DUTCH POETRY AND ENGLISH
little consideration to that other, possibly repressed, side, covering a wide variety of inhibitions — the true Bilderdijk, as likely as not? Might we not through psychology learn something of value about the philosophical doubter, the Jansenist sympathizer, the sensualist and writer of erotic verses, the man who could make the passionate avowal: "Ik kan niet leven buiten eene vrouw"? More perhaps we do not need to know. Already there is enough to unmask the continuous rebel against restriction and convention, the constant seeker after spiritual freedom; and, I believe, beneath the trained Classicist, all the elements that might go towards the making of an even greater Romanticist...
Professor Vaughan affects a rather naïve suprise, it seems to me, when he writes of Bilderdijk that "it is something of a shock to find that he also turned his head to the romantic Ossian .1 Apart from the ineluctable force of that great vogue, this is to overlook too much the fact that already he had composed a great many poetical romances. 2 For these he had drawn upon the widest sources possible — Oriental, Indian, Swedish, Frankish, German, in making two translations from Bürger, and (following Herder) even from Laplandish. His English period commenced in 1795, when he followed Willem V into exile; for, though only two of the ten years spent out of Holland were passed in London, it was these, undoubtedly, that had the most formative value of all. Their momentum, it is obvious, carried right through the far longer Brunswick period, and during the full decade were produced the voluminous translations from "Ossian" and at least fifty other translations from English, chiefly from Percy's "Reliques". It is a fascinating sort of metamorphosis; and even Ten Brink, who otherwise makes much allowance for the influence
1 "The Romantic Revolt" — "Periods of European Literature," Vol. X, p. 475.
2 The following is a list of them: — "Olinde en Theodoor" (1785), "Elius" (1786), "Ahacha" (1788), "Yrwin en Vreedebag" (1788), "Ada" (1790), "Bertha" (1792), "Katharina Herman" (1793), "Roosjen" (1794), "De Indiaansche Maagdenroover" (1794), "De Vrouwen van Wijnsberg" (1794).