« PreviousContinue »
PROFESSOR OP ENGLISH LITERATURE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF DUBLIN,
AUTHOR OF “SHAKSPERE—HIS MIND AND ART," " POEMS," ETC.
In bringing these Essays together I carry out the intention with which they were originally written. Without forming a continuous study they circle around common thoughts and topics, and so in a measure belong to one another. The first three essays put in position some of the subjects and persons treated in detail in the later essays; there is therefore occasionally some. repetition, the first essays saying in brief what others express more at large. I had intended to add to these introductory essays a fourth on the Mediæval Revival, but I' found that this great movement could not be viewed as seemed to me right without a more comprehensive survey than was possible in the present volume; and such an introductory essay happened not to be necessary in order to place in position any of the subjects afterwards treated, for even Lamennais belongs (as Catholics will probably be glad to admit) more to the democratic movement than to the Catholic revival.
I have confined this volume to studies in English and French literature. It is my wish on a future occasion to follow up these essays with others 'treating of subjects from the literature and thought of Germany.
Upon the whole I have cared more to understand than to object; I have tried rather to interpret than to judge. The imperfection of these attempts at criticism I have felt in reading over my proof-sheets probably as vividly as any other person is likely to feel it. Still I have known that they are sincere records of the help which certain great writers have given me, and it has also been a happiness to me to be assured that in the case of some of the writers treated my attempt to interpret has gone —as far as it goes—at least on right lines.
For their courteous permission to reprint my contri- · butions I thank the Editors of the “Fortnightly. Review," the “Contemporary Review," the “Cornhill Magazine,” the" Westminster Review,"and the“Academy;" and Mr M‘Gee, the publisher of “ Afternoon Lectures, 1869. .
Hostility of some great living teachers to contemporary tendencies-
Its cause-Meaning of “transcendental”-Neglect of this side of