Part 31 out of 31
he to meet his eye, he should not be able to answer for himself, but give
way to his impetuous feelings. On seeing the Jesuit kneel down, and on
hearing his hypocritical invocation, the marshal, whose sword was in his
hand, shook with indignation.
"Stand up, scoundrel!" he said, "stand up, wretch!" And he spurned the
Jesuit with his boot.
At this new insult, Father d'Aigrigny leaped up, as if he had been moved
by steel springs. It was too much; he could bear no more. Blinded with
rage, he rushed to the able, caught up the other sword, and exclaimed,
grinding his teeth together: "Ah! you will have blood. Well then! it
shall be yours--if possible!"
And the Jesuit, still in all the vigor of manhood, his face purple, his
large gray eyes sparkling with hate, fell upon his guard with the ease
and skill of a finished swordsman.
"At last!" cried the marshal, as their blades were about to cross.
But once more reflection came to damp the fire of the Jesuit. He
remembered how this hazardous duel would gratify the wishes of Rodin,
whose fate was in his hands, and whom he hated perhaps even more than the
marshal. Therefore, in spite of the fury which possessed him, in spite
of his secret hope to conquer in this combat, so strong and healthy did
he feel himself, and so fatal had been the effects of grief on the
constitution of Marshal Simon, he succeeded in mastering his rage, and,
to the amazement of the marshal, dropped the point of his sword,
exclaiming: "I am a minister of the Lord, and must not shed blood.
Forgive ne, heaven! and, oh! forgive my brother also."
Then placing the blade beneath his heel, he drew the hilt suddenly
towards him, and broke the weapon into two pieces. The duel was no
longer possible. Father d'Aigrigny had put it out of his own power to
yield to a new burst of violence, of which he saw the imminent danger.
Marshal Simon remained for an instant mute and motionless with surprise
and indignation, for he also saw that the duel was now impossible. But,
suddenly, imitating the Jesuit, the marshal placed his blade also under
his heel, broke it in half, and picking up the pointed end, about
eighteen inches in length tore off his black silk cravat, rolled it round
the broken part so as to form a handle, and said to Father d'Aigrigny:
"Then we will fight with daggers."
Struck with this mixture of coolness and ferocity, the Jesuit exclaimed:
"Is this then a demon of hell?"
"No; it is a father, whose children have been murdered," said the
marshal, in a hollow voice, whilst he fitted the blade to his hand, and a
tear stood in the eye, that instantly after became fierce and ardent.
The Jesuit saw that tear. There was in this mixture of vindictive rage
and paternal grief something so awful, and yet so sacred, that for the
first time in his life Father d'Aigrigny felt fear--cowardly, ignoble
fear--fear for his own safety. While a combat with swords was in
question, in which skill, agility, and experience are such powerful
auxiliaries to courage, his only difficulty had been to repress the ardor
of his hate--but when he thought of the combat proposed, body to body,
face to face, heart to heart, he trembled, grew pale, and exclaimed: "A
butchery with knives?--never!"
His countenance and the accent betrayed his alarm, so that the marshal
himself was struck with it, and fearing to lose his revenge, he cried:
"After all, he is a coward! The wretch had only the courage or the
vanity of a fencer. This pitiful renegade--this traitor to his country--
whom I have cuffed, kicked--yes, kicked, most noble marquis!--shame of
your ancient house--disgrace to the rank of gentleman, old or new--ah! it
is not hypocrisy, it is not calculation, as I at first thought--it is
fear! You need the noise of war, and the eyes of spectators to give you
"Sir--have a care!" said Father d'Aigrigny, stammering through his
clenched teeth, for rage and hate now made him forget his fear--
"Must I then spit on you, to make the little blood you have left rise to
your face?" cried the exasperated marshal.
"Oh! this is too much! too much!" said the Jesuit, seizing the pointed
piece of the blade that lay at his feet.
"It is not enough!" said the marshal, panting for breath. "There,
Judas!" and he spat in his face.
"If you will not fight now," added the marshal, "I will beat you like a
dog, base child-murderer!"
On receiving the uttermost insult which can be offered to an already
insulted man, Father d'Aigrigny lost all his presence of mind, forgot his
interests, his resolutions, his fears, forgot even Rodin--felt only the
frenzied ardor of revenge--and, recovering his courage, rejoiced in the
prospect of a close struggle, in which his superior strength promised
success over the enfeebled frame of the marshal for, in this kind of
brutal and savage combat, physical strength offers an immense advantage.
In an instant, Father d'Aigrigny had rolled his handkerchief round the
broken blade, and rushed upon Marshal Simon, who received the shock with
intrepidity. For the short time that this unequal struggle lasted--
unequal, for the marshal had since some days been a prey to a devouring
fever, which had undermined his strength--the two combatants, mute in
their fury, uttered not a word or a cry. Had any one been present at
this horrible scene, it would have been impossible for him to tell how
they dealt their blows. He would have seen two heads--frightful, livid,
convulsed--rising, falling, now here, now there--arms, now stiff as bars
of iron, and now twisting like serpents--and, in the midst of the
undulation of the blue coat of the marshal and the black cassock of the
Jesuit, from time to time the sudden gleam of the steel. He would have
heard only a dull stamping, and now and then a deep breath. In about two
minutes at most, the two adversaries fell, and rolled one over the other.
One of them--it was Father d'Aigrigny--contrived to disengage himself
with a violent effort, and to rise upon his knees. His arms fell
powerless by his side; and then the dying voice of the marshal murmured:
"My children! Dagobert!"
"I have killed him," said Father d'Aigrigny, in a weak voice; "but I
feel--that I am wounded--to death."
Leaning with one hand on the ground, the Jesuit pressed the other to his
bosom. His black cassock was pierced through and through, but the
blades, which had served for the combat, being triangular and very sharp,
the blood instead of issuing from the wounds, was flowing inwards.
"Oh! I die--I choke," said Father d'Aigrigny, whose features were already
changing with the approach of death.
At this moment, the key turned twice in the door, Rodin appeared on the
threshold, and, thrusting in his head, he said in a humble and discreet
voice: "May I come in?"
At this dreadful irony, Father d'Aigrigny strove to rise, and rush upon
Rodin; but he fell back exhausted; the blood was choking him.
"Monster of hell!" he muttered, casting on Rodin a terrible glance of
rage and agony. "Thou art the cause of my death."
"I always told you, my dear father, that your old military habits would
be fatal to you," answered Rodin with a frightful smile. "Only a few
days ago, I gave you warning, and advised you take a blow patiently from
this old swordsman--who seems to have done with that work forever, which
is well--for the Scripture says: 'All they that take the sword shall
perish with the sword.' And then this Marshal Simon might have had some
claim on his daughter's inheritance. And, between ourselves, my dear
father, what was I to do? It was necessary to sacrifice you for the
common interest; the rather, that I well knew what you had in pickle for
me to-morrow. But I am not so easily caught napping."
"Before I die," said Father d'Aigrigny, in a failing voice, "I will
"Oh, no, you will not," said Rodin, shaking his head with a knowing air;
"I alone, if you please, will receive your last confession."
"Oh! this is horrible," moaned Father d'Aigrigny, whose eyes were
closing. "May God have mercy on me, if it is not too late!--Alas! at
this awful moment, I feel that I have been a great sinner--"
"And, above all, a great fool," said Rodin, shrugging his shoulders, and
watching with cold disdain the dying moments of his accomplice.
Father d'Aigrigny had now but a few minutes more to live. Rodin
perceived it, and said: "It is time to call for help." And the Jesuit
ran, with an air of alarm and consternation, into the courtyard of the
Others came at his cries; but, as he had promised, Rodin had only quitted
Father d'Aigrigny as the latter had breathed his last sigh.
That evening, alone in his chamber, by the glimmer of a little lamp,
Rodin sat plunged in a sort of ecstatic contemplation, before the print
representing Sixtus V. The great house-clock struck twelve. At the last
stroke, Rodin drew himself up in all the savage majesty of his infernal
triumph, and exclaimed: "This is the first of June. There are no more
Renneponts!--Methinks, I hear the hour from the clock of St. Peter's at
While Rodin sat plunged in ambitious reverie, contemplating the portrait
of Sixtus V., good little Father Caboccini, whose warm embraces had so
much irritated the first mentioned personage, went secretly to Faringhea,
to deliver to him a fragment of an ivory crucifix, and said to him with
his usual air of jovial good-nature: "His Excellency Cardinal Malipieri,
on my departure from Rome, charged me to give you this only on the 31st
The half-caste, who was seldom affected by anything, started abruptly,
almost with an expression of pain. His face darkened, and bending upon
the little father a piercing look, he said to him: "You were to add
"True," replied Father Caboccini; "the words I was to add are these:
'There is many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip.'"
"It is well," said the other. Heaving a deep sigh, he joined the
fragment of the ivory crucifix to a piece already in his possession; it
Father Caboccini looked at him with curiosity, for the cardinal had only
told him to deliver the ivory fragment to Faringhea, and to repeat the
above words. Being somewhat mystified with all this, the reverend father
said to the half-caste: "What are you going to do with that crucifix?"
"Nothing," said Faringhea, still absorbed in painful thought.
"Nothing?" resumed the reverend father, in astonishment. "What, then,
was the use of bringing it so far?"
Without satisfying his curiosity, Faringhea replied: "At what hour to-
morrow does Father Rodin go to the Rue Saint Francois?"
"Before leaving home, he will go to say prayers in the chapel?"
"Yes, according to the habit of our reverend fathers."
"You sleep near him?"
"Being his socius, I occupy the room next to his."
"It is possible," said Faringhea, after a moment's silence, "that the
reverend father, full of the great interests which occupy his mind, might
forget to go to the chapel. In that case, pray remind him of this pious
"I shall not fail."
"Pray do not fail," repeated Faringhea, anxiously.
"Be satisfied," said the good little father; "I see that you take great
interest in his salvation."
"It is very praiseworthy in you. Continue as you have begun, and you may
one day belong, completely to our Company," said Father Caboccini,
"I am as yet but a poor auxiliary member," said Faringhea, humbly; "but
no one is more devoted to the Society, body and soul. Bowanee is nothing
"Bowanee! who is that, my good friend?"
"Bowanee makes corpses which rot in the ground. The Society makes
corpses which walk about."
"Ah, yes! Perinde ac cadaver--they were the last words of our great
saint, Ignatius de Loyola. But who is this Bowanee?"
"Bowanee is to the Society what a child is to a man," replied the
Asiatic, with growing excitement. "Glory to the Company--glory! Were my
father its enemy, I would kill my father. The man whose genius inspires
me most with admiration, respect, and terror--were he its enemy, I would
kill, in spite of all," said the half-caste, with an effort. Then, after
a moment's silence, he looked full in Caboccini's face, and added: "I say
this, that you may report my words to Cardinal Malipieri, and beg him to
mention them to--"
Faringhea stopped short. "To whom should the cardinal mention your
words?" asked Caboccini.
"He knows," replied the half-caste, abruptly. "Good night!"
"Good-night, my friend! I can only approve of your excellent sentiments
with regard to our Company. Alas! it is in want of energetic defenders,
for there are said to be traitors in its bosom."
"For those," said Faringhea, "we must have no pity."
"Certainly," said the good little father; "we understand one another."
"Perhaps," said the half-caste. "Do not, at all events, forget to remind
Father Rodin to go to chapel to-morrow morning."
"I will take care of that," said Father Caboccini.
The two men parted. On his return to the house, Caboccini learned that a
courier, only arrived that night from Rome, had brought despatches to
THE FIRST OF JUNE.
The chapel belonging to the house of the reverend fathers in the Rue de
Vaugirard, was gay and elegant. Large panes of stained glass admitted a
mysterious light; the altar shone with gold and silver; and at the
entrance of this little church, in an obscure corner beneath the organ-
loft, was a font for holy water in sculptured marble. It was close to
this font, in a dark nook where he could hardly be seen, that Faringhea
knelt down, early on the 1st of June, as soon indeed as the chapel doors
were opened. The half-caste was exceedingly sad. From time to time he
started and sighed, as if agitated by a violent internal struggle. This
wild, untamable being, possessed with the monomania of evil and
destruction, felt, as may be imagined, a profound admiration for Rodin,
who exercised over him a kind of magnetic fascination. The half-caste,
almost a wild beast in human form, saw something supernatural in the
infernal genius of Rodin. And the latter, too sagacious not to have
discovered the savage devotion of this wretch, had made, as we have seen,
good use of him, is bringing about the tragical termination of the loves
of Adrienne and Djalma. But what excited to an incredible degree the
admiration of Faringhea, was what he knew of the Society of Jesus. This
immense, occult power, which undermined the world by its subterraneous
ramifications, and reached its ends by diabolical means, had inspired the
half-caste with a wild enthusiasm. And if anything in the world
surpassed his fanatical admiration for Rodin, it was his blind devotion
to the Company of Ignatius de Loyola, which, as he said, could make
corpses that walk about. Hid in the shadow of the organ-loft, Faringhea
was reflecting deeply on these things, when footsteps were heard, and
Rodin entered the chapel, accompanied by his socius, the little one-eyed
Whether from absence of mind, or that the shadow of the orange-loft
completely concealed the half-caste, Rodin dipped his fingers into the
font without perceiving Faringhea, who stood motionless as a statue,
though a cold sweat streamed from his brow. The prayer of Rodin was, as
may be supposed, short; he was in haste to get to the Rue Saint-Francois.
After kneeling down with Father Caboccini for a few seconds, he rose,
bowed respectfully to the altar, and returned towards the door, followed
by his socius. At the moment Rodin approached the font he perceived the
tall figure of the half-caste standing out from the midst of the dark
shadow; advancing a little, Faringhea bowed respectfully to Rodin, who
said to him, in a low voice; "Come to me at two o'clock."
So saying, Rodin stretched forth his hand to dip it into the holy water;
but Faringhea spared him the trouble, by offering him the sprinkling-
brush, which generally stood in the font.
Pressing between his dirty fingers the damp hairs of the brush, which the
half-caste held by the handle, Rodin wetted his thumb and forefinger,
and, according to custom, traced the sign of the cross upon his forehead.
Then, opening the door of the chapel, he went out, after again repeating
to Faringhea: "Come to me at two o'clock."
Thinking he would also make use of the sprinkling-brush, which,
Faringhea, still motionless, held with a trembling hand, Father Caboccini
stretched out his fingers to reach it, when the half-breed, as if
determined to confine his favors to Rodin, hastily withdrew the
instrument. Deceived in his expectation, Father Caboccini lost no time
in following Rodin, whom he was not to leave that day for a single
moment, and, getting into a hackney-coach with him, set out for the Rue
Saint-Francois. It is impossible to describe the look which the half-
breed fixed upon Rodin as the latter quitted the chapel. Left alone in
the sacred edifice, Faringhea sank upon the stones, half kneeling, half
crouching, with his face buried in his hands. As the coach drew near the
quarter of the Marais, in which was situated the house of Marius de
Rennepont, a feverish agitation, and the devouring impatience of triumph,
were visible on the countenance of Rodin. Two or three times he opened
his pocketbook, and read and arranged the different certificates of death
of the various members of the Rennepont family; and from time to time he
thrust his head anxiously from the coach-window, as if he had wished to
hasten the slow progress of the vehicle.
The good little father, his socius, did not take his eye off Rodin, and
his look had a strange and crafty expression. At last the coach entered
the Rue Saint-Francois, and stopped before the iron-studded door of the
old house, which had been closed for a century and a half. Rodin sprang
from the coach with the agility of a young man, and knocked violently at
the door, whilst Father Caboccini, less light of foot, descended more
prudently to the ground. No answer was returned to the loud knocking of
Rodin. Trembling with anxiety, he knocked again. This time, as he
listened attentively, he heard slow steps approaching. They stopped at
some distance from the door, which was not yet opened.
"It is keeping one upon red-hot coals," said Rodin, for he felt as if
there was a burning fire in his chest. He again shook the door
violently, and began to gnaw his nails according to his custom.
Suddenly the door opened, and Samuel, the Jew guardian, appeared beneath
the porch. The countenance of the old man expressed bitter grief. Upon
his venerable cheeks were the traces of recent tears, which he strove to
dry with his trembling hands, as he opened the door to Rodin.
"Who are you, gentlemen?" said Samuel.
"I am the bearer of a power of attorney from the Abbe Gabriel, the only
living representative of the Rennepont family," answered Rodin, hastily.
"This gentleman is my secretary," added he, pointing to Father Caboccini,
After looking attentively at Rodin, Samuel resumed: "I recognize you,
sir. Please to follow me." And the old guardian advanced towards the
house in the garden, making a sign to the two reverend fathers to follow.
"That confounded old man kept me so long at the door," said Rodin to his
socius, "that I think I have caught a cold in consequence. My lips and
throat are dried up, like parchment baked at the fire."
"Will you not take something, my dear, good father? Suppose you were to
ask this man for a glass of water," cried the little one-eyed priest,
with tender solicitude.
"No, no," answered Rodin; "it is nothing. I am devoured by impatience.
That is all."
Pale and desolate, Bathsheba, the wife of Samuel, was standing at the
door of the apartment she occupied with her husband, in the building next
the street. As the Jew passed before her, he said, in Hebrew: "The
curtains of the Hall of Mourning?"
"And the iron casket?"
"Is prepared," answered Bathsheba, also in Hebrew.
After pronouncing these words, completely unintelligible to Rodin and
Caboccini, Samuel and Bathsheba exchanged a bitter smile, notwithstanding
the despair impressed on their countenances.
Ascending the steps, followed by the two reverend fathers, Samuel entered
the vestibule of the house, in which a lamp was burning. Endowed with an
excellent local memory, Rodin was about to take the direction of the Red
Saloon, in which had been held the first convocation of the heirs, when
Samuel stopped him, and said: "It is not that way."
Then, taking the lamp, he advanced towards a dark staircase, for the
windows of the house had not been un-bricked.
"But," said Rodin, "the last time, we met in a saloon on the ground
To-day, we must go higher," answered Samuel, as he began slowly to ascend
"Where to? higher!" said Rodin, following him.
"To the Hall of Mourning," replied the Jew, and he continued to ascend.
"What is the Hall of Mourning?" resumed Rodin, in some surprise.
"A place of tears and death," answered the Israelite; and he kept on
ascending through the darkness, for the little lamp threw but a faint
"But," said Rodin, more and more astonished, and stopping short on the
stairs, "why go to this place?"
"The money is there," answered Samuel, and he went on,
"Oh? if the money is there, that alters the case," replied Rodin; and he
made haste to regain the few steps he had lost by stopping.
Samuel continued to ascend, and, at a turn of the staircase, the two
Jesuits could see by the pale light of the little lamp, the profile of
the old Israelite, in the space left between the iron balustrade and the
wall, as he climbed on with difficulty above them. Rodin was struck with
the expression of Samuel's countenance. His black eyes, generally so
calm, sparkled with ardor. His features, usually impressed with a
mixture of sorrow, intelligence, and goodness, seemed to grow harsh and
stern, and his thin lips wore a strange smile.
"It is not so very high," whispered Rodin to Caboccini. "and yet my legs
ache, and I am quite out of breath. There is a strange throbbing too in
In fact, Rodin breathed hard, and with difficulty. To this confidential
communication, good little Father Caboccini, in general so full of tender
care for his colleague, made no answer. He seemed to be in deep thought.
"Will we soon be there?" said Rodin, impatiently, to Samuel.
"We are there," replied the Israelite.
"And a good thing too," said Rodin.
"Very good," said the Jew.
Stopping in the midst of a corridor, he pointed with the hand in which he
held the lamp to a large door from which streamed a faint light. In
spite of his growing surprise. Rodin entered resolutely, followed by
Father Caboccini and Samuel. The apartment in which these three
personage, now found themselves was very large. The daylight only
entered from a belvedere in the roof, the four sides of which had been
covered with leaden plates, each of which was pierced with seven holes,
forming a cross, thus:
* * *
Now, the light being only admitted through these holes, the obscurity
would have been complete, had it not been for a lamp, which burned on a
large massive slab of black marble, fixed against one of the walls. One
would have taken it for a funeral chamber, for it was all hung with black
curtains, fringed with white. There was no furniture, save the slab of
black marble we have already mentioned. On this slab was an iron casket,
of the manufacture of the seventeenth century, admirably adorned with
open work, like lace made of metal.
Addressing Rodin, who was wiping his forehead with his dirty
handkerchief, and looking round him with surprise, but not fear, Samuel
said to him: "The will of the testator, however strange it may appear, is
sacred with me, and must be accomplished in all things."
"Certainly," said Rodin; "but what are we to do here?"
"You will know presently, sir. You are the representative of the only
remaining heir of the Rennepont family, the Abbe Gabriel de Rennepont?"
"Yes, sir, and here are my papers," replied Rodin.
"To save time," resumed Samuel, "I will, previous to the arrival of the
magistrate, go through the inventory of the securities contained in this
casket, which I withdrew yesterday from the custody of the Bank of
"The securities are there?" cried Rodin, advancing eagerly towards the
"Yes, sir," replied Samuel, "as by the list. Your secretary will call
them over, and I will produce each in turn. They can then be replaced in
the casket, which I will deliver up to you in presence of the
"All this seems perfectly correct," said Rodin.
Samuel delivered the list to Father Caboccini, and approaching the
casket, touched a spring, which was not seen by Rodin. The heavy lid
flew open, and, while Father Caboccini read the names of the different
securities, Samuel showed them to Rodin, who returned them to the old
Jew, after a careful examination. This verification did not last long,
for this immense fortune was all comprised, as we already know, in eight
government securities, five hundred thousand francs in bank-note, thirty-
five thousand francs in gold, and two hundred and fifty francs in silver-
-making in all an amount of two hundred and twelve millions, one hundred
and seventy-five thousand francs. When Rodin had counted the last of the
five hundred bank-notes, of a thousand francs each, he said, as he
returned them to Samuel: "It is quite right. Two hundred and twelve
millions, one hundred and seventy-five thousand francs!"
He was no doubt almost choked with joy, for he breathed with difficulty,
his eyes closed, and he was obliged to lean upon Father Caboccini's arm,
as he said to him in an altered voice: "It is singular. I thought myself
proof against all such emotions; but what I feel is extraordinary."
The natural paleness of the Jesuit increased so much, and he seemed so
much agitated with convulsive movements, that Father Caboccini exclaimed:
"My dear father, collect yourself; do not let success overcome you thus."
Whilst the little one-eyed man was, attending to Rodin, Samuel carefully
replaced the securities in the iron casket. Thanks to his unconquerable
energy, and to the joy he felt at seeing himself so near the term of his
labors, Rodin mastered this attack of weakness, and drawing himself up,
calm and proud, he said to Caboccini: "It is nothing. I did not survive
the cholera to die of joy on the first of June."
And, though still frightfully pale, the countenance of the Jesuit shone
with audacious confidence. But now, when Rodin appeared to be quite
recovered, Father Caboccini seemed suddenly transformed. Though short,
fat, and one-eyed, his features assumed on the instant so firm, harsh,
and commanding an expression, that Rodin recoiled a step as he looked at
him. Then Father Caboccini, drawing a paper from his pocket, kissed it
respectfully, glanced sternly at Rodin, and read as follows, in a severe
and menacing tone:
"'On receipt of the present rescript, the Reverend Father Rodin will
deliver up all his powers to the Reverend Father Caboccini, who is alone
commissioned, with the Reverend Father d'Aigrigny, to receive the
inheritance of the Rennepont family, if, in His eternal justice, the Lord
should restore this property, of which our Company has been wronged.
"'Moreover, on receipt of the present rescript, the Reverend Father
Rodin, in charge of a person to be named by the Reverend Father
Caboccini, shall be conveyed to our house in the Town of Laval, to be
kept in strict seclusion in his cell until further orders.'"
Then Father Caboccini handed the rescript to Rodin, that the latter might
read the signature of the General of the Company. Samuel, greatly
interested by this scene, drew a few steps nearer, leaving the casket
half-open. Suddenly, Rodin burst into a loud laugh--a laugh of joy,
contempt and triumph, impossible to describe. Father Caboccini
looked at him with angry astonishment; when Rodin, growing still more
imperious and haughty, and with an air of more sovereign disdain than
ever, pushed aside the paper with the back of his dirty hand and said:
"What is the date of that scribble?"
"The eleventh of May," answered Father Caboccini in amazement.
"Here is a brief, that I received last night from Rome, under date of the
eighteenth. It informs me that I am appointed GENERAL OF THE ORDER.
Father Caboccini took the paper, read it, and remained thunderstruck.
Then, returning it humbly to Rodin, he respectfully bent his knee before
him. Thus seemed the ambitious views of Rodin accomplished. In spite of
the hatred and suspicion of that party, of which Cardinal Malipieri was
the representative and the chief, Rodin, by address and craft, audacity
and persuasion, and in consequence of the high esteem in which his
partisans at Rome held his rare capacity, had succeeded in deposing his
General, and in procuring his own elevation to that eminent post. Now,
according to his calculation, aided by the millions he was about to
possess, it would be but one step from that post to the pontifical
throne. A mute witness of this scene, Samuel smiled also with an air of
triumph, as he closed the casket by means of the spring known only to
himself. That metallic sound recalled Rodin from the heights of his mad
ambition to the realities of life, and he said to Samuel in a sharp
voice: "You have heard? These millions must be delivered to me alone."
He extended his hands eagerly and impatiently towards the casket, as if
he would have taken possession of it, before the arrival of the
magistrate. Then Samuel in his turn seemed transfigured, and, folding
his arms upon his breast, and drawing up his aged form to its full
height, he assumed a threatening and imposing air. His eyes flashed with
indignation, and he said in a solemn tone: "This fortune--at first the
humble remains of the inheritance of the most noble of men, whom the
plots of the sons of Loyola drove to suicide--this fortune, which has
since become royal in amount, thanks to the sacred probity of three
generations of faithful servants--this fortune shall never be the reward
of falsehood, hypocrisy and murder. No! the eternal justice of heaven
will not allow it."
"On murder? what do you mean, sir?" asked Rodin, boldly.
Samuel made no answer. He stamped his foot, and extended his arm slowly
towards the extremity of the apartment. Then Rodin and Father Caboccini
beheld an awful spectacle. The draperies on the wall were drawn aside,
as if by an invisible hand. Round a funeral vault, faintly illumined-by
the bluish light of a silver lamp, six dead bodies were ranged upon black
biers, dressed in long black robes. They were: Jacques Rennepont--
Francois Hardy--Rose and Blanche Simon--Adrienne and Djalma. They
appeared to be asleep. Their eyelids were closed, their hands crossed
over their breasts. Father Caboccini, trembling in every limb, made the
sign of the cross, and retreating to the opposite wall, buried his face
in his hands. Rodin on the contrary, with agitated countenance, staring
eyes, and hair standing on end, yielding to an invincible attraction,
advanced towards those inanimate forms. One would have said that these
last of the Renneponts had only just expired. They seemed to be in the
first hour of the eternal sleep.
"Behold those whom thou host slain!" cried Samuel, in a voice broken with
sobs. "Yea! your detestable plots caused their death--and, as they fell
one by one, it was my pious care to obtain possession of their poor
remains, that they may all repose in the same sepulchre. Oh!--cursed--
cursed--cursed--be thou who has killed them! But their spoils shall
escape thy murderous hands."
Rodin, still drawn forward in spite of himself, had approached the
funeral couch of Djalma. Surmounting his first alarm, the Jesuit, to
assure himself that he was not the sport of frightful dream, ventured to
touch the hands of the Asiatic--and found that they were damp and pliant,
though cold as ice.
The Jesuit drew back in horror. For some seconds, he trembled
convulsively. But, his first amazement over, reflection returned, and,
with reflection came that invincible energy, that infernal obstinacy of
character, that gave him so much power. Steadying himself on his legs,
drawing his hand across his brow, raising his head, moistening his lips
two or three times before he spoke--for his throat and mouth grew ever
drier and hotter, without his being able to explain the cause--he
succeeded in giving to his features an imperious and ironical expression,
and, turning towards Samuel, who wept in silence, he said to him, in a
hoarse, guttural voice: "I need not show you the certificates of their
death. There they are in person." And he pointed with his bony hand to
the six dead bodies.
At these words of his General, Father Caboccini again made the sign of
the cross, as if he had seen a fiend.
"Oh, my God!" cried Samuel; "Thou hast quite abandoned this man. With
what a calm look he contemplates his victims!"
"Come, sir!" said Rodin, with a horrid smile; "this is a natural waxwork
exhibition, that is all. My calmness proves my innocence--and we had
best come at once to business. I have an appointment at two o'clock. So
let us carry down this casket."
He advanced towards the marble slab. Seized with indignation and horror,
Samuel threw himself before him, and, pressing with all his might on a
knob in the lid of the casket--a knob which yielded to the pressure--he
exclaimed: "Since your infernal soul is incapable of remorse, it may
perhaps be shaken by disappointed avarice."
"What does he say?" cried Rodin. "What is he doing?"
"Look!" said Samuel, in his turn assuming an air of savage triumph. "I
told you, that the spoils of your victims should escape your murderous
Hardly had he uttered these words, before through the open-work of the
iron casket rose a light cloud of smoke, and an odor as of burnt paper
spread itself through the room. Rodin understood it instantly. "Fire!"
he exclaimed, as he rushed forward to seize the casket. It had been made
fast to the heavy marble slab.
"Yes, fire," said Samuel. "In a few minutes, of that immense treasure
there will remain nothing but ashes. And better so, than that it should
belong to you or yours. This treasure is not mine, and it only remains
for me to destroy it--since Gabriel de Rennepont will be faithful to the
oath he has taken."
"Help! water! water!" cried Rodin, as he covered the casket with his
body, trying in vain to extinguish the flames, which, fanned by the
current of air, now issued from the thousand apertures in the lid; but
soon the intensity of the fire diminished, a few threads of bluish smoke
alone mounted upwards--and then, all was extinct.
The work was done! Breathless and faint, Rodin leaned against the marble
slab. For the first time in his life, he wept; large tears of rage
rolled down his cadaverous cheeks. But suddenly, dreadful pains, at
first dull, but gradually augmenting in intensity, seized on him with so
much fury, though he employed all his energy to struggle against them,
that he fell on his knees, and, pressing his two hands to his chest,
murmured with an attempt to smile: "It is nothing. Do not be alarmed. A
few spasms--that is all. The treasure is destroyed--but I remain General
of the Order. Oh! I suffer. What a furnace!" he added, writhing in
agony. "Since I entered this cursed house, I know not what ails me. If
--I had not lived on roots--water--bread--which I go myself to buy--I
should think--I was poisoned--for I triumph--and Cardinal Malipieri has
long arms. Yes--I still triumph--for I will not die--this time no more
than the other--I will not die!"
Then, as he stretched out his arms convulsively, he continued: "It is
fire that devours my entrails. No doubt, they have tried to poison me.
But when? but how?"
After another pause, Rodin again cried out, in a stifled voice: "Help!
help me, you that stand looking on--like, spectres!--Help me, I say!"
Horror-struck at this dreadful agony, Samuel and Father Caboccini were
unable to stir.
"Help!" repeated Rodin, in a tone of strangulation, "This poison is
horrible.--But how--" Then, with a terrific cry of rage, as if a sudden
idea had struck him, he exclaimed: "Ha! Faringhea--this morning--the holy
water--he knows such subtle poisons. Yes--it is he--he had an interview
with Malipieri. The demon!--Oh! it was well played. The Borgias are
still the same. Oh! it is all over. I die. They will regret me, the
fools!--Oh! hell! hell! The Church knows not its loss--but I burn--
They came to his assistance. Quick steps were heard upon the stairs, and
Dr. Baleinier, followed by the Princess de Saint-Dizier, appeared at the
entrance of the Hall of Mourning. The princess had learned vaguely that
morning the death of Father d'Aigrigny, and had come to question Rodin
upon the subject. When this woman, entering the room, suddenly saw the
frightful spectacle that offered itself to her view--when she saw Rodin
writhing in horrible agony, and, further on, by the light of the
sepulchral lamp, those six corpses--and, amongst them, her own niece, and
the two orphans whom she had sent to meet their death--she stood
petrified with horror, and her reason was unable to withstand the shock.
She looked slowly round her, and then raised her arms on high, and burst
into a wild fit of laughter. She had gone mad. Whilst Dr. Baleinier
supported the head of Rodin, who expired in his arms, Faringhea appeared
at the door; remaining in the shade, he cast a ferocious glance at the
corpse of the Jesuit. "He would have made himself the chief of the
Company of Jesus, to destroy it," said he; "with me, the Company of Jesus
stands in the place of Bowanee. I have obeyed the cardinal!"
 Should this appear incredible, we would remind the reader of the
marvellous discoveries in the art of embalming--particularly Dr.
FOUR YEARS AFTER.
Four years had elapsed, since the events we have just related, when
Gabriel de Rennepont wrote the following letter to Abbe Joseph
Charpentier, curate of the Parish of Saint-Aubin, a hamlet of Sologne:
"June 2d, 1836.
"Intending to write to you yesterday, my bear Joseph, I seated myself at
the little old black table, that you will remember well. My window
looks, you know, upon the farmyard, and I can see all that takes place
there. These are grave preliminaries, my friend, but I am coming to the
point. I had just taken my seat at the table, when, looking from the
window, this is what I saw. You, my dear Joseph, who can draw so well,
should have been there to have sketched the charming scene. The sun was
sinking, the sky serene, the air warm and balmy with the breath of the
hawthorn, which, flowering by the side of a little rivulet, forms the
edge which borders the yard. Under the large pear-tree, close to the
wall of the barn, sat upon the stone bench my adopted father, Dagobert,
that brave and honest soldier whom you love so much. He appeared
thoughtful, his white head was bowed on his bosom; with absent mind, he
patted old Spoil-sport, whose intelligent face was resting on his
master's knees. By his side was his wife, my dear adopted mother,
occupied with her sewing; and near them, on a stool, sat Angela, the wife
of Agricola, nursing her last-born child, while the gentle Magdalen, with
the eldest boy in her lap, was occupied in teaching him the letters of
the alphabet. Agricola had just returned from the fields, and was
beginning to unyoke his cattle, when, struck, like me, no doubt, with
this picture, he stood gazing on it for a moment, with his hand still
leaning on the yoke, beneath which bent submissive the broad foreheads of
his two large black oxen. I cannot express to you, my friend, the
enchanting repose of this picture, lighted by the last rays of the sun,
here and there broken by the thick foliage. What various and touching
types! The venerable face of the soldier--the good, loving countenance
of my adopted mother--the fresh beauty of Angela, smiling on her little
child--the soft melancholy of the hunchback, now and then pressing her
lips to the fair, laughing cheek of Agricola's eldest son--and then
Agricola himself, in his manly beauty, which seems to reflect so well the
valor and honesty of his heart! Oh, my Friend! in contemplating this
assemblage of good, devoted, noble, and loving beings, so dear to each
other, living retired in a little farm of our poor Sologne, my heart rose
towards heaven with a feeling of ineffable gratitude. This peace of the
family circle--this clear evening, with the perfume of the woods and wild
flowers wafted on the breeze--this deep silence, only broken by the
murmur of the neighboring rill--all affected me with one of these passing
fits of vague and sweet emotion, which one feels but cannot express. You
well know it, my friend, who, in your solitary walks, in the midst of
your immense plains of flowering heath, surrounded by forests of fir
trees, often feel your eyes grow moist, without being able to explain the
cause of that sweet melancholy, which I, too, have often felt, during
those glorious nights passed in the profound solitudes of America.
"But, alas! a painful incident disturbed the serenity of the picture.
Suddenly I heard Dagobert's wife say to him: 'My dear--you are weeping!'
"At these words, Agricola, Angela, and Magdalen gathered round the
soldier. Anxiety was visible upon every face. Then, as he raised his
head abruptly, one could see two large tears trickle down his cheek to
his white moustache. 'It is nothing, my children,' said he, in a voice
of emotion 'it is nothing. Only, to-day is the first of June--and this
day four years--' He could not complete the sentence; and, as he raised
his hands to his eyes, to brush away the tears, we saw that he held
between his fingers a little bronze chain, with a medal suspended to it.
That is his dearest relic. Four years ago, almost dying with despair at
the loss of the two angels, of whom I have so often spoken to you, my
friend, he took from the neck of Marshal Simon, brought home dead from a
fatal duel, this chain and medal which his children had so long worn. I
went down instantly, as you may suppose, to endeavor to soothe the
painful remembrances of this excellent man; gradually, he grew calmer,
and the evening was passed in a pious and quiet sadness.
"You cannot imagine, my friend, when I returned to my chamber, what cruel
thoughts came to my mind, as I recalled those past events, from which I
generally turn away with fear and horror. Then I saw once more the
victims of those terrible and mysterious plots, the awful depths of which
have never been penetrated thanks to the death of Father d'A. and Father
R., and the incurable madness of Madame de St.-D., the three authors or
accomplices of the dreadful deeds. The calamities occasioned by them are
irreparable; for those who were thus sacrificed to a criminal ambition,
would have been the pride of humanity by the good they would have done.
Ah, my friend! if you had known those noble hearts; if you had known the
projects of splendid charity, formed by that young lady, whose heart was
so generous, whose mind so elevated, whose soul so great! On the eve of
her death, as a kind of prelude to her magnificent designs, after a
conversation, the subject of which I must keep secret, even from you, she
put into my hands a considerable sum, saying, with her usual grace and
goodness: "I have been threatened with ruin, and it might perhaps come.
What I now confide to you will at least be safe--safe--for those who
suffer. Give much--give freely--make as many happy hearts as you can.
My happiness shall have a royal inauguration!!" I do not know whether I
ever told you, my friend, that, after those fatal events, seeing Dagobert
and his wife reduced to misery, poor "Mother Bunch" hardly able to earn a
wretched subsistence, Agricola soon to become a father, and myself
deprived of my curacy, and suspended by my bishop, for having given
religious consolations to a Protestant, and offered up prayers at the
tomb of an unfortunate suicide--I considered myself justified in
employing a small portion of the sum intrusted to me by Mdlle. de
Cardoville in the purchase of this farm in Dagobert's name.
"Yes, my friend, such is the origin of my fortune. The farmer to whom
these few acres formerly belonged, gave us the rudiments of our
agricultural education, and common sense, and the study of a few good
practical books, completed it. From an excellent workman, Agricola has
become an equally excellent husbandman; I have tried to imitate him, and
have put my hand also to the plough there is no derogation in it, for the
labor which provides food for man is thrice hallowed, and it is truly to
serve and glorify God, to cultivate and enrich the earth He has created.
Dagobert, when his first grief was a little appeased, seemed to gather
new vigor from this healthy life of the fields; and, during his exile in
Siberia, he had already learned to till the ground. Finally, my dear
adopted mother and sister, and Agricola's good wife, have divided between
them the household cares; and God has blessed this little colony of
people, who, alas! have been sorely tried by misfortune, and who now only
ask of toil and solitude, a quite, laborious, innocent life, and oblivion
of great sorrows. Sometimes, in our winter evenings, you have been able
to appreciate the delicate and charming mind of the gentle "Mother
Bunch," the rare poetical imagination of Agricola, the tenderness of his
mother, the good sense of his father, the exquisite natural grace of
Angela. Tell me, my friend, was it possible to unite more elements of
domestic happiness? What long evenings have we passed round the fire of
crackling wood, reading, or commenting on a few immortal works, which
always warm the heart, and enlarge the soul! What sweet talk have we
had, prolonged far into the night! And then Agricola's pastorals, and
the timid literary confidences of Magdalen! And the fresh, clear voice
of Angela, joined to the deep manly tones of Agricola, in songs of simple
melody! And the old stories of Dagobert, so energetic and picturesque in
their warlike spirit! And the adorable gayety of the children, in their
sports with good old Spoil-sport, who rather lends himself to their play
than takes part in it--for the faithful, intelligent creature seems
always to be looking for somebody, as Dagobert says--and he is right.
Yes, the dog also regrets those two angels, of whom he was the devoted
"Do not think, my friend, that our happiness makes us forgetful. No, no;
not a day passes without our repeating, with pious and tender respect,
those names so dear to our heart. And these painful memories, hovering
forever about us, give to our calm and happy existence that shade of mild
seriousness which struck you so much. No doubt, my friend, this kind of
life, bounded by the family circle, and not extending beyond, for the
happiness or improvement of our brethren, may be set down as selfish;
but, alas! we have not the means--and though the poor man always finds a
place at our frugal table, and shelter beneath our roof, we must renounce
all great projects of fraternal action. The little revenue of our farm
just suffices to supply our wants. Alas! when I think over it,
notwithstanding a momentary regret, I cannot blame my resolution to keep
faithfully my sacred oath, and to renounce that great inheritance, which,
alas! had become immense by the death of my kindred. Yes, I believe I
performed a duty, when I begged the guardian of that treasure to reduce
it to ashes, rather than let it fall into the hands of people, who would
have made an execrable use of it, or to perjure myself by disputing a
donation which I had granted freely, voluntarily, sincerely. And yet,
when I picture to myself the realization of the magnificent views of--my
ancestor--an admirable Utopia, only possible with immense resources--and
which Mdlle. de Cardoville hoped to carry into execution, with the aid of
M. Francois Hardy, of Prince Djalma, of Marshal Simon and his daughters,
and of myself--when I think of the dazzling focus of living forces, which
such an association would have been, and of the immense influence it
might have had on the happiness of the whole human race--my indignation
and horror, as an honest man and a Christian, are excited against that
abominable Company, whose black plots nipped in their bud all those great
hopes, which promised so much for futurity. What remains now of all
these splendid projects? Seven tombs. For my grave also is dug in that
mausoleum, which Samuel has erected on the site of the house in the Rue
Neuve-Saint-Francois, and of which he remains the keeper--faithful to the
"I had written thus far, my friend, when I received your letter. So,
after having forbidden you to see me, your bishop now orders that you
shall cease to correspond with me. Your touching, painful regrets have
deeply moved me, my friend. Often have we talked together of
ecclesiastical discipline, and of the absolute power of the bishops over,
us, the poor working clergy, left to their mercy without remedy. It is
painful, but it is the law of the church, my friend, and you have sworn
to observe it. Submit as I have submitted. Every engagement is binding
upon the man of honor! My poor, dear Joseph! would that you had the
compensations which remained to me, after the rupture of ties that I so
much value. But I know too well what you must feel--I cannot go on I
find it impossible to continue this letter, I might be bitter against
those whose orders we are bound to respect. Since it must be so, this
letter shall be my last. Farewell, my friend! farewell forever. My
heart is almost broken.
"GABRIEL DE RENNEPONT."
Day was about to dawn. A rosy light, almost imperceptible, began to
glimmer in the east; but the stars still shone, sparkling with radiance,
upon the azure of the zenith. The birds awoke beneath the fresh foliage
of the great woods; and, with isolated warblings, sang the prelude of
their morning-concert. A light mist rose from the high grass, bathed in
nocturnal dew, while the calm and limpid waters of a vast lake reflected
the whitening dawn in their deep, blue mirror. Everything promised one
of those warm and joyous days, that belong to the opening of summer.
Half-way up the slope of a hill, facing the east, a tuft of old, moss-
grown willows, whose rugged bark disappeared beneath the climbing
branches of wild honeysuckle and harebells, formed a natural harbor; and
on their gnarled and enormous roots, covered with thick moss, were seated
a man and a woman, whose white hair, deep wrinkles, and bending figures,
announced extreme old age. And yet this woman had only lately been young
and beautiful, with long black hair overshadowing her pale forehead. And
yet this man had, a short time ago, been still in the vigor of his age.
From the spot where this man and woman were reposing, could be seen the
valley, the lake, the woods, and, soaring above the woods, the blue
summit of a high mountain, from behind which the sun was about to rise.
This picture, half veiled by the pale transparency of the morning
twilight, was pleasing, melancholy, and solemn.
