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To exclude the Latin books of such men entirely from consideration is im- possible; but they cannot be adequately treated in a professed history of vernacular literature; and much else of deep significance must be passed over without a hint of its existence. The iiterature of Greece may appear an exception, but we b30w that the broad stream of Homeric song in which -■■■ e first behold it must have been fed by a number of -.Another circumstance places the Italian mind at a disadvantage when contemplated solely through a literary medium. AS which it has absorbed into itself, and whose original v JTces lie beyond the range of scrutiny.Google Book Search helps readers discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. To have interpreted one such hterature and made it accessible to English-speaking people seems to me a sufficient result of a life." It seems, however, peculiarly appropriate that a history of Italian literature should follow and should precede other and parallel histories.
Some want of proportion may be charged against the comparatively restricted space here allotted to Dante, It is indeed true that if genius prescribed the scale of treatment, at least a third of the book ought to have lieen devoted to him ; but this very fact refutes the censure it seems to support, since, the limits a&signed admitting of no extension, all other authors must have suffered for the sake of one. The very existence of vernacular minstrels and story-tellers is but matter of inference, the Ultle wliicb we possess in any sense referable to this depart- ment being in Latin. - kwig prtkhihtic' PROVENCAL LITERATURE (persecution was unchained by the Popes, the country enjoyed remarkable prosperity and tranquillity ; the harsher features of the feudal system were mitigated by industry and commerce, while the aristocratical organi- sation of society ensured literature tliat patronage with- out which it could hardly have flourished in the absence of a reading class.
Literature in Italy is a less exhaustive mani- festation than elsewhere of the intellect of the nation. In no litera- -jre is this general ma-xim better exemplified than the ilian, if, at least, as the economy of this little history Atmands, we restrict this appellation to its modern penod.
The intellectual glory of England, France, and Germany depends mainly upon their authors and men of science ; their illustrious artists, the succession of great German composers since Handel excepted, are for the most part isolated phenomena. It mi^t be plaosibly contended that the Latin and Italian literatures, like the Roman and Byzantine CBinres, are, in truth, a single entity, but the convenience CO the student precludes a view in support of which much might be adduced by the critic and philologist.
Google This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on Hbrary shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project to make the world's books discoverable online.
It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain.