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THE MAN

"Two things would always remain strangers to Pavie - force and self-interest. Pavie imposed no constraints, sought no profit. He was drawn to the people whom he met, helped them when they were exposed to the winds of adversity, and through his gentleness, by radiating the sympathy that flowed from his person, by the persuasive authority with which his words were stamped, he conquered hearts and minds, and made known and loved the true face of France of which he himself was a perfect and luminous incarnation. These exceptional gifts of the mind and heart, this enfolding charm, this subtle magnetism of the kindly thought which facilitated every task for Pavie, appealed particularly to the Laotian peoples in the same way as the gentleness of the climate and the wonderful light of the Mekong exercised an irresistible attraction for the indefatigable traveller."

(Le Fol, Superior Resident in Laos, 1933)

Awarding of a silver medal to Auguste Pavie by the Emperor of Annam in 1885 (© ANOM)