"Oh, my sister!" said the old man to the woman, who was reposing with him
beneath the rustic arbor formed by the tuft of willow-trees; "oh, my
sister! how many times during the centuries in which the hand of the Lord
carried us onward, and, separated from each other, we traversed the world
from pole to pole--how many times we have witnessed this awakening of
nature with a sentiment of incurable grief!--Alas! it was but another day
of wandering--another useless day added to our life, since it brought
death no nearer!"
"But now what happiness, oh, my brother! since the Lord has had mercy on
us, and, with us, as with all other creatures, every returning day is a
step nearer to the grave. Glory to Him! yes, glory!"
"Glory to Him, my sister! for since yesterday, when we again met, I feel
that indescribable languor which announces the approach of death."
"Like you, my brother, I feel my strength, already shaken, passing away
in a sweet exhaustion. Doubtless, the term of our life approaches. The
wrath of the Lord is satisfied."
"Alas, my sister! doubtless also, the last of my doomed race, will, at
the same time, complete our redemption by his death; for the will of
heaven is manifest, that I can only be pardoned, when the last of my
family shall have disappeared from the face of the earth. To him,
holiest amongst the holiest--was reserved the favor of accomplishing this
end he who has done so much for the salvation of his brethren!"
"Oh, yes, my brother! he who has suffered so much, and without
complaining, drunk to the dregs the bitter cup of woe--he, the minister
of the Lord, who has been his Master's image upon earth--he was fitted
for the last instrument of this redemption!"
"Yes, for I feel, my sister, that, at this hour, the last of my race,
touching victim of slow persecution, is on the point of resigning his
angelic soul to God. Thus, even to the end, have I been fatal to my
doomed family. Lord, if Thy mercy is great, Thy anger is great
"Courage and hope, my brother! Think how after the expiration cometh
pardon, and pardon is followed by a blessing. The Lord punished, in you
and your posterity, the artisan rendered wicked by misfortune and
injustice. He said to you: 'Go on! without truce or rest--and your labor
shall be vain--and every evening, throwing yourself on the hard ground,
you shall be no nearer to the end of your eternal course!'--And so, for
centuries, men without pity have said to the artisan: 'Work! work! work!
without truce or rest--and your labor shall be fruitful for all others,
but fruitless for yourself--and every evening, throwing yourself on the
hard ground, you shall be no nearer to happiness and repose; and your
wages shall only suffice to keep you alive in pain, privation, and
"Alas! alas! will it be always thus?"
"No, no, my brother! and instead of weeping over your lost race, rejoice
for them--since their death was needed for your redemption, and in
redeeming you, heaven will redeem the artisan, cursed and feared by
those--who have laid on him the iron yoke. Yes, my brother! the time
draweth nigh--heaven's mercy will not stop with us alone. Yes, I tell
you; in us will be rescued both the WOMAN and the SLAVE of these modern
ages. The trial has been hard, brother; it has lasted throughout
eighteen centuries; but it will last no longer. Look, my brother! see
that rosy light, there in the east, gradually spreading over the
firmament! Thus will rise the sun of the new emancipation--peaceful,
holy, great, salutary, fruitful, filling the world with light and
vivifying heat, like the day-star that will soon appear in heaven!"
"Yes, yes, my sister! I feel it. Your words are prophetic. We shall
close our heavy eyes just as we see the aurora of the day of deliverance
--a fair, a splendid day, like that which is about to dawn. Henceforth I
will only shed tears of pride and glory for those of my race, who have
died the martyrs of humanity, sacrificed by humanity's eternal enemies--
for the true ancestors of the sacrilegious wretches, who blaspheme the
name of Jesus by giving it to their Company, were the false Scribes and
Pharisees, whom the Saviour cursed!--Yes! glory to the descendants of my
family, who have been the last martyrs offered up by the accomplices of
all slavery and all despotism, the pitiless enemies of those who wish to
think, and not to suffer in silence--of those that would feign enjoy, as
children of heaven, the gifts which the Creator has bestowed upon all the
human family. Yes, the day approaches--the end of the reign of our
modern Pharisees--the false priests, who lend their sacrilegious aid to
the merciless selfishness of the strong against the weak, by daring to
maintain in the face of the exhaustless treasures of the creation, that
God has made man for tears, and sorrow, and suffering--the false priests,
who are the agents of all oppression, and would bow to the earth, in
brutish and hopeless humiliation, the brow of every creature. No, no!
let man lift his head proudly! God made him to be noble and intelligent
free and happy."
"Oh, my brother! your words also are prophetic. Yes, yes! the dawn of
that bright day approaches, even as the dawn of the natural day which, by
the mercy of God, will be our last on earth."
"The last, my sister; for a strange weakness creeps over me, all matter
seems dissolving in me, and my soul aspires to mount to heaven."
"Mine eyes are growing dim, brother; I can scarcely see that light in the
east, which lately appeared so red."
"Sister! it is through a confused vapor that I now see the valley--the
lake--the woods. My strength fails me."
"Blessed be God, brother! the moment of eternal rest is at hand."
"Yes, it comes, my sister! the sweetness of the everlasting sleep takes
possession of my senses."
"Oh, happiness! I am dying--"
"These eyes are closing, sister!"
"We are then forgiven!"
"Oh, my brother! may this Divine redemption extend to all those who
suffer upon the earth!"
"Die in peace, my sister! The great day has dawned--the sun is rising--
"Blessed be God!"
"Blessed be God!"
And at the moment when those two voices ceased forever, the sun rose
radiant and dazzling, and deluged the valley with its beams.
To M. C--P--.
To you, my friend, I dedicated this book. To inscribe it with your name,
was to assume an engagement that, in the absence of talent, it should be
at least conscientious, sincere, and of a salutary influence, however
limited. My object is attained. Some select hearts, like yours, my
friend, have put into practice the legitimate association of labor,
capital, and intelligence, and have already granted to their workmen a
proportionate share in the profits of their industry. Others have laid
the foundations of Common Dwelling-houses, and one of the chief
capitalists of Hamburg has favored me with his views respecting an
establishment of this kind, on the most gigantic scale.
As for the dispersion of the members of the Company of Jesus, I have
taken less part in it than other enemies of the detestable doctrines of
Loyola, whose influence and authority were far greater than mine.
Adieu, my friend. I could have wished this work more worthy of you; but
you are indulgent, and will at least give me credit for the intentions
which dictated it.
Paris, 25th August, 1845.