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DR CORNELIUS HERZ.

A Curious Story.

The following story is given on the j authority of a M, Marius Tallon, who, as ! will be seen, claims to have known the ' mysterious hero of the Panama scandals | intimately for many years. The account is given in Les Patriotes des Ardennes, a provincial French journal. Cornelius Herz is a German only by descent. He ib more an American than anything else, having been born in San Francisco in 1845. His father was a Bavarian, who was a small bookseller at Grenoble. He married there a French Jewess, Adelaide Friedmann, and afterwards emigrated to America. They established a paper business in San Francisco, became fairly well-to-do, and gave their son a good education. After completing his studies at school and the university, Cornelius Herz gained a physician's degree, and went to Heidelberg for the purpose of completing his medical knowledge. Here he worked industriously, and also led a gay life, which he could well afford on the lOCOfr a month sent by his father. Without neglecting his medical studies, he diligently cultivated the fine arts, more especially music, and soon became an admirable pianist. In 1868 bis parents suffered financial ruin, and Cornelius Herz, being thrown on his own resources, was forced to sell all the oh jets d"art — pictures, bronzes, &o , — with which ke had adorned hip chambers at Heidelberg, in order to pay his debts. He then turned his steps towards Paris, whither he proceeded on foot without either luggage or money, begging his way as he went, and finally reached Paris in indescribable misery. Arriving in Paris, broken down by want, he called at the Pharmacie do Bivoli, ab 142, Rue de Bivoli, and begged for employment, He proposed to be of use in this chemist's shop owing to his knowledge of Frenoh and English and his medical experiences. He offered his services, leaving the question of payment to his master to be settled by a valuation of capabilities after duo trial. I was at that time the chief assistant at the Pharmacie. M. Allorge, feeling a certain sympathy for the poor fellow, employed him as attendant to his big Newfoundland dog, as he had no other work to give. I still see, in my mind's eye, Cornelius Herz washing tho dog in the Seine, preparing his dinner, and taking him out for a walk. The dog was as happy as his master, and Cornelius Herz was grateful for the franc he received every day besides his board. A few dayß afterwards my chief went on a visit to his people in the country, and then it was that Herz tod me the story of h's life. " You know," ho concluded, " I do not intend to remain the attendant on a dog all my life. 1 intend to complete my studies and pass my medical examination. If you have any medical books or works dealing with natural science, I implore you tq lond them to me. Electricity intermits me esppojally, an it in the gifoat secret of tho nineteenth century." I lont the few books I possessed to my new friend, in whom I took an interest on account of his remarkable intelligence, an/1 I promised to provide him with more. He then begged for permission to play the piano in the salon of our employer. I raised no objection, and he played by heart pieces by Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Mozart. He drew such lovely sounds from the piano as had never been heard in the salon of M. Allorge. When I told my prinoipal next day of the musical accomplishmentts ftf his dogkeeper h_e was anxjous to hoar him play j $ot Herj declined to appear in his raga, so we clethed him decently, and he delighted overybody by his playing as well as b/ his witty conversation, in which his superior education and abilities were made manifest. , He was ft clever boy ; and the late Inspectorgeneral of the Sanitary department of tho Army, Dr Guyon, took him up, and he and M. Allorge enabled him to continue his medical studies, and to prepare for his final examination, which he passed with credit. He shortly after became a«si9tant physician at Char en ton. Then he married his first wife. This marriage was a great blunder on his part, because bia young wife, although thoroughly respeolable, was much beneath him. She was uneducated, poor, and by trade a llanchisseuse. She was a Catholic and he a Jew. The marriage took place at the American Consulate. I was a witness to the marriage, and Bigned the register, and I recall with amusement the scene of a Catholic being married to a 3,eir before a Protestant ministor and in the presence of atheistical witnesses. Th.o honeymoon was of short deration. The 2C03 and some Hundreds of francs that his wife had saved up from her labors vanished like snow under a spring sun. Horz bought stylish clothes and invested SOOfr in medical instruments. Then began the misery. I and two friends met Herz tome time afterwards 00 the Fqnt

