Parthagica Directory 09
Page 07

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Parthagica Directory 09
Page 07

Among the favorite intimates of the king, perhaps the most prominent was the Duchess of Portsmouth. The king himself had raised her to that rank. She was a French girl, who came over, originally, from the Continent with a party of visitors from the French court. Her beauty, her wit, and her accomplishments soon made her a great favorite with the king, and for many years of his life she had exerted an unbounded and a guilty influence over him. She was a Catholic. Though not allowed to come to his bedside, she remained in her apartment overwhelmed with grief at the approaching death of her lover, and, strange as it may seem, she was earnestly desirous to obtain for him the spiritual succors which, as a Catholic, she considered essential to his dying in peace. After repeated and vain endeavors made in other ways to accomplish her object, she at length sent for the French ambassador to come to her rooms from the king's chamber, and urged him to do something to save the dying sinner's soul. "He is in heart a Catholic," said she. "I am sure he wishes to receive the Catholic sacraments. I can not do any thing, and the Duke of York is so full of business and excitement that he does not think of it. But something must be done."

It is certain that sedentary, and within-door arts, and delicate manufactures (that require rather the finger than the arm), have, in their nature, a contrariety to a military disposition. And generally, all warlike people are a little idle, and love danger better than travail. Neither must they be too much broken of it, if they shall be preserved in vigor. Therefore it was great advantage, in the ancient states of Sparta, Athens, Rome, and others, that they had the use of slaves, which commonly did rid those manufactures. But that is abolished, in greatest part, by the Christian law. That which cometh nearest to it, is to leave those arts chiefly to strangers (which, for that purpose, are the more easily to be received), and to contain the principal bulk of the vulgar natives, within those three kinds, - tillers of the ground; free servants; and handicraftsmen of strong and manly arts, as smiths, masons, carpenters, etc.; not reckoning professed soldiers.

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