He could not be persuaded
to do a thing while it could do any good - he was iron,
Was adamant in his stubbornness then - but as soon as
the thing had reached a point where it would be positively
harmful to do it, do it he would, and nothing could
stop him. He did not do it because it would be harmful,
but because he hoped it was not yet too late to achieve
by it the good which it would have done if applied earlier.
His comprehension was always a train or two behindhand.
If a national toe required amputating, he could not see
that it needed anything more than poulticing; when others
saw that the mortification had reached the knee, he first
perceived that the toe needed cutting off - so he cut it off;
and he severed the leg at the knee when others saw that the
disease had reached the thigh. He was good, and honest,
and well meaning, in the matter of chasing national diseases,
but he never could overtake one. As a private man,
he would have been lovable; but viewed as a king, he was
His was a most unroyal career, but the most pitiable
spectacle in it was his sentimental treachery to his
Swiss guard on that memorable 10th of August, when he
allowed those heroes to be massacred in his cause,
and forbade them to shed the "sacred French blood"
purporting to be flowing in the veins of the red-capped
mob of miscreants that was raging around the palace.
He meant to be kingly, but he was only the female saint
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