nown. I venture to think that even in Germany the ordinary reader is unaware of its existence. For us in England it was, so to speak, discovered by Professor Huxley, who many years ago gave a translation of it as a proem to a scientific periodical. Perhaps that proem may yet be recovered as good salvage from the waters of oblivion, which sooner or later overwhelm all magazines. Meanwhile I put forward this version.
For sixty years this essay has stood unquestioned in Goethe's works; but doubt has recently been cast on its authorship. The account hitherto given rests upon the excellent ground of Goethe's own declaration. The essay, it appears, was written about the year 1780, and offered to the Duchess Amalia. Some time after her death it was found amongst her papers, and sent to Goethe in May, 1828, when, as he wrote to his friend the Chancellor von Müller, he could not remember having composed it; although he recognised the writing as that of a person of whose services he used to avail himself so
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