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[14] 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. Henry entered Italy, October, 1310, and received the iron crown of Lombardy at Milan, on the day of Epiphany, 1311. His movements being slow, and his policy undecided, Dante addressed him that famous letter, urging him to crush first the ‘Hydra and MyrrhaFlorence, 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.3 The story is doubtful, the more as Dante

1 Convito, Tratt. I. Cap. III.

2 Macchiavelli is the authority for this, and is carelessly cited in the preface to the Udine edition of the ‘Codex Bartolinianus’ as placing it in 1312. Macchiavelli does no such thing, but expressly implies an earlier date, perhaps 1310. (See Macch. Op. ed. Baretti, London, 1772, Vol. I. p. 60.)

3 See Carlyle's ‘Frederic,’ Vol. I. p. 147.

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