But what it was, no one could tell: it might be some caprice of a sick and half-crazy man, or it might relate to public affairs, or possibly to family concerns.
A mockery of popular institutions, under the name of a burgher council, indeed existed; but this was a mere delusion, and must not be confounded with the system of local government by means of district burgher councils which that most able man, Commissioner de Mist, sought to establish during the brief government of the Batavian Republic from 1803 to 1806, when the Dutch nation, convinced and ashamed of the false policy by which they had permitted a mere money-making association to disgrace the Batavian name, and to entail degradation on what might have been a free and prosperous colony, sought to redeem their error by making this country a national colonial possession, instead of a slavish property, to be neglected, oppressed or ruined, as the caprice or avarice of its merchant owners might dictate.
These fluctuations were owing partly to the character of Louis XV., and partly also to the fact that society in the 18th century was too advanced in its ideas to submit without resistance to the caprice of such a man.
The creation of a new capital by Constantine was not an act of personal caprice or individual judgment.
Whether due to passion or caprice this cost the duke his life, for John the Fearless had him assassinated in 1407, and thus let loose against one another the Burgundians and the Armagnacs, so-called because the son of the murdered duke was the son-in-law of the count of Armagnac (see ARaJAGNAc).
This position, which, through his steadiness, scholarly conservatism and freedom from caprice as a critic, soon became one of great influence, he held until his death in New York City on the 4th of July 1880.
Her own life was by choice, and as far as her position would admit, one of almost austere simplicity and homeliness; and her subjects were proud of a royalty which involved none of the mischiefs of caprice or ostentation, but set an example alike of motherly sympathy and of queenly dignity.
At the appointed hour the prince, powdered and shaven, entered the dining room where his daughter-in-law, Princess Mary, and Mademoiselle Bourienne were already awaiting him together with his architect, who by a strange caprice of his employer's was admitted to table though the position of that insignificant individual was such as could certainly not have caused him to expect that honor.
The wretched inmates were dependent for food upon the caprice of their gaolers or the charity of the benevolent; water was denied them except in the scantiest proportions; their only bedding was putrid straw.
But native caprice and jealousy of the growing force of the European nations in these seas, and the rivalries between those nations themselves, were destructive of sound trade; and the English factory, though several times set up, was never long maintained.