Had he been the undoubted heir apparent to the crown, he could not have assumed more airs of royalty; and at a moment when the eyes of both the king and James were following him with jealous vigilance, this folly was the more egregious.
The author, recognised as almost the greatest of German historians, began the work late in life, and brought to bear upon it perhaps as full an equipment of historical knowledge in divers fields as any single man has ever attained. In a century of perpetual, or at least implacable, war, much courage, and some skill, must have been exerted for the defence of Britain. His father, a ribbon-weaver, was a descendant of a Swedish soldier who (in the service of Gustavus Adolphus) was left wounded at Rammenau and settled there. Our available professional soldiers, then, were captains and subalterns whose experience was confined to company duty at frontier posts hundreds of miles from civilization, except in the case of the engineers, the staff corps, and some of the artillery in sea-coast forts. Once, when he was made admiral of the Athenian fleet, he put off all the necessary business of his office until the day appointed for sailing, in order that he might have a great many dealings with various people all at once, and so appear to be a person of great influence and importance.
His slaves when all the missile weapons were spent, fled at the dawn of day; and Gerontius, if he had not been restrained by conjugal tenderness, might have imitated their example; till the soldiers, provoked by such obstinate resistance, applied fire on all sides to the house. Making a rush he let fall his arm, like some mighty bar, upon the neck of Theagenes—at the echo which it made the braggart laughed exultingly. “Ha, what’s this?” asked Napoleon, noticing that all the courtiers were looking at something concealed under a cloth. As they were all Greeks, and had no private grounds for hatred, they would cheerfully risk their lives in battle against each other, but during times of truce they conversed freely.