May 21 1815: An Apology in Verse

From Charles Francis Adams, who is seven years old, writes to his father John Quincy Adams to apologize.

Havre 21 Mai 1815

Dear Papa: I am very sorry that I broke the glass, but I could not help it, and for that, I write you these verses.
Tendre appuis de mes premiers ans
Toi qui pris soins de mon enfance
Je te dois tout, savoir, talens,
Je te dois meme l’existence.
De tant d’amour de tant de soins
La récompense est ma tendresse
Papa, tu me verras un jour,
Étré l’appui de ta vielliesse.

Accept this offer, I am, dear Papa, your dutiful, and affectionate Son,
C F Adams

May 20 1815: Duke to Prince

On May 20 1815, the Duke of Wellington writes to His Highness Prince Metternich of Austria.

Sir, I beg leave to congratulate your Highness upon the success of your operations in Italy, which promise to bring the affairs in that country to a happy conclusion in a short period of time. Their prosperous state will likewise materially forward our ulterior views in another quarter. Continue reading

May 19 1815: A Disciple of De Sade

“Friday May 19th 1815: I called, after writing bad French against Sismondi and [ ], on Madame de Coigny, where I saw Lascour in bad spirits about the Royal Volunteers, of which he is one.

He told a story in today’s Journal de l’Empire of a Captain Saint-Claire of the line, member of the Legion of Honour, who stabbed himself before a council of war upon having sentence pronounced upon him for murdering a girl – Keric Macker, called “La Belle Hollandaise”. The judge said “St Claire, vous avez manqué de l’honneur”. The young man jumped from the bench and said, “Jamais!” – then stabbed himself – he took off his Cross of the Legion of Honour himself, and was carried away dying to the Abbaye.  His counsel, in pleading, said a report had gone abroad that his client had murdered the girl upon the principles which had entered into the head of that monster who had finished his disgraceful existence amongst the madmen of Charenton. This is the famous de Sade, author of Justine. Continue reading

May 18 1815: More Bad French

In this day’s Moniteur appears an Imperial decree ordering all the royal volunteers to present themselves before sundry generals instantly, and join the Imperial armies – also commanding them immediately to fill up their offers of money and horses, made to the King, for the Emperor’s service. This seems to me a hard measure, but it may be found necessary to remove the King’s friends from Paris. I wrote a little bad French, dined with Bruce at the Very, went with him to the Française, saw Talma in Brittanicus, and afterwards Thenard in Scapin Britannicus is tiresome and unnatural – I understand Molière much better than modern French, I think.

— John Cam Hobhouse writes in his diary for May 18 1815.

May 17 1815: A Deed Disgraceful Enough

“Wrote a little in the morning. Walked about, dined at Very’s, went in the evening, after doing a deed disgraceful enough, to Lady Kinnaird’s, where was a party as before, and supper. Moutron told the story of his treatment at Besançon – he took a letter from Fouché, couched in these words: “I beg to recommend to your notice, Monsieur Moutron, so-and-so …” Moutron wanted to be elected deputy. The prefect read the letter, and either wilfully or otherwise pretended he was a suspected person recommended to his notice, and instead of electing him sent him back, guarded, to Paris. Maubourg was agreeable as usual. A Monsieur de Bassan was enlightening us on the subject of England – it is astonishing how ignorant the French are on these topics.”

— John Cam Hobhouse writes in his diary for  May 17 1815.