22 October 1789: Indecencies & Bad French

Thursday 22. (…) …dine at the Restorateur’s. From thence to Club. Enter into some Discussions with a Member of the Etats généraux or Assemblée nationale, who shews his own Imbecility. At leaving the Room the Company almost commit the Indecency so common in the Assemblée, of clapping the Speaker they approve. One of them follows me out to mention that it is in vain to shew Light to the Blind. N’importe. Go to Madame de F[lahaut]. She has with her the Duc de Biron who soon leaves her. She tells me an Anecdote of Lafayette not too much to his Honor. He had said in his little Society of Madame de Simien &c., in speaking of the Duke of Orleans: ‘Ses Lettres de Créance sont des Lettres de Grâce.’ The Duc de Biron, who knows all the Steps taken with the Duke of Orleans (his friend) wrote to Lafayette on this Subject and has received an Answer in which he tells him: ‘Je n’ai pas pu me servir d’une telle Expression, puisqu’il n’y a aucun Indice contre le Duc D’Orleans.’ She says she has seen the Letter. Undoubtedly the Duc de Biron will make it tolerably public The Marquis de Montesquieu comes in. Visit Mad.e de Chastellux. The Dutchess arrives late, having been to visit the Queen. Mad.e de Chastellux tells me the Position of Affairs in this Family. We discuss the Line of Conduct which the Princess ought to pursue, and as she is in the Hands of the Vicomte de Ségur & of Mad: de C[hastellu]x I think she will act with a Degree of Understanding and Firmness not natural to her. From hence return according to my Promise to Supper at Mad: de F[lahaut]. A good Deal of random Chit Chat in which she plays the Mocqueuse upon my bad french. This is not amiss. Stay till twelve and then we all quit. Two Persons have been hanged this Afternoon for murdering the Baker and there are two or three more, it is said, to be hanged To Morrow.

A diary of the French revolution, by Gouverneur Morris, 1752-1816. Ed. by Beatrix Cary Davenport. Vol. 1 (Boston, 1939), p. 267-268.


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