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Life Story And Life Work Of Dante

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The lecture before the Tappan Guild Sundayeveningby Dr. Howard Duffield, of Detroit, was a very eloquent and forcible one. His subject was, "The Life Story and Life Work of Dante." The speaker characterized Dante as the world's greatest religious poet. Lowell has declared the universality of his influence unequalled save by Shakspeare. He was born in Florence, the eradle of science and culture for all Europe. in a most eventful century, an age of fierce, hard conflict, when brutality was the order of the day. When nine years oíd, he met a young girl at a May Day festival, and her image followed him through life as the essence of purity. At her death he plunged into scholastic pursuits and Dolitics, and became a subtle philosopher and eminent statesman. He incurred the wrath of the governtnent and was obliged to go into exile. After many years of wandering in loneliness and seeking after peace, the visión carne, and he saw clearly the will of the Eternal Being. His Divina Comedia is an autobiography of the soul. It is no easy reading. At first glance it seems an encyclopedia of miscellaneous subjects, but in reading further a feeling of awe takes possession of the reader, and we see gleams of rarest beauty. In re-reading we find we are in contact with a Titanic giant of the human intellect, and somehow we feel the divine wonder of the common-place. His style is most intense, but the mechanical structure of the poem is rigid. In his Divina Comedia, Dante first shows us the hideous deformity of the soul in the clutches of evil, then how the soul may be purified, and lastly leads us to the presence of