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Nom original: AN ADVENTURE.pdfTitre: An adventure, with appendix and mapsAuteur: Moberly, C. A. E. (Charlotte Anne Elizabeth), 1846-1937

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AN ADVENTURE

WITH APPENDIX AND MAPS

MACMILLAN AND
ST.

CO.,

LIMITED

MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON
1913

COPYRIGHT
First Edition

January igii

Reprinted February 191 1 (twice)

March, April and July igii. 1912
Second Edition with Appendix and Maps 1913. Reprinted 1913

GLASGOW PRINTED AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS
BY ROBERT MACLEHOSE AND CO. LTD.
:

PREFACE
It

is

a great venture to speak openly of a

personal

and we only do so

experience,

following reasons.

the

known
should be wholly known as
Secondly, we have collected
our story, which

on

the

consider
are

it

as

that

it

by ourselves.

told

much evidence
possible now to

so

is

Thirdly, conditions

whole.

a

prefer that

part to some,

in

is

subject,

we

First,

for

and

changing at Versailles,

in

a

short

time facts which were unknown, and circum-

may soon become

stances which were unusual,

commonplaces, and

will

lose

their

as

force

evidence that some curious psychological conditions

must

have

been

present,

either

in

ourselves, or in the place.
It

is

not

understand

— what
tion

our

— nor

business

do we pretend

happened

with

so

to

to put us

many

true

explain
to

into

facts,

or

to

understand

communicawhich,

nine

PREFACE

vi

ago, no one could have told us of in

years

their entirety.

be able
stances,

to

may

But, in order that others

judge

we have

fairly

of

the

all

circum-

tried to record exactly

happened as simply and

what

fully as possible.

ELIZABETH MORISON

FRANCES LAMONT.

PUBLISHERS' NOTE
The

ladies

whose Adventure

described

is

in

these pages have for various reasons preferred

not

to

disclose

signatures

their

appended

to

real

the

names,

but

the

Preface are

the

only fictitious words in the book.
lishers

The Pub-

guarantee that the Authors have put

down what happened

to

them as

accurately as was in their power.

faithfully

and

CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I.

II.

Three

PAGE

Visits to

the Petit Trianon

I

Results of Research

III.

Answers to Questions

IV.

A RtvERIE
Appendix

41

......

121

163

,

MAPS
AT END OF VOLUME
Jardin de la Reine a Trianon 1780

Plan du Jardin Anglais en 1783

Plan des deux Trianons 1835

Diagram of route taken August
Mique's plan of Versailles

to,

190

i

CHAPTER
VISITS

I

TO THE PETIT TRIANON

Miss Morison's Account of the
to the Petit Trianon

First Visit

August, 1901

After some days

of sight-seeing In Paris, to

which we were almost strangers, on an August
afternoon, 1901, Miss
Versailles.

We

Lamont and

went

to

had very hazy ideas as

to

I

was or what there was to be seen.
Both of us thought it might prove to be a dull
expedition.
We went by train, and walked
where

it

through the rooms and galleries of the Palace
with interest, though

we

constantly regretted

our inability through ignorance to
the

charm of the

place.

French history was limited
had learnt

in the

My

feel

properly

knowledge of

to the very little

I

schoolroom, historical novels,
A
$

AN ADVENTURE

2

and the first volume of Justin M'Carthy's
French Revolution. Over thirty years before
my brother had written a prize poem on Marie
Antoinette, for whom at the time I had felt

much
was
and

But the German occupation

enthusiasm.

chiefly
I

We

our minds, and Miss

in

thought and spoke of
sat

down

in the Salle

Lamont

several times.

it

des Glaces, where

was blowing

in at the

open

windows over the flower-beds below, and

find-

a very sweet

air

ing that there was time to spare,

our going to

knowledge of
read as a

girl,

the

Petit

I

suggested

My

Trianon.

sole

was from a magazine article
from which I received a general
it

was a farmhouse where the
Queen had amused herself.

impression that

Looking

in

it

Baedeker's

map we saw

the sort

of direction and that there were two Trianons,

and

set

off.

By

not asking the

an unnecessarily long way round,
flights of steps

way we went

— by the great

from the fountains and down the

central

avenue as

pond.

The weather had been very

week, but on
overcast and
lively

far as the

this

head of the long
hot

all

day the sky was a

the sun shaded.

the

little

There was a

wind blowing, the woods were looking

THE PETIT TRIANON
their

we

and

best,

vigorous.

It

both

particularly

was a most enjoyable walk.
beginning of the long

After reaching the

we

felt

3

away to the right down a
woodland glade until we came obliquely to the
other water close to the building, which we
rightly concluded to be the Grand Trianon.
We passed it on our left hand, and came up
water

struck

a broad

green

we had

followed

drive

immediately to

knowing

its

it

the

position,

went up a lane

perfectly

deserted.

If

we should have come
Petit

we

Trianon,

but

not

crossed the drive and

in front of us.

I

was surprised

Lamont did not ask the way from a
woman who was shaking a white cloth out of
the window of a building at the corner of the
lane, but followed, supposing that she knew
that Miss

was going to.
Talking about
England and mutual acquaintances there, we

where

she

went up the

lane,

to the right past
in at

and then made a sharp turn

some

buildings.

We

looked

an open doorway and saw the end of a

carved staircase, but as no one was about
did not like to
in front of us,

we

go in. There were three paths
and as we saw two men a little

ahead on the centre one, we followed

it,

and

AN ADVENTURE

4

asked them the way.

Afterwards

of them as gardeners, because

we spoke

we remembered

a wheelbarrow of some kind close by and the
look of a pointed spade, but they were really

very dignified

officials,

green coats with

They

dressed in long greyish-

briskly forward, talking as before,

but from the moment we
ordinary depression had

left

reason for

the lane an extra-

come over me, which,
shake

spite of every effort to

deepened.

off,

steadily

There seemed to be absolutely no
it
I was not at all tired, and was
;

becoming more Interested
I

hats.

directed us straight on.

