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his master dared not to own the almost total revelation just made to his daughter-in-law, returned to his service. Several weeks passed, when one morning, this domestic made his appearance, when M. de M was rising, but pale, and his body racked with crvel pains.

"In the name of God," he cried, "send to seek Monsieur the Attorney General of the Parliament, M. the civil Lieutenant and the Lieutenant-General of police, I have to make before them a declaration of great importance. Hasten, I am rapidly dying, a strong antidote suspends, but cannot destroy the horrible venom which kills me."


These words astonished M. de M- he went out himself, whilst his brother watched by Saint Jean at the request of the latter, who conjured him not to leave him alone with any person, no matter who it might be, Saint Jean asks "where is Madame de Vartelle ?"

"At the church" they say to him, "it is her sacrament day, she communicates." Saint Jean at this answer had two or three bursts of sardonic laughter. The magistrate, too anxious to explain the mystery that surrounds him, brings not only the high persons named, but also Monsieur le President and two of the gentlemen whom he had found with the Attorney General. It is before this grave tribunal that Saint Jean relates the following facts. Madame de Vartelle, who hated her husband, wished at the same time to augment her fortune immensely, and to become a widow, in order to get married again to a duke, who loved her in secret, but who still would not consent to be united to her, unless she became exceedingly rich. To accomplish this double object she should manoeuvre to combine in her son's person all the successions of his progenitors, and to rid herself of her husband. In consequence she applied herself to the study of poisons, and first of all, to cast off the suspicions that might be thrown on the interior of the house, she got written for the sum of five louis, by a clerk of the cemeteries des Innocens, whom Saint Jean named, and who too late was brought forward and confronted with the culprit, the letter which puzzled M. de M so much. Then having gained over Saint Jean, it was easy for them both to dispose in turn of all their victims. It was she who, taking advantage of the circumstance, poisoned the figs bought by her husband in the time the former took to go to his father.


leaving the house, by a door which opened into a neighbouring street, she had gone to await at church the finale of this daring act; meanwhile, the more the crimes increased in this house, the less Saint Jean was reconciled to it, knowing that he would perish if he accused his accomplice; and besides not having any convicting proof to show against her, he invented the story of the apparition of his former master. He even went so far as to strike his body violently with sticks to impose on M. de M——. He knew that this abominable woman, having at her disposal the first heir of this family, would not kill him, until he had inherited of his relatives and his grandfather, for then her son, after him, would be found the only representative of the male branches, but hardly would so much wealth be come to him, than his mother would spoil him of it to gather it to herself: now in effecting the disappearance of the young Exupère de Niore, Providence caused to be born so unfortunately for the success of her infernal conspiracies, they rendered vain and useless the murder of M. de M- and his sister. Madame de Vartelle, wishing that the suspicions of the daring blow that would make her father-in-law and Madame d'Orgerel perish in the explosion of a mine, should not reach her, arranged this crime with no less skill that the others. The unhappy waiting woman of Madame d'Orgerel, stupified with opium, had been carried from her bed during the night, by this fury herself, and thrown, struck by several blows of a dagger to the heart, into a subterranean pit opening into one of the cellars of the house, where they found her. She arranged then, in her own chamber, the artificial mine to which she set no light, and which found there, made it to be thought she was to have perished herself. It was her hand set fire to the apparatus, the result of which caused the death of Madame d'Orgerel. Saint Jean before his departure knew nothing of this, but on his return, this female parricide seeking to gain him anew, had given him this last confidence.

Enraged at not being able to learn, either from M. de M-, or Saint Jean, where the child was hidden, the chief object for her, she was determined to be rid of her accomplice, in the hope that with him would be lost all trace of her nephew, or at least that the possession of the estate might be contested with the child. Saint Jean, who distrusted her, no

longer took his meals in the house, he could not conceive how she would manage to make him take poison.

On the morning of this day he found that he was dying. At once he had swallowed a strong antidote, not powerful enough to save him, but which retarded his death, so that it did not come till after vengeance. This man indicated the places where they would find the remains of the poisons and diabolical machines which Madame de Vartelle had used. He named the druggists, jews, and apothecaries who had furnished the first materials, and then he made known where they would seize papers which would fully inform his auditors.

Shortly after Saint Jean's death drew near and he expired when this sacrilegious woman re-entered the house coming from the Carmelites, where she had dared to go to communion. Arrested unexpectedly, brought to a remote prison under an assumed name, she could not survive her shame, she hung herself with a silk pocket handkerchief, and must have suffered frightful agony before she expired, for she had struggled violently with death, as the numerous bruises which covered her body proved.

This occurrence, horrible in the circumstances, occupied the police very much, it was the cause of an increase of the prosecutions and inquiries directed against the poisoners of both sexes, who seemed willing to revive the fatal epochs of Brinvilliers and la Voisin. The attention they gave to this event led to the discovery of an odious conspiracy against the royal family, and in favor of the house of Orleans.

Before the reader exclaims against this accusation so often advanced in history, and which is looked upon so willingly as a manoeuvre of party hatred, he should reflect on these sad words of M. de Sartines

"When a murder, when a poisoning occurs, the shortest way, with an efficient police, would be to arrest immediately all the relatives of the victim. The calumnies, the quarrels, and the lawsuits of which the family is generally or secretly the theatre, show sufficiently by the scandal of their evidence, that it is to this source one must go to enquire into the causes of mysterious events and horrible catastrophes. The family lives among us under the protection of a virtuous name which the magistracy tremble to suspect, the family is a collection of crimes, a storehouse of infamy. The hypocrisy of the false

caresses which are here lavished, surpass our utmost imaginations. They might found pathetic romances on this basis. In a family of twenty persons, the police should place forty spies."

We have now laid before our readers the principal materials which, in our opinion, suggested the leading incidents of the Count of Monte Cristo. In our narratives we have perhaps, forgotten the duties of the critic, but our readers will recollect that explanation rather than criticism was promised when the articles on the "Romance of Life" were commenced. We have derived great satisfaction in our progress through the parterres of imagination in which Dumas has cultivated such choice flowers, and it is our hope that our readers may be pleased with our indication of the seed from which such a splendid crop has been raised. When next we seek to occupy their attention. it shall be in reference to the productions of one who either as a novelist or historian has won ample laurels, the highly gifted JAMES. We forbear quoting the peculiar sources from whence we have derived the details of this article, for peculiar reasons which at a future period may cease to


F. T. P.



The Life, Times, and Cotemporaries of Lord Cloncurry, embracing the period from 1775, to 1853; with a selection from his hitherto unpublished correspondence. By William John Fitzpatrick, Esq., M.R.D.S. Dublin: Duffy. 1855. EVEN before reading this book, we were inclined to consider its author an honest Irishman. Our reason for this favorable conjecture was, that this life of Lord Cloncurry was abused by all parties. Conservatives think Mr. Fitzpatrick a leveller. Old Ireland cannot pardon him, because he gives Young Ireland credit for anything under heaven; and Young Ireland proclaims him a triminer who has done injustice to the best men of its party. We have ever been of opinion, that a really honest and sincere man, who pins the salvation of his country not on any particular party, and sees not every man and every measure through the same glass as his political leaders, but looks, and judges, and speaks for himself, of both men and measures, will for many a year to come, be looked upon with distrust by all parties, and offending each in turn, will find himself denounced for his back-sliding, without getting credit for the good he has done, or even for the services he may have rendered to either party when he thought their objects were useful. Such a man was Lord Cloncurry, and we think his biographer has brought to his task a congenial spirit. We have been pleased by this book, we think that a great deal of time and care have been spent in collecting its materials, it is written in an agreeable style, and for these reasons we shall not criticize the book with a severity to which Mr. Fitzpatrick has occasionally left himself open. Although we shall leave to others the ungracious task, for which it is said critics have such a fancy, of tearing a writer to pieces, we cannot close our eyes to the fact, that there are, in the volume before us, some grave errors of taste, which we are sure none will judge more severely than Mr. Fitzpatrick himself, when he shall have become more experienced as a writer of Biography: a character in which we hope frequently to meet him, but he must bear in mind, that the age of tropes and metaphors has past. Fine writing

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