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Title: Prefaces to Fiction
Author: Various
Language: English
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The Augustan Reprint Society


Georges de Scudéry, Preface to _Ibrahim_ (1674)

Mary De la Riviere Manley, Preface to _The Secret
History of Queen Zarah_ (1705)

Jean-Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis d'Argens, _The Jewish
Spy_ (1744), Letter 35

William Warburton, Preface to Volumes III and
IV (1748) of Richardson's _Clarissa_

Samuel Derrick, Preface to d'Argens's _Memoirs of
The Count Du Beauval_ (1754)

With an Introduction by

Benjamin Boyce

Publication Number 32

Los Angeles
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
University of California

     *       *       *       *       *


H. RICHARD ARCHER, _Clark Memorial Library_
RICHARD C. BOYS, _University of Michigan_
JOHN LOFTIS, _University of California, Los Angeles_


W. EARL BRITTON, _University of Michigan_


EMMETT L. AVERY, _State College of Washington_
BENJAMIN BOYCE, _Duke University_
LOUIS I. BREDVOLD, _University of Michigan_
CLEANTH BROOKS, _Yale University_
JAMES L. CLIFFORD, _Columbia University_
ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, _University of Chicago_
EDWARD NILES HOOKER, _University of California, Los Angeles_
LOUIS A. LANDA, _Princeton University_
SAMUEL H. MONK, _University of Minnesota_
ERNEST MOSSNER, _University of Texas_
JAMES SUTHERLAND, _University College, London_
H.T. SWEDENBERG, JR., _University of California, Los Angeles_


The development of the English novel is one of the triumphs of the
eighteenth century. Criticism of prose fiction during that period,
however, is less impressive, being neither strikingly original nor
profound nor usually more than fragmentary. Because the early
statements of theory were mostly very brief and are now obscurely
buried in rare books, one may come upon the well conceived "program"
of _Joseph Andrews_ and _Tom Jones_ with some surprise. But if one
looks in the right places one will realize that mid-eighteenth
century notions about prose fiction had a substantial background in
earlier writing. And as in the case of other branches of literary
theory in the Augustan period, the original expression of the
organized doctrine was French. In Georges de Scudéry's preface to
_Ibrahim_ (1641)[1] and in a conversation on the art of inventing a
"Fable" in Book VIII (1656) of his sister Madeleine's _Clélie_ are
to be found the grounds of criticism in prose fiction; practically
all the principles are here which eighteenth-century theorists
adopted, or seemed to adopt, or from which they developed, often by
the simple process of contradiction, their new principles.

That many of the ideas in the preface to _Ibrahim_ were not new even
in 1641 becomes plain if one reads the discussions of romance
written by Giraldi Cinthio and Tasso.[2] The particular way in which
Mlle. de Scudéry attempted to carry out those ideas in her later,
more subjective works she obligingly set forth in _Clélie_ in the
passage already alluded to. There it is explained that a
well-contrived romance "is not only handsomer than the truth, but
withal, more probable;" that "impossible things, and such as are low
and common, must almost equally be avoided;" that each person in the
story must always act according to his own "temper;" that "the
nature of the passions ought necessarily to be understood, and what
they work in the hearts of those who are possess'd with them." He
who attempts an "ingenious Fable" must have great
accomplishments--wit, fancy, judgment, memory; "an universal
knowledge of the World, of the Interest of Princes, and the humors
of Nations," and of both closet-policy and the art of war;
familiarity with "politeness of conversation, the art of ingenious
raillery, and that of making innocent Satyrs; nor must he be
ignorant of that of composing of Verses, writing Letters, and making
Orations." The "secrets of all hearts" must be his and "how to take
away plainness and driness from Morality."[3]

The assumption that the new prose fiction could be judged, as the
Scudérys professed to judge their work, first of all by reference to
the rules of heroic poetry is frequent in the next century--in the
unlikely Mrs. Davys (preface, _Works_, 1725); in _Joseph Andrews_ of
course, where the rules of the serious epic and of the heroic
romance are to aid the author in copying the ancient but, as it
happens, nonexistent comic epic; and in Fielding's preface to his
sister's _David Simple_ (1744). Both Richardson and Fielding were
attacked on epic grounds.[4] Dr. Johnson's interesting and
unfriendly essay on recent prose fiction (_Rambler_ No. 4) adopted
the terminology familiar in the criticism of epic and romance and
showed that Johnson, unlike d'Argens and Fielding, did not intend
to give any of the old doctrines new meanings in a way to justify
realism. Johnson laughed a little in that essay at the heroic
romances; but like Mlle. de Scudéry, whose _Conversations_ he drew
on for a footnote in his edition of Shakespeare (1765),[5] he
believed that fiction should be "probable" and yet should idealize
life and men and observe poetic Justice. Many other writers on prose
fiction borrowed the old neo-classic rules, and they applied them
often so carelessly and so insincerely that one is glad to come
eventually on signs of rebellion, even if from the sentimentalists:
"I know not," wrote Elizabeth Griffith in the preface to _The
Delicate Distress_ (1769), "whether novel, like the _epopée_, has
any rules, peculiar to itself.... Sensibility is, in my mind, as
necessary, as taste, to intitle us to judge of a work, like this."

The theory of prose fiction offered by the Scudérys was, on the
whole, better than their practice. The same remark can be made with
even greater assurance of _The Secret History of Queen Zarah, and
the Zarazians_ (1705) and the other political-scandalous "histories"
of Mary De la Riviere Manley. For in spite of the faults of _Queen
Zarah_, the preface is one of the most substantial discussions of
prose fiction in the century. Boldly and reasonably it repudiates
the most characteristic features of the heroic romance--the vastness
produced by intercalated stories; the idealized characters, almost
"exempted from all the Weakness of Humane Nature;" the marvelous
adventures and remote settings; the essay-like conversations; the
adulatory attitude; and poetic Justice. _Vraisemblance_ and
_decorum_, we are told, are still obligatory, but the probable
character, action, dialogue will now be less prodigious, will be
closer to real life as the modern English reader knows it. Thus Mrs.
Manley announced a point of view which was, at least in most
respects, to dominate the theory and invigorate the practice of
prose fiction throughout the century.

A significant phase of Mrs. Manley's discussion is the emphasis upon
individual characterization and, in characters, upon not only the
"predominant Quality" and ruling passion of each but also upon the
elusive and surprising "Turnings and Motions of Humane
Understanding." Here one should recognize the influence of
historical writing rather than of poetry. As René Rapin had made
clear in Chapter XX of his _Instructions for History_ (J. Davies's
translation, 1680), the historian writes the best portraits who
finds the "essential and distinctive lines" of a man's character and
the "secret motions and inclinations of [his] Heart." But Mrs.
Manley's remarks go beyond Rapin's in implying faith in a sort of
scientific psychology, especially of "the passions." Other writers
showed the same interest and worked toward the same end. Thus Henry
Gally in his essay on Theophrastus and the Character was so carried
away by a notion of the importance of the Character-writer's knowing
all about the passions that he allowed himself to say that only by
such a knowledge could a Character be made to "hit one Person, and
him only"[6]--the goal obviously not of the Character-writer but of
the historian and the novelist. The authors of _The Cry_[7] (1754)
regarded the unfolding of "the labyrinths of the human mind" as an
arduous but necessary task; indeed they went on to declare that the
"motives to actions, and the inward turns of mind, seem in our
opinion more necessary to be known than the actions themselves." It
was Fielding's refusal, in spite of the titles of his books, to
write like an historian with highly individualized and psychological
characterizations that caused his admirer Arthur Murphy to admit in
his "Essay" on Fielding that "Fielding was more attached to the
_manners_ than to the _heart_."[8] He thought Fielding inferior to
Marivaux in revealing the heart just as Johnson, according to
Boswell, preferred Richardson to Fielding because the former
presented "characters of nature" whereas the latter created only
"characters of manners." The author of "A Short Discourse on Novel
Writing" prefixed to _Constantia; or, A True Picture of Human Life_
(1751) went so far as to say that prose fiction may teach more about
the "sources, symptoms, and inevitable consequences" of the passions
than could easily be taught in any other way. The increasingly
subjective and individualized characterization in English fiction
was well supported in contemporary theory.