We walked

in

three-cornered

small

was anxious that

discover the

my

in

my

surroundings.

companion should not

sudden gloom upon

my

spirits,

which became quite overpowering on reaching
the point where the path ended, being crossed

by another,

and

right

left.

In front of us was a wood, within which, and

overshadowed by
kiosk, circular,

and

which a man was

trees,

was a

light

garden

a small bandstand, by

like

sitting.

There was no green

sward, but the ground was covered with rough
grass and dead leaves
place was so shut

in

as
that

in

we

a wood.

The

could not see

THE PETIT TRIANON
beyond

it.

natural,

therefore unpleasant

5

Everything suddenly looked uneven the trees

;

behind the building seemed to have become

and

flat

a wood worked in tapestry.

lifeless, like

There were no
no wind

effects of light

stirred the trees.

and shade, and

was

all

intensely

sitting close to the kiosk

(who had

It

still.

The man

on a cloak and a large shady hat) turned
head and looked
tion

my

of

moment
was

That was the culminasensations, and I felt a

at us.

peculiar

of genuine

most

his

repulsive,

The man's

alarm.



its

expression

face

odious.

His complexion was very dark and rough.
said to Miss

Lamont, "Which

but thought "nothing will induce
the

It

left."

was a great

me

relief at that

to hear someone running up to us

gardeners,

I

;

us,

who

to

moment

in

breath-

paths, either to the side or

but at almost

the

same moment

man

suddenly perceived another
to

go

turned and ascertained that there

was no one on the
behind

to

sound with the

Connecting the

haste.

less

way?"

our

is

I

behind and rather to

had, apparently, just

quite

the

come

through the rock (or whatever

left

I

close

hand,

either over or
it

was) that

AN ADVENTURE

6

shut out the view at the junction of the paths.

The suddenness

was some-

of his appearance

thing of a shock.

The second man was
he was

tall,

with

gentleman

distinctly a

large

;

dark eyes, and had

black hair under the same large

crisp, curling

He

was handsome, and the
effect of the hair was to make him look like
an old picture. His face was glowing red as
sombrero

hat.

through

great

exertion,

At

come a long way.

—as

first

though he had
I

thought he was

sunburnt, but a second look satisfied
the colour

was from

me

that

He

heat, not sunburning.

had on a dark cloak wrapped across him
a

one end flying out

scarf,

He

hurry.

looked

'*

Madame "

il

prodigious

excited

he

as

"

Mesdames, Mesdames," or
pronounced more as the other),

called out to us,
('*

his

in

greatly

like

ne faut (pronounced foui) pas passer par

He

la."

great

then waved his arm, and said with

animation,

" par

ici

.

.

.

cherchez

la

maison."^
I

was so surprised

at his eagerness that

looked up at him again, and to

sponded with a
*

The man

little

this

he

I

re-

backward movement and

said a great deal

more which we could not

catch.

THE PETIT TRIANON
a most peculiar smile.
follow

he

all

said,

it

Though

was

I

7

could

he was

that

clear

not

determined that we should go to the right and
not to the
wish,

with

this fell in

went instantly towards a

I

on the

As

left.

and turning

right,

Lamont

in

that he

was not

my

head

Miss

my

surprise,

running began

there, but the
it

bridge

to join

thanking him, found, to

again and from the sound

my own

little

was

close beside

the

small

us.

Silently

we passed over

So

bridge which crossed a tiny ravine.

when on

to us

touched
cascade

it

the bridge that

we

could have

from

fell

a

down a green

height

where ferns grew between

Where

little

that

close

with our right hands, a thread-like

pretty bank,

did not

rustic

the

but

see,

trickle

gave

it

we were near

stones.

of water went to

me

the

I

impression

other water, though

saw

I

none.

Beyond the
under trees

;

little
it

bridge

skirted a

long grass, bounded on
trees,

our pathway

narrow meadow of
the

further

side

and very much overshadowed by

growing

in

sombre

look

it.

led

by

trees

This gave the whole place a
suggestive

of

dampness,

and

AN ADVENTURE

8

shut

view of the house

the

out

were close to

windows

expected.

north

looking

we

(where

garden

I



quite

The

long

;

English

the

into

were

were)

we

a square,

house

country

what

from

different

The house was

it.

small

solidly-built

until

shuttered.

There was a terrace round the north and
west sides of the house, and on the rough
grass which grew quite up to the terrace and

with her back to

a lady was sitting, holding

it,

out a paper as though to look
length.
to

have

seemed

at

it

at arm's

supposed her to be sketching, and

I

brought

her

though

as

own

camp-stool.

she must

be

It

makingr a

study of trees, for they grew close in front of
her,

and there seemed

She saw

sketch.
close

by on her

looked

full

at us.

us,
left

It

to be

nothing else to

and when we passed
hand, she turned

was not a young

and (though rather pretty)

it

and
face,

did not attract

She had on a shady white hat perched
on a good deal of fair hair that fluffed round
her forehead.
Her light summer dress was
me.

arranged
fashion,

on

her shoulders

and there was a

in

handkerchief

little

line of either

green or gold near the edge of the handker-

THE PETIT TRIANON
which showed

me

9

was over^ not
tucked into, her bodice, which was cut low.
Her dress was long-waisted, with a good deal
of fullness in the skirt, which seemed to be
chief,

short.

thought she was a

I

her

was

dress

unusual

(though

bodices

that

her

that

it

and

old-fashioned

I

looked

fichu

straight at

made me

but some indescribable feeling

;

rather

were wearing

people

summer).

but that

tourist,

turn away annoyed at her being there.

