This, however, is very far from having been the case. We first see the kings of Lower Egypt guarding their thrones at Saïs by Greek soldiers; and then, that every struggle of Inarus, of Nectanebo, and of Tachos, against the Persians, was only made by the courage and arms of Greeks hired in the Delta by Egyptian gold.
Kings often grant audience to mere letter-carriers. Even the King of Spain never refused a hearing to the deputies from the Netherlands when they came to Spain to complain of his own government. The States General have sent envoys to many other kinds and princes, and they have instantly granted audience in every case.
The communes, in taking refuge under the protection of the kings, had found them masters rather than protectors. Their liberty had long since been lost, or, rather, their emancipation had been suspended, when feudalism received its death-blow at the hand of Richelieu. Then liberty halted; the prince of the feudatories held sole and undivided sway.
The kings never came; the viceroys came and went in a continually changing succession; practically, therefore, the great territorial barons constituted the backbone of the country so far as it could be said to have had any backbone at all. They made war with the native chiefs, or else made alliances with them and married their daughters.
It had never been fully understood for how much of their domains the Scottish kings did homage to the English, and the more prudent princes had avoided opening the question, so that there might honestly be two opinions on the subject.
Till then, choose you kings and let them govern you; moreover, forget not my worship, and see to it that throughout the ages the altar of the Snake is wet with blood, and that he lacks not the food he loves. And I will give you a sign by which we shall be known when at length the fate is accomplished, and the hour of forgiveness is at hand.
There were more than seven kings of Rome; and their era was longer than from 753 to 716; and Rome or perhaps the Etruscan state of which it formed a part was a much greater power then, than for several centuries after their fall. The great works they left are an indication. But only the vaguest traditions of that time came down to Livy.
The names uttered by the kings contending in battle, were heard, O monarch, there, like what happens, O king, at a Swayamvara or self-choice. Suddenly, a silence overspread the field of battle, and lasted for a moment. Then, again, a loud uproar was heard made by the angry combatants, victors and vanquished.
"I don't want to be rude, therefore I will not contradict you," he answered with a kind of groan, "or, indeed, say anything except that if any one else had spun me that yarn I should have told him he was a common liar. But, of course, as every schoolboy knows, Walda Nagasta that is, Child of Kings in Ethiopic is much the same as Bath-Melachim that is, Daughter of Kings in Hebrew."
And, thairfor, sir, as divers tymes befor, sa now again, I mon tell yow, thair is twa Kings and twa kingdomes in Scotland.