Beatrice], and that appears contrary to what I say in the present one; and therefore I say that in that sonnet also I mean by my heart the appetite, because my desire to remember me of my most gentle Lady was still greater than to behold this one, albeit I had already some appetite for her, but slight as should seem: whence it appears that the one saying is not contrary to the other.
Vita Nuova, XXXIX.
Compare for a different view, The New Life of Dante, an Essay with Translations, by C. E. Norton, pp. 92 et seq. When, therefore, Dante speaks of the love of this Lady as the adversary of Reason, he uses the word in its highest sense, not as understanding (Intellectus), but as synonymous with soul. Already, when the latter part of the Vita Nuova, nay, perhaps the whole of the explanatory portion of it, was written, the plan of the Commedia was complete, a poem the higher aim of which was to keep the soul alive both in this world and for the next.
As Dante tells us, the contradictio
despot courts into tyranny.
One of the alterations is interesting.
In the Evening Walk he had originally written
And bids her soldier come her wars to share Asleep on Minden's charnel hill afar. An erratum at the end directs us to correct the second verse, thus:--
Asleep on Bunker's charnel hill afar.
The whole passage is omitted in the revised edition.
The original, a quarto pamphlet, is now very rare, but fortunately Charles Lamb's copy of it is now owned by my friend Professor C. E. Norton. Wordsworth somewhere rebukes the poets for making the owl a bodeful bird.
He had himself done so in the Evening Walk, and corrects his epithets to suit his later judgment, putting gladsome for boding, and replacing
The tremulous sob of the complaining owl by
The sportive outcry of the mocking owl. Indeed, the character of the two poems is so much changed in the revision as to make the dates appended to them a misleading anachronism.
But there is one truly Wordsworthian pa