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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/285

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245
QUEEN ANNE.

foreheads: the whole effect is solemn and pompous, and the Windsor of the time bears a faded resemblance to Marly. Still, the whole was effeminate, and Anne's Père Tellier was called Sarah Jennings. However, there is an outline of incipient irony, which fifty years later was to turn to philosophy, in the literature of the age; and the Protestant Tartuffe is unmasked by Swift just in the same way as the Catholic Tartuffe is denounced by Molière. Although the England of that period quarrels and fights with France, she imitates her and draws enlightenment from her; and the light on the façade of England is French light. It is a pity that Anne's reign lasted but twelve years, or the English would not hesitate to call it the century of Anne,—as we say the century of Louis XIV. Anne appeared in 1702, as Louis XIV. declined. It is one of the curiosities of history that the rise of this pale planet coincides with the setting of the purple planet, and that at the very time France had the Sun king England should have had the Moon queen.

One fact is well worthy of note. Louis XIV., although they waged war upon him, was greatly admired in England. "He is just the kind of a king they need in France," said the English. The love of the English for their own liberty is mingled with a certain acceptance of servitude for others. Their favourable opinion of the chains which bind their neighbours sometimes amounts to enthusiasm for the despot next door.

To sum up, Anne rendered her people hureux, as the French translator of Beeverell's book repeats three times, with graceful reiteration, in the sixth and ninth page of his dedication and the third of his preface.