Thenceforward for more than a century Dante became a mere name, used without meaning by literary sciolists.
Lord Chesterfield echoes Voltaire, and Dr. Drake in his Literary Hours
Second edition, 1800. could speak of Darwin's Botanic Garden as showing the wild and terrible sublimity of Dante The first complete English translation was by Boyd,—of the Inferno in 1785, of the whole poem in 1802.
There have been eight other complete translations, beginning with Cary's in 1814, six since 1850, beside several of the Inferno singly.
Of these that of Longfellow is the best.
It is only within the last twenty years, however, that the study of Dante, in any true sense, became at all general.
Even Coleridge seems to have been familiar only with the Inferno. In America Professor Ticknor was the first to devote a special course of illustrative lectures to Dante; he was followed by Longfellow, whose lectures, illustrated by admirable translations, are remembered with grateful pleasure by