Charles the First
A FRENCH writer has recorded an anecdote of this unfortunate prince, which characterizes the classical turn of his mind, and the placability of his disposition.
A Frenchman, who had formed a tender connexion with the wife of one of the principal enemies of Charles—who was then put under arrest, but very carelessly guarded having learnt from this lady, that they had resolved to make the king perish on a scaffold, communicated the intelligence to Mr. De Bellicore, the French ambassador, who immediately ran to the king, to give him the important notice. Bellicore was kept in waiting for a long time: at last the king came to him, and said—“I have been at a comedy; and I never was more entertained.”—“Ah, Sire!” answered Bellicore, “it is about a tragedy of which I have to speak to you!” And then informed him of what had been lately communicated to him; entreating him, at the same time, to save himself by a vessel, which he could instantly prepare. The king calmly answered him with this line from an old Latin poet—Qui procumbit humi, non habet unde cadat—“He who lies prostrate on the earth need not fear to fall.”—“Sire,” said Bellicore, “they may occasion his head to fall!”
This shews that he did not suspect their cruelties would ever have been carried to the length they were; and it must be confessed, when he had been brought so low, all the rest was persecuting inhumanity.