Endnotes

  1. The Vita Nuova of Dante closes with these words:⁠—

    “After this sonnet there appeared to me a wonderful vision, in which I beheld things that made me propose to say no more of this blessed one, until I shall be able to treat of her more worthily. And to attain thereunto, truly I strive with all my power, as she knoweth. So that if it shall be the pleasure of Him, through whom all things live, that my life continue somewhat longer, I hope to say of her what never yet was said of any woman. And then may it please Him, who is the Sire of courtesy, that my soul may depart to look upon the glory of its Lady, that is to say, of the blessed Beatrice, who in glory gazes into the face of Him, qui est per omnia sæcula benedictus.”

    In these lines we have the earliest glimpse of the Divine Comedy, as it rose in the author’s mind.

    Whoever has read the Vita Nuova will remember the stress which Dante lays upon the mystic numbers Nine and Three; his first meeting with Beatrice at the beginning of her ninth year, and the end of his; his nine days’ illness, and the thought of her death which came to him on the ninth day; her death on the ninth day of the ninth month, “computing by the Syrian method,” and in that year of our Lord “when the perfect number ten was nine times completed in that century” which was the thirteenth. Moreover, he says the number nine was friendly to her, because the nine heavens were in conjunction at her birth; and that she was herself the number nine, “that is, a miracle whose root is the wonderful Trinity.”

    Following out this idea, we find the Divine Comedy written in terza rima, or threefold rhyme, divided into three parts, and each part again subdivided in its structure into three. The whole number of cantos is one hundred, the perfect number ten multiplied into itself; but if we count the first canto of the Inferno as a Prelude, which it really is, each part will consist of thirty-three cantos, making ninety-nine in all; and so the favorite mystic numbers reappear.

    The three divisions of the Inferno are minutely described and explained by Dante in Canto XI. They are separated from each other by great spaces in the infernal abyss. The sins punished in them are⁠—I Incontinence. II Malice. III Bestiality.

    I Incontinence: 1. The Wanton. 2. The Gluttonous. 3. The Avaricious and Prodigal. 4. The Irascible and the Sullen.

    II Malice: 1. The Violent against their neighbor, in person or property. 2. The Violent against themselves, in person or property. 3. The Violent against God, or against Nature, the daughter of God, or against Art, the daughter of Nature.

    III Bestiality: first subdivision: 1. Seducers. 2. Flatterers. 3. Simoniacs. 4. Soothsayers. 5. Barrators. 6. Hypocrites. 7. Thieves. 8. Evil counsellors. 9. Schismatics. 10. Falsifiers.

    Second subdivision: 1. Traitors to their kindred. 2. Traitors to their country. 3. Traitors to their friends. 4. Traitors to their lords and benefactors.

    The Divine Comedy is not strictly an allegorical poem in the sense in which the Faerie Queene is; and yet it is full of allegorical symbols and figurative meanings. In a letter to Can Grande della Scala, Dante writes:⁠—

    “It is to be remarked, that the sense of this work is not simple, but on the contrary one may say manifold. For one sense is that which is derived from the letter, and another is that which is derived from the things signified by the letter. The first is called literal, the second allegorical or moral⁠ ⁠… The subject, then, of the whole work, taken literally, is the condition of souls after death, simply considered. For on this and around this the whole action of the work turns. But if the work be taken allegorically, the subject is man, how by actions of merit or demerit, through freedom of the will, he justly deserves reward or punishment.”

    It may not be amiss here to refer to what are sometimes called the sources of the Divine Comedy. Foremost among them must be placed the Eleventh Book of the Odyssey, and the Sixth of the Aeneid; and to the latter Dante seems to point significantly in choosing Virgil for his Guide, his Master, his Author, from whom he took “the beautiful style that did him honor.”

    Next to these may be mentioned Cicero’s Vision of Scipio, of which Chaucer says:⁠—

    “Chapiters seven it had, of Heven, and Hell,
    And Earthe, and soules that therein do dwell.”

    Then follow the popular legends which were current in Dante’s age; an age when the end of all things was thought to be near at hand, and the wonders of the invisible world had laid fast hold on the imaginations of men. Prominent among these is the “Vision of Frate Alberico,” who calls himself “the humblest servant of the servants of the Lord”; and who

    “Saw in dreame at point-devyse
    Heaven, Earthe, Hell, and Paradyse.”

    This vision was written in Latin in the latter half of the twelfth century, and contains a description of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, with its Seven Heavens. It is for the most part a tedious tale, and bears evident marks of having been written by a friar of some monastery, when the afternoon sun was shining into his sleepy eyes. He seems, however, to have looked upon his own work with a not unfavorable opinion; for he concludes the Epistle Introductory with the words of St. John:⁠—

    “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book; and if any man shall take away from these things, God shall take away his part from the good things written in this book.”

    It is not impossible that Dante may have taken a few hints also from the Tesoretto of his teacher, Ser Brunetto Latini, See note 212.

    See upon this subject, Cancellieri, Osservazioni Sopra l’Originalità di Dante;⁠—Wright, St. Patrick’s Purgatory, an Essay on the Legends of Purgatory, Hell, and Paradise, current during the Middle Ages;⁠—Ozanam, Dante et la Philosophie Catholique au Treizième Siècle;⁠—Labitte, La Divine Comédie avant Dante, published as an Introduction to the translation of Brizeux;⁠—and Delepierre, Le Livre des Visions, ou l’Enfer et le Ciel décrits par ceux qui les ont vus.

  2. The action of the poem begins on Good Friday of the year 1300, at which time Dante, who was born in 1265, had reached the middle of the Scriptural threescore years and ten. It ends on the first Sunday after Easter, making in all ten days.

  3. The dark forest of human life, with its passions, vices, and perplexities of all kinds; politically the state of Florence with its factions Guelf and Ghibelline. Dante, Convito, IV 25, says:⁠—

    “Thus the adolescent, who enters into the erroneous forest of this life, would not know how to keep the right way if he were not guided by his elders.”

    Brunetto Latini, Tesoretto, II 75:⁠—

    “Pensando a capo chino
    Perdei il gran cammino,
    E tenni alia traversa
    D’ una selva diversa.”

    Spenser, Faerie Queene, IV ii 45:⁠—

    “Seeking adventures in the salvage wood.”

  4. Bunyan, in his Pilgrim’s Progress, which is a kind of Divine Comedy in prose, says:⁠—

    “I beheld then that they all went on till they came to the foot of the hill Difficulty.⁠ ⁠… But the narrow way lay right up the hill, and the name of the going up the side of the hill is called Difficulty.⁠ ⁠… They went then till they came to the Delectable Mountains, which mountains belong to the Lord of that hill of which we have spoken before.”

  5. Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress:⁠—

    “But now in this valley of Humiliation poor Christian was hard put to it; for he had gone but a little way before he spied a foul fiend coming over the field to meet him; his name is Apollyon. Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back or stand his ground.⁠ ⁠… Now at the end of this valley was another, called the valley of the Shadow of Death; and Christian must needs go through it, because the way to the Celestial City lay through the midst of it.”

  6. The sun, with all its symbolical meanings. This is the morning of Good Friday.

    In the Ptolemaic system the sun was one of the planets.

  7. The deep mountain tarn of his heart, dark with its own depth, and the shadows hanging over it.

  8. Jeremiah 2:6:⁠—

    “That led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt.”

    In his note upon this passage Mr. Wright quotes Spenser’s lines, Faerie Queene, I v 31:⁠—

    “there creature never passed
    That back returned without heavenly grace.”

  9. Climbing the hillside slowly, so that he rests longest on the foot that is lowest.

  10. Jeremiah 5:6:⁠—

    “Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces.”

  11. Worldly Pleasure; and politically Florence, with its factions of Bianchi and Neri.

  12. Più volte volto. Dante delights in a play upon words as much as Shakespeare.

  13. The stars of Aries. Some philosophers and fathers think the world was created in Spring.

  14. Ambition; and politically the royal house of France.

  15. Some editions read temesse, others tremesse.

  16. Avarice; and politically the Court of Rome, or temporal power of the Popes.

  17. Dante as a Ghibelline and Imperialist is in opposition to the Guelfs, Pope Boniface VIII, and the King of France, Philip the Fair, and is banished from Florence, out of the sunshine, and into “the dry wind that blows from dolorous poverty.”

    Cato speaks of the “silent moon” in De Re Rustica, XXIX, Evehito luna silenti; and XL, Vites inseri luna silenti. Also Pliny, XVI 39, has Silens luna; and Milton, in Samson Agonistes “Silent as the moon.”

  18. The long neglect of classic studies in Italy before Dante’s time.

  19. Born under Julius Caesar, but too late to grow up to manhood during his Imperial reign. He flourished later under Augustus.

  20. In this passage Dante but expresses the universal veneration felt for Virgil during the Middle Ages, and especially in Italy. Petrarch’s copy of Virgil is still preserved in the Ambrosian Library at Milan; and at the beginning of it he has recorded in a Latin note the time of his first meeting with Laura, and the date of her death, which, he says:⁠—

    “I write in this book, rather than elsewhere, because it comes often under my eye.”

    In the popular imagination Virgil became a mythical personage and a mighty magician. See the story of Virgilius in Thom’s Early Prose Romances, 11. Dante selects him for his guide, as symbolizing human science or Philosophy. “I say and affirm,” he remarks, Convito, V 16, “that the lady with whom I became enamored after my first love was the most beautiful and modest daughter of the Emperor of the Universe, to whom Pythagoras gave the name of Philosophy.”

  21. Dante seems to have been already conscious of the fame which his Vita Nuova and Canzoni had given him.

  22. The greyhound is Can Grande della Scala, Lord of Verona, Imperial Vicar, Ghibelline, and friend of Dante. Verona is between Feltro in the Marca Trivigiana, and Montefeltro in Romagna. Boccaccio, Decameron, I 7, speaks of him as “one of the most notable and magnificent lords that had been known in Italy, since the Emperor Frederick the Second.” To him Dante dedicated the Paradiso. Some commentators think the Veltro is not Can Grande, but Ugguccione della Faggiola. See Troya, Del Veltro Allegorico di Dante.

  23. The plains of Italy, in contradistinction to the mountains; the humilemque Italiam of Virgil, Aeneid, III 522:⁠—

    “And now the stars being chased away, blushing Aurora appeared, when far off we espy the hills obscure, and lowly Italy.”

  24. I give preference to the reading, Di quegli antichi spiriti dolenti.

  25. Beatrice.

  26. The evening of Good Friday. Dante, Convito, III 2, says:⁠—

    “Man is called by philosophers the divine animal.”

    Chaucer’s Assemble of Foules:⁠—

    “The daie gan failen, and the darke night
    That reveth bestes from hir businesse
    Berafte me my boke for lacke of light.”

    Mr. Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 240, speaking of Dante’s use of the word “bruno,” says:⁠—

    “In describing a simple twilight⁠—not a Hades twilight, but an ordinarily fair evening⁠—(Inferno II 1), he says, the ‘brown’ air took the animals away from their fatigues;⁠—the waves under Charon’s boat are ‘brown’ (Inferno III 117); and Lethe, which is perfectly clear and yet dark, as with oblivion, is ‘bruna-bruna,’ ‘brown’ exceeding brown.’ Now, clearly in all these cases no warmth is meant to be mingled in the color. Dante had never seen one of our bog-streams, with its porter-colored foam; and there can be no doubt that, in calling Lethe brown, he means that it was dark slate-gray, inclining to black; as, for instance, our clear Cumberland lakes, which, looked straight down upon where they are deep, seem to be lakes of ink. I am sure this is the color he means; because no clear stream or lake on the Continent ever looks brown, but blue or green; and Dante, by merely taking away the pleasant color, would get at once to this idea of grave clear gray. So, when he was talking of twilight, his eye for color was far too good to let him call it brown in our sense. Twilight is not brown, but purple, golden, or dark gray; and this last was what Dante meant. Farther, I find that this negation of color is always the means by which Dante subdues his tones. Thus the fatal inscription on the Hades gate is written in ‘obscure color,’ and the air which torments the passionate spirits is ‘aer nero,’ black air (Inferno V 51), called presently afterwards (line 81) malignant air, just as the gray cliffs are called malignant cliffs.”

  27. Aeneas, founder of the Roman Empire. Virgil, Aeneid, B. VI.

  28. “That is,” says Boccaccio, Comento, “St. Peter the Apostle, called the greater on account of his papal dignity, and to distinguish him from many other holy men of the same name.”

  29. St. Paul. Acts, 9:15:⁠—

    “He is a chosen vessel unto me.”

    Also, 2 Corinthians 12:3, 4:⁠—

    “And I knew such a man, whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth; how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”

  30. Shakespeare, Macbeth, IV 1:⁠—

    “The flighty purpose never is o’ertook,
    Unless the deed go with it.”

  31. Suspended in Limbo; neither in pain nor in glory.

  32. Brighter than the star; than “that star which is brightest,” comments Boccaccio. Others say the Sun, and refer to Dante’s Canzone, beginning:⁠—

    “The star of beauty which doth measure time,
    The lady seems, who has enamored me,
    Placed in the heaven of Love.”

  33. Shakespeare, King Lear, V 3:⁠—

    “Her voice was ever soft,
    Gentle, and low; an excellent thing in woman.”

  34. This passage will recall Minerva transmitting the message of Juno to Achilles, Iliad, II:⁠—

    “Go thou forthwith to the army of the Achaeans, and hesitate not; but restrain each man with thy persuasive words, nor suffer them, to drag to the sea their double-oared ships.”

  35. Beatrice Portinari, Dante’s first love, the inspiration of his song and in his mind the symbol of the Divine. He says of her in the Vita Nuova:⁠—

    “This most gentle lady, of whom there has been discourse in what precedes, reached such favor among the people, that when she passed along the way persons ran to see her, which gave me wonderful delight. And when she was near any one, such modesty took possession of his heart, that he did not dare to raise his eyes or to return her salutation; and to this, should any one doubt it, many, as having experienced it, could bear witness for me. She, crowned and clothed with humility, took her way, displaying no pride in that which she saw and heard. Many, when she had passed, said, ‘This is not a woman, rather is she one of the most beautiful angels of heaven.’ Others said, ‘She is a miracle. Blessed be the Lord who can perform such a marvel.’ I say, that she showed herself so gentle and so full of all beauties, that those who looked on her felt within themselves a pure and sweet delight, such as they could not tell in words.”

    —⁠C. E. Norton, The New Life, 51, 52

  36. The heaven of the moon, which contains or encircles the earth.

  37. The ampler circles of Paradise.

  38. Divine Mercy.

  39. St. Lucia, emblem of enlightening Grace.

  40. Rachel, emblem of Divine Contemplation. See Paradiso XXXII 9.

  41. Beside that flood, where ocean has no vaunt; “That is,” says Boccaccio, Comento, “the sea cannot boast of being more impetuous or more dangerous than that.”

  42. This simile has been imitated by Chaucer, Spenser, and many more. Jeremy Taylor says:⁠—

    “So have I seen the sun kiss the frozen earth, which was bound up with the images of death, and the colder breath of the north; and then the waters break from their enclosures, and melt with joy, and run in useful channels; and the flies do rise again from their little graves in walls, and dance awhile in the air, to tell that there is joy within, and that the great mother of creatures will open the stock of her new refreshment, become useful to mankind, and sing praises to her Redeemer.”

    Rossetti, Spirito Antipapale del Secolo di Dante, translated by Miss Ward, II 216, makes this political application of the lines:⁠—

    The Florentines, called Sons of Flora, are compared to flowers; and Dante calls the two parties who divided the city white and black flowers, and himself white-flower⁠—the name by which he was called by many. Now he makes use of a very abstruse comparison, to express how he became, from a Guelph or Black, a Ghibelline or White. He describes himself as a flower, first bent and closed by the night frosts, and then blanched or whitened by the sun (the symbol of reason), which opens its leaves; and what produces the effect of the sun on him is a speech of Virgil’s, persuading him to follow his guidance.”

  43. This canto begins with a repetition of sounds like the tolling of a funeral bell: dolente⁠ ⁠… dolore!

    Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 215, speaking of the Inferno, says:⁠—

    “Milton’s effort, in all that he tells us of his Inferno, is to make it indefinite; Dante’s, to make it definite. Both, indeed, describe it as entered through gates; but, within the gate, all is wild and fenceless with Milton, having indeed its four rivers⁠—the last vestige of the medieval tradition⁠—but rivers which flow through a waste of mountain and moorland, and by ‘many a frozen, many a fiery Alp.’ But Dante’s Inferno is accurately separated into circles drawn with well-pointed compasses; mapped and properly surveyed in every direction, trenched in a thoroughly good style of engineering from depth to depth, and divided, in the ‘accurate middle’ (dritto mezzo) of its deepest abyss, into a concentric series of ten moats and embankments, like those about a castle, with bridges from each embankment to the next; precisely in the manner of those bridges over Hiddekel and Euphrates, which Mr. Macaulay thinks so innocently designed, apparently not aware that he is also laughing at Dante. These larger fosses are of rock, and the bridges also; but as he goes further into detail, Dante tells us of various minor fosses and embankments, in which he anxiously points out to us not only the formality, but the neatness and perfectness, of the stonework. For instance, in describing the river Phlegethon, he tells us that it was ‘paved with stone at the bottom, and at the sides, and over the edges of the sides,’ just as the water is at the baths of Bulicame; and for fear we should think this embankment at all larger than it really was, Dante adds, carefully, that it was made just like the embankments of Ghent or Bruges against the sea, or those in Lombardy which bank the Brenta, only ‘not so high, nor so wide,’ as any of these. And besides the trenches, we have two well-built castles; one like Ecbatana, with seven circuits of wall (and surrounded by a fair stream), wherein the great poets and sages of antiquity live; and another, a great fortified city with walls of iron, red-hot, and a deep fosse round it, and full of ‘grave citizens,’⁠—the city of Dis.

    “Now, whether this be in what we moderns call ‘good taste,’ or not, I do not mean just now to inquire⁠—Dante having nothing to do with taste, but with the facts of what he had seen; only, so far as the imaginative faculty of the two poets is concerned, note that Milton’s vagueness is not the sign of imagination, but of its absence, so far as it is significative in the matter. For it does not follow, because Milton did not map out his Inferno as Dante did, that he could not have done so if he had chosen; only it was the easier and less imaginative process to leave it vague than to define it. Imagination is always the seeing and asserting faculty; that which obscures or conceals may be judgment, or feeling, but not invention. The invention, whether good or bad, is in the accurate engineering, not in the fog and uncertainty.”

  44. Aristotle says: “The good of the intellect is the highest beatitude”; and Dante in the Convito: “The True is the good of the intellect.” In other words, the knowledge of God is intellectual good.

    “It is a most just punishment,” says St. Augustine, “that man should lose that freedom which man could not use, yet had power to keep, if he would, and that he who had knowledge to do what was right, and did not do it, should be deprived of the knowledge of what was right; and that he who would not do righteously, when he had the power, should lose the power to do it when he had the will.”

  45. The description given of the Mouth of Hell by Frate Alberico, Vision, 9, is in the grotesque spirit of the Medieval Mysteries:⁠—

    “After all these things, I was led to the Tartarean Regions, and to the mouth of the Infernal Pit, which seemed like unto a well; regions full of horrid darkness, of fetid exhalations, of shrieks and loud howlings. Near this Hell there was a Worm of immeasurable size, bound with a huge chain, one end of which seemed to be fastened in Hell. Before the mouth of this Hell there stood a great multitude of souls, which he absorbed at once, as if they were flies; so that, drawing in his breath, he swallowed them all together; then, breathing, exhaled them all on fire, like sparks.”

  46. The reader will here be reminded of Bunyan’s town of Fair-speech:⁠—

    Christian. Pray who are your kindred there, if a man may be so bold.

    By-ends. Almost the whole town; and in particular my Lord Turnabout, my Lord Timeserver, my Lord Fair-speech, from whose ancestors that town first took its name; also Mr. Smooth-man, Mr., Facing-both-ways, Mr. Anything⁠—and the parson of our parish, Mr. Two-tongues, was my mother’s own brother by father’s side.⁠ ⁠…

    “There Christian stepped a little aside to his fellow Hopeful, saying, ‘It runs in my mind that this is one By-ends of Fair-speech; and if it be he, we have as very a knave in our company as dwelleth in all these parts.’ ”

  47. Many commentators and translators interpret alcuna in its usual signification of some: “For some glory the damned would have from them.” This would be a reason why these pusillanimous ghosts should not be sent into the profounder abyss, but no reason why they should not be received there. This is strengthened by what comes afterwards, I 63. These souls were “hateful to God, and to his enemies.” They were not good enough for Heaven, nor bad enough for Hell.

    “So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”

    —⁠Revelation 3:16.

    Macchiavelli represents this scorn of inefficient mediocrity in an epigram on Peter Soderini:⁠—

    “The night that Peter Soderini died
    He at the mouth of Hell himself presented.
    ‘What, you come into Hell? poor ghost demented,
    Go to the Babies’ Limbo!’ Pluto cried.”

    The same idea is intensified in the old ballad of “Carle of Kelly-Burn Brees,” Cromek, p. 37:⁠—

    “She’s nae fit for heaven, an’ she’ll ruin a’ hell.”

  48. This restless flag is an emblem of the shifting and unstable minds of its followers.

  49. Generally supposed to be Pope Celestine V whose great refusal, or abdication, of the papal office is thus described by Boccaccio in his Comento:⁠—

    “Being a simple man and of a holy life, living as a hermit in the mountains of Morrone in Abruzzo, above Selmona, he was elected Pope in Perugia after the death of Pope Niccola d’ Ascoli; and his name being Peter, he was called Celestine. Considering his simplicity. Cardinal Messer Benedetto Gatano, a very cunning man, of great courage and desirous of being Pope, managing astutely, began to show him that he held this high office much to the prejudice of his own soul, inasmuch as he did not feel himself competent for it;⁠—others pretend that he contrived with some private servants of his to have voices heard in the chamber of the aforesaid Pope, which, as if they were voices of angels sent from heaven, said, ‘Resign, Celestine! Resign, Celestine!’⁠—moved by which, and being an idiotic man, he took counsel with Messer Benedetto aforesaid, as to the best method of resigning.”

    Celestine having relinquished the papal office, this “Messer Benedetto aforesaid” was elected Pope, under the title of Boniface VIII. His greatest misfortune was that he had Dante for an adversary.

    Gower gives this legend of Pope Celestine in his Confessio Amantis, Book II, as an example of “the vice of supplantacion.” He says:⁠—

    “This clerk, when he hath herd the form.
    How he the pope shuld enform,
    Toke of the cardinal his leve
    And goth him home, till it was eve.
    And prively the trompe he hadde
    Til that the pope was abedde.
    And at midnight when he knewe
    The pope slepte, than he blewe
    Within his trompe through the wall
    And tolde in what maner he shall
    His papacie leve, and take
    His first estate.”

    Milman, History of Latin Christianity, VI 194, speaks thus upon the subject:⁠—

    “The abdication of Celestine V was an event unprecedented in the annals of the Church, and jarred harshly against some of the first principles of the Papal authority. It was a confession of common humanity, of weakness below the ordinary standard of men in him whom the Conclave, with more than usual certitude, as guided by the special interposition of the Holy Ghost, had raised to the spiritual throne of the world. The Conclave had been, as it seemed, either under an illusion as to this declared manifestation of the Holy Spirit, or had been permitted to deceive itself. Nor was there less incongruity in a Pope, whose office invested him in something at least approaching to infallibility, acknowledging before the world his utter incapacity, his undeniable fallibility. That idea, formed out of many conflicting conceptions, yet forcibly harmonized by long, traditionary reverence, of unerring wisdom, oracular truth, authority which it was sinful to question or limit, was strangely disturbed and confused, not as before by too overweening ambition, or even awful yet still unacknowledged crime, but by avowed weakness, bordering on imbecility. His profound piety hardly reconciled the confusion. A saint after all made but a bad Pope.

    “It was viewed, in his own time, in a different light by different minds. The monkish writers held it up as the most noble example of monastic, of Christian perfection. Admirable as was his election, his abdication was even more to be admired. It was an example of humility stupendous to all, imitable by few. The divine approval was said to be shown by a miracle which followed directly on his resignation; but the scorn of man has been expressed by the undying verse of Dante, who condemned him who was guilty of the baseness of the ‘great refusal’ to that circle of hell where are those disdained alike by mercy and justice, on whom the poet will not condescend to look. This sentence, so accordant with the stirring and passionate soul of the great Florentine, has been feebly counteracted, if counteracted, by the praise of Petrarch in his declamation on the beauty of a solitary life, for which the lyrist professed a somewhat hollow and poetic admiration. Assuredly there was no magnanimity contemptuous of the Papal greatness in the abdication of Celestine; it was the weariness, the conscious inefficiency, the regret of a man suddenly wrenched away from all his habits, pursuits, and avocations, and unnaturally compelled or tempted to assume an uncongenial dignity. It was the cry of passionate feebleness to be released from an insupportable burden. Compassion is the highest emotion of sympathy which it would have desired or could deserve.”

  50. Spenser’s “misty dampe of misconceyving night.”

  51. Virgil, Aeneid, VI, Davidson’s translation:⁠—

    “A grim ferryman guards these floods and rivers, Charon, of frightful slovenliness; on whose chin a load of gray hair neglected lies; his eyes are flame: his vestments hang from his shoulders by a knot, with filth overgrown. Himself thrusts on the barge with a pole, and tends the sails, and wafts over the bodies in his iron-colored boat, now in years: but the god is of fresh and green old age. Hither the whole tribe in swarms come pouring to the banks, matrons and men, the souls of magnanimous heroes who had gone through life, boys and unmarried maids, and young men who had been stretched on the funeral pile before the eyes of their parents; as numerous as withered leaves fall in the woods with the first cold of autumn, or as numerous as birds flock to the land from deep ocean, when the chilling year drives them beyond sea, and sends them to sunny climes. They stood praying to cross the flood the first, and were stretching forth their hands with fond desire to gain the further bank: but the sullen boatman admits sometimes these, sometimes those; while others to a great distance removed, he debars from the banks.”

    And Shakespeare, Richard III, I 4:⁠—

    “I passed, methought, the melancholy flood
    With that grim ferryman which poets write of,
    Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.”

  52. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, III 1:⁠—

    “This sensible warm motion to become
    A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
    To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
    In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice;
    To be imprisoned in the viewless winds,
    And blown with restless violence round about
    The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
    Of those that lawless and incertain thoughts
    Imagine howling.”

  53. Virgil, Aeneid, VI:⁠—

    “This is the region of Ghosts, of Sleep and drowsy Night; to waft over the bodies of the living in my Stygian boat is not permitted.”

  54. The souls that were to be saved assembled at the mouth of the Tiber, where they were received by the celestial pilot, or ferryman, who transported them to the shores of Purgatory, as described in Purgatorio II.

  55. Many critics, and foremost among them Padre Pompeo Venturi, blame Dante for mingling together things Pagan and Christian. But they should remember how through all the Middle Ages human thought was wrestling with the old traditions; how many Pagan observances passed into Christianity in those early days; what reverence Dante had for Virgil and the classics; and how many Christian nations still preserve some traces of Paganism in the names of the stars, the months, and the days. Padre Pompeo should not have forgotten that he, though a Christian, bore a Pagan name, which perhaps is as evident a brutto miscuglio in a learned Jesuit, as any which he has pointed out in Dante.

    Upon him and other commentators of the Divine Poem, a very amusing chapter might be written. While the great Comedy is going on upon the scene above, with all its pomp and music, these critics in the pit keep up such a perpetual wrangling among themselves, as seriously to disturb the performance. Biagioli is the most violent of all, particularly against Venturi, whom he calls an “infamous dirty dog,” sozzo can vituperato, an epithet hardly permissible in the most heated literary controversy. Whereupon in return Zani de’ Ferranti calls Biagioli “an inurbane grammarian,” and a “most ungrateful ingrate,”⁠—quel grammatico inurbano⁠ ⁠… ingrato ingratissimo.

    Any one who is desirous of tracing out the presence of Paganism in Christianity will find the subject amply discussed by Middleton in his Letter from Rome.

  56. Dryden’s Aeneid, B. VI:⁠—

    “His eyes like hollow furnaces on fire.”

  57. Homer, Iliad, VI:⁠—

    “As is the race of leaves, such is that of men; some leaves the wind scatters upon the ground, and others the budding wood produces, for they come again in the season of Spring. So is the race of men, one springs up and the other dies.”

    See also note 51.

    Mr. Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 160, says:⁠—

    “When Dante describes the spirits falling from the bank of Acheron ‘as dead leaves flutter from a bough,’ he gives the most perfect image possible of their utter lightness, feebleness, passiveness, and scattering agony of despair, without, however, for an instant losing his own clear perception that these are souls, and those are leaves: he makes no confusion of one with the other.”

    Shelley in his Ode to the West Wind inverts this image, and compares the dead leaves to ghosts:⁠—

    “O wild West Wind! thou breath of Autumn’s being!
    Thou from whose presence the leaves dead
    Are driven like ghosts, from an enchanter fleeing,
    Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
    Pestilence-stricken multitudes.”

  58. Dante is borne across the river Acheron in his sleep, he does not tell us how, and awakes on the brink of “the dolorous valley of the abyss.” He now enters the First Circle of the Inferno; the Limbo of the Unbaptized, the border land, as the name denotes.

    Frate Alberico in § 2 of his Vision says, that the divine punishments are tempered to extreme youth and old age:⁠—

    “Man is first a little child, then grows and reaches adolescence, and attains to youthful vigor; and, little by little growing weaker, declines into old age; and at every step of life the sum of his sins increases. So likewise the little children are punished least, and more and more the adolescents and the youths; until, their sins decreasing with the long-continued torments, punishment also begins to decrease, as it by a kind of old age (veluti quadam senectute).”

  59. Frate Alberico, in § 9:⁠—

    “The darkness was so dense and impenetrable that it was impossible to see anything there.”

  60. Mental, not physical pain; what the French theologians call la peine du dam, the privation of the sight of God.

  61. Virgil, Aeneid, VI:⁠—

    “Forthwith are heard voices, loud wailings, and weeping ghosts of infants, in the first opening of the gate; whom, bereaved of sweet life out of the course of nature, and snatched from the breast, a black day cut off, and buried in an untimely grave.”

  62. The descent of Christ into Limbo. Neither here nor elsewhere in the Inferno does Dante mention the name of Christ.

  63. The reader will not fail to observe how Dante makes the word honor, in its various forms, ring and reverberate through these lines⁠—orrevol, onori, orranza, onrata, onorata!

  64. Dante puts the sword into the hand of Homer as a symbol of his warlike epic, which is a Song of the Sword.

  65. Upon this line Boccaccio, Comento, says:⁠—

    “A proper thing it is to honor every man, but especially those who are of one and the same profession, as these were with Virgil.”

  66. Another assertion of Dante’s consciousness of his own power as a poet.

  67. This is the Noble Castle of human wit and learning, encircled with its seven scholastic walls, the Trivium, Logic, Grammar, Rhetoric, and the Quadrivium, Arithmetic, Astronomy, Geometry, Music.

    The fair rivulet is Eloquence, which Dante does not seem to consider a very profound matter, as he and Virgil pass over it as if it were dry ground.

  68. Of this word “enamel” Mr. Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 227, remarks:⁠—

    “The first instance I know of its right use, though very probably it had been so employed before, is in Dante. The righteous spirits of the pre-Christian ages are seen by him, though in the Inferno, yet in a place open, luminous and high, walking upon the ‘green enamel.’

    “I am very sure that Dante did not use this phrase as we use it. He knew well what enamel was; and his readers, in order to understand him thoroughly, must remember what it is⁠—a vitreous paste, dissolved in water, mixed with metallic oxides, to give it the opacity and the color required, spread in a moist state on metal, and afterwards hardened by fire, so as never to change. And Dante means, in using this metaphor of the grass of the Inferno, to mark that it is laid as a tempering and cooling substance over the dark, metallic, gloomy ground; but yet so hardened by the fire, that it is not any more fresh or living grass, but a smooth, silent, lifeless bed of eternal green. And we know how hard Dante’s idea of it was; because afterwards, in what is perhaps the most awful passage of the whole Inferno, when the three furies rise at the top of the burning tower, and, catching sight of Dante, and not being able to get at him, shriek wildly for the Gorgon to come up, too, that they may turn him into stone, the word stone is not hard enough for them. Stone might crumble away after it was made, or something with life might grow upon it; no, it shall not be stone; they will make enamel of him; nothing can grow out of that; it is dead forever.”

    And yet just before, line 111, Dante speaks of this meadow as a “meadow of fresh verdure.”

    Compare Brunetto’s Tesoretto, XIII.

    “Or va mastro Brunetto
    Per lo cammino stretto,
    Cercando di vedere,
    E toccare, e sapere
    Ciò, che gli è destinato.
    E non fui guari andato,
    Ch’ i’ fui nella diserta,
    Dov’ i’ non trovai certa
    Nè strada, nè sentiero.
    Deh che paese fero
    Trovai in quelle parti!
    Che s’ io sapessi d’ arti
    Quivi mi bisognava,
    Chè quanto più mirava,
    Più mi parea selvaggio.
    Quivi non ha viaggio,
    Quivi non ha persona,
    Quivi non ha magione,
    Non bestia, non uccello,
    Non fiume, non ruscello,
    Non formica, nè mosca,
    Nè cosa, ch’ i’ conosca.
    E io pensando forte,
    Dottai ben della morte.
    E non è maraviglia;
    Chè ben trecento miglia
    Girava d’ ogni lato
    Quel paese snagiato.
    Ma sì m’ assicurai
    Quando mi ricordai
    Del sicuro segnale,
    Che contra tutto male
    Mi dà securamento:
    E io presi ardimento,
    Quasi per avventura
    Per una valle scura,
    Tanto, ch’ al terzo giorno
    I’ mi trovai d’ intorno
    Un grande pian giocondo,
    Lo più gaio del mondo,
    E lo più dilettoso.
    Ma ricontar non oso
    Ciò, ch’ io trovai, e vidi,
    Se Dio mi guardi, e guidi.
    Io non sarei creduto
    Di ciò, ch’ i’ ho veduto;
    Ch’ i’ vidi Imperadori,
    E Re, e gran signori,
    E mastri di scienzc,
    Che dittavan sentenze;
    E vidi tante cose,
    Che già ’n rime, nè ’n prose
    Non le poria ritrare.”

  69. In the Convito, IV 28, Dante makes Marcia, Cato’s wife, a symbol of the noble soul:⁠—

    “Per la quale Marzia s’ intende la nobile anima.”

  70. The Saladin of the Crusades. See Gibbon, Chap. LIX. Dante also makes mention of him, as worthy of affectionate remembrance, in the Convito, IV 2. Mr. Cary quotes the following passage from Knolles’s History of the Turks, page 57:⁠—

    “About this time (1193) died the great Sultan Saladin, the greatest terror of the Christians, who, mindful of man’s fragility and the vanity of worldly honors, commanded at the time of his death no solemnity to be used at his burial, but only his shirt, in manner of an ensign, made fast unto the point of a lance, to be carried before his dead body as an ensign, a plain priest going before, and crying aloud unto the peopie in this sort, ‘Saladin, Conqueror of the East, of all the greatness and riches he had in his life, carrieth not with him anything more than his shirt.’ A sight worthy so great a king, as wanted nothing to his eternal commendation more than the true knowledge of his salvation in Christ Jesus. He reigned about sixteen years with great honor.”

    The following story of Saladin is from the Cento Novelle Antiche. Roscoe’s Italian Novelists, I 18:⁠—

    “On another occasion the great Saladin, in the career of victory, proclaimed a truce between the Christian armies and his own. During this interval he visited the camp and the cities belonging to his enemies, with the design, should he approve of the customs and manners of the people, of embracing the Christian faith. He observed their tables spread with the finest damask coverings ready prepared for the feast, and he praised their magnificence. On entering the tents of the king of France during a festival, he was much pleased with the order and ceremony with which everything was conducted, and the courteous manner in which he feasted his nobles; but when he approached the residence of the poorer class, and perceived them devouring their miserable pittance upon the ground, he blamed the want of gratitude which permitted so many faithful followers of their chief to fare so much worse than the rest of their Christian brethren.

    “Afterwards, several of the Christian leaders returned with the Sultan to observe the manners of the Saracens. They appeared much shocked on seeing all ranks of people take their meals sitting upon the ground. The Sultan led them into a grand pavilion where he feasted his court, surrounded with the most beautiful tapestries, and rich foot-cloths, on which were wrought large embroidered figures of the cross. The Christian chiefs trampled them under their feet with the utmost indifference, and even rubbed their boots, and spat upon them.

    “On perceiving this, the Sultan turned towards them in the greatest anger, exclaiming: ‘And do you who pretend to preach the cross treat it thus ignominiously? Gentlemen, I am shocked at your conduct. Am I to suppose from this that the worship of your Deity consists only in words, not in actions? Neither your manners nor your conduct please me.’ And on this he dismissed them, breaking off the truce and commencing hostilities more warmly than before.”

  71. Avicenna, an Arabian physician of Ispahan in the eleventh century. Born 980, died 1036.

  72. Averrhoës, an Arabian scholar of the twelfth century, who translated the works of Aristotle, and wrote a commentary upon them. He was born in Cordova in 1149, and died in Morocco, about 1200. He was the head of the Western School of philosophy, as Avicenna was of the Eastern.

  73. In the Second Circle are found the souls of carnal sinners, whose punishment is

    “To be imprisoned in the viewless winds,
    And blown with restless violence round about
    The pendent world.”

  74. The circles grow smaller and smaller as they descend.

  75. Minos, the king of Crete, so renowned for justice as to be called the Favorite of the Gods, and after death made Supreme Judge in the Infernal Regions. Dante furnishes him with a tail, thus converting him, after the medieval fashion, into a Christian demon.

  76. Thou, too, as well as Charon, to whom Virgil has already made the same reply. Canto VI 22.

  77. In Canto I 60, the sun is silent; here the light is dumb.

  78. Gower, Confessio Amantis, VIII, gives a similar list “of gentil folke that whilom were lovers,” seen by him as he lay in a swound and listened to the music

    “Of bombarde and of clarionne
    With cornemuse and shalmele.”

  79. Queen Dido.

  80. Achilles, being in love with Polyxena, a daughter of Priam, went unarmed to the temple of Apollo, where he was put to death by Paris.

    Gower, Confessio Amantis, IV, says:⁠—

    “For I have herde tell also
    Achilles left his armes so,
    Both of himself and of his men,
    At Troie for Polixenen
    Upon her love when he felle,
    That for no chaunce that befelle
    Among the Grekes or up or down
    He wolde nought ayen the town
    Ben armed for the love of her.”

    “I know not how,” says Bacon in his “Essay on Love,” “but martial men are given to love; I think it is but as they are given to wine; for perils commonly ask to be paid in pleasure.”

  81. Paris of Troy, of whom Spenser says, Faerie Queene, III, ix 34:⁠—

    “Most famous Worthy of the world, by whome
    That warre was kindled which did Troy inflame
    And stately towres of Ilion whilome
    Brought unto baleflill ruine, was by name
    Sir Paris, far renown’d through noble fame.”

    Tristan is the Sir Tristram of the Romances of Chivalry. See his adventures in the Mort d’Arthure. Also Thomas of Ercildoune’s Sir Tristram, a Metrical Romance. His amours with Yseult or Ysonde bring him to this circle of the Inferno.

  82. Shakespeare, “Sonnet CVI”:⁠—

    “When in the chronicle of wasted time
    I see descriptions of the fairest wights
    And beauty making beautiful old rhyme
    In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights.”

    See also the “wives and daughters of chieftains” that appear to Ulysses, in the Odyssey, Book XI.

    Also Milton, Paradise Regained, II 357:⁠—

    “And ladies of the Hesperides, that seemed
    Fairer than feigned of old, or fabled since
    Of fairy damsels met in forest wide
    By knights of Logres, or of Lyones,
    Lancelot, or Palleas, or Pellenore.”

  83. In the original, l’aer perso, the perse air. Dante, Convito, IV 20, defines perse as “a color mixed of purple and black, but the black predominates.” Chaucer’s “Doctour of Phisike” in the Canterbury Tales, Prologue 441, wore this color:⁠—

    “In sanguin and in perse he clad was alle,
    Lined with taffata and with sendalle.”

    The Glossary defines it, “skie colored, of a bluish gray.” The word is again used, VII 103, and Purgatorio IX 97.

  84. The city of Ravenna. “One reaches Ravenna,” says Ampère, Voyage Dantesque, p. 311, “by journeying along the borders of a pine forest, which is seven leagues in length, and which seemed to me an immense funereal wood, serving as an avenue to the common tomb of those two great powers, Dante and the Roman Empire in the West. There is hardly room for any other memories than theirs. But other poetic names are attached to the Pine Woods of Ravenna. Not long ago Lord Byron evoked there the fantastic tales borrowed by Dryden from Boccaccio, and now he is himself a figure of the past, wandering in this melancholy place. I thought, in traversing it, that the singer of despair had ridden along this melancholy shore, trodden before him by the graver and slower footstep of the poet of the Inferno.”

  85. Quoting this line, Ampère remarks, Voyage Dantesque, p. 312:⁠—

    “We have only to cast our eyes upon the map to recognize the topographical exactitude of this last expression. In fact, in all the upper part of its course, the Po receives a multitude of affluents, which converge towards its bed. They are the Tessino, the Adda, the Olio, the Mincio, the Trebbia, the Bormida, the Taro;⁠—names which recur so often in the history of the wars of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.”

  86. Here the word love is repeated, as the word honor was in Canto IV 72. The verse murmurs with it, like the “moan of doves in immemorial elms.”

    St. Augustine says in his Confessions, III 1:⁠—

    “I loved not yet, yet I loved to love⁠ ⁠… I sought what I might love, in love with loving.”

  87. I think it is Coleridge who says:⁠—

    “The desire of man is for the woman, but the desire of woman is for the desire of man.”

  88. Caïna is in the lowest circle of the Inferno, where fratricides are punished.

  89. Francesca, daughter of Guido da Polenta, Lord of Ravenna, and wife of Gianciotto Malatesta, son of the Lord of Rimini. The lover, Paul Malatesta, was the brother of the husband, who, discovering their amour, put them both to death with his own hand.

    Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship, Lect. III, says:⁠—

    “Dante’s painting is not graphic only, brief, true, and of a vividness as of fire in dark night; taken on the wider scale, it is every way noble, and the outcome of a great soul. Francesca and her Lover, what qualities in that! A thing woven as out of rainbows, on a ground of eternal black. A small flute-voice of infinite wail speaks there, into our very heart of hearts. A touch of womanhood in it too: della bella persona, che mi fu tolta; and how, even in the Pit of woe, it is a solace that he will never part from her! Saddest tragedy in these alti guai. And the racking winds, in that aer bruno, whirl them away again, to wail forever!⁠—Strange to think: Dante was the friend of this poor Francesca’s father; Francesca herself may have sat upon the Poet’s knee, as a bright, innocent little child. Infinite pity, yet also infinite rigor of law: it is so Nature is made; it is so Dante discerned that she was made.”

    Later commentators assert that Dante’s friend Guido was not the father of Francesca, but her nephew.

    Boccaccio’s account, translated from his Commentary by Leigh Hunt, Stories from the Italian Poets, Appendix II, is as follows:⁠—

    “You must know that this lady. Madonna Francesca, was daughter of Messer Guido the Elder, lord of Ravenna and of Cervia, and that a long and grievous war having been waged between him and the lords Malatesta of Rimini, a treaty of peace by certain mediators was at length concluded between them; the which, to the end that it might be the more firmly established, it pleased both parties to desire to fortify by relationship; and the matter of this relationship was so discoursed, that the said Messer Guido agreed to give his young and fair daughter in marriage to Gianciotto, the son of Messer Malatesta. Now, this being made known to certain of the friends of Messer Guido, one of them said to him: ‘Take care what you do; for if you contrive not matters discreetly, such relationship will beget scandal. You know what manner of person your daughter is, and of how lofty a spirit; and if she see Gianciotto before the bond is tied, neither you nor any one else will have power to persuade her to marry him; therefore, if it so please you, it seems to me that it would be good to conduct the matter thus: namely, that Gianciotto should not come hither himself to marry her, but that a brother of his should come and espouse her in his name.’

    “Gianciotto was a man of great spirit, and hoped, after his father’s death, to become lord of Rimini; in the contemplation of which event, albeit he was rude in appearance and a cripple, Messer Guido desired him for a son-in-law above any one of his brothers. Discerning, therefore, the reasonableness of what his friend counselled, he secretly disposed matters according to his device; and a day being appointed. Polo, a brother of Gianciotto, came to Ravenna with full authority to espouse Madonna Francesca. Polo was a handsome man, very pleasant, and of a courteous breeding; and passing with other gentlemen over the courtyard of the palace of Messer Guido, a damsel who knew him pointed him out to Madonna Francesca through an opening in the casement, saying, ‘That is he that is to be your husband;’ and so indeed the poor lady believed, and incontinently placed in him her whole affection; and the ceremony of the marriage having been thus brought about, and the lady conveyed to Rimini, she became not aware of the deceit till the morning ensuing the marriage, when she beheld Gianciotto rise from her side; the which discovery moved her to such disdain, that she became not a whit the less rooted in her love for Polo. Nevertheless, that it grew to be unlawful I never heard, except in what is written by this author (Dante), and possibly it might so have become; albeit I take what he says to have been an invention framed on the possibility, rather than anything which he knew of his own knowledge. Be this as it may. Polo and Madonna Francesca living in the same house, and Gianciotto being gone into a certain neighboring district as governor, they fell into great companionship with one another, suspecting nothing; but a servant of Gianciotto’s, noting it, went to his master and told him how matters looked; with the which Gianciotto being fiercely moved, secretly returned to Rimini; and seeing Polo enter the room of Madonna Francesca the while he himself was arriving, went straight to the door, and finding it locked inside, called to his lady to come out; for, Madonna Francesca and Polo having descried him. Polo thought to escape suddenly through an opening in the wall, by means of which there was a descent into another room; and therefore, thinking to conceal his fault either wholly or in part, he threw himself into the opening, telling the lady to go and open the door. But his hope did not turn out as he expected; for the hem of a mantle which he had on caught upon a nail, and the lady opening the door meantime, in the belief that all would be well by reason of Polo’s not being there, Gianciotto caught sight of Polo as he was detained by the hem of the mantle, and straightway ran with his dagger in his hand to kill him; whereupon the lady, to prevent it, ran between them; but Gianciotto having lifted the dagger, and put the whole force of his arm into the blow, there came to pass what he had not desired⁠—namely, that he struck the dagger into the bosom of the lady before it could reach Polo; by which accident, being as one who had loved the lady better than himself, he withdrew the dagger and again struck at Polo, and slew him; and so leaving them both dead, he hastily went his way and betook him to his wonted affairs; and the next morning the two lovers, with many tears, were buried together in the same grave.”

  90. This thought is from Boethius, De Consolatione Philosophiae, Lib. II Prosa 4:⁠—

    In omni adversitate fortunæ, infelicissimum genus est infortunii fuisse felicem et non esse.

    In the Convito, II 16, Dante speaks of Boethius and Tully as having directed him “to the love, that is to the study, of this most gentle lady Philosophy.” From this Venturi and Biagioli infer that, by the Teacher, Boethius is meant, not Virgil.

    This interpretation, however, can hardly be accepted, as not in one place only, but throughout the Inferno and the Purgatorio, Dante proclaims Virgil as his Teacher, il mio Dottore. Lombardi thinks that Virgil had experience of this “greatest sorrow,” finding himself also in “the infernal prison;” and that it is to this, in contrast with his happy life on earth, that Francesca alludes, and not to anything in his writings.

    The Romance of Launcelot of the Lake. See Delvan, Bibliotèque Bleue:⁠—

    Chap. 39. Comment Launcelot et la Reine Genièvre devisèrent de choses et d’autres, et surtout de choses amoureuses.⁠ ⁠…

    “La Reine, voyant qu’il n’osait plus rien faire ni dire, le prit par le menton et le baisa assez longuement en présence de Gallehault.”

    The Romance was to these two lovers, what Galeotto (Gallehault or Sir Galahad) had been to Launcelot and Queen Guenever.

    Leigh Hunt speaks of the episode of Francesca as standing in the Inferno “like a lily in the mouth of Tartarus.”

  91. Chaucer, “Knightes Tale”:⁠—

    “The colde death, with mouth gaping upright.”

  92. The sufferings of these two, and the pity it excited in him. As in Shakespeare, Othello, IV 1:⁠—

    “But yet the pity of it, Iago!⁠—O Iago, the pity of it, Iago!”

  93. In this third circle are punished the Gluttons. Instead of the feasts of former days, the light, the warmth, the comfort, the luxury, and “the frolic wine” of dinner tables, they have the murk and the mire, and the “rain eternal, maledict, and cold, and heavy”; and are barked at and bitten by the dog in the yard.

    Of Gluttony, Chaucer says in “The Persones Tale,” p. 239:⁠—

    “He that is usant to this sinne of glotonie, he ne may no sinne withstond, he must be in servage of all vices, for it is the devils horde, ther he hideth him and resteth. This sinne hath many spices. The first is dronkennesse, that is the horrible sepulture of mannes reson: and therefore whan a man is dronke, he hath lost his reson: and this is dedly sinne. But sothly, whan that a man is not wont to strong drinkes, and peraventure nc knoweth not the strength of the drinke, or hath feblenesse in his hed, or hath travailled, thurgh which he drinketh the more, al be he sodenly caught with drinke, it is no dedly sinne, but venial. The second spice of glotonie is, that the spirit of a man wexeth all trouble for dronkennesse, and bereveth a man the discretion of his wit. The thridde spice of glotonie is, whan a man devoureth his mete, and hath not rightful maner of eting. The fourthe is, whan thurgh the gret abundance of his mete, the humours in his body ben distempered. The fifthe is, foryetfulnesse by to moche drinking, for which sometime a man forgeteth by the morwe, what he did over eve.”

  94. It is a question whether Ciacco, Hog, is the real name of this person, or a nickname. Boccaccio gives him no other. He speaks of him, Comento, VI, as a noted diner-out in Florence, “who frequented the gentry and the rich, and particularly those who ate and drank sumptuously and delicately; and when he was invited by them to dine, he went; and likewise when he was not invited by them, he invited himself; and for this vice he was well known to all Florentines; though apart from this he was a well-bred man according to his condition, eloquent, affable, and of good feeling; on account of which he was welcomed by every gentleman.”

    The following story from the Decameron, Gior. IX, Nov. VIII, translation of 1684, presents a lively picture of social life in Florence in Dante’s time, and is interesting for the glimpse it gives, not only of Ciacco, but of Philippo Argenti, who is spoken of hereafter. Canto VIII 61. The Corso Donati here mentioned is the Leader of the Neri. His violent death is predicted, Purgatorio XXIV 82:⁠—

    “There dwelt somtime in Florence one that was generally called by the name of Ciacco, a man being the greatest Gourmand and grossest Feeder as ever was seen in any Countrey, all his means and procurements meerly unable to maintain expenses for filling his belly. But otherwise he was of sufficient and commendable carriage, fairly demeaned, and well discoursing on any Argument: yet not as a curious and spruce Courtier, but rather a frequenter of rich mens Tables, where choice of good cheer is seldom wanting, and such should have his Company, albeit not invited, he had the Courage to bid himself welcome.

    “At the same time, and in our City of Florence also, there was another man named Biondello, very low of stature, yet comely formed, quick witted, more neat and brisk than a Butterflie, always wearing a wrought silk Cap on his head, and not a hair standing out of order, but the tuft flourishing above the forehead, and he such another trencher flie for the Table, as our forenamed Ciacco was. It so fell out on a morning in the Lent time, that he went into the Fish-market, where he bought two goodly Lampreys for Messer Viero de Cerchi, and was espyed by Ciacco, who, coming to Biondello, said, ‘What is the meaning of this cost, and for whom is it?’ Whereto Biondello thus answered, ‘Yesternight three other Lampreys, far fairer than these, and a whole Sturgeon, were sent unto Messer Corso Donati, and being not sufficient to feed divers Gentlemen, whom he hath invited this day to dine with him, he caused me to buy these two beside: Dost not thou intend to make one of them?’ ‘Yes, I warrant thee,’ replyed Ciacco, ‘thou knowest I can invite myself thither, without any other bidding.’

    “So parting, about the hour of dinner time Ciacco went to the house of Messer Corso, whom he found sitting and talking with certain of his Neighbours, but dinner was not as yet ready, neither were they come thither to dinner. Messer Corso demanded of Ciacco, what news with him, and whether he went? ‘Why Sir,’ said Ciacco, ‘I come to dine with you, and your good Company.’ Whereto Messer Corso answered. That he was welcome: and his other friends being gone, dinner was served in, none else thereat present but Messer Corso and Ciacco: all the diet being a poor dish of Peas, a little piece of Tunny, and a few small fishes fryed, without any other dishes to follow after. Ciacco seeing no better fare, but being disappointed of his expectation, as longing to feed on the Lampreys and Sturgeon, and so to have made a full dinner indeed, was of a quick apprehension, and apparently perceived that Biondello had meerly gull’d him in a knavery, which did not a little vex him, and made him vow to be revenged on Biondello, as he could compass occasion afterward.

    “Before many days were past, it was his fortune to meet with Biondello, who having told his jest to divers of his friends, and much good merryment made thereat: he saluted Ciacco in a kind manner, saying, ‘How didst thou like the fat Lampreys and Sturgeon which thou fed’st on at the house of Messer Corso?’ ‘Well, Sir,’ answered Ciacco, ‘perhaps before Eight days pass over my head, thou shalt meet with as pleasing a dinner as I did.’ So, parting away from Biondello, he met with a Porter, such as are usually sent on Errands; and hyring him to do a message for him, gave him a glass Bottle, and bringing him near to the Hall-house of Cavicciuli, showed him there a Knight, called Signior Philippo Argenti, a man of huge stature, very cholerick, and sooner moved to Anger than any other man. ‘To him thou must go with this Bottle in thy hand, and say thus to him. Sir, Biondello sent me to you, and courteously entreateth you, that you would erubinate this glass Bottle with your best Claret Wine; because he would make merry with a few friends of his. But beware he lay no hand on thee, because he may be easily induced to misuse thee, and so my business be disappointed.’ ‘Well, Sir,’ said the Porter, ‘shall I say anything else unto him?’ ‘No,’ quoth Ciacco, ‘only go and deliver this message, and when thou art returned, I’ll pay thee for thy pains.’ The Porter being gone to the house, delivered his message to the Knight, who, being a man of no great civil breeding, but very furious, presently conceived that Biondello, whom he knew well enough, sent this message in meer mockage of him, and, starting up with fierce looks, said, ‘What erubination of Claret should I send him? and what have I to do with him or his drunken friends? Let him and thee go hang your selves together.’ So he stepped to catch hold on the Porter, but he being nimble and escaping from him, returned to Ciacco and told him the answer of Philippe. Ciacco, not a little contented, payed the Porter, tarried in no place till he met Biondello, to whom he said, When wast thou at the Hall of Cavicciuli?’ ‘Not a long while,’ answered Biondello; ‘but why dost thou demand such a question?’ ‘Because,’ quoth Ciacco, ‘Signior Philippe hath sought about for thee, yet know not I what he would have with thee.’ ‘Is it so,’ replied Biondello, ‘then I will walk thither presently, to understand his pleasure,’

    “When Biondello was thus parted from him, Ciacco followed not far off behind him, to behold the issue of this angry business; and Signior Philippo, because he could not catch the Porter, continued much distempered, fretting and fuming, because he could not comprehend the meaning of the Porter’s message, but only surmised that Biondello, by the procurement of somebody else, had done this in scorn of him. While he remained thus deeply discontented, he espyed Biondello coming towards him, and meeting him by the way, he stepped close to him and gave him a cruel blow on the Face, causing his Nose to fall out a bleeding. ‘Alas, Sir,’ said Biondello, ‘wherefore do you strike me?’ Signior Philippo, catching him by the hair of the head, trampled his Night Cap in the dirt, and his Cloak also, when, laying many violent blows on him, he said, ‘Villainous Traitor as thou art, I’ll teach thee what it is to erubinate with Claret, either thy self or any of thy cupping Companions. Am I a Child to be jested withal?’

    “Nor was he more furious in words than in stroaks also, beating him about the Face, hardly leaving any hair on his head, and dragging him along in the mire, spoiling all his Garments, and he not able, from the first blow given, to speak a word in defence of himself. In the end Signior Philippo having extreamly beaten him, and many poople gathering about them, to succour a man so much misused, the matter was at large related, and manner of the message sending. For which they all did greatly reprehend Biondello, considering he knew what kind of man Philippo was, not any way to be jested withal. Biondello in tears maintained that he never sent any such message for Wine, or intended it in the least degree; so, when the tempest was more mildly calmed, and Biondello, thus cruelly beaten and durtied, had gotten home to his own house, he could then remember that (questionless) this was occasioned by Ciacco.

    “After some few days were passed over, and the hurts in his face indifferently cured, Biondello beginning to walk abroad again, chanced to meet with Ciacco, who, laughing heartily at him, said, ‘Tell me, Biondello, how dost thou like the erubinating Claret of Signior Philippo?’ ‘As well,’ quoth Biondello, ‘as thou didst the Sturgeon and Lampreys at Messer Corso Donaties.’ ‘Why then,’ said Ciacco, ‘let these tokens continue familiar between thee and me, when thou wouldest bestow such another dinner on me, then will I erubinate thy Nose with a Bottle of the same Claret.’ But Biondello perceived to his cost that he had met with the worser bargain, and Ciacco got cheer without any blows; and therefore desired a peaceful! attonement, each of them always after abstaining from flouting one another.”

    Ginguené, Histoire littéraire de l’Italie, II 53, takes Dante severely to task for wasting his pity upon poor Ciacco, but probably the poet had pleasant memories of him at Florentine banquets in the olden time. Nor is it remarkable that he should be mentioned only by his nickname. Mr. Forsyth calls Italy “the land of nicknames.” He says in continuation, Italy, p. 145:⁠—

    “Italians have suppressed the surnames of their principal artists under various designations. Many are known only by the names of their birthplace, as Correggio, Bassano, etc. Some by those of their masters, as Il Salviati, Sansovino, etc. Some by their father’s trade, as Andrea del Sarto, Tintoretto, etc. Some by their bodily defects, as Guercino, Cagnacci, etc. Some by the subjects in which they excelled, as M. Angelo delle Battaglie, Agostino delle Perspettive. A few (I can recollect only four) are known, each as the prince of his respective school, by their Christian names alone: Michelangelo, Raphael, Guido, Titian.”

  95. The Bianchi are called the Parte selvaggia, because its leaders, the Cerchi, came from the forest lands of Val di Sieve. The other party, the Neri, were led by the Donati.

    The following account of these factions is from Giovanni Fiorentino, a writer of the fourteenth century; Il Pecorone, Gior. XIII Nov. I, in Roscoe’s Italian Novelists, I 327:⁠—

    “In the city of Pistoia, at the time of its greatest splendor, there flourished a noble family, called the Cancellieri, derived from Messer Cancelliere, who had enriched himself with his commercial transactions. He had numerous sons by two wives, and they were all entitled by their wealth to assume the title of Cavalieri, valiant and worthy men, and in all their actions magnanimous and courteous. And so fast did the various branches of this family spread, that in a short time they numbered a hundred men at arms, and being superior to every other, both in wealth and power, would have still increased, but that a cruel division arose between them, from some rivalship in the affections of a lovely and enchanting girl, and from angry words they proceeded to more angry blows. Separating into two parties, those descended from the first wife took the title of Cancellieri Bianchi, and the others, who were the offspring of the second marriage, were called Cancellieri Neri.

    “Having at last come to action, the Neri were defeated, and wishing to adjust the affair as well as they yet could, they sent their relation, who had offended the opposite party, to entreat forgiveness on the part of the Neri, expecting that such submissive conduct would meet with the compassion it deserved. On arriving in the presence of the Bianchi, who conceived themselves the offended party, the young man, on bended knees, appealed to their feelings for forgiveness, observing, that he had placed himself in their power, that so they might inflict what punishment they judged proper; when several of the younger members of the offended party, seizing on him, dragged him into an adjoining stable, and ordered that his right hand should be severed from his body. In the utmost terror the youth, with tears in his eyes, besought them to have mercy, and to take a greater and nobler revenge, by pardoning one whom they had it in their power thus deeply to injure. But heedless of his prayers, they bound his hand by force upon the manger, and struck it off; a deed which excited the utmost tumult throughout Pistoia, and such indignation and reproaches from the injured party of the Neri, as to implicate the whole city in a division of interests between them and the Bianchi, which led to many desperate encounters.

    “The citizens, fearful lest the faction might cause insurrections throughout the whole territory, in conjunction with the Guelfs, applied to the Florentines in order to reconcile them; on which the Florentines took possession of the place, and sent the partisans on both sides to the confines of Florence, whence it happened that the Neri sought refuge in the house of the Frescobaldi, and the Bianchi in that of the Cerchi nel Garbo, owing to the relationship which existed between them. The seeds of the same dissension being thus sown in Florence, the whole city became divided, the Cerchi espousing the interests of the Bianchi, and the Donati those of the Neri.

    “So rapidly did this pestiferous spirit gain ground in Florence, as frequently to excite the greatest tumult; and from a peaceable and flourishing state, it speedily became a scene of rapine and devastation. In this stage Pope Boniface VIII was made acquainted with the state of this ravaged and unhappy city, and sent the Cardinal Acqua Sparta on a mission to reform and pacify the enraged parties. But with his utmost efforts he was unable to make any impression, and accordingly, after declaring the place excommunicated, departed. Florence being thus exposed to the greatest perils, and in a continued state of insurrection, Messer Corso Donati, with the Spini, the Pazzi, the Tosinghi, the Cavicciuli, and the populace attached to the Neri faction, applied, with the consent of their leaders, to Pope Boniface. They entreated that he would employ his interest with the court of France to send a force to allay these feuds, and to quell the party of the Bianchi. As soon as this was reported in the city, Messer Donati was banished, and his property forfeited, and the other heads of the sect were proportionally fined and sent into exile. Messer Donati, arriving at Rome, so far prevailed with his Holiness, that he sent an embassy to Charles de Valois, brother to the king of France, declaring his wish that he should be made Emperor, and King of the Romans; under which persuasion Charles passed into Italy, reinstating Messer Donati and the Neri in the city of Florence. From this there only resulted worse evils, inasmuch as all the Bianchi, being the least powerful, were universally oppressed and robbed, and Charles, becoming the enemy of Pope Boniface, conspired his death, because the Pope had not fulfilled his promise of presenting him with an imperial crown. From which events it may be seen that this vile faction was the cause of discord in the cities of Florence and Pistoia, and of the other states of Tuscany; and no Vless to the same source was to be attributed the death of Pope Boniface VIII.”

  96. Charles de Valois, called Senzaterra, or Lackland, brother of Philip the Fair, king of France.

  97. The names of these two remain unknown. Probably one of them was Dante’s friend Guido Cavalcanti.

  98. Of this Arrigo nothing whatever seems to be known, hardly even his name; for some commentators call him Arrigo dei Fisanti, and others Arrigo dei Fifanti. Of these other men of mark “who set their hearts on doing good,” Farinata is among the Heretics, Canto X; Tegghiaio and Rusticucci among the Sodomites, Canto XVI; and Mosca among the Schismatics, Canto XXVIII.

  99. The philosophy of Aristotle. The same doctrine is taught by St. Augustine:⁠—

    “Cum fiet resurrectio carnis, et bonorum gaudia et tormenta mahrum major a crunt.”

  100. Plutus, the God of Riches, of which Lord Bacon says in his Essays:⁠—

    “I cannot call riches better than the baggage of virtue; the Roman word is better, ‘impedimenta’; for as the baggage is to an army, so is riches to virtue; it cannot be spared nor left behind, but it hindcreth the march; yea, and the care of it sometimes loseth or disturbeth the victory; of great riches there is no real use, except it be in the distribution; the rest is but conceit.⁠ ⁠… The personal fruition in any man cannot reach to feel great riches: there is a custody of them; or a power of dole and donative of them; or a fame of them; but no solid use to the owner.”

  101. In this Canto is described the punishment of the Avaricious and the Prodigal, with Plutus as their jailer. His outcry of alarm is differently interpreted by different commentators, and by none very satisfactorily. The curious student, groping among them for a meaning, is like Gower’s young king, of whom he says, in his Confessio Amantis:⁠—

    “Of deepe ymaginations
    And straunge interpretations,
    Problemes and demaundes eke
    His wisedom was to finde and seke,
    Whereof he wolde in sondry wise
    Opposen hem, that weren wise;
    But none of hem it mighte here
    Upon his word to give answere.”

    But nearly all agree, I believe, in construing the strange words into a cry of alarm or warning to Lucifer, that his realm is invaded by some unusual apparition.

    Of all the interpretations given, the most amusing is that of Benvenuto Cellini, in his description of the Court of Justice in Paris, Roscoe’s Memoirs of Benvenuto Cellini, Chap. XXII:⁠—

    “I stooped down several times to observe what passed: the words which I heard the judge utter, upon seeing two gentlemen who wanted to hear the trial, and whom the porter was endeavoring to keep out, were these: ‘Be quiet, be quiet, Satan, get hence, and leave off disturbing us.’ The terms were, Paix, paix, Satan, allez, paix. As I had by this time thoroughly learnt the French language, upon hearing these words, I recollected what Dante said, when he with his master, Virgil, entered the gates of hell; for Dante and Giotto the painter were together in France, and visited Paris with particular attention, where the court of justice may be considered as hell. Hence it is that Dante, who was likewise perfect master of the French, made use of that expression; and I have often been surprised, that it was never understood in that sense; so that I cannot help thinking, that the commentators on this author have often made him say things which he never so much as dreamed of.”

    Dante himself hardly seems to have understood the meaning of the words, though he suggests that Virgil did.

  102. The overthrow of the Rebel Angels. St. Augustine says:⁠—

    “Idolatria et quælibet noxia superstitio fornicatio est.”

  103. Must dance the Ridda, a round dance of the olden time. It was a Roundelay, or singing and dancing together. Boccaccio’s Monna Belcolore “knew better than any one how to play the tambourine and lead the Ridda.”

  104. As the word honor resounds in Canto IV, and the word love in Canto V, so here the words rolling and turning are the burden of the song, as if to suggest the motion of Fortune’s wheel, so beautifully described a little later.

  105. Clerks, clerics, or clergy. Boccaccio, Comento, remarks upon this passage:⁠—

    “Some maintain, that the clergywear the tonsure in remembrance and reverence of St. Peter, on whom, they say, it was made by certain evil-minded men as a mark of madness; because not comprehending and not wishing to comprehend his holy doctrine, and seeing him fervently preaching before princes and people, who held that doctrine in detestation, they thought he acted as one out of his senses. Others maintain that the tonsure is worn as a mark of dignity, as a sign that those who wear it are more worthy than those who do not; and they call it corona, because, all the rest of the head being shaven, a single circle of hair should be left, which in form of a crown surrounds the whole head.”

  106. In like manner Chaucer, “Persones Tale,” pp. 227, 337, reproves ill-keeping and ill-giving:⁠—

    “Avarice, after the description of Seint Augustine, is a likerousnesse in herte to have erthly thinges. Som other folk sayn, that avarice is for to purchase many erthly thinges, and nothing to yeve to hem that han nede. And understond wel, that avarice standeth not only in land ne catel, but som time in science and in glorie, and in every maner outrageous thing is avarice.⁠ ⁠…

    “But for as moche as som folk ben unmesurable, men oughten for to avoid and eschue fool-largesse, the whiche men clepen waste. Certes, he that is fool-large, he yeveth not his catel, but he leseth his catel, Sothly, what thing that he yeveth for vaine-glory, as to minstrals, and to folk that here his renome in the world, he hath do sinne thereof, and non almesse: certes, he leseth foule his good, that ne seketh with the yefte of his good nothing but sinne. He is like to an hors that seketh rather to drink drovy or troubled water, than for to drink water of the clere well. And for as moche as they yeven thcr as they shuld nat yeven, to hem apperteineth thilkc malison, that Crist shal yeve at the day of dome to hem that shul be dampned.”

  107. The Wheel of Fortune was one of the favorite subjects of art and song in the Middle Ages. On a large square of white marble set in the pavement of the nave of the Cathedral at Siena, is the representation of a revolving wheel. Three boys are climbing and clinging at the sides and below; above is a dignified figure with a stern countenance, holding the sceptre and ball. At the four corners are inscriptions from Seneca, Euripides, Aristotle, and Epictetus. The same symbol may be seen also in the wheel-of-fortune windows of many churches; as, for example, that of San Zcno at Verona. See Knight, Ecclesiastical Architecture, II plates V, VI.

    In the following poem Guido Cavalcanti treats this subject in Very much the same way that Dante docs; and it is curious to observe how at particular times certain ideas seem to float in the air, and to become the property of every one who chooses to make use of them. From the similarity between this poem and the lines of Dante, one might infer that the two friends had discussed the matter in conversation, and afterwards that each had written out their common thought.

    Cavalcanti’s “Song of Fortune,” as translated by Rossetti, Early Italian Poets, p. 366, runs as follows:⁠—

    “Lo! I am she who makes the wheel to turn;
    Lo! I am she who gives and takes away;
    Blamed idly, day by day,
    In all mine acts by you, ye humankind.
    For whoso smites his visage and doth mourn,
    What time he renders back my gifts to me.
    Learns then that I decree
    No state which mine own arrows may not find.
    Who clomb must fall:⁠—this bear ye well in mind,
    Nor say, because he fell, I did him wrong.
    Yet mine is a vain song:
    For truly ye may find out wisdom when
    King Arthur’s resting-place is found of men.

    “Ye make great marvel and astonishment
    What time ye see the sluggard lifted up
    And the just man to drop.
    And ye complain on God and on my sway.
    O humankind, ye sin in your complaint:
    For He, that Lord who made the world to live.
    Lets me not take or give
    By mine own act, but as he wills I may.
    Yet is the mind of man so castaway,
    That it discerns not the supreme behest.
    Alas! ye wretchedest,
    And chide ye at God also? Shall not He
    Judge between good and evil righteously?

    “Ah! had ye knowledge how God evermore.
    With agonies of soul and grievous heats,
    As on an anvil beats
    On them that in this earth hold high estate⁠—
    Ye would choose little rather than much store,
    And solitude than spacious palaces;
    Such is the sore disease
    Of anguish that on all their days doth wait.
    Behold if they be not unfortunate,
    When oft the father dares not trust the son!
    O wealth, with thee is won
    A worm to gnaw forever on his soul
    Whose abject life is laid in thy control!

