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and profundity. But Dante chose Virgil | he makes uncertain and timid steps, and in preference to Aristotle as the represen- calls himself a stranger who is unactative of human wisdom, for the following quainted with the way. Hence, he himreasons probably. In the first place Vir- self needs the guidance of angels from gil was a poetical personage, and hence a terrace to terrace. On the mountain of much more suitable conductor and ex- Purgatory Virgil is hence the representapounder in a poem than the abstract phi- tive, not of the common Paganism, but of losopher Aristotle. And then also, Dante that which in prophetic anticipation goes stood to Virgil in the near relation of a beyond itself. grateful scholar.* By his means had he Having reached the summit of the developed his poetical talent, and could mount of purification, Virgil is compelled hence call him “sweet father.” Further, to return, and the office of conductor is Virgil, in the sixth book of the Æneid, gives now fulfilled by a higher spirit. For Phia description of the spiritual world as far losophy can come only to the threshold of as Elysium, (which Dante regards as, to a revelation ; God himself and the proper certain extent, a shadowy picture of the blessedness of the soul, the natural man is Terrestrial Paradise,) and comes even to a unable to comprehend. Beatrice, who accertain kind of Purgatory.I Hence it was companies our poet through Paradise, is also customary to look upon this book as evidently the representative of Theology, prophetical of Christianity. And lastly, (which rests upon Divine revelation) or of Virgil was highly celebrated during the Christian Wisdom.t Since the centre of middle ages, as the singer of proud, this, and the chief object of its knowledge, heathen Rome, in which Dante saw a is the love of God, subjectively and obtype of the world-dominion of the Chris-jectively, (that of God towards men, and tian Papacy.
men towards God,) Beatrice is well suited Virgil, then, is the representative here to be its representative; for in her, Dante of worldly wisdom. He comes not of his as a boy had already seen the ideal of a own accord to Dante, but as sent by Bea- pure ethereal love, and through her first trice, who has been incited thereto by had his sense for poetry and a higher Saint Lucia, at the desire of the Virgin world unfolded itself. I Saint Bernard, Mary, the symbol of sympathetic, prevent- lastly, is the representative of mystic coning, and intercessory grace. This is templation, which is required necessarily intended to show that even heathen wis. by the scholastic theology as its proper dom stands under the guidance of a higher complement. In opposition to the scholasinfluence, and is compelled to become sub- tic Abelard, who drew everything down servient to revelation. Ile accompanies into the sphere of the dialectic understandthe singer of the Divine Comedy through ing, his motto was : • God is known, so Hell and Purgatory, for natural reason and far as he is loved.” The contemplation philosophy may bring men to a certain of the pious heart, according to him, knowledge of themselves in the state of stands even higher than Faith itself. sin, punishment, and penitence. But it is Hence it is he that leads Dante to gaze plain, at the same time, that Virgil is most upon the Trinity, after preparing himself at home in Hell. Here he takes sure steps. for it by previous prayer. “Ben so il cammin,” says he: (“I know IV. In conclusion, it remains still to the way well.”). Only in that region cast a glance on the relation of Dante to where Hell has changed its form, by rea Protestantism. This sublime poet has natson of the earthquake at Christ's death, urally not been wanting in interpreters, is he forced to inquire the way. In Purgatory, on the other hand, he finds himself
* Purg. ii. 61-63. more in the sphere of mere presentiment;
E Virgilio rispose: voi credele
Ma uoi sem peregrin; come voi siete. * Inf. i. 85-87.
+ Purgat. xviii. 46-48; xxxiii. 10. Comp. + Inf. viii. 109; Purgat. xxvii. 52.
xxxi. 130, where the three so called theological 4 B. vi. 755-147.
virtues, Faith, Love, and Hope, dance singing Ś Inf. ii 52 ff. 95 ff.
around Beatrice. 11 Inf. ix. 30
Inf. ii. 105; Purg xxx. 121-123. i lof. xii. 91-94 ; xxiii. 127-132.
