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SHORT HISTORY

OF

GERMAN LITERATURE

BY

PROF. JAMES K. HOSMER

So viel Einzelnes ist in den Vordergrund gestellt worden, dass der klare Veber-
blick über das Ganze fast verloren geht.— Rudolph Gottschall.

SECOND EDITION

ST. LOUIS

G. I. JONES AND COMPANY

46515.24.5

(280)

HARVARD
UNIVERSITY

AN 24 1961

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by

JAMES K. HOSMER,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by

JAMES K. HOSMER,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

St. Louis: Press of G. I. Jones and Company.

PREFACE.

If we turn back two hundred years, we find the reading men of England, if they have time to go beyond their own authors, giving their attention, among moderns, to the Italians and Spanish. As yet in Europe only Italy and Spain, besides England, had seen the rise of literatures of sufficient moment to influence the cultivated world beyond the national limits. Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Ariosto, Tasso, Machiavelli had lived, and these are still the greatest Italian names.

In Spain, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Calderon had done their work,—work which no succeeding writers of that land have equalled.

If we go back one hundred years, the literature of France has taken the place in the estimation of the English once held by the writers of Spain and Italy; the brilliant men of the age of Louis XIV lave laid the world under their spell. In our time, again, the influence of France has been, to a large extent, supplanted. Following especially the lead of two of the most gifted Englishmen of the century, Coleridge and Carlyle, the present generation turns with most reverence to the Germans, often regarding their literature as the most important in the world, after our own, if, indeed, we are to make that exception. It will scarcely be questioned that some knowledge of the history of German literature is, to English-speaking persons, an essential part of thorough culture.

In the account of the adventures of the god Thor

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