Part 3 out of 3
with a blond beard and blue eyes, quite the Northern type. She recalled
her sister (Queen Alexandra), not quite so tall, but with the same
gracious manner and beautiful eyes. The Grand Duke talked a great deal,
principally politics, to W. He expressed himself very doubtfully about
the stability of the Republic, and was evidently worried over the
possibility of a general amnesty, "a very dangerous measure which no
government should sanction." W. assured him there would be no general
amnesty, but he seemed sceptical, repeated several times: "Soyez stable,
soyez ferme." The Grande Duchesse talked to me about Paris, the streets
were so gay, the shops so tempting, and all the people so smiling and
happy. I suppose the contrast struck her, coming from Russia where the
people look sad and listless. I was much impressed with their sad,
repressed look when we were in Russia for the coronation--one never
heard people laugh or sing in the streets--and yet we were there at a
time of great national rejoicings, amusements of all kinds provided for
the people. Their national melodies, volklieder (songs of the people),
have always a strain of sadness running through them. Our conversation
was in French, which both spoke very well.
The winter months went by quickly enough with periodical alarms in the
political world when some new measure was discussed which aroused
everybody's passions and satisfied neither side. I made weekly visits to
my own house, which was never dismantled, as I always felt our stay at
the Quai d'Orsay would not last much longer. One of our colleagues,
Madame Leon Say, an intelligent, charming woman, took matters more
philosophically than I did. Her husband had been in and out of office so
often that she was quite indifferent to sudden changes of residence.
They too kept their house open and she said she had always a terrine de
crise ready in her larders.
The diplomatic appointments, the embassies particularly, were a
difficulty. Admiral Pothnau went to London. He was a very gallant
officer and had served with the English in the Crimea--had the order of
the Bath, and exactly that stand-off, pompous manner which suits English
people. General Chanzy went to St. Petersburg. It has been the tradition
almost always to send a soldier to Russia. There is so little
intercourse between the Russian Emperor and any foreigner, even an
ambassador, that an ordinary diplomatist, no matter how intelligent or
experienced he might be, would have very few opportunities to talk to
the Emperor; whereas an officer, with the various reviews and
manoeuvres that are always going on in Russia, would surely approach him
more easily. I was so struck when we were in Russia with the immense
distance that separated the princes from the ordinary mortals. They seem
like demigods on a different plane (in Russia I mean; of course when
they come to Paris their godlike attributes disappear, unfortunately for
Chanzy was very happy in Russia, where he was extremely well received.
He dined with us one night, when he was at home on leave, and was most
enthusiastic about everything in Russia--their finances, their army--the
women of all classes so intelligent, so patriotic. He was evidently
quite sous le charme. When he had gone, M. Desprey, then Directeur de la
Politique, a very clever man, who had seen many ambassadors come and go
from all the capitals of Europe, said:
"It is curious how all the ambassadors who go to Russia have that same
impression. I have never known it to fail. It is the Russian policy to
be delightful to the ambassadors--make life very easy for them--show
them all that is brilliant and interesting--open all doors (society,
etc.) and keep all sordid and ugly questions in the background."
St. Vallier remained at Berlin. His name had been mentioned for Foreign
Minister when Dufaure was making his cabinet, but he hadn't the health
for it--and I think preferred being in Berlin. He knew Germany well and
had a good many friends in Berlin.
W. of course had a great many men's dinners, from which I was excluded.
I dined often with some of my friends, not of the official world, and I
used to ask myself sometimes if the Quai d'Orsay and these houses could
be in the same country. It was an entirely different world, every point
of view different, not only politics--that one would expect, as the
whole of society was anti-Republican, Royalist, or Bonapartist--but
every question discussed wore a different aspect. Once or twice there
was a question of Louis XIV and what he would have done in certain
cases,--the religious question always a passionate one. That of course I
never discussed, being a Protestant, and knowing quite well that the
real fervent Catholics think Protestants have no religion.
I was out driving with a friend one morning in Lent (Holy Week),
Thursday I think--and said I could not be out late, as I must go to
church--perhaps she would drop me at the Protestant Chapel in the Avenue
de la Grand Armee. She was so absolutely astonished that it was almost
funny, though I was half angry too. "You are going to church on Holy
Thursday. I didn't know Protestants ever kept Lent, or Holy Week or any
saint's day." "Don't you think we ever go to church?" "Oh, yes, to a
conference or sermon on Sundays, but you are not pratiquant like us." I
was really put out, and tried another day, when she was sitting with me,
to show her our prayerbook, and explained that the Creed and the Lord's
Prayer, to say nothing of various other prayers, were just the same as
in her livre de Messe, but I didn't make any impression upon her--her
only remark being, "I suppose you do believe in God,"--yet she was a
clever, well-educated woman--knew her French history well, and must have
known what a part the French Protestants played at one time in France,
when many of the great nobles were Protestants.
Years afterward, with the same friend, we were discussing the proposed
marriage of the Duke of Clarence, eldest son of the late King Edward VII
of England, who wanted very much to marry Princess Helene d'Orleans,
daughter of the Comte de Paris, now Duchesse d'Aosta. It was impossible
for the English prince, heir to the throne, to marry a Catholic
princess--it seemed equally impossible for the French princess to become
a Protestant. The Pope was consulted and very strong influence brought
to bear on the question, but the Catholic Church was firm. We were in
London at the time, and of course heard the question much discussed. It
was an interesting case, as the two young people were much in love with
each other. I said to my friend:
"If I were in the place of the Princess Helene I should make myself a
Protestant. It is a big bait for the daughter of an exiled prince to be
Queen of England."
"But it couldn't be; no Catholic could change her religion or make
"Yet there is a precedent in your history. Your King Henri IV of beloved
memory, a Protestant, didn't hesitate to make himself a Catholic to be
King of France."
"Ah, but that is quite different."
"For you perhaps, chere amie, but not for us."
However, the poor young prince died suddenly of pneumonia, so the
sacrifice would have been in vain.
All the autumn of '79 was very agitated. We were obliged to curtail our
stay at Bourneville, our country home. Even though the Chambers were not
sitting, every description of political intrigue was going on. Every day
W. had an immense courrier and every second day a secretary came down
from the Quai d'Orsay with despatches and papers to sign. Telegrams came
all day long. W. had one or two shooting breakfasts and the long tramps
in the woods rested him. The guests were generally the notabilities of
the small towns and villages of his circumscription,--mayors, farmers,
and small landowners. They all talked politics and W. was surprised to
see how in this quiet agricultural district the fever of democracy had
mounted. Usually the well-to-do farmer is very conservative, looks
askance at the very advanced opinions of the young radicals, but a
complete change had come over them. They seemed to think the Republic,
founded at last upon a solid basis, supported by honest Republicans,
would bring untold prosperity not only to the country, but to each
individual, and many very modest, unpretending citizens of the small
towns saw themselves conseilleurs generaux, deputies, perhaps even
ministers. It was a curious change. However, on the whole, the people in
our part of the world were reasonable. I was sorry to go back to town. I
liked the last beautiful days of September in the country. The trees
were just beginning to turn, and the rides in the woods were delightful,
the roads so soft and springy. The horses seemed to like the brisk
canter as much as we did. We disturbed all the forest life as we
galloped along--hares and rabbits scuttled away--we saw their white
tails disappearing into holes, and when we crossed a bit of plain,
partridges a long distance off would rise and take their crooked flight
across the fields. It was so still, always is in the woods, that the
horses' feet could be heard a long way off. It was getting colder (all
the country folk predicted a very cold winter) and the wood-fire looked
very cheerful and comfortable in my little salon when we came in.
However, everything must end, and W. had to go back to the fight, which
promised to be lively. In Paris we found people wearing furs and
preparing for a cold winter. The house of the Quai d'Orsay was
comfortable, well warmed, caloriferes and big fires in all the rooms,
and whenever there was any sun it poured into the rooms from the garden.
I didn't take up my official afternoon receptions. The session had not
begun, and, as it seemed extremely unlikely that the coming year would
see us still at the Quai d'Orsay, it was not worth while to embark upon
that dreary function. I was at home every afternoon after five--had tea
in my little blue salon, and always had two or three people to keep me
company. Prince Hohenlohe came often, settled himself in an armchair
with his cup of tea, and talked easily and charmingly about everything.
He was just back from Germany and reported Bismarck and the Emperor (I
should have said, perhaps, the Emperor and Bismarck) as rather worried
over the rapid strides France was making in radicalism. He reassured
them, told them Grevy was essentially a man of peace, and, as long as
moderate men like W., Leon Say, and their friends remained in office,
things would go quietly. "Yes, if they remain. I have an idea we shan't
stay much longer, and report says Freycinet will be the next premier."
He evidently had heard the same report, and spoke warmly of
Freycinet,--intelligent, energetic, and such a precise mind. If W. were
obliged to resign, which he personally would regret, he thought
Freycinet was the coming man--unless Gambetta wanted to be premier. He
didn't think he did, was not quite ready yet, but his hand might be
forced by his friends, and of course if he wanted it, he would be the
next President du Conseil. He also told me a great many things that
Blowitz had said to him--he had a great opinion of him--said he was so
marvellously well-informed of all that was going on. It was curious to
see how a keen, clever man like Prince Hohenlohe attached so much
importance to anything that Blowitz said. The nuncio, Monseigneur
Czaski, came too sometimes at tea-time. He was a charming talker, but I
always felt as if he were saying exactly what he meant to and what he
wanted me to repeat to W. I am never quite sure with Italians. There is
always a certain reticence under their extremely natural, rather
exuberant manner. Monseigneur Czaski was not an Italian by birth--a
Pole, but I don't know that they inspire much more confidence.
PARLIAMENT BACK IN PARIS
The question of the return of the Parliament to Paris had at last been
solved after endless discussions. All the Republicans were in favour of
it, and they were masters of the situation. The President, Grevy, too
wanted it very much. If the Chambers continued to sit at Versailles, he
would be obliged to establish himself there, which he didn't want to do.
Many people were very unwilling to make the change, were honestly
nervous about possible disturbances in the streets, and, though they
grumbled too at the loss of time, the draughty carriages of the
parliamentary train, etc., they still preferred those discomforts to any
possibility of rioting and street fights, and the invasion of the
Chamber of Deputies by a Paris mob. W. was very anxious for the change.
