Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/890

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RAMBERT-RAMBOUILLET, MARQUISE DE

the principles and organization of scientific study as applied beyond the Rhine, and who were ready to devote themselves to their cherished plan of remodelling higher education in France. He was appointed “répétiteur” at the École des Hautes Études on its foundation in 1868. His researches were at that time directed towards the Byzantine period of the middle ages, and to this period were devoted the two theses which he composed for his doctorate in letters, De byzantino hippodromo et circensibus factionibus (revised in French for the Revue des Deux Mondes, under the title of “Le monde byzantin; le sport et l'hippodrome,” 1871), and L'Empire grec au Xe siecle, Constantin Porphyrogénète (1870). This latter work is still accepted as a good authority, and caused Rambaud to be hailed as a master on the Byzantine period; but with the exception of one article on Digenis Akritas, in the Revue des Deux Mondes (1875), and one other on Michael Psellos, in the Revue historique (vol. iii., 1876), Rambaud's researches were diverted towards other parts of the East: The Franco-German War inspired him with the idea for some courses of lectures which developed into books: La domination française en Allemagne; les Français sur le Rhin, 1792–1804 (1873) and L'Allemagne sous Napoleon I. 1804–1811 (1874). He watched attentively the rôle played by Russia, and soon observed how much to the interest of France, a good entente with this power would be. He accordingly threw himself into the study of Russian history, staying in Russia in order to learn its language, institutions and customs. On his return, he published La Russie épique, a study of the heroic songs (1876), a short but excellent Histoire de la Russie depuis les origines jusqu'à l'année 1877 (1878, 5th ed., 1900), Français et Russes, Moscou et Sévastopol 1812–1854 (1876; 2nd ed., 1881), and finally the two important volumes on Russian diplomatic history in the Recueil des Instructions données aux ambassadeurs (vols. vii. and ix., 1890 and 1891). He was not improbably moved by considerations of foreign policy to publish his Russes et Prussiens, guerre de Sept Ans (1895), a popular work, though based on solid research. After teaching history in the Faculties of Arts at Caen (1871) and Nancy (1873), he was called to the Sorbonne (1883), where he was the first to occupy the chair of contemporary history. By this time he had already entered into politics; he had been chef du cabinet of Jules Ferry (1879–1881), though this did not distract him from his literary work. It was under these conditions that he composed his Histoire de la civilisation française (2 vols., 1885, 1887; 9th ed., 1901) and his Histoire de la civilisation contemporaine en France (1888, new ed. entirely revised, 1906), and undertook the general editorship of the Histoire générale du IVe siècle jusqu'à nos jours. The plan of this great work had been drawn up with the aid of Ernest Lavisse, but the entire supervision of its execution was carried out by Rambaud. He contributed to it himself some interesting chapters on the history of the East, of which he had a thorough knowledge; In 1885 Rambaud published, in collaboration with J. B. Baille, a French translation of J. R. Seeley's Expansion of England, and in the preface he laid great emphasis on the enormous increase of power brought to England by the possession of her colonies, seeing in this a lesson for France. He was anxious to see the rise of a “Greater France,” on the model of “Greater Britain,” and it was with this idea that he undertook to present to the public a series of essays, written by famous explorers or political men, under the title of La France coloniale, histoire, géographie, commerce (1886; 6th ed., 1893). Having become senator for the department of Doubs (1895–1902), Rambaud held the position of minister of Public Instruction from 1896 to 1898, and in that capacity endeavoured to carry on the educational work of Jules Ferry, to whose memory he always remained faithful. He dedicated to his former chief a book (Jules Ferry, 1903), which is a valuable testimony to the efforts made by France to organize public education and found a colonial empire; but this fidelity also won him some enemies, who succeeded for some time in preventing him from becoming a member of the Institute. He was finally elected a member of the Académie des Sciences morales et politiques on the 11th of December 1897, in place of the duc d'Aumale, of whose life he wrote an account (vol. xxii., 2nd series, of the Mémoires of this academy). His many interests ended by wearing out even his robust constitution, and he died at Paris on the 10th of November 1905.

See the notices by Ernest Lavisse in the Revue de Paris for January 15th, 1906, and Gabriel Monod in the Revue historique (vol xc., pp. 344–348)


RAMBERT, EUGÈNE, (1830–1886), Swiss author, was born at Sâles near Swiss Clarens on the 6th of April 1830, the eldest son of a Vaudois schoolmaster, from whom he received his education. When in 1845 his father lost his post, owing to the religious disputes, Rambert became a teacher in Paris, and later a tutor in England and at Geneva. When the affairs of the family improved, Rambert was able to pursue his studies for the ministry, but he was more attracted by literature, and in 1845 became professor of French literature at the academy of Lausanne, and in 1860 at the Federal polytechnic school at Zürich, where he remained till 1881, when he again became professor at Lausanne. His principal work, Les Alpes suisses (5 vols., 1866–1875; republished with large additions, according to his own scheme, in 6 vols., 1887–1889), is a mine of miscellaneous information on the subject. He also published several volumes of poetry, as well as a volume entitled Écrivains nationaux (1874, republished 1889), and biographies of the pietist Vinet (1875), of the poet Juste Olivier (1879) and of the artist Alexandre Calame (1883). He died on the 21st of November 1886.

Rambert's Dernières Poesies were edited (1903) by Henri Warnery, whose Eugène Rambert (Lausanne, 1890) contains a critical estimate.


RAMBOUILLET, CATHERINE DE VIVONNE, Marquise de (1588–1665), a lady famous in the literary history of France, was born in 1588. She was the daughter and heiress of Jean de Vivonne, marquis of Pisani, and her mother Giulia was of the noble Roman family of Savelli. She was married at twelve years old to Charles d'Angennes, vidame of Le Mans, and afterwards marquis of Rambouillet. The young marquise found the coarseness and intrigue that then reigned in the French court little to her taste, and after the birth of her eldest daughter, Julie d'Angennes, in 1607, she began to gather round her the circle afterwards so famous. She established herself at the Hôtel Pisani, called later the Hôtel de Rambouillet, the site of which is close to the Grands Magasins du Louvre. Mme de Rambouillet took great trouble to arrange her house for purposes of reception, and devised suites of small rooms where visitors could move easily, and could find more privacy than in the large reception rooms of the ordinary house. The hôtel was rebuilt on these lines in 1618. It maintained its importance as a social and literary centre until 1650. Almost all the more remarkable personages in French society and French literature frequented it, especially during the second quarter of the century, when it was at the height of its reputation. There is abundant testimony to Mme de Rambouillet's beauty, though no portrait of her is known to exist. Her success as a hostess was due to many causes. Her natural abilities had been carefully trained, but were not extraordinary. Many people were, however, like herself, disgusted with the intrigues at court, and found the comparative austerity of the Hôtel de Rambouillet a welcome change. The marquise had genuine kindness and a lack of prejudice that enabled her to entertain on the same footing princes and princesses of the blood royal, and men of letters, while among her intimate friends was the beautiful Angélique Paulet. The respect paid to ability in her salon effected a great advancement in the position of French men of letters. Moreover, the almost uniform excellence of the memoirs and letters of 17th-century Frenchmen and Frenchwomen may be traced largely to the development of conversation as a fine art at the Hôtel Rambouillet, and the consequent establishment of a standard of clear and adequate expression. Mme de Rambouillet was known as the “incomparable Arthénice,” the name being an anagram for Catherine, devised by Malherbe and Racan.