We have received from Dr. Suss Hahnemann the subjoined translation of his grandfather’s will, and the appended observations, which we think may interest our readers.
“In the Name of God. Amen!
“Although on the 16th September, 1834, I made my will, and duly deposited it with the Ducal Government, and although likewise for the purpose of avoiding every kind of dispute with regard to my property among the members of my family, and wishing to live the last days of my life in undisturbed peace and quiet, I divided on 17th February last nearly the whole of my fortune amongst the children; yet, after careful consideration, finding that these very dispositions (which in some respects contradict themselves) might engender mistakes and misunderstandings, and also as in consequence of my contemplated journey to Paris, from whence it is quite impossible to say when – if ever – I shall return again, my views and intentions have become altered on some points; therefore I herewith cancel and annul my first will, and place in its stead this present will, which contains all my wishes regarding my property and other matters.
“§ 1. Before all I commend my immortal soul to the grace and mercy of God, in the steadfast belief that this most high and potent Guide of my Destines will allow it to participate in His heavenly Glory. My mortal remains shall be left to my dearly beloved wife, who alone is to choose the place of interment and the kind of funeral, according to her choice, unfettered by anyone; but should one of my children or grandchildren dare to interfere with her directions, he is forthwith to be punished by losing one half of his whole inheritance.
“§ 2. My whole property, consisting of Ł9000 cash, two houses in the Wallstrasse in this town, some articles of virtue and furniture is to be divided in equal parts, but subject to certain conditions hereafter to be mentioned among the members of my family, as well as all the children who may arise from my present marriage.
“§ 3. As mentioned above, on 17th February I disposed of nearly the whole of my property by a deed of gift to my children, giving each of them the sum of Ł900, subject to certain conditions especially stated in the aforesaid document. This deed of gift is to remain for the present in power so far as this will of mine does not alter it, but I declare herewith most emphatically, that with the view not to bind myself by it, this deed has not been submitted to my children for their approval, and therefore has no binding character on both parties, but contains only my own dispositions of my property an arrangement which I have made solely for the purpose of affording my children during my lifetime, some assistance. It is therefore not irrevocable, but can at any time according to my judgment be altered or canceled.
“§ 4. Should my son Frederick be incontestably found to have died before me, then his daughter is to be placed in his stead, and should she have died childless previous to my decease, then her portion, as well as that of others who may have died without issue before my demise, is to fall back into the general estate.
“§ 5. I leave as a special legacy to my two youngest daughters Charlotte and Louise, for their joint use, my house, 270, Wallstrasse in this town, free from all debts and mortgages, so that they may take possession of it immediately after my death. Likewise I bequeath to my daughter Amalie, as a reward for her constant filial affection and devotion, my house, 269, Wallstrasse in this city, for her sole and absolute use, tree from any charge except allowing her sister Eleonora, should she be a widow, and willing to live in Cothen, the use of a room in the said house, or the sum of 20 thalers per annum instead, according to the choice of the legatee.
“§ 6. The golden snuff-box with the letter F In brilliants, which the late Duke Ferdinand presented to me, I here bequeath to my absent son Frederick, should he still be alive, otherwise his daughter is to receive it, like the other portion of her father’s inheritance. All the other valuable articles and moveables, belonging to me, have already, for the most part been divided among my children during my lifetime by a special deed of gift. The lists containing those articles, which each of my heirs has received, or is to receive, are all signed with my name, and are marked respectively, A, B, C, D, F, G, H, and are annexed to this will.
“§ 7. With regard to the house, which I bequeathed to my two youngest daughters, I have particularly to state, that should one of them die before me, the other one is at once to take possession of it. If both are alive at the time of my death, they are at liberty to dispose of all their legacies according to their own free will.
“§ 8. All those articles of my property which have not been mentioned or disposed of either in this will, or in the annexed lists, belong to the general estate, and are to be divided equally among my heirs; but all the other properties, which I take with me to Paris, do not belong to the general estate, and will be disposed of hereafter.
“§ 9. The presents and dowries which some of my children have received during my life-time, are not to be brought to account.
“§ 10. All notes written and signed by my own hand, with my name, which may be found after my death among my papers, disposing of articles, or assigning legacies or other property to friends of mine, are to be considered as codicils to this will, and are equally binding on my heirs.
“§ 11. I trust that all my heirs will acknowledge in these arrangements my paternal affection, as it will greatly contribute to my comfort during the last day of my life. But should any of my family, contrary to all expectation, not be satisfied with this my last, will, and begin an action at law about it, he is to lose at once one half of his whole inheritance.
