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ging him that, as far as it lay in his And those friends he left behind him, power, he would exert his good offices his sons and his disciples, having searched to induce Dante to continue and finish at many times and for several months his work.
everything of his writing, to see whether The seven aforesaid cantos having he had left any conclusion to his work, reached the Marquis's hands, and have could find in nowise any of the remaining marvellously pleased him, he showed ing cantos ; his friends generally being them to Dante; and having heard from much mortified that God had not at him that they were his composition, he least lent him so long to the world, that entreated him to continue the work. he might have been able to complete To this it is said that Dante answered : the small remaining part of his work ; “I really supposed that these, along and having sought so long and never with many of my other writings and found it, they remained in despair. effects, were lost when my house was Jacopo and Piero were sons of Dante, plundered, and therefore I had given and each of them being rhymers, they up all thoughts of them. But since it were induced by the persuasions of their has pleased God that they should not friends to endeavour to complete, as far be lost, and He has thus restored them as they were able, their father's work, to me, I shall endeavour, as far as I am in order that it should not remain imable to proceed with them according perfect; when to Jacopo, who was more to my first design.” And recalling his eager about it than his brother, there old thoughts, and resuming his inter- appeared a wonderful vision, which not rupted work, he speaks inus in the de- oniy induced him to abandon such preginning of the eighth canto : “My won- sumptuous folly, but showed him where drous history I here renew.
the thirteen cantos were which were Now precisely the same story, almost wanting to the Divina Commedia, and without any alteration, has been related which they had not been able to to me by a Ser Dino Perino, one of our find. .. citizens and an intelligent man, who, A worthy man of Ravenna, whose according to his own account, had been name was Pier Giardino, and who had on the most friendly and familiar terms long been Dante's disciple, grave in his with Dante ; but he so far alters the manner and worthy of credit, relates story, that he says, “It was not Andrea that, after the eighth month from the Leoni, but I myself, who was sent by day of his master's death, there came to the lady to the chests for the papers, his house before dawn Jacopo di Dante, and that found these seven cantos and who told him that that night, while he took them to Dino, the son of Messer was asleep, his father Dante had ap. Lambertuccio.” I do not know to peared to him, clothed in the whitest which of these I ought to give most garments, and his face resplendent with credit, but whichever of them spoke the an extraordinary light ; that he, Jacopo, truth, still a doubt occurs to me in what asked him if he lived, and that Dante they say, which I cannot in any manner replied: "Yes, but in the true life, not solve to my satisfaction ; and my doubt our life.” Then he, Jacopo, asked him is this. The poet introduces Ciacco if he had completed his work before into the sixth canto, and makes him passing into the true life, and, if he had prophesy, that before three years had done so, what had become of that part elapsed from the moment he was speak of it which was missing, which they ing, the party to which Dante belonged none of them had been able to find. should fall, and so it happened. But To this Dante seemed to answer, “Yes, we know the removal of the Bianchi I finished it ;" and then took hin, from office, and their departure from Jacopo, by the hand, and led him into Florence, all happened at once; and that chamber in which he, Dante, had therefore, if the author departed at that been accustomed to sleep when he lived time, how could he have written this, in this life, and, touching one of the --and not only this, but another cantó walls, he said, “What you have sought after it? ...
for so much, is here ;" and at these
Beloved most dearly ; this that arrow is
Thou shalt relinquish everything of thee
vords both Dante and sleep fled from
The bread of others, and how hard a path Jacopo at once. For which reason
To climb and to descend the stranger's stairs !
Parad. xvii. Jacopo said he could not rest without coming to explain what he had seen Come sa di sale! Who never wet his to Pier Giardino, in order that they bread with tears, says Goethe, knows should go together and search out the ye not, ye heavenly powers !
Our place thus pointed out to him, which he nineteenth century made an idol of the nad retained excellently in his memory, noble lord who broke his heart in verse and to see whether this had been pointed once every six months, but the fourteenth cat by a true spirit, or a false delusion. was lucky enough to produce and not to For which purpose, although it was still make an idol of that rarest earthly phefar in the night, they set off together, nomenon, a man of genius who could and went to the house in which Dante hold heart-break at bay for twenty years, resided at the time of his death. Hay- and would not let hiniself die till he had ing called up its present owner, he done his task. At the end of the Vita admitted them, and they went to the Nuova, his first work, ante wrote down place thus pointed out; there they that remarkable aspiration that God found a blind fixed to the wall, as they would take him to himself after he had had always been used to see it in past written of Beatrice such things as were days; they lifted it gently up, when never yet written of woman.
