In a monarchy, despotic or constitutional, there cannot in strictness be an aristocracy, because the whole political power cannot be vested in the noble Venice class.
The strictness of the principle of admission or exclusion differs at the various German courts, and has tended to be modified by the growth of a new aristocracy of wealth; but a single instance known to the present writer may serve to illustrate the fundamental divergence of German (a fortiori Austrian) ideas from English in this matter.
Both the fractions into which they were divided by the Nerbudda river laid claim to antiquity: while the northern, however, did not trace their origin further back than the period of the early Mahommedan kings of Delhi, the southern fraction not only claimed an earlier and purer descent, but adhered also with greater strictness to the rules of their profession.
The well-known sentence of Carlyle, that it is "as far as possible from meriting its high reputation," is in strictness justified, for all Thiers's historical work is marked by extreme inaccuracy, by prejudice which passes the limits of accidental unfairness, and by an almost complete indifference to the merits as compared with the successes of his heroes.
But some irregular forms of reservation still continued; the prohibition as regards the lay people was not extended, at any rate with any strictness, to the clergy and monks; the Eucharist was still carried on journeys; occasionally it was buried with the dead; and in a few cases the pen was even dipped in the chalice in subscribing important writings.