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king's mistress, and in this quality exercised him of distorting facts, and of acting indissuch influence over him, that she drove away creetly in making other facts known, and all her rivals, whose number was not trifling. hence he was dismissed from his post. In In this way, however, she succeeded in ob- consideration of his former services; Louis taining an authority which perfectly an- XVI. gave him a pension of twelve thousand swered the expectations which the King of francs, under the condition, however, that France formed from her charms and clever- he must appear in public in female clothing,
The chevalier returned to Paris, where he The following is an interesting example went about in that costume, with the cross of the diplomatic ability of an Oriental of St. Louis on his breast; and when he princess. In 1460, Sultan Mahomed marched afterwards returned to London, he retained with a powerful army against David, the last the same attire. He died in London, in Comnenus of the kingdom of Trebizonde, the year 1810, and his death seems to have who was allied with Ursun, Prince of the solved the doubts about his sex ; at any rate, Turcomans. He first intended to attack he is called a man on his tombstone, the inUrsun, but Sarah Chatun, mother of this scription on which is, or was, “Charles prince, managed to form a treaty with the Genevieve Louis Auguste Timothée d'Eon Sultan, by which she secured her son's king- de Beaumont, né le 16 Octobre, 1727, mort dom, but betrayed his ally. She then con- le 21 Mai, 1810." ducted Mahomed by secret roads, where no From all these facts, we may fairly arrive resistance was offered him, by her manage- at the conclusion that the Maréchale de ment, into the heart of David's territory. Guebriant is the only real ambassadress Unprepared as he was, the latter could offer about whom we can feel certain ; the other no resistance, and Mahomed at once took diplomatic ladies whom we have mentioned possession of the capital. Out of the treas- (of course we leave out of the question those ures which he found here, Sarah Chatun re- who had but an indirect influence in politiceived a noble reward in gold and jewels for cal affairs) only performed the business of the services which she had rendered him; an envoy, but did not possess his official and thus the old and venerable kingdom of character. Real certainly mentions a PerTrebizonde was overthrown by the faithless sian ambassadress, but from his general reintrigues and crafty diplomatic arts of this marks we cannot discover whether the lady princess.
has really a claim to this character; and We are bound to mention here the Chev. when we take into account the status which alier d'Eon, that mysterious being, who at- Islamism grants to woman, it is doubtful. tracted universal attention in the second The doctrine, therefore, put forward by half of the last century. Everybody sup- writers on the law of nations, that the choice posed him to be a woman; and yet he had of an envoy in entirely independent of the served as soldier and diplomatist with great sex, stands, as we see, on a very weak foundistinction. When very young, he entered dation. According to the principle that one the army, and displayed much bravery in swallow does not make a summer, the misseveral engagements; but he soon turned to sion of Madame de Guebriant must be rea diplomatic career, and was first attached garded as what it really is an historical to the French embassy at St. Petersburg. curiosity, but not as a rule. Hence, to our At a later date, he was sent as private agent great regret, we are bound to deny our lady of the king to London, and so gained his readers any right to be ambassadresses-at good-will by the talent with which he car- least, in the sense in which we have hitherto ried out the difficult task entrusted to him, employed the term. On the other hand, we that he received the cross of St. Louis, and most heartily wish that some of them may was appointed secretary of the legation in become ambassadresses in the other sense, London. At that time he was generally namely, as wife of an ambassador. In order supposed to be a woman ; the nobility made to leave them in no doubt as to the priviheavy wagers about his sex, but the cheva- leges and advantages accruing to them in lier maintained a discreet silence on the sub- that quality, we will now. proceed to discuss ject. He published his Memoirs about this the claims of an envoy's wife. time; and the French Government accused | These privileges were the subject of the
liveliest discussion among the publicists of the fashion with the old envoys extraordithe eighteenth century. Moser, the real nary. In the ancient times, as Tacitus infounder of the science of the law of nations forms us in his “ Annals,” it was considered -(Hugo Grotius, who is usually considered prejudicial for envoys to be accompanied by so, derived his materials from the habits of their wives. Even in the year 1638, this the old Greeks and Romans, rather than custom does not appear to have become those of his contemporaries), produced a general; for we read that the French envoy valuable work under the title of “ L'Ambas- at the Hague said, laughingly, when the sadrice et ses Droits ;” and other writers Spanish envoy arrived there with his wife, have paid similar attention to the ladies. “ Que c'etait une ambassade hermaphrodite." Authors of the following century were less Still, this custom had been introduced at a gallant. We find in their works scarce any much earlier period, and the basis laid for notice of the privileges of an envoy's wife. that official character of an envoy's wife, This neglect is partly due to the alterations which has become for her the source of such that have taken place in diplomatic relations. valuable privileges. This occurred at Rome Up to the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, the during the reign of Pope Sixtus V. great powers, with the exception of Prussia, Count Olivarez was at that period the sent only envoys of the first class, and the Spanish envoy at Rome. His wife, who ao wives of such functionaries are those who companied him, lived, at first, in great rehave pre-eminent claims to dignities and tirement; but after her confinement, the privileges. Since this congress, however, envoy asked the Pope to do her the favor of all the great powers, up to a few years back, giving her his blessing, and permitting her only employed envoys of the second class, to kiss his foot, - a distinction generally whose wives possess far inferior