Herman Merivale Historical studies Volume 1

ISBN 13: 9781235906510

Historical studies Volume 1

9781235906510: Historical studies Volume 1
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1865 Excerpt: ...puppet. This is no idle comparison. Brienne has recorded how Mary of Medicis, making sport of her clerical lover, then Bishop of Lucon, persuaded him, by adroit reflections on his skill, to dance a new saraband in her royal boudoir, with castanets in his hands, and in the costume of an Andalusian majo--amidst the suppressed convulsions of laughter of certain spectators posted behind the arras--laughter which Richelieu, when he discovered the trick, never forgot or forgave to his dying day. But Richelieu was in truth, what Napoleon only affected to be, as vehement and assiduous in the smallest matters as the greatest. When Napoleon dictated from Moscow orders respecting the opera at Paris, it was only for effect; but Richelieu was really as thoroughly at home and occupied in a green-room intrigue or a literary quarrel, as in adjusting the balance of Europe; for such was the force of his imagination, that to him the immediate subjects which excited his temperament always seemed the most important of any: he would risk a political enmity to raise an ill-natured laugh, and found a mischievous pleasure, to which he was ready to sacrifice honour and interest, in setting afoot a scandalous story respecting some court-lady, or blowing up the coals of enmity between a couple of irritable poetasters. When Tallemant des Réaux compiled his collection of reminiscences (about 1657), Richelieu had been some years dead. Yet the prevailing terror of him had scarcely ceased, and his grim spectre seemed still to haunt Parisian society. Many of the stories which Tallemant has to tell of the Cardinal relate to his absurd literary vanity; many to his despotic habits; some to the strange mocking humour which made him more enemies than his political sins; some to his undoubte...

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