_The Jewish Spy_, translated from the _Lettres Juives_ (1736-38) of
Jean-Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis d'Argens, is an early example of
citizen-of-the-world literature and contains in its five volumes a
"Philosophical, Historical and Critical Correspondence" dealing with
French, English, Italian, and other matters. The work had a European
vogue, and there were at least two English translations, the present
one, issued in 1739, 1744, and 1766, and another, called _Jewish
Letters_, published at Newcastle in 1746. (The Dublin edition of
1753 I have not seen.) Though d'Argens's purpose in Letter 35 may
have been to advertise his own novel, what he had to say is
interesting. Like many others, he could scoff at the heroic romances
and yet borrow and quietly modify the doctrines of _Ibrahim_ and
_Clélie_. He proposed a still more "advanced" _vraisemblance_ and
_decorum_--psychological analysis tinged with cynicism rather than
idealism; gallantry but against the background sometimes of the
modern city; a plainer style; and only such matters as seemed to
this student of Descartes and Locke to be entirely reasonable.
Fielding's chapter in _Tom Jones_ (IX, i) "Of Those Who Lawfully
May, and of Those Who May Not, Write Such Histories as This" could
be taken as an indication that he knew not only what Mlle. de
Scudéry thought were the accomplishments of the romancer but that he
had read d'Argens's words on that subject too. Both d'Argens and
Fielding believed that in addition to "Genius, Wit, and Learning"
the novelist must have a knowledge of the world and of all degrees
of men, distinguishing the style of high people from that of low.
They agreed that a writer must have felt a passion before he could
paint it successfully. Much more goes into the making of a novel,
they sarcastically pointed out, than pens, ink, and quires of paper.
D'Argens, like Fielding, relished reflective passages and could
approve, more readily than Mrs. Manley, of "an Historian that amuses
himself by Moralizing or Describing." D'Argens's list of the
features to be found in good history and good fiction shows him to
be a thoroughgoing rationalist and separates his ideal from that of
young readers, who, according to the preface to _The Adventures of
Theagenes and Chariclia_ (1717), wish to hear of "Flame and Spirit
in an Author, of fine Harangues, just Characters, moving Scenes,
delicacy of Contrivance, surprising turns of action ... indeed the
choicest Beauties of a _Romance_."

The two novels that d'Argens recommended had different fortunes in
England. D'Argens's book, _Memoires du Marquis de Mirmon, ou Le
Solitaire Philosophe_ (Amsterdam, 1736) was never translated into
English and apparently was not much read. But Claude Prosper Jolyot
de Crébillon, the younger, was extolled by Thomas Gray and Horace
Walpole, quoted by Sarah Fielding,[9] and had the honor, if one can
trust Walpole, of an offer of keeping from Lady Mary Wortley
Montagu. His _Égaremens du Coeur et de l'Esprit_ (1736-38) was
translated in 1751[10] and is the novel which Yorick helped the
_fille de chambre_ slide into her pocket. Crébillon was damned,
however, in _The World_ (No. 19, May 10, 1753) in an essay that,
oddly enough, reminds one of d'Argens's Letter 35. The work referred
to in the third footnote on page 258 is _Le Chevalier des Essars et
la Comtesse de Berci_ (1735) by Ignace-Vincent Guillot de La
Chassagne. The last footnote on that page refers to G.H. Bougeant's
satire, _Voyage Merveilleux du Prince Fan-Férédin dans la Romancie_

The preface which William Warburton was invited by Richardson to
supply for Volumes III and IV of _Clarissa_ when they first appeared
in 1748 has never, I think, been reprinted in full. Richardson
dropped it from the second edition (1749) of _Clarissa_, probably
because he relished neither its implication that he was following
French precedents nor its suggestion that his work was one "of mere
Amusement." In the "Advertisement" in the first volume of the second
edition he insisted that _Clarissa_ was "not to be considered as a
_mere Amusement_, as a _light Novel_, or _transitory Romance_; but
as a _History_ of LIFE and MANNERS ... intended to inculcate the
HIGHEST and _most_ IMPORTANT _Doctrines_."[11] Warburton, offended
in turn perhaps, thriftily salvaged more than half of the preface
(paragraphs 2 to 6) to use as a footnote in his edition of Alexander
Pope,[12] but he there made a striking change: not Richardson but
Marivaux and Fielding were praised as the authors who, with the
extra enrichment of comic art, had brought the novel of "real LIFE
AND MANNERS ... to its perfection."

The important principle of prose fiction which Richardson and
Warburton recognized--that there is power in a detailed picture of
the private life of the middle class--had been suggested earlier.
Mrs. Manley could not voice it, at least not in _Queen Zarah_, where
the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Godolphln, and Queen Anne were
to be leading characters. But her sometime-friend Richard Steele
could. Having laughed in _The Tender Husband_ (1705) at a girl whose
judgment of life was seriously--or, rather, comically--warped by her
reading of heroic romances, Steele made a positive plea in _Tatler_
No. 172 for histories of "such adventures as befall persons not
exalted above the common level." Books of this sort, still rare in
1710, would be of great value to "the ordinary race of men." The
anonymous preface to _The Adventures of Theagenes and Chariclia_
seven years later attributed to Heliodorus's romance the value of
suggesting rules "for conducting our Affairs in common Actions of
Life." In 1751 when the new realism was a _fait accompli_, the
author of _An Essay on the New Species of Writing Founded by Mr.
Fielding_ declared roundly (p. 19) that in the new fiction the
characters should be "taken from common Life." A good argument in
favor of books about "private persons" was offered in the preface to
the English translation of the Abbé Prévost's novel, _The Life And
Entertaining Adventures of Mr. Cleveland, Natural Son of Oliver
Cromwell_ (1741): "The history of kingdoms and empires, raises our
admiration, by the solemnity ... of the images, and furnishes one of
the noblest entertainments. But at the same time that it is so well
suited to delight the imagination, it yet is not so apt to touch and
affect as the history of private men; the reason of which seems to
be, that the personages in the former, are so far above the common
level, that we consider ourselves, in some measure, as aliens to
them; whereas those who act in a lower sphere, are look'd upon by us
as a kind of relatives, from the similitude of conditions; whence we
are more intimately mov'd with whatever concerns us." A comparison
of the first two paragraphs of this preface and the first four
paragraphs of Johnson's _Rambler_ No. 60, if it does not discover
the source of part of Johnson's paper, will at least reveal how the
defender of the fictional "secret history" and a famous champion of
intimate biography played into each other's hands. Johnson's
appearing to follow the defender of French fiction here is all the
more interesting when one recalls his alarm in _Rambler_ No. 4 over
the prevailing taste for novels that exhibited, unexpurgated, "Life
in its true State, diversified only by the Accidents that daily
happen in the World." Indeed if it were not for Fielding himself,
one might imagine from Johnson's unsteady and generally
unsatisfactory criticism of prose fiction that the old neo-classical
principles were completely out of date and useless.

Samuel Derrick, the editor of Dryden and friend of Boswell for whom
Johnson "had a kindness" but not much respect, the "pretty little
gentleman" described by Smollett's Lydia Melford, translated the
_Memoirs of the Count Du Beauval_ from _Le Mentor Cavalier, ou Les
Illustres Infortunez de Notre Siecle_ ("Londres," 1736) by the
Marquis d'Argens. Only the second paragraph of Derrick's preface
came from d'Argens, but the drift of the Frenchman's ideas toward
"le Naturel" is well sustained in Derrick's praise, no doubt based
on Warburton's, of writers who present scenes that "are daily found
to move beneath their Inspection." There are ties with the doctrines
of 1641 even in this preface, but the transformation of
_vraisemblance_ and _decorum_ was sufficiently advanced for the
needs of the day.

Benjamin Boyce
Duke University


[1] Most scholars attribute the preface to Georges de
Scudéry, but it seems impossible to say whether he collaborated with
his sister in writing the romance itself or whether the work was
written entirely by her.

Cogan's translation of _Ibrahim_ and the preface appeared first in

[2] See the texts in Allan H. Gilbert's _Literary
Criticism: Plato to Dryden_ (N.Y.: American Book Co., 1940) and the
discussion in A.E. Parsons' "The English Heroic Play," _MLR_, XXXIII
(1938), 1-14.

[3] _Clelia. An Excellent New Romance. The Fourth Volume
... Rendered into English by G.H._ (1677; Part IV, Book II), pp.

[4] See _An Apology for the Life of Mr. Bempfylde-Moore
Carew ... The Sixth Edition_, p. xix; _Critical Remarks on Sir
Charles Grandison_ (1754), p. 20.

[5] IV, 184. The footnote could have come, contrary to the
assertion of Sir Walter Raleigh (_Six Essays_ [Oxford, 1910], p.
94), from either the original French (_Conversations sur Divers
Sujets_ [Paris, 1680], II, 586-587) or the English translation
(1683, II, 102). In both editions, the passage appears soon after
the dialogue on how to compose a romance. I am indebted to Dr.
Arthur M. Eastman for help in tracing Raleigh's vague reference.

[6] _The Moral Characters of Theophrastus_ (1725), pp.

[7] Jane Collier and Sarah Fielding.

[8] The "Essay" was written in 1762, but I quote it as it
appeared in the third edition (1766) of _The Works of Henry
Fielding_, I, 75.

[9] James B. Foster, _History of the Pre-Romantic Novel in
England_ (N.Y.: Modern Lang. Assoc., 1949), p. 76.

[10] _The Wanderings of the Heart and Mind: or, Memoirs of
Mr. de Meilcour_, translated by M. Clancy. Clara Reeve maintained in
1785 that Crébillon's book was never popular in England and that
"Some pious person, fearing it might poison the minds of youth ...
wrote a book of meditations with the same title, and _this_ was the
book that _Yorick's fille de Chambre_ was purchasing" (_The Progress
of Romance_ [N.Y.: Facsimile Text Society, 1930], pp. 130-131).

[11] Richardson said that he dropped Warburton's preface
because _Clarissa_ had been well received and no longer needed such
an introduction. A fourth explanation of the natter and much other
relevant information were presented by Ronald S. Crane, "Richardson,
Warburton and French Fiction," _MLR_, XVII (1922), 17-23.

