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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 voice on 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 served person 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, his 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 Valençay.
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- cortège 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, “Déjà, 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 (Sas- 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 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.
distinguished, appropriated to him. Yet a the two characters in which men of high few which have admitted authenticity may intellectual endowments usually excel. He be mentioned, as showing the quality of his never attained, nor even sought distinction,
either as an orator or as an author. Of The following, given by Lord Brougham, parliamentary talent he had none. His may be considered as authentic :
works in literature would not fill a volume Being asked if a certain authoress, whom as large as that which the reader now holds he had long since known, but who belonged in his hand. Few, however, as are the writrather to the last age, was not “un peu ings which he has left, they are marked, in a ennuyeuse ?”—“Du tout,” said he, “ elle conspicuous manner, by the qualities which était parfaitement ennuyeuse.” A gentle- conferred so great a charm on his converman in company was one day making a sation—a thorough familiarity with the somewhat zealous eulogy of his mother's best writers of his country, and the love of beauty, dwelling upon the topic at uncalled the most refined society, with the most for length—he himself having certainly in- absolute freedom from all pedantry. His herited no portion of that kind under the description of an American backwoodsman marriage of his parents. “C'était donc, has been cited as a happy specimen of his monsieur, votre père qui apparemment style. "Writers of a less severe school,” n'était pas trop bien,” was the remark observes Lord Brougham, “may envy its which at once released the circle from the poetical effect, and, perhaps, learn how subject. When Madame de Staël publish- possible it is to be pointed and epigrammaed her celebrated novel of “ Delphine,” tic without being affected, and sentimental she was supposed to have painted herself without being mawkish.” in the person of the heroine, and M. Talleyrand in that of an elderly lady, who is nothing; every sensible idea is banished from him;
“ The American backwoodsman is interested in one of the principal characters. “On me these branches so elegantly thrown by nature, a dit,” said he, que nous sommes tous les fine foliage, a brilliant hue which marks one part deux dans votre roman déguisés en femme." of the forest
, a deeper green which darkens another Ralpières, the celebrated author of the -all these are nothing in his eye; he has no work on the Polish Revolution, having recollections associated with anything around him; said, “ Je n'ai fait qu'une mechanceté dans his only thought is the number of strokes of his ma vie.” “Et quand finira-t-elle ?" was He has never planted; he is a stranger to the plea
axe which are necessary 10 level this or that tree. M. Talleyrand's reply. “ Genève est
sures of that process. Were he to plant a tree, it ennuyeuse, n'est-ce pas ?” asked a friend. never could become an object of gratification to him, "Surtout quand on s'y amuse,” was the because he could not live to cut it down. He lives
“Elle est insupportable” (said only to destroy: He is surrounded by destruction. he, with marked emphasis, of one well Hence every place is good for him. He does not known ; but as if he had gone too far, and love the field where he has expended his labor, to take off something of what he had laid because his labor is merely fatigue, and has no on, he added), “ Elle n'a que ce défaut of his hands is not marked by the progressive
pleasurable sentiment attached to it. The work là.” Nor ought we to pass over the only circumstances of growth, so interesting to the mot that ever will be recorded of Charles agriculturist. He does not watch the destiny of the Tenth, uttered on his return to France, what he produces. He knows not the pleasures in 1814, on seeing, like our Second Charles, of new attempts; and if in surrendering his home at a similar reception, that the adversaries he do not leave his axe behind him, he leaves no of his family had disappeared—“Il n'y a regrets in the dwelling in which he may have qu’un Français de plus." This was the passed years of his life."* suggestion of M. Talleyrand. He after- * "Le Bucheron Américain ne s'intéresse à wards proposed, in like manner, to Charles's rien ; tout idée sensible est loin de lui; ces branches successor, that the foolish freaks of the lage, une couleur vive qui anime une partie du bois,
si élégamment jetées par la nature, un beau feuil. Duchess de Berri should be visited with un vert plus fort qui en assombrit une autre, tout this Rescript to her and her faction—“Ma- cela n'est rien ; il n'a de souvenir à placer nulle dame, il n'y a plus d'espoir pour vous, vous part : c'est la quantité de coups de hâche qu'il faut serez jugée, condamnée, et graciée."
