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The following article concerning Dumas' death, appeared in the January 28, 1871 Every Saturday newspaper. In the same article appeared a note "Alexandre Dumas fils has been so affected by his father's death that he talks of retiring from literature altogether."


Portrait of Alexandre Dumas WE print on the first page of the present number a portrait of the great romance writer and dramatist, whose death is an event of so much importance as to cause a profound sensation even in the midst of the desperate struggle now in progress abroad. M. Dumas came of a strangely mingled stock, which may account for the originality of his genius. His grandfather, the Marquis de Pailleterie, belonged to the old noblesse of France, his grandmother was a St. Domingo negress. His father, M. Alexandre Davy Dumas, served with distinction in the wars of the First Napoleon, but after his death his family seems to have fallen into comparative poverty. The subject of our present memoir was born at Villers-Cotterets, near Soissons, in 1803, and might have been consigned to a lot of utter obscurity but for the kindness of General Foy. The young Dumas possessed an accomplishment which is not always associated with literary genius, —he wrote an excellent hand, and thus obtained a clerkship in the office of the Duke of Orleans's secretary, with a salary of about £ 50 a year. England may claim the honor of first stimulating his genius. He had already written a forgotten volume called "Nouvelles," but it was the sight of Charles Kemble in Hamlet which set him in the path of success. He determined to write a drama free from the icy trammels of classicism. His Henri III. et sa Cour was received with unbounded applause, the audience thinking fit to compliment the author by hooting Racine. Hereupon followed a succession of plays: Charles VII., Christine, Antony, Richard Darlington, Thérèse, Angela, all of which were equally successful. As a novelist M. Dumas attained no less celebrity. Who has not read "Monte Cristo" and the "Three Musketeers" with its continuations, "Twenty Years After" and the "Vicomte de Bragolonne," and who can grow weary of that wonderful "Edmond Dantès," or of those glorious adventurers, D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis?
    During the heyday of his popularity M. Dumas earned an income of £ 30,000 a year. He wrote five feuilletons at once for five French papers. He kept a staff of subordinates, who filled up the rough sketches of his plots. In short, he was the fly-wheel of an unequalled machine for grinding out fiction by the bushel. Unfortunately, the same vivid imagination which enabled him to portray all these wonderful romances led him into all sorts of extravagances. He endeavored to live the magnificent life which he attributed to his hero Monte Cristo, and thus he was always in pecuniary difficulties.
    The other facts in M. Dumas's career may be briefly told. He obtained the July Cross for his services during the crisis of 1830. In 1842 he married Mlle. Ferrier, an actress of the Porte St. Martin Theatre. He opened a theatre, he started newspapers; he was a candidate for the National Assembly during the Revolution of 1848. In 1857 he visited England during the general elections; in 1860 he was with Garibaldi in Italy, and wrote the great soldier's memoirs. His literary fecundity was unexampled, the catalogue of his works amounting to 1,200 volumes. His death, which occurred on the 1st December, took place at Puys, near Dieppe, and was the result of a paralytic seizure.
    In person M. Dumas betrayed his negro origin, he had an olive complexion, broad nose, and frizzled hair; while he displayed the Ethiopian's fondness for bright colors and dress-eccentricities. But he probably also owes to his negro parentage that vivid imagination which renders him unique among modern writers.

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