16 November 1789: The Pope’s American Tobacco

Monday 16. — This Morning write a little. A Message from Madame de F[lahaut] she is ill but wishes to ride. Call upon herbetween twelve and one. She is in Bed with a bad Cold. We go towards the Bridge of Neuilly but before we reach it she complains so much that we return. A little Dalliance after we get to her Chamber inspires us both with the Wish to go further but I leave that Business undone. Go to Mr. Le Couteulx’s. Dine. (…) After Dinner visit General Dalrymple. (…) He considers Mr. Necker’s Plan as flat Nonsense and tells me that the Bankers he conversed with are of Opinion it is good for nothing. (…) Visit Madame de Puisignieu who is abroad, then go to Mad[am]e de Chastellux. Mad[am]e de Ségur with her two Sons are gone to Meaux to meet her Husband who is on his Return from St. Petersburg. At half past nine call on Mad[am]e de F[lahaut] to take her to Supper with Mad[am]e Capellis. She is in bed and very much indisposed. Stay but a few Minutes and then go to Supper. The Nuncio of his Holiness is not here. It is the Day on which his Courier departs. Capellis tells me that he wishes to bring us together because that the Pope has quarelled with the Farmers General about the Supplies of Tobacco formerly taken from them. That he draws them now from Germany and he thinks an Agreement might be made to furnish his Holiness from America. I doubt much the Success of this Scheme, for the Pope can only contract from Year to Year and the Distance is such that half the Year would be consumed before a Leaf of Tobacco could arrive. The Company here are much disgusted with the actings and doings of the Assemblee nationale. Return Home a little after twelve. The Weather has this Day been fine.

A diary of the French revolution, by Gouverneur Morris, 1752-1816. Ed. by Beatrix Cary Davenport. Vol. 1 (Boston, 1939), p. 301-302.

Image: Pompeo Batoni – Ritratto di Papa Pio VI


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