A picaresque adventure, translated by Tobias Smollet.
contains so rich a collection of specimens of the genus homo. The success with which Lesage has introduced into Gil Blas virtually every form of human character, all sorts and conditions of men, is one of the miracles of literary art. The purely traditional picaro types, the vagabond and the beggar, the unscrupulous highwayman and the cut-throat, have, after all, comparatively small importance in the great comedy of life which Lesage depicts. These picaro types move in and out of the vast throng peopling his pages much as their counterparts in the flesh, the Apaches of the Marais quarter, jostled on the Pont Neuf the honest workman, the country bumpkin, the banker Turcaret, the bourgeois merchant, the strutting soldier, the barefoot monk, the daintily stepping petits maîtres, the authors and the actors, the ministers and the high officials, the servants and the adventurers, the priests, and the précieuses peering from their vinaigrettes. From the brigand cave that sheltered the jail-bird to the d