He got so rapidly in debt soon after’ this, that he left France for Brussels. Monte Christo was seized to pay his debts.
He broke off with one of the most eminent of his assistants, and since then, his romances and plays have lacked much of the interest and ability which they formerly possessed, and he is not regarded to-day as he once was in Paris. This may be owing in part to the sickly condition of literature under the despotism of Louis Napoleon. In his personal appearance he is burly; he has large, red cheeks, his hair is crisped and piled high upon his forehead. His eyes are dark, his mouth a sensuous one; his throat is generally laid bare, and in short, he is a good looking man. It is said that he has thought of visiting the United States, and would do so, were it not for the prejudice against color in America.
[Illustration: EUGENE SUE.]
Marie-Joseph Sue, was born on the first day of January, 1801, in Paris. His family was from Provence. His great-grandfather, Pierre Sue, was a professor of medicine in the faculty of Paris, and was the author of several excellent works, but died poor. His grandfather was not a learned man, but was exceedingly wealthy. He was physician to the family of Louis XVI. His father was professor of anatomy, and was appointed by Napoleon surgeon of the Imperial Guard, and was, later, physician to the family of Louis XVIII. He was married three times, and his wives each bore him children. The second wife was the mother of the great novelist, and she died soon after giving birth to her child. The Prince Eugene and the Empress Josephine stood sponsors at the baptism of the child, and in after life he relinquished his two given names for that of Eugene—after the prince—by which he is now universally known.
While at school, Eugene and an intimate companion were noted for the mischief they wrought. One of their mischievous acts was, to raise Guinea pigs and then turn them loose in the botanical garden of the elder Sue, where, of course, they destroyed many of the plants.
A tutor was engaged to school the refractory boys—one that was very poor, and who dreaded above all things else, to lose his situation. Whenever the tutor required that the boys should study their Latin, they threatened him with a dismissal from his place, and so intimidated him by this and other means, that he was content to let them alone. The elder Sue asked him how the boys progressed in their Latin. He was compelled to reply that they were excellent scholars, whereupon the old gentleman demanded a specimen of the Latin they had acquired. They at once manufactured a torrent of atrocious sentences, and palmed them off upon him as genuine Latin, he not knowing enough to detect the imposition, but the remorseful tutor had to listen to it in silence! The father was delighted.