each his countrymen, and a very fruitful lesson it has proved to be. It has inspired the people with renewed courage, it has turned the national life into fresh channels, and it has revolutionized national politics.
To be sure all this was not the result of the idyllic little tale which marked the beginning of his career. But this little tale, although no trace of what the Germans call "tendency" is to be found in it, is still significant as being the poet's first indirect manifesto, and as such distinctly foreshadowing the path which he has since followed.
First, in its purely literary aspect, "Synnöve Solbakken" was strikingly novel. The author did not, as his predecessors had done, view the people from the exalted pedestal of superior culture; not as a subject for benevolent preaching and charitable condescension, but as a concrete phenomenon, whose raison d'étre was as absolute and indisputable as that of the bourgeoisie or the bureaucracy itself. He depicted th