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them, though there was no slight risk of war at one time.
The crown and end of Talleyrand's work in England came in April, 1834, when he signed the alliance between England, France, Spain, and Portugal. In August of that year he left England, and shortly afterwards resigned his position of ambassador. A number of reasons for this step are assigned in his letters at the time, though his age and the completion of his work at London by an alliance might be deemed sufficient. To Lady Jersey he spoke of a personal affliction, which is surmised to have been the death of the Countess Tyszkiewitz. To Mme. Adélaide he complained of his growing infirmity of the legs, and the behaviour of Palmerston; and also that her son, the Duc d'Orléans, had been telling his own English guests at Valençay that he was past work. He declared to Von Gagern that he "only quitted affairs because there were none to attend to "; while to the King he explained that he had now secured "the right of citizenship" for France in Europe, and his work was over. All these motives influenced him, no doubt; but there was another one, of some interest. He had witnessed at London the growing agitation for reform, and completely failed to appreciate it. As the agitation wore on, he spoke moodily of the state of France in 1789. The convocation of the first reformed parliament in 1833 he described as "the States-General of London." He was too old to understand the new movement, to see a permanent and proper advance
beneath all the menacing clamour. England was no longer "so rich and peaceful." He wrote slightingly to the King of her value to France, and thought rather of a coalition of Europe against what he thought to be a rising tide of anarchy.
He resisted, therefore, the kindly pressure of the King and retired to Valençay. "There is," he wrote to a correspondent, "an interval between life and death that should be employed in dying decently." There still remained three or four years of life. It is said that he offered to go as ambassador to Vienna in 1835, but Louis-Philippe was apprehensive of advances being made to him by the Bourbons. In that year were published, in the Revue des Deux Mondes, George Sand's outrageous Lettres d'un voyageur. Imagining her traveller to stand by moonlight before the chateau of Valençay, she puts into his mouth some of the most repulsive calumnies against Talleyrand, as the silhouetted forms appear at the windows. The subject of her ridiculous nightmares was then an old man in his eighty-first year, peacefully concluding his memoirs and passing the last slow days in the company of the Duchess of Dino and her young daughter, Pauline. Maubreuil was hardly less chivalrous. George Sand was a not distant neighbour, and her description of his "daily round may be less imaginative. He rose at eleven, and spent three or four hours (?) in the hands of his valets. At three he had a drive round the park with his doctor, and at five enjoyed "the most succulent and artistic dinner in
France." After a few words to his family, he would drive in the park again until eleven, and then work in his own room until five o'clock. Visitors still made their pilgrimages to Valençay. We find Sir Robert and Lady Peel there in 1836. His mind is described as retaining its vigour and perspicacity, but by the end of 1835 loss of power in the legs began to foreshadow the end. His temperate habits had their reward in good general health. It is said that after death his organs— apart from the local trouble-were found to be singularly sound for an octogenarian.
On his eighty-third birthday he wrote a few lines. that reveal the pain and weariness that were growing on him. He concluded a rather gloomy summary of his long life with the words: "What result from it all but physical and moral exhaustion, a complete discouragement as to the future and disdain for the past." On that day he had asked Dupanloup to dinner, but the rector of Saint Sulpice pleaded his work in excuse. "He does not know his business," said Talleyrand with a smile. For some time the Prince had been importuned from many sides to make his peace with the Church. It is said that on one occasion at Valençay he incautiously asked the little Pauline one Sunday where she had been. "I have been to mass," she said, "to pray the good God to give you better sentiments." The Duchess of Dino was deeply anxious to see him reconciled. Letters reached him from very old friends with the same aim. Royer-Collard advised it. The Archbishop of Paris,