Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud (Being secret letters from a gentleman at Paris to a nobleman in London) — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 453 pages of information about Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud (Being secret letters from a gentleman at Paris to a nobleman in London) — Complete.
and gave another from his pocket.  At last he won, when he asked the bankers to look at their loss, and count the money in his rouleau before they paid him.  On opening it, they found it contained one hundred bank-notes of one thousand livres each—­folded in a manner to resemble the form and size of louis d’or.  The bankers refused to pay, and applied to the company whether they were not in the right to do so, after so many rouleaux had been changed by the person who now required such an unusual sum in such an unusual manner.  Before any answer could be given, Junot interfered, asking the bankers whether they knew who he was.  Upon their answering in the negative, he said:  “I am General Junot, the commander of Paris, and this officer who has won the money is my aide-de-camp; and I insist upon your paying him this instant, if you do not wish to have your bank confiscated and your persons arrested.”  They refused to part with money which they protested was not their own, and most of the individuals present joined them in their resistance.  “You are altogether a set of scoundrels and sharpers,” interrupted Junot; “your business shall soon be done.”

So saying, he seized all the money on the table, and a kind of boxing-match ensued between him and the bankers, in which he, being a tall and strong man, got the better of them.  The tumult, however, brought in the guard, whom he ordered, as their chief, to carry to prison sixteen persons he pointed out.  Fortunately, I was not of the number—­I say fortunately, for I have heard that most of them remained in prison six months before this delicate affair was cleared up and settled.  In the meantime, Junot not only pocketed all the money he pretended was due to his aide-de-camp, but the whole sum contained in the bank, which was double that amount.  It was believed by every one present that this was an affair arranged between him and his aide-de-camp beforehand to pillage the bank.  What a commander, what a general, and what an Ambassador!

Fitte, the secretary of our Embassy to Portugal, was formerly an Abbe, and must be well remembered in your country, where he passed some years as an emigrant, but was, in fact, a spy of Talleyrand.  I am told that, by his intrigues, he even succeeded in swindling your Ministers out of a sum of money by some plausible schemes he proposed to them.  He is, as well as all other apostate priests, a very dangerous man, and an immoral and unprincipled wretch.  During the time of Robespierre he is said to have caused the murder of his elder brother and younger sister; the former he denounced to appropriate to himself his wealth, and the latter he accused of fanaticism, because she refused to cohabit with him.  He daily boasts of the great protection and great friendship of Talleyrand.  ‘Qualis rex, talis grex’.

LETTER XIX.

Paris, September, 1805.

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Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud (Being secret letters from a gentleman at Paris to a nobleman in London) — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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