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ference in the administration of the politi-i menacing the northern frontier of France. cal business of the state, as correlative This object being attained, M. de Talleyprinciples.
rand finished his mission, and consummated The announcement of the appointment of his work by signing the treaty of quadruple Talleyrand to the embassy produced a live-alliance, which united France, England, ly sensation in England; and his known Spain, and Portugal, in a common league inclinations in favor of an alliance between in favor of peninsular civilization, and opEngland and France, gave rise to the most posed the league of the west to that of the favorable anticipations among the commer- north, in the interest of the cause of concial interests, as well as among those who stitutional government on the Continent of looked forward to the inestimable advanta- Europe. ges of the continuance of the general peace. He then finally retired from public life.
On being presented at the Court of St. He desired that between this world and the James, Talleyrand delivered an address to next a short season for reflection and repose the following effect:
should intervene. Nevertheless, one event
was destined to draw him again from his “SiRE–Of all the vicissitudes to which my retirement. The flame which was sinking great age has exposed me-of all the various situ, in the socket was still to give an expiring ations into which the last forty years, so fruitful
flicker. His friend and contemporary, the in extraordinary events, have seen me thrown, none have so entirely satisfied my wishes as that learned thaugh unobtrusive Count Reinhart, appointment which has brought me once more to preceded him to the tomb, at an advanced this happy country. Common principles age. They had often met and co-operated draw more and more closely together these iwo in their long and eventful career. They great nations England, like France, repudiates the had witnessed the same political convulprinciple of intervention in the internal concerns of sions, the same succession of revolutions ; other nations ; and as the ambassador of a royalty and the departure of the one from the stage unanimously elected by a great people, I feel myself at ease upon a land of freedom,
near a descend- of life was a knell which foreboded the ant of the illustrious house of Brunswick.” speedy exit of the other. Both were dis
tinguished members of the Academy of His first efforts in his new.capacity were Moral and Political Sciences. It is the directed to reproduce and realize the de- custom of that body, on the decease of any signs which, under less auspicious circum- of its more eminent members, to cause an stances, he had urged upon the British éloge to be delivered by some one, selected Government in 1792. More successful at the for the purpose, among the survivors. Talclose than in the opening of his long career, leyrand conceived a wish to offer this tribute he succeeded in bringing into a friendly al- of respect to the memory of his deceased liance two nations which rival pretensions friend, and the Academy hailed with unhad so long separated, but which he con- mingled pleasure the opportunity of heartended analogous institutions and common ing for the last time that voice which had foreign interests ought to combine. The so often persuaded sovereigns, and of beholdcabinets of Europe, seeing this aged and ing that venerable visage, the indications profound diplomatist, whose 'sagacity, en- of whose lineaments so often harbingered larged by vast experience, and whose unva- the fate of nations. The aged diplomate rying moderation, they so well knew, ap- himself was also moved to this proceeding pointed to represent the Revolution at one from the desire to bring to a final close, in of the most distinguished of the old courts, the peaceful sanctuary of science, an existfelt a stronger faith in the stability of its ence which had been chequered by events so results, and a more favorable disposition to extraordinary, and agitated by revolutions be reconciled to the existing state of things, for which history affords no parallel. and to treat on practicable terms with the On Saturday, the 3d March, 1838, the new government. Placed by the ascenden- meeting of the Academy was held, at which cy of his renown and his talent at the head it had been announced that M. de Talleyof the conference of London, M. de Talley- rand would personally deliver the academic rand succeeded in reconciling the powers to éloge on his deceased friend, M. de Reinthe dissolution of that union between Bel-hart. It was known that this would be the gium and Holland, which they had estab- last public appearance of the venerable lished in 1814, and in procuring the acknow-statesman and diplomatist. Nothing could ledgment of the independence of Belgium, exceed the excitement among all the more which thenceforth would cover, instead of elevated and enlightened classes which this
event produced. The meeting 'assumed all manner of the most complete abandon. He must the external appearances of a solemnity. display his ability even in the selection of his Long before the appointed hour, the hali amusements. His conversation must be simple and
varied : his remarks unexpected, but still natural was completely filled. Every space where
and naïve. In a word, he must not allow himself, an individual could stand or sit was oc- for one moment,
day or night, to forget that he is cupied. The élite of the high and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. gifted were there. The most elevated offi- “ Nevertheless, all these qualities, however cial functionaries, those most renowned in rare they may be, can avail nothing, if good faith literature, science, and the arts ; the nota- do not give them the support of which they stand bilities of foreign countries, the most emi- in need. I desire to insist the more on this, in ornent of the diplomatic corps, were all as- No! Diplomacy is not a science of duplicity. If
der to remove a prejudice which generally prevails, sembled, expressing in their countenances good faith be necessary anywhere, it is eminently intense interest. Among this multitude so in political transactions, because it alone can our eye successively rested on the well render them solid and durable. Stratagem is often known features of MM. Royer Collard, confounded with reserve.
