Diary Comparison

Monday 30th June 1834

Ann Walker’s Entry

Anne Lister’s Entry

off June 30th at 6.18 oclock for Rousses breakfasted & off at 10 to 7 to La Vattage [Vattay] – 12.21 off to Gex – had a trout, & then off for Ferney saw Voltaire’s chateau, & the his room just as it was when he died. present chateau built in 17[gap] the old one being destroyed at by the Revolution — guide gave me a piece of the bark off an elm tree Voltaire planted – a very nice shady walk of Hornbeam, the boughs completely meeting at top, & trained to form an arch – walk about 6 or 8 feet wide bought a bust of Voltaire, a view of his chateau, the verse he composed the day before his death, & an impression of his seal – he built the village of Ferney & there his memory his [is] adored – he also built a church close to the gates of his chateau, it is now converted into a sort of Magasine. Query if Voltaire was in reality what the world represents him (an Infidel,) is it not singular that he should have built a Church for the worship of God? –

[gap of six lines]

Spent 50 minutes at Ferney then off for Geneve, where we arrived about 5.30 – Engaged 4 very comfortable apartments at the Hotel de Berg [Bergues] – which has been built by a company of gent[lemen] who have bought that quarter of the city & are making great improvements there – they have also constructed a new bridge (sort of suspension) which has only been completed & opened 6 weeks – went to the Post Office 2 letters from my Sister forwarded from Paris – one of which went first to Heworth Grange. had din[n]er – then walked out into the town, went to a booksellers & got a plan of Geneva – then returned to Hotel & went to bed –

Courtesy of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale WYC:1525/7/1/5/1/12 & WYC:1525/7/1/5/1/13

