himself says: ‘Through almost all parts where this language [Italian] is spoken, a wanderer, wellnigh a beggar, I have gone, showing against my will the wound of fortune.
Truly I have been a vessel without sail or rudder, driven to diverse ports, estuaries, and shores by that hot blast, the breath of grievous poverty; and I have shown myself to the eyes of many who perhaps, through some fame of me, had imagined me in quite other guise, in whose view not only was my person debased, but every work of mine, whether done or yet to do, became of less account.’1
By the election of the emperor Henry VII.
(of Luxemburg, November, 1308), and the news of his proposed expedition into Italy
, the hopes of Dante
were raised to the highest pitch.
, October, 1310, and received the iron crown of Lombardy
, on the day of Epiphany
His movements being slow, and his policy undecided, Dante
addressed him that famous letter, urging him to crush first the ‘Hydra
, as the root of all the evils of Italy
(April 16, 1311). To this year we must probably assign the new decree by which the seigniory of Florence
recalled a portion of the exiles, excepting Dante
, however, among others, by name.2
The undertaking of Henry, after an ill-directed dawdling of two years, at last ended in his death at Buonconvento (August 24, 1313; Carlyle
says wrongly September); poisoned, it was said, in the sacramental bread, by a Dominican friar, bribed thereto by Florence
The story is doubtful, the more as Dante