With a sudden burst and glory of sunshine and warm air the long, hard winter had given way to the spring of that year of 1789. By the end of April the green grass and flowering shrubs looked as if summer had come, and the cruel cold of but a few weeks back was all but forgotten. And with the quickening pulse of nature the agitation and restless activity among all classes had increased. The whole kingdom of France was astir with the excitement of the rapidly approaching convocation of the States-General. Paris read daily in the columns of the Moniteur the names of the newly elected deputies, and by the 1st of May those deputies were thronging her streets.
D’Azay, Lafayette, Necker, Duport, Lameth, and many others, who saw their ardent wishes materializing, were quite beside themselves with delight, and prophesied the happiest things for France. Madame d’Azay, being of the court party, held widely differing views from those of her nephew, and was out of all conceit with this political ferment, while as for Adrienne, she looked upon the opening of the States-General and the grand reception of the King on the 2d of May as splendid pageants merely, to which she would be glad to lend her presence and the lustre of her beauty. Indeed, it is safe to say that for nearly every individual in that restless kingdom of France the States-General held a different meaning, a different hope, a different fear. Fortunate it was for all alike, that none could see the ending of that terrible business about to be set afoot.
In all the brilliant weather of that spring of 1789, no fairer day dawned than that great day of Monday, the 4th of May. By earliest morning the whole world of Paris seemed to be taking its way to Versailles. Mr. Jefferson, having presented Calvert with the billet reserved for Mr. Short (the secretary being absent at The Hague), and Mr. Morris being provided for through the courtesy of the Duchesse d’Orleans, the three gentlemen left the Legation at six in the morning in Mr. Jefferson’s coach. The grand route to Versailles was thronged with carriages and vehicles of every description, and the dust, heat, and confusion were indescribable. On their arrival, which was about eight o’clock, being hungry and thirsty, the gentlemen repaired to a cafe, where they had an indifferent breakfast at a table d’hote, about which were seated several gloomy-looking members of the tiers. After the hasty meal they made their way as quickly as possible to the hotel of Madame de Tesse in the rue Dauphine, where they were awaited.
Madame de Tesse, Monsieur de Lafayette’s aunt, was, as Mr. Morris laughingly styled her, “a republican of the first feather,” and it was with the most enthusiastic pleasure that she welcomed the Ambassador from the United States and his two friends on that day which she believed held such happy auguries for the future of her country. A numerous company had already assembled at her invitation and