Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/272

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252
THE QUEEN'S CHARACTER

William III. And yet such was her apathetic disposition that she was collected, placid, and calm as she mounted the throne of her ancestors amid the shouts and rejoicings of her loyal subjects. But if these subjects added to the prestige of England's arms, increased her trade, and created a literature famous enough to earn the title of the Augustan Age, it was not thanks to the encouragement or enlightened recognition of Queen Anne. A good enough woman herself, she influenced the morals of the Court; she refused to attend theatres or other places of amusement, but occupied a good deal of time in writing letters to her favourite women friends.

Of immense size, no one was fonder of a good dinner than the Queen. Indeed, she was immoderate in her appetite: she was known to eat a whole fowl at a sitting; she made herself ill over black-hearted cherries, and did herself serious injury by constantly sipping large quantities of rich chocolate. Most of our ancestors of this period began the day by a cup of chocolate, followed a few hours later by some green tea or ale, with some brawn to eat with it. But dinner, whether at two or three o'clock, was the meal of the day.