General St. Amour, who distinguished himself in the Imperial service, was the son of a poor Piedmontese peasant, but he never forgot his humble extraction.
While the army was in Piedmont, he invited his principal officers to an entertainment, when his father happened to arrive just as they were sitting down to table. This being announced to the general, he immediately rose, and stated to his guests his father’s arrival.
He said he knew the respect he owed to them, but at the same time he hoped they would excuse him if he withdrew, and dined with his father in another room.
The guests begged that the father might be introduced, assuring him that they should be happy to see one so nearly related to him; but he replied, “Ah, no, gentlemen; my father would find himself so embarrassed in company so unsuited to his rank, that it would deprive us both of the only pleasure of the interview—the unrestrained intercourse of a parent and his son.”
He then retired, and passed the evening with his father.