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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/279

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QUEEN ANNE.

sketched, of the universal Eve. Her husband was a Dane, thoroughbred.

A Tory, Anne governed through the Whigs. Nobody could have been more awkward than Anne in directing affairs of State. She let things happen as they would. Her entire policy was hare-brained. She excelled in bringing about great catastrophes from little causes. When a desire to rule seized her, she called it giving "a stir with the poker." She would say with an air of profound thought, "No peer can keep his hat on before the king except De Courcy, Baron Kingsale, an Irish peer." Or, "It would be an injustice if my husband were not to be Lord High Admiral, since my father was." And she made George of Denmark Lord Admiral of England and of all her Majesty's plantations. She was incessantly exhaling bad humour; she did not explain her thought, she exuded it. There was something of the Sphinx in this goose.

Anne rather liked rough fun, teasing, and practical jokes. Could she have made Apollo a hunchback, it would have delighted her; but she would have left him a god. Good-natured, her plan was to allow no one to despair, and yet to worry everybody. She often had a rough word in her mouth; a little more, and she would have sworn like Elizabeth. From time to time she would take from a pocket which she wore in her skirt a little round box of chased silver, on which was her portrait in profile, between the two letters Q. A.; she would open this box, and take from it on her finger a little pomade, with which she reddened her lips; and having coloured her mouth, she would laugh. She was greedily fond of the flat Zealand ginger-bread cakes; she was proud of being fat.

More of a Puritan than anything else, Anne would nevertheless have liked to devote herself to stage plays.