4 December 1789: Business, politics, & flirt

Friday… (…) Go to Mons[ieu]r de Montmorin’s and meet according to Appointment the Count de Moustiers and Madame de Bréhan. Shew him my Proposition intended for Mr. Necker. He seems not fully to approve. I rather think that he withholds Assent because he thinks it like to be very successful, but I may be deceived. At going away the Count de Montmorin asks why I depart so soon. Tell him that I am going to Mr. Necker’s &c. That if he chuses [sic] I will communicate to him my Proposition not as a Minister but as a friend. He asks to see it, examines it with Attention, requires Explanations and finally approves it much and offers to speak with Mr. Necker on the Subject. I desire him not to, lest Mr. Necker should think I have been deficient in Respect. Go to Mr. Necker’s. He is gone to Council. Converse with Madame in such a Way as to please her. She asks me to dine Tomorrow. I mention my prior Engagement but say I will come after Dinner as I wish to see Mr. Necker. She tells me I had better come to Dinner. I will if I can. Go to the Opera. After a while the Count de Luxembourgh comes into the Loge. He has something to say of Politics. We leave the Opera and after sitting Madame de La Borde down at her own House I take my friend Home. She is not well. The Count de Luxembourg comes in. He takes her aside and has a Conversation the Purport whereof is to offer to the Bishop [d’Autun] the Support of the aristocratic Faction. I doubt much his being authorized to make this Offer. Leave them together and go to Mad[am]e de Stahl’s. Music here. She sings and does every Thing to impress the Heart of the Count de Ségur. Her Lover de Narbonne is returned. Ségur assures me of his Fidelity to his Wife. I join heartily in Praise of her & assure him truly that I love her as much for her Children as for her own Sake and she is certainly a very lovely Woman. After Supper de Narbonne tells us that he is authorised by Franche Comté to accuse the Comité des Recherches. This Committee is very like what was called in the State of New York the Tory Committee of which Duer was a leading Member. A Committee for detecting and defeating all Conspiracies &c., &c. Thus it is that Mankind in similar Situations always adopt a correspondent Conduct. I had some Conversation before Supper with the Count de Ségur who disapproves of the Bishop [d’Autun]’s Oration, and so indeed do most others. And they blame particularly those Things which I had advised him to alter. He has Something of the Author about him; but the tender Attachment to our literary Productions is by no Means suitable to a Minister. To sacrifice great Objects for the Sake of small ones is an inverse Ratio of moral Proportion. Leave Madame de Stahl’s early. Set down Mons[ieu]r de Bonnet, who tells me that I am to succeed Jefferson. I tell him that if the Place is offered it will be difficult for me not to accept, but that I wish it may not be offered, &c., &c. This has been a tolerably pleasant Day.

A diary of the French revolution, by Gouverneur Morris, 1752-1816. Ed. by Beatrix Cary Davenport. Vol. 1 (Boston, 1939), p. 322-323.

Image: Membre du Comité des recherches. Scène satirique publiée en 1790

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