Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/288

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

or the business of the firm. The prince talked freely on all subjects, and showed some learning and a good deal of "superficial knowledge"—but he was a volcano in a state of calm.

His opinions upon different persons were in marked contrast to what,—according to general belief,—they were expected to be. Thus, he said of M. Fersen, "His zeal did me a great deal of harm;" and of the Duke of Sudermania his uncle, who became Charles XIII, "I am under the greatest obligations to him."

Amongst the singularities which rendered his private life so strange, I remarked the following traits. He always had three courses brought to table for his dinner, but he would lock up one of them in his bureau to serve for his supper.

Beggars in Trieste go from house to house and knock at the doors. The King always had a pocketful of money for them, and as soon as he heard a beggar knock he would run downstairs from the second floor to bestow alms upon the mendicant. Indeed he gave very little trouble to the