Some French Novels
IT is one of the minor results of the war between Russia and Turkey that the world is learning a great deal more than it ever knew before about the real character of the contesting nations; and it is to the awakening curiosity of outsiders concerning the Russians that the appearance of Oblomoff1 is due. We foreigners have learned to know Russian literature, and have formed our opinion about the people, in great measure from Tourguéneff’s novels; but many must have noticed what Mr. Bryce says in his Transcaucasia and Ararat, that Russians give that author by no means the highest place among contemporary writers; they acknowledge his great power, but they speak of him as one of many, and sing the praises of his rivals. Whether or not this is, as Mr. Bryce suggests, a bit of revenge for his satire of his countrymen it is hard to say; but there can be no doubt that a writer may be inferior to Tourguéneff, and yet well worth reading. Especially is this true of the writers who form a class with Tourguéneff, so to speak; who have been exposed to the same influences, and, like him, have written with the intention of picturing Russian faults. Pisemski has written under the inspiration of dissatisfaction with the blight that rigid despotism had thrown upon the country, as it manifested itself in the listlessness of the weak and the corruption of the strong, as well as in the extreme violence of the reaction which has shown itself in nihilism. Gontcharoff, the author of Oblomoff, is a novelist of considerable fame in his own country. This story is one of his principal works,— in all he has written but three,—and it is said that the original is exceedingly well done. This quality is of course hardly to be distinguished in the translation, which, however, has a smoothness of its own, having been done with great care under the supervision of a large number of Russians who wished to commend one of their favorite authors to the outside world. This translation was made some eighteen years ago, but it could obtain no publisher until these days, when anything about Russia is sure of readers. As it is, great concessions have been made to the pampered public, inasmuch as only half the book has been given, from a fear that the whole would prove wearisome. This is a most unwise thing to do, and is exceedingly unfair to the author. It can hardly fail, too, to displease the reader, who, if he likes the book, must now ask for more, but who, if he had the book complete, could stop where he chose. To judge by a mere fragment the work of so careful a writer as Gontcharoff is said to be is impossible ; but it is to be hoped that the success of this book will be such that more of this author’s writing will be given to Western readers.
The purpose of this sketch (for in its present form it can hardly be called more) is to draw a picture of the aimless Russian who is frequently met with in the novels of that country, and who would seem to have been drawn from the life by those writers who saw with clear eyes the brutalizing effect that the reign of Nicholas produced upon a whole generation. Oblomoff is a man, but little over thirty, possessed of a competence, who has given up in disgust a position in the civil service, and at the time this story opens is beginning to seclude himself from the world, partly from hypochondria and partly from extreme indolence. The first part of the novel, all that has as yet been put into French, simply describes one day of his sluggish life. He wakes up in the morning to be met by the memory of a letter he received the night before from his steward, telling him that his next year’s income from his estate will be two thousand rubles less than it has been before. At the same time he is requested by his landlord to leave his lodgings in St. Petersburg, some changes in the construction of the house being intended. These two alarming incidents almost crush him. He lies in bed, and tries to think how they are to be met; friends come in to see him, and he consults them in his misery; and finally he begins to recognize dimly the utter weakness of his character. An episode given in this volume is his dream, in which there pass before him all the memories of his childhood, and the reader perceives the ill-advised methods of his education. In the original the book goes on to describe his struggles to free himself from the incubus of helpless sloth that is slowly suffocating him, and the aid that is offered him by an energetic friend, a German, who has for ally a young girl who undertakes with enthusiasm the task set her of inspiring this amiable but weak man with ambition and energy. They fail completely, however, for the defect in Oblomoff lies too deep to be cured. It is especially to be regretted that such a mere scrap of the novel is given, because the heroine, Olga, of whom we have very little mention, is much praised by all the Russian critics, and the reader cannot help feeling defrauded of his just dues. It arouses curiosity to find anything cut out of a newspaper; how much worse it is when half of a book is excised !
From the little that is given, however, it is easy to see that Gontcharoff is an able writer who deserves to be better known abroad. It is, moreover, curious to observe the likeness that he bears to Pisemski and Tourguéneff, this story of his corresponding to Dimitri Roudine, and in some measure to Pisemski’s Tausend Seelen; while the later developments of nihilism inspired Tourguéneff with material for his Fathers and Sons, Pisemski with a novel yet untranslated, and Gontcharoff with a novel, also existing only in Russian, called The Precipice, which would seem from all accounts to be a noteworthy book. That the fault which Gontcharoff attacked in Oblomoff was wide-spread there can be no doubt. The very fact that it is attacked seriously makes this plain. A writer who lived in any other country would treat such a subject as something farcical; the incompetent man would be laughed at as an amusing exception, and not chosen as a fair representative of a fault common to society. The keenness with which the leading Russian writers follow up the predominant faults of their countrymen is a proof of considerable intellectual activity of a kind that observation teaches us is the surest to bring forth good fruit. The flavor of the soil never injures good literature; and with reference to all these Russian writers we feel that they have learned how to combine imagination and observation. Still, the flavor of the soil is the most important quality in this brief bit of a Russian story.
It is to a much larger public that Daudet’s new novel, Le Nabab,2 appeals. Whatever Daudet’s merits, it cannot be denied that he suits a large circle of readers. His Froment Jeune has reached its fortieth edition, and although it is hard to avoid feeling that the book has been exceedingly over-praised, and that its glaring faults have been singularly overlooked, it shows, besides careful reading of the principal English and French novelists, a certain knowledge of passion and emotion, and, to some extent, the ability to tell a story. Jack, that followed, was less good. Le Nabab, although it has great faults, is yet, to our thinking, the cleverest of the three; his earlier books may be left out of the reckoning. The story that it tells is one that is more or less familiar to Parisian society, which, like the rest of the world, rejoices to find itself reflected in novels. The nabob who is the hero of the book is a Frenchman from the south of France, who has risen from great poverty to the possession of enormous wealth by mysterious practices in Tunis. Of course his main desire, now that he has made a fortune, is to spend it in Paris; and at the opening of the story we find him supporting a crowd of detestable parasites, who all live with one hand in his pockets, and who are perpetually urging him to further their wild projects. So much of the later French literature, from Balzac down, is devoted to the description of adventurers that Daudet enters on a tolerably crowded field in drawing a man like the nabob and his flatterers; but he deserves praise for much that he has done here. The nabob himself it is hard not to like, and it is this affection the reader feels for the poor man that makes the book interesting. He certainly is not a faultless hero; there are very dark rumors concerning the way in which he made his money, to say nothing about the way he spends it; but it is hard not to sympathize with his ambition to become a deputy, and his desire to be successful in his conflict with the rival banker, Hemerlingue. This Hemerlingue had married a slave whom the nabob’s wife had refused to receive in Tunis, whence a deadly feud had arisen between the two families, and the hostile banker is gradually compassing the nabob’s ruin. In telling the story Balzac would have made much of this quarrel, and would have given us a full account of the ups and downs of the Tunisian funds, with all the particulars of the methods each of the contestants resorted to in struggling with his opponent. Moreover, it cannot be denied, he would have drawn with much greater intensity the passionate feelings of the two rivals, and with such sympathetic ardor that the reader would have been in no way repelled by the accumulation of financial facts. But Daudet, probably because the novel first appeared in serial form, has given a number of somewhat incoherent scenes rather than a connected story. We have, as it were, a collection of photographic views of Parisian life, and not a complete, rounded tale. In fact, it is as hard for the novelist as it is for any one else to serve two masters, and it is almost impossible to construct a story that shall be composed of thrilling incidents, each one of which shall be complete in itself and yet subordinate to the whole development. The author’s powder is wasted in firing fine shot. Consequently, the reader’s attention, when he has the whole novel before him, is turned from one incident to another in a somewhat irritating way. But most of the separate scenes are described with ability. There is much, for instance, that is clever in the account of the oilytongued quack, Dr. Jenkins, but it is impossible not to feel distracted with the exaggeration with which the whole book is profusely filled. The scandal about Madame Jenkins may serve as an example of overdrawn and unnecessary incident. To be sure, it expresses the author’s contempt for the vicious society of the empire, abuse of which serves to enliven the French novels of the last few years; but it reminds the reader much more of a man who should enter a banquet hall where he disapproved of the festivities, and should pull the table-cloth from the table, than it does of one who is filled with righteous but sober indignation. Again, the episode of Felicia lends a good deal of unattractiveness to the book; and, attractive or not, this character can hardly be considered a happy addition. Indeed, the scene is much overcrowded. One of the most prominent figures in the motley crowd is the Duc de Mora, a very flimsy disguise for the Duc de Morny, whose private secretary Daudet was in the days when, possibly unconsciously, he was making studies for his denunciations of imperial society. This worthy nobleman is distinctly drawn, and so are some of the less aristocratic characters; but it is the nabob himself who rises far above them all. The story of his crude, boyish ambitions, of his sincere delight in his success, of his humility in defeat, of his affection for those he loved, and of his kindliness for every one is good reading, although the narrative is too profusely enriched with all sorts of scandalous titbits that forever tickle the reader’s appetite.