We
my

went up the steps on

direct

that

they

English garden

from the

beginning to
in

being

impression

feel as

— the

the terrace,

to

;

led

but

I

up

was

though we were walking

and oppressiveness
Again I saw the lady,
time from behind, and noticed that her
was pale green. It was rather a relief

a dream,

stillness

were so unnatural.
this

fichu

me

Lament did not propose to
ask her whether we could enter the house
to

that Miss

from that

We

side.

crossed

the

terrace to the south-west

corner and looked over into the cour d'honneur

;

and then turned back, and seeing that one
of the long

windows overlooking the French

garden was unshuttered, we were going towards

AN ADVENTURE

lo
it

when we were

The

interrupted.

prolonged at right angles

in

was
of what

terrace

front

suddenly opened,

The door of it
and a young man stepped out

on

banging the door behind him.

seemed

be a second house.

to the terrace,

He
no

to

had the jaunty manner of a footman, but
livery,

and

called to us, saying that the

way

house was by the cour d'honneur, and

into the

show us the way round. He looked
inquisitively amused as he walked by us down
the French garden till we came to an entrance
into the front drive.
We came out sufficiently
near the first lane we had been in to make
me wonder why the garden officials had not
directed us back instead of telling us to go

offered to

forward.

When we

were

in the front

were kept waiting

French wedding

arm

in

at

the

guide to hear

very much

took a

we

the arrival of a merry

for

party.

They walked arm

in

a long procession round the rooms, and

we were

again.

entrance hall

— too
and

felt

from the

We
quite

were
lively

out of the cour d'honneur

carriage which

and drove back

far off

of his story.

interested,

Coming
little

back,

much

to the

was standing

we

there,

Hotel des Reservoirs

in

THE PETIT TRIANON
where we had tea

Versailles,

neither

of us

inclined

to

but

^
;

ii

we were

and did not

talk,

mention any of the events of the afternoon.

we walked back

After tea

on the way

On

the

for the

way back

last burst

to the station, looking

Tennis Court.
to Paris the setting sun at

out from under the clouds, bathing

woods

the distant Versailles

— Valerien

standing out

in

glowing

in

light,

a mass of

front

Again and again the thought
Was Marie Antoinette really much

deep purple.
returned,



and did she see

at Trianon,

long before

the

panied by the

fatal

it

drive

for the last

Paris

to

accom-

mob?

For a whole week we never alluded
nor did

afternoon,

time

think

I

about

it

to that
until

I

began writing a descriptive letter of our expeditions of the

week

before.

As

the scenes

came back one by one, the same sensation of
dreamy unnatural oppression came over me
so strongly that

Miss Lamont, "
Trianon
* I

is

I

stopped writing, and said to

Do

haunted."*"

remember

you think that the Petit

Her answer was prompt,

that on account of the wind

I

put on

my

coat

AN ADVENTURE

12

" Yes,

she

do."

I

said,

asked her where she

I

" In the

felt

it,

and

garden where we met the two

She then described
her feeling of depression and anxiety which
began at the same point as it did with me, and
men, but not only there."

how she tried not to let me know it. Talking
it over we fully realised, for the first time, the
theatrical appearance of the man who spoke to
inappropriateness of the wrapped cloak

us, the

on a warm summer afternoon, the unaccountableness of his coming and going, the excited

running which seemed to begin and end close
to

and yet always out of

us,

sight,

and the

extreme earnestness with which he desired us

go one way and not another.

to

my mind

the thought had crossed

men were going
were waiting

owned
the

to

man

during

two

a duel, and that they

we were

my

not speak
stay in

Conciergerie

Louis XVI.

natural.

that the

gone.

Miss Lamont

of the kiosk.

did

Denis,

said that

having disliked the thought of passing

We
the

to fight

until

I

where

again of the incident

Paris,

prisons,

though we visited

and the tombs of

and Marie Antoinette
all

was

clear

and

at

fresh

Saint

and

THE PETIT TRIANON
Three months

13

Miss Lament came

later

to stay

with me, and on Sunday, Novem.ber loth, 1901,

we returned
had known

and

to the subject,

that a lady

was

for

replied that she

had seen no

"If we

said,

sitting so near us

it would have made
we should have asked

sketching

I

all

the difference,

the

lady.

She

way."
I

reminded

her of the person sitting under the terrace

but

;

Miss Lamont declared that there was no one
there.

I

exclaimed that

it

was impossible

she should not have seen the individual

;

that

for

we

were walking side by side and went straight up
to her,

passed her and looked

from the terrace.

It

down upon her

was inconceivable

to us

both that she should not have seen the lady,
but the fact was clear that Miss
not done

so,

though we had both been rather

on the lookout
us

as

to

Lamont had

for

someone who would reassure

whether

we

were

trespassing

or

not.

we had a new element of
mystery, and doubting how far we had seen
any of the same things, we resolved to write
down independent accounts of our expedition
to Trianon, read up its history, and make
every enquiry about the place. Miss Lamont
Finding

that

14

AN ADVENTURE

t

returned to her school the same evening, and

two days

later

I

received

from

her a very

interesting letter, giving the result of her

first

enquiries.
E.

M.

