“Jesus Christ, you don’t know what it is? Do you?” Henry VIII to his “physician” in the Tudors. I sprang for the DVD set and have been dipping in and out of the series. Enough that it’s set me thinking about some things. Henry had at least two accidents during jousts. Sometime in the 1530’s he developed an ulcer on his upper leg. The best current theory is a bone infection that flared up periodically and finally permanently.
History records that the condition was painful, sometimes extremely painful. And we’ve all seen how our modern politicians are treated if they appear even a little bit hesitant about making a decision. A monarch claiming absolute power can hardly tell his ministers “you know, I was having a really bad day yesterday and you caught me at a bad time, I’ve changed my mind about……”
Imagine how Fox news would treat a modern president in this age of cell phone recoding and Twitter accounts. And then imagine the hot house of any European court with its shifting factions and power struggles, . I’m not sure what would be more dangerous; ministers who didn’t realize what is happening or ministers who did. Imagine a clique with an agenda and they’ve come to realize when to approach a monarch or another leader not at the best time, but the worst. I wonder how many “unwise” decisions have been made over the years because someone with absolute or nearly absolute power hurt like hell and wanted to be left alone.