With an Introduction by Brander Matthews.
ents of the "Letters from my Mill," of the "Monday Tales" and of "Artists' Wives," as we have these collections now, were written in these early years of Daudet's Parisian career, but many of them saw the light before 1870, and what has been added since conforms in method to the work of his 'prentice days. No doubt the war with Prussia enlarged his outlook on life; and there is more depth in the satires this conflict suggested and more pathos in the pictures it evoked. The "Last Lesson," for example, that simple vision of the old French schoolmaster taking leave of his Alsatian pupils, has a symbolic breath not easy to match in the livelier tales written before the surrender at Sédan; and in the "Siege of Berlin" there is a vibrant patriotism far more poignant than we can discover in any of the playful apologues published before the war. He had had an inside view of the Second Empire, he could not help seeing its hollowness, and he revolted against the selfishness of its servants; no single chapter of
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