6 December 1789: plans of finance in competition

Sunday… — (…) Go to Madame de Flahaut’s. We satisfy the Sentiment and then converse on Affairs. (…) The Count de Luxembourg, who was to have been of her Party for Dinner, sends an Apology and we then agree that I shall stay and dine in order to converse with the Bishop [d’Autun] about Laborde’s Plan of Finance. The Bishop arrives and tells me what has passed on that Subject. It appears that Laborde has behaved with Meanness and Treachery. The Plan is Panchaut’s; was delivered to Laborde by the Bishop to consider of the Practicability in a pecuniary Point of View and with a Declaration that he desired to obtain by that Means a Provision for Panchaut’s family, who are indigent. (…) I then communicate to him my Plan for the American Debt. But first I ask whether a Caisse d’Amortissement [sinking fund] will be established and whether the American Debt will be transferred to it as a Part of the Fund. He tells me that he thinks both will be done. I tell him that I wish they may, and then state Mr. Necker’s Conversation with me and remark on the Folly of asking from an Individual adequate Security to the Amount of 40 M[illio]ns. He agrees with me entirely and I think Mr. Necker will sooner or later have Reason to regret that he treated my Offer with so much Contempt. (…) This has been a foggy, damp, disagreable Day.

A diary of the French revolution, by Gouverneur Morris, 1752-1816. Ed. by Beatrix Cary Davenport. Vol. 1 (Boston, 1939), p. 325-327.

Image: Mme Flahaut

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