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A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1

Furetiere had friends of position


style="text-align: justify;">[247] It is perhaps not quite superfluous to point out that the principle of separation in these chapters is quite different from that (between "idealist" and "realist") pursued by Koerting and others, and reprobated, partially or wholly, by MM. Le Breton and Brunetiere.

[248] _L'Autre Monde: ou Histoire Comique des Etats et Empires de la Lune_, etc.

[249] It must be remembered that even Gerard Hamilton made many more speeches, but only one good one, while the novelists discussed here wrote in most cases many other books. But their goodness shows itself in hardly more than a single work in each case. Anthony Hamilton's is in all his.

[250] It has been noted, I think, by all who have written about the _Berger_, that Sorel is a sort of Balak and Balaam in one. He calls on himself to curse the _Astree_, but he, sometimes at least, blesses it.

[251] The _Berger_ fills two volumes of some nine hundred pages; _Polyandre_, two of six hundred each! But it must be admitted that the print is very large and widely spaced.

[252] One remembers the story of the greater Corneille calling to the lesser down a trap between their two houses, "Sans-Souci!--une rime!"

[253] I have known this word more than once objected to as pedantic. But pedantry in this kind

consists in using out-of-the-way terms when common ones are ready to hand. There is no single word in English to express the lower kind of "Dutch-painting" as this Greek word does. And Greek is a recognised and standing source of words for English. If geography, why not rhyparography?--or, if any one prefers it, "rhypography," which, however, is not, I think, so good a form.

[254] There is, no doubt, significance in the fact that they are definitely called _nouvelles_.

[255] _V. sup._ p. 204. The habit of these continues in all the books. _L'Illustre Bassa_ opens with a most elaborate, but still not very much "alive," procession and sham fight.

[256] Of course Cervantes is not shadowy.

[257] As far as mere chronology goes, Cyrano, _v. inf._, should come between; but it would split the parallel.

[258] Scarron had, in Le Destin's account of himself, made a distinction between the pastoral and heroic groups and the "old" romances, meaning thereby not the true mediaeval specimens but the _Amadis_ cycle. Furetiere definitely classes all of them together.

[259] The time is well known to have been fond of anagrams, and "Charroselles" is such an obvious one for "Charles Sorel" that for once there is no need to gainsay or neglect the interpreters. The thing, if really meant for a real person, is a distinct lampoon, and may perhaps explain the expulsion and persecution of Furetiere, by his colleagues of the Academy, almost as well as the ostensible cause thereof--his compiling, in competition with the Academy itself, of a French Dictionary, and a very good one, which was not printed till after his death, and ultimately became the famous _Dictionnaire de Trevoux_. Not that Sorel himself was of much importance, but that the thing shows the irritable and irritating literary failing in the highest degree. Furetiere had friends of position, from Boileau, Racine, and Bossuet downwards; and the king himself, though he did not interfere, seems to have disapproved the Academy's action. But the _Roman_ was heavily "slated" for many years, though it had a curious revival in the earlier part of the next century; and for the rest of that century and the first part of the nineteenth it was almost wholly forgotten.

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