The family had been recently ennobled and was not rich.
His uncle was ennobled by King Louis XVI., and his father was made a count by Napoleon I.
He was ennobled and named a councillor of state; and from 1816 he sat in the chamber of deputies as representative of Ain.
There may or there may not be a power vested somewhere of conferring nobility; but it is essential to the true idea of nobility that, when once acquired, it shall go on for ever to all the descendants - or, more commonly, only to all the descendants in the male line - of the person first ennobled or first recorded as noble.
This nobility consisted of all those who, as descendants of curule magistrates, had the jus imaginum - that is, who could point to forefathers ennobled by office.
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