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pious care for the memory of his deceased nephew, did every thing in his power to collect the particulars of his imprisonment, and the proofs of his decease. From lapse of time Harmand's memory was in some respects treacherous, and hence he contradicts the commissaries in one important particular. They say the Prince had swellings on all the joints. Harmand leaves us to infer that one elbow and wrist were destitute of them. This is an evident inaccuracy, though it may be that Ilarmand did not, in the case of tlie left side, extend his examination to the arm.
On the 29th March, 1795, Laurent left the Temple. He appears to have been kind to the young prince, who parted from him with sadness. In his place came a man named Etienne Lasne.
From the 31st March, 1795, until the moment of his asserted death, his two keepers were Gomin and Lasne.
Citizen Gomin was a royalist, and obtained his post at the Temple, November 8th, 1794, through the influence and intrigues of the Marquis de Fenouil, who, says M. Beauchesne, on account of certaines intrigues soi-disant patriotiques, “contributed powerfully to a nomination which was a guarantee for the Royalist party,”. or in other words, for the interests of the Count de Provence Etienne Lasne on the other hand had formerly been a soldier in the garde Française, and later in the garde Nationale, and in 1791, had been appointed captain of grenadiers. And thus “revolutionary influences had nominated Lasne, and royalist influences had nominated Gomin."
The portraits of these men, and innumerable sentimentalisms concerning their honesty and truthfulness are given by our author, but their outward appearance was not prepossessing, and their integrity must be estimated by the times in which they lived, and the parties who placed them in their position. They are the two pillars upon whom rests the evidence for the death of the Dauphin. Though sharing in common the charge of the Dauphin, Lasne especially devoted himself to the care of the Prince, and Gomin to that of Madame Royale. Officers entitled acting commissaries (commissaires de service), and who were changed every day, had supreme control in the Temple, and it was therefore impossible for either of the prisoners to be secretly removed by Lasne and Gomin, unless the acting commissary for the time being was favorable to the project
. No sooner was Lasne installed in his office, than he began to find fault with the noise which the keys made when turned in the locks, and caused them to be oiled that they might move in silence. IIe also directed the iron doors on the landings to be left open. Taken in connection with the event, this seems to intimate a design in the month of April, the date of the occurrence, to effect an escape. The commissaries, however, said the doors were there
to be shut, and Lasne was forced to submit. Gomin and Lasne, however, continued, though the representatives of opposite interests, to act in perfect harmony, and made such arrangements respecting the keeping of the keys, that either of them could open the doors at any time without the knowledge of the other. There was evidently necessary only a particular conjunction of circumstances, and the appointment of a royalist commissary who would lend him. self to the plot, to effect the removal of the Prince.
And now we come to the confines of the period in which is centered the main interest of the mysterious and tragical drama. In consequence of confinement and want of exercise, the health of the Dauphin languished, and knot-like swellings at the articulations of the limbs increased. His keepers wrote for tbree successive days on the register the announcement of his indisposition, adding, on the last occasion, that his life was in danger, and on the 6th May, M. Desault was sent to see him.
This eminent physician was one whom the convulsions of the revolution had never tempted to swerve from the noble path of simple rectitude and honor. He had been the physician of the Royal family before the revolutionary troubles.
In the first interview between the plıy. sician and the royal prisoner, the latter maintained the same blank silence and immovable listlessness which had characterized his conduct in all visits made to him. Desault, without expressing an opinion, ordered him a simple decoction of hops, but after leaving the Temple, said publicly that he was afflicted “ with the germ of the scrofulous affection of which his brother had died at Mcüden, but that this disease had scarcely imprinted its seal on his constitution, nor manifested itself with any violent symptoms neither obstinate ophthalmia, nor vast ulcers, nor chronic swelling of the joints." He considered that the danger of his condition, confessedly great, was from a wasting away caused by confinement, and that immediate transportation to the country, fresh air, and careful treatment, might revive him. Unable to obtain the consent of the authorities for his removal, Desault continued his attendance until May 30. By kindness he had gained his affections, and at last, when he rose to take leave, the young captive, unable or afraid to speak, would take him timidly by the skirt of the coat. The 30th May at length arrived. Now let it be borne in mind, that all the foregoing facts are derived from Beauchesne himself.
