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A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1

And I think the British Museum Catalogue


[197]

One is lost if one begins quoting from these books. But there is another passage at the end of the same volume worth glancing at for its oddity. It is an elaborate chronological "checking" of the age of the different characters; and, odd as it is, one cannot help remembering that not a few authors from Walter Map (or whoever it was) to Thackeray might have been none the worse for similar calculations.

[198] It is not, I hope, frivolous or pusillanimous, but merely honest, to add that, as I have spent much less time on _Clelie_ than on the other book, it has had less opportunity of boring me.

[199] Cf. the _Astree_ as noted above.

[200] He also wrote several plays.

[201] This would supply the ghost of Varus with a crushing answer to "Give me back my legions!" in such form as "Why did you send me with them?"

[202] At another time there might have been a little gentle satire in this, but hardly then.

[203] It would seem, however, that the Scuderys were not originally Norman.

[204] Chateaubriand hardly counts in strictness.

[205] Although some say that almost every one of the numerous _personae_ of the _Astree_ had a live original.

[206] These books, having been constantly

referred to in this fashion, offer a good many traps, into some of which I have fallen in the past, and may have done so even now. For instance, Koerting rightly points out that almost every one calls this "_La_ Jeune Alcidiane," whereas A. is the hero, who bears his mother's name.

[207] I had made this remark before I knew that Koerting had anticipated it.

[208] The more recent books which refer to him, and (I think) the British Museum Catalogue, drop this addition. But he was admittedly of the Pontcarre family.

[209] Neither the original, however, nor this revision seems to have enjoyed the further honour of a place in the British Museum. Other books of his which at least sound novelish were _Darie_, _Aristandre_, _Diotrephe_, _Cleoreste_ (of which as well as of _Palombe_ analyses may be found in Koerting). The last would seem to be the most interesting. But in the bibliography of the Bishop's writings there are at least a dozen more titles of the same kind.

[210] Cf. the "self-precipitation" of Celadon. Perhaps no class of writers has ever practised "imitation," in the wrong sense, more than these "heroic" romancers.

[211] I am glad to find the high authority of my friend Sir Sidney Colvin on my side here as to the wider position--though he tells me that he was not, when he read _Endimion_, conscious of any positive indebtedness on Keats' part.

[212] _V. sup._ p. 177, note 3.

[213] Gombauld seems to have been a devotee of both Queens: and commentators will have it that this whole book is courtship as well as courtiership in disguise.

[214] A kind of intermediary nymph--an enchantress indeed--who has assisted and advised him in his quests for the goddess.

[215] Emile Magne, _Mme. de V._, Paris, 1907.


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