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The code of reciprocation in Corneille's heroic drama.

"L'interet parle routes sortes de langues, et joue toutes sortes de personnages, meme celui du desinteresse." La Rochefoucauld's thirty-ninth maxim still strikes us as a bold, cynical declaration, yet its fundamental claim is no longer surprising, for we are used to explaining almost all behavior as the product of self-interest. This vision of human nature and the model of social relations that corresponds to it, however, did not always seem obvious. Seventeenth-century France saw the first systematic arguments that all motives could be reduced to self-interest and that society would not be destroyed, but might actually flourish, if people acted egoistically. Contemporaries found the claims of La Rochefoucauld and Pierre Nicole striking because those claims were polemical. When skeptical or rigoristic moralists suggested that virtues might be nothing but well-disguised egoism, they challenged an ethic that was commonly accepted in the seventeenth century, but which is unfamiliar to modern readers. That traditional ethic calls for ostentatious generosity and assumes that actions can be truly disinterested.

The ethic of generosity is fundamental to the serious plays of Pierre Corneille. Our unfamiliarity with it explains why we have trouble taking the conduct presented in some of his plays seriously. To us, the complex intrigues and proud self-sacrifice of plays like Heraclius, Don Sanche, Pertharite, and Surena seem mechanical and implausible. Characters talk about their behavior often and examine their motives at length, but the action's pace is so rapid, and the disinterested impulses so alien to us, that the characterization and motivation seem perfunctory. The dilemmas of generosity and gratitude seem to be nothing but pretexts for a surprising, complex plot. Even popular plays like Le Cid invoke motives that seem implausibly romantic.

We can gain a deeper appreciation of these plays, and better understand their appeal to seventeenth-century audiences, if we grasp the assumptions about human nature and social relationships that the characters use to assess their conduct. Classic studies like those of Nadal, Doubrovsky, and Fumaroli on the opposition between love and honor, on the ethic of glory, and on heroism have highlighted various aspects of the characters' ideology. In this essay I want to argue that the multifarious elements of this ethic are based on a few basic principles. The characters in Corneille's serious plays explain their own and others' behavior by reference to a systematic code of conduct. This model of behavior celebrates self-sacrifice and generosity, but it also construes almost all social interactions as exchanges, assuming that generous people trade gifts and favors. I therefore call the ethic assumed in these plays the code of reciprocation. Reciprocation has been studied in some criticism of Corneille and other seventeenth-century literature, but critics have frequently assumed that, when agents conduct their interactions as exchanges, they necessarily act egoistically. Because it means that the giver can depend on receiving a return for his or her gift, the insistence on reciprocation seems to contradict the ideal of uncalculating generosity. I argue, however, that the characters' discourse about behavior, which supposes that gifts can be given disinterestedly, makes sense and forms a coherent model of social relations. The ritual gift exchange practiced in some preindustrial societies represents a similar ethic. Moreover, in `primitive' societies, gift exchange helps determine rank in the social hierarchy, and the code of reciprocation fulfills the same function in the fictional society represented in Corneille's heroic plays. I will finally argue that the terms and assumptions of the code of reciprocation were used by real people in early modern France. The plays' discourse of generosity and gratitude appealed to seventeenth-century audiences because they used the same language to describe their own behavior.

Reciprocation in Le Cid

The pervasiveness of reciprocation and the importance of disinterestedness are evident even in a single play. It is a critical commonplace that the Cid presents a conflict between love and honor. Rodrigue and Chimene must reconcile their feelings for one another with their obligation to avenge their fathers. Although this dilemma constitutes the play's thematic kernel, the sequence of events rests on different problems. A dispute about service and reward sets the plot in motion. Don Diegue and the Count quarrel because the king has appointed Rodrigue's father, and not Chimene's, the crown prince's governor. The Count insists the king is ungrateful for his military assistance, while don Diegue argues that he has earned the appointment by his past exploits. The question about the service subjects owe their king, and a king's proper response, is further debated after the Count slaps Rodrigue's father. Don Arias tries to persuade the Count to apologize, but the Count refuses, arguing that the king owes him a pardon for his past service. Don Arias disagrees, invoking the general principle that subjects cannot put a king under an obligation: "Quoi qu'on fasse d'illustre et de considerable / Jamais a son sujet un Roi n'est redevable: Qui sert bien son Roi ne fait que son devoir" (2.1.371-74).(1)

Questions about service and remuneration are also prominent after Rodrigue has defeated the Moors, but the partners' attitudes are different. The king freely acknowledges his obligation to Rodrigue. He celebrates the young man's heroism by questioning his own ability to reward him: "Pour te recompenser ma force est trop petite / Et j'ai moins de pouvoir que tu n'as de merite" (4.3.1223-24). Rodrigue's actions "Ne sont point des exploits qui laissent A ton Roi / Le moyen ni l'espoir de s'acquitter vers toi" (1229-30). For his part, Rodrigue denies the king's obligation to him, saying he has performed "seulement le devoir d'un sujet" (4.3.1246). He is nevertheless rewarded. Rodrigue receives a pardon for killing the Count, the title of Cid, and, eventually, the hand of Chimene.

Reciprocation is most visible in the interactions between kings and subjects, but exchange also structures other relations. Rodrigue and Chimene's duty to avenge their fathers rests on the belief that parents and their offspring have mutual obligations, expressed by trading services. When Rodrigue has killed the Count and avenged his father, he tells him, "Ce que je vous devais, je vous l'ai bien rendu" (3.6.1062). Don Diegue answers in similar terms: "Je t'ai donne la vie, et tu me rends ma gloire, / Et d'autant que l'honneur m'est plus cher que le jour, / D'autant plus maintenant je te dois de retour" (3.6.1064-66). Lovers also conduct their relationship by exchanging favors. When he goes to Chimene's house after killing her father, Rodrigue explains that he has discharged his obligations to honor and family, but must acquit his debt to her. He will therefore confer his life on Chimene, helping her avenge her father (3.4).

These citations from the Cid represent a discourse about behavior--and a set of assumptions about relationships--that pervade Corneille's plays. Indeed, they are frequent in much seventeenth-century literature. Characters construe their relationships as exchanges, and discuss them using a consistent language of generosity and gratitude. The basic principle of exchange is easy to grasp, yet the characters often disagree about how relationships are to be conducted. Such disputes, however, are still explained by reference to a uniform set of principles, expressed by a recurrent group of terms.

