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I see thee, when upon the distant ridge

I feel no small reluctance in venturing to give to the public awork of the character of that indicated by the title-page to thepresent volume; for, difficult as it must always be to rendersatisfactorily into one's own tongue the writings of the bards ofother lands, the responsibility assumed by the translator isimmeasurably increased when he attempts to transfer the thoughtsof those great men, who have lived for all the world and for allages, from the language in which they were originally clothed, toone to which they may as yet have been strangers. Preeminentlyis this the case with Goethe, the most masterly of all the masterminds of modern times, whose name is already inscribed on thetablets of immortality, and whose fame already extends over theearth, although as yet only in its infancy. Scarcely have twodecades passed away since he ceased to dwell among men, yet henow stands before us, not as a mere individual, like those whomthe world is wont to call great, but as a type, as an emblem--therecognised emblem and representative of the human mind in itspresent stage of culture and advancement.