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Dined at Mr. Grand's, with the Swedish gentlemen. They were M. Rosenstein, secretary of the embassy, and , with whom I had a good deal of conversation relating to the commerce possible between our two countries. I found they had seen at Rome Charles Stuart, the Pretender. They spoke of his situation as very hard ; that France, who had formerly allowed him a pension, had withdrawn it, and that he sometimes almost wanted bread | July 11th. — M. Walterstrof called. He hears that the agreement with Sweden respecting the port of Gottenburg is not likely to be concluded; that Sweden wanted an island in the West Indies in exchange. I think she is better without it. July 13th. — MM. Mirabeau and Champfort came and read their translation of (American) Mr. Burke's pamphlet against the Cincinnati,” which they have much enlarged, intending it as a covered satire against noblesse in general. It is well done. There are also remarks on the last letter of General Washington on that subject. They say General Washington missed a beau moment, when he accepted to be of that society (which some affect to call an order). The same of the Marquis de la Fayette. July 14th. — Mr. Hammond calls to acquaint me, that Mr. Hartley is still without any instructions relating to the treaty of commerce; and supposes it occasioned by their attention to the India bill. I said to him, “Your court and this seem to be waiting for one another, with respect to the American trade with your respective islands. You are both afraid of doing too much for us, and yet each wishes to do a little more than the other. You had better have accepted our generous proposal at first, to put us both on the same footing of free intercourse that existed before the war. You will make some narrow regulations, and then France will go beyond you in generosity. You never see your follies till too late to mend them.” He said, Lord Sheffield was continually exasperating the Parliament against America. He had lately been publishing an account of loyalists murdered there, &c. Probably invented. Thursday, July 15th. — The Duke de Chartres's balloon went off this morning from St. Cloud, himself and three others in the gallery. It was foggy, and they were soon out of sight. But, the machine being disordered, so that the trap or valve could not be opened to let out the expanding air, and fearing that the balloon would burst, they cut a hole in it, which ripped larger, and they
* A pamphlet by AEdanus Burke, of South Carolina, entitled “Considerations upon the Order of the Cincinnati.” – Editor.
fell rapidly, but received no harm. They had been a vast height, met with a cloud of snow, and a tornado, which frightened them. Friday, 16th. — Received a letter from two young gentlemen in London, who are come from America for ecclesiastical orders, and complain that they have been delayed there a year, and that the Archbishop will not permit them to be ordained unless they will take the oath of allegiance; and desiring to know if they may be ordained here. Inquired, and learned that, if ordained here, they must vow obedience to the Archbishop of Paris. Directed my grandson to ask the Nuncio, if their bishop in America might not be instructed to do it literally Saturday, 17th. — The Nuncio says the thing is impossible, unless the gentlemen become Roman Catholics. Wrote them an anSWer. Sunday, 18th. — A good abbé brings me a large manuscript containing a scheme of reformation of all churches and states, religion, commerce, laws, &c., which he has planned in his closet, without much knowledge of the world. I have promised to look it over, and he is to call next Thursday. It is amazing the number of legislators that kindly bring me new plans for governing the United States. Monday, July 19th. — Had the Americans at dinner, with Mr. White and Mr. Arbuthnot from England. The latter was an officer at Gibraltar during the late siege. He says the Spaniards might have taken it; and that it is now a place of no value to England. That its supposed use as a port for a fleet, to prevent the junction of the Brest and Toulon squadrons, is chimerical. That while the Spaniards are in possession of Algeziras, they can with their gun-boats, in the use of which they are grown very expert, make it impossible for any fleet to lie there. Tuesday, 20th. — My grandson went to court. No news there, except that the Spanish fleet against Algiers is sailed. Receive only one American letter by the packet, which is from the College of Rhode Island, desiring me to solicit benefactions of the King, which I cannot do, for reasons which I shall give them. It is inconceivable why I have no letters from Congress. The treaties with Denmark, Portugal, &c., all neglected ' Mr. Hartley makes the same complaint. He is still without orders. Mr. Hammond called and dined with me; says Mr. Pitt begins to lose his popularity; his new taxes, and project about the navy bills, give great discontent. He has been burnt in effigy at York. His East India bill not likely to go down; and it is thought he cannot stand long. Mr. Ham
mond is a friend of Mr. Fox; whose friends, that have lost their places, are called For's Martyrs. Wednesday, July 21. – Count de Haga” sends his card to take leave. M. Grand tells me he has bought here my bust with that of M. D'Alembert or Diderot, to take with him to Sweden. He set out last night. Thursday, 22d. –Lord Fitzmaurice, son of Lord Shelburne, arrives; brought me sundry letters and papers. He thinks Mr. Pitt in danger of losing his majority in the House of Commons, though great at present; for he will not have wherewithal to pay them. I said, that governing by a Parliament which must be bribed, was employing a very expensive machine, and that the people of England would in time find out, though they had not yet, that, since the Parliament must always do the will of the minister, and be paid for doing it, and the people must find the money to pay them, it would be the same thing in effect, but much cheaper, to be governed by the minister at first hand, without a Parliament. Those present seemed to think the reasoning clear. Lord Fitzmaurice appears a sensible, amiable young man. Tuesday, 27th. — Lord Fitzmaurice called to see me. His father having requested that I would give him such instructive hints as might be useful to him, I occasionally mentioned the old story of Demosthenes' answer to one who demanded what was the first point of oratory. Action. The second Action. The third Action. Which, I said, had been generally understood to mean the action of an orator with his hands, &c., in speaking; but that I thought another kind of action of more importance to an orator, who would persuade people to follow his advice, viz. such a course of action in the conduct of life, as would impress them with an opinion of his integrity as well as of his understanding; that, this opinion once established, all the difficulties, delays, and oppositions, usually occasioned by doubts and suspicions, were prevented; and such a man, though a very imperfect speaker, would almost always carry his points against the most flourishing orator, who had not the character of sincerity. To express my sense of the importance of a good private character in public affairs more strongly, I said the advantage of having it, and the disadvantage of not having it, were so great, that I even believed, if George the Third had had a bad private character, and John Wilkes a good one, the latter might have turned the former out of his kingdom. Lord Shelburne, the
* The King of Sweden.
