chapter  III
THE SPENSERIANS,
Pages 40

D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with a prevalent mood or fashion in literature is apt to express itself either in a fresh and independent criticism of life, or in a reversion to older types. But, as original creative genius is not always forthcoming, a literary revolution commonly begins with imitation. It seeks inspiration in the past, and substitutes a new set of models as different as possible from those which it finds currently followed. In every country of Europe the classical tradition had hidden whatever was most national, most individual, in its earlier culture, under a smooth, uniform veneer. To break away from modern convention, England and Germany, and afterward France, went back to ancient springs of national life; not always, at first, wisely, but in obedience to a true instinct.