Cover him with wealth, overload him with lands, titles and possessions; save your time; we live in a century where such things will do him more honor than virtue. Are you speaking seriously, Crassus? Do you think that a single drop of water drawn from the Tiber will enrich the Xanthus that you love, and prevent the embarrassing consequences that come from him being in a position that he isn't meant for? Similar to those extraordinary stars whose presence one cannot explain, and whose fate one knows even less after they disappear, they have neither ancestors nor descendants: they are the only members of their race.
This is more difficult for someone who is engaged: it seems that marriage puts everyone in his place. Send me the clothes and jewels of Philemon; I'll let you keep the person. I You are fooling yourself, Philemon, if, with your shining carriage, the great number of rogues that follow you, and the six beasts that pull you, you think that anyone has more esteem for you: they push aside the whole outfit that is beside you in order to reach you yourself, who are nothing but a conceited fool.
They expect almost nothing from time or years. In them, merit comes before age. They are born instructed, and they are complete men before the majority leave childhood behind. If they attempt to trick him for a second time, they will only lose their time; such a man is only fooled once. I would carefully avoid offending anyone, if I was a just man; but above all a man with esprit, if I have the smallest regard for my own interests. A fool neither enters a room, nor leaves it, nor sits down, nor stands up, nor is silent, nor stays on his feet, like a man with esprit.
He insinuates himself into a circle of respectable people who do not know who he is, and once there, without waiting for someone to ask him a question, without sensing that he is interrupting, he speaks, and frequently, and ridiculously. On another occasion he enters an assembly, sits down wherever he finds himself, without any attention to others or to himself; one takes him away from the place that was meant for a Minister of State, he sits down in the place meant for a duke and peer; precisely then the multitude of people laugh and he alone is serious and doesn't laugh at all.
Chase a dog from the armchair of the King, he scrambles onto the pulpit of the preacher; he regards society indifferently, without embarrassment, without bashfulness; he, no more than a fool, notices any reason for him to blush. He is a man born for comings and goings, for listening to what people say and relating it to others, for making an office of this, for exceeding the duties of his post and for being disowned, for reconciling people who quarrel at their first sight of each other; for succeeding in every thousandth undertaking, for giving himself all the glory of the success and for redirecting the hatred of the failures onto others.
He knows the common scandals, the little stories of the town; he does nothing, he tells or listens to what others do, he is a news-man ['nouvelliste']; he even knows the secrets inside families: he enters into the highest mysteries: he tells you why this person was exiled and why that person was recalled; he knows the foundation and reason of the break between two brothers, and the rupture between two Ministers of State.
Didn't he predict to the former the sad consequences of their misunderstanding? Didn't he tell the latter that their union would not last long? Wasn't he present when certain words were said? Didn't he enter into a certain type of negotiation? Did people want to believe him? Was he listened to?
Jean Picollec, un menhir de l’édition bretonne au Salon du Livre de Paris
To whom do you talk about these things? Who has a greater part than Celse in all of the intrigues at court? And if it weren't thus, if he did not at least dream or imagine it to be so, would he think of making you believe it? Would he have the important and mysterious air of a man who has just come back from an embassy? N'a-t-il pas dit de ceux-ci que leur union ne serait pas longue? Le voulut-on croire? A qui parlez-vous de ces choses? He does not speak, he does not feel; he repeats the feelings and the speech of others, and so naturally takes on their esprit that he is the first one to forget that it is theirs, and he often thinks he is stating his taste or explaining his thought when he is only echoing the person whose company he just left.
He is a man who is bearable for fifteen minutes and a moment after that droops, degenerates, loses the little luster that a little memory gave him, and shows he has nothing more left. He is the only one who doesn't see how far he is from sublimity and heroism; and, incapable of imagining how great an esprit men can have, he naively thinks he has as much as is humanly possible: he also has the air and manner of someone who has nothing more to desire of his esprit and who doesn't envy anyone.
He talks to himself often and doesn't hide it; the people who pass by see him and he always seems to be taking sides with himself, or deciding that such and such a thing cannot be argued. If you greet him sometimes, you throw him into confusion over whether he should reply to you or not; and while he deliberates, you have already left the room.
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His vanity made him become something he wasn't. One judges, on seeing him, that he is only occupied with his own person; that he knows that his clothes look good on him, and that his jewels match; that he thinks that everyone's eyes are on him, and that men take turns contemplating him.
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It is the motive alone that gives merit to human actions, and disinterestedness perfects them. The greatest nobles, in order to pay their court to the king, lodged in some wretched rooms in the palace. True grandeur is free, sweet, familiar, popular; it let's itself be touched and handled, it doesn't lose anything from being seen close up; the more one knows it, the more one admires it. It curbs itself out of good-will toward it's inferiors, and comes back into it's natural condition without effort; it abandons itself sometimes, neglects itself, gets rid of its advantages, always able to pick them up again when it wants to; it laughs, plays, and chats, but with dignity; one approaches it with freedom and reserve together.
Its character is noble and easy, inspires respect and confidence, and makes princes seem great, and very great, without making us feel small. On women Des femmes 1 I Men and women rarely agree on what merit a woman has: their interests are too different. Women do not please each other with the same charms with which they please men: a thousand manners that light great passions in men give rise to aversion and antipathy in other women.
Ce n'est pas sans peine qu'elles plaisent moins. It's necessary to judge women from just above their shoes to just below their coiffure exclusively, a little like one measures a fish from below its head to above its tail. IV If women were naturally what they make of themselves artificially, if they lost in a moment all the freshness of their complexion, if their faces became as bright and leadened as they make it with rouge and the paints that they use, they would be inconsolable.
Note in book on 'wax balls under their cheeks': 'It was a custom for elegant women, who, however, had become ugly on account of having hollow cheeks, to place little balls of ivory or of wax in their mouth. Dangeau noticed this custom in the princess de Montauban.
The same ornament that once embellished her youth finally disfigures her and makes the defects of her age more noticeable. She has a pink color and affectation even in sickness and with fever: she dies covered in make-up and colored ribbons. Lise is as old as that; but years have less than twelve months for her and never make her grow older: that's what she thinks, and while she is looking at herself in the mirror, putting rouge on her face and drawing dark spots there, she agrees that after a certain age it is not right to affect youth, and that indeed, Clarice , with her dark spots and her rouge, is ridiculous.
They have more leisure with people they are indifferent to; they sense the disorder they are in, adjust themselves in their presence, or disappear for a moment and return beautifully made-up. I Un beau visage est le plus beau de tous les spectacles; et l'harmonie la plus douce est le son de voix de celle que l'on aime. Nearly nothing is said accidentally by men; their caresses are premeditated; they speak, they act, they are eager to please, and they convince someone less of their affection. A certain woman tries not to be a coquette by firmly attaching herself to a single man, but she is considered mad if she persists in a bad choice.
An old gallant fears or scorns a new rival depending on the character of the person he courts. Often the only thing that an old gallant is missing with regard to the woman he is attached to is the name of husband: this is very much, and he would have lost his position a thousand times if it weren't for this circumstance. A male coquette, on the contrary, is something worse than a gallant man.
A male coquette and a gallant woman go together. Un homme coquet au contraire est quelque chose de pire qu'un homme galant. L'homme coquet et la femme galant vont assez de pair. Many women are as well recognized by the name of their lovers as by the name of their husbands. This one looks to bind someone; that one contents herself with pleasing. The first passes successively from one tie to another; the second has many men to amuse her at once.
Passion and pleasure are dominant in the one; vanity and fickleness in the other. Gallantry is a weakness of the heart, or perhaps a vice of someone's complexion; coquetry comes from an ungoverned spirit. A gallant woman makes herself feared and a coquette makes herself hated. One can imagine someone who would have both of these characters, and who would be worse than either alone. A faithless woman, if she is believed to be so by the person concerned, is only faithless: if he thinks she is faithful, she is treacherous.
A man takes this benefit from the perfidy of women, that it cures him of jealousy. Her choice is made: it is a little monster who lacks a spirit. Son choix est fait: c'est un petit monstre qui manque d'esprit. I don't know who is more to be pitied, either a woman advanced in years who needs a cavalier or a cavalier who needs an old woman. He makes men and women jealous: one admires him, he inspires envy: four miles away from the city, at Versailles, he inspires pity.
Un homme de la ville est pour une femme de province ce qu'est pour une femme de ville un homme de la cour. Moreover, Roscius cannot be yours, he belongs to someone else; and when this engagement ends, he is already claimed by another still: Claudie waits for him to become tired of Messaline so that she can have him. Would you like the jumper, Cobus , who, throwing his feet before him, turns once in the air before coming back to the ground?