THE PETIT TRIANON

15

Miss Lamont*s Account of her First Visit
to the

Petit

Trianon

in

1901

August, 1901

summer

In the
the

took a

flat

of 1900

and

time,

first

in

and furnished

French lady there
seeing

the

churches

I

charge of

my

free time

French
1

me, and beyond

and one or two

The

in

seeing

England,

take the

first

I

came back

my

with

to Paris,

my
it

school

was

to

opportunity possible of having a

visitor to stay there

to

it

next summer, however,

90 1, when, after several months at

in

school-

1900 was going on, and

was spent

friends.

my elder

expeditions except to shops,

for the Exhibition of
all

to

picture galleries

made no

summer

intending to place a

it,

was quite new

Paris

girls.

in

stayed in Paris for

I

the course of that

:

and

I

asked Miss Morison

come with me.
Miss Morison suggested our seeing the

toric

part

his-

of Paris in something like chrono-

logical order,

and

I

looked forward to seeing

it

AN ADVENTURE

i6
practically

for

the

We

time with her.

first

decided to go to Versailles one day, though

we

rather reluctantly, as

felt

was diverging

it

from our plan to go there too soon.

know what
place

and

my

to expect, as

its

significance

did not

ignorance of the

So we

was extreme.

looked up general directions
trusted to finding our

I

way

Baedeker, and

in

at the time.

After spending some time in the Palace,

went down by the terrace and struck

We

right to find the Petit Trianon.

we

to the

walked

some distance down a wooded alley, and
then came upon the buildings of the Grand

for

Trianon, before which

went on

we

in the direction of the

but just before reaching what

wards

to

We

did not delay.

Petit Trianon,

we knew

be the main entrance

I

after-

saw a gate

leading to a path cut deep below the level of
the ground above, and as the

way was open

and had the look of an entrance that was used,
I said: "Shall we try this path? it must lead
to

we followed it. To our
we saw some farm-buildings looking

the house," and

right

empty and deserted

;

implements (among others

a plough) were lying about

saw no one.

The

;

we looked

in,

but

impression was saddening,

THE PETIT TRIANON
but

was not

it

began

as

if

men

the crest of the

ground where there was a garden that

rising
I

we reached

until

to feel as

if

we had

There were two

something were wrong.
there in

official

been a

A

staff.

our way, and

lost

dress (greenish in colour),

with something in their hands

answer

my

to

enquiry, to

remember repeating my

I

answered

they

might have

it

;

wheelbarrow and some other

They

gardening tools were near them.
in

17

straight on.

question,

seemingly

a

in

go

told us,

because

and

casual

mechanical way, but only got the same answer

same manner.
there I saw to the
in

As we were

the

solidly-built

cottage,

A woman

door.

the doorway, and

unusual dress

;

into the bodice,

with stone steps at the
oriH

at

noticed their

both wore white kerchiefs tucked

and the

The woman was

^

were standing:

particularly

girl's dress,

looked 13 or 14 only, was

wore

a detached

right of us

and a
I

standing-

down

though she

to her ankles.

passing a jug to the

girl,

who

a close white cap.^

The woman was standing on

the steps, bending

forward, holding a jug in her hand.

The

girl

slightly

was looking up

her from below with her hands raised, but nothing in them.
She might have been just going to take the jug or have just

at

i;iven

it

up.

Her light-brown

hair escaped from under her

AN ADVENTURE

i8

Following the directions of the two

walked on

seemed
the

but

:

to us

away from where we imagined
and there was a
Trianon to be

to lead

Petit

;

and loneliness about the

feeling of depression
place.

men we

the path pointed out

I

my sleep;

began

to feel as

if I

were walking

in

the heavy dreaminess

was oppressive.
At last we came upon a path crossing ours, and
saw in front of us a building consisting of some
columns roofed in, and set back in the trees.
Seated on the steps was a

man

with a heavy

black cloak round his shoulders, and wearing a
slouch hat.

At

moment

that

which had begun

in the

definite impression of

which

was

garden culminated

slowly turned his face,

marked by smallpox

plexion was very dark.

The

his

:

not feel that he was looking particularly at

was meaningless, and we
cap.

I

remember

in a tableau

end

But

a repugnance to going past him.

not wish to show the feeling,

that both

vivant

\

but

seemed

we passed

which

to pause for

and

I

I

an

I

did

us,
I

I

did

thought

about

talked

on,

com-

expression was

very evil and yet unseeing, and though

felt

in a

something uncanny and

The man

fear-inspiring.

the eerie feeling

the

instant, as

did not see the

THE PETIT TRIANON
way

best

to

and decided

turn,

to

19

go

the

to

right.

Suddenly we heard a man running behind

us:

he shouted, "Mesdames, mesdames," and when
I

turned he said

me

an accent that seemed to

in

unusual that our
"

tion.

par

II

lay in another direc-

ne faut (pronounced /b?//) pas passer

He

la."

way

then

made a

gesture, adding

"par

Though we
were surprised to be addressed, we were glad
The man
of the direction, and I thanked him.
ici

.

.

cherchez

.

la

maison."

ran off with a curious smile on his face

running ceased as abruptly as
far

from where we stood.

man was

it

remember

I

young-looking, with a

and rather long dark

hair.

florid

We
that
right

walked

man wore

on,

the

that the

complexion

do not remember

I

the dress, except that the material

heavy, and that the

:

had begun, not

was dark and

buckled shoes.
a

crossing

small

bridge

went across a green bank, high on our

hand and shelving down below as

to

a

very small overshadowed pool of water glim-

mering some way
from above

us,

off.

A tiny stream descended

so small as to

before reaching the

little

lowed a narrow path

till

seem

pool.

to lose itself

We

then

almost immediately

fol-

we

AN ADVENTURE

20

came upon the English garden front of the
The place was deserted but
Petit Trianon,
as we approached the terrace I remember
drawing my skirt away with a feeling as though
;

someone were near and I had to make room,
and then wondering why I did it. While we
were on the terrace a boy came out of the door
of a second building which opened on it, and I
still
it

have the sound

He

behind him.

in

my

ears of his

slamming

directed us to go round to

the other entrance, and seeing us hesitate, with

the

peculiar

offered

to

smile

show us

of

mockery,

suppressed

the

way.

We

passed

through the French garden, part of which was
walled in by trees.

was very strong

The

there,

feeling of dreariness

and continued

till

we

actually reached the front entrance to the Petit

Trianon and looked round the rooms

in

the

wake of a French wedding party. Afterwards
we drove back to the Rue des Reservoirs.