[12] _The Works of Alexander Pope_ (1751), IV, 166-169. The
footnote is on line 146 of the Epistle to Augustus ("And ev'ry
flow'ry Courtier writ Romance").





       *       *       *       *       *

The whole Work,

In Four Parts.

Written in French by _Monsieur de Scudéry_,

And Now Englished


Henry Cogan, Gent.

       *       *       *       *       *


Printed by _J.R._ and are to be sold by _Peter Parker_, at his Shop
at the _Leg_ and _Star_ over against the Royal Exchange, and _Thomas
Guy_, at the Corner-shop of _Little-Lumbard street_ and _Cornhil_,

_IBRAHIM, or The Illustrious Bassa_


I do not know what kind of praise the Ancients thought they gave to
that Painter, who not able to end his Work, finished it accidentally
by throwing his pencil against his Picture; but I know very well,
that it should not have obliged me, and that I should have taken it
rather for a Satyre, than an Elogium. The operations of the Spirit
are too important to be left to the conduct of chance, and I had
rather be accused for failing out of knowledge, than for doing well
without minding it. There is nothing which temerity doth not
undertake, and which Fortune doth not bring to pass; but when a man
relies on those two Guides, if he doth not erre, he may erre; and of
this sort, even when the events are successefull, no glory is
merited thereby. Every Art hath its certain rules, which by
infallible means lead to the ends proposed; and provided that an
Architect takes his measures right, he is assured of the beauty of
his Building. Believe not for all this, Reader, that I will conclude
from thence my work is compleat, because I have followed the rules
which may render it so: I know that it is of this labour, as of the
Mathematical Sciences, where the operation may fail, but the Art
doth never fail; nor do I make this discourse but to shew you, that
if I have left some faults in my Book, they are the effects of my
weakness, and not of my negligence. Suffer me then to discover unto
you all the resorts of this frame, and let you see, if not all that
I have done, at leastwise all that I have endeavoured to doe.

Whereas we cannot be knowing but of that which others do teach us,
and that it is for him that comes after, to follow them who precede
him, I have believed, that for the laying the ground-plot of this
work, we are to consult with the Grecians, who have been our first
Masters, pursue the course which they have held, and labour in
imitating them to arrive at the same end, which those great men
propounded to themselves. I have seen in those famous _Romanzes_ of
Antiquity, that in imitation of the Epique Poem there is a principal
action whereunto all the rest, which reign over all the work, are
fastned, and which makes them that they are not employed, but for
the conducting of it to its perfection. The action in _Homers
Iliades_ is the destrustion of _Troy_; in his _Odysseas_ the return
of _Ulysses_ to _Ithaca_; in _Virgil_ the death of _Turnus_, or to
say better, the conquest of _Italy_; neerer to our times, in _Tasso_
the taking of _Jerusalem_; and to pass from the Poem to the
_Romanze_, which is my principal object, in _Helidorus_ the marriage
of _Theagines_ and _Cariclia_. It is not because the Episodes in the
one, and the several Histories in the other, are not rather beauties
than defects; but it is alwayes necessary, that the Addresse of him
which employes them should hold them in some sort to this principal
action, to the end, that by this ingenious concatenation, all the
parts of them should make but one body, and that nothing may be seen
in them which is loose and unprofitable. Thus the marriage of my
_Justiniano_ and his _Isabella_, being the object which I have
proposed unto my self, I have employed all my care so to doe, that
all parts of my work may tend to that conclusion; that there may be
a strong connexion between them; and that, except the obstacle which
Fortune opposeth to the desires of my _Hero_'s, all things may
advance, or at leastwise endeavour to advance his marriage, which is
the end of my labour. Now those great Geniusses of antiquity, from
whom I borrow my light, knowing that well-ordering is one of the
principal parts of a piece, have given so excellent a one to their
speaking Pictures, that it would be as much stupidity, as pride, not
to imitate them. They have not done like those Painters, who present
in one and the same cloth a Prince in the Cradle, upon the Throne,
and in the Tombe, perplexing, by this so little judicious a
confusion, him that considers their work; but with an incomparable
address they begin their History in the midle, so to give some
suspence to the Reader, even from the first opening of the Book; and
to confine themselves within reasonable bounds they have made the
History (as I likewise have done after them) not to last above a
year, the rest being delivered by Narration. Thus all things being
ingeniously placed, and of a just greatness, no doubt, but pleasure
will redound from thence to him that beholds them, and glory to him
that hath done them. But amongst all the rules which are to be
observed in the composition of these works, that of true resemblance
is without question the most necessary; it is, as it were, the
fundamental stone of this building, and but upon which it cannot
subsist; without it nothing can move, without it nothing can please:
and if this charming deceiver doth not beguile the mind in
_Romanzes_, this kinde of reading disgusts, instead of entertaining
it: I have laboured then never to eloigne my self from it, and to
that purpose I have observed the Manners, Customs, Religions, and
Inclinations of People: and to give a more true resemblance to
things, I have made the foundations of my work Historical, my
principal Personages such as are marked out in the true History for
illustrious persons, and the wars effective. This is the way
doubtless, whereby one may arrive at his end; for when as falshood
and truth are confounded by a dexterous hand, wit hath much adoe to
disintangle them, and is not easily carried to destroy that which
pleaseth it; contrarily, whenas invention doth not make use of this
artifice, and that falshood is produced openly, this gross untruth
makes no impression in the soul, nor gives any delight: As indeed
how should I be touched with the misfortunes of the Queen of
_Gundaya_, and of the King of _Astrobacia_, whenas I know their very
Kingdoms are not in the universal Mapp, or, to say better, in the
being of things? But this is not the only defect which may carry us
from the true resemblance, for we have at other times seen
_Romanzes_, which set before us monsters, in thinking to let us see
Miracles; their Authors by adhering too much to wonders have made
Grotesques, which have not a little of the visions of a burning
Feaver; and one might demand of these Messieurs with more reason,
than the Duke of _Ferrara_ did of _Ariosto_, after he had read his
_Orlando, Messer Lodovico done diavolo havete pigliato tante
coyonerie_? As for me, I hold, that the more natural adventures
are, the more satisfaction they give; and the ordinary course of the
Sun seems more marvellous to me, than the strange and deadly rayes
of Comets; for which reason it is also that I have not caused so
many Shipwrecks, as there are in some ancient _Romanzes_; and to
speak seriously, _Du Bartas_ might say of these Authors,

    _That with their word they bind,
    Or loose, at will, the blowing of the wind._

So as one might think that _Æolus_ hath given them the Winds
inclosed in a bagg, as he gave them to _Ulysses_, so patly do they
unchain them; they make tempests and shipwracks when they please,
they raise them on the Pacifique Sea, they find rocks and shelves
where the most expert Pilots have never observed any: But they which
dispose thus of the winds, know not how the Prophet doth assure us,
that God keeps them in his Treasures; and that Philosophy, as clear
sighted as it is, could never discover their retreat. Howbeit I
pretend not hereby to banish Shipwrecks from _Romanzes_, I approve
of them in the works of others, and make use of them in mine; I know
likewise, that the Sea is the Scene most proper to make great
changes in, and that some have named it the Theatre of inconstancy;
but as all excess is vicious, I have made use of it but moderately,
for to conserve true resembling: Now the same design is the cause
also, that my _Heros_ is not oppressed with such a prodigious
quantity of accidents, as arrive unto some others, for that
according to my sense, the same is far from true resemblance, the
life of no man having ever been so cross'd. It would be better in my
opinion to separate the adventures, to form divers Histories of
them, and to make persons acting, thereby to appear both fertile and
judicious together, and to be still within this so necessary true
resemblance. And indeed they who have made one man alone defeat
whole Armies, have forgotten the Proverb which saith, _not one
against two_; and know not that Antiquity doth assure us, how
_Hercules_ would in that case be too weak. It is without all doubt,
that to represent a true heroical courage, one should make it
execute some thing extraordinary, as it were by a transport of the
_Heros_; but he must not continue in that sort, for so those
incredible actions would degenerate into ridiculous Fables, and
never move the mind. This fault is the cause also of committing
another; for they which doe nothing but heap adventure upon
adventure, without ornament, and without stirring up passions by the
artifices of Rhetorick, or irksome, in thinking to be the more
entertaining. This dry Narration, and without art, hath more of an
old Chronicle, than of a _Romanze_, which may very well be
imbellished with those ornaments, since History, as severe and
scrupulous as it is, doth not forbear employing them. Certain
Authors, after they have described an adventure, a daring design, or
some surprising event, able to possess one with the bravest
apprehensions in the world, are contented to assure us, that such a
_Heros_ thought of very gallant things, without telling us what they
are; and this is that alone which I desire to know: For how can I
tell, whether in these events Fortune hath not done as much as he?
whether his valour be not a brutish valour? and whether he hath born
the misfortunes that arrived unto him, as a worthy man should doe?
it is not by things without him, it is not by the caprichioes of
destiny, that I will judge of him; it is by the motions of his soul,
and by that which he speaketh. I honour all them that write at this
day; I know their persons, their works, their merits; but as
canonizing is for none but the dead, they will not take it ill if I
do not Deifie them, since they are living. And in this occasion I
propose no other example, than the great and incomparable _Urfé_;
certainly it must be acknowledged that he hath merited his
reputation; that the love which all the earth bears him is just; and
that so many different Nations, which have translated his Book into
their tongues, had reason to do it: as for me, I confess openly,
that I am his adorer; these twenty years I have loved him, he is
indeed admirable over all; he is fertile in his inventions, and in
inventions reasonable; every thing in him is mervellous, every thing
in him is excellent; and that which is more important, every thing
in him is natural, and truly resembling: But amongst many rare
matters, that which I most esteem of is, that he knows how to touch
the passions so delicately, that he may be called the Painter of the
Soul; he goes searching out in the bottom of hearts the most secret
thoughts; and in the diversity of natures, which he represents, evey
one findes his own pourtrait, so that

