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Alexander Dumas Fils

The following public tribute was paid to his father by the younger
Dumas on the occasion of taking his seat in the French Academy (February
11, 1875).

[Note 10: From "The Life of A. Dumas," by Arthur E. Davidson, (p.

"The fact," said he, "that so many men superior to me have had to knock
many times at your door before it was opened to them would fill me with
pride, did I not know the real reason of your sympathy. In order to
reach my place among you, gentlemen, I have employed magical spells, I
have used witchcraft. Standing on my own merits alone I should not have
dared to face your judgment, but I knew that a good genius--that is the
right word--was fighting on my behalf, and that you were determined to
offer no defense. I have sheltered myself under a name which you would
have wished long ago to honor in itself, and which you are now able to
honor only in me. Believe me, gentlemen, it is with the greatest modesty
that I come to-day to accept a reward which has been so easily granted
to me only because it was reserved for another. I cannot--I may
not--receive it except in trust; allow me then, at once and publicly, to
make restitution of it to the man who, unhappily, can no longer receive
it himself. Thus you will be granting me the highest honor which I can
covet, and the only one to which I have any real right."

Next: An Address Delivered At The Centennial Anniversary Of The Pennsylvania Society For Promoting The Abolition Of Slavery

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