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Christian VII: Diplomatic Bow

In 1792, Lord Holland visited the Court of King Christian VII of Denmark. "One day," he later reported, "the Neapolitan Ambassador came to the levee, and made a profound bow to his majesty. His majesty bowed still lower. The Neapolitan bowed down his head almost to the ground; -- when behold! -- The King clapped his hands on his excellence's shoulders and jumped over him like a boy playing at leap-frog."

["Another day the English Ambassador was sitting opposite the King at dinner. His Majesty asked him to take wine. The glasses were filled. The Ambassador bowed and put the wine to his lips. The King grinnedhideously and threw his wine into the face of one of the footmen. The other guests kept the most profound gravity. But the Englishman who had but lately come to Copenhagen, though a practiced diplomatist, could not help giving some signs of astonishment (laughing). The King immediately addressed him in French, 'Eh -- mais, Monsieur L'Envoye d'Angleterre, qu'avez vous donc? Pourquoi riez vous? Est-ce qu'il y ait quelque chose qui vous ait diverti? Faites moi le plaisir de me l'indiquer. J'aime beaucoup les ridicules.'"]

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