He didn't in the least anticipate any trouble--his principal reason for
wanting the Parliament back was the loss of time, and also to get rid of
the conversations in the train, which tired him very much. He never
could make himself heard without an effort, as his voice was low, had no
"timbre," and he didn't hear his neighbours very well in the noise of
the train. He always arrived at the station at the last minute, and got
into the last carriage, hoping to be undisturbed, and have a quiet
half-hour with his papers, but he was rarely left alone. If any deputy
who wanted anything recognised him, he of course got in the same
carriage, because he knew he was sure of a half-hour to state his case,
as the minister couldn't get away from him. The Chambers met, after a
short vacation in November, at last in Paris, and already there were so
many interpellations announced on every possible subject, so many
criticisms on the policy of the cabinet, and so many people wanting
other people's places, that the session promised to be very lively--the
Senate at the Palais du Luxembourg, the Deputies at the Palais Bourbon.
W. and I went over to the Luxembourg one morning early in October, to
see the arrangements that had been made for the Senate. He wanted too to
choose his seat. I hadn't been there in the daytime for years--I had
dined once or twice at the Petit Palais with various presidents of the
Senate, but my only impression was a very long drive (from the Barriere
de l'Etoile where we lived) and fine high rooms with heavy gilt
furniture and tapestries. The palace was built by Maria de' Medici, wife
of Henri IV. After the death of that very chivalrous but very undomestic
monarch, she retired to the Luxembourg, and from there as regent (her
son Louis XIII was only ten years old when his father died) for some
years directed the policy of France under the guidance of her favourite,
the Italian Concini, and his wife.
The palace recalls very much the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, with its
solid masonry and rather severe heavy architecture. It must have been a
gloomy residence, notwithstanding the beautiful gardens with their broad
alleys and great open spaces. The gardens are stiff, very Italian, with
statues, fountains, and marble balustrades--not many flowers, except
immediately around the palace, but they were flooded with sunshine that
day, and the old grey pile seemed to rise out of a parterre of bright
flowers. The palace has been slightly modernised, but the general
architecture remains the same. Many people of all kinds have lived there
since it was built--several royal princes, and the Emperor Napoleon when
he was First Consul. He went from there to the Tuileries. The Luxembourg
Palace has always been associated with the history of France. During
the Revolution it was a prison, and many of the curious scenes one reads
of at that period took place in those old walls--the grandes dames so
careful of their dress and their manners, the grands seigneurs so brave
and gallant, striving in every way by their witty conversation and their
music (for they sang and played in the prisons all through that awful
time) to distract the women and make them forget the terrible doom that
was hanging over them. Many well-known people went straight from the
palace to the scaffold. It seemed a fitting place for the sittings of
the Senate and the deliberations of a chosen body of men, who were
supposed to bring a maturer judgment and a wider experience in the
discussion of all the burning questions of the day than the ardent young
deputies so eager to have done with everything connected with the old
regime and start fresh.
After we had inspected the palace we walked about the gardens, which
were charming that bright October morning,--the sun really too strong.
We found a bench in the shade, and sat there very happy, W. smoking and
wondering what the next turn of the wheel would bring us. A great many
people were walking about and sitting under the trees. It was quite a
different public from what one saw anywhere else, many students of both
sexes carrying books, small easels, and campstools,--some of the men
such evident Bohemians, with long hair, sweeping moustache, and soft
felt hat,--quite the type one sees in the pictures or plays of "La Vie
de Boheme." Their girl companions looked very trim and neat, dressed
generally in black, their clothes fitting extremely well--most of them
bareheaded, but some had hats of the simplest description--none of the
flaunting feathers and bright flowers one sees on the boulevards. They
are a type apart, the modern grisettes, so quiet and well-behaved as to
be almost respectable. One always hears that the Quartier Latin doesn't
exist any more--the students are more serious, less turbulent, and that
the hardworking little grisette, quite content with her simple life and
pleasure, has degenerated into the danseuse of the music-halls and
barriere theatres. I don't think so. A certain class of young,
impecunious students will always live in that quarter and will always
amuse themselves, and they will also always find girls quite ready and
happy to enjoy life a little while they are young enough to live in the
present, and have no cares for the future. Children were playing about
in the alleys and broad, open spaces, and climbing on the fountains
when the keepers of the garden were not anywhere near--their nurses
sitting in a sunny corner with their work. It was quite another world,
neither the Champs-Elysees nor Montmartre. All looked perfectly
respectable, and the couples sitting on out-of-the-way benches, in most
affectionate attitudes, were too much taken up with each other to heed
I went back there several times afterward, taking Francis with me, and
it was curious how out of the world one felt. Paris, our Paris, might
have been miles away. I learned to know some of the habitues quite
well--a white-haired old gentleman who always brought bread for the
birds; they knew him perfectly and would flutter down to the Square as
soon as he appeared--a handsome young man with a tragic face, always
alone, walking up and down muttering and talking to himself--he may have
been an aspirant for the Odeon or some of the theatres in the
neighbourhood--a lame man on crutches, a child walking beside him
looking wistfully at the children playing about but not daring to leave
her charge--groups of students hurrying through the gardens on their way
to the Sorbonne, their black leather serviettes under their
arms--couples always everywhere. I don't think there were many
foreigners or tourists,--I never heard anything but French spoken. Even
the most disreputable-looking old beggar at the gate who sold
shoe-laces, learned to know us, and would run to open the door of
With the contrariety of human nature, some people would say of feminine
nature, now that I felt I was not going to live much longer on the rive
gauche I was getting quite fond of it. Life was so quiet and restful in
those long, narrow streets, some even with grass growing on the
pavement--no trams, no omnibuses, very little passing, glimpses
occasionally of big houses standing well back from the street, a
good-sized courtyard in front and garden at the back--the classic
Faubourg St. Germain hotel entre cour et jardin. I went to tea sometimes
with a friend who lived in a big, old-fashioned house in the rue de
Varenne. She lived on the fourth floor--one went up a broad, bare, cold
stone staircase (which always reminded me of some of the staircases in
the Roman palaces). Her rooms were large, very high ceilings, very
little furniture in them, very little fire in winter, fine old family
portraits on the walls, but from the windows one looked down on a lovely
garden where the sun shone and the birds sang all day. It was just like
being in the country, so extraordinarily quiet. A very respectable man
servant in an old-fashioned brown livery, with a great many brass
buttons, who looked as old as the house itself and as if he were part of
it, always opened the door. Her husband was a literary man who made
conferences at the Sorbonne and the College de France, and they lived
entirely in that quarter--came very rarely to our part of Paris. He was
an old friend of W.'s, and they came sometimes to dine with us. He
deplored W.'s having gone to the Foreign Office--thought the Public
Instruction was so much more to his tastes and habits. She had an
English grandmother, knew English quite well, and read English reviews
and papers. She had once seen Queen Victoria and was very interested in
all that concerned her. Queen Victoria had a great prestige in France.
People admired not only the wise sovereign who had weathered
successfully so many changes, but the beautiful woman's life as wife and
mother. She was always spoken of with the greatest respect, even by
people who were not sympathetic to England as a nation.
Another of my haunts was the Convent and Maison de Sante of the Soeurs
Augustines du Saint Coeur de Marie in the rue de la Sante. It was
curious to turn out of the broad, busy, populous avenue, crowded with
trams, omnibuses, and camions, into the narrow, quiet street, which
seemed all stone walls and big doors. There was another hospital and a
prison in the street, which naturally gave it rather a gloomy aspect,
but once inside the courtyard of the Convent there was a complete
transformation. One found one's self in a large, square, open court with
arcades and buildings all around--the chapel just opposite the entrance.
On one side of the court were the rooms for the patients, on the other
nice rooms and small apartments which were let to invalids or old
ladies, and which opened on a garden, really a park of thirteen or
fourteen acres. The doors were always open, and one had a lovely view of
green fields and trees. The moment you put your foot inside the court,
you felt the atmosphere of peace and cheerfulness, though it was a
hospital. The nuns all looked happy and smiling--they always do, and I
always wonder why. Life in a cloister seems to me so narrow and
monotonous and unsatisfying unless one has been bred in a convent and
knows nothing of life but what the teachers tell.
I have a friend who always fills me with astonishment--a very clever,
cultivated woman, no longer very young, married to a charming man,
accustomed to life in its largest sense. She was utterly wretched when
her husband died, but after a time she took up her life again and
seemed to find interest and pleasure in the things they had done
together. Suddenly she announced her intention of becoming a nun--sold
her house and lovely garden, where she had spent so many happy hours
with her flowers and her birds, distributed her pretty things among her
friends, and accepted all the small trials of strict convent life--no
bath, nor mirror, coarse underlinen and sheets--no fire, no lights, no
privacy, the regular irksome routine of a nun's life, and is perfectly
happy--never misses the intellectual companionship and the refinement
and daintiness of her former life,--likes the commonplace routine of the
convent--the books they read to each other in "recreation," simple
stories one would hardly give to a child of twelve or fourteen,--the
fetes on the "mother's" birthday, when the nuns make a cake and put a
wreath of roses on the mother's head.
The Soeurs Augustines are very happy in their lives, but they see a
great deal more of the outside world. They always have patients in the
hospital, and people in the apartments, which are much in demand. The
care and attendance is very good. The ladies are very comfortable and
have as many visitors as they like in the afternoon at stated hours, and
the rooms are very tempting with white walls and furniture, and
scrupulously clean. The cuisine is very good, everything very daintily
served. All day one saw black-robed figures moving quietly across the
court, carrying all kinds of invalid paraphernalia--cushions, rugs, cups
of bouillon--but there was never any noise--no sound of talking or
laughing. When they spoke, the voices were low, like people accustomed
to a sick-room. No men were allowed in the Convent, except the doctors
of course, and visitors at stated hours.
I spent many days there one spring, as C. was there for some weeks for a
slight operation. She had a charming room and dressing-room, with
windows giving on a garden or rather farmyard, for the soeurs had their
cows and chickens. Sometimes in the evening we would see one of the
sisters, her black skirt tucked up and a blue apron over it, bringing
the cows back to their stables. No man could have a room in the house.
F. wanted very much to be with his wife at night, as he was a busy man
and away all day, and I tried to get a room for him, but the mother
superior, a delightful old lady, wouldn't hear of it. However, the night
before-and the night after the operation, he was allowed to remain with
her,--no extra bed was put in the room--he slept on the sofa.
Often when C. was sleeping or tired, I would take my book and establish
myself in the garden. Paris might have been miles away, though only a
few yards off there was a busy, crowded boulevard, but no noise seemed
to penetrate the thick walls. Occasionally at the end of a quiet path I
would see a black figure pacing backward and forward, with eyes fixed on
a breviary. Once or twice a soeur jardiniere with a big, flat straw hat
over her coiffe and veil tending the flowers (there were not many) or
weeding the lawn, sometimes convalescents or old ladies seated in
armchairs under the trees, but there was never any sound of voices or of
life. It was very reposeful (when one felt one could get away for a
little while), but I think the absolute calm and monotony would pall
upon one, and the "Call of the World"--the struggling, living, joyous
world outside the walls--would be an irresistible temptation.
