Lola Montez

Lola Montez

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Excerpt: ... lacking, as we have seen, in the will and capacity to give to his loftiest conceptions practical shape. "Throughout life," says the writer just quoted, "King Louis ordered his expenses with the exactness of a debtor and creditor account in a banker's ledger. The necessary monies for certain undertakings were assigned beforehand for each coming year. Every separate expenditure was provided for from specified sources, and each rubric had a corresponding one belonging to it, whence its expenses were to be defrayed." No Bond Street dealer could be a shrewder judge of the value of a work of art than the Bavarian prince; he was no wasteful dilettante, but brought to bear on the embellishment of his capital the keenest business instincts. He watched with unflagging attention the fluctuations in the prices of the treasures he coveted. We find him comparing Thorwaldsen's and Canova's estimates of the value of the Barberini Faun, and refusing to pay an extra scudo for the carriage of a Pg 118 statue. Yet he was not a niggard. Those he honoured with his friendship he never left to want. A sick or indigent artist had only to bring his need to the King's notice, to receive liberal relief. He was a warm-hearted and constant friend. His last letter to Wagner is as affectionate in tone as the first he addressed to him forty-eight years before. The permanency of his friendships was in a great degree due to his good sense in making them. His associates were men, not only of genius and learning, but of sterling worth and character. They were not the kind of men to flatter his vanity, or to humour his foibles. Returning to Rome after his accession, Louis announced his intention of continuing the course of life he had pursued as Prince, but thought he ought to assume some little outward state. Wagner replied: "The King of Spain certainly used to drive about in a coach and six, with footmen in grand liveries; but, more

Product details

  • Paperback | 60 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 3mm | 127g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 123672903X
  • 9781236729033