failure of Franco-American personal relationships but in the novel the ambiguity has disappeared and the balance has been broken. Except for Mr. Babcock, who remains undeveloped, and for the Tristrams who, like Mrs. Draper in the preceding tale, are mere links between the two worlds, Newman is the only American in the novel, but he is so heavy that he weighs down the scale and overshadows the French characters, to whom, however, James has devoted more attention than before.

  • 2 The American, pp. 39-40. The quotations are from the Chiltern Library edition (London, 1949).
  • 3 A Small Boy and Others, pp. 361-366.

2A new Columbus, who wants to repeat his namesake’s conquest in the opposite direction and who walks in seven-league boots among the ants of the Lilliputian Old World, Christopher Newman comes to Europe not, like most of James’s Americans, for “experience” but for amusement. He is a bachelor of forty-two and a half, who has had to work hard in manufacturing wash-tubs and other useful objects; since he has never had time to enjoy himself he has now decided to devote the second half of his life to using the money he has been piling up as a younger man. With grandiose plans in his mind, he leaves America for Europe and naively imagines that since he possesses a high amount of dollars and of practical qualities, there is no limit to his purchasing power. Unfortunately,