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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)
him from sin she went down with him into the pit, and left him not in bonds till she brought him the sceptre of the kingdom, . . . . . and gave him perpetual glory. It was, perhaps, from this book that Dante got the hint of making his punishments and penances typical of the sins that earned them. Wherefore, whereas men lived dissolutely and unrighteously, thou hast tormented them with their own abominations. Dante was intimate with the Scriptures. They do even a scholar no harm. M. Victor Le Clerc, in his Histoire Litteraire de la France au quatorzieme siecle (Tom. II. p. 72), thinks 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 freque