He had no taste except for ornament, and no serious interest except in amusements, versemaking, hunting and tournaments.
In frequenting the salons of her friends the queen not only came in contact with a number of the younger and more dissipated courtiers, whose high play and unseemly amusements she countenanced, but she fell under the influence of various ambitious intriguers, such as the baron de Besenval, the comte de Vaudreuil, the duc de Lauzun and the comte d'Adhemar, whose interested manoeuvres she was induced to further by her affection for her favourites.
22, 1781) of a dauphin, Louis Joseph Xavier Francois, and on the death of Maurepas, which left the king without a chief minister, she might have exerted a considerable influence in public affairs had she taken a consistent interest in them; but her repugnance to serious matters triumphed, and she preferred to occupy herself with the education of her children, to whom she was a wise and devoted mother, 2 and with her friends and amusements at Trianon.
Though he received, like all the heirs-apparent to the Russian throne, a certain amount of military training, his personal tastes did not lie in that direction, nor did he show any inclination for the boisterous amusements of the jeunesse doree of St Petersburg.
Partly on account of his inability to share in the amusements of his fellows by reason of a deformity due to vaccine poisoning before he was five (the poison permanently arresting the growth and development of his legs), he was an eager student, and in 1814 he graduated at the College of South Carolina with the highest rank in his class and with a reputation throughout the state for scholarship and eloquence.