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The Princess of Cleves - Madame de Lafayette

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THE PRINCESS OF CLEVES by Madame de Lafayette



THE PRINCESS OF CLEVES

Grandeur and gallantry never appeared with more lustre in France,
than in the last years of Henry the Second's reign.  This Prince
was amorous and handsome, and though his passion for Diana of
Poitiers Duchess of Valentinois, was of above twenty years
standing, it was not the less violent, nor did he give less
distinguishing proofs of it.

As he was happily turned to excel in bodily exercises, he took a
particular delight in them, such as hunting, tennis, running at
the ring, and the like diversions.  Madam de Valentinois gave
spirit to all entertainments of this sort, and appeared at them
with grace and beauty equal to that of her grand-daughter, Madam
de la Marke, who was then unmarried; the Queen's presence seemed
to authorise hers.

The Queen was handsome, though not young; she loved grandeur,
magnificence and pleasure; she was married to the King while he
was Duke of Orleans, during the life of his elder brother the
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