no nationality, he sought to introduce French modes
of life; had his opera, ballet-dancers, masqueradesduring the carnival, his French playhouse, a cast-off French coquette for his principal mistress, a French superintendent of theatres for his librarian.
But nothing could be less like France
than his court; life in Cassel
was spiritless; ‘nobody here reads,’ said Forster
; ‘the different ranks are stiffly separated,’ said the historian, Von Muller
Birth or wealth alone had influence: merit could not command respect, nor talent hope for fostering care.
To this man Faucitt
delivered a letter from the British
, the minister with whom he was to conduct the negotiation, prepared him for unconditional acquiescence in every demand, by dwelling on the hazard of finding the landgrave in an unfavorable turn of mind, and describing him ‘as most exceedingly whimsical and uncertain in his humors and disposition;’ at the same time he undertook to promise twelve thousand foot soldiers for service in America
, who would not confess even to his own mind that he sold his subjects from avarice, professed a strong desire to force the rebels back to their duty, and grew so warm and so sanguine that he seemed inclined, in the cause of monarchy, to head his troops in person.
This zeal augured immoderate demands: his first extortion was a sum of more than forty thousand pounds for hospital disbursements during the last war. The demand was scandalous; the account had been liquidated, paid, and closed; but the distress of the government compelled a reconsideration of the claim, and the tribute was enforced.