father of Lord Fitzmaurice, has unfortunately the character of being insincere; and it has hurt much his usefulness; though, in all my concerns with him, I never saw any instance of that kind.
No. VI. p. 509.
HAviNG stayed in France about eight years and a half, I took leave of the court and my friends, and set out on my return home, July 12th, 1785, leaving Passy with my two grandsons, at four P. M.; arrived about eight o'clock at St. Germain. M. de Chaumont, with his daughter Sophia, accompanied us to Nanterre. M. Le Veillard will continue with us to Havre. We met at St. Germain the Miss Alexanders, with Mrs. Williams our cousin, who had provided a lodging for me at M. Benoit's. I found that the motion of the litter, lent me by the Duke de Coigny, did not much incommode me. It was one of the Queen's, carried by two very large mules, the muleteer riding another; M. Le Veillard and my children in a carriage. We drank tea at M. Benoit's, and went early to bed.
Wednesday, July 13th. — Breakfast with our friends, take leave and continue our journey, dine at a good inn at Meulan, and get to Mantes in the evening. A messenger from the Cardinal de la Rochefoucauld meets us there, with an invitation to us to stop at his house at Gaillon the next day, acquainting us at the same time, that he would take no excuse; for, being all-powerful in his archbishopric, he would stop us nolens volens at his habitation, and not permit us to lodge anywhere else. We consented. Lodged at Mantes. Found myself very little fatigued with the day's journey, the mules going only foot pace.
July 14th. — Proceed early, and breakfast at Vernon. Received a visit there from Wicomte de Tilly and his Comtesse. Arrive at the Cardinal's without dining, about six in the afternoon. It is a superb ancient château, built about three hundred and fifty years since, but in fine preservation, on an elevated situation, with an extensive and beautiful view over a well-cultivated country. The Cardinal is archbishop of Rouen. A long gallery contains the pictures of all his predecessors. The chapel is elegant in the old style, with well-painted glass windows. The terrace magnificent. We supped early. The entertainment was kind and cheerful. We were allowed to go early to bed, on account of our intention to depart early in the morning. The Cardinal pressed us to pass another day with him, offering to amuseus with hunting in his park; but the necessity we are under of being in time at Havre, would not permit. So we took leave and retired to rest. The Cardinal is much respected and beloved by the people of this country, bearing in all respects an excellent character. July 15th. — Set out about five in the morning, travelled till ten, then stopped to breakfast, and remained in the inn during the heat of the day. We had heard at the Cardinal's, that our friend Mr. Holker, of Rouen, had been out that day as far as Port St. Antoine to meet us; expecting us there from a letter of M. de Chaumont's. Here came to us one of his servants, who was sent to inquire if any accident had happened to us on the road, and was ordered to proceed till he got intelligence. He went directly back, and we proceeded. We passed a chain of chalk mountains very high, with strata of flints. The quantity that appears to have been washed away on one side of these mountains, leaving precipices of three hundred feet high, gives an idea of extreme antiquity. It seems as if done by the beating of the sea. We got to Rouen about five; were most affectionately received by Mr. and Mrs. Holker. A great company of genteel people at supper, which was our dinner. The chief President of the Parliament and his lady invite us to dine the next day; but, being prečngaged with Mr. Holker, we compounded for drinking tea. We lodge all at Mr. Holker's. July 16th. — A deputation from the Academy of Rouen came with their compliments, which were delivered in form, and a present for me by one of the directors, being a magical square, which I think he said expressed my name. I have perused it since, but do not comprehend it. The Duke de Chabot's son, lately married to a Montmorency, and colonel of a regiment now at Rouen, was present at the ceremony, being just come in to visit me. I forgot to mention that I saw with pleasure, in the Cardinal's cabinet, a portrait of this young man's grandmother, Madame la Duchesse d'Enville, who had always been our friend, and treated us with great civilities at Paris; a lady of uncommon intelligence and merit. I received here also a present of books, 3 vols. 4to., from Dr. , with a very polite letter, which I answered. We had a great company at dinner; and at six went in a chair to the President's, where were assembled some gentlemen of the