|Charlemagne was served at his repast by subject kings.|
On Brussels, there is a very striking picture on this subject. It is the men of the future contemplating the baubles and vanities of the present. They are drawn of gigantic size. In their hands they hold little cannons, stars and garters, flags, and the other insignia of courtly and military glory. How these big men look, to be sure! How keen is their sense of the ridiculous! You feel how hearty is their laugh over such evident petty absurdities! It may be the artist believed that a time would come when such things would be seen in their true light. All we know is that at present that time has not arrived, and that Mr. Marshall's title is, to say the least, a little premature.
|Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, the holder of jousts and tournaments, the inventor of court courtesy...|
This latter seems to have become developed in Europe in the time and under the reign of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, the holder of jousts and tournaments, the inventor of court courtesy, who sought thereby to adorn his house with more glories than kingly monarchs then presented, as a consolation, perhaps, for not possessing their title. His grandchild, Mary of Burgundy, carried the new ideas to her husband Maximilian, and from Austria they passed on again with constant augmentations and freshly devised subtleties to France and Spain. In the latter land it reached its climax. The study of etiquette was three centuries ago the essential study of a Spanish gentleman.
As an illustration of the extent to which it was carried, our author gives the story of the wife of Charles II., who fell off her horse, caught her foot in the stirrup, and was thus indecorously suspended in the presence of forty-three courtiers, who gazed in anguish, but stood still, as it was against etiquette for them to aid in such a case, and the proper person happened to be somewhere else. A passer-by rushed to the rescue; he received several doubloons for his useful service, but was condemned to banishment for his unpardonable indiscretion. And then there was Philip III, roasted to death because the nobleman whose duty was to put the fire out was away hunting in Catalonia.
|Comte de Maurepas filled the Queen's heart with joy by saying, "Madame, I have the honour to assure your Majesty that the game of piquet was deep mourning."|
From "International Vanities," By Frederic Marshall, Author of "French Home Life," 1873