there is something atavistic in me; i hark back to unconstitutional monarchs. they christened me too retrogressively, i think. i wanted to get things done. i was bored. i might have fallen into vice, most intelligent and energetic princes do, but the palace precautions were unusually thorough. i was brought up in the purest court the world has ever seen. . . . alertly pure.... so i read books, firmin, and went about asking questions.
in what strange venture was he now to be involved, toward what unknown vortex was this new current setting, this current that had so suddenly snatched him from the solid ground of his accustomed life?