20 MAY 1905, Page 15


[To THE EDITOR OF THY "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—In the article on "The Magazines" in the Spectator of May 6th the reviewer says that Dante placed Henry HI. in Purgatory, non per fare ma per non fare. This statement contains three misapprehensions. First, it was Virgil who was kept out of Paradise, non per fare ma per non fare (" Purg.," VIL, 25 et seq.) • Secondly, according to the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church, the souls that escape Purgatory by going straight to Paradise are so few that placing a soul in Purgatory implies no special disapproval. Thirdly, Henry III. was not in Purgatory, but with his contemporaries in Ante- Purgatory. These are passed in review by Sordello, and compared with their sons reigning in Europe in 1300. One, Peter of Aragon, is spoken of with great praise, and all except Henry III. are said to be better, or leas bad, than their sons. Of • Henry III. Dante says

Vedete it re della semplice vita Seder 11 solo, Arrigo d'Inghilterra : Qnesti ha ne' rami suoi migliore uscita," Purg.," VII., 130-33.) , At worst this is only faint praise. Edward L is, therefore, the only European Monarch reigning in 1300 whom Dante

praises, and it is interesting to note that the chronicler Villani also describes Edward I. as it piic leale principe e la migliore lancia del mondo.—I am, Sir, &c., S. MORRISON.

Atholl House, Murray Place, St. Andrews. S. MORRISON.