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DUTCH POETRY AND ENGLISH

— a fact that goes far towards proving how incompatible in practice could be a union with Teutonic aesthetics, treated at least as an exact science. Yet that study, taken by itself, is precisely where his value to literature does lie. Merely to contrast the poetry produced at the beginning of the eighteenth century with that produced at its close leads us but from Poot to Nieuwland, Bellamy, and Van Alphen himself; but to take the implications in critical theory between Classicists and Romanticists is to realize that a new and powerful intellectual force has come into being. Van Alphen's efforts, aimed solely at raising the Standard of poetry in Holland, would definitely ensure that his compatriots would find more adequate means of expression for any rich, "Ossianic" store of emotion that might be in them; and more particularly, that never again could it happen that great British poets like Shakespeare, Thomson, Young — and, soon, Wordsworth — would remain unknown in the Netherlands, or be looked up to mainly as distant, inaccessible masters.

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