Did you know that he is no longer young? As for Bathylle, you will say, the crowd around him is too great, and he refuses more women than he can gratify; but you still have Dracon , the flute player: no one else in his profession swells his cheeks as decently as he does when he plays the oboe or the flageolet, because the number of instruments he can play is endless; moreover, he's amusing and even makes children and young women laugh. Who eats and drinks better than Dracon in a single meal? He gets a whole company drunk, and himself last.
What will you do, since the best men of this type have already been taken? Bronte is still left, who works torturing people on the rack: people can't stop talking about his strength and skill; he is a young man with broad shoulders and brawny, a negroe moreover, a black man.
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Ignorez-vous qu'il n'est plus jeune? Qui mange et qui boit mieux que Dracon en un seul repas? Il enivre toute une compagnie, et il se rend le dernier. Everything is a temptation to a person who is afraid to be faced with it.
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Is it a woman who is more obliging to her husband, kinder to her servants, more devoted to her family and its affairs, more ardent and sincere with her friends; who is less of a slave to her mood, less attached to her own interests, who has less love of the commodities of life; I don't say who gives much money to her children who are already rich, but who, being opulent herself and overwhelmed with superfluities, furnishes them with everything necessary, and gives them what they justly deserve; who is more exempt of self-love and of estrangement from others; who is more free of all human attachments?
VII Qu'est-ce qu'une femme que l'on dirige? I Le capital pour une femme n'est pas d'avoir un directeur, mais de vivre si uniment qu'elle s'en puisse passer. I cannot cease marveling and being surprised when I see certain people who I will not name; I open my eyes wide when I see them; I gaze on them: they speak and I lend them my ear; I inform myself, one tells me stories, I collect them; and I don't understand how people who seem to me diametrically opposed to good sense, to straight reasoning, to an experience of the world, to a knowledge of men, to the science of religion and mores, presume that God has renewed the marvel of apostles in our day, and has realized a miracle in their persons, rendering them capable, simple-minded and petty spirits that they are, of directing peoples souls, the most delicate and sublime form of governing; and if they nonetheless believe themselves born for such an elevated task, which is so difficult and belongs to so few people, and persuade themselves that by doing so they only exercise their natural talents and follow an ordinary vocation, I can understand them still less.
I see very well that the taste they have for being the depositary of family secrets, for being necessary for reconciliations, for procuring commissions or for organizing the servants, for finding every door open in the houses of noblemen, for eating often at large tables, for taking carriage rides in a large city, and for making delicious retreats to the countryside, for seeing many renowned and distinguished men be interested in their life and health, and to manage every human interest for others and themselves, I see very well, once again, that this alone has brought about the specious and blameless pretexte of caring for people's souls, and spread among society an inexhaustible nursery of spiritual directors.
Different times, different mores: now they overdo austerity and solitude; they no longer open their eyes, which were given to them so that they may see; they make no use of their senses; and, incredible thing! They used to waste themselves gaily in gallantry, luxury and idleness; and now they do so sadly in presumption and envy. Even a single man can be seen governing many; he cultivates their esprit and their memory, fixes and determines their religion; he even undertakes to rule their heart.
They neither approve nor disapprove, neither praise nor condemn, until after they have consulted his eyes and countenance. He is the source of their joys and their chagrins, of their desires, of their jealousies, of their hatreds and of their loves; he makes them break from their gallants; he makes them upset at or reconciled to their husbands, and he profits from the intervals in between. He takes care of their affairs, solicits for them in their lawsuits, and goes to see their judges; he gives them his doctor, merchant and craftsmen; he interferes in finding them a residence, he furnishes it, and he orders their carriages.
One sees him with them when they take a ride, throughout the streets of the town, and on walks, as well as in their pew at church and in their box at the theater; he makes their visits with them; he accompanies them to the baths, to the waters, on their travels; he has the most comfortable apartment in their country houses.
He grows old without losing his authority: a little esprit and a great deal of time to lose was enough for him to keep it; the children, the heirs, the daughter-in-law, the niece, the servants, everyone depends on him. He began by making himself esteemed; he ends by making himself feared. This friend from so long ago, who is so necessary, dies without anyone crying over him; and ten women he was the tyrant of inherit upon his death their freedom. There is a false modesty which is vanity, a false glory which is thoughtlessness, a false grandeur which is pettiness, a false virtue which is hypocrisy, and a false wisdom which is prudery.
