He still continued his yearly experimental contributions to the North American Review, elaborating them with a view as much to ultimate historical proficiency as to immediate literary effect, the essays on Scottish Song (1826), Novel-Writing (1827), Moliere (1828), and Irving's Granada (1829)) belonging to this preparatory period.
Of all the French writers that I have read, I like Moliere and Racine best.
But Balzac did him justice; Rotrou, as we have seen, never failed in generous appreciation; Moliere in conversation and in print recognized him as his own master and the foremost of dramatists.
Like Cervantes at times, Mark Twain reveals a depth of melancholy beneath his playful humour, and like Moliere always, he has a deep scorn and a burning detestation of all sorts of sham and pretence, a scorching hatred of humbug and hypocrisy.
As high a degree of originality may be shown in transformation as in invention, as Moliere and Shakespeare have proved in the region of dramatic art.
In the same reign Moliere performed Monsieur de Pourceaugnac and Le Bourgeois gentilhomme for the first time in the theatre.
And the salons of Mme de Sevigne, of her daughter Mme de Grignan, and of the duchesse de Maine for a while gave the questions of philosophy a place among the topics of polite society, and furnished to Moliere the occasion of his Femmes savantes.
After coquetting for a short time with the project of a life of Moliere he decided to follow in the track of his first work with a History of the Conquest of Mexico.