My aim in this paper is not just to indicate that the characters' relationships are reciprocal; I also propose to explain how these relationships are worked out in practice, describing the rules of honorable exchange as the characters understand them. Corneille's characters invoke a system that makes sense, but which is quite different from the way we are accustomed to think about exchange.(2) The crucial difference is that the characters insist that exchanges can be conducted disinterestedly, while we would assume that regular, obligatory exchanges imply the operation of self-interest. The code thus seems to rest on contradictory principles. In addition to assuming that relationships are maintained by exchange, the characters distinguish between spontaneous, generous benefaction and calculating, egoistical trade. The Cid underlines the importance of this opposition by contrasting the behaviors of the Count and Rodrigue. The Count insists that his exploits be rewarded, thus implying that he serves for a kind of salary. Rodrigue, however, disparages his feats of arms when he reports them to the king, saying he has merely done his duty. Yet Rodrigue is rewarded, while the Count is not. Paradoxically, treating one's gifts as favors that do not impose an obligation on the recipient makes it more likely that one will receive some compensation.

Corneille's characters thus invoke a code of reciprocation that not only construes relationships as exchanges, but also calls for exchanges to be conducted as if each gift was given without any expectation of a return. The ideal of uncalculating generosity seems logically inconsistent with the assumption that relationships depend on foreseeable, reciprocal transactions. The solution to the tension between obligation and spontaneity is to deny that exchange is compulsory, and hence predictable. Although this principle seems to be violated when Corneille's characters drive hard bargains and insist on getting something for what they give, I will show that these apparent exceptions conform to the two basic principles of reciprocation and disinterested generosity.(3)

The Principle of Exchange

Many different relationships are maintained by exchanging favors, services, or gifts. The pattern is clearest between monarchs and their generals: nobles perform military service for the sovereign, who usually tries to reward them. In events before the action in Polyeucte, Severe is captured in battle while saving the emperor Decius. Eventually an exchange of prisoners is arranged, and Severe returns to camp so that he may "De sa haute vertu recevoir le salaire, / La faveur de Decie en fut le digne prix" (1.4.306-7). In Pulcherie, the empress is happy to reward the loyal general Martian, who has served both the state and her late brother. She explains her sense of gratitude without undermining her regal status: "A vos hauts faits; je dois ce grand salaire, / Et j'acquitte envers vous, et l'Etat, et mon frere" (5.3.1561-62). In Don Sanche, Carlos was promised a reward by the late monarch, and the reigning queen respects her predecessor's obligation: "Carlos: Viola dont le feu Roi me promit recompense, / Mais la mort le surprit, comme il la resolvait. / D. Isabelle: Il se fut acquitte de ce qu'il vous devait, / Et moi, comme heritant son sceptre, et sa couronne, / Je prends pour moi sa dette et je vous la fait bonne" (1.3.234-38).

Although passages like these underline the principle that relationships are created and maintained by the exchange of benefits, they can mislead, especially when they contain metaphors like salaire and dette. The interactions that first come to mind when one talks about reciprocation are commercial. We obviously have exchange when goods and services are traded, bought, or sold. These transactions make the reciprocal nature of the exchange clear, since no one gives without expecting to receive. The code of reciprocation, however, condemns such mercenary transactions.

The Principle of Generosity

Corneille's last play, Surena, clearly articulates the principle that noble persons bestow benefits without thought of reward. The play represents a common situation in Corneille, when the relations between a king and his nobles are troubled. Such situations help articulate the rules for reciprocation, for the conflict obliges characters to explain their behavior.

Surena is a high-ranking noble in Parthia and has restored the king, Orode, to the throne. Orode is embarrassed to owe his position to a subject, and fears that Surena may use his power to seize the throne, especially if he feels he has not been adequately remunerated. Orode construes the relationship as reciprocal, but treats it as one in which trading commensurate gifts is compulsory. He tells his general, "Surena, vos services / ... ont pour moi des supplices, / J'en ai honte, et ne puis assez me consoler, / De ne voir aucun don qui les puisse egaler." He asks Surena to name a prize that will satisfy him and discharge his debt: "Suppleez au defaut d'une reconnaissance / Dont vos propres exploits m'ont mis en impuissance, / Et s'il en est un prix dont vous fassiez etat, / Donnez-moi les moyens d'etre un peu moins ingrat." Surena answers, however, that the king has misunderstood the reasons for his actions: "Quand je vous ai servi, j'ai recu mon salaire, / Seigneur, et n'ai rien fait qu'un sujet Wait du faire, / La gloire m'en demeure, et c'est l'unique prix / Que s'en est propose le soin que j'en ai pris" (3.2.781-92). The same point is made earlier, when Orode's son implies that Surena has served in anticipation of a reward; Surena repudiates this interpretation as an insult. "Cessez de me traiter, Seigneur, en mercenaire, / Je n'ai jamais servi par espoir de salaire" (2.1.361-62).

A noble person does not confer benefits on others for a material reward, but for the intangible satisfaction of glory. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the glory. Prestige and reputation form a sort of payment for generous service. Sometimes this symbolic good is treated as compensation for the lost material goods. Yet even when glory is promised, the emphasis is less on earning fame than on repudiating egoism and denying one's own wishes. In Pertharite, queen Rodelinde invites Grimoald, who has driven her husband Pertharite into exile, to show his true virtue. Though Grimoald has conquered the kingdom, she asks him to let her son by Pertharite inherit the throne. Grimoald aswers that he will do so if Rodelinde will marry him. She responds that such a bargain would tarnish the glory of his action,

Car enfin cet effort est de telle nature,

Que la source en doit etre A nos yeux toute pure.

La vertu doit regner dans un si grand projet,

En etre seule cause, et l'honneur, seul objet;

Et depuis qu'on souille, ou d'espoir de salaire,

Ou de chagrin d'amour, on de souci de plaire,

Il part indignement d'un courage abattu,

Ou la passion regne, et non pas la vertu. (2.5.659-66)

Grimoald finally does sacrifice his love and his conquests, and the play concludes with the affirmation that "des hautes vertus la gloire est le seul prix" (5.5.1854).(4)

Gratitude and Ingratitude

The code of reciprocation's rules for benefaction are not hard to explain. Service or gift-giving is not supposed to depend on the expectation of a return gift. Instead benefaction should express esteem and affection for the partner, while also displaying one's willingness and ability to make a sacrifice. It is easy to understand how a gift differs, at least in theory, from commercial transactions.(5) Gratitude, however, is harder to explain, for it must be construed as a response to an earlier gift. How can gratitude, if it is a response, be spontaneous and result from one's feelings for the partner? And how can a benefactor expect gratitude, and reproach his or her partner for ingratitude, if the inaugural gift was truly disinterested?

