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Royalty in All Ages The Amusements, Eccentricities, Accomplishments, Superstitions and Frolics of the Kings and Queens of Europe

Royalty in All Ages
The Amusements, Eccentricities, Accomplishments,
Superstitions and Frolics of the Kings and Queens of Europe
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Title: Royalty in All Ages The Amusements, Eccentricities, Accomplishments, Superstitions and Frolics of the Kings and Queens of Europe
Release Date: 2018-07-04
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 44
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Contents.

Index:A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,R,S,T,U,V,W,Y.

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(etext transcriber's note)

R O Y A L T Y
IN   ALL   AGES

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T. F. THISELTON-DYER, M.A. Oxon.

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QUEEN ELIZABETH

R  O  Y  A  L  T  Y
I N   A L L   A G E S

The Amusements, Eccentricities, Ac-
complishments,Superstitions, and
Frolics of the Kings and
Queens of Europe

BY
T. F. THISELTON-DYER, M.A. Oxon.
WITH SIX ETCHED PORTRAITS FROM
CONTEMPORARY ENGRAVINGS

LONDON
JOHN C. NIMMO, Ltd.
NEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS
M D C C C C I I I
{iv}Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co.
At the Ballantyne Press
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PREFACE

It has been remarked that to write of the private and domestic acts ofmonarchs while still alive savours of scandal and bad taste, but whendead their traits of character, however strange and eccentric they mayhave been in their lifetime, at once become matter of history. Adoptingthis rule, we have confined ourselves in the present work to dealingwith royalty in the past; and, in a field so wide, we have, as far aspossible, endeavoured to make each chapter concise and representative ofthe subject treated. The following pages, whilst illustrating themarvellous versatility of royalty, when seriously analysed tend to showhow vastly superior the latter-day sovereigns have been when comparedwith those of earlier times, many of whose extraordinary freaks andvagaries as much degraded the throne, as the refined and cultivatedtastes of her late Majesty Queen Victoria elevated and beautified it.

T. F. THISELTON-DYER.

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CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE
I. ROYALTY AT PLAY1
II. FREAKS OF ROYALTY10
III. ROYAL REVELRY37
IV. ROYAL EPICURES57
V. CURIOUS FADS OF ROYALTY85
VI. DANCING MONARCHS99
VII. ROYAL HOBBIES120
VIII. THE ROYAL HUNT135
IX. ROYAL MASQUES AND MASQUERADES152
X. ROYALTY IN DISGUISE168
XI. ROYAL GAMESTERS184
XII. ROYALTY ON THE TURF204
XIII. ROYAL SPORTS AND PASTIMES223
XIV. COURT DWARFS239
XV. ROYAL PETS247
XVI. ROYAL JOKES AND HUMOUR264
XVII. ROYALTY AND FASHION288
XVIII. ROYALTY WHIPT AND MARRIED BY PROXY{viii}306
XIX. COURT JESTERS AND FOOLS313
XX. ROYALTY AND THE DRAMA334
XXI. ROYAL AUTHORS357
XXII. ROYAL MUSICIANS376
XXIII. SUPERSTITIONS OF ROYALTY395
 INDEX433

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LIST OF ETCHED PORTRAITS

QUEEN ELIZABETHFrontispiece
EDWARD I.To face page46
EDWARD III.136
CHARLES II.210
CHARLES IX., King of France240
LOUIS XIV.348

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ROYALTY

CHAPTER I

ROYALTY AT PLAY

The great Mogul Emperor was a chess player, and was generous enough torejoice when he was beaten by one of his courtiers, which was the exactreverse of Philip II. of Spain, who, when a Spanish grandee had wonevery game in which he had played against the King, could not concealhis vexation. Whereupon the skilful but injudicious player, returninghome, said to his family: “My children, we have nothing more to do atCourt. There we must henceforth expect no favour; the King is offendedbecause I have won of him every game of chess.” Napoleon did not likedefeat even at chess, for, if he perceived his antagonist gaining uponhim, he would with one hasty movement sweep board and pieces off thetable on to the ground.

In some cases, however, if we are to believe the traditions of history,chess has been responsible for some serious fracas. Thus a story is toldof William the Conqueror, how when a young man he was invited to theCourt of the French king, and during his stay there was one day engagedat chess{2} with the King’s eldest son, when a dispute arose concerning acertain move. William, annoyed at a certain remark made by hisantagonist, struck him with the chess-board, which “obliged him to makea precipitate retreat from France to avoid the consequences of so rashan act.”

A similar anecdote is told of John, the youngest son of Henry II., whoquarrelled over the chess-board with one Fulco Guarine, a Shropshirenobleman, receiving such a blow as almost to kill him. John did noteasily forget the affront, and long after his accession to the throneshowed his resentment by keeping him from the possession of WhittingtonCastle, to which he was the rightful heir. It is also said that Henrywas engaged at chess when the deputies from Rouen informed him that thecity was besieged by Philip, King of France; but he would not listen totheir news until he had finished his game. A curious accident happenedto Edward I. when he was playing at chess at Windsor, for, on suddenlyrising from the game, the next moment the centre stone of the groinedceiling fell on the very spot where he had been sitting, an escape whichhe attributed to the special protection of Providence. It is furtherrecorded that Edward I. received from one of the dignitaries of theTemple, in France, a chess-board and chess-men made of jasper andcrystal, which present he transferred to his queen; hence it has beenconcluded that she, too, was skilled in the noble game.

