The conscience of the woman was troubled; she began to think that the deaths of her favourites was a judgement from heaven to chastise her partiality.
This girl had always been the favourite of her father, but through a strange perversity, her mother could not endure her, and after the death of M.
“Justine, you may remember, was a great favourite of yours; and I recollect you once remarked that if you were in an ill humour, one glance from Justine could dissipate it, for the same reason that Ariosto gives concerning the beauty of Angelica–she looked so frank-hearted and happy.
These unhappy people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favourites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity, and virtue; of teaching ministers to consult the public good; of rewarding merit, great abilities, eminent services; of instructing princes to know their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people; of choosing for employments persons qualified to exercise them, with many other wild, impossible chimeras, that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive; and confirmed in me the old observation, “that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational, which some philosophers have not maintained for truth.”
Again: because it is a general complaint, that the favourites of princes are troubled with short and weak memories; the same doctor proposed, “that whoever attended a first minister, after having told his business, with the utmost brevity and in the plainest words, should, at his departure, give the said minister a tweak by the nose, or a kick in the belly, or tread on his corns, or lug him thrice by both ears, or run a pin into his breech; or pinch his arm black and blue, to prevent forgetfulness; and at every levee day, repeat the same operation, till the business were done, or absolutely refused.”
All this time the squire was waiting at the door; but George was a great favourite with his master, as his employment was in concerns of the highest nature, namely, about the game, and was accustomed to take many liberties.
The eggs of pullets, partridges, pheasants, &c., were, as George well knew, the most favourite dainties of Sophia.
Here in the evening the favourite reclined, watching the peonies vie with the sunset beyond.
In that supreme crisis of the empire and a human soul, when the mutinous soldiers were thronging about the royal tent and clamouring for the blood of the favourite, it was the Emperor who sent her forth — lily pale,