Absolutism distanced royal authority from the tempered organic monarchy of the Middle Ages

September 13, 2010

King Frederick IV of Denmark

Czar Peter I the Great

While he was visiting Copenhagen, Czar Peter the Great was taken by King Frederick IV to the top of a famous round tower.

In order to impress the Danish sovereign with an example of his autocratic form of government, the Russian despot beckoned to a soldier of his guard.

“Jump!” the Czar then ordered.

Rundetårn by Cha già José

The soldier leaped over the side immediately.

“So, what do you say?  Do you have subjects like this in Denmark?”  the Czar asked.

“Happily I don’t.”

Edmond Guérard, Dictionnaire encyclopédique d’anecdotes (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1872), Vol. II, p. 230. (Nobility.org translation.)

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 6

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