Its character is noble and easy, inspires respect and confidence, and makes princes seem great, and very great, without making us feel small. On women Des femmes 1 I Men and women rarely agree on what merit a woman has: their interests are too different. Women do not please each other with the same charms with which they please men: a thousand manners that light great passions in men give rise to aversion and antipathy in other women.
Ce n'est pas sans peine qu'elles plaisent moins. It's necessary to judge women from just above their shoes to just below their coiffure exclusively, a little like one measures a fish from below its head to above its tail. IV If women were naturally what they make of themselves artificially, if they lost in a moment all the freshness of their complexion, if their faces became as bright and leadened as they make it with rouge and the paints that they use, they would be inconsolable. Note in book on 'wax balls under their cheeks': 'It was a custom for elegant women, who, however, had become ugly on account of having hollow cheeks, to place little balls of ivory or of wax in their mouth.
Dangeau noticed this custom in the princess de Montauban. The same ornament that once embellished her youth finally disfigures her and makes the defects of her age more noticeable. She has a pink color and affectation even in sickness and with fever: she dies covered in make-up and colored ribbons.
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Lise is as old as that; but years have less than twelve months for her and never make her grow older: that's what she thinks, and while she is looking at herself in the mirror, putting rouge on her face and drawing dark spots there, she agrees that after a certain age it is not right to affect youth, and that indeed, Clarice , with her dark spots and her rouge, is ridiculous.
They have more leisure with people they are indifferent to; they sense the disorder they are in, adjust themselves in their presence, or disappear for a moment and return beautifully made-up. I Un beau visage est le plus beau de tous les spectacles; et l'harmonie la plus douce est le son de voix de celle que l'on aime. Nearly nothing is said accidentally by men; their caresses are premeditated; they speak, they act, they are eager to please, and they convince someone less of their affection.
A certain woman tries not to be a coquette by firmly attaching herself to a single man, but she is considered mad if she persists in a bad choice. An old gallant fears or scorns a new rival depending on the character of the person he courts.
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Often the only thing that an old gallant is missing with regard to the woman he is attached to is the name of husband: this is very much, and he would have lost his position a thousand times if it weren't for this circumstance. A male coquette, on the contrary, is something worse than a gallant man.
A male coquette and a gallant woman go together. Un homme coquet au contraire est quelque chose de pire qu'un homme galant. L'homme coquet et la femme galant vont assez de pair. Many women are as well recognized by the name of their lovers as by the name of their husbands. This one looks to bind someone; that one contents herself with pleasing. The first passes successively from one tie to another; the second has many men to amuse her at once. Passion and pleasure are dominant in the one; vanity and fickleness in the other. Gallantry is a weakness of the heart, or perhaps a vice of someone's complexion; coquetry comes from an ungoverned spirit.
A gallant woman makes herself feared and a coquette makes herself hated. One can imagine someone who would have both of these characters, and who would be worse than either alone. A faithless woman, if she is believed to be so by the person concerned, is only faithless: if he thinks she is faithful, she is treacherous.
A man takes this benefit from the perfidy of women, that it cures him of jealousy. Her choice is made: it is a little monster who lacks a spirit. Son choix est fait: c'est un petit monstre qui manque d'esprit. I don't know who is more to be pitied, either a woman advanced in years who needs a cavalier or a cavalier who needs an old woman. He makes men and women jealous: one admires him, he inspires envy: four miles away from the city, at Versailles, he inspires pity.
Un homme de la ville est pour une femme de province ce qu'est pour une femme de ville un homme de la cour. Moreover, Roscius cannot be yours, he belongs to someone else; and when this engagement ends, he is already claimed by another still: Claudie waits for him to become tired of Messaline so that she can have him. Would you like the jumper, Cobus , who, throwing his feet before him, turns once in the air before coming back to the ground?
Did you know that he is no longer young? As for Bathylle, you will say, the crowd around him is too great, and he refuses more women than he can gratify; but you still have Dracon , the flute player: no one else in his profession swells his cheeks as decently as he does when he plays the oboe or the flageolet, because the number of instruments he can play is endless; moreover, he's amusing and even makes children and young women laugh. Who eats and drinks better than Dracon in a single meal?
He gets a whole company drunk, and himself last.
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What will you do, since the best men of this type have already been taken? Bronte is still left, who works torturing people on the rack: people can't stop talking about his strength and skill; he is a young man with broad shoulders and brawny, a negroe moreover, a black man. Ignorez-vous qu'il n'est plus jeune? Qui mange et qui boit mieux que Dracon en un seul repas? Il enivre toute une compagnie, et il se rend le dernier. Everything is a temptation to a person who is afraid to be faced with it.
Is it a woman who is more obliging to her husband, kinder to her servants, more devoted to her family and its affairs, more ardent and sincere with her friends; who is less of a slave to her mood, less attached to her own interests, who has less love of the commodities of life; I don't say who gives much money to her children who are already rich, but who, being opulent herself and overwhelmed with superfluities, furnishes them with everything necessary, and gives them what they justly deserve; who is more exempt of self-love and of estrangement from others; who is more free of all human attachments?
VII Qu'est-ce qu'une femme que l'on dirige?
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I Le capital pour une femme n'est pas d'avoir un directeur, mais de vivre si uniment qu'elle s'en puisse passer. I cannot cease marveling and being surprised when I see certain people who I will not name; I open my eyes wide when I see them; I gaze on them: they speak and I lend them my ear; I inform myself, one tells me stories, I collect them; and I don't understand how people who seem to me diametrically opposed to good sense, to straight reasoning, to an experience of the world, to a knowledge of men, to the science of religion and mores, presume that God has renewed the marvel of apostles in our day, and has realized a miracle in their persons, rendering them capable, simple-minded and petty spirits that they are, of directing peoples souls, the most delicate and sublime form of governing; and if they nonetheless believe themselves born for such an elevated task, which is so difficult and belongs to so few people, and persuade themselves that by doing so they only exercise their natural talents and follow an ordinary vocation, I can understand them still less.
I see very well that the taste they have for being the depositary of family secrets, for being necessary for reconciliations, for procuring commissions or for organizing the servants, for finding every door open in the houses of noblemen, for eating often at large tables, for taking carriage rides in a large city, and for making delicious retreats to the countryside, for seeing many renowned and distinguished men be interested in their life and health, and to manage every human interest for others and themselves, I see very well, once again, that this alone has brought about the specious and blameless pretexte of caring for people's souls, and spread among society an inexhaustible nursery of spiritual directors.
Different times, different mores: now they overdo austerity and solitude; they no longer open their eyes, which were given to them so that they may see; they make no use of their senses; and, incredible thing! They used to waste themselves gaily in gallantry, luxury and idleness; and now they do so sadly in presumption and envy. Even a single man can be seen governing many; he cultivates their esprit and their memory, fixes and determines their religion; he even undertakes to rule their heart.
They neither approve nor disapprove, neither praise nor condemn, until after they have consulted his eyes and countenance. He is the source of their joys and their chagrins, of their desires, of their jealousies, of their hatreds and of their loves; he makes them break from their gallants; he makes them upset at or reconciled to their husbands, and he profits from the intervals in between. He takes care of their affairs, solicits for them in their lawsuits, and goes to see their judges; he gives them his doctor, merchant and craftsmen; he interferes in finding them a residence, he furnishes it, and he orders their carriages.
One sees him with them when they take a ride, throughout the streets of the town, and on walks, as well as in their pew at church and in their box at the theater; he makes their visits with them; he accompanies them to the baths, to the waters, on their travels; he has the most comfortable apartment in their country houses.
He grows old without losing his authority: a little esprit and a great deal of time to lose was enough for him to keep it; the children, the heirs, the daughter-in-law, the niece, the servants, everyone depends on him. He began by making himself esteemed; he ends by making himself feared.
This friend from so long ago, who is so necessary, dies without anyone crying over him; and ten women he was the tyrant of inherit upon his death their freedom. There is a false modesty which is vanity, a false glory which is thoughtlessness, a false grandeur which is pettiness, a false virtue which is hypocrisy, and a false wisdom which is prudery. A prude woman is concerned with her bearing and her words; a wise woman is concerned with her conduct.
The first follows her humor and complexion, the second her reason and her heart. The former is serious and austere; the latter acts precisely as is necessary in different situations.
The first hides her weaknesses under a plausible exterior; the second covers a rich store of virtue with a free and natural air. Prudery constrains esprit, and neither hides age nor ugliness; often it presupposes them: wisdom, on the contrary, palliates imperfections of the body, ennobles esprit, and makes youth only more piquant and beauty only more perilous.
Une femme prude paye de maintien et de parole; une femme sage paye de conduite. By what laws, what edicts, what regulations have they forbidden them from opening their eyes and reading, from retaining what they have read, and from giving an account of it in their conversation or in their works? Have they not rather established this custom themselves of not being knowledgeable, either because of the weakness of their constitution, or the indolence of their esprit, or the care of their beauty, or a certain flightiness that prevents them from following a long study through, or a talent and genius only for handiwork, or the distractions that come from domestic avocations, or a natural estrangement from difficult and serious things, or a curiosity very distinct from what satisfies esprit, or a completely different taste than for exercising their memory?
But whatever cause men may give for the ignorance of women, they are fortunate that women, who rule them in so many other things, don't have this advantage over them at least. We regard a learned woman in the same way people regard a beautiful piece of armor: it is artistically chiselled, has an admirable polish, and shows exquisite workmanship; it is kept in the cabinet as part of a collection, which one shows to people who are curious, which is not used, which is not taken when going to war nor when hunting, no more than a horse immediately out of riding-school, though the best instructed in the world.
If knowledge and wisdom are united in a single person, I do not ask about his or her sex, I admire; and if you tell me that a wise woman doesn't think of becoming learned, or that a learned woman is hardly wise, you have already forgotten what you have just read, that women are only discouraged from knowledge by certain faults: therefore, conclude that the less they have these faults, the wiser they would be, and that a wise woman would only be more fit for becoming learned, or that a learned woman, only being such because she has been able to conquer very many weaknesses, is only wiser for it.
VII Pourquoi s'en prendre aux hommes de ce que les femmes ne sont pas savante? I Il y a telle femme qui aime mieux son argent que ses amis, et ses amants que son argent. Men are the cause of women not liking each other. Les hommes sont cause que les femmes ne s'aiment point. Lise , already old, wants to make a young woman seem ridiculous, and herself becomes deformed; she frightens me. She grimaces and contorts her face to imitate her: and when she does so she is sufficiently ugly to make the person she is mocking seem beautiful. Everything, on the contrary, favors a young woman, especially the opinion of men, who love to grant them every advantage that can make them more desirable.
A hard school. IV On the other hand, laziness in lively women is an omen of love. It seems that a lively and tender passion is somber and silent; and that the most pressing interest of a woman who is no longer free, the one which stirs her the most, is less to persuade someone that she loves than to be reassured that she is loved.
Only Corinne is waited for and received at every hour. Qui parle moins de ce qu'il faut taire? Qui conduit plus adroitement par le petit escalier? Le Miroir des Courtisans. British Library Aretin [ Coloquio de las Damas [ Fernan Xuares Medina del Campo, Pornodidascalus, seu Colloquium muliebre Petri Aretini [ Y2 Cygnea, Kulturbesitz 3in Yd British Library P.
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Dubbii amorosi, altri dubbii, e sonetti lussuriosi. Sonetti lussuriosi Venezia, Peyrefitte, Voltaire. Sa jeunesse et son temps Paris, , p. Candaux et al. Amsterdam, , p. Mercier, L'An I hope to show how these words still speak to students of French history and culture, especially those interested in the twin themes of this special issue, decolonization and post-colonialism in France.
Beauregard's work was published by the Societe d'Editions Geographiques, Maritimes et Coloniales, under the patronage of the Minister of War, curiously not through the auspices of the influential Republican politician Albert Sarraut, who headed at the time the Ministry of the Colonies. There is a small notation on the frontispiece of the copy in the Vassar Library, 'Gift of the French Government, August '. It would seem that the French foreign propaganda services were rather slow, as the book was donated fourteen years after its publication, only a month before the Munich Crisis and less than two years before the 'Strange Defeat' of May-June , which foreshadowed the end of France's imperial adventure.
The book consists of brief historical accounts of France's colonial conquests, some description of each territory and its resources, and 20 carefully drawn maps covering all of France's colonial possessions. The concluding section, 'Les Destinees', is divided into two parts, first 'La Plus Grande France', which presents with complete seriousness the following arguments. I let these arguments speak for themselves, as a reflection of a certain mentalite. France, according to Beauregard, already possesses the 'confident affection' of her colonized peoples; now France must add to this 'sentimental link' [lien sentimental] 'a community of culture'.
Each race, within the framework of French civilization, will develop its specific aptitudes. Building upon French science, arts and institutions, these diverse races will enrich '