The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, MAY 11, 1889. THE MISERIES OF KINGS.
41 As Happy as a King" is a popular simile which, however true it may once have been — that is to say if ever it was true — -has m these modern times altogether lost its apposetness, save as a sarcasm of the bitterest sort. For m these days, the higher the position the greater the danger, appears to be the rule —the one great notable exception to whioh is that of our own Queen. Not only Emperors and Kings but Presidents also are the targets of homicidal shootists sane or insane, and while even America has twice been deprived of the head of the State by the hand of the assa sin e BO also President Oarnot has had a hint of what may happen any day, on the impulse of a madman or oi the malice prepense of an anarchist, socialist, or royalist. What wonder that the Kmperor and Empress of Russia,against whose life and safety the plots of Nihilistß are never ceasing, whose destruction has been sought to be compassed by their enemies by any and every means, by poison, by dynamite, and by railway catastrophe, what wonder we say that they should be iv such a condition of nerves as to need the aid of the most eminent of physicians 1 What wonder either that there is a manifest tendency to insanity among Koyal Houses 1 Nay the wonder would be if it were otherwise, for not only murder stalks at their heels but all sorts of calamities seem to overtake then), indeed, as " Oivis" puts it m last week's " Utago Yv itness," "if there is any one class m Europe more distressed and depressed than another just now, it is not the working class, nor the middle class, nor the upper class, but the very uppermost class of all. The existence of the Czar and Czarina, for example, is spent indodgiug dynamite bombs, getting shot at with' pistols, getting wrecked m railway trains, and, generally, m a Ufa & -4 death struggle with conspirators and murderers. J* there is anybody more intensely miserable than the Imperial family of .Russia it is the Imperial family of Austria. The Crown Prince has just committed suicide, and his mother, the Empress, is under restraint or surveillance because she threatens to follow his example. There are three widowed Empresses m Europe, each of them a proverb of calamity and misfortune— the Empress Charlotte, whose husband was shot m Mexico, the Empress Eqgenie, aad the Empress Frederick. The young Em peror William, after outraging the memory of his father and insulting his mother, is not thought to lead a happy life, any more than his ally the King of Italy, who is struggling with financial embarraaments and a fourteen million annual deficit. The King of the N etherlands is dying of cancer ; the King of Bavaria is said to be going mad, like his prother who dcowaed himself. King Milan, after divorcing his wife and abdidicating,. is propoeiqg $Q phave his head and beoame a monk , The only ra<W?h m Europe who really leads a tranquil I.'fo' is the baby King of Kpain, and his troubles are not very distant, tie lately made a speech — the first articulate utterance recorded pf him. It consisted of the words ' Cf u » *»" g uv !> and wae suggested by the explosion d a bomb whioh some friendly Socialist had throwu through his palace window. Altogether as things are going, the kings and kaisers are not m the least to be envied. There is no poasant or mechanic, if only he has health and a good conscience, who ft y not get more happiness out of his days arid Bleep sounder 0' nights. The HohenzollernK, Hapsburga, Komanoffs, every one of them, we may depend upon it, repeat to themselves with conviction the sentiment of Harry of Eng land— or would, if they knew their bhakespearo : Then happy, low, lie down ( Uneasy lies tbe head that wears aorown,"