The principles of honorable gratitude are explained in Theodore, vierge et martyre. The villainous Marcelle has conferred favors on her stepson Placide, trying to gain his affection for her daughter, who is hopelessly in love with him. Marcelle reminds Placide of the government posts she has bestowed on him and his father and rebukes him for remaining insensible to her daughter. She complains of his ingratitude, but he answers, "Nous ne vous devons rien apres un tel reproche. / Un bienfait perd sa grace a le trop publier, / Qui veut qu'on s'en souvienne, il le doit oublier." The recipient should tell others about the benefit he has received, while the donor should act as if he has forgotten he gave it. Marcelle responds, "Je l'oublierais, ingrat, si pour tant de puissance / Je recevais de vous quelque reconnaissance," yet Placide holds firm to his principles: "Et je m'en souviendrais jusqu'aux derniers abois, / Si vous vous contentiez de ce que je vous dois. / ... / Ce ne sont plus bienfaits alors qu'on veut les vendre." She still insists on a clarification: "Que doit donc un grand coeur aux faveurs qu'il recoit?" Placide answers according to the principles of gratitude laid out in Seneca's treatise on Benefaction: "S'avouant redevable, il rend tout ce qu'il doit" (1.2.176-86).

This scene presents the skeptical or even cynical interpretation that is always possible with the code of reciprocation, and which ignoble characters consistently make. They, like Marcelle, assume that exchanges between virtuous persons operate according to the same rules as marketplace transactions.(6) Placide correctly explains the honorable way of being grateful, which involves having the proper sentiments. Because such sentiments may lead one to confer gifts on a friend, benefaction that arouses responsive affection may produce counter-gifts. Yet giving an equivalent counter-gift is not obligatory. The return gift results from esteem and affection, which were the sources of the inaugural gift. Although one may expect grateful benefaction when one has favored a virtuous (and hence generous) person, one cannot demand a return gift. One can only be disappointed and conclude that the partner does not love back.

These principles are elucidated in the Maximes of Madame de Sable. An inaugural gift should be considered ma Only as an expression of the giver's love: "Il ne faut pas regarder quel bien nous fait un ami mais seulement le desir qu'il a de nous; en faire." It is likely, however, that true friends will exchange gifts or favors, which display their feelings. Therefore, if a friend fails to give a gift or perform a favor when he or she has the opportunity, that failure should be taken as a sign that he lacks the proper sentiments: "Encore que nous ne devions pas aimer nos amis pour le bien qu'ils nous font, c'est une marque qu'ils tie nous aiment guere s'ils ne nous; en font point quand ils en ont le pouvoir." The ungrateful partner can be reproached for being a poor friend, even though he cannot be taxed with failing to fulfill an obligation. One can therefore make such a complaint without suggesting that one gave the inaugural gift in order to receive a counter gift, for what one objects to is the lack of friendly feelings, which the return gift or favor would display.

The Code of Reciprocation's Social Function

The assumption that generosity and gratitude are noble and prestigious reveals the code of reciprocation's function in Corneille's fictional society. Gifts and services tie this community together, creating peaceful bonds. Yet the society is highly stratified and characters are eager to improve their standing. Ostentatious displays of generosity are ways of demonstrating one's power. They also reveal an inner disposition, a scorn of material advantage, that is equally important. Being willing to serve one's friends, whatever it may cost, displays a greatness of soul that is virtuous and honorable.

In Polyeucte, Pauline challenges Severe live up to this ideal: "Vous etes genereux, soyez-le jusqu'au bout." She asks him to save her husband, who is his rival for her love, and whose fate is in Severe's hands. She explains that the apparent irrationality of such an action, which seems contrary to Severe's interests, makes it glorious: "Je sais que c'est beaucoup que ce que le demande, / Mais plus l'effort est grand, plus la gloire en est grande; / Conserver un rival dont vous etes jaloux, / C'est un trait de vertu qui n'appartient qu'a vous" (4.5.1349-58). Severe understands the situation in the same way. Initially he complains at the difficulty of the challenge, even though he recognizes it as an invitation to transcend egoism in a striking way. He objects

qu'une femme enfin dans la calamite

Me fasse des lecons de generosite.

Votre belle ame est haute autant que malheureuse,

Mais elle est inhumaine autant que genereuse,

Pauline, et vos douleurs avec trop de rigueur

D'un Amant tout a vous tyrannisent le coeur.

C'est donc peu de vous perdre, il faut que je vous donne,

Que je serve un rival lorsqu'il vous abandonne,

Et que par un cruel et genereux effort

Pour vous rendre en ses mains, je l'arrache a la mort.


Yet when his confidant Fabian tries to dissuade him from saving Polyeucte, Severe answers that he will save him. Fabian asks, "D'un si cruel effort quel prix esperez-vous?", and Severe responds, "La gloire de montrer a cette ame si belle / Que Severe l'egale, et qu'il est digne d'elle, / Qu'elle m'etait bien due, et que l'ordre des Cieux, / En me la refusant, m'est trop injurieux" (4.6.1390-94).

Serving the beloved without hope of recompense is a relatively frequent form of heroic self-sacrifice, but one can also earn glory by serving one's country. In Cinna, as Maxime urges Auguste to relinquish control of Rome, he insists that one must not weigh injuries and favors precisely, but ostentatiously disregard one's own advantage: "Je veux bien avouer qu'une action si belle / Donne a Rome bien plus que vous ne tenez d'elle; / Mais commet-on un crime indigne de pardon, / Quand la reconnaissance est au-dessus du don?" (2.1.469-72). Maxime argues, "Votre gloire redouble a mepriser l'Empire" (474), reasoning that "Le bonheur peut conduire a la grandeur supreme, / Mais pour y renoncer, il faut la vertu meme, / Et peu de genereux, vont jusqu'a dedaigner, / Apres un sceptre acquis, la douceur de regner" (477-80).

