Robespierre often clothed cool policy in the semblance of clemency, but I cannot hear in any phrase he ever used, or see in any measure he ever proposed, the mark of true generosity; of kingliness of spirit, not a trace. He had no element of ready and cordial propitiation, an element that can never be wanting in the greatest leaders in time of storm.
He was a large man, dignified and commanding in appearance; the countenance, physique, intellect, and spirit denoting true kingliness and strength. He may have been a descendant of his famous namesake, Robert Bruce, one of Scotland's great kings; his heart was just as heroic and patriotic.
Then one of the youths said to Shibli Bagarag, 'Thou hast come to us crowned, O our guest! Now, it is not our custom to pay homage, but thou shalt presently behold them that will, so let not thy kingliness droop with us, but feast royally. And Shibli Bagarag said, 'O my princes, surely it is a silly matter to crown a mouse! Humility hath depressed my stature!
"We seek thee, fool!" said the voice of Bothwell. The kingliness that he had never known how to wear becomingly now fell from him utterly. "Mercy mercy!" he cried. "Such mercy as you had on David Rizzio!" answered the Border lord. Darnley fell on his knees and sought to embrace the murderer's legs.
In an angry trance I struck out with my sword, and stood petrified, for I saw that I had struck you, Sire, my King, as you wandered in a noble secrecy, watching over your people's welfare. But I need have had no fear. Then was I taught to understand Kingliness. You neither shrank nor frowned. You summoned no guards. You invoked no punishments.
"Not of thy kingliness; but that same gracious quality of yielding to counsel which bows this proud nature to submission often makes me fear for thy firmness, when thy will is, won through thy heart. And now, good my liege, forgive me one sentence more. Heaven forefend that I should stand in the way of thy princely favours. A king's countenance is a sun that should shine on all.
That the King would accept the Propositions one by one, without criticism or demur, as fast as they could be tabled, was the desire, above all, of Holles, Glynn, and the other Presbyterian Commissioners. To their surprise, even to their horror, Charles had never been more captious or guarded in his highest kingliness than he was now found in the depths of his doubled ruin.
His beauty even in his bloom of youth had something in it at once of gentleness and dignity; and when his prime of manhood came, the majesty kingliness of his character at once became visible in it.
Conspicuous in the ranks of Federalists, and unsurpassed in debate, was a tall and gaunt young man, with beaming countenance, eyes of piercing brilliancy, and an indescribable kingliness of bearing, who was by and by to become chief justice of the United States, and by his masterly and far-reaching decisions to win a place side by side with Madison and Hamilton among the founders of our national government.
His action might have brought the dignity of George's kingliness into the gutter of ridicule, which would have been a public misfortune. The King's treatment of Nelson was worse than tactless; it was an impertinence.