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A. Well, and what did his Majesty say next.
B. Ah, says he, my good woman, you'll be very glad when we are gone; we're sad troublesome people, sad troublesome people.
A. And what answer did you make to that?
B. Why in London, at the playhouse: and Lord, who do you think was there that night too?
A. Upon my soul, I don't know,
B. What! don't you know Mr. Batt? Why the great oilman in Ludgate-hill.
A. Upon my soul I have not the honour of his acquaintance,
B. I thought the King looked very hard at Mr. Bott: but pro. bably he might not know him too.
A. Well, and with the King I suppose you saw his great mi. nister, Mr. P~; upon my word, I envy you the sight of such a man as that.
B. Lord, Sir, he was an aukward, ungain thing. No, Sir, the thing was to see the King in all his glory. I shall never forget one day, when he went out to breakfast. Never was there a lovelier day; and there were all the great lords prancing on their horses, and the colonels, and captains, and them sort of things; and then there were the trumpeters, and the bugle-horns, and the postillions; and
A. And the King himself, I suppose, made his appearance with a golden crown upon his head, diamond buckles in his shoes, and a purple robe floating below his heels.
B. Lord love you: not he: he had on a shabby blue coat, with a great hole in it; and then he led the Queen along, and he kissed her hand. Oh, thinks I to myself, there's fine pomp and ceremony among you; and there they set off, the sun shining, the music playing, the flags waving--Lord, Sir, it was like being in heaven.
A. Well, but didn't you get any thing for your trouble?” Didn't his Majesty tip
B, O Lord, yes : how much do you think? ten guineas in apurse.
The airy ship at anchor rides;
Impatient of delay;
She floats upon her way.
How swift! for now I see her sail
And speeding up the sky;
Bright wonder! theè no flapping wing,
Urged on thy fleet career :
Along the silent sphere.
No curling mist at close of light,
No cloud at breezy dawn
Or shadow o'er the lawn.
Yet thee, e'en thee, the destined hour
Rapid in prone descent;
The breath ethereal spent.
Thus daring Fancy's pens sublime,
Thus Hope, her soul elate
Pripted by John Hunt, Examiner-Office,
Beaufort Buildings, Strand,
Ay uncourtly saying is recorded of the loyal Mr. Burke, that
kings are naturally fond of low company.” Besides the au. thority derived to this maxim from the experience of so sagacious an observer, it appears to be confirmed by numerous facts in the history of royal favouritism.
Court memoirs of all ages nations are filled with examples of persons, either low by birth, or low in character and acquirements, who have been able to ingratiate themselves with the most potént sovereigns, and even with some whose personal qualities werë not unworthy of their exalted stations.
It is not difficult to assign a reason for this circumstance. The condition of royalty has been raised so high by the mechanism of society, that scarcely any point of intercommunity is left between it and that of a subject of any degree whatsoever, so that all disa tinctions from birth; title, or merit, are levelled before it. In the choice, therefore, which a prince makes of his company, it is a matter of indifference from what class of his subjects they are taken; he is equally to all in the light of a master, and the liberties to which they may be admitted in conversation are to all alike matter of favour and condescension, not of claim. His notice alone is sufficient to confer honour where it did not before exist, and bestow a gilding on meanness and insignificance. “ Who is that dishonourable knight!” says Calia to the Clown in As you like it. « One that old Frederick your father loves."
My father's love is enough to honoưr him," says she. Louis XIV. that consummate dctor of royalty, never for a moment laid aside le maitre among his courtiers, though the greatest persons in his kingdom; and when he threw his cane out of window that TOL: II. NO. IV.
hé might not be tempted to lay it upon the shoulders of the Duke de Lauzun, who had upbraided him like a man with a breach of his word, he certainly thought himself as little obliged to use ceremony with a nobleman, as with one of his valets.
