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A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1

224 If Perrault really wrote this


This sometimes causes positive obscurity as to fact. Thus it is impossible to make out from M. Magne whether Hortense, in her last days, actually married the cousin with whom she had been intimate in youth, or merely lived with him.

[217] By M. H. E. Chatenet, Paris, 1911.

[218] There is a little in the verse, most of which belongs to the "flying" kind so common in the century.

[219] _V. inf._ upon it.

[220] His own admirable introduction to Perrault in the Clarendon Press series will, as far as our subject is directly concerned, supply whatever a reader, within reason further curious, can want: and his well-known rainbow series of Fairy Books will give infinite illustration.

[221] The longest of all, in the useful collection referred to in the text, are the _Oiseau Bleu_ and the charming _Biche au Bois_, each of which runs to nearly sixty pages. But both, though very agreeable, are distinctly "sophisticated," and for that very reason useful as gangways, as it were, from the simpler fairy tale to the complete novel.

[222] Enchanters, ogres, etc. "count" as fairies.

[223] Apuleius, who has a good deal of the "fairy" element in him, was naturally drawn upon in this group. The _Psyche_ indebtedness reappears, with frank acknowledgment, in

_Serpentin Vert_.

[224] If Perrault really wrote this, the Muses, rewarding him elsewhere for the good things he said in "The Quarrel," must have punished him here for the silly ones. It has, in fact, most of the faults which _neo_-classicism attributed to its opposite.

[225] For a spoiling of this delightful story _v. inf._ on the _Cabinet_.

[226] Its full title, "ou Collection Choisie des C. des F. _et autres Contes Merveilleux_," should in justice be remembered, when one feels inclined to grumble at some of the contents.

[227] This indeed was the case, in one or other kind of longer fiction writing, with most of the authors to be mentioned. The total of this in the French eighteenth century was enormous.

[228] She is even preceded by a Mme. de Murat, a friend of Mme. de Parabere, but a respectable fairy-tale writer. It does not seem necessary, according to the plan of this book, to give many particulars about these writers; for it is their writings, not themselves, that our subject regards. The curious may be referred to Walckenaer on the Fairy Tale in general, and Honore Bonhomme on the _Cabinet_ in particular, as well as (_v. inf._) to the thirty-seventh volume of the collection itself.

[229] There is sometimes alliance and sometimes jealousy on this subject. In one tale the "Comte de Gabalis" is solemnly "had up," tried, and condemned as an impostor.

[230] _Ricdin-Ricdon_, one of those which pass between Coeur de Lion and Blondel, is of the same kind, is also good, and is longer.

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