The Memoirs of Louis XIV HTML version
Mr. Law is a very honest and a very sensible man; he is extremely polite to everybody,
and very well bred. He does not speak French ill--at least, he speaks it much better than
Englishmen in general. It is said that when his brother arrived in Paris, Mr. Law made
him a present of three millions (of livres); he has good talents, and has put the affairs of
the State in such good order that all the King's debts have been paid. He is admirably
skilled in all that relates to finance. The late King would have been glad to employ him,
but, as Mr. Law was not a Catholic, he said he ought not to confide in him (19th Sept.,
He (Law) says that, of all the persons to whom he has explained his system, there have
been only two who have properly comprehended it, and these are the King of Sicily and
my son; he was quite astonished at their having so readily understood it. He is so much
run after, that he has no repose by day or by night. A Duchess even kissed his hand
If a Duchess can do this, what will not other ladies do?
Another lady, who pursued him everywhere, heard that he was at Madame de Simiane's,
and immediately begged the latter to permit her to dine with her. Madame de Simiane
went to her and said she must be excused for that day, as Mr. Law was to dine with her.
Madame de Bouchu replied that it was for this reason expressly she wished to be invited.
Madame de Simiane only repeated that she did not choose to have Mr. Law troubled, and
so quitted her. Having, however, ascertained the dinner-hour, Madame de Bouchu passed
before the house in her coach, and made her coachman and footman call out "Fire!"
Immediately all the company quitted the table to know where the fire was, and among
them Mr. Law appeared. As soon as Madame de Bouchu saw him, she jumped out of her
carriage to speak to him; but he, guessing the trick, instantly disappeared.
Another lady ordered her carriage to be driven opposite to Mr. Law's hotel and then to be
overturned. Addressing herself to the coachman, she said, "Overturn here, you
blockhead--overturn!" Mr. Law ran out to her assistance, when she confessed to him that
she had done this for the sole purpose of having an interview with him.
A servant had gained so much in the Rue de Quincampoix, that he was enabled to set up
his equipage. When his coach was brought home, he forgot who he was, and mounted
behind. His servant cried out, "Ah, sir! what are you doing? this is your own carriage."
"That is true," said the quondam servant; "I had forgotten."
Mr. Law's coachman having also made a very considerable sum, demanded permission to
retire from his service. His master gave it him, on condition of his procuring him another
good coachman. On the next day, the wealthy coachman made his appearance with two