privileges. granted to ladies of princely birth alone, The present Emperor of the French was the on their first leaving the house. Sixtus V., first to restore first-class envoys, and the however, gave his assent, because he was other great powers, excepting Prussia, as desirous to gain the Spanish envoy over; well as Spain and the Porte, have followed and in the solemn audience granted to the his example. Since this change, the rights Countess Olivarez for the purpose, the pope of ambassadors' wives have been again dis- addressed her as " Signora Ambasciatrice." cussed ; and only a few months ago the This was an unheard-of thing in Rome, and Russian newspapers produced a decree of threw all the noble society into a state of the Austrian Minister of War, according to excitement; but the immediate result was which all guards, inside and outside the that the countess was everywhere addressed capital, must turn out and present arms to by the new title. This fashion soon became the wives of foreign envoys, when they were general, and hence comes the official title of going to court. It is said that this was or- “ Ambassadrice,” granted to the wives of dered at the request of the Duc de Gram- envoys at all European courts. This official mont, the French envoy, who stated that this title, however, was the basis of the official was always done in Paris.
character which people began to invest Prior to the introduction of permanent these ladies with. The envoys of the first embassies, envoys' wives were unknown. class, namely, immediately represent the This institution was first developed in the person of their sovereign, and publicists desixteenth century ; because it was not till clare that the ambassadress shares in her that period that the system of political bal- husband's “caractère réprésentant.” From ance of power sprang up, which brought the this fact we may explain the comprehensive princes and states of Europe into closer con- ceremonial privileges conceded to an envoy's tact. The magnificent discoveries of that wife; while the claims of the wives of enage, the impulse given to commerce, and voys of the second, third, and fourth classes various other circumstances, led to the en- (of whom it is customary to say that they do couragement of this system, which could be not represent their sovereign in person, but only maintained by the introduction of per- merely in business), are explained by the fact manent embassies. Since then it has become that they are regarded as belonging to the the custom for envoys to take their wives ambassador's suite. The law of nations with them to foreign courts, which was not grants them all the privileges conceded to
this suite, in which are counted, in addition | hand, she was fetched by a royal yacht so to the envoy's children, the secretaries, at- soon as she came in sight of the British coast. tachés, and the chaplain to the embassy. At the Russian court, official audiences for
As regards the ceremonial claims of the ambassadresses do not appear to have been ambassadress, they attained their highest introduced until 1762. These ceremonial development at the French court, under privileges were very strictly kept up at the Louis XIV. The official character of an Papal court. When a foreign envoy had his ambassadress was scarcely allowed at the audience on arriving, the Pope sent his wife court of the German emperor, and, in fact, his greeting and blessing, and soon after she there were great variations at the European was granted a solemn audience, at which courts in the nature of the distinctions granted three sofa cushions were given her for a seat. to her. So much, however, may be estab- The details of this ceremony were arranged lished, that an ambassadress has a right to most carefully, and indeed the Papal See a solemn and official audience on arrival and displayed the strictest accuracy in all such departure, which is generally accompanied official matters, which it inherited from the with the same pomp as is employed for her Byzantine court, so notorious for its exaghusband. It has been stated that in former gerated and clumsy grandeur. times it was a very general rule for these The ceremonial claims of ambassadresses ladies to be permitted to sit down in the so- were finally regulated at the Congress of cial circles of emperors and queens; but this Westphalia, and Moser writes on the substatement is not quite correct, for this privi-ject, “The ambassadresses displayed themlege was expressly refused at the English selves at this great meeting in all their splencourt, and that of the German emperor. dor, and on this occasion brought forward sevMoser gives a detailed account of the so- eral claims, which were afterwards converted lemnities usual at the several European into a rule." These claims referred chiefly courts. At the French court the ambassa- to the ceremonies which the ambassadresses dress was fetched by the Introducteur des wished to see observed in their mutual interAmbassadeurs “in a royal coach, for an au- course ; and owing to the length of the condience with the queen,” in whose apartments gress, disputes on points of etiquette broke she met the king, who kissed her on the fore- out, which must at times have been very head. As she entered the palace, all the welcome, when we reflect on the dearth of sentries presented arms, and she was led to amusement supplied by the cities of Münthe Hall of the Ambassadors, where she met ster and Omabrück. On this occasion, a a lady in waiting, who placed herself on her fashion which has since been maintained at lefthand, and accompanied her to the queen's several courts, was introduced, of observapartments. As the ambassadress entered, ing, on the arrival of an ambassadress, exthe queen rose ; the former made a feint to actly the same ceremonial as on the arrival kneel, but the queen prevented her, and of an envoy. The latter received the first kissed her on the forehead. She then was visit from his colleagues, according to their handed a tabouret, on which to sit among rank, either in person, or by a card. Each the duchesses present. The solemnities at came as quickly as he could, and no particuthe leave-taking audience were the same ; lar succession was observed. The preceand after these audiences there was usually dence of the European sovereigns had not a banquet. In the same way the ambassa- yet been finally settled, and so it often hapdors paid solemn visits to the royal prin- pened that when an envoy fancied that a cesses, and very frequently to the Minister visit paid to another ought to have been paid of Foreign Affairs.
