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son did not take place, as it would have detached him from French politics.

When the dinner party at Monsieur Necker’s separated, I went to the Convent de Belle-Chasse, to wait on the celebrated Madame Genlis. I found her remarkably clever, but no beauty at that time, whatever she might have formerly been.

I then went to sup at Monsieur Mirbeck's, who fête to a select party of twenty of the gayest people in Paris. There was music, but no cards. I observed that the instruments, both there and at Monsieur Necker's, were English. The conversation was sprightly, and well calculated for the lively company who were assembled on that occasion.

It may be interesting to contrast the events of that day with one spent in London, which I had dedicated to the amusement of a Spanish gentleman, whom I had met with abroad.

I took him first to breakfast with Sir Joseph Banks, in Soho Square, where he met with a number of distinguished literary characters.

We thence proceeded to the celebrated dock-yard of Mr Perry, on the banks of the Thames, where he witnessed a launch of one of the largest Indiamen that had ever been built. He was astonished, not only with the sight, which was quite new to him, but with the elegant and numerous company assembled to see it, and the excellent entertainment which was given upon the occasion.

I then took him to a dinner given at the Free Mason's Tavern, by the Highland Society of London. The Duke of Sussex presided with his usual ability and success. Nothing astonished the Spaniard more, than to be thus in a manner at once transported into a foreign country, where the dress, the language, the instruments of music, the music itself, and the whole scene, was different from any thing he had ever before witnessed, exhibiting the manners and customs of a century or two preceding.

I concluded with taking him to hear the celebrated Billington sing; and, on the whole, he said, that he had never before been a partaker of such a variety of entertainments, and of so gratifying a nature, on the same day.

4. Necker.— The origin of Monsieur Necker's great fortune is thus related. He was a banker, of not much note; but he happened to get into the direction of the Old East India Company, which consisted chiefly of the noblesse," and they being entirely ignorant of business, trusted every thing to him. They got into great distress for money to send to the East Indies to purchase an investment. He advised them to direct their correspondents at Cadiz, Hamburgh, and London, to draw for the sums they wanted upon each other, and at last upon Paris, at 3 months' date, so as to be able, by the sale of the effects they got from the East, to pay the money they had borrowed. Their correspondents informed them, that they would only undertake this plan for one year ; and when Monsieur Necker saw the Company again involved in difficulties, he told them, “ Calculate what your money cost you last year, and I will furnish you with the same sum at the same interest." This they agreed to, though it was at the rate of above 12 per cent. He afterwards prevailed upon them to give him their assistance to raise the money by way of lottery. Finding the tickets would sell to advantage, he took the whole lottery into his own hands, and actually gained, by the profits of the tickets, and the 12 per cent. of interest, between L.70,000 and L.80,000.

But Necker acquired an influence in the East India Company, not only by his talents for business, but by his eloquence. Monsieur le Roi informed me, that he heard Necker deliver his sentiments at a meeting of the East India Company with such ability, that, though many men of much intelligence spoke at the same time, he was by far the most eloquent, and carried along with him the whole assembly.

66 Give me your

His rise as a politician'was certainly greatly owing to Madame Necker's literary assemblies, to which all the beaux esprits of Paris resorted. I have heard it asserted, that Necker's works, in particular his book « Sur le Commerce des Grains," was written with the assistance of Monsieur Thomas of the French academy; but this is quite a mistake, for that book was written in consequence of a conversation which M. le Roi himself, who mentioned to me the circumstance, had with M. Necker; and it was executed by him in a very short period of time.

Necker's fort was great application, and sense sufficient to take advantage of the ideas of others. When any person proposed a plan to him, his usual answer was, plan in writing, and I will consider it.”

The last time I dined with Monsieur Necker, I found the ladies very conversable, but he was still reserved. He said, that he had not examined the English translation of his great work on finance, but he understood it was rather inaccurate. Madame Necker observed, that so eloquent a work could hardly be translated into a foreign language. Mademoiselle Necker was then preparing for her marriage with the Swedish ambassador, Count Stael. It is understood that she was not overfond of the match; but it was a court affair, and entered into by Monsieur Necker, in hopes of his being again placed at the head of the financial department. Count Stael was much connected with Count Fersen, a Swedish nobleman of Scotch extraction, his name being properly Macpherson, who had much influence at Court; and it was supposed that the marriage, would greatly promote an event of which M. Necker was passionately desirous, namely, his return to office *.

