FRANCE: Honor Spurned

Honor Spurned

To be a member of the Institut de France, is, theoretically the highest honor that the French Republic can pay its painters, writers, musicians, sculptors, scientists and occasionally statesmen, warriors. Every October the 200 members assemble and occupy their armchairs in the great Renaissance hall of the College Mazarin to assert their own dignity and listen to the learned speeches of their colleagues. Each member owns an elaborate Napoleonic costume, of tail coat, knee breeches, white-plumed cocked hat and sword. But despite all...

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