28 October 1789: Castle of Indolence

Wednesday 28.— (…) At three call on Madame de Chastellux and then go to Dinner at the Palais royal. Madame de Rullie sits for her Picture in Crayons. She has a Mind to coquette with me because she has the same Mind as to every Body else. A Madame de Vauban who is here is a disagreable looking Woman & I think much addicted to Venery. The interior of this Menage is very much like the Castle of Indolence. Go from hence to the Louvre. The Bishop is with Madame [Flahaut – A.E.]. He asked a Dinner with her Son who arrived this Day. Quite a family Party. He goes away and I tell her that I am sorry to have interrupted such a Scene. She dwells much upon her Child and weeps plenteously. I wipe away the Tears as they fall, and this silent Attention mingles by Degrees the sexual with the maternal Affection…. According to Custom on such Occasions the genial Bliss opens a female heart to lavish Professions of endless Love. She means every Word of it now, but nothing here below can last forever. We go together to Madame de La Borde’s and make a very short Visit, the Child being in Company. Set her down at the Louvre and go to Madame de Chastellux’s. The Dutchess, who was not well at Dinner, is very little better now, or rather she is worse, the usual Case of those who suffer from the Lassitude of Indolence. Sleep becomes necessary from the Want of Exercise as well as from the Excess of it. Return Home and write. This has been an unpleasant Day but the Evening is tolerable.

A diary of the French revolution, by Gouverneur Morris, 1752-1816. Ed. by Beatrix Cary Davenport. Vol. 1 (Boston, 1939), p. 275-276.

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