He had no taste except for ornament, and no serious interest except in amusements, versemaking, hunting and tournaments.
About 1190), in his biography of Thomas Becket, gives a graphic sketch of the London of his day and, writing of the summer amusements of the young men, says that on holidays they were "exercised in Leaping, Shooting, Wrestling, Casting of Stones [in jactu lapidum], and Throwing of Javelins fitted with Loops for the Purpose, which they strive to fling before the Mark; they also use Bucklers, like fighting Men."
The amusements which the favourite had encouraged became the business of the xxi.
First there is the office or cabinet of the prefect for the general police (la police gnrale), with bureaus for various objects, such as the safety of the president of the republic, the regulation and order of public ceremonies, theatres, amusements and entertainments, &c.; secondly, the judicial police (la police judiciaire), with numerous bureaus also, in constant communication with the courts of judicature; thirdly, the administrative police (la police administrative) including bureaus, which superintend navigation, public carriages, animals, public health, &c. Concurrently with these divisions there is the municipal police, which comprises all the agents in enforcing police regulations in the streets or public thoroughfares, acting under the orders of a chief (chef de la police municipale) with a central bureau.
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.