Good faith can never Guizot, Thiers, Cousin, Villemain, Quatre- permit the one, but it fully warrants the other. mère de Quincy, de Bassano, Lemercier, Reserve is even to be the more recommended, beFauriel, Molé, de Montalivet,' de St. Au? cause instead of destroying, it augments confidence.
“Ruled by the honor and interest of his country, laire, de Barante, de Jaucourt, de Flahault, and by the honor and interest of his sovereign-by Bertin de Vaux, de Noailles, de Valençay, the love of that liberty which is founded on order Princes Esterhazy and d’Aremberg, &c. and on the rights of all-a Minister of Foreign
When the chair was taken by the Presi- Affairs, who is thus qualified to fill his office, is dent, the old wreck of all the Revolutions placed in the finest position 10 which an elevated entered, leaning on the arm of M. Mignet, mind can aspire.” the Perpetual Secretary of the Academy At the conclusion of this discourse, M. He took a seat which had been prepared for Droz, the President, expressed to M. de him, facing the President. He was costum- Talleyrand with much dignity and grace ed and coiffed as a high noble of the ancien the thanks of the Academy, and the octogerégime, exhibiting to the attentive eyes of narian retired loaded with the felicitations the numerous auditory that impassible se- of the most eminent individuals of his audirenity of look that no catastrophe was ever tory. able to discompose. With a firm and clear Notwithstanding his advanced age, such voice, and perfect articulation, he read an was the vigor of his faculties, and the brilelegant discourse, in which he noticed the liancy of his wit, that his friends had no various public functions which his late apprehension of the near approach of his friend had fulfilled, and the eminent abili- departure from this world. It was about ties he displayed. This gave occasion for two months after this memorable meeting general reflections on the qualities necessary of the Academy, that he felt the sudden atto a minister of foreign affairs, and every tack of the malady which was destined to order and class of diplomatist, from a con- bring his mortal life to a speedy close. · He sul upwards. M. Reinhart had in early bore, with a tranquil resignation and firm life, like M. de Talleyrand himself, studied courage, which never deserted him, the agotheology. This afforded an occasion for ny of several cruelly painful operations. some curious reflections on the benefit which During this illness, which was destined a statesman and diplomatist must derive to close his mortal career, the mind of the from the early discipline of an ecclesiastical great statesman and diplomate continually education. In illustration of these views, reverted to the past, and his tenacious mehe adduced the examples of Cardinal Chan- mory evolved before him the several events cellor Duprat, Cardinal d'Ossat, Cardinal which he had witnessed, and in most of de Polignac, and M. de Lyonne.
which he had borde a distinguished part. Observing on the qualities displayed by His nights, often sleepless from bodily sufM. de Reinhart, when he was Minister of Fo- fering, were occupied with these meditareign Affairs, M. de Talleyrand said, tions.
