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An account of my travels in Italy with Lord John Russell,
Chantry the sculptor, Jackson the painter, 8c.
AUGUST 31st, 1819. Dined with Tegart. Went in the evening to sup at Lord Blessington's: had received in the morning some verses from him, reminding me of my en-gagement to meet the Duke of York, George Colman, Rogers, &c. at dinner with him to-morrow.
September 1st. Received a letter from Bessy to say that she had made up her mind to come up for a day and see me once again before my departure : delighted at this. Sent an apology to Lord Blessington's. Heard from Rogers that Lord John Russell means to go on to Greece, and would probably take me on with him from Paris. Rogers does not go. Dined at Power's at four, and went to the coach to meet Bessy at half-past six. After she had tea, took her to Astley's and saw the “high-mettled racer.” Supped at home. A great effort in my dear girl to leave her little ones even for so short a time.
2nd. Received a letter from Lord John to say he will be in town this evening, and that he hopes I shall
prefer Holyrood House with a view of Arthur's seat, to Paris with the range of all Europe.” Have at last made up my mind, and shall go with him to Paris. Bessy, too, thinks this best. Called upon Sheddon, by advice of the Longmans, to see whether he is likely to help me out of the difficulties brought on me by his nephew. Took Longman with me. Found him more warm in the cause than I expected. After shopping about with Bessy, and going (she and I) with Rogers to see some panoramas, dined at home. In the evening walked about, and took her place in the coach for to-morrow morning. Wrote to Lord John to say I shall accompany him.
3rd. Up at six and saw my darling girl off in the coach. God send I may meet her again in health and in happiness a nobler hearted creature never breathed! Called upon Lord John, and settled to be off to-morrow morning at seven. Arranged my money supplies with the Longmans, who are guarantees for me to Hammersley for a letter of credit to the amount of 4001. Lord John gave me a message from the Duke that he will be happy to take me across in his packet on Sunday morning. Took a warm bath at the Hummums, and dined there. Went to Power's, and arranged some things for him for the second number of “ National Airs,” which he is unluckily resolved to bring out in its present state.
Saturday 4th. Set off with Lord John in his carriage at. seven; breakfasted, and arrived at Dover to dinner at seven o'clock; the journey very agreeable. Lord John mild and sensible; took off Talma very well. Mentioned Buonaparte having instructed Talma in the part of Nero; correcting him for being in such a bustle in giving his orders, and telling him that they ought to be given calmly, as coming from a person used to sovereignty. Told me an epigram
of Lord Holland's, on one of the two candidates for Bedfordshire saying in his address, that the memory of his struggle would exist to the end of time:
" When this earth to the work of destruction shall bend,
And the seasons be ceasing to roll,
The state of the Bedfordshire poll!”
We mentioned several jeux d'esprit of this kind : “Why did you
kick me downstairs ? ” Dr. Johnson's “ Come, my lad, and drink some beer;" and I quoted the following on Cæsar Colclough's taking boat at Luggelaw to follow the hounds :
" Cæsarem vehis et fortunas."
“When meaner souls the tempest struck with awe,
Cæsar and his — saddle bags !""
Talked a good deal of politics. Lord John much more moderate in his opposition than the Duke and Lord Tavistock. The Duke and Duchess arrived about an hour or two after us: drank tea with them.
5th. Breakfasted with the Duke and Duchess, and sailed at ten: rough but quick passage. Got to Calais at one. Woolriche, who goes as the Duke's physician, made one of the party. All dined together at Quillac's, and in the evening Woolriche and I went to the Spectacle.
6th. Breakfasted with the Duke and Duchess, and took leave of them: they are going for the Rhine. Woolriche very sorry I was not going on with them; and Lord John told me afterwards that the Duchess said she “wished they had some one with them, like Mr. Moore, to be agreeable when they got to their inn in the evening." A good deal of conversation on the way. By the bye, the Duke mentioned at breakfast a good story Sheridan used to tell of one of his constituents (I believe) saying to him “ Oh sir! things cannot go on in this way; there must be a reform ; we, poor electors, are not paid properly at all.” Lord John mentioned Mr. Fox's speech on the Scrutiny as full of legal knowledge and argument. A good mot (of Madame de Coigny's, I believe) about some woman who had red hair and all its attendant ill consequences, and of whom some one said that she was very virtuous : Oui, elle est comme Samson, elle a toutes ses forces dans ses cheveux. Madame de Coigny has a very bad voice; she said once, Je n'ai qu'une voix contre moi - c'est la mienne. Lunched at Breteuil, where were two very pretty girls : got on to Abbeville, where we slept.
7th. Breakfasted at a wretched house at Picquigny : arrived at Chantilly before eight in the evening, where we dined. Lord John talks of staying a fortnight at Paris, having to consult Barillon's papers for a second edition of his “ Life of Lord Russell.” Hauterive, who has the care of these papers, was very uncivil to him on a former occasion when he applied for a sight of them. The same person refused to let Mackintosh see some papers for his history, and afterwards boasted to the Duke of Wellington of his having done so. Upon the Duke replying that he thought Mackintosh might have been allowed to see them, this fellow said, Mais, milord, il va écrire une histoire Whig, et moi je suis Monarchique, et vous aussi.
Lord John will, after a fortnight's stay, take me over the Alps; but he goes by Mont Cenis, on his way to Genoa, so that I skall lose the sight of the Simplon, which will be impassable on my return. Slept at Chantilly.
8th. Arrived at Paris between two and three o'clock: went to the Hotel Breteuil, and took the same rooms Rogers and I were in two years ago, with the addition of another bedroom, for which, between us, we pay eight napoleons a week. Dined at Beauvilliers', and went in the evening to the Opera; “ Fernando Cortez,” by Spontini: admirable music. The ballet, “La Servante Justifiée." Had met in walking before dinner Lord Rancliffe, Lord Auckland, Ward, Lady Granard, and some other acquaintances. Ward walked for some time with us in the Tuileries, and pumped up some clever things, but the effort was too visible. Eat ice at the Mille Colonnes after
9th. Heard the Lansdownes arrived yesterday. Made some calls, on Lady Charlotte Fitzgerald, &c. &c. Dined at Massinot's, and went to the Variétés; the “Comédie Grivoise" of Dorat et Vadé, which has some humour in it; and “ Werther," which is an admirable burlesque. Lord John went afterwards to Mad. de Flahault's, where I was asked, but did not go, preferring an ice at the Mille Colonnes,
10th. Saw Lord Lansdowne: drove about in Lord John's calèche. Went to the church of St. Sulpice; the organ very beautiful. Dined with Macdonald, who has just married Lord Albemarle's daughter, Lady Sophia. Company: the Lansdownes, Lord Auckland, Lord John, and myself. Went to the Théâtre Francais to see Malle. Mars in the “Misanthrope” and “Les Étourdis,” but got squeezed down nearly under the stage, and saw only a scene or two, but those were admirable. The scandal scene, where they all sit to cut up characters, which certainly, one would think, had given the hint to Sheridan, and Celimene's retort upon Arsinoé (I think), the Mrs. Candour of the piece. Not able to stand the pressure : went off to