But although this is the true etiquette of Majesty, yet royal personages, through youth, natural bashfulness, or even an involuntary sense of respect for greatness not of their own creation, are apt to feel a kind of restraint in the presence of men elevated above the mass of their subjects, by high binth or extraordinary qualities; nor can the possessors of these advantages always bring themselves to forget their relative consequence, and submit to all the servility of the courtly crowd. It is related of Clermont Tonnere, bishop of Noyon, a thorough-bred courtier, but yet the proudest man in France of his genealogy, that when Louis XIV. one day expressed to him his surprise that so few names of his family were to be found in the lists of officers of the crown, he replied, “ It is, Sire, because my ancestors were too great to be the servants of yours. After such a speech it is probable that eyen Louis le Grand would not find himself perfectly at his ease in a tete-Q-tete with the bishop; for pride is always in some degree awed and bafiled by a kindred pride. Kings, therefore, although they may command the submission and services of the greatest in their dominions, will generally be better pleased with receiving them without such an effort. They chuse to have about them, and to distinguish by their favour, persons who have no natural claims to preference; and they justly expect to find those most obsequious to their will, who without that will would have been nothing.
The two distinctions among men that kings cannot make or unmake, and which therefore arrogate a kind of independence offensive to monarchical superiority, are high birth, and great abilities: these are therefore qualities which will seldom be met with in favourites
; their owners are not of the true spaniel breed, nor readily admit of that careless familiarity which is both the cause and the effect of contempt--for it is to be observed, that a degree of contempt is not at all incompatible with favouritism, Exalted virtue might be mentioned as a third quality even more conducive to the dignity of independence than the other two, and therefore less adapted to the post of favourite; but it will never be among the competitors for such a post. Knowledge and talents are particularly apt to excite the jealousy of princes, because their defects of education, and the mode of life to which they are condemned, usually leav. tag them profoundly ignorant, they cannot avoid being under some apprehensions of displaying their ignorance before those from whom it cannot be concealed, and in whose estimation they must be lessened by it. A mere man of rank and title may be as.
uninformed as themselves, and bed-chamber lords are seldom for. midable critics; but to hold a conversation with persons eminent for science or literature is both an exertion and a hazard. Though many sovereigns have affected the patronage of letters, very few of them, I believe, have chosen favourites from the learned tribe. James I., who really possessed no inconsiderable share of erudi. tion, such as it was, took for his peculiar favourite one of the most empty and ignorant youths about his court, and indulged the pride of superiority by acting at once as his king and his schoolmaster. Henry VIII., also a scholar, though he gave all his political confidence to Wolsey, and studied polemics with More, yet chose for his friend and the companion of his private hours Charles Brandon, who was distinguished only by a good person, and dexterity in chivalrous exercises. Kings have sometimes been desirous of information and have had the discernment to resort to the proper sources whence it was to be obtained; but the persons preferred to the task of answering royal questions have been limited to that office, and when the allotted hour was spent, have been dismissed to make way for the mistress or favourite.
The favourites of princes (as, indeed, of all other persons who are able to keep favourites), will in general be those who are best qualified to minister to their pleasures ; and by studying their leading propensities it is not difficult to foretell what kind of men are most likely to obtain an influence over them. Is the sovereign one of a light and trifling mind, mean in his tastes, and averse to application? he will chuse for his favourite the master of some trivial accomplishments which may amuse his indolence, and keep off that ennui which is ever ready to seize one who has exhausted all common gratifications, and has no turn for serious business. Louis XIII., whose own greatest acquisitions at the age of seventeen were beating a drum and blowing a trumpet, was captivated with the address of Luynes in training butcher. birds to hawk at sparrows, and raised him to the highest offices of state. To his feeble and melancholic character, a favourite who could entertain him was so necessary, that Cardinal Richelieu, who was really king in every important exertion of power,
found it necessary to supply him with a minion of his own choice, though at the hazard of being undermined by him. The individual vices and follies of the Roman emperors may be traced in the description of men whom they honoured with their especial favour. Thus, Nero, who was an eminent dramatic amateur, made his chief intimate of a famous pantomimical actor: and Commodus, whose passion was the amphitheatre, was happy only in the company of gladators and athletes. Whatever additional qualities the favour. ites of profligate princes possessed, they were sure; however, to be equal to their masters in profligacy; for vice cau never be at Q-2