Another file on "The Comte St.Germain", The real man behind the books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro vampire series.
Another file on "The Comte St.Germain", The real man behind the books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro vampire series.
Comte de Saint-Germain C S
Comte de Saint Germain (? - 1784)
Adventurer, alchemist, and diplomat, whose mysterious origin created a legend around him. Comte
de Saint Germain was rumored to have lived 2,000 years. The legend of St Germain, "the man who
does not die," was born in the mid-1700s. Since then, endless speculations and sightings of the
Count after his death has continued. St Germain was also known by such figures as Casanova,
Cagliostro, and Horace Walpole. The Russian writer Aleksandr Pushkin (1799-1837) mentions him
in the short story 'The Queen of Spades' (1834):
"You have heard of Count St. Germain, about whom so many marvelous stories are told. You know
that he represented himself as the Wandering Jew, as the discoverer of the elixir of life, of the
philosopher's stone, and so forth. Some laughed at him as a charlatan; but Casanova, in his
memoirs, says that he was a spy. But be that as it may, St. Germain, in spite of the mystery
surrounding him, was a very fascinating person, and was much sought after in the best circles of
society. Even to this day my grandmother retains an affectionate recollection of him, and becomes
quite angry if anyone speaks disrespectfully of him." (trans. by T. Keane)
Little is known of Count Saint-Germain's birth. He was said to be descended from an Alsatian Jew,
a Portuguese Jew, a tax-gatherer in Rotondo, or the King of Portugal. Saint-Germain himself did not
help to elucidate the enigma of his true identity. It has been also alleged, that he was the son of
Prince Franz-Leopold Rakoczy (or Ragoczy) of Transylvania (1676-1735), or Juan Tomás Enríquez
de Cabrera and Maria Anna von Neuburg (1667-1740), or Marquis de Rivarolo (1669-1749), or
Sultan Mustapha II (1664-1703). Later he determined to take the name of Saint-Germain from the
little town of San Germano, or from the holy brother, St. Germanus. Whoever he was, he was well
educated, and at least for some decades he seemed relatively wealthy.
Saint Germain entered the international scene in a period, which was full of contradictions. The
rationalism of the Enlightenment, represented by such writers as Voltaire, Goethe, and Rousseau,
was counterbalanced by sentimental and romantic, even reactionary tendencies. Count Alessandro
Cagliostro (1743-1795), a celebrated figure in the courts of Europe, was as much charlatan as his
detractors alleged. Cagliostoro, whose real name was Guiseppe Balsamo, possibly met St Germain
in Sicily. Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) impressed Queen Louisa Ulrica, sister of Frederick the
Great, by delivering a private message from her dead brother. François, Duke of Lorraine married
Maria Theresa of Austria, and was the first European prince to publicise his Freemasonic
affiliations. Also St Germain was associated with Freemasons. In the imperial palace, François had
an alchemical laboratory. And as always, the great public was responsive to fantastic stories. In
Germany, the figure of the fabulous Baron Muchhausen created a vogue for tall tales.
St Germain found his most ardent admirers from the arictocratic circles. The serious-minded
middle-class viewed him with some disdain, as the English letter-writer and aesthetician Horace
Walpole in 1745: "The other day they seized an odd man who goes by the name of Count St
Germain. He has been here these two years, and will not tell who he is or whence, but professes that
he does not go by his right name. He sings and plays the violin wondefully, is mad, and not very
At the French court St Germain was seen about 1748. He was was an ordinary looking man of
medium height, he had regular features, black hair, and he was apparently a fine conversationalist.
"He looks like a Spaniard of high birth," wrote one of his contemporaries. In one painting he has
been portrayed wearing a fashionable wig. St German looked in 1743 about forty or forty-five years
old, like a man of his age if he was born at the turn of the century. It was said that he spoke German,
English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish very well, and French with a Piedmontese accent.
According to some sources, scholars were surprised by his facility in Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Arabic
and Chinese. However, there is no information if he spoke Sanskrit with a Piedmontese accent.
Voltaire's famous statement from 1758 in his ironic letter to Frederick of Prussia, that St Germain is
"a man who never dies, and who knows everything," has been often used out of its original context.
It is not a declaration of belief in St Germain's immortality. Voltaire says that he has not been told
any secrets and refers to St Germain's role in political manouverings - "who will probably have the
honour of seeing your Majesty in the course of fifty years."
Madame de Pompadour and of Louis XV were amused by St Germain, although he was accused of
being an English spy. He told that he had lived thousands of years and had known even Jesus Christ.
However, they must have been aware, that the Bible did not prove or disprove his stories. St
Germain was a Catholic. If he believed in the transmigration of the soul, it was a Buddhist doctrine,
which also the Pythagoreanists shared, but it seems that he only claimed that he was very old. This
did not put him in a collision course with the authorities of the church. Cagliostro, sometimes
considered St Germain's pupil, was not so lucky - he was caught by the Inquisition in Rome and
sentenced to death. He spent four years in a solitary confinement and died in imprisonment in 1795.
St Germain claimed to possess the secret of eternal youth, one of the two traditional goals of
alchemy. St Germain's accounts of his adventures had also connections to the legend of the
Wandering Jew, a well known Christian tale. Its first written version was printed in Bologna in
1223. To Madame de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV, St Germain recounted anecdotes of the
court of the Valois as if he had been there an eyewitness. Eventually she become interested in his
"elixir of life" and started to use it.