to him, the most obstinate disputes began, The same solemnities took place at these which often terminated by producing a war audiences at the court of Spain ; and Louis between the countries which the quarrellers XIV. expressly obtained from this court rec- represented. We need only turn to Wicqueiprocity in the ceremony to be observed with fort, or Callière's “ De la Manière de Néhis ambassadress. A perfectly similar cere- gocier avec les Souverains," to form an idea mony was also observed at the English court, of the countless disputes of this nature, which with this difference, that the ambassadress frequently led to the most piquant scenes. was not allowed to sit down, but on the other The Popes, especially Julius II., tried at times to stop this source of squabbling, by the departure of the newly married couple ; drawing up a table of precedence for Euro- but when his appeal to the monarch had no pean sovereigns; but it was not recognized result, he expressed himself satisfied. In The first rank was granted, without opposi- the previous century a Prussian envoy betion, to the envoy of the German emperor; haved with even less gallantry to a Danish but France, Spain, England, and at a later ambassadress. She claimed precedence, but date, even Sweden, contended for the second he most unceremoniously thrust her back. place.
The Congress of Vienna deprived ambas These disputes of the envoys were taken sadresses of the chance of quarrelling with ap at the Congress of Westphalia by their one another, or with the envoys. The regwives, who carried them on much more vio- ulations drawn up on March 19, 1815, de lently and recklessly than their husbands cided that ambassadors at the different courts did. There was abundant opportunity for should rank according to the date on which this, because the rule was strictly adhered to their arrival was officially announced to the that every newly arrived lady should return court. By this most simple arrangement, the visits of her female companions, exactly which now holds good at every court in Euin the same rotation as they had been paid rope, the old disputes for precedence among to her. Moreover, as every envoy had the envoys are abolished, and nothing is left brought his wife to Münster, there was am- to the ambassadresses but to yield to the ple score for squabbles for precedence in this new order of things. Formerly the pretenlittle town, where they were shut up so long. sions of envoys and their wives to precedence Moser gives us a long list of examples of over persons of a non-ambassadorial charao this nature; and the wife of Servein, the ter, were very far-fetched; and at times it French envoy, seems to have distinguished happened that they claimed precedence of herself most by her quarrelsome temper. the princes and princesses of the court to On her journey to Münster she bad had a which they were accredited. Imperial and dispute at the Hague with the Princess of royal envoys at times considered themselves Orange about the first visit, and she carried superior to the princes and electors to whom on the same game at the Congress of West- they were sent; they even expected cardin phalia. Thus, for instance, this lady and nals to yield to them; and Moser tells us the Countess Sannazar, ambassadress from of a quarrel of this nature between Cardinal Mantua, bad a tremendous quarrel, because Grimani and a Spanish ambassadress, in the latter paid the first visit to Madame 1702, which led to a terrible fight between Brun, the Spanish envoy's wife. Her hus- their servants in the streets of Rome. A band had a similar quarrel with the Hanse- papal decree, however, expressly claimed, in atic envoy, because the latter paid the first 1750, precedence for cardinals. Such cases, visit to the Spanish ambassador. In conse- after all, are isolated, and the ambassar quence of these quarrels, banquets at this dresses, as a rule, only demanded to be congress often terminated with sanguinary ranked immediately after princesses of the conflicts among the servants; and similar blood. At the Roman court they had carquarrels occurred at the Congress of Nime- ried on for many years a quarrel for prece guen. Moser tells us of one between the dence with the princesses of the Houses of French and the Spanish ambassadors, be- Colonna and Ursini. It commenced in the cause the latter received the first visit from time of the first ambassadress, . Countess the wife of the Swedish envoy, when she ap- Olivarez, and cropped out again every now peared in public after her confinement. Ever. and then. Similar disputes between ambasa the envoys themselves were not always so sadresses and ladies belonging to the nobil gallant as to avoid squabbles with the ladies ity, took place repeatedly in these countries; about precedence. M. de Brenne records and Wicquefort tells us of one between such a case as occurring between the French Countess Lilienroth, wife of the Swedish en ambassador and the English ambassadress, voy, and a Countess Horn, which led to a on the occasion of the marriage of Charles I. sharp exchange of notes between her huswith the French Princess Henrietta. The band and the States-General. There are so envoy was not willing to allow his colleague's established rules as to the rank of envoys wife an envied seat in the king's coach upon I and their wives, although various formal
