Henry James and His Double

PIERRE CARLET DE CHAMBLAIN DE MARIVAUX, novelist, essayist, and playwright, was born in 1687 and died in 1763. From our slight knowledge of his private life it appears that he was a traveled child; that he had the opportunities of a liberal education, and that he began his independent career with fair private means. Settling in Paris about the time he came of age, he was admitted to its most fashionable literary society. In the salons of Madame de Tencin and others he showed so much liking for the companionship of intelligent women that he was accused later on of confining himself to “female coteries.” Having once begun to write, he was unremittingly industrious, producing essays, sketches, plays, and novels in abundance, though he was always a fastidious craftsman. He was elected to the French Academy over Voltaire, and on that occasion the Archbishop of Sens, who delivered the speech of welcome, paid a remarkable tribute to his moral worth. “Your writings,” said the Archbishop, “are known to me only by hearsay. Those who have read them tell me that they have admirable qualities. But it is not so much to them as to our high esteem for your personal virtues that you owe your election.” Marivaux, always sensitive about criticism of his writings, could hardly be kept from openly refusing this ecclestiastical compliment on the spot. It bore testimony however to a fact recognized by all his contemporaries. He was noted for a standard of conduct which seemed to them even austere. In the scandalous period of the Regency it could be said of him that “he had no adventures or scandals.”

Married before he was thirty, he lost his wife so soon that he was virtually a lifelong bachelor, — a fact which some of his critics have regretted in such terms as these: “Had he been a married man, a deeper source of knowledge would have been open to him. As it was, he knew nothing about woman in the family. Woman was his chief theme, but he was acquainted with her only in society.”

During the last twenty of his eighty years he withdrew into a seclusion which he seldom broke except to attend meetings of the Academy.

He is best known to-day by his comedies, some of which are still acted in France. For their subtle and airy color, hovering over truth, these trifles about courtship have often been compared to the pictures of his contemporary, Watteau. But the more considerable part of his work, both in volume and in the influence it has had on posterity, is to be found in his novels and essays. He has been called “the father of the psychological novel,” — not altogether unreasonably, for Diderot, Rousseau, Richardson, and Fielding were among his immediate pupils. “There is no roman de mœurs” says Brunetière broadly, “in modern French or English literature without something of Marivaux at the bottom of it.”

His chief novels are La Vie de Marianne, and Le Paysan Parvenu. The first narrates the career of a pretty girl who rises from a humble position, is sorely tempted on the way, but triumphs, like Pamela; the second, the adventures in society of a handsome peasant lad, like Joseph Andrews.

The essays, which appeared in journals edited by himself on the model of Addison’s Spectator, contain sketches from life, psychological studies, short stories, and philosophical reflections.

Between the work of this author and that of Henry James so many close resemblances exist that a reincarnation of Marivaux in our age is not an altogether improbable supposition. If “reincarnation” be too strong a word for the case, it has at least the merit of excluding all thought of a likeness due to imitation. One might guess from the critical essays of James, who is so contemporaneous in most respects, that he has never studied very seriously any authors outside of his own century. But such surmises are unnecessary. It was a first principle of Marivaux’s art to be scrupulously himself and to copy no one, and any one who should imitate Marivaux closely must for that very reason be fundamentally unlike him.

The recurrence in our times, here suggested, of Marivaux’s artistic personality presupposes some recurrence of his environment.

There may seem to be some analogies, to begin with, between his private career, as sketched above, and that of James, but on both sides the personal data are so insufficient that a comparison in this direction must be largely guesswork.

As to the “times,” or public surroundings of the two men, the first part of the eighteenth and the latter part of the nineteenth century are surely similar at least in having something of an autumnal quality — in being, comparatively speaking, periods of dissolution.

Marivaux was contemporary with the iconoclasts of the ancien régime. In literature he was their leader. While Voltaire was carrying up the unbroken tradition of French prose to its climax, Marivaux was sharply denouncing submission to literary tradition. Voltaire attacked him for this as a “néologue,” and Marivaux retorted, from a point of view hardly recovered till our own time, that the famous pioneer was “un bel-esprit fieffé et la perfection des idées communes.” Elsewhere than in art the period surely vies with the close of the Victorian era as a quicksand of crumbling faiths and shifting centres of social gravity. The deluge impending in Marivaux’s day seems to have become permanent in ours.

