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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Author to the Reader
By Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm (1786–1859) Grimm
 
From the Preface to the ‘Deutsche Grammatik’

IT has cost me no long hesitation to prune back to the stock the first shoots of my granaries. A second growth, firmer and finer, has quickly followed; perhaps one may hope for flowers and ripening fruit. With joy I give to the public this work, now become more worthy of its attention, that I have carefully tended and brought to this end amid cares and privations, in which labor was sometimes a drudgery, and sometimes, and by God’s goodness oftener, my comfort.  1
  The fruitfulness of the field is of such a nature that it never fails; and no leaf from the sources can be re-examined that does not arouse by a more distant prospect or make one repent of past errors. If now a rich booty should win me less praise than a many-sided, careful, economical administration of a smaller treasure, the blame may fall on me, that I have not known how to draw from all the principles I have discovered the uses of which they were capable, and even that important observations sometimes stand in obscure places. Not all my assertions will stand; but by the discoveries of their weakness other paths will be opened, through which will break at last the truth: the only goal of honest labor, and the only thing that lasts when men have ceased to care for the names of like aspirants. What was hardest for us may be child’s-play to posterity, hardly worth speaking of. Then truth will yield herself to new solutions of which we had yet no hint, and will struggle with obstacles where we thought all made plain.  2
 
 
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