    _If amongst mortals any be
    That merits Altars_, Urfé's _he
    Who can alone pretend thereto._

Certainly there is nothing more important in this kind of
composition, than strongly to imprint the Idea, or (to say better)
the image of the _Heroes_ in the mind of the Reader, but in such
sort, as if they were known to them; for that it is which
interesseth him in their adventures, and from thence his delight
cometh, now to make them be known perfectly, it is not sufficient to
say how many times they have suffered shipwreck, and how many times
they have encountered Robbers, but their inclinations must be made
to appear by their discourse: otherwise one may rightly apply to
these dumb _Heroes_ that excellent motto of Antiquity, _Speak that I
may see thee_. And if from true resemblance and inclinations,
expressed by words, we will pass unto manners, goe from the pleasant
to the profitable, and from Delight to Example, I am to tell you,
Reader, that here Vertue is seen to be alwayes recompenced, and Vice
alwayes punished, if he that hath followed his unruliness hath not
by a just and sensible repentance obtained Grace from Heaven; to
which purpose I have also observed equality of manners in all the
persons that do act, unless it be whereas they are disordered by
passions, and touched with remorse.

I have had a care likewise to deal in such sort, as the faults,
which great ones have committed in my History, should be caused
either by Love or by Ambition, which are the Noblest of passions,
and that they be imputed to the evil counsell of Flatterers; that so
the respect, which is alwayes due unto Kings, may be preserved. You
shall see there, Reader, if I be not deceived, the comeliness of
things and conditions exactly enough observed; neither have I put
any thing into my Book, which the Ladies may not read without
blushing. And if you see not my _Hero_ persecuted with Love by
Women, it is not because he was not amiable, and that he could not
be loved, but because it would clash with Civility in the persons of
Ladies, and with true resemblance in that of men, who rarely shew
themselves cruel unto them, nor in doing it could have any good
grace: Finally, whether things ought to be so, or whether I have
judged of my _Hero_ by mine own weakness, I would not expose his
fidelity to that dangerous triall, but have been contented to make
no _Hilas_, nor yet an _Hipolitus_ of him.

But whilest I speak of Civility, it is fit I should tell you (for
fear I be accused of falling therein) that if you see throughout all
my Work, whenas _Soliman_ is spoken unto, Thy Highness, Thy
Majestie, and that in conclusion he is treated with Thee, and not
with You, it is not for want of Respect, but contrarily it is to
have the more, and to observe the custom of those people, who speak
after that sort to their Sovereigns. And if the Authority of the
living may be of as much force, as that of the dead, you shall find
examples of it in the most famous _Othomans_, and you shall see that
their Authors have not been afraid to employ in their own Tongue a
manner of speaking, which they have drawn from the Greek and Latin;
and then too I have made it appear clearlie, that I have not done it
without design; for unless it be whenas the Turks speak to the
Sultan, or he to his Inferiours, I have never made use of it, and
either of them doth use it to each other.

Now for fear it may be objected unto me, that I have approached some
incidents nearer than the Historie hath shewed them to be, great
_Virgil_ shall be my Warrant, who in his Divine _Æneids_ hath made
_Dido_ appear four Ages after her own; wherefore I have believed I
might do of some moneths, what he hath done of so many Years, and
that I was not to be afraid of erring, as long as I followed so good
a guide. I know not likewise whether some may not take it ill, that
my _Hero_ and _Heronia_ are not Kings; but besides that the Generous
do put no difference between wearing of Crowns, and meriting them,
and that my _Justiniano_ is of a Race which hath held the Empire of
the Orient, the example of _Athenagoras_, me-thinks, ought to stop
their mouths, seeing _Theogines_ and _Charida_ are but simple

Finally, Reader, such Censors may set their hearts at rest for this
particular, and leave me there, for I assure them, that _Justiniano_
is of a condition to command over the whole Earth; and that
_Isabella_ is of a House, and Gentlewoman good enough, to make
Knights of the _Rhodes_, if she have children enough for it, and
that she have a minde thereunto. But setting this jesting aside, and
coming to that which regards the _Italian_ names, know that I have
put them in their natural pronunciation. And if you see some Turkish
words, as _Alla_, _Stamboll_, the _Egira_, and some others, I have
done it of purpose, Reader, and have left them as Historical marks,
which are to pass rather for embellishments than defests. It is
certain, that imposition of names is a thing which every one ought
to think of, and whereof nevertheless all the World hath not
thought: We have oftentimes seen Greek Names given to barbarous
Nations, with as little reason as if I should name an English man
_Mahomet_, and that I should call a Turk _Anthony_; for my part I
have believed that more care is to be had of ones with; and if any
one remarks the name of _Satrape_ in this _Romanze_, let him not
magine that my ignorance hath confounded the ancient and new Persia,
and that I have done it without Authority, I have an example thereof
in _Vigenere_, who makes use of it in his Illustrations upon
_Calchondila_; and I have learned it of a _Persian_, which is at
_Paris_, who saith, that by corruption of speech they call yet to
this day the Governours of Provinces, _Soltan Sitripin_.

Now lest some other should further accuse me for having improperly
named _Ibrahim_'s House a Palace, since all those of quality are
called _Seraglioes_ at _Constantinople_, I desire you to remember
that I have done it by the counsel of two or three excellent
persons, who have found as well as my self, that this name of
_Seraglio_ would leave an _Idea_ which was not seemly, and that it
was fit not to make use of it, but in speaking of the Grand Signior,
and that as seldom as might be. But whilest we are speaking of a
Palace, I am to advertise you, that such as are not curious to see a
goodly building, may pass by the gate of that of my _Heroe_ without
entring into it, that is to say, not to read the description of it;
it is not because I have handled this matter like to _Athenagoras_,
who playes the Mason In the Temple of _Jupiter Hammon_; nor like
_Poliphile_ in his dreams, who hath set down most strange terms, and
all the dimensions of Architecture, whereas I have employed but the
Ornaments thereof; it is not because they are not Beauties suitable
to the _Romanze_, as well as to the _Epique Poem_, since the most
famous both of the one and the other have them; nor is it too
because mine is not grounded on the History, which assures us that
it was the most superb the Turks ever made, as still appears by the
remains thereof, which they of that Nation call _Serrau Ibrahim_.

But to conclude, as inclinations ought to be free, such as love not
those beautifull things, for which I have so much passion (as I have
said) pass on without looking on them, and leave them to others more
curious of those rarities, which I have assembled together with art
and care enough. Now Reader, ingenuity being a matter necessary for
a man of Honour, and the theft of glory being the basest that may be
committed, I must confess here for fear of being accused of it, that
the History of the Count of _Lavagna_, which you shall see in my
Book, is partly a Paraphrase of _Mascardies_; this Adventure falling
out in the time whilest I was writing, I judged it too excellent not
to set it down, and too well indited for to undertake to do it
better; so that regard not this place but as a Translation of that
famous Italian, and except the matters, which concern my History,
attribute all to that great man, whose Interpreter only I am. And if
you finde something not very serious in the Histories of a certain
French Marquis, which I have interlaced in my Book, remember if you
please, that a _Romanze_ ought to have the Images of all natures;
and this diversity makes up the beauties of it, and the delight of
the Reader; and at the worst regard it as the sport of a
Melancholick, and suffer it without blaming it. But before I make an
end, I must pass from matters to the manner of delivering them, and
desire you also not to forget, that a Narrative stile ought not to
be too much inflated, no more than that of ordinarie conversations;
that the more facile it is, the more excellent it is; that it ought
to glide along like the Rivers, and not rebound up like Torrents;
and that the less constraint it hath, the more perfection it hath; I
have endeavoured then to observe a just mediocrity between vicious
Elevation, and creeping Lowness; I have contained my self in
Narration, and left my self free in Orations and in Passions, and
without speaking as extravagants and the vulgar, I have laboured to
speak as worthy persons do.

Behold, Reader, that which I had to say to you, but what defence
soever, I have imployed, I know that it is of works of this nature,
as of a place of War, where notwithstanding all the care the
Engineer hath brought to fortifie it, there is alwayes some weak
part found, which he hath not dream'd of, and whereby it is
assaulted; but this shall not surprize me; for as I have not forgot
that I am a man, no more have I forgot that I am subject to erre.