A paper was found on his table one
morning, on which he had written, by the “ A Minister of Foreign Affairs ought to be en light of the lamp, such lines as these :dowed with a sort of instinct which shall warn
" Behold eighty-three years past away
y ! him against compromising himself before serious discussion. He must have the faculty of appearing
What cares !--what agitation !- what anxfrank and open when he is really impenetrable ; of ieties !—what ill-will :—what sad complicamaintaining the most absolute reserve with the tions !--and all without other result, ex
cept great fatigue of body and mind, and a than equivalent to an oath formally taken profound sentiment of discouragement with before any earthly tribunal. Talleyrand regard to the future, and disgust with re- directed a few of his most confidential friends gard to the past !"
to be called round his bed, and in their preFor three months, he had been in con- sence, and that of his domestic attendants, stant communication with the Abbé Dupan- solemnly signed two documents, which he loup, with whom he conversed daily on the had previously written. One was a declasubject of religion. This was not a move- ration of the principles which had guided ment of the mom
ment, prompted by the ap- him in his political career; and the other proach of death, or induced by the feeble- a letter to the pope, declaring his faith in ness of age and the prostration of bodily in the Roman Catholic religion, and expressdisposition—it was a step he had long con- ing repentance for certain acts of his pubtemplated. On the occasion of delivering lic life, in regard to the Catholic Church. his éloge of Count Reinhart, he was heard This declaration of his principles was to say, as he left the hall," I have still also annexed to his will, in which it was one duty to perform, and I will do it.” expressly directed that it should be read in (J'ai quelque chose à faire et je le ferai.”) the presence of his family. The following That duty was his re-establishment in the is a summary of this declaration : communion of the Christian Church. He That in all his public conduct he was decided on doing this in such a manner, at guided by a preference of the interests of such a moment, and surrounded by such France to all other things, and to all percircumstances of solemnity as would, he sonal considerations. imagined, render it impossible for any one That he maintained invariably that the to question its sincerity and good faith, or Bourbons were restored to the throne, not to ascribe it to any other motive than a pro- by any acknowledgment of any hereditary found conviction of the truth and efficacy right, but because it was deemed the arof the doctrine to which he gave so solemn rangement which, in the circumstances then an assent.
existing, was most beneficial for France ;It has been said, but without any suffi- that he had declared this to Louis XVII. cient grounds, that the attention of Talley, and to his family, and had earnestly counrand to religious subjects was first awaken- selled them to adopt a system of liberal ed by the spectacle of the daughter of his policy in accordance with such a principle; niece, the Duchesse de Dino, a child to that he denies ever having betrayed Napowhom he was most tenderly attached, go- leon; he abandoned him only when he saw ing to her first communion-an occasion that it was impossible that he could be which, among Roman Catholics, is always at once attached to him and to France ; regarded as one of peculiar solemnity. It and that even then he did not leave him is not improbable that, in the state of mind without the most lively grief, seeing that he likely to precede his departure from this owed to him almost his whole fortune. He life, he may have been more touched with enjoined his heirs never to forget this; to such an object, than if it had passed before repeat it to their children, and their chilhim amidst the active and busy scenes in dren's children, and to let it go down from which he had been habitually engaged. generation to generation—that if ever one But that such an incident could produce, in of the name of Talleyrand witnessed one of a mind like that of Talleyrand's, the effects the name of Bonaparte in need, they must ascribed to it, is a supposition the absurdity regard it as a sacred duty to give assistof which is so conspicuous, that it is difficult ance to them. to imagine how it could be entertained by To those who reproach him with having any serious writer.
successively served all governments, he reIn accordance with the determination plies that he had no scruple in doing so; which he had taken, and to which he alluded that he acted so because he considered, on the occasion of his last visit to the Insti- that in whatever situation the country tute, he waited until he became sensible of might be placed, it was always his duty to the near approach of the moment of his depar- render it his services to the utmost extent ture from this life-a moment at which, ac- of his power, and that, according to his cording to the universal sentiments of man- judgment, such was the duty of every citizen. kind, a declaration of any kind is to be regard- The letter to the pope was an explicit ed as assuming the most solemn charac- acceptation of the Roman Catholic faith, ter, and however made, as being more in which he was prepared to die.
