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into the hands of prince Eugene. The grand vizier was killed, the seal of the Ottoman empire taken, and the aga of the Janizaries, and twenty-seven bashaws, were found among the slain4'.

This decisive victory, though followed by no striking consequences by reason of the declining season, broke the spirit of the Turks; and the haughty Mustapha, after attempting in vain, during another campaign, to recover the laurels he had lost at Zenta, agreed to listen to proposals of peace. The plenipotentiaries of the belligerent powers accordingly met at Carlowitz, and signed a treaty in which it was stipulated, that all Hungary, on this side the Saave, with Transylvania and Sclavonia, should be ceded to the house of Austria; that the Russians should remain in possession of Azoph, on the Paulus Mæotis, which had A. D. 1699. been taken by their young sovereign Peter I. afterward styled the Great; that Caminiec should be restored to the Poles; and that the Venetians, who had distinguished themselves during the latter years of the war, should be gratified with all the Morea, or ancient Peloponnesus, and with several places in Dalmatia42.

JAN. 26.

Thus, my dear Philip, was general tranquility again resstored to Europe. But the seeds of future discord, as we shall soon have occasion to notice, were already sown in every corner of Christendom. It was but a delusive calm before a more violent storm! It will however afford us leisure to carry forward the progress of society.

41 Barre, Hist. d'Allemagne, tom. x. 42. Dumont, Corp. Diplom. tom. viii.

Life of prince Eugene.
Voltaire, Hist. Russia, vol. i.

LETTER

LETTER XIX.

THE PROGRESS OF SOCIETY IN EUROPE, FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE SIXTEENTH, TO THE END OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

ABOUT the middle of the sixteenth century, as we have formerly seen', society had attained a very high degree of perfection in Italy. Soon after that æra, the Italian states began to decline, and the other European nations, then comparatively barbarous, to advance towards refine'ment. Among these, the French took the lead; for, although the Spanish nobility, during the reign of Charles V. and those of his immediate successors, were perhaps the most polished and enlightened set of men on this side of the Alps, the great body of the nation then was, as it still continues, sunk in ignorance, superstition, and barbarism. And the secluded condition of the women, in both Spain and Italy, was a farther barrier against true politeness. That grand obstruction to elegance and pleasure was effectually removed, in the intermediate kingdom, by the gallant Francis I. Anne of Brittany, wife of Charles VIII. and Lewis XII. had introduced the custom of ladies appearing publicly at the French court; Francis encouraged it; and, by familiarizing the intercourse of the sexes, in many brilliant assemblies and gay circles, threw over the manners of the nation those bewitching graces that have so long attracted the admiration of Europe!

But this innovation, like most others in civil life, was at first attended with several inconveniences. As soon as familiarity had worn off that respect, approaching to adoration, which had hitherto been paid to the women of rank, the advances of the men became more bold and licentious. No longer afraid of offending, they poured their lawless

1. Part I. Letter IV.

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passion in the ear of beauty; and female innocence, unaccustomed to such solicitations, was unable to resist the seducing language of love, when breathed from the glowing lips of youth and manhood. Not only frequent intrigues, but a gross sensuality was the consequence; and the court of France, during half a century, was little better than a common brothel! Catharine of Medicis encouraged this sensuality, and employed it as the engine for perfecting her system of Machiavelian policy. By the attractions of her fair attendants, she governed the leaders of the Hugonot faction! or, by their insidious caresses, obtained the secrets of her enemies, in order to work their ruin! to bring them. before a venal tribunal, or to take them off by the more dark and common instruments of her ambition, poison, and the stiletto! Murders were hatched in the arms of love, and massacre planned in the cabinet of pleasure!

On the accession of Henry IV. and the cessation of the religious wars, gallantry began to assume a milder form. The reign of sensuality continued, but it was a sensuality mingled with sentiment, and connected with heroism. Henry himself, though habitually licentious, was often in love, and sometimes foolishly intoxicated with that passion, but he was always a king and a soldier. His courtiers, in like manner, were frequently dissolute, but never effeminate. The same beauty that served to solace the warrior after his toils, contributed also to inspire him with new courage. Chivalry seemed to revive in the train of libertinism; and the ladies, acquiring more knowledge and experience, from their more early and frequent intercourse with our sex, became more sparing of their favours.

