Look him up and the subject will immediately turn to dogs. Dogs and boots and dinner parties.
“At his table, which was celebrated, Sir Henry invited companions of more than one kind. Bijou and Biche, the two favourite dogs, were often there seated on chairs, with imposing napkins around their necks, and to them each plate was solemnly offered. One day, however, their behaviour not conforming to the ideas of their master, they were punished in the most terrible manner! A tailor was immediately summoned.
” ‘ These blackguards have deceived me,’ said their eccentric master. ‘ I have treated them like gentlemen, they have behaved like rascals. Take their measure! they shall wear for eight days the yellow coats and knee breeches of my valets, and stay in the anteroom, and be deprived of the honour of seeing me for a week.’ ”
Nevermind these two, there were plenty of other dogs as well, for each of whom expensive boots were hand made, along with clothing. All the dogs would sit at table, a servant for each one of them, and let the feasting begin. They, and the household cats, were also given free use of the earl’s numerous carriages, much to the amazement of their Parisian neighbours. Ils sont fous, ces anglais!
The writers of potted biographies tend to leave it there, which is very wrong of them. Truth is, the fellow had a good deal more on offer, much of it remarkable. Continue reading