Ś Parad. xxx. 147-151.
who use him as a weapon against Protes- | ically, to the Catholic Church of the midtantism, as though belonging exclusively dle ages, of which he may be regarded to the Roman Church. The ablest inter as the poetical representative. His theolpreter of this kind is the Frenchman, Dr. ogy, especially the eschatology, apart from Ozanam, a jurist, whose work has also the formal additions of a poetic fancy, been translated into the German.* He agrees with the scholastic, whose object even goes so far as to put Luther on a par was, as is well known, to justify the tradiwith the Monk Dolcino, whom Dante pla- tion of the Roman Catholic Church, in its ces in the eighth circle of Hell, among the whole compass. In accordance with this, disturbers of the peace. Some on the he sees in the papacy also a divine instituother hand, with a profound and thorough tion. He regards the Roman Bishop as knowledge of Dante, have attempted to lay the successor of St. Peter, the chief shepclaim to his work in favor of the reforma- herd of the Church.* But on the other tion, especially so Goschelf and Graul.S hand, he is no friend of the absolute power Nay, some have even gone so far as to at- of the Pope. He does not regard him as tribute to Dante a prophecy of Luther, standing above a General Council of Bishsince Veltro, the grayhound, under the ops, and as being infallible separately figure of which Virgil predicts to our taken. For in the eleventh song of the poet a reformer that was soon to arise in Inferno (v. 7–9) we meet with a heretical the Church, has the signification anagram- Pope, Anatasius, of the fifth century, who, matically of L VTERO; and the Flor as the story goes, had denied the divine entine Landino, in his commentary on the nature of Christ. Besides, Dante will Divine Comedy, which appeared in 1481, allow to the Popes only the spiritual sucalculates that the birth of this reformer, premacy of the Church, assigning the temaccording to the passage in Purgat. xxx. poral to the German Emperor. His histo31, would take place on the 25th Nov., rico-philosophical view was this. In anti1481, which coincided almost with the quity, there were two chosen nations, a date of Luther's birth, (10th Nov., 1483.) spiritual and a secular one. The Jewish This, to be sure, is a mere conceit, although nation was chosen to prepare the way
for a remarkable coincidence. Under the the introduction of the Church of Christ, swift grayhound, Dante understands Can- and its spiritual head; the Roman nation, grande della Scala, (can means hound,) whose authority in secular matters even who afterwards became the chief of the Christ acknowledged, was chosen to preGhibelline party in Italy ; and he at that pare the way for the introduction of the time indulged in the pleasing hope, that Christian state, and its imperial head. he, in connection with the German Empe. Both branches of history united in Chrisror, might put an end to the pernicious tianity, and its middle point, Rome, but secular dominion of Rome.
under two sceptres : to the Pope belongs There is no doubt but that Dante, in his the spiritual supremacy of the church fundamental religious views, belongs, rad- and its Bishops; to the German Roman Em
peror, the secular supremacy of the Chris
tian States and their princes. Hence he * Dante et la Philosophie Catholique au Treizième Siècle. Par A. T. Ozanan. Paris, 1839. With bim agrees on this point also, Artand de Montor, in
* Parad. v. 76; Purg. xvi. 98; Inf. xix., 100, his Historie de Dante Al. Paris, 1841.
103. However strongly Dante inveighs againsi # Infer. xxviii. 55.
Boniface VIII., (Inf. xix. 52 ff.,) be stul regards Bruchstürke aus Dante Aligh.'s Glaubenslehre. his imprisonmeni in Anagui, by Philip the BeautiThree articles in Hengstenberg's Evangel. Kirchen- ful, as a sin against Christ. Zeitung, 1841.
This passage was made use of as early as the The Divina Commedia of Dante Alighieri, time of Bellarmin in a Protestant work, which translated into the German, with historical elucida- had for its object to win Italy for the evangelical tions, &c., by Charles Graul, Leipsig, 1813, P. I. faith through the authority of its greatest poet. It p. lv. ff. Comp. his article on Dante, in the Gen bears the lille, Avviso piacevole data alla bella eral Repertory for Theological Literature and Italia da un nobile giovane Francese. Comp. Bel. Church Statistic, by Lie. H. Reuter, Berlin, 1815, larmin's Controv. lib. IV. de Rom. Ponut. c. 10. Feb. namber, p. 118 ff., and especially 129 and 130. * Comp Purg. xvi., 97-114; 127-129; Parad. Wright, in his English translation, in three vols., vi' 82-90, 91, 92; and Danie's Latin work De Moof the D. Comm. in rhyme, London, 1839-1810, narchia, which was most probably composed behas accompanied it with parallels and elucidatious tween the years 1310 and 1313, during the time from Protestant writers; but the work we have not Henry VII. was endeavoring to restore again the
Imperial authority in Italy.