With all its faults, the book is, to our thinking, more genuine than Froment Jeune, and less narrow and willfully pathetic than Jack. The reader closes it with real admiration for the author’s cleverness, in spite of all that there is overdrawn in the caricatures of men and women that fill so many pages of the story. It is, too, a curious example of the way in which, to speak plainly, the love of gossip, at least of scandalous gossip, has become a prominent literary appetite. The passages from the servile memoirs of the garcon de bureau in this book are typical of much recent fiction, which seems made up of eavesdropping and interviewing. The empire that met with a violent death at Sedan was bad enough, but it is hard to praise those novelists who fill their books with tattle about it.
By a singular chance, the reader in search of novelty can now lay his hand on a romance of Balzac’s that has only within a few months seen the light, and can, if he pleases, make a comparison between the great master of French fiction and his somewhat degenerate successors. To be sure, the chances are that there are other novels out of the enormous collection of Balzac’s works which most people have not yet read, but they have not the charm of novelty which marks Les Petits Bourgeois,3 the title of the one just exhumed. Whether it had been lying in some forgotten drawer, or had been condemned by its illustrious author, the publisher does not state. The book also lacks the dates of beginning and ending that mark the marvelously brief time of composition of most of his novels; but yet in Balzac’s Correspondance the reader will find frequent mention of this book. The first time its name occurs is under date of February 5, 1844, in which he speaks of writing the story for the feuilleton of the Journal des Débats; and although a few days later he speaks of the story as awaiting correction and completion, he refers to it again as unwritten in October, 1846. Probably he left it unfinished for a long time, or possibly, even after completion, he was dissatisfied with it. One is safe in setting the date of its composition at about the year 1846, for Modeste Mignon was published in its place in the Débats.
The title well defines the subject of the story, which was a subdivision of Balzac’s attempt " to paint the great modern monster in all its phases.4 It was Paris that he aimed at presenting in his pages; and every reader of his novels knows with what thoroughness he performed his task. Les Petits Bourgeois is not the best of the series, yet it is a remarkable book, and is full of that force which marked all of Balzac’s stories. Their most noteworthy quality is their intensity; the lumbering beginning of most of them gives but a faint indication of the whirl of passion and of incident that is to follow, for Balzac always lingered over the setting and framework of the story before he brought in the characters whose delineation was to fill the pages.
In this novel it is a hypocrite that is drawn. In the dedication, it may be noticed, Balzac speaks of this book as one of those works which spring into the mind no one knows whence, and please the author before he knows how the public will receive them. He goes on to say that a few scraps of the clay left by Molière at the foot of his colossal statue of Tartuffe have been wrought into shape by a hand more bold than skillful. The hypocrite in this novel is one Théodore de la Peyrade, a Provencal of an attractive exterior, who tries to build up his fortunes by intriguing for the hand of the rich Mademoiselle Céleste Colleville. In this undertaking he plays a difficult game, for he has to succeed by making himself a sort of protecting deity to the family Thuillier, who, like most of the dramatis personœ, belong to the bourgeoisie. The father, an ex-employé, is a fatuous lump of vanity; his wife is a mere puppet in his hands and in those of his sister Brigitte, who is one of the main characters of the book. It is unnecessary to say that the pages swarm with a multitude of figures. There are Colleville, the easy-going husband, and Madame Colleville, Céleste’s mother, who makes up by devotions for a " youth of frolics; ” there is Phellion, a goodnatured, pompous creature, whose only amusement is gazing at the demolition of old Paris, and whose main interest is watching the career of his worthy son. Besides these, Minard, a rich shop-keeper, and his family make their appearance. All of these characters are types as well as individuals, but their individuality is never sacrificed for the purpose of enforcing a general truth. Balzac’s aim was to show one side of Parisian society, and also to show one character, the hypocrite, in the surroundings that would prove most congenial to such a man, and he has drawn as vivid a picture as one could wish to see, but the reader feels very strongly the breadth as well as the depth of Balzac’s mind. He detested the Revolution of July and the bourgeoisie, yet he did not devote himself to painting this class of society in black colors without relief. He says it has great virtues as well as faults; and although he exposes the pettiness of social strife, the greed of the bourgeois and their mean ambition, he shows too that there is a chance for unselfishness, as in the unexpected outburst of Madame Thuillier in behalf of her godchild, and in the virtue and energy of young Phellion. Most of those writers who, like Daudet and Zola, thrive on the corruption of the second empire lack their great master’s philosophic justice. They are not judges summing up the whole matter, so much as advocates arguing against something they despise. These