By Paget Toynbee
Probably the most often stated texts at the nice Florentine poet's lifestyles and writings, this precious research is the paintings of an influential Dantean pupil. Its concise, obtainable account covers old historical past, lines the poet's deepest and public existence, and explores the Vita Nuova, the Convivio, the Divine Comedy, and Dante's Latin works.
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MANY anecdotes and traditions touching on Dante were preserved through quite a few Italian writers, nearly all of that are certainly apocryphal. a few of them, despite the fact that, are worthy recording, as representing the preferred perception of what Dante was once like in usual existence. one of many earliest is that informed by means of Petrarch1 of Dante on the court docket of Can Grande della Scala at Verona, after he were exiled from Florence:— “Dante Alighieri, erewhile my fellow-citizen, was once a guy significantly finished within the vulgar tongue; yet as a result of his satisfaction he was once a little extra unfastened in his manners and speech than used to be applicable to the delicate eyes and ears of the noble princes of our nation. therefore, while he used to be exiled from his local urban, and used to be a visitor on the court docket of Can Grande, at the moment the safe haven and lodge of all who have been in misfortune, he used to be firstly held in excessive honour; yet afterwards via levels he started to lose favour, and daily grew to become much less wonderful to his host. one of the visitors while have been, in accordance with the customized of these days, mimics and buffoons of each description, one among whom, an impudent rascal, by way of his coarse comments and large jests made himself a common favorite and someone of substantial impact. Can Grande, suspecting that this was once a reason behind vexation to Dante, despatched for the buffoon, and, after lavishing compliment upon him, grew to become to Dante and stated: ‘I ask yourself the way it is this guy, idiot although he be, knows the way to please us all, and is petted through each one; whenever you, for your whole reputed knowledge, can do not anything of the type! ’ Dante answered: ‘You could rarely ask yourself at that, for those who remembered that like manners and prefer minds are the true explanations of friendship’. ”2 an analogous anecdote is instructed via Michele Savonarola, the grandfather of the well-known Florentine preacher and reformer, Girolamo Savonarola: “I will let you know the reply made via Dante to a buffoon on the courtroom of the Lord della Scala of Verona, who, having bought from his grasp a good coat as a gift for a few piece of buffoonery, confirmed it to Dante, and acknowledged: ‘You with your whole letters, and sonnets, and books, have by no means bought a gift like this’. To which Dante spoke back: ‘What you are saying is right; and this has fallen to you and never to me, since you have discovered your likes, and i've no longer but discovered mine. There, you know that! ’ ” three John Gower introduces a narrative of Dante and a flatterer into the Confessio Amantis (c. 1390):— “How Dante the poete answerde To a flatour, the story I herde. Upon a strif bitwen hem tuo He seide him, ‘Ther ben many mo Of thy servantes than of myne. For the poete of his covyne Hath non that wol him dress and fede, yet a flatour may possibly reule and lede A king with al his lond aboute’ ”. (Bk. vii. eleven. 2329*-37*. ) four one other tale of Dante and will Grande activates his host’s identify, Cane (“dog”):—“Once whilst Dante was once at his desk Cane della Scala, who was once a truly gracious lord, wishing to have a shaggy dog story with the poet and to incite him to a few shrewdpermanent announcing, ordered his servants to gather the entire bones from the repast and to place them privily at Dante’s ft.