Self-sacrifice and benefaction are not the only ways to gain prestige; gratitude is as noble as generosity. When Heraclius tries to prove he is the true heir to the throne, he invokes the presence of kingly impulses and sentiments in himself, and their absence in the other claimant, arguing, "La generosite suit la belle naissance, / La pitie l'accompagne, et la reconnaissance" (5.21603-4). The same idea is expressed when Cinna tries to persuade Emilie that it would be ignoble to kill Augustus after he has showered so many benefits on them. He argues, "Une ame genereuse, et que la vertu guide / Fuit la honte des noms d'ingrate et de perfide" (3.4.969-70). Emilie responds that, against tyrants, "Les coeurs les plus ingrats sont les plus genereux" (3.4.976). She states a paradoxical exception that is valid only for tyrants, thus implying that, in normal cases, generosity and gratitude do accompany each other, and are honorable.(7)

The Heroic Potlatch

Because generous benefaction and grateful responses to gifts are noble, agents have another motive to trade favors. Gifts not only express their love for one another, they also earn prestige for the donor. A gift shows that one is magnanimous and noble. Because that selflessness is displayed in the form of a gift, however, a comparison is encouraged between donor and recipient. The recipient is expected to display his own wealth, power, and generosity by producing a gift that responds to, and can be compared to, the inaugural gift.

Benefaction is thus a kind of competition. Every gift is a challenge to the partner, and the rivals strive to outdo each other in generosity and gratitude. Though rivalry is an important part of this system, such relations cannot properly be described as hostile. Partners in such exchange systems are peers. Whereas commercial agents treat each other as anonymous equals and disregard personal qualities, participants in honorable exchange recognize each other as members of a superior community. They may compete among themselves for preeminence, but they are all distinguished from the common herd.(8) Such competition is not incompatible with reciprocation's attention to the personal identity of givers and receivers and its creation of amicable bonds. Benefaction can express esteem and still be a sort of challenge to someone who is regarded as a worthy rival. Likewise, gratitude can depend on thankfulness and love, even as it is tinged with a desire to show that one can be as generous, and hence as noble, as one's partner.

Auguste articulates this pattern of amicable rivalry when he decides to pardon Cinna for conspiring against him:

Soyons amis, Cinna, c'est moi qui t'en convie:

Comme a mon ennemi je t'ai donne la vie,

Et malgre la fureur de ton lache destin,

Je te la donne encor comme a mon assassin.

Commencons un combat qui montre par l'issue

Qui l'aura mieux de nous, ou donnee, on recue.

Tu trahis mes bienfaits, je les veux redoubler,

Je t'en avais comble, je t'en veux accabler. (5.3.1701-8)

The last line points toward an important analogue to the code of reciprocation. Native Americans of the Northwest Pacific coast practiced a form of ritual gift exchange, known as the potlatch, marked by its extreme competitiveness. A potlatch is a kind of ceremonial party to which one invites friends, neighbors, and rivals. The guests are given great quantities of goods, enough to bankrupt, in material terms, the host. Such generosity, however, is an expression of wealth and power, and earns prestige. In such a giveaway, one seeks to "flatten" one's rivals and guests under gifts, just as Auguste proposes to accabler Cinna.

The code of reciprocation in seventeenth-century heroic drama closely resembles, in its form, discourse, rules, and social function, the ritual gift exchange practiced in some preindustrial societies. This similarity has been pointed out in studies of Corneille and other French dramatists. I would emphasize, however, the trait that sets gift exchange apart from other forms of exchange. Gift exchange is distinguished from other kinds of trade by its practitioners' insistence that the goods and services exchanged are gifts and that the transactions are conducted disinterestedly, in ways unlike commerce or barter. The same ideal of generosity, and the same contrast between generous benefaction and trade, appears in the heroic code of reciprocation.(9)

Marcel Mauss's path-breaking analysis of gift exchange is in this respect somewhat misleading. Mauss introduces the phenomenon he takes as his subject by observing that, in many cultures, "exchanges and contracts take place in the form of presents; in theory these presents are voluntary, in reality they are given and reciprocated obligatorily" (3). He proposes to examine

the so to speak voluntary character of these ... services, apparently

free and disinterested but nevertheless constrained and self-interested.

Almost always such services have taken the form of the gift, the

present generously given even when, in the gesture accompanying the

transaction, there is only a polite fiction, formalism, and social

deceit, and when really there is obligation and economic self-interest. (3)

Mauss aligns the relation between generosity and self-interest with the relation between appearance and reality, and that alignment skews his analysis. Because he wants to uncover a fundamental reality that shares many characteristics with commercial trade, Mauss often downplays the difference between "primitive" gift exchange and commerce, even though his subjects make that contrast a centerpiece of their activity.

Practitioners of gift exchange vehemently oppose it to calculating, self-interested barter. Mauss himself points out this differentiation when he describes the potlatch. Even as he invokes his contrast of appearance and reality, he suggests that the "native" view of the potlatch must be respected:

It is a system of law and economics in which considerable wealth is

constantly being expended and transferred. If one so wishes, one may

term these transfers acts of exchange or even of trade and sale. Yet

such trade is noble, replete with etiquette and generosity. At least,

when it is carried on in another spirit, with a view to immediate gain,

it becomes the object of very marked scorn. (37)

The emphasis on self-sacrifice is so great that, "In a certain number of cases, it is not even a question of giving and returning gifts, but of destroying, so as not to give the slightest hint of desiring your gift to be reciprocated" (37).

A similar contrast between honorable benefaction and commerce appears in the system of gift exchange in Melanesia, known as the kula. In the kula, "Trade is carried on in a noble fashion, apparently in a disinterested and modest way. It is distinguished carefully from the mere economic exchange of useful goods, which is called gimwali" (22). Malinowski, whose ethnographic reports Mauss follows, makes the importance of this point clearer. During trips to conduct kula, members of the expedition engage in gimwali with people other than their kula partners. Ritual gift exchange and trade based on self-interest thus exist side by side, but are kept separate. They are also explicitly contrasted with each other:

the conception of pure barter (gimwali) stands out very clearly, and the

natives make a definite distinction between this and other forms of

exchange. Embodied in a word, this distinction is made more poignant

still by the manner in which the word is used. When scornfully

criticising bad conduct in Kula, or an improper manner of giving gifts,

a native will say that `it was done like a gimwali'. (Malinowski,


I have already pointed out similar contrasts in Corneille's heroic plays. Characters often seem anxious lest their behavior appear to be motivated by utilitarian considerations. They emphasize the disinterestedness of their conduct because egoistical transactions are ignoble. Worthy motives like generosity and gratitude, however, cannot be perceived directly; they must be inferred from conduct. The protocols of honorable exchange provide a grid for assessing the motives underlying behavior. By behaving according to these conventions, one displays the appropriate sentiments. The code of reciprocation's rules are thus largely designed to differentiate honorable exchanges from commerce. The protocols allow observers to make social discriminations based on motives, but motives are attributed according to how much agents' behavior conforms to or deviates from the code.(11) We can therefore describe many of the rules for generous reciprocation by inverting the practices of barter and trade. The code of reciprocation, and gift exchange, create a prestigious, sacred sphere of relationships that are distinguished from the profane interactions of ordinary life, and the key difference is the denial of egoism.(12)

Conflicts Over Reciprocation

The successful practice of reciprocation contains an element of rivalry, but it does not always go so far that it produces genuine animosity. An author who is trying to create dramatic situations, however, win seek out conflict. Corneille's plays, and other examples of seventeenth-century romanesque drama, make the code of reciprocation's role in their fictional society most visible when the characters disagree about what they owe each other.

