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Dethroned Monarchs
by [?]

Hume supplies an anecdote of singular royal distress. The queen of England, with her son Charles, “had a moderate pension assigned her; but it was so ill paid, and her credit ran so low, that one morning when the Cardinal de Retz waited on her, she informed him that her daughter, the Princess Henrietta, was obliged to lie a-bed for want of a fire to warm her. To such a condition was reduced, in the midst of Paris, a queen of England, and a daughter of Henry IV. of France!” We find another proof of her extreme poverty. Salmasius, after publishing his celebrated political book, in favour of Charles I., the Defensio Regia, was much blamed by a friend for not having sent a copy to the widowed queen of Charles, who, he writes, “though poor, would yet have paid the bearer.”

The daughter of James the First, who married the Elector Palatine, in her attempts to get her husband crowned, was reduced to the utmost distress, and wandered frequently in disguise.

A strange anecdote is related of Charles VII. of France. Our Henry V. had shrunk his kingdom into the town of Bourges. It is said that having told a shoemaker, after he had just tried a pair of his boots, that he had no money to pay for them, Crispin had such callous feelings that he refused his majesty the boots. “It is for this reason,” says Comines, “I praise those princes who are on good terms with the lowest of their people; for they know not at what hour they may want them.”

Many monarchs of this day have experienced more than once the truth of the reflection of Comines.

We may add here, that in all conquered countries the descendants of royal families have been found among the dregs of the populace. An Irish prince has been discovered in the person of a miserable peasant; and in Mexico, its faithful historian Clavigero notices, that he has known a locksmith, who was a descendant of its ancient kings, and a tailor, the representative of one of its noblest families.