writers are men of undoubted ability, but it is not easy to say that they surpass Balzac. He had certainly a cunning hand, and his earnestness was something above all praise. If he had written in German there would be a Balzac Lexicon, with a list of all his characters and a brief outline of their qualities, to show us what a populous world he ruled. As it is, no memory can recall all the figures into whose nostrils he breathed intense life, so vast and so multiform is their number. The drawing he has here made of the hypocrite is in his best style, and the story runs on well, although perhaps with more melodramatic effect than is consistent with probability. The way in which Corentin, the mysterious chief of police, whisks La Peyrade out of the net into which all his intrigues have brought him, and gives him a place in that mysterious force, the secret police, does not read like the soberest realism, although a French detective is reasonably enough to be considered a sort of authorized fairy, above most laws of probability. However that may be, all of La Peyrade’s career with the bourgeois is very life-like. Nothing could be better than the way in which he slyly ingratiates himself with the different persons, and manages them all to his own profit. He is a most consummate scoundrel, and Balzac thoroughly enjoys exposing his financial trickery: the young adventurer ingeniously finds for the Thuilliers an opportunity to buy at half-price a house near the Madeleine, but to do this he has to bind himself by all sorts of clogging ties; so that we see him once more struggling with his accomplices, who understand him, as well as inveigling the less suspicious.
It is not merely slavish adoration of a great name that makes the reader bow down before the author of this novel, nor is it only impatience of one’s contemporaries that makes one feel as if there were a more generous air in the work of the older writer. When one recalls the immense amount of Balzac’s production, and is under the charm of his enormous personality, — as it is called,—that writer seems to belong to a race of giants. For since Shakespeare there has been no man who has enriched literature with so many life-like studies of character, who has so vividly pictured the world about him. Zola is doubtless the ablest of his followers, but it may be fairly questioned whether his hostile spirit has not warped his judgment. He is a sort of prose Juvenal; not an imitator, as Dr. Johnson was when he wrote his satires, but a man writing under a similar impulse. And although the sœva indignatio of the Latin poet is a fine and indeed a noble quality, it is, so far as literature is concerned, a less precious quality than that true vein of poetry that is to be found in Lucretius, Virgil, and Horace. Zola may be compared to Hogarth, who showed all that was terrible and odious in corruption; but does any one name Hogarth, with all his genius,in the same breath as Raphael or Titian? Balzac by no means avoids describing the seamy side of life; but although the air in which his characters move is heavy and close, they themselves are truly living.
Of new writers there is one to be named who has some good qualities, but who is far inferior to any of those mentioned above. A few months ago we had the pleasure of speaking of two of the novels of Henry Gréville, and although at that time she was almost an unknown writer she has in this brief interval managed to acquire a considerable reputation. Her novels have come from the press almost faster than they could be read and noticed, so that now the list of her books5 is a tolerably long one; for this writer belongs to that class whose fluency is as remarkable as any other characteristic. This is not a sneer at those whose inventive faculty is great, for it is by no means the poor novelists who write the most; Scott, George Sand, and Balzac certainly have claims to respect, and if Henry Gréville cannot be compared for a moment with these masters of fiction there are some in the lower rank to whom she bears great likeness. Mrs. Oliphant, for instance, is a verybusy writer, and it is safe to say that the resemblance between her and Henry Gréville is worthy of note. Both have a ready invention, agreeable humor, and very similar power in the drawing of character. They take some story which often has not the charm of novelty, but they manage to fill it with such skill that it reads like something new, or, at any rate, like something that has sufficient merit to make us overlook the familiar groundwork. Yet the analogy between them is not to be carried too far. Henry Gréville, who, it may be as well to state here, is a French lady who has lived for many years in Russia, writes stories about Russian life, both of the aristocracy and of the peasants; and in her narration, which is often grim and painful, there is but little likeness to Mrs. Oliphant’s quiet record of the complications of English society, where curates tepidly love their predestined wives, or the unjustly ousted heir gets his own again and turns out a faultless gentleman. But again, as Mrs. Oliphant, like English novel-writers in general, undertakes to give us pictures of life rather than discussions of problems, so Henry Gréville, unlike most French novelists, aims at describing what she has seen in Russia, instead of trying to present some new possible combination of the conventional relations of man, wife, and lover. This is a change, and one in a good direction. It is not to be supposed, of course, that this writer will alter the long-established grooves of French fiction, but she will doubtless find imitators as well as admirers.
