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THE

TREATMENT OF NATURE

IN DANTE'S

'DIVINA COMMEDIA'

BY

L. OSCAR KUHNS

PROFESSOR IN WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
MIDDLETOWN, U.S.A.

EDWARD ARNOLD

LONDON NEW YORK

37 BEDFORD STREET 70 FIFTH AVENUE

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THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED
TO MY BROTHER

HENRY CLARENCE KUHNS

AS A

SLIGHT ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF HIS UNFAILING KINDNESS DURING MY STUDENT YEARS

PREFACE

In the following discussion I have endeavoured to give a practically complete picture of all those aspects of animate and inanimate Nature which Dante has made use of in the Divina Commedia. While it would have been comparatively easy to arrange the facts in tabulated form for reference merely, I have thought it worth while to attempt the far more difficult task of presenting the results of my investigations in such shape as might be read with some interest by the general student of literature. The difficulty and labour involved in reducing such a mass of material to the proper proportion demanded by such a treatment may be some excuse for the shortcomings of which I am myself only too conscious.

I have ventured to make my own translations, not that I am so bold as to think that they are in any way better than those of Cary, Longfellow, and Professor Norton, but because, using the passages for certain specific purposes, I could shape the translation so as better to illustrate the point I was making in each case.

In defining Nature as used in this book, I cannot do better than quote from Mr. Shairp,

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