that writer's Heinrich von Offerdingen
, Fouque's Sintram
's Goldene Topf
, and Richter
, whether these were read in the original German
or in the translations of Carlyle
, and others.
All these books are now little sought, and rather alien to the present taste.
To these were added, in English
, such tales as Poe
's William Wilson
's The Birthmark
and Rappaccini's Daughter,;
and, in French
's Le Peau de Chagrin
, which Professor Longfellow
used warmly to recommend to his college pupils.
Works like these represented the prevailing sentiment of a period; they exerted a distinct influence on the moulding of a generation.
Their moral was irresistible for those who really cared enough for the books to read them; they needed no guide-boards; the guide-board was for the earlier efforts at realism, before it had proved its strength.
Realism has since achieved its maturity, and undoubtedly has won — if it has not already lost again-possession of the field.
Whether its sway be, as many think, a permanent change, or only, as I myself believe, a swing of the pendulum, the fact is the same.
It is as useless to resist such changes as it was for Lowell
to go on lighting his pipe for years