    “If also ye take note what piteous death
    They ofttimes make, whose hoards were manifold,
    Who cities had and gold
    And multitudes of men beneath their hand;
    Then he among you that most angereth
    Shall bless me saying, ‘Lo! I worship thee
    That I was not as he
    Whose death is thus accurst throughout the land.’
    But now your living souls are held in band
    Of avarice, shutting you from the true light
    Which shows how sad and slight
    Are this world’s treasured riches and array
    That still change hands a hundred times a day.

    “For me⁠—could envy enter in my sphere,
    Which of all human taint is clean and quit⁠—
    I well might harbor it
    When I behold the peasant at his toil.
    Guiding his team, untroubled, free from fear,
    He leaves his perfect furrow as he goes,
    And gives his field repose
    From thorns and tares and weeds that vex the soil:
    Thereto he labors, and without turmoil
    Entrusts his work to God, content if so
    Such guerdon from it grow
    That in that year his family shall live:
    Nor care nor thought to other things will give.

    “But now ye may no more have speech of me,
    For this mine office craves continual use:
    Ye therefore deeply muse
    Upon those things which ye have heard the while:
    Yea, and even yet remember heedfully
    How this my wheel a motion hath so fieet.
    That in an eyelid’s beat
    Him whom it raised it maketh low and vile.
    None was, nor is, nor shall be of such guile,
    Who could, or can, or shall, I say, at length
    Prevail against my strength.
    But still those men that are my questioners
    In bitter torment own their hearts perverse.

    “Song, that wast made to carry high intent
    Dissembled in the garb of humbleness⁠—
    With fair and open face
    To Master Thomas let thy course be bent.
    Say that a great thing scarcely may be pent
    In little room: yet always pray that he
    Commend us, thee and me,
    To them that are more apt in lofty speech:
    For truly one must learn ere he can teach.”

  108. This old Rabbinical tradition of the “Regents of the Planets” has been painted by Raphael, in the Capella Chigiana of the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. See Mrs. Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, I 45. She says:⁠—

    “As a perfect example of grand and poetical feeling I may cite the angels as ‘Regents of the Planets’ in the Capella Chigiana. The Cupola represents in a circle the creation of the solar system, according to the theological (or rather astrological) notions which then prevailed⁠—a hundred years before ‘the starry Galileo and his woes.’ In the centre is the Creator; around, in eight compartments, we have, first, the angel of the celestial sphere, who seems to be listening to the divine mandate, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven’; then follow, in their order, the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The name of each planet is expressed by its mythological representative; the Sun by Apollo, the Moon by Diana; and over each presides a grand, colossal winged spirit, seated or reclining on a portion of the zodiac as on a throne.”

    The old tradition may be found in Stehelin, Rabbinical Literature, I 157. See Purgatorio, XVI 69.

  109. Past midnight.

  110. Perse, purple-black. See note 83.

  111. “Is not this a cursed vice?” says Chaucer in “The Persones Tale,” p. 202, speaking of wrath:⁠—

    “Yes, certes. Alas! it benimmeth fro man his witte and his reson, and all his debonaire lif spirituel, that shulde keepe his soule. Certes it benimmeth also Goddes due lordship (and that is mannes soule) and the love of his neighbours; it reveth him the quiet of his herte, and subverteth his soule.”

    And farther on he continues:⁠—

    “After the sinne of wrath, now wolle I speke of the sinne of accidie, or slouth; for envie blindeth the herte of a man, and ire trouhleth a man, and accidie maketh him hevy, thoughttul, and wrawe. Envie and ire maken bitternesse in herte, which bitternesse is mother of accidie, and benimmeth him the love of alle goodncsse; than is accidie the anguish of a trouble herte.”

    And Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, I 3. i 3, speaking of that kind of melancholy which proceeds from “humors adust,” says:⁠—

    “For example, if it proceeds from flegm (which is seldom, and not so frequent as the rest) it stirs up dull symptomcs, and a kind of stupidity, or impassionate hurt; they are sleepy, saith Savanarola, dull, slow, cold, blockish, ass-like, asininam melancholiam Melancthon calls it, they are much given to weeping, and delight in waters, ponds, pools, rivers, fishing, fowling, etc. They are pale of color, slothful, apt to sleep, heavy, much troubled with the headache, continual meditation and muttering to themselves, they dream of waters, that they are in danger of drowning, and fear such things.”

    See also Purgatorio XVII 85.

  112. Boccaccio and some other commentators think the words “I say, continuing,” are a confirmation of the theory that the first seven cantos of the Inferno were written before Dante’s banishment from Florence. Others maintain that the words suggest only the continuation of the subject of the last canto in this.

  113. These two signal fires announce the arrival of two persons to be ferried over the wash, and the other in the distance is on the watchtower of the City of Dis, answering these.

  114. Phlegyas was the father of Ixion and Coronis. He was king of the Lapithae, and burned the temple of Apollo at Delphi to avenge the wrong done by the god to Coronis. His punishment in the infernal regions was to stand beneath a huge impending rock, always about to fall upon him. Virgil, Aeneid, VI, says of him:⁠—

    “Phlegyas, most wretched, is a monitor to all and with loud voice proclaims through the shades, ‘Being warned, learn righteousness, and not to contemn the gods.’ ”

  115. Virgil, Aeneid, VI:⁠—

    “The boat of sewn hide groaned under the weight, and, being leaky, took in much water from the lake.”

  116. Mr. Wright here quotes Spenser, “Ruins of Time”:⁠—

    “How many great ones may remembered be,
    Who in their days most famously did flourish,
    Of whom no word we have, nor sign now see,
    But as things wiped out with a sponge do perish.”

  117. Chaucer’s “sclandre of his diffame.

  118. Of Philippo Argenti little is known, and nothing to his credit. Dante seems to have an especial personal hatred of him, as if in memory of some disagreeable passage between them in the streets of Florence. Boccaccio says of him in his Comento:⁠—

    “This Philippo Argenti, as Coppo di Borghese Domenichi de’ Cavicciuli was wont to say, was a very rich gentleman, so rich that he had the horse he used to ride shod with silver, and from this he had his surname; he was in person large, swarthy, muscular, of marvellous strength, and at the slightest provocation the most irascible of men; nor are any more known of his qualities than these two, each in itself very blameworthy,”

    He was of the Adimari family, and of the Neri faction; while Dante was of the Bianchi party, and in banishment. Perhaps this fact may explain the bitterness of his invective.

    This is the same Philippo Argenti who figures in Boccaccio’s tale. See note 94, The Ottimo Comento says of him:⁠—

    “He was a man of great pomp, and great ostentation, and much expenditure, and little virtue and worth; and therefore the author says, ‘Goodness is none that decks his memory.’ ”

    And this is all that is known of the “Fiorentino spirito bizzaro,” forgotten by history, and immortalized in song. “What a barbarous strength and confusion of ideas,” exclaims Leigh Hunt, Italian Poets, p. 60, “is there in this whole passage about him! Arrogance punished by arrogance, a Christian mother blessed for the unchristian disdainfulness of her son, revenge boasted of and enjoyed, passion arguing in a circle.”

  119. The word “mosques” paints at once to the imagination the City of Unbelief.

  120. Virgil, Aeneid, VI, Davidson’s Translation:⁠—

    “Aeneas on a sudden looks back, and under a rock on the left sees vast prisons enclosed with a triple wall, which Tartarean Phlcgethon’s rapid flood environs with torrents of flame, and whirls roaring rocks along. Fronting is a huge gate, with columns of solid adamant, that no strength of men, nor the gods themselves, can with steel demolish. An iron tower rises aloft; and there wakeful Tisiphone, with her bloody robe tucked up around her, sits to watch the vestibule both night and day.”

  121. This arrogance of theirs; tracotanza, oltracotanza; Brantome’s outrecuidance; and Spenser’s surquedrie.

  122. The gate of the Inferno.

  123. The coming of the Angel, whose approach is described in the next canto, beginning at line 64.

  124. The flush of anger passes from Virgil’s cheek on seeing the pallor of Dante’s, and he tries to encourage him with assurances of success; but betrays his own apprehensions in the broken phrase, “If not,” which he immediately covers with words of cheer.

  125. Such, or so great a one, is Beatrice, the “fair and saintly Lady” of Virgil’s cheek on seeing the pallor of Canto II 53.

  126. The Angel who will open the gates of the City of Dis.

  127. Dante seems to think that he has already reached the bottom of the infernal conch, with its many convolutions.

  128. Gower, Confessio Amantis, I:⁠—

    “Cast nought thin eye upon Meduse
    That thou be turned into stone.”

    Hawthorne has beautifully told the story of “The Gorgon’s Head,” as well as many more of the classic fables, in his Wonder-Book.

  129. The attempt which Theseus and Pirithous made to rescue Proserpine from the infernal regions.

  130. The hidden doctrine seems to be, that Negation or Unbelief is the Gorgon’s head which changes the heart to stone; after which there is “no more returning upward.” The Furies display it from the walls of the City of Heretics.

  131. At Aries lie buried, according to old tradition, the Peers of Charlemagne and their ten thousand men at arms. Archbishop Turpin, in his famous History of Charles the Great, XXX, Rodd’s Translation, I, says:⁠—

    “After this the King and his army proceeded by the way of Gascony and Thoulouse, and came to Aries, where we found the army of Burgundy, which had left us in the hostile valley, bringing their dead by the way of Morbihan and Thoulouse, to bury them in the plain of Aries. Here we performed the rites of Estolfo, Count of Champagne; of Solomon; Sampson, Duke of Burgundy; Arnold of Berlanda; Alberic of Burgundy; Gumard, Esturinite, Hato, Juonius, Berard, Berengaire, and Naaman, Duke of Bourbon, and of ten thousand of their soldiers.”

    Boccacio comments upon these tombs as follows:⁠—

    “At Arles, somewhat out of the city, are many tombs of stone, made of old for sepulchres, and some are large, and some are small, and some are better sculptured, and some not so well, peradventure according to the means of those who had them made; and upon some of them appear inscriptions after the ancient custom, I suppose in indication of those who are buried within. The inhabitants of the country repeat a tradition of them, affirming that in that place there was once a great battle between William of Orange, or some other Christian prince, with his forces on one side, and infidel barbarians from Africa [on the other]; and that many Christians were slain in it; and that on the following night, by divine miracle, those tombs were brought there for the burial of the Christians, and so on the following morning all the dead Christians were buried in them.”

  132. Pola is a city in Istria. “Near Pola,” says Benvenuto da Imola, “are seen many tombs, about seven hundred, and of various forms.”

    Quarnaro is a gulf of the northern extremity of the Adriatic.

  133. In this Canto is described the punishment of Heretics.

    Brunetto Latini, Tesoretto, XIII:⁠—

    “Or va mastro Brunetto
    Per lo cammino stretto.”

  134. Sir Thomas Browne, Urn Burial, Chap. IV, says:⁠—

    “They may sit in the orchestra and noblest seats of heaven who have held up shaking hands in the fire, and humanly contended for glory. Meanwhile Epicurus lies deep in Dante’s hell, wherein we meet with tombs enclosing souls, which denied their immortalities. But whether the virtuous heathen, who lived better than he spake, or, erring in the principles of himself, yet lived above philosophers of more specious maxims, lie so deep as he is placed, at least so low as not to rise against Christians, who, believing or knowing that truth, have lastingly denied it in their practice and conversation⁠—were a query too sad to insist on.”

    Also Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, Part II Sec. 2. Mem. 6. Subs. 1, thus vindicates the memory of Epicurus:⁠—

    “A quiet mind is that voluptas, or summum bonum of Epicurus; non dolere, curis vacare, animo tranquillo esse, not to grieve, but to want cares, and have a quiet soul, is the only pleasure of the world, as Seneca truly recites his opinion, not that of eating and drinking, which injurious Aristotle maliciously puts upon him, and for which he is still mistaken, mala audit et vapulat, slandered without a cause, and lashed by all posterity.”

  135. Farinata degli Uberti was the most valiant and renowned leader of the Ghibellines in Florence. Boccaccio, Comento, says:⁠—

    “He was of the opinion of Epicurus, that the soul dies with the body, and consequently maintained that human happiness consisted in temporal pleasures; but he did not follow these in the way that Epicurus did, that is by making long fasts to have afterwards pleasure in eating dry bread; but was fond of good and delicate viands, and ate them without waiting to be hungry; and for this sin he is damned as a Heretic in this place.”

    Farinata led the Ghibellines at the famous battle of Monte Aperto in 1260, where the Guelfs were routed, and driven out of Florence. He died in 1264.

  136. The ancestors of Dante, and Dante himself, were Guelfs. He did not become a Ghibelline till after his banishment. Boccaccio in his Life of Dante makes the following remarks upon his party spirit. I take the passage as given in Mrs. Bunbury’s translation of Balbo’s Life and Times of Dante, II 227:⁠—

    “He was,” says Boccaccio, “a most excellent man, and most resolute in adversity. It was only on one subject that he showed himself, I do not know whether I ought to call it impatient, or spirited⁠—it was regarding anything relating to Party; since in his exile he was more violent in this respect than suited his circumstances, and more than he was willing that others should believe. And in order that it may be seen for what party he was thus violent and pertinacious, it appears to me I must go further back in my story. I believe that it was the just anger of God that permitted, it is a long time ago, almost all Tuscany and Lombardy to be divided into two parties; I do not know how they acquired those names, but one party was called Guelf and the other party Ghibelline. And these two names were so revered, and had such an effect on the folly of many minds, that, for the sake of defending the side any one had chosen for his own against the opposite party, it was not considered hard to lose property, and even life, if it were necessary. And under these names the Italian cities many times suffered serious grievances and changes; and among the rest our city, which was sometimes at the head of one party, and sometimes of the other, according to the citizens in power; so much so that Dante’s ancestors, being Guelfs, were twice expelled by the Ghibellines from their home, and he likewise under the title of Guelf held the reins of the Florentine Republic, from which he was expelled, as we have shown, not by the Ghibellines, but by the Guelfs; and seeing that he could not return, he so much altered his mind that there never was a fiercer Ghibelline, or a bitterer enemy to the Guelfs, than he was. And that which I feel most ashamed at for the sake of his memory is, that it was a well-known thing in Romagna, that if any boy or girl, talking to him on party matters, condemned the Ghibelline side, he would become frantic, so that if they did not be silent he would have been induced to throw stones at them; and with this violence of party feeling he lived until his death. I am certainly ashamed to tarnish with any fault the fame of such a man; but the order of my subject in some degree demands it, because if I were silent in those things in which he was to blame, I should not be believed in those things I have already related in his praise. Therefore I excuse myself to himself, who perhaps looks down from heaven with a disdainful eye on me writing.”

  137. The following account of the Guelfs and Ghibellines is from the Pecorone of Giovanni Fiorentino, a writer of the fourteenth century. It forms the first Novella of the Eighth Day, and will be found in Roscoe’s Italian Novelists, I 322:⁠—

    “There formerly resided in Germany two wealthy and wellborn individuals, whose names were Guelfo and Ghibellino, very near neighbors, and greatly attached to each other. But returning together one day from the chase, there unfortunately arose some difference of opinion as to the merits of one of their hounds, which was maintained on both sides so very warmly, that, from being almost inseparable friends and companions, they became each other’s deadliest enemies. This unlucky division between them still increasing, they on either side collected parties of their followers, in order more effectually to annoy each other. Soon extending its malignant influence among the neighboring lords and barons of Germany, who divided, according to their motives, either with the Guelf or the Ghibelline, it not only produced many serious affrays, but several persons fell victims to its rage. Ghibellino, finding himself hard pressed by his enemy, and unable longer to keep the field against him, resolved to apply for assistance to Frederick the First, the reigning Emperor. Upon this, Guelfo, perceiving that his adversary sought the alliance of this monarch, applied on his side to Pope Honorius II, who being at variance with the former, and hearing how the affair stood, immediately joined the cause of the Guelfs, the Emperor having already embraced that of the Ghibellines. It is thus that the apostolic see became connected with the former, and the empire with the latter faction; and it was thus that a vile hound became the origin of a deadly hatred between the two noble families. Now it happened that in the year of our dear Lord and Redeemer 1215, the same pestiferous spirit spread itself into parts of Italy, in the following manner. Messer Guido Orlando being at that time chief magistrate of Florence, there likewise resided in that city a noble and valiant cavalier of the family of Buondclmonti, one of the most distinguished houses in the state. Our young Buondelmonce having already plighted his troth to a lady of the Amidei family, the lovers were considered as betrothed, with all the solemnity usually observed on such occasions. But this unfortunate young man, chancing one day to pass by the house of the Donati, was stopped and accosted by a lady of the name of Lapaccia, who moved to him from her door as he went along, saying: ‘I am surprised that a gentleman of your appearance, Signor, should think of taking for his wife a woman scarcely worthy of handing him his boots. There is a child of my own, whom, to speak sincerely, I have long intended for you, and whom I wish you would just venture to see.’ And on this she called out for her daughter, whose name was Ciulla, one of the prettiest and most enchanting girls in all Florence. Introducing her to Messer Buondelmonte, she whispered, ‘This is she whom I had reserved for you’; and the young Florentine, suddenly becoming enamored of her, thus replied to her mother, ‘I am quite ready. Madonna, to meet your wishes’; and before stirring from the spot he placed a ring upon her finger, and, wedding her, received her there as his wife.

    “The Amidei, hearing that young Buondelmonte had thus espoused another, immediately met together, and took counsel with other friends and relations, how they might best avenge themselves for such an insult offered to their house. There were present among the rest Lambertuccio Amidei, Schiatta Ruberti, and Mosca Lamberti, one of whom proposed to give him a box on the ear, another to strike him in the face; yet they were none of them able to agree about it among themselves. On observing this, Mosca hastily rose, in a great passion, saying, ‘Cosa fatta capo ha,’ wishing it to be understood that a dead man will never strike again. It was therefore decided that he should be put to death, a sentence which they proceeded to execute in the following manner.

    M. Buondelmonte returning one Easter morning from a visit to the Casa Bardi, beyond the Arno, mounted upon a snow-white steed, and dressed in a mantle of the same color, had just reached the foot of the Ponte Vecchio, or old bridge, where formerly stood a statue of Mars, whom the Florentines in their Pagan state were accustomed to worship, when the whole party issued out upon him, and, dragging him in the scuffle from his horse, in spite of the gallant resistance he made, despatched him with a thousand wounds. The tidings of this affair seemed to throw all Florence into confusion; the chief personages and noblest families in the place everywhere meeting, and dividing themselves into parties in consequence; the one party embracing the cause of the Buondelmonti, who placed themselves at the head of the Guelfs; and the other taking part with the Amidei, who supported the Ghibellines.

    “In the same fatal manner, nearly all the seigniories and cities of Italy were involved in the original quarrel between these two German families: the Guelfs still supporting the interest of the Holy Church, and the Ghibellines those of the Emperor. And thus I have made you acquainted with the origin of the Germanic faction, between two noble houses, for the sake of a vile cur, and have shown how it afterwards disturbed the peace of Italy for the sake of a beautiful woman.”

    For an account of the Bianchi and Neri factions see note 354.

  138. Cavalcante de’ Cavalcanti, father of Dante’s friend, Guido Cavalcanti. He was of the Guelf party; so that here are Guelf and Ghibelline buried in the same tomb.

  139. This question recalls the scene in the Odyssey, where the shade of Agamemnon appears to Ulysses and asks for Orestes. Book XI in Chapman’s translation, line 603:⁠—

    “Doth my son yet survive
    In Orchomen or Pylos? Or doth live
    In Sparta with his uncle? Yet I see
    Divine Orestes is not here with me.”

  140. Guido Cavalcanti, whom Benvenuto da Imola calls “the other eye of Florence,”⁠—alter oculus Florentiæ tempore Dantis. It is to this Guido that Dante addresses the sonnet, which is like the breath of Spring, beginning:⁠—

    “Guido, I wish that Lapo, thou, and I
    Could be by spells conveyed, as it were now,
    Upon a barque, with all the winds that blow,
    Across all seas at our good will to hie.”

    He was a poet of decided mark, as may be seen by his “Song of Fortune,” quoted in note 107, and the Sonnet to Dante, note 1125. But he seems not to have shared Dante’s admiration for Virgil, and to have been more given to the study of philosophy than of poetry. Like Lucentio in “The Taming of the Shrew” he is

    “So devote to Aristotle’s ethics
    As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured.”

    Boccaccio, Decameron, VI 9, praises him for his learning and other good qualities; “for over and beside his being one of the best Logitians, as those times not yielded a better,” so runs the old translation, “he was also a most absolute Natural Philosopher, a very friendly Gentleman, singularly well spoken, and whatsoever else was commendable in any man was no way wanting in him.” In the same Novella he tells this anecdote of him:⁠—

    “It chanced upon a day that Signior Guido, departing from the Church of Saint Michael d’ Horta, and passing along by the Adamari, so far as to Saint John’s Church, which evermore was his customary walk: many goodly Marble Tombs were then about the said Church, as now adays are at Saint Reparata, and divers more beside. He entring among the Columns of Porphiry, and the other Sepulchers being there, because the door of the Church was shut: Signior Betto and his Company came riding from Saint Reparata, and espying Signior Guido among the Graves and Tombs, said, ‘Come, let us go make some jests to anger him.’ So putting the Spurs to their Horses they rode apace towards him; and being upon him before hee perceived them, one of them said, ‘Guido, thou refusest to be one of our society, and seekest for that which never was: when thou hast found it, tell us, what wilt thou do with it?’

    “Guido seing himself round engirt with them, suddenly thus replyed: ‘Gentlemen, you may use me in your own House as you please.’ And setting his hand upon one of the Tombs (which was somewhat great) he took his rising, and leapt quite over it on the further side, as being of an agile and sprightly body, and being thus freed from them, he went away to his own lodging.

    “They stood all like men amazed, strangely looking one upon another, and began afterward to murmur among themselves: That Guido was a man without any understanding, and the answer which he had made unto them was to no purpose, neither savoured of any discretion, but meerly came from an empty Brain, because they had no more to do in the place where now they were, than any of the other Citizens, and Signior Guido (himself) as little as any of them; whereto Signior Betto thus replyed: ‘Alas, Gentlemen, it is you your selves that are void of understanding: for, if you had but observed the answer which he made unto us: he did honestly, and (in very few words) not only notably express his own wisdom, but also deservedly reprehend us. Because, if we observe things as we ought to do. Graves and Tombs are the Houses of the dead, ordained and prepared to be the latest dwellings. He told us moreover that although we have here (in this life) our habitations and abidings, yet these (or the like) must at last be our Houses. To let us know, and all other foolish, indiscreet, and unlearned men, that we are worse than dead men, in comparison of him, and other men equal to him in skill and learning. And therefore, while we are here among the Graves and Monuments, it may be well said, that we are not far from our own Houses, or how soon we shall be possessors of them, in regard of the frailty attending on us.’ ”

    Napier, Florentine History, I 368, speaks of Guido as “a bold, melancholy man, who loved solitude and literature; but generous, brave, and courteous, a poet and philosopher, and one that seems to have had the respect and admiration of his age.” He then adds this singular picture of the times:⁠—

    “Corso Donati, by whom he was feared and hated, would have had him murdered while on a pilgrimage to Saint James of Galicia; on his return this became known and gained him many supporters amongst the Cerchi and other youth of Florence; he took no regular measures of vengeance, but, accidentally meeting Corso in the street, rode violently towards him, casting his javelin at the same time; it missed by the tripping of his horse and he escaped with a slight wound from one of Donati’s attendants.”

    Sacchetti, Nov. 68, tells a pleasant story of Guido’s having his cloak nailed to the bench by a roguish boy, while he was playing chess in one of the streets of Florence, which is also a curious picture of Italian life.

  141. Farinata pays no attention to this outburst of paternal tenderness on the part of his Guelfic kinsman, but waits, in stern indifference, till it is ended, and then calmly resumes his discourse.

  142. The moon, called in the heavens Diana, on earth Luna, and in the infernal regions Proserpina.

  143. In the great battle of Monte Aperto. The river Arbia is a few miles south of Siena. The traveller crosses it on his way to Rome, In this battle the banished Ghibellines of Florence, joining the Sienese, gained a victory over the Guelfs, and retook the city of Florence. Before the battle Buonaguida, Syndic of Siena, presented the keys of the city to the Virgin Mary in the Cathedral, and made a gift to her of the city and the neighboring country. After the battle the standard of the vanquished Florentines, together with their battle-bell, the Martinella, was tied to the tail of a jackass and dragged in the dirt. See Ampère, Voyage Dantesque, 254.

  144. After the battle of Monte Aperto a diet of the Ghibellines was held at Empoli, in which the deputies from Siena and Pisa, prompted no doubt by provincial hatred, urged the demolition of Florence. Farinata vehemently opposed the project in a speech, thus given in Napier, Florentine History, I 257:⁠—

    “ ‘It would have been better,’ he exclaimed, ‘to have died on the Arbia, than survive only to hear such a proposition as that which they were then discussing. There is no happiness in victory itself, that must ever be sought for amongst the companions who helped us to gain the day, and the injury we receive from an enemy inflicts a far more trifling wound than the wrong that comes from the hand of a friend. If I now complain, it is not that I fear the destruction of my native city, for as long as I have life to wield a sword Florence shall never be destroyed; but I cannot suppress my indignation at the discourses I have just been listening to: we are here assembled to discuss the wisest means of maintaining our influence in Florence, not to debate on its destruction, and my country would indeed be unfortunate, and I and my companions miserable, mean-spirited creatures, if it were true that the fate of our city depended on the fiat of the present assembly. I did hope that all former hatred would have been banished from such a meeting, and that our mutual destruction would not have been treacherously aimed at from under the false colors of general safety; I did hope that all here were convinced that counsel dictated by jealousy could never be advantageous to the general good! But to what does your hatred attach itself? To the ground on which the city stands? To its houses and insensible walls? To the fugitives who have abandoned it? Or to ourselves that now possess it? Who is he that thus advises? Who is the bold bad man that dare thus give voice to the malice he hath engendered in his soul? Is it meet then that all your cities should exist unharmed, and ours alone be devoted to destruction? That you should return in triumph to your hearths, and we with whom you have conquered should have nothing in exchange but exile and the ruin of our country? Is there one of you who can believe that I could even hear such things with patience? Are you indeed ignorant that if I have carried arms, if I have persecuted my foes, I still have never ceased to love my country, and that I never will allow what even our enemies have respected to be violated by your hands, so that posterity may call them the saviours, us the destroyers of our country? Here then I declare, that, although I stand alone amongst the Florentines, I will never permit my native city to be destroyed, and if it be necessary for her sake to die a thousand deaths, I am ready to meet them all in her defence.’

    “Farinata then rose, and with angry gestures quitted the assembly; but lett such an impression on the mind of his audience that the project was instantly dropped, and the only question for the moment was how to regain a chief of such talent and influence,”

  145. Frederick II, son of the Emperor Henry VI, surnamed the Severe, and grandson of Barbarossa. He reigned from 1220 to 1250, not only as Emperor of Germany, but also as King of Naples and Sicily, where for the most part he held his court, one of the most brilliant of the Middle Ages. Villani, Cronica, V 1, thus sketches his character:⁠—

    “This Frederick reigned thirty years as Emperor, and was a man of great mark and great worth, learned in letters and of natural ability, universal in all things; he knew the Latin language, the Italian, the German, French, Greek, and Arabic; was copiously endowed with all virtues, liberal and courteous in giving, valiant and skilled in arms, and was much feared. And he was dissolute and voluptuous in many ways, and had many concubines and mamelukes, after the Saracenic fashion; he was addicted to all sensual delights, and led an Epicurean life, taking no account of any other; and this was one principal reason why he was an enemy to the clergy and the Holy Church.”

    Milman, History of Latin Christianity, B. X, Chap, III, says of him:⁠—

    “Frederick’s predilection for his native kingdom, for the bright cities reflected in the blue Mediterranean, over the dark barbaric towns of Germany, of itself characterizes the man. The summer skies, the more polished manners, the more elegant luxuries, the knowledge, the arts, the poetry, the gayety, the beauty, the romance of the South, were throughout his life more congenial to his mind, than the heavier and more chilly climate, the feudal barbarism, the ruder pomp, the coarser habits of his German liegemen.⁠ ⁠… And no doubt that delicious climate and lovely land, so highly appreciated by the gay sovereign, was not without influence on the state, and even the manners of his court, to which other circumstances contributed to give a peculiar and romantic character. It resembled probably (though its full splendor was of a later period) Grenada in its glory, more than any other in Europe, though more rich and picturesque from the variety of races, of manners, usages, even dresses, which prevailed within it.”

    Gibbon also, Decline and Fall, Chap. LIX, gives this graphic picture:⁠—

    “Frederick the Second, the grandson of Barbarossa, was successively the pupil, the enemy, and the victim of the Church. At the age of twenty-one years, and in obedience to his guardian Innocent the Third, he assumed the cross; the same promise was repeated at his royal and imperial coronations; and his marriage with the heiress of Jerusalem forever bound him to defend the kingdom of his son Conrad. But as Frederick advanced in age and authority, he repented of the rash engagements of his youth: his liberal sense and knowledge taught him to despise the phantoms of superstition and the crowns of Asia: he no longer entertained the same reverence for the successors of Innocent; and his ambition was occupied by the restoration of the Italian monarchy, from Sicily to the Alps. But the success of this project would have reduced the Popes to their primitive simplicity; and, after the delays and excuses of twelve years, they urged the Emperor, with entreaties and threats, to fix the time and place of his departure for Palestine. In the harbors of Sicily and Apulia he prepared a fleet of one hundred galleys, and of one hundred vessels, that were framed to transport and land two thousand five hundred knights, with horses and attendants; his vassals of Naples and Germany formed a powerful army; and the number of English crusaders was magnified to sixty thousand by the report of fame. But the inevitable, or affected, slowness of these mighty preparations consumed the strength and provisions of the more indigent pilgrims; the multitude was thinned by sickness and desertion, and the sultry summer of Calabria anticipated the mischiefs of a Syrian campaign. At length the Emperor hoisted sail at Brundusium with a fleet and army of forty thousand men; but he kept the sea no more than three days; and his hasty retreat, which was ascribed by his friends to a grievous indisposition, was accused by his enemies as a voluntary and obstinate disobedience. For suspending his vow was Frederick excommunicated by Gregory the Ninth; for presuming, the next year, to accomplish his vow, he was again excommunicated by the same Pope. While he served under the banner of the cross, a crusade was preached against him in Italy; and after his return he was compelled to ask pardon for the injuries which he had suffered. The clergy and military orders of Palestine were previously instructed to renounce his communion and dispute his commands; and in his own kingdom the Emperor was forced to consent that the orders of the camp should be issued in the name of God and of the Christian republic. Frederick entered Jerusalem in triumph; and with his own hands (for no priest would perform the office) he took the crown from the altar of the holy sepulchre.”

    Matthew Paris, AD 1239, gives a long letter of Pope Gregory IX in which he calls the Emperor some very hard names; “a beast, full of the words of blasphemy,” “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” “a son of lies,” “a staff of the impious,” and “hammer of the earth”; and finally accuses him of being the author of a work De Tribus Impostoribus, which, if it ever existed, is no longer to be found:⁠—

    “There is one thing,” he says in conclusion, “at which, although we ought to mourn for a lost man, you ought to rejoice greatly, and for which you ought to return thanks to God, namely, that this man, who delights in being called a forerunner of Antichrist, by God’s will, no longer endures to be veiled in darkness; not expecting that his trial and disgrace arc near, he with his own hands undermines the wall of his abominations, and, by the said letters of his, brings his works of darkness to the light, boldly setting forth in them, that he could not be excommunicated by us, although the Vicar of Christ; thus affirming that the Church had not the power of binding and loosing, which was given by our Lord to St. Peter and his successors.⁠ ⁠… But as it may not be easily believed by some people that he has ensnared himself by the words of his own mouth, proofs are ready, to the triumph of the faith; for this king of pestilence openly asserts that the whole world was deceived by three, namely Christ Jesus, Moses, and Muhammad; that, two of them having died in glory, the said Jesus was suspended on the cross; and he, moreover, presumes plainly to affirm (or rather to lie), that all are foolish who believe that God, who created nature, and could do all things, was born of the Virgin.”

  146. This is Cardinal Ottaviano degli Ubaldini, who is accused of saying, “If there be any soul, I have lost mine for the Ghibellines.” Dante takes him at his word.

  147. Some critics and commentators accuse Dante of confounding Pope Anastasius with the Emperor of that name. It is however highly probable that Dante knew best whom he meant. Both were accused of heresy, though the heresy of the Pope seems to have been of a mild type. A few years previous to his time, namely, in the year 484, Pope Felix III and Acacius, Bishop of Constantinople, mutually excommunicated each other. When Anastasius II became Pope in 496, “he dared,” says Milman, History of Latin Christianity, I 349, “to doubt the damnation of a bishop excommunicated by the See of Rome: ‘Felix and Acacius are now both before a higher tribunal; leave them to that unerring judgment.’ He would have the name of Acacius passed over in silence, quietly dropped, rather than publicly expunged from the diptychs. This degenerate successor of St. Peter is not admitted to the rank of a saint. The Pontifical book (its authority on this point is indignantly repudiated) accuses Anastasius of having communicated with a deacon of Thessalonica, who had kept up communion with Acacius; and of having entertained secret designs of restoring the name of Acacius in the services of the Church.”

  148. Photinus is the deacon of Thessalonica alluded to in the preceding note. His heresy was, that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Father, and that the Father was greater than the Son. The writers who endeavor to rescue the Pope at the expense of the Emperor say that Photinus died before the days of Pope Anastasius.

  149. Cahors is the cathedral town of the Department of the Lot, in the South of France, and the birthplace of the poet Clément Marot and of the romance-writer Calprenède. In the Middle Ages it seems to have been a nest of usurers. Matthew Paris, in his Historia Major, under date of 1235, has a chapter entitled, “Of the Usury of the Caursines,” which in the translation of Rev. J. A. Giles runs as follows:⁠—

    “In these days prevailed the horrible nuisance of the Caursines to such a degree that there was hardly any one in all England, especially among the bishops, who was not caught in their net. Even the king himself was held indebted to them in an uncalculable sum of money. For they circumvented the needy in their necessities, cloaking their usury under the show of trade, and pretending not to know that whatever is added to the principal is usury, under whatever name it may be called. For it is manifest that their loans lie not in the path of charity, inasmuch as they do not hold out a helping hand to the poor to relieve them, but to deceive them; not to aid others in their starvation, but to gratify their own covetousness; seeing that the motive stamps our every deed.”

  150. Those within the fat lagoon, the Irascible, Canto VII, VIII.

  151. Whom the wind drives, the Wanton, Canto V, and whom the rain doth beat, the Gluttonous, Canto VI.

  152. And who encounter with such bitter tongues, the Prodigal and Avaricious, Canto VII.

  153. The Ethics of Aristotle, VII i:⁠—

    “After these things, making another beginning, it must be observed by us that there are three species of things which are to be avoided in manners, viz. Malice, Incontinence, and Bestiality.”

  154. The Physics of Aristotle, Book II.

  155. Genesis 1:28:⁠—

    “And God said unto them. Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.”

