chapter
2 Pages

at a glance, really primitive in their

Shall we not find here the really characteristic types of those points d' appui we seek to discover? But on the other hand, shall we not be more likely to find ourselves again facing, in a new but always recognizable form, that old illusion which we were combating? It reappears continually, with a variety, a perseverance; and a kind of insinuating subtlety which makes it especially dangerous. Let us see whether the same illusion is not really underlying yet once again the idea of those little fundamental and distinct unities-the islands. Let us select for discussion the case which is the most typical and manifest; not that of the isles in the figurative sense which Brunhes lends to that word, but the real islands, the islands of the sea. Our argument must incur the risk of being monotonous or even tiresome; but it seems to us indispensable that it should be placed before the reader.