The

impression returned to

me

at intervals

during the week that followed, but

speak of

it

until

I

Miss Morison asked

did not

me

if I

thought the Petit Trianon was haunted, and
said Yes.

Then,

I

too, the inconsistency of the

dress and behaviour of the

man

with an August

THE PETIT TRIANON
afternoon at Versailles

We

me.

struck

21

had

only this one conversation about the two men.

Nothing

else

passed between us

was not

It

was staying

till

three months later,

with

myself to

How

her.

happened was quite inexplicable
believed

I

and almost refused

had not seen

I

when

Morison

Miss

that

her,

casually mentioned the lady,
to believe that

in Paris.

to

that

me, for

be looking about on

I

all

and it was not so much that I did not
remember her as that I could have said no one
was there. But as she said it I remembered

sides,

my

impression at the

more people than
not

tell

her

of there being

could see,

though

I

did

this.

The same
returned to

I

moment

evening,

my

November

loth,

school near London.

enough, the next morning

I

had

1901,

I

Curiously

to give

one of

a set of lessons on the French Revolution for
the
first

Higher

Certificate,

and

it

struck

me

for the

time with great interest that the loth of

August had a
history,

special

significance in

and that we had been

at

French

Trianon on

the anniversary of the day.

That evening when I was preparing to write
down my experiences, a French friend whose

AN ADVENTURE

22

home was

Paris

in

came

into

my

room, and
she

knew

any story about the haunting of the

Petit

asked her, just on the chance,

I

Trianon.

(I

if

had not mentioned our story

her before, nor indeed to anyone.)
directly

that

She

to

said

remembered hearing from
on a certain day in

she

friends at Versailles that

August Marie

Antoinette
the

sitting outside

is

regularly

seen

garden front at the Petit

Trianon, with a light flapping hat and a pink

More than

dress.

the place, especi-

this, that

garden, and the path by the

ally the farm, the

water, are peopled with those

with her there

;

who used

to be

occupations

in fact that all the

and amusements reproduce themselves there
for

a day and a night.

story,

and when

man spoke

I

I

then told her our

quoted the words that the

and imitated as well as

I

could his accent, she immediately said that

it

to us,

was the Austrian pronunciation of French.
had

privately

thought

that

told this to

spoke old^

he

Immediately afterwards

French.

I

I

wrote and

Miss Morison.
F. L.

^

By

old

I

mean

provincial French.

old or unusual forms, perhaps surviving in
6

THE PETIT TRIANON

On
to my
it

receiving Miss Lament's letter

23

I

turned

diary to see on what Saturday in August

was that we

had

visited

to

what

loth,

1792,

looked up the history to find out

On August

event she alluded.
the Tuileries

escaped

in

The

was sacked.

and

Versailles,

royal

family

the early morning to the Hall of

the Assembly, where they were penned up for

many hours hearing

themselves

practically

dethroned, and within sound of the massacre
of their servants and of the Swiss guards at
the Tuileries.

From

Queen were taken

We

the Hall the

King and

Temple.
wondered whether we had inadvertently
to the

entered within an act of the Queen's

when

alive,

and whether

this

memory

explained

our

curious sensation of being completely shut in

What more

and oppressed.

likely,

than that during those hours

in

we

thought,

the Hall of

the Assembly, or in the Conciergerie, she

gone back

in

Augusts spent

such
at

vivid

memory

to

had

other

Trianon that some impress of

AN ADVENTURE

24
it

was imparted

to the place?

which were shown

to

Some

me proved

pictures

that the out-

door dress of the gendemen at Court had been
a large hat and cloak, and that the ladies wore
long-waisted bodices, with
skirts, fichus,
I

told

the

and

full

gathered short

hats.

story

heartily agreed that,

to

my

as

a

brother,
rule,

made no impression at all upon
we always believed that, if only

and

we

such stories
us,

because

the persons

involved would take the trouble to investigate

them thoroughly and honestly

for themselves,

they could be quite naturally explained.

We

agreed that such a story as ours had very

little

value without more proof of reality than

had,

it

but that as there were one or two interesting
points in

it,

it

would be best to

sift

the matter

make more

them
He suggested lightly and
in fun that perhaps we had seen the Queen as
she thought of herself, and that it would be
quietly, lest others should

of

than they deserved.

interesting to

know whether

the dress described

was the one she had on at the time of her
reverie, or whether it was one she recollected
having worn at an earlier date. My brother
also enquired

whether we were quite sure that

THE PETIT TRIANON
the last

man we had

seen (who came out of the

well as the

side building),

as

were

all

persons.

great

amusement

real

doubt as to the

that

I

party,

him

with

not the smallest

them

As Miss Lamont was going
I

wedding

assured

we had

reality of

Christmas holidays,

25

all.

to Paris for the

wrote and asked her to

take any opportunity she might have to see the
place again,

and

and the buildings
of the

and

I

to
;

make
for the

a plan of the paths

guide books spoke

Temple de I'Amour and the Belvedere,
thought one of them might prove to be

our kiosk.
E.

M.

AN ADVENTURE

26

Miss Lamont*s Account of her Second Visit
the Petit Trianon

to

January, 1902

On

January 2nd, 1902,

went

I

for the

second

was a cold and wet day,
but I was anxious not to be deterred by that, as
it was likely to be my only possible day that
time to Versailles.

This

winter.

It

time

drove straight to the

I

Grand Trianon.
path up which we had

Petit

Trianon, passing

Here

I

walked

could see the
in

August.

I

the

regular entrance, thinking

the

no

was a door
de

I

would go

Temple de I'Amour, even

To

further.

la

however, to the

went,

if I

at

once to

had time

to

go

the right of the cour d'honneur

in the wall

Reine and

;

it

led to the

to the gardens.

