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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 101, June 20, 1855

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Identifier: DX03895856

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 101, June 20, 1855

Description: Describes a visit to Versailles in France.


and hope in something, — a promised land of liberty to be got at through seas of blood. And [Maximilien] Robespierre was, as they named him “Incorruptible,” — honest. It was, in all probability, a knowledge of this, which made the people hold fast by him, and enabled him to drag the greater, but venal, [Georges Jacques] Danton to the guillotine.

The lightless, delicacy and beauty of some of the decorations of some of the chambers of Sultan XV are indescribable. Marie Antoinette’s rooms are plainer. They show you the door by which she escaped to her husbands apartments, when the furious “Maenads” burst in, and where the two guards were killed. The unhappy Queen’s face appears in many portraits and paintings, always the same handsome, high spirited, sorrowful one, — just the woman [Thomas] Carlyle describes. / Louis the Eighteenth’s portraits represent him a podgy blockhead. / The men of the revolution are here, also, as should be, and I was glad to recognize Camille Desmoulins. Petian has a very mild face. There is a full length of [Honore-Gabriel de Riqueti] Mirabeau, and other heads, also. Napoleonism has its galleries, rendered illustrious by [Horace] Vernet’s noble pictures, and all his Marshalls are here. Louis Phillippe was a patron of art, spite of his love of money. Had the Duc d’Orleans not been pitched out of his carriage, who’d have been ruler of France, now? By 3 1/2 we left the Palace, and after a lunch, walked through Versailles grounds, saw the waterworks, and towards the Trianons. The trees of the park are all shorn and clipped in a style I don’t like, Frenchmen treating them as they do poodle-dogs. Many of the smaller ones are transformed into vegetable extinguishers, and the like absurdities. Through the Grand Trianon we went, in company with others,

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1855-06-20

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: French Revolution


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