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DISQUISITIONS

ON

THE ANTIPAPAL SPIRIT

WHICH PRODUCED

THE REFORMATION;

ITS SECRET INFLUENCE

ON THE LITERATURE OF EUROPE IN GENERAL,

AND OF ITALY IN PARTICULAR.

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LONDON:
SMITH, ELDER & CO., CORNHILL,

BOOKSELLERS TO THEIR MAJESTIES.

R67

vol

LONDON :

PRINTED BY STEWART AND CO.,

OLD BAILEY.

DEDICATION.

.

TO THE REV. H. F, CARY.

In presenting the following pages to the learned translator of Dante, I cannot conceal from myself how very unlikely it is that I have succeeded in rendering them at all worthy of his acceptance as an English work. This indeed arises not more from my own inadequacy to the task, than from the many difficulties I have had to encounter; for within the range of modern literature, there are perhaps few works which offer so many impediments in the way of a translator as this one on which I have ventured.

In compliance with the expressed wishes of many friends, I have endeavoured, as far as possible, to make it an exclusively English work. The minute researches, however, with which the original abounds, depend so much on expressions, nay, sometimes even on words, which are met with in the Italian classic authors, and which, when transposed into another language, lose much, if not all, of their effect, that in some cases, I have judged it impossible to dispense with the insertion of quotations in the original language.

As a recompense for the disadvantages under which a translation unavoidedly labours, I am enabled to present to your notice a great many important additional proofs, in support of the principal argument, which have never yet been published. For these, which are inserted in different parts of the work, as well as for the whole of the sixth chapter, which was not printed in the original, because the commentary of Dante's anonymous interpreter had not, at the period of its publication, seen the light, I am indebted to the generous courtesy of the author, who, in addition to many acts of kindness which have materially assisted the progress of the work, has permitted me to select from his manuscripts any thing which I might consider likely to increase the value of the present translation.

If some critics, whose opinions differ from those of the author have been unnecessarily violent in their manifestations of dissent, there are, at least as many who, struck by the force of concurring evidences, consider him entitled to the honour of having discovered secrets, which for ages, were buried in the mystic pages of his country's brightest ornaments. Without venturing to pronounce any decided opinion on the merits of a subject at once so difficult and so important, I lay this work before the tribunal of English opinion; and where can either author or translator hope to obtain a more impartial judgment ?

You will perceive, that wherever the Divine Comedy is quoted, I have not scrupled to avail myself of your permission to make use of your translation, without which I feel that my undertaking would have been a hopeless one. My obligations on that score being too numerous for repetition, I must here content myself with one general acknowledgment of them, and conclude with sincere regret that, the task of introducing a work of so much interest to the English public has not devolved on one of more talent and experience, and that these pages so little merit the honour of being accepted by the high literary authority to whom they are now respectfully dedicated by

THE TRANSLATOR.

Bedford Square,
June 23,

1834.

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