These documents were signed by him.on vital regions. The last rites of the Church the day of the 16th May, in the presence of were solemnly administered. He confessed eight witnesses, among whom were, the and received the sacrament of extreme Duke de Noailles, M. Royer Collard, the unction. The prayers for the dying were Count St. Aulaire, the Baron de Barante, recited at his bed, in which he joined with Dr. Cruveilheir, and the Abbé Dupanloup much apparent fervor. When those ad
The Abbé Dupanloup had some time pre-dressed to his patron saints, Charles Archviously presented to him his own copy of bishop of Milan, and Maurice, the martyrs, Bossuet's Journée du Chrétien. On the were said, he was heard to repeat in a feetable in his room this volume was observed, ble voiceon this occasion, to lie open at the page “Ayez pitié de moi !" bearing the heading, “ le Chrétien prépare At four o'clock, the Archbishop of Paris sa dernière confession avant de mourir.” called at the hotel to inquire after him, and
In the course of that evening it was an- on hearing of his expected decease, he obnounced to him that the king had come in servedperson to visit him. Touched with this “ Pour M. de Talleyrand je donnerais mark of respect, he observed—“C'est le plus ma vie.” grand honneur qu'ait jamais reçu ma mai- The Abbé Dupanloup repeated this to son.”-(“This is the greatest honor that Talleyrand, who, unable to resist his disever has been conferred on my house.") position to utter a mot, replied
A circumstance has been related of this “Monseigneur l'Archevêque aurait un interview, and repeated not only in the less meilleur usage à en faire.”
(My Lord serious productions of the hour, in which the Archbishop has a better use to make of the scrupulous observance of accuracy is not his life.) And heaving a sigh, expired, at expected, because it is not always possible, half-past four in the afternoon of the 17th but in the pages of a work pretending to the May, 1838, having lived eighty-four years severe character of history, and where a and three months. flagrant violation of truth is inexcusable. By his will, which bears date in 1836, M. Louis Blanc, in his Histoire de Dir Ans, he left his niece, the Duchess de Dino, bis says, in recording the death of Talleyrand, residuary legatee. Legacies were left to and the visit of Louis Philippe
his grand-nephew, the Duke of Valengay.
This document is all in his own hand-writ“ It is related and repeated even by ecclesiastics ing, and bears annexed to it the declaration ' themselves, that the king having asked M. Talley of political principles already mentioned. rand if he suffered pain, the dying diplomate repli. His memoirs, written by himself, are deed, Oui, comme un damné,' on which Louis Philippe let fall, in a low voice, the word posited in England, and his family are • Dejà !""
prohibited from publishing them until thirty
years after his death, that is, until the year An unanswerable proof can be given of 1868. All publications pretending to be the utter falsehood of this anecdote, and it memoirs of him are to be disavowed by his is a proof
of which M. Louis Blanc ought not family and representatives. The will conto have been ignorant. It is well known cludes with a declaration that he dies in to every one conversant with French me- the Catholic faith, and directions that his moirs, that the anecdote, if it ever had remains shall be interred at the seat of his truth in relation to any one, is of a much family at Valençay. older date than that of the death of Talley- The funeral took place on the 22d May, rand. It was first, we believe, related of with great pomp. The troops of the garriCardinal de Retz, who, complaining to his son of Paris preceded and followed the physician of the pain he suffered in a cer- cortege en grand tenue. The peers, deputain illness, exclaimed, “ Ah! Je sens les ties, the principal members of the corps tourmens d'Enfer.” To which the physi- diplomatique, the most distinguished memcian is reported to have replied, “ Dejà, bers of the Institute, and those most eminent monseigneur ?"
