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[279] at about half-past 11 o'clock. I was asked to give my arm to Madame in passing from the salon to the salle à manger, and was placed at her right. The company consisted of six, besides Monsieur and Madame, my hosts. The breakfast was truly sumptuous: seldom, if ever, have I seen such a repast for dinner. There were certainly half a dozen wines, and a long retinue of the richest and subtlest dishes.1 Among the guests was Michel Chevalier,2 one of the editors of the Journal des Debats, and author of a recent work on the United States. He is a man of about thirty-five, modest, not handsome, but intelligent, with a prominent but expressive eye. I conversed with him considerably, partly in French and partly in English. From what I hear said of him, from what I have read of his writings, and from having seen him, I think he will take an eminent stand in France.3 There was a magistrate present, with whom I conversed; he seemed proud of the thorough police of Paris, and of the almost dictatorial power of the Prefect of Police, as he said, over the intentions as well as acts of persons. I left at about half-past 1 o'clock, having passed a very agreeable time and met some very agreeable people, and also finding that I had at last got French enough to carry on something of a conversation. After this, called on Mr. John Wilks,— the famous ‘O. P. Q.’ of the London press,—a large, gross man, who notwithstanding told me that he took but one meal a day, and that his dinner. The conversation accidentally turned on Chevalier, whom I had just left. I observed that there was a savage cut — up of Chevalier in a January number of ‘Frazer.’ ‘Yes,’ said Mr. Wilks, ‘I wrote it.’ Singular accident that I should pass from one man to the very person who had flayed him, as it were, through the public press!

April 1. This evening went to the Theatre Porte St. Martin to see Mademoiselle Georges,4 famous for her liaison with the emperor, as everybody here calls Napoleon. She is now quite advanced, and is very large and heavy, almost gross; still she must have been attractive in days gone by. Her playing was good, and drew a full house; but I think it was her history and ancient fame which kept the large audience attentive.


1 M. Demetz, speaking of the culinary talent of the French, said at the dinner: ‘Notre cuisine est la cuisine du monde.’

2 M. Chevalier was born Jan. 13, 1806. After the Revolution of 1830, he became editor of the Globe. In 1833-35, under an appointment from Thiers, then Minister, he visited tile United States for the purpose of investigating our railroad system, and later published his ‘Letters on North America,’ which had already appeared in the Journal des Debats. In 1840, he succeeded Rossi in the chair of Political Economy at the College of France. He is among the most eminent economists of his age, and the head of the free-trade school in his country. Sumner received many attentions from M. Chevalier, on his visit to Paris in 1857; and a friendly correspondence from that time was continued between them.

3 Sumner, in his letter to Hillard of April 10, speaks of M. Chevalier as ‘an active-minded, talented man of thirty-five, who is culminating fast, and I think will run the career of Thiers, Guizot, and Carrel.’

4 1787-1867. She began to perform in Paris, in 1802 in ‘Clytemnestra.’ She was attached, at one time, to the Imperial Theatre at St. Petersburg. She played at Dresden and Erfurt before Napoleon and Alexander. From 1821 to 1847 she performed chiefly in Paris at the Odeon and Porte St. Martin theatres. She retired in 1849, but reappeared in 1855. Among her personal admirers were princes and the Emperor Napoleon.

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