The ungentle laws and customs touched upon in this tale are
historical, and the episodes which are used to illustrate them
are also historical. It is not pretended that these laws and
customs existed in England in the sixth century; no, it is only
pretended that inasmuch as they existed in the English and other
civilizations of far later times, it is safe to consider that it is
no libel upon the sixth century to suppose them to have been in
practice in that day also. One is quite justified in inferring
that whatever one of these laws or customs was lacking in that
remote time, its place was competently filled by a worse one.
The question as to whether there is such a thing as divine right
of kings is not settled in this book. It was found too difficult.
That the executive head of a nation should be a person of lofty
character and extraordinary ability, was manifest and indisputable;
that none but the Deity could select that head unerringly, was
also manifest and indisputable; that the Deity ought to make that
selection, then, was likewise manifest and indisputable; consequently,
that He does make it, as claimed, was an unavoidable deduction.
I mean, until the author of this book encountered the Pompadour,
and Lady Castlemaine, and some other executive heads of that kind;
these were found so difficult to work into the scheme, that it
was judged better to take the other tack in this book (which
must be issued this fall), and then go into training and settle
the question in another book. It is, of course, a thing which
ought to be settled, and I am not going to have anything particular
to do next winter anyway.