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The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane

The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane

by Alain Le Sage

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ISBN-10: 082033572X

ISBN-13: 9780820335728

Pub. Date: 02/15/2011

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

Tobias Smollett, in the preface to his first novel, The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748), acknowledges the influence of Alain René Le Sage’s L’Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane (1715–35 in four volumes) on his work. By far the most successful of “useful and entertaining” romances, Smollett writes, Gil Blas<


Tobias Smollett, in the preface to his first novel, The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748), acknowledges the influence of Alain René Le Sage’s L’Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane (1715–35 in four volumes) on his work. By far the most successful of “useful and entertaining” romances, Smollett writes, Gil Blas describes “the knavery and foibles of life, with infinite humour and sagacity.” “The following sheets,” he adds significantly, “I have modeled on his plan.”

Smollett’s translation of Gil Blas appeared nine months after the publication of Roderick Random. This chronicle of a merry, philosophical young man whose adventures lead him into all levels of society from the highest to the lowest, presents special problems for a translator. Smollett, without always adhering to the literal expression of the novel’s language, is true to its style, spirit, and ideas. After two and a half centuries, his remains the finest translation of this humorous, satiric, and classic French novel.

In his early years in London, Smollett struggled to find a way to distinguish himself through his medical practice, medical writings, poetry, and plays. None of these attempts, however, allowed him to demonstrate the full range of his personality and talents. Only when he combined his own boundless imagination with the skills he had learned from translating Gil Blas was he able to create energetic narratives filled with vivid and original characters.

Product Details

University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
The Works of Tobias Smollett Series
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.20(d)

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane

CHAPTER I. Of the birth and education of Gil Blas
CHAPTER II. Of his being grievously alarmed in his way to Pennaflor: Of his conduct in that town; with an account of a person who supp'd with him
CHAPTER III. Of the carrier's temptation on the road, and its consequence. How Gil Blas, in attempting to get out of the frying-pan, fell into the fire
CHAPTER IV. A description of the subterranean habitation, and of what Gil Blas observed therein
CHAPTER V. Of the arrival of more thieves in the subterranean habitation, and the agreeable conversation that happened among them
CHAPTER VI. Of the attempt of Gil Blas to make his escape, and the success thereof
CHAPTER VII. Of the behaviour of Gil Blas, when he could do no better
CHAPTER VIII. Gil Blas accompanies the thieves, and performs an exploit on the highway
CHAPTER IX. Of the serious affair that followed this adventure
CHAPTER X. In what manner the robbers behaved to the lady. Of the great design which Gil Blas projected, and the issue thereof
CHAPTER XI. The history of Donna Mencia of Mosquera
CHAPTER XII. The disagreeable manner in which Gil Blas and the lady were interrupted
CHAPTER XIII. By what accident Gil Blas was set at liberty at last; and whither he directed his course
CHAPTER XIV. Of his reception at Burgos by Donna Mencia
CHAPTER XV. Of the manner in which Gil Blas dressed himself. Of the new present he received from the lady, and the equipage in which he departed from Burgos
CHAPTER XVI. Shews that we ought not to trust too much to prosperity
CHAPTER XVII. How Gil Blas bestowed himself after the adventure of the ready furnished lodging

CHAPTER I. Fabricius conducts Gil Blas, and introduces him to the licentiate Sedillo; the situation of this canon; a description of his house-keeper
CHAPTER II. In what manner the canon was treated when he fell sick: the consequence of it; and the legacy which he left to Gil Blas
CHAPTER III. Gil Blas engages himself in the service of Doctor Sangrado, and becomes a celebrated physician
CHAPTER IV. Gil Blas continues to act the physician with as much success as capacity. The adventure of the ring retrieved
CHAPTER V. The sequel of the ring retrieved. Gil Blas quits the profession of physick, and makes his retreat from Valladolid
CHAPTER VI. Of his route when he left Valladolid; and the person he joined on the road
CHAPTER VII. The story of the journeyman barber
CHAPTER VIII. Gil Blas and his companion come up with a man, whom they perceive soaking crusts of bread in a spring; and enter into conversation with him
CHAPTER IX. The condition in which Diego finds his family; and an account of his rejoicings: after which Gil Blas bids him farewel

