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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)
nks it not impossible that a passage in the Lamentations of Jeremiah, paraphrased by Dante, may have been suggested to him by Rutebeuf or Tristan, rather than by the prophet himself! Dante would hardly have found himself so much at home in the company of jongleurs as in that of prophets. Yet he was familiar with French and Provencal poetry. Beside the evidence of the Vulgari Eloquio, there are frequent and broad traces in the Commedia of the Roman de la Rose, slighter ones of the Chevalier de la Charette, Guillaume d'orange, and a direct imitation of Bernard de Ventadour. There are two beautiful passages in the Convito, which we shall quote, both because they have, as we believe, a close application to Dante's own experience, and because they are good specimens of his style as a writer of prose. In the manly simplicity which comes of an earnest purpose, and in the eloquence of deep conviction, this is as far beyond that of any of his contemporaries as his verse; nay, more, has