  156. Gabrielle Rossetti, in the “Comento Analitico” of his edition of the Divina Commedia, quotes here the lines of Florian:⁠—

    “Nous ne recevons l’existence
    Qu’afin de travailler pour nous, ou pour autrui:
    De ce devoir sacre quiconque se dispense
    Est puni par la Providence,
    Par le besoin, ou par l’ennui.”

  157. The constellation Pisces precedes Aries, in which the sun now is. This indicates the time to be a little before sunrise. It is Saturday morning.

  158. The Wain is the constellation Charles’s Wain, or Bootes; and Caurus is the Northwest, indicated by the Latin name of the northwest wind.

  159. With this Canto begins the Seventh Circle of the Inferno, in which the Violent are punished. In the first Girone or round are the Violent against their neighbors, plunged more or less deeply in the river of boiling blood.

  160. Mr. Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 242, has the following remarks upon Dante’s idea of rocks and mountains:⁠—

    “At the top of the abyss of the seventh circle, appointed for the ‘violent,’ or souls who had done evil by force, we are told, first, that the edge of it was composed of ‘great broken stones in a circle’; then, that the place was ‘Alpine’; and, becoming hereupon attentive, in order to hear what an Alpine place is like, we find that it was ‘like the place beyond Trent, where the rock, either by earthquake, or failure of support, has broken down to the plain, so that it gives any one at the top some means of getting down to the bottom.’ This is not a very elevated or enthusiastic description of an Alpine scene; and it is far from mended by the following verses, in which we are told that Dante ‘began to go down by this great unloading of stones,’ and that they moved often under his feet by reason of the new weight. The fact is that Dante, by many expressions throughout the poem, shows himself to have been a notably bad climber; and being fond of sitting in the sun, looking at his fair Baptistery, or walking in a dignified manner on flat pavement in a long robe, it puts him seriously out of his way when he has to take to his hands and knees, or look to his feet; so that the first strong impression made upon him by any Alpine scene whatever is, clearly, that it is bad walking. When he is in a fright and hurry, and has a very steep place to go down, Virgil has to carry him altogether.”

  161. Speaking of the region to which Dante here alludes, Eustace, Classical Tour, I 71, says:⁠—

    “The descent becomes more rapid between Roveredo and Ala; the river, which glided gently through the valley of Trent, assumes the roughness of a torrent; the defiles become narrower; and the mountains break into rocks and precipices, which occasionally approach the road, sometimes rise perpendicular from it, and now and then hang over it in terrible majesty.”

    In a note he adds:⁠—

    “Amid these wilds the traveller cannot fail to notice a vast tract called the Slavini di Marco, covered with fragments of rock torn from the sides of the neighboring mountains by an earthquake, or perhaps by their own unsupported weight, and hurled down into the plains below. They spread over the whole valley, and in some places contract the road to a very narrow space. A few firs and cypresses scattered in the intervals, or sometimes rising out of the crevices of the rocks, cast a partial and melancholy shade amid the surrounding nakedness and desolation. This scene of ruin seems to have made a deep impression upon the wild imagination of Dante, as he has introduced it into the twelfth canto of the Inferno, in order to give the reader an adequate idea of one of his infernal ramparts.”

  162. The Minotaur, half bull, half man. See the infamous story in all the classical dictionaries.

  163. The Duke of Athens is Theseus. Chaucer gives him the same title in “The Knightes Tale”:⁠—

    “Whilom, as olde stories tellen us,
    Ther was a duk that highte Theseus.
    Of Athenes he was lord and governour,
    That greter was ther non under the sonne.
    Ful many a rich contree had he wonne.
    What with his wisdom and his chevalrie,
    He conquerd all the regne of Feminie,
    That whilom was ycleped Scythia;
    And wedded the freshe quene Ipolita,
    And brought hire home with him to his contree
    With mochel glorie and great solempnitee,
    And eke hire yonge suster Emelie.
    And thus with victorie and with melodic
    Let I this worthy duk to Athenes ride,
    And all his host, in armes him beside.”

    Shakespeare also, in the Midsummer Night’s Dream, calls him the Duke of Athens.

  164. Ariadne, who gave Theseus the silken thread to guide him back through the Cretan labyrinth after slaying the Minotaur. Hawthorne has beautifully told the old story in his Tanglewood Tales:⁠—

    “Ah, the bullheaded villain!” he says. “And O my good little people, you will perhaps see, one of these days, as I do now, that every human being who suffers anything evil to get into his nature, or to remain there, is a kind of Minotaur, an enemy of his fellow-creatures, and separated from all good companionship, as this poor monster was.”

  165. Christ’s descent into Limbo, and the earthquake at the Crucifixion.

  166. This is the doctrine of Empedocles and other old philosophers. See Ritter, History of Ancient Philosophy, Book V Chap. VI. The following passages are from Mr. Morrison’s translation:⁠—

    “Empedocles proceeded from the Eleatic principle of the oneness of all truth. In its unity it resembles a ball; he calls it the sphere, wherein the ancients recognized the God of Empedoocles.⁠ ⁠…

    “Into the unity of the sphere all elementary things are combined by love, without difference or distinction: within it they lead a happy life, replete with holiness, and remote from discord:

    They know no god of war nor the spirit of battles.
    Nor Zeus, the sovereign, nor Cronos, nor yet Poseidon,
    But Cypris the queen⁠ ⁠…

    “The actual separation of the elements one from another is produced by discord; for originally they were bound together in the sphere, and therein continued perfectly unmovable. Now in this Empedocles posits different periods and different conditions of the world; for, according to the above position, originally all is united in love, and then subsequently the elements and living essences are separated.⁠ ⁠…

    “His assertion of certain mundane periods was taken by the ancients literally; for they tell us that, according to his theory. All was originally one by love, but afterwards many and at enmity with itself through discord.”

  167. The Centaurs are set to guard this Circle, as symbolizing violence, with some form of which the classic poets usually associate them.

  168. Chaucer, “The Monkes Tale”:⁠—

    “A lemman had this noble champion,
    That highte Deianire, as fresh as May;
    And as thise clerkes maken mention,
    She hath him sent a sherte fresh and gay:
    Alas! this sherte, alas and wala wa!
    Envenimed was sotilly withalle.
    That or that he had wered it half a day,
    It made his flesh all from his bones falle.”

    Chiron was a son of Saturn; Pholus, of Silenus; and Nessus, of Ixion and the Cloud.

  169. Homer, Iliad, XI 832:⁠—

    “Whom Chiron instructed, the most just of the Centaurs.”

    Hawthorne gives a humorous turn to the fable of Chiron, in the Tanglewood Tales, p. 273:⁠—

    “I have sometimes suspected that Master Chiron was not really very different from other people, but that, being a kindhearted and merry old fellow, he was in the habit of making believe that he was a horse, and scrambling about the schoolroom on all fours, and letting the little boys ride upon his back. And so, when his scholars had grown up, and grown old, and were trotting their grandchildren on their knees, they told them about the sports of their school days; and these young folks took the idea that their grandfathers had been taught their letters by a Centaur, half man and half horse.⁠ ⁠…

    “Be that as it may, it has always been told for a fact, (and always will be told, as long as the world lasts,) that Chiron, with the head of a schoolmaster, had the body and legs of a horse. Just imagine the grave old gentleman clattering and stamping into the schoolroom on his four hoofs, perhaps treading on some little fellow’s toes, flourishing his switch tail instead of a rod, and, now and then, trotting out of doors to eat a mouthful of grass!”

  170. Mr. Ruskin refers to this line in confirmation of his theory that “all great art represents something that it sees or believes in; nothing unseen or uncredited.” The passage is as follows. Modern Painters, III 83:⁠—

    “And just because it is always something that it sees or believes in, there is the peculiar character above noted, almost unmistakable, in all high and true ideals, of having been as it were studied from the life, and involving pieces of sudden familiarity, and close specific painting which never would have been admitted or even thought of, had not the painter drawn either from the bodily life or from the life of faith. For instance, Dante’s Centaur, Chiron, dividing his beard with his arrow before he can speak, is a thing that no mortal would ever have thought of, if he had not actually seen the Centaur do it. They might have composed handsome bodies of men and horses in all possible ways, through a whole life of pseudo-idealism, and yet never dreamed of any such thing. But the real living Centaur actually trotted across Dante’s brain, and he saw him do it.”

  171. Alexander of Thessaly and Dionysius of Syracuse.

  172. Azzolino, or Ezzolino di Romano, tyrant of Padua, nicknamed the Son of the Devil. Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, III 33, describes him as

    “Fierce Ezelin, that most inhuman lord,
    Who shall be deemed by men a child of hell.”

    His Story may be found in Sismondi’s Histoire des Républiques Italiennes, Chap. XIX. He so outraged the religious sense of the people by his cruelties, that a crusade was preached against him, and he died a prisoner in 1259, tearing the bandages from his wounds, and fierce and defiant to the last:⁠—

    “Ezzolino was small of stature,” says Sismondi, “but the whole aspect of his person, all his movements, indicated the soldier. His language was bitter, his countenance proud; and by a single look, he made the boldest tremble. His soul, so greedy of all crimes, felt no attraction for sensual pleasures. Never had Ezzolino loved women; and this perhaps is the reason why in his punishments he was as pitiless against them as against men. He was in his sixty-sixth year when he died; and his reign of blood had lasted thirty-four years.”

    Many glimpses of him are given in the Cento Novelle Antiche, as if his memory long haunted the minds of men. Here are two of them, from Novella 83:⁠—

    “Once upon a time Messer Azzolino da Romano made proclamation, through his own territories and elsewhere, that he wished to do a great charity, and therefore that all the beggars, both men and women, should assemble in his meadow, on a certain day, and to each he would give a new gown, and abundance of food. The news spread among the servants on all hands. When the day of assembling came, his seneschals went among them with the gowns and the food, and made them strip naked one by one, and then clothed them with new clothes, and fed them. They asked for their old rags, but it was all in vain; for he put them into a heap and set fire to them. Afterwards he found there so much gold and silver melted, that it more than paid the expense, and then he dismissed them with his blessing.⁠ ⁠…

    “To tell you how much he was feared, would be a long story, and many people know it. But I will recall how he, being one day with the Emperor on horseback, with all their people, they laid a wager as to which of them had the most beautiful sword. The Emperor drew from its sheath his own, which was wonderfully garnished with gold and precious stones. Then said Messer Azzolino: ‘It is very beautiful; but mine, without any great ornament, is far more beautiful’;⁠—and he drew it forth. Then six hundred knights, who were with him, all drew theirs. When the Emperor beheld this cloud of swords, he said: ‘Yours is the most beautiful.’ ”

  173. Obizzo da Esti, Marquis of Ferrara. He was murdered by Azzo, “whom he thought to be his son,” says Boccaccio, “though he was not.” The Ottimo Comento remarks:⁠—

    “Many call themselves sons, and are stepsons.”

  174. Guido di Monforte, who murdered Prince Henry of England “in the bosom of God,” that is, in the church, at Viterbo. The event is thus narrated by Napier, Florentine History, I 283:⁠—

    “Another instance of this revengeful spirit occurred in the year 1271 at Viterbo, where the cardinals had assembled to elect a successor to Clement the Fourth, about whom they had been long disputing: Charles of Anjou and Philip of France, with Edward and Henry, sons of Richard, Duke of Cornwall, had repaired there, the two first to hasten the election, which they finally accomplished by the elevation of Gregory the Tenth. During these proceedings Prince Henry, while taking the sacrament in the church of San Silvestro at Viterbo, was stabbed to the heart by his own cousin, Guy de Montfort, in revenge for the Earl of Leicester’s death, although Henry was then endeavoring to procure his pardon. This sacrilegious act threw Viterbo into confusion, but Montfort had many supporters, one of whom asked him what he had done. ‘I have taken my revenge,’ said he. ‘But your father’s body was trailed!’ At this reproach, De Montfort instantly re-entered the church, walked straight to the altar, and, seizing Henry’s body by the hair, dragged it through the aisle, and left it, still bleeding, in the open street: he then retired unmolested to the castle of his father-in-law. Count Rosso of the Maremma, and there remained in security!”

    “The body of the Prince,” says Barlow, Study of Dante, p. 125, “was brought to England, and interred at Hayles, in Gloucestershire, in the Abbey which his father had there built for monks of the Cistercian order; but his heart was put into a golden vase, and placed on the tomb of Edward the Confessor, in Westminster Abbey; most probably, as stated by some writers, in the hands of a statue.”

  175. Violence in all its forms was common enough in Florence in the age of Dante.

  176. Attila, the Scourge of God. Gibbon, Decline and Fall, Chap. 39, describes him thus:⁠—

    “Attila, the son of Mundzuk, deduced his noble, perhaps his regal, descent from the ancient Huns, who had formerly contended with the monarchs of China. His features, according to the observation of a Gothic historian, bore the stamp of his national origin; and the portrait of Attila exhibits the genuine deformity of a modern Calmuk; a large head, a swarthy complexion, small, deep-seated eyes, a flat nose, a few hairs in the place of a beard, broad shoulders, and a short, square body, of nervous strength, though of a disproportioned form. The haughty step and demeanor of the King of the Huns expressed the consciousness of his superiority above the rest of mankind; and he had a custom of fiercely rolling his eyes, as if he wished to enjoy the terror which he inspired.”

  177. Which Pyrrhus and which Sextus, the commentators cannot determine; but incline to Pyrrhus of Epirus, and Sextus Pompey, the corsair of the Mediterranean.

  178. Nothing more is known of these highwaymen than that the first infested the Roman seashore, and that the second was of a noble family of Florence.

  179. In this Canto is described the punishment of those who had laid violent hands on themselves or their property.

  180. “Knightes Tale,” 1977:⁠—

    “First on the wall was peinted a forest,
    In which therwonneth neyther man ne best,
    With knotty knarry barrein trees old
    Of stubbes sharpe and hidous to behold;
    In which there ran a romble and a swough
    As though a storme shuld bresten every bough.”

  181. The Cecina is a small river running into the Mediterranean not many miles south of Leghorn; Corneto, a village in the Papal States, north of Civita Vecchia. The country is wild and thinly peopled, and studded with thickets, the haunts of the deer and the wild boar. This region is the fatal Maremma, thus described by Forsyth, Italy, p. 156:⁠—

    “Farther south is the Maremma, a region which, though now worse than a desert, is supposed to have been anciently both fertile and healthy. The Maremma certainly formed part of that Etruria which was called from its harvests the annonaria. Old Roman cisterns may still be traced, and the ruins of Populonium are still visible in the worst part of this tract: yet both nature and man seem to have conspired against it.

    “Sylla threw this maritime part of Tuscany into enormous latifundia for his disbanded soldiers. Similar distributions continued to lessen its population during the Empire. In the younger Pliny’s time the climate was pestilential. The Lombards gave it a new aspect of misery. Wherever they found culture they built castles, and to each castle they allotted a ‘bandita’ or military fief. Hence baronial wars which have left so many picturesque ruins on the hills, and such desolation round them. Whenever a baron was conquered, his vassals escaped to the cities, and the vacant fief was annexed to the victorious. Thus stripped of men, the lands returned into a state of nature: some were flooded by the rivers, others grew into horrible forests, which enclose and concentrate the pestilence ofthe lakes and marshes.

    “In some parts the water is brackish, and lies lower than the sea: in others it oozes full of tartar from beds of travertine. At the bottom or on the sides of hills are a multitude of hot springs, which form pools, called Lagoni. A few of these are said to produce borax: some, which are called fumache, exhale sulphur; others, called bulicami, boil with a mephitic gas. The very air above is only a pool of vapors, which sometimes undulate, but seldom flow off. It draws corruption from a rank, unshorn, rotting vegetation, from reptiles and fish both living and dead.

    “All nature conspires to drive man away from this fatal region; but man will ever return to his bane, if it be well baited. The Casentine peasants still migrate hither in the winter to feed their cattle: and here they sow corn, make charcoal, saw wood, cut hoops, and peel cork. When summer returns they decamp, but often too late; for many leave their corpses on the road, or bring home the Maremmian disease.”

  182. Aeneid, III, Davidson’s Tr.:⁠—

    “The shores of the Strophades first receive me rescued from the waves. The Strophades, so called by a Greek name, are islands situated in the great Ionian Sea; which direful Celaeno and the other Harpies inhabit, from what time Phineus’ palace was closed against them, and they were frighted from his table, which they formerly haunted. No monster more fell than they, no plague and scourge of the gods more cruel, ever issued from the Stygian waves. They are fowls with virgin faces, most loathsome is their bodily discharge, hands hooked, and looks ever pale with famine. Hither conveyed, as soon as we entered the port, lo! we observe joyous herds of cattle roving up and down the plains, and flocks of goats along the meadows without a keeper. We rush upon them with our swords, and invoke the gods and Jove himself to share the booty. Then along the winding shore we raise the couches, and feast on the rich repast. But suddenly, with direful swoop, the Harpies are upon us from the mountains, shake their wings with loud din, prey upon our banquet, and defile everything with their touch: at the same time, together with a rank smell, hideous screams arise.”

  183. His words in the Aeneid, III, Davidson’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Near at hand there chanced to be a rising ground, on whose top were young cornel-trees, and a myrtle rough with thick, spear-like branches. I came up to it, and attempting to tear from the earth the verdant wood, that I might cover the altars with the leafy boughs, I observe a dreadful prodigy, and wondrous to relate. For from that tree which first is torn from the soil, its rooted fibres being burst asunder, drops of black blood distil, and stain the ground with gore: cold terror shakes my limbs, and my chill blood is congealed with fear. I again essay to tear off a limber bough from another, and thoroughly explore the latent cause: and from the rind of that other the purple blood descends. Raising in my mind many an anxious thought, I with reverence besought the rural nymphs, and father Mars, who presides over the Thracian territories, kindly to prosper the vision and avert evil from the omen. But when I at tempted the boughs a third time with a more vigorous effort, and on my knees struggled against the opposing mould, (shall I speak, or shall I forbear?) a piteous groan is heard from the bottom of the rising ground, and a voice sent forth reaches my ears: ‘Aeneas, why dost thou tear an unhappy wretch? Spare me, now that I am in my grave; forbear to pollute with guilt thy pious hands: Troy brought me forth no stranger to you; nor is it from the trunk this blood distils.’ ”

  184. Chaucer, “Knightes Tale,” 2339:⁠—

    “And as it queinte, it made a whisteling
    As don these brondes wet in hir brenning,
    And at the brondes ende outran anon
    As it were blody dropes many on.”

    See also Spenser, Faerie Queene, I ii 30.

  185. Pietro della Vigna, Chancellor of the Emperor Frederick II. Napier’s account of him is as follows, Florentine History, I 197:⁠—

    “The fate of his friend and minister, Piero delle Vigne of Capua, if truly told, would nevertheless impress us with an unfavorable idea of his mercy and magnanimity: Piero was sent with Taddeo di Sessa as Frederick’s advocate and representative to the Council of Lyons, which was assembled by his friend Innocent the Fourth, nominally to reform the Church, but really to impart more force and solemnity to a fresh sentence of excommunication and deposition. There Taddeo spoke with force and boldness for his master; but Piero was silent; and hence he was accused of being, like several others, bribed by the Pope, not only to desert the Emperor, but to attempt his life; and whether he were really culpable, or the victim of court intrigue, is still doubtful. Frederick, on apparently good evidence, condemned him to have his eyes burned out, and the sentence was executed at San Miniato al Tedesco: being afterwards sent on horseback to Pisa, where he was hated, as an object for popular derison, he died, as is conjectured, from the effects of a fall while thus cruelly exposed, and not by his own hand, as Dante believed and sung,”

    Milman, History of Latin Christianity, V 499, gives the story thus:⁠—

    “Peter de Vineâ had been raised by the wise choice of Frederick to the highest rank and influence. All the acts of Frederick were attributed to his Chancellor. De Vineâ, like his master, was a poet; he was one of the counsellors in his great scheme of legislation. Some rumors spread abroad that at the Council of Lyons, though Frederick had forbidden all his representatives from holding private intercourse with the Pope, De Vineâ had many secret conferences with Innocent, and was accused of betraying his master’s interests. Yet there was no seeming diminution in the trust placed in De Vineâ. Still, to the end the Emperor’s letters concerning the disaster at Parma are by the same hand. Over the cause of his disgrace and death, even in his own day, there was deep doubt and obscurity. The popular rumor ran that Frederick was ill; the physician of De Vineâ prescribed for him; the Emperor having received some warning, addressed De Vineâ: ‘My friend, in thee I have full trust; art thou sure that this is medicine, not poison?’ De Vineâ replied: ‘How often has my physician ministered healthful medicines!⁠—why are you now afraid?’ Frederick took the cup, sternly commanded the physician to drink half of it. The physician threw himself at the King’s feet, and, as he fell, overthrew the liquor. But what was left was administered to some criminals, who died in agony. The Emperor wrung his hands and wept bitterly: ‘Whom can I now trust, betrayed by my own familiar friend? Never can I know security, never can I know joy more.’ By one account Peter de Vineâ was led ignominiously on an ass through Pisa, and thrown into prison, where he dashed his brains out against the wall. Dante’s immortal verse has saved the fame of De Vineâ: according to the poet he was the victim of wicked and calumnious jealousy.”

    See also Giuseppe de Blasiis, Vita et Opere di Pietro della Vigna.

  186. Iliad, XII 146: “Like two wild boars, which catch the coming tumult of men and dogs in the mountains, and, advancing obliquely to the attack, break down the wood about them, cutting it off at the roots.”

    Chaucer, Legende of Goode Women:⁠—

    “Envie ys lavendere of the court alway;
    For she ne parteth neither nyght ne day
    Out of the house of Cesar, thus saith Daunte.”

  187. “Lano,” says Boccaccio, Comento, “was a young gentleman of Siena, who had a large patrimony, and associating himself with a club of other young Sienese, called the Spendthrift Club, they also being all rich, together with them, not spending but squandering, in a short time he consumed all that he had and became very poor.” Joining some Florentine troops sent out against the Aretines, he was in a skirmish at the parish of Toppo, which Dante calls a joust; “and notwithstanding he might have saved himself,” continues Boccaccio, “remembering his wretched condition, and it seeming to him a grievous thing to bear poverty, as he had been very rich, he rushed into the thick of the enemy and was slain, as perhaps he desired to be.”

  188. Some commentators interpret these dogs as poverty and despair, still pursuing their victims. The Ottimo Comento calls them “poor men who, to follow pleasure and the kitchens of other people, abandoned their homes and families, and are therefore transformed into hunting dogs, and pursue and devour their masters.”

  189. Jacopo da St. Andrea was a Paduan of like character and life as Lano. “Among his other squanderings,” says the Ottimo Comento, “it is said that, wishing to see a grand and beautiful fire, he had one of his own villas burned.”

  190. Florence was first under the protection of the god Mars; afterwards under that of St. John the Baptist. But in Dante’s time the statue of Mars was still standing on a column at the head of the Ponte Vecchio. It was overthrown by an inundation of the Arno in 1333. See note 213.

  191. Florence was destroyed by Totila in 450, and never by Attila. In Dante’s time the two seem to have been pretty generally confounded. The Ottimo Comento remarks upon this point:⁠—

    “Some say that Totila was one person and Attila another; and some say that he was one and the same man.”

  192. Dante does not mention the name of this suicide; Boccaccio thinks, for one of two reasons:⁠—

    “either out of regard to his surviving relatives, who peradventure are honorable men, and therefore he did not wish to stain them with the infamy of so dishonest a death, or else (as in those times, as if by a malediction sent by God upon our city, many hanged themselves) that each one might apply it to either he pleased of these many.”

  193. In this third round of the seventh circle are punished the Violent against God,

    “In heart denying and blaspheming him,
    And by disdaining Nature and her bounty.”

  194. When he retreated across the Libyan desert with the remnant of Pompey’s army after the battle of Pharsalia. Lucan, Pharsalia, Book IX:⁠—

    “Foremost, behold, I lead you to the toil,
    My feet shall foremost print the dusty soil.”

  195. Boccaccio confesses that he does not know where Dante found this tradition of Alexander. Benvenuto da Imola says it is in a letter which Alex’ ander wrote to Aristotle. He quotes the passage as follows:⁠—

    “In India ignited vapors fell from heaven like snow. I commanded my soldiers to trample them under foot.”

    Dante perhaps took the incident from the old metrical Romance of Alexander, which in some form or other was current in his time. In the English version of it, published by the Roxburghe Club, we find the rain of fire, and a fall of snow; but it is the snow, and not the fire, that the soldiers trample down. So likewise in the French version. The English runs as follows, line 4164:⁠—

    “Than fandis he furth as I finde five and twenti days,
    Come to a velanus vale thare was a vile cheele,
    Quare flaggis of the fell snawe fell fra the heven,
    That was a brade, sais the buke, as battes ere of wolle.
    Than bett he many brigt fire and lest it bin nold,
    And made his folk with thaire feete as florcs it to trede.

    Than fell ther fra the firmament as it ware fell sparkes,
    Ropand doune o rede fire, than any rayne thikir.”

  196. Canto VIII 83.

  197. Mount Etna, under which, with his Cyclops, Vulcan forged the thunderbolts of Jove.

  198. Capaneus was one of the seven kings who besieged Thebes. Euripides, Phoenissae, line 1188, thus describes his death:⁠—

    “While o’er the battlements sprung Capaneus,
    Jove struck him with his thunder, and the earth
    Resounded with the crack; meanwhile mankind
    Stood all aghast; from off the ladder’s height
    His limbs were far asunder hurled, his hair
    Flew to’ards Olympus, to the ground his blood,
    His hands and feet whirled like Ixion’s wheel,
    And to the earth his flaming body fell.”

    Also Gower, Confessio Amantis, I:⁠—

    “As he the cite wolde assaile,
    God toke him selfe the bataile
    Ayen his pride, and fro the sky
    A firy thonder sudeinly
    He sende and him to pouder smote.”

  199. Like Hawthorne’s scarlet letter, at once an ornament and a punishment.

  200. The Bulicame or Hot Springs of Viterbo. Villani, Cronica, Book I Ch. 51, gives the following brief account of these springs, and of the origin of the name of Viterbo:⁠—

    “The city of Viterbo was built by the Romans, and in old times was called Vigezia, and the citizens Vigentians. And the Romans sent the sick there on account of the baths which flow from the Bulicame, and therefore it was called Vita Erbo, that is, life of the sick, or city of life.”

  201. “The building thus appropriated,” says Mr. Barlow, Contributions to the Study of the Divine Comedy, p. 129:⁠—

    “would appear to have been the large ruined edifice known as the Bagno di Ser Paolo Benigno, situated between the Bulicame and Viterbo. About half a mile beyond the Porta di Faule, which leads to Toscanella, we come to a way called Riello, after which we arrive at the said ruined edifice, which received the water from the Bulicame by conduits, and has popularly been regarded as the Bagno delle Meretrici alluded to by Dante; there is no other building here found, which can dispute with it the claim to this distinction.”

  202. The shouts and cymbals of the Corybantes, drowning the cries of the infant Jove, lest Saturn should find him and devour him.

  203. The statue of Time, turning its back upon the East and looking towards Rome, Compare Daniel 2:31.

  204. The Ages of Gold, Silver, Brass, and Iron. See Ovid, Metamorphoses I.

    See also Don Quixote’s discourse to the goatherds, inspired by the acorns they gave him. Book II Chap. 3; and Tasso’s Ode to the Golden Age, in the Aminta.

  205. The Tears of Time, forming the infernal rivers that flow into Cocytus.

    Milton, Paradise Lost, II 577:⁠—

    “Abhorred Styx, the flood of deadly hate;
    Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep;
    Cocytus, named of lamentation loud
    Heard on the rueful stream; fierce Phlegeton,
    Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage.
    Far off from these a slow and silent stream,
    Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls
    Her watery labyrinth, whereof who drinks
    Forthwith his former state and being forgets,
    Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.”

  206. See Purgatorio XXVIII.

  207. In this Canto is described the punishment of the Violent against Nature;⁠—

    “And for this reason does the smallest round
    Seal with its signet Sodom and Cahors.”

  208. Guizzante is not Ghent, but Cadsand, an island opposite L’Ecluse, where the great canal of Bruges enters the sea. A canal thus flowing into the sea, the dikes on either margin uniting with the sea-dikes, gives a perfect image of this part of the Inferno.

    Lodovico Guicciardini in his Descrittione di tutti i Paesi Bassi (1581), p. 416, speaking of Cadsand, says:⁠—

    “This is the very place of which our great poet Dante makes mention in the fifteenth chapter of the Inferno, calling it incorrectly, perhaps by error of the press, Guizzante; where still at the present day great repairs are continually made upon the dikes, because here, and in the environs towards Bruges, the flood, or I should rather say the tide, on account of the situation and lowness of the land, has very great power, particularly during a northwest wind.”

  209. These lines recall Goldsmith’s description in the Traveller:⁠—

    “Methinks her patient sons before me stand,
    Where the broad ocean leans against the land,
    And, sedulous to stop the coming tide,
    Lift the tall rampire’s artificial pride.
    Onward, methinks, and diligently slow
    The firm connected bulwark seems to grow;
    Spreads its long arms amidst the watery roar.
    Scoops out an empire and usurps the shore.”

  210. That part of the Alps in which the Brenta rises.

  211. The reading la mia seems preferable to la mano, and is justified by line 45.

  212. Brunetto Latini, Dante’s friend and teacher. Villani thus speaks of him, Cronica, VIII 10:⁠—

    “In this year 1294 died in Florence a worthy citizen, whose name was Ser Brunetto Latini, who was a great philosopher and perfect master of rhetoric, both in speaking and in writing. He commented the Rhetoric of Tully, and made the good and useful book called the Tesoro, and the Tesoretto, and the Keys of the Tesoro, and many other books of philosophy, and of vices and of virtues, and he was Secretary of our Commune, He was a worldly man, but we have made mention of him because he was the first master in refining the Florentines, and in teaching them how to speak correctly, and how to guide and govern our Republic on political principles.”

    Boccaccio, Comento, speaks of him thus:⁠—

    “This Ser Brunetto Latini was a Florentine, and a very able man in some of the liberal arts, and in philosophy; but his principal calling was that of Notary; and he held himself and his calling in such great esteem, that, having made a mistake in a contract drawn up by him, and having been in consequence accused of fraud, he preferred to be condemned for it rather than to confess that he had made a mistake; and afterwards he quitted Florence in disdain, and leaving in memory of himself a book composed by him, called the Tesoretto, he went to Paris and lived there a long time, and composed a book there which is in French, and in which he treats of many matters regarding the liberal arts, and moral and natural philosophy, and metaphysics, which he called the Tesoro; and finally, I believe, he died in Paris.”

    He also wrote a short poem, called the “Favoletto,” and perhaps the “Pataffio,” a satirical poem in the Florentine dialect, “a jargon,” says Nardini, “which cannot be understood even with a commentary.” But his fame rests upon the Tesoretto and the Tesoro, and more than all upon the fact that he was Dante’s teacher, and was put by him into a very disreputable place in the Inferno. He died in Florence, not in Paris, as Boccaccio supposes, and was buried in Santa Maria Novella, where his tomb still exists. It is strange that Boccaccio should not have known this, as it was in this church that the “seven young gentlewomen” of his Decameron met “on a Tuesday morning,” and resolved to go together into the country, where they “might hear the birds sing, and see the verdure of the hills and plains, and the fields full of grain undulating like the sea.”

    The poem of the Tesoretto, written in a jingling metre, which reminds one of the Vision of Piers Ploughman, is itself a Vision, with the customary allegorical personages of the Virtues and Vices. Ser Brunetto, returning from an embassy to King Alphonso of Spain, meets on the plain of Roncesvalles a student of Bologna, riding on a bay mule, who informs him that the Guelfs have been banished from Florence. Whereupon Ser Brunetto, plunged in meditation and sorrow, loses the high road and wanders in a wondrous forest. Here he discovers the august and gigantic figure of Nature, who relates to him the creation of the world, and gives him a banner to protect him on his pilgrimage through the forest, in which he meets with no adventures, but with the Virtues and Vices, Philosophy, Fortune, Ovid, and the God of Love, and sundry other characters, which are sung at large through eight or ten chapters. He then emerges from the forest, and confesses himself to the monks of Montpellier; after which he goes back into the forest again, and suddenly finds himself on the summit of Olympus; and the poem abruptly leaves him discoursing about the elements with Ptolemy,

    “Mastro di storlomia
    E di filosofia.”

    It has been supposed by some commentators that Dante was indebted to the Tesoretto for the first idea of the Commedia. “If any one is pleased to imagine this,” says the Abbate Zannoni in the Preface to his edition of the Tesoretto, (Florence, 1824,) “he must confess that a slight and almost invisible spark served to kindle a vast conflagration.”

    The Tesoro, which is written in French, is a much more ponderous and pretentious volume. Hitherto it has been known only in manuscript, or in the Italian translation of Giamboni, but at length appears as one of the volumes of the Collection de Documents Inédits sur l’Histoire de France, under the title of Li Livres dou Tresor, edited by P. Chabaille, Paris, 1863; a stately quarto of some seven hundred pages, which it would assuage the fiery torment of Ser Brunetto to look upon, and justify him in saying

    “Commended unto thee be my Tesoro,
    In which I still live, and no more I ask.”

    The work is quaint and curious, but mainly interesting as being written by Dante’s schoolmaster, and showing what he knew and what he taught his pupil. I cannot better describe it than in the author’s own words. Book I ch. I:⁠—

    “The smallest part of this Treasure is like unto ready money, to be expended daily in things needful; that is, it treats of the beginning of time, of the antiquity of old histories, of the creation of the world, and in fine of the nature of all things.⁠ ⁠…

    “The second part, which treats of the vices and virtues, is of precious stones, which give unto man delight and virtue; that is to say, what things a man should do, and what he should not, and shows the reason why.⁠ ⁠…

    “The third part of the Treasure is of fine gold; that is to say, it teaches a man to speak according to the rules of rhetoric, and how a ruler ought to govern those beneath him.⁠ ⁠…

    “And I say not that this book is extracted from my own poor sense and my own naked knowledge, but, on the contrary, it is like a honeycomb gathered from diverse flowers; for this book is wholly compiled from the wonderful sayings of the authors who before our time have treated of philosophy, each one according to his knowledge.⁠ ⁠…

    “And if any one should ask why this book is written in Romance, according to the language of the French, since we are Italian, I should say it is for two reasons; one, because we are in France, and the other, because this speech is more delectable, and more common to all people.”

  213. “Afterwards,” says Brunetto Latini, Tresor, Book I Pt. I ch. 37, “the Romans besieged Fiesole, till at last they conquered it and brought it into subjection. Then they built upon the plain, which is at the foot of the high rocks on which that city stood, another city, that is now called Florence. And know that the spot of ground where Florence stands was formerly called the House of Mars, that is to say the House of War; for Mars, who is one of the seven planets, is called the God of War, and as such was worshipped of old. Therefore it is no wonder that the Florentines are always in war and in discord, for that planet reigns over them. Of this Master Brunez Latins ought to know the truth, for he was born there, and was in exile on account of war with the Florentines, when he composed this book.”

    See also Villani, I 38, who assigns a different reason for the Florentine dissensions:⁠—

    “And observe, that if the Florentines are always in war and dissension among themselves it is not to be wondered at, they being descended from two nations so contrary and hostile and different in customs, as were the noble and virtuous Romans and the rude and warlike Fiesolans.”

    Again, IV 7, he attributes the Florentine dissensions to both the abovementioned causes.