Such conflicts can occur in a wide range of situations. Corneille, however, tends to represent only certain kinds of disagreement, while avoiding others. Since partners in reciprocation are peers and reciprocation is a way of maintaining amicable relations, the paradigmatic reciprocal relationship is that between friends, who trade favors in a contest to see who can show the most esteem and affection. This pattern is signaled when Auguste pardons Cinna, since his opening words are "Soyons amis." Yet this invitation is not entirely fair, since the difference in rank and power is so great that the emperor's supremacy is never in question. In other authors' heroic plays, exchanges of favors between friends appear fairly often; we even find generosity duels in which partners compete in offering to sacrifice themselves for each other. Such situations, however, are relatively infrequent in Corneille. Heraclius and Martian in Heraclius, Antiochus and Seleucus in Rodogune, and Placide and Didyme in Theodore are some examples. In Corneille's plays, however, such generosity duels more often take place between lovers, such as Rodrigue and Chimene, Cinna and Emilie, or Didyme and Theodore.

Reciprocation between partners who are of very different ranks, in particular between kings and their generals, is the most common kind of exchange-with-conflict in Corneille. In the beginning of this paper, I said the relationship between sovereigns and subjects made the basic principle of exchange clearer than most other relationships--in normal circumstances, monarchs reward their generals for loyal service. Such exchanges, however, are not very dramatic. Corneille thus tends to present situations where kings and generals disagree about what they owe each other. Yet he scrupulously limits the extent to which such conflicts can undermine kingly supremacy.

In a number of plays, Corneille depicts a king who is relatively weak and unsuccessful as a general, and who finds himself dependent on the aid of a great warrior. This situation causes difficulties when the king is unable to find a reward commensurate to the general's services. If generous exchanges serve to display, ratify, or adjust status, and if he who can give or sacrifice the most has the best claim to superior rank, then a king who is obligated to his general is humiliated. In Surena, Nicomede, and Agesilas, Corneille depicts generals who are so powerful that their sovereigns fear they will seize power themselves, since no reward can compensate their service to the crown.(13)

Corneille thus presents a situation in which the sovereign's claim to preeminence seems threatened. Yet Corneille scrupulously limits this challenge. In some seventeenth-century heroic plays, kings engage in reciprocation with nobles as genuine peers, and the exchanges can bring out differences in merit that the play's outcome ratifies. A great general of uncertain lineage will prove to be of royal blood (Don Sanche is an example of this kind of plot in Corneille), or weakling kings or usurpers, who could not outdo their generals in generosity, will be unseated or forced to admit their generals as peers (Nicomede may be considered a version of this situation). In most of Corneille's plays, however, honorable reciprocation's social function is curtailed in the case of kings. Monarchs' transactions can never undermine their authority. Yet the characters explain and justify this exception in ways that still point to the code of reciprocation's basic principles and reveal its social function.

In Agesilas, Lysander has arranged for Agesilas' election to the Spartan throne. After Agesilas' is crowned, Lysander still has unofficial influence through his followers and clients, who remain loyal to him. Agesilas' resents Lysander's power and keeps him out of official posts. As a result, Lysander considers proposing a constitutional amendment that will allow him to be elected king. Agesilas' learns of this plan, but instead of punishing Lysander, decides to pardon him. In the final act, Agesilas' and Lysander discuss their relationship. Agesilas' argues that, by pardoning Lysander, he has discharged his obligations to him (5.7.2021-33). Lysander tries to deny that they have a normal exchange relationship, answering that Agesilas' should not have felt obliged, for "Qui sert le mieux son Roi ne fait que son devoir" (2035). Agesilas' however, tries to construe the relationship as one between peers, in which he has legitimately triumphed over Lysander in the contest of benefaction. He rejoices that, since he has pardoned Lysander, "j'ai pu m'acquitter et ne vous dois plus rien" (2050). He then displays his gratitude in the form of a favor that can be construed as an inaugural, gracious present: "A present que la gratitude / Ne peut passer pour dette en qui s'est acquitte, / Vos services payes d'un traitement si rude / Vont recevoir de moi ce qu'ils on merite" (2051-54). Agesilas' offers to marry Lysander's daughter, a proposal Lysander accepts with thanks.(14)

Agesilas' care to end his exchange with Lysander as a creditor signals the status-setting function of benefaction. To justify his preeminence as king, Agesilas' must show that he is the most generous, giving more than he has received. Yet after this transaction Agesilas' concludes with a sermonette reminding Lysander that exchanges between subjects and kings follow special rules: "Et surtout commencez d'apprendre / Que les Rois sont jaloux du souverain pouvoir, / Qu'ils aiment qu'on leur doive et ne peuvent devoir, / Que rien a leurs Sujets n'acquiert l'independance, / qu'ils reglent a leur choix l'emploi des plus grands coeurs / Qu'ils ont pour qui les sert des graces, des faveurs, / Et qu'on n'a jamais droit sur leur reconnaissance" (2060-66). The implication is that, even though exchanges between kings and subjects are exceptional, exchanges between peers do follow the code of reciprocation.

Court Politics and Legitimate Interests

Because the code of reciprocation helps determine merit and rank, Corneille's characters try to make the disinterestedness of their behavior unequivocal. Yet there are many occasions in Corneille's plays when honorable characters engage in reciprocal exchanges and bargain tenaciously to secure a return for what they give. These passages make exchange dear, but seem to contradict the principle that reciprocation is generous. Despite the appearances, though, Corneille's characters adhere to the principle that they should act disinterestedly. In most cases where characters drive hard bargains, they are making a genuine personal sacrifice. The requital they demand will not satisfy their own desires, but will answer a legitimate interest, often conceived as an obligation or duty to some person or entity they represent.

