The American. (Omaha, Nebraska) 1891-1899, April 15, 1898, Image 3

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self. No doubt the old man felt a lively sympathy
for the young priest; but then he was a priest,
and with him would finish the line of llcunepout;
and this immense fortuu. accumulated with so
Uut of all my. fortune, tltere remains to ine a I
sum of fifty thousand crowns, deposited in a I
friend's hands.
I have no longer a son; but 1 have numerous
sum of liftv thousand crowns, divided between
much labor, would either be again distributed, or relations, exiled in various parts of Europe. This
employed otherwise than the testator had desired.
The dill'erent actors in this scene were stauding
rouud the table. As they were about to seat
themselves, at the iuvitation of the notary, Samuel
pointed to the register bond in black shagreen,
aud said: " I was ordered, sir, to deposit here
this register. It is locked I will deliver up the
key, immediately after reading of the will."
" This course is, in fact, directed by the note
which accompanies the will," raid M. Dumesnil,
"as it was deposited, in the year 1082, in the
hands of Master Thomas Le Semelier, king's
counsel, and notary of the Chatelet of Faris, then
living at No. 13, Plate Royale."
So saying, M. Dumesnil drew from a portfolio
of red morocco a large parchment envelope, grown
yellow with time; to this envelope was annexed,
by a silken thread, a note also upon vellum.
"Gentlemen," said the notary, "if you please
to sit down, I will read the subjoined note, to
regulate the formalities at the opening of the
The notary, Rodin, Father d'Aigrigny, and
Gabriel, took seats. The young priest, having
his back tuned to the fireplace, could not see the
two portraits. In spite of the notary's invitation,
Samuel remained standing behind the chair of
J hat functionary, who read as follows:
."'On the 10th February, 1832, my will shall be
carried to No. 3, in the Rue Saint-Francois.
"At ten o clock precisely, tne uoor oi tiie re(
room shall be opened to my heirs, who will no
dolbt have arrived long before at Paris, in an
ticipation of this day, and will have no time to
establish their line of descent.
"'As soon as they are assembled, the will sha
be read, and, at tbe last stroke o! noon, the in
heritance shall be finally settled in favor of those
of my kindred, who, according to my recom
mendation (preserved, I hope, by tradition in my
family, during a century-and a half), shall pre
sent themselves in person, and not by agents
before twelve o'clock, on thelSth of February, in
the Rue Saint-Francois.'"
Having read these words in a sonorous voice
the notary stopped an instant, and resumed, in a
solemn tone: ' M. Gabriel Francois Marie de
Rennepont, priest, having established, by lega
documents, ins descent on the lather s side, and
his relationship to the testator, and being at this
the only one of the descendants of the Rennepont
family here present, I open the testament in his
presence, as has been ordered."
So saying, the notary drew from its envelope
the will, which had been previously opened by
tie President of the Tribunal, with the formali
lies required by law. Father d'Aigrigny leaned
forward, and resting his elbow on the table
seemed to pant lor breath, uabriel prepared
himself to listen with more curiosity than inter
est. Rodin was seated at some distance from the
table, with his old hat between his knees, in the
bottom of which, half hidden by the folds of a
shabby blue cotton handkerchief, he had placed
his watch. The attention of the socius was di
vided between the least noise from without, and
the slow evolution of the hands of the watch
winch lie louoweu with his imie, wratniui eye
as if hastening their progress, so great was his
impatience for the hour noon.
The notary, unfolding the sheet of parchment
read what follows, in the midst of profound atten
Ilanieau de Villetai euse,
" 'February 13th, 1082.
"'I am about to escape, by death, from tbe dis
grace of the galleys, to which the implacable
enemies of my family have caused me to be con
demned as a relapsed heretic.
Moreover, life is too buter for me since the
death of my son, the victim of a mysterious
At nineteen years of age poor Henry! and
his murderers unknown no, not unknown if I
may trust my presentiments.
To preserve my fortune for my son, I had
feigned to abjure the Protestant faith. As long
as that beloved boy lived, I scrupulously kept up
Catholic appearances. The imposture revolted
me, but the interest of my son was concerned.
When they killed him, this deceit became in
supportable to me. I was watched, accused, and
condemned as relapsed. My property has been
confiscated, and I am sentenced to the galleys.
'Tis a terrible time we live in! Misery and
servitude! sanguinary despotism and religious in
tolerance! Oh, it is sweet to abandon lifel sweet
to,rest, and see no more such evils and such sor
rows! In a few hours, I shall enjoy that rest. I shall
die. Let me think of those who will survive or
rather, of those who will live perhaps in betier
. . USE . .
