Mirabeau disappeared, Robespierre almost immediately came to the front.
“Dine with M. de Montmorin to-day [April 8th]. After dinner, take him aside and express my opinion that a speedy dissolution of the present Assembly would be dangerous. Their successors would be chosen by the Jacobins, whereas, if some months are suffered to elapse, the Jacobins and municipalities will be at war, because the latter will not brook the influence of the former. He says that he fears the municipalities will be entirely under the guidance of the Jacobins. This is, I think, a vain fear. He thinks that more of the present members should be reeligible. I differ in opinion, because he knows the character and talents of the present set and can buy such as, after reëlection, may suit his purpose. He says they are not worth buying, and would, for the most part, take money, to act as they please; that if Mirabeau had lived, he would have gratified him to the extent of his desires. He says they must now work in the provinces to secure the elections; but I ask how he is to know the inclination and capacity of members elect. He owns this to be difficult. Speaking of the Court, he tells me that the King is absolutely good for nothing; that at present he always asks, when he is at work with the King, that the Queen be present. I ask if he is well with the Queen. He says that he is, and has been for some months. I am sincerely glad of this, and tell him so.
“Spend an hour with the Duchess of Orleans. She gives me the relation of some new horrors attending the Revolution. She has been this morning to visit a sick bishop. Return home, and read the answer of Paine to Burke’s book; there are good things in the answer as well as in the book. Paine calls on me. He says that he found great difficulty in prevailing on any bookseller to publish his book; that it is extremely popular in England, and, of course, the writer, which he considers as one among the many uncommon revolutions of this age. He turns the conversation on times of yore, and as he mentions me among those who were his enemies, I frankly acknowledge that I urged his dismissal from the office he held of secretary to the Committee of Foreign Affairs.
“Madame de Chastellux tells me that the Duchess of Orleans sets off to-morrow, under pretence of her father being indisposed, to visit him, but, in fact, to bring about a separation with her husband, whose conduct is become too brutal to be borne. Poor woman, she looks wretched! Visit Madame de Nadaillac, and by a rambling conversation get more ground than she is aware of. She talks of religion, duty, and conjugal vows before there is any occasion, but to her surprise I agree that these vows should be held sacred. Tell her that it is a happy circumstance for her that she loves her husband, because that otherwise she could not but entertain another passion, which would prove at length too strong.”
“This morning [April 9th] M. Brémond calls on me. In the course of conversation I mention the claims of the German princes upon France for supplies furnished a long time ago. He opens this matter up to me, and says that he has agreements already made with them, and wants only about 1,200,000£ to complete the affair, which will give at least twelve millions. In the course of conversation, he asks if I will propose the matter to M. de Montmorin. I am to consider of it, and he is to call to-morrow and furnish me with the proper materials to converse upon. Mr. Short and I have a long conversation on American finance, and I endeavor to show him that the proposition made in the name of Schwitzer, Jeanneret & Co. is a good one for the United States, provided they abate the commission. This is my sincere belief. I tell him also that from what the parties have said to and shown to me, I am convinced that they have great strength both with the Court and in the Assembly; that an operation of this sort would be so much the more useful, as the United States might make use of all this credit to support their domestic operations. The conversation is long, and he is a little changed in his opinions. I tell him some things which may render him a little cautious respecting Mr. Swan, who is, I find, in the habit of using both our names for his particular purposes.
“I take Mademoiselle Duplessis to Madame de Flahaut’s, where we dine at her bedside, and afterwards visit Madame de Nadaillac. Her friend the Abbé Maury is with her, and I leave them together. She desires to see me again, which I promise. She is at Gros Caillou, to attend the inoculation of her children. Madame de Flahaut asks me to-day whom I would recommend, in case of widowhood, to be her husband. I tell her that I understand that it is in contemplation to permit the marriage of the clergy. She says she will never marry the Bishop, because she cannot go with him to the altar without mentioning first her connection with another. Visit Madame Dumolley, who wants to know why the Duchess of Orleans is gone to the town of Eu. I pretend ignorance.”
