The first novel in which the new interest was predominant was the present book, Doña Perfecta, finished in April, 1876. In it Galdós brought the new and the old face to face: the new in the form of a highly trained, clear-thinking, frank-speaking modern man; the old in the guise of a whole community so remote from the current of things that its religious intolerance, its social jealousy, its undisturbed confidence and pride in itself must of necessity declare instant war upon that which comes from without, unsympathetic and critical. The inevitable result is ruin for the party whose physical force is less, the single individual, yet hardly less complete ruin for those whom intolerance and hate have driven to the annihilation of their adversary. The sympathies of the author, as his closing sentence shows, are with the new, but his conscience as artist has none the less compelled him to give to the old its right of full and fair utterance.
The same ignorant or stubborn rel