Gallantry was formed into a system during the reign of Lewis XIII. and love was analyzed with all the nicety of metaphysics! The faculties of the two sexes were whetted, and their manners polished, by combating each other! Woman was placed beyond the reach of man, without the help

of

of grates or bars. In the bosom of society, in the circle of amusement, and even in the closet of assignation, she set him at defiance: and while she listened to his fond request, she was deaf to his suit, unless when presented under the sanction of virtue, and recommended by sentiment.

This tender sentiment, so much talked of in France, and so little felt, was sublimed to an enthusiastic passion, during the regency of Anne of Austria, and the civil wars that disfigured the beginning of the reign of Lewis XIV. Then all things were conducted by women. The usual time for deliberation was midnight; and a lady in bed, or on a sopha, was the soul of the council. There she determined to fight, to negociate, to embroil, or to accommodate matters with the court; and as love presided over all those consultations, secret aversions or attachments frequently prepared the way for the greatest events. A revolution in the heart of a woman of fashion, almost always announced a change in public affairs2.

The ladies often appeared openly at the head of factions, adorned with the ensigns of their party; visited the troops, and presided at councils of war, while their lovers spoke as seriously of an assignation, as of the issue of a campaign. Hence the celebrated verses of the philosophical duke de Rochefoucault to the duchess of Longueville:

2. Every one had her department and her dominion. Madame de Montbazin, fair and shewy, governed the duke of Beaufort; Madame de Longueville, the duke of Rochefoucault; Madame de Chatillon, Nemours and Conde; Mademoiselle de Chevreuse, the Coadjutor, afterward Cardinal de Retz; Mademoiselle de Saujon, devout and tender, the duke of Orleans; and the duchess of Bouillon her husband. At the same time Madame de Chevreuse, lively and warm, resigned herself to her lovers from taste, and to politics occasionally; and the princess Palatine, in turns the friend and the enemy of the great Conde, by means of her genius more than her beauty, subjected all whom she desired to please, or whom she had either a whim or an interest to persuade. Essai sur le Caractere, les Maurs, et l'Esprit des Femmes dans les differens Siecles, par M. Thomas de l'Acadamie Francoise.

VOL IV.

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Pour

Pour meriter son cœur, pour plaire a ses beaux yeux, J'ai fait la guerre aux rois, je l'aurois fait aux dieux! "To merit that heart, and to please those bright eyes,

"I made war upon kings; I'd have warr'd 'gainst the skies!"

Every thing connected with gallantry, how insignificant soever in itself, was considered as a matter of importance. the duke de Bellegard, the declared lover of the queen-regent, in taking leave of her majesty to take upon him the command of an army, begged, as a particular favour, that she would touch the hilt of his sword. And M. de Chatillon, who was enamoured of Mademoiselle de Guerchi, wore one of her garters tied round his arm in battle3.

But this serious gallantry, which Anne of Austria had brought with her from Spain, and which was so contrary to the genius of the French nation, vanished with the other remains of barbarism on the approach of the bright days of Lewis XIV. when the glory of France was at its height, and the French language, literature, arts, and manners, were perfected. Ease was associated with elegance, taste with fashion, and grace with freedom. Love spoke once more the language of nature, while decency drew a veil over sen. suality. Men and women became reasonable beings, and the intercourse between the sexes a school of urbanity; where a mutual desire to please gave smoothness to the behaviour; and mutual esteem, delicacy to the mind and sensibility to the heart4.

3. Mem. de Mad. Motteville.

4. That gallantry which, roving from object to object, finds no gratification but in variety, and which characterises the present French manners, was not introduced till the minority of Lewis XV. “Then,” says M. Thomas, " a new court and new ideas changed all things. A bolder gallantry became the fashion. Shame was mutually communicated, and mutually pardoned; and levity, joining itself to excess, formed a corruption at the same time deep and frivolous, which laughed at every thing, that it might blush at nothing." Essai sur le caractere, &c. des Femmes dans les differens Siecles. p. 190. Nor

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