I

Hameau
took this

path and came to the Temple de I'Amour,

which was not the building we had passed
the summer.
eerie feeling

in

There was, so far, none of the
we had experienced in August.

But, on crossing a bridge to

go

to the

Hameau,


THE PETIT TRIANON
the old feeling returned in
as

if

in

a

I

had crossed a

very scanty.
sticks

was

the

left

I

saw a

ground, the trees bare and

noticed a cart being

by two labourers, and thought

them

men

I

it

;

and was suddenly

To

circle of influence.

tract of park-like

to

line

force

full

27

for directions if

I

lost

my

filled
I

with

could go

way.

The

wore tunics and capes with pointed hoods

of bright colours, a sort of terra-cotta red and

deep

blue.^

more — to

turned aside for an instant

I

look at the

men and

looked back

Hameau, and when
cart

way

had seen the men
with sticks,

in the act of

could see a
I

loading the cart

could not see any trace of them

I

on the ground either
I

I

And though

every direction.

in

I

were completely out

of sight, and this surprised me, as

long

not

at the time or afterwards.

did not, however, dwell upon any part of the

went on

incident, but

houses were

all built

to

the

Hameau.

The

near a sheet of water, and

the old oppressive feeling of the last year

was

noticeable, especially under the balcony of the

Maison de
what
'

I

la

near a window

afterwards found to be

One man wore

mixed.

Reine, and

red, the other blue

;

the

in

Laiterie.

the colours were not

AN ADVENTURE

28
I

window or look

in,

and when

I

did so

I

found

shuttered inside.

it

Coming away from

reached a building, which

go

to the Belvedere,

into the park

I

I

I

at last

I

knew from my
;

plan

meaning

then,

to

turned back by mistake

and found myself

thick that though

Hameau

I

Hameau

the

to be the smaller Orangerie

I

go near the

really felt a great reluctance to

a wood, so

in

had turned towards the

could not see

Before

it.

I

entered

looked across an open space towards a belt of

Hameau some way off,
man, cloaked like those we had

trees to the left of the

and noticed a
seen before,
trees.

The

attracted
I

my

slip

swiftly through

smoothness

of

the

line

of

movement

his

attention.

was puzzling

my way among

the

maze of

wood when I heard a rustling
behind me which made me wonder why people
in silk dresses came out on such a wet day

paths in the

;

and
I

I

said to myself, "just like

turned sharply round to see

but saw no one, and then,

all

French people."

who
in

they were,

a moment,

I

had the same feeling as by the terrace in the
summer, only in a much greater degree it was
as though I were closed in by a group of people
;

THE PETIT TRIANON
who

already

filled

29

the path, coming from behind

At one moment there seemed
I heard some women's
no room for me.

and passing me.
really

French, and caught the words

voices talking

"Monsieur et Madame" said close to my ear.
The crowd got scarce and drifted away, and
then faint music as of a band, not far off, was
audible.

It

was playing very

a good deal of repetition in

and music were diminished
phonograph,

unnaturally.

I

I

tone,

in

as in a

The pitch of the
The sounds were
felt

I

the swish

by me.

looked at the

but whenever

Both voices

it.

band was lower than usual.
intermittent, and once more
of a dress close

music with

light

map which

had with me,

I

setded which path to take

impelled to go by another.

I

felt

After turning back-

wards and forwards many times

I

at last found

myself back at the Orangerie, and was overasked him where I
I
taken by a gardener.^
should find the Queen's grotto, that had been
thought this gardener did not look like a Frenchman he
He had hair on his face,
air of an Englishman.
made. His height was
loosely
and
large
was
beard,
a grizzled
strength.
very uncommon, and he seemed to be of immense
even
that
noticed
I
muscular.
very
His arms were long and
I I

had more the

through the sleeves of his jersey.

;

AN ADVENTURE

30
mentioned

De

in

procured while

Nolhac's book which

He

in Paris.

told

me

I

had

to follow

was on, and, in answer to a question,
that
I
must pass the Belvedere, adding
said
that it was quite impossible to find one's way
about the park unless one had been brought up
the path

I

and so used

in the place,

to

it

The

ne pourrait vous tromper."
specially impressed

ence

I

me

had just had

out the

way and

the Belvedere, which

we had

the building

upon

it

I

me.
I

He

wood.

The path

pointed
led past

took for granted was

seen in August, for coming

from behind,

from me.

expression

because of the experi-

in the

left

that " personne

all

the water

made my way from

was hidden
there to the

French garden without noticing the paths

I

took.

On my
enquiries

return to Versailles
as

to

I

made

careful

whether the band had been

playing there that day, but was told that though

was the usual day of the week, it had not
played because it had played the day before,
it

being
I

New
my

told

Year's Day.

French friends of

said that there
ette

was a

my walk, and they

tradition of

Marie Antoin-

having been seen making butter within the

I

THE PETIT TRIANON
Laiterie,

A

and

was shuttered.
they mentioned interested

for that reason

second tradition

me

very much.

1789

— which

31

It

was

was the

it

that

last

on October

5th,

day on which Marie

— she

was

Antoinette went to

Trianon

there in her grotto,

and saw a page running

towards her, bringing the
ter at the palace to

would be

letter

say that the

at the gates in

sitting

from the minis-

mob

from Paris

an hour's time.

The

story went on that she impulsively proposed

walking straight back to the palace by the

through the

short cut

allow

it

:

trees.

He

would not

but begged her to go to the "maison"

to wait whilst

he fetched the carriage by which

she was generally conveyed back through the
park,

and that he ran

off to order

it.

F.L.

January^

1

902.

AN ADVENTURE

32

1902-4.

