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By luck for myself—whether also for my readers it would be ill even to wonder—I have been permitted to execute all [Pg xi] the literary schemes I ever formed, save two. The first of these omitting a work on "Transubstantiation" which I planned at the age of thirteen but did not carry far was a History of the English Scholastics , which I thought of some ten years later, which was not unfavoured by good authority, and which I should certainly have attempted, if other people at Oxford in my time had not been so much cleverer than myself that I could not get a fellowship.

And I have lost my library. Then there was a History of Wine , which was actually commissioned, planned, and begun just before I was appointed to my Chair at Edinburgh, and which I gave up, not from any personal pusillanimity or loss of interest in the subject, but partly because I had too much else to do, and because I thought it unfair to expose that respectable institution to the venom of the most unscrupulous of all fanatics—those of teetotalism. I could take this up with pleasure: but I have lost my cellar. What I should really like to do would be to translate in extenso Dr.

Sommer's re-edition of the Vulgate Arthuriad.

Un Château en Bohême (Folio Policier) (French Edition)

Therefore I had better be content with the divine suggestion, and not spoil it by my human failure to execute. And so I may say, for good, Valete to the public, abandoning the rest of the leave-taking to their discretion. The texts are much more accessible; there is no difficulty about the language, such as people, however unnecessarily, sometimes feel about French up to the sixteenth century; and the space is wanted for other things. If I have kept one or two of my old ones it is because they have won approval from persons whose approval is worth having, and are now out of print: while I have added one or two others—to please myself.

Translations—in some cases more than one or two—already exist, for those who read English only, of nearly the whole of Balzac, of all Victor Hugo's novels, of a great many of Dumas's, and of others almost innumerable. I have made a few addenda and corrigenda to Volume I.

But you're too fond of getting into logical coaches and letting yourself be carried away in them.

Oh no, there's been an error

Cochin v. I have, in the proper places, already thanked the authorities of the Reviews above mentioned; but I should like also to recognise here the liberality of Messrs. Rivington in putting the contents of my Essays on French Novelists entirely at my disposal. And I am under another special obligation to Dr. Hagbert Wright for giving me, of his own motion, knowledge and reading of the fresh batch of seventeenth-century novels noticed below pp.

The dictum applies to my note on this page.

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An entirely well-willing reviewer thought me "piqued" at the American remark, and proceeded to intimate a doubt whether I knew M. But I had felt no "pique" whatever in the matter, and these latter points fall entirely outside my own conception of the chansons. I look at them simply as pieces of accomplished literature, no matter how, where, in what circumstances, or even exactly when, they became so.

Aïe Aïe Aïe !

And I could therefore by no possibility feel anything but pleasure at praise bestowed on this most admirable work in a different part of the field. That beautiful story of a knight and his fairy love is one which I should be the last man in the world to abuse as such. But it contains a libel on Guinevere which is unnecessary and offensive, besides being absolutely unjustified by any other legend, and inconsistent with her whole character.

It is of this only that I spoke the evil which it deserves. If I had not, by mere oversight, omitted notice of Marie de France for which I can offer no excuse except the usual one of hesitation in which place to put it and so putting it nowhere , I should certainly have left no doubt as to my opinion of Thomas Chester likewise.

Anybody who wants this may find it in my Short History of English Literature , p. But Floire, though a "paynim," was not exactly a "Saracen. Hagbert Wright informed me that the London Library had just secured at Sotheby's I believe partly from the sale of Lord Ellesmere's books a considerable parcel of early seventeenth-century French novels. He also very kindly allowed me perusal of such of these as I had not already noticed from reading at the B.

Of some, if not all of them, on the principle stated in the Preface of that vol. There is the Histoire des Amours de Lysandre et de Caliste; avec figures , in an Amsterdam edition of , but of necessity some sixty years older, since its author, the Sieur d'Audiguier, was killed in He says he wrote it in six months, during three and a half of which he was laid up with eight sword-wounds—things of which it is itself full, with the appurtenant combats on sea and land and in private houses, and all sorts of other divertisements he uses the word himself of himself including a very agreeable ghost-host—a ghost quite free from the tautology and grandiloquence which ghosts too often affect, though not so poetical as Fletcher's.

But he wants, as they so often do, to be buried. This is done, and he comes back to return thanks, which is not equally the game, and in fact rather bores his guest, who, to stop this jack-in-the-box proceeding, begins to ask favours, such as that the ghost will give him three days' warning of his own death. The fault of the book, as of most of the novels of the period, is the almost complete absence of character. But there is plenty of adventure, in England as well as in France, and it must be one of the latest stories in which the actual tourney figures, for Audiguier writes as of things contemporary and dedicates his book to Marie de Medicis.

