Hôtel de Rambouillet. The réunion of rank and literary
genius on terms of equality; a coterie where sparkling wit with
polished manners prevails. The Marquise de Rambouillet, in the
seventeenth century, reformed the French soirées, and purged
them of the gross morals and licentious conversation which at that time
prevailed. The present good taste, freedom without licentiousness, wit
without double entendre, equality without familiarity, was due
to this illustrious Italian. The Précieuses Ridicules of Molière
was a satire on those her imitators who had not her talent and good
taste. Catherine, Marquise de Rambouillet
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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