Life, Letters, and Epicurean Philosophy of Ninon de L'Enclos, the Celebrated Beauty of the Seventeenth Century
It would be idle to enter upon a historical digression on the state of female manners in ancient Athens, or in Europe during the last three centuries. The reader should discard them from his mind when he peruses the life of Ninon de l'Enclos, and examine her character and environments from every point of view as a type toward which is trending modern social conditions.
At first blush, and to a narrow intellect, an individual woman of the character of Ninon de l'Enclos would seem hopelessly lost to all virtue, abandoned by every sense of shame, and irreclaimable to any feeling of social or private duty. But only at first blush, and to the most circumscribed of narrow minds, who, fortunately, do not control the policy of mankind, although occasional disorders here and there indicate that they are endeavouring to do so.
A large majority of mankind are of the settled opinion that every virtue is bound up in that of chas