I walked about a good deal in my quarter in the morning, and made
acquaintance with many funny little old squares and shops, merceries,
flower and toy shops which had not yet been swallowed up by the enormous
establishments like the Louvre, the Bon Marche, and the big bazaars. I
don't know how they existed; there was never any one in the shops, and
of course their choice was limited, but they were so grateful, their
things were so much cheaper, and they were so anxious to get anything
one wanted, that it was a pleasure to deal with them. Everything was
much cheaper on that side--flowers, cakes, writing-paper, rents,
servants' wages, stable equipment, horses' food. We bought some toys one
year for one of our Christmas trees in the country from a poor old lame
woman who had a tiny shop in one of the small streets running out of the
rue du Bac. Her grandson, a boy of about twelve or fourteen, helped her
in the shop, and they were so pleased and excited at having such a large
order that they were quite bewildered. We did get what we wanted, but it
took time and patience,--their stock was small and not varied. We had to
choose piece by piece--horses, dolls, drums, etc.--and the writing down
of the items and making up the additions was long and trying. I meant to
go back after we left the Quai d'Orsay, but I never did, and I am afraid
the poor old woman with her petit commerce shared the fate of all the
others and could not hold out against the big shops.
One gets lazy about shopping. The first years we lived in the country we
used to go ourselves to the big shops and bazaars in Paris for our
Christmas shopping, but the heat and the crowd and the waiting were so
tiring that we finally made arrangements with the woman who sold toys in
the little town, La Ferte-Milon. She went to Paris and brought back
specimens of all the new toys. We went into town one afternoon--all the
toys were spread out on tables in her little parlour at the back of the
shop (her little girl attending to the customers, who were consumed with
curiosity as to why our carriage was waiting so long at the door) and we
made our selection. She was a great help to us, as she knew all the
children, their ages, and what they would like. She was very pleased to
execute the commission--it made her of importance in the town, having
the big boxes come down from Paris addressed to her, and she paid her
journey and made a very good profit by charging two or three sous more
on each article. We were quite willing to pay the few extra francs to be
saved the fatigue of the long day's shopping in Paris. It also settled
another difficult question--what to buy in a small country town. Once we
had exhausted the butcher and the baker and the small groceries, there
was not much to buy.
From the beginning of my life in the country, W. always wanted me to buy
as much as possible in the town, and I was often puzzled. Now the shops
in all the small country towns have improved. They have their things
straight from Paris, with very good catalogues, so that one can order
fairly well. The things are more expensive of course, but I think it is
right to give what help one can to the people of the country. One cold
winter at Bourneville, when we had our house full of people, there was a
sudden call for blankets. I thought my "lingerie" was pretty well
stocked, but one gentleman wanted four blankets on his bed, three over
him and one under the sheet. A couple wanted the same, only one more, a
blanket for a big armchair near the fire. I went in to La Ferte to see
what I could find--no white blankets anywhere--some rather nice red
ones--and plenty of the stiff (not at all warm) grey blankets they give
to the soldiers. Those naturally were out of the question, but I took
three or four red ones, which of course could not go in the guests'
rooms, but were distributed on the beds of the family, their white ones
going to the friends. After that experience I always had a reserve of
blankets, but I was never asked for so many again. Living in the
country, with people constantly staying in the house, gives one much
insight into other people's way of living and what are the necessities
of life for them. I thought our house was pretty well provided for. We
were a large family party, and had all we wanted, but some of the
demands were curious, varying of course with the nationalities.
The Chambers met in Paris at the end of November and took possession of
their respective houses without the slightest disturbance of any kind.
Up to the last moment some people were nervous and predicting all sorts
of trouble and complications. We spent the Toussaint in the country with
some friends, and their views of the future were so gloomy that it was
almost contagious. One afternoon when we were all assembled in the
drawing-room for tea, after a beautiful day's shooting, the conversation
(generally retrospective) was so melancholy that I was rather impressed
by it,--"The beginning of the end,--the culpable weakness of the
Government and Moderate men, giving way entirely to the Radicals, an
invitation to the Paris rabble to interfere with the sittings of the
Chambers," and a variety of similar remarks.
It would have been funny if one hadn't felt that the speakers were
really in earnest and anxious. However, nothing happened. The first few
days there was a small, perfectly quiet, well-behaved crowd, also a very
strong police force, at the Palais Bourbon, but I think more from
curiosity and the novelty of seeing deputies again at the Palais Bourbon
than from any other reason. If it were quiet outside, one couldn't say
the same of the inside of the Chamber. The fight began hotly at once.
Speeches and interpellations and attacks on the Government were the
order of the day. The different members of the cabinet made statements
explaining their policy, but apparently they had satisfied nobody on
either side, and it was evident that the Chamber was not only
dissatisfied but actively hostile.
W. and his friends were very discouraged and disgusted. They had gone as
far as they could in the way of concessions. W., at any rate, would do
no more, and it was evident that the Chamber would seize the first
pretext to overthrow the ministry. W. saw Grevy very often. He was
opposed to any change, didn't want W. to go, said his presence at the
Foreign Office gave confidence to Europe,--he might perhaps remain at
the Foreign Office and resign as Premier, but that, naturally, he
wouldn't do. He was really sick of the whole thing.
Grevy was a thorough Republican but an old-fashioned Republican,--not in
the least enthusiastic, rather sceptical--didn't at all see the ideal
Republic dreamed of by the younger men--where all men were alike--and
nothing but honesty and true patriotism were the ruling motives. I
don't know if he went as far as a well-known diplomatist, Prince
Metternich, I think, who said he was so tired of the word fraternite
that if he had a brother he would call him "cousin." Grevy was certainly
very unwilling to see things pass into the hands of the more advanced
Left. I don't think he could have done anything--they say no
constitutional President (or King either) can.
There was a great rivalry between him and Gambetta. Both men had such a
strong position in the Republican party that it was a pity they couldn't
understand each other. I suppose they were too unlike--Gambetta lived in
an atmosphere of flattery and adulation. His head might well have been
turned--all his familiars were at his feet, hanging upon his words,
putting him on a pinnacle as a splendid patriot. Grevy's entourage was
much calmer, recognising his great ability and his keen legal mind, not
so enthusiastic but always wanting to have his opinion, and relying a
good deal upon his judgment. There were of course all sorts of meetings
and conversations at our house, with Leon Say, Jules Ferry, Casimir
Perier, and others. St. Vallier came on from Berlin, where he was still
ambassador. He was very anxious about the state of affairs in
France--said Bismarck was very worried at the great step the Radicals
had made in the new Parliament--was afraid the Moderate men would have
no show. _I_ believe he was pleased and hoped that a succession of
incapable ministries and internal quarrels would weaken France still
more--and prevent her from taking her place again as a great power. He
wasn't a generous victor.
As long as W. was at the Foreign Office things went very smoothly. He
and St. Vallier thought alike on most subjects, home politics and
foreign--and since the Berlin Congress, where W. had come in touch with
all the principal men in Germany, it was of course much easier for them
to work together. We dined generally with my mother on Sunday
night--particularly at this time of the year, when the official banquets
had not begun and our Sundays were free. The evenings were always
interesting, as we saw so many people, English and Americans always, and
in fact all nationalities. We had lived abroad so much that we knew
people all over the world,--it was a change from the eternal politics
and "shop" talk we heard everywhere else. Some of them, English
particularly (I don't think the Americans cared much about foreign
politics), were most interested and curious over what was going on, and
the probable fall of the cabinet. An English lady said to me: "How
dreadful it will be for you when your husband is no longer minister;
your life will be so dull and you will be of so much less importance."
The last part of the sentence was undoubtedly true--any functionary's
wife has a certain importance in France, and when your husband has been
Foreign Minister and Premier, you fall from a certain height, but I
couldn't accept the first part, that my life would be necessarily dull
because I was no longer what one of my friends said in Italy, speaking
of a minister's wife, a donna publica. I began to explain that I really
had some interest in life outside of politics, but she was so convinced
of the truth of her observation that it was quite useless to pursue the
conversation, and I naturally didn't care. Another one, an American this
time, said to me: "I hope you don't mind my never having been to see you
since you were married, but I never could remember your name; I only
knew it began with W. and one sees it very often in the papers."
Arthur Sullivan, the English composer, was there one night. He had come
over to Paris to hear one of his symphonies played at the Conservatoire,
and was very much pleased with the way it had been received by that very
critical audience. He was quite surprised to find the Parisians so
enthusiastic--had always heard the Paris Salle was so cold.
Miss Kellogg, the American prima donna, was there too that evening, and
we made a great deal of music, she singing and Sullivan accompanying by
heart. Mrs. Freeman, wife of one of the English secretaries, told W.
that Queen Victoria had so enjoyed her talk with him--"quite as if I
were talking with one of my own ministers." She had found Grevy rather
stiff and reserved--said their conversation was absolutely banal. They
spoke in French, and as Grevy knew nothing of England or the English,
the interview couldn't have been interesting.
We saw a great many people that last month, dined with all our
colleagues of the diplomatic corps. They were already diners d'adieux,
as every day in the papers the fall of the ministry was announced, and
the names of the new ministers published. I think the diplomatists were
sorry to see W. go, but of course they couldn't feel very strongly on
the subject. Their business is to be on good terms with all the foreign
ministers, and to get as much as they can out of them. They are, with
rare exceptions, birds of passage, and don't trouble themselves much
about changing cabinets. However, they were all very civil, not too
diffuse, and one had the impression that they would be just as civil to
our successor and to his successor. It must be so; there is no
profession so absolutely banal as diplomacy. All diplomatists, from the
ambassador to the youngest secretary, must follow their instructions,
and if by any chance an ambassador does take any initiative, profiting
by being on the spot, and knowing the character of the people, he is
promptly disowned by his chief.
I had grown very philosophical, was quite ready to go or to stay, didn't
mind the fight any more nor the attacks on W., which were not very
vicious, but so absurd that no one who knew him could attach the least
importance to them. He didn't care a pin. He had always been a
Protestant, with an English name, educated in England, so the
reiteration of these facts, very much exaggerated and leading up to the
conclusion that on account of his birth and education he couldn't be a
convinced French Republican, didn't affect him very much. He had always
promised me a winter in Italy when he left office. He had never been in
Rome, and I was delighted at the prospect of seeing that lovely land
again, all blue sky and bright sun and smiling faces.
We dined often with M.L., W.'s uncle, who kept us au courant of all (and
it was little) that was going on in the Royalist camp, but that was not
of importance. The advanced Republicans were having it all their own
way, and it was evident that the days of conciliatory measures and
moderate men were over. W. was not a club man, went very rarely to his
club, but his uncle went every afternoon before dinner, and gave us all
the potins (gossip) of that world, very hostile to the Republic, and
still quite believing that their turn would come. His uncle was not of
that opinion. He was a very clever man, a diplomatist who had lived in a
great many places and known a great many people, and was entirely on the
Royalist side, but he thought their cause was a lost one, at least for a
time. He often asked some of his friends to meet us at dinner, said it
was a good thing for W. to hear what men on the other side thought, and
W. was quite pleased to meet them. They were all absolutely opposed to
him in politics, and discussion sometimes ran high, but there was never
anything personal--all were men of the world, had seen many changes in
France in their lives; many had played a part in politics under the
former regimes. It seemed to me that they underrated the intelligence
and the strength of the Republican party.
One of the regular habitues was the Marquis de N., a charming man,
fairly broad-minded (given the atmosphere he lived in) and sceptical to
the highest degree. He was a great friend of Marshal MacMahon, and had
been prefet at Pau, where he had a great position. He was very
dictatorial, very outspoken, but was a great favourite, particularly
with the English colony, which is large there in the hunting-season. He
had accepted to dine one night with an English family, who lived in a
villa a little out of town. They had an accident en route, which delayed
them very much, and when he and the marquise arrived the party was at
table. He instantly had his carriage called back and left the house in
spite of all the explanations and apologies of his host, saying that
when "one had the honour of receiving the Marquis de N. one waited
dinner for him."
We saw always a great deal of him, as his daughter married the Comte de
F., who was for some time in W.'s cabinet at the Quai d'Orsay, and
afterward with us the ten years we were at the London Embassy, where
they were quite part of the family. They were both perfectly fitted for
diplomatic life, particularly in England. Both spoke English well, knew
everybody, and remembered all the faces and all the names, no easy thing
in England, where the names and titles change so often. I know several
Englishwomen who have had four different names. Lady Holland was also a
friend of "Oncle Alphonse" and dined there often. She was
delicate-looking, rather quiet in general conversation, though she spoke
French easily, but was interesting when she was talking to one or two
people. We went often to her beautiful house in London, the first years
we were at the embassy, and always met interesting people. Her salon was
very cosmopolitan--every one who came to London wanted to go to Holland
House, which was a museum filled with beautiful things.
Another lady who was often at my uncle's was quite a different type,
Mademoiselle A., an old pupil of the Conservatoire, who had made a short
career at the Comedie Francaise many years before. She was really
charming, and her stories of the coulisses and the jalousies between the
authors and the actors, particularly the stars (who hardly accepted the
slightest observation from the writer of the play), were most amusing.
Once the piece was accepted it passed into the domain of the theatre,
and the actors felt at liberty to interpret the roles according to their
ideas and traditions. She had a perfect diction; it was a delight to
hear her. She recited one night one of Alphonse Daudet's little contes,
"Lettres de Mon Moulin," I think, beginning--"Qui n'a pas vu Avignon du
temps des Papes n'a rien vu." One couldn't hear anything more charming,
in a perfectly trained voice, and so easily and naturally said.
I suppose no one would listen to it in these days. Bridge has suppressed
all conversation or music or artistic enjoyment of any kind. It must
come to an end some day like all crazes, but at the present moment it
has destroyed society. It has been a godsend to many people of no
particular importance or position who have used it as a stepping-stone
to get into society. If people play a good game of bridge, they are
welcome guests in a great many houses which formerly would have been
closed to them, and it is a great resource to ladies no longer very
young, widows and spinsters, who find their days long and don't know
what to do with their lives.
Notwithstanding his preoccupations, W. managed to get a few days'
shooting in November. He shot several times at Rambouillet with Grevy,
who was an excellent shot, and his shooting breakfasts were very
pleasant. There was plenty of game, everything very well organised, and
the company agreeable. He always asked the ministers, ambassadors, and
many of the leading political men and very often some of his old
friends, lawyers and men of various professions whom W. was delighted
to meet. Their ideas didn't run in grooves like most of the men he lived
with, and it was a pleasure to hear talk that wasn't political nor
personal. The vicious attacks upon persons were so trying those first
days of the Republic. Every man who was a little more prominent than his
neighbour seemed a target for every kind of insinuation and criticism.
We went for two days to "Pout," Casimir Perier's fine place in the
departement de l'Aube, where we had capital shooting. It was already
extremely cold for the season--the big pond in the court was frozen
hard, and the wind whistled about our ears when we drove in an open
carriage to join the shooters at breakfast. Even I, who don't usually
feel the cold, was thankful to be well wrapped up in furs. The Pavillon
d'Hiver looked very inviting as we drove up--an immense fire was blazing
in the chimney, another just outside, where the soup and ragout for the
army of beaters were being prepared. We all had nice little foot-warmers
under our chairs, and were as comfortable as possible. It was too warm
in fact when the shooters came in and we sat down to breakfast. We were
obliged to open the door. The talk was entirely "shop" at breakfast,
every man telling what he had killed, or missed, and the minute they
had finished breakfast, they started off again. We followed one or two
battues (pheasants), but it was really too cold, and we were glad to
walk home to get warm.
The dinner and evening were pleasant--everybody talking--most of them
criticising the Government freely. W. didn't mind, they were all
friends. He defended himself sometimes, merely asking what they would
have done in his place--he was quite ready to receive any
suggestions--but nothing practical ever came out of the discussions. I
think the most delightful political position in the world must be
"leader of the opposition"--you have no responsibilities, can
concentrate all your energies in pointing out the weak spots in your
adversary's armour, and have always your work cut out for you, for as
soon as one ministry falls, you can set to work to demolish its
successor, which seems the most interesting occupation possible.
The great question which was disturbing the Chambers and the country was
the general amnesty. That, of course, W. would never agree to. There
might be exceptions. Some of the men who took part in the Commune were
so young, little more than lads, carried away by the example of their
elders and the excitement of the moment, and there were fiery patriotic
articles in almost all the Republican papers inviting France to make the
beau geste of la mere patrie and open her arms to her misguided
children, and various sensible experienced men really thought it would
be better to wipe out everything and start again with no dark memories
to cast a shadow on the beginnings of the young Republic. How many
brilliant, sanguine, impossible theories I heard advanced all those
days, and how the few remaining members of the Centre Gauche tried to
reason with the most liberal men of the Centre Droit and to persuade
them frankly to face the fact that the country had sent a strong
Republican majority to Parliament and to make the best of the fait
accompli. I suppose it was asking too much of them to go back on the
traditions of their lives, but after all they were Frenchmen, their
country was just recovering from a terrible disaster, and had need of
all her children. During the Franco-Prussian War all party feeling was
forgotten. Every man was first a Frenchman in the face of a foreign foe,
and if they could have stood firmly together in those first days after
the war the strength of the country would have been wonderful. All
Europe was astounded at the way in which France paid her milliards,--no
one more so than Bismarck, who is supposed to have said that, if he
could have dreamed that France could pay that enormous sum so quickly,
he would have asked much more.
December was very cold, snow and ice everywhere, and very hard frosts,
which didn't give way at all when the sun came out occasionally in the
middle of the day. Everybody was skating, not only at the clubs of the
Bois de Boulogne, but on the lakes, which happens very rarely, as the
water is fairly deep. The Seine was full of large blocks of ice, which
got jammed up against the bridges and made a jarring ugly sound as they
knocked against each other. The river steamers had stopped running, and
there were crowds of flaneurs loitering on the quais and bridges
wondering if the cold would last long enough for the river to be quite
W. and I went two or three times to the Cercle des Patineurs at the Bois
de Boulogne, and had a good skate. The women didn't skate as well then
as they do now, but they looked very pretty in their costumes of velvet
and sables. It was funny to see them stumbling over the ice with a man
supporting them on each side. However, they enjoyed it very much. It was
beautiful winter weather, very cold but no wind, and it was very good
exercise. All the world was there, and the afternoons passed quickly
enough. I had not skated for years, having spent all my winters in
Italy, but on the principle that you never forget anything that you know
well, I thought I would try, and will say that the first half-hour was
absolute suffering. It was in the old days when one still wore a strap
over the instep, which naturally was drawn very tight. My feet were like
lumps of ice, as heavy as lead, and I didn't seem able to lift them from
the ground. I went back to the dressing-room to take my skates off for a
few minutes, and when the blood began to circulate again, I could have
cried with the pain. A friend of mine, a beginner, who was sitting near
waiting to have her skates put on, was rather discouraged, and said to
me: "You don't look as if you were enjoying yourself. I don't think I
will try." "Oh yes you must,--'les commencements sont toujours
difficiles,' and you will learn. I shall be all right as soon as I start
again." She looked rather doubtful, but I saw her again later in the
day, when I had forgotten all about my sufferings, and she was skating
as easily as I did when I was a girl. I think one must learn young.
After all, it is more or less a question of balance. When one is young
one doesn't mind a fall.
W., who had retired to a corner to practise a little by himself, told me
that one of his friends, Comte de Pourtales, not at all of his way of
thinking in politics, an Imperialist, was much pleased with a little jeu
d'esprit he had made at his expense. W. caught the top of his skate in a
crevice in the ice, and came down rather heavily in a sitting posture.
Comte de Pourtales, who was standing near on the bank, saw the fall and
called out instantly, "Est-ce possible que je voie le President du
Conseil par terre?" (Is it possible that the President du Conseil has
fallen?) The little joke was quite de bonne guerre and quite
appropriate, as the cabinet was tottering and very near its fall. It
amused W. quite as much as it did the bystanders.
The cold was increasing every day, the ground was frozen hard, the
streets very slippery, and going very difficult. All our horses were
rough shod, but even with that we made very slow progress. Some of the
omnibuses were on runners, and one or two of the young men of the
ministry had taken off the wheels of their light carriages and put them
on runners, but one didn't see many real sleighs or sledges, as they
call them here. I fancy "sleigh" is entirely an American expression. The
Seine was at last completely taken, and the public was allowed on the
ice, which was very thick. It was a very pretty, animated sight, many
booths like those one sees on the Boulevard during the Christmas
holidays were installed on the ice close to the banks, and the river was
black with people. They couldn't skate much, as the ice was rough and
there were too many people, but they ran and slid and shouted and
enjoyed themselves immensely. I wanted to cross one day with my boy,
that he might say he had crossed the Seine on foot, but W. was rather
unwilling. However, the prefet de la Seine, whom he consulted, told him
there was absolutely no danger--the ice was several inches thick, so I
started off one afternoon, one of the secretaries going with me. He was
much astonished and rather nervous at seeing me in my ordinary boots. He
had nails in his, and one of our friends whom we met on the ice had
woollen socks over his boots. They were sure I would slip and perhaps
get a bad fall. "But no one could slip on that ice; it is quite rough,
might almost be a ploughed field,"--but they were uncomfortable, and
were very pleased when I landed safely on the other side and got into
the carriage. Just in the middle the boys had swept a path on the ice to
make a glissade. They were racing up and down in bands, and the constant
passing had made it quite level and very slippery. We saw three or four
unwary pedestrians get a fall, but if one kept on the outside near the
bank there was no danger of slipping.
The extreme cold lasting so long brought many discomforts. Many trains
with wood and provisions couldn't get to Paris. The railroads were all
blocked and the Parisians were getting uneasy, fearing they might run
short of food and fuel. We were very comfortable in the big rooms of the
ministry. There were roaring fires everywhere, and two or three
caloriferes. The view from the windows on the Quai was charming as long
as the great cold lasted, particularly at night, when the river was
alive with people, lights and coloured lanterns, and music. Every now
and then there would be a ronde or a farandole,--the farandole forcing
its way through the crowd, every one carrying a lantern and looking like
a brilliant snake winding in and out.
We had some people dining one night, and they couldn't keep away from
the windows. Some of the young ones (English) wanted to go down and have
a lark on the ice, but it wasn't possible. The crowd, though thoroughly
good-humoured, merely bent on enjoying themselves, had degenerated into
a rabble. One would have been obliged to have a strong escort of police,
and besides in evening dress, even with fur cloaks and the fur and
woollen boots every one wore over their thin shoes, one would certainly
have risked getting a bad attack of pneumonia. One of our great friends,
Sir Henry Hoare, was dining that night, but he didn't want to go down,
preferred smoking his cigar in a warm room and talking politics to W. He
had been a great deal in Paris, knew everybody, and was a member of the
Jockey Club. He was much interested in French politics and au fond was
very liberal, quite sympathised with W. and his friends and shared their
opinions on most subjects, though as he said, "I don't air those
opinions at the Jockey Club." He came often to our big receptions, liked
to see all the people. He too used to tell me all that was said in his
club about the Republic and the Government, but he was a shrewd
observer, had been a long time an M.P. in England, and had come to the
conclusion that the talk at the clubs was chiefly a "pose,"--they didn't
really have many illusions about the restoration of the monarchy,
couldn't have, when even the Duc de Broglie with his intelligence and
following (the Faubourg St. Germain followed him blindly) could do
nothing but make a constitutional Republic with Marshal MacMahon at
It was always said too that the women were more uncompromising than the
men. I went one afternoon to a concert at the Austrian Embassy, given in
aid of some inundations, which had been a catastrophe for that country,
hundreds of houses, and people and cattle swept away! The French public
had responded most generously, as they always do, to the urgent appeal
made by the ambassador in the name of the Emperor, and the Government
had contributed largely to the fund. Count Beust the Austrian ambassador
was obliged of course to invite the Government and Madame Grevy to the
entertainment, as well as his friends of the Faubourg St. Germain.
Neither Madame nor Mademoiselle Grevy came, but some of the ministers'
wives did, and it was funny to see the ladies of society looking at the
Republican ladies, as if they were denizens of a different planet,
strange figures they were not accustomed to see. It is curious to think
of all that now, when relations are much less strained. I remember not
very long ago at a party at one of the embassies, seeing many of the
society women having themselves presented to the wife of the then
Minister of Foreign Affairs, with whom they certainly had nothing in
common, neither birth, breeding, nor mode of life. I was talking to
Casimir Perier (late President of the Republic) and it amused us very
much to see the various introductions and the great empressement of the
ladies, all of whom were asking to be presented to Madame R. "What can
all those women want?" I asked him. He replied promptly, "Embassies for
their husbands." It would have been better, I think, in a worldly point
of view, if more embassies had been given to the bearers of some of the
great names of France--but there were so many candidates for every
description of function in France just then, from an ambassador to a
gendarme, that anybody who had anything to give found himself in a
LAST DAYS AT THE FOREIGN OFFICE
The end of December was detestable. We were en pleine crise for ten
days. Every day W. went to the Chamber of Deputies expecting to be
beaten, and every evening came home discouraged and disgusted. The
Chamber was making the position of the ministers perfectly
untenable--all sorts of violent and useless propositions were discussed,
and there was an undercurrent of jealousy and intrigue everywhere. One
day, just before Christmas, about the 20th, W. and his chef de cabinet,
Comte de P., started for the house, after breakfast--W. expecting to be
beaten by a coalition vote of the extreme Left, Bonapartists and
Legitimists. It was an insane policy on the part of the two last, as
they knew perfectly well they wouldn't gain anything by upsetting the
actual cabinet. They would only get another one much more advanced and
more masterful. I suppose their idea was to have a succession of radical
inefficient ministers, which in the end would disgust the country and
make a "saviour," a prince (which one?) or general, possible. How wise
their reasoning was time has shown! I wanted to go to the Chamber to
hear the debate, but W. didn't want me. He would be obliged to speak,
and said it would worry him if I were in the gallery listening to all
the attacks made upon him. (It is rather curious that I never heard him
speak in public, either in the house or in the country, where he often
made political speeches, in election times.) He was so sure that the
ministry would fall that we had already begun cleaning and making fires
in our own house, so on that afternoon, as I didn't want to sit at home
waiting for telegrams, I went up to the house with Henrietta. The
caretaker had already told us that the stock of wood and coal was giving
out, and she couldn't get any more in the quarter, and if she couldn't
make fires the pipes would burst, which was a pleasant prospect with the
thermometer at I don't remember how many degrees below zero. We found a
fine cleaning going on--doors and windows open all over the house--and
women scrubbing stairs, floors, and windows, rather under difficulties,
with little fire and little water. It looked perfectly dreary and
comfortless--not at all tempting. All the furniture was piled up in the
middle of the rooms, and W.'s library was a curiosity. Books and
pamphlets accumulated rapidly with us, W. was a member of many literary
societies of all kinds all over the world, and packages and boxes of
unopened books quite choked up the room. H. and I tried to arrange
things a little, but it was hopeless that day, and, besides, the house
was bitterly cold. It didn't feel as if a fire could make any
As we could do nothing there, we went back to the ministry. No telegrams
had come, but Kruft, our faithful and efficient chef du materiel, was
waiting for me for last instructions about a Christmas tree. Some days
before I had decided to have a Christmas tree, about the end of the
month. W. then thought the ministry would last over the holidays, the
treve des confiseurs, and was quite willing I should have a Christmas
party as a last entertainment. He had been too occupied the last days to
think about any such trifles, and Kruft, not having had any contrary
instructions, had ordered the presents and decorations. He was rather
depressed, because W. had told him that morning that we surely would not
be at the Quai d'Orsay on the 29th, the day we had chosen for our party.
However, I reassured him, and told him we would have the Christmas tree
all the same, only at my house instead of at the ministry. We went to
look at his presents, which were all spread out on a big table in one of
the drawing-rooms. He really was a wonderful man, never forgot anything,
and had remembered that at the last tree, the year before, one or two
nurses had had no presents, and several who had were not pleased with
what was given to them. He had made a very good selection for those
ladies,--lace scarfs and rabats and little tours de cou of fur,--really
very pretty. I believe they were satisfied this time. The young men of
the Chancery sent me up two telegrams: "rien de nouveau,"--"ministere
[Illustration: M. de Freyeinet. After a photograph by M. Nadaz, Paris]
W. came home late, very tired and much disgusted with politics in
general and his party in particular. The cabinet still lived, but merely
to give Grevy time to make another. W. had been to the Elysee and had a
long conversation with Grevy. He found him very preoccupied, very
unwilling to make a change, and he again urged W. very much to keep the
Foreign Office, if Freycinet should succeed in making a ministry. That
W. would not agree to--he was sick of the whole thing. He told Grevy he
was quite right to send for Freycinet--if any man could save the
situation he could. We had one or two friends, political men, to dinner,
and they discussed the situation from every point of view, always
ending with the same conclusion, that W. was right to go. His policy
wasn't the policy of the Chamber (I don't say of the country, for I
think the country knew little and cared less about what was going on in
Parliament), hardly the policy of all his own colleagues. There was
really no use to continue worrying himself to death and doing no good.
W. said his conversation with Grevy was interesting, but he was much
more concerned with home politics and the sweeping changes the
Republicans wanted to make in all the administrations than with foreign
policy. He said Europe was quiet and France's first duty was to
establish herself firmly, which would only be done by peace and
prosperity at home. I told W. I had spent a very cold and uncomfortable
hour at the house, and I was worried about the cold, thought I might,
perhaps, send the boy to mother, but he had taken his precautions and
arranged with the Minister of War to have a certain amount of wood
delivered at the house. They always had reserves of wood at the various
ministries. We had ours directly from our own woods in the country, and
it was en route, but a flotilla of boats was frozen up in the Canal de
l'Ourcq, and it might be weeks before the wood could be delivered.
We dined one night at the British Embassy, while all these pourparlers
were going on, en petit comite, all English, Lord and Lady Reay, Lord
Edmond Fitz-Maurice, and one or two members of Parliament whose names I
have forgotten. Both Lord and Lady Reay were very keen about politics,
knew France well, and were much interested in the phase she was passing
through. Lord Lyons was charming, so friendly and sensible, said he
wasn't surprised at W.'s wanting to go--still hoped this crisis would
pass like so many others he had seen in France; that certainly W.'s
presence at the Foreign Office during the last year had been a help to
the Republic--said also he didn't believe his retirement would last very
long. It was frightfully cold when we came out of the embassy--very few
carriages out, all the coachmen wrapped up in mufflers and fur caps, and
the Place de la Concorde a sea of ice so slippery I thought we should
never get across and over the bridge. I went to the opera one night that
week, got there in an entr'acte, when people were walking about and
reading the papers. As I passed several groups of men, I heard W.'s name
mentioned, also that of Leon Say and Freycinet, but just in passing by
quickly I could not hear any comments. I fancy they were not favourable
in that milieu. It was very cold in the house--almost all the women had
their cloaks on--and the coming out was something awful, crossing that
broad perron in the face of a biting wind.
I began my packing seriously this time, as W.'s mind was quite made up.
He had thought the matter well over, and had a final talk with
Freycinet, who would have liked to keep both W. and Leon Say, but it
wasn't easy to manage the new element that Freycinet brought with him.
The new members were much more advanced in their opinions. W. couldn't
have worked with them, and they certainly didn't want to work with him.