It was they found a little window in the wall
, literally fulfilled when the Commedia never before seen by any of them, nor was finished, twenty-five years later. did they even know it was there. In it Scarce was Dante at rest in his grave they found several writings, all mouldy when Italy felt instinctively that this from the dampness of the walls, and had was her great man. Boccaccio tells us they remained there longer, in a little that in 1329 Cardinal Poggetto (du Poiet) while they would have crumbled away. caused Dante's treatise
De Monarchiủ to Having thoroughly cleared away the be publicly burned at Bologna, and promould, they found them to be the posed further to dig up and burn the thirteen cantos that had been wanting bones of the poet at Ravenna, as having to complete the Commedia.
been a heretic; but so much opposition was roused that he thought better of it.
Yet this was during the pontificate of THE POSTHUMOUS DANTE. the Frenchman, John XXII., the reproof By J. R. Lowell in the American Cyclopædia, of whose simony Dante puts in the
mouth of St. Peter, who declares his Looked at outwardly, the life of Dante seat vacant (Parad. xxvii.), whose damseems to have been an utter and disas- nation the poet himself seems to pro. trous failure. What its inward satis- phesy (Inf. xi.), and against whose faction must have been, we, with the election he had endeavoured to persuade Paradiso open before us, can'form some the cardinals
, in a vehement letter. In To him, longing with 1350 the republic of Florence voted the an intensity which only the word Dan- sum of ten golden florins to be paid by esque will express to realize an ideal the hands of Messer Giovanni Boccaccio upon earth, and continually baffled and to Dante's daughter Beatrice, a nun ir
: misunderstood, the far greater part of the convent of Santa Chiara at Ravenna. and sorrow. We can see how essential and begged in vain for the metaphorical understand why all the fairy stories' hide threatened to make literal cinders if she the luck in the ugly black casket ; but could catch him alive. In 1429 she to him, then and there, how seemed it? begged again, but Ravenna, a dead city,
was tenacious of the dead poet.
1519 Michael Angelo would have built Shot from the bow of exile first of all;
the monument, but Leo X. refused to And thou shalt prove how salt a savour hath
allow the sacred dust to be reinoveda
Finally, in 1829, five hundred and eight of sceptical dilettantism, unly three, years after the death of Dante, Florence during the eighteenth, thirty-four; and got a cenotaph fairly built in Santa already, during the first half of the Croce (by Ricci), ugly beyond even the nineteenth, at least eighty. The first usual lot of such, with three colossal translation was into Spanish, in 1428. figures on it, Dante in the middle, with M. St. René Taillandier says that the Italy on one side and Poesy on the Commedia was condemned by the Inother. The tomb at Ravenna, built quisition in Spain, but this seems too originally in 1483, by Cardinal Bembo, general a statement, for, according to was restored by Cardinal Corsi in 1692, Foscolo (“Dante,” Vol. IV. p. 116), and finally rebuilt in its present form by it was the commentary of Landino and Cardinal Gonzaga, in 1780, all three of Vellutello, and a few verses in the Inwhom commemorated themselves in ferno and Paradiso, which were conLatin inscriptions. It is a little shrine demned. The first French translation covered with a dome, not unlike the was that_oi Grangier, 1596, but the tomb of a Mohammedan saint, and is study of Dante struck no root there till now the chief magnet which draws the present century. Rivarol, who foreigners and their gold to Ravenna. translated the Inferno in 1783, was the The valet de place says that Dante is not first Frenchman who divined the won. buried under it, but beneath the pave- derful force and vitality of the Commedia. ment of the street in front of it, where the expressions of Voltaire represent also, he says, he saw my Lord Byron very well the average opinion of culti. kneel and weep:
Like everything in vated persons in respect of Dante in the Ravenna, it is dirty and neglected. In middle of the eighteenth century. He 1373 (Aug. 9) Florence instituted a chair says: “The Italians call him divine ; of the Divina Commedia, and Boccaccio but it is a hidden divinity; few people was named first professor. He accord- understand his oracles. He has comingly began his lectures on Sunday, mentators, which, perhaps, is another Oct. 3, following, but his comment was reason for his not being understood. broken off abruptly at the seventeenth His reputation will go on increasing, verse of the seventeenth canto of the because scarce anybody reads him.' Inferno, by the illness which ended in (Dict. Phil., art. “Dante.") To Father his death, Dec. 21, 1375. Among his Bettinelli he writes: “I estimate highly