* During my visit to Sweden, in 1786, I heard some curious particulars regarding Mademoiselle Necker's marriage. The Baron de Stael was originally only a minister at the court of France; but, in order to give him any chance of marrying Mademoiselle Necker, who had refused Generals, he was appointed ambassador. He was so enriched with the marriage, getting, it is said, L.80,000 sterling on his wedding day, that he was enabled to assign to his friend, Count Fersen, all his ministerial allowances.

5. Madame Genlis.—Spent a very pleasant morning, (2d January 1786), with Madame Genlis, with whom I afterwards dined; was much pleased with her conversation ; saw many of her works in painting, enamelling, wax-work, paper, &c. which were most ingeniously executed; was astonished that so distinguished an authoress should have leisure to learn, and to execute so well, such inferior objects. Was much gratified with the veneration she expressed for the memory of Richardson, whose tomb she went to visit when in London. The name of the Duchess de C., mentioned in her Adele et Theodore, was Cerifalco, and her living nine years in a dungeon is a fact. Madame de Genlis saw her at Rome, but she spoke to none except her own family.

6. Buffon. In the course of my residence in Paris, at this time, I had the pleasure of seeing frequently the celebrated Buffon, and was highly gratified with his friendly attentions, and his conversation. He had a little of the garrulity of old age, but not disagreeably so. He said that Milton was the greatest poet that ever existed, and that the Newtonian system must stand for ever. He read to me some part of his correspondence with the Empress of Russia, which was extremely interesting, and he gave me his engraved portrait, which I shall ever hold dear, as a most flattering mark of his esteem. The regard with which I had the pleasure of inspiring him, will appear by the following communication :

Letter from the Count de Buffon, dated au Jardins du Roi,

Paris, 24th August 1787. “ Le Comte de Buffon, et le Chevalier son frere, sont infiniment sensibles au souvenir de Monsieur le Chevalier Sinclair, et le remercient de la carte qu'il a bien voulu leur envoyer de son grand voyage, fait en fort peu de tems. Il est tres vrai, que l'on peut voir, en aussi peu de jours, beaucoup de choses et de personnes ; mais il n'appartient q’au Che

valier Sinclair, de les voir aussi bien, et d'en rendre un aussi bon compte.

6. La santé du Comte de Buffon est toujours dans le même état, auquel Monsieur le Chevalier Sinclair a bien voulu prendre quelque intérêt : il souffre toujours de son mal trop opiniâtre, et n'a d'autres médecins que le courage et la patience. Il supplie Monsieur le Chevalier de ne point oublier le Jardin du Roi, dans le cours de ses nouveaux voyages : il y seroit reçu avec toutes les distinctions, dues à son rang, et à son mérite personel.”

7. The Count de Sarsfield.Among the respectable characters who favoured me with their attentions at Paris during this short excursion, was the Count de Sarsfield, of Irish extraction. He invited me to meet some of the most respectable characters in France, in particular, the Duc de Rochefoucault, (one of the most distinguished of the French noblesse for wit and vivacity), and the Duc de Charost, a little deformed man, but one of the most amiable characters in France, being devoted to the public good, and, indeed, a perfect philanthropist. The conversation was not very interesting, but lively and facetious. The French, at least the higher orders, think it almost a crime to be serious, more especially in company; and it was one of the greatest advantages that England then enjoyed, that the upper ranks of that great nation were so immersed in frivolous pursuits, that matters of real importance were in the highest degree irksome.

8. On the Commerce and Manufactures of France.Among the distinguished personages I occasionally met with in Paris at this time, was Monsieur Abeille, secretary to the Council of Commerce, and Inspector-General of the manufactures of France. He said that he had read, for above fifty years, on an average, at least eight hours a-day. He had a number of persons under him, who were employed to translate any book which he thought might be of use to France, and it was

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