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PREFACE.

The aim of this book is to aid the student of French literature to form a just estimate of Alfred de Musset as man and poet. It is not designed primarily to be a text for the acquisition of a vocabulary or as affording material for drill in the elements of the language. Hence the notes are almost entirely of a literary and historical character. It is taken for granted that the student is able to read French with more or less fluency, or at least that he is able to use the grammar and dictionary for himself. The selections contained in the volume, with two exceptions, are complete in themselves and represent the very best work of Musset in those branches of literature in which he excelled. The parallel passages given in the notes find their justification in the fact that Alfred de Musset was always strongly influenced by the great writers and shows this influence constantly in his own works. It is hoped, moreover, that in this way the student may receive an impulse toward that comparative study of literature, which alone makes it the object of scholarly research, in contradistinction to its function as a means of aesthetic enjoyment.

It has long been the conviction of the editor that more attention should be paid in our colleges and universities

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