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Favourite (Royal)

.—Weak and arbitrary princes, from the first establishment of monarchy, down to the present day, have always had their favourites, their Minions, there Knights of the Back Stairs; many of who have eventually fallen just sacrifices to the vengeance of a people who could no longer endure their outrages and enormities. A wise Prince has no other favourites than the people. He can have no right to squander superfluities on favourites,—to keep up prodigal establishments for them, while the nation is crushed by a weight of taxes, and a majority of it reduced almost to a want of necessaries: but, as nothing an be more capricious than a monarch’s fancy, the situation of these gentry is not the most enviable or secure; and the examples yielded by history are rather a drawback on their tranquillity. They may be compared to sun-dials, which, while the sun shines upon them, all the world are eager to consult, but are at once forsaken, and left to their fate, as soon as he has withdrawn his rays.

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Entry taken from A Political Dictionary, by Charles Pigott, 1795.

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