The story, however, of generally in literature, science, and the whomsoever it be told, is in the last degree arts, formed the solemn procession. The improbable, and most unfitly admitted into pall was borne by the Duke Pasquier, Prean historical work.
sident of the Chamber of Peers, Marshal On the following day, the symptoms of Soult, Duke of Dalmatia, the Duke de approaching dissolution became unequivo- Broglie, and Count Molé. cal, mortification extending to the more The titles and orders borne by Prince Talleyrand were as follows:-he was Prince No one could put more meaning into a of Beneventum, Chevalier of the Order of given number of words. It has been well St. Esprit, Grand Cross of the Legion of said of this extraordinary man, by one* Honor in France, also Grand Cross of the who knew him long and intimately, and Orders of the Golden Fleece, St. Stephen whom we have many a time and oft, in the (Hungary), the Elephant (Denmark), salons of London, seen enjoying his exquiCharles III. (Spain), St. Sauveur (Greece), site conversation, that although he was so the Sun (Persia), of the Conception (Por- " simple and natural, yet he abounded in tugal), of the Black Eagle (Prussia), of the most sudden and unexpected turns, full St. André (Russia), of the Crown (Sax- of point, yet evidently the inspiration of ony), and of St. Joseph (Tuscany). He the moment, and therefore more absolutely was a member of the Academy of Moral to the purpose than if they had been the and Political Sciences of the Institute of labored effort of a day's reflection—a single France, and Vice-Grand Elector and Grand word often performing the office of senChamberlain of France under the Empire tences, nay, a tone not unfrequently renderand the Restoration.
ing many words superfluous-always the Since the decease of M. Talleyrand nu- phrase most perfectly suitable selected, and merous publications have issued from the its place most happily chosen. All this is press, professing to contain authentic me- literally correct, and no picture of fancy, moirs of his private life. These have been but a mere abridgment and transcript of all, without exception, miserable composi- the marvellous original; and yet it falls tions, got up as booksellers’ speculations, very short of conveying its lineaments, merely for sale, and are utterly undeserving and fails still more to render its colorof credit or attention. Among these is one ing and its shades ; for there was a conunder the title “ Mémoires tirés des papiers stant gaiety of manner which had the de M. de Talleyrand," the work of a pre- mirthful aspect of good humor, even on the tended countess, but bearing rather the eve or on the morrow of some flash in which marks of the style and information of a his witty raillery had wrapped a subject or grisette. There is another work, in four a person in ridicule, or of some torrent volumes, which, although more or less dis-, in which his satire had descended instanfigured by recitals of a false and scandalous taneous but destructive; there was an nature, has nevertheless marks of better archness of malice when more than ordinary information and more correct taste. In a execution must be done, that defied the variety of contemporary periodical works, pencil of the describer, as it did the atas well as in the journals, anecdotes and tempts of the imitator; there were manners mots ascribed to him have been, from time the most perfect in ease, in grace, in flexito time, given; but these are, for the most bility; there was the voice of singular part, apocryphal, and many of them are jeux depth and modulation, and the countenance d'esprit which have been related of others alike fitted to express earnest respect, unat remote periods, and, like that which ostentatious contempt, and bland complawe have noticed in the work of M. Louis cency; and all this must really have been Blanc, unearthed for the occasion of being witnessed to be accurately understood. connected with the name of Talleyrand. His sayings--his mots, as the French have
The mots of Talleyrand were celebrated, it--are renowned; but these alone would and indeed formed one of the most remark- convey an imperfect idea of his conversaable features of his character. His conver-tion. They show, indeed, the powers of sation was remarkable, not only for the his wit, and the felicity of his concise profound knowledge of human character diction; but they have a peculiarity of which it displayed, but for the polished lan-style, such that, if shown without a name, guage and exquisite wit in which that no one could be at a loss to whom he should knowledge was imparted. The tenacity of attribute them. But they are far enough his memory, and the various and extensive from completing the sketch of his conversacircle of society in which he moved, suppli- tion to those who have never heard it." ed him an inexhaustible fund of anecdote, Talleyrand, like all other renowned wits, which he narrated in the happiest terms has had the misfortune of having the sayWithout possessing the gift of eloquence, ings of innumerable persons, more or less his language was highly picturesque, and derived great force from its condensed style.