Secret History


Queen _ZARAH_,






----- --------

In the Kingdom of


Faithfully Translated from the _Italian_ Copy now lodg'd in the
_Vatican_ at _Rome_, and never before Printed in any Language.

_Albigion_, Printed in the Year 1705.

Price Stitch'd 1 _s._ Price Bound 1 _s._ 6 _d._



_The Romances in_ France _have for a long Time been the Diversion
and Amusement of the whole World; the People both in the City and at
Court have given themselves over to this Vice, and all Sorts of
People have read these Works with a most surprizing Greediness; but
that Fury is very much abated, and they are all fallen off from this
Distraction: The Little_ Histories _of this Kind have taken Place
of_ Romances, _whose Prodigious Number of Volumes were sufficient to
tire and satiate such whose Heads were most fill'd with those

_These little Pieces which have banish'd_ Romances _are much more
agreeable to the Brisk and Impetuous Humour of the_ English, _who have
naturally no Taste for long-winded Performances, for they have no
sooner begun a Book, but they desire to see the End of it: The
Prodigious Length of the Ancient_ Romances, _the Mixture of so many
Extraordinary Adventures, and the great Number of Actors that appear
on the Stage, and the Likeness which is so little managed, all which
has given a Distaste to Persons of good Sense, and has made Romances
so much cry'd down, as we find 'em at present. The Authors of
Historical Novels, who have found out this Fault, have run into the
same Error, because they take for the Foundation of their History
no more than one Principal Event, and don't overcharge it with_
Episodes, _which wou'd extend it to an Excessive Length; but they
are run into another Fault, which I cannot Pardon, that is, to
please by Variety the Taste of the Reader, they mix particular
Stories with the Principal_ History, _which seems to me as if they
reason'd Ill; in Effect the Curiosity of the Reader is deceiv'd by
this Deviation from the Subject, which retards the Pleasure he wou'd
have in seeing the End of an Event; it relishes of a Secret
Displeasure in the Author, which makes him soon lose Sight of those
Persons with whom he began to be in Love; besides the vast Number of
Actors who have such different Interests, embarresses his Memory,
and causes some Confusion in his Brain, because 'tis necessary for
the Imagination to labour to recal the several Interests and
Characters of the Persons spoken of, and by which they have
interrupted the_ History.

_For the Reader's better Understanding, we ought not to chuse too
Ancient Accidents, nor unknown Heroes, which are fought for in a
Barbarous Countrey, and too far distant in Time, for we care little
for what was done a Thousand Years ago among the_ Tartars _or_

_The Names of Persons ought to have a Sweetness in them, for a
Barbarous Name disturbs the Imagination; as the Historian describes
the Heroes to his Fancy, so he ought to give them Qualities which
affect the Reader, and which fixes him to his Fortune; but he ought
with great Care to observe the Probability of Truth, which consists
in saying nothing but what may Morally be believed._

_For there are Truths that are not always probable; as for Example
'tis an allowed Truth in the_ Roman History _that_ Nero _put his
Mother to Death, but 'tis a Thing against all Reason and Probability
that a Son shou'd embrue his Hand in the Blood of his own Mother; it
is also no less probable that a Single Captain shou'd at the Head of
a Bridge stop a whole Army, although 'tis probable that a small
Number of Soldiers might stop, in Defiles, Prodigious Armies,
because the Situation of the Place favours the Design, and renders
them almost Equal. He that writes a True History ought to place the
Accidents as they Naturally happen, without endeavouring to sweeten
them for to procure a greater Credit, because he is not obliged to
answer for their Probability; but he that composes a History to his
Fancy, gives his Heroes what Characters he pleases; and places the
Accidents as he thinks fit, without believing he shall be
contradicted by other Historians, therefore he if obliged to Write
nothing that is improbable; 'tis nevertheless allowable that an
Historian shows the Elevation of his_ Genius, _when advancing
Improbable Actions, he gives them Colours and Appearances capable of

_One of the Things an Author ought first of all to take Care of, is
to keep up to the Characters of the Persons he introduces. The
Authors of_ Romances _give Extraordinary Virtues to their Heroins,
exempted from all the Weakness of Humane Nature, and much above the
Infirmities of their Sex; 'tis Necessary they shou'd be Virtuous or
Vicious to Merit the Esteem or Disesteem of the Reader; but their
Virtue out to be spared, and their Vices exposed to every Trial: It
wou'd in no wise be probable that a Young Woman fondly beloved by a
Man of great Merit, and for whom she had a Reciprocal Tenderness,
finding her self at all Times alone with him in Places which
favour'd their Loves, cou'd always resist his Addresses; there are
too Nice Occasions; and an Author wou'd not enough observe good
Sense, if he therein exposed his Heroins; 'tis a Fault which Authors
of_ Romances _commit in every Page; they would blind the Reader
with this Miracle, but 'tis necessary the Miracle shou'd be
feisable, to make an Impression in the Brain of Reasonable Persons;
the Characters are better managed in the Historical Novels, which
are writ now-a-days; they are not fill'd with great Adventures, and
extraordinary Accidents, for the most simple Action may engage the
Reader by the Circumstances that attend it; it enters into all the
Motions and Disquiets of the Actor, when they have well express'd to
him the Character. If he be Jealous, the Look of a Person he Loves,
a Mouse, a turn of the Head, or the least complaisance to a Rival,
throws him into the greatest Agitations, which the Readers perceive
by a Counter-blow; if he be very Vertuous, and falls into a
Mischance by Accident, they Pity him and Commiserate his
Misfortunes; for Fear and Pity in Romance as well as Tragedies are
the Two Instruments which move the Passion; for we in some Manner
put our selves in the Room of those we see in Danger; the Part we
take therein, and the fear of falling into the like Misfortunes,
causes us to interest our selves more in their Adventures, because
that those sort of Accidents may happen, to all the World; and it
touches so much the more, because they are the common Effect of

_The Heroes in the Ancient_ Romances _have nothing in them that is
Natural; all is unlimited in their Character; all their Advantages
have Something Prodigious, and all their Actions Something that's
Marvellous; in short, they are not Men: A single Prince attact by a
great Number of Enemies, it so far from giving way to the Croud,
that he does Incredible Feats of Valour, beats them, puts them to
flight, delivers all the Prisoners, and kills an infinite Number of
People, to deserve the Title of a Hero. A Reader who has any Sense
does not take part with these Fabulous Adventures, or at least is
but slightly touch'd with them, because they are not natural, and
therefore cannot be believ'd. The Heroes of the Modern Romances are
better Characteriz'd, they give them Passions, Vertues or Vices,
which resemble Humanity; thus all the World will find themselves
represented in these Descriptions, which ought to be exact, and
mark'd by Tracts which express clearly the Character of the Hero, to
the end we may not be deceived, and may presently know our
predominant Quality, which ought to give the Spirit all the Motion
and Action of our Lives; 'tis that which inspires the Reader with
Curiosity, and a certain impatient Desire to see the End of the
Accidents, the reading of which causes an Exquisite Pleasure when
they are Nicely handled; the Motion of the Heart gives yet more, but
the Author ought to have an Extraordinary Penetration to distinguish
them well, and not to lose himself in this Labyrinth. Most Authors
are contented to describe Men in general, they represent them
Covetous, Courageous and Ambitious, without entering into the
Particulars, and without specifying the Character of their
Covetousness, Valour or Ambition; they don't perceive Nice
Distinctions, which those who know it Remark in the Passions; in
Effect, the Nature, Humour and Juncture, give New Postures to Vices;
the Turn of the Mind, Motion of the Heart, Affection and Interests,
alter the very Nature of the Passions, which are different in All
Men; the Genius of the Author marvellously appears when he Nicely
discovers those Differences, and exposes to the Reader's Sight those
almost unperceivable Jealousies which escape the Sight of most
Authors, because they have not an exact Notion of the Turnings and
Motions of Humane Understanding; and they know nothing but the gross
Passions, from whence they make but general Descriptions._

_He that Writes either a True or False History, ought immediately
to take Notice of the Time and Sense where those Accidents
happen'd, that the Reader may not remain long in Suspence; he ought
also in few Words describe the Person who bears the most
Considerable Part in his Story to engage the Reader; 'tis a Thing
that little conduces to the raising the Merit of a Heroe, to Praise
him by the Beauty of his Face; this is mean and trivial, Detail
discourages Persons of good Taste; 'tis the Qualities of the Soul
which ought to render him acceptable; and there are those Qualities
likewise that ought to be discourag'd in the Principal Character of
a Heroe, for there are Actors of a Second Rank, who serve only to
bind the Intrigue, and they ought not to be compar'd with those of
the First Order, nor be given Qualities that may cause them to be
equally Esteemd; 'tis not by Extravagant Expressions, nor Repeated
Praises, that the Reader's Esteem is acquired to the Character of
the Heroe's, their Actions ought to plead far them; 'tis by that
they are made known; and describe themselves; altho' they ought to
have some Extraordinary Qualities, they ought not all to have 'em in
an equal degree; 'tis impossible they shou'd not have some
Imperfections, seeing they are Men, but their Imperfections ought
not to destroy the Character that is attributed to them; if we
describe them Brave, Liberal and Generous, we ought not to attribute
to them Baseness or Cowardice, because that their Actions wou'd
otherwise bely their Character, and the Predominant Virtures of the
Heroes: 'Tis no Argument that_ Salust, _though so Happy in the
Description of Men, in the Description of_ Cataline _does not in
some manner describe him Covetous also; for he says this Ambitious
Man spent his own Means profusely, and raged after the Goods of
another with an Extream Greediness, but these Two Motions which seem
contrary were inspired by the same Wit; these were the Effects of
the Unbounded Ambition of_ Cataline, _and the desire he had to Rise
by the help of his Creatures on the Ruins of the_ Roman _Republic;
so vast a Project cou'd not be Executed by very great Sums of Money,
which obliged_ Cataline _to make all Sorts of Efforts to get it from
all Parts._