Chronique bibliographique - Persée

Albans—are two very little books, of intrinsic importance and interest not disproportioned to their size. They have, however, a little of both for the student, in reference to the extension of the novel kind. Both these books have, as has been said, the merit of shortness. I have sometimes been accused, both in France and in England, of unfairness to Boileau, but I should certainly never quarrel [Pg xv] with him for including La Serre not, however, in respect of this book, I think among his herd of dunces. Even among the group, I have seldom read, or attempted to read, anything duller.

Things do happen in it: among other incidents a lover is introduced into a garden in a barrow of clothes, though he has not Sir John Falstaff's fate. There are fresh laws of love, and discussions of them; a new debate on the old Blonde v. Brunette theme, which might be worse, etc. It is a sort of combat of Spiritual and Fleshly Love; and Armonde ends as a kind of irregular anchorite, having previously "spent several days in deliberating the cut of his vestments. In Italian there would, of course, be less hesitation. The book is not precisely a novel, but it has merits as a collection of rhetorical exercises.

But I perceive in it ladies who love corsairs, universal medicines, poodles who are sacrificed to save their owners, and other things which may tempt some. There is, however, probably no cause to regret this, for the author assures us that his new work is "as far above the two former in beauty as the sun is above the stars. L'Amour Aventureux Paris, , by the not unknown Du Verdier, is a book with Histoires , and I am not sure that the volume I have seen contains the whole of it. L'Empire de l'Inconstance Paris, , by the Sieur de Ville, and published "at the entry of the little gallery of Prisoners under the sign of the Vermilion Roses," has a most admirable title to start with, and a table of over thirty Histoires , a dozen letters, and two "amorous judgments" at the end. Les Fortunes Diverses de Chrysomire et de Kalinde Paris, , by a certain Humbert, blazons "love and war" on its very title-page, while Celandre Paris, , a much later book than most of these, has the rather uncommon feature of a single name for title. Thirty or forty years ago I should have taken some pleasure in "cooking" this batch of mostly early romances into a twenty-page article which, unless it had been unlucky, would have found its way into some magazine or review. Somebody might do so now. But I think it sufficient, and not superfluous, to add this brief sketch here to the notices of similar things in the last volume, in order to show how abundant the crop of French romance—of which even these are only further samples—was at the time.

And Aramis, brave as he was, would have been sure to reflect that to play a feat of possibly hostile acrobatism on the Gascon, without notice, might be a little dangerous. I cannot say positively whether I knew of it or not, though I must have done so, having often gone over the lists of that editor's numerous "libraries" to secure for my students texts not overlaid with commentary. But I can say very truthfully that no slight whatever was intended, in regard to a scholar who did more than almost any other single man to "vulgarise" in the wholly laudable sense of that too often degraded word the body of English literature.

Only, such a book would not have been what I was thinking of. To bring out the full contrast-complement of these two strangely coincident masterpieces, both must be read in the originals. Paradoxically, one might even say that a French translation of Johnson, with the original of Voltaire, would show it better than the converse presentment.

Candide is so intensely French—it is even to such an extent an embodiment of one side of Frenchness—that you cannot receive its virtues except through the original tongue. I am personally fond of translating; I have had some practice in it; and some good wits have not disapproved some of my efforts. But, unless I knew that in case of refusal I should be ranked as a Conscientious Objector, I would not attempt Candide.

The French would ring in my ears too reproachfully. I have very gratefully to acknowledge that I found the latter class very much larger than the former.

Denis Diderot

Such a note as that at Vol. The charge of in accuracy can always be made by anybody who cares to take "the other authority.

For the purposes of such a history as this it is very rarely of the slightest importance, whether a book was published in the year one or the year three: though the importance of course increases when units pass into decades, and becomes grave where decades pass into half-centuries. Unless you can collate actual first editions in every case and sometimes even then dates of books as given are always second-hand.

In reference to [Pg xviii] the same subject I have also been rebuked for not taking account of M. Besides, somebody will probably, sooner or later, correct M. These things pass: Manon Lescaut remains. But there seems to me to be a sufficient distinction between the two cases.

I first met with her long ago see Vol. But—and let this always be a warning to literary lovers—the two fell out over a translation of the Corsica book which she began. Boswell was not the wisest of men, especially where women were concerned. But even he might have known that, if you trust the bluest-eyed of gazelles to do such things for you, she will probably marry a market-gardener. He seems also to have been a little afraid of her superiority of talent, v. Besides these, and other genuine letters, she wrote not a few novels, concocted often, if not always, in epistolary form.

Their French was so good that it attracted Sainte-Beuve's attention and praise, while quite recently she has had a devoted panegyrist and editor in Switzerland, where, after her marriage, she was domiciled. But and here come the reasons for the former exclusion she learnt her French as a foreign language. She was French neither by birth nor by extraction, nor, if I do not mistake, by even temporary residence, though she did stay in England for a considerable time.