Obsequies of Louis Pasteur

PARIS. Oct. 1 – The body of Prof. Louis Pasteur was placed in a coffin at his late residence, at Garches, at 2 o’clock this afternoon. Mme. Pasteur wept profusely while the Abbé Angely read prayers over the body.

The head of the dead chemist rests upon a white satin pillow. The outer coffin is of deal, and the inner one of oak, with a leaden shell. The oak coffin will be replaced later by one of mahogany covered with black cloth with gold starts. At 2:50 o’clock the coffin was placed in a hearse and the procession, consisting of the hearse and six coaches, containing members of the family, started from the cottage.

Funeral Procession of Louis Pasteur
Funeral Procession of Louis Pasteur

The school children and other inhabitants of the town lined the road reverently saluted the remains as the hearse passed. The funeral party proceeded for Paris, by the way of St. Cloud.

An immense crowd gathered along the Rue Dutot and silently awaited the arrival of the cortège. A the hearse and carriages passed along all heads were bared. The decorations at the Pasteur Institute, wo thich the body was removed, have been completed. The entire façade is draped in mourning colors. A shield three metres in diameter, and bearing the initial “P” surrounded by a wreath of laurel, surmounts the door.

Upon the arrival of the procession at the institute the oak coffin was removed from the outer case and the leaden shell, and was placed in the library, the walls of which were completely hidden by black hangings, relieved with silver ornaments, palms, and wreaths. The insignia of the orders which have bene conferred upon the dead chemist were displayed upon cushions at the foot of the coffin.

President Faure this evening signed a decree ordaining that M. Pasteur’s obsequies should be of a national character. The President will attend the funeral services in person.

For the purpose of lessening the pomp and ostentation of the ceremonies, attendant upon the interment of M. Pasteur, his family have decided that the body shall remain in the temporary vault at Notre Dame, where the services will end, instead of being placed in the family vault at Montmartre.

Originally published in The New York Times on October 2, 1895

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