"In those days  there was a famous mathematician whose name was [Michel] Chasles. He was interested in the history of geometry, and also in the glory of France, and a clever genealogist saw his opportunity. He produced letters from which it appeared that some of Newton's discoveries had been anticipated by Frenchmen who had been robbed of their due fame
M. Chasles bought them, with a patriotic disregard for money; and he continued to buy, from time to time, all that the impostor, Vrain Lucas, offered him. He laid his documents before the Institute, and the Institute declared them genuine. There were autograph letters from Alexander to Aristotle, from Cæsar to Vercingetorix, from Lazarus to St. Peter, from Mary Magdalen to Lazarus.
The fabricator's imagination ran riot, and he produced a fragment in the handwriting of Pythagoras, showing that Pythagoras wrote in bad French. At last other learned men, who did not love Chasles, tried to make him understand that he had been befooled. When the iniquity came to light, and the culprit was sent to prison, he had flourished for seven years, had made several thousand pounds, and had found a market for 27,000 unblushing forgeries."
From Lectures on The French Revolution by John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton.