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A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1

For at any rate Menecrate will possess his mistress


doubt," said Lycaste,

"several people will be unhappy, but, methinks, not all; for at any rate Menecrate will possess _his_ mistress." "'Tis true," said Cyrus, "that he will possess Arpalice's beauty; but I am sure that as he would not possess her heart, he could not call himself satisfied; and his greatest happiness in this situation would be having prevented the happiness of his Rival. As for the rest of it, after the first days of his marriage, he would be in despair at having wedded a person who hated him, and whom he, perhaps, would have ceased to love; for, considering Menecrate's humour, I am the most deceived of all men if the possession of what he loves is not the very thing to kill all love in his heart. As for Arpalice, it is easy to see that, marrying Menecrate, whom she hates, and _not_ marrying Thrasimede, whom she loves, she would be very unhappy indeed; nor could Androclee, on her side, be particularly satisfied to see a man like Menecrate, whom she loves passionately, the husband of another. Philistion could hardly be any more pleased to see Menecrate, after promising to marry his sister, actually marrying another. As for Thrasimede, it is again easy to perceive that, being as much in love with Arpalice as he is, and knowing that she loves him, he would have good reason for thinking himself one of the unhappiest lovers in the world if his Rival possessed his mistress.
Therefore, from what I have said, you will see that by giving Arpalice to Menecrate, everybody concerned is made miserable; for even Parmenides [_not the philosopher, but a friend of Menecrate, whose sister, however, has rejected him_], though he may make a show of being still attached to the interests of Menecrate, will be, unless I mistake, well enough pleased that his sister should not marry the brother of a person whom he never wishes to see again, and by whom he has been ill-treated. Then, if we look at the matter from the other side and propose to give Arpalice to Thrasimede, it remains an unalterable fact that these two people will be happy; that Philistion will be satisfied; that justice will be done to Androclee; that nothing disobliging will be done to Parmenides, and that Menecrate will be made by force more happy than he wishes to be; for we shall give him a wife by whom he is loved, and take from him one by whom he is hated. Moreover, things being so, even if he refuses to subject his whim to his reason, he can wish to come to blows with Thrasimede alone, and would have nothing to ask of Philistion; besides which, his sentiments will change as soon as Thrasimede is Arpalice's husband. One often fights with a Rival, thinking to profit by his defeat, when he has not married the beloved object; but one does not so readily fight the husband of one's mistress, as being her lover.[182]"

Much about the "Good Rival" (as we may call him) Mazare follows, and there is an illuminative sentence about our favourite Doralise's _humeur enjouee et critique_, which, as the rest of her part does, gives us a "light" as to the origin of those sadly vulgarised lively heroines of Richardson's whom Lady Mary very justly wanted to "slipper." Doralise and Martesie are ladies, which the others, unfortunately, are not. And then we pay for our _ecphrasis_ by an immense _Histoire_ of the Tyrian Elise, its original.

At the beginning of VII. ii. Cyrus is in the doldrums. Many of his heroes have got their heroines--the


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