It is an honour to be asked to speak at the general session of the MLA. Every scholar in the Humanities would glow with pride as I did when I received your invitation. Thank you. Thank you for your hospitality, thank you for your welcome, and here let me salute your indomitable President Mr. Weigand. This talk has its genesis in a question which my secretary put to me when I was clearing things up in Cambridge in July 1964 before going off for my summer holiday—she said: “Did you know that this year you have been visited by 123 American academics?” It was true. Presidents, Deans, professors, members of faculty and of administration flowed like a sparkling stream through my office. Let me assure you that they did not come all as single spies. Sometimes they came in battalions, one contingent being in fact—I search for the right noun of collection—a regality or, perhaps, an in-sultanate of Regents.