"The sole depository on the entire tradition of the State," Talleyrand, even at the age of eighty, ate but one square meal in the day, his dinner; and every morning he required the menu of it from his chef. He would rise at ten, dressing himself even after the hands had got rebellious; and half an hour later would have an egg, a fruit or a slice of bread and butter, a glass of water with a dash of madeira in it, or perhaps only two or three cups of camomile tea, before beginning "work." No coffee, no chocolate, and "China" tea very rarely. He dined at eight in Paris, at five in the country, well and with appetite; taking soup, fish, and a meat entree, which was almost always of knuckle of veal, braised mutton-cutlets, or a fowl. He would sometimes have a slice off a joint; and he liked eggs and custards, but rarely touched dessert. He always drank a first-rate claret, in which he would put a very little water; a glass of sherry he did not despise, and after dinner a petit-verre of old malaga. In the drawing-room he would himself fill up a large cup with lumps of sugar, and then the maitre d'ho-tel - Careme, no less - would add the coffee. Then came forty winks; and afterwards he would play whist for high stakes.

His senile eye-lids were so swollen that it was a vast effort to open them to any width, and so he often let them close, and "slept" in company that bored him. He still continued to call up a secretary at night, and dictate to him through the closed bed-curtains.