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James Russell Lowell, Among my books 4 0 Browse Search
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James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Dante. (search)
vesture in such wise that they should have a true meaning. Now in the literal exposition of the Canzone beginning, Voi che intendendo il terzo ciel movete, Which he cites in the Paradiso, VIII. 37. he tells us that the grandezza of the Donna Gentil was temporal greatness (one certainly of the felicities attainable by way of the vita attiva), and immediately after gives us a hint by which we may comprehend why a proud Dante confesses his guiltiness of the sin of pride, which (as appears buld 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 already aware when writing the former and commenting it. Explaining the sonnet beginning Gentil pensier, he says, In this sonnet I make two parts of myself according as my thoughts were divided in two. The one part I call heart, that is, the appetite, the other soul, that is, reason. . . . . It is true that in the preceding sonnet I take s