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Thou shalt relinquish everything of thee Dante puts in the mouth of St. Peter, Beloved most dearly; this that arrow is
who declares his seat vacant (Parad. Shot from the bow of exile first of all;
xxvii.), whose damnation the poet himAnd thou shalt prove how salt a savor hath The bread of others, and how hard a path
self seems to prophesy (Inf. xi.), and To climb and to descend the stranger's against whose election he had endeavstairs !
ored to persuade the cardinals, in a
Parad. xvii. vehement letter. In 1350 the republic Come sa di sale! Who never wet his of Florence voted the sum of ten goldbread with tears, says Goethe, knows en Aorins to be paid by the hands of ye not, ye heavenly powers! Our Messer Giovanni Boccaccio to Dante's nineteenth century made an idol of the daughter Beatrice, a nun in the convent noble lord who broke his heart in of Santa Chiara at Ravenna. In 1396 verse once every six months, but the Florence voted a monument, and begged fourteenth was lucky enough to pro- in vain for the metaphorical ashes of duce and not to make an idol of that the man of whom she had threatened rarest earthly phenomenon, a man of to make literal cinders if she could genius who could hold heart-break at catch him alive. In 1429 she begged bay for twenty years, and would not again, but Ravenna, a dead city, was let himself die till he had done his tenacious of the dead poet. In 1519 task. At the end of the Vita Nuova, Michael Angelo would have, built the his first work, Dante wrote down that monument, but Leo X. refused to allow remarkable aspiration that God would the sacred dust to be removed. Fitake him to himself after he had written nally, in 1829, five hundred and eight of Beatrice such things as were never years after the death of Dante, Florence yet written of woman. It was literally got a cenotaph fairly built in Santa fulfilled when the Commedia was fin- Croce (by Ricci), ugly beyond even ished, twenty-five years later. Scarce the usual lot of such, with three coloswas Dante at rest in his grave when sal figures on it, Dante in the middle, Italy felt instinctively that this was her with Italy on one side and Poesy on great man. Boccaccio tells us that in the other. The tomb at Ravenna, 1329 Cardinal Poggetto (du Poiet) built originally in 1483, by Cardinal caused Dante's treatise De Monarchia Bembo, was restored by Cardinal Corsi to be publicly burned at Bologna, and in 1692, and finally rebuilt in its presproposed further to dig up and burn entform by Cardinal Gonzaga, in the bones of the poet at Ravenna, as 1780, all three of whom commemohaving been a heretic; but so much rated themselves in Latin inscriptions. opposition was roused that he thought It is a little shrine covered with a better of it. Yet this was during the dome, not unlike the tomb of a Mopontificate of the Frenchman, John hammedan saint, and is now the chief XXII., the reproof of whose simony magnet which draws foreigners and
their gold to Ravenna. The valet de place says that Dante is not buried under it, but beneath the pavement of the street in front of it, where also, he says, he saw my Lord Byron kneel and weep. Like everything in Ravenna, it is dirty and neglected. In 1373 (Aug. 9) Florence instituted a chair of the Divina Commedia, and Boccaccio was named first professor. He accordingly began his lectures on Sunday, Oct. 3, following, but his comment was broken off abruptly at the seventeenth verse of the seventeenth canto of the Inferno, by the illness which ended in his death, Dec. 21, 1375. Among his successors was Filippo Vil lani and Filelfo. Bologna was the first to follow the example of Florence, Benvenuto da Imola having begun his lectures, according to Tiraboschi, as early as 1375. Chairs were established also at Pisa, Venice, Piacenza, and Mis lan before the close of the century. The lectures were delivered in the churches and on feast days, which shows their popular character. Balbo reckons (but that is guesswork) that the manuscript copies of the Divina Commedia made during the fourteenth century, and now existing in the libraries of Europe, are more numerous than those of all other works, ancient and modern, made during the same period. Between the invention of printing and the year 1500, more than twenty edi. tions were published in Italy, the ear. liest in 1472. During the sixteenth century there were forty editions; during the seventeenth, a period, for Italy,