“On the 11th prairial (30th May), [says M. Beauchesne), le sieur Breuillard, the acting commissary [for the day) who knew Desault, said to him in going down the staircase, .The child will die, will he not ?' 'Ifear it: but there are, perhaps, those persons in the world who hope it,' replied Desainlt, the last words which the doctor pronounced in the tower of the Temple.
“ Or. the 12th prairia! (81st May), the acting com
missary, on his arrival at nine o'clock, said that he would wait for the doctor in the chamber itself of the child, to which he caused himself to be introduced. This commissary was M. BELLANGER, painter and designer of the cabinet of Monsieur [i. e., Count de Provence, afterwards Louis XVIII.), who lived No. 21 Faubourg Poissonière. He was an honest man; the misfortune of his benefactor,-alas! in these sad times he was almost an exception,-had not dried up the devotion in his heart. M. Desault did not come. M. Bellanger, who had bronght a portfolio tilled with his drawings asked the Prince if he liked painting, and without waiting for an answer, which did not come, the artist opened his portfolio, and put it under the eyes of the child. Ile turned it over, at first with indifference, afterward with interest, dwelt a long time on each page, and when he had finished began again. This long examination seemed to give some solace to his sufferings, and some relief to the chagrin which was caused by the absence of his phy. sician. The artist often gave him explanations of the different subjects of his collection; the child bad at first kept silence, but little by little he listened to M Bellanger with marked attention, and finished by answering his questions. In taking the portfolio from his hands, M. Bellanger said to him, I much desire, sir, to take away one drawing more, but I will not do it if you object.' . What drawing?' said the Dauphin. • That of your countenance; it will give me much pleasure if it will not cause you pain.' 'Will it give you pleasure ?' said the child, and the most gracious smile completed his sentence, and the mute approbation which he gave to the desire of the artist.
* M. Bellanger traced in crayon the profile of the young king, and it is from this profile that, some days after, M. Beaumont the sculptor, and twenty years after, the royal manufacturer of Sevres porcelain, executed the bust of Louis XVII.
- The 13th prairial (1 June), M. Desault did not come again. The keepers were astonished at his absence, and the little child regretted it. The acting commissary, M. Benoist, faubourg St. Denis 4, was of opinion that word should be sent to the house of the physician, to inquire the cause of so prolonged an absence. Gomin and Lasne had not yet dared to act according to this advice, when the next day M. Bedault (rue de Bondi 17) who relieved M. Benoist, hearing him on his arrival pronounce the name of M. Desault, said immediately, Don't wait bim any longer, he died yesterday.' This sudden death, under such circumstances opened a vast field of conjecture. There is one which must astonish by its boldness, let us say more justly, by its infamy; they dare assert that M. Desault after having adininistered a slow poison to his patient, had been himsell poisoned by those who had commanded the crime. But the noble life of M. Desault protects him without any doubt against such a calumpy. Other inventors have not feared to say, that M. Desanlt did not recognize in the poor sickly little one in the tower of the Temple, the child so full of strength and grace, whom he had admired more than once in bappier times and in another dwelling; and that it was because he showed an intention of revealing to the government this substitution, that the doctor had been poisoned. This supposition is equally true with the first. M. Desault who had been physician to the royal children, rerer doubted that his young patient was the Dauphin.'
• No notes have been found among the papers of M. Desault upon the visits which he made to the young Prince. From 31 May, the night of his death, to 5th June, i. e., during six days, no assistance from without was given to the prisoner."
And M. Beauchesne, I may add, leaves five of these days without the slightest re
cord of any event whatever, so that here is an interval too long to fill with fictitious circumstances remaining entirely unaccounted for.
"At last on the 17th prairial (5th June), 1795, M. Pelletan, chief surgeon of the Grand Hospital of Humanity, was charged by the committee of General Safety to continue the treatment of the son of Capet. M. Pelletan went to the tower at five in the afternoon, 'I found,' said he, the child in so sad a state, that I asked instantly to have another professional person joined with me, to relieve me from a burden which I did not wish to bear alone.”
Dumangin was accordingly appointed.
I will not pause, however strong the temptation, to examine this narrative, till we have the whole of the facts before us. Pray keep, however, the epoch which has passed separate from that which follows.
