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.
her beauty, inspired the unprincipled libertine with a desire of ruining innocence, under the colour of clemency to guilt.  He ordered her to call on his chamberlain, Darinsson, in an hour, and she should obtain an answer.  There, either seduced by paternal affection, intimidated by threats, or imposed upon by delusive and engaging promises, she exchanged her virtue for an order of release for her parent; and so satisfied was Louis with his bargain that he added her to the number of his regular mistresses.

As soon as Deroux had recovered his liberty, he visited his daughter in her new situation, where he saw an order of Louis, on the Imperial Treasury, for twelve thousand livres—­destined to pay the upholsterer who had furnished her apartment.  This gave him, no doubt, the idea of making the Prince pay a higher value for his child, and he forged another order for sixty thousand livres—­so closely resembling it that it was without suspicion acquitted by the Imperial Treasurer.  Possessing this money, he fabricated a pass, in the name of Louis, as a courier carrying despatches to the Emperor in Germany, with which he set out, and arrived safe on the other side of the Rhine.  His forgeries were only discovered after he had written a letter from Frankfort to Louis, acquitting his daughter of all knowledge of what he had done.  In the first moment of anger, her Imperial lover ordered her to be arrested, but he has since forgiven her, and taken her back to his favour.  This trick of Deroux has pleased Fouche, who long opposed his release, from a knowledge of his dangerous talent and vicious character.  He had once before released himself with a forged order from the Minister of Police, whose handwriting he had only seen for a minute upon his own mandate of imprisonment.

LETTER XXIV.

Paris, October, 1805.

My lord:—­Though loudly complained of by the Cabinet of St. Cloud, the Cabinet of St. Petersburg has conducted itself in these critical times with prudence without weakness, and with firmness without obstinacy.  In its connections with our Government it has never lost sight of its own dignity, and, therefore, never endured without resentment those impertinent innovations in the etiquette of our Court, and in the manner and language of our Emperor to the representatives of legitimate Sovereigns.  Had similar becoming sentiments directed the councils of all other Princes and the behaviour of their Ambassadors here, spirited remonstrances might have moderated the pretensions or passions of upstart vanity, while a forbearance and silence, equally impolitic and shameful, have augmented insolence by flattering the pride of an insupportable and outrageous ambition.

The Emperor of Russia would not have been so well represented here, had he not been so wisely served and advised in his council chamber at St. Petersburg.  Ignorance and folly commonly select fools for their agents, while genius and capacity employ men of their own mould, and of their own cast.  It is a remarkable truth that, notwithstanding the frequent revolutions in Russia, since the death of Peter the First the ministerial helm has always been in able hands; the progressive and uninterrupted increase of the real and relative power of the Russian Empire evinces the reality of this assertion.

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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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