Some identity of environment is suggested also by the attitude of either author toward his near predecessors in literature. Would not this account of Marivaux’s relation to Molière, for instance, serve as well to describe James’s relation to the mid-Victorian novelists? “As men’s faiths became less robust, stage-characters grew slighter and more refined. The spirit of analysis sweeping all before it in Marivaux’s time was opposed to the broad, downright conceptions of a Molière.” And James’s ideal of the “ultimate novelist” as one “entirely purged of sarcasm,” and some other differences between him and Dickens and Thackeray, may come to mind when one hears Brunetière contrasting Marivaux with Le Sage thus: “Le Sage certainly aimed at giving a faithful picture of life, but he was energetically bent also on getting his fun out of the spectacle. All through his work the comic author is apparent, whereas in Marivaux one finds the exact observer. The portraits in Gil Blas belong to the Molière school; their intention is satirical; they are vigorously brushed in, and appear stronger and bolder than nature. Marivaux on the other hand paints gradually, with minute, careful finish and imperceptible touches. If we recognize in Le Sage’s work an excess of incident, we may admit that Marivaux gives us too much psychology.”

To come now to the personal equation, the main source of the resemblances between Marivaux and James seems to be the wonderfully subtle and discriminative quality of their intelligences. “Marivaux,” says Sainte-Beuve, “ is a man of many subtle distinctions and endless nuances. He carries his discriminativeness to extremes and abounds in microscopic anatomy. He refines and divides everything to excess. When he looks at an object he splits it in two; then subdivides it ad infinitum. He loses himself in the process and exhausts his read ers. He will not stop at the principal traits. He does not let them stand out. His method is the opposite of that of the classical masters, who confine themselves to la grande ligne.” Voltaire accused Marivaux of “weighing flies’ eggs in cobweb scales;” all critics have insisted on the same tendency, and Mari vaux insists on it himself. He acknowledges describing “shades of extreme refinement which very few people ever notice till they are pointed out to them; ” and when his comedies of courtship were blamed for monotony of theme, he replied in astonishment, “The subject is sometimes a love of which neither party is aware. Sometimes it is a conscious love which they wish to hide. Sometimes, a timid love which durst not show itself. Sometimes, a wavering, undecided love, half-fledged as it were, which they suspect without being quite sure of it, and at which they peep, in its nest inside themselves, before letting it flutter forth. In all this, where is there any sameness?”

The question reveals Marivaux. “Where is there any sameness?” might stand as the motto of his whole work.

As for Henry James, he cannot be mentioned by critics without the words “subtlety” and “nuances” coming in. And in both cases, by the bye, this rare discriminative gift has been attributed to a feminine infusion. Faguet nicknames Marivaux, “la baronne de Marivaux;” and who has not heard of the “feminine fineness” and “feline observation ” of his counterpart ?

A devotion to shades of difference is naturally accompanied by a distaste for whatever is abstract and general. Indeed, the one tendency is the obverse of the other, and to the whole the chief characteristics of both authors seem to be due.

Both, for instance, are extremely anxious to be just precisely themselves as artists, not merely from sheer force of instinct, but by self-conscious reasoning. And it may be mentioned here, by the way, that each has a distinct philosophical gift, which in James might be regarded as a family affair, and which was so marked in Marivaux that SainteBeuve calls him “a forerunner of SaintSimon, Comte, and Littré.”

In a period of artistic tradition, Marivaux boasts of being “his own son.” He complains: “Few authors have left us an impression of their own particular way of seeing the world. Swayed by some convention of taste they do not move with their own step but with a borrowed gait.” He lays down as the golden rule: abandonner son esprit à son geste naturel. He advises the young writer to “imitate no one — neither the ancients nor the moderns. The ancients had an entirely different universe from ours, and besides, copying of any sort is bad ; it can only make an ape of one.”

“Marivaux is extremely logical,” says Sainte-Beuve, and consistent with his reasoned and fastidious individualism in production is his code of criticism. He admits no valid standard of taste but the individual’s likes and dislikes. “Critics have no right to say, ‘This is good; that is bad;’ but only ‘I like this; I dislike that.’” And in the same spirit he condemns the habit of classifying authors under abstract étiquettes—“this or that kind of a novel” — and of judging them according to these labels instead of individually.