Our author having the death of the Dauphin authentically demonstrated, to his own mind, becomes very pathetic as the event approaches, and seems half inclined to set his whole circle of readers weeping beforehand. “I do not seek,” he says, “to cause tears to be shed at his end, which approaches. I know too well that death is an event common to every age, and that it is not without reason that the world has made the coffin and the cradle in the same form and of the same materials."
The Dauphin (as we gather from Beauchesne), from the 5th to the 8th of June, inclusive, as death approached, became very animated, imaginative and talkative. His very looks spoke. As he lay in bed he often cast his eyes to heaven, as if he wished to say, “Lord, thy will be done.” He had no longer any fear of strangers; nay, addressed them first, without waiting to be spoken to. M. Pelletan hav. ing proposed to the commissary his removal to another chamber, he signed to the physician to approach, and with his thoughts all about him said, “Speak lower, I fear they will hear you above, and I should be very sorry they should learn that I am sick, for that would give them much pain." He was removed to another chamber, a sunny cheerful room, on the side of the little tower, “and the air and the sun brought him life, and with life thought, thought which should render his sufferings more cruel and the truth more bitter, thought which should come back with so many memories, and so many apprehensions.” Ilis color was clear, his eye bright, his voice strong. These are remarkable changes; that sunny room worked wonders, but we shall find stranger still before we have done with M. Beauchesne. But notwithstanding the strength of his body, and the brightness of his intellect, he was destined to die, and in the mortal agony it pleased-no—I cannot blaspheme-it pleased therefore let me say-Gomin and Lasne-who narrated to M. Beauchesne what he relates with “scrupuleuse exactitude,” that sounds seraphic should salute his ears, while still retaining the self-possession of undimmed intelli
gence. The death scene is so rich a speci. men of biographic fidelity, and what is called “fine writing,” that I translate it for the benefit of those who wish to share the authentically demonstrated certainty of M. Beauchesne.
“ You will ask, without doubt, what were the last words of the dying. You have heard those of his futher, who, from the height of the scaffold, which his virtue had made a throne, sent pardon to his assassins, You have heard those of his mother, that heroic Queen, who, impatient to quit the earth, where she had suffered so much, prayed the executioner to make haste. You have known those of his aunt, of that Christian virgin, who, with supplicating eye, when they removed her dress to strike her better, asked in the name of modesty, that they would cover her bosom; and now shall I dare to repeat the last words of the orphan?
“Those who received his last sigh, have related them to me, and I come faithfully to inscribe them on the Royal Martyrology.
“Gomin seeing the infant calm, immorable and mnte, said to him, I hope you do not suffer at this moment; 'Oh yes, I suffer still, but much less, the music is so fine.' Now there was no music in the tower or its neighborhood ; no noise from without came at this moment into the tower where the young martyr lay. Gomin astonished said to him, 'In what quarter do you hear this music!'• From above,' “Have you heard it a long time!'.Since you have been on your knees.' And the child raised by a ner. vous movement his failing hand, and opened his great illuminated eyes in ecstasy. His poor guardian not wishing to destroy this sweet and last illusion, set himself to listen also, with the pious desire to hear that which could not be heard.
* Aner some moments of attention the child was again agitated, his eyes flashed, and he cried in indescribable transport, In the midst of all the voices, I have heard that of my mother. This name falling from the lips of the child seemed to take from him all pain. llis contracted eyebrows di-tended and his look was illumined with that serene ray, which gives the certainty of deliverance or of victory, His eye fixed on an invisible spectacle, his ear open to the far-off sound of one of those concerts which the human ear has never heard, his young soul seemed to bluze out with a new existence."
But I must curtail this edifying scene, and come to the end.
** Do you think that my sister could have heard the music? What good it would have done her!' Lane could not reply, a look full of anguish from the dying child darted earnest and piercing towards the window -an exclamation of happiness escaped from his lipsthen looking at his guardian, I have something to tell you ;' Lasne approached and took his hand-the little head of the prisoner fell on the breast of his guardian, who listened, but in vain-God had spared the young martyr the hour of the death rattle, God had preserved for himself alone the confidence of his last thought. Lasne put his hand upon the heart of the child. The heart of Louis XVII. had ceased to beat. It was two hours and a quarter after midnight.”
Some glimpse of the dying scene is necessary to estimate the worth of the certificates. I should like to present the reader Lasne's soliloquy over the dead body. It is a gem of its kind. One sentence I must transcribe.
