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读书笔记 Notes to Canto VIII

Dante & Charles Martel

When he wrote these lines Dante was a different man living in a different world, an exile and a refugee whose dearest hopes had been defeated, and defeated largely by that house of Anjou which in his youth he had learned to trust and which in recent years had been the main force against his hero, the young Emperor Henry VII, in his great stroke for public order—as Dante conceived it—in Italy. ‘From the midst of the gloomy shadows which now involve the Angevin princes there shines still in the eyes of the Poet a figure of pure light, that of Charles Martel, the gentle youth who had vanished in the white aureole of his early years, full of hopes and promises. His fair image was preserved blameless in Dante’s mind as it had been impressed on him in the spring of 1294, with the memory of their mutual affection, of exchange of confidences, and—who knows?—perhaps of generous promises, of bold designs, and of vague and distant ideals, an image bright in proportion as the other memories of the Angevins had become dark about it. “The Poet recalled it among the dearest recollections of his Guelf youth, alongside of that, equally lamented, of the gentle Judge Nino, in the Florence of old Ser Brunetto, of his friend Casella, and of Forese, a Florence proud of its Guelf victories, “the fair sheepfold where I slept as a lamb”’ (L. Rocca, L.D.).


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