At Berlin, in consequence of the neighbourhood of the French troops in Hanover, the commiseration for the death of the Due d'Enghien was also confined to the King's cabinet, and more particularly to the salons of the Queen of Prussia; but it is certain that that transaction almost everywhere changed the disposition of sovereigns towards the First Consul, and that if it did not cause, it at least hastened the success of the negotiations which England was secretly carrying on with Austria and Prussia.
The conflict of parties was keenest in the precincts of the Court; society in Berlin was divided between the Russian and the English; the Queen was hot for Russia, but the English party rallied round the Prince of Prussia and met in the salons of his wife. Between the two the King wavered; he was, as always, more influenced by feeling than by calculation, but his feelings were divided.
I want to see the place; but then I saw nothing, because I was so frightened when I found that I was winning." Mr Palliser was aware that all the world of Baden, or rather the world of the strangers at Baden, assembles itself in those salons. It may be also that he himself was curious to see how men looked when they lost their own money, or won that of others.
I pray you, then, grant me ten minutes' conversation." She had known me all along, you see. Trust the dullest woman to play Oedipus when love sets the riddle. So there was nothing to do save clap my mask into my pocket and follow her, sheepishly enough, toward one of the salons, where at Dorothy's solicitation a gaping footman made a light for us.
That was indeed the whole sum and substance of communication between the two sexes, if we may except the rare instances which history has made much of, because of their rarity women of the French salons, who have become famous for their wit and beauty, in neither of which attributes did they outstrip the average self-supporting woman of today.
The women who could have founded European salons, could have guided opinion and turned it inside out like a glove, could have ruled the world by ruling the men of art or of intellect who ought to have ruled it, have committed the blunder of abandoning their ground; they were ashamed of having to fight against the citizen class drunk with power, and rushing out on to the stage of the world, there to be cut to pieces perhaps by the barbarians who are at its heels.
They found the countess seated as usual, at the corner of the great fireplace in her salon, a room almost as unpretentious as the other salons in Carentan; for, in order not to wound the narrow view of her guests, she denied herself the luxuries to which she was accustomed.
The tendency to idolize great men and the tendency to depreciate them arises alike in emotion; but the slanders of disparagement are as truly legends as the wonder-tales of saints and warriors; and anecdotes related of Caesar at patrician dinner-parties at Rome as little deserve attention as the information so freely given upon the habits of modern statesmen in the salons of London and Paris.
Just as the type of the salon of Mme. de Rambouillet degenerated among the aristocracy into those of the Hôtel de Condé, Mme. de Sablé, and Mlle. de Luxembourg, so the type of the salon of Mlle. de Scudéry gave rise to a number of literary salons among the bourgeoisie.
They were bringing up their children in constitutional principles, because they imagined they were going to found a new monarchy in which the people would help them to regain their old position above the throne; and it is for this reason that the greatest admiration for Voltaire and the most ardent sympathies with Franklin were openly expressed in the most famous salons in Paris.