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Had the English aristocracy extended the same helping hand to authors, the condition of English men of letters in the eighteenth century would have been far less unfortunate. Authors in France have never been excluded from high society; and this was owing in part to the influence of the Hôtel de Rambouillet, which sought an alliance between genius and rank.

Mme. de Rambouillet The Salon Bleu Its Habitues Its Diversions Corneille Balzac Richelieu Romance of the Grand Conde The Young Bossuet Voiture The Duchesse de Longueville Angelique Paulet Julie d'Angennes Les Precieuses Ridicules Decline of the Salon Influence upon Literature and Manners

But now she is gone, I shall miss our intellectual milieu, and wish myself in the Rue St. Thomas du Louvre, where the Hotel du Rambouillet, even in its decline, offers a finer style of company than anything you will see in England." "Sister, I fear you left half your heart in France." "Nay, sweet; perhaps some of it has followed me," answered Hyacinth, with a blush and an enigmatic smile. "Peste!

But, the chronicler adds, neither this precaution, sinister as it appeared to some of his suite, nor the grave farewell which Rambouillet, from his post at the gate, took of one of his gentlemen, shook that chivalrous soul or sapped its generous confidence.

There was a Bourbon at the Tuileries, Bonaparte at Fontainebleau, his wife and son at Rambouillet, the repudiated Empress at Malmaison three leagues distant, and the Emperors of Russia and Austria and the King of Prussia in Paris. When all her hopes had vanished Maria Louisa left Rambouillet to return to Austria with her son.

My mother had the migraine, and my brother had taken upon him, without asking leave, to carry off my sister! I had never seen her look so well as she did, with that little spirit of mischief upon her, lighting her beautiful eyes and colouring her cheeks. Madame de Rambouillet whispered to me that she was a perfect nymph, with her look of health and freshness.

After the death of the king, she gathered a distinguished circle round herself, combining the elegances of high life with the cultivation of literary taste. While yet young, Madame de Rambouillet was attacked with a malady which obliged her to keep her bed the greater part of every year.

The next poem which Moliere wrote and brought out, was aimed at a society of men, including many of the most talented in Paris, called the "Society of the Hotel de Rambouillet." The peculiarities of this society were too ridiculous to describe at this day, and Moliere's comedy, which was aimed at them, was wonderfully successful.

The Gascon, however, was not the man to interfere with so large a party, and dropped back; while M. de Rambouillet, after exchanging a cold salute with him, led the way towards the Castle at a round pace.

All this sentimental masquerading and exaggerated gallantry suggests the vulnerable side of the Hotel de Rambouillet, and the side which its enemies have been disposed to make very prominent. Among those who tried to imitate this salon, Spanish chivalry doubtless degenerated into a thousand absurdities, and it must be admitted that the salon itself was not free from reproach on this point.

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