[up at] 4 3/4
[to bed at] 10 3/4

two kisses last night before getting into my own bed – fine morning Fahrenheit 62° at 5 3/4 – asked for the book of the maitre de poste, and in spite of his telling me it was not worth while wrote as follows ‘Le 29 Juin, 1834. Madame Lister, dame Anglaise, allant de Paris à Génève, se plaint de l’insolence du postillon Michel, Allemand, qui l’a conduite de St. Laurent jusqu’a Morey’ – Off from Morey at 6 18/.. – very fine ascent from Morey along the narrow beautiful gorge – cheval de renfort from Poligny to Montrond, Champignole to St. Laurent, St. Laurent to Morey or Morez, but only had it from Morey to Rousses – from 6 40/.. to 7 walked up the mountain – very fine green, wooded, rocky gorge – At Rousses at 7 47/.. – nice little posthouse and Inn (might sleep there very well) opposite the Douane – shewed the 3 passports, but nothing said about our baggage – care not what we take out – would be particular enough about what we brought in – breakfast at 9 – before and after wrote out yesterday – Rousses a small but good village off at 10 7/.. – at 10 20/.. got out and walked 10 minutes up the hill – then in 5 or 6 minutes more pass the road (left) leading to the new Swiss road along the lake to Geneva – the postboy said the distance was the same as the road we were going and many travellers now went that way – But why hurry down to Switzerland and the flat road along its lake, in preference to lingering along the Jura, and enjoying the matchless 1st view of the Leman waters? At 11 1/4 enter the fine winding deep valley which heads to La Vattaye /La Vattay/ (at 11 57/..) – a single house (La poste) very nice bedrooms, good house – might have slept and eaten there very comfortably – 24 minutes here – Miss Walker all the while on the pot has very often two motions a day she was sickish and peewee as usual but Noyau afterwards in the carriage did her goo[d] – La Vattaye beautifully situated in little high-situated plain embossed in fir forest and high hoary fir-sprinkled rocks – still winding along the same fine valley (vide line 6 above) till 12 3/4 when, on reaching the top of the pass, the rich plain, the lake (or rather the Rhone from soon after its quitting the lake) with its magnificent screen of mountains, and Mont Blanc, burst upon our view – the celebrity of this view is deserved – I do not remember having ever seen a finer – in 5 minutes the drag was put on, and the postboy had also tied fast the wheel with ropes, and we began the descent which lasted till 2 26/.. when having passed thro’ the main part of the town of Gex, we had one steepish street and then disencumbered the wheel, and 4 minutes afterwards stopt at la poste (at the far end of the town) a nice little Inn where, so nice was the garden at the back, and so fine the air, and the view, and so comfortable the bedroom we were in, we thought we could spend a few quiet days very well – Adney being ready for something to eat, had a nice (cold) pickled trout and lay down all the while (for 1/2 hour) – Gex a goodish little country town – no inquiry about passports – off again at 3 – fine rich plain – very good road, but so flat, could see nothing but the trees and hedges and yellow corn (only observed 3 or 4 patches of vine) close alongside, except mountains and Mont Blanc 1/2 way up the horizon – fine wheat dead ripe – At Ferney (Voltaire’s chateau) at 3 50/.. – one of the women servants shewed his chamber – nothing particular except a sort of Mausolée to his memory in the fire-place – a brick-floored, 2 windowed, nice enough, not large room opening into the hall or salle à manger where Voltaire used to entertain his friends – 3 or 4 minutes sufficed for seeing this – then saw the gardens – the fine view of Mont Blanc finer said the man (aetatis 71 but looking much younger the son of Voltaire’s gardener) than the view people go for to the little height above the village of the Great Sacconnex /Grand-Saconnex/ – and saw the hornbeam avenue (the trees planted quite close, 6 or 8 inches distance and meeting at the top – from 3 to 4 yards wide?) Voltaire used to walk in, and where his cabinet d’etude was (in the garden) when he [wished] to be out of the way, and the Elm (fine tall, straight, large Elm) he planted – It was where the cabinet d’Etude was that stood the mausolée or monument that bore the inscriptions to his memory – erected by Comte de Beudet /Budé/ and destroyed in the night by some people, 8 or 9 years ago, du temps Charles X and suspected to be Jesuits – on the death of Voltaire (made a marquis by the King of Prussia) his heirs sold the village chateau and all property to Comte Beudet (aetatis now 86) to whose family the property had belonged before Voltaire bought it – Voltaire pulled down the old chateau and built the present house – the gardener told at full length the story of the désagréemen between Voltaire and Gibbon and Gibbon’s impudence in getting to see him and their being reconciled and afterwards friends – On Voltaire’s finding that Gibbon had succeeded by stratagem, he sent his servant after him to ask for 12 sols for having seen the bête – Gibbon gave 24 sols, said he had paid for twice, and would come again the next day – (he had before written some pretty complimentary verses) so Voltaire overcome received him en ami the next day, asked a party to meet him and they were good friends ever afterwards – After seeing the garden went to the old gardener’s house – saw Voltaire’s cane, cap, 3 little silver inkstands and book of seals, given to the gardener (when Voltaire went to Paris the last time) because he was then the errandboy, and went to the post – this book curious – under each seal (in Voltaire’s writing) the name and sometimes place of the owner with occasional short remarks – such as ‘fou de Lyon’ etc. etc. put together these seals and remarks that the boy might know which letters would be received and which not – for all the above things including the manuscript account of Voltaire’s last journey written by his secretary our English General Cockbourne offered £150 in vain – the gardener’s children (2 married daughters? or 1 son and a daughter?) may dispose of these things as they like – they are the old man’s living while he does live, tho’ he is and always has been in Comte de Beudet’s service – Off from Ferney at 4 3/4 – had been 55 minutes there – Miss Walker bought lithograph of the chamber and chateau 3/. and little bust of Voltaire made of the garden earth, and baked, probably at the neighbouring pottery just out of Ferney – for 1/. – offered the man a 5 franc piece – saw he did not think it enough and gave a 2 franc piece more for which he thanked me – Ferney a neat good village French – the Swiss boundary is somewhere just out of Ferney – stopt at 5 10/.. at the police at the Great Sacconnex, a good village or little town? and shewed my English Foreign office passport determined to put the other 2 away – shewed passport again on entering Geneva – left it, and they gave me a ticket to be signed by me before receiving back my passport – all this particularly in consequence of the late affair at Lyons – Alighted at the large, new, handsome Hotel de Bergues at 5 40/.. bargained for apartment au 1er, little salon and 3 single bedded rooms all looking on to the Rhone and room for George for 12/. a day – dinner and vin ordinaire for 2 selves 8/. and breakfast for ditto (not including strawberries) 2/. servants at 8/. a day for the 2 – much better off than I expected, but the man (just come here from Thun) saw that I knew what I was about – very handsome < bridge (angle a strong abutment against the current) just opposite us finished only 6 weeks ago – the buildings along the Quai all new and arcaded and handsome the town quite changed in this quarter – new and very handsome – beautiful view over the water and to the mountains from our windows – dinner at 7 3/4 – very good – sat talking over dessert and a bottle of Lunel of which however I only took 1/2 a wine glass, better pleased with very weak vin ordinaire and water – before dinner we had been to the Post Office and got our letters (3 for Adney) and 1 for me dated Thursday 19 June, 3 pages and

directed from Paris, ‘Geneve’ and written on the back, ‘parti à Geneve en Suisse poste restante’  

ends, from my aunt Shibden – better account of herself – begs us not to hurry home – all going on well in and out of doors – my father pretty well ditto Marian – Miss Walker of Cliff hill takes it ill Adney never told her of coming abroad tho’ it had been publicly talked of so long – what nonsense! 2 of Adney’s letters from her sister – her eyes still bad – to be confined the beginning of October – one from Washington – Mr. Lampleugh Hird will for 3 years give £60 for Lidgate and 17 days’ work and Samuel Washington £20 a year for the remainder of the land – Mr. Hird likely to be a permanent tenant – wants alterations for which Samuel Washington would allow £40 – advises the agreeing – thinks the place would be well let – to pay 5 percent for furniture on the valuation of an appraisement Adney and I do not want the Hirds, and do not accept the terms offered – ten minutes with her tonight she was tired said I was long about it that I gave her no dinky dinky that is seminal flow and I excused myself and came away to my own bed very fine day. Fahrenheit 70° at 10 3/4 p.m.

All the way from Poligny, where began the ascent of the Jura, the chalets of stone, neat, pretty, little white buildings (cottage and stabling) far too spruce and good to be as picturesque as the Swiss –

In the margin:

Miss Walker thought I meant to go to the top of Mont Blanc and she certainly would go with me – the old gardener said two English gentlemen were lost in the attempt last year –

Courtesy of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale, SH:7/ML/E/17/0048 & SH:7/ML/E/17/0049

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