Of the order of Dante's studies nothing can be certainly affirmed.
His biographers send him to Bologna, Padua, Paris, Naples, and even Oxford.
All are doubtful, Paris and Oxford most of all, and the dates utterly undeterminable.
Yet all are possible, nay, perhaps probable.
Bologna and Padua we should be inclined to place before his exile; Paris and Oxford, if at all, after it. If no argumentent. Cardinal Poggetto (du Poiet) caused Dante's treatise De Monarchid to be publicly burned at Bologna, and proposed further to dig up and burn the bones of the poet at Ravenna, as having been a herended in his death, December 21, 1375.
Among his successors were Filippo Villani and Filelfo.
Bologna was the first to follow the example of Florence, Benvenuto da Imola having begun his lectures, the different dialects of Italy.
From the particularity with which it treats of the dialect of Bologna, it has been supposed to have been written in that city, or at least to furnish an argument in
ecay of might, It strength to me supplies, and cheers my dulled spright. Spenser seems here to confess a little weariness; but the alacrity of his mind is so great that, even where his invention fails a little, we do not share his feeling nor suspect it, charmed as we are by the variety and sweep of his measure, the beauty or vigor of his similes, the musical felicity of his diction, and the mellow versatility of his pictures.
In this last quality Ariosto, whose emulous pupil he was, is as Bologna to Venice in the comparison.
That, when the personal allusions have lost their meaning and the allegory has become a burden, the book should continue to be read with delight, is proof enough, were any wanting, how full of life and light and the other-worldliness of poetry it must be. As a narrative it has, I think, every fault of which that kind of writing is capable.
The characters are vague, and, even were they not, they drop out of the story so often and remain out of it so long, that