There has been so complete a lack of French novels that could be recommended to any but a hardened class of readers that it is pleasant to find many of Henry Gréville’s that can be praised on the score of general suitability for the “ young person,” without the modifying statement that they are at the same time exceptionally dull. Dosia, for example, is as bright and entertaining a little story as any one would care to read. The heroine is a charming girl who is not at all the conventional young lady of fiction, and the whole account of the way she gradually becomes civilized is full of humor. This is not a book written for all time, —the reading of books of that sort is generally put off, in the same way, for all time, — but it is by no means to be overlooked for that reason. The girl’s ignorance and brightness are amusingly set before us, and the whole invention of the tale is easy and agreeable. The merits that it has will perhaps make clear the comparison of this author with Mrs. Oliphant. From the writings of both we do not get the impression that they — so to speak—carry very heavy guns, but rather that they have a pleasing vein of story-telling; they entertain, at least, if they do not try to make the world over again. It is not impossible to see from afar some of the incidents of the story, but they are cleverly told when they do appear, and are natural and amusing. This is always pleasant to find, and naturalness is a thing not over-common in a French novel.
Sonia, again, is good reading. It is very simple and not wonderfully impressive, but it shows the author’s intelligence and ready wit. The story of the young man’s love for the girl who does not care for him, and of her subsequent fate, makes the book bright and noteworthy. There is an agreeable flavor in it which it is not easy to define. The author does not by any means confine herself to such simple methods as make up the two books we have just mentioned. In spite of the current representations of optimistic Englishmen who persist in seeing nothing but amiability and gentleness in the Russians, there is no doubt that only a thin veil of civilization covers thick layers of savageness; and those writers who tell stories about Russian manners that might have been possible in England, judging from similar testimony, a hundred years ago and more doubtless do not pervert the truth. At any rate, Henry Gréville at times leaves those paths in which tender readers can follow her, to paint some of the darker sides of Russian life. She can hardly be said to move easily under this heavier burden. Les Épreuves de Raïssa, for instance, deals with as ghastly a subject as any feuilletoniste could care to write about; but it is treated with considerable skill, although not without a touch of the melodrama in the intervention of the Czar, and with something like tawdry sentimentality in the love of the young woman for the young man who has most grievously wronged her. Only the masters of fiction could be trusted with such exceptional subjects, and this author is too evidently a follower of greater novelists to be quite sure upon their ground.
It is Tourguéneff whom Henry Gréville has selected for her model, and whom she follows haud passibus œquis. She does not, like that famous writer, show the simplicity which is the triumph of art. When she is simple she approaches the commonplace, and she is not always impressive when she aims at something higher than the ordinary record of every-day life. But some of her shorter stories show her power at the best advantage. The little volume entitled Nouvelles Russes contains five slight sketches, and at least three of them rise above the average merit of her work. The first of these is tragic, and bears the stamp of genuine feeling to a much greater extent than most of her work. The story is said to be a true one, but it is not a bald enumeration of facts so much as their presentation by a writer who has a well-trained eye for the artistic value of things and their relative proportion. Le Meunier is also a readable sketch, which, is superior to the ordinary tale, with, as might have been expected, the smoothness of execution characteristic of almost all French work. The last tale, too, is clever, so that, on the whole, the volume is well worth reading in spite of the feebleness of two of the stories.
In judging these books it is to be remembered that they describe Russian life, and that the local color with which they abound is very apt to seem more valuable from its novelty than an exact estimation of its merits would warrant. Incidents that are trite and unimpressive when laid in familiar scenery have a new charm when they are told of people whom we hardly know. In general, we prefer imported things to those of home make; and although there is a joy in seeing one’s self reflected in a story of one’s own surroundings, there is yet an added piquancy in stories of foreign life. But Henry Gréville writes, too, about French life. Suzanne Normis, for instance, is a novel of which the scene is laid in France of the present day, and La Maison de Maurèze deals with French life before the Revolution.
The only advantage to be got from reading the novel by Gustave Haller, entitled Vertu,6 is the certainty that this is nearly, if not quite, the most foolish story that has been published for a long time. Its author, it will be remembered, wrote Le Bleuet, a book that was lucky enough to have a pretty paper cover and a warm recommendation from the pen of George Sand; and since it broke the monotony of most French novels by discussing a strictly Platonic affection it had some slight success. With all its faults, it is a classic compared with this medley of murder, condemnation to death, narrow escape from drowning, etc. There is an illustrated cover that some may find worth looking at, but let no one go further unless it be to know how the stories of the New York Ledger sound in the French tongue.