Protecting the honor of one's family, being true to the rank of one's lineage, and seeking to advance the common interest of one's nation or faction are all goals for which one may demand a counter-service. The disinterestedness of such transactions is made clear when one forfeits personal happiness to fulfill one's duty. In Le Cid, Rodrigue, Chimene, and the Infanta are all willing to sacrifice their love to family honor. In Sertorius, the tide character gives up his love in order to serve the interests of his political faction, explaining, "je n'ai point doute qu'il ne fut d'un grand coeur / De tout sacrifier pour le commun bonheur" (4.2.1271-72). Similarly, Maxime loses his good opinion of Cinna when he realizes that Cinna did not conspire against Auguste to help Rome, but to win Emilie. "L'interet du pays n'est point cc qui l'engage, / Le sien, et non la gloire, anime son courage, / Il aimerait Cesar s'il n'etait amoureux, / Et n'est enfin qu'ingrat, et non pas genereux" (3.1.745-48).

Corneille's heroines offer the most striking combination of self-sacrifice with a demand that a commensurate service be performed in exchange for the favor one offers. For these women, legitimate interests tend to be cumulative; both familial and political obligations are fulfilled when the heroines agree to dynastic marriages. The clearest combination of hard bargaining and self-sacrifice occurs when a woman must fulfill a dynastic, political duty by rejecting the man she loves so she can enlist the services of a man she does not love. To preserve her sense of personal integrity, the heroine divides herself in two. She confers her person, or hand, on the man who can help her fulfill a duty that satisfies her public obligations, while she reserves her heart for herself and the man she loves. In this way, far from being passive objects of exchange, Corneille's women trade on themselves. They do so, moreover, in a heroic way that involves self-sacrifice, even as they insist that the man they marry fulfill the terms of the nuptial agreement.

In Sophonisbe, the title character has married the Numidian king Syphax in order to secure his alliance with Carthage. To do so she broke her engagement with Massinisse, her true love. Syphax, however, proves a weak ally; when harried by the Romans he agrees to stop supporting the Carthaginians. Sophonisba rebukes him, recalling the sacrifice she has made and insisting that he stick to the bargain.

Un autre avait le choix de mon pere, et le mien,

Elle seule [i.e., Carthage] pour vous rompit ce doux lien,

Je brulais d'un beau feu, je promis de l'eteindre,

J'ai tenu ma parole, et j'ai su m'y contraindre,

Mais vous ne tenez pas, Seigneur, a vos amis

Ce qu'acceptant leur don vous leur avez promis,

Et pour ne pas user vers vous d'un mot trop rude,

Vous montrez pour Carthage un peu d'ingratitude.

Quoi? vous, qui lui devez ce bonheur de vos jours,

Vous, que mon hymenee engage a son secours,

Vous, que votre serment attache a sa defense,

Vous manquez de parole, et de reconnaissance,

Et pour remerciement de me voir en vos mains

Vous la livrez vous-meme en celles des Romains!

Vous brisez le pouvoir dont vous m'avez recue,

Et je serais le prix d'une amitie rompue! (1.4.289-304)

The relationship here is obviously reciprocal, with an explicit expectation that a favor be answered. Yet Sophonisba underlines her own generosity and recalls her feelings for Massinisse, concluding, "Je m'en souviens, Seigneur, lorsque vous oubliez / Quels voeux mon changement vous a sacrifies, / Et saurai l'oublier, quand vous ferez justice / A ceux qui vous ont fait un si grand sacrifice" (325-28).

Patronage and the Discourse of Generosity and Gratitude

The code of reciprocation, and the discourse of generosity and gratitude that articulates it, can be found in much seventeenth-century literature. Though I have here limited my evidence to the serious drama of Pierre Corneille, the code can also be found in the work of his contemporaries. It is prominent in historical romances and the romanesque plays they inspired, and it is especially evident in the heroic plays of Restoration England.(15) If this model of relationships is so frequent, and if the plays so often present discussions of conduct that rely on the principles of honorable exchange, we can infer that contemporary playgoers found this material interesting. We tend to discount spectacular displays of generosity as insincere. Seventeenth-century audiences, however, could take the debates about reciprocal, disinterested relationships more seriously than we, for their own lives were conducted according to the code of reciprocation. Many of the most important social, political, and economic relationships in seventeenth-century France depended on patronage. Patron-client bonds not only governed the production of art and literature, but also influenced other areas of fife. These relationships were conducted using the language and norms of the code of reciprocation.

Recent work on the history of early modern Europe has brought the role of political patronage into new prominence, linking the increased significance of patron-client relations to the development of the centralized, absolutist monarchy.(16) Like the ties of fealty between liege-lord and vassal, the patron-client bond is a personal link that rests on fidelity and on the exchange of services and gifts.(17) Patrons and clients sometimes even use feudal terms, such as homage, to describe their relationship. Yet patronage differs from feudalism because it is more fluid and private, and does not impose clearly defined, public obligations on the partners.(18) Patron-client relations grew in importance as feudal ties declined, and they were actually encouraged in sixteenth-century France and England, as monarchs strove to extend crown authority. Managing nation-states required techniques of administration that eventually developed into a modern, legalistic bureaucracy. In the seventeenth century, however, royal administration had only reached the form that Weber calls patrimonial bureaucracy. A patrimonial bureaucracy lacks rationalized practices like appointment and promotion by merit, distribution of responsibility and authority to different offices (not individual officeholders), a dear hierarchy of offices, and regularly paid, adequate salaries. Instead, rank, remuneration, and day-to-day administrative decisions depend on personal connections and informal, unofficial networks of influence.(19) Patrimonial bureaucracy, in short, is a regime based on patronage.

Patronage was especially well suited to extending the authority of the crown in nation-states because it made it possible to bypass or integrate provincial nobles and magnates whose independence could threaten sovereign power. Richelieu and Mazarin had networks of clients who helped carry out their projects and extend their influence in the provinces. These clients were brokers with their own sub-clients. Such informal, unofficial patronage networks made it possible to influence affairs even in the face of resistance by sovereign courts and independent officials. Another strategy was to co-opt potential opponents by making them brokers in one's network. Richelieu and Mazarin reformed the patronage system of the sixteenth century, when noble magnates had independent followings, by making provincial magnates intermediates in a patronage pyramid where all were ultimately the clients of the king or his chief minister.(20)

To us, patronage seems a selfish, venal affair, in which partners use each other for their own advantage. Though such egoism may have been the underlying reality in many patron-client relationships, it was not acknowledged. Instead the partners called each other friend, emphatically asserting their loyalty, their affection, and their desire to be of service to one another. Such affirmations are more important in patronage than in feudal relations, because patronage has no public basis or foundation, and no bilateral guarantee. The partners must maintain their relationship through assertions of affection, exchanging symbolic courtesies as well as more tangible gifts and services. Seneca's De beneficiis, a guide to patrons' beneficence, was exceptionally popular during the seventeenth century, and it consistently praises affectionate liberality and sincere gratitude. Early modern courtesy books and moral essays all expounded the virtue and proper management of munificence. The language of court patronage, as preserved in correspondences, was full of reciprocal terms.(21) The discourse of friendship, courtesy, and disinterest that patrons and clients used to describe their relationships corresponds closely to the language of generosity and gratitude that we see in Corneille's heroic plays.


The code of reciprocation informs many themes in seventeenth-century heroic, romanesque literature. Friendship is understood and conducted in terms of exchange, as are love and relations between parents and children. The relations between monarchs and their subjects, and among courtiers, are also carried on by reference to norms of generosity and gratitude. Even the ideal of heroism, which seems to rest on a sort of solipsism, can be explained in terms of reciprocation; the hero is set apart because no one can trade with him and make a commensurate return for his services. The nature of villainy is also accounted for in this system, since villains are egoists, but some cynical characters try to break out of the code's parameters by deconstructing the code and arguing that all actions are the product of egoism. Recognizing the ubiquitous expectation that relationships are conducted through exchange, and that reciprocal actions by virtuous persons are disinterested, enables us to uncover a model of human nature, motivation, and social relations that underlies all these themes. Corneille's heroic plays represent a culture that struggles mightily to preserve a sphere of conduct that is not based on egoism, even as contemporary authors like La Rochefoucauld and Pierre Nicole suggest that all human behavior can be explained as the result of self-interest.

(1.) I cite Corneille from Couton's Pleiade edition, giving act, scene, and line numbers.

(2.) Ehrmann introduced the topic of reciprocation to Corneille studies, but his structural analysis of exchange in Cinna adopts the point of view of the anthropologist, rather than that of the native informant, to produce an account of the system of exchange (958). Most subsequent discussions of reciprocation in Corneille and other seventeenth-century literature similarly describe exchange from an external, sometimes anthropological point of view. Though I also adopt such a perspective, I believe we should first try to understand the code of reciprocation as Corneilles characters comprehend it, before we examine their ethic from an external point of view.

(3.) Writing on exchange in Corneille and Moliere, Apostolides highlights the difference between exchanges that resemble marketplace transactions and the generous transfers favored by aristocratic characters. The distinction between different types of exchange, winch create relationships that are supposed to rest on different kinds of motive, is also pointed out by Judovitz and is discussed by Force. Some scholars writing on exchange in French classical drama, for example Serres and Reiss, do not explore the distinction between different systems of exchange. In some cases the absence of such a distinction depends on a belief that the distinction between generous and self-interested exchange is a social fiction. (On that point see the discussion of gift exchange below.)

My approach to reciprocation differs from that of other critics because I insist that the distinction between transactions that admit the operation of self-interest and those that refuse it must be respected--indeed, it should be emphasized, for it underlies the whole code of reciprocation. The distinction between self-sacrifice and self-interest is part of the logic of reciprocation. Generous, honorable reciprocation cannot be conceived as an ideal form of interaction unless one also formulates the anti-ideal of egoistical trade. Once this antithesis is articulated, however, it is easy to argue that supposedly disinterested acts are a disguised form of egoism. It is therefore hard to maintain the distinction between generous and self-seeking exchange in practice. Yet it is precisely this distinction that the characters take such pains to maintain. My aim is to show that their behavior follows consistent rules, and that we can make sense of these rules without reducing generosity to egoism.

I should also note that some critics, most notably Apostolides, construct the distinction between the different kinds of exchange in diachronic terms, describing generous reciprocation as feudal and characterizing self-interested exchange as mercantile or bourgeois. (Force invokes the idea of a new historical development when he discusses the discourse of amour-propre, but does not link the change to class ideology.) Though the contrast between aristocratic and bourgeois conduct is helpful as a way of characterizing the two kinds of exchange, I would insist that both kinds of exchange are always present. The opposition between these two forms of exchange is not latent, but explicit, even in gift exchange, since it is impossible to articulate the ideal form of reciprocation without conjuring up the anti-ideal of commerce. The presence of the antithesis in early modem drama therefore does not reflect the formulation of a new, supposedly bourgeois ideology.

(4.) Pierre Bourdieu shows that honor is earned through material sacrifices and describes some of the rules of reciprocation insightfully. His account of the realm of honor is relatively clear in part because he uses economic language to describe this sphere of action. He speaks, for example, of the "symbolic capital" one earns through material sacrifices. This explanatory approach, however, undermines the distinction that Bourdieu's Algerian subjects, and Corneille's characters, seek to maintain, since they see the domain of honor as one where self-interest must be repudiated. The code of reciprocation rejects the economic assumption that human beings are all selfish, calculating homines economici--isolated individuals who pursue their own advantage while disregarding the needs and desires of others.

(5.) Some critics argue that there is a logical difficulty in the basic formulation of generous reciprocation. The system seems problematic when reciprocation is in practice obligatory and can therefore be expected. Because the donor can anticipate a response, it seems that them can be no truly free gift. Mauss points out this inconsistency, and Derrida pays considerable attention to it. I do not believe, however, that exploring tins supposed difficulty takes us very far. As Derrida himself has shown, many system of belief and value are internally inconsistent. They are nevertheless frequently invoked and successfully applied in practice, occasions at which an unpasse is reached are not that common. It therefore seems more promising to consider how, in their actual practice, agents negotiate the logical difficulties of the code to avoid and smooth over its inconsistencies.

(6.) In a recent analysis of Medeem Tucker describes an exchange system based on self-interest, arguing that the characters act egoistically when they conduct their transactions. The principle of reciprocation is very evident in this play, since the characters are scrupulous about the principle that they should be grateful for services and gifts, and reciprocate accordingly. Moreover, several of the characters conduct their exchanges in an egoistical way. Nevertheless, the play still distinguishes between honorable exchange and mercenary transactions. Jason himself would prefer to "quitter l'utile pour l'honnete" (1.1.129) and construes his situation as a dilemma of conflicting obligations. The ideal of generous benefaction is especially prominent in the character of Pollux. After helping save Creuse from abduction, he refuses Creon's thanks. Creon then admiringly declares that "le refus d'un honneur merite / N'est pas un petit trait de generosite" (4.2.1091-92).