CHAPTER I. The arrival of Gil Blas at Madrid; with an account of the first master whom he served in that city
CHAPTER II. The astonishment of Gil Blas, when he met Captain Rolando at Madrid, and the curious things which that robber recounted to him
CHAPTER III. He is dismissed by Don Barnard de Castil Blazo, and enters into the service of a beau
CHAPTER IV. How Gil Blas became acquainted with the valets of the beaus. The admirable secret they imparted to him, of acquiring the reputation of a man of wit, at a small expence; and the singular oath which they obliged him to take
CHAPTER V. Gil Blas sets up for a man of gallantry, and becomes acquainted with a fine lady
CHAPTER VI. The conversation of some noblemen, about the players of the prince's company
CHAPTER VII. The history of Don Pompeio de Castro
CHAPTER VIII. By what accident Gil Blas was obliged to seek a new place
CHAPTER IX. Of the person in whose service he engaged, after the death of Don Matthias de Silva
CHAPTER X. Which is as short as the foregoing
CHAPTER XI. How the players lived together; and their treatment of the authors
CHAPTER XII. Gil Blas acquires the theatrical taste, abandons himself to the pleasures of a comic life, with which, however, he is disgusted in a little time.

CHAPTER I. Gil Blas being disgusted at the irregularities of the actresses, quits the service of Arsenia, and gets into a more creditable family
CHAPTER II. The reception that Gil Blas met with from Aurora, and the conversation that passed between them
CHAPTER III. The great change that happened in the family of Don Vincent, and the strange resolution with which love inspired the fair Aurora
CHAPTER IV. The baleful marriage. A Novel
CHAPTER V. The behaviour of Aurora de Guzman, at Salamanca
CHAPTER VI. The stratagems practised by Aurora, to captivate Don Lewis de Pacheco
CHAPTER VII. Gil Blas quits his place, and goes into the service of Don Gonzales de Pacheco
CHAPTER VIII. The character of the marchioness of Chaves, and of those people who usually visited her
CHAPTER IX. The incident, in consequence of which, Gil Blas quitted the marchioness de Chaves; and the course he followed afterwards
CHAPTER X. The story of Don Alphonso and the fair Seraphina
CHAPTER XI. The old hermit discovers himself, and Gil Blas perceives that he is among his acquaintance

CHAPTER I. The history of Don Raphael
CHAPTER II. The counsel which Don Raphael held with his hearers, and the adventure which happened to them when they designed to quit the wood

CHAPTER I. The conduct of Gil Blas and his companions, after they quitted the Count de Polan. The important project which Ambrose formed, and the manner in which it was executed
CHAPTER II. The resolution which Don Alphonso and Gil Blas formed after this adventure
CHAPTER III. After what disagreeable incident Don Alphonso found his wishes fulfilled; and by what adventure Gil Blas, of a sudden, saw himself in a happy situation

CHAPTER I. The amours of Gil Blas and dame Lorença Sephora
CHAPTER II. The fate of Gil Blas, after he quitted the castle of Leyva, and the happy consequence that attended the bad success of his amours
CHAPTER III. Gil Blas becomes the favourite of the archbishop, and the canal of his bounty
CHAPTER IV. The archbishop is seized with a fit of the apoplexy. The dilemma in which Gil Blas found himself, and the method he took to be extricated
CHAPTER V. The step that Gil Blas took after the archbishop had dismissed him. His accidental meeting with the licentiate who had been so much obliged to him; with the gratitude of that priest
CHAPTER VI. Gil Blas goes to see a play at Grenada. His astonishment at the sight of one of the actresses; and the consequences of that event
CHAPTER VII. The history of Laura
CHAPTER VIII. The reception which Gil Blas met with from the players of Grenada, and his finding an old acquaintance behind the scenes
CHAPTER IX. He supped that evening with an extraordinary man: an account of what happened between them
CHAPTER X. The commission that the Marquis de Marialva gave to Gil Blas, and the manner in which that faithful secretary acquitted himself of it
CHAPTER XI. Gil Blas receives a piece of news, which is like a thunderbolt to him
CHAPTER XII. Gil Blas takes lodgings in a house where he contracts an acquaintance with captain Chinchilla. The character of that officer; with an account of the affair that brought him to Madrid
CHAPTER XIII. Gil Blas meets his dear friend Fabricius at court; their mutual joy; they repair together to a certain place, where a curious conversation happens between them
CHAPTER XIV. Fabricius introduces Gil Blas to the service of Count Galiano, a Sicilian nobleman
CHAPTER XV. Count Galiano invests Gil Blas with an employment in his house
CHAPTER XVI. An accident happens to Count Galiano's baboon, which is the cause of great affliction to that nobleman. Gil Blas falls sick; the consequence of his distemper

