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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/46

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

put a look, their art put a squint; where God had made harmony, they made discord; where God had made a perfect picture, they made a caricature; and in the eyes of connoisseurs it was the caricature that was perfect. They debased animals as well; they invented piebald horses. Turenne rode a piebald horse. In our own days do we not dye dogs blue and green? Nature is our canvas. Man has always wished to add something to God's work. Man retouches creation, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. The Court buffoon was nothing but an attempt to lead man back to the monkey. It was a move in the wrong direction; a masterpiece in retrogression. At the same time they tried to make a man of the monkey. Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland and Countess of Southampton, had a marmoset for a page. Frances Sutton, Baroness Dudley, eighth peeress in the bench of barons, had tea served by a baboon clad in gold brocade, which her ladyship called My Black. Catherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester used to go and take her seat in parliament in a coach with armorial bearings, behind which stood, with muzzles high up in the air, three Cape monkeys in grand livery. A Duchess of Medina-Celi, at whose toilet Cardinal Pole assisted, had her stockings put on by an ourang-outang. These monkeys thus raised in the social scale were a counterpoise to men brutalized and bestialized. This promiscuousness of man and beast, desired by the great, was especially prominent in the case of the dwarf and the dog. The dwarf never quitted the dog, which was always bigger than himself; the dog was the pair of the dwarf,—it was as if they were coupled with a collar. This juxtaposition is authenticated by a mass of historic records; and notably by the portrait of Jeffrey Hudson, dwarf of Henrietta of France, daughter of Henri IV., and wife of Charles I.