In James all this is repeated — some of it in almost the same words. He defines a novel as “successful in proportion as it reveals a particular mind, different from others.” His essay on “The Art of Fiction” is one long declaration of independence on behalf of the indvidual, and a defiance of conventions and étiquettes. “Traditions,” he says for instance, “as to what sort of affair the good novel will be, applied a priori, have already had much to answer for. The idea that the novel has to translate the things that surround us into conventional, traditional moulds condemns the art to an eternal repetition of a few familiar clichés.” He pleads urgently for “liberty of interpretation,” and, being as logical as Marivaux, James too postulates a purely individual standard of criticism, “Nothing, of course,” he declares, “will ever take the place of the good old fashion of liking a work of art or disliking it. The most improved criticism will not abolish that primitive — that ultimate test.”

Clearly, this self-conscious individualism is near akin to the subtle discriminativeness. In regard to their objects of study it is as true of James as of Marivaux that “his peculiar art consists in singling out the individual from the broadly human.” And that outward tendency reacts inwardly on themselves. They single out their own personalities also from the broadly human. They are keenly alive to their personal differentiations from other artists, and the paths of similarity they shun. Nor has their watchfulness failed of its reward. “Marivaux is unique. Whether they are masterpieces or not, his novels stand alone. And this very fact, which gives them their historical value, explains their never having reached the crowd.” So Brunetière; and so also Howells about James. “His novels are really incomparable, not so much because there is nothing in contemporary fiction to equal them as because there is nothing at all like them.”

That artists so individual, being also artists of force, should be innovators, is natural. The term is invariably applied to both. Nor is it surprising that they should be characterized by “modernity.” Brunetière attributes this quality to Marivaux, as if it were almost an invention of his; and parts of James’s work — some of his dialogues, for instance — are so strictly contemporary that a fear has been expressed of their becoming almost unintelligible to-morrow.

Again, the distaste for the general and abstract is enough to explain the avoidance by both authors of set plots and dénouements. Marivaux did not even finish either of his masterpieces. He issued them in parts extending over a number of years, and left the last part of each unwritten. “ He enjoyed the road too much to trouble about the goal or conclusion,” says Sainte-Beuve. “He does not care for plots arranged beforehand in the study, but prefers taking his subjects straight from life, as opportunity offers them.” James shows the same preference, and he too insists on dropping a subject brusquely, just as life may seem to drop it. Indeed, what is a plot leading up to a prepared dénouement but an abstract frame, which requires a generalizing rearrangement of the material to be fitted into it ?

It is natural too that authors with this bent should eschew the censorial attitude. Moral judgments as such are what Kant called unconditional; they declare, “This is right, that is wrong,” without any regard to particular modifications or circumstances. Artists, then, whose chief aim is to record particular modifications, are not likely to devote much space to them.

On the other hand, they are likely to devote a great deal of space to psychology, for what else is psychology in a novel but the “singling out of the individual from the broadly human ” ? When once the question is raised, “But what kind of man, exactly, is the hero?” one passes from the “novel of adventure” to the “psychological novel.” And the more fully the question is answered, the more psychological the novel must be.

For discriminators like Marivaux and James that question can never be answered fully enough. In the preface to the first part of his Marianne, Marivaux describes the novels the public has hitherto been accustomed to as “adventures which are only adventures,” and expresses the hope that adventures which are also studies of character may now prove acceptable. “A detailed portrait is for him an endless task,” quotes SainteBeuve. Indeed, the novels of both are chiefly galleries of portraits; and in some important respects their methods of portrayal are similar. The central figure in both is virtually autobiographical, — a self-confessor, — but the rest are indicated as far as possible from the outside. The senses are usually the most personal avenues of knowledge. To go from sense to reasoning is often to quit the particular for the general point of view. So James is always in search of “ the looks of things which convey a meaning,” and it is in Marivaux that Sterne seems to have studied the art of revealing character through expression and gesture. Brunetière holds that no one has ever surpassed Marivaux in showing “the possession, as it were, which our habits take of our faces.” As an achievement of this kind, his interpretative account of the plumpness of a certain prioress is classical in French literature; and he abounds in thumbnail sketches like this: “Madame de Far was a little, dark, stout, ugly woman with a large, square face, and small black eyes, which were never still. They were always hunting about to find something amusing to occupy her lively mind with.” Or this: “Monsieur de Climal” — one of the hypocrites Marivaux loved to depict, and whose tactics he used to contrast rather disdainfully with the cruder methods of Molière’s Tartufe — “had a gentle, serious face, and a penitential air which kept you from noticing how stout he really was.” To show all James’s triumphs in this order one would have to quote a large part of his works.

