THE reluctance which must naturally be felt by any one inventuring to give to the world a book such as the present, wherethe beauties of the great original must inevitably be diminished,if not destroyed, in the process of passing through thetranslator's hands, cannot but be felt in all its force when thattranslator has not penetrated beyond the outer courts of thepoetic fane, and can have no hope of advancing further, or ofreaching its sanctuary. But it is to me a subject of peculiarsatisfaction that your kind permission to have your nameinscribed upon this page serves to attain a twofold end--onedirect and personal, and relating to the present day; the otherreflected and historical, and belonging to times long gone by. Ofthe first little need now be said, for the privilege is whollymine, in making this dedication: as to the second, one word ofexplanation will suffice for those who have made the greatestpoet of Germany, almost of the world, their study, and to whomthe story of his life is not unknown. All who have followed thecareer of GOETHE are familiar with the name and character ofDALBERG, and also with the deep and lasting friendship thatexisted between them, from which SCHILLER too was not absent;recalling to the mind the days of old, when a Virgil and a Horaceand a Maecenas sat side by side.
Of murder and thievish plunder!Such actions false will cause no surprise,