ENGLISH BARDS AND DUTCH REVIEWERS
that made Huet at once by far the most cosmopolitan and the most incisive of all critics of his country. But, unfortunately, since the traffic resulting was entirely one-way, it also kept him the most dissatisfied, the most ruthless, the most humourless, the most despairing, where his own own countrymen were concerned.
This is no systematic history of literature, and it is not my intention, therefore, to go thoroughly into Huet's literary surveys; seen in any case so persistently through Gallic glasses. A point of much greater importance for my purpose is the fact that when he was persuaded to change his perspective to Holland itself, it was once more his friend Potgieter who acted as intermediary. De Vooys and Staverman, indeed, I am glad to find, allow him to have been only a less formative influence upon the other's thought than the mighty Sainte-Beuve himself. "Om de betekenis," they write plainly, "van Huet's kritiek in de vruchtbare jaren 1862—1864 te begrijpen, moet men rekening houden met twee factoren: de invloed van de Franse letterkundige kritiek, in het biezonder van Sainte-Beuve, en de persoonlijke invloed van zijn oudere vriend Potgieter." 1 And again, as 1 read the signs, it can only have been he who inspired him to make his one incursion of importance into the poetical literature of England. Potgieter himself had shown the way as long ago as 1858 with his own excellent appreciation of Crabbe; and though the work of such a relatively obscure poet was totally without interest for Huet, he forced himself into selecting for review the more anarchical types of Byron and Shelley. 2 In respect of the latter poet his debt to his friend is clearly acknowledged (for though Huet was not able to show a reciprocal influence, he was not niggardly towards Potgieter at least in returning thanks for any favours received). "Om Shelley," he therefore says, bekom-
1 Op. cit., Introduction, XI.
2 "Byron en Shelley" in "Litterarische Fantasiën en Kritieken," Vol. IV.