Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/310

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Ten Thousand Years!" or like those some two years since addressed by the Bulgarians to the Emperor of Russia—"O blessed Czar!" "Blissful Czar!" "Orthodox powerful Czar!" or like those with which, in the past, speeches to the French monarch commenced—"O very benign! O very great! O very merciful!" And then along with these propitiations by direct flattery there go others in which the flattery is indirectly conveyed by affected admiration of whatever the ruler says: as when the courtiers of the King of Delhi held up their hands, crying, "Wonder, wonder!" after any ordinary speech: or in broad day, if he said it was night, responded, "Behold the moon and the stars!" or as when Russians in past times exclaimed, "God and the prince have willed!" "God and the prince know!"

Eulogistic phrases, first thus used to supreme men, of course descend to men in less authority, and so downward. Illustrations are supplied by those current in France during the sixteenth century—to a cardinal, "the very illustrious and very reverend;" to a bishop, "the very reverend and very illustrious;" to a duke, "the very illustrious and very reverend lord, my much-honored master;" to a marquis, "my very illustrious and much-honored lord;" to a doctor, "the virtuous and excellent." And from our own past days may be added such complimentary forms of address to those of lower rank as—"the right worshipful," to knights and sometimes to esquires; "the right noble," "the honorable-minded," used to gentlemen; and, even to aldermen and men addressed as Mr., such laudatory prefixes as "the worthy and worshipful," "the worshipfull, vertuous, and most worthy." Along with flattering epithets there spread flatteries more involved in form, especially observable in the East, where both are extreme. On a Chinese invitation card the compliment, gravely addressed to an ordinary person, is—"To what an elevation of splendor will your presence assist us to rise!" Tavernier, from whom I have quoted the above example of scarcely credible flattery from the court of Delhi, adds, "This vice passeth even unto the people;" and, instancing the way in which he was himself classed with ancient men of the most transcendent powers, adds. that even his military attendant, compared to the greatest of conquerors, was described as making the world tremble when he mounted his horse: a description harmonizing with the instance Mr. Roberts gives of Oriental compliment to an ordinary person—"My lord, there are only two who can do anything for me: God is the first, and you are the second."

On reading that in Tavernier's time a usual expression in the East was—"Let the king's will be done," recalling the parallel expression—"Let God's will be done," we are reminded that various of the glorifying speeches addressed to kings are identical with those addressed to deities. Where the militant type is highly developed, and where divinity is ascribed to the monarch, not only after death but before, as of old in Egypt and Peru, and as now in Japan, China, and Siam, it naturally results that the words of eulogy addressed to the visible ruler