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xvi

INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR.

ear. The notes are no less curious, and to a stranger no less bewildering. Nothing could be more naïve than the writer's ignorance at some points, or more startling than her learning at others. On the whole, the attainment of the book was simply astounding. It consisted of a selection of translations from nearly one hundred French poets, chosen by the poetess herself on a principle of her own which gradually dawned upon the careful reader. She eschewed the Classicist writers as though they had never existed. For her André Chenier was the next name in chronological order after Du Bartas. Occasionally she showed a profundity of research that would have done no discredit to Mr. Saintsbury or "le doux Assellineau." She was ready to pronounce an opinion on Napol de Pyrénéan or to detect a plagiarism in Baudelaire. But she thought that Alexander Smith was still alive, and she was curiously vague