in temper and endowment, alike feel the force of his attraction, the pervasive comfort of his light and warmth.
are touched with the same reverential enthusiasm.
The imaginative Ruskin
is rapt by him, as we have seen, perhaps beyond the limit where critical appreciation merges in enthusiasm; and the matter-of-fact Schlosser
tells us that ‘he, who was wont to contemplate earthly life wholly in an earthly light, has made use of Dante
, Landino, and Vellutello in his solitude to bring a heavenly light into his inward life.’
Almost all other poets have their seasons, but Dante
penetrates to the moral core of those who once fairly come within his sphere, and possesses them wholly.
His readers turn students, his students zealots, and what was a taste becomes a religion.
The homeless exile finds a home in thousands of grateful hearts.
E venne da esilio in questa pace
Every kind of objection, aesthetic and other, may be, and has been, made to the Divina Commedia
, especially by critics who have but a superficial acquaintance with it, or rather with the Inferno
, which is as far as most English critics go. Coleridge
himself, who had a way of divining what was in books, may be justly suspected of not going further, though with Carey
to help him. Mr. Carlyle
, who has said admirable things of Dante
the man, was very imperfectly read in Dante
the author, or he would never have put Sordello in hell and the meeting with Beatrice
it was not much better (though Rivarol has said the best thing hitherto