CHAPTER I. Gil Blas contracts a good acquaintance, and obtains a post that consoles him for Count Galiano's ingratitude. The history of Don Valerio de Luna
CHAPTER II. Gil Blas is presented to the Duke of Lerma, who receives him into the number of his secretaries; sets him to work, and is satisfied with his performance
CHAPTER III. He learns that his post is not altogether without mortifications. His uneasiness at this piece of news, which obliges him to alter his conduct
CHAPTER IV. Gil Blas gains the favour of the duke of Lerma, who intrusts him with a secret of great importance
CHAPTER V. Gil Blas is overwhelmed with joy, honour and distress
CHAPTER VI. The manner in which Gil Blas informs the duke of Lerma of his necessity, and that minister's behaviour on the occasion
CHAPTER VII. The good use to which he put his fifteen hundred ducats; the first affair in which he intermeddled, and the profit from thence accruing
CHAPTER VIII. The history of Don Roger de Rada
CHAPTER IX. Gil Blas finds means to make a considerable fortune in a very short time, and gives himself great airs accordingly
CHAPTER X. The morals of Gil Blas are intirely corrupted at court. He is charged with a commission by the Count de Lemos, and engages in an intrigue with that nobleman
CHAPTER XI. The private visit and presents which the prince of Spain made to Catalina
CHAPTER XII. Catalina's real character. The perplexity and uneasiness of Gil Blas. The precaution he was obliged to take for his own quiet
CHAPTER XIII. Gil Blas continues to act the man of consequence. Hears news of his family, which make but small impression upon him, and quarrels with Fabricius

CHAPTER I. Scipio advises Gil Blas to marry, proposes the daughter of a rich and noted goldsmith for his wife; the steps which were taken in consequence of this advice
CHAPTER II. Gil Blas, by accident, remembers Don Alphonso de Leyva, and does him a piece of service, out of vanity
CHAPTER III. The preparations for the marriage of Gil Blas, and the great event that rendered them useless
CHAPTER IV. The treatment of Gil Blas in the tower of Segovia, and the manner in which he learned the cause of his imprisonment
CHAPTER V. His reflections before he went to sleep, and an account of the noise that waked him
CHAPTER VI. The history of Don Gaston de Cogollos, and Donna Helena de Galisteo
CHAPTER VII. Scipio finds Gil Blas in the tower of Segovia, and tells him a great deal of news
CHAPTER VIII. The motives and success of Scipio's first journey to Madrid. Gil Blas falls sick: the consequence of his distemper
CHAPTER IX. Scipio returns to Madrid, and procures the enlargement of Gil Blas, on certain conditions. What course they steer together, when they leave the tower of Segovia, and the conversation that passes between them
CHAPTER X. Their behaviour at Madrid. Gil Blas meets a certain person in the street. The consequence of that meeting

CHAPTER I. Gil Blas sets out for the Asturias; passes through Valladolid, where he visits his old master doctor Sangrado, and meets, by accident, with Signior Manuel Ordonnez, director of the hospital
CHAPTER II. Gil Blas continues his journey, and arrives safely at Oviedo. The condition in which he found his parents. The death of his father, and the consequences thereof
CHAPTER III. Gil Blas departs for the kingdom of Valencia, and at length arrives at Lirias. A description of his house. His reception; with an account of the people he found there
CHAPTER IV. He departs for Valencia, to visit the noblemen of Leyva. His conversation with them, and the kind reception he met with from Seraphina
CHAPTER V. Gil Blas goes to the play, where he sees a new tragedy acted. The success of that performance, with the public taste of Valencia
CHAPTER VI. Gil Blas walking through the streets of Valencia meets a friar whom he thinks he knows. An account of that friar
CHAPTER VII. Gil Blas returns to his castle of Lirias. Hears an agreeable piece of news from Scipio. And makes a reform in his house-keeping
CHAPTER VIII. The amours of Gil Blas and the fair Antonia
CHAPTER IX. The manner in which the nuptials of Gil Blas and the fair Antonia were celebrated; and the rejoicings with which they were attended
CHAPTER X. What followed the marriage of Gil Blas and the fair Antonia. The beginning of Scipio's history
CHAPTER XI. The sequel of Scipio's history
CHAPTER XII. The conclusion of Scipio's history