  214. Villani, IV 31, tells the story of certain columns of porphyry given by the Pisans to the Florentines for guarding their city while the Pisan army had gone to the conquest of Majorca. The columns were cracked by fire, but being covered with crimson cloth, the Florentines did not perceive it. Boccaccio repeats the story with variations, but does not think it a sufficient reason for calling the Florentines blind, and confesses that he does not know what reason there can be for so calling them.

  215. The “other text” is the prediction of his banishment. Canto X 81, and the Lady is Beatrice.

  216. Boileau, Épitre, V:⁠—

    “Qu’à son gré désormais la fortune me joue,
    On me verra dormir au branle de sa roué.”

    And Tennyson’s Song of “Fortune and her Wheel”:⁠—

    “Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel and lower the proud;
    Turn thy wild wheel thro’ sunshine, storm, and cloud;
    Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.

    “Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or frown;
    With that wild wheel we go not up or down;
    Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great.

    “Smile and we smile, the lords of many lands;
    Frown and we smile, the lords of our own hands;
    For man is man and master of his fate.

    “Turn, turn thy wheel above the staring crowd;
    Thy wheel and thou are shadows in the cloud;
    Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.”

  217. Priscian, the grammarian of Constantinople in the sixth century.

  218. Francesco d’Accorso, a distinguished jurist and Professor at Bologna in the thirteenth century, celebrated for his Commentary upon the Code Justinian.

  219. Andrea de’ Mozzi, Bishop of Florence, transferred by the Pope, the “Servant of Servants,” to Vicenza; the two cities being here designated by the rivers on which they are respectively situated.

  220. See note 212.

  221. The Corsa del Pallio, or foot races, at Verona; in which a green mantle, or Pallio, was the prize. Buttura says that these footraces are still continued (1823), and that he has seen them more than once; but certainly not in the nude state in which Boccaccio describes them, and which renders Dante’s comparison more complete and striking.

  222. In this Canto the subject of the preceding is continued.

  223. Guidoguerra, Tegghiajo Aldobrandi, and Jacopo Rusticucci.

  224. The good Gualdrada was a daughter of Bellincion Berti, the simple citizen of Florence in the olden time, who used to walk the streets “begirt with bone and leather,” as mentioned in the Paradiso, XV 112. Villani, I 37, reports a story of her with all the brevity of a chronicler. Boccaccio tells the same story, as if he were writing a page of the Decameron. In his version it runs as follows:⁠—

    “The Emperor Otho IV, being by chance in Florence and having gone to the festival of St. John, to make it more gay with his presence, it happened that to the church with the other city dames, as our custom is, came the wife of Messer Berto, and brought with her a daughter of hers called Gualdrada, who was still unmarried. And as they sat there with the others, the maiden being beautiful in face and figure, nearly all present turned round to look at her, and among the rest the Emperor. And having much commended her beauty and manners, he asked Messer Berto, who was near him, who she was. To which Messer Berto smiling answered: ‘She is the daughter of one who, I dare say, would let you kiss her if you wished.’ These words the young lady heard, being near the speaker; and somewhat troubled by the opinion her father seemed to have of her, that, if he wished it, she would suffer herself to be kissed by any one in this free way, rising, and looking a moment at her father, and blushing with shame, said: ‘Father, do not make such courteous promises at the expense of my modesty, for certainly, unless by violence, no one shall ever kiss me, except him whom you shall give me as my husband.’ The Emperor, on hearing this, much commended the words and the young lady.⁠ ⁠… And calling forward a noble youth named Guido Beisangue, who was afterwards called Guido the Elder, who as yet had no wife, he insisted upon his marrying her; and gave him as her dowry a large territory in Cassentino and the Alps, and made him Count thereof.”

    Ampère says in his Voyage Dantesque, page 242:⁠—

    “Near the battlefield of Campaldino stands the little town of Poppi, whose castle was built in 1230 by the father of the Arnolfo who built some years later the Palazzo Vecchio of Florence. In this castle is still shown the bedroom of the beautiful and modest Gualdrada.”

    Francesco Sansovino, an Italian novelist of the sixteenth century, has made Gualdrada the heroine of one of his tales, but has strangely perverted the old tradition. His story may be found in Roscoe’s Italian Novelists, III p. 107.

  225. Tegghiajo Aldobrandi was a distinguished citizen of Florence, and opposed what Malespini calls “the ill counsel of the people,” that war should be declared against the Sienese, which war resulted in the battle of Monte Aperto and the defeat of the Florentines.

  226. Jacopo Rusticucci was a rich Florentine gentleman, whose chief misfortune seems to have been an ill-assorted marriage. Whereupon the amiable Boccaccio in his usual Decameron style remarks:⁠—

    “Men ought not then to be overhasty in getting married; on the contrary, they should come to it with much precaution.”

    And then he indulges in five octavo pages against matrimony and woman in general.

  227. See Macchiavelli’s story of “Belfagor,” wherein Minos and Rhadamanthus, and the rest of the infernal judges, are greatly surprised to hear an infinite number of condemned souls “lament nothing so bitterly as their folly in having taken wives, attributing to them the whole of their misfortune.”

  228. Boccaccio, in his Comento, speaks of Guglielmo Borsiere as “a courteous gentleman of good breeding and excellent manners”; and in the Decameron, Gior. I Nov. 8, tells of a sharp rebuke administered by him to Messer Ermino de’ Grimaldi, a miser of Genoa:⁠—

    “It came to pass, that, whilst by spending nothing he went on accumulating wealth, there came to Genoa a well-bred and witty gentleman called Gulielmo Borsiere, one nothing like the courtiers of the present day; who, to the great reproach of the debauched dispositions of such as would now be reputed fine gentlemen, should more properly style themselves asses, brought up amidst the filthiness and sink of mankind, rather than in courts.⁠ ⁠…

    “This Gulielmo, whom I before mentioned, was much visited and respected by the better sort of people at Genoa; when having made some stay here, and hearing much talk of Ermino’s sordidness, he became desirous of seeing him. Now Ermino had been informed of Gulielmo’s worthy character, and having, however covetous he was, some small sparks of gentility, he received him in a courteous manner, and, entering into discourse together, he took him, and some Genoese who came along with him, to see a fine house which he had lately built: and when he had showed every part of it, he said: ‘Pray, sir, can you, who have heard and seen so much, tell me of something that was never yet seen, to have painted in my hall?’ To whom Gulielmo, hearing him speak so simply, replied: ‘Sir, I can tell you of nothing which has never yet been seen, that I know of; unless it be sneezing, or some thing of that sort; but if you please, I can tell you of a thing which, I believe, vou never saw.’ Said Ermmo (little expecting such an answer as he received), ‘I beg you would let me know what that is.’ Gulielmo immediately replied, ‘Paint Liberality.’ When Ermino heard this, such a sudden shame seized him, as quite changed his temper from what it had hitherto been; and he said: ‘Sir, I will have her painted in such a manner that neither you, nor any one else, shall be able to say, hereafter, that I am unacquainted with her.’ And from that time such effect had Gulielmo’s words upon him, he became the most liberal and courteous gentleman, and was the most respected, both by strangers and his own citizens, of any in Genoa.”

  229. Monte Veso is among the Alps, between Piedmont and Savoy, where the Po takes its rise. From this point eastward to the Adriatic, all the rivers on the left or northern slope of the Apennines are tributaries to the Po, until we come to the Montone, which above Forli is called Acquacheta. This is the first which flows directly into the Adriatic, and not into the Po. At least it was so in Dante’s time. Now, by some change in its course, the Lamone, farther north, has opened itself a new outlet, and is the first to make its own way to the Adriatic. See Barlow, Contributions to the Study of the Divine Comedy, p. 131. This comparison shows the delight which Dante took in the study of physical geography. To reach the waterfall of Acquacheta he traverses in thought the entire valley of the Po, stretching across the whole of Northern Italy.

  230. Boccaccio’s interpretation of this line, which has been adopted by most of the commentators since his time, is as follows:⁠—

    “I was for a long time in doubt concerning the author’s meaning in this line; but being by chance at this monastery of San Benedetto, in company with the abbot, he told me that there had once been a discussion among the Counts who owned the mountain, about building a village near the waterfall, as a convenient place for a settlement, and bringing into it their vassals scattered on neighboring farms; but the leader of the project dying, it was not carried into effect; and that is what the author says, Ove dovea per mille, that is, for many, esser ricetto, that is, home and habitation.”

    Doubtless grammatically the words will bear this meaning. But evidently the idea in the author’s mind, and which he wished to impress upon the reader’s, was that of a waterfall plunging at a single leap down a high precipice. To this idea, the suggestion of buildings and inhabitants is wholly foreign, and adds neither force nor clearness. Whereas, to say that the river plunged at one bound over a precipice high enough for a thousand cascades, presents at once a vivid picture to the imagination, and I have interpreted the line accordingly, making the contrast between una scesa and mille. It should not be forgotten that, while some editions read dovea, others read dovria, and even potria.

  231. This cord has puzzled the commentators exceedinglv. Boccaccio, Volpi, and Venturi do not explain it. The anonymous author of the Ottimo, Benvenuto da Imola, Buti, Landino, Vellutello, and Daniello, all think it means fraud, which Dante had used in the pursuit of pleasure⁠—“the panther with the paintedskin.” Lombardi is of opinion that, “by girding himself with the Franciscan cord, he had endeavored to restrain his sensual appetites, indicated by the panther; and still wearing the cord as a Tertiary of the Order, he makes it serve here to deceive Geryon, and bring him up.” Biagioli understands by it “the humility with which a man should approach Science, because it is she that humbles the proud.” Fraticelli thinks it means vigilance; Tommaseo, “the good faith with which he hoped to win the Florentines, and now wishes to deal with their fraud, so that it may not harm him”; and Gabrielli Rossetti says, “Dante flattered himself, acting as a sincere Ghibelline, that he should meet with good faith from his Guelf countrymen, and met instead with horrible fraud.”

    Dante elsewhere speaks of the cord in a good sense. In Purgatorio, VII 114, Peter of Aragon is “girt with the cord of every virtue,” In Inferno, XXVII 92, it is mortification, “the cord that used to make those girt with it more meagre”; and in Paradiso, XI 87, it is humility, “that family which had already girt the humble cord.”

    It will be remembered that St. Francis, the founder of the Cordeliers (the wearers of the cord), used to call his body asino, or ass, and to subdue it with the capestro, or halter. Thus the cord is made to symbolize the subjugation of the animal nature. This renders Lombardi’s interpretation the most intelligible and satisfactory, though Virgil seems to have thrown the cord into the abyss simply because he had nothing else to throw, and not with the design of deceiving.

  232. As a man does naturally in the act of throwing.

  233. That Geryon, seeing the cord, ascends, expecting to find some moine défroqué, and carry him down, as Lombardi suggests, is hardly admissible; for that was not his office. The spirits were hurled down to their appointed places, as soon as Minos doomed them. Inferno, V 15.

  234. Even to a steadfast heart.

  235. In this Canto is described the punishment of Usurers, as sinners against Nature and Art. See Inferno XI 109:⁠—

    “And since the usurer takes another way,
    Nature herself and in her follower
    Disdains he, for elsewhere he puts his hope.”

    The monster Geryon, here used as the symbol of Fraud, was born of Chrysaor and Callirrhoe, and is generally represented by the poets as having three bodies and three heads. He was in ancient times King of Hesperia or Spain, living on Erytheia, the Red Island of sunset, and was slain by Hercules, who drove away his beautiful oxen. The nimble fancy of Hawthorne thus depicts him in his Wonder-Book, p. 148:⁠—

    “But was it really and truly an old man? Certainly at first sight it looked very like one; but on closer inspection, it rather seemed to be some kind of a creature that lived in the sea. For on his legs and arms there were scales, such as fishes have; he was web-footed and web-fingered, after the fashion of a duck; and his long beard, being of a greenish tinge, had more the appearance of a tuft of seaweed than of an ordinary beard. Have you never seen a stick of timber, that has been long tossed about by the waves, and has got all overgrown with barnacles, and at last, drifting ashore, seems to have been thrown up from the very deepest bottom of the sea? Well, the old man would have put you in mind of just such a wave-tost spar.”

    The three bodies and three heads, which old poetic fable has given to the monster Geryon, are interpreted by modern prose as meaning the three Balearic Islands, Majorca, Minorca, and Ivica, over which he reigned.

  236. Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, XIV 87, Rose’s Tr., thus depicts Fraud:⁠—

    “With pleasing mien, grave walk, and decent vest,
    Fraud rolled her eyeballs humbly in her head;
    And such benign and modest speech possest,
    She might a Gabriel seem who Ave said.
    Foul was she and deformed in all the rest;
    But with a mantle, long and widely spread,
    Concealed her hideous parts; and evermore
    Beneath the stole a poisoned dagger wore.”

    The Gabriel saying Ave is from Dante, Purgatory, X 40:⁠—

    “One would have sworn that he was saying Ave.”

  237. Tartars nor Turks, “who are most perfect masters therein,” says Boccaccio, “as we can clearly see in Tartarian cloths, which truly are so skilfully woven, that no painter with his brush could equal, much less surpass them. The Tartars are⁠ ⁠…” And with this unfinished sentence close the Lectures upon Dante, begun by Giovanni Boccaccio on Sunday, August 9, 1373, in the church of San Stefano, in Florence. That there were some critics among his audience is apparent from this sonnet, which he addressed “to one who had censured his public Exposition of Dante.” See D. G. Rosetti, Early Italian Poets, p. 447:⁠—

    “If Dante mourns, there wheresoe’er he be,
    That such high fancies of a soul so proud
    Should be laid open to the vulgar crowd,
    (As, touching my Discourse, I ’m told by thee,)
    This were my grievous pain; and certainly
    My proper blame should not be disavowed;
    Though hereof somewhat, I declare aloud,
    Were due to others, not alone to me.
    False hopes, true poverty, and therewithal
    The blinded judgment of a host of friends,
    And their enteaties, made that I did thus.
    But of all this there is no gain at all
    Unto the thankless souls with whose base ends
    Nothing agrees that’s great or generous.”

  238. Ovid, Metamorphoses VI:⁠—

    “One at the loom so excellently skilled
    That to the Goddess she refused to yield.”

  239. Their love of gold still haunting them in the other world.

  240. The arms of the Gianfigliacci of Florence.

  241. The arms of the Ubbriachi of Florence.

  242. The Scrovigni of Padua.

  243. Vitaliano del Dente of Padua.

  244. Giovanni Bujamonte, who seems to have had the ill-repute of being the greatest usurer of his day, called here in irony the “sovereign cavalier.”

  245. As the ass-driver did in the streets of Florence, when Dante beat him for singing his verses amiss. See Sacchetti, Nov. CXV

  246. Dante makes as short work with these usurers, as if he had been a curious traveller walking through the Ghetto of Rome, or the Judengasse of Frankfort.

  247. Ovid, Metamorphoses II, Addison’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Half dead with sudden fear he dropt the reins;
    The horses felt ’em loose upon their manes,
    And, flying out through all the plains above,
    Ran uncontrolled where’er their fury drove;
    Rushed on the stars, and through a pathless way
    Of unknown regions hurried on the day.
    And now above, and now below they flew,
    And near the earth the burning chariot drew.

    At once from life and from the chariot driv’n,
    Th’ ambitious boy fell thunder-struck from heav’n.
    The horses started with a sudden bound,
    And flung the reins and chariot to the ground:
    The studded harness from their necks they broke,
    Here fell a wheel, and here a silver spoke,
    Here were the beam and axle torn away;
    And, scatter’d o’er the earth, the shining fragments lay.
    The breathless Phaeton, with flaming hair.
    Shot from the chariot, like a falling star.
    That in a summer’s ev’ning from the top
    Of heav’n drops down, or seems at least to drop;
    Till on the Po his blasted corpse was hurled,
    Far from his country, in the Western World.”

  248. The Milky Way. In Spanish El camino de Santiago; in the Northern Mythology the pathway of the ghosts going to Valhalla.

  249. Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII, Croxall’s Tr.:⁠—

    “The soft’ning wax, that felt a nearer sun,
    Dissolv’d apace, and soon began to run.
    The youth in vain his melting pinions shakes,
    His feathers gone, no longer air he takes.
    O father, father, as he strove to cry,
    Down to the sea he tumbled from on high.
    And found his fate; yet still subsists by fame,
    Among those waters that retain his name.
    The father, now no more a father, cries.
    Ho, Icarus! where are you? as he flies:
    Where shall I seek my boy? he cries again.
    And saw his feathers scattered on the main.”

  250. Lucan, Pharsalia I:⁠—

    “To him the Balearic sling is slow.
    And the shaft loiters from the Parthian bow.”

  251. Here begins the third division of the Inferno, embracing the Eighth and Ninth Circles, in which the Fraudulent are punished.

    “But because fraud is man’s peculiar vice
    More it displeases God; and so stand lowest
    The fraudulent, and greater dole assails them.”

    The Eighth Circle is called Malebolge, or Evil-budgets, and consists of ten concentric ditches, or Bolge of stone, with dikes between, and rough bridges running across them to the centre like the spokes of a wheel.

    In the First Bolgia are punished Seducers, and in the Second, Flatterers.

  252. Mr. Ruskin, Modern Painters, III p. 237, says:⁠—

    “Our slates and granites are often of very lovely colors; but the Apennine limestone is so gray and toneless, that I know not any mountain district so utterly melancholy as those which are composed of this rock, when unwoodcd. Now, as far as I can discover from the internal evidence in his poem, nearly all Dante’s mountain wanderings had been upon this ground. He had journeyed once or twice among the Alps, indeed, but seems to have been impressed chiefly by the road from Garda to Trent, and that along the Cornice, both of which are either upon those limestones, or a dark serpentine, which shows hardly any color till it is polished. It is not ascertainable that he had ever seen rock scenery of the finely colored kind, aided by the Alpine mosses: I do not know the fall at Forli (Inferno, XVI 99), but every other scene to which he alludes is among these Apennine limestones; and when he wishes to give the idea of enormous mountain size, he names Tabernicch and Pietra-pana⁠—the one clearly chosen only for the sake of the last syllable of its name, in order to make a sound as of crackling ice, with the two sequent rhymes of the stanza⁠—and the other is an Apennine near Lucca.

    “His idea, therefore, of rock color, founded on these experiences, is that of a dull or ashen gray, more or less stained by the brown of iron ochre, precisely as the Apennine limestones nearly always are; the gray being peculiarly cold and disagreeable. As we go down the very hill which stretches out from Pietra-pana towards Lucca, the stones laid by the roadside to mend it are of this ashen gray, with efflorescences of manganese and iron in the fissures. The whole of Malebolge is made of this rock, ‘All wrought in stone of iron-colored grain.’ ”

  253. The year of Jubilee 1300. Mr. Norton, in his Notes of Travel and Study in Italy, p. 255, thus describes it:⁠—

    “The beginning of the new century brought many pilgrims to the Papal city, and the Pope, seeing to what account the treasury of indulgences possessed by the Church might now be turned, hit upon the plan of promising plenary indulgence to all who, during the year, should visit with fit dispositions the holy places of Rome. He accordingly, in the most solemn manner, proclaimed a year of Jubilee, to date from the Christmas of 1299, and appointed a similar celebration for each hundredth year thereafter. The report of the marvellous promise spread rapidly through Europe; and as the year advanced, pilgrims poured into Italy from remote as well as from neighboring lands. The roads leading to Rome were dusty with bands of travellers pressing forward to gain the unwonted indulgence. The Crusades had made travel familiar to men, and a journey to Rome seemed easy to those who had dreamed of the Farther East, of Constantinople, and Jerusalem. Giovanni Villani, who was among the pilgrims from Florence, declares that there were never less than two hundred thousand strangers at Rome during the year; and Guglielmo Ventura, the chronicler of Asti, reports the total number of pilgrims at not less than two millions. The picture which he draws of Rome during the Jubilee is a curious one. ‘Mirandum est quod passim ibant viri et mulieres, qui anno illo Romæ fuerunt quo ego ibi fui et per dies XV steti. De pane, vino, carnibus, piscibus, et avena, bonum mercatum ibi erat; fænum carissimum ibi fuit; hospitia carissima; taliter quod lectus meus et equi mei super fœno et avena constabat mihi tornesium unum grossum. Exiens de Roma in Vigilia Nativitatis Christi, vidi turbam magnam, quam dinumerare nemo pot erat; et fama erat inter Romanos, quod ibi fuerant plusquam vigenti centum millia virorum et mulierum. Pluries ego vidi ibi tam viros quam mulieres conculcatos sub pedibus aliorum; et etiam egomet in eodem periculo plures vices evasi. Papa innumerabilem pecuntam ab eisdem recepit, quia die ac nocte duo clerici stabant ad altare Sancti Pauli tenentes in corum manibus rastellos, rastellantes pecuniam infinitam.’ To accommodate the throng of pilgrims, and to protect them as far as possible from the danger which Ventura feelingly describes, a barrier was erected along the middle of the bridge under the castle of Sant’ Angelo, so that those going to St. Peter’s and those coming from the church, passing on opposite sides, might not interfere with each other. It seems not unlikely that Dante himself was one of the crowd who thus crossed the old bridge, over whose arches, during this year, a flood of men was flowing almost as constantly as the river’s flood ran through below.”

  254. The castle is the Castle of St. Angelo, and the mountain Monte Gianicolo. See Barlow, Study of Dante, p. 126. Others say Monte Giordano.

  255. “This Caccianimico,” says Benvenuto da Imola, “was a Bolognese; a liberal, noble, pleasant, and very powerful man.”

    Nevertheless he was so utterly corrupt as to sell his sister, the fair Ghisola, to the Marquis of Este.

  256. In the original the word is salse.

    “In Bologna,” says Benvenuto da Imola, “the name of Salse is given to a certain valley outside the city, and near to Santa Maria in Monte, into which the mortal remains of desperadoes, usurers, and other infamous persons are wont to be thrown. Hence I have sometimes heard boys in Bologna say to each other, by way of insult, ‘Your father was thrown into the Salse.’ ”

  257. The two rivers between which Bologna is situated. In the Bolognese dialect sipa is used for si.

  258. They cease going round the circles as heretofore, and now go straight forward to the centre of the abyss.

  259. For the story of Jason, Medea, and the Golden Fleece, see Ovid, Metamorphoses VII. Also Chaucer, Legende of Goode Women:⁠—

    “Thou roote of fals loveres, duke Jason!
    Thou slye devourer and confusyon
    Of gentil wommen, gentil creatures!”

  260. When the women of Lemnos put to death all the male inhabitants of the island, Hypsipyle concealed her father Thoas, and spared his life. Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautics, II, Fawkes’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Hypsipyle alone, illustrious maid,
    Spared her sire Thoas, who the sceptre swayed.”

  261. “Allessio Interminelli,” says Benvenuto da Imola, “a soldier, a nobleman, and of gentle manners, was of Lucca, and from him descended that tyrant Castruccio who filled all Tuscany with fear, and was lord of Pisa, Lucca, and Pistoja, of whom Dante makes no mention, because he became illustrious after the author’s death. Alessio took such delight in flattery, that he could not open his mouth without flattering. He besmeared everybody, even the lowest menials.”

    The Ottimo says, that in the dialect of Lucca the head “was facetiously called a pumpkin.”

  262. Thaïs, the famous courtesan of Athens. Terence, The Eunuch, Act III Sc. 1:⁠—

    Thraso Did Thaïs really return me many thanks?
    Gnatho Exceeding thanks.
    Thraso Was she delighted, say you?
    Gnatho Not so much, indeed, at the present itself, as because it was given by you; really, in right earnest, she does exult at that.

  263. “The filthiness of some passages,” exclaims Landor, Pentameron, p. 15, “would disgrace the drunkenest horse-dealer; and the names of such criminals are recorded by the poet, as would be forgotten by the hangman in six months.”

  264. The Third Bolgia is devoted to the Simoniacs, so called from Simon Magus, the Sorcerer mentioned in Acts 8:9, 18. See note 2050.

    Brunetto Latini touches lightly upon them in the Tesoretto, XXI 259, on the account of their high ecclesiastical dignity. His pupil is less reverential in the particular.

    “Altri per simonia
    Si getta in mala via,
    E Dio e’ Santi offende
    E vende le prebende,
    E Sante Sagramente,
    E mette ’nfra la gente
    Assempri di mal fare.
    Ma questo lascio stare,
    Chè tocca a ta’ persone,
    Che non è mia ragione
    Di dirne lungamente.”

    Chaucer, “Persones Tale,” speaks thus of Simony:⁠—

    “Certes simonie is cleped of Simon Magus, that wold have bought for temporel catel the yefte that God had yeven by the holy gost to Seint Peter, and to the Apostles: and therfore understond ye, that both he that selleth and he that byeth thinges spirituel ben called Simoniackes, be it by catel, be it by procuring, or by fleshly praier of his frendes, fleshly frendes, or spirituel frendes, fleshly in two maners, as by kinrede or other frendes: sothly, if they pray for him that is not worthy and able, it is simonie, if he take the benefice: and if he be worthy and able, ther is non.”

  265. Gower, Confessio Amantis I:⁠—

    “A trompe with a sterne breth,
    Which was cleped the trompe of deth.

    He shall this dredfull trompe blowe
    To-fore his gate and make it knowe,
    How that the jugement is yive
    Of deth, which shall nought be foryive.”

  266. Lami, in his Deliciae Eruditorum, makes a strange blunder in reference to this passage. He says:⁠—

    “Not long ago the baptismal font, which stood in the middle of Saint John’s at Florence, was removed; and in the pavement may still be seen the octagonal shape of its ample outline. Dante says, that, when a boy, he fell into it and was near drowning; or rather he fell into one of the circular basins of water, which surrounded the principal font.”

    Upon this Arrivabeni, Comento Storico, p. 588, where I find this extract, remarks:⁠—

    “Not Dante, but Lami, staring at the moon, fell into the hole.”

  267. Dante’s enemies had accused him of committing this act through impiety. He takes this occasion to vindicate himself.

  268. Probably an allusion to the red stockings worn by the Popes.

  269. Burying alive with the head downward and the feet in the air was the inhuman punishment of hired assassins, “according to justice and the municipal law in Florence,” says the Ottimo. It was called Propagginare, to plant in the manner of vine-stocks.

    Dante stood bowed down like the confessor called back by the criminal in order to delay the moment of his death.

  270. Benedetto Gaetani, Pope Boniface VIII Gower, Confessio Amantis II, calls him

    “Thou Boneface, thou proude clerke,
    Misleder of the papacie.”

    This is the Boniface who frightened Celestine from the papacy, and persecuted him to death after his resignation. “The lovely Lady” is the Church. The fraud was his collusion with Charles II of Naples. “He went to King Charles by night, secretly, and with few attendants,” says Villani, VIII ch. 6, “and said to him: ‘King, thy Pope Celestine had the will and the power to serve thee in thy Sicilian wars, but did not know how: but if thou wilt contrive with thy friends the cardinals to have me elected Pope, I shall know how, and shall have the will and the power’; promising upon his faith and oath to aid him with all the power of the Church.” Farther on he continues: “He was very magnanimous and lordly, and demanded great honor, and knew well how to maintain and advance the cause of the Church, and on account of his knowledge and power was much dreaded and feared. He was avaricious exceedingly in order to aggrandize the Church and his relations, not being over-scrupulous about gains, for he said that all things were lawful which were of the Church.”

    He was chosen Pope in 1294. “The inauguration of Boniface,” says Milman, History of Latin Christianity, Book IX, ch. 7, “was the most magnificent which Rome had ever beheld. In his procession to St. Peter’s and back to the Lateran palace, where he was entertained, he rode not a humble ass, but a noble white horse, richly caparisoned: he had a crown on his head; the King of Naples held the bridle on one side, his son, the King of Hungary, on the other. The nobility of Rome, the Orsinis, the Colonnas, the Savellis, the Stefaneschi, the Annibaldi, who had not only welcomed him to Rome, but conferred on him the Senatorial dignity, followed in a body: the procession could hardly force its way through the masses of the kneeling people. In the midst, a furious hurricane burst over the city, and extinguished every lamp and torch in the church. A darker omen followed: a riot broke out among the populace, in which forty lives were lost. The day after, the Pope dined in public in the Lateran; the two Kings waited behind his chair.”

    Dante indulges towards him a fierce Ghibelline hatred, and assigns him his place of torment before he is dead. In Canto XXVII 85, he calls him “the Prince of the new Pharisees”; and, after many other bitter allusions in various parts of the poem, puts into the mouth of St. Peter, Paradiso XXVII 22, the terrible invective that makes the whole heavens red with anger.

    “He who usurps upon the earth my place,
    My place, my place, which vacant has become
    Now in the presence of the Son of God,
    Has of my cemetery made a sewer
    Of blood and fetor, whereat the Perverse,
    Who fell from here, below there is appeased.”

    He died in 1303. See note 925.

  271. Nicholas III, of the Orsini (the Bears) of Rome, chosen Pope in 1277. “He was the first Pope, or one of the first,” says Villani, VII ch. 54, “in whose court simony was openly practised.” On account of his many accomplishments he was surnamed Il Compiuto. Milman, History of Latin Christianity, Book XI ch. 4, says of him:⁠—

    “At length the election fell on John Gaetano, of the noble Roman house, the Orsini, a man of remarkable beauty of person and demeanor. His name, ‘the Accomplished,’ implied that in him met all the graces of the handsomest clerks in the world, but he was a man likewise of irreproachable morals, of vast ambition, and of great ability.”

    He died in 1280.

  272. The French Pope Clement V, elected in 1305, by the influence of Philip the Fair of France, with sundry humiliating conditions. He transferred the Papal See from Rome to Avignon, where it remained for seventy-one years in what Italian writers call its “Babylonian captivity.” He died in 1314, on his way to Bordeaux. “He had hardly crossed the Rhone,” says Milman, History of Latin Christianity, Book XII ch. 5, “when he was seized with mortal sickness at Roquemaure. The Papal treasure was seized by his followers, especially his nephew; his remains were treated with such utter neglect, that the torches set fire to the catafalque under which he lay, not in state. His body, covered only with a single sheet, all that his rapacious retinue had left to shroud their forgotten master, was half burned⁠ ⁠… before alarm was raised. His ashes were borne back to Carpentras and solemnly interred.”

  273. Jason, to whom Antiochus Epiphanes granted a “license to set him up a place for exercise, and for the training up of youth in the fashions of the heathen.”

    2 Maccabees 4:13:⁠—

    “Now such was the height of Greek fashions, and increase of the heathenish manners, through the exceeding profaneness of Jason, that ungodly wretch and not high priest, that the priests had no courage to serve any more at the altar, but, despising the temple, and neglecting the sacrifices, hastened to be partakers of the unlawful allowance in the place of exercise, after the game of Discus called them forth.”

  274. Philip the Fair of France. See note 272. “He was one of the handsomest men in the world,” says Villani, IX 66, “and one of the largest in person, and well proportioned in every limb⁠—a wise and good man for a layman.”

  275. Matthew, chosen as an Apostle in the place of Judas.

  276. According to Villani, VII 54, Pope Nicholas III wished to marry his niece to a nephew of Charles of Anjou, King of Sicily. To this alliance the King would not consent, saying: “Although he wears the red stockings, his lineage is not worthy to mingle with ours, and his power is not hereditary.” This made the Pope indignant, and, together with the bribes of John of Procida, led him to encourage the rebellion in Sicily, which broke out a year after the Pope’s death in the “Sicilian Vespers,” 1282.

  277. The Church of Rome under Nicholas, Boniface, and Clement. Revelation 17:1⁠–⁠3:⁠—

    “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me. Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters; with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”

    The seven heads are interpreted to mean the Seven Virtues, and the ten horns the Ten Commandments.

  278. Revelation 17:12, 13:⁠—

    “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings,⁠ ⁠… and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

  279. Gower, Confessio Amantis, Prologus:⁠—

    “The patrimonie and the richesse
    Which to Silvester in pure almesse
    The firste Constantinus lefte.”

    Upon this supposed donation of immense domains by Constantine to the Pope, called the “Patrimony of St. Peter,” Milman, History of Latin Christianity, Book I ch. 2, remarks:⁠—

    “Silvester has become a kind of hero of religious fable. But it was not so much the genuine mythical spirit which unconsciously transmutes history into legend; it was rather deliberate invention, with a specific aim and design, which, in direct defiance of history, accelerated the baptism of Constantine, and sanctified a porphyry vessel as appropriated to, or connected with, that holy use: and at a later period produced the monstrous fable of the Donation.

    “But that with which Constantine actually did invest the Church, the right of holding landed property, and receiving it by bequest, was far more valuable to the Christian hierarchy, and not least to the Bishop of Rome, than a premature and prodigal endowment.”

  280. In the Fourth Bolgia are punished the Soothsayers:⁠—

    “Because they wished to see too far before them,
    Backward they look, and backward make their way.”

  281. Processions chanting prayers and supplications.

  282. Ignaro in Spenser’s Faerie Queene, I viii 31:⁠—

    “But very uncouth sight was to behold
    How he did fashion his untoward pace;
    For as he forward moved his footing old,
    So backward still was turned his wrinkled face.”

  283. Amphiaraus was one of the seven kings against Thebes. Foreseeing his own fate, he concealed himself, to avoid going to the war; but his wife Eriphyle, bribed by a diamond necklace (as famous in ancient story as the Cardinal de Rohan’s in modern), revealed his hiding-place, and he went to his doom with the others.

    Aeschylus, The Seven Against Thebes:⁠—

    “I will tell of the sixth, a man most prudent and in valor the best, the seer, the mighty Amphiaraus.⁠ ⁠… And through his mouth he gives utterance to this speech⁠ ⁠… ‘I, for my part, in very truth shall fatten this soil, seer as I am, buried beneath a hostile earth.’ ”

    Statius, Thebaid, VIII 47, Lewis’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Bought of my treacherous wife for cursed gold,
    And in the list of Argive chiefs enrolled,
    Resigned to fate I sought the Theban plain;
    Whence flock the shades that scarce thy realm contain;
    When, how my soul yet dreads! an earthquake came,
    Big with destruction, and my trembling frame,
    Rapt from the midst of gaping thousands, hurled
    To night eternal in thy nether world.”

  284. The Theban soothsayer. Ovid, Metamorphoses, III, Addison’s Tr.:⁠—

    “It happen’d once, within a shady wood,
    Two twisted snakes he in conjunction view’d,
    When with his staff their slimy folds he broke,
    And lost his manhood at the fatal stroke.
    But, after seven revolving years, he view’d
    The self-same serpents in the self-same wood:
    ‘And if,’ says he, ‘such virtue in you lie,
    That he who dares your slimy folds untie
    Must change his kind, a second stroke I’ll try.’
    Again he struck the snakes, and stood again
    New-sex’d, and straight recovered into man.

    When Juno fired,
    More than so trivial an affair required,
    Deprived him, in her fury, of his sight,
    And left him groping round in sudden night.
    But Jove (for so it is in heav’n decreed
    That no one god repeal another’s deed)
    Irradiates all his soul with inward light,
    And with the prophet’s art relieves the want of sight.”

  285. His beard. The word “plumes” is used by old English writers in this sense. Ford, Lady’s Trial:⁠—

    “Now the down
    Of softness is exchanged for plumes of age.”

    See also Purgatorio I 42.

  286. An Etrurian soothsayer. Lucan, Pharsalia, I, Rowe’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Of these the chief, for learning famed and age,
    Aruns by name, a venerable sage,
    At Luna lived.”

