April 10. Fryday.
Dined at Monsr. Brillon’s, with many Ladies and Gentlemen...1 Madam Brillon is a Beauty, and a great Mistress of Music, as are her two little Daughters... The Dinner was Luxury as usual—a Cake was brought in, with 3 Flaggs, flying. On one, Pride subdued—on another, Haec Dies, in qua fit Congressus, exultemus et potemus in ea. Supped in the Evening, at Mr. Chamonts.2 In the evening 2 Gentlemen came in, and advised me, to go to Versailles tomorrow. One of them was the Secretary to the late Ambassador in London, the Count De Noailles.3
1. Suspension points, here and below, in MS. The Brillons and particularly Mme. Brillon were among Franklin’s most intimate French friends; see Bernard Faÿ, Franklin, the Apostle of Modern Times, Boston, 1929, p. 463–468.
2. Jacques Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont the elder (1725–1803), capitalist, holder of numerous government sinecures, enthusiast in the American cause, and a heavy speculator in contracts for supplying the Continental army and outfitting American naval vessels. Upon Franklin’s arrival in France in Dec. 1776 Chaumont offered him accommodations rent-free at the Hotel de Valentinois, and there Franklin maintained his headquarters until he returned to America in 1785. JA’s relations with Chaumont during his shorter stay in Passy were more troubled, as will appear from their correspondence and other evidence. On Chaumont and his family, which was to have continuing connections with America, see John Bigelow’s article cited in note on preceding entry, and T. Wood Clarke, Emigré’s in the Wilderness, N.Y., 1941, especially chs. 2–3.
3. Emmanuel Marie Louis, Marquis de Noailles (1743–1822), uncle of the Marquise de Lafayette; he had returned from London after notifying the British government of the Franco-American alliance (Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générale description begins J. C. F. Hoefer, ed., Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1852–1866; 46 vols. description ends ). His secretary in London, previously chargé d’affaires there, was Charles Jean Gamier (1738–1783?), a rather shadowy figure but one who, from several of JA’s allusions to him, was regarded as influential in the French foreign office and an expert on British affairs. He was well known to English sympathizers with the American cause, and in 1779 JA thought he would be sent as a successor to Gérard, the first French minister in Philadelphia. See entries of 21 April, 8 May 1778, 9 Feb., 2 July 1779, below; also Doniol, Histoire description begins Henri Doniol, Histoire de la participation de la France à l’établissement des Etats-Unis d’Amérique: correspondance diplomatique et documents, Paris,1886–1892; 5 vols. description ends , 5:658, and references there; R. H. Lee, Arthur Lee description begins Richard Henry Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, Boston, 1829; 2 vols. description ends , 2:87. (Garnier’s forenames and dates have been furnished by the Service des Archives Diplomatiques et de la Documentation, Paris.)