inveighs strongly against the worldly views “ To how much ill gave birth, and avarice of the then Popes. He wishes Not thy conversion, but that plenteous dower, them to restore to the Emperor what of which the first wealthy Father gained from
thee." right belongs to him,* and to return again to the poverty of the early Bishops. He
Dante, in general, testifies very strongly meets a mass of Popes and Cardinals in against the secularization of the hierarchy, Hell among the avaricious. He is partic, and inveighs also against the once so richly ularly bitter against Nicholas III., (died blessed Dominican and Franciscan orders, 1280,) Boniface VIII., (died 1303,) and sometimes in zealous, angry tones, then Clement V., (died 1307,) whom he places again in mournfully plaintive language, and together in the eighth circle of Hell, be- again with tender intercessory words,f and cause they had been guilty of simony, insists with all earnestness upon a thorough that is, of selling ecclesiastical offices for reformation in head and members, with money, (Acts viii. ;) thus bringing down reference, not so much indeed to the docthe heavenly to the level with the earthly. trines as the discipline and practice of the On account of this perversion, the simonists Church. Beatrice also shows him, in a are compelled to stand with their heads in striking manner, the rejuvenescence of the holes of the earth, and their legs on high ; vineyard of the Lord ;I 'andwhat is remarkfrom their naked soles stream forth flames, able, his eyes are constantly directed, full like tongues of fire ; intended, doubtless, to of hope, to Germany, from whence the refrepresent the gift of the Holy Spirit
, given ormation in fact came, although later than to them at their ordination, but which be- he thought, and not from the German Emcame their curse. Dante reminds Nich
peror as he expected, but from a poor and olas, that Christ received no money from lowly monk. Peter, when he committed to him the
Dante has thus, as is the case with so power
of the keys, and charged him many great men, a double face; one of with the feeding of his lambs. "Fol
which looks into the past, the other tolow me,” (John xvi. 19,) was the only wards the future. He stands, as we have condition. Nor did Peter receive money already remarked, on the turning-point from Matthias, when he was chosen in between two periods. Although the most the place of Judas.lI. You, shepherd !" enthusiastic singer of the middle ages, he proceeds, “ John had in his eye when his is yet, at the same time, one of the he beheld the woman sitting upon many first voices on Roman Catholic ground, waters, committing fornication with the which demanded a thorough reformation kings of the earth, (Rev. xvii. 1-2.) You of the Church, like that called for by the differ from the idolator only in this, that he great reformatory Councils of the fifteenth worships one, but you a hundred idols.” century. When Rome obstinately shut her “Ah, Constantine," he exclaims,
ears against these voices of the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries, becoming ever stronger * Purg. xxx. 37-39.
and more pressing, the opposition gradu| Parad. xxvii. 40-45.
ally took a more anti-Roman and anti-PaInf. vii. 46–18. A contrast to this is formed by Pope Hadrian V., who became converted after pistical character; the issue of which, at his ascension to the papal chair, but was still last, was the rise of an independent church, required to perform penance on account of his for into which the best powers of the middle mer avarice, Purg. xix. 91-115.
§. Inf. xix. 22 ff. Nicholas, according to Vilages streamed over. Protestantism is the lani, was the first Pope who was guilty of open fulfilment of the prophecies which spoke simony in favor of his relatives, (nepotismus:) Dante, forth from the very midst of the ruling with reference to his family name Orsini, (from orso, bear,) causes him to say, v. 69-73:
church of the middle ages. E veramente fui figlinol della orsa,
We are not willing, then, as Protestants, Cupido sì, per avanzar li orsali
to renounce Dante, and to yield up the Che su lo avere, e qui me misi in borsa.
enjoyment of his immortal poem altogether Both Boniface and Clement were still living in the year 1300, which the poet makes the date of his vision, but their places in Hell were already * Iof. xix. 115-117. assigned them, and Nicholas in expecting them, in | Parad. xii. 86-96; Purg. xxxii. 124-129; xxiii. faci mistakes Dante al first for Boniface. || Inf. xix. 90-97.
