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XV. History of Spanish and French Literature
FOREIGN AND COLONIAL
Art. 1.-1. Artaud de Montor, Histoire de Dante. 1 vol. 8vo.
Paris. 1841. 2. La Divina Commedia, col Comento di Lorenzo Martini. 3
vols. 8vo. Torino. 1840. 3. La Divina Commedia, col Comento di Tommaseo. 3 vols. 8vo.
Venezia. 1837. 4. La Commedia, illustrata da Ugo Foscolo. 2 vols. 8vo.
Londra. 1842. 5. L'Inferno, col Comento di Lord Vernon. 1 vol. 8vo. Firenze.
1842. 6. Dante, Opere. 6 vols. 8vo. Firenze. 1830-1841. 7. Opere Minori. 6 vols. 12mo. Firenze.
Firenze. 1834-1840. 8. Dante, La Divine Comedie, Traduction Nouvelle. Par Pier
Angelo Fiorentino. Paris. 18+1. 9. Ozanam, Dante et la Philosophie Catholique. Svo. Paris.
1839. 10. Cesare Balbo, Vita di Dante. 2 vols. 12mo. Torino. 1839. 11. Rossetti, Il Mistero del Amor Platonico. 5 vols. 12mo.
Londra. 1840. 12. Rossetti, Beatrice di Dante. 1 vol. 8vo. 1842. 13. The Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. By Ichabod
Wright, M.A. 3 vols. 8vo. 1832—1840. 14. The Canzoniere of Dante Alighieri. By Charles Lyell,
Esq. 1 vol. 8vo. London. 1840. 15. Dante göttliche Comoedie metrisch übertragen, und mit krit.
und hist. Erläuterungen versehen, von Philalethes. 4to. Dresden. 1839-1840.
• Alcuni lo chiamarono sempre Poeta, altri
Boccaccio, Vita di Dante.
VOL. III.-NO. I.
hour to furnish a study to the followers of Poesy, Philosophy, and Theology. “ Dante," says Lamartine,“ is essentially the Poet of our epoch.”-“Si l'on jette un coup d'oeil sur le XIXe siècle, on voit Dante grandir en gloire, et devenir le roi de la littérature.” These are the words of his most recent biographer, a French writer well versed in the language, history, and literature of the Peninsula. His opinion is countenanced by the fact, that during the last 40 years the presses of Italy, France, and Germany* have teemed with the writings of the great Florentine; that in that period there have appeared no fewer than 80 editions of the “ Divine Comedy” alone.f The character of M. Artaud for careful research, and the manuscript wealth of the French libraries, led to the hope that his recent work would throw light upon that dark period of the Poet's life when he was residing in the French metropolis. He is said to have composed a commentary there upon the Scriptures, and also to have written much in that language. But although M. Artaud regards such documents as probably existing, his inquiries have failed to establish the fact. This biographer is a zealous advocate of the Church of Rome. A recent critic rather admires than approves of the enthusiasm of his countrymen in favour of the great poem: he seeks, an ambitious attempt, to hold the balance between the genius of the Poet and the idolatry of his worshippers ;-he is at a loss to discover any sufficient analogy between his age and our own to account for the re-action ;-he ridicules M. Artaud for having suggested the expediency of instituting a professorship for the exposition of the “ Divine Comedy” in Paris ;-he regards the political career of its author as too insignificant for the consideration of the historian ;-he looks upon the “ Treatise de Monarchiâ," the echo of the sentiments of the leading civilians of that epoch, as proof that Dante had been living in another world, -he styles it as much a vision as the “ Divine Comedy;" --and, finally, he cites a passage from the “ Vita Nuova" evidence of the Poet's insanity :-such is the criticism of M. Labitte.
* England, although in a lesser degree, has felt the impulse. Mr. Wright's recent version must give pleasure to all English readers of the “Comedy ;' it is at once so nervous and so faithful, that few will be disposed to regret that he has voluntarily subjected himself to the additional difficulties of the Terza Rima. We notice, however, that even Mr. Wright has viewed his text through the medium of a theory ; with him the abuse becomes the practice, the part the whole. See his notes, passim. Thus the Porco Sant'Antonio is understood as typifying the whole church. See his notes to the “ Paradiso," Canto XXIX.
† Artaud, Hist. de Dante, p. 533, ed. Par. 1841. He enumerates all the editions, about 180 in number.
I The hasty expression imputed to an Oxford Professor, has not escaped his attention-" Tendimus in Latium."
§ Révue des Deux Mondes, tom. XX. quatr. série, p. 134.