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DANTE'S

DIVINE COMEDY:

THE INFERNO.

A Literal Prose Translation,

WITH

THE TEXT OF THE ORIGINAL COLLATED FROM THE BEST

EDITIONS, AND EXPLANATORY NOTES.

BY

JOHN A. CARLYLE, M.D.

O degli altri poeti onore e lume,

Vagliami il lungo studio e il grande amore,
Che m'han fatto cercar lo tuo volume.

Infern. I. 82-4.

51 g. 42

LONDON:
CHAPMAN AND HALL, 186 STRAND.

MDCCCXLIX.

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PREFACE.

The object of the following Prose Translation is to give the real meaning of Dante as literally and briefly as possible. No single particle has been wittingly left unrepresented in it, for which any equivalent could be discovered; and the few words that have been added are marked in Italics. English readers, it is hoped, will here find a closer, and therefore, with all its defects, a warmer version than any

that has hitherto been published for them.

The Italian Text, carefully collated from the best editions, is printed beneath, in order to justify and support the Translation, which is perhaps too literal for standing alone ; and likewise to enable those who have any knowledge of Italian to understand the Original itself more easily, and with less obstruction enjoy the deep rhythmic force and beauty of it, which cannot be transferred into any other language.

New Arguments or explanatory introductions, intended to diminish the number and burden of indispensable notes, are prefixed to the Cantos. The Notes themselves are either original, or taken directly, and in no case without accurate reference, from the best Italian commentators and historians; and, above all, from Dante's own works, wherever any thing
appropriate could be met with. Illustrative or par-
allel passages are quoted in them, from the Bible,
and from Virgil and other ancient authors, to shew
the way in which Dante used his materials; and
more sparingly from Chaucer and Milton, both of
whom had read the Divina Commedia with poetic
warmth and insight, before producing any of their
own great works. The endless passages which might
have been quoted from Italian writers, are excluded
for the sake of brevity, and as being far less near
and less interesting to us.

Finally, the doubtful, difficult, or obsolete words
are explained between the notes and the original
text, or in the notes themselves. A brief account of
the most remarkable Editions, Comments, and Trans-
lations, is given at the commencement, together with
a sketch of Dante's Hell and his journey through it.
And the volume concludes with a complete Index of
the Proper Names that are mentioned or alluded to.

Now this simple statement will sufficiently shew
that the present undertaking is upon a plan quite
different from that of the other English translations;
and therefore enters into no competition with them,
and requires no apology. I am persuaded that all
who know any thing of the manifold significance of
the Original, or of its old and recent history, will be
glad to see another faithful effort made to bring the
true meaning of it nearer to English readers. But,
for several purposes, and more especially for the

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