« ÖncekiDevam »
the details of Dante criticism. It offers “ Aids” to the study of the poet; it does not pass upon all the questions which such a study may raise.
To those whose privilege it is to study Dante under an instructor no suggestions need be made. But for those less fortunate ones who enter alone into the labyrinth of mediæval thought a few hints on making this volume most helpful may
not be out of place. The proper way to begin the study of Dante would be to take first the Vita Nuova and in connection with it to read chapter iv. of this book. Many, however, will begin with the more famous work. After one has read so far in the Comedy that he feels the need of a guide to make the poem understandable, it will be of advantage to get a clear idea of Dante's universe by studying the diagrams found on pages 254, 288, 304, 338. In connection with these it is well to read Dante's Cosmography, p. 231. One naturally turns after this to the Moral Topography of Hell, p. 287, and Table III. The Times of Dante and the Sources of our Knowledge of him will early claim attention. The reader of the Inferno will not proceed far before its revolting horrors will drive him to seek Dante's own explanation of his purpose as contained in the letter to Can Grande, and he will often turn to the “Interpretations” of Gaspary, Church, and Lowell to learn how they vindicate the poet for much that seems barbarous. The articles on Purgatory and Paradise will follow in due course. Every reader should carefully peruse chapter iv. in order to appreciate the significance of the Vita Nuova and its vital connection with the Divina Commedia. Chapter v. is the least satisfactory of all to the editor, as the limits of space have allowed him merely to quote statements of the contents of the minor works of Dante and have forbidden an adequate treatment of them. Especial attention is called to the illustrations of the book. The frontispiece is taken from a copy of the water color found in Codex 1040 in the Riccardi Library and pronounced by a commission of the Italian government to be the most authentic likeness of Dante extant. The Bargello portrait is from the Arundel lithograph of Kirkup's drawing, while the two photographs of the death mask are from a monograph Professor Norton contributed to the sixth centenary of Dante's birth. It is a satisfaction to embody copies of the original portraits not improved by well-meaning artists and engravers.
I wish to express my indebtedness to Professor Norton for generously allowing me to draw largely from his writings ; to James Robinson Smith for giving me cordial permission to use freely his valuable translations of Boccaccio's and Bruni's lives of Dante ; to Dr. Edward Moore, P. H. Wicksteed, H. Oelsner, and James Bryce for granting me the privilege of quoting from their writings; to E. G. Gardner, from whose handbook on Dante I have taken several short paragraphs ; to Mrs. H. F. Dwight for the right to insert Mr. Latham's translation of the letter to Can Grande ; to Macmillan and Company for the liberty of printing extended extracts from Dean Church's essays; to Geo. Bell & Sons, J. M. Dent & Co., Manresa Press, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Little, Brown & Co., Ginn & Co., Swan Sonnenschein & Co., for the use of articles of which they are publishers.
I owe much to the interest and valuable suggestions of Professors A. S. Cook and Kenneth McKenzie of Yale, Professors J. Geddes and F. M. Josselyn of Boston University, and Professor C. H. Grandgent of Harvard. Especially have I availed myself of the courtesy and exact scholarship of Professor Oscar Kuhns of Wesleyan University, who to my great gratification read the proofs of the book.
I do not endorse all the statements which have been made by the writers whose opinions have been inserted; but for the selection of the articles, for the introductory matter printed in small type, and for the footnotes signed (D.) I am responsible.
CHARLES ALLEN DINSMORE. Boston, August 12, 1903.
SI. FLORENTINE POLITICAL FEUDS AND THEIR IN-
FLUENCE UPON DANTE. Dean Church.
SII. THE INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL AWAKENING
OF ITALY. C. E. Norton.
WHAT IS DEFINITELY KNOWN ON DANTE'S
$I. LYRICAL POETRY BEFORE THE TIME OF DANTE.
C. A. Dinsmore.
The meeting with Beatrice ; insignificance of the
SII. DE MONARCHIA. James Bryce
SIV. QUESTIO DE AQUA ET TERRA. G. A. Scartaz-