uence all nations feel.
Under their authority we see introduced into literary work an habitual grace and perfection, a clearness and directness, a light and pliable strength, and a fine shading of expression, such as no other tongue can even define.
We see the same high standard in their criticism, in their works of research, in the Revue des Deux Mondes, and, in short, throughout literature.
What is there in any other language, for instance, to be compared with the voluminous writings of Sainte-Beuve, ranging over all history and literature, and carrying into all that incomparable style, so delicate, so brilliant, so equable, so strong,--touching all themes, not with the blacksmith's hand of iron, but with the surgeon's hand of steel?
In the average type of French novels, one feels the superiority to the English in quiet power, in the absence of the sensational and exaggerated, and in keeping close to the level of real human life.
They rely for success upon perfection of style