Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/169

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This dislike to repose, and uneasy longing for war, or rather this undefined need of activity and love of change is characteristic of the French, and I was not the only person to suffer from it. It was a fever which affected, in one way or other, all ranks of society, at this epoch.

Louvois,[1] it is said, declared war against the Palatinate because he had contradicted his master on a question concerning one of the windows at Trianon, when the King was right, and he was wrong. Ever since the American war, the heads of all the youths of the court and the city had been in a state of ferment. Imitation was all the rage, and the English and Americans,—the two most thoughtful, practical, and solid nations in the world,—were held up as models to be imitated by the most witty and frivolous people. To this strange infatuation was joined also that discontented grumbling spirit peculiar to the French. The government should have provided the people with

  1. See Note K.