The autumn session came to a turbulent end on the 26th of December, and
the next day the papers announced that the ministers had given their
resignations to the President, who had accepted them and had charged M.
de Freycinet to form a cabinet. We dined with mother on Christmas day, a
family party, with the addition of Comte de P. and one or two stray
Americans who were at hotels and were of course delighted not to dine on
Christmas day at a table d'hote or cafe. W. was rather tired; the
constant talking and seeing so many people of all kinds was very
fatiguing, for, as long as his resignation was not official, announced
in the _Journal Officiel_, he was still Minister of Foreign Affairs.
One of the last days, when they were hoping to come to an agreement, he
was obliged to come home early to receive the mission from Morocco. I
saw them arrive; they were a fine set of men, tall, powerfully built,
their skin a red-brown, not black, entirely dressed in white from
turbans to sandals. None of them spoke any French--all the conversation
took place through an interpreter. Notwithstanding our worries, we had a
very pleasant evening and W. was very cheerful--looking forward to our
Italian trip with quite as much pleasure as I did.
W. made over the ministry to Freycinet on Monday, the 28th, the
transmission des pouvoirs. Freycinet was very nice and friendly,
regretted that he and W. were no longer colleagues. He thought his
ministry was strong and was confident he would manage the Chamber. W.
told him he could settle himself as soon as he liked at the Quai
d'Orsay, as we should go at once, and would sleep at our house on
Wednesday night. Freycinet said Madame de Freycinet (whom I knew well
and liked very much) would come and see me on Wednesday, and would like
to go over the house with me. I was rather taken aback when W. told me
we must sleep in our own house on Wednesday night. The actual packing
was not very troublesome, as I had not brought many of my own things
from the rue Dumont d'Urville. There was scarcely a van-load of small
furniture and boxes, but the getting together of all the small things
was a bore,--books, bibelots, music, cards, and notes (these in
quantities, lettres de condoleance, which had to be carefully sorted as
they had all to be answered). The hotel of the Quai d'Orsay was crowded
with people those last two days, all W.'s friends coming to express
their regrets at his departure, some very sincerely sorry to see him go,
as his name and character certainly inspired confidence abroad--and some
delighted that he was no longer a member of such an advanced
cabinet--(some said "de cet infect gouvernement"), where he was obliged
by his mere presence to sanction many things he didn't approve of. He
and Freycinet had a long talk on Wednesday, as W. naturally wanted to be
sure that some provision would be made for his chef de cabinet and
secretaries. Each incoming minister brings his own staff with him.
Freycinet offered W. the London Embassy, but he wouldn't take it, had
had enough of public life for the present. I didn't want it either, I
had never lived much in England, had not many friends there, and was
counting the days until we could get off to Rome. There was one funny
result of W. having declined the London Embassy. Admiral Pothnau, whom
W. had named there, and who was very much liked, came to see him one day
and made a great scene because Freycinet had offered him the London
Embassy. W. said he didn't understand why he made a scene, as he had
refused it. "But it should never have been offered to you over my head."
"Perhaps, but that is not my fault. I didn't ask for it--and don't want
it. If you think you have been treated badly, you should speak to
Freycinet." However, the admiral was very much put out, and was very
cool with us both for a long time. I suppose his idea was that being
recalled would mean that he had not done well in London, which was quite
a mistake, as he was very much liked there.
We dined alone that last night at the ministry, and sat some time in the
window, looking at the crowds of people amusing themselves on the Seine,
and wondering if we should ever see the Quai d'Orsay again. After all,
we had had two very happy interesting years there--and memories that
would last a lifetime.--Some of the last experiences of the month of
December had been rather disillusioning, but I suppose one must not
bring any sentiment into politics. In the world it is always a case of
donnant--donnant--and--when one is no longer in a position to give a
great deal--people naturally turn to the rising man. Comte de P., chef
de cabinet, came in late as usual, to have a last talk. He too had been
busy, as he had a small apartment and stables in the hotel of the
ministry, and was also very anxious to get away. He told us all the
young men of the cabinet were very sorry to see W. go--at first they had
found him a little cold and reserved--but a two years' experience had
shown them that, if he were not expansive, he was perfectly just, and
always did what he said he would.
The next day Madame de Freycinet came to see me, and we went over the
house. She didn't care about the living-rooms, as they never lived at
the Quai d'Orsay, remained in their own hotel near the Bois de Boulogne.
Freycinet came every day to the ministry, and she merely on reception
days--or when there was a party. Just as she was going, Madame de
Zuylen, wife of the Dutch minister, a great friend of mine, came in. She
told me she had great difficulty in getting up, as I had forbidden my
door, but my faithful Gerard (I think I missed him as much as anything
else at first) knowing we were friends, thought Madame would like to see
her. She paid me quite a long visit,--I even gave her some tea off
government plate and china,--all mine had been already sent to my own
house. We sat talking for some time. She had heard that W. had refused
the London Embassy, was afraid it was a mistake, and that the winter in
Paris would be a difficult one for him--he would certainly be in
opposition to the Government on all sorts of questions--and if he
remained in Paris he would naturally go to the Senate and vote. I quite
agreed that he couldn't suddenly detach himself from all political
discussions--must take part in them and must vote. The policy of
abstention has always seemed to me the weakest possible line in
politics. If a man, for some reason or another, hasn't the courage of
his opinions, he mustn't take any position where that opinion would
carry weight. I told her we were going to Italy as soon as we could get
off after the holidays.
While we were talking, a message came up to say that the young men of
the cabinet were all coming up to say good-bye to me. I had seen the
directors earlier in the day, so Madame de Zuylen took her leave,
promising to come to my Christmas tree in the rue Dumont d'Urville. The
young men seemed sorry to say good-bye--I was, too. I had seen a great
deal of them and always found them ready and anxious to help me in
every way. The Comte de Lasteyrie, who was a great friend of ours as
well as a secretary, went about a great deal with us. W. called upon him
very often for all sorts of things, knowing he could trust him
absolutely. He told one of my friends that one of his principal
functions was to accompany Madame Waddington to all the charity sales,
carrying a package of women's chemises under his arm. It was quite true
that I often bought "poor clothes" at the sales. The objects exposed in
the way of screens, pincushions, table-covers, and, in the spring, hats
made by some of the ladies, were so appalling that I was glad to have
poor clothes to fall back upon, but I don't remember his ever carrying
my purchases home with me.
They were much amused when suddenly Francis burst into the room, having
escaped a moment from his Nonnon, who was busy with her last packing,
his little face flushed and quivering with anger because his toys had
been packed and he was to be taken away from the big house. He kicked
and screamed like a little mad thing, until his nurse came to the
rescue. I made a last turn in the rooms to see that all trace of my
occupation had vanished. Francis, half pacified, was seated on the
billiard-table, an old grey-haired huissier, who was always on duty
up-stairs, taking care of him. The huissiers and house servants were all
assembled in the hall, and the old Pierson, who had been there for
years, was the spokesman, and hoped respectfully that Madame "would soon
come back...." W. didn't come with us, as he still had people to see and
only got home in time for a late dinner.
We dined that night and for many nights afterward with our uncle
Lutteroth (who had a charming hotel filled with pictures and bibelots
and pretty things) just across the street, as it was some little time
before our kitchen and household got into working order again. The first
few days were, of course, very tiring and uncomfortable--the house
seemed so small after the big rooms at the Quai d'Orsay. I didn't
attempt to do anything with the salons, as we were going away so
soon--carpets and curtains had to be arranged to keep the cold out, but
the big boxes remained in the carriage house--not unpacked. We had a
procession of visitors all day--and tried to make W.'s library
possible--comfortable it wasn't, as there were packages of books and
papers and boxes everywhere.
I had a good many visits and flowers on New Year's day--which was an
agreeable surprise--Lord Lyons, Orloff, the Sibberns, Comte de Sigur,
M. Alfred Andre, and others. Andre, an old friend of W.'s, a very
conservative Protestant banker, was very blue about affairs. Andre was
the type of the modern French Protestant. They are almost a separate
class in France--are very earnest, religious, honourable, narrow-minded
people. They give a great deal in charity and good works of all kinds.
In Paris the Protestant coterie is very rich. They associate with all
the Catholics, as many of them entertain a great deal, but they live
among themselves and never intermarry. I hardly know a case where a
French Protestant has married a Catholic. I suppose it is a remnant of
their old Huguenot blood, and the memories of all their forefathers
suffered for their religion, which makes them so intolerant. The
ambassadors had paid their usual official visit to the Elysee--said
Grevy was very smiling and amiable, didn't seem at all preoccupied. We
had a family dinner at my uncle's on New Year's night, and all the
family with wonderful unanimity said the best wish they could make for
W. was that 1880 would see him out of politics and leading an
independent if less interesting life.
An interesting life it certainly was, hearing so many questions
discussed, seeing all sorts of people of all nationalities and living as
it were behind the scenes. The Chamber of Deputies in itself was a
study, with its astounding changes of opinion, with no apparent cause.
One never knew in the morning what the afternoon's session would bring,
for as soon as the Republican party felt themselves firmly established,
they began to quarrel among themselves. I went back to the ministry one
afternoon to pay a formal visit to Madame de Freycinet on her reception
day. I had rather put it off, thinking that the sight of the well-known
rooms and faces would be disagreeable to me and make me regret, perhaps,
the past, but I felt already that all that old life was over--one adapts
one's self so quickly to different surroundings. It did seem funny to be
announced by my own special huissier, Gerard, and to find myself sitting
in the green drawing-room with all the palms and flowers arranged just
as they always were for me, and a semicircle of diplomats saying exactly
the same things to Madame de Freycinet that they had said to me a few
days before, but I fancy that always happens in these days of democracy
and equalising education, and that under certain circumstances, we all
say and do exactly the same thing. I had quite a talk with Sibbern, the
Swedish minister, who was very friendly and sympathetic, not only at our
leaving the Foreign Office, but at the extreme discomfort of moving in
such frightfully cold weather. He was wrapped in furs, as if he were
going to the North Pole. However, I assured him we were quite warm and
comfortable, gradually settling down into our old ways, and I was
already looking back on my two years at the Quai d'Orsay as an agreeable
episode in my life. I had quite a talk too with the Portuguese minister,
Mendes Leal. He was an interesting man, a poet and a dreamer, saw more,
I fancy, of the literary world of Paris than the political. Blowitz was
there, of course--was always everywhere in moments of crisis, talking a
great deal, and letting it be understood that he had pulled a great many
wires all those last weeks. He too regretted that W. had not taken the
London Embassy, assured me that it would have been a very agreeable
appointment in England--was surprised that I hadn't urged it. I replied
that I had not been consulted. Many people asked when they could come
and see me--would I take up my reception day again? That wasn't worth
while, as I was going away so soon, but I said I would be there every
day at five o'clock, and always had visits.
