Yet, though differing in these important and often fundamental respects from the modern novel, these earlier varieties of imaginative narratives contributed in a number of ways to the making of the type dominant to-day. In the sixteenth century, for instance, we find appearing, first in Spain and then in England, the so-called picaresque novel,〖The earliest English example is Nash’s “Jack Wilton, or the Unfortunate Traveller.”〗 a story told in the first person by a roguish servant, who passes from master to master and exposes both his own rascality and the seamy side of the more fashionable life of his time. Many of the episodes are of the kind narrated in the fabliaux and novelle, but they are strung together by the history of the rogue hero. This type has persisted with variations, especially the loss of the servant element, down to our own time, and reached its highest pitch of art in English in Thackeray’s “Barry Lyndon.”

The Elizabethan romance, represented by such a work as Sir Philip Sidney’s “Arcadia,” is in respect of realism much farther from our novel than the picaresque tale. But in its abundance of sentiment and frequency of moral purpose, it has elements which the novel of roguery lacked. Characterization, which so far had rarely been a prominent feature in any form of fiction except the drama, was developed in the seventeenth century in a peculiar species of writing known as the Character,〖Among the best-known collections is that of Overbury.〗 outside of fiction altogether. The character was a short sketch of a typical figure of the time, used largely for purposes of social satire, apparently general in its application, but not infrequently written with an individual in view.

We find this form elaborated in a slight setting of situation and narrative in the De Coverley papers〖H. C., xxvii, 83ff.〗 contributed by Addison and Steele to the “Spectator”; and when the novel in the modern sense arose about a generation later, the practice in the analysis and presentation of typical human beings which the character had afforded proved of considerable service.

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