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Anecdotes Home






Josquin, a celebrated composer, was appointed master of the
chapel to Louis XII. of France, who promised him a benefice, but contrary
to his usual custom, forgot him. Josquin, after suffering great
inconvenience from the shortness of his majesty's memory, ventured, by a
singular expedient, publicly to remind him of his promise, without giving
offence. Being commanded to compose a motet for the chapel royal, he chose
the verse of the Psalm, "Oh, think of thy servant as concerning thy word,"
&c., which he set in so supplicating and exquisite a manner, that it was
universally admired, particularly by the king, who was not only charmed
with the music, but felt the force of the words so effectually, that he
soon after granted his petition, by conferring on him the promised
appointment.


George the Second, when returning from his German dominions, on the way
between the Brill and Helvoetsluys, was obliged to stay at an obscure
public house on the road, while some of his servants went forward to obtain
another carriage, that in which he had travelled having broken down. The
king ordered refreshment, but all he could get was a pot of coffee for
himself and Lord Delawar, and two bottles of gin made into punch for his
footmen; however, when the bill was called for, the conscientious Dutchman,
knowing his customer, presented it as follows: "To refreshments for His
Sacred Majesty, King George the Second, and his household, L91." Lord
Delawar was so provoked at this imposition, that the king overheard his
altercation with the landlord, and demanded the cause of it. His lordship
immediately told him; when his majesty good humouredly replied, "My lord,
the fellow is a great knave, but pay him. Kings seldom pass this way."

A similar anecdote is related of another monarch, who, passing through a
town in Holland, was charged thirty dollars for two eggs. On this, he said,
that "Eggs were surely scarce in that town." "No, your majesty," replied
the landlord, "but kings are."





Next: Charles V. of France

Previous: Desertion



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