17 October 1789: Sex as Remedy

Saturday 17. (…) Go to the Louvre. Madame [Flahaut] is still suffering. She has followed my Prescription but hitherto unsuccessfully. After being with her a few Minutes I exhibit another Medicine which works Wonders. The Roses blush on her Cheek, her Eyes sparkle; she assures me repeatedly that she is very well. We go to her Convent and visit her Religieuse. The old Lady admires her Looks and will not believe that she is indisposed. We return and celebrate again the Cyprian Mystery. I then leave her to receive the Bishop [d’Autun]. She drops an expression for the first Time respecting him which is a Cousin German to Contempt. I may if I please wean her from all Regard towards him. But he is the Father of her Child and it would be unjust. The Secret is that he wants the fortiter in Re, tho he abounds with the suaviter in Modo, and this last will not do alone. Go to the Palais royal and visit Madame de Chastellux; the Duchess is there, the Maréchal and Vicomte de Segur. Make Tea. A Person comes in and tells the Dutchess that her Husband is stopped at Boulogne. She is much affected. We undertake to assure her that it cannot be; tho in fact there is every Reason to suppose that in the present disordered State of the Kingdom he could not pass. She is very solicitous to know the Truth and I go to Monsr. de La Fayette’s to enquire it. He is not Home. Or rather, if I may judge from Appearances, he is not visible. Thence to Monsr. de Montmorin’s who is abroad. Return to Mad: de Ch[astellu]x’s. The poor Dutchess is penetrated with Gratitude for this slight Attempt to serve her. It is very hard that a Heart so good should be doomed to suffer so much. Take Leave. She follows me out to express again her Thankfulness. Poor Lady! Go to Madame de Stahl’s. A great Deal of Vivacity which I do not enter into sufficiently. She asks me while I sit next to Narbonne if I continue to think she has a Preference for Monsr. de Tonnerre. I reply only by observing that they have each of them Wit enough for one Couple and therefore I think they had better separate and take each a Partner who is un peu bête. I do not enter enough into the Ton of this Society. After Supper some Gentlemen come in who tell us there is a Riot in the faubourg St. Antoine. We have had a great Deal of News this Evening. A Number of Insurrections in different Places. It is affirmed by Madame on good Authority that the Duke is stopped. Go from hence to Club where we learn that the supposed Riot is a false Alarm. But my Servant tells me that they expect one ToMorrow and have ordered out a large Body of Troops at eight o’Clock in the Morning. The Grenadiers of the late french Guards insist on keeping Possession of the King’s Person. This is natural. It has been a fine Day. Something like what we call in America the second Summer.

A diary of the French revolution, by Gouverneur Morris, 1752-1816. Ed. by Beatrix Cary Davenport. Vol. 1 (Boston, 1939), p. 261-262.


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