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James Russell Lowell, Among my books 1 1 Browse Search
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James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Dante. (search)
in himself, simply, and not in his relation to the Son or the Holy Spirit. Vita Nuova, Tr. II. c. 6. When misfortune came upon him, when his schemes of worldly activity failed, and science was helpless to console, as it had never been able wholly to satisfy, she already rose before him as the lost ideal of his youth, reproaching him with his desertion of purely spiritual aims. It is, perhaps, in allusion to this that he fixes the date of her death with such minute precision on the 9th June, 1390, most probably his own twenty-fifth birthday, on which he passed the boundary of adolescence. Convito, Tr. IV. c. 24. The date of Dante's birth is uncertain, but the period he assigns for it (Paradiso, XXII. 112-117) extends from the middle of May to the middle of June. If we understand Buti's astrological comment, the day should fall in June rather than May. That there should seem to be a discrepancy between the Lady of the Vita Nuova and her of the Convito, Dante himself was a