By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News
Posted 1/17/17 (Tue)
Sometimes we run across information that is difficult to believe and nearly impossible to understand.
But there are other times when we are so intrigued with that information that we won’t stop digging until we come up with some sort of answer, or conclusion to prove or disprove the information.
The information here is strange, mysterious, odd and even mind boggling because it defies what humans are capable of doing.
There was an individual born in Transylvania in 1691 who lived a long and successful life and if all documents about him are true, he lived to be at least 122 years and perhaps more.
His name was Comte de Saint Germain and after growing up in Transylvania, the son of a wealthy prince, he turned up in England in 1745, according to the British newspaper, the London Mercury. The article said he appeared to be about age 45.
OK, keep that age in mind.
In 1749, King Louis XV employed St. Germain as a French diplomat.
As a result, he bounced around Europe on diplomatic missions to England, Holland and Portugal.
But during the 7-Years-War in 1760, it was St. Germain who opened negotiations between England and France to draw a peace accord. Some of the newspapers said the “45-year-old” St. Germain was passionate about bringing peace to England and France.
In 1763, St. Germain was apparently a signator of the Treaty of Paris.
A Danish monastery has documents saying St. Germain died in Denmark in 1779, but then the St. Nicholai Church in Germany has recorded that St. Germain was a visitor there in 1784.
George Washington wrote about a meeting with St. Germain in 1798, saying in his memoirs that St. Germain, who appeared to be 45 years old, could speak 12 languages and play violin like a virtuoso. We don’t know, however, if St. Germain was in the United States or Washington in Europe.
In 1785, St. Germain was chosen to attend a free mason convention. Remember, this is six years after he died.
He is later said to have died again, as it is written in a German church, in 1821.
So who was this man who was 45 years old for 122 years? How did he end up in French Parliament for 10 years and why did he meet with George Washington nine years after he supposedly died?
Even more interesting was St. Germain’s sideshow. He was said to be able to turn ordinary metals into gold and fix flaws in diamonds.
When he traveled, he set up elaborate laboratories to dabble in alchemy and turn tin into gold.
He never allowed anyone to see him performing these tasks that would be impossible today, but it is documented in the late 1740s that Madame de Pompadour gave him a flawed diamond that he repaired.
St. Germain was wealthy, traveled at will and wore the finest clothes, yet historians tell us he never had a bank account anywhere in Europe.
He was said to be a socialite and was often seen with parties of people, but was never seen eating a meal in public.
He had friends all over Europe and was well known at the time. He also met Catherine the Great and provided her and Madame de Pompadour with an elixir that either removed or prevented their skin from wrinkling with age. In addition, he provided them with a method of dying their hair to remove gray.
He is also alleged to have predicted to French authorities France’s fate in the second half of the 18th century.
How could he have possibly known what was going to happen to France; the revolution, the rise of Napoleon and the alliance with the American colonies that spanned almost 60 years?
There is no doubt this was a mysterious individual. He never married, yet there is documentation that he had a son who died at 4 years old in the Netherlands.
Did he really live to be 122? If he had some sort of knowledge that he didn’t share with anyone on reversing the aging process, perhaps it’s possible. John Adams lived to the age of 90 and he was a quite normal individual physically.
François-Marie Arouet-Voltaire, the 18th century French philosopher, also knew St. Germain. He wrote that St. Germain talked about talking pictures and flying machines in the 20th century.
Was St. Germain speculating, or did he know something? One thing is certain. Voltaire wrote that St. Germain was a man who never dies and who knows everything.