« AnteriorContinuar »
IELL, PURGATORY, AND PARADISE
THE REV. HENRY FRANCIS CARY, A. M
WITH THE LIFE OF DANTE, CHRONOLOGICAL View or
HIS AGE, ADDITIONAL NOTES AND INDEX.
ILLUSTRATED WITH TWELVE ENGRAVINGS
FROM DESIGNS BY JOHN FLAXMAN, R. A.
FROM THE LAST CORRECTED LONDON EDITION.
846 & 348 BROADWAY.
In the years 1805 and 1806, I published the First Part of the following Translation, with the Text of the Original. Since that period, two impressions of the whole of the Divina Commedia, in Italian, have made their appearance in this country. It is not necessary that I should add a third : and I am induced to hope that the Poem, even in the present version of it, may not be without interest for the mere English reader.
The translation of the Second and Third Parts, “The Purgatory” and “The Paradise," was begun long before the First, and as early as the year 1797 ; but, owing to many interruptions, not concluded till the summer before last. On a retrospect of the time and exertions that have been thus employed, I do not regard those hours as the least happy of my life, during which (to use the eloquent language of Mr. Coleridge)
my individual recollections have been cuspended, and lulled to sleep amid the music of nobler thoughts ;" nor that study misapplied, which has familiarized me with one of the subliraest efforts of the human invention.
To those who shall be at the trouble of examining into the degree of accuracy with which the task has been executed, I may be allowed to suggest, that their judgment should not be formed on a comparison with any single text
of my Author; since, in more instances than I have noticed, I have had to make my choice out of a variety of readings and interpretations presented by different editions and commentators,
In one or two of those editions is to be found the title of “The Vision ;" which I have adopted, as more conformable to the genius of our language than that of “ The Divine Comedy." Dante himself, I believe, termed it simply “ The Comedy;" in the first place, because the style was of the middle kind; and in the next, because the story (if story it may be called) ends happily.
The above Advertisement was prefixed to an edition of the following Translation, printed in so small a character as to deter a numerous class of readers from perusing it. Among the few into whose hands it fell, about two years ago, Mr. Coleridge became one ; and I have both a pride and a pleasure in acknowledging that it has been chiefly owing to the prompt and strenuous exertions of that Gentleman in recommending the book to public notice, that the opportunity has been afforded me of sending it forth in its present form.
When a Third Edition was called for in 1831, my duties as an Assistant Librarian in the British Museum were such as to prevent me from engaging in any task that would have required an increase of sedentary labor. I was thus