24 November 1789: no American wheat for Necker

Tuesday 24. — (…) …go to the Prince de Broglio’s to Dinner. The Count de Ségur dines with us; a pleasant Company. The Bishop [d’Autun] is of the Number. After Dinner I give him some Hints as to the Objection made by many to the Opposers of Mr. Necker’s Plan because they do not come forward with a better. Go from hence to Mr. Necker’s. The Mayor and the Committee of Subsistence are waiting to speak with him. Send in my Name and in Consequence he comes out to the Antichamber. I tell him that I cannot undertake to furnish him with Wheat. That I must either ask for it an extravagant Price or risque a great Loss. That I do not chuse the first and will not incur the second. That if he has any other Plan for obtaining it in which I can be useful he may command me. He is a little disappointed at this Intelligence. Leave him and pay my Respects to Mad[am]e Necker. The Comte de Ségur is with her and Mons[ieu]r de Thiare. After a short Visit go to Mad[am]e de Chastellux’s. Stay till eight and then go by Appointment to the Louvre. The Insurgents in Brabant seem to be in a fair Way to Success. The Imperialists are in Possession of Bruxelles only, and beseiged here. My Friend [Mme Flahaut], as becomes a faithful Ally to the Emperor, quells all Insurgency on my Part. Shortly after Mons[ieu]r de Thiare comes in. He gives us some Account of what has passed in Brittany. Among other Things it happened that two Municipalities quarelled about Subsistence and the Matter went so far as to use Force on each Side. Each in Consequence gave Orders to a Regiment to march against the other, for in each a Regiment happened to be quartered. Luckily a Compromise took Place; but this is one of the first Fruits of the new Constitution of Armies and Municipalities. There will be many others of the like Kind for when Mankind are resolved to disregard as vulgar Prejudice every Principle which has hitherto been established by Experience for the Government of Man, endless Inconsistencies must be expected. Sup here. (…) This has been a fine Day, clear but cold. The Ice remained all Day in the Shade.

A diary of the French revolution, by Gouverneur Morris, 1752-1816. Ed. by Beatrix Cary Davenport. Vol. 1 (Boston, 1939), p. 310-311.

Image: Count de Ségur

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