it was the steady heat of an inward fire kindling the whole character of the man through and through, like the minarets of his own city of Dis.2 He was, as seems distinctive in some degree of the Latinized races, an unflinching à priori logician, not unwilling to ‘syllogize ’
Even as the flame of unctuous things is wont
To move upon the outer surface only;Inferno, XIX. 28, 29.
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1 Dante's notion of virtue was not that of an ascetic, nor has any one ever painted her in colors more soft and splendid than he in the Convito. She is ‘sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes,’ and he dwells on the delights of her love with a rapture which kindles and purifies. So far from making her an inquisitor, he says expressly that she ‘should be gladsome and not sullen in all her works.’ (Convito, Tr. I. c. 8.) ‘Not harsh and crabbed as dull fools suppose’!
2 Inferno, VIII. 70-75.
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