# Comp. especially the prophetic passage, Purg. iT laf. xix. 106-114.
to the Roman Church. We look upon the which are not subject to the change of middle ages as the fertile soil of the ref- times, and which we can gaze at with ever ormation, upon Catholicism as an indispen- increasing delight. It is something great sable prerequisite and preparation of Pro- and beautiful to be in the possession of a testantism. Dante's age, the particular lively sympathy with humanity, in all its form of his thinking, feeling, poetry, and stages of development, and especially with life, has passed away, and can never again the Church of God of all
generbe revived. But we gaze back upon it, ations. Happy is he who has elevated with an interest similar to that with which himself to that stand-point of universal we look upon our youth, which, although observation, where the different periods of past forever, belongs still to the marrow history appear as the connected links of of life, to the sum of our existence, and one glorious chain, and where all great men in so far has an everlasting meaning. * We that have had a truly divine mission to find in the Divine Comedy, under these humanity, unite in the most manifold tones antiquated forms, many grains of gold, of one harmonious hymn of praise to the
One God. To such a one, history is a book * It is the principal fault of Leigh Hunt's book on
of life, full of consolation, instruction, reDante, which has just now come into our hand, proof, and enjoyment, from its commence(stories from the Italian poets, P. I.) that he
ment to its close. In the centre stands requires Dante not only to tolerate all sorts of nonsense, but also to send all men, however wicked Christ and His Church, the star and centheir lives may have been, to heaven, like a senti tral point, from whence light streams forth mental Universalist of modern stamp. This is quite as ridiculous as if a Chinese should abuse
over all parts of the periphery. P.S. England, because no tea grows there.
Thrilled in my shuddering limbs the flame;
I swooned, dissolved in ecstacy.
COLTON'S PUBLIC ECONOMY.*
From the formation of the first system standing of the shadowy design that exof society, the subjects which fall within isted in the author's brain. the province of political philosophy have In the eminently original and scientific employed the most powerful intellects of work before us, we see economy subjected all nations. But though illustrated by the to the fundamental and ultimate methods liveliest genius and the profoundest reflec- of investigation of which the results have tion, they have not until a very recent a mathematical certainty. We have new period assumed even the forms of science. facts, new reasonings, 'new deductions ; We cannot tell what formulæ of economi- and if the paramount ideas are not entirely cal truth passed from existence in the original, they are discovered by original lost books of Aristotle : the father of processes, and their previous existence is the peripatetic philosophy undoubtedly but an illustration of the truth that the inbrought to public economics the severe stinctive perspicacity of the common mind method which enabled him to construct so often surpasses the logical faculty in much of the everlasting science of which cognizing laws before they are discovered the history goes back to his times; but from elements and relations. whatever direction he gave to the subject, The author has long held a distinguished by the investigation of its ultimate prin place among our philosophical and political ciples and their phenomena, his successors, writers. In the fierce controversies of 1844, and the writers upon it since the revival of he restored, in a series of masterly tracts learning, have generally been guided by upon affairs, the name of Junius to its old empirical laws, which in an especial de celebrity and power; in the Rights of gree have obtained in regard to the econo- Labor, at a subsequent period, he asserted, my of commerce. Scarcely any of the illustrated, and with unanswerable logic literature or reflection upon the subject vindicated, the American doctrine of the has gone behind the bold but entirely un- privileges and dignity of Industry-decreed supported hypotheses of free trade theo- to be not only the condition of existence, rists, which have been as unsubstantial as but the source and sign of the highest the fanciful systems of the universe that development of men and states. If we were swept from existence by the mon- look into any of the numerous workst of strations of Newton. Not only have Mr. Colton, we shall find that their most economical systems generally been woven distinguishing characteristic is in the of unproven hypotheses, but they have dences, that he collects, observes and rarely evinced any such clear apprehen- analyzes his facts for himself; that he sion and constructive ability as are essen- forms from phenomena disclosed by his tial in the formation and statement of prin- own observation the hypotheses with ciples ; and down to the impenetrable which he constructs his systems. It is to chaos of Mr. Mill's last cumbrous octavos,t such men as Colton, Carey and Greeley, there is scarcely a volume on political or Clay, Webster and Evans, with undereconomy which rewards the wearied atten- standings alike practical, discriminative, tion with any more than a vague under-I and logical, that we are to look for the
* Public Economy for the United States. By CALVIN COLTON. 1 vol. 8vo. pp. 536. New York: A.S Barnes & Co., 1818.
Rights of Labor. By C Colton. Pamphlet, 8vo. pp. 96. New York: A. Ş. Barnes & Co., 1848. + Political Economy By Mr. Mill. 2 vols. Svo. Edinburgh, 1848. . Most of Mr. Colton's works have appeared originally in London, where he for some time re. sided. In London he published his Tour of the American Lakes, his Letters of an American Genteman, &c. But his Four Years in Great Britain, Religious State of the Country, Life of Henry Clay, &c., &c., have all been widely read in the United States.