A Little Tour In France, By Henry James



























































































 -   I have spoken
of Chenonceaux as a villa, using the word ad-
visedly, for the place is neither a castle - Page 60
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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- Mon.

This look is not at all contradicted by the wing across the Cher, which only suggests intimate pleasures, as

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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