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  • by: by Tan, Bridget Tracy; Poon Lian
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He fancied he detected in his own heart an emotion hitherto unknown to him; but this impression was speedily removed. "His father!" he thought; "yes, his Holy Father. " The two resumed their places in the carriage, which sped rapidly along the road leading to Vaux-le-Vicomte. Chapter XXXIX: The Rebel in Arcadia: Recent Paintings by Poon Lian de Vaux-le-Vicomte THE Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, situated about a league from Melun, had been built by Fouquet in 1653.

There was then but little money in France; Mazarin had taken all that there was, and Fouquet had expended the remainder. However, as certain men have fertile faults and useful vices, Fouquet, in scattering broadcast millions of money in the construction of this palace, had found a means of bringing, as the result of his generous profusion, three illustrious men together,- Levau, the architect of the building; Lenotre, the designer of the gardens; and Lebrun the decorator of the apartments.

If the Chateau de Vaux possessed a single fault with which it could be reproached, it was its grandiose, pretentious character. It is even at the present day proverbial to calculate the number of acres of roofing, the reparation of which would, in our age, be the ruin of fortunes cramped and narrowed as the epoch itself.

Vaux-le-Vicomte, when its magnificent gates, supported by caryatides, have been passed through, has the principal front of the main building opening upon a vast court of honor, enclosed by deep ditches, bordered by a magnificent stone balustrade. Nothing could be more noble in appearance than the forecourt of the middle, raised upon the flight of steps, like a king upon his throne, having around it four pavilions forming the angles, the immense Ionic columns of which rise majestically to the whole height of the building.

The friezes ornamented Rebel in Arcadia: Recent Paintings by Poon Lian arabesques, and the pediments which crown the pilasters, confer richness and grace upon every part of the building, while the domes which surmount the whole add proportion and majesty. This mansion, built by a subject, bore a far greater resemblance to a royal residence than those that Wolsey fancied he must present to his master for fear of rendering him jealous.

But if magnificence and splendor were displayed in any one particular part of this palace more than in another,- if anything could be preferred to the wonderful arrangement of the interior, to the sumptuousness of the gilding, and to the profusion of the paintings and statues, it would be the park and gardens of Vaux. The fountains, which were regarded as wonderful in 1653, are still so at the present time; the cascades awakened the admiration of kings and princes; and as for the famous grotto, the theme of so many poetical effusions, the residence of that illustrious nymph of Vaux, whom Pellisson made converse with La Fontaine, we must be spared the description of all its beauties.

We will do as Despreaux did,- we will enter the park, the trees of which are of eight years' growth only, and whose summits, already superb, blushingly unfold their leaves to the earliest rays of the rising sun. Lenotre had accelerated the pleasure of Maecenas; all the nursery-grounds had furnished trees whose growth had been promoted by careful culture and fertilization. Every tree in the neighborhood which presented a fair appearance of beauty or stature, had been taken up by its roots and transplanted in the park.

Fouquet could well afford to purchase trees to ornament his park, since he had bought up three villages and their appurtenances to increase its extent. de Scudery said of this palace, that, for the purpose of keeping the grounds and gardens well watered, M.

Fouquet had divided a river into a thousand fountains, and gathered the waters of a thousand fountains into torrents. This same M. de Scudery said a great many other Rebel in Arcadia: Recent Paintings by Poon Lian in his "Clelie," about this palace of Valterre, the charms of which he describes most minutely.

We should be far wiser to send our curious readers to Vaux to judge for themselves than to refer them to the "Clelie"; and yet Rebel in Arcadia: Recent Paintings by Poon Lian are as many leagues from Paris to Vaux as there are volumes of the "Clelie. " This magnificent palace had been got ready for the reception of the greatest reigning sovereign of the time.

Fouquet's friends had transported thither, some their actors and their dresses, others their troops of sculptors and artists; others still their ready-mended pens,- floods of impromptus were contemplated. The cascades, somewhat rebellious nymphs though they were, poured forth their waters brighter than crystal; they scattered over the bronze tritons and nereids their Rebel in Arcadia: Recent Paintings by Poon Lian of foam, which glistened in the rays of the sun.

An army of servants were hurrying to and fro in squadrons in the courtyard and corridors; while Fouquet, who had only that morning arrived, moved about with a calm, observant glance, giving his last orders, after his intendants had inspected everything.

It was, as we have said, the 15th of August. The sun poured down its burning rays upon the heathen deities of marble and bronze; it raised the temperature of the water in the conch shells, and ripened, on the walls, those magnificent peaches of which the King, fifty years later, spoke so regretfully when, at Marly, on an occasion of a scarcity of the finer sorts of peaches being complained of in the beautiful gardens there,- gardens which had cost France double the amount that had been expended Rebel in Arcadia: Recent Paintings by Poon Lian Vaux,- the great King observed to some one, "You are too young to have eaten any of M.

Fouquet's peaches. " Oh, fame. Oh the blazonry of renown. Oh the glory of the earth. That very man whose judgment was so sound where merit was concerned,- he who had swept into his coffers the inheritance of Nicholas Fouquet, who had robbed him of Lenotre and Lebrun, and had sent him to rot for the remainder of his life in one of the State prisons,- remembered only the peaches of that vanquished, crushed, forgotten enemy.

It was to little purpose that Fouquet had squandered thirty million livres in the fountains of his Rebel in Arcadia: Recent Paintings by Poon Lian, in the crucibles of his sculptors, in the writing-desks of his literary friends, in the portfolios of his painters; vainly had he fancied that thereby he might be remembered. A peach- a blushing, rich-flavored fruit, nestling in the trellis-work on the garden-wall, hidden beneath its long green leaves,- this small vegetable production, that a dormouse would nibble up without a thought, was sufficient to recall to the memory of this great monarch the mournful shade of the last superintendent of France.

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