It was through caring for his setting in this way that Chateaubriand came as if by accident to the discovery of local colour. He wanted his savages to love in the wilderness, and happening to have seen a wilderness, reproduced it, and made his savages not merely savages but Muskogees, fashioned their talk to fit their race, and made it quite clear that this tale, at any rate, could not be imagined as passing on the Mountains of the Moon.
There is a much less terrible pleasure to be had from the works of Dumas. Behind all Hugo's books is the solemnity, behind Dumas' the joy of living, the joie de vivre—the French phrase, although identical, seems better to express it.
Gautier was not pure dreamer. Though the world of his art was as far from the world of Paris, as the world of Mr. Yeats from the world of London or Dublin, he was not a seer, or a poet between whom and reality hung a veil of dreams. He was a solid man, one of whose proudest memories was a blow that registered five hundred and thirty-two pounds on an automatic instrument, the result of daily washing down five pounds of gory mutton with three bottles of red Bordeaux.
De Maupassant for seven years submitted all he wrote to Flaubert's criticism. If we add to the preceding essay some sentences from Flaubert's correspondence, it will be easy to imagine the lines that criticism must have taken, and interesting to compare them with the resulting craftsman.