_Every Historian ought to be extreamly uninterested; he ought
neither to Praise nor Blame those he speaks of; he ought to be
contented with Exposing the Actions, leaving an entire Liberty to
the Reader to judge at he pleases, without taking any care not to
blame his Heroes, or make their Apology; he is no judge of the merit
of his Heroes, his Business is to represent them in the same Form as
they are, and describe their Sentiments, Manners and Conduct; it
deviates in some manner from his Character, and that perfect
uninterestedness, when he adds to the Names of those he introduces
Epithets either to Blame or Praise them; there are but few
Historians who exactly follow this Rule, and who maintain this
Difference, from which they cannot deviate without rendring
themselves guilty of Partiality._

_Although there ought to be a great Genius required to Write a
History perfectly, it is nevertheless not requisite that a Historian
shou'd always make use of all his Wit, nor that he shou'd strain
himself, in Nice and Lively Reflexions; 'tis a Fault which is
reproach'd with some Justice to_ Cornelius Tacitus, _who is not
contented to recount the Feats, but employs the most refin'd
Reflexions of Policy to find out the secret Reasons and hidden
Causes of Accidents, there is nevertheless a distinction to be made
between the Character of the Historian and the Heroe, for if it be
the Heroe that speaks, then he ought to express himself
Ingeniously, without affecting any Nicety of Points or Syllogisms,
because he speaks without any Preparation; but when the Author
speaks of his Chief, he may use a more Nice Language, and chuse his
Terms for the better expressing his Designs; Moral Reflexions,
Maxims and Sentences are more proper in Discourses for Instructions
than in Historical Novels, whose chief End if to please; and if we
find in them some Instructions, it proceeds rather from their
Descriptions than their Precepts._

_An Acute Historian ought to observe the same Method, at the Ending
as at the Beginning of his Story, for he may at first expose Maxims
relating but a few Feats, but when the End draws nigher, the
Curiosity of the Reader is augmented, and he finds in him a Secret
Impatience of desiring to see the Discovery of the Action; an
Historian that amuses himself by Moralizing or Describing,
discourages an Impatient Reader, who is in haste to see the End of
Intrigues; he ought also to use a quite different Sort of Stile in
the main Part of the Work, than in Conversations, which ought to be
writ after an easie and free Manner: Fine Expressions and Elegant
Turns agree little to the Stile of Conversation, whose Principal
Ornament consists in the Plainness, Simplicity, Free and Sincere
Air, which is much to be preferr'd before a great Exactness: We see
frequent Examples in Ancient Authors of a Sort of Conversation which
seems to clash with Reason; for 'tis not Natural for a Man to
entertain himself, for we only speak that we may communicate our
Thoughts to others; besides, 'tis hard to comprehend how an Author
that relates Word for Word, the like Conversation cou'd be
instructed to repeat them with so much Exactness; these Sort of
Conversations are much more Impertinent when they run upon strange
Subjects, which are not indispensibly allied to the Story handled:
If the Conversations are long they indispensibly tire, because they
drive from our Sight those People to whom we are engaged, and
interrupt the Seque of the Story._

_'Tis an indispensible Necessity to end a Story to satisfie the
Disquiets of the Reader, who is engag'd to the Fortunes of those
People whose Adventures are described to him; 'tis depriving him of
a most delicate Pleasure, when he is hindred from seeing the Event
of an Intrigue, which has caused some Emotion in him, whose
Discovery he expects, be it either Happy or Unhappy; the chief End
of History is to instruct and inspire into Men the Love of Vertue,
and Abhorrence of Vice, by the Examples propos'd to them; therefore
the Conclusion of a Story ought to have some Tract of Morality which
may engage Virtue; those People who have a more refin'd Vertue are
not always the most Happy; but yet their Misfortunes excite their
Readers Pity, and affects them; although Vice be not always
punish'd, yet 'tis describ'd with Reasons which shew its Deformity,
and make it enough known to be worthy of nothing but



CRITICAL _Correspondence,_


Which lately pass'd between certain _JEWS_
in _Turky, Italy, France, &c._

Translated from the ORIGINALS into _French_,

_And now done into_ English.





Printed for D. BROWNE, without _Temple-Bar;_ R. HETT, in the
_Poultry_; J. SHUCKBURGH, in _Fleet-street_; J. HODGES, on _London
Bridge_; and A. MILLAR, in the _Strand_. M DCC XLIV.



AARON MONCECA _to_ ISAAC ONIS, _a Rabbi, at_ Constantinople.


I still expect the Books from _Amsterdam_; and have writ several
times to _Moses Rodrigo_ to press him to send them to me; but to no
purpose: He puts me off to the End of the Month, and I shall not be
able to send them to _Constantinople_ in less than five Weeks.

I have search'd all the Booksellers Shops at _Paris_ for some choice
new Tracts, to add to those which I shall receive from _Holland_,
but found nothing good besides what I have already sent thee, except
two little. Romances that are lately come out. The first is
intitled, _Les Égaremens du Coeur & de l'Esprit_; the Author of
which I have already made mention of in my former Letters.[13] He
writes in a pure Stile, understands Human Nature, and he lays the
Heart of Man open with a great deal of Clearness and Justice: But in
this Work he has fallen into an Error, which he has often condemn'd
in the Writings of others. He makes it plain to the Reader, that he
affects to be witty; and there are some Passages where Nature is
sacrificed to the false Glare. But this Error, which is not common,
is repair'd by a thousand Beauties. The Author of this Romance
paints rather than writes Things; and the Pictures he draws strike
the Imagination with Pleasure. Do but consider if it be possible to
define the first Surprize of a Heart with more Justness and
Clearness. _Without searching into the Motive of my Action, I
managed, I interpreted her Looks; I endeavour'd to make her least
Motions my Lessons. So much Obstinacy in not losing Sight of her
made me at last taken notice of by her. She looked upon me in her
turn, I fix'd her without knowing it, and during the Charm with
which I was captivated whether I wou'd or not, I know not what my
Eyes told her, but she turn'd hers away with a sort of Blush._

None but a Man who was at that Juncture, or had been formerly, in
Love cou'd, with so much Truth and Delicacy, have painted all the
Motions of the Soul. Genius, Wit, and Learning cannot draw Pictures
so much to the Life, it being a Point to which the Heart alone can
attain. When I say the Heart, I mean a tender Heart, and one that is
in such Situations. The following is the Character of a Prude in
Love. _Being not to be depended upon in her Proceedings, she was a
perpetual Mixture of Tenderness and Severity: She seem'd to yield
only to be the more obstinate in her Opposition. If she thought she
had, by what she said, disposed me to entertain any sort of Hopes,
being on the Watch how to disappoint me, she presently resum'd that
Air which had made me so often tremble, and left me nothing to
trust to but a melancholy Uncertainty_. One cannot help being struck
with the Truth and Nature which, prevail in this Character. Without
an Acquaintance with the World, and a perfect Knowledge of Mankind,
'tis impossible to attain to this Point. 'Tis difficult to
distinguish the different Forms, and, as one may say, the internal
Motives of different Characters. A mean Writer does only take a
Sketch of 'em; but a good Author paints them, sets them plainly in
Sight, and exposes them as they really are.

A Romance is consider'd in no other Light than as a Work composed
only for Amusement; but something else ought to be the Scope of it:
For every Book that has not the Useful as well as the Agreeable,
does not deserve the Esteem of good Judges. The Heart ought to be
instructed at the same time as the Mind is amused; and this is the
Quality with which the greatest Men have render'd their Writings

A Writer who, abounding with bold Fictions and Imaginations, amuses
the Readers for a matter of a dozen Volumes with Incidents, work'd
up artfully and importantly, and who nevertheless in the Close of
his Book entertains his Reader's Imagination with nothing but Rapes,
Duels, Sighs, Despair, and Tears[14]; has not the Talent of
instructing, nor can he attain to Perfection; for he possesses but
the least part of his Art. An Author who pleases without
instructing, does not please long; for he sees his Book grow mouldy
in the Bookseller's Shop, and his Works have the Fate of sorry
Sermons and cold Panegyric.