Neuf. fie was in an indescribable state of dilapidation. He had sent his Rosalie to London, where she intended to hire herself out as a general servant. He was hungry. We took him to tho brasserie Le Rendezvous de la Marine and gave him breakfast. Ho did not eat : he simply gorged like a wild animal. Then we eaoh gave him » few sous and parted from him. The events of the Franco-Prussian war separated us, and nobody thought any more of Cornelius Herz ; when one fine morning the Parisian papers annonnced that M. Cornelius Herz had been made a Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour in recognition of his patriotic services, he having with his own money erected and fitted up a camp hospital. This was in 1871 Seven years later we again learned through the press that Herz hod been promoted to the rank of tin officer of the order in consequence of his having instituted a very remarkable eleotrical exhibition. As is well known, he has also attained the rank of a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour in the course of his extraordinary rapid career. Since then I have seen Herz four or five times in Paris. What a change time and circumslancsi have effected in the man ! Was this the dogkeeper? Was this the husband of the washerwoman Rosalie ? Was this my fooddevouring guest at the Rendezvous de la Marine ? My former comrade had become a great man. Politicians, financiers, savants, and merchants followed him like a flock of sheep. He was, and has been up to the time of the Panama disclosures, in his zenith. He told me that after his first wife died in 1871 he hod married again and had a numerous family; that he had worked very hard and had gained for himself considerable riches and a great position in society. Captain Edwin advißes — Indications for frost to-night, and for low tides for 24 hours from noon to-day: In consequence of the sly grog-selling now going on in the district, a constable is stationed permanently at Ohinguti. Mr J. H. Keesing will hold a large clearing sale at his mart to-morrow, at 1.30, consisting of furniture, sundries, cutlery, saddlery, etc. Also a splendid new piano and a good second-hand one. The winter and autumn fashions now being displayed at Mrs Walker's ladies' emporium, are well worth the inspection of the ladies of Wanganui, consisting as they do of all the most fashionable lines, while the show-room it replete with some of the moat reelierehe millinery in the latest Parisian lines. At noon to-morrow Messrs F. R. Jackson and Co. will offer, under instructions from the Deputy Assignee, in the estate of Henry Caddy, the equity of redemption in properties situate in Victoria Avenue and Campbell Street, full particulars of which appear in our advertising columns. The mortgage on No. 1 Property, it may be stated, is in the Wanginui Building Society, and can be redeemed by monthly instalments. The mortgage on No. 2 is for a fixed term. At a very well attended meeting of young men held in St. Paul's Hall last night it was agreed to form an institution to be called " the St. Paul's Literary and General Improvement Society." The objeot of the Society will be to oultivato a closer acquaintance with some of the most interesting and instructive subjects of tho present day combined_ with pleasant entertainment. The meetings will be held fortnightly in St. Paul's Hall, commencing on Monday 10th April, and will be open to everyone of both sexes upon payment of a small subscription. The following were elected officers for the forthcoming session : — President, Rev. James Tread well; vicePresidents, Messrs J. Aitken and T. Raploy ; Secretary, Mr R. Grant ; Treasurer, Mr W. J. Treadwell; Committee, Messrs A. D. Thompson, H. C. Stewart, F. B. Paries and Andrew Roberts; Reporter, Mr F. H. Watts. We wish the new Sooiety, which is entirely undenominational, every success in its efforts to provide pleasurable enjoyment during the coming winter months.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WH18930317.2.30

Bibliographic details

DR CORNELIUS HERZ., Wanganui Herald, Volume XXVII, Issue 8142, 17 March 1893

Word Count
1,524

DR CORNELIUS HERZ. Wanganui Herald, Volume XXVII, Issue 8142, 17 March 1893

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