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itself to him as the happiness and immortality of a he said, “ to consecrate my life to their weal—it heaven, while the creed he confided in showed him is sweet to end it in their service !" in death at best but a grave. The conviction then, Towards the evening of Wednesday, all his of his recovery, filled him with delight; and de- pains lessened, except the difficulty of breathing ; scribing as sweet, doubly sweet, the feeling of but at midnight he was visited by a return of the owing life to a friend, he revelled in expressions old symptoms. A delicate consideration, which of thankfulness and affection. They were, alas ! formed one of his best traits, prevented him of short duration ; for on the Wednesday morning through the night's sufferings from disturbing his paroxysms reäppeared with a violence which Cabanis, who was asleep in another room, and excluded more than the faintest hopes of recovery. who, descending some hours later, found his pa
Whatever the discussions of men, Mirabeau tient half suffocated, writhing in spasmodic agony, was felt by them all to be the soul of the revolu- and showing all the phenomena which, while pretion ; and the report of his danger, spreading saging a day of torture and peril, stamped in the through Paris, carried concern, not to say conster- visage the obvious and immovable impress of nation, to every house. After the worst news of death's possessionship. A vigorous recourse to Wednesday's relapse, a sort of common instinct local depletion, with the use of musk in frequent filled the street with successive multitudes, who, doses for the spasms, caused, or at all events prebarricading each end against vehicles, held it in ceded, some mitigation of his symptoms, without, almost military occupation till his death. They however, lessening his danger; and we are now crowded the court of his house ; filled the landing- brought to a new scene in the imposing tragedy. place, and penetrated to the very antechamber, Mirabeau, who had consented to the rigid exmournful in their silence and respectful in their clusion of his friends, to give himself up more curiosity. Bulletins were each day frequently is entirely to the resources of medicine, now had sued, seized by a thousand hands, and, with every them recalled, and, save for the occasional distracverbal announcement won in the intervals from tion of an illusive hope, addressed himself wholly visitors to the sick man's chamber, circulated as to the great business of dying, as he thought beby electricity through the capital. From every came his fame and position. The proximity of quarter, as by magic, sprung up ardent testimoni- death recalled him to his higher self, and with als of allegiance and affection, like those which that view clearly before it, his character stopped, posterity, in mingled accesses of ignorance and as it were, to draw about it all that it possessed gratitude, pay 10 the demigods of races, or the of elevated and imposing. To his older firmness founders of nations. Twelve hundred letters of a he added an exuberance of tenderness and affection varied sympathy passed into his house ; and as an -to his former patience, a philosophical ease of indication of their affection, we are told, that one resignation and content. All his thoughts seemed of them pressed on the physician the then vaunted to be touched with the solemnity, if not the goodresource of transfusion, and offered, as a means, ness, of life's holiest epoch ; and, as if even the blood " to the last drop," of the respecta- nature's great instinct for recovery gave way to ble writer. It became a law and bienseance for the absorbing effort of ambition's culminating all public bodies existing under the revolution, achievement, the whole energies of his being were formally to address their condolence or their in- concentrated in the work of resigning it with the quiries. The king sent twice a day, officially, composure, the courage, and the dignity of inteland more frequently in secret--the republicans lectual greatness. “ It was a sublime spectacle," thanking God that he escaped the popularity of a says a spectator, " to witness the brilliant exercipersonal visit ; and the Jacobins adopting the pop- tations of his commanding intellect, and the genular feeling they alone failed to share, in their eral equanimity of his deportment, the moment meeting of Wednesday, notwithstanding the op- after his severest paroxysms-he but assisted at position of Alexander Lareth and Petion, voted a his own dissolution !" It must be owned, howlarge deputation. Preceded by an immense mul- ever, that heneath the surface of his death-bed titude, the deputies, with Barnave at their head, greatness there was concealed an awful tribute to advanced from their celebrated hall to the house the weakness of all philosophy merely mortal. of their traitor chief. The vocabulary of patriotic Cabanis, the friend and physician, confesses that grief was exhausted in their messages, and as if he was pledged to expedite Mirabeau's death by there were reciprocal services in their relative sit- opium, the moment pain should become extreme, uations, Barnave, unexpectedly affectionate and and recovery lie beyond a hope. This secret obliging, was met with a greeting and emotion source of strength once touched, Mirabeau deequally warm from his illustrious rival. In the scends, as by magic, from his unchristian altitude. recalcitrant Jacobins, however, who conrageously When the physician, alarmed at a responsibility declined to do honor to a hand they had seen to a which popular suspicion made fearful, timidly proroyalist conspiracy against the Assembly, the posed the admission of Drs. Jeanroi and Petit, the wounded vanity or alarmed susceptibilities of Mira- choler of the dying man became ungovernable. beau could discern no merit. “I know them for Reminding his friend of the pledge, he exclaimed, scoundrels," said he with bitterness ; “but fools" Say or do what you like outside my room-I do I did not think them !" He found his consolation not hinder that—but they shall not enter here. if in the affection of the people" ’T was glorious,” you would avoid receiving from me the last affront.
I wish to see nobody; and if I am to recover, you ments should be believed on his word, without shall have the glory, as you have had the incon- examination.” He desired to be buried in the veniencies !" Vain was the affliction of Cabanis garden of his country-house, by the side of his —there was no escape—the patient was intexi- father, and left M. de La Marck and M. Frochot ble. Two hours later Dr. Petit presented him- the executors of his will. self at the door, but was compelled to hold his The Count de La Marck, a Belgian, better consultation outside. Approving of all that had known by his subsequent title of Prince of Arembeen done by Cabanis, he treated the disease with berg, had been the negotiator between Mirabeau bark, as one of intermittent fever, with, of course, and the court, and now assiduously watched for it little advantage. On the next morning the pa- —the great scene in which the death of the tient, importuned into submission, admitted Dr. monarchy was enacting. With him was TalleyPetit, whom he addressed in words preserved for rand, who, as a joint supporter of the minister, us by Cabanis—“I am about to speak with frank- Calonne, in his day of power, was generally supness to the man who passes as most loving this posed to have separated from Mirabeau, on the tone. I always thought that a man should never furtive publication of the Berlin Correspondence, elect for physician any one but a friend. There but who, thongh in diplomatic alienation from is my physician—there my friend,” (pointing to him in the Constituent Assembly, seems to have Cabanis ;) “ but he is full of esteem for your in- preserved all through a mysterious identity of formation, and of respect for your moral character. political action. With the death-bed. however, He has cited to me expressions of yours, which dissolved all coldness, real or simulated, and the contain, in some sort, the whole revolution and invited Talleyrand, seizing his friend's hand, with circumstances which prove that, notwithstanding the characteristic assurance, “ While one half of the uncommon cultivation of your intellect, you Paris are at your door en permanance, I have been have still remained the man of nature. I have, there thrice a-day with the other half, to offer my therefore, thought that such a man would have sympathies,” met a cordial welcome from the become my friend, if I had had the happiness to dying statesman, who, presenting him a discourse have encountered him. Hence, sir, my determi- on wills, drawn up for him by a literary acquaintnation to see you !”.
ance, (Reybaz,) under his own instructions, we T result of the consultation was not encourag- may suppose, said ing. Appealed to by the unexpired hope of the “These are the last thoughts the world will patient
receive from me! I make you the depository of “It is possible,” replied the physician, " that this paper-you will read it when I shall be no we may save you ; but I will not answer for it." more—it is my last legacy to the Assembly-it
There was, indeed, no chance ; for the pulse will be curious to hear a man who is no more was gone-death had already entered the icy declaring against wills, after just making his own.” hands and arms, and Mirabeau, veiling under the Towards evening the report of cannon awoke guise of submission the curiosity Petit had not him from a doze. wholly extinguished, remarked interrogatively to “ What!” cried he, starting up in his bed, Cabanis
" have they already commenced the funeral of “ The doctor is severe, but I understand it." | Achilles ?" Turning to Petit, he continued, “Behold those who His valet supported his head, weary with watchsurround me-friends, they attend me like sering and pain. vants-he may well love and regret life who “ Alas!" said the master, " 't is the strongest leares behind him such riches.”
in France." He now addressed himself to his will, a work The rector of the parish offered his ministrawhich, on more than one account, was interesting tions. to him. If about him were those he loved, there “ Your superior, the Bishop of Autun, has been were others it was necessary for the king's repute, before you," was the reply ; "he reserves to himas well as his own, to serve; and as his debts self the honor of my conversion." were large, his immediate assets small, and the His stomach refused food. greater portion of his pecuniary claims on the “When the first functionary becomes worthless, king depended on contingencies which his death the business must soon end. You are a great annihilated, it was not till the Count de La Marck physician," continued he, to Cabanis, " but there had pledged the court to fulfil his testamentary is a greater than you—the author of the wind, intentions, should his own property not suffice, that overthrows-of the water, that penetrates and that he entered on the details of the will. His fecundates all-of the fire, that vivifies and decomprincipal legatees were Madame Le Jay, the adul- poses all !” terous partner of his pleasures and literary specu- Lamarck broke into tears. lations; the children of his sister, Madame de “ It is a touching spectacle," remarked MiraSaillant, and his confidential secretary, Comps, to beau, “to see a calm and unimpassioned man whom he left 20,000 francs, with the singular struggling with a sorrow he can no longerconceal!" codicil, “I wish that there should be no inquiry Cabanis related to him that he had been besieged addressed to him as to the money he has received on all sides by a thousand importunities, to try or spent for me ; my wish being, that his state- new empirical remedies.
“Where am I, then," he exclaimed, “ that old “I have some matters to communicate to bothwomen and quacks pretend to seize hold of me? | I have much pain in speaking—do you think I I make you responsible for all that may happen, shall be better able at another moment?” and place the responsibility on your conscience.” Sinking before their eyes, he was recommended
His valet, Teisch, an old smuggler, of singular repose, with a suggestion to speak at once. character and history, approached.
“I understand," he rejoined ; " in that case, be Well, my poor Teisch," asked the master, seated—you here, and you there" (pointing to the " how is it with you to-day?"
side of his bed.) “I would, sir, you were in my place."
He then explained with lucidity his private “I would n't that you were in mine."
arrangements, expressed his wishes with regard to Through the interval, his sufferings had con- the persons he left behind him, and entering on tinued to increase, his breathing had become more the state of public affairs, in which De La Marck difficult, and his restlessness proportionally great. had been all along his confidential adviser, he To overpower pain, and lose the consciousness of expressed, in general terms, the truths epitomized the worse anguish of reacting despondency, he in a sentence which has since been celebratedsought with avidity the conversation of his friends. “I carry to the tomb with me the hopes of the Inspired by the excitement of their homage, his monarchy, which is soon to be the prey of the wonderful intellect, defying death to the last, un- factious." touched in “the wreck of baser matter," vindi Interested in the designs of England, the councated in these august dialogues all that startling try, after his own, ever first in his thoughtsbrilliancy and irresistible empire which marked and “ That Pitt," said he, “is the minister of immortalized the loftier epochs of his public ora- preparations; he succeeds by what he menaces tory. There was about it the collected splendor more even than by what he does. If I had lived, and magnificence of an autumnal sunset. I fancy I should have given him some trouble."
After a fit of severe vomiting, he went to sleep. He concluded a conversation which lasted three Awakening towards the morning, he asked a female quarters of an hour, by calling to him M. Frochot. attendant, who alone remained in the room, if he Taking his two hands, he placed them in those of had not dreamed aloud that some murder was going Cabanis and De La Marckon in the house. Assured to the contrary, he “I bequeath," said he, “ to your kindness my asked for the key of his writing-desk, and the friend Frochot ; you have seen his attachment to valet being called, was sent for it to the secretary. me-he merits yours.”' Meanwhile, the morning breaking, he ordered his He now lost speech, and his eyes, the play of bed to be moved to the window, to catch the first his lips, and occasional kisses, expressed the overglimpses of the sun, exclaiming, as he gazed on flowing affection with which he accepted the attenit, “ If that be not God, it is his cousin-german."' tions of his friends. His hands, cold and clammy, Then addressing Cabanis in the assured and calm remained in theirs hour after hour. He was tone of his days of health, he continued, “I shall calmly dying, but towards eight the violence of his die to-day! At that point, there reinains but one sufferings recurred. He made a special sign to thing—to be sprinkled with perfumes, covered Cabanis personally for drink ; but refusing all that with flowers, and lapped in music, so that I may was offered, he made a motion for pen and ink. enter happy the sleep that ends not ! Quick ! let Supplied, he wrote the one word—" Dormir.” them be, called, that may be washed, and my He wanted the eternal sleep of opium ; but Cabanis, whole toilet seen to!"
affecting not to understand his meaning, he again He had often brooded on death, and (his thought took up the pen, and wrote the dubious, but terrinever far from the act) sought to realize to the ble question, “Do you fear, then, that death, or last his ideal of a great one. Assured, however, that which approximates it, may produce a dangerthat this scheme would renew his paroxysms, he ous sentence? ” Still not understood, or, at all relinquished it, and taking the hand of his physi- events, not obeyed, he wrote the memorable words cian, wounded, perhaps, that he had been left preserved for us, as the dying man penned them, nearly alone during a part of the night, said " While it was thought that opium might fix the
“My good friend, I shall die in a few hours malady, it was well not to administer it ; but now give me your word that you will quit me no more-Ithat there is no resource but in the great unknown, wish to end the scene under a pleasant feeling !!! |(the phenomenæ inconnu,) why not try it? Can
Cabanis could not restrain his tears. His patient you leave your friend on the rack, perhaps, through beckoned him near, pressed his hand, and said — days ?" The overwhelmed Cabanis made poor
“Pray, no weakness—worthy neither of you answers. Promising laudanum, he wrote for a nor of me. It is a moment we must know how trivial composing draught. While awaiting it, to support—you no less than 1. Pledge me your uncertain whether it fulfilled or not the awful word, then, that you will not let me suffer useless compact, pain and impatience gave back the dying tortures. I wish to enjoy without alloy the presence man his speech, and he exclaimed of those dear to me!”
My sufferings are intolerable- I have within De La Marck coming in, he resumed,
me a hundred years of life, but not a moment's
courage. You are deceiving me," be continued, * Dumont's Souvenirs, in Cabanis' " Journal." as the messenger for the draught failed to return.
He was assured that the most urgent instruc- thought himself poisoned, and, awakening in the tions had been sent to the doctors.
morning, found wounds about which he knew “Ah! the doctors !-the doctors !” he ex- nothing. He appealed for his character to the claimed in agony; and turning to Cabanis, confidence of Mirabeau, who " allowed him to “ Were you not my doctor and my friend? and possess valuable secrets, which people feared he did you not promise to spare me the pains of would one day divulge.” At a second interrogasuch a death? Must I carry with me the regret tory, he pretended that his head had been turned of having confided in you?"
from a number of domestic circumstances, which, Dr. Petit entered, and Mirabeau became addi- inducing him to fancy that he and his master tionally anxious about the opium.
were poisoned, made him adopt the idea of sui“Swear to me," said he eagerly to Cabanis, cide. Fourteen days later, he recalled all lie had " that you will not tell Petit what you are pre- previously affirmed, especially his insinuations paring for me!” These were the last words of against the friends of his master, and took the the great orator.
nobler ground, that he stabbed himself in aftlicThe draught painfully expected came at last. tion for the death of so exalted a master. He snatched the vessel, and drinking it off, turned Three facts remain, which offer the only addion his right side with a convulsive moveinent, tional clue out of the labyrinth. First, Comps, raised his eyes towards heaven, and died ! at the time of the decease, had in his possession
It was Saturday, January 2, 1791, about half- thirty-eight thousand francs, money confided to past eight, A. M., in the forty-second year of his him by the court for his master. Secondly, age.
Petion and Camille Demoulins, the Jacobin leaders, While the dying man was thus vainly wrest- had seen in the handwriting of Mirabeau his ling to be even with the high business he had on elaborate plan for annihilating the National Ashand, there was enacting in the other parts of his sembly. Thirdly, it seems not very unlikely that house a curious and agitating scene, almost realiz- though there were natural causes to produce death, ing those figments of assassination that had occu- that Mirabeau had yet not escaped poison. Are pied his morning dream. The valet, sent, as we we, then, to infer, that Comps, with the posseshave seen, for the collection of Mirabeau's secret sion of his master's' money and political secrets, papers, was refused admittance to the room of the communicated with the all-active Jacobins ?-that secretary, who, locking himself in, asseverated his cupidity was excited by the possession of that the key of the secretaire was not there, and treasures, or his persidy compromised by the that the valet should not be admitted. On a retention of documents ?-if not, where is the threat of bursting open the door, Comps was heard explanation of his vague charges of poison, his to fall heavily on the floor, and on forcing way pretences at madness, and his preference of all into the room, he was seen covered with blood expedients, even to suicide, to the exposure of the flowing from some smal] wounds in the breast and secretaire ? We know of none, save in the throat-by his side lying the cause-a penknife, hypothesis that the secretary, bewildered, was smeared with blood. To the questions of the obeying the private orders of De La Marck, who affrighted household, Comps answered nothing, anxiously secured Mirabeau's papers for the court save that, “ for one crime more it was hardly the very instant he had died. And that same worth while!” Persisting still not to give up instant the news passed from the dead man's room the key, he at first pretended that it was locked in 10 the multitude, and thence through Paris. his own secretaire, the key of which he had Forthwith the shops were shut, the theatres proken, but when told that a locksmith should be closed, commerce stood still, the business of life sent for, he recollected that, although he had the stagnated in every channel, and a cloud of mingled key, he could not give it up till De La Marck's incertitude and consternation settled in every face, arrival, before which, however, it was found as if the spirit of the coming carnage, born out hidden under the ashes in his grate.
of the very dissolution of genius, had already There was here a mystery nobody could fathom. thrown its mighty shadow athwart the soul of Comps had been for years in the service of Mira- society. beau ; and no small part of his recommendation The Jacobin Club, early mirroring the movewas the supposed attachment which, already evi- ment its leaders could not control, at once decreed denced by two duels, made him ever ready to risk to attend the funeral, to mourn eight days, to his life in the defence of his master. Had he honor the anniversary, and to have his bust.
The sold some valuable documents of Mirabeau ? representatives of the nation, in their early sitThis was the opinion of De La Marek and the ting, heard the event with the incredulity of its
Had he compromised himself in some greatness, and cries often repeated, “ Ah, he is attempt against his master's health? This was dead !" Barrere, ascending the tribune, in a the suspicion of the public. Inquiry was de- brief speech, in which oratory was lost in emomanded, and the rumor spreading to the surround- tion, moved the solemn register of their regret, ing crowd, the officers of justice entered on an and proposed their attendance by deputation at the inquiry shortly after the break of day. The evi- funeral. The deputies, anticipating the sentidence of Comps only added by its contradictions ment, received it with the universal cry, “We and falsehoods to the imbroglio. At first, he had, will all go!" The next day they received the sectional authorities of Paris, proposing the en-brought in sight Lafayette, the commander-intombment of Mirabeau under the altar of the chief of the National Guards, surrounded and country, in the Champs de Mars; and after them followed by a brilliant staff. After these came a numerous deputation of the administrators of the the fine corps of Swiss soldiers and Prevotal department, who, through their president, the Guards; and then, in solemn order, the imposing well-known Pastoret, urged the more welcome procession of the clergy, distinguished by their piroposition, that the new church of St. Genevieve time-honored canonicals, and heralding the corpse, should, in honor of Mirabeau, be converted into crowned by the flags of the nation and borne by a Pantheon. The suggestion was classical ; as the brothers-in-arms of the illustrious deceased. much in harmony with the opinions of the time, Following the coffin and its magnificent catafalque, ils with the emotions of the hour; it was hailed marched the thousand representatives of the by acclamation, and even the envious Robespierre nation, escorted by contrasting battalions of milwas for it, “if constitutional, with all his power, itary students and armed veterans, followed in or rather with all his sensibility !”
compact and serried masses by the numerous body While national gratitude was thus energetic, of Parisian electors, the deputies of the forty-eight popular suspicion was gratified by a public sections, the municipal officers of the metropolis autopsy, which, scarcely satisfactory then, has and neighboring towns, the ministers of the king, become less so since. The doctors found traces the members of the clubs and patriotic associaof inflammation in the stomach, whose lining tions, closed up by interminable masses of infantry membrane showed distinct excoriation in the duo- and cavalry : in one word, two hundred thousand denum, a great part of the liver, the right kidney, persons in movement, in the congenial gloom of the diaphragm, and, finally, in the pericardium, advancing night, and amid a silence broken at which also contained a considerable quantity of a intervals by the sad knell of the ancient belfries, whick, yellowish, opaque matter. In the cavity the dismal thunder of the minute guns, and luguof the chest was found some watery fluid, and brious dirges of military bands, lo which the innearly the whole external surface of the heart ventions of French musical genius had lent for was covered with coagulated lymph. It was the hour a potent melancholy in painful keeping thence officially inferred, under the attestation of with the national sense of bereavement. ninety signatures, (and science recognizes its jus- Such was the imposing spectacle, beyond all rice,) that there was sufficient cause for death in Greek or Roman precedent, which, after three the phenomena observed in the heart, pericardium, hours' duration, witnessed the transferral of all and diaphragm. Vicq D'Azyr, the queen's phy- that remained of Mirabeau to the solemn offices sician, who was present at the examination, of a church which, consommating its degrading expressed to the court his opinion, that the symp- fall, now lent. its crowning sanction to the apothetoms were compatible with the agency either of osis of its great antagonist. The prostitution of poison or violent remedies, a judgment which the the mass ended, and the decent impieties of the ineffective character of the treatment makes sug- funeral oration, more than thirty thousand musgestive of suspicion. The temper of the people, kets echoed and reëchoed through the vaulted pile however, made the proof of poison, if unspecific over the celebrated ashes, which as the mighty to the criminal, dangerous to many. There was multitude in solemn silence laid by those of Desunfortunately no chemical analysis, and hence cartes, the clock struck midnight! It was indeed some countenance is lent to the statements of an the midnight of France ! While the nation, authority on other occasions certainly doubtful,* anxious and uncertain of the future, falling with that several persons, some of them physicians, the fall of its mighty tribune, its frail security who were present at the autopsy, saw and sup- cruinbling to dust in the impending hour of peril pressed through policy palpable proofs of the and crisis, consoled its despair in every conceivaaction of poison.
ble form of popular idolatry—public votes, street The funeral which followed next day, swelling harangues, newspaper elegies, hawkers' ballads, almost to the proportions of the national regret, and universal homage—the higher and more violent gave to the dead the honors of Rome's most gor- Jacobins, who had ascertained his projects and feared geous triumphs to the living. Towards the shades his energies, inade small concealment of their gladof evening, through streets lined for three miles ness. “ Achilles dead,” cried the earnest Robeswith double tiers of National Guards, backed and pierre ; "then Troy shall not be taken !''-" Why surrounded wherever the eye could reach by a did he not join to Cicero's eloquence Cicero's indecorous and sympathizing population, the specta-corruptibility ?" triumphantly asked “the orator tor witnessed the passage of a stupendous proces- of the people,” Freron.—“People !'' screamed out sion—the living body and moving mass of the the fanatical Marat, “ render thanks to the gods ! nation. Troops of cavalry marshalled in slow --your greatest enemy is no more ! He has died order; successive brigades of sappers, miners, the victim of his numerous treasons.
Stained by and artillerymen, flanked by the mutilated veterans a thousand crimes, let his character be covered by of the old French wars, marching by, at last a dark veil !”
Vile faction ! well may they exult! The hand * The "fils adoptif”—M. Lucas Montigny, the editor of the " Memoirs of Mirabeau, written by himself, his that held them in check is forever removed, and father, and his Adopted Son."
their vulture instincts already scent the cherished