Heretofore Romances were nothing more than a Rhapsody of tragical
Adventures, which captivated the the Imagination and distracted the
Heart[15]. 'Twas pleasant enough to read them, but nothing more was
got by it than feeding the Mind with Chimæras, which were often
hurtful. The Youth greedily swallow'd all the wild and gigantic
Ideas of those fabulous Heroes, and when their Genius's were
accustomed to enormous Imaginations, they had no longer a Relish for
the Probable. For some time past this manner of Thinking has been
chang'd: Good Taste is again return'd; the Reasonable has succeeded
in the place of the Supernatural; and instead of a Number of
Incidents with which the least Facts were overcharg'd, a plain
lively Narration is required, such as is supported by Characters
that give us the _Utile Dulci_.

Some Authors have wrote in this Taste, and have advanced more or
less towards Perfection, in proportion as they have copy'd

There are others who carry Things to Extremity; for, by affecting to
appear natural, they become low and creeping, and have neither the
Talent of pleasing nor of instructing[17].

Some have had recourse to insipid Allegory[18], thinking to please
by a new Taste; but their Works dy'd in their Birth, and were so
little read that they escaped Criticism.

If the bad Authors were but to reflect on the Talents and
Qualifications necessary for a good Romance, Works of this kind
would no longer be their Refuge. A Man who is press'd both by Hunger
and Thirst, sets about writing a Book, and tho' he has not
Knowledge enough to write History, nor Genius for Works of Morality,
he stains a couple of Quires of Paper with a Heap of ill-digested
Adventures, which he relates without Taste, and without Genius, and
carries his Work to a Bookseller, who, were he oblig'd to buy it by
Weight, and to give him but twice the Cost of the Paper, wou'd pay
more for it than the Worth of it. Perhaps there is as much need for
Wit, an Acquaintance with Mankind, and the Knowledge of the
Passions, to compose a Romance as to write a History. The only
Qualification to paint Manners and Customs, is a long Experience;
and a Man must have examin'd the various Characters very closely, to
be able to describe them to a Nicety.

How can an Author, whose common Vocation is staining of Paper, and
spending his whole Time in a Coffee-house or in a Garret, give a
just Definition of a Prince, a Courtier, or a fine Lady? He never
sees those Persons but as he walks the Streets; and I can scarce
think that the Mud with which he is often dash'd by their Equipages,
communicates to him any Share of their Sentiments. Yet there is not
a wretched Author but makes a Duke and Dutchess speak as he fancies.
But when a Man of Fashion comes to cast his Eye on these ridiculous
Performances, he is perfectly surpriz'd to see the Conversation of
_Margaret_ the Hawker, retail'd by the Name of the Dutchess of ----,
or the Marchioness of ----. Yet be these Books ever so bad,
abundance of 'em are sold; for many People, extravagantly fond of
Novelty, who only judge of Things superficially, buy those Works,
tho' by the Perusal of 'em they acquire a Taste as remote from a
happy Talent of Writing, as the Authors themselves are.

Don't fear, dear _Isaac_, that I shall ever send thee a Collection
of such paultry Books. Be a Man ever so fond at _Constantinople_ of
Romances and Histories of Gallantry, 'tis expected they should serve
not only for Pleasure but for Edification.

The second Book that I have bought, seems to me to be written with
this View. 'Tis intitled, _Memoirs of the Marquis_ de Mirmon; _or
the Solitary Philosopher_. The Author writes with an easy lively
Stile[19]; and 'tis plain, that he himself was acquainted with the
Characters which he paints. Without affecting to appear to have as
much Wit as the former Author that I mention'd to thee, he delivers
the Truth every where in an amiable Dress. If any Fault can be found
with him, 'tis explaining himself a little too boldly; and he is
also reproach'd with a sort of Negligence pardonable in a Man whose
Stile is in general so pure as his is. The following is his
Character of Solitude, _'Tis not to torment himself that a wise Man
seems to separate himself from Mankind: He is far from imposing new
Laws on himself, and only follows those that are already prescrib'd
to his Hands. If he lays himself under any new Laws, he reserves to
himself the Power of changing them, being their absolute Master, and
not their Slave. Being content to cool his Passions, and to govern
them by his Reason, he does not imagine it impossible to tame them
to his own Fancy, and does not convert what was formerly an innocent
Amusement to him, into a Monster to terrify him. He retains in
Solitude all the Pleasures which Men of Honour have a Relish for in
the World, and only puts it out of their Power of being hurtful, by
preventing them from being too violent._

There are several other Passages in this Book, which are as
remarkable for their Perspicuity as their Justness. Such is the
Description of the Disgust which sometimes attends Marriages. _When
Persons are in Love, they put the best Side outwards. A Man who is
desirous of pleasing, takes a world of Care to conceal his Defects.
A Woman knows still better how to dissemble. Two Persons often study
for six Months together to bubble one another, and at last they
marry, and punish one another the Remainder of their Lives for their

You will own, dear _Isaac_, that there is a glaring Truth and
Perspicuity in this Character, which strikes the Mind. These naked
Thoughts present themselves with Lustre to the Imagination, which
cannot help being pleased, because they are so just. If the Authors
who write Romances in this new Taste, would always adhere to the
Truth, and never suffer themselves to be perverted to any new Mode
(for this is what Works of Wit are liable to) their Writings wou'd
probably be as useful in forming the Manners as Comedy, because they
wou'd render Romances the Picture of Human Life. A covetous Man will
therein find himself painted in such natural Colours; a Coquette
will therein see her Picture so resembling her, that their
Reflection upon reading the Character will be more useful to them
than the long-winded Exhortations of a Fryar, who makes himself
hoarse with Exclamation, and often tires out the Patience of his

Authors who set about writing Romances, ought to study to paint
Manners according to Nature, and to expose the most secret
Sentiments of the Heart. As their Works are but ingenious Fictions,
they can never please otherwise than as they approach to the
Probable. Nor is every thing that favours of the Marvellous,
esteem'd more among Men of Taste than pure Nonsense. Both generally
go together, and the Authors who fall into gigantic or unnatural
Ideas, have commonly a declamatory Stile, bordering upon a pompous
and unintelligible Diction.

The Stile of Romances ought to be simple; indeed it should be more
florid than that of History, but not have all that Energy and
Majesty. Gallantry is the Soul of Romance, and Grandeur and Justness
that of History. A Person must be very well acquainted with the
World to excel in the one, and he must have Learning and Politics to
distinguish himself in the other. Good Sense, Perspicuity, Justness
of Characters, Truth of Descriptions, Purity of Stile are necessary
in both. The Ladies are born Judges of the Goodness of a Romance.
Posterity decides the Merit of a History.

Fare thee well, dear _Isaac_. As soon as I have receiv'd the new
Books from _Holland_, I will send them to thee.


[13] _Crébillon_ the Son.

[14] _La Calprenede_.

[15] The _Polexandre of Gomberville_, the _Ariana_ of _Des
Maretz_, &c.

[16] _Le Prevot d'Exiles_. See the _Bibliotheque des

[17] Histoire du Chevalier des _Essars_, & de la Comtesse
de _Merci_, &c.

[18] _Fanseredin_, &c.

[19] M. _d'Argens_.








_The most_ Important Concerns _of_ Private LIFE,
And particularly shewing,
The DISTRESSES that may attend the Misconduct
In Relation to MARRIAGE.

_Published by the_ EDITOR _of_ PAMELA.




Printed for S. Richardson: And Sold by JOHN OSBORN, in _Pater-noster
Row_; ANDREW MILLAR, over-against _Catharine-street_ in the
_Strand_; J. and JA. RIVINGTON, in _St. Paul's Church-yard_; And by
J. LEAKE, at _Bath_




If it may be thought reasonable to criticise the Public Taste, in
what are generally supposed to be Works of mere Amusement; or modest
to direct its Judgment, in what is offered for its Entertainment; I
would beg leave to introduce the following Sheets with a few cursory
Remarks, that may lead the common Reader into some tolerable
conception of the nature of this Work, and the design of its Author.

The close connexion which every Individual has with all that relates
to MAN in general, strongly inclines us to turn our observation upon
human affairs, preferably to other attentions, and impatiently to
wait the progress and issue of them. But, as the course of human
actions is too slow to gratify our inquisitive curiosity, observant
men very easily contrived to satisfy its rapidity, by the invention
of _History_. Which, by recording the principal circumstances of
past facts, and laying them close together, in a continued
narration, kept the mind from languishing, and gave constant
exercise to its reflections.

But as it commonly happens, that in all indulgent refinements on our
satisfactions, the Procurers to our pleasures run into excess; so it
happened here. Strict matters of fact, how delicately soever dressed
up, soon grew too simple and insipid to a taste stimulated by the
Luxury of Art: They wanted something of more poignancy to quicken
and enforce a jaded appetite. Hence the Original of the first
barbarous _Romances_, abounding with this false provocative of
uncommon, extraordinary, and miraculous Adventures.

