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JQA Diary, volume 29 18 December 1813
JQA Neal Millikan Court Life and Society (European) Napoleonic Wars

18. IV:15. The morning was cold; about -15 of Reaumur, but perfectly clear. I went out on the Square to observe the positions of some of the Stars— The great Bear was as nearly as possible in the Zenith, and I remarked very distinctly all the Stars of the little Bear. I found that the Constellation under which I have for several days observed Jupiter, and which I had taken for Libra, was the Lion. The Calendar marks Jupiter, as being in the Virgin, and I had not recollected the difference between the Signs and the Constellations of the Zodiac— I ascertained by La Lande’s lines Arcturus and Lyra, but missed several others— I went out again before Breakfast and saw the Sun rise quite clear, and he has now reached the extreme of his Southern Declination. I remarked also the Moon’s approach to him, it being now the fourth day before the Conjunction— I was in hopes of seeing her to the last day of her being visible; but the sky clouded up again in the course of the day, and I shall not see her again untill after the change.— It was however still clear enough this Evening to shew me Mars in the Meridian, and the Constellation of Aries, with the first star of the antient Equinox— My Observations abridged much of my reading— I had a morning visit from Mr Montréal— At noon I attended with Mr Smith at the Palace, where the Empresses held a Court, it being the festival of St: Nicholas— The Grand-Duke Nicholas was however not present, being confined with a fever.— The Duke de Serra-Capriola told me it was his son’s fête, and he should be glad to see his friends this Evening, though he gave no invitation— We accordingly all went, after Mrs Adams and I had paid a short visit to Prince Kurakin. The Prince told me of a total change of Ministry in France—the Duke de Vicence Minister of foreign Affairs, and the Duke de Bassano, back in the Office of Minister Secretary of State— The Prince said that the Minister Secretary of State was liable to be called upon by the Emperor every moment of the day; and when the Duke of Bassano had been removed from that Office to the Department of foreign Affairs, he told him the Prince, that he was very glad of the change, because he should no longer be “à la sonnette”— But now he is à la sonnette again. The Grand Juge Règnier, and two or three other Officers are also removed— And the allied troops have taken Stade— We found at the Duke’s a company of at least two hundred persons; very miscellaneous— I came home just before one in the morning, leaving the rest of the family there— They stayed to supper, and came home about four, leaving the company still dancing.— The Princess Amelia of Baden was there.