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James Russell Lowell, Among my books 2 0 Browse Search
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James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Dante. (search)
Rhetorike sweete Enlumined all Itaille of poetry. and an imitation of the opening verses of the third canto of the Inferno (Assembly of Foules). In 1417 Giovanni da Serravalle, bishop of Fermo, completed a Latin prose translation of the Commedia, a copy of which, as he made it at the request of two English bishops whom he met at the council of Constance, was doubtless sent to England. Later we find Dante now and then mentioned, but evidently from hearsay only, It is possible that Sackville may have read the Inferno, and it is certain that Sir John Harrington had. See the preface to his translation of the Orlando Furioso. till the time of Spenser, who, like Milton fifty years later, shows that he had read his works closely. Thenceforward for more than a century Dante became a mere name, used without meaning by literary sciolists. Lord Chesterfield echoes Voltaire, and Dr. Drake in his Literary Hours Second edition, 1800. could speak of Darwin's Botanic Garden as showing