But satiety, in things unnatural, soon, brings on disgust. And the
Reader, at length, began to see, that too eager a pursuit after
_Adventures_ had drawn him from what first engaged his attention,
MAN _and his Ways_, into the Fairy Walks of Monsters and Chimeras.
And now those who had run farthest after these delusions, were the
first that recovered themselves. For the next Species of Fiction,
which took its name from its _novelty_, was of _Spanish_ invention.
These presented us with something of Humanity; but of Humanity in a
stiff unnatural state. For, as every thing before was conducted by
_Inchantment_; so now all was managed by _Intrigue_. And tho' it had
indeed a kind of _Life_, it had yet, as in its infancy, nothing of
_Manners_. On which account, those, who could not penetrate into the
ill constitution of its plan, yet grew disgusted at the dryness of
the Conduct, and want of ease in the Catastrophe.

The avoiding these defects gave rise to the _Heroical Romances_ of
the _French_; in which some celebrated Story of antiquity was so
stained and polluted by modern fable and invention, as was just
enough to shew, that the contrivers of them neither knew how to lye,
nor speak truth. In these voluminous extravagances, _Love_ and
_Honour_ supplied the place of _Life_ and _Manners_. But the
over-refinement of Platonic sentiments always sinks into the dross
and feces of that Passion. For in attempting a more natural
representation of it, in the little amatory Novels, which succeeded
these heavier Volumes, tho' the Writers avoided the dryness of the
Spanish Intrigue, and the extravagance of the French Heroism, yet,
by too natural a representation of their Subject, they opened the
door to a worse evil than a corruption of _Taste_; and that was, A
corruption of _Heart_.

At length, this great People (to whom, it must be owned, all Science
has been infinitely indebted) hit upon the true Secret, by which
alone a deviation from strict fact, in the commerce of Man, could be
really entertaining to an improved mind, or useful to promote that
Improvement. And this was by a faithful and chaste copy of real
_Life and Manners_: In which some of their late Writers have greatly

It was on this sensible Plan, that the Author of the following
Sheets attempted to please, in an Essay, which had the good fortune
to meet with success: That encouragement engaged him in the present
Design: In which his sole object being _Human Nature_; he thought
himself at liberty to draw a Picture of it in that light which
would shew it with most strength of Expression; tho' at the expense
of what such as read merely for Amusement, may fancy can be
ill-spared, the more artificial composition of a story in one
continued Narrative.

He has therefore told his Tale in a Series of Letters, supposed to
be written by the Parties concerned, as the circumstances related,
passed. For this juncture afforded him the only natural opportunity
that could be had, of representing with any grace those lively and
delicate impressions which _Things present_ are known to make upon
the minds of those affected by them. And he apprehends, that, in the
study of Human Nature, the knowlege of those apprehensions leads us
farther into the recesses of the Human Mind, than the colder and
more general reflections suited to a continued and more contracted

This is the nature and purport of his Attempt. Which, perhaps, may
not be so well or generally understood. For if the Reader seeks here
for Strange Tales, Love Stories, Heroical Adventures, or, in short,
for anything but a _Faithful Picture of Nature_ in _Private Life_,
he had better be told beforehand the likelihood of his being
disappointed. But if he can find Use or Entertainment; either
_Directions for his Conduct_, or _Employment for his Pity_, in a
HISTORY _of_ LIFE _and_ MANNERS, where, as in the World itself, we
find Vice, for a time, triumphant, and Virtue in distress, an idle
hour or two, we hope, may not be unprofitably lost.




_Count_ Du BEAUVAL,


Some curious PARTICULARS

Relating to the DUKES of

Wharton _and_ Ormond,

During their Exiles.


ANECDOTES of several other Illustrious
and Unfortunate Noblemen of the present Age.

_Translated from the_ French _of the Marquis_ D'ARGENS,
_Author of_ The Jewish Letters.



Printed for M. COOPER, at the _Globe_ in _PaterNoster-Row_.



_The Ground-work of Romances, till of late Years, has been a Series
of Actions, few of which, ever existed but in the Mind of the
Author; to support which, with proper Spirit, a strong picturesque
Fancy, and a nervous poetical Diction, were necessary. When these
great Essentials were wanting, the Narration became cold, insipid,
and disagreeable._

_The principal Hero was generally one who fac'd every Danger, without
any Reflection, for it was always beneath him to think; it was a
sufficient Motive of persisting, if there seem'd Peril; conquering
Giants, and dissolving Enchantments, were as easy to him as riding.
He commonly sets out deeply in Love; his Mistress is a Virgin, he
loses her in the Beginning of the Book, thro' the Spite or Craft of
some malicious Necromancer, pursues her thro' a large Folio Volume
of Incredibility, and finds her, indisputably, at the End of it,
like try'd Gold, still more charming, from having pass'd the Fire
Ordeal of Temptation._

_Amusement and Instruction were the Intent of these Sort of Writings;
the former they always fulfill'd, and if they sometimes fail'd in
the latter, it was because the Objects they conjur'd up to Fancy,
were merely intellectual Ideas, consequently not capable of
impressing so deeply as those which are to be met with in the Bustle
of Life._

_Hence those, whose Genius led them to cultivate this Sort of
writing, have been induc'd to examine amongst such Scenes as are
daily found to move beneath their Inspection. On this Plan are
founded the Writings of the celebrated Mons._ MARIVAUX, _and the
Performances of the ingenious Mr_. FIELDING; _each of whom are
allow'd to be excellent in their different Nations._

_The Marquis_ D'ARGENS, _sensible of the Advantages accruing from
Works of this Kind, was not satisfied with barely copying the_
Accidents, _but has also united with them the real Names of_
Persons, _who have been remarkable in Life; conscious that we pay a
more strict Attention to the Occurrences that have befallen those
who enter within the Compass of our Acquaintance, or Knowledge, and
if a Moral ensues from the Relation, it is more firmly rooted in the
Mind, than when it is to be deduced from either Manners or Men, with
whom we are entirely unacquainted._

_The Marquis is easy in his Stile, delicate in his Sentiments, and
not at all tedious in his Narration. In the following Piece we find
Nothing heavy or insipid, he dwells not too long upon any Adventure,
nor does he burthen the Memory, or clog the Attention with
Reflections intended, too often more for the Bookseller's Emolument,
in swelling the Bulk of the Performance, than the Service of the
Reader, on whom he knew it to be otherwise an Imposition; since, by
long-winded wearisome Comments upon every Passage (a Fault too
frequent in many Writers) he takes from him an Opportunity of
exercising his reflective Abilities, seeming thereby to doubt



FIRST YEAR (1946-47)

Numbers 1-4 out of print.

5. Samuel Wesley's _Epistle to a Friend Concerning Poetry_ (1700)
and _Essay on Heroic Poetry_ (1693).

6. _Representation of the Impiety and Immorality of the Stage_
(1704) and _Some Thoughts Concerning the Stage_ (1704).

SECOND YEAR (1947-1948)

7. John Gay's _The Present State of Wit_ (1711); and a section on
Wit from _The English Theophrastus_ (1702).

8. Rapin's _De Carmine Pastorali_, translated by Creech (1684).

9. T. Hanmer's (?) _Some Remarks on the Tragedy of Hamlet_ (1736).

10. Corbyn Morris' _Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit,
etc._ (1744).

11. Thomas Purney's _Discourse on the Pastoral_ (1717).

12. Essays on the Stage, selected, with an Introduction by Joseph
Wood Krutch.

THIRD YEAR (1948-1949)

13. Sir John Falstaff (pseud.), _The Theatre_ (1720).

14. Edward Moore's _The Gamester_ (1753).

15. John Oldmixon's _Reflections on Dr. Swift's Letter to Harley_
(1712); and Arthur Mainwaring's _The British Academy_ (1712).

16. Nevil Payne's _Fatal Jealousy_ (1673).

17. Nicholas Rowe's _Some Account of the Life of Mr. William
Shakespeare_ (1709).

18. "Of Genius," in _The Occasional Paper_, Vol. III, No. 10 (1719);
and Aaron Hill's Preface to _The Creation_ (1720).

FOURTH YEAR (1949-1950)

19. Susanna Centlivre's _The Busie Body_ (1709).

20. Lewis Theobold's _Preface to The Works of Shakespeare_ (1734).

21. _Critical Remarks on Sir Charles Grandison, Clarissa, and
Pamela_ (1754).

22. Samuel Johnson's _The Vanity of Human Wishes_ (1749) and Two
_Rambler_ papers (1750).

23. John Dryden's _His Majesties Declaration Defended_ (1681).

24. Pierre Nicole's _An Essay on True and Apparent Beauty in Which
from Settled Principles is Rendered the Grounds for Choosing and
Rejecting Epigrams_, translated by J.V. Cunningham.

FIFTH YEAR (1950-51)

25. Thomas Baker's _The Fine Lady's Airs_ (1709).

26. Charles Macklin's _The Man of the World_ (1792).

27. Frances Reynolds' _An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of
Taste, and of the Origin of Our Ideas of Beauty, etc._ (1785).

28. John Evelyn's _An Apologie for the Royal Party_ (1659); and _A
Panegyric to Charles the Second_ (1661).

29. Daniel Defoe's _A Vindication of the Press_ (1718).

30. Essays on Taste from John Gilbert Cooper's _Letters Concerning
Taste_, 3rd edition (1757), & John Armstrong's _Miscellanies_

31. Thomas Gray's _An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard_ (1751);
and _The Eton College Manuscript_.

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