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Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 1749-1832.

Copyright, 1898

BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

Set up and electrotyped, January, 1899. Reprinted, March, 1901.
Reprinted, July, 1902. Reprinted, July, 1903.

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INDIAN, STATE LIBRARY

Press of Carl H. Heintzemann
Boston, Mass.

12.24.32

Flounce Veure

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"MANY a boy," says Lowell, "has hated, and rightly hated, Homer and Horace, the pedagogues and grammarians, who would have loved Homer and Horace the poets, had he been allowed to make their acquaintance." The danger which besets us all is that of forgetting that the appreciation of a simple and noble work of art is an immediate one on the part of those who are fitted to receive it, and that the unfit cannot be made over by more apparatus. Here, if anywhere, the letter killeth. Happily, the days are past when the master-work of a great poet could be used chiefly as a corpus vile for the demonstration of facts in Indo-European phonetics, and yet the feeling cannot be avoided that we are often not satisfied with the direct message of the artist's creation itself, but must attach to it a load of outside information. The case is rather similar to what is seen in certain Italian churches, where the attempt is made to relieve the severe simplicity of some marble statue by adding to it brocaded garments, wreaths of paper flowers, and a crown of brass.

If our poem be worthy of the place which it has held for a century, it is because it is not a dead work but a living one, and the most helpful interpretation of any such work must always be sought in the living word of one who has reverently and patiently penetrated into its spirit, and who

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