qu'il donne pour abattre un arbre, qui est son
unique idée. Il n'a point planté : il n'en sait point Considering the large space which Tal- les plaisirs. L'arbre qu'il planterait n'est bon à leyrand filled in the public eye for more rien pour lui, car jamais il ne le verra assez fort than half a century, and in all parts of the pour qu'il le puisse abattre : c'est de détruire qui le civilized world, it is remarkable that he est bon ; il ne tient pas au champ où il a placé son
fait vivre et 'il détruit partout : aussi tout lieu lui accomplished almost nothing in either of travail, parceque son travail n'est que de la fatigue et
The succession of governments served by side of his character, it can scarcely be M. Talleyrand, acknowledging such various credited that any individual could be found and discordant principles; the Directory, to question its intellectual superiority. It the Consulate, the Empire, the Restora- requires an immoderate amount of selftion, and the Monarchy of July ; each in esteem to produce the courage necessary to its turn receiving his oath of fidelity, have give expression to an opinion so utterly at supplied ground for the most serious charges variance with the judgment of all mankind, which have been made against his political as that Talleyrand's was a low, commonintegrity. That he was deeply conscious of place, vulgar intellect, incapable of comhaving rendered himself obnoxious to the prehending the political complications in criticisms of history, is most apparent from which he was himself called to take an the apology he has left behind him annexed active part. If such an opinion were proto his testament. « Qui s'excuse s'accuse," mulgated by one admitted to hold a high is an adage which will in this case occur to rank in politics or letters, or by one who, every mind. Yet he is not without de- having lived long and mingled much in fenders and advocates, who, if they do not affairs, could be supposed to possess expeexplain away these glaring indications of a rience whereon to found a judgment, it time-serving spirit, find many circumstances would be said to be singular and eccentric. to extenuate the unfavorable inferences But when this estimate of such a personage which they suggest.
as Talleyrand proceeds from the author of
the “ Histoire de Dix Ans,” it is simply “That such passages in the life of Talleyrand, ridiculous. When Lord Brougham wrote indicate a disposition to be on the successful side, what follows, he had but an inadequate idea without any very nice regard to its real merits," of the presumption to which youth and insays Lord Brougham, “can hardly be denied; and when facts so pregnant with evidence are before experience may sometimes be carried : the reader, he has not merely materials for judging “ If the integrity of this famous personage be of the character to wbich they relate, but may the subject of unavoidable controversy, and if our almost be said to have its lineaments presented to opinion of it must of necessity be clouded with his view, without the aid of the historian's pencil some doubt, and, at best, be difficult satisfactorily to trace them. But the just discrimination of the to fix-upon the talents with which he was gifted, historian is still wanting to complete the picture, and his successful cultivation of them, there can both by filling up the outline, and correcting, it be n10 question at all, and our view of them is unwhere harshly drawn from imperfect materials. clouded and clear. His capacity was most vigor
his life may be brought forward ; ous and enlarged. Few men have ever been explanations may be given of doubisul actions; endowed with a stronger natural understanding, or apparent inconsistencies may be reconciled, and have given it a more diligent culture, with a view charges which at first sight seem correctly gathered 10 the pursuits in which he was to employ it. His from the facts
, may be aggravated, extenuated, or singular acuteness could at once pervade every repelled, by a more enlarged and more judicious subject—his clearness of perception at a glance view of the whole subject
. That the inferences unravelled all complications, and presented each fairly deduced from M. Talleyrand’s life, can be matter distinct and unencumbered—his sound, wholly conntervailed by any minuteness of exami- plain, manly sense, at a blow got rid of all the nation, or explained away by any ingenuity of husk, and pierced immediately to the kernel. A comment, it would be absurd to assert; yet it is cloud of words was wholly thrown away, upon only doing justice to comprise in our estimate of him; he cared nothing for all the declamation in his merits some things not usually taken into the the world--ingenious topics, fine comparisons, account by those who censure his conduct, and cases in point, epigrammatic sentences, all passed who pronounce him-merely upon the view of innocuous over his head. So the storms of pashis having borne a part in such opposite systems sion blew unheeded past one whose temper nothing of policy, and acting with such various combi. could ruffle, and whose path towards his object pations of party—10 have been a person singular: nothing could obstruct. It was a lesson and a ly void of public principle, and whose individual study, as well as a marvel, to see him disconcert, interest was always his god.”
with a look of his keen eye, or a motion of his Whatever may be the differences of the chin,
a whole piece of wordy talk
and far-fetched estimates which may be made of the moral ulter, in the deep tones of his most powerful voice,
and fine-spun argument without condescending to
so much as a word or an interjection, far less to qu'aucune idée douce n'y est jointe. Ce qui sort overthrow the flimsy structure with an irresistible de ses mains ne passe point par toutes les croissances remark, or consume it with a withering sarcasm. si attachantes pour le cultivateur; il ne suit destinée de ses productions ; il ne connait pas le Whoever conversed with him, or saw him in plaisir des nouveaux essais, et, si en s'en allant, il conversation, at once learned both how dangerous
loose prosn'oublie pas sa hâche, il ne laisse pas de regrets là a thing it was to indulge before him où il a vécu des années."
