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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,

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Alfred Tennyson (1)
Alighieri Dante (1)
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