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James Russell Lowell, Among my books 20 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Walcott Boynton, Reader's History of American Literature 2 0 Browse Search
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James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Dante. (search)
erd for real swine. Its mouth yawns not only under Florence, but before the feet of every man everywhere who goeth about to do evil. His hell is a condition of the soul, and he could not find images loathsome enough to express the moral deformity which is wrought by sin on its victims, or his own abhorrence of it. Its inmates meet you in the street every day. Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed In one self place; for where we are is hell, And where hell is there we must ever be. Marlowe's Faustus. Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell. (Paradise Lost, IV. 75.) In the same way, ogni dove in cielo ZZZe Paradiso. (Paradiso, III. 88, 89.) It is our own sensual eye that gives evil the appearance of good, and out of a crooked hag makes a bewitching siren. The reason enlightened by the grace of God sees it as it truly is, full of stench and corruption. Purgatorio, XIX. 7-33. It is this office of reason which Dante undertakes to perform, by divine commission, in
James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Spenser (search)
ined in beauty's worthiness; Yet should there hover in their restless heads One thought, one grace, one wonder at the best, Which into words no virtue can digest. Marlowe's Tamburlaine, Part I. Act V. 2. Spenser, at his best, has come as near to expressing this unattainable something as any other poet. He is so purely poet that wicould hardly have read the poem attentively, for there are numerous instances to the contrary. Spenser was a consummate master of versification, and not only did Marlowe and Shakespeare learn of him, but I have little doubt that, but for the Faery Queen, we should never have had the varied majesty of Milton's blank-verse. But Dr. mwn expanded! Chapman unfortunately has slurred this passage in his version, and Pope tittivated it more than usual in his. I have no other translation at hand. Marlowe was so taken by this passage in Spenser that he put it bodily into his Tamburlaine. Upon the top of all his lofty crest A bunch of hairs discolored diversly,
James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Milton. (search)
he variation strook and struck,though they were probably pronounced alike. In Marlowe's Faustus two consecutive sentences (in prose) begin with the words Cursed be d as parley, had the same meanings, and was commonly pronounced like it, as in Marlowe's What, shall we parole with this Christian? It certainly never meant treaut have likewise a merely musical significance. This he probably caught from Marlowe, traces of whom are frequent in him. There is certainly something of what afted to write blank-verse. Milton was a greater metrist than any of them, except Marlowe and Shakespeare, and he employed the elision (or the slur) oftener than they t b, &c., followed by l or r, might be either of two or of three syllables. In Marlowe we find it both ways in two consecutive verses:— A hundred hundred] and fiuld call them) to anything rather than to the deliberate design of the poets. Marlowe and Shakespeare, the two best metrists among them, have given us a standard by