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DEDICATION

TO

F. Y. ECCLES

DEDICATION

MY DEAR ECCLES,
You will, I know, permit me to address you these essays

I which are more the product of your erudition than of my enthusiasm.

With the motives of their appearance you are familiar.

We have wondered together that a society so avid of experience and enlargement as is ours, should ignore the chief expression of its closest neighbour, its highest rival and its coheir in Europe: should ignore, I mean, the literature of the French.

We have laughed together, not without despair, to see the mind of England, for all its majesty and breadth, informed at the most critical moments in the policy of France by such residents of Paris as were at the best fanatical, at the worst (and most ordinary) corrupt.

Seeing around us here a philosophy and method drawn from northern Germany, a true and subtle sympathy with the Italians, and a perpetual, just and accurate comment upon the minor nationalities of Europe, a mass of recorded travel superior by far to that of other countries, we marvelled that France in particular should have remained unknown.

We were willing, in an earlier youth, to read this riddle in somewhat crude solutions. I think we have each of us arrived, and in a final manner, at the sounder conclusion that historical accident is principally to blame. The chance concurrence of this defeat with that dynastic influence, the slip by which the common sense of political simplicity missed footing in England and fell a generation behind, the marvellous industrial activities of this country, protected by a tradition of political discipline which will remain unique in

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