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A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2

Of the Oxford edition of Thackeray for the thing


[290]

_Jerome Paturot, with Considerations on Novels in General_, originally appeared in _Fraser_ for September 1843. Not reprinted in the author's lifetime, or till the supplementary collection of 1885-86. May be found, with some remarks by the present writer, in the "Oxford" Thackeray, vol. vi. pp. 318-342.

[291] It is fair to say that some of the best Alexandriana were still to come.

[292] The retort courteous, if not even the countercheck quarrelsome, "Then why do you notice it?" is pretty obvious. Taking it as the former, it may be answered, "The political novel, if not the most strictly legitimate species of the kind, is numerous and not unimportant. It may therefore be allowed a specimen, and an examination of that specimen."

[293] Malvina, as one might expect, is by this time an "Anti-" of the most stalwart kind; though in the Saint-Simonian salad days, she had (as naturally) taken the other side.

[294] Probably more people know _La Croix de Berny_, which he wrote with Sandeau, Gautier, and Madame de Girardin, than anything exclusively his.

[295] Others may have been more fortunate. In any case, what follows, whatever its intrinsic merit, is typical of a great mass of similar French fiction, and therefore may claim attention here.

[296] It would be interesting to know

where Mery got this hideous, cacophonous, hopelessly anti-analogical and anti-etymological but alas! actually existing name. I never heard of a ship called by it, but I once knew a poor lady on whom it had been inflicted at her baptism. Why any one with Jemima (not, of course, originally a feminine of "Jem," but adopted as such), which, though a little comic, is not intolerable, Jacqueline and Jaquetta (which are exceedingly pretty), and Jacobina (which, though with unfortunate historical associations, is not itself ugly) to choose from, should have invented this horrible solecism, I never could make out. It is, I believe, confined to Scotland, and the only comfort connected with it is the negative one that, in two considerable residences there, I never heard of a "_Charles_ina." I suppose "Caroline" and "Charlotte" sufficed; or perhaps, while Whigs disliked the name (at least before that curious purifier of it, Fox), Tories shrank from profanation thereof.

[297] Was it Mr. Augustus Dunshunner? It was just about the time of the Glenmutchkin Railway, and most of "Maga's" men were Oxonians.

[298] See in vol. v. of the Oxford edition of Thackeray (for the thing, though never acknowledged, is certainly his) an exemplary "justification" of this very impudent offender.

[299] I have no quarrel with Manchester--quite the reverse--in consequence of divers sojourns, longer and shorter, in the place, and of much kindness shown to me by the not at all barbarous people. But neither the climate nor the general "conditions" of the city can be called paradisaical.

[300] They were as much shocked at it as we were at their "Houses of Tolerance" and at the institution of the _grisette_.

[301] Not the worst perhaps of the myriad attempts to do something of the same kind in English was made recently: "If a man conscientiously objects to be shot _for_ his country, he may be conscientiously shot _by_ it."


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