During

the next two years very

throw

to

living

on the

light

Versailles

in

to

little

occurred

The person
whom we had been
story.

directed as having related the tradition of the

Queen's being at Trianon

on

October

5th,

1789, was unable to remember anything at all
about it. The photographs of the Belvedere

made

it

that

clear

On

the kiosk.

the

it

was not

many

identical with

occasions on which

Miss Lamont went to the Trianon she could
never again find the places,

wood

in

—not

which she had been.

me

that

the

distances

the

place

was

were much

She assured

entirely
less

even the

than

different

;

we had

and the ground was so bare that
the house and the Hameau were in full view
and that there was nothing
of one another
imagined

;

;

unnatural about the trees.

Miss Lamont brought back from Paris
Reine Marie Antoinette, by

and Le Petit

La

M. de Nolhac,

Trianon, by Desjardins.

We

THE PETIT TRIANON

^3

noted that M. de Nolhac related the traditional
of

story

Queen's

the

and

visit,

Comte de Vaudreuil, who betrayed
by

her to

the

Seville

in

inciting

Barbier

de

her

the

acting

fatal

the

that

own

Queen
of

the

theatre

at

Trianon, was a Creole and marked by small-

Turning over the pages

pox (pages 6 1, 212).
of Desjardins

Queen, and

the

of

first

weeks
leau

the pictures

all

later

found

I

I

qui

sans

majeste,
contraire,

il

that

was

it

de

toile

passage

des

trouverent

Pour
dire de

de bon portrait de
Wertmiiller

et

In

January,

Comedie

1904,

tab-

critiques

froid,

sans

celui

;

au
de

Madame Campan,
la reine

celle

Miss

at

Some
Ce

posterite,

la

que

cette

Madame

que

Lebrun peignit en 1787" (page
the

"

:

a le plus grand m^rite

Au

the

had seen which

accueilli

le

grace.

ressemblance.
n'existe

this

mal

assez

fut

contemporains

il

exclaimed

brought back the face of the lady.

all

la

found Wertmiiller's portrait of

I

282).

Lamont went

to

Francjaise to see the Barbier de

S^ille, and noticed that the Alguazils standing

round were dressed exactly
officials,

was

like

our garden

but had red stockings added.

interesting,

as

the

Comedie

This

Fran9aise

AN ADVENTURE

34
is

the

descendant

Theatre, and
the

the

of

old

Royal

Private

liveries

worn by

the

royal

subordinate actors (who were,

times,

the

reproduced

royal
at

it.

servants)
Also,

she

are

in

earlier

carefully

reported,

that

Almaviva was dressed in a dark cloak and a
large Spanish hat, which was said to be the
outdoor dress of French gentlemen of the
period.
E.

M.

THE PETIT TRIANON

On Monday,
and

went

I

second

July 4th,

We

visit.

Mademoiselle

On

story.

and goers, were

and

my

accompanied

by

who had

not heard our

and

brilliant

entirely

On

hot.

different

and solitude of our

turned

the

to

right

which we had

at

on

now

point everything

had

us

was changed.

gates,

but

both

comers

from

the
1901.

visit

in

the

first

reaching
learnt

time
the

to

call

From
The old

wall

the logement des corps de gardes.

facing

week

again unaccompanied.

went up the lane as

building,

being

the dust, glare, trams, and

occasions

We

were
,

Both days were

quietness

Miss Lamont

Saturday of the same

the

we went

(July 9th)

1904,

the Trianon, this

to

35

this

they were closed,

and the one through which we had seen the

seemed

drive passing through a grove of trees
to

We

have

been closed

came
which was

directly

to

for

the

a very long time.
gardener's

house,

quite different in appearance from

the cottage described by Miss

Lamont

in 1901,

AN ADVENTURE

36

the

a

Beyond

girl.

parterre

with

and

flower-beds,

smooth

a

careful tendance.

not seem to be the place where

We

house was

gardener's

the

lawn of many years'
the garden

woman and

she saw the

of which

front

in

It

we had met

officials.

spent a long time looking for the old

Not only was

paths.

there no trace of them,

but the distances were contracted, and

on a smaller scale than
kiosk was gone

all

The

recollected.

I

was

so was the ravine and the

;

cascade which had fallen from a height

little

above our heads, and the
the

did

of

ravine was,

bridge over

little

course,

gone

large bridge with the rocher over

one

side

the

of

lake

the

at

Belvedere, had no resemblance to

The

too.
it,

crossing

of

foot

The

it.

the
trees

were quite natural, and seemed to have been a

good deal cleared
garden much

less

making that part of the
wooded and picturesque.
out,

The English garden
was

not

could

almost

shaded

by

in

front of the house

many

trees

see the house and the

every

point.

Instead

;

and we

Hameau
of

a

from

much

shaded rough meadow continuing up to the
wall of the terrace, there is now a broad

THE PETIT TRIANON
sweep

gravel

beneath

and the

it,

n
trees

on

Exactly where the lady

the grass are gone.

was sitting we found a large spreading bush
apparently,

of,

recognise

not

up

leads

many

We

years' growth.

present

the

which

staircase,

end of the

to the north-west

did

terrace,

nor the extension of wall round which one has

now

to

We

go

order

in

we went up

thought that

from some

reach the

to

nearer

point

the

English garden.

the

French garden

The
to

to the

the

to

staircase.

terrace

house from

present exit from

the

avenue was not

so near the house as we expected, nor was
it

so broad as

we remembered

To add

the

our

first

groups
sitting

to

visit, in

in

the

away from any

common-place,

Garden

stalls for

fruit

assured

for

me

across

walking
seats

or

placed

and lemonade

The

atmosphere

was

with the air of silent mystery

by which we had been so

Though

recalling

idea of desolation.

unhistorical

totally inconsistent

of

we came

merry people

shade.

everywhere, and
took

impossibility

every corner

noisy

of

it.

several years

of the change,

I

much oppressed.
Miss Lamont had
had not expected

such complete disillusionment.

