I guess I would be out of breath in an instant these days -- all these wits and wags and well-versed, fine-calfed wig-wearers... and yet, there is some small portion of me that likes to hear the excitements of the well-informed mind that is willing to stretch its arms and yawn ... and sing.
In much of the 19th Century, one of the most influential of the salons was held at 120 Rue du Bac in the Saint-Germain district. Here gathered writers and thinkers like Victor Hugo and Alexis de Toqueville, politicians like the Adolphe Thiers, the future president, painters like Eugene Delacroix, historians, orientalists, economists.Arrogance, whether subtle or gross, is not an attractive trait and I suppose I must be found in some measure guilty. But also I sort of wonder if the foul-but-prancing odor is reduced depending on what, precisely, anyone might be arrogant about. Patriotism, intellect, religion, history .... it's sort of exciting when placed cheek-by-jowl with big-box specials... or is it?
And presiding over them all was an Englishwoman.
Clarkey was her nickname. Madame de Mohl became her formal title. Mary Clarke was how she was born in 1793 in London.
And French does seem to lend a shiver of disgust and/or delight.