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Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. Curiosity to see a man equally famous for his crimes and his elevation, had once before induced the Philibert de Grammont 1621-1707 to visit England. Reasons of state assume great privileges. Whatever appears advantageous is lawful, and every thing that is necessary is honourable in politics. While the Charles II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 sought the protection of Spain in the Low Countries, and that of the States-General in Holland, other powers sent splendid embassies to Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector 1599-1658.
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. This Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector 1599-1658, whose ambition had opened him a way to sovereign power by the greatest crimes, maintained himself in it by accomplishments which seemed to render him worthy of it by their lustre. The nation, of all Europe the least submissive, patiently bore a yoke which did not even leave her the shadow of that liberty of which she is so jealous; and Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector 1599-1658, master of the Commonwealth, under the title of Lord Protector, feared at home, but yet more dreaded abroad, was at his highest pitch of glory when he was seen by the Philibert de Grammont 1621-1707; but the Chevalier did not see any appearance of a court. One part of the nobility proscribed, the other Removed from employments; an affectation of purity of manners, instead of the luxury which the pomp of courts displays all taken together, presented nothing but sad and serious objects in the finest city in the world; and therefore the Chevalier acquired nothing by this voyage but the idea of some merit in a profligate man, and the admiration of some concealed beauties he had found means to discover.
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. Affairs wore quite a different appearance at Philibert de Grammont 1621-1707 second voyage. The joy for the restoration of the Charles II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 still appeared in all parts. The nation, fond of change and novelty, tasted the pleasure of a natural government, and seemed to breathe again after a long oppression. In short, the same people who, by a solemn abjuration, had excluded even the posterity of their lawful sovereign, exhausted themselves in festivals and rejoicings for his return.
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. The Philibert de Grammont 1621-1707 arrived about two years after the restoration. The reception he met with in this court soon made him forget the other; and the engagements he in the end contracted in England lessened the regret he had in leaving France. This was a desirable retreat for an exile of his disposition. Everything flattered his taste, and if the adventures he had in this country were not the most considerable, they were at least the most agreeable of his life. But before we relate them it will not be improper to give some account of the English court, as it was at that period.
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. The necessity of affairs had exposed Charles II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 from his earliest youth to the toils and perils of a bloody war. The fate of the Charles I King England, Scotland and Ireland 1600-1649 had left him for inheritance nothing but his misfortunes and disgraces. They overtook him everywhere; but it was not until he had struggled with his ill-fortune to the last extremity that he submitted to the decrees of Providence.
All those who were either great on account of their birth or their loyalty had followed him into exile; and all the young persons of the greatest distinction having afterwards joined him, composed a court worthy of a better fate.
Plenty and prosperity, which are thought to tend only to corrupt manners, found nothing to spoil in an indigent and wandering court. Necessity, on the contrary, which produces a thousand advantages whether we will or no, served them for education; and nothing was to be seen among them but an emulation in glory, politeness, and virtue.
With this little court, in such high esteem for merit, the Charles II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 returned two years prior to the period we mention, to ascend a throne which, to all appearances, he was to fill as worthily as the most glorious of his predecessors. The magnificence displayed on thus occasion was renewed at his coronation.
The death of the Henry Stewart 1st Duke Gloucester 1640-1660, and of the Mary Stewart Princess Orange 1631-1660, which followed soon after, had interrupted the course of this splendour by a tedious mourning, which they quitted at last to prepare for the reception of the Catherine of Braganza Queen Consort England 1638-1705.
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. It was in the height of the rejoicings they were making for this new Catherine of Braganza Queen Consort England 1638-1705, in all the splendour of a brilliant court, that the Philibert de Grammont 1621-1707 arrived to contribute to its magnificence and diversions.
Accustomed as Philibert de Grammont 1621-1707 was to the grandeur of the court of France, he was surprised at the politeness and splendour of the court of England. The Charles II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 was inferior to none, either in shape or air; his wit was pleasant; his disposition easy and affable; his soul, susceptible of opposite impressions, was compassionate to the unhappy, inflexible to the wicked, and tender even to excess; Charles II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 showed great abilities in urgent affairs, but was incapable of application to any that were not so: Charles II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 heart was often the dupe, but oftener the slave, of his engagements.
