Death of Jasmin--his character.

Jasmin's Illness from Overwork and Fatigue-- Last Poem to Renan-- Receives the Last Sacrament-- Takes Leave of his Wife-- His Death, at Sixty-five-- His Public Funeral-- The Ceremony-- Eulogiums-- M. Noubel, Deputy; Capot and Magen-- Inauguration of Bronze Statue-- Character of Jasmin-- His Love of Truth-- His Fellow-Feeling for the Poor-- His Pride in Agen-- His Loyalty and Patience-- Charity his Heroic Programme-- His long Apostolate

After his final recitation at Villeneuve, Jasmin, sick, ill, and utterly exhausted, reached Agen with difficulty. He could scarcely stand. It was not often that travelling had so affected him; but nature now cried out and rebelled. His wife was, of course, greatly alarmed. He was at once carefully put to bed, and there he lay for fifteen days.

When he was at length able to rise, he was placed in his easy chair, but he was still weak, wearied, and exhausted. Mariette believed that he would yet recover his strength; but the disease under which he laboured had taken a strong hold of him, and Jasmin felt that be was gradually approaching the close of his life.

About this time Renan's 'Life of Jesus' was published. Jasmin was inexpressibly shocked by the appearance of the book, for it seemed to him to strike at the foundations of Christianity, and to be entirely opposed to the teachings of the Church. He immediately began to compose a poem, entitled The Poet of the People to M Renan,1 in which he vindicated the Catholic faith, and denounced the poisonous mischief contained in the new attack upon Christianity. The poem was full of poetic feeling, with many pathetic touches illustrative of the life and trials of man while here below.

The composition of this poem occupied him for some time. Although broken by grief and pain, he made every haste to correct the proofs, feeling that it would probably be the last work that he should give to the world. And it was his last. It was finished and printed on the 24th of August, 1864. He sent several copies to his more intimate friends with a dedication; and then he took finally to his bed, never to rise again. "I am happy," he said, "to have terminated my career by an act of faith, and to have consecrated my last work to the name of Jesus Christ." He felt that it was his passport to eternity.

Jasmin's life was fast drawing to a close. He knew that he must soon die; yet never a word of fear escaped his lips; nor was his serenity of mind disturbed. He made his preparations for departure with as much tranquillity and happiness, as on the days when he was about to start on one of his philanthropic missions.

He desired that M. Saint-Hilaire, the vicar of the parish, should be sent for. The priest was at once by the bedside of his dying friend. Jasmin made his replies to him in a clear and calm voice. His wife, his son, his grand-children, were present when he received the Viaticum--the last sacrament of the church. After the ceremony he turned to his wife and family, and said. "In my last communion I have prayed to God that He may keep you all in the most affectionate peace and union, and that He may ever reign in the hearts of those whom I love so much and am about to leave behind me." Then speaking to his wife, he said, "Now Mariette,--now I can die peacefully."

He continued to live until the following morning. He conversed occasionally with his wife, his son, and a few attached friends. He talked, though with difficulty, of the future of the family, for whom he had made provision. At last, lifting himself up by the aid of his son, he looked towards his wife. The brightness of love glowed in his eyes; but in a moment he fell back senseless upon the pillow, and his spirit quietly passed away.

Jasmin departed this life on the 5th of October, 1864, at the age of sixty-five. He was not an old man; but the brightest jewels soonest wear their setting. When laid in his coffin, the poem to Renan, his last act of faith, was placed on his breast, with his hands crossed over it.

The grief felt at his death was wide and universal. In the South of France he was lamented as a personal friend; and he was followed to the grave by an immense number of his townspeople.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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