It was the most piquant feature of his life that he, one of the gilded youth, a connoisseur in wines, and a learned man to boot, had become agitator and the champion of the working man.
The piquant comments of his platonic friend, Mademoiselle de Hautefort, upon Richelieu were relished by the king until he was informed of others said to have been made by her upon himself.
It is desultory to a degree; it is a base libel on religion and history; it differs from its model Ariosto in being, not, as Ariosto is, a mixture of romance and burlesque, but a sometimes tedious tissue of burlesque pure and simple; and it is exposed to the objection - often and justly urged - that much of its fun depends simply on the fact that there were and are many people who believe enough in Christianity to make its jokes give pain to them and to make their disgust at such jokes piquant to others.
Cyprian had none of that character which makes the reading of Tertullian, whom he himself called his magister, so interesting and piquant, but he possessed other qualities which Tertullian lacked, especially the art of presenting his thoughts in simple, smooth and clear language, yet in a style which is not wanting in warmth and persuasive power.
But his own style was an individual one, marked by lightness and facility, sparkling vivacity, grace and elegance, clear and piquant melody - characteristically French.