n hell, regards him on the whole as a stupid monster and barbarian.
It was no better in Italy, if we may trust Foscolo, who affirms that neither Pelli nor others deservedly more celebrated than he ever read attentively the poem of Dante, perhaps never ran through it from the first verse to the last.
Discorso sul testo, ec., § XVIII. Accordingly we have heard that the Commedia was a sermon, a political pamphlet, the revengeful satire of a disappointed Ghibelline, nay, worse, of a turncoat Guelph.
It is narrow, it is bigoted, it is savage, it is theological, it is medieval, it is heretical, it is scholastic, it is obscure, it is pedantic, its Italian is not that of la Crusca, its ideas are not those of an enlightened eighteenth century, it is everything, in short, that a poem should not be; and yet, singularly enough, the circle of its charm has widened in proportion as men have receded from the theories of Church and State which are supposed to be its foundation, and as the modes o