Spring of 1914, I was invited to deliver a series of lectures on modern French poetry in Boston during the following winter. This book consists of those lectures, rewritten and arranged for the press. It is a strange thing that while so many Americans and English repair every year to France, so few of them, in either country, realized what a serious and self-sacrificing people the French were making of themselves, before the present war brought the fact to their notice. To students of French literature, this was no matter for surprise. They understood that the earnest and singleminded endeavour applied to the arts must have its counterpart in other branches of the national life. That this was the case, is now abundantly proved. We, in the English-speaking countries, are asking ourselves how we could have so misunderstood the French people. But to be misunderstood has been the lot of Frenchmen when dealing with A nglo-S axons from time immemorial. The bar of language has something to do with it, undoubtedly. A nother reason is the unfortunate attitude of our schools and colleges, which always assume that everything worthy to be called literature, and therefore studied, ceased, in every country, a generation or two ago.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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