previous next
[196]

It is never worth while to dwell much upon international comparisons; it is enough to say that the oft-criticised want of the art-instinct in English-speaking nations shows itself, though in a less degree, in literature also, and renders constant watchfulness needful lest we revert into brutality. In this respect modern Germany can teach us little, save through the Franco-German Heine. A young American usually comes home from a German university with more knowledge than when he went there, but with less power of felicitous expression. But Greece and Rome have still unexhausted lessons, and so have Persia and Arabia; these last, indeed, wreathe their weapons with too many roses, but they carry true nevertheless. Dante not only created his own conceptions, but almost the very language in which he wrote; and what was his power of expression we can judge best by seeing in how few lines he can put vividly before us some theme which Tennyson or Browning afterward hammers out into a long poem. In English literature there seemed to be developing, in the time of Addison, something of that steady, even,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Alfred Tennyson (1)
Alighieri Dante (1)
Robert Browning (1)
Joseph Addison (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: