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This day was viewed in public, as his queen,
W. There was the weight that pulled me down. O Cromwell,
Crom. O, my lord,
Wol. Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
I served my king, he would not, in mine age,
Crom. Good sir, have patience.
Wol. So I have. Farewell
CHARACTER OF CARDINAL WOLSEY.
Queen Catherine. Didst thou not tell me, Griffith. as thou led'st me, That the great child of honor, Cardinal Wolsey, Was dead?
Griffith. Yes, madam ; but, I think, your grace, Out of the pain you suffered, gave no ear to't.
2. Cath. Pr’ythee, good Griffith, tell me how he died:
Grif. Well, the voice goes, madam:
Q. Cath. Alas! poor man!
Grif. At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester,
Q. Cath. So may he rest; his faults lie gently on him!
* In the presenco of the king.
Both in his words and meaning. He was never,
Grif. Noble Madam,
Q. Cath. Yes, good Griffith ;
Grif. This cardinal,
Q. Cath. After my death, I wish no other +herald,
LESSON CII. (0 CHARACTER OF LOUIS FOURTEENTH. 1. CONCERNING Louis the Fourteenth, the world seems, at last, to have formed a correct judgment. He was not a great general; he was not a great statesman; but he was, in one sense of the word, a great king. Never was there so consummate a master
of what James the First of England called king-craft; of all those arts which most advantageously display the merits of a prince, and most completely hide his defects.
2. Though his internal + administration was bad; though the military triumphs which gave splendor to the early part of his reign, were not + achieved by himself; though his later years were crowded with defects and humiliations; though he was so ignorant that he scarcely understood the Latin of his mass-book; though he fell under the control of a cunning Jesuit, and of a more cunning old woman; he succeeded in passing himself off on his people as a being above humanity. And this is the more extraordinary, because he did not * seclude himself from the public gaze, like those + Oriental + despots whose faces are never seen, and whose very names it is a crime to pronounce lightly.
3. It has been said, that no man is a hero to his + valet; and all the world saw as much of Louis the Fourteenth as his valet could
Five hundred people assembled to see him shave and put on his clothes in the morning. He then kneeled down at the side of his bed, and said his prayers, while the whole assembly awaited the end in solemn silence, the ecclesiastics on their knees, and the laymen with their hats before their faces. He walked about his gardens, with a train of two hundred courtiers at his heels. All Versailles came to see him dine and sup. He was put to bed at night, in the midst of a crowd as great as that which had met to see him rise in the morning. He took his very emetics in state, and vomited majestically in the presence of all his nobles. Yet, though he constantly exposed himself to the public gaze, in situations in which it is scarcely possible for any man to preserve much personal dignity, he, to the last, impressed those who surrounded him, with the deepest awe and reverence.
4. The + illusion which he produced on his worshipers, can be compared only to those illusions, to which lovers are proverbially subject, during the season of courtship. It was an illusion which affected even the senses. The cotemporaries of Louis thought him tall. Voltaire, who might have seen him, and who had lived with some of the most distinguished members of his court, speaks repeatedly of his majestic stature. Yet, it is as certain as any fact can be, that he was rather below than above the middle size. He had, it seems, a way of holding himself, a way of walking, a way of swelling his chest and rearing his head, which deceived the eyes of the multitude. Eighty years after his death, the royal cemetery was violated by the revolutionists; his coffin was opened; his body was dragged out; and it appeared, that the prince whose majestic figure had been so long and loudly +extolled, was in truth a little man.
5. His person and government have had the same fate. He had the art of making both appear grand and +august, in spite of the clearest evidence that both were below the ordinary standard. Death and time have exposed both the deceptions. The body of the great king has been measured more justly than it was measured by the courtiers, who were afraid to look above his shoe-tie. His public character has been + scrutinized by men free from the hopes and fears of Bolieau and Moliere.* In the grave, the most majestic of princes is only five feet eight. In history, the hero and the politician dwindle into a vain and feeble tyrant, the slave of priests and women, little in war, little in government, little in every thing but the art of simulating greatness.
6. He left to his infant successor a + famished and miserable people, a beaten and humble army, provinces turned inio deserts by misgovernment and persecution, factions dividing the army, a *schism raging in the court, an immense debt, an innumerable household, inestimable jewels and furniture. All the sap and nutriment of the state seemed to have been drawn, to feed one bloated and unwholesome texcrescence. The nation was withered. The court was morbidly flourishing. Yet, it does not appear that the
+ associations, which attached the people to the monarchy, had lost strength during his reign. He had neglected or sacrificed their dearest interests, but he had struck their imaginations. The very things which ought to have made him unpopular, the * prodigies of luxury and magnificence with which his person was surrounded, while, beyond the inclosure of his parks, nothing was to be seen but starvation and despair, seemed to increase the respectful attachment which his people felt for him.
A PETITION TO THOSE WHO HAVE THE CARE OF YOUTH.
1. I ADDRESS myself to all the friends of youth, and * conjure them to direct their compassionate regards to my unhappy fate, in order to remove the + prejudices of which I am the victim. There are twin sisters of us; and the eyes of man do not more closely resemble, nor are capable of being upon better terms with each other, than my sister and myself, were it not for the +partiality of my parents, who make the most injurious distinctions between us.
* Pronounced Bwi-lo and Mo-le-air.