She was to a considerable extent selftaught; and her love of reading made her acquainted first with Plutarch - a passion for which author she continued to cherish throughout her life - thereafter with Bossuet, Massillon, and authors of a like stamp, and finally with Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau.
As an orator his eloquence has been likened to that of both Bossuet and Vergniaud, but it had neither the polish of the old 17th century bishop nor the flashes of genius of the young Girondin.
Bossuet (Reponse au livre de M.
Voltaire said that his sermons surpassed those of Bossuet (whose retirement in 1669, however, practically coincided with Bourdaloue's early pulpit utterances); and there is little doubt that their simplicity and coherence, and the direct appeal which they made to hearers of all classes, gave them a superiority over the more profound sermons of Bossuet.
Brooke, Great French Preachers (sermons of Bourdaloue and Bossuet, London, 1904); F.