Zola’s Une Page d’Amour7 tells for the thousandth time the usual story of the French novel. To be sure, the heroine had appeared in one of the earlier volumes of the set, but the connection is remote, the main point being the fate of her daughter, who had inherited a feeble constitution and a tendency to divers nervous diseases, for which it may be said, by the way, that the second empire was in no way responsible. This daughter, Jeanne, is a most unpleasant little creature, — a sort of French Paul Dombey, — whose body is tormented by several kinds of illness, while her soul is wrung with jealousy of her mother, to whom she is strongly attached. Nor is this jealousy unreasonable: the mother, Hélène, calls in a physician one night when her child is taken with one of its alarming attacks; the physician, who is very handsome, manages to cure the child and to see the mother’s beauty. The two happen to be brought into one another’s company a great deal, — Hélène becomes intimate with the physician’s wife,— and their acquaintance soon ripens into something different. This passion becomes very violent, and Hélène, after some slight coyness, yields to his fascinations. This distracts her from her child, who becomes morbidly jealous; and more than this, being left alone one rainy day while her mother and the doctor are together, she contrives to open the window and to catch a fatal cold. All this part about her last illness is described with great power, and the relative position of the different people to one another is most distinctly drawn. The mother naturally suffers grief and remorse, especially because her daughter died without expressing forgiveness; but she manages to forget her errors when she marries a worthy man, a great deal too good for her, whom she had known all the time.
Many of the minor characters and scenes of the story are well conceived and well executed. The infamous Mère Fétu, for instance, is drawn most cleverly. Yet it is hard to call the novel very successful. The story of a foolish woman’s fall is not new, nor is it in this instance told with astounding skill. The most painful parts are the best done. Such is uniformly the case with Zola’s novels, just as some artists paint shadows best, and it is impossible to deny his great technical skill. This is, however, far from feeling admiration for what distinguishes him from other novelists, namely, his pitiless realism. The general principle has been already discussed in these pages on the appearance of L’Assomoir,8 and there is no need of taking up the matter now. Every one will acknowledge Zola’s power; the question of its use or abuse is the only point unsettled.
Many critics have been so relieved to find this book comparatively free from noisomeness that they have called it almost idyllic; but this is going too far. If any one else had written it there would be a general outcry about its blackness. Besides the story, there are many pages devoted to rapturous descriptions of Paris at sunrise, at noonday, at sunset, and at night, which contain a good deal of “ fine writing.” This is lamentably overdone, and indicates only too clearly the narrowness of the ruts in which French novelists work; we all know the usual plot and the usual setting. Zola in some of his other novels stepped aside, but it was upon even less attractive ground, while here he has accepted all the ordinary conditions, and has not written an immortal book. He has made his name famous, however, and he will find plenty of readers for the dozen volumes still required for the completion of his series. So far, at least, he has drawn with great skill all sorts of outside surroundings of people in diverse circumstances, but he has not yet enriched literature with one memorable representation of some grand passion, and that is the only thing that lives. His books will be invaluable for the statistician in future ages, but where is there one like Balzac’s Père Goriot ? All the description of all the back streets and roofs in Paris will never make up for the absence of this. But, of course, it may come in time.
Thomas Sergeant Perry.
- Oblomoff. Scènes de la Vie Russe. Traduction de PIOTRE ARTAMOFF. Revue, corrigée, et augmentée d'une Notice sur l'Auteur, par CHARLES DEULIN Paris : Didier & Cie. 1877.↩
- Le Nabab. Mœurs Parisiennes. Par ALPHONSE DAUDET. Paris: Charpentier. 1878.↩
- Les Petits Bourgeois. Par H. DE BALZAC. Two vols. Paris: Lévy. 1877.↩
- Vide Correspondance de H. de Balzac. Vol. ii., page 64,↩
- Dosia. Sonia. L'Expiation de Savéli. Suzanne Normis (roman d'un père). La Maison de Maurèze, Les Epreuves de Raïssa. NouvellesRusses. Par HENRY GRÉVILLE. Paris: Plon. 1877-1878.↩
- Vertu. Par GUSTAVE HALLES. Paris: Lévy. 1877.↩
- Une Page d‘Amour. Par ÉMILE ZOLA. Paris: Charpentier. 1878.↩
- Vide Atlantic Monthly for June, 1877.↩