recognize the exceptional position of the Greek product.
In this respect ‘we are not confronted by a theory, but by a condition.’
The supremacy of the Greek in sculpture is not more unequivocal than in literature; and the two arts had this in common, that the very language of that race had the texture of marble.
To treat this supremacy as something accidental, like the long theologic sway of the Hebrew and Chaldee, is to look away from a world-literature.
It is as if an ambitious sculptor were to decide to improve his studio by throwing his Venus
upon the ash-heap.
There is no accident about art: what is great is great, and the best cannot be permanently obscured by the second best.
At the recent sessions of the ‘Modern Language Association,’ in Cambridge, Mass.
, although all the discussions were spirited and pointed, it seemed to me that the maturest and best talk came from those who showed that they had not been trained in the modern languages alone.
The collective literature of the world is not too wide a study to afford the requisite foundation for an ultimate worlderature;