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ITALY:

PRINTED WITH THE TYPES OF DIDOT.

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858

020 T

Vch.1

PREFACE

It is perhaps difficult to find a subject in

English on which some one has not already written. Yet a commentator on Dante has this advantage; and may fearlessly tell his reader 'use my book until book until you can find a better.' To a man who has reason to be diffident, such is no small encouragement. A long residence in Italy (I have lived in it for several years and am likely to continue) and many consequent facilities might render me fitter for my undertaking than my competitors, if I had any; and I am entirely unconscious of having any. My undertaking is a detailed comment on the DIVINA COMMEDIA a work that embraces a

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greater variety of matter, than any other poem that has been ever written. The Iliad and Odyssey and the Aeneid have been commented over and over again in a great many languages; and to whatever extent those comments were perfect, or imperfect, the world has always received them willingly, and looked to them

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