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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/292

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THE PROPHECY OF DANTE. [CANTO I.

Their mother, the cold partner who hath brought
Destruction for a dowry—this to see
And feel, and know without repair, hath taught
A bitter lesson; but it leaves me free:
I have not vilely found, nor basely sought,
They made an Exile—not a Slave of me.


    accepting this theory. There is, however, not the slightest reason for believing that the words which be put into the mouth of Jacopo Rusticucci, "La fiera moglie più ch'altro, mi nuoce" ["and truly, my savage wife, more than aught else, doth harm me"] (Inferno, xvi. 45), were winged with any personal reminiscence or animosity. But with Byron (see his letter to Lady Byron, dated April 3, 1820, in which he quotes these lines "with intention" [Letters, 1901, v. 2]), as with Boccaccio, "the wish was father to the thought," and both were glad to quote Dante as a victim to matrimony.

    Seven children were born to Dante and Gemma. Of these "his son Pietro, who wrote a commentary on the Divina Commedia, settled as judge in Verona. His daughter Beatrice lived as a nun in Ravenna." (Dante, by Oscar Browning, 1891, p. 47).]