Ack your Gwr Ut It an 1 If ho does
Dot hate It. I t'T OUT thU ilrL
mm l tod have him r!r It for you
We manufacture, the ( Howing b'audt
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Floating soap.
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west (no. PiTTftmianu pa
them, would profit each of them verv
have disposed of it differently.
T 1 i . a m
in mis i nave loiioweu tne wise counsels oi a
man, w hom 1 venerate as the image of God on
earth, for his intelligence, wisdom, and goodness
are almost divine.
Twice in the course of my life have I seen this
man, under very fatal circumstances twice have
I owed him saletv, once of the soul, once of the
b dy.
4 111 . t
Aias. ne migni perhaps have saved niv poor
child, but lie came too late too late!
Before he left me, he wished to divert me from
the intention of dying for he knew all. Rut his
voice was powerless. My grief, my regret, my
discouragement, were too much for him.
ii is strange: wnen lie was convinced of my
resolution to finish my days by violence, some
words of terrible bitterness escaped him, making
me believe that he envied me my fate niv
Is he perhaps condemned to live?
1 es; he has, no doubt, condemned himself to
be useful to humanity, and vet life is heavy on
him, for I heard him repeat one day, with an ex
pression of cespair and weariness that I have
never forgotten: 1 Life! life! who will deliver me
from it?'
Is life then so very burdensome to him?
lie is gone. His last words have made me
look for my departure with serenity. Thanks to
him, my death shall not be without fruit
1 hanks to hun, these lines, written at this
moment by a man who, in a few hours, will have
ceased to live, may perhaps be the parents of
great things a century and a half hence yes!
great and noble things; if my hist will is piouslv
followed by my descendants, for it is to them
that I here address myself.
That they may understand and appreciate this
last will which I commend to tbe unborn, who I IWI v-U o v- HTckilz-vv
1(r luoi oiicbii u i auui
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dwell in the future whither I am hastening
they must know the persecutors of my family and
avenge their ancestor, but with a noble ven
My grandfather was a Catholic. , Induced by
perfidious counsels rather than religious zeal, he
attached himself, though a layman, to a Society
whose power lias always been terrible and
mysterious the Society of Jesus "
At these words of the testament, Father d'Ai
grigny, Ivodin, and uabriel looked involuntarily
at eac h other. I he notary, who had not per
ceived this action, continued to read:
"Aiier some years, during which he had never
ceased to piofess the most absolute devotion
to this Society, he was suddenly enlitrhtened bv
tearful revelations as to the secret ends it pur
sued, and the means it employed.
litis was in 1610, a month before the assassin
ation of Henry IV.
My grandfather, terrified at the secret of which
he had become the unwilling depository, and
win h Avas to be fully explained by the death of
the Lett of kings, not only broke with the Society,
but, as if Catholicism itself had been answerable
for the crimes of its members, he abandoned the
Romish religion, in which he hail hitherto lived
and bcame a Protestant.
Undeniable proofs, attesting the connivance of
i . . 1 . . i r i i t mi
iwu memoers oi me uompany wiin liavaiuac, a
connivance also proved m the case of Jean
Chatel, the regicide, were in my grandfather's
riiis was the first cause of the violent hatred of
the Society for our family. Thank Heaven
these papers huve been placed in safety, and if
my last will is executed, will be found marked
A. m, (j. 1). (.. in the ebonv casket m the hal) of
mourning, in the house in the Rue Saint Fran
My father was also exposed to these secret per
secutions. ll;s ruin, and perhaps his death,
would have been the consequence, had it not
een for the intervention of an angelic woman,
towards whom he felt an almost religious veneration.
The portrait of this woman, whom I saw a few
years ago, as well as that ot the man whom 1 hold
in the greatest reverence, were painted by me
from memory, and have been placed iu the red
room in the Rue Saint Francois to be gratefully
alued, 1 hope, by the descendants of my
I . I 4 4 111 11
r or some moments uaonei nau necome more
and more attentive to the reading of this testa
ment. He thought within himself by how strange
a coincidence one of his ancestors had two cen
turies before broken with the Society of Jesus, as
ie himself had just done; and that from this
rupture, two centuries old, dated also that species
of hatred with which the Society of Jesus had
always pursued his family. Nor did the young
priest find it less strange that this inheritance.
transmitted to him after a lapse of a hundred and
ntty years from one of his kindred (the victim of
the bociety of Jesus), should return by a volun
tary act to the coffers of this same society. When
the notary read the passage relative to the two
portraits, Gabriel, who, like Father d'Aigrieny.
sat with his back toward the nirtnrps tnmorl
look at them. Hardly had the missionary cast
hia eyes on the portrait of the woman, than he
uttered a loud cry of surprise, and almost terror.
he. notary paused in his readme, and looked un
easily at the young priest.
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