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HE first time that my favour with,
the princess Anne of Denmark became an object of public attention, was upon the quarrel between her sister queen Mary, and her, which happen'd a few years after the Revolution. Here therefore your lordship might naturally expect that I should begin my relation : But as I have been blamed for some memorable parts of the PRINCESS’s conduct before that quarrel, it will be necefsary to my present purpose to go back a little farther; and, perhaps, it may not be improper to say something even of the birth and first growth of that favour, which has given occasion to all the calumnies with which I have been aspersed.
The beginning of the Princess's kindness for me had a much earlier date than
my entrance into her service. My promotion to this honour was wholly owing to impresfions she had before received to my advantage; we had used to play together when she was a child, and she even then expressed a particular fondness for me. This in-,
clination encreased with our years. often at court, and the PRINCESS always distinguished me by the pleasure fhe took to honour me, preferably to others, with her conversation and confidence. In all her parties for amusement, I was sure, by her choice, to be one ; and so desirous the became of having me always near her, that, upon her marriage with the PRINCE of Denmark in 1683, it was, at her own carnest request to her father, I was made one of the ladies of her bed-chamber.
What conduced to render me the more agreeable to her in this station less, the diflike she had conceived to moft of the other persons about her ; and particularly to her first lady of the bed-chamber, the countess of CLARENDON ; a lady whose discourse and manner (though the PRINcess thought they agreed very well together) could not possibly recommend her to fo young a mistress : For the looked like a mad-woman, and talked like a fcholar. Indeed her HIGHNESS’s court was throughout fo oddly composed, that I think it
would be making myself no great compliment, if I should say, her chusing to spend more of her time with me, than with
any of her other servants, did no discredit to her tafte. Be that as it will, it is certain she at length distinguished me by so high a place in her favour, as perhaps no person ever arrived at a higher with queen or princess. And, if from hence I may draw any glory, it is, that I both obtained and held this place without the assistance of flats tery ; a charm, which in truth her inclination for me, together with my
unwearied application to serve and amuse her, rendered needless; but which, had it been otherwise, mý temper and turn of mind would never have fuffered me to employ.
ins Young as I was, when I first became this high favourite, I laid it down for a maxim, that flattery was fallhood to my trust, and ingratitude to my greatest friends, and that I did not deserve so much favour, if I could not venture the loss of it by speaking the truth, and by preferring the real interest of my mistress before the pleasing her fancy, or
the sacrificing to her passion. From this rule I never swerved. And though my temper
and my notions in most things were widely different from those of the PRINcess, yet during a long course of years, she was so far from being displeased with me for openly speaking my sentiments, that the fometimes professed a desire, and even added her command, that it should be always continued, promising never to be offended at it, but to love me the better for
Favour with a princess upon these terms engaged me to her in the manner that it ought ; I mean, by a sentiment which I chuse to call honour, rather than gratitude or duty, because while it implies all the justice and affection of these, it seems to express a more disinterested principle of action. For I can truly affirm, that I never considered myself on any occafion where, her interest or glory was concerned, nor had I any idea of a misery which I would not have sooner incurred, than the inward shame of being conscious of a failure in this respect. The facts themselves, which I am going to
relate, will in a great degree evince the truth of what I say ; and that' the PRINCESS was perfectly persuaded of it, is, I think, sufficiently manifest both from her letters to me, and from that unreserved intimacy of friendship, in which we for many years lived together.
Kings and princes, for the most part, imagine they have a dignity peculiar to their birth and station, which ought to raise them above all connexion of friendship with an inferior. Their passion is to be admired and feared, to have fubjects awful
ly obedient, and servants blindly obsequious to their pleasure. Friendship is an offenfive word; it imports a kind of equality between the parties ; it suggests nothing to the mind of crowns or thrones, high titles, or immense revenues, fountains of honour, or fountains of riches ; prerogatives which the poffeffors would have always uppermost in the thoughts of those who are permitted to approach them.
The PRINCESS had a different taste. A friend was what the most coveted; and for