[Paris—Friday, 24 September 1869]
Friday. Sepr 24. We have had a busy week—3 times to the theatre—1st to see La Chatte Blanche, a wonderful spectacle where birds and plates talked and joked and nymphs and spirits appeared to float on air. It was quite a miracle of its kind but we were very tired of it long before 12 o’clock and came away. The 2d time was at the Vaudeville a new little theatre shining with crimson and gold. Here was great acting. A Madmoiselle Faugeuil who was performing in a play called “Miss Multon” adopted I believe from one of Mrs Wood’s stories. It was very sad and terrible; it was so well acted that I could scarcely believe Mme Faugeuil to be a happy woman & was not surprised to learn that she had been the mistress of 3 eminent men the first of whom had cruelly cast her off making her future anything but happy.
Our 3d play was at the Gymnase, the author: Alexandre Dumas—Diàne de Lys was performed by a Madame Desclée, whose beautiful person and dress and acting made a deep impression. It was a fearful play to see with all its beauty and wit and perfect performance—a terrible outgrowth of Modern society (I would have said French society but I feared to do that injustice.). The weather except the Sunday we were nearly drowned coming from the Invalides and one or two days of drizzle was lovely with tender autumnal hues over everything. Zamacois came one day to carry us to see some pictures of his at Mr. Stuarts—a small lively eccentric little creature one of 23 children. One of his sisters is a first-rate Vaudeville actress at Madrid. He speaks no English. The King’s Favorite, the Chess players, a portrait of Mr. S’s daughter and some sketches were what we went to see. They were worth all the trouble twice over to us though he, poor man, came in from the country to escort us. He had an odd idea of Americans as of people who never did anything but go to Paris and when there, while he, Zamacois could take but a tiny glass of Cognac which even then would fly into one eye they would toss off a deep glass without feeling it.
Mr. Stuart showed us many exquisite things—Meissoniers, also drawings & painted plates by the same Master, a beautiful Vollon, pictures by Fortunis & one or two other Spanish artists of the first quality.
Our second Sunday in Paris was a day of rest in preparation for London. Mabel and Lissie however went to Versailles. Miss Weston & Mrs Laugel came to talk a little French politics in the evening. They told us of going to sleep in the Rue Réaumur one night and awaking to find it the Rue Dix Décembre the next day. Of course the people don’t like these things nevertheless France appears to the casual eye quite as steady at ten years ago when we were there. Mr. Osborne took J. over the old part of Paris & to dine at the Café Magny where Rénan & and his friends dine once a month. Tis the resort of the lovers of literature. He saw the street where Richelieu & Marion de Lorme have lived, Récamier and others.
Dear Lissie was entirely devoted to us and we left her (Paris was swamped in that) yesterday at 7 o’clock in the morning.