A prude woman is concerned with her bearing and her words; a wise woman is concerned with her conduct. The first follows her humor and complexion, the second her reason and her heart. The former is serious and austere; the latter acts precisely as is necessary in different situations. The first hides her weaknesses under a plausible exterior; the second covers a rich store of virtue with a free and natural air. Prudery constrains esprit, and neither hides age nor ugliness; often it presupposes them: wisdom, on the contrary, palliates imperfections of the body, ennobles esprit, and makes youth only more piquant and beauty only more perilous.
Une femme prude paye de maintien et de parole; une femme sage paye de conduite. By what laws, what edicts, what regulations have they forbidden them from opening their eyes and reading, from retaining what they have read, and from giving an account of it in their conversation or in their works? Have they not rather established this custom themselves of not being knowledgeable, either because of the weakness of their constitution, or the indolence of their esprit, or the care of their beauty, or a certain flightiness that prevents them from following a long study through, or a talent and genius only for handiwork, or the distractions that come from domestic avocations, or a natural estrangement from difficult and serious things, or a curiosity very distinct from what satisfies esprit, or a completely different taste than for exercising their memory?
But whatever cause men may give for the ignorance of women, they are fortunate that women, who rule them in so many other things, don't have this advantage over them at least. We regard a learned woman in the same way people regard a beautiful piece of armor: it is artistically chiselled, has an admirable polish, and shows exquisite workmanship; it is kept in the cabinet as part of a collection, which one shows to people who are curious, which is not used, which is not taken when going to war nor when hunting, no more than a horse immediately out of riding-school, though the best instructed in the world.
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If knowledge and wisdom are united in a single person, I do not ask about his or her sex, I admire; and if you tell me that a wise woman doesn't think of becoming learned, or that a learned woman is hardly wise, you have already forgotten what you have just read, that women are only discouraged from knowledge by certain faults: therefore, conclude that the less they have these faults, the wiser they would be, and that a wise woman would only be more fit for becoming learned, or that a learned woman, only being such because she has been able to conquer very many weaknesses, is only wiser for it.
VII Pourquoi s'en prendre aux hommes de ce que les femmes ne sont pas savante? I Il y a telle femme qui aime mieux son argent que ses amis, et ses amants que son argent. Men are the cause of women not liking each other. Les hommes sont cause que les femmes ne s'aiment point. Lise , already old, wants to make a young woman seem ridiculous, and herself becomes deformed; she frightens me. She grimaces and contorts her face to imitate her: and when she does so she is sufficiently ugly to make the person she is mocking seem beautiful.
Everything, on the contrary, favors a young woman, especially the opinion of men, who love to grant them every advantage that can make them more desirable. A hard school. IV On the other hand, laziness in lively women is an omen of love. It seems that a lively and tender passion is somber and silent; and that the most pressing interest of a woman who is no longer free, the one which stirs her the most, is less to persuade someone that she loves than to be reassured that she is loved.
Only Corinne is waited for and received at every hour. Qui parle moins de ce qu'il faut taire? Qui conduit plus adroitement par le petit escalier? A person who jokes appropriately, with good humor and sense is rare and it is hard for a man who was born this way to remain so for a long time; a jester rarely earns our esteem. Switzerland and the Normandy region share the official honours at the 24th Edition. Bon festival! New this year are several added venues that accommodate the growth the Festival has experienced over the last few years and to satisfy public demand.
Pierre Roy, Chairman of the Board. Film festivals fulfill an important role: they provide a platform for high-quality productions at national and international levels and are an opportunity for cultural and commercial exchanges. It will most certainly feature unique footages and open up new horizons of our culturally creative landscape. Our filmmakers convey their messages in a vibrant manner, thus promoting a multifaceted and high-quality work which offers the public a unique and hopefully memorable experience. The exhibition turns the spotlight on Frenchspeaking Belgian women in film.
Showcasing our best-known actresses, it reveals their inner beauty with great sensitivity. We hope this edition will be rich in experiences and cinematic discoveries for everyone. Enjoy the Festival! This year, Francophiles will once again get to discover the best films from the four corners of the world.
Related Tout me réussit cette année (FICTION) (French Edition)
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