taly there is scarce a village that has not its tradition of him, its sedia, rocca, spelonca, or torre di Dante; and what between the patriotic complaisance of some biographers overwilling to gratify as many provincial vanities as possible, and the pettishness of others anxious only to snub them, the confusion becomes hopeless.
The loose way in which many Italian scholars write history is as amazing as it is perplexing.
For example: Count Balbo's Life of Dante was published originally at Turin, in 1839.
In a note (Lib.
I. Cap. X.) he expresses a doubt whether the date of Dante's banishment should not be 1303, and inclines to think it should be. Meanwhile, it seems never to have occurred to him to employ some one to look at the original decree, still existing in the archives.
Stranger still, Le Monnier,reprinting the work at Florence in 1853, within a stone'sthrow of the document itself, and with full permission from Balbo to make corrections, leaves the matter just where it was