The Count of St. Germain’s amazing talents attracted as much attention as his believed immortality. We know he was a gifted Musician, a talented Alchemist, a trusted Spy, and a Confidant of kings. First, he was a natural linguist and could speak over dozen languages with such perfection no one could pinpoint his origin, including Italian, French, German, Spanish, English, Russian, Greek and Latin. He dropped into local dialects with such ease people thought him a native no matter where he traveled. And travel he did, from the gilded palaces of Versailles and Peterhof, to the exotic capitals of the Persian and Mughal Empires.
Second, a skilled raconteur, Saint-Germain regaled nobility with stories from centuries past. Whether scandals of ancient Rome, or exploits from the Dark Ages, his audiences were always glued to their seats. He spun tales with such exquisite detail, relaying the intimate conversations of famous historical figures, listeners believed he had been present in the flesh. He often slipped into the first person, then back to narrator, leaving guests positively bewildered. Those who knew him intimately claimed he never aged over the decades as the 18th century progressed. He looked to be 40 years of age, but exactly how old was this man?
Many courtesans were convinced he was hundreds if not thousands of years old.
Third, the Count was also an accomplished composer. He played several musical instruments “like an orchestra,” including his favorites, the violin and harpsichord. This was the Classical Age of Music, with prolific geniuses like Handel, Mozart and Hayden as his contemporaries across Europe. While in London in the 1740’s, Saint-Germain presented a pasticcio opera, L’Incostanza Delusa, at the Haymarket Theatre and published several of his own Violin Sonatas. At the palace of Versailles, he privately entertained French King Louis XV and his mistress, Madame Pompadour, with his violin.
Fourth, his alchemical skills were also known far and wide. He offered ladies beautifying cosmetics for delicate skin and pomades for their voluminous hair. For the Russian Navy during the Turkish War, he developed St. Germain’s Tea, a purge still in use today. For the Venetians, he started a factory to dye wood and skins. French King Louis XV gave him apartments at the Chateau Chambord to conduct his alchemical experiments. Many believed he possessed the secret to removing flaws from gems and enlarging pearls. And of course, rumors abounded he possessed the legendary Philosopher’s Stone or even the Elixir of Eternal Youth.
In typical fashion, he would smile at such rumors, wave a hand in the air and neither confirm nor deny it.
Fifth, Saint-Germain was a high-ranking member of several Masonic Lodges throughout Europe. Every lodge jealously wanted the ‘Immortal Count’ among their ranks. He used the Freemasons (Free and Accepted Masons) to expand his network of influential contacts worldwide. He was whispered to be among the inner circle of the Illuminati, the Knights Templar, and perhaps the most secret society of all, the Rosicrucians [Brotherhood of the Rose and Cross]. He used such societies to move about freely and gain trust and acceptance at royal courts in France, Austria, Britain and Russia.
Sixth, Louis XV used him a secret diplomate in an attempt to end the Seven Years War which had enveloped Europe. The Count’s jealous detractors labeled him a charlatan and a fraud. He was twice arrested as a suspected Jacobite spy in London. His enemies tried in vain to discover his true identity and the source of his ample wealth. Over the decades, the Count accumulated a long list of rivals, including the famous rogues Casanova and Cagliostro. To his credit, they failed to prove him guilty of a single crime. He offered his talents to many kings and kingdoms, but never asked for payment in return. Though at times vague and wily, he never swindled any of his many patrons.
Today, we would label such an unusual man as eccentric or an enigma – a wealthy, overly-intelligent gentleman involved in various world affairs now and again, whether governmental, corporate, or philanthropic. Shying away from the spotlight, yet never hesitating to get involved when a true need arises. Our world could use such a person right about now. But in the Count of Saint-Germain’s day, he was indeed a true Renaissance Man.