Mr. Babbitt's Lecture.
At last night's meeting of the Cercle Francais, Mr. Ivring Babbitt briefly explained the Symbolistic School and M. Regnier's relation to it. He said that M. de Regnier, besides being under the necessity of speaking about himself in his lectures would be obliged to mention his relatives, M. de Heredia and M. Pierre Louis, who are prominent symbolistic writers.
In speaking of the symbolists, Mr. Babbitt stated that there are two kinds of symbolism, one of ideal of thought, introduced by Emerson, and the other of ideal of dreams, introduced by Rousseau and Chateaubriand and defined by Verlaine. The French symbolists or "decadents" belong to this latter class. They employ a very vague form of symbolism, endeavoring to make their verse musical, and paying little need to coherence. In this respect they are nearly akin to Wagner, the great symbolistic composer. The symbolists have trespassed against all rules of poetry, and for this reason are not recognized as good authors by the leading critics of the day. M. de Regnier is the only "decadent" who has really received recognition, and he has had an honor which none of his fellow symbolists have shared, namely, that of having his poetry printed in the "Revue des deux Mondes." He is the most conservative of symbolists, and is not blind to their defects.