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A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1

And that the King of Pontus is


personages of bygone _histoires_--and

are honeymooning and (to borrow again from Mr. Kipling) "dancing on the deck." He is not. Moreover, the army, like all seventeenth-century armies after victory and in comfortable quarters, is getting rather out of hand; and he learns that the King of Pontus has carried Mandane off to Cumae--not the famous Italian Cumae, home of the Sibyl whom Sir Edward Burne-Jones has fixed for us, and of many classical memories, but a place somewhere near Miletus, defended by unpleasant marshes on land, and open to the sea itself, the element on which Cyrus is weakest, and by which the endlessly carried off Mandane may readily be carried off again. He sends about for help to Phoenicia and elsewhere; but when, after a smart action by land against the town, a squadron does appear off the port, he is for a time quite uncertain whether it is friend or foe. Fortunately Cleobuline, Queen of Corinth, a young widow of surpassing beauty and the noblest sentiments, who has sworn never to marry again, has conceived a Platonic-romantic admiration for him, and has sent her fleet to his aid. She deserves, of course, and still more of course has, a _Histoire de Cleobuline_. Also the inestimable Martesie writes to say that Mandane has been dispossessed of her suspicions, and that the King of Pontus is, in the race for her favour, nowhere. The city falls, and the lovers meet. But if anybody thinks for a moment that they are to be happy ever afterwards, Arithmetic, Logic, and Literary History will combine to
prove to him that he is very much mistaken. In order to make these two lovers happy at all, not only time and space, but six extremely solid volumes would have to be annihilated.

The close of VII. ii. and the whole of VIII. i. are occupied with imbroglios of the most characteristic kind. There is a certain Anaxaris, who has been instrumental in preventing Mandane from being, according to her almost invariable custom, carried off from Cumae also. To whom, though he is one of the numerous "unknowns" of the book, Cyrus rashly confides not only the captainship of the Princess's guards, but various and too many other things, especially when "Philip Devil" turns up once more, and, seeing the lovers in apparent harmony, claims the fulfilment of Cyrus's rash promise to fight him before marrying. This gets wind in a way, and watch is kept on Cyrus by his friends; but he, thinking of the parlous state of his mistress if both her principal lovers were killed--for Prince Mazare is, so to speak, out of the running, while the King of Pontus is still lying _perdu_ somewhere--entrusts the secret to Anaxaris, and begs him to take care of her. Now Anaxaris--as is so usual--is not Anaxaris at all, but Aryante, Prince of the Massagetae and actually brother of the redoubtable Queen Thomyris; and he also has fallen a victim to Mandane's fascinations, which appear to be irresistible, though they are, mercifully perhaps, rather taken for granted than made evident to the reader. One would certainly rather have one Doralise or Martesie than twenty Mandanes. However, again in the now expected manner, the fight does not immediately come off. For "Philip Devil," in his usual


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