Some critics do not deny the importance of the ideal of honorable reciprocation, but instead bypass that system of exchange, reading virtually all the language of exchange in seventeenth-century drama as evidence of a new economic order. Reiss, for example, explains the exchanges in Racine's Iphigenie and other seventeenth-century tragedies as expressions of an ideology of possessive individualism. Similarly, Gerhardi explains the systems of exchange in Cinna by reference to changes in political practice and theory, which he in turn links to economic and monetary developments. Gerharch does mention the existence of a "favor economy" (Gunstwirtschaft) that he distinguishes from a market economy (432-33), but does not present this economy as a distinct sphere of exchange with its own rules.

(7.) It must be remembered that, in the seventeenth century, genereux not only meant beneficent, but also noble and magnanimous. The element of liberality, however, is prominent in the notion of generosite, and is closely linked to magnanimity. What we would call generosity is a characteristic trait of Aristotle's magnanimous man, an important model for seventeenth-century theories of heroism (Fumaroli). See Agesilas' description of royal generosity (below) for the influence of Aristotelian notions of magnanimity.

(8.) On the distinction between peers and equals, and the competition among peers in ostentatious expenditure, see Baudrillard's remarks about the art auction (117).

(9.) Ehrmann points out the similarity of reciprocation to the potlatch and mentions the importance of generosity in gift exchange, but does not pursue the topic further (938-39, n. 1). Apostolides also makes the connection to gift exchange, but emphasizes the notion of sacrifice, with its ritual, religious connotations, rather than generosity He also points out a number of formal principles in the conduct of aristocratic reciprocation that resemble gift exchange. I argue that the repudiation of self-interest underlies virtually all the rules that distinguish gift exchange--and the honorable reciprocation in Corneille--from commerce.

(10.) Mauss criticizes Malinowski for trying to distinguish different kinds of transaction; according to the agents' motives, arguing that disinterestedness is hard to prove in a system where reciprocation is obligatory and no transaction lacks a counter-gift (73). This only shows, however, that one can claim that agents might be acting out of egoism. But since one cannot inspect agents' motives directly, the possibility of a suspicious interpretation does not mean their discourse is in fact hypocritical, or even inconsistent. Moreover, Mauss never suggests that the theoretical distinction between interested and disinterested action cannot be drawn, he only shows that it is difficult to maintain in practice. People engaged in gift exchange themselves are aware of that difficulty. They follow the rules for reciprocation partly in order to make the distinction between generosity and egoism visible in their conduct; and thus to display a prestigious disposition to self-sacrifice. Pascal observes, "Rien n'est si semblable a la charite que la cupidite, et rien n'y est si contraire" (Pensee 508); the difficulty of making the distinction in practice does not mean that the distinction is senseless or unimportant.

(11.) Such a system is of course vulnerable to manipulation. Once a set of rules for acting generously is established, agents may follow those rules hypocritically. But we cannot infer, just because cheating is possible, that generous behavior is impossible.

(12.) I should perhaps point out that the code of reciprocation, and gift exchange, rest on a supplementary logic. Practitioners of gift exchange have a clear notion of an alternative kind of transaction, in which one acts egoistically and with an eye to material profit. They contrast this anti-ideal with the ideal of disinterested benefaction. Yet even though they repudiate commercial motivations, they cannot describe their own conduct without using metaphors and analogies from egoistical, marketplace transactions. This phenomenon has implications for the history of economic thought that I cannot examine here, but will treat elsewhere.

(13.) Couton describes this sort of situation in "L'Image du prince" and discusses the related topic of political ingratitude in his notes on Nicomede (v. 2, pp. 1461-71). Apostolides suggests that benefaction--or self-sacrifice--by kings is the most important kind of reciprocation in Corneille, as part of his argument that Corneille and other seventeenth-century dramatists present a distinctive model of kingship. The plays of Corneille, however, seem usually to focus on kings' role as the recipients, not the donors, of service. Judovitz presents an analysis of Le Cid that recalls Apostolides' argument.

(14.) In the moka exchange of New Guinea, return gifts are distinguished into two parts. There is a payment for the debt, which is equivalent to the original prestation, and then there is an addition; "it is strictly this increment in excess of debt which is the moka element in the gift, and which brings prestige to the giver" (Strathern 93). Agesilas follows exactly this principle. Returning a gift with interest makes it more similar to the inaugural gift. Instead of returning the relationship to equilibrium, the return gift incurs a loss for the grateful donor that corresponds to the sacrifice made by the inaugural benefactor.

(15.) John Wallace pointed out the importance of generosity and gratitude, and suggested their connection to patronage. Douglas Canfield describes a social ideal similar to the one I characterize as the code of reciprocation and indicates its presence in Restoration drama, as well as other periods of English literature.

(16.) For an overview of recent work, including references to sociological accounts of patronage and research on patronage outside France, see Kettering, "Patronage in Early Modern France."

(17.) Mousnier's path-breaking work on patronage emphasizes the language of fidelite and the value of loyalty in personal relationships in early modern France.

(18.) Because patronage is different from feudalism, and because it is much more prominent in the seventeenth century than feudal relationships, it seems more accurate to speak of patronage than feudalism when describing the reciprocal relations in Corneille. Apostolides' invocation of the feudal model rightly underlines the personal, reciprocal aspects of the exchange relations in Corneille. This an feudal, however, seems inseparably linked to the notion of the bourgeoisie. That contrast helps emphasize the differences between honorable reciprocation and commercial transactions, and is heuristically useful. Recent work by historians, however, has shown that the feudalbourgeois contrast is too schematic to help place the heroic drama's models for behavior in a specific historical context.

(19.) Weber 341-58. For more material on the sociology of patronage see Weissman and his notes.

(20.) Kettering, Patrons. This system resembles the use of patronage to consolidate the Roman Empire under Augustus and the early emperors, as described by Saller (73-78 et passim). Wallace-Hadrill notes the similarity between the practice of political patronage in the early empire and the role of patronage in early modern Europe.

(21.) Kettering, "Gift-giving," Peck, and Saller 8-21.


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Title Annotation:playwright Pierre Corneille
Author:Rubidge, Bradley
Publication:The Romanic Review
Date:Jan 1, 1998
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