I Have Spoken
Of Chenonceaux As A "Villa," Using The Word Ad-
Visedly, For The Place Is Neither A Castle Nor A Palace.
It Is A Very Exceptional Villa, But It Has The Villa-
Quality, - The Look Of Being Intended For Life In Com-
This look is not at all contradicted by the wing
across the Cher, which only suggests intimate pleasures,
The French say, - walks in pairs, on rainy days;
games and dances on autumn nights; together with as
much as may be of moonlighted dialogue (or silence)
in the course, of evenings more genial still, in the well-
marked recesses of windows.
It is safe to say that such things took place there
in the last century, during the kindly reign of Mon-
sieur and Madame Dupin. This period presents itself
as the happiest in the annals of Chenonceaux. I know
not what festive train the great Diana may have led,
and my imagination, I am afraid, is only feebly kindled
by the records of the luxurious pastimes organized on
the banks of the Cher by the terrible daughter of the
Medici, whose appreciation of the good things of life
was perfectly consistent with a failure to perceive why
others should live to enjoy, them. The best society
that ever assembled there was collected at Chenon-
ceaux during the middle of the eighteenth century.
This was surely, in France at least, the age of good
society, the period when it was well for appreciative
people to have been born.
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