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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/284

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

from the Danube to the Rhine. England was stretching out her hand towards Sardinia and the Balearic Islands; she was bringing into her ports in triumph ten Spanish line-of-battle ships, and many a galleon laden with gold, Hudson's Bay and Straits were already partially relinquished by Louis XIV. It was believed that he was about to give up his hold on Acadia, St. Christopher's, and Newfoundland; and that he would be only too happy if England would but allow the King of France to catch a few cod off Cape Breton. England was about to inflict upon him the mortification of compelling him to demolish the fortifications of Dunkirk. Meanwhile, she had taken Gibraltar, and was taking Barcelona. What great things accomplished! How was it possible to refuse Anne admiration for taking the trouble of living at the period?

From a certain point of view, the reign of Anne seems to be a reflection of the reign of Louis XIV. In that great race called "history," Queen Anne certainly bears some resemblance to the French monarch. Like him, she played at a great reign; she had her monuments, her arts, her victories, her captains, her men of letters, her privy purse to pension celebrities, her gallery of chefs-d'œuvre, side by side with those of his Majesty. Her court, too, was a cortége, with the features of a triumph, an order, and a march. It was a miniature copy of all the great men of Versailles, who were not giants themselves. In it there is enough to deceive the eye; add "God save the Queen," which might have been taken from Lulli, and the ensemble becomes an illusion. Not a personage is missing. Christopher Wren is a very passable Mansard; Somers is as good as Lamoignon; Anne has a Racine in Dryden, a Boileau in Pope, a Colbert in Godolphin, a Louvois in Pembroke, and a Turenne in Marlborough. Heighten the wigs and lower the