“At ten [April 13th] I call on M. de Montmorin. Enter fully with him both into his situation and that of the kingdom. Propose the affair of the rations, and offer him the interest agreed on. He declines being interested, and after much conversation agrees to push it on account of the King, provided the matter be secret. He says he can rely on me, and that His Majesty will, he believes, have the like confidence. I am to give him a note this day to be laid before the King. Go to Jeanneret’s and inform Brémond of Montmorin’s refusal, and at the same time give him to understand that the business will be done. Prepare the note for His Majesty. Go to dine with M. de Montmorin, and after dinner give him the note. He tells me that he must communicate the affair to the Comte de la Marck. Their political connections are such that he cannot avoid the communication. He will give me a definitive answer on Monday morning.
“Go to Madame de Staël’s. Converse here with the Duchesse de la Rochefoucault. Madame de Staël reads her tragedy of ‘Montmorenci.’ She writes much better than she reads. Her character of the Cardinal de Richelieu is drawn with much ability. The society is small, and we have no small reprehension of the Assemblée Nationale, who, it must be confessed, act weakly enough. N’importe. Call at the Louvre, where I find M. de Curt making verses and love to Madame de Flahaut.”
“Call on Madame de Nadaillac, [April 15th], whose children begin to sicken with the small-pox. We talk of religion and sentiment, but I am much mistaken if she does not think of something else. Leave my name for the British ambassadress, and go to dine with Madame Foucault. She tells me that her husband has abandoned his project of going to England, which she was delighted with, and says that my description of it has deterred him. I must endeavor to put this to rights. Her physician, also, has agreed to advise the jaunt as needful for her health. Shortly after dinner I go to the Louvre. We are presently interrupted by Vicq d’Azyr, with whom Madame de Flahaut has a conversation about the Bishop. I presume that it is to put him well with the Queen. After this, another interruption by her sister and a M. Dumas, who brings disagreeable tidings respecting an affair in which she was concerned. Then comes M. de Curt, full of amorous declaration and protestation. I leave this scene at eight, and go again to Madame Foucault’s. She tells me that her husband has taken it into his head to go to Nantes, and in that case she is resolved to go to England with one of her friends or with me. She says he is a very bad fellow-traveller. At ten M. Stebell comes in. A Mademoiselle Chevalier, about fifteen, plays on the forte-piano admirably well a piece of her own composition, which has great merit. Her brother, younger than herself, plays another piece very well. After that M. Stebell, who is wonderful. This man makes from five to ten guineas per day. He receives for his visit here this evening fifty livres. It is said that he wastes with levity what he acquires with so much ease.”
“This morning [April 16th] I visit Paine and Mr. Hodges. The former is abroad, the latter in the wretched apartments which they occupy. He speaks of Paine as being a little mad, which is not improbable. Visit Madame de Trudaine,* who being denied, I ask for paper and commence a note to her, but before it is finished a servant asks me up. She is dressing, and St. André comes up. Nothing here. Madame receives me well, and we are to be un peu plus liés ensemble. Call on Short, and take him to Madame de Staël’s. After dinner we have a fine scene of vociferous argumentation between her and an abbé. I tell her that when she gets to Switzerland she must let her head cool, and then digest her ideas of government, which will become sound by her own reflections. Go from thence to Madame de Beaumont’s, where we make a long visit, and then go to the Louvre, and after a while Madame goes into the bath, and the society wait on her there. I stay till after supper, and then take Mademoiselle Duplessis home. In the way I am sprightly, and she is pleased. Ternant, whom I saw at M. de Montmorin’s, tells me that Fleurieu, the Minister of the Marine, is about to quit his post, and that he thinks he will be replaced by M. de Bougainville. Montmorin reminded me that I am to call on Monday.”
“Go [April 17th] after dinner to the Louvre. We visit together Madame de Nadaillac, whose son is ill with the small-pox. Madame de Flahaut, after returning home, takes again her bath. I go to Madame de Staël’s; a brilliant society. The British ambassadress, who is here, is much entourée by the young men of fashion. At coming away the Comte de Montmorin, who is here, tells me that he cannot give me an answer to-morrow, not having been able to speak to the King this day. It has been fine weather.”