was Filippo Villani and the courage with which you have dared Fitelfo. Bologna was the first to follow to say that Dante was a madman and the example of Florence, Benvenuto da his work a monster. But he adds, Imola having begun his lectures, accord- what shows that Dante had his admirers ing to Tiraboschi, as early as 1375. even in that flippant century: "There Chairs were established also at Pisa, are found among us, and in the eighteenth Venice, Piacenza, and Milan before the century, people who strive to admire close of the century. The lectures were imaginations so stupidly extravagant and delivered in the churches and on feast barbarous." (Corresp. gén.(Euvres, days, which shows their popular cha. Tom. LVII. pp. 80, 81.) Elsewhere racter. Balbo reckons (but that is guess he says that the Commedia was an odd work) that the manuscript copies of the poem, but gleaming with natural beau. Divina Commedia made during the four- ties, a work in which the author rose in leenth century, and now existing in the parts above the bad taste of his age and libraries of Europe, are more numerous his subject, and full of passages written than those of all other works, ancient as purely as if they had been of the and modern, made during the same time of Ariosto and Tasso.” (Essai ster period. Between the invention of print. les Mæurs, Euvres, Tom. XVII., pp. ing and the year 1500, more than twenty 371, 372.) It is curious to see this editions were published in Italy, the antipathetic fascination which Dante earliest in 1472. During the sixteenth exercised over a nature so opposite to century there were forty editions; during his own. At the beginning of this the seventeenth, a period, for Italy, I century Chateaubriand speaks of Dante
lasticism. Italy sent Thomas of Aquino enter into this dreary but highly reward.
with vague commendation, evidently also of Alexander Hales and Bradwar. from a very superficial acquaintance, dine) Duns Scotus and William of Ock. and that only with the Inferno.
ham ; France alone must content hersell with names somewhat inferior (she had already given Abélard, Gilbert de la
Porée, Amauri de Rene, and other SCHOLASTIC PHILOSOPHY. famous or suspectel names), now WilFrom Milman's History of Latin Christianity, liam of Auvergne, at a later time DuBook XIV. Ch. III.
randus. Albert and Aquinas were of Now came the great age of the noble houses, the Counts of Bollstadt Schoolmen. Latin Christianity raised up and Aquino ; Bonaventura of good pa. those vast monuments of Theology which rentage at Fidenza ; of Scotus the birth ainaze and appall the mind with the was so obscure as to be untraceable ; enormous accumulation of intellectual Ockham was of humble parents in the industry, ingenuity, and tuil ; but of village of that name in Surrey. But which the sole result to posterity is this France may boast that the University of barren amazement. The tomes of Scho- Paris was the great scene of their studies, lastic Divinity may be compared with their labours, their instruction : the Uni. the Pyramids of Egypt, which stand in versity of Paris was the acknowledged that rude majesty which is commanding awarder of the fame and authority from the display of immense human obtained by the highest Schoolmen. It power, yet oppressive from the sense of is no less remarkable that the New the waste of that power for no disco Mendicant Orders sent forth these five verable use. Whoever penetrates within Patriarchs, in dignity, of the science. finds himself bewildered and lost in a Albert and Aquinas were Dominicans ; labyrinth of small, dark, intricate pas- Bonaventura, Duns Scotus, Ockham, sages and chambers, devoid of grandeur, Franciscans. It might have been supdevoid of solemnity: he may wander posed that the popularising of religious without end, and find nothing! It was teaching, which was the express and not indeed the enforced labour of a slave avowed object of the Friar Preachers population : it was rather voluntary and of the Minorites, would have lef. slavery
, submitting in its intellectual am- the higher places of abstruse and learned bition and its religious patience to mon- Theology to the older Orders, or to the astic discipline : it was the work of a more dignified secular ecclesiastics. Consmall intellectual oligarchy, monks, of tent with being the vigorous antagonists necessity, in mind and habits ; for it of heresy in all quarters, they would not imperiously required absolute seclusion aspire also to become the aristocracy of either in the monastery or in the univer- theologic erudition. But the dominant sity, a long life under monastic rule. religious impulse of the times could not No Schoolman could be a great man but but seize on all the fervent and powerful as a Schoolman. William of Ockham minds which sought satisfaction for their plone was a powerful demagogue-scho- devout yearnings. No one who had lastic even in his political writings, but strong religious ambition could be any. still a demagogue. It is singular to see thing but a Dominican or a Franciscan; every kingdom in Latin Christendom, to be less was to be below the highest every order in the social state, furnishing standard.
one hand the the great men, not merely to the succes. Orders aspired to rule the Universities, sive lines of Doctors, who assumed the contested the supremacy with all the splendid titles of the Angelical, the Se- great established authorities in the raphic, the Irrefragable, the most Pro- schools; and having already drawn into Cound, the most subtile
, the Invincible
, their vortex almost all who united even the Perspicuous, but to what may powerful abilities with a devotional tem, be called the supreme Pentarchy of Scho perament, never wanted men who coul Great ; the British Isles (they boasted schools, as others of their brethren had
begun to rule the Councils and the ing to the world of angels and spirits, minds of kings. It may be strange to of which, according to them, we might contrast the popular simple preaching- suppose the revelation to man as full for such must have been that of St. and perfect as that of God or of the Dominic and St. Francis, such that of Redeemer, there is hardly a question their followers, in order to contend with which has not been examined in other success against the plain and austere language and in less dry and syllogistic sernions of the heretics—with the Sum form. There is no acute observation on of Theology of Aquinas, which of itself the workings of the human mind, no (and it is but one volume in the works bringing to bear extraordinary facts on of Thomas) would, as it might seem, the mental, or mingled mental and cor. occupy a whole life of the most secluded poreal, constitution of our being. With study to write, almost to read. The all their researches into the unfathomunlearned, unreasoning, only profoundly able they have fathomed nothing ; with passionately loving and dreaming St. all their vast logical apparatus, they Francis, is still more oppugnant to the have proved nothing to the satisfaction intensely subtile and dry Duns Scotus, of the inquisitive mind. Not only have at one time carried by his severe logic they not solved any of the insoluble into Pelagianism ; or to William of Ock- problems of our mental being, our priham, perhaps the hardest and severest mary conceptions, our relations to God, intellectualist of all, ,-a political fanatic, to the Infinite, neither have they (a not like his visionary brethren, who more possible task) shown them to be brooded over the Apocalypse and their insoluble. own prophets, but for the Imperial against the Papal sovereignty. As, then, in these five men culminates
HOMER'S ODYSSEY. the age of genuine Scholasticism, the Book XI. Buckley's Translation rest may be left to be designated and But when we were come down to the described to posterity by the names ship and the sea, we first of all drew the assigned to them by their own wondering ship into the divine sea ; and we placed disciples.
a mast and sails in the black ship. And We would change, according to our taking the sheep, we put them on board ; notion, the titles which discriminated and we ourselves also embarked griev: this distinguished pentarchy. Albert the ing, shedding the warm tear, Great would be the Philosopher, Aquinas fair-haired Circe, an awful goddess, the Theologian, Bonaventura the Mystic, possessing human speech, sent behind Duns Scotus the Dialectician, Ockham our dark-blue-prowed ship a moist wind the Politician. It may be said of Scho that filled the sails, an excellent compa, lasticism, as a whole, that whoever takes nion. And we sat down, making use of delight in what may be called gymnastic each of the instruments in the ship; and exercises of the reason or the reasoning the wind and the pilot directed it. And powers, efforts which never had, and the sails of it passing over the sea were hardly cared to have, any bearing on stretched out the whole day; and the the life, or even on the sentiments and sun set, and all the ways were overopinions of mankind, may study these shadowed. And it reached the extreine works, the crowning effort of Latin, of boundaries of the deep-flowing ocean; Sacerdotal, and Monastic Christianity, where are the people and city of the and may acquire something like respect Cimmerians, covered with shadow and for these forgotten athletes in the intel- vapour, nor does the shining sun behold lectual games of antiquity. They are them with his beams, neither when he not of so much moment in the history of goes towards the starry heaven, nor religion, for their theology was long when he turns back again from heaven besore rooted in the veneration and awe to earth ; but pernicious night is spread of Christenilom ; nor in that of philoso- over hapless ‘mortals. Having phy, for except what may be called there, we drew up our ship; and we mythological subtilties, questions relat- took out the sheep; and we ourselves