But his son, Edward II., got into disrepute by playing atchuck-farthing, or cross and pile,{3} which was held to be a very unkinglydiversion, “and sufficient to disgust the warlike peers who had beenaccustomed to rally round the victorious banner of his father.” In oneof his wardrobe accounts these entries occur: “Item—paid to Henry, theKing’s barber, for money which he lent to the King to play at cross andpile, five shillings. Item—paid to Pires Barnard, usher of the King’schamber, money which he lent the King, and which he lost at cross andpile to Monsieur Robert Wattewille, eight-pence.”[1]

De Foix, on hearing that the Queen of Scots had resolved on the marriagewith her cousin Darnley, went to Elizabeth that he might discuss thematter. He found her at chess, and, profiting by the opportunity ofdiscussing the matter, he said: “This game is an image of the words anddeeds of men. If, for example, we lose a pawn, it seems but a smallmatter; nevertheless, the loss often draws after it that of the wholegame.”

The Queen replied, “I understand you. Darnley is but a pawn, but maywell checkmate me if he be promoted.”

Charles I. was occupied, it is said, at chess when he was informed ofthe final resolution of the Scots to sell him to the Parliament; but hewas so little discomposed by this intelligence that he continued thegame in no way disconcerted. A similar anecdote is told of JohnFrederick, Elector of Saxony, who, having been taken prisoner by CharlesV., was condemned to death—a decree which was{4} intimated to him whileat chess with Ernest of Brunswick, his fellow-prisoner. But after ashort pause he challenged his antagonist to finish the game, played withhis usual attention, and expressed his satisfaction at winning. Andcoming down to the reign of her late Majesty, Queen Victoria, it is saidshe was fond of most games, enjoying chess or draughts, which in herlater days she exchanged for patience. When more actively inclined shewould play at ball or battledore and shuttle-cock with the ladies of theCourt, a practice which she continued till middle life.

As a warning against the perilous habit of playing chess with a wife, itis related of Ferrand, Count of Flanders, that, having constantlydefeated the Countess, she conceived a hatred against him, which reachedsuch a height that when the unfortunate Count was taken prisoner at thebattle of Bouvines, she suffered him to remain a long time in prison,although, according to common report, she might easily have procured hisrelease.

It was while playing at chess with a knight, nicknamed the “King ofLove,” that James I. of Scotland referred to a prophecy that a kingshould die that year, and remarked to his playmate, “There are no kingsin Scotland but you and I. I shall take good care of myself, and Icounsel you to do the same.”

Don John of Austria had a room in his palace in which there was achequered pavement of black and white marble, upon which living menattired in varied costumes moved under his direction accord{5}ing to thelaws of chess. It is also related of a Duke of Weimar that he hadsquares of black and white marble, on which he played at chess with redsoldiers.

Although Louis XIII. firmly prohibited all games of chance at Court, hehad so strong an affection for chess that he rarely lost an opportunityof playing a game in his coach whenever he went abroad. In this respecthe was very different to Louis IX., who forbade any of his officers toplay at dice or at chess; and report goes that his anger on oneoccasion, at finding the Duke of Anjou engaged in a move of chess, knewno bounds.

Henry III. of France was passionately fond of the childish gamebilboquet or “cup and ball,” which, it is said, he used to play evenwhen walking in the street; and piquet is commonly reported to havederived its name from that of its inventor, who contrived it to amuseCharles VI. of France.

The poor imbecile Charles II. of Spain did his best to amuse his youngwife Marie Louise of Orleans, but not with much effect. He would playwith her at “jouchets,” which appears to have been an amusement of thenature of that known as “spills,” for three or four hours a day—“agame,” writes Madame de Villars, “at which one might lose a pistoleduring all that time par malheur extraordinaire.”

Indeed, sovereigns, like other mortals, have sought recreation and arest from the anxieties of life in sometimes what may seem the mostchildish amusements. One of Napoleon’s favourite games, for{6} instance,was blind-man’s-buff, a pastime which, it may be remembered, Canning andSir William Scott played with the Princess Caroline whilst at MontaguHouse. Napoleon, too, was very fond of children, and would carry theinfant King of Rome in his arms, and standing in front of a mirror, makeall kinds of grimaces in the glass. At breakfast he would take the childupon his knee, “dip his fingers in the sauce, and daub his face with it;the child’s governess scolded, the Emperor laughed, and the child,always pleased, seemed to take delight in the rough caresses of hisfather.”[2]

Henry IV. of France also delighted in a romp with his children. Thestory goes that one day, when trotting round the room on his hands andknees, with the Dauphin on his back, and the other children urging himon to gallop in imitation of

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