The reader knows the manner of death of Robert de Clermont, Marshal of France, and of Jean de Châlons, Marshal of Champagne; and yet the question was only of a certain Perrin Marc, the clerk of a money-changer
, a miserable assassin; but the two marshals had broken the doors of St.
"But there is a money-changer
's office here, is there not?
My son is a money-changer
, and if you will follow me he will weigh them for you himself.
The one joy after which his soul thirsted was to have a money-changer
's shop on a much-frequented quay, to have locks all round him of which he held the keys, and to look sublimely cool as he handled the breeding coins of all nations, while helpless Cupidity looked at him enviously from the other side of an iron lattice.
On the ground-floor there is usually a money-changer
's shop, and the owner lives over it.
As the first eyes began to start, the first throats to yell, and the first hands to clutch, he was passing the counter of the money-changer
. He charged the swing-door at full speed, and, true to its mission, it swung.
Externally, the house was still provincial; but internally everything revealed the purveyor of the Directory and the bad taste of the money-changer
,--for instance, columns in stucco, glass doors, Greek mouldings, meaningless outlines, all styles conglomerated, magnificence out of place and out of season.
Even a lazy man, who does nothing but make debts, has time to marry a widow who pays them; a priest finds time to become a bishop "in partibus." A sober, intelligent young fellow, who begins with a small capital as a money-changer
, soon buys a share in a broker's business; and, to go even lower, a petty clerk becomes a notary, a rag-picker lays by two or three thousand francs a year, and the poorest workmen often become manufacturers; whereas, in the rotatory movement of this present civilization, which mistakes perpetual division and redivision for progress, an unhappy civil service clerk, like Chazelle for instance, is forced to dine for twenty-two sous a meal, struggles with his tailor and bootmaker, gets into debt, and is an absolute nothing; worse than that, he becomes an idiot!
A month ago he would have scoffed at the idea of there being anything worth considering outside the courts and alleys of the money-changers
The Jewish money-changers
have their dens close at hand, and all day long are counting bronze coins and transferring them from one bushel basket to another.
He wandered wildly about Paris; amid the gorgeous equipages, in the bosom of that flaunting luxury that displays itself everywhere; he hurried past the windows of the money-changers
where gold was glittering; and at last he resolved to sell himself to be a substitute for military service, hoping that this sacrifice would save Ginevra, and that her father, during his absence, would take her home.
Sire, it only requires a million to corrupt one of these players and make an ally of him, or two hundred of your gentlemen to drive them out of my palace at Whitehall, as Christ drove the money-changers
from the temple."