Our authors are alike too in not confining their search for “the looks which convey a meaning” to the human form. “What are circumstances but that which befalls us,” asks James, “and what is incident but the determination of character?” So “character” becomes almost equivalent to “circumstance,” and both in their psychological researches bear us far out on a sea of surroundings — not only immediate surroundings, such as “the major’s trousers and the particular ‘smart’ tension of his wife’s tight stays,” but furniture, houses, streets, gardens. Marivaux is famous for his “interiors,” which have been described as “veritable Chardins;” but he, like James, is also blamed for over-elaboration of these pictures.

In their passion for “walking on eggs ” the pair adopt similar methods of complicating the subtlety of the pyschological case. Marivaux’s main object, it has been said, is to show “the refraction of a character through different media.” He carries his Marianne and Jacques through many environments, and their surfaces are chameleonic as they ascend through the strata of society. James,in his “international ” novels,“goes one better” than this. Not content to show the individual’s response to different surroundings in his own country, he conveys him abroad, and analyses the influence of a foreign atmosphere on the national particularization of the individually particularized character. He must ascertain how the New Englander, Chad, has “his features retouched, his eyes cleared, his color settled, his fine square teeth polished; a form, a surface, almost a design given to him ” — by the atmosphere of the French capital.

And how could these discriminators avoid the charge of prolixity in their analyses ? One blushes to think of the insults offered James on this score; and as for Marivaux, — “It is a trifle too much,” exclaimed the Abbé Desfontaines, when the sixth part of Marianne appeared, “to devote a whole book to carrying the heroine from midday to six p. M ! Heaven forbid that she should live to grow old, or our lives would not be long enough to read about hers ! ” Detailed portraits must indeed produce some sacrifice of movement — of movement, at least, toward a dénouement. But then, since neither Marivaux nor James provides any dénouement, is it fair to blame them for not moving toward a non-existent point ?

Again, both writers are accused of omitting the “great things” of life. “Marivaux,” says Voltaire, “knows all the little paths of the heart, but not the high road.” “ In every case,”says SainteBeuve, “we find him preferring the je ne sais quoi to true beauty, cleverness to greatness, coquetry to tenderness.” Indeed, neither author deals much in what James somewhere condemns as “rounded perfections,” and this seems to be an inevitable result of their devotion to the particular. Before condemning them for omitting the “great things,” one should squarely meet the question, which both seem to imply, whether the “great things,” in the ordinary sense, really exist — exist, that is, apart from abstracting imagination ? In one of his essays Marivaux denies the existence of “great men,” — apart, at least, from abstracting imagination. And in that profound little study, “The Story in it,” James seems to offer an allegorical disquisition on the point. Two women and a man are talking together. One of the women is secretly in love with the man; he is, or should be, in love with the other. They are discussing ideal, romantic love. The woman with the secret maintains the possibility of it, and when the others argue against her, claims to know for certain of its existence. “Where is it, then?” they ask. She lays her hand on her unspoken and unanswered heart. It exists in her dream; but does it exist anywhere else ? We are left asking that question.

“All great artists impress us as having some kind of a philosophy,” says James. He and Marivaux surely impress us as teaching the far-reaching doctrine of the absoluteness of “the particular, given case.” “There is no such thing as an abstract adventure,” says James somewhere; “ there is only your adventure and mine.”

Nowhere, however, is this likeness more palpably evident than in the matter of style. And here, as indeed elsewhere in this essay, reference is more especially made to James’s later manner — to the manner he evolved toward the end of the Victorian era, and which has since then accentuated itself, to the admiration of some and the despair of others.

It was a Frenchman who originated the formula, “The style is the man,” and French critics of Marivaux have instinctively concentrated their attention on his style as the most indicative part.

From his own day onward Marivaux as a stylist has been censured for his mannerisms, his verbosity, his abuse of comparisons, his spun-out metaphors, his involved obscurity, his colloquialism, and, oddly mixed with that, his preciosity. “A jargon at once familiar and precious,” D’Alembert called his style in his Eloge ; and how aptly the phrase hits off one aspect of James’s style!

