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CONTENTS OF VOLUME II
OBITUARY Notice Of Cary
CHRONOLOGICAL List OF AUTHORS, with Dates Of Works QUOTED . 703-723
DANTE IN ENGLISH LITERATURE
[William Wordsworth was the son of an attorney of Cockermouth, Cumberland, where he was born in 1770. He was educated at Hawkshead Grammar School and St. John's College, Cambridge, where he entered in 1787 and graduated in 1791. While at Cambridge he studied Italian under Agostino Isola, the teacher appointed by Gray (see vol. i. pp. 358-9). In 1790 he made a tour through France and Switzerland into Italy, which he revisited in 1820 and in 1837. In 1791 he again visited France and remained there for more than a year. Shortly after his return he published his first poems, the Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches (1793). In or about 1795 he made the acquaintance of Coleridge, and in 1798 they published jointly Lyrical Ballads, to which Coleridge contributed the Ancient Mariner. In 1799 Wordsworth settled with his sister Dorothy at Grasmere, where he resided for the rest of his life. In 1807 he published two volumes containing some of his finest poems, including the Ode to Duty and Ode on the Intimations of Immortality. About 1813 Lord Lonsdale obtained for him the office of distributor of stamps for the county of Westmoreland, which he held until 1842, when Sir Robert Peel at the instance of Gladstone gave him a pension of £300 a year from the civil list. On Southey's death in 1843 Wordsworth was appointed Poet Laureate. He died at Grasmere in 1850. Or his longer poems, the Excursion was published in 1814, the White Doe of Rylstone in 1815, Peter Bell in 1819, and the Prelude (posthumously) in 1850.
Wordsworth possessed a copy of the Divina Commedia, which he read, but he seems to have preferred Ariosto and Tasso to Dante, whom he admired apparently more as a patriot than as a poet. He expressed his appreciation, however, for Cary's translation, which in conversation with Alexander Dyce he described as a great national work.'?]
1805. Oct. 17. mere).
LETTER TO SIR GEORGE BEAUMONT (from Gras
[The poetry of Dante and Michael Angelo] WHERE is a mistake in the world concerning the Italian
language; the poetry of Dante and Michael Angelo
proves that if there be little majesty and strength in Italian verse, the fault is in the authors, and not in the tongue.
(Life of W. Wordsworth, by W. Knight, vol. ii. p. 67.)
[This book does not figure in the catalogue of the sale of Wordsworth's library, which took place in 1859.) [See vol. i. p. 466, note.)
Why come nøt Irancis ?–From the doleful City 2
(Canto, vi. 11. 1-9.)
1817. May 13.
LETTER TO SAMUEL ROGERS (from Rydal Mount).
[Rogers and Dante] Do you
and Dante continue as intimate as heretofore ? He used to avenge himself upon his enemies by placing them in H-ll
, a thing Bards seem very fond of attempting in this day, witness the Laureate's 3 mode of treating Mr. W. Smith. You keep out of these scrapes I suppose; why don't you hire somebody to abuse you ? and the higher the place selected for the purpose the better. For myself, I begin to fear that I should soon be forgotten if it were not for my enemies.
(Rogers and his Contemporaries, ed. Clayden, vol. i. p. 241.) 1821. Sept. 3. LETTER TO WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR (from Rydal Mount).
[Latin translation of Dante) I differ from you in opinion as to the propriety of the Latin language being employed by moderns for works of taste and imagination. Miserable would have been the lot of Dante, Ariosto, and Petrarch if they had preferred the Latin to their mother tongue (there is, by the by, a Latin translation of Dante which you do not seem to know), and what could Milton, who was surely no
1[First published in 1815.]
? [York—a reminiscence of Inf. iii. I, 'la città dolente' (cf. the poem headed •Greenock,' below, p. 4).]
3 [Southey.) 4[William Smith (1756-1835), M.P. for Norwich; 'in 1817 he expressed some indignation at the difference between the views of Robert Southey, as laureate and writer in the Quarterly Review, and as author of Wat Tyler, an early effort, which had just been printed without Southey's permission. Southey retorted in A Letter to William Smith, Esq. M.P.' (D.N.B.).]
5[Doubtless that by Carlo d' Aquino, in three volumes, published in 1728 with the imprint of Naples, but actually printed at Rome.]