CHAPTER I. Gil Blas is overwhelmed with joy, which is disturbed by a melancholy event. Such changes happen at court, as induce Santillane to go thither again
CHAPTER II. Gil Blas arrives at Madrid, and appears at court: the King remembers and recommends him to his prime minister. The consequence of that recommendation
CHAPTER III. Gil Blas is hindered from executing his resolution to leave the court, and receives an important piece of service from Joseph Navarro
CHAPTER IV. Gil Blas acquires the love of Count d'Olivares
CHAPTER V. The private conversation which Gil Blas had with Navarro, and the first business in which he was employed by the Count d'Olivares
CHAPTER VI. The use to which Gil Blas put his three hundred pistoles; and his charge to Scipio: with the success of the above-mentioned memorial
CHAPTER VII. By what accident, in what place and condition, Gil Blas found his friend Fabricio; and the conversation that happened between them
CHAPTER VIII. Gil Blas becomes more and more beloved by his master. Scipio returns to Madrid, and gives an account of his journey to Santillane
CHAPTER IX. How, and to whom the Count Duke married his only daughter, with the bitter fruits which that marriage produced
CHAPTER X. Gil Blas by accident meets the poet Nunnez, who tells him, that he has composed a tragedy, which is immediately to be represented on the prince's theatre. The bad success of that piece, with the surprizing good luck which attended its fall
CHAPTER XI. Santillane obtains an employment for Scipio, who departs for New Spain
CHAPTER XII. Don Alphonso de Leyva comes to Madrid; the motive of his journey. Gil Blas is afflicted at the cause, but rejoices at the consequence of it
CHAPTER XIII. Gil Blas meets Don Gaston de Cogollos, and Don Andrea de Tordesillas, at the palace. The conclusion of the story of Don Gaston and Donna Helena de Galisteo. Santillane does an important piece of service to Tordesillas
CHAPTER XIV. Santillane visits the poet Nunez: an account of the persons whom he found, and the discourse which he heard at his lodgings

CHAPTER I. Gil Blas is sent to Toledo by the minister: the motive and success of his journey
CHAPTER II. Santillane gives an account of his commission to the minister, who employs him to bring Lucretia to Madrid. The arrival of that actress, and her appearance at court
CHAPTER III. Lucretia makes a great noise at court, and acts before the King, who falls in love with her. The consequences of his passion
CHAPTER IV. Santillane is invested by the minister with a new employment
CHAPTER V. The son of the Genoese lady is owned by an authentic act, and called Don Henry Philip de Guzman. Santillane forms the family of that young nobleman, and hires all sorts of masters for him
CHAPTER VI. Scipio returning from New Spain, Gil Blas settles him in the service of Don Henry. The studies of that young nobleman, with the honours which were conferred upon him, and an account of the lady to whom he was married. Gil Blas becomes noble in spite of himself
CHAPTER VII. Gil Blas meets Fabricio again by accident. The last conversation that happened between them, and the important advice which Nunnez gave to Santillane
CHAPTER VIII. Gil Blas is convinced of the truth of Fabricio's intelligence. The King goes to Saragossa
CHAPTER IX. The revolution of Portugal, and the disgrace of the Count-Duke
CHAPTER X. The anxiety and cares which at first disturbed the repose of the Count-Duke, and the happy tranquillity by which they were succeeded. The occupations of the minister in his retreat
CHAPTER XI. The Count-Duke becomes all of a sudden sad and thoughtful: the surprizing cause of his melancholy, with its fatal consequence
CHAPTER XII. The transactions at the castle of Loeches, after the death of the Count-Duke; and the departure of Santillane
CHAPTER XIII. Gil Blas returns to his castle, where he is overjoyed to find Seraphina his god-daughter marriageable; and falls in love with another lady
CHAPTER the last. The double marriage celebrated at Lirias, which concludes the history of Gil Blas de Santillane.

Notes to the Text
Textual Commentary
List of Emendations
Textual Notes
Historical Collation
Bibliographical Descriptions

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