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Parc aux Cerfs

[deer parks]. A mansion fitted up in a remote corner of Versailles, whither girls were inveigled for the licentious pleasure, of Louis XV. The rank of the person who visited them was scrupulously kept concealed; but one girl, more bold than the rest, rifled the pockets of M. le Comte, and found that he was no other than the king. Madame de Pompadour did not shrink from superintending the labours of the royal valets to procure victims for this infamous establishment. The term is now used for an Alsatia, or haven of shipwrecked characters.

“Boulogne may be proud of being `parc aux cerfs' to those whom remorseless greed drives from their island home.” —Saturday Review.

Parcae The Fates. The three were Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. (Latin mythology.) Parcae is from pars, a lot; and the corresponding Moirae is from meros, a lot. The Fates were so called because they decided the lot of every man.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Parc aux Cerfs from Infoplease:

  • Parc aux Cerfs - Parc aux Cerfs [deer parks]. A mansion fitted up in a remote corner of Versailles, whither girls ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: P - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "P"

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