An attempt is made in the following pages to discuss the
various judgements pronounced by Ste. Beuve upon the literatures
of England and Germany.
The task of reading Ste. Leuve's 6O odd volumes, in addition
to those books consulted for reference, has been onerous but at
she same time most interesting. In the case of a work like the
'Decline; and Fail', I have to confess myself in a position
rather similar to that of Mr. Silas Wegg ; : "I haven't been, not
to say right slap through him very lately, having been otherwise
employed Mr. Boffin"; but with regard generally to the fairly
wide reading involved in all three languages, my pleasure has
been increased by renewing acquaintance with much that had long
since been forgotten.
Liberal use has been made throughout of quotations from the
critic's own writings:- a practice which he himself preferred to
follow, although it often results, as here, in a somewhat