of sceptical dilettantism, only three ; during the eighteenth, thirty-four; and already, during the first half of the nineteenth, at least eighty. The first translation was into Spanish, in 1428. M. St. René Taillandier says that the Commedia was condemned by the Inquisition in Spain, but this seems too general a statement, for, according to Foscolo (“Dante,” Vol. IV. p. 116), it was the commentary of Landino and Vellutello, and a few verses in the Inferno and Paradiso, which were condemned. The first French translation was that of Grangier, 1596, but the study of Dante struck no root there till the present century. Rivarol, who translated the Inferno in 1783, was the first Frenchman who divined the wonderful force and vitality of the Commedia. The expressions of Voltaire represent very well the average opinion of cultivated persons in respect of Dante in the middle of the eighteenth century. He says: “The Italians call him divine; but it is a hidden divinity; few people understand his oracles. He has commentators, which, perhaps, is another reason for his not being understood. His reputation will go on increasing, because scarce anybody reads him.” (Dict. Phil., art. “ Dante.") To Father Bettinelli he writes : “I estimate highly the courage with which you have dared to say that Dante was a madman and his work a monster." But he adds, what shows that Dante had his admirers even in that Aippant century: “ There are found among us, and in the eighteenth century, people who strive to admire imaginations so stupidly extravagant and barbarous.” (Corresp. gén., Euvres, Tom. LVII. pp. 80, 81.) Elsewhere he says that the Commedia was “an odd poem, but gleaming with natural beauties, a work in which the author rose in parts above the bad taste of his age and his subject, and full of passages written as purely as if they had been of the time of
Ariosto and Tasso.” (Essai sur les Mæurs, Euvres, Tom. XVII. pp. 371, 372.) It is curious to see this antipathetic fascination which Dante exercised over a nature so opposite to his own. At the beginning of this century Châteaubriand speaks of Dante with vague commendation, evidently from a very superficial acquaintance, and that only with the Inferno.
THE SCHOLASTIC PHILOSOPHY.
From Milman's History of Latin Christianity, Book XIV. Ch. III.
Now came the great age of the Schoolmen. Latin Christianity raised up those vast monuments of Theology which amaze and appall the mind with the enormous accumulation of intellectual industry, ingenuity, and toil ; but of which the sole result to posterity is this barren amazement. The tomes of Scholastic Divinity may be compared with the Pyramids of Egypt, which stand in that rude majesty which is commanding from the display of immense human power, yet oppressive from the sense of the waste of that power for no discoverable use. Whoever penetrates within finds himself bewildered and lost in a labyrinth of small, dark, intricate passages and chambers, devoid of grandeur, devoid of solemnity: he may wander without end, and find nothing! It was not indeed the enforced labor of a slave populalation : it was rather voluntary slavery, submitting in its intellectual ambition
and its religious patience to monastic discipline : it was the work of a small intellectual oligarchy, monks, of necessity, in mind and habits ; for it imperiously required absolute seclusion either in the monastery or in the university, a long life under monastic rule. No Schoolman could be a great man but as a Schoolman. William of Ockham alone was a powerful demagogue, - scholastic even in his political writings, but still a demagogue. It is singular to see every kingdom in Latin Christendom, every order in the social state, furnishing the great men, not merely to the successive lines of Doctors, who assumed the splendid titles of the Angelical, the Seraphic, the Irrefragable, the most Profound, the most Subtile, the Invincible, even the Perspicuous, but to what may be called the supreme Pentarchy of Scholasticism. Italy sent Thomas of Aquino and Bonaventura; Germany, Albert the Great;
the British Isles (they boasted also of ligious impulse of the times could not Alexander Hales and Bradwardine)Duns but seize on all the fervent and powerScotus and William of Ockham; France ful minds which sought satisfaction for alone must content herself with names their devout yearnings. No one who somewhat inferior (she had already had strong religious ambition could be given Abélard, Gilbert de la Porée, anything but a Dominican or a FrancisAmauri de Bene, and other famous or can; to be less was to be below the suspected names), now William of highest standard. Hence on one hand Auvergne, at a later time Durandus. the Orders aspired to rule the UniverAlbert and Aquinas were of noble sities, contested the supremacy with all houses, the Counts of Bollstadt and the great established authorities in the Aquino ;: Bonaventura of good parent- schools ; and having already drawn inage at Fidenza ; of Scotus the birth to their vortex almost all who united was so obscure as to be untraceable; powerful abilities with a devotional Ockham was of humble parents in the temperament, never wanted men who village of that name in Surrey. But could enter into this dreary but highly France may boast that the University rewarding service, - men who could of Paris was the great scene of their rule the schools, as others of their studies, their labors, their instruction : brethren had begun to rule the Counthe University of Paris was the ac- cils and the minds of kings. It may be knowledged awarder of the fame and strange to contrast the popular simple authority obtained by the highest preaching — for such must have been Schoolmen. It is no less remarkable that of St. Dominic and St. Francis, that the new Mendicant Orders sent such that of their followers, in order to forth these five Patriarchs, in dignity, contend with success against the plain of the science. Albert and Aquinas and austere sermons of the heretics — were Dominicans ; Bonaventura, Duns with the Sum of Theology of Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham, Franciscans. It might which of itself (and it is but one volhave been supposed that the populariz- ume in the works of Thomas) would, ing of religious teaching, which was as it might seem, occupy a whole life the express and avowed object of the of the most secluded study to write, Friar Preachers and of the Minorites, almost to read. The unlearned, unwould have left the higher places of reasoning, only profoundly passionately abstruse and learned Theology to the loving and dreaming St. Francis, is still older Orders, or to the more dignified more oppugnant to the intensely subsecular ecclesiastics. Content with be- tile and dry Duns Scotus, at one time ing the vigorous antagonists of heresy carried by his severe logic into Pelain all quarters, they would not aspire gianism ; or to William of Ockham, also to become the aristocracy of theo- perhaps the hardest and severest intel. logic erudition. But the dominant re- lectualist of all, - a political fanatic, not like his visionary brethren, who brood- of so much moment in the history of ed over the Apocalypse and their own religion, for their theology was long prophets, but for the Imperial against before rooted in the veneration and the Papal sovereignty.
awe of Christendom; nor in thut of As then in these five men culminates philosophy, for except what may be the age of genuine Scholasticism, the called mythological subtilties, questions rest may be left to be designated and relating to the world of angels and spirdescribed to posterity by the names as- its, of which, according to them, we signed to them by their own wonder- might suppose the revelation to man as ing disciples.
full and perfect as that of God or of We would change, according to our the Redeemer, there is hardly a quesnotion, the titles which discriminated tion which has not been examined in this distinguished pentarchy. Albert other language and in less dry and the Great would be the Philosopher, syllogistic form. There is no acute Aquinas the Theologian, Bonaventura observation on the workings of the the Mystic, Duns Scotus the Dialecti- human mind, no bringing to bear excian, Ockham the Politician. It may traordinary facts on the mental, or minbe said of Scholasticism, as a whole, gled mental and corporeal, constitution that whoever takes delight in what of our being. With all their researches may be called gymnastic exercises of into the unfathomable they have faththe reason or the reasoning powers, omed nothing; with all their vast logiefforts which never had, and hardly cal apparatus, they have proved nothing cared to have, any bearing on the life, to the satisfaction of the inquisitive or even on the sentiments and opinions mind. Not only have they not solved of mankind, may study these works, any of the insoluble problems of our the crowning effort of Latin, of Sacer- mental being, our primary conceptions, dotal, and Monastic Christianity, and our relations to God, to the Infinite, may acquire something like respect for neither have they (a more possible these forgotten athletes in the intellect- task) shown them to be insoluble. ual games of antiquity. They are not
Book XI. Buckley's Translation.
But when we were come down to the ship and the sea, we first of all drew the ship into the divine sea ; and we placed a mast and sails in the black
ship. And taking the sheep we put them on board ; and we ourselves also embarked grieving, shedding the warm tear. And fair-haired Circe, an awful