me, for whom the great arenas of political and religious speculation were closed, the temptation to find a subtler meaning than the real one was irresistible.
Italians in exile, on the other hand, made Dante the stalking-horse from behind which they could take a long shot at Church and State, or at obscurer foes.
A complete vocabulary of Italian billingsgate might be selected from Biagioli.
Or see the concluding pages of Nannucci's excellent tract Intorno alle voci usate da Dante, Corfu, 1840.
Even Foscolo could not always refrain.
Dante should have taught them to shun such vulgarities.
See Inferno, XXX. 131-148. Infinitely touching and sacred to us is the instinct of intense sympathy which drawst hese latter toward their great forerunner, exul immeritus like themselves.
My Italy, my sweetest Italy, for having loved thee too much I have lost thee, and, perhaps,. . . . ah, may God avert the omen!
But more proud than sorrowful, for an evil endured for thee alone, I continue to