“This morning [April 18th] Swan and Brémond come. I converse with them respecting the supply of rations to the French marine. We have this day very much of a riot at the Tuileries. The King intends for St. Cloud, but is stopped, not merely by the populace, but by the national militia, who refuse to obey their general. It seems that His Majesty, having sanctioned the decree respecting the clergy, and afterwards applied to one of the non-jurors to perform the ceremonies enjoined at this season, has incurred the charge of duplicity. I am a long time in expectation of a battle, but am at length told that the King submits. Call at the Louvre, where I find M. de Curt established. Go away directly, and visit Madame de Nadaillac. As she urges me to prolong my visit, and as it is late, I send to the guinguette for a matelote, and dine in her chamber. She makes many façons, but we get along. We shall see how things go, by and by. … M. Vicq d’Azyr shows me the letter written by the department to the King. It is dictatorial in the extreme. Madame de Flahaut had already informed me of it, but I am obliged to disapprove of it.”
[*]Étienne Brémond, of whom Morris so often speaks in his diary, had been successively curé at Chartres, canon of the cathedral, canon of a church in Paris, and docteur de la Sorbonne. His chagrin at the imprisonment of the king threw him into a painful condition of health, which resulted in his death in January, 1795.
[*]The Abbé Maury defended with skill and eloquence the cause of the monarchy, the church, and the nobles in the National Assembly. He became afterward an archbishop and a cardinal, and died in 1817, having witnessed the Bourbon restoration. He was born in 1746.
[†]Count Charles de la Marck was Minister of Marine from October, 1790, to May, 1791.
[‡]Count Mercy d’Argenteau was Austrian ambassador from the Court of Vienna to Paris in 1791. He advised the flight of the royal family.
[*]Félix Vicq d’Azyr possessed great attractions of person and manner, and as a writer, professor, and orator was judged a worthy successor to Buffon at the French Academy. He was the great promoter of the Academy of Medicine, and he represented a new phase in the progress of social science; Vicq d’Azyr was perhaps the first physician who practised his profession in Paris without a wig. He was chosen as the physician of Marie Antoinette, and his short career embraced all the time that was accorded to the reign of Louis ⅩⅥ., for he only survived a short time after the 21st of January, 1793, and perished a moral victim to the terrors of the Revolution. He was born in Normandy in April, 1748.
[†]The last of the philosophers of the eighteenth century was M. de Condorcet, secretary of the Academy of Sciences, the successor of d’Alembert, the last correspondent of Voltaire, and the friend of Turgot. In his salon, which was the centre of thinking Europe, where distinguished persons from far and near were to be found, perhaps the most attractive feature was Madame Condorcet, his lively, refined, and sympathetic wife. Always master of himself, Condorcet talked little, listened to everything, profited by everything, and forgot nothing. His sympathy was far-reaching, ready to embrace everything, from the profound questions of the moment to the latest fashion in woman’s dress. In 1789 he ardently embraced the popular cause, and voted generally with the Girondists, but not for the king’s death. He attacked violently the Constitution of 1793, and was obliged to seek safety against the Revolution, and for eight months he found an asylum in the house of Madame Vernet, where he wrote his famous Progrès de l’esprit humain. A longing for fresh air impelled him to leave his house; he was arrested, thrown into prison, and ended his life by poison.
[*]On the 27th of January, 1791, Washington wrote to the President of the National Assembly acknowledging the tribute paid to Franklin, which had been sent to Washington in the form of a letter of condolence. He at the same time desired the president to convey to the National Assembly his interest in their efforts to establish in France a firm constitution for the diffusion of the true principles of liberty, assimilating as well as ameliorating the condition of mankind, and convincing them that their interest would best be promoted by mutual good will and harmony.
[*]George Grenville, second marquis, who during his father’s lifetime was summoned to Parliament as Baron Gower. His lordship, who was a privy councillor and Knight of the Garter, was created Duke of Sutherland, January 28, 1833. He married, September, 1785, Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland, and Baroness of Strathnaver in her own right.
[*]The salon of Madame de Trudaine was known familiarly as the Salon du Garçon Philosophe. At one or two grand dinners and suppers a week she entertained all the dukes, ambassadors, gentlemen of letters and finance, strangers, and ministers. The conversation was at the same time solid and piquant. The mistress of the salon sometimes marred the perfect accord of her guests by her indifference.