[Illustration: Mme. Sadi Carnot. From a drawing by Mlle. Amelie
One day Madame Sadi Carnot sat a long time with me. Her husband had been
named undersecretary at the Ministry of Public Works in the new
cabinet, and she was very pleased. She was a very charming, intelligent,
cultivated woman--read a great deal, was very keen about politics and
very ambitious (as every clever woman should be) for her husband and
sons. I think she was a great help socially to her husband when he
became President of the Republic. He was a grave, reserved man, didn't
care very much for society. I saw her very often and always found her
most attractive. At the Elysee she was amiable and courteous to
everybody and her slight deafness didn't seem to worry her nor make
conversation difficult. She did such a charming womanly thing just after
her husband's assassination. He lay in state for some days at the
Elysee, and M. Casimir Perier, his successor, went to make her a visit.
As he was leaving he said his wife would come the next day to see Madame
Carnot. She instantly answered, "Pray do not let her come; she is young,
beginning her life here at the Elysee. I wouldn't for worlds that she
should have the impression of sadness and gloom that must hang over the
palace as long as the President is lying there. I should like her to
come to the Elysee only when all traces of this tragedy have gone--and
to have no sad associations--on the contrary, with the prospect of a
long happy future before her."
[Illustration: _Photograph, copyright by Pierre Petit, Paris._
President Sadi Carnot.]
W. went the two or three Fridays we were in Paris to the Institute,
where he was most warmly received by his colleagues, who had much
regretted his enforced absences the years he was at the Foreign Office.
He told them he was going to Rome, where he hoped still to find some
treasures in the shape of inscriptions inedites, with the help of his
friend Lanciani. The days passed quickly enough until we started. It was
not altogether a rest, as there were always so many people at the house,
and W. wanted to put order into his papers before he left. Freycinet
made various changes at the Quai d'Orsay. M. Desprey, Directeur de la
Politique (a post he had occupied for years) was named ambassador to
Rome in the place of the Marquis de Gabriac. I don't think he was very
anxious to go. His career had been made almost entirely at the Foreign
Office, and he was much more at home in his cabinet, with all his papers
and books about him, than he would be abroad among strangers. He came to
dinner one night, and we talked the thing over. W. thought the rest and
change would do him good. He was named to the Vatican, where necessarily
there was much less to do in the way of social life than at the
Quirinal. He was perfectly au courant of all the questions between the
Vatican and the French clergy--his son, secretary of embassy, would go
with him. It seemed rather a pleasant prospect.
W. went once or twice to the Senate, as the houses met on the 12th or
14th of January, but there was nothing very interesting those first
days. The Chamber was taking breath after the holidays and the last
ministerial crisis, and giving the new ministry a chance. I think
Freycinet had his hands full, but he was quite equal to the task. I went
late one afternoon to the Elysee. I had written to Madame Grevy to ask
if she would receive me before I left for Italy. When I arrived, the one
footman at the door told me Madame Grevy was un peu souffrante, would
see me up-stairs. I went up a side staircase, rather dark, preceded by
the footman, who ushered me into Madame Grevy's bedroom. It looked
perfectly uncomfortable--was large, with very high ceilings, stiff gilt
furniture standing against the wall, and the heat something awful,--a
blazing fire in the chimney. Madame Grevy was sitting in an armchair,
near the fire, a grey shawl on her shoulders and a lace fichu on her
head. It was curiously unlike the bedroom I had just left. I had been to
see a friend, who was also souffrante. She was lying under a lace
coverlet lined with pink silk, lace, and embroidered cushions all
around her, flowers, pink lamp-shades, silver flacons, everything most
luxurious and modern. The contrast was striking. Madame Grevy was very
civil, and talkative,--said she was very tired. The big dinners and late
hours she found very fatiguing. She quite understood that I was glad to
get away, but didn't think it was very prudent to travel in such
bitterly cold weather--and Rome was very far, and wasn't I afraid of
fever? I told her I was an old Roman--had lived there for years, knew
the climate well, and didn't think it was worse than any other. She said
the President had had a visit from W. and a very long talk with him, and
that he regretted his departure very much, but that he didn't think
"Monsieur Waddington was au fond de son sac." Grevy was always a good
friend to W.--on one or two occasions, when there was a sort of cabal
against him, Grevy took his part very warmly--and in all questions of
home policy and persons W. found him a very keen, shrewd
observer--though he said very little--rarely expressed an opinion. I
didn't make a very long visit--found my way down-stairs as well as I
could--no servant was visible either on the stairs or in the hall, and
my own footman opened the big doors and let me out. We got off the first
days of February--as, up to the last moment, W. had people to see. We
went for two or three days to Bourneville--I had one or two very cold
tramps in the woods (very dry) which is quite unusual at this time of
the year, but the earth was frozen hard. Inside the woods we were well
sheltered, but when we came out on the plain the cold and icy wind was
awful. The workmen had made fires to burn the roots and rotten wood, and
we were very glad to stop and warm ourselves. Some had their children
with them, who looked half perished with cold, always insufficiently
clad, but they were quite happy roasting potatoes in the ashes. I was so
cold that I tied a woollen scarf around my head, just as the women in
Canada do when they go sleighing or skating.
We had a breakfast one day for some of W.'s influential men in the
country, who were much disgusted at the turn affairs had taken and that
W. could no longer remain minister, but they were very fairly au courant
of all that was going on in Parliament, and quite understood that for
the moment the moderate, experienced men had no chance. The young
Republic must have its fling. Has the country learned much or gained
much in its forty years of Republic?
Adams, Sir Francis, school friend of
Aisne, deputies and senators of Department
Alexander of Battenberg, Prince
Alexander of Russia, Grand Duke
(Emperor Alexander III), interview
Ambassadors, treatment of, in Russia
Americans, violation of rules of court
etiquette by; good-natured tolerance
of, in European circles;
Lord Lyons's opinion of women
Andrassy, Count, at Berlin Congress;
Annamites as dinner guests
Aosta, Due d', in Paris at opening of
exposition; author's impressions of
Arab horses presented to M. Waddington
Arnim, Count, German ambassador
in Paris; succeeded by Prince
Aumale, Duc d', president of Bazaine
court-martial; at ball at
Austria, description of Empress of,
when in Paris; stiffness of court
Baden, Grand Duchess of, M. Waddington's
Bazaine, Marshal, court-martial of
Beaconsfield, Lord, at Berlin Congress
Bear as a pet at German embassy
Begging letters received by persons in
Berlin Congress, the; French
plenipotentiaries named to the;
M. Waddington's account of doings at
Berlin Treaty, signing of
Beust, Comte de, as a musician
Bismarck, Count Herbert, story of
telegram from; welcomes M.
Waddington to Berlin
Bismarck, Countess Marie
Bismarck, Prince, account of, at Berlin
Congress; anxiety of,
over French advance in radicalism;
suspicions of sincerity
of, in anxiety for France;
surprise of, over speedy payment of
war indemnity by France
Bismarck, Princess, M. Waddington's
Blowitz, M. de, present during meeting
of Berlin Congress;
M. Waddington's distrust of;
Prince Hohenlohe's high opinion of;
at Madame de Freycinet's
Bourneville, days at; a winter
house-party at; a winter
Bridge, remarks on
Broglie, Duc de, cabinet of; unpopularity
of; break-up of
Brown, John, retainer of Queen Victoria
Bunsen, George de
Cardinals, incidents attending naming of
Carnot, M. Sadi
Casimir Perier, dislike of, for office of
story of Madame Carnot and
Catholics, views of, concerning Protestants
Chanzy, General, appointed ambassador to Russia
Chateaux in France
interest of Frenchwomen in
good treatment of, by French of all classes
Chinese ambassador, experience at dinner with
Cialdini, General, Italian ambassador in Paris
Clarence, Duke of, love affair of, with Catholic princess
Comedie Francaise, finished style of artists of the
Compiegne, a scene at, during the Empire
Mr. Gladstone at the
interest of American visitors in the
Sunday afternoon concerts at the
marriages made at the
change effected in dress of chorus of the
Monsignor Czascki at the
Convent of the Soeurs Augustines in the rue de la Sante
Italian plenipotentiary to Congress of Berlin
feeling of, over establishment of Tunisian protectorate by France
Costumes, national, seen in Paris during exposition year
lack of interest of French, in form of government
attitude of, in election of 1877
enthusiasm of, aroused over Republic
Croizette, Theatre Francais artist
Cyprus, cession of, to England
Czascki, Monsignor, papal nunzio
Deauville, a vacation at
appointed to Foreign Office
advice on social etiquette from
Duc de Broglie contrasted with
Denmark, Crown Prince of
in Paris during exposition
at ball at British embassy
at ball at the Quai d'Orsay
Desprey, Monseigneur, created a Cardinal
a plenipotentiary of France at Berlin Congress
quoted on treatment of ambassadors in Russia
named ambassador to Rome
antagonistic attitude of, toward the Republic
anomalous and mistaken behaviour of
superficiality of majority of
appointed President du Conseil
now cabinet formed by
Election of 1877
Elysee, ceremonies attending naming of Cardinals at
English visitors to Paris in 1879
description of, and reminiscences concerning
Exposition Universelle of 1878
good moral effect of
Fan, an autographed, as souvenir of Berlin Congress
usual indifference of French, to form of government
enthusiasm of, over the Republic
Fitz-Maurice, Lord Edmond
France, astonishing rapidity of recovery of, after Franco-Prussian War
self-centred attitude of
conventions in dress of girls
interest of women in their children
lack of regard for, on part of Northern races
defence of fine qualities of
difficulties of interpreting conversation,
cramped lives of middle-class women
religious question among
Freycinet, M. de
appointed Minister of Public Works
ability displayed by, as a Republican statesman
excellent qualities of
succeeds M. Waddington as premier
official changes made by
Freycinet, Madame de
author's visit to, at Quai d'Orsay
manners and appearance of
force of oratory of, in campaign of 1877
appreciation by, of value of Tunisian protectorate
comparison of Grevy and
General amnesty, discussion of the.
Germans, want of tact characteristic;
position of women among;
advance in comfort and elegance among.
Germany, feeling in, over radicalism
Gerome, J. L., as a table companion.
Gladstones, visits from the.
Glynn, Admiral, school friend of M.
Gortschakoff, Prince, quoted on death of Thiers;
at Berlin Congress;
a diplomatist of the old-fashioned type.
Grand Opera in Paris.
Grange, Chateau de la, home of Lafayette.
Grant, President and Mrs., in Paris.
Greek national dress.
Grevy, election of, to presidency;
good figure cut by, in society;
hats bestowed upon two Cardinals by;
disappointment of, in the Republic;
rivalry between Gambetta and;
Queen Victoria's meeting with;
feelings of regard for one another held by M. Waddington.
unknown to society upon husband's election to presidency;
first reception held by;
question of necessity of presence of, at the Elysee;
receptions held by;
author's last visit to.
Grevy, Mademoiselle, at Prince Hohenlohe's reception.
Halanzier, director of the Grand Opera.
Hatzfeldt, Count, story of Liszt and;
personal charm of.
Helene d'Orleans, Princess, love affair
of Duke of Clarence and.
Hoare, Sir Henry.
Hohenlohe, Prince, German ambassador to France;
pleasant manners of;
at Berlin Congress;
reception given to President Grevy by;
reports by, concerning feeling in Germany
over French radicalism.
Hohenlohe, Princess, striking personality of;
at Madame Grevy's first reception.
Holland House, London.
Hotel de Ville, ball at the, in 1878.
Isabella, Queen, at Marshal de MacMahon's reception;
Description of, and account of audience given author by;
Dinner given Marshal and Madame de MacMahon by.
Italians, author's doubts concerning.
Japanese, reported intelligence of.
Jockey Club, Paris, political talk at the.
Karolyi, at Berlin Congress.
Kellogg, Clara Louise, with the Waddingtons.
King, General Rufus.
Kruft, chef du materiel at Quai d'Orsay.
Lafayette, Marquis de, interest of
American visitors in things relating to.
Lasteyrie, Count de.
Layard, Sir Henry.
Leo XIII, election of.
Liszt, meetings with, and stories of.
Longchamp, review of Paris garrison at.
Lord Mayor of London at the Grand Opera, Paris.
Louis Philippe, memories of.
Lutteroth, M., uncle of M. Waddington;
information concerning Royalist circles from;
interesting friends of.
Luxembourg, Palace of the;
gardens of the.
Lyons, Lord, lesson in diplomatic politeness from;
ball given by, during exposition year;
at Madame Grevy's first reception;
memories of Washington ministry by.
MacMahon, Fabrice de.
MacMahon, Marshal de, President of French Republic;
at the Longchamp review;
receptions of, at Versailles;
attitude of, toward cabinet of 1876;
official dinner given by, to diplomatic corps
and the Government;
dismissal of cabinet by (May 16,1877);
dislike of, for the Republic and the Republicans;
official receptions and dinners of;
Mrs. Grant and;
visits M. Waddington at Deauville;
dislike of, for office of president;
preference of, for his military title;
fete given by, at Versailles during exposition year;
delight at resumption of private life.
MacMahon, Marechale de, description of visit to;
visit to Madame Waddington from, upon dismissal of cabinet;
chilly attitude of, toward things Republican.
Madeleine, service at the, for King Victor Emmanuel.
Marguerite de Nemours, Princesse, author's visit to.
Marquis, anecdotes of a dictatorial.
Marriages, made at the Conservatoire or the Opera Comique;
Favourable criticism of arranged.
Martin, Henri, senator of the Aisne.
Mathilde, Princesse, meeting with;
Mendes Leal, Portuguese minister.
Molins, Marquise, Spanish ambassadress.
Mollard, Introducteur des Ambassadeurs.
Morny, Duc de, a founder of Deauville;
famous entertainments of.
Morocco, mission from.
Murat, Princess Anna (Duchesse de Mouchy).
Napoleon III, Emperor, at Compiegne.
Napoleon's tomb, interest of American visitors in.
National Assembly, description of sittings of.
New Year's day reception at the President's.
Ney, Marshal, execution of, recalled.
Nuns, the life of.
Oliffe, Sir Joseph, a founder of Deauville.
Opera Comique, making of marriages at the;
artists of the.
Opposition leader, joys of position of.
Orleans, Due d', at Countess de Segur's salon.
Orleans family, members of, at official
reception given by the Waddingtons;
members of, at Lord Lyons's ball.
Orloff, Prince, Russian ambassador;
attractive personality of;
at Prince Hohenlohe's reception to President Grevy.
Paris, reasons against holding of Parliament in;
gaiety of, during exposition;
return of the Parliament to.
Pedro de Bragance, Emperor of Brazil.
Pie, Monsignor, created a Cardinal.
Piemont, Prince and Princesse de.
Pius IX, death of and funeral observances.
Poles, author's lack of confidence in.
Pontecoulant, Comte de, chef de cabinet
under M. Waddington.
Pothnau, Admiral, appointed ambassador to Great Britain;
Annoyance of, over offer of London embassy to M. Waddington.
Protestants, views of, held by Catholics;
isolated position of the French.
Quai d'Orsay, description of house of Foreign Minister at the;
removal of Waddingtons to;
receiving and entertaining at;
large ball given at;
English visitors at;
view from, on cold winter nights;
formal visit to Madame de Freycinet at.
Quartier Latin, the modern.
Reay, Lord and Lady.
Receptions, customs at official.
Renan, Ernst, description of.
Renault, Leon, prefet de police.
Republic, strength of feeling against the, in Paris "society;"
enthusiasm of farmers over the;
disappointment of statesmen
in the; moderation of
feeling in society circles toward the, at present time.
Republicans, proposed uprising of (1877);
work of, in election of 1877;
Reviews at Longchamp.
Rome, early social life in;
Account of reception in, where royalties were present.
Roumanian woman's dress.
Royalties, first social encounters with;
present at opening ceremony of exposition;
experiences with, at ball given by Lord Lyons
at British embassy;
risks run by, at fete at Versailles;
present at the Waddingtons' ball at Quai d'Orsay.
Rudolph, Archduke, crown prince of Austria.
Russia, sadness of people of;
Distance between princes and ordinary mortals in;
pains taken to give ambassadors a pleasant impression of.
St. Vallier, Count de;
Senator of the Aisne;
Plenipotentiary to Berlin Congress;
ambassador to Germany;
reports brought from Germany by.
Salisbury, Lord, at Berlin Congress.
Salon reserve, passing of the.
Sartiges, Comte and Comtesse de.
Sartiges, Vicomte de.
Say, Leon, as a speaker in the National Assembly;
Minister of Finance;
attitude of, toward French protectorate of Tunis.
at Berlin Congress.
Segur, Countess de, political salon of.
Seine, freezing of the.
Shah of Persia, experiences with the.
Shops, trading at small.
Sibbern, Swedish minister.
Simon, Jules, dismissal of cabinet of.
Singing, comments on French.
Skating experiences in Paris in 1879.
Soeurs Augustines, Convent and Hospital of the.
Sullivan, Arthur, in Paris.
Theatre Francais, nights at the.
superseded as President of Republic by MacMahon;
receptions at house of;
comment of Prince Gortschakoff upon;
condition in 1877 and sudden death of.
Thorndike, Miss (Comtesse de Sartiges).
Tiffany, success of, with French, at exposition of 1878.
Travelling, a Frenchwoman's views of.
Troubetskoi, Princess Lize.
Trouville, vogue of, as a watering-place.
Tunis, French protectorate of, arranged by M. Waddington.
Versailles, meetings of National Assembly at;
terraces and gardens at;
Marshal de MacMahon's receptions at;
compared with Paris as a meetingplace of Assembly;
badly managed fete given by Marshal de MacMahon at;
removal of Parliament to Paris from.
Victor Emmanuel, death of, and service at the Madeleine for.
Victoria, Princess, charming character of;
strong English proclivities of.
Victoria, Queen, M. Waddington received by, in Paris;
prestige of, in France;
expresses approval of M. Waddington.
Vienna, stiffness of court at.
Vogtio, Marquis de, a visit from, at Deauville.
Waddington, Francis, son of Madame Waddington.
Waddington, Richard, senator of the Seine Inferieure;
family life at country home of;
early career of;
story of the Prince of Wales and.
Waddington, Madame Richard.
Waddington, William, marriage of Madame Waddington and;
Deputy to National Assembly from Department of the Aisne;
brief term as Minister of Public Instruction;
method of speaking in National Assembly;
criticisms of, by opposition newspapers;
second appointment as Minister of Public Instruction (1876);
life of, as minister;
dismissal of, from the ministry;
fears of arrest of;
attitude toward proposed Republican uprising;
electoral campaign of;
elected senator in 1877;
named to the Foreign Office in new cabinet formed by Dufaure;
life of, as Foreign Minister;
named plenipotentiary to Berlin Congress;
activities of, at the Congress;
French protectorate of Tunis arranged by;
remains at Foreign Office upon accession of Grevy,
and becomes prime minister;
onerous life of;
reception of, by Queen Victoria;
interview with Grand Duke Alexander of Russia;
determines to quit office;
last days as premier and Foreign Minister;
mild attacks on, by political opponents;
shooting parties at Grevy's and Casimir Perier's;
gives over ministry to Freycinet;
offered the London Embassy, but declines;
President Grevy's regard for.
Waddington, Madame, mother of William Waddington.
Waddington, Madame William, marriage;
early experiences in Paris after Franco-Prussian War;
anecdote of Count Herbert Bismarck's telegram to;
story of early attempt to arrange a marriage for;
at first big dinner at the Ministry of Public Instruction;
first social meetings with royalties;
experience in thanking the artists at reception;
visit of Marechale de MacMahon to, upon dismissal of cabinet;
feelings on moving into foreign ministry;
trials over reception days;
experience with Chinese ambassador at Marshal de MacMahon's
dinner to General Grant;
audience given to, by Queen Isabella of Spain;
at Lord Lyons's ball, and meeting with Princesse Mathilde;
received by Empress Eugenie;
does not accompany husband to Berlin Congress;
meeting with the Shah of Persia;
in crush at ball at Hotel de Ville;
exciting adventures at fete at Versailles;
ball given by, at the Quai d'Orsay;
attends Madame Grevy's first reception;
at naming of Cardinals at the Elysee;
conversations of, with Catholic friends;
growing fondness of, for the rive gauche;
skating experiences of;
crosses the Seine on the ice;
visits of farewell received by, upon leaving Quai d'Orsay;
pays formal visit to Madame de Freycinet at Quai d'Orsay;
visit to Madame Grevy;
departure from Paris and short stay at Bourneville.
Wales, Prince of, story of Richard Waddington and;
liking of Parisians for;
Madame Waddington presented to Princesse Mathilde by;
at ball at the Quai d'Orsay.
Washington, D. C., characteristics of;
Lord Lyons's reminiscences of life at;
a French conception of.
William I, Emperor, attempted assassination of.
Winter of 1879, severity and hardships of.
Women, adaptability of American;
cramped lives of middle-class French;
more uncompromising than men in political views;
ambitions of, for husbands and sons.
Zuylen, Baron von, Dutch minister;
as a musician.
Zuylen, Madame von.