Woman in France during the eighteenth century, Volume 1

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Smith, Elder and Co., 1850 - France
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Page 228 - Deffand, was for a short time mistress of the regent, is now very old and stone blind, but retains all her vivacity, wit, memory, judgment, passions, and agreeableness. She goes to operas, plays, suppers, and Versailles ; gives suppers twice a week ; has everything new read to her ; makes new songs and epigrams, ay, admirably, and remembers every one that has been made these fourscore years. She corresponds with Voltaire, dictates charming letters to him, contradicts him, is no bigot to him or anybody,...
Page 133 - The men who keep the hazard-table at the duke de Gesvres' pay him twelve guineas each night for the privilege. Even the princesses of the blood are dirty enough to have shares in the banks kept at their houses.
Page 228 - Où êtes-vous?' 'Au coin de votre cheminée.' — 'Couché les pieds sur les chenets, comme on est chez ses amis?
Page 285 - This kingdom," said Mirabeau, " is in a deplorable state. There is neither national energy, nor the only substitute for it — money." " It can only be regenerated," said la Riviere, " by a conquest, like that of China, or by some great internal convulsion ; but woe to those who live to see that ! The French people do not do things by halves.
Page 172 - ... gifted woman. With Madame du Chatelet study was a passion. She slept but three hours out of the twenty-four, and her whole time was devoted to her beloved pursuits. During the day she remained closeted in her apartments, seldom appearing till the hour of supper. Every year they visited Paris, where Madame du Chatelet entered into the pursuit of pleasure with the same passionate eagerness with which she studied Newton's "Principia" in her learned retirement; losing large sums at play, and committing...
Page 208 - D'Holbach, and Grimm, were habitue's of her society. It is to her connection with Rousseau, however, that she owes the interest attached to her name, and the attention she excited in her own time. The details of their intimacy and quarrel for some time occupied all Paris. Madame d'Epinay was constantly engaged in some literary labour. In 1783, she wrote "Les Conversations d'Emilie...
Page 248 - ... death; for I see him : he lives, he breathes, for me ; he hears me: my brain is on fire, I no longer need illusion : truth itself is before me.
Page 217 - Elle est charmante" was his only reproof. At the age of twenty, Mademoiselle de Vichy married the Marquis du Deffand, from whom her intrigues soon caused her to separate. Eyes remarkable for their beauty and brilliancy, a pleasant smile, and a countenance full of piquancy and expression, were the chief personal attractions of the young marchioness. Brilliant, witty, sceptical, and sarcastic, she drew around her the most distinguished men and women of her time. She had numerous lovers, the regent...
Page 60 - ... felicitous. She was bold, active, vehement, but deficient in moral courage. Her temper was fickle, selfish, and violent; and, small as she was in person, she had the reputation of beating her husband, who, grave, learned, and deformed in person, had no latent energies to arouse. The weakness of du Maine encouraged the princes of the blood to protest against the edicts by which the legitimized children of Louis the Fourteenth had been rendered their equals in rank. Madame du Maine answered this...
Page 175 - ... learned. On the other hand, she was deficient in gentleness, and in many of the most winning qualities of woman. Proud of her rank and birth, haughty to her inferiors, and violent and imperious in her temper, she ruled despotically over her lover, and left him very little personal freedom. Long as the love of Voltaire and Madame du Chatelet had lasted, it was not destined to resist time and habit. The change first came from Voltaire, whose declining years he made the excuse for increasing coldness....

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