Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/540

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442 NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 s . x. TUNE to, 1022. France and Spain. The post which I now occupy and which is but enhanced by the confidence reposed in me by Monseigneur, makes this affair j one in the public interest. It is to the honour of j the State that the ancestry of the servants of the j Princes should be established by authentic | evidence such as I have not failed to supply. J. P. Mara, dit Marat. The date and result of this application are not recorded, but it appears that arms, sur- mounted by a Count's coronet, were for a time actually used by Marat, and a seal of the same character affixed by him to several letters (Vellay, p. 88 ; Cabanes, pp. 93-6). Thus favourably launched, let us see how Jean Paul fares in the coveted milieu of aristocratic Paris. Here, again, unfortu- nately, there occurs a sharp conflict between his own and his biographers' claims on the one hand, and the sober chronicle of facts on the other. To believe Jean Paul, his success was immense. On one occasion he states that " he could not possibly attend all the consultations to which he was daily sum- moned." On another, that the fame of the sensational cures I had effected attracted a prodigious crowd of invalids. My door was constantly besieged by the carriages of patients who arrived from all parts to consult me. From the number of hopeless cases I relieved I came to be called the Doctor of the Incurables. . . . My good fortune, however, gave umbrage to the practitioners of the Faculty, who calculated with pain the magnitude of my receipts, and held frequent consultations as to the most effectual means of defaming me. (Letter to St. Laurent, Nov. 20, 1783.) His chroniclers, though rather more re- strained, are not less confident. He moved, they allege, in the most fashionable Parisian society, his practice was extremely successful, and " there can be no doubt," one of them concludes, " that he made sufficient money by his profession to enable him to retire from Court with a competence in 1783 " (Morse Stephens, Pall Mall Magazine, September, 1896). Now there appear to be very few trust- worthy sources of information relating to Jean Paul's medical career in Paris, but such as there are tell a somewhat different tale. It is quite probable that, enjoying the advan- tage of a Court appointment, he did, at the outset, succeed in acquiring a fairly numer- ous and lucrative clientele. But the tide must soon have begun to turn, for as early as December, 1777, records exist of proceed- ings taken by him against a certain Count Zabielo for assault, from which it appears that Marat had for some time been attending a lady of the Count's household for pul- monary trouble, though without success, and that when he called for his fees, amount- ing to a considerable sum, the Count, with the help of his lackey, had him ejected and declined to pay his bill (Cabanes, pp. 500-9). Again, early in 1778 we find him constrained to repel divers professional attacks, some of which charge him with being an upstart advertising talents he does not possess, and others with being an impostor vaunting suc- cesses he never obtained (Vellay, p. 281). A few years later he has to confess to Brissot liis disappointments, his difficulties with the official world, and the frigid reception his advances had met with from the Academy, adding that he had made up his mind to abandon medicine, which in Paris was merely the profession of a charlatan. In spite of this determination, however, Brissot tells us that he still continued, from time to time, to vend various tinctures and specifics of which he guaranteed the efficacy ('Me- moirs,' vol. i., pp. 336-9) ; an occupation that, according to an old print reproduced by Dr. Cabanes, he is also alleged to have practised in the streets of Metz. Next we hear of his, borrowing money from a patient, and thanking him effusively for the loan (Vellay, p. 282) ; while, apparently about the same period, Brissot describes him as reduced to poverty and living miserably. This is corroborated by other writers, one of whom speaks of him as an obscure physician living in Paris partly on charity and partly at the expense of any dupes he could make (Pages, ' Hist. Secrete de la Rev. Fr.,' vol. ii., p. 19) ; and another, as subsisting chiefly on what he could earn by hawking " uni- versal remedies " (Montjoie, ' Conjuration de d' Orleans,' ii., p. 154). Then we have Jean Paul's letter, written about 1782/3 to Brissot, who was in London at the time, intimating that his affairs had begun to take a favourable turn, but that if the improvement was not maintained, he had resolved to join his friend in England (Vellay, p. 10). That the improvement was not maintained is clear from the efforts he made in 1783 to obtain an academical post in Madrid, efforts that were soon to be frustrated. Indeed, in November, 1783, we find him writing that although, on coming to Paris, his friends had assured him of good fortune, he had in fact encountered nothing but " outrages, chagrins, and tribu- lations " (ibid., p. 28). Turning to the purely scientific side of his career, the results were scarcely more