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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, Mademoiselle's campaigns. (search)
fatal battle of Gien came to her in her dressing-room, and she remained undisturbed before the mirror, not neglecting the arrangement of a single curl. In short, every woman who took part in the Ladies' War became heroic,--from Marguerite of Lorraine, who snatched the pen from her weak husband's hand and gave De Retz the order for the first insurrection, down to the wife of the commandant of the Porte St. Roche, who, springing from her bed to obey that order, made the drums beat to arms and came upon the scene but to commit some new act of ingenious pusillanimity; while, by some extraordinary chance, every woman of his immediate kindred was a natural heroine, and became more heroic through disgust at him. His wife was Marguerite of Lorraine, who originated the first Fronde insurrection; his daughter turned the scale of the second. Yet, personally, he not only had not the courage to act, but had not the courage to abstain from acting: he could no more keep out of parties than in t