By Keith Walker
Files the thoughts of a conflict within the phrases of these girls brave adequate to stroll into hell. --San Francisco Chronicle
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Additional info for A Piece of My Heart: The Stories of 26 American Women Who Served in Vietnam
De Chevreuse; and Condé and Mme. de Longueville with their friends; the result was the death of Coligny. Mme. de Longueville was a true _précieuse_ and hardly loved Coligny, but allowed him and any other to serve and adore her in a respectable way--a principle followed by the better women of the age, such as Mme. de Rambouillet and Mme. de Sablé. Some time after these occurrences, Mme. de Longueville was stricken with smallpox which, fortunately, did not impair her beauty; it was said, on the contrary, that in taking away its first flower it left all the brilliancy which, joined to her culture and charming languor, made her one of the most attractive persons in France.
As will be seen, nothing of this nature occurred in the salon of Mme. de Rambouillet, whose object was to charm her leisure hours, distract and amuse the husband whom she adored, and be agreeable to her friends. Her amusements were most original--concerts, mythological representations, suppers, fireworks, comedies, readings, always something new, often in the form of a surprise or a joke. Of the latter, the best known is the one played on the Count of Guise whose fondness for mushrooms had become proverbial; on one occasion when he had consumed an immense number of them at table, his valet, who had been bribed, took in all his doublets; on trying to put them on again, he found them too narrow by fully four inches.
By them, love was not considered a weakness but a mark of the elevation of the soul, and every man had to be sensitive to beauty. When the Duchesse d'Aiguillon presented to society her nephew, who later became the Duke of Richelieu, she advised and encouraged him to complete his education and make of himself an _honnête homme_ by association with the elder Mlle. du Vigean and other women; the object of this procedure was to polish his manners, elevate his instincts, and develop ease in deportment toward the ladies.
A Piece of My Heart: The Stories of 26 American Women Who Served in Vietnam by Keith Walker