House-hunting all the day with Lord B——. Went again over the Hotel Monaco, and abandoned the project of hiring it. Saw one house newly built and freshly and beautifully decorated, which I like, but Lord B—— does not think good enough. It is in the Rue de Matignon. It is so desirable to get into a mansion where every thing is new and in good taste, which is the case with the one in question, that I hope Lord B—— will be satisfied with this.
Sat an hour with General d’O—— who has been unwell. Never was there such a nurse as his wife, and so he said. Illness almost loses its irksomeness when the sick chamber is cheered by one who is as kind as she is clever. Madame d’O—— is glad we have not taken the Hotel Monaco, for she resided in it a long time when it was occupied by her mother, and she thinks the sleeping-rooms are confined and gloomy.
“After serious consideration and mature deliberation,” we have finally decided on taking the house in the Rue de Matignon. It will be beautiful when completed, but nevertheless not to be compared to the Hotel Ney. The salons de reception, are very good, and the decorations are rich and handsome.
The large salon is separated from the lesser by an immense plate of unsilvered glass, which admits of the fireplaces in each room (they are vis-a-vis) being seen, and has a very good effect. A door on each side this large plate of glass opens into the smaller salon. The portion of the house allotted to me will, when completed, be like fairy land. A salon, destined to contain my buhl cabinets, porcelaine de Sevres, and rare bijouterie, opens into a library by two glass-doors, and in the pier which divides them is a large mirror filling up the entire space.
In the library, that opens on a terrace, which is to be covered with a berceau, and converted into a garden, are two mirrors, vis-a-vis to the two glass doors that communicate from the salon; so that on entering this last, the effect produced is exceedingly pretty. Another large mirror is placed at the end of the library, and reflects the terrace.
When my books and various treasures are arranged in this suite I shall be very comfortably lodged. My chambre a coucher, dressing-room, and boudoir, are spacious, and beautifully decorated. All this sounds well and looks well, too, yet we shall leave the Rue de Bourbon with regret, and Lord B—— now laments that we did not secure it for a long term.
Drove in the Bois de Boulogne. A lovely day, which produced a very exhilarating effect on my spirits. I know not whether others experience the same pleasurable sensations that I do on a fine day in spring, when all nature is bursting into life, and the air and earth look joyous. My feelings become more buoyant, my step more elastic, and all that I love seem dearer than before. I remember that even in childhood I was peculiarly sensible to atmospheric influence, and I find that as I grow old this susceptibility does not diminish.