* An hour passed during which, breathlees, with eyes fixed, without voice I continued near his remains,
That solemn hour had a great influence upon my whole life. A voice had spoken in my heart, to which I had promised to be an honest man."
Then you were not so before, M. Lasne i Honest M. Lasne!
On the 9th June, four surgeons were appointed to open the body, and visited the Temple for this purpose. We give the procès verbal, but it is worthy of remark, as indicating the nervous haste with which the affair was hurried through, that the year is omitted from the date entirely, and that although at the conclusion reference is made to a day and year on which the instrument was written, there are none given.
PROCES VERBAL of the opening of the body of the son of the deceased Louis Capet, drawn up at the Tower of the Temple, at eleven o'clock in the morning of this 21st prairial.
We, the undersigned Jean Baptiste Eugène Dumangin, Physician-in-Chief of the Hospital of the Unity, and Philippe-Jean Pelletan, Surgeon-in-Chief of the Grand Hospital of Humanity, accompanied by the citizens Nicholas Jeanroy, Professor in the Schools of Medicine at Paris, and Pierre Lassos Professor of Legal Medicine in the School of Health at Paris; whom we have joined to ourselves in virtue of a de cree of the Committee of General Safety of the National Convention, dated yesterday, and signed Bergoing, president, Courtois Cauthier, Pierre Guyomard, to the effect that we should proceed together to the opening of the body of the son of the deceased Louis Capet, to declare the condition in wbich we have found it, bave proceeded as follows:
** All four of us having arrived at eleven o'clock in the morning at the outer gate of the Temple, we were received by the Commissaries, who introduced us into the Tower. We proceeded to the second story into an apartment, in the second division of which we found upon a bed the body of a child, who appeared to us about ten years of age, which the Commissaries told us was that of the son of the deceased Louis Capet, and which two among us recognized to be the child of whom they had taken care for some days past. The said Commissaries declared to us that the child died that night about 3 o'clock in the morning, upon which we sought to verify the signs of death, which we found characterized by an universal paleness the coldness of the whole habit of the body, the stiffness of the limbs, the dulness of the eyes, the violet spots common to the skin of a corpse, and above all, by an incipient putrefaction at the stomach, the serotum, and between the thighs.
" We remarked betore proceeding to the opening of the body, a general leanness which was that of mar. asmus, The stomach was extremely swollen and puffed with air. On the inner side of the right knee we remarked a tumor without change of color to the skin; and another tumor, less voluminous, upon the os radius near the wrist of the left side. The tumor of the knee contained about two ounces of a grayish matter, pussy and lymphatic, situated between the periosteum and the muscles, and that of the wrist contained matter of the same kind, but thicker.
“At the opening of the stomach, there tlowed out about a pint of purulent serum, yellow and rery of fensive; the intestines were swollen, pale, and adtering one to another, and also to the sides of the cavity; they were covered with a rat nantity of tubercles of different sizes, and which presented when opened the same matter that was contained in the exterior deposits of the knee and of the wrist.
" The intestines, open throughout their whole extent, were very healthy inwardly, and contained but a
small quantity of bilious matter. The stomach presented to us the same condition-it adhered to all the surrounding parts, was pale outside, covered with small lymphatic tubercles, like those on the surface of the intestines; its inner membrane was sound, also, the pilorus and the omentum, the liver adhiered by its convexity to the diaphragm, and by its concavity to the viscera which it covered, its substance was healthy, its volume ordinary, the vessel of the gall bladder was moderately filled with bile of a yellowish green color. The spleen, the pancreas, the reins and the bladder were sound, the epiploon and mesentery, covered with fat, were filled with lymphatic tubercles, similar to those of which we have spoken. Similar tumors were scattered over the thickness of the peritoneum, covering the inward face of the diaphragm. This muscle was sound.
* The lungs adhered by their whole surface to the pleura, to the diaphragm and to the pericardium; their substance was sound and without tubercles. There were only some ne the tracheal artery and the omentum. The pericardium contained the ordinary quantity of serosity-the heart was pale, but in its natural state. The brain and its dependencies were in their most perfect integrity.
* All the disorders of which we have given the detail, are evidently the effect of a scrofulous disease of a long standing, and to which the death of the child should be attributed.
- The present proces verbal has been made, and signed at Paris, at the said place, by the undersigned, at four hours and a half, in the morning of the day, and year below written.
"J. B. E. DUMAXGIN.
* N. JEANROY." ** This proces verbal was completed in 1817, by M. Pelletan, who made the following declaration.
* I the undersigned, chevalier of the order of the legion of Honor, member of the Royal Academy of Science, professor of the faculty of medicine, certify moreover, that after having cut the cranium transversely, on a level with the orbits, to make the anatomy of the brain in the opening of the body of the son of Louis XVI., which had been assigned to me, I replaced the skull-cap of the cranium, and covered it with four strips of skin which I had separated, and which I sewed together, and that finally, I covered the head with a linen handkerchief, or perhaps with a cotton cap fastened below the chin or at the nape, as is practised in similar cases. This dressing will be found, if it be true that corruption has not destroyed it, but certainly the skull-cap of the cranium still exists enveloped in the remains of those linens, or the cotton cap. “Signed,
PELLETAN." Paris, 17 August, 1817.
M. Pelletan declared still later, that he bad set apart the heart of the Dauphin in the operation of the autopsy, and had carried it away, so as to be able to offer to the royal family this sad and mournful relic of the infant king.
Beside the procès verbal, the documentary proofs of the death of Louis XVII., are the official declaration of Lasne and Gomin, and of two other persons, and certificates written by the said Lasne and Gomin for M. Bea uchesne in 1837 and 1840; that of Lasne being confided to the scented pages of our author's album. Lasne asserts
on his honor, and before God, that the young prince died in his arms" at the time
and place officially specified, and tells us that, having all his life told the truth, he will not lie at its conclusion. Both of the keepers unite in affirming the scrupulous exactness of our author. That these authentic testimonials of asserted facts may make the deepest impression, they are given in the form of fac-similes, after which M. Beauchesne states that Providence preserved the life of the two old men to give light to his researches and present, hour by hour, the bulletins of his dying agony. He then carries us to the grave in the cemetery of l'Eglise St. Marguerite, expresses painful perplexity” as to whether the body was interred by itself or in a common sepulchre, indicates on a map the exact spot of interment, relates all the efforts which Louis XVIII. made to obtain certainty as to the place of burial, and of a certain monument which he intended to erect to the memory of the royal martyr, but which “n'a point été exécuté,” and ends with the Latin epitaph which was to have been inscribed on the said Mausoleum, Memoriæ et cineribus Ludovici XVII."
I would here call attention to one or two singular and suspicious facts.
The royal ordinance, issued in 1816, for the disinterment of the body of Louis XVII., was, without any sufficient reason, revoked, as if it were a matter the king was afraid to meddle with. Again, orders were issued for the removal of the heart, asserted to be in the possession of Pelletan, to St. Denis; but, according to Beauchesne (see appendix). Lasne, who was present at the autopsy, declared that he never left the surgeons for a minute, and that Pelletan did not take the heart out; consequently he was left in possession of the sacred and precious relic, which the royal family did not deign to receive. Now, it is obvious that either Pelletan or Lasne must have lied, and thus either the proces verbal is discredited, or the testimony of Lasne; and the whole affair is left in uncertainty. For myself I believe the statement of Pelletan. And here too, the reader is requested to mark that the whole testimony as to identity resolves itself into the truth or falsehood of declarations made by Lasne and Gomin. To this we have only to add that, according to Beauchesne, the testimony as to the place of interment is equally contradictory; and that to say the least it is singular, that in 1817, after Louis XVIII, was on the throne, he should have thought it necessary to call in the aid of Pelletan to make a further statement, had it not been felt that the procès verbal was transparently defective. In point of fact we know that it never satisfied the great body of legitimists in France; for many of them to this day do not believe the Dauphin died in the Temple.
We are now prepared to consider the authentic demonstration of M. Beauchesne.
