Drawing one of his daughters near, he is said to have whispered in her ear: "I will leave you nothing but hatred."
To others, he murmured: "You will have nothing but your tears to cry with."
The Count, it seems, remained true to his word, as all his six sons and five daughters recovered from his once vast family estate were six embroidered handkerchiefs and a pair of slippers.
The rest of his huge array of chateaux, jewellery, furniture and art works he had either frittered away in a frenzied selling spree or left to France in a special foundation.
But now, his nine surviving offspring may finally be about to get their hands on the fortune he did everything in his power to keep out of their clutches while alive.
The present Count of Paris with his wife.