to a coming world-literature as if no one had hinted at the dream.
There is an immense increase of interest in the study of languages, no doubt; and all this prepares for an interchange of national literatures, not for merging them in one.
The interchange is a good preliminary stage, no doubt; but the preparation for a world-literature must surely lie in the study of those methods of thought, those canons of literary art, which lie at the foundation of all literatures.
The thought and its expression, —these are the two factors which must solve the problem; and it matters not how much we translate—or overset, as the Germans felicitously say—so long as we go no deeper and do not grasp at what all literatures have in common.
Thus in the immense range of elective studies at Harvard University there are twenty-one distinct courses in Greek
, and about as many in Latin, English, French, and German; but not a single course among them which pertains to a world-literature, or even recognizes that these various branches have any common trunk.
The only sign that looks in the slightest degree toward this direction is