The character of the James II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1633-1701 was entirely different he had the reputation of undaunted courage, an inviolable attachment for his word, great economy in his affairs, hauteur, application, arrogance, each in their turn: a scrupulous observer of the rules of duty and the laws of justice; he was accounted a faithful friend, and an implacable enemy.
James II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1633-1701 morality and justice, struggling for some time with prejudice, had at last triumphed, by his acknowledging for his Anne Hyde Queen Consort England 1637-1671, maid of honour to the Mary Stewart Princess Orange 1631-1660, whom he had secretly married in Holland. Anne Hyde Queen Consort England 1637-1671 Edward Hyde 1st Earl Clarendon 1609-1674, from that time prime minister of England, supported by this new interest, soon rose to the head of affairs, and had almost ruined them: not that he wanted capacity, but he was too self-sufficient.
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. The James Butler 1st Duke Ormonde 1610-1688 possessed the confidence and esteem of his master: the greatness of his services, the splendour of his merit and his birth, and the fortune he had abandoned in adhering to the fate of his prince, rendered him worthy of it nor durst the courtiers even murmur at seeing him grand steward of the household, first lord of the bed-chamber, and lord-lieutenant of Ireland. He exactly resembled the Marshal de Grammont, in the turn of his wit and the nobleness of his manners: and like him was the honour of his master’s court.
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. The George Villiers 2nd Duke Buckingham 1628-1687 and the Henry Jermyn 1st Earl St Albans 1605-1684 were the same in England as they appeared in France: the one full of wit and vivacity, dissipated, without splendour, an immense estate upon which he had just entered: the other, a man of no great genius, had raised himself a considerable fortune from nothing, and by losing at play, and keeping a great table, made it appear greater than it was.
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. Charles Berkeley 1st Earl Falmouth 1630-1665, afterwards Earl Falmouth (1C 1664), was the confidant and favourite of the King: he commanded the James II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1633-1701 regiment of guards, and governed the Duke himself. He had nothing very remarkable either in his wit, or his person; but his sentiments were worthy of the fortune which awaited him, when, on the very point of his elevation, he was Battle of Lowestoft. Never did disinterestedness so perfectly characterise the greatness of the soul: he had no views but what tended to the glory of his master: his credit was never employed but in advising him to reward services, or to confer favours on merit: so polished in conversation, that the greater his power, the greater was his humility; and so sincere in all his proceedings, that he would never have been taken for a courtier.
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. The James Butler 1st Duke Ormonde 1610-1688 sons and his nephews had been in the Charles II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 court during his exile, and were far from diminishing its lustre after his return. The Richard Butler 1st Earl Arran 1639-1685 had a singular address in all kinds of exercises, played well at tennis and on the guitar, and was pretty successful in gallantry: his elder brother, the Thomas Butler 6th Earl Ossory 1634-1680, was not so lively, but of the most liberal sentiments, and of great probity.
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. The elder of the Hamiltons, their cousin, was the man who of all the court dressed best: he was well made in his person, and possessed those happy talents which lead to fortune, and procure success in love: he was a most assiduous courtier, had the most lively wit, the most polished manners, and the most punctual attention to his master imaginable: no person danced better, nor was any one a more general lover: a merit of some account in a court entirely devoted to love and gallantry. It is not at all surprising, that with these qualities he succeeded my Lord Falmouth in the King’s favour; but it is very extraordinary that he should have experienced the same destiny, as if this sort of war had been declared against merit only, and as if this sort of combat was fatal to none but such as had certain hopes of a splendid fortune. This, however, did not happen till some years afterwards.
Chapter 6 His Arrival at the English Court - The Various Personages of the Court. The beau Sydney, less dangerous than he appeared to be, had not sufficient vivacity to support the impression which his figure made; but little Jermyn was on all sides successful in his intrigues.
The old Henry Jermyn 1st Earl St Albans 1605-1684, his uncle, had for a long time adopted him, though the youngest of all his nephews. It is well known what a table the good man kept at Paris, while the King his master was starving at Brussels, and the Queen Dowager, his mistress, lived not over well in France.