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THE OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN.     The name of Herr Balthasar was well known throughout the whole hill-country: not a child but had heard of his vast riches, and had some story to tell of him. Everybody too loved and honoured him; for his bounty was as great as his wealth: but at the same time he was viewed with fear; for he harast both himself and others by a number of strange whims which no one could... more...

PREFACE This book is designed to accompany an introductory study of the history of German literature. It is assumed that the history itself will be learned, so far as necessary, either from lectures or from some other book devoted to the subject. As the selections were made, for the most part, while I was writing my own short history of German literature for the series published under the general... more...

WHAT PAUL BOURGET THINKS OF US He reports the American joke correctly. In Boston they ask, How much does he know? in New York, How much is he worth? in Philadelphia, Who were his parents? And when an alien observer turns his telescope upon us—advertisedly in our own special interest—a natural apprehension moves us to ask, What is the diameter of his reflector? I take a great interest in M.... more...

THE ART OF DISCRIMINATION The world divides itself into people who can discriminate and people who cannot discriminate. This is the ultimate test of sensitiveness; and sensitiveness alone separates us and unites us. We all create, or have created for us by the fatality of our temperament, a unique and individual universe. It is only by bringing into light the most secret and subtle elements of this... more...

PREFACE French prose and French poetry had interested me during so many years that when Mr. Gosse invited me to write this book I knew that I was qualified in one particular—the love of my subject. Qualified in knowledge I was not, and could not be. No one can pretend to know the whole of a vast literature. He may have opened many books and turned many pages; he cannot have penetrated to the soul of... more...

FRENCH LITERATURE. Of French literature, taken as a whole, it may boldly be said that it is, not the wisest, not the weightiest, not certainly the purest and loftiest, but by odds the most brilliant and the most interesting, literature in the world. Strong at many points, at some points triumphantly strong, it is conspicuously weak at only one point,—the important point of poetry. In eloquence, in... more...

CHAPTER I. THE CHALET At the beginning of October, 1829, Monsieur Simon Babylas Latournelle, notary, was walking up from Havre to Ingouville, arm in arm with his son and accompanied by his wife, at whose side the head clerk of the lawyer's office, a little hunchback named Jean Butscha, trotted along like a page. When these four personages (two of whom came the same way every evening) reached the... more...

A PRINCE OF BOHEMIA "My dear friend," said Mme. de la Baudraye, drawing a pile of manuscript from beneath her sofa cushion, "will you pardon me in our present straits for making a short story of something which you told me a few weeks ago?" "Anything is fair in these times. Have you not seen writers serving up their own hearts to the public, or very often their mistress' hearts... more...

THE MUSE OF THE DEPARTMENT On the skirts of Le Berry stands a town which, watered by the Loire, infallibly attracts the traveler's eye. Sancerre crowns the topmost height of a chain of hills, the last of the range that gives variety to the Nivernais. The Loire floods the flats at the foot of these slopes, leaving a yellow alluvium that is extremely fertile, excepting in those places where it has... more...

CHAPTER I. ONE OF MANY CHEVALIERS DE VALOIS Most persons have encountered, in certain provinces in France, a number of Chevaliers de Valois. One lived in Normandy, another at Bourges, a third (with whom we have here to do) flourished in Alencon, and doubtless the South possesses others. The number of the Valesian tribe is, however, of no consequence to the present tale. All these chevaliers, among whom... more...