treaties have been made on the subject be- ambassadresses, when belonging to a differtween different states. As a rule, considerent creed from that of their husbands, have able difficulty arises as to the position of a right to a special form of worshp, and this ambassadresses to the Minister of Foreign question may be of practical importance in Affairs and their wives. At the French court countries like Spain, Turkey, etc. This there used to be entire equality; but now- privilege is almost universally conceded, by a-days these ministers appear to have prece- writers on the subject, to ambassadresses, on dence of ambassadors at nearly every court. account of their caractère representant, but The rank of ambassadresses is most cer- it is as unanimously refused to the wives of tainly determined in our country, where they other envoys, and with some show of rearank after the viscountesses, although they son. The privileges of the latter are merely take precedence of those ministers who are based on the circumstances that they form not members of the nobility.
part of the suite of the envoy, their busWe will shortly allude to a few ceremo- band; and only the envoy himself has, acnial claims of ambassadresses. They, for cording to the law of nations, a claim to his instance, are allowed to go to court with six own private religious service, in the case that horses and outriders, and to bear the title of his co-religionists are not allowed to perExcellency; and, at the beginning of the form public or private worship in the same reign of Henry IV., they had the right of city. driving into the Louvre in their coaches. Other envoys' wives are equally privileged The Venetian ambassadress at the French with the ambassadress in this immunity and court enjoyed the special privilege that, when exemption from the legislature of the power she was confined, the king was godfather to to which their husband is accredited, but the child, held it at the font, and made it there have been a few cases in which this handsome presents. Valuable presents were privilege has been broken through. Thus, also frequently made to these ladies by the in the last century, the wife of the Spanish sovereigns. At the Papal court, these con- envoy, at the court of Savoy, was arrested sisted mostly of relics, or an agnus Dei; for debt, but as soon as the duke obtained presents which, at that day, had a far greater cognizance of the fact, he ordered her liberavalue in the eyes of ladies than they would tion, and apologized to the King of Spain have at present. Ceremonial claims of so in a letter written with his own hand. In prominent a character were, as we stated, the same way the wife of the imperial envoy, not conceded to the wives of envoys of a Count Plettenberg, was insulted, in 1737, by lower rank; still they were treated very the troops of the Archbishop of Cologne, at courteously, and the wives of secretaries of the siege of Nordhausen Castle; the emlegation, even, were never denied admission peror took up the matter very warmly, and to court. Admission to court, however, has wrote very urgent letters both to the archbeen denied even to ambassadresses, for ir- bishop and to his lies, the Electors of regular conduct, and the same has occurred in Brandenburg and the Palatinate, in which consequence of disputes ; as, for instance, in he ordered them to respect the law of na1782, in the case of the wife of the Austrian tions. We have already alluded to the quarenvoy at Stockholm. This lady had refused rel for precedence between the Swedish amto kiss the queen's hand upon introduction. bassadress, Countess Lilienroth, and the unless the latter consented to kiss her cheek, Countess Horn; in the squabble, the Countand she was, consequently, not presented at ess Lilienroth felt herself insulted because court. At a later date, the ambassadress the other lady said to her,
“ Madame vous attended a ball at the city hall, at which the êtes une impertinente ;” and her husband royal family were also present; and the mas- made a heavy complaint to the States-Genter of the ceremonies intimated to her that, eral thereupon. At a later date, she imagas she had not been presented, she could not ined herself insulted by a young lawyer, who remain in the society of the royal family. spoke to her while she was leaning out of The imperial court regarded this in the light window one evening; but as he had not emof an insult; the ambassador was recalled, ployed insolent language, the States-Gen- . and his post remained vacant till 1788. The eral saw no reason to give the ambassador question has been frequently asked whether the satisfaction which he demanded; where