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De Gregori e Venditti: concerto-evento allo Stadio Olimpico. Il Natale nei beni del Fai: tutti gli eventi da non perdere. It has been sup- posed by some that Lapo degli Uberti father of Fazio, and brother-in-law of Guido Cavalcanti is meant; but this is hardly possible. Dante and Guido seem to have been in familiar intercourse with the Lapo of the sonnet at the time when it and others were written; whereas no Uberti can have been in Florence after the year , when the Ghibel- lines were expelled; the Uberti family as I have mentioned elsewhere being the one of all others which was most jealously kept afar and excluded from every amnesty.

The only information which I can find respecting Lapo Gianni is the statement that he was a notary by profession.

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I have also seen it somewhere asserted though where I cannot recollect, and am sure no authority was given that he was a cousin of Dante. We may equally infer him to have been the Lapo mentioned by Dante in his treatise on the Vulgar Tongue, as being one of the few who up to that time had written verses in pure Italian. Dino Frescobaldi's claim to the place given him here will not be disputed when it is remembered that by his pious care the seven first cantos of Dante's Hell were restored to him in exile, after the Casa Alighieri in Florence had been given up to pillage; by which restoration Dante was enabled to resume his work.

This sounds strange when we reflect that a world without Dante would almost be a poorer planet. Meanwhile, beyond this great fact of Dino's life, which perhaps hardly occupied a day of it, there is no news to be gleaned of him. Giotto falls by right into Dante's circle, as one great man comes naturally to know another.

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But he is said actually to have lived in great intimacy with Dante, who was about twelve years older than himself; Giotto having been born in or near the year , at Vespignano, fourteen miles from Florence. He died in , fifteen years after Dante.

On the authority of Benvenuto da Imola, an early commentator on the Commedia, of Vasari, and others, it is said that Dante visited Giotto while he was painting at Padua; that the great poet furnished the great painter with the conceptions of a series of subjects from the Apocalypse, which he painted at Naples; and that Giotto, finally, passed some time with Dante in the exile's last refuge at Ravenna. There is a tradition that Dante also studied drawing with Giotto's master Cimabue; and that he practised it in some degree is evident from the passage in the Vita Nuova , where he speaks of his drawing an angel.

This is the author of the Vita Nuova. That other portrait shown us in the posthumous mask,—a face dead in exile after the death of hope,—should front the first page of the Sacred Poem to which Heaven and earth had set their hands; but which might never bring him back to Florence, though it had made him haggard for many years. Giotto's Canzone on the doctrine of voluntary poverty,— the only poem we have of his,—is a protest against a per- version of gospel teaching which had gained ground in his day to the extent of becoming a popular frenzy.

People went literally mad upon it; and to the reaction against this mad- ness may also be assigned at any rate partly Cavalcanti's poem on Poverty , which, as we have seen, is otherwise not easily explained, if authentic.

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Giotto's canzone is all the more curious when we remember his noble fresco at Assisi, of Saint Francis wedded to Poverty. At any rate, it affords another proof of the strong common sense and turn for humour which all accounts attribute to Giotto. I have next introduced, as not inappropriate to the series of poems connected with Dante, Simone dall' Antella's fine sonnet relating to the last enterprises of Henry of Luxembourg, and to his then approaching end,—that death- blow to the Ghibelline hopes which Dante so deeply shared. This one sonnet is all we know of its author, besides his name.

Giovanni Quirino is another name which stands for- lorn of any personal history. Fraticelli in his well-known and valuable edition of Dante's Minor Works says that there lived about a bishop of that name, belonging to a Venetian family. It is true that the tone of the sonnet which I give and which is the only one attributed to this author seems foreign at least to the confessions of bishops. I am sorry to see that this necessary introduction to my first division is longer than I could have wished. Among the severely-edited books which had to be consulted in form- ing this collection, I have often suffered keenly from the buttonholders of learned Italy who will not let one go on one's way; and have contracted a horror of those editions where the text, hampered with numerals for reference, struggles through a few lines at the top of the page, only to stick fast at the bottom in a slough of verbal analysis.

It would seem unpardonable to make a book which should be even as these; and I have thus found myself led on to what I fear forms, by its length, an awkward intermezzo to the volume, in the hope of saying at once the most of what was to say; that so the reader may not find himself perpetually worried with footnotes during the consideration of something which may require a little peace. The glare of too many tapers is apt to render a picture confused and inharmonious, even when their smoke does not obscure or deface it.

In that part of the book of my memory before the which is little that can be read, there is a rubric, saying, Incipit Vita Nova.

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Nine times already since my birth had the heaven of light returned to the selfsame point almost, as concerns its own revolution, when first the glorious Lady of my mind was made manifest to mine eyes; even she who was called Beatrice by many who knew not wherefore.

I say that, from that time forward, Love quite go- verned my soul; which was immediately espoused to him, and with so safe and undisputed a lordship, by virtue of strong imagination that I had nothing left for it but to do all his bidding continually. After the lapse of so many days that nine years exactly were completed since the above-written appear- ance of this most gracious being, on the last of those days it happened that the same wonderful lady ap- peared to me dressed all in pure white, between two gentle ladies elder than she.