AN ADVENTURE

38

One

me

thing struck

wherever they

anyone

from

—people

went

and no one would think

liked,

of interfering to

greatly

show the way, or

going

any

in

to

prevent

We

direction.

searched the place at our pleasure.

We

Hameau, following the path
taken by Miss Lamont on January 2, 1902.
We tried to find the thick wood in which
went

she had
like

it,

to the

lost

her way, but there was nothing

and such paths as there are now are

perfectly visible

summer.

We

from

one

another, even

in

asked a gardener sweeping one

of the paths whether that part of the grounds

He

had ever been a thick wood.
believed that

it

no date beyond the
his time

On

— more

fact

that

it

we went

a bookseller's shop and asked

maps or views of
had been in old
the

(which

the

Petit

if

Trianon

as

it

us

a

he would not part with)

Jeu de Bague.

We

saw
some

at

position

was

once

of

that

likeness to the

kiosk, but the surrounding part
its

into

he had any

He showed

days.

the central building had

and

was before

than twenty years ago.

our return to Versailles,

picture

he

said

had been, but could give us

was not

unsuitable

for

like,

our

THE PETIT TRIANON
purpose.

We

uniforms

of

enquired

about

garden

the

39

green

the

and

officials,

He

emphatically denied their existence.

royal

liveries,"

three

years

coats

had

spoke of

and when we answered that
persons

before

us

directed

it

in

green

long

in

One

of

added)

ga7'dien5

ihe,

was a

of the Palace also told us that "green
royal livery

and that now only the President

had the right

We

how

open

allowed

to

that

told

to use

asked

thrown

it

on certain occasions."

long the gardens had been
the

to

wander

so

take

of this

result

a graver view

and we resolved
carefully
silent

had
After

as

we

visit

people

and

everywhere,

had been

"it

and

public

were

many

was
two

of the

years.

make

to

look into the matter as

to

could,

and

be

to

some
leads,

together

somewhat

it

years,

we

us

visits,

first

entirely

about the change of scenery until
explained

and

for year's,''

evidently implied a great

The

he

grounds,

the

as " impossible, unless (he

they were masqueraders."

false

said

"green was one of the colours of the

that

this

he

and

have

some very

in

spite

been

of

able

interesting

we

ourselves.

to

various
to

facts.

put

The

AN ADVENTURE

40
details

which,

of the search are recorded in a
to

Green Book.
written

in

with

It

1901,

accumulation

by

goes

us,

of

name

the

book

of

the

contains the original papers
the

history of the

one another and

also

gradual

correspondence

information,

with

on

others

accounts written

by one or

two friends who have helped us

at different

the

subject, the

times, also

consulted,

pictures,

maps, and

lists

of books

and the account of curious incidents

which took place during the search.
E.

M.

F. L.

CHAPTER

II

SUMMARY OF RESULTS OF
RESEARCH
The Plough
The
in

1

first

incident in our expedition to Trianon

90 1 was

that, after

passing the logement des

corps de gardes, a small

hand plough was seen

by Miss Lamont lying on the ground not
from some wide open gates

in

far

an old wall

opposite to us,

through which we could see

the stems of a

grove of

leading through
In 1905 Miss
that

trees,

and a drive

it.

Lamont was

no plough was kept

told
at

by a gardener

Trianon

;

there

was no need of one, as the government only
required

the

lawns,

walks,

water,

trees,

and

flowers, to be kept up.

In 1908 another gardener told us both that

ploughs have entirely altered

in

character since

2

AN ADVENTURE

42

was not likely that the
old type would be seen anywhere in France
the Revolution, and

it

now.
It

would seem that no plough was used
Trianon even

narily at

a
1

ordi-

amongst

in old days, for

of tools bought for the gardeners from

list

780- 1 789, there

We

is

no mention of a plough.^

learned, in 1905, from Desjardins' book,

XVI. an

that throughout the reign of Louis

old plough used in his predecessor's reign had

been preserved
with

the

at the Petit

king's

Trianon and sold

other properties

during

the

Revolution.

A

picture of this identical plough, procured in

showed

1907,

seen

in

in the

that

it

had handles

one

like the

1901, but the cutting part was hidden

ground and could not be compared.'

map

In the old

of 1783 there

land where later the

Hameau was

the sheet of water placed
in the later

:

ploughed

is

built

but there

is

and
none

maps, nor any now to be seen

in

the grounds.
^Archives Nationales O', 1878.
^

Desjardins,

p. 15

pp. 289, 290, vol.
2

;

Rocheterie's Histoire de

i.

In the Bibliotheque Nationale.

Marie

Antoinetie^

RESULTS OF RESEARCH

43

:

AN ADVENTURE

44

The Guards
The second event was

our meeting with two

dignified, thoughtful-looking officials, dressed in

long green coats and three-cornered hats, holding something in their hands which Miss

wrote of

in

Lamont

1901 as possibly being staves.

In

response to our enquiry for the Petit Trianon
they coldly directed us forward.

There are no

officials

so dressed at Trianon

At present they wear

now.

colour rosettes in their hats

have white
In

1904

we

in

with

summer

tri-

they

trousers.

we were

told

persons at Versailles that
that

;

black,

should

have

it

by

fully-informed

was

" impossible "

seen

such

uniforms,

"unless they were worn by masqueraders," for

green was a royal

now

livery,

and no one wore

it

at Trianon.

Supposing them

to

have been masqueraders,

may have been that of gardes dc la
The ceremonial overdress of \}i\^ ga^'des

the dress
porte.

de la portCy as was that of part of the gardes du
corps {^gardes de la Manche),

was green, with

gold and silver embroidery and red stockings


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