MADAME CALVE AND A FAMOUS OCULIST.
DISCOVERED THE PASSION OF HIS
LIFE UNDER THE : SHADOW OF THE SPHINX.
Pahis, March 6.—M. Jules Bois, the famous occultist, since the announcement of his engagement with Mme. Emma Calve, has been the victim of a process which has caused him considerable suffering. Every post brought him newspaper clippings, in which the daring nature of the letterpress was only excelled by the extraordinary illustrations.
Figures of Mephistopheles holding dripping daggers, black-bearded Cagliostros wending out floods of electric fluid in the direction of their possible victims, filled the pages, which weird headlines in the Gothic black letter of mediaeval times were scattered throughout the letterpress to give it the air of the mysticism of the Middle Ages. Gibbering demons and long-tailed representations of his satanic majesty were freely used as vignettes and tail pieces a word, nothing was left undone to create tlie, idea that M. Jules Bois is a sort of twentieth century Nostradamus.
At first M. Jules Bois supported this with a certain amount of philosophy. He remembered "il fruit tout prendre an sericux, mais dien an tragique." But when the legend kept on growing he desired to lake some steps to put a stop to it. " I paid but little attention to it at first," he said, but I finally saw that if nothing was done to stop it ray reputation as a literary man and as a gentleman must suffer. 1 was represented as a sort of charlatan of the black art, who has used my magic influence to ensnare Mme Calve in my toils. The great singer was represented as fading a- victim to an envontement exercised by me against her will.
"Jks you know, such a description is ridiculous in the extreme. I am still what I always was, a journalist lecturer and man of letters, whose only ambition is to make what reputation I . may by good work in the domain of letters. My engagement with Mine. Calve has changed nothing in Hie simplicity of my life. I have as little desire for wealth and luxury as ever I
id. The life of a literary man requires a calm retreat, regularity of work, and seriousness in all his actions. I will continue my literary labours and she her career as a -great singer. My only ambition is to bring to her a reputation as a man of letters and philosopher.
" When our marriage takes placeand this is an honour which I never hoped and which will be decided on by Mme. Calve it will be purely one of love and affection, and will take place under the regime of ' separation de biens,' its it is known in French law. This condition war, insisted on by me. I do not wish to be regarded as a sort of modern Cagliostro."
M. Jules Bois, it is true, has investigated and written much on occultism, but in the spirit of pure research, from a purely philosophical standpoint. M. Jules Bois' work did not meet with the approval of the leaders of occultism, and he even fought two duels with two of the most prominent of them.
"Under these circumstances you can imagine how unpleasant it is to me to be represented as a sort of professional medium, a charlatan of the black art, especially when these accusations are brought into connection with a lady I respect as I do Mme. Oulve. Our story is romantic enough, I admit; but there is nothing in it of magic of any kind, unless it is the magic exercised by a great and generous artiste such as Mme. Calve."
And in truth the story of the love idyll of M. Jules Bois and the great singer is romantic to a degree. It was told Jto a correspondent by one of the party on the journey to the East during which 'it began.
"The first meeting of M. Jules Bois with Mme. Calve," he said, "was some years ago at the now dead and gone Bodinere, in the Rue Salnt-Lazare, when she attended one of his lectures. Some time after he again met her at the house of an officer of the Ecole Polytechnique, who was also an investigator of occultism. But these meetings, though they served to make M. Jules Bois and Mme. Calve acquainted, were only of the ordinary kind of people moving in the same social circle. " The means by which they were brought closer together were such as would induce the most sceptical to believe in predestination. Some two years ago the famous Hindoo fakir Swnmi Vivekananda came to
'siris, in company with a well-known American family of New York. Swami Vivekananda sought out M. Jules Bois, and the two became such excellent friends that the Hindoo asked permission to come and share his apartment in Montrogue, the simple fashion in which it was installed suiting his somewhat eccentric nature better than the luxurious home of his American friends.
"Through Swami Vivekananda M. Jules Bois became acquainted with his American friends, and at their house he had frequent occasion of meeting Mme. Calve. The intimacy grew, and when the American family proposed to make a tour in the Mast M. Jules Bois was invited to form one of the party. Its composition made it one of the most extraordinary and interesting ever formed. It consisted of the American family, a Russian princess, Swami Vivekananda, the Hindoo fakir; M. Loyson (Father Hyacinthe) and Mme. Loyson, M. Jules Bois, and Mme. Calve.
" The first halting-place of the travellers was at Constantinople. Thence they proceeded to Athens. It was here, on the occasion of a visit to the Parthenon, that M. Jules Bois' ever-growing sympathy for Mme. Calve first became a deeper feeling. The party had visited the noble ruins, and Mme. Calve added to the charm of the impression by singing to her friends amid .the glories of ancient Greece.
" Prom Athens the party went to Alexandria and Cairo, and it was under t-ue magic of a visit to the pyramids, when M. Jules Bois and Mme. Calve wan'ered together in the shadow of the great Sphinx, that the former finally felt that he had met his fate, and that the great singer had awakened the passion of his life. But though he was thus deeply moved, he had made no declaration of' his passion, and when Mme. Calve, a few hours later, was called back to France by the alarming illness of her mother, he saw her depart with despair. "For a long time he struggled against his feelings and determined to leave for India, there to seek oblivion. He travelled far and wide, from Calcutta to the Khyber Pass, visiting all the sacred places of India rendered familiar to him by his researches into Hindoo occultism. " One of the signs of the apparently fateful inlluence which presided over this romance is that Swami Vivekananda died shortly after the engagement. He had long been ill, and it seemed as if he only lived till he had been assured the happiness of Mme. Calve and her fiance At Lahore M. 'Bois fell ill, and for weeks lav between life and death. As soon as he was sufficiently recovered to travel he left for Europe, proceeding to Italy. "At Rome M. Jules Bois,' who had been excommunicated for having fought two duels, and whose books had beeen placed on the index, made his peace with the Church and had a long interview with the ope, the account of which caused considerable sensation at the time of its publication. The Pope declared to him that his benediction would bring him happiness, and in effect a. few weeks later Mme Calve called M. Jules Bois to her in London. Here his fate was decided, and a few days later he and Mme. Calve were formally engaged, and the idyll betflm under the shadow of the Parthenon ana the Sphinx found its close in the modern Babylon."
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MADAME CALVE AND A FAMOUS OCULIST., New Zealand Herald, Volume XL, Issue 12266, 9 May 1903, Supplement
MADAME CALVE AND A FAMOUS OCULIST. New Zealand Herald, Volume XL, Issue 12266, 9 May 1903, Supplement
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