    Ruskin, Modern Painters, III p. 246, says:⁠—

    “But in no part of the poem do we find allusion to mountains in any other than a stern light; nor the slightest evidence that Dante cared to look at them. From that hill of San Miniato, whose steps he knew so well, the eye commands, at the farther extremity of the Val d’ Arno, the whole purple range of the mountains of Carrara, peaked and mighty, seen always against the sunset light in silent outline, the chief forms that rule the scene as twilight fades away. By this vision Dante seems to have been wholly unmoved, and, but for Lucan’s mention of Aruns at Luna, would seemingly not have spoken of the Carrara hills in the whole course of his poem: when he does allude to them, he speaks of their white marble, and their command of stars and sea, but has evidently no regard for the hills themselves. There is not a single phrase or syllable throughout the poem which indicates such a regard. Ugolino, in his dream, seemed to himself to be in the mountains, ‘by cause of which the Pisan cannot see Lucca’; and it is impossible to look up from Pisa to that hoary slope without remembering the awe that there is in the passage; nevertheless it was as a hunting-ground only that he remembered these hills. Adam of Brescia, tormented with eternal thirst, remembers the hills of Romena, but only for the sake of their sweet waters.”

  287. Manto, daughter of Tiresias, who fled from Thebes, the “City of Bacchus,” when it became subject to the tyranny of Cleon.

  288. Lake Benacus is now called the Lago di Garda. It is pleasantly alluded to by Claudian in his “Old Man of Verona,” who has seen “the grove grow old coeval with himself.”

    “Verona seems
    To him remoter than the swarthy Ind;
    He deems the Lake Benacus as the shore
    Of the Red Sea.”

  289. The Pennine Alps, or Alpes Pœnæ, watered by the brooklets flowing into the Sarca, which is the principal tributary of Benaco.

  290. The place where the three dioceses of Trent, Brescia, and Verona meet.

  291. At the outlet of the lake.

  292. Aeneid, X:⁠—

    “Mincius crowned with sea-green reeds.”

    Milton, “Lycidas”:⁠—

    “Smooth-sliding Mincius, crowned with vocal reeds.”

  293. Manto. Benvenuto da Imola says:⁠—

    “Virgin should here be rendered Virago.”

  294. Aeneid, X:⁠—

    “Ocnus,⁠ ⁠… son of the prophetic Manto, and of the Tuscan river, who gave walls and the name of his mother to thee, O Mantua!”

  295. Pinamonte dei Buonacossi, a bold, ambitious man, persuaded Alberto, Count of Casalodi and Lord of Mantua, to banish to their estates the chief nobles of the city, and then, stirring up a popular tumult, fell upon the rest, laying waste their houses, and sending them into exile or to prison, and thus greatly depopulating the city.

  296. Iliad, I 69:⁠—

    “And Calchas, the son of Thestor, arose, the best of augurs, a man who knew the present, the future, and the past, and who had guided the ships of the Achsans to Ilium, by that power of prophecy which Phoebus Apollo gave him.”

  297. Aeneid, II 114:⁠—

    “In suspense we send Eurypylus to consult the oracle of Apollo, and he brings back from the shrine these mournful words: ‘O Greeks, ye appeased the winds with blood and a virgin slain, when first yc came to the Trojan shores; your return is to be sought by blood, and atonement made by a Grecian life.’ ”

    Dante calls Virgil’s poem a Tragedy, to mark its sustained and lofty style, in contrast with that of his own Comedy, of which he has already spoken once. Canto XVI 138, and speaks again. Canto XXI 2; as if he wished the reader to bear in mind that he is wearing the sock, and not the buskin.

  298. “Michael Scott, the Magician,” says Benvenuto da Imola, “practised divination at the court of Frederick II, and dedicated to him a book on natural history, which I have seen, and in which among other things he treats of Astrology, then deemed infallible.⁠ ⁠… It is said, moreover, that he foresaw his own death, but could not escape it. He had prognosticated that he should be killed by the falling of a small stone upon his head, and always wore an iron skullcap under his hood, to prevent this disaster. But entering a church on the festival of Corpus Domini, he lowered his hood in sign of veneration, not of Christ, in whom he did not believe, but to deceive the common people, and a small stone fell from aloft on his bare head.”

    The reader will recall the midnight scene of the monk of St. Mary’s and William of Deloraine in Scott’s “Lay of the Last Minstrel,” Canto II:⁠—

    “In these far climes it was my lot
    To meet the wondrous Michael Scott;
    A wizard of such dreaded fame
    That when, in Salamanca’s cave,
    Him listed his magic wand to wave,
    The bells would ring in Notre Dame!
    Some of his skill he taught to me;
    And, warrior, I could say to thee
    The words that cleft Eildon hills in three,
    And bridled the Tweed with a curb of stone;
    But to speak them were a deadly sin;
    And for having but thought them my heart within,
    A treble penance must be done.”

    And the opening of the tomb to recover the Magic Book:⁠—

    “Before their eyes the wizard lay,
    As if he had not been dead a day.
    His hoary beard in silver rolled,
    He seemed some seventy winters old;
    A palmer’s amice wrapped him round.
    With a wrought Spanish baldric bound.
    Like a pilgrim from beyond the sea;
    His left hand held his book of might;
    A silver cross was in his right;
    The lamp was placed beside his knee:
    High and majestic was his look.
    At which the fellest fiends had shook,
    And all unruffled was his face:⁠—
    They trusted his soul had gotten grace.”

  299. Guido Bonatti, a tiler and astrologer of Fori, who accompanied Guido di Montefeltro when he marched out of Forli to attack the French “under the great oak.” Villani, VII, 81, in a passage in which the he and him get a little entangled, says:⁠—

    “It is said that the Count of Montefeltro was guided by divination and the advice of Guido Bonatti (a tiler who had become an astrologer), or some other strategy, and he gave the orders; and in this enterprise he gave him the gonfalon and said, ‘So long as a rag of it remains, wherever thou bearest it, thou shalt be victorious’; but I rather think his victories were owing to his own wits and his mastery in war.”

    Benvenuto da Imola reports the following anecdote of the same personages.

    “As the Count was standing one day in the large and beautiful square of Forli, there came a rustic mountaineer and gave him a basket of pears. And when the Count said, ‘Stay and sup with me,’ the rustic answered, ‘My Lord, I wish to go home before it rains; for infallibly there will be much rain today.’ The Count, wondering at him, sent for Guido Bonatti, as a great astrologer, and said to him, ‘Dost thou hear what this man says?’ Guido answered, ‘He does not know what he is saying; but wait a little.’ Guido went to his study, and, having taken his astrolabe, observed the aspect of the heavens. And on returning he said that it was impossible it should rain that day. But the rustic obstinately affirming what he had said, Guido asked him, ‘How dost thou know?’ The rustic answered, ‘Because today my ass, in coming out of the stable, shook his head and pricked up his ears, and whenever he does this, it is a certain sign that the weather will soon change.’ Then Guido replied, ‘Supposing this to be so, how dost thou know there will be much rain?’ ‘Because,’ said he, ‘my ass, with his ears pricked up, turned his head aside, and wheeled about more than usual.’ Then, with the Count’s leave, the rustic departed in haste, much fearing the rain, though the weather was very clear. And an hour afterwards, lo, it began to thunder, and there was a great down-pouring of waters, like a deluge. Then Guido began to cry out, with great indignation and derision, ‘Who has deluded me? Who has put me to shame?’ And for a long time this was a great source of merriment among the people.”

    Asdente, a cobbler of Parma. “I think he must have had acuteness of mind, although illiterate; some having the gift of prophecy by the inspiration of Heaven.” Dante mentions him in the Convito, IV 16, where he says that, if nobility consisted in being known and talked about, “Asdente the shoemaker of Parma would be more noble than any of his fellow-citizens.”

  300. The moon setting in the sea west of Seville. In the Italian popular tradition to which Dante again alludes. Paradiso II 51, the Man in the Moon is Cain with his Thorns. This belief seems to have been current too in England, Midsummer Night’s Dream, III 1:⁠—

    “Or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lantern, and say he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of moonshine.”

    And again, V, 1:⁠—

    “The man should be put into the lantern. How is it else the man i’ the moon?⁠ ⁠… All that I have to say is to tell you, that the lantern is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.”

    The time here indicated is an hour after sunrise on Saturday morning.

  301. The Fifth Bolgia, and the punishment of Barrators, or “Judges who take bribes for giving judgment.”

  302. Having spoken in the preceding Canto of Virgil’s “lofty Tragedy,” Dante here speaks of his own Comedy, as if to prepare the reader for the scenes which are to follow, and for which he apologizes in Canto XXII 14, by repeating the proverb,

    “In the church
    With saints, and in the tavern with carousers.”

  303. Of the Arsenal of Venice Mr. Hillard thus speaks in his Six Months in Italy, I 63:⁠—

    “No reader of Dante will fail to pay a visit to the Arsenal, from which, in order to illustrate the terrors of his ‘Inferno,’ the great poet drew one of these striking and picturesque images, characteristic alike of the boldness and the power of his genius, which never hesitated to look for its materials among the homely details and familiar incidents of life. In his hands, the boiling of pitch and the calking of seams ascend to the dignity of poetry. Besides, it is the most impressive and characteristic spot in Venice. The Ducal Palace and the Church of St. Mark’s are symbols of pride and power, but the strength of Venice resided here. Her whole history, for six hundred years, was here epitomized, and as she rose and sunk, the hum of labor here swelled and subsided. Here was the indexhand which marked the culmination and decline of her greatness. Built upon several small islands, which are united by a wall of two miles in circuit, its extent and completeness, decayed as it is, show what the naval power of Venice once was, as the disused armor of a giant enables us to measure his stature and strength. Near the entrance are four marble lions, brought by Morosini from the Peloponnesus in 1685, two of which are striking works of art. Of these two, one is by far the oldest thing in Venice, being not much younger than the battle of Marathon; and thus, from the height of twenty-three centuries, entitled to look down upon St. Mark’s as the growth of yesterday. The other two are nondescript animals, of the class commonly called heraldic, and can be styled lions only by courtesy. In the armory are some very interesting objects, and none more so than the great standard of the Turkish admiral, made of crimson silk, taken at the battle of Lepanto, and which Cervantes may have grasped with his unwounded hand. A few fragments of some of the very galleys that were engaged in that memorable fight are also preserved here.”

  304. Malebranche, Evil-claws, a general name for the devils.

  305. Santa Zita, the Patron Saint of Lucca, where the magistrates were called Elders, or Aldermen. In Florence they bore the name of Priors.

  306. A Barrator, in Dante’s use of the word, is to the State what a Simoniac is to the Church; one who sells justice, office, or employment.

    Benvenuto says that Dante includes Bontura with the rest, “because he is speaking ironjcally, as who should say, ‘Bontura is the greatest barrator of all.’ For Bontura was an arch-barrator, who sagaciously led and managed the whole commune, and gave offices to whom he wished. He likewise excluded whom he wished.”

  307. Bent down in the attitude of one in prayer; therefore the demons mock him with the allusion to the Santo Volto.

  308. The Santo Volto, or Holy Face, is a crucifix still preserved in the Cathedral of Lucca, and held in great veneration by the people. The tradition is that it is the work of Nicodemus, who sculptured it from memory.

    See also Sacchetti, Nov. 73, in which a preacher mocks at the Santo Volto in the church of Santa Croce at Florence.

  309. The Serchio flows near Lucca. Shelley, in a poem called “The Boat, on the Serchio,” describes it as a “torrent fierce,”

    “Which fervid from its mountain source,
    Shallow, smooth, and strong, doth come;
    Swift as fire, tempestuously
    It sweeps into the affrighted sea.
    In morning’s smile its eddies coil,
    Its billows sparkle, toss, and boil,
    Torturing all its quiet light
    Into columns fierce and bright.”

  310. Canto IX 22:⁠—

    “True is it once before I here below
    Was conjured by that pitiless Erictho,
    Who summoned back the shades unto their bodies.”

  311. A fortified town on the Arno, in the Pisan territory. It was besieged by the troops of Florence and Lucca in 1289, and capitulated. As the garrison marched out under safeguard, they were terrified by the shouts of the crowd, crying: “Hang them! hang them!” In this crowd was Dante, “a youth of twenty-five,” says Benvenuto da Imola.

  312. Along the circular dike that separates one Bolgia from another.

  313. This is a falsehood, as all the bridges over the next Bolgia are broken. See Canto XXIII 140.

  314. At the close of the preceding Canto the time is indicated as being an hour after sunrise. Five hours later would be noon, or the scriptural sixth hour, the hour of the Crucifixion. Dante understands St. Luke to say that Christ died at this hour. Convito, IV 23:⁠—

    “Luke says that it was about the sixth hour when he died; that is, the culmination of the day.”

    Add to the “one thousand and two hundred sixtysix years,” the thirty-four of Christ’s life on earth, and it gives the vear 1300, the date of the Infernal Pilgrimage.

  315. Broken by the earthquake at the time of the Crucifixion, as the rock leading to the Circle of the Violent, Canto XII 45:⁠—

    “And at that moment this primeval rock
    Both here and elsewhere made such overthrow.”

    As in the next Bolgia Hypocrites are punished, Dante couples them with the Violent, by making the shock of the earthquake more felt near them than elsewhere.

  316. The next crag or bridge, traversing the dikes and ditches.

  317. See Canto XVII 75.

  318. The subject of the preceding Canto is continued in this.

  319. Aretino, Vita di Dante, says, that Dante in his youth was present at the “great and memorable battle, which befell at Campaldino, fighting valiantly on horseback in the front rank.” It was there he saw the vaunt-couriers of the Aretines, who began the battle with such a vigorous charge, that they routed the Florentine cavalry, and drove them back upon the infantry.

  320. Napier, Florentine History, I 214⁠–⁠217, gives this description of the Carroccio and the Martinella of the Florentines:⁠—

    “In order to give more dignity to the national army and form a rallying point for the troops, there had been established a great car, called the Carroccio, drawn by two beautiful oxen, which, carrying the Florentine standard, generally accompanied them into the field. This car was painted vermilion, the bullocks were covered with scarlet cloth, and the driver, a man or some consequence, was dressed in crimson, was exempt from taxation, and served without pay; these oxen were maintained at the public charge in a public hospital, and the white and red banner of the city was spread above the car between two lofty spars. Those taken at the battle of Monteaperto are still exhibited in Siena Cathedral as trophies of that fatal day.

    “Macchiavelli erroneously places the adoption of the Carroccio by the Florentines at this epoch, but it was long before in use, and probably was copied from the Milanese, as soon as Florence became strong and independent enough to equip a national army. Eribert, Archbishop of Milan, seems to have been its author, for in the war between Conrad I and that city, besides other arrangements for military, organization, he is said to have finished by the invention of the Carroccio: it was a pious and not impolitic imitation of the ark as it was carried before the Israelites. This vehicle is described, and also represented in ancient paintings, as a four-wheeled oblong car, drawn by two, four, or six bullocks: the car was always red, and the bullocks, even to their hoofs, covered as above described, but with red or white according to the faction; the ensign staff was red, lofty, and tapering, and surmounted by a cross or golden ball: on this, between two white fringed veils, hung the national standard, and halfway down the mast, a crucifix. A platform ran out in front of the car, spacious enough for a few chosen men to defend it, while behind, on a corresponding space, the musicians with their military instruments gave spirit to the combat: mass was said on the Carroccio ere it quitted the city, the surgeons were stationed near it, and not unfrequently a chaplain also attended it to the field. The loss of the Carroccio was a great disgrace, and betokened utter discomfiture; it was given to the most distinguished knight, who had a public salary and wore conspicuous armor and a golden belt: the best troops were stationed round it, and there was frequently the hottest of the fight.⁠ ⁠…

    “Besides the Carroccio, the Florentine army was accompanied by a great bell, called Martinella, or Campana degli Asini, which, for thirty days before hostilities began, tolled continually day and night from the arch of Porta Santa Maria, as a public declaration of war, and, as the ancient chronicle hath it, ‘for greatness of mind, that the enemy might have full time to prepare himself.’ At the same time also, the Carroccio was drawn from its place in the offices of San Giovanni by the most distinguished knights and noble vassals of the republic, and conducted in state to the Mercato Nuovo, where it was placed upon the circular stone still existing, and remained there until the army took the field. Then also the Martinella was removed from its station to a wooden tower placed on another car, and with the Carroccio served to guide the troops by night and day. ‘And with these two pomps, of the Carroccio and Campana,’ says Malespini, ‘the pride of the old citizens, our ancestors, was ruled.’ ”

  321. Equivalent to the proverb, “Do in Rome as the Romans do.”

  322. Giampolo, or Ciampolo, say all the commentators; but nothing more is known of him than his name, and what he tells us here of his history.

  323. It is not very clear which King Thibault is here meant, but it is probably King Thibault IV, the crusader and poet, born 1201, died 1253. His poems have been published by Lévêque de la Ravallière, under the title of “Les Poésies du Roi de Navarre”; and in one of his songs (Chanson 53) he makes a clerk address him as the Bons Rois Thiebaut. Dante cites him two or three times in his Volgari Eloquio, and may have taken this expression from his song, as he does afterwards. Canto XXVIII 135, lo Re joves, the Re Giovarje, or Young King, from the songs of Bertrand de Born.

  324. A Latian, that is to say, an Italian.

  325. This Frate Gomita was a Sardinian in the employ of Nino de’ Visconti, judge in the jurisdiction of Gallura, the “gentle Judge Nino” of Purgatorio VIII 53. The frauds and peculations of the Friar brought him finally to the gallows. Gallura is the northeastern jurisdiction of the island.

  326. Don Michael Zanche was Seneschal of King Enzo of Sardinia, a natural son of the Emperor Frederick II. Dante gives him the title of Don, still used in Sardinia for Signore. After the death of Enzo in prison at Bologna, in 1271, Don Michael won by fraud and flattery his widow Adelasia, and became himself Lord of Logodoro, the northwestern jurisdiction, adjoining that of Gallura.

    The gossip between the Friar and the Seneschal, which is here described by Ciampolo, recalls the Vision of the Sardinian poet Araolla, a dialogue between himself and Gavino Sambigucci, written in the soft dialect of Logodoro, a mixture of Italian, Spanish, and Latin, and beginning:⁠—

    “Dulche, amara memoria de giornadas
    Fuggitivas cun doppia pena mia,
    Qui quanto pìus l’istringo sunt passadas.”

    See Valery, Voyages en Corse et en Sardaigne, II 410.

  327. In this Sixth Bolgia the Hypocrites are punished.

    “A painted people there below we found,
    Who went about with footsteps very slow,
    Weeping and in their looks subdued and weary.”

    Chaucer, “Knightes Tale,” 2780:⁠—

    “In his colde grave
    Alone, withouten any compagnie.”

    And Gower, Confessio Amantis:⁠—

    “To muse in his philosophie
    Sole withouten compaignie.”

  328. The Fables of Aesop, by Sir Roger L’Estrange, IV:⁠—

    “There fell out a bloody quarrel once betwixt the Frogs and the Mice, about the sovereignty of the Fenns; and whilst two of their champions were disputing it at swords point, down comes a kite powdering upon them in the interim, and gobbles up both together, to part the fray.”

  329. Both words signifying “now”; mo, from the Latin modo; and issa, from the Latin ipsa; meaning ipsa hora. “The Tuscans say mo,” remarks Benvenuto, “the Lombards issa.”

  330. “When he is in a fright and hurry, and has a very steep place to go down, Virgil has to carry him altogether,” says Mr. Ruskin. See note 160.

  331. Benvenuto speaks of the cloaks of the German monks as “ill-fitting and shapeless.”

  332. The leaden cloaks which Frederick put upon malefactors were straw in comparison. The Emperor Frederick II is said to have punished traitors by wrapping them in lead, and throwing them into a heated cauldron. I can find no historic authority for this. It rests only on tradition; and on the same authority the same punishment is said to have been inflicted in Scotland, and is thus described in the ballad of “Lord Soulis,” Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, IV 256:⁠—

    “On a circle of stones they placed the pot,
    On a circle of stones but barely nine;
    They heated it red and fiery hot,
    Till the burnished brass did glimmer and shine.

    “They roll’d him up in a sheet of lead,
    A sheet of lead for a funeral pall,
    And plunged him into the cauldron red,
    And melted him⁠—lead, and bones, and all.”

    We get also a glimpse of this punishment in Ducange, Glos. Capa Plumbea, where he cites the case in which one man tells another:⁠—

    “If our Holy Father the Pope knew the life you are leading, he would have you put to death in a cloak of lead.”

  333. Comedy of Errors, IV 2:⁠—

    “A devil in an everlasting garment hath him.”

  334. Bologna was renowned for its University; and the speaker, who was a Bolognese, is still mindful of his college.

  335. Florence, the bellissima e famosissima figlia di Roma, as Dante calls it, Convito, I 3.

  336. An order of knighthood, established by Pope Urban IV in 1261, under the title of “Knights of Santa Maria.” The name Frati Gaudenti, or “Jovial Friars,” was a nickname, because they lived in their own homes and were not bound by strict monastic rules. Napier, Florentine History I 269, says:⁠—

    “A short time before this a new order of religious knighthood under the name of Frati Gaudenti began in Italy: it was not bound by vows of celibacy, or any very severe regulations, but took the usual oaths to defend widows and orphans and make peace between man and man: the founder was a Bolognese gentleman, called Loderingo di Liandolo, who enjoyed a good reputation, and along with a brother of the same order, named Catalano di Malavolti, one a Guelph and the other a Ghibelline, was now invited to Florence by Count Guido to execute conjointly the office of Podestà. It was intended by thus dividing the supreme authority between two magistrates of different politics, that one should correct the other, and justice be equally administered; more especially as, in conjunction with the people, they were allowed to elect a deliberative council of thirty-six citizens, belonging to the principal trades without distinction of party.”

    Farther on he says that these two Frati Gaudenti “forfeited all public confidence by their peculation and hypocrisy.” And Villani, VII 13: “Although they were of different parties, under cover of a false hypocrisy, they were of accord in seeking rather their own private gains than the common good.”

  337. A street in Florence, laid waste by the Guelfs.

  338. Hamlet, I 2:⁠—

    “Nor windy suspiration of forced breath.”

  339. Caiaphas, the High-Priest, who thought “expediency” the best thing.

  340. Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas.

  341. The great outer circle surrounding this division of the Inferno.

  342. He may have heard in the lectures of the University an exposition of John 8:44:⁠—

    “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do: he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speakcth a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

  343. The Seventh Bolgia, in which Thieves are punished.

  344. The sun enters Aquarius during the last half of January, when the Equinox is near, and the hoarfrost in the morning looks like snow on the fields, but soon evaporates. If Dante had been a monk of Monte Casino, illuminating a manuscript, he could not have made a more clerkly and scholastic flourish with his pen than this, nor have painted a more beautiful picture than that which follows. The medieval poets are full of lovely descriptions of Spring, which seems to blossom and sing through all their verses; but none is more beautiful or suggestive than this, though serving only as an illustration.

  345. In Canto I.

  346. See what Mr. Ruskin says of Dante as “a notably bad climber,” note 160.

  347. The ascent of the Mount of Purgatory.

  348. The next circular dike, dividing the fosses.

  349. This list of serpents is from Lucan, Pharsalia IX 711, Rowe’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Slimy Chelyders the parched earth distain
    And trace a reeking furrow on the plain.
    The spotted Cenchris, rich in various dyes,
    Shoots in a line, and forth directly flies.

    The Swimmer there the crystal stream pollutes,
    And swift thro’ air the flying Javelin shoots.

    The Amphisbaena doubly armed appears
    At either end a threatening head she rears;
    Raised on his active tail Pareas stands,
    And as he passes, furrows up the sands.”

    Milton, Paradise Lost, X 521:⁠—

    “Dreadful was the din
    Of hissing through the hall, thick-swarming now
    With complicated monsters head and tail,
    Scorpion, and asp, and amphisbaena dire,
    Cerastes horned, hydrus, and elops drear, And dipsas.”

    Of the Phareas, Peter Comestor, Historia Scholastica, Gloss of Genesis 3:1, says:⁠—

    “And this he (Lucifer) did by means of the serpent; for then it was erect like man; being afterwards made prostrate by the curse; and it is said the Phareas walks erect even to this day.”

    Of the amphisbaena, Brunetto Latini, Tresor I v 140, says:⁠—

    “The Amphimenie is a kind of serpent which has two heads; one in its right place, and the other in the tail; and with each she can bite; and she runs swiftly, and her eyes shine like candles.”

  350. Without a hiding-place, or the heliotrope, a precious stone of great virtue against poisons, and supposed to render the wearer invisible. Upon this latter vulgar error is founded Boccaccio’s comical story of Calandrino and his friends Bruno and Buffulmacco, Decameron, Gior. VIII, Nov. 3.

  351. Brunetto Latini, Tresor I v 164, says of the Phoenix:⁠—

    “He goeth to a good tree, savory and of good odor, and maketh a pile thereof, to which he setteth fire, and entereth straightway into it toward the rising of the sun.”

    And Milton, Samson Agonistes, 1697:⁠—

    “So Virtue, given for lost,
    Depressed and overthrown, as seemed,
    Like that self-begotten bird
    In the Arabian woods embost,
    That no second knows nor third,
    And lay erewhile a holocaust,
    From out her ashy womb now teemed,
    Revives, reflourishes, then vigorous most
    When most unactive deemed;
    And, though her body die, her fame survives
    A secular bird ages of lives.”

  352. Any obstruction, “such as the epilepsy,” says Benvenuto. “Gouts and dropsies, catarrhs and oppilations,” says Jeremy Taylor.

  353. Vanni Fucci, who calls himself a mule, was a bastard son of Fuccio de’ Lazzari. All the commentators paint him in the darkest colors. Dante had known him as “a man of blood and wrath,” and seems to wonder he is here, and not in the circle of the Violent, or of the Irascible. But his great crime was the robbery of a sacristy. Benvenuto da Imola relates the story in detail. He speaks of him as a man of depraved life, many of whose misdeeds went unpunished, because he was of noble family. Being banished from Pistoia for his crimes, he returned to the city one night of the Carnival, and was in company with eighteen other revellers, among whom was Vanni della Nona, a notary; when, not content with their insipid diversions, he stole away with two companions to the church of San Giacomo, and, finding its custodians absent, or asleep with feasting and drinking, he entered the sacristy and robbed it of all its precious jewels. These he secreted in the house of the notary, which was close at hand, thinking that on account of his honest repute no suspicion would fall upon him. A certain Rampino was arrested for the theft, and put to the torture; when Vanni Fucci, having escaped to Monte Carelli, beyond the Florentine jurisdiction, sent a messenger to Rampino’s father, confessing all the circumstances of the crime. Hereupon the notary was seized “on the first Monday in Lent, as he was going to a sermon in the church of the Minorite Friars,” and was hanged for the theft, and Rampino set at liberty.

    No one has a good word to say for Vanni Fucci, except the Canonico Crescimbeni, who, in the “Comentarj” to the Istoria della Volg. Poesia, II ii, p. 99, counts him among the Italian Poets, and speaks of him as a man of great courage and gallantry, and a leader of the Neri party of Pistoia, in 1300. He smooths over Dante’s invectives by remarking that Dante “makes not too honorable mention of him in the Comedy”; and quotes a sonnet of his, which is pathetic from its utter despair and self-reproach:⁠—

    “For I have lost the good I might have had
    Through little wit, and not of mine own will.”

    It is like the wail of a lost soul, and the same in tone as the words which Dante here puts into his mouth. Dante may have heard him utter similar selfaccusations while living, and seen on his face the blush of shame, which covers it here.

  354. The Neri were banished from Pistoia in 1301; the Bianchi, from Florence in 1302.

  355. This vapor or lightning flash from Val di Magra is the Marquis Malaspini, and the “turbid clouds” are the banished Neri of Pistoia, whom he is to gather about him to defeat the Bianchi at Campo Piceno, the old battlefield of Catiline. As Dante was of the Bianchi party, this prophecy of impending disaster and overthrow could only give him pain. See note 95.

  356. The subject of the preceding Canto is continued in this.

  357. This vulgar gesture of contempt consists in thrusting the thumb between the first and middle fingers. It is the same that the ass-driver made at Dante in the street; Sacchetti, Nov. CXV:⁠—

    “When he was a little way off, he turned round to Dante, and, thrusting out his tongue and making a fig at him with his hand, said, ‘Take that.’ ”

    Villani, VI 5, says:⁠—

    “On the Rock of Carmignano there was a tower seventy yards high, and upon it two marble arms, the hands of which were making the figs at Florence.”

    Others say these hands were on a finger-post by the roadside.

    In the Merry Wives of Windsor, I 3, Pistol says:⁠—

    “Convey, the wise it call; Steal! foh; a fico for the phrase!”

    And Martino, in Beaumont and Fletcher’s Widow, V I:⁠—

    “The fig of everlasting obloquy
    Go with him.”

  358. Pistoia is supposed to have been founded by the soldiers of Catiline. Brunetto Latini, Tresor, I i 37, says:⁠—

    “They found Catiline at the foot of the mountains and he had his army and his people in that place where is now the city of Pestoire. There was Catiline conquered in battle, and he and his were slain; also a great part of the Romans were killed. And on account of the pestilence of that great slaughter the city was called Pestoire.”

    The Italian proverb says, Pistoia la ferrigna, iron Pistoia, or Pistoia the pitiless.

  359. Capaneus, Canto XIV 44.

  360. See note 181.

  361. Cacus was the classic Giant Despair, who had his cave in Mount Aventine, and stole a part of the herd of Geryon, which Hercules had brought to Italy. Virgil, Aeneid, VIII, Dryden’s Tr.:⁠—

    “See yon huge cavern, yawning wide around,
    Where still the shattered mountain spreads the ground:
    That spacious hold grim Cacus once possessed,
    Tremendous fiend! half human, half a beast:
    Deep, deep as hell, the dismal dungeon lay,
    Dark and impervious to the beams of day.
    With copious slaughter smoked the purple floor,
    Pale heads hung horrid on the lofty door,
    Dreadful to view! and dropped with crimson gore.”

  362. Dante makes a Centaur of Cacus, and separates him from the others because he was fraudulent as well as violent. Virgil calls him only a monster, a half-man, Semihominis Caci facies.

  363. Agnello Brunelleschi, Buoso degli Abati, and Puccio Sciancato.

  364. The story of Cacus, which Virgil was telling.

  365. Cianfa Donati, a Florentine nobleman. He appears immediately, as a serpent with six feet, and fastens upon Agnello Brunelleschi.

  366. Some commentators contend that in this line papiro does not mean paper, but a lamp-wick made of papyrus. This destroys the beauty and aptness of the image, and rather degrades

    “The leaf of the reed,
    Which has grown through the clefts in the ruins of ages.”

  367. These four lists, or hands, are the fore feet of the serpent and the arms of Agnello.

  368. Shakespeare, in the “Additional Poems to Chester’s Love’s Martyrs,” Knight’s Shakespeare, VII 193, speaks of “Two distincts, division none”; and continues:⁠—

    “Property was thus appalled
    That the self was not the same,
    Single nature’s double name
    Neither two nor one was called.

    “Reason, in itself confounded,
    Saw division grow together;
    To themselves yet either neither,
    Simple were so well compounded.”

  369. This black serpent is Guercio Cavalcanti, who changes form with Buoso degli Abati.

  370. Lucan, Pharsalia, IX, Rowe’s Tr.:⁠—

    “But soon a fate more sad with new surprise
    From the first object turns their wondering eyes.
    Wretched Sabellus by a Seps was stung:
    Fixed on his leg with deadly teeth it hung.
    Sudden the soldier shook it from the wound,
    Transfixed and nailed it to the barren ground.
    Of all the dire, destructive serpent race,
    None have so much of death, though none are less.
    For straight around the part the skin withdrew,
    The flesh and shrinking sinews backward flew.
    And left the naked bones exposed to view.
    The spreading poisons all the parts confound,
    And the whole body sinks within the wound.

    Small relics of the mouldering mass were left,
    At once of substance as of form bereft;
    Dissolved, the whole in liquid poison ran,
    And to a nauseous puddle shrunk the man.

    So snows dissolved by southern breezes run,
    So melts the wax before the noonday sun.
    Nor ends the wonder here; though flames are known
    To waste the flesh, yet still they spare the bone:
    Here none were left, no least remains were seen,
    No marks to show that once the man had been.

    A fate of different kind Nasidius found⁠—
    A burning Prcster gave the deadly wound,
    And straight a sudden flame began to spread,
    And paint his visage with a glowing red.
    With swift expansion swells the bloated skin⁠—
    Naught but an undistinguished mass is seen,
    While the fair human form lies lost within;
    The puffy poison spreads and heaves around,
    Till all the man is in the monster drowned.
    No more the steely plate his breast can stay,
    But yields, and gives the bursting poison way.
    Not waters so, when fire the rage supplies,
    Bubbling on heaps, in boiling cauldrons rise;
    Nor swells the stretching canvas half so fast,
    When the sails gather all the driving blast,
    Strain the tough yards, and bow the lofty mast.
    The various parts no longer now are known,
    One headless, formless heap remains alone.”

  371. Ovid, Metamorphoses, IV, Eusden’s Tr.:⁠—

    “ ‘Come, my Harmonia, come, thy face recline
    Down to my face: still touch what still is mine.
    O let these hands, while hands, be gently pressed,
    While yet the serpent has not all possessed.’
    More he had spoke, but strove to speak in vain⁠—
    The forky tongue refused to tell his pain,
    And learned in hissings only to complain.
    “Then shrieked Harmonia, ‘Stay, my Cadmus, stay!
    Glide not in such a monstrous shape away!
    Destruction, like impetuous waves, rolls on.
    Where are thy feet, thy legs, thy shoulders, gone?
    Changed is thy visage, changed is all thy frame⁠—
    Cadmus is only Cadmus now in name.
    Ye Gods! my Cadmus to himself restore.
    Or me like him transform⁠—I ask no more.’ ”

    And V, Maynwaring’s Tr.:⁠—

    “The God so near, a chilly sweat possessed
    My fainting limbs, at every pore expressed;
    My strength distilled in drops, my hair in dew,
    My form was changed, and all my substance new:
    Each motion was a stream, and my whole frame
    Turned to a fount, which still preserves my name.”

    See also Shelley’s “Arethusa”:⁠—

    “Arethusa arose
    From her couch of snows
    In the Acroceraunian mountains⁠—
    From cloud and from crag
    With many a jag
    Shepherding her bright fountains.
    She leapt down the rocks,
    With her rainbow locks
    Streaming among the streams;
    Her steps paved with green
    The downward ravine
    Which slopes to the western gleams;
    And gliding and springing,
    She went, ever singing,
    In murmurs as soft as sleep.
    The Earth seemed to love her,
    And Heaven smiled above her,
    As she lingered towards the deep.”

  372. Some editions read la penna, the pen, instead of la lingua, the tongue.

  373. Gaville was a village in the Valdarno, where Guercio Cavalcanti was murdered. The family took vengeance upon the inhabitants in the old Italian style, thus causing Gaville to lament the murder.

  374. The Eighth Bolgia, in which Fraudulent Counsellors are punished.

  375. Of these five Florentine nobles, Cianfa Donati, Agnello Brunelleschi, Buoso degli Abati, Puccio Sciancato, and Guercio Cavalcanti, nothing is known but what Dante tells us. Perhaps that is enough.