And passing through a street, she turned her eyes thither where I stood sorely abashed: and by her unspeakable courtesy, which is now guerdoned in the Great Cycle, she saluted me with so virtuous a bearing that I seemed then and there to behold the very limits of blessedness. Iliad , xxiv. Then, musing on what I had seen, I proposed to relate the same to many poets who were famous in that day: and for that I had myself in some sort the art of discoursing with rhyme, I resolved on making a sonnet, in the which, having saluted all such as are subject unto Love, and entreated them to expound my vision, I should write unto them those things which I had seen in my sleep.

And the sonnet I made was this:—. This sonnet is divided into two parts.

In the first part I give greeting, and ask an answer; in the second, I signify page: But the true meaning of that vision was not then perceived by any one, though it be now evident to the least skilful. From that night forth, the natural functions of my body began to be vexed and impeded, for I was given up wholly to thinking of this most gracious creature: whereby in short space I became so weak and so re- duced that it was irksome to many of my friends to look upon me; while others, being moved by spite, went about to discover what it was my wish should be con- cealed.

Wherefore I, perceiving the drift of their un- kindly questions, by Love's will, who directed me according to the counsels of reason, told them how it was Love himself who had thus dealt with me: and I said so, because the thing was so plainly to be discerned in my countenance that there was no longer any means of concealing it. Therefore I was reassured, and knew that for that day my secret had not become manifest. Then immediately it came into my mind that I might make use of this lady as a screen to the truth: and so well did I play my part that the most of those who had hitherto watched and wondered at me, now imagined they had found me out.

By her means I kept my secret concealed till some years were gone over; and for my better security, I even made divers rhymes in her honour; whereof I shall here write only as much as concerneth the most gentle Beatrice, which is but a very little. Moreover, about the same time while this lady was a screen for so much love on my part, I took the resolution to set down the name of this most gracious creature accompanied with many other women's names, and especially with hers whom I spake of. Now it so chanced with her by whose means I had thus long time concealed my desire, that it behoved her to leave the city I speak of, and to journey afar: where- fore I, being sorely perplexed at the loss of so excellent a defence, had more trouble than even I could before have supposed.

And the sonnet was this:—. In the second I tell where Love had placed me, with a meaning other than that which the last part of the poem shows, and I say what I have lost.

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A certain while after the departure of that lady, it pleased the Master of the Angels to call into His glory a damsel, young and of a gentle presence, who had been very lovely in the city I speak of: and I saw her body lying without its soul among many ladies, who held a pitiful weeping. Whereupon, remembering that I had seen her in the company of excellent Beatrice, I could not hinder myself from a few tears; and weeping, I con- ceived to say somewhat of her death, in guerdon of having seen her somewhile with my lady; which thing I spake of in the latter end of the verses that I writ in this matter, as he will discern who understands.

And I wrote two sonnets, which are these:—. This first sonnet is divided into three parts. In the first, I call and beseech the Faithful of Love to weep; and I say that their Lord weeps, and that they, hearing the reason why he weeps, shall be more minded to listen to me. In the second, I relate this reason.

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In the third, I speak of honour done by Love to this Lady. This poem is divided into four parts. In the first I address Death by certain proper names of hers. In the second, speaking to her, I tell the reason why I am moved to denounce her. In the third, I rail against her. In the fourth, I turn to speak to a person undefined, although defined in my own conception.

Some days after the death of this lady, I had occasion to leave the city I speak of, and to go thitherwards where she abode who had formerly been my protection; albeit the end of my journey reached not altogether so far. And notwithstanding that I was visibly in the company of many, the journey was so irksome that I had scarcely sighing enough to ease my heart's heaviness; seeing that as I went, I left my beatitude behind me.

Wherefore it came to pass that he who ruled me by virtue of my most gentle lady was made visible to my mind, in the page: This sonnet has three parts. In the first part, I tell how I met Love, and of his aspect. In the second, I tell what he said to me, although not in full, through the fear I had of discovering my secret. In the third, I say how he dis- appeared. On my return, I set myself to seek out that lady whom my master had named to me while I journeyed sighing.

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And because I would be brief, I will now narrate that in a short while I made her my surety, in such sort that the matter was spoken of by many in terms scarcely courteous; through the which I had oftenwhiles many troublesome hours. And by this it happened to wit: by this false and evil rumour which seemed to mis- fame me of vice that she who was the destroyer of all evil and the queen of all good, coming where I was, denied me her most sweet salutation, in the which alone was my blessedness. And here it is fitting for me to depart a little from this present matter, that it may be rightly understood of what surpassing virtue her salutation was to me.

To the which end I say that when she appeared in any place, it seemed to me, by the hope of her excellent salutation, that there was no man mine enemy any longer; and such page: And now, resuming my discourse, I will go on to relate that when, for the first time, this beatitude was denied me, I became possessed with such grief that, parting myself from others, I went into a lonely place to bathe the ground with most bitter tears: and when, by this heat of weeping, I was somewhat relieved, I betook myself to my chamber, where I could lament unheard.