Among the more noteworthy incidents in the story of the Hotel are the sonnet war between the Uranistes and the Jobistes partisans of two famous sonnets by Voiture and Benserage-and the composition by all the famous poets of the day of the Guirlande de Julie, a collection of poems on different flowers, addressed in 1641 to ]ulie d'Angennes, afterwards duchesse de Montausier. ]ulie herself was responsible for a good deal of the preciosity for which the Hotel was later ridiculed. Charles de Sainte Maure, who become in 1664 duc de Montausier, had been wooing her for seven years when he conceived the idea of the famous garland, and she kept him waiting for four years nore.
The Précieuses, who are usually associated with Moliére's avowed caricatures and with the extravagances of Mlle. de Scudéry, but whose name, it must be remembered, Madame de Sévigné herself was proud to bear-insisted on a ceremonious gallantry from their suitors and friends, though it seems from the account given by Tallemant des Réaux that practical jokes of a mild kind were by no means excluded from the Hotel de Rambouillet. They especially favoured an elaborate and quintessences kind of colloquial and literary expression, imitated from Marini and Gongora, and then fashionable throughout Europe. The immortal Précieuses ridicules of Moliére was no doubt directly levelled not at the Hotel de Rambouillet itself, but at the numerous coteries which in the course of years had sprung up in imitation of it. But the satire did in truth touch the originators as well as the imitators, -the former more closely perhaps than they perceived. The Hotel de Rambouillet continued open till the death of its mistress, on the 2nd of December 1665, but the troubles of the Fronde diminished its influence.
The chief original authorities respecting Madame de Rambouillet and her set are Tallemant des Réaux in his Historietles, and Antoine Baudeau de Somaize in his Grand Dictionriaire des Précieuses (1660). Many modern writers have treated the subject, notably Victor Cousin, La Société française au x1:ii° siecle (2 vols., 1856), and C. L. Livet, Précieux et Précieuses ... (1859). There is an admirable edition (1875) of the Guirlandede Julie by O. Uzanne.
RAMBOUILLET, a town of northern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Seine-et-Oise, 30 m. S.W. of Paris on the railway to Chartres. Pop. (1906) town, 3965; commune, 6165. Rambouillet derives its whole interest from the associations connected with the ancient chateau, dating originally from the 14th century, but often rebuilt. A great machicolated tower is all that remains of the medieval building; some apartments with good woodwork are also of interest. The chateau is surrounded by a beautiful park of 3000 acres and by an extensive forest. The gardens, partly in French, partly in English style, are picturesque, and have an avenue of Louisiana cypress unique in Europe. The park contains the national sheep-farm, where in the 18th century the first flock of merino sheep in France was raised, a school of sheep-farming, and, close to the latter, a small dairy built by Louis XVI. The shooting of the famous coverts of Rambouillet is reserved for the presidents of the Republic. The town is the seat of a sub-prefect and has a tribunal of first instance and a preparatory infantry school. Trade is in grain, wool, flour .and wood. Watchsprings are manufactured.
Originally a royal domain, the lands of Rambouillet passed in the 14th century to the D'Angennes family, who held them for three hundred years and built the chateau. Francis I. died there in 1547; and Charles IX. and Catherine de Medicis found a refuge there in the Wars of Religion, as Henry III. did after them. The title became a marquis ate in 1612, at which time it was held by Charles d'Angennes, husband of Catherine de Vivonne (q.v.), the famous marchioness of Rambouillet. Created a duchy and peerage in favour of the duke of Toulouse, son of Louis XIV., Rambouillet was subsequently bought and embellished by Louis XVI., who erected a model farm and other buildings. The place was a hunting-seat of Napoleon I. and Charles X., and it was here that in 1830 the latter signed his abdication.
RAMEAU, JEAN PHILIPPE (1683-1764), French musical theorist and composer, was born at Dijon on the 23rd of October 1683. His musical education, partly in consequence of his father's desire that he should study law, still more through his own wayward disposition, was of a desultory character. In 1701 his father sent him to Milan to break off a foolish love match. But he learned little in Italy, and soon returned, in company with a wandering theatrical manager, for whom he played the second violin. He next settled in Paris, where he published his Premier livre de pieces de claveciu, in 1706. In 1717 he made an attempt to obtain the appointment of organist at the church of St Paul. Deeply annoyed at his unexpected failure, he retired for atime to Lille, whence, however, he soon removed to Clermont-Ferrand. Here he succeeded his brother Claude as organist at the cathedral.
Burning with desire to remedy the imperfections of his early education, Rameau diligently studied the writings of Zarlino, Descartes, Mersenne, F . Kircher and other theorists. He not only mastered their views but succeeded in demonstrating their weak points and substituting for them a system of his own. His keen insight into the constitution of certain chords, which in early life he had studied only by ear, enabled him to propound a series of hypotheses, many of which are now accepted as established facts. While the older contrapuntists were perfectly satisfied with the laws which regulated the melodious involutions of their vocal and instrumental parts, Rameau demonstrated the possibility of building up a natural harmony upon a fundamental bass, and of using that harmony as an authority for the enactment of whatever laws might be considered necessary for the guidance either of the contrapuntist or the less ambitious general composer. And in this he first explained the distinction between two styles, which have been called the “ horizontal and vertical systems, ” the “ horizontal system ” being that by which the older contrapuntists regulated the onward motion of their several' parts, and the “ vertical system ” that which constructs an entire passage out of a single harmony. From fundamental harmonies he passed to inverted chords, to which he was the first to call attention; and the value of this discovery fully compensates for his erroneous theory concerning the chords of the eleventh and the great (Angl. “added”) sixth (see Harmony).
Rameau first set forth his new theory in his Traité de l'harmonie (Paris, 1722), and followed it up in his Nouveau sysleme (1726), Géuéraliou harmonique (1737), Démouslraliou (1750) and Nouvelles réflexious (1752). But it was not only as a theorist that he became famous. Returning to Paris in 1722 he first attracted attention by composing some light dramatic pieces, and then showed his real powers in his opera, Hippolyte et Aricle, founded on Racine's Phédre and produced at the Académie in 1733. Though this work was violently opposed by the admirers of Lulli, whose party spirit eventually stirred up the famous “guerre des bouffons," Rameau's genius was too brilliant to be trampled under foot by an ephemeral faction and his ultimate triumph was assured. He afterwards produced more than twenty operas, the most successful of which were Dardauus. Castor el Pollux, Les Irides galaules and La princesse de Navarre. Honours were showered upon him. He was appointed con» ductor at the Opera Comique, and the directors of the opera granted him a pension. King Louis XV. appointed him composer to the court in 1745, and in 1764 honoured him with a patent of nobility and the order of St Michael. A But these last privileges were granted only on the eve of his death at Paris on the 12th of September 1764.
See biographies in Charles Poisset (1864), Nisard (1867), Pougin (1876).
RAMESES, or Ramesses (Gen. xlvii. II; Exod. xii. 37; Num. xxxiii. 3), or, with a slight change in the vowel points, Ramses (Exod. i. 11), the name of a district and town in Lower Egypt, is notable as affording the mainstay of the current theory that King Rameses II. was the pharaoh of the oppression and his successor Minephthas the pharaoh of the exodus. The actual facts, however, hardly justify so large an inference. The