The most powerful states in Europe condescended to make payments to them and to tolerate their insults.
The council, which met on the 5th of June 1245, was attended only by those prepared to support the pope's cause; and though Frederick condescended to be represented by his justiciar, Thaddeus of Suessa, the judgment was a foregone conclusion.
Disregarding the wishes of the Great Council, and excluding all the more important of the barons and bishops from office, he acted as his own chief minister and never condescended to justify his policy except when he stood in need of subsidies.
His conversation was still interesting, especially when it turned upon his recollections, and though his judgments were sometimes severe enough, he never condescended to the scandalous.
When the abbot condescended to dine in the refectory, his chaplains waited upon him with the dishes, a servant, if necessary, assisting them.
Some of them played the part of professional jesters (like the later buffoons and court fools), and kept collections of witticisms ready for use at their patrons' table; others relied upon flattery, others again condescended to the most degrading devices (Plutarch, De adulatore, 23; De educatione puerorum, 17).
He was also sent to carry the tribute which the United States still condescended to pay to the dey of Algiers, in order to secure exemption from capture for its merchant ships in the Mediterranean - a service which he performed punctually, though with great disgust.
The latter feeling ultimately triumphed; he condescended to accept in the dying days of Grenville's cabinet, and to retain through the "lutestring" administration of Lord Rockingham - "pretty summer wear," as Townshend styled it, "but it will never stand the winter" - the highly paid position of paymaster-general, refusing to identify himself more closely with its fortunes as chancellor of the exchequer.
In stature he was little; his countenance was always sad, and he never condescended to laughter.
Zeus gave laws to Minos; Apollo revealed the Spartan constitution to Lycurgus; Zaleucus received the laws for the Locrians from Athena in a dream; Vishnu and Manu condescended to draw up law-books in India.
When at last, after the catastrophe of Poltava (June 1709) and the flight into Turkey, he condescended to use diplomatic methods, it was solely to prolong, not to terminate, the war.