St Germain's diplomatic blunders in the peace negotiation between France and England led him into
conflict with the powerful Duc de Choiseul. After escaping to England, he lived in the Netherlands,
and possibly in Russia, where Catherine the Great had seized the power. Little is known of his life
during the following years - perhaps he went to his home. In some point his paths must have
crossed with his countryman, Charles d'Eon de Beaumont, a diplomat, writer, spy, and Freemason,
but there is no evidence of joint adventures. D'Eon is often called the patron saint of transvestites. St
Germain was seen in France again in 1774. When the minister von Wurmb met St Germain in May
1777 in Lepzig, he estimated that the Count was between 60 and 70 years old.
His last years St Germain lived under the patronage of Prince Charles of Hesse-Cassel in
Schleswig, Germany. At that time, he had spent most of his fortune, sold his precious diamonds, and
he suffered from rheumatism. St German died on February 27th, 1784, according to the church
register of Eckernförde. He was known under the name of Comte de St Germain and Weldon,
sometimes written Welldown, Wethlone, Welldone, or Woeldone. His tombstone in Eckenförde
read, "He who called himself the Comte de St Germain and Welldone, of whome there is no other
information, has been buried in this church." The original manuscript of St Germain's Trinosophia,
a work on cabalistic, hermetic, and alchemical mysteries, is in the Bibliotheque de Troyes. 'Sonnet
sur la Création,' a modest poem attributed to St Germain, was published in 1795. In 1836 appeared
a book of memoir, Souvenirs sur Marie-Antoinette by Comtesse d'Adhémar, which claimed that St
Germain was seen in Venice some years after his death. However, the work was a forgery, written
by one Lamothe-Langon, whose specialty was to produce forged memoirs. Baron de Gleichen tells
in Souvenirs de Charles Henri, baron de Gleichen (1868), that according to his acquaintances, St
Germain had in 1710 the appearance of a man of fifty years old. De Gleichen's information is just
In Aleksandr Pushkin short story' The Queen of Spades' a young aristocratic woman, Countess Anna
Fedorovna, asks St Germain's help - she has lost much money at the card table. St Germain tells her
a secret of the cards, which helps her to retrieve her loss completely. She keeps the secret. Decades
later a young man becomes obsessed with it, and causes her death. Eventually she returns as a ghost
and gets her revenge. The young man loses his reason. Pushkin never met the enigmatic Count, but
he knew his legend well and brought another angle to it: St Germain can tell the future. In Rainer
Maria Rilke's fictional autobiography, Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Lauridts Brigge (1910), St
Germain is called Marquis von Belmare, who believes in the past: "Aber es gab natuerlich genug,
die ihm uebelnahmen, dass er an die Vergangenheit nur glaubte, wenn sie in ihm war. Das konnten
sie nicht begreifen, dass der Kram nur Sinn hat, wenn man damit geboren wird." In these works St
Germain is only a side character. The American writer Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has written a number
of novels, where the Count is the protagonist.
Saint-Germain's knowledge of diamonds, precious stones, and chemistry impressed his
contemporaries; his dyeing skills were widely acknowledged. Graf Karl Cobenzl wrote in a letter in
1763, that he saw how St Germain made some experiments, "of which the most important were the
transmutation of iron into a metal as beautiful as gold". Without any doubts, the physical goals of
alchemy - the elixir of life and the Philosopher's Stone - fascinated deeply St Germain. The Swiss
psychiatrist Carl Jung has argued that alchemy also corresponds to psychology. "What the
alchemists called 'matter' was in reality the unconscious self," Jung claimed. Deliberate
mystification can be pure bluff to exploit the credulous or projection of unresolved inner tensions.
St Germain was secretive about his past, he had several identities, and in his occult studies, he
perhaps indirectly searched the truth of himself.
For further reading: Graf St. Germain by E.M. Oettinger (1846); Historical Mysteries by Andrew Lang
(1904); The Count of Saint-Germain by Isabel Cooper-Oakley (1912); Der Graf von Saint-Germain by
G.B. Volz (1923); Kreivi de St. Germain by Halfdan Liander (1959); Le Comte de Saint-Germain by Paul
Chacornac (1982); The Comte de Saint-Germain: Last Scion of the House of Rákóczy by Jean Overton
Fuller (1988); 'Historiallisia mysteerejä: Kreivi de Saint-Germain, osa I' by S. Albert Kivinen, in Portti 4
(2000); 'Historiallisia mysteerejä: Kreivi de Saint-Germain, osa III' by S. Albert Kivinen, in Portti 3
• Sonnet sur la Création. Poëmes Philosophiques sur l'Homme, 1795 (attributed to St
• Practical Palmistry; or Hand Reading Simplified, by Comte C. de Saint-Germain, c. 1897
(preud. of. E. de Valcourt-Vermont)
• L'incostanza delusa: suite from the opera, 1900 (transcribed for piano by Rudolph Gruen,
• Saint Germain on Alchemy, 1962 (recorded by Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare
• La très sainte trinosophie. Édition intégrale du texte du manuscrit unique de la Bibliothèque
de Troyes et des variantes des "Annales maçonniques" (1808), 1971 (précédée d'une enquête
bibliographique et historique par René Alleau)
• The Most Holy Trinosophia of the Comte de St.-Germain, 6th ed., 1983 (introduction by
Manly P. Hall)
• The Music of the Comte de St. Germain: the Favorite Songs from the Opera Called
L'incostanza delusa, 1981 (introduction by Manly P. Hall)
• Saint Germain on Prophecy, 1986 (recorded by Elizabeth Clare Prophet)
Comte Saint Germain (? - 1784)