“Marivaux’s art,” says Sainte-Beuve, “is to imitate le style parlé. He copies it as closely as he can, with all its little carelessnesses, with the small words that constantly recur, and, as it were, the very gestures. Cela is always cropping up, and such phrases as cet homme-là, ces trails de bonté-là.”

And what else than le style parlé characterizes such sentences as this from James — “One of the other impressions was, at the end of a few minutes, that she — oh, incontestably, yes, differed less; that is, scarcely at all — well, superficially speaking, from — ” ?

No English writer of rank is more conversational than James, with his “don’ts ” and “are n’ts” and “is n’ts” and “that sort of;” with his constant use of inverted commas for stray words outside of set dialogue; with his abundant slang — “he was at least up to that,” and so on.

Yet beside this colloquialism how prominent is the “precious” element in both! Preciosity has been the main charge against Marivaux; and in James how often do we find phrases suggestive of the least colloquial, the most “æsthetic” and “architectural” of stylists — of Pater, for instance? James’s Gallicisms, natural enough considering the circumstances of his education, must come under this head. And in short, if one should compile a lexicon of his vocabulary, would it not resemble a Marivaux lexicon in being “very rich in com mon, trivial, popular phrases, and yet no less rich in far-fetched ones”?

What a striking parallelism again in their use of metaphor! It may truly be said of James, as of Marivaux, that it is “his constant practice to convey the nicest shades of sentiment by figures borrowed from the vulgarest usage.” And they vie with each other in their audacity in elaborating metaphors. More sensitive than Anglo-Saxons about the niceties of metaphorical expression, the French are especially wroth with Marivaux for his “mania of pushing similes au bout.” In reality, James pushes them a great deal farther than Marivaux — as witness that “tall tower of ivory in a garden,” to which Maggie’s state of mind is likened through three pages.

The typical sentences of both are often as rambling or plotless as their novels; and for the same reason in either case. The preservation of “ the straight impression” requires unpremeditated expression. The impression must be allowed to transcribe itself freely; any verbal rearrangement might lead to remodeling of the object. An apparent verbosity also is inevitable for both. And yet of either style — naturally enough, given its subtlety — reticence and omissions are found to be characteristic, “Reticence envelopes Marivaux’s thought and veils it as with twilight,” says that fine critic, Paul de Saint Victor. “Swedenborg tells us he perceived spirits conversing with one another by merely winking their eyelids. In Marivaux we get something of the mystery of those palpitating dialogues in the clouds.” “ James conveys these things,” says Elton, “by the method of reticence, by omissions, pauses, and speaking silences.” “ James does not say,” observes Howells; “he insinuates. It is what he does not tell that counts.”

One would have to quote a great deal to illustrate all these common tendencies clearly, but “for Achilles’ image stand his spear! ” Here is an ordinary specimen from Marivaux. At the door of a theatre he is observing the faces of those who come out. “ I examined all these wearers of faces. I tried to make out what each of them felt about his lot. For instance, if there was one who bore his lot patiently, because he could do nothing else. I did not find a single one whose face did not declare, ‘I stick to it!’ And yet, I saw some women’s faces which had small reason to be contented, and which might well have complained of their portion, without being esteemed too captious. It even seemed to me that on meeting some face more generously favored than their own they were afraid of being driven to depreciate theirs; their hearts were distressed; and, to be sure, they were in a warm corner! To have a face which you would not willingly exchange for any other, and yet to behold, right in front of you, some accursed visage coming to pick a quarrel with yours and upset your good opinion of it — coming boldly to challenge yours to mortal combat and throwing you for a moment into the sad confusion of doubting what the issue might be, — accusing you, in short, of indulging in an illegitimate satisfaction in deeming your face without peer and without reproach, — such moments are fraught with peril! I could read all the disturbance of the insulted face. The disturbance however was only momentary. ”

Sainte-Beuve blames this sportive passage for “bad taste.” What would he have said, then, of scores of passages in James? Of this, for instance: “He had turned awkwardly, responsibly red, he knew, at her mention of Maria; Sarah Pocock’s presence—that particular quality in it — had made this inevitable; and then he had grown still redder. . . . He felt indeed that he was showing much, as, uncomfortably and almost in pain, he offered up his redness to Waymarsh, who, strangely enough, seemed now to be looking at him with a certain explanatory yearning. Something deep — something built on their old, old relation — passed, in this complexity, between them; he got the side-wind of a loyalty that stood behind all actual questions. Waymarsh’s dry, bare humour — as it gave itself to be taken — gloomed out to justify itself. ‘Well, if you talk of her, I’ve my chance, too,’ it seemed stiffly to nod; and it granted that it was giving him away, but struggled to say that it did so only to save him. The sombre glow stared at him till it fairly sounded out. ‘To save you, poor old man, to save you!’ ”

Or of this specimen: “We remained on the surface, with the tenacity of shipwrecked persons clinging to a plank. Our plank was our concentrated gaze at Mrs. Bridgeman’s mere present. We allowed her past to exist for us only in the form of the prettiness that she had gallantly rescued from it, and to which a few scraps of its identity still adhered.”

