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A false description of a person's appearance will also give a false description of their character; a careless touch of this nature will considerably mislead the reader.William III has frequently been so wrongly described; the author has read of him as "broken-nosed," "hunchbacked," with "a mouth indicated by a thin line," as of "a mean exterior," etc.Bathurst, London, 1924; these do not treat with the period dealt with here, but are invaluable as regards the character of William III.Le Grand lecteur et Louis XIV, George Pags (Paris, 1905), is a laborious work with a copious bibliography; this careful writer judges the masterpiece of Otto Klopp—Der Fall der Hauses Stuart—"confuse, partiale, suspecte," and considers that Johan de Witt, by M.Among letters may be mentioned the correspondence of Lord Arlington, Sir William Temple, Sir George Savile, Algernon Sidney, Lady Russell, D'strades, D'Avaux, as the better known and more easily obtained; the letters of William III are scattered through many volumes and many collections; a number referring to the earlier part of his life are in Wilhelm Van Orangien und G. v, 1650-1688); this includes much correspondence dealing with William III's childhood and the letters of Prince John Maurice of Nassau-Siegen, and William III, 1673. Gourville, of the Marquis de Saint Maurice, the Journaal of William III's secretary, the younger Constantine Huygens, and the correspondence of his father, most loyal servant of the House of Orange, and father of Christian Huygens the great philosopher, which has been excellently edited; as much cannot be said for the Journaal and the Archives, etc.
Besides the English writers already mentioned, there are memoirs which have less literary value, such as those of Lord Ailesbury, Reresby, Henry Sidney, Lady Fanshawe, Clarke's James II, Narcissus Luttrell and Wood, etc.; from these writers most valuable knowledge, not only as to politics, but as to details of daily life, opinion, etc., of the seventeenth century may be gathered. Mller, already mentioned; others and much material of the first importance are given in Groen Van Prinsterer's Archives de la Maison d'Orange Nassau (2nd series, vol.
English historians have written of him as king of England, but seldom shown him against his Dutch background, and seldom without a reserve even in their praise; he was not English, he did not attempt to disguise disappointment and an aloof disdain for much that was English; England, as a country, he thought "vilain." This attitude was, from first to last, unpardoned; his great services could not take the place of good fellowship; his wide policies could not excuse his scorn for insular absorption in local disputes; he never wholly succeeded, till on his deathbed, in uniting the English in one common front against a common foe, and the English never more than partially succeeded in drawing him into party factions; the man whom the Whigs have so extolled and the Tories so reviled was profoundly contemptuous of the party politics of Whigs and Tories alike; his interests, his ambitions, his loves and likings were elsewhere—in brief, a foreigner.
No doubt, to be a foreigner was an unpardonable offence in a king of England, and one that William III made no attempt to efface; yet it seems scarcely just to taunt a man because of his nostalgia for his home, nor very perceptive not to realize that exile is terrible, even if it be gilded with royal honours; neither his contemporaries nor his historians appear to have troubled to understand, in their eagerness to resent the coldness of William III towards England and the fact of his straining to be away, his part in the matter; how hostile this country seemed to him, how untrustworthy were nearly all the English who surrounded him, how intensely he, passionate and sensitive, was attached to the scenes of his youth; the episode of the Dutch Guards in 1697 cannot be read with less than shame by any English person.
Gourville's character was tainted, and Groen Van Prinsterer thought his evidence valueless.
De Pomponne's Mmoires (Paris, 1860) cover the ground between 1671-1679.