  376. See Purgatorio IX 13:⁠—

    “Just at the hour when her sad lay begins
    The little swallow, near unto the morning,
    Perchance in memory of her former woes.
    And when the mind of man, a wanderer
    More from the flesh, and less by thought imprisoned,
    Almost prophetic in its visions is.”

  377. The disasters soon to befall Florence, and in which even the neighboring town of Prato would rejoice, to mention no others. These disasters were the fall of the wooden bridge of Carraia, with a crowd upon it, witnessing a Miracle Play on the Arno; the strife of the Bianchi and Neri; and the great fire of 1304. See Villani, VIII 70, 71. Napier, Florentine History, I 394, gives this account:⁠—

    “Battles first began between the Cerchi and Giugni at their houses in the Via del Garbo; they fought day and night, and with the aid of the Cavalcanti and Antellesi the former subdued all that quarter: a thousand rural adherents strengthened their bands, and that day might have seen the Neri’s destruction if an unforseen disaster had not turned the scale. A certain dissolute priest, called Neri Abati, prior of San Piero Scheraggio, false to his family and in concert with the Black chiefs, consented to set fire to the dwellings of his own kinsmen in Orto-san-Michele; the flames, assisted by faction, spread rapidly over the richest and most crowded part of Florence: shops, warehouses, towers, private dwellings and palaces, from the old to the new marketplace, from Vacchereccia to Porta Santa Maria and the Ponte Vecchio, all was one broad sheet of fire: more than nineteen hundred houses were consumed; plunder and devastation revelled unchecked amongst the flames, whole races were reduced in one moment to beggary, and vast magazines of the richest merchandise were destroyed. The Cavalcanti, one of the most opulent families in Florence, beheld their whole property consumed, and lost all courage; they made no attempt to save it, and, after almost gaining possession of the city, were finally overcome by the opposite faction.”

  378. Macbeth, 1.7:⁠—

    “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
    It were done quickly.”

  379. See Paradiso XII 112:⁠—

    “O glorious stars! O light impregnated
    With mighty virtue, from which I acknowledge
    All of my genius, whatsoe’er it be.”

  380. I may not balk or deprive myself of this good.

  381. The Prophet Elisha, 2 Kings 2:23:⁠—

    “And he went up from thence unto Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him. Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord: and there came forth two she-bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.”

  382. 2 Kings 2:11:⁠—

    “And it came to pass, as they still went on and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”

  383. These two sons of Oedipus, Eteocles and Polynices, were so hostile to each other, that, when after death their bodies were burned on the same funeral pile, the flames swayed apart, and the ashes separated. Statius, Thebaid, XII 430, Lewis’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Again behold the brothers! When the fire
    Pervades their limbs in many a curling spire,
    The vast hill trembles, and the intruder’s corse
    Is driven from the pile with sudden force.
    The flames, dividing at the point, ascend,
    And at each other adverse rays extend.
    Thus when the ruler of the infernal state,
    Pale-visaged Dis, commits to stern debate
    The sister-fiends, their brands, held forth to fight,
    Now clash, then part, and shed a transient light.”

  384. The most cunning of the Greeks at the siege of Troy, now united in their punishment, as before in warlike wrath.

  385. As Troy was overcome by the fraud of the wooden horse, it was in a poetic sense the gateway by which Aeneas went forth to establish the Roman empire in Italy.

  386. Deidamia was a daughter of Lycomedes of Scyros, at whose court Ulysses found Achilles, disguised in woman’s attire, and enticed him away to the siege of Troy, telling him that, according to the oracle, the city could not be taken without him, but not telling him that, according to the same oracle, he would lose his life there.

  387. Ulysses and Diomed together stole the Palladium, or statue of Pallas, at Troy, the safeguard and protection of the city.

  388. The Greeks scorned all other nations as “outside barbarians.” Even Virgil, a Latian, has to plead with Ulysses the merit of having praised him in the Aeneid.

  389. The Pillars of Hercules at the straits of Gibraltar; Abyla on the African shore, and Gibraltar on the Spanish; in which the popular mind has lost its faith, except as symbolized in the columns on the Spanish dollar, with the legend, Plus ultra.

    Brunetto Latini, Tesoretto IX 119:⁠—

    “Appresso questo mare,
    Vidi diritto stare
    Gran colonne, le quali
    Vi mise per segnali
    Ercules il potente,
    Per mostrare alia gente
    Che loco sia finata
    La terra e terminata.”

  390. Odyssey, XI 155:⁠—

    “Well-fitted oars, which are also wings to ships.”

  391. Humboldt, Personal Narrative, II 19, Miss Williams’s Tr., has this passage:⁠—

    “From the time we entered the torrid zone, we were never wearied with admiring, every night, the beauty of the Southern sky, which, as we advanced toward the south, opened new constellations to our view. We feel an indescribable sensation, when, on approaching the equator, and particularly on passing from one hemisphere to the other, we see those stars, which we have contemplated from our infancy, progressively sink, and finally disappear. Nothing atvakens in the traveller a livelier remembrance of the immense distance by which he is separated from his country, than the aspect of an unknown firmament. The grouping of the stars of the first magnitude, some scattered nebula, rivalling in splendor the milky way, and tracks of space remarkable for their extreme blackness, give a particular physiognomy to the Southern sky. This sight fills with admiration even those who, uninstructed in the branches of accurate science, feel the same emotion of delight in the contemplation of the heavenly vault, as in the view of a beautiful landscape, or a majestic site. A traveller has no need of being a botanist, to recognize the torrid zone on the mere aspect of its vegetation; and without having acquired any notions of astronomy, without any acquaintance with the celestial charts of Flamstead and De la Caille, he feels he is not in Europe, when he sees the immense constellation of the Ship, or the phosphorescent clouds of Magellan, arise on the horizon.”

  392. Compare Tennyson’s Ulysses:⁠—

    “There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
    There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
    Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me⁠—
    That ever with a frolic welcome took
    The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
    Free hearts, free foreheads⁠—you and I are old;
    Old age hath yet his honor and his toil;
    Death closes all: but something ere the end,
    Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
    Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
    The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
    The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs; the deep
    Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
    ’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
    Push off, and, sitting well in order, smite
    The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
    To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
    Of all the western stars, until I die.
    It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
    It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
    And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
    Though much is taken, much abides; and though
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts.
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

  393. The subject of the preceding Canto is continued in this.

  394. The story of the Brazen Bull of Perillus is thus told in the Gesta Romanorum, Tale 48, Swan’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Dionysius records, that when Perillus desired to become an artificer of Phalaris, a cruel and tyrannical king who depopulated the kingdom, and was guilty of many dreadful excesses, he presented to him, already too well skilled in cruelty, a brazen bull, which he had just constructed. In one of its sides there was a secret door, by which those who were sentenced should enter and be burnt to death. The idea was, that the sounds produced by the agony of the sufferer confined within should resemble the roaring of a bull; and thus, while nothing human struck the ear, the mind should be unimpressed by a feeling of mercy. The king highly applauded the invention, and said, ‘Friend, the value of thy industry is yet untried: more cruel even than the people account me, thou thyself shalt be the first victim.’ ”

    Also in Gower, Confessio Amantis, VII:⁠—

    “He had of counsell many one,
    Among the whiche there was one,
    By name which Berillus hight.
    And he bethought him how he might
    Unto the tirant do liking.
    And of his own ymagining
    Let forge and make a bulle of bras,
    And on the side cast there was
    A dore, where a man may inne,
    Whan he his peine shall beginne
    Through fire, which that men put under.
    And all this did he for a wonder,
    That whan a man for peine cride,
    The bull of bras, which gapeth wide,
    It shulde seme, as though it were
    A bellewing in a mannes ere
    And nought the crieng of a man.
    But he, which alle sleightes can.
    The devil, that lith in helle fast,
    Him that it cast hath overcast,
    That for a trespas, which he dede,
    He was put in the same stede.
    And was himself the first of alle,
    Which was into that peine falle
    That he for other men ordeigneth.”

  395. Virgil being a Lombard, Dante suggests that, in giving Ulysses and Diomed license to depart, he had used the Lombard dialect, saying, “Issa t’ en va.” See note 329.

  396. The inhabitants of the province of Romagna, of which Ravenna is the capital.

  397. It is the spirit of Guido da Montefeltro that speaks. The city of Montefeltro lies between Urbino and that part of the Apennines in which the Tiber rises. Count Guido was a famous warrior, and one of the great Ghibelline leaders. He tells his own story sufficiently in detail in what follows.

  398. Lord Byron, Don Juan, III 105, gives this description of Ravenna, with an allusion to Boccaccio’s Tale, versified by Dryden under the title of “Theodore and Honoria”:⁠—

    “Sweet hour of twilight!⁠—in the solitude
    Of the pine forest, and the silent shore
    Which bounds Ravenna’s immemorial wood,
    Rooted where once the Adrian wave flow’d o’er,
    To where the last Caesarean fortress stood,
    Ever-green forest! which Boccaccio’s lore
    And Dryden’s lay made haunted ground to me,
    How have I loved the twilight hour and thee!

    “The shrill cicalas, people of the pine,
    Making their summer lives one ceaseless song,
    Were the sole echoes, save my steed’s and mine,
    And vesper-bell’s that rose the boughs along;
    The spectre huntsman of Onesti’s line,
    His hell-dogs, and their chase, and the fair throng,
    Which learned from this example not to fly
    From a true lover, shadowed my mind’s eye.”

    Dryden’s “Theodore and Honoria” begins with these words:⁠—

    “Of all the cities in Romanian lands,
    The chief, and most renowned, Ravenna stands,
    Adorned in ancient times with arms and arts,
    And rich inhabitants, with generous hearts.”

    It was at Ravenna that Dante passed the last years of his life, and there he died and was buried.

  399. The arms of Guido da Polenta, Lord of Ravenna, Dante’s friend, and father (or nephew) of Francesca da Rimini, were an eagle half white in a field of azure, and half red in a field of gold. Cervia is a small town some twelve miles from Ravenna.

  400. The city of Forlì, where Guido da Montefeltro defeated and slaughtered the French in 1282. See note 299.

  401. A Green Lion was the coat of arms of the Ordelaffi, then Lords of Forli.

  402. Malatesta, father and son, tyrants of Rimini, who murdered Montagna, a Ghibelline leader. Verrucchio was their castle, near the city. Of this family were the husband and lover of Francesca. Dante calls them mastiffs, because of their fierceness, making “wimbles of their teeth” in tearing and devouring.

  403. The cities of Facnza on the Lamone, and Imola on the Santerno. They were ruled by Mainardo, surnamed “the Devil,” whose coat of arms was a lion azure in a white field.

  404. The city of Cesena.

  405. Milton, Paradise Lost, III 479:⁠—

    “Dying put on the weeds of Dominic,
    Or in Franciscan think to pass disguised.”

  406. Boniface VIII, who in line 85 is called “the Prince of the new Pharisees.”

  407. Dante, Convito, IV 28, quoting Cicero, says:⁠—

    “Natural death is as it were a haven and rest to us after long navigation. And the noble soul is like a good mariner; for he, when he draws near the port, lowers his sails, and enters it softly with feeble steerage.”

  408. This Papal war, which was waged against Christians, and not against pagan Saracens, nor unbelieving Jews, nor against the renegades who had helped them at the siege of Acre, or given them aid and comfort by traffic, is thus described by Mr. Norton, Travel and Study in Italy, p. 263:⁠—

    “This ‘war near the Lateran’ was a war with the great family of Colonna. Two of the house were Cardinals. They had been deceived in the election, and were rebellious under the rule of Boniface. The Cardinals of the great Ghibelline house took no pains to conceal their ill-will toward the Guelf Pope. Boniface, indeed, accused them of plotting with his enemies for his overthrow. The Colonnas, finding Rome unsafe, had withdrawn to their strong town of Palestrina, whence they could issue forth at will for plunder, and where they could give shelter to those who shared in their hostility toward the Pope. On the other hand, Boniface, not trusting himself in Rome, withdrew to the secure height of Orvieto, and thence, on the 14th of December, 1297, issued a terrible bull for a crusade against them, granting plenary indulgence to all, (such was the Christian temper of the times, and so literally were the violent seizing upon the kingdom of Heaven,) granting plenary indulgence to all who would take up arms against these rebellious sons of the Church and march against their chief stronghold, their ‘alto seggio’ of Palestrina. They and their adherents had already been excommunicated and put under the ban of the Church; they had been stripped of all dignities and privileges; their property had been confiscated; and they were now by this bull placed in the position of enemies, not of the Pope alone, but of the Church Universal. Troops gathered against them from all quarters of Papal Italy. Their lands were ravaged, and they themselves shut up within their stronghold; but for a long time they held out in their ancient high-walled mountaintown. It was to gain Palestrina that Boniface ‘had war near the Lateran.’ The great church and palace of the Lateran, standing on the summit of the Ccelian Hill, close to the city wall, overlooks the Campagna, which, in broken levels of brown and green and purple fields, reaches to the base of the encircling mountains. Twenty miles away, crowning the top and clinging to the side of one of the last heights of the Sabine range, are the gray walls and roofs of Palestrina. It was a far more conspicuous place at the close of the thirteenth century than it is now; for the great columns of the famous temple of Fortune still rose above the town, and the ancient citadel kept watch over it from its high rock. At length, in September, 1298, the Colonnas, reduced to the hardest extremities, became ready for peace. Boniface promised largely. The two Cardinals presented themselves before him at Rieti, in coarse brown dresses, and with ropes around their necks, in token of their repentance and submission. The Pope gave them not only pardon and absolution, but hope of being restored to their titles and possessions. This was the ‘lunga promessa con l’ attender corto’; for, while the Colonnas were retained near him, and these deceptive hopes held out to them, Boniface sent the Bishop of Orvieto to take possession of Palestrina, and to destroy it utterly, leaving only the church to stand as a monument above its ruins. The work was done thoroughly;⁠—a plough was drawn across the site of the unhappy town, and salt scattered in the furrow, that the land might thenceforth be desolate. The inhabitants were removed from the mountain to the plain, and there forced to build new homes for themselves, which, in their turn, two years afterwards, were thrown down and burned by order of the implacable Pope. This last piece of malignity was accomplished in 1300, the year of the Jubilee, the year in which Dante was in Rome, and in which he saw Guy of Montefeltro, the counsellor of Boniface in deceit, burning in Hell.”

  409. The story of Sylvester and Constantine is one of the legends of the Legenda Aurea. The part of it relating to the Emperor’s baptism is thus condensed by Mrs. Jameson in her Sacred and Legendary Art, II 313:⁠—

    “Sylvester was born at Rome of virtuous parents; and at a time when Constantine was still in the darkness of idolatry and persecuted the Christians, Sylvester, who had been elected Bishop of Rome, fled from the persecution, and dwelt for some time in a cavern, near the summit of Monte Calvo. While he lay there concealed, the Emperor was attacked by a horrible leprosy: and having called to him the priests of his false gods, they advised that he should bathe himself in a bath of children’s blood, and three thousand children were collected for this purpose. And as he proceeded in his chariot to the place where the bath was to be prepared, the mothers of these children threw themselves in his way with dishevelled hair, weeping, and crying aloud for mercy. Then Constantine was moved to tears, and he ordered his chariot to stop, and he said to his nobles and to his attendants who were around him, ‘Far better is it that I should die, than cause the death of these innocents!’ And then he commanded that the children should be restored to their mothers with great gifts, in recompense of what they had suffered; so they went away full of joy and gratitude, and the Emperor returned to his palace.

    “On that same night, as he lay asleep, St. Peter and St. Paul appeared at his bedside: and they stretched their hands over him and said, ‘Because thou hast feared to spill the innocent blood, Jesus Christ has sent us to bring thee good counsel. Send to Sylvester, who lies hidden among the mountains, and he shall show thee the pool in which, having washed three times, thou shalt be clean from thy leprosy; and henceforth thou shalt adore the God of the Christians, and thou shalt cease to persecute and to oppress them.’ Then Constantine, awaking from this vision, sent his soldiers in search of Sylvester. And when they took him, he supposed that it was to lead him to death; nevertheless he went cheerfully: and when he appeared before the Emperor, Constantine arose and saluted him, and said, ‘I would know of thee who are those two gods who appeared to me in the visions of the night?’ And Sylvester replied, ‘They were not gods, but the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Then Constantine desired that he would show him the effigies of these two apostles; and Sylvester sent for two pictures of St. Peter and St. Paul, which were in the possession of certain pious Christians. Constantine, having beheld them, saw that they were the same who had appeared to him in his dream. Then Sylvester baptized him, and he came out of the font cured of his malady.”

    Gower also, Confessio Amantis, II, tells the story at length:⁠—

    “And in the while it was begunne
    A light, as though it were a sunne,
    Fro heven Into the place come
    Where that he toke his christendome,
    And ever amonge the holy tales
    Lich as they weren fisches scales
    They fellen from him now and efte,
    Till that there was nothing belefte
    Of all this grete maladie.”

  410. Montefeltro was in the Franciscan monastery at Assisi.

  411. See note 408. Dante calls the town Penestrino from its Latin name Praeneste.

  412. Pope Celestine V, who made “the great refusal,” or abdication of the papacy. See note 49.

  413. Gower, Confessio Amantis, II:⁠—

    “For shrifte stant of no value
    To him, that woll him nought vertue,
    To leve of vice the folie,
    For worde is wind, but the maistrie
    Is, that a man himself defende
    Of thing whiche is nought to commende,
    Wherof ben fewe now a day.”

  414. The Ninth Bolgia, in which are punished the Schismatics, and

    “where is paid the fee
    By those who sowing discord win their burden”;

    a burden difficult to describe even with untrammelled words, or in plain prose, free from the fetters of rhyme.

  415. Apulia, or La Puglia, is in the southeastern part of Italy, “between the spur and the heel of the boot.”

  416. The people slain in the conquest of Apulia by the Romans. Of the battle of Maleventum, Livy, X 15, says:⁠—

    “Here likewise there was more of flight than of bloodshed. Two thousand of the Apulians were slain, and Decius, despising such an enemy, led his legions into Samnium.”

  417. Hannibal’s famous battle at Cannae, in the second Punic war. According to Livy, XXII 49:⁠—

    “The number of the slain is computed at forty thousand foot, and two thousand seven hundred horse.”

    He continues, XXII 51, Baker’s Tr.:⁠—

    “On the day following, as soon as light appeared, his troops applied themselves to the collecting of the spoils, and viewing the carnage made, which was such as shocked even enemies; so many thousand Romans, horsemen and footmen, lay promiscuously on the field, as chance had thrown them together, either in the battle, or flight. Some, whom their wounds, being pinched by the morning cold, had roused from their posture, were put to death by the enemy, as they were rising up, all covered with blood, from the midst of the heaps of carcasses. Some they found lying alive, with their thighs and hams cut, who, stripping their necks and throats, desired them to spill what remained of their blood. Some were found, with their heads buried in the earth, in holes which it appeared they had made for themselves, and covering their faces with earth thrown over them, had thus been suffocated. The attention of all was particularly attracted by a living Numidian with his nose and ears mangled, stretched under a dead Roman, who lay over him, and who, when his hands had been rendered unable to hold a weapon, his rage being exasperated to madness, had expired in the act of tearing his antagonist with his teeth.”

    When Mago, son of Hamilcar, carried the news of the victory to Carthage, “in conformation of his joyful intelligence,” says the same historian, XXIII 12, “he ordered the gold rings taken from the Romans to be poured down in the porch of the senate-house, and of these there was so great a heap that, according to some writers, on being measured, they filled three pecks and a half; but the more general account, and likewise the more probable is, that they amounted to no more than one peck. He also explained to them, in order to show the greater extent of the slaughter, that none but those of equestrian rank, and of these only the principal, wore this ornament.”

  418. Robert Guiscard, the renowned Norman conqueror of southern Italy. Dante places him in the Fifth Heaven of Paradise, in the planet Mars. For an account of his character and achievements see Gibbon, Ch. LVI.

    Matthew Paris, Giles’s Tr., I 171, AD. 1239, gives the following account of the manner in which he captured the monastery of Monte Cassino:⁠—

    “In the same year, the monks of Monte Cassino (where St. Benedict had planted a monastery), to the number of thirteen, came to the Pope in old and torn garments, with dishevelled hair and unshorn beards, and with tears in their eyes; and on being introduced to the presence of his Holiness, they fell at his feet, and laid a complaint that the Emperor had ejected them from their house at Monte Cassino. This mountain was impregnable, and indeed inaccessible to any one unless at the will of the monks and others who dwelt on it; however R. Guiscard, by a device, pretending that he was dead and being carried thither on a bier, thus took possession of the monks’ castle. When the Pope heard this, he concealed his grief, and asked the reason; to which the monks replied, ‘Because, in obedience to you, we excommunicated the Emperor.’ The Pope then said, ‘Your obedience shall save you’; on which the monks went away without receiving anything more from the Pope.”

  419. The battle of Ceperano, near Monte Cassino, was fought in 1265, between Charles of Anjou and Manfred, king of Apulia and Sicily. The Apulians, seeing the battle going against them, deserted their king and passed over to the enemy.

  420. The battle of Tagliacozzo in Abruzzo was fought in 1268, between Charles of Anjou and Curradino or Conradin, nephew of Manfred. Charles gained the victory by the strategy of Count Alardo di Valleri, who,

    “weaponless himself,
    Made arms ridiculous.”

    This valiant but wary crusader persuaded the king to keep a third of his forces in reserve; and when the soldiers of Curradino, thinking they had won the day, were scattered over the field in pursuit of plunder, Charles fell upon them, and routed them.

    Alardo is mentioned in the Cento Novelle Antiche, Nov. LVII, as “celebrated for his wonderful prowess even among the chief nobles, and no less esteemed for his singular virtues than for his courage.”

  421. Gibbon, ch. L, says:⁠—

    “At the conclusion of the Life of Muhammad, it may perhaps be expected that I should balance his faults and virtues, that I should decide whether the title of enthusiast or impostor more properly belongs to that extraordinary man. Had I been intimately conversant with the son of Abdallah, the task would still be difficult, and the success uncertain; at the distance of twelve centuries, I darkly contemplate his shade through a cloud of religious incense; and could I truly delineate the portrait of an hour, the fleeting resemblance would not equally apply to the solitary of Mount Hera, to the preacher of Mecca, and to the conqueror of Arabia.⁠ ⁠… From enthusiasm to imposture the step is perilous and slippery; the daemon of Socrates affords a memorable instance how a wise man may deceive himself, how a good man may deceive others, how the conscience may slumber in a mixed and middle state between self-illusion and voluntary fraud.”

    Of Ali, the son-in-law and faithful follower of Muhammad, he goes on to say:⁠—

    “He united the qualifications of a poet, a soldier, and a saint; his wisdom still breathes in a collection of moral and religious sayings; and every antagonist, in the combats of the tongue or of the sword, was subdued by his eloquence and valor. From the first hour of his mission to the last rites of his funeral, the apostle was never forsaken by a generous friend, whom he delighted to name his brother, his vicegerent, and the faithful Aaron of a second Moses.”

  422. Fra Dolcino was one of the early social and religious reformers in the North of Italy. His sect bore the name of “Apostles,” and its chief, if not only, heresy was a desire to bring back the Church to the simplicity of the apostolic times. In 1305 he withdrew with his followers to the mountains overlooking the Val Sesia in Piedmont, where he was pursued and besieged by the Church party, and, after various fortunes of victory and defeat, being reduced by “stress of snow” and famine, was taken prisoner, together with his companion, the beautiful Margaret of Trent. Both were burned at Vercelli on the 1st of June, 1307. This “last act of the tragedy” is thus described by Mr. Mariotti, Historical Memoir of Fra Dolcino and His Times, p. 290:⁠—

    “Margaret of Trent enjoyed the precedence due to her sex. She was first led out into a spot near Vercelli, bearing the name of ‘Arena Servi,’ or more properly ‘Arena Cervi,’ in the sands, that is, of the torrent Cervo, which has its confluent with the Sesia at about one mile above the city. A high stake had been erected in a conspicuous part of the place. To this she was fastened, and a pile of wood was reared at her feet. The eyes of the inhabitants of town and country were upon her. On her also were the eyes of Dolcino. She was burnt alive with slow fire.

    “Next came the turn of Dolcino: he was seated high on a car drawn by oxen, and thus paraded from street to street all over Vercelli. His tormentors were all around him. Beside the car, iron pots were carried, filled with burning charcoals; deep in the charcoals were iron pincers, glowing at white heat. These pincers were continually applied to the various parts of Dolcino’s naked body, all along his progress, till all his flesh was torn piecemeal from his limbs: when every bone was bare and the whole town was perambulated, they drove the still living carcass back to the same arena, and threw it on the burning mass in which Margaret had been consumed.”

    Farther on he adds:⁠—

    “Divested of all fables which ignorance, prejudice, or open calumny involved it in, Dolcino’s scheme amounted to nothing more than a reformation, not of religion, but of the Church; his aim was merely the destruction of the temporal power of the clergy, and he died for his country no less than for his God. The wealth, arrogance, and corruption of the Papal See appeared to him, as it appeared to Dante, as it appeared to a thousand other patriots before and after him, an eternal hindrance to the union, peace, and welfare of Italy, as it was a perpetual check upon the progress of the human race, and a source of infinite scandal to the piety of earnest believers.⁠ ⁠…

    “To this clear mission of Italian protestantism Dolcino was true throughout. If we bring the light of even the clumsiest criticism to bear on his creed, even such as it has been summed up by the ignorance or malignity of men who never utter his name without an imprecation, we have reason to be astonished at the little we find in it that may be construed into a wilful deviation frum the strictest orthodoxy. Luther and Calvin would equally have repudiated him. He was neither a Presbyterian nor an Episcopalian, but an uncompromising, stanch Papist. His was, most eminently, the heresy of those whom we have designated as ‘literal Christians.’ He would have the Gospel strictly⁠—perhaps blindly⁠—adhered to. Neither was that, in the abstract, an unpardonable offence in the eyes of the Romanism of those times⁠—witness St. Francis and his early flock⁠—provided he had limited himself to make Gospel-law binding upon himself and his followers only. But Dolcino must needs enforce it upon the whole Christian community, enforce it especially on those who set up as teachers of the Gospel, on those who laid claim to Apostolical succession. That was the error that damned him.”

    Of Margaret he still farther says, referring to some old manuscript as authority:⁠—

    “She was known by the emphatic appellation of Margaret the Beautiful. It is added, that she was an orphan, heiress of noble parents, and had been placed for her education in a monastery of St. Catherine in Trent; that there Dolcino⁠—who had also been a monk, or at least a novice, in a convent of the Order of the Humiliati, in the same town, and had been expelled in consequence either of his heretic tenets, or of immoral conduct⁠—succeeded nevertheless in becoming domesticated in the nunnery of St. Catherine, as a steward or agent to the nuns, and there accomplished the fascination and abduction of the wealthy heiress.”

  423. Val Sesia, among whose mountains Fra Dolcino was taken prisoner, is in the diocese of Novara.

  424. A Bolognese, who stirred up dissensions among the citizens.

  425. The plain of Lombardy sloping down two hundred miles and more, from Vercelli in Piedmont to Marcabo, a village near Ravenna.

  426. Guido del Cassero and Angiolello da Cagnano, two honorable citizens of Fano, going to Rimini by invitation of Malatestino, were by his order thrown into the sea and drowned, as here prophesied or narrated, near the village of Cattolica on the Adriatic.

  427. Malatestino had lost one eye.

  428. Rimini.

  429. Focara is a headland near Cattolica, famous for dangerous winds, to be preserved from which mariners offered up vows and prayers. These men will not need to do it; they will not reach that cape.

  430. Curio, the banished Tribune, who, fleeing to Cjesar’s camp on the Rubicon, urged him to advance upon Rome. Lucan, Pharsalia, I, Rowe’s Tr.:⁠—

    “To Caesar’s camp the busy
    Curio fled; Curio, a speaker turbulent and bold,
    Of venal eloquence, that served for gold,
    And principles that might be bought and sold.

    To Caesar thus, while thousand cares infest,
    Revolving round the warrior’s anxious breast,
    His speech the ready orator addressed.

    ‘Haste, then, thy towering eagles on their way;
    When fair occasion calls, ’tis fatal to delay.’ ”

  431. Mosca degl’ Uberti, or dei Lamberti, who, by advising the murder of Buondelmonte, gave rise to the parties of Guelf and Ghibelline, which so long divided Florence. See note 137.

  432. Bertrand de Born, the turbulent Troubadour of the last half of the twelfth century, was alike skilful with his pen and his sword, and passed his life in alternately singing and fighting, and in stirring up dissension and strife among his neighbors. He is the author of that spirited war-song, well known to all readers of Troubadour verse, beginning

    “The beautiful spring delights me well,
    When flowers and leaves are growing;
    And it pleases my heart to hear the swell
    Of the birds’ sweet chorus flowing
    In the echoing wood;
    And I love to see, all scattered around,
    Pavilions and tents on the martial ground;
    And my spirit finds it good,
    To see, on the level plains beyond
    Gay knights and steeds caparison’d”;⁠—

    and ending with a challenge to Richard Coeur de Lion, telling his minstrel Papiol to go

    “And tell the Lord of ‘Yes and No’
    That peace already too long has been.”

    “Bertrand de Born,” says the old Provençal biography, published by Raynouard, Choix de Poésies Originales des Troubadours, V 76, “was a chatelain of the bishopric of Perigueux, Viscount of Hautefort, a castle with nearly a thousand retainers. He had a brother, and would have dispossessed him of his inheritance, had it not been for the king of England. He was always at war with all his neighbors, with the Count of Perigueux, and with the Viscount of Limoges, and with his brother Constantine, and with Richard, when he was Count of Poitou. He was a good cavalier, and a good warrior, and a good lover, and a good troubadour; and well informed and well spoken; and knew well how to bear good and evil fortune. Whenever he wished, he was master of King Henry of England and of his son; but always desired that father and son should be at war with each other, and one brother with the other. And he always wished that the king of France and the king of England should be at variance; and if there were either peace or truce, straightway he sought and endeavored by his satires to undo the peace, and to show how each was dishonored by it. And he had great advantages and great misfortunes by thus exciting feuds between them. He wrote many satires, but only two songs. The king of Aragon called the songs of Giraud de Borneil the wives of Bertrand de Born’s satires. And he who sang for him bore the name of Papiol. And he was handsome and courteous; and called the Count of Britany, Rassa; and the king of England, Yes and No; and his son, the young king, Marinier. And he set his whole heart on fomenting war; and embroiled the father and son of England, until the young king was killed by an arrow in a castle of Bertrand de Born.

    “And Bertrand used to boast that he had more wits than he needed. And when the king took him prisoner, he asked him, ‘Have you all your wits, for you will need them now?’ And he answered, ‘I lost them all when the young king died.’ Then the king wept, and pardoned him, and gave him robes, and lands, and honors. And he lived long and became a Cistercian monk.”

    Fauriel, Histoire de la Poésie Provençale, Adler’s Tr., p. 483, quoting part of this passage, adds:⁠—

    “In this notice the old biographer indicates the dominant trait of Bertrand’s character very distinctly; it was an unbridled passion for war. He loved it not only as the occasion for exhibiting proofs of valor, for acquiring power, and for winning glory, but also, and even more on account of its hazards, on account of the exaltation of courage and of life which it produced, nay, even for the sake of the tumult, the disorders, and the evils which are accustomed to follow in its train. Bertrand de Born is the ideal of the undisciplined and adventuresome warrior of the Middle Age, rather than that of the chevalier in the proper sense of the term.”

    See also Millot, Histoire Littéraire des Troubadours, I 210, and Histoire Littéraire de la France par les Bénédictins de St. Maur, continuation, XVII 425.

    Bertrand de Born, if not the best of the Troubadours, is the most prominent and striking character among them. His life is a drama full of romantic interest; beginning with the old castle in Gascony, “the dames, the cavaliers, the arms, the loves, the courtesy, the bold emprise”; and ending in a Cistercian convent, among friars and fastings and penitence and prayers.

  433. A vast majority of manuscripts and printed editions read in this line, Re Giovanni, King John, instead of Re Giovane, the Young King. Even Boccaccio’s copy, which he wrote out with his own hand for Petrarca, has Re Giovanni. Out of seventy-nine Codici examined by Barlow, he says, Study of the Divina Commedia, p. 153, “Only five were found with the correct reading⁠—re giovane.⁠ ⁠… The reading re giovane is not found in any of the early editions, nor is it noticed by any of the early commentators.” See also Ginguené, Histoire littéraire de l’Italie, II 586, where the subject is elaborately discussed, and the note of Biagioli, who takes the opposite side of the question.

    Henry II of England had four sons, all of whom were more or less rebellious against him. They were, Henry, surnamed Curt-Mantle, and called by the Troubadours and novelists of his time “The Young King,” because he was crowned during his father’s life; Richard Coeur-de-Lion, Count of Guienne and Poitou; Geoffroy, Duke of Brittany; and John Lackland. Henry was the only one of these who bore the title of king at the time in question. Bertrand de Born was on terms of intimacy with him, and speaks of him in his poems as lo Reys joves, sometimes lauding, and sometimes reproving him. One of the best of these poems is his Complainte, on the death of Henry, which took place in 1183, from disease, say some accounts, from the bolt of a crossbow say others. He complains that he has lost “the best king that was ever born of mother”; and goes on to say, “King of the courteous, and emperor of the valiant, you would have been Seigneur if you had lived longer; for you bore the name of the Young King, and were the chief and peer of youth. Ay! hauberk and sword, and beautiful buckler, helmet and gonfalon, and purpoint and sark, and joy and love, there is none to maintain them!” See Raynouard, Choix de Poésies, IV 49.

    In the Bible Guiot de Provins, Barbazan, Fabliaux et Contes, II 518, he is spoken of as

    “Il jones Rois,
    Li proux, li saiges, li cortois.”

    In the Cento Novelle Antiche, XVIII, XIX, XXXV, he is called Il Re Giovane; and in Roger de Wendover’s Flowers of History, AD 1179⁠–⁠1183, “Henry the Young King.”

    It was to him that Bertrand de Born “gave the evil counsels,” embroiling him with his father and his brothers. Therefore, when the commentators challenge us as Pistol does Shallow, “Under which king, Bezonian? speak or die!” I think we must answer as Shallow does, “Under King Harry.”

  434. See 2 Samuel 17:1, 2:⁠—

    “Moreover, Ahithophel said unto Absalom, let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night. And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak-handed, and will make him afraid; and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only.”

    Dryden, in his poem of Absalom and Achitopbel, gives this portrait of the latter:⁠—

    “Of these the false Achitophel was first;
    A name to all succeeding ages curst;
    For close designs and crooked counsels fit;
    Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit;
    Restless, unfix’d in principles and place;
    In power unpleas’d, impatient of disgrace:
    A fiery soul, which, working out its way,
    Fretted the pygmy body to decay,
    And o’er inform’d the tenement of clay.”

    Then he puts into the mouth of Achitophel the following description of Absalom:⁠—

    “Auspicious prince, at whose nativity
    Some royal planet rul’d the southern sky;
    Thy longing country’s darling and desire;
    Their cloudy pillar and their guardian fire;
    Their second Moses, whose extended wand
    Divides the seas, and shows the promised land;
    Whose dawning day, in every distant age,
    Has exercised the sacred prophet’s rage;
    The people’s prayer, the glad diviner’s theme,
    The young men’s vision, and the old men’s dream.”

  435. The Tenth and last “cloister of Malebolge,” where

    “Justice infallible
    Punishes forgers,”

    and falsifiers of all kinds. This Canto is devoted to the alchemists.

  436. Geri del Bello was a disreputable member of the Alighieri family, and was murdered by one of the Sacchetti. His death was afterwards avenged by his brother, who in turn slew one of the Sacchetti at the door of his house.

  437. Bertrand de Born.

  438. Like the ghost of Ajax in the Odyssey, XI:⁠—

    “He answered me not at all, but went to Erebus amongst the other souls of the dead.”

  439. Dante seems to share the feeling of the Italian vendetta, which required retaliation from some member of the injured family.

    “Among the Italians of this age,” says Napier, Florentine History, I Ch. VII, “and for centuries after, private offence was never forgotten until revenged, and generally involved a succession of mutual injuries; vengeance was not only considered lawful and just, but a positive duty, dishonorable to omit; and, as may be learned from ancient private journals, it was sometimes allowed to sleep for five-and-thirty years, and then suddenly struck a victim who perhaps had not yet seen the light when the original injury was inflicted.”

  440. The Val di Chiana, near Arezzo, was in Dante’s time marshy and pestilential. Now, by the effect of drainage, it is one of the most beautiful and fruitful of the Tuscan valleys. The Maremma was and is notoriously unhealthy; see note 181, and Sardinia would seem to have shared its ill repute.

  441. Forgers or falsifiers in a general sense. The “false semblaunt” of Gower, Confessio Amantis, II:⁠—

    “Of fals semblaunt if I shall telle,
    Above all other it is the welle
    Out of the which deceipte floweth.”

    They are registered here on earth to be punished hereafter.

  442. The plague of Aegina is described by Ovid, Metamorph. VII, Stonestreet’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Their black dry tongues are swelled, and scarce can move,
    And short thick sighs from panting lungs are drove.
    They gape for air, with flatt’ring hopes t’ abate
    Their raging flames, but that augments their heat.
    No bed, no cov’ring can the wretches bear,
    But on the ground, exposed to open air,
    They lie, and hope to find a pleasing coolness there.
    The suff’ring earth, with that oppression curst,
    Returns the heat which they imparted first

    “Here one, with fainting steps, does slowly creep
    O’er heaps of dead, and straight augments the heap;
    Another, while his strength and tongue prevailed,
    Bewails his friend, and falls himself bewailed;
    This with imploring looks surveys the skies,
    The last dear office of his closing eyes,
    But finds the Heav’ns implacable, and dies.”

    The birth of the Myrmidons, “who still retain the thrift of ants, though now transformed to men,” is thus given in the same book:⁠—

    “As many ants the num’rous branches bear,
    The same their labor, and their frugal care;
    The branches too alike commotion found,
    And shook th’ industrious creatures on the ground,
    Who by degrees (what ‘s scarce to be believed)
    A nobler form and larger bulk received,
    And on the earth walked an unusual pace,
    With manly strides, and an erected face;
    Their num’rous legs, and former color lost,
    The insects could a human figure boast.”

  443. Latian, or Italian; any one of the Latin race.

  444. The speaker is a certain Griffolino, an alchemist of Arezzo, who practised upon the credulity of Albert, a natural son of the Bishop of Siena. For this he was burned; but was “condemned to the last Bolgia of the ten for alchemy.”

  445. The inventor of the Cretan labyrinth. Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII:⁠—

    “Great Daedalus of Athens was the man
    Who made the draught, and formed the wondrous plan.”

    Not being able to find his way out of the labyrinth, he made wings for himself and his son Icarus, and escaped by flight.

  446. Speaking of the people of Siena, Forsyth, Italy, 532, says:⁠—

    “Vain, flighty, fanciful, they want the judgment and penetration of their Florentine neighbors; who, nationally severe, call a nail without a head chiodo Sanese. The accomplished Signora Rinieri told me, that her father, while Governor of Siena, was once stopped in his carriage by a crowd at Florence, where the mob, recognizing him, called out: ‘Lasciate passare il Governatore de’ matti.’ A native of Siena is presently known at Florence; for his very walk, being formed to a hilly town, detects him on the plain.”

  447. The persons here mentioned gain a kind of immortality from Dante’s verse. The Stricca, or Baldastricca, was a lawyer of Siena; and Niccolò dei Salimbeni, or Bonsignori, introduced the fashion of stuffing pheasants with cloves, or, as Benvenuto says, of roasting them at a fire of cloves. Though Dante mentions them apart, they seem, like the two others named afterwards, to have been members of the Brigtita Spendereccia, or Prodigal Club, of Siena, whose extravagances are recorded by Benvenuto da Imola. This club consisted of “twelve very rich young gentlemen, who took it into their heads to do things that would make a great part of the world wonder.” Accordingly each contributed eighteen thousand golden florins to a common fund, amounting in all to two hundred and sixteen thousand florins. They built a palace, in which each member had a splendid chamber, and they gave sumptuous dinners and suppers; ending their banquets sometimes by throwing all the dishes, table-ornaments, and knives of gold and silver out of the window. “This silly institution,” continues Benvenuto, “lasted only ten months, the treasury being exhausted, and the wretched members became the fable and laughingstock of all the world.”

    In honor of this club, Folgore da San Geminiano, a clever poet of the day (1260), wrote a series of twelve convivial sonnets, one for each month of the year, with Dedication and Conclusion. A translation of these sonnets may be found in D. G. Rossetti’s Early Italian Poets. The Dedication runs as follows:⁠—

    “Unto the blithe and lordly Fellowship,
    (I know not where, but wheresoe’er, I know,
    Lordly and blithe,) be greeting; and thereto,
    Dogs, hawks, and a full purse wherein to dip;
    Quails struck i’ the flight; nags mettled to the whip;
    Hart-hounds, hare-hounds, and blood-hounds even so;
    And o’er that realm, a crown for Niccolò,
    Whose praise in Siena springs from lip to lip.
    Tingoccio, Atuin di Togno, and Ancaiàn,
    Bartolo, and Mugaro, and Faënot,
    Who well might pass for children of King Ban,
    Courteous and valiant more than Lancelot⁠—
    To each, God speed! How worthy every man
    To hold high tournament in Camelot.”

  448. “This Capocchio,” says the Ottimo, “was a very subtle alchemist; and because he was burned for practising alchemy in Siena, he exhibits his hatred to the Sienese, and gives us to understand that the author knew him.”

  449. In this Canto the same Bolgia is continued, with different kinds of Falsifiers.

  450. Athamas, king of Thebes and husband of Ino, daughter of Cadmus. His madness is thus described by Ovid, Metamorphoses IV, Eusden’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Now Athamas cries out, his reason fled,
    ‘Here, fellow-hunters, let the toils be spread.
    I saw a lioness, in quest of food,
    With her two young, run roaring in this wood.’
    Again the fancied savages were seen,
    As thro’ his palace still he chased his queen;
    Then tore Learchus from her breast: the child
    Stretched little arms, and on its father smiled⁠—
    A father now no more⁠—who now begun
    Around his head to whirl his giddy son,
    And, quite insensible to nature’s call,
    The helpless infant flung against the wall.
    The same mad poison in the mother wrought;
    Young Melicerta in her arms she caught,
    And with disordered tresses, howling, flies,
    ‘O Bacchus, Evôe, Bacchus!’ loud she cries.
    The name of Bacchus Juno laughed to hear,
    And said, ‘Thy foster-god has cost thee dear.’
    A rock there stood, whose side the beating waves
    Had long consumed, and hollowed into caves.
    The head shot forwards in a bending steep,
    And cast a dreadful covert o’er the deep.
    The wretched Ino, on destruction bent,
    Climbed up the cliff⁠—such strength her fury lent:
    Thence with her guiltless boy, who wept in vain,
    At one bold spring she plunged into the main.”

  451. Hecuba, wife of Priam of Troy, and mother of Polyxena and Polydorus. Ovid, XIII, Stanyan’s Tr.:⁠—

    “When on the banks her son in ghastly hue
    Transfixed with Thracian arrows strikes her view,
    The matrons shrieked; her big swoln grief surpassed
    The power of utterance; she stood aghast;
    She had nor speech, nor tears to give relief:
    Excess of woe suppressed the rising grief.
    Lifeless as stone, on earth she fix’d her eyes;
    And then look’d up to Heav’n with wild surprise,
    Now she contemplates o’er with sad delight
    Her son’s pale visage; then her aking sight
    Dwells on his wounds: she varies thus by turns,
    Till with collected rage at length she burns,
    Wild as the mother-lion, when among
    The haunts of prey she seeks her ravished young:
    Swift flies the ravisher; she marks his trace,
    And by the print directs her anxious chase.
    So Hecuba with mingled grief and rage
    Pursues the king, regardless of her age.

    Fastens her forky fingers in his eyes;
    Tears out the rooted balls; her rage pursues,
    And in the hollow orbs her hand imbrues.

    “The Thracians, fired at this inhuman scene,
    With darts and stones assail the frantic queen.
    She snarls and growls, nor in an human tone;
    Then bites impatient at the bounding stone;
    Extends her jaws, as she her voice would raise
    To keen invectives in her wonted phrase;
    But barks, and thence the yelping brute betrays.”

  452. Griffolino d’Arezzo, mentioned in Canto XXIX 109.

  453. The same “mad sprite,” Gianni Schicchi, mentioned in line 32. “Buoso Donati of Florence,” says Benvenuto, “although a nobleman and of an illustrious house, was nevertheless like other noblemen of his time, and by means of thefts had greatly increased his patrimony. When the hour of death drew near, the sting of conscience caused him to make a will in which he gave fat legacies to many people; whereupon his son Simon, (the Ottimo says his nephew,) thinking himself enormously aggrieved, suborned Vanni Schicchi dei Cavalcanti, who got into Buoso’s bed, and made a will in opposition to the other. Gianni much resembled Buoso.” In this will Gianni Schicchi did not forget himself, while making Simon heir; for, according to the Ottimo, he put this clause into it: “To Gianni Schicchi I bequeath my mare.” This was the “lady of the herd,” and Benvenuto adds, “none more beautiful was to be found in Tuscany; and it was valued at a thousand florins.”

  454. Messer Adamo, a false-coiner of Brescia, who at the instigation of the Counts Guido, Alessandro, and Aghinolfo of Romena, counterfeited the golden florin of Florence, which bore on one side a lily, and on the other the figure of John the Baptist.

  455. Tasso, Gerusalemme, XIII 60, Fairfax’s Tr.:⁠—

    “He that the gliding rivers erst had seen
    Adown their verdant channels gently rolled,
    Or filling streams, which to the valleys green,
    Distilled from tops of Alpine mountains cold,
    Those he desired in vain, new torments been
    Augmented thus with wish of comforts old;
    Those waters cool he drank in vain conceit,
    Which more increased his thirst, increased his heat.”

  456. The upper valley of the Arno is in the province of Cassentino. Quoting these three lines. Ampère, Voyage Dantesque, 246, says:⁠—

    “In these untranslatable verses, there is a feeling of humid freshness, which almost makes one shudder. I owe it to truth to say, that the Cassentine was a great deal less fresh and less verdant in reality than in the poetry of Dante, and that in the midst of the aridity which surrounded me, this poetry, by its very perfection, made one feel something of the punishment of Master Adam.”

  457. Forsyth, Italy, 116, says:⁠—

    “The castle of Romena, mentioned in these verses, now stands in ruins on a precipice about a mile from our inn, and not far off is a spring which the peasants call Fonte Branda. Might I presume to differ from his commentators, Dante, in my opinion, does not mean the great fountain of Siena, but rather this obscure spring; which, though less known to the world, was an object more familiar to the poet himself, who took refuge here from proscription, and an image more natural to the coiner who was burnt on the spot.”

    Ampère is of the same opinion, Voyage Dantesque, 246:⁠—

    “The Fonte Branda, mentioned by Master Adam, is assuredly the fountain thus named, which still flows not far from the tower of Romena, between the place of the crime and that of its punishment.”

    On the other hand, Mr. Barlow, Contributions, remarks:⁠—

    “This little fount was known only to so few, that Dante, who wrote for the Italian people generally, can scarcely be thought to have meant this, when the famous Fonte Branda at Siena was, at least by name, familiar to them all, and formed an image more in character with the insatiable thirst of Master Adam.”

    Poetically the question is of slight importance; for, as Fluellen says:⁠—

    “There is a river in Macedon, and there is also moreover a river at Monmouth,⁠ ⁠… and there is salmons in both.”

  458. This line and line 11 of Canto XXIX are cited by Gabrielle Rossetti in confirmation of his theory of the “Principal Allegory of the Inferno,” that the city of Dis is Rome. He says, Spirito Antipapale, I 62, Miss Ward’s Tr.:⁠—

    “This well is surrounded by a high wall, and the wall by a vast trench; the circuit of the trench is twenty-two miles, and that of the wall eleven miles. Now the outward trench of the walls of Rome (whether real or imaginary we say not) was reckoned by Dante’s contemporaries to be exactly twenty-two miles; and the walls of the city were then, and still are, eleven miles round. Hence it is clear, that the wicked time which looks into Rome, as into a mirror, sees there the corrupt place which is the final goal to its waters or people, that is, the figurative Rome, ‘dread seat of Dis.’ ”

    The trench here spoken of is the last trench of Malebolge. Dante mentions no wall about the well; only giants standing round it like towers.

  459. Potiphar’s wife.

  460. Virgil’s “perjured Sinon,” the Greek who persuaded the Trojans to accept the wooden horse, telling them it was meant to protect the city, in lieu of the statue of Pallas, stolen by Diomed and Ulysses.

    Chaucer, “Nonnes Preestes Tale”:⁠—

    “O false dissimilour, O Greek Sinon,
    That broughtest Troye at utterly to sorwe.”

  461. The disease of tympanites is so called “because the abdomen is distended with wind, and sounds like a drum when struck.”

  462. Ovid, Metamorphoses III:⁠—

    “A fountain in a darksome wood,
    Nor stained with falling leaves nor rising mud.”

  463. This Canto describes the Plain of the Giants, between Malebolge and the mouth of the Infernal Pit.

  464. Iliad, XVI:⁠—

    “A Pelion ash, which Chiron gave to his (Achilles’) father, cut from the top of Mount Pelion, to be the death of heroes.”

    Chaucer, “Squieres Tale”:⁠—

    “And of Achilles for his queinte spere,
    For he coude with it bothe hele and drere.”

    And Shakespeare, in King Henry the Sixth, V i:⁠—

    “Whose smile and frown, like to Achilles’ spear,
    Is able with the change to kill and cure.”

  465. The battle of Roncesvalles,

    “When Charlemain with all his peerage fell
    By Fontarabia.”

  466. Archbishop Turpin, Chronicle, XXIII, Rodd’s Tr., thus describes the blowing of Orlando’s horn:⁠—

    “He now blew a loud blast with his horn, to summon any Christian concealed in the adjacent woods to his assistance, or to recall his friends beyond the pass. This horn was endued with such power, that all other horns were split by its sound; and it is said that Orlando at that time blew it with such vehemence, that he burst the veins and nerves of his neck. The sound reached the king’s ears, who lay encamped in the valley still called by his name, about eight miles from Ronceval, towards Gascony, being carried so far by supernatural power. Charles would have flown to his succor, but was prevented by Ganalon, who, conscious of Orlando’s sufferings, insinuated it was usual with him to sound his horn on light occasions. ‘He is, perhaps,’ said he, ‘pursuing some wild beast, and the sound echoes through the woods; it will be fruitless, therefore, to seek him.’ O wicked traitor, deceitful as Judas! What dost thou merit?”

    Walter Scott in Marmion, VI 33, makes allusion to Orlando’s horn:⁠—

    “O for a blast of that dread horn,
    On Fontarabian echoes borne,
    That to King Charles did come,
    When Rowland brave, and Olivier,
    And every paladin and peer,
    On Roncesvalles died!”

    Orlando’s horn is one of the favorite fictions of old romance, and is surpassed in power only by that of Alexander, which took sixty men to blow it and could be heard at a distance of sixty miles!

  467. Montereggione is a picturesque old castle on an eminence near Siena. Ampère, Voyage Dantesque, 251, remarks:⁠—

    “This fortress, as the commentators say, was furnished with towers all round about, and had none in the centre. In its present state it is still very faithfully described by the verse,

    ‘Montereggion di torri si corona.’ ”

  468. This pine-cone of bronze, which is now in the gardens of the Vatican, was found in the mausoleum of Hadrian, and is supposed to have crowned its summit. “I have looked daily,” says Mrs. Kemble, Year of Consolation, 152, “over the lonely, sunny gardens, open like the palace halls to me, where the wide-sweeping orange-walks end in some distant view of the sad and noble Campagna, where silver fountains call to each other through the silent, overarching cloisters of dark and fragrant green, and where the huge bronze pine, by which Dante measured his great giant, yet stands in the midst of graceful vases and bass-reliefs wrought in former ages, and the more graceful blossoms blown within the very hour.”

    And Ampère, Voyage Dantesque, 277, remarks:⁠—

    “Here Dante takes as a point of comparison an object of determinate size; the pigna is eleven feet high, the giant then must be seventy; it performs, in the description, the office of those figures which are placed near monuments to render it easier for the eye to measure their height.”

    Mr. Norton, Travel and Study in Italy, 253, thus speaks of the same object:⁠—

    “This pine-cone, of bronze, was set originally upon the summit of the Mausoleum of Hadrian. After this imperial sepulchre had undergone many evil fates, and as its ornaments were stripped one by one from it, the cone was in the sixth century taken down, and carried off to adorn a fountain, which had been constructed for the use of dusty and thirsty pilgrims, in a pillared enclosure, called the Paradiso, in front of the old basilica of St. Peter. Here it remained for centuries; and when the old church gave way to the new, it was put where it now stands, useless and out of place, in the trim and formal gardens of the Papal palace.”

    And adds in a note:⁠—

    “At the present day it serves the bronze-workers of Rome as a model for an inkstand, such as is seen in the shopwindows every winter, and is sold to travellers, few of whom know the history and the poetry belonging to its original.”

  469. “The gaping monotony of this jargon,” says Leigh Hunt, “full of the vowel a, is admirably suited to the mouth of the vast half-stupid speaker. It is like a babble of the gigantic infancy of the world.”

  470. Nimrod, the “mighty hunter before the Lord,” who built the tower of Babel, which, according to the Italian popular tradition, was so high that whoever mounted to the top of it could hear the angels sing.

    Cory, Ancient Fragments, 51, gives this extract from the “Sibylline Oracles”:⁠—

    “But wlicn the judgments of the Almighty God
    Were ripe for execution; when the Tower
    Rose to the skies upon Assyria’s plain,
    And all mankind one language only knew;
    A dread commission from on high was given
    To the fell whirlwinds, which with dire alarms
    Beat on the Tower, and to its lowest base
    Shook it convulsed. And now all intercourse,
    By some occult and overruling power,
    Ceased among men: by utterance they strove
    Perplexed and anxious to disclose their mind;
    But their lip failed them, and in lieu of words
    Produced a painful babbling sound: the place
    Was thence called Babel; by th’ apostate crew
    Named from the event. Then severed far away
    They sped uncertain into realms unknown;
    Thus kingdoms rose, and the glad world was filled.”

  471. Odyssey, XI, Buckley’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Godlike Otus and far-famed Ephialtes; whom the faithful earth nourished, the tallest and far the most beautiful, at least after illustrious Orion. For at nine years old they were also nine cubits in width, and in height they were nine fathoms. Who even threatened the immortals that they would set up a strife of impetuous war in Olympus. They attempted to place Ossa upon Olympus, and upon Ossa leafy Pelion, that heaven might be accessible. And they would have accomplished it, if they had reached the measure of youth; but the son of Jove, whom fair-haired Latona bore, destroyed them both, before the down flowered under their temples and thickened upon their cheeks with a flowering beard.”

  472. The giant with a hundred hands. Aeneid, X:⁠—

    “Aegaeon, who, they say, had a hundred arms and a hundred hands, and flashed fire from fifty mouths and breasts; when against the thunderbolts of Jove he on so many equal bucklers clashed; unsheathed so many swords.”

    He is supposed to have been a famous pirate, and the fable of the hundred hands arose from the hundred sailors that manned his ship.

  473. The giant Antaeus is here unbound, because he had not been at “the mighty war” against the gods.

  474. The valley of the Bagrada, one of whose branches flows bv Zama, the scene of Scipio’s great victory over Hannibal, by which he gained his greatest renown and his title of Africanus.

    Among the neighboring hills, according to Lucan, Pharsalia, IV, the giant Antaeus had his cave. Speaking of Curio’s voyage, he says:⁠—

    “To Afric’s coast he cuts the foamy way,
    Where low the once victorious Carthage lay.
    There landing, to the well-known camp he hies,
    Where from afar the distant seas he spies;
    Where Bagrada’s dull waves the sands divide,
    And slowly downward roll their sluggish tide.
    From thence he seeks the heights renowned by fame,
    And hallowed by the great Cornelian name:
    The rocks and hills which long, traditions say,
    Were held by huge Antaeus’ horrid sway.

    But greater deeds this rising mountain grace,
    And Scipio’s name ennobles much the place,
    While, fixing here his famous camp, he calls
    Fierce Hannibal from Rome’s devoted walls.
    As yet the mouldering works remain in view,
    Where dreadful once the Latian eagles flew.”

  475. Aeneid, VI:⁠—

    “Here too you might have seen Tityus, the fosterchild of all-bearing earth, whose body is extended over nine whole acres; and a huge vulture, with her hooked beak, pecking at his immortal liver.”

    Also Odyssey, XI, in similar words.

    Typhoeus was a giant with a hundred heads, like a dragon’s, who made war upon the gods as soon as he was born. He was the father of Geryon and Cerberus.

  476. The battle between Hercules and Antaeus is described by Lucan, Pharsalia, IV:⁠—

    “Bright in Olympic oil Alcides shone,
    Antaeus with his mother’s dust is strown,
    And seeks her friendly force to aid his own.”

  477. One of the leaning towers of Bologna, which Eustace, Classical Tour, I 167, thinks are “remarkable only for their unmeaning elevation and dangerous deviation from the perpendicular.”

  478. In this Canto begins the Ninth and last Circle of the Inferno, where Traitors are punished.

    “Hence in the smallest circle, at the point
    Of all the Universe, where Dis is seated,
    Whoe’er betrays forever is consumed.”

  479. The word thrust is here used in its architectural sense, as the thrust of a bridge against its abutments, and the like.

  480. Still using the babble of childhood.

  481. The Muses; the poetic tradition being that Amphion built the walls of Thebes by the sound of his lyre; and the prosaic interpretation, that he did it by his persuasive eloquence.

  482. Matthew 26:24:⁠—

    “Woeunto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.”

  483. Tambernich is a mountain of Sclavonia, and Pietrapana another near Lucca.

  484. These two “miserable brothers” are Alessandro and Napoleone, sons of Alberto degli Alberti, lord of Falterona in the valley of the Bisenzio. After their father’s death they quarrelied, and one treacherously slew the other.

  485. Caina is the first of the four divisions of this Circle, and takes its name from the first fratricide.

  486. Sir Mordred, son of King Arthur. See Le Mort d’Arthure, III ch. 167:⁠—

    “And there King Arthur smote Sir Mordred under the shield with a foine of his speare throughout the body more than a fadom.”

    Nothing is said here of the sun’s shining through the wound, so as to break the shadow on the ground, but that incident is mentioned in the Italian version of the Romance of Launcelot of the Lake, L’ illustre e famosa istoria di Lancillotto del Lago, III ch. 162:⁠—

    “Behind the opening made by the lance there passed through the wound a ray of the sun so manifestly, that Girflet saw it.”

  487. Focaccia was one of the Cancellieri Bianchi, of Pistoia, and was engaged in the affair of cutting off the hand of his half-brother. See note 95. He is said also to have killed his uncle.

  488. Sassol Mascheroni, according to Benvenuto, was one of the Toschi family of Florence. He murdered his nephew in order to get possession of his property; for which crime he was carried through the streets of Florence nailed up in a cask, and then beheaded.

  489. Camicion de’ Pazzi of Valdarno, who murdered his kinsman Ubcrtino. But his crime will seem small and excusable when compared with that of another kinsman, Carlino de’ Pazzi, who treacherously surrendered the castle of Piano in Valdarno, wherein many Florentine exiles were taken and put to death.

  490. The speaker is Bocca degli Abati, whose treason caused the defeat of the Guelfs at the famous battle of Montaperti in 1260. See note 143.

    “Messer Bocca degli Abati, the traitor,” says Malispini, Storia, ch. 171, “with his sword in hand, smote and cut off the hand of Messer Jacopo de’ Pazzi of Florence, who bore the standard of the cavalry of the Commune of Florence. And the knights and the people, seeing the standard down, and the treachery, were put to rout.”

  491. The second division of the Circle, called Antenora, from Antenor, the Trojan prince, who betrayed his country by keeping up a secret correspondence with the Greeks. Virgil, Aeneid, I 242, makes him founder of Padua.

  492. See note 490.

  493. Buoso da Duera of Cremona, being bribed, suffered the French cavalry under Guido da Monforte to pass through Lombardy on their way to Apulia, without opposing them as he had been commanded.

  494. There is a double meaning in the Italian expression sta fresco, which is well rendered by the vulgarism, left out in the cold, so familiar in American politics.

  495. Beccaria of Pavia, Abbot of Vallombrosa, and Papal Legate at Florence, where he was beheaded in 1258 for plotting against the Guelfs.

  496. Gianni de’ Soldanieri, of Florence, a Ghibelline, who betrayed his party. Villani, VII 14, says:⁠—

    “Messer Gianni de’ Soldanieri put himself at the head of the populace from motives of ambition, regardless of consequences which were injurious to the Ghibelline party, and to his own detriment, which seems always to have been the case in Florence with those who became popular leaders.”

  497. The traitor Ganellon, or Ganalon, who betrayed the Christian cause at Roncesvalles, persuading Charlemagne not to go to the assistance of Orlando. See note 466.

    Tebaldello de’ Manfredi treacherously opened the gates of Faenza to the French in the night.

  498. Tydeus, son of the king of Calydon, slew Menalippus at the siege of Thebes and was himself mortally wounded. Statius, Thebaid, VIII, thus describes what followed:⁠—

    “O’ercome with joy and anger, Tydeus tries
    To raise himself, and meets with eager eyes
    The deathful object, pleased as he surveyed
    His own condition in his foe’s portrayed.
    The severed head impatient he demands,
    And grasps with fervor in his trembling hands,
    While he remarks the restless balls of sight
    That sought and shunned alternately the light.
    Contented now, his wrath began to cease,
    And the fierce warrior had expired in peace;
    But the fell fiend a thought of vengeance bred,
    Unworthy of himself and of the dead.
    Meanwhile, her sire unmoved, Tritonia came,
    To crown her hero with immortal fame;
    But when she saw his jaws besprinkled o’er
    With spattered brains, and tinged with living gore,
    Whilst his imploring friends attempt in vain
    To calm his fury, and his rage restrain,
    Again, recoiling from the loathsome view,
    The sculptur’d target o’er her face she threw.”

  499. In this Canto the subject of the preceding is continued.

  500. Count Ugolino della Gherardesca was Podestà of Pisa. “Raised to the highest offices of the republic for ten years,” says Napier, Florentine History, I 318, “he would soon have become absolute, had not his own nephew, Nino Visconte, Judge of Gallura, contested this supremacy and forced himself into conjoint and equal authority; this could not continue, and a sort of compromise was for the moment effected, by which Visconte retired to the absolute government of Sardinia. But Ugolino, still dissatisfied, sent his son to disturb the island; a deadly feud was the consequence, Guelph against Guelph, while the latent spirit of Ghibellinism, which filled the breasts of the citizens and was encouraged by priest and friar, felt its advantage; the Archbishop Ruggiero Rubaldino was its real head, but he worked with hidden caution as the apparent friend of either chieftain. In 1287, after some sharp contests, both of them abdicated, for the sake, as it was alleged, of public tranquillity; but, soon perceiving their error, again united, and, scouring the streets with all their followers, forcibly reestablished their authority. Ruggieri seemed to assent quietly to this new outrage, even looked without emotion on the bloody corpse of his favorite nephew, who had been stabbed by Ugolino; and so deep was his dissimulation, that he not only refused to believe the murdered body to be his kinsman’s, but zealously assisted the Count to establish himself alone in the government, and accomplish Visconte’s ruin. The design was successful; Nino was overcome and driven from the town, and in 1288 Ugolino entered Pisa in triumph from his villa, where he had retired to await the catastrophe. The Archbishop had neglected nothing, and Ugolino found himself associated with this prelate in the public government; events now began to thicken; the Count could not brook a competitor, much less a Ghibelline priest: in the month of July both parties flew to arms, and the Archbishop was victorious. After a feeble attempt to rally in the public palace. Count Ugolino, his two sons, Uguccione and Gaddo, and two young grandsons, Anselmuccio and Brigata, surrendered at discretion, and were immediately imprisoned in a tower, afterwards called the Torre della fame, and there perished by starvation. Count Ugolino della Gherardesca, whose tragic story after five hundred years still sounds in awful numbers from the lyre of Dante, was stained with the ambition and darker vices of the age; like other potent chiefs, he sought to enslave his country, and checked at nothing in his impetuous career; he was accused of many crimes; of poisoning his own nephew, of failing in war, making a disgraceful peace, of flying shamefully, perhaps traitorously, at Meloria, and of obstructing all negotiations with Genoa for the return of his imprisoned countrymen. Like most others of his rank in those frenzied times he belonged more to faction than his country, and made the former subservient to his own ambition; but all these accusations, even if well founded, would not draw him from the general standard; they would only prove that he shared the ambition, the cruelty, the ferocity, the recklessness of human life and suffering, and the relentless pursuit of power in common with other chieftains of his age and country. Ugolino was overcome, and suffered a cruel death; his family was dispersed, and his memory has perhaps been blackened with a darker coloring to excuse the severity of his punishment; but his sons, who naturally followed their parent’s fortune, were scarcely implicated in his crimes, although they shared his fate; and his grandsons, though not children, were still less guilty, though one of these was not unstained with blood. The Archbishop had public and private wrongs to revenge, and had he fallen, his sacred character alone would probably have procured for him a milder destiny.”

    Villani, VII 128, gives this account of the imprisonment:⁠—

    “The Pisans, who had imprisoned Count Ugolino and his two sons and two grandsons, children of Count Guelfo, as we have before mentioned, in a tower on the Piazza degli Anziani, ordered the door of the tower to be locked, and the keys to be thrown into the Arno, and forbade any food should be given to the prisoners, who in a few days died of hunger. And the five dead bodies, being taken together out of the tower, were ignominiously buried; and from that day forth the tower was called the Tower of Famine, and shall be forever more. For this cruelty the Pisans were much blamed through all the world where it was known; not so much for the Count’s sake, as on account of his crimes and treasons he perhaps deserved such a death, but for the sake of his children and grandchildren, who were young and innocent boys; and this sin, committed by the Pisans, did not remain unpunished.”

    Chaucer’s version of the story in the “Monkes Tale” is as follows:⁠—

    “Of the erl Hugelin of Pise the langour
    Ther may no tonge tellen for pitee.
    But litel out of Pise stant a tour,
    In whiche tour in prison yput was he,
    And with him ben his litel children three,
    The eldest scarsely five yere was of age:
    Alas! fortune, it was gret crueltee
    Swiche briddes for to put in swiche a cage.

    Dampned was he to die in that prison,
    For Roger, which that bishop of Pise,
    Had on him made a false suggestion,
    Thurgh which the pcplc gan upon him rise,
    And put him in prison, in swiche a wise,
    As ye han herd; and mete and drinke he had
    So smale, that wel unnethe it may suffise,
    And therwithal it was ful poure and bad.

    And on a day befell, that in that houre,
    Whan that his mete wont was to be brought,
    The gailer shette the dores of the toure;
    He hered it wel, but he spake right nought.
    And in his herte anon ther fell a thought,
    That they for hunger wolden do him dien;
    Alas! quod he, alas that I was wrought!
    Therwith the teres fellen fro his eyen.

    His yonge sone, that three yere was of age,
    Unto him said, fader, why do ye wepe?
    Whan will the gailer bringen our potage?
    Is ther no morsel bred that ye do kepe?
    I am so hungry, that I may not slepe.
    Now wolde God that I might slepen ever,
    Than shuld not hunger in my wombe crepe;
    Ther n’is no thing, sauf bred, that me were lever.

    Thus day by day this childe began to crie,
    Til in his fadres barme adoun it lay,
    And saide, farewelj fader, I mote die;
    And kist his fader, and dide the same day.
    And whan the woful fader did it sey,
    For wo his armes two he gan to bite,
    And saide, alas! fortune, and wala wa!
    Thy false whele my wo all may I wite.

    His children wenden, that for hunger it was
    That he his armes gnowe, and not for wo,
    And sayden: fader, do not so, alas!
    But rather ete the flesh upon us two.
    Our flesh thou yaf us, take our flesh us fro,
    And ete ynough: right thus they to him seide,
    And after that, within a day or two,
    They laide hem in his lappe adoun, and deide.

    Himself dispeired eke for hunger starf.
    Thus ended is this mighty Erl of Pise:
    From high estat fortune away him carf.
    Of this tragedie it ought ynough suffice;
    Who so wol here it in a longer wise,
    Redeth the grete poete of Itaille,
    That highte Dante, for he can it devise
    Fro point to point, not o word wol he faille.”

    Buti, Commento says:⁠—

    “After eight days they were removed from prison and carried wrapped in matting to the church of the Minor Friars at San Francesco, and buried in the monument, which is on the side of the steps leading into the church near the gate of the cloister, with irons on their legs, which irons I myself saw taken out of the monument.”

  501. “The remains of this tower,” says Napier, Florentine History, I 319, note, “still exist in the Piazza de’ Cavalieri, on the right of the archway as the spectator looks toward the clock.” According to Buti it was called the Mew, “because the eagles of the Commune were kept there to moult.”

    Shelley thus sings of it. Poems, III 91:⁠—

    “Amid the desolation of a city,
    Which was the cradle, and is now the grave
    Of an extinguished people, so that pity
    Weeps o’er the shipwrecks of oblivion’s wave,
    There stands the Tower of Famine. It is built
    Upon some prison-homes, whose dwellers rave
    For bread, and gold, and blood: pain, linked to guilt,
    Agitates the light flame of their hours,
    Until its vital oil is spent or spilt;
    There stands the pile, a tower amid the towers
    And sacred domes; each marble-ribbed roof,
    The brazen-gated temples, and the bowers
    Of solitary wealth! The tempest-proof
    Pavilions of the dark Italian air
    Are by its presence dimmed⁠—they stand aloof,
    And are withdrawn⁠—so that the world is bare,
    As if a spectre, wrapt in shapeless terror,
    Amid a company of ladies fair
    Should glide and glow, till it became a mirror
    Of all their beauty, and their hair and hue,
    The life of their sweet eyes, with all its error,
    Should be absorbed till they to marble grew.”

  502. Monte San Giuliano, between Pisa and Lucca.

    Shelley, Poems, III 166:⁠—

    “It was that hill whose intervening brow
    Screens Lucca from the Pisan’s envious eye,
    Which the circumfluous plain waving below,
    Like a wide lake of green fertility,
    With streams and fields and marshes bare,
    Divides from the far Apennine, which lie
    Islanded in the immeasurable air.”

  503. The hounds are the Pