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of his insinuating manners and prepossessing appearance, was the extreme affection and confidence he inspired in children, of whom he was very fond, but who usually seemed as if they were irresistibly drawn towards him, even before he attempted to win them. The shyest and most reserved were no more proof against this influence than the most confiding. Children who in general would hardly venture to look at a stranger, would steal to his side, take his hand, and seem to be quite happy and at ease when they were near him. The same power of setting others perfectly at their ease in his presence, extended to his influence over grown-up persons.
In society he was agreeable, attentive, kind, and considerate to all ; no one was too humble, too retiring, too little au fait in the modes of living, acting, and thinking of those among whom he might be accidentally thrown, to be beneath his notice, or heyond the reach of his extraordinary power of finding out merit, devising means of drawing out any peculiar talent the person might possess, or of discovering some topic of interest to the party, on which he could get into conversation with him. Men of all opinions, classes, and positions, found themselves at home with him on some particular question or other ; and this not from any effort, or any unworthy concession on his part, but from a natural facility of adapting himself to the peculiarities of those around him. His active mind sought and found abundant occupation in such conversational exercise. He often said that “ he had never known the meaning of the word ennui.”
No matter where or with whom he might be, he found means to employ his mind and his time, more or less usefully or agreeably. The dullest country town had for him as mar y resources as Paris or London. Wherever he went, he was disposed to find everything interesting and good in its way, and everybody capable of being made amusing and agreeable. To the last, when time, grief, and disappointment, the loss of
fortune, friends, and nearly all he loved best on earth, might well be supposed to have soured his disposition, this happy turn of mind yet remained unimpaired as in his early youth.
Arrogance and affectation, and purse-proud insolence, alone found him severe and satirical; on these his keen wit and remarkable powers of raillery were not unfrequently set, and perhaps his only enemies were those who had fallen under his lash, or who were jealous of the superiority of his talents.
Some months after the death of Lord Blessington, Lady Blessington and the Count and Countess D'Orsay returned to England.
Shortly before the death of Count D'Orsay's mother, who entertained feelings of strong attachment for Lady Blessington, the former had spoken with great earnestness of her apprehensions for her son, on account of his tendency to ex. travagance, and of her desire that Lady Blessington would advise and counsel him, and do her utmost to counteract those propensities which had already been attended with embarrassments, and had occasioned her great fears for his welfare. The promise that was given on that occasion was often alluded to by Lady Blessington, and after her death, by Count D'Orsay.
A variety of painful circumstances, which have no place in the present memoir, led to a break-up of the establishment of Lady Blessington in Paris, after the death of Lord Blessington. On her return to London, Lady Blessington took a house in Seamore Place, and Count D'Orsay one in Curzon Street; from thence they removed to Kensington Gore, Lady Blessington to Gore House, Count D’Orsay to a small dwelling adjoining it; but finally they both occupied the former place of abode, till the break-up of that establishment in April, 1849.
The Count returned to his native country, after a residence of nineteen years in London. In Paris he was joined by Lady Blessington and her nieces, the Miss Powers, shortly after his
arrival, and in the following month of June he met in the loss of Lady Blessington, an affliction from the effects of which he never thoroughly recovered.
The ensuing year he realized a plan he had formed and often spoken of in happier days. He hired an immense studio, with some smaller rooms connected with it; attached to the house of M. Gerdin, the celebrated marine painter. Here he transported all his possessions (consisting chiefly of his own works of art, easels, brushes, paints, &c.), and with the extraordinary taste and talent for arrangement that constituted one of his gifts, a large waste room, with naked loft, became transformed into one of the most elegantly fitted up and admirably disposed studios of Paris, and at the same time, a habitable salon of great beauty, combining requisites for a museum en miniature, and objects of virtù and art sufficient to furnish a small gallery. In this salon he might be said to be domiciled. Here he lived, here he daily received the visits of some of the greatest celebrities of Europe ; statesmen, politicians, diplomatists, men of letters, and artists, were his constant visitors and frequent guests.
The ex-roi Jerome continued to be one of the most faithful and attached of his friends. The paternal affection of the good old man, with the warm regard of his son, the Prince Napoleon, formed a remarkable contrast to the conduct of others, which fully bore out the observation :-“ There are some benefits so great, that they can only be paid by the blackest ingratitude.” The ex-king Jerome never swerved in his affection for Count D'Orsay, and his earnest desire was to see him elevated to a post worthy of his position and talents. This hope, however, was destined to be defeated. The President of the Republic had nothing in common with the exile and the prisoner of Ham ; he who had long and largely served, counselled, and aided, in various ways, the latter, through good report and evil report, had been a faithful
friend to him, was looked on with coldness and aversion ; when he proved too independent and high-spirited to be a mere servile, opinionless partizan of the most astute as well as successful conspirator of modern times, and his presence recalled obligations in private life, he became an object of jealousy, his services a disagreeable souvenir. The poor Count pined away, long expecting an appointment, but expecting it in vain. His health broke down, and when it was completely ruined, Louis Napoleon conferred on his friend of former days, already struck by the hand of death, the nominal post of Director of Fine Arts, the duties of which office he was no longer able to perform. The Prince imagined, by this tardy act of kindnesss, he had screened himself from the just reproaches of all who knew their former connection.
Count D'Orsay was struck to the heart by the ingratitude of Louis Napoleon, but his generous nature was incapable of bitterness, and no sentiment of animosity was engendered by it; he suffered deeply, and long in silence, but the wound festered, and at times, it was evident enough how much it galled him.
From the period of Lady Blessington's death, the Count had given up general society, and during the last two years of his life he confined himself almost altogether to the house, receiving in his studio-salon morning visits of his family, and a very small circle of intimate friends. Lady Blessington's nieces, the companions of his happy and prosperous days, his attendants in those of sickness and sorrow, some members of his family, his beloved sister, the ex-roi Jerome and his son, Emile de Girardin, Dr. Cabarrus, his school.fellow, son of the celebrated Madame Tallien, and the well-known Monsieur Ouvrard, Madame de C-, the Comtesse of D were among the last in whose constant society he found repose and pleasure, when that of others had lost its charm.
In the spring of 1852, the spinal malady which finally proved fatal, declared itself, and then commenced a long series of sufferings, which ended but with his life ; sufferings endured with fortitude and gentleness, and consideration for those attending on him, which none but those whose painful task it was to watch by his bed-side could form any idea of.
In the month of July he was ordered to Dieppe, as a last resource, and thither he was accompanied by Lady Blessington's nieces. From the time of his arrival in Dieppe, he sunk rapidly; at the end of the month he returned to Paris, dying, and on the 4th of August, 1852, breathed his last, surrounded by those whose unremitting care had been the last consolation of his declining days.
During his illness, he had more than once been visited by the excellent Archbishop of Paris, though a comparatively late acquaintance, who entertained for him a warm regard.
Two days previous to his decease, the archbishop had a long conversation with him, and at parting, embraced him, assuring him of his friendship and affectionate regard. * The following day, the last of his existence, he received the conso. lations of religion from the curé of Chambourcy. For the church of this good priest he had done a great deal: he had restored many of the pictures, and bestowed the original picture of the Mater Dolorosa, which had been painted by himself expressly for the church, the lithograph of which is well known, and is sold under the title of the Magdalen, though why thus called, it would be difficult to say.
Thus terminated, at the age of fifty-one years, the existence of this highly-gifted man, when hardly beyond the prime of life.
An innate love of all that was beautiful in nature and excellent in art, a generous, chivalrous nature, strong sympa
* “ J'ai pour vous plus que de l'amitié, j'ai de l'affection,” were the archbishop's words,