because he believed it to be the root of the latter,—a faith which those who have watched the course of politics in a democracy, as he had, will be inclined to share.
His gentleness is all the more striking by contrast, like that silken compensation which blooms out of the thorny stem of the cactus.
Dante's notion of virtue was not that of an ascetic, nor has any one ever painted her in colors more soft and splendid than he in the Convito.
She is sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes, and he dwells on the delights of her love with a rapture which kindles and purifies.
So far from making her an inquisitor, he says expressly that she should be gladsome and not sullen in all her works.
(Convito, Tr. I. c. 8.) Not harsh and crabbed as dull fools suppose! his party spirit, and his personal vindictiveness are all predicated upon the Inferno, and upon a misapprehension or careless reading even of that.
Dante's zeal was not of that sentimental kind, quickly kindled and