Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, marquise du Deffand

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Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, marquise du Deffand

Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, marquise du Deffand (1697 – September 23, 1780) was a French hostess and patron of the arts.

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  • La distance n'y fait rien; il n'y a que le premier pas qui coûte.
    • The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult.
      • Comment on the legend told by the Cardinal de Polignac that St. Denis, carrying his head in his hands, walked two leagues. Letter to Jean Le Rond d'Alembert (1763-07-07). Voltaire wrote to Madame du Deffand (January 1764) that one of her bon-mots was quoted in the notes of La Pucelle, canto 1: "Il n'y a que le premier pas qui coûte.".
  • Il a inventé l'histoire.
    • He has invented history.
      • Referring to Voltaire; quoted in Édouard Fournier, L'esprit dans l'histoire: Recherches et curiosités sur les mots historiques, third edition (1879), ch. XLVII (p. 306).

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