Edward Gibbon on Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein

In those days, His Royal Highness The Duke of York was as injudicious in his choice of acquaintance as he was ardent in his admiration of Unblemish’t Pulchritude. This was witnessed by the inclusion in his retinue of Mr Epstein, a luxurious man of business that dwelt on an island, within the picturesque archipelago named by mariners for the first Queen Elizabeth. To this Virgin atoll, the colonial Tiberius would coax credulous maidens, for the purpose of cruelly deflowering them in its verdant precincts, an enterprise he achieved by a generall display of enticing ostentation, and the untiring persistence of liberally rewarded Pandars. For this, he was at length thrown into prison, though e’er he could be brought to the Assizes he was found slain in the dungeon, it being impossible to determine whether by his own hand, or by that of the Ruffian his gaolers had put with him. A maiden of Mr Epstein’s set, one Victoria, brought a Suit against the Duke, proclaiming that years gone by he forced himself upon her, an accusation His Royal Highness would likely be forced to answer before the Colonial Justices. His Sovereign Mother was set to pay dear for learnèd men at law to speak for him, a question upon which the Mob was bitterly divided. Some factions held the Queen’s last shilling to be de jure everyman’s, and should not be cast at the wasteful defence of almost certain perfidy. Others held the Queen’s purse was de facto her own, and would be nobly emptied in an attempt to restore the tarnished lustre of the Crown and establish what must be the unquestionable innocence of a Royal Duke.

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