ing, or in false reasoning, or in frothy declama
tion; and how fatal an error he would commit, perfect than these. If it be true-which is, howwho should take the veteran statesman's good-ever, more than questionable—that a life of public natured smile for an innocent insensibility to the business hardens the heart; if this be far more cer. ludicrous, and his apparently passive want of tainly the tendency of a life much chequered with all effort for permanent indolence of mind. There various fortune; if he is almost certain to lose his are many living examples of persons not meanly natural sympathies with mankind, who has in his gifted, who, in the calm of his placid society, have earliest years tasted the bitter cup of cruel and unbeen wrecked among such shoals as these.” natural treatment, commended to his lips by the
hands that should have cherished him; if, above These were, properly speaking, the traits all, a youth of fashionable dissipation and intrigue, of his character as developed in the ordi- sach as M. Talleyrand, like most of our own nary intercourse of private society. It is great men, undeniably led, has, in almost every
instance, been found to eradicate the softer domes. scarcely needful to say, that one who played tic feelings, and to plant every selfish weed in the so important a part on the stage of politics cold soil of a neglected bosom ; surely it is no for so long a period of time, was not less small praise of his kindly and generous nature, eminent in those great qualities which such that we are entitled to record, how marked an ex. a position demanded.
ception he formed to all these rules. While it
would be a foolish and a needless exaggeration to “ His political sagacity," says the same authori- represent him as careless of his own interest, or ty," was above all his other great qualities; and ambition, or gratification, at any period of his life, it was derived from the natural perspicacity to it is, nevertheless, quite true that his disposition which we have adverted, and that consummate continued to the last gentle and kindly; that he knowledge of mankind; that swift and sure tact not only entertained throughout the tempest of the of character ; with which his long and varied ex. revolutionary anarchy the strongest abhorrence of perience tad matured the faculties of his manly, all violent and cruel deeds, but exerted his utmost yet subtle, understanding. If never to be deluded influence in mitigating the excesses which led to by foolish measures, nor ever to be deceived by them in others; that his love of peace in all its cunning men, be among the highest perfections blessed departments, whether tranquillity at home, of the practical statesman, where shall we look or amity and good-will abroad, was the incessant for any one who preferred stronger claims to this object of his labors; that in domestic life, he was character. But his statesmanship was of no vul- of a peculiarly placid temper, and full of warm gar cast. He despised the silly, the easy, and and steady affections. His aversion to all violent false old maxims which inculcate universal dis- courses was, indeed, in some instances, carried to trust, whether of unknown men, or of novel a length which prevented his wonted calmness of measures, as much as he did the folly of those judgment, and his constant and characteristic love whose facility is an advertisement for impostures, of justice, even when an adversary was concerned, or for enthusiasts to make dupes of them. His from having their free scope. He never could speak was the skill which knew as well where to with patience of Carnot, for having continued, give his confidence as to withhold it; and he during the Reign of Terror, to serve and to save knew full surely that the whole difficulty of the his country by directing the war which defended political art consists in being able to say whether her against Europe in arms—forgetting how much any given person or scheme belongs to the right less could be urged for his own conduct under the class or to the wrong. It would be very untrue profligate and tyrannical Directory of 1797 and to affirm that he never wilfully deceived others; 1798, under the conscriptions of Napoleon, and but it would probably be still more erroneous to under the military occupation of the Allies-even admit that he ever in his life was deceived. So admitting his predominant desire to prevent anhe held in utter scorn the affected wisdom of those archy and conquest-than might most fairly be who think they prove themselves sound practical offered in defence of that illustrious Republican's men, by holding cheap every proposal to which inflexible and uncompromising, though stern and the world has been little or not at all accustomed, undaunted, virtue.” and which relies for its support on principles rarely resorted to. His own plan for maintaining the peace of Belgium may be cited as an example A MATRIMONIAL NEWSPAPER.-Every commuof a policy at once refined and profound. He would nity, class, and profession has its literary organ; have made it the resort of the fine arts and of let-and, not to be behind the rest of the world, the ters, with only force enough to preserve its do- keepers of matrimonial offices in Paris have started mestic peace, and trusting for its protection to the it is to serve as the medium of communication be
a journal under the alluring title of the Harem. general abhorrence which all Europe must have, tween persons who want to get married. Ladies in in these times, of any proceeding hostile to such want of husbands (says a correspondent of the a power.”
Edinburgh Weekly Register) are to write letters to We shall close this sketch by the ob- it, setting forth their personal charms, and the servations of the same writer on the private particulars they may think likely to enhance their character of this eminent person :
value in the matrimonial market; and gentlemen
are to write similar communications. It is, in fact, “Of his temper and disposition in private life to be an advertising paper for would-be-wives and it remains to speak ; and nothing could be morel would-be-husbands.