He has proved, undoubtedly, that a child died in the Temple 8th June, 1795, and was buried somewhere in the cemetery of l'E
glise St. Marguerite on the 10th June, and all the dependencies of an enfeebled brain we will not dispute the assertion that at nine can be in the most perfect integrity, his o'clock that night "the air was pure, and certificates, and his witnesses, and his senthe golden hues of the luminous vapor timentality, his tears, unbuilt cenotaph, and which crowned that fine evening seemed to Latin epitaph, and even “le cour de l'enretain and to prolong the adieu of the sun.” fant,” of which M. Pelletan says, "je l'enBut I give the follo reasons for deny- veloppai en linge et je la mit dans ma ing entirely that it was Louis XVII. who poche,” and which he afterwards touched then and there died, and was buried. and examined, "avec attention, plus de
I. The surgeons do not testify that it was mille fois,” will be of no avail, and he must the body of the Dauphin which they opened. be forced to confess that a fact may be au
II. Louis XVII. had tumors at all the thentically demonstrated, and yet physijoints, and particularly at the knees. This cally and morally disproved. is a fact, so positively stated by the French The certificates of our author may be officials as to stand beyond reach of contra correctly copied—his reports of converdiction. The tumors were not scrofulous, sations as Lasne testifies, of the most but the result of confinement, and were in scrupuleuse exactitude”—but certificates the shape of knots.
are pieces of paper with ink upon them, The proces verbal speaks of only two and words spoken are sounding breath tumors, one on the inner side of the right and there their worth begins and ends knee and the other near the left wrist. in times and cases on which great issues
III. M. Desault, on 6th May, testified that hang, unless consistent with confessed facts, scrofula had scarcely imprinted its seal on and we have moral confidence in those the constitution of the Dauphin, and that who spoke and wrote. he had merely the gerin of a scrofulous But some possible objections may be affection.
made to this conclusion. It may be said MM. Dumangin, Pelletan, Lassus, and that the number of the swellings was deJeanroy certify that the death of the creased by the frictions and applications child, whose body they examined, was the made by order of Desault, and that he may effect of a scrofulous disease which had ex have been mistaken in his opinion as to the isted for a long time, and the internal con nature of the Dauphin's malady, or that it dition of the body,.so minutely specified by
increased with an unusual rapidity during them, shows how deeply seated the disease the last month of his life. Such objections was in the constitution, so that the whole can never be made by medical men, but it stomach and intestines were covered with is necessary to guard against the possible a great quantity of tubercles, and all the difficulties of others. If the disease were other organs where the disease could man scrofulous, all diminution of the tumors ifest itself, were in the state which showed would imply diminution of the disease, unthe ripeness of the malady unto death.. less, it manifested itself in some other place
IV. All testimony, except that of Lasne of which there is no intimation, and thus and Gomin, proves that, mentally, the Dau the first and the last supposition would be phin was in a condition of imbecility, coinci at entire variance. Again Desault was the dent with his physical prostration, lethargic, most celebrated surgeon of the time in timid, mute, difficult of access, shy of stran France, and it is not conceivable that he gers.
could have erred in opinion in a case of The boy who died, if the whole account such importance, and if his opinion were is not false, was exactly the contrary, for correct, that in the beginning of May, scroward, talkative, animated, imaginative. fula had scarcely imprinted its seal on the
V. Again, let any physician say whether a constitution of the Dauphin; then it is a child in the mental condition in which De physical impossibility that it should attain sault found the Dauphin, could have had its most advanced stage in a month, for not only the brain, but all its dependencies, scrofula, as I am professionally advised, is perfectly healthy, or whether its vessels a disease most slow in its progress, beginwould not have been in a state of tempo ning in the glands, progressing to the skin rary derangement.
and articulations, and gradually taking posThe examining physicians say, “Le cer
session of the intestines and vital organs, veau et ses dependences étaient dans leur nor does it destroy life until the mastery plus parfaite intégrité.
over the last is complete. It would require Now, unless M. Beauchesne can demon years to bring about the state of things strate that a body having tumors at both described in the proces verbal, as being knees, both wrists, and both elbows, is the presented at the autopsy of the asserted same with a body having only two tumors Dauphin, and the declaration of the physiin all, and leaving one knee, two elbows, cians that the disease was of long standing and one wrist, without them; that a child concedes this. who, on the 8th of May, had scarcely a Now, against evidence of this character, taint of scrofula, but whose diseases were proving by undeniable physical differences, caused by confinement, could, on the 8th the non-identity of two bodies, no official of the next month, die of scrofulous disease recognition of identity based on mere casual of long standing; that mental characteris observation, however positively declared, ties the most opposite, are the same, and and however formally certified, can be of any