Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/92

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84
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

instruments. In the deep cellar of the observatory M. d'Abbadie made more than two thousand seismic observations with the pendulum.

The château stands in an admirable situation, and presents a very fine external aspect. We give a general view of it and a picture of the main entrance. The interior decoration is very beautiful.

PSM V54 D092 Principal entrance to chateau dabbadie.png
Fig. 2.—Principal Entrance to the Château d'Abbadie.

Those who have had the privilege of visiting Abbadia have remarked that a stone is missing from the balcony of one of the windows; this stone, according to the wishes of the donor, is never to be put in place. A history is connected with its absence. M. d'Abbadie, in the course of a journey in America, contracted a strong friendship with Prince Louis Napoleon, who was then in the United States. The prince once said to him, "If I ever come into power, whatever you may ask of me is granted in advance." The prince became Emperor of the French. Napoleon III had a good memory. He met his former companion one day, and said to him in an offhand way: "I promised when we were in America to give you whatever you would ask for; have you forgotten it?" M. d'Abbadie replied: "I have built myself a château near Hendaye, where I hope to spend the rest of my days. If you will be so kind as to go a few kilometres out of the way for me during your coming visit to Biarritz, I shall consider myself highly honored if you will lay the last stone of my house." Napoleon smiled and promised. But that was in 1870, and Napoleon III never returned to Biarritz. That is the reason a stone is missing at Abbadia.

An account is also appropriate here of that other gift to French science and letters of the Château of Chantilly, made to the Institute of France in 1886, by the late Duc d'Aumale, whose tragic death in consequence of the terrible disaster at the Bazaar de Charité, Paris, occurred near in time to that of M. d'Abbadie. The duke was conspicuous as a soldier, as a man of letters, the author of the History of the Princes of Condé, and as a great bibliophile; as a member of