“§ 12. On the eve of my departure to Paris, where, far away from the country in which I had to suffer so much, I probably shall remain, and where I hope to find with my beloved wife that peace and happiness for which my desired marriage will be a sufficient guarantee, I declare that I have divided nearly the whole of my property among my children solely on the particular wish and desire of my dear wife, which is a proof of her noble disinterestedness; to her my children owe it, that they have already received nearly all my own fortune, which I have acquired with so much labor and exertion, but which I never could quietly enjoy. I have only reserved for myself the small sum of Ł2000, and shall take, on the particular wish of my wife, only my linen, wearing apparel, library, medicines, and a few valuable articles, as watch and signet ring, with me to Paris.
“I am now in my 81st year, and naturally desire at last to rest, and to give up all medical practice, which is at present too burdensome to me I therefore disclaim all intention of augmenting my fortune, and renounce all further gain, which, after having amply provided for my family, I am not in need of. Deeply impressed with gratitude to my wife for all the happiness she has conferred upon me; and by inducing me to distribute my property amongst my children (thus securing them an independent existence), for the happiness and comfort she has bestowed on them, I now consider it my sacred duty, to take care that the future peace and happiness of this most amiable wife, is secured. To guard her against any unjust claims which might be made by members of my numerous family – a proceeding, which would only show a culpable malice, or sordid avarice, I order that she is to keep, without any exception, all articles which I take with me to Paris; and I forbid that seals be put on her house, when I die, or that inventories be taken, or any description be demanded; in short, I desire, that my wife be left forever undisturbed by my family, who have no claim whatever on her, but who should rather bless her for her noble disinterestedness. But if there should be one found among my children so unworthy as to dare to disturb my beloved wife in the least, he is to lose forthwith one half of his whole inheritance; and if all my heirs be disobedient and refractory, and jointly should, contrary to my orders, molest their step-mother in any way whatever, then one and all are to lose the half of their inheritance. In such a case, I request the Ducal Government to apply these fines, according to their choice, for some charitable purpose.
“§ 13. Should my present wife bear me any children, then this child or children, as a matter of course, have the same claims on my property as the children of my first marriage. Lastly, I request my Government to take care that this my present will, be faithfully executed.
“Given under my hand and seal,
“Christian Frederick Samuel Hahnemann.
“Cothen, 2 June, 1835.”
Here follow the lists marked, A, B, C, D, F, G, H, which contain the enumeration and distribution of Hahnemann’s movable and fixed property, and to show how earnest and sincere, he was in his desire to live the remainder of his life retired from all medical practice, he bequeathed in list G to his youngest daughter Louise, the books which contained the cases of all his patients, carefully and elaborately written with his own hand, forming perhaps the most interesting work for Homoeopathy that could possibly be, could they but be published; but unfortunately, up to the present time, their publication has been withheld.
No sooner had Hahnemann arrived in Paris than, through the influence of his young wife with the late King Louis Phillip, the then prime-minister, M. Guizot, granted him permission to practice, a favor which the medical faculty of Paris had previously denied him. All at once we find the old gentleman, who, a short time before, had expressed the most earnest desire to rest and lead a quiet life, in the midst of an extraordinary large practice, driving about Paris, and visiting his patients, a habit which he had never resorted to before, so that he was enabled soon to remove from his comparatively obscure lodging near the Luxembourg, to a large mansion in the Rue Milan, where he amassed within the short space of nine years, a very large fortune, (four million francs).
From this fact the reader will be able to understand the extreme severity which Hahnemann, always so kind to, and fond of his children, was induced to employ against his family, threatening them instantly with the loss of half their whole inheritance, should they call his wife, after his death, to account.
Mrs. Hahnemann was too shrewd a woman not to know that if she could once remove the founder of Homoeopathy to Paris, her fortune was made, and by this will secured to her in undisturbed possession. The poor old gentleman, who was benevolence itself, had actually to impose the heaviest possible fines and penalties the law would allow, upon his own children.
To practise with advantage Hahnemann required his old case-books, which he had given to his youngest daughter; he applied therefore to her for their loan, promising most solemnly that they should be returned immediately after his death. On this express understanding his daughter parted, though still reluctantly, with her invaluable treasure, never, as it turned out, to see it again.
The ostentatious affection which the wife displayed towards her husband whilst alive, soon vanished after his death. The immortal founder of Homoeopathy was buried like the poorest of the poor; his funeral taking place as early in the morning as six o’clock, under a pelting rain, a common hearse bearing the remains of the great man to his last rest, only his wife, his widowed daughter, my late mother, myself, and Dr. Le Thiere, being the mourners who followed. The coffin was deposited, and is still, at the present moment, in an old vault, where his “devoted” wife had already deposited the remains of two aged “friends;” so that Hahnemann’s wish to have on his tombstone the words written “non inutilis vixi,” remains in abeyance.
But this is not the only desire of his left disregarded; his solemn promise to his daughter to let her have the manuscript case-books returned, which she, on the faith of her father’s word, sent to Paris, has never been fulfilled, although frequent applications have been made to Mrs. Hahnemann by the rightful owner.
Reference: The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 10, 1865, pages 476-479