are taught mainly through their masterpieces; and German too must offer of its best if it would aspire to be learned with the same sympathy and thoroughness.

The experiment, as tried at Winchester, seems to have justified itself, and it is hoped that the outcome of this teaching of Faust, combined with the considerable additions which have been made in order to bring it into the shape of a book, may be an encouragement and assistance towards the repetition of the experiment at other Public Schools.

But the Editors venture to hope that they may be providing for another and a wider want. The interest in German literature, which England owes so largely to Carlyle, shows little sign of flagging ; yet it cannot be said that it is altogether easy to satisfy it. Translations, while they increase readers, probably diminish learners ; and editions of German classics, with similar help to that afforded so abundantly in the case of the Latin and Greek classics, are still strangely rare and inadequate. Our endeavour has been to supply just such aids to the study of Faust as we should ourselves have been glad to have found existing when our own acquaintance with it began. We do not at all aim to abolish the use of Grammar and Dictionary, still less do we aspire to the exhaustiveness of Düntzer. To insure a certain acceleration of intellectual pace, by providing the help necessary for reading a scene rather than a page, is the utmost to which we aspire in our Notes. We have prefixed short arguments to each scene in order to show the drift of each and their

general connection with the whole, and a very few appendices have been added where explanations too long for a note seem to be required.

We have also added a few fragments of translation, mostly, though not entirely, of the lyrical parts. These have been written with no desire to compete with the many existing translations, nor entirely with reference to difficulties in the original. But learners, we have found, are often refreshed, after the weary, but necessary, process of making out good poetry bit by bit, and as if it were prose, by finding at hand some transformation of it into metre in their own language, however inadequate such versions may appear to more accomplished readers.

We must, lastly, take this opportunity of acknowledging our obligation to the following commentators and translators, Düntzer, Vischer, Bayard Taylor, Hayward, Martin, Miss Swanwick, Kegan Paul, Selss, and Birds.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« ͹˹Թõ