Not that one would accuse James of “marivaudage” in the most evil sense of that word, — in which, to tell the truth, it is inapplicable to Marivaux. It was, far more than himself, Marivaux’s epigoni who brought on this term the significance of simpering affectation and false graces. Even Sainte-Beuve, who is severe enough on Marivaux’s style, admits, “The word marivaudage has become established in our language to indicate a vice, but the man from whom the name is borrowed is superior to its current meaning.”

Most of this resemblance in style seems ascribable to causes already indicated. That both authors should imitate colloquial idiom, for instance, is imposed on them by their loyalty to the “straight impression.” Yet that they should also be precious and metaphorical follows from the out-of-the-way nuances which they are describing. And so on. As Brunetière, another sharp critic of Marivaux, recognizes, “Unexpected collocations of words, unusual turns of expression, peculiar phrases, are in fact merely the faithful reflection of odd, unusual, unexpected objects of observation. And if sometimes many words arc used for a small matter, one must remember that the reader would not believe in the reality of the out-of-the-way discovery unless the explorer allowed him to retrace with him, step by step, the paths which had led him to it.”

Such is indeed the defense which Marivaux himself set up of his style. Several times he replied at length to the frequent contemporary attacks on this side of his work. He asserts that his style is not “affected,” — he takes “precious” in that sense, — but a simple and sincere reflection of his thought. And he denies that it can be called “obscure,” unless it can be shown that his thought is obscure. If his language is unusual, he says, it is solely because his perceptions are so. People may say he has no business to see such out-of-the-way aspects of every-day affairs; but that is the way his mind is constituted. If he is to blame, it is not for his style, but for his mind, of which his style is a mere mirror.

To this apology, which coincides, one is tempted to imagine, with what James might say, Sainte-Beuve and Brunetière concede that the author’s mind and not his style is in question. “He was in fact himself,” says Sainte-Beuve, “and quite legitimately he expresses his unusual perceptions in language that often has a piquant singularity.” But, they both assert, he goes too far. In reference, one may ask, to what standard ? If his style faithfully reflects his mind, it cannot be called “affected,” at least. What, then, is “the proper limit” which they accuse him of overstepping ?

At bottom, these two critics clash with Marivaux over his claim to entire individual liberty. They deny his right to be utterly himself. They say he goes too far in personality. They denounce his individualism as “libertine” — in the name of tradition and of the example of “the masters.”

Anglo-Saxons may perhaps reject this French devotion to classicism, and yet feel that James and his double do err, somehow, from the way. Can it be that, instead of being too much themselves, as the French critics declare, they are not sufficiently themselves ?

“It is not so much your being right — it is your horrible, sharp eye for what makes you so,” complains one of James’s characters of another. Substitute “individual” for “right,” and are not the words applicable to our authors ?

Their “horrible, sharp eye” for what differentiates them from others cuts them off like a knife, it seems, from their kind, and, in so doing, mutilates them. One cannot rebel against what Wilde calls “the humiliating fact” of the brotherhood of men without penalties of circumscription. “The childish horror of our set for the banal ” — what an exact suggestion, by the way, James gives there of Marivaux’s set at Madame de Tencin’s — carries with it an avenging limitation. To be only that in which one is different from others is to be less than one’s self, and it is this curtailment of their universal nature which earns for both, sometimes, the epithet of “inhuman.”

And yet, both accomplish so much by their specialization! “It is so rare to be a pioneer and to discover anything new in this moral world, which has been so thoroughly explored! And Marivaux,” admits Sainte-Beuve, “has added to what was known before.” Most of his additions may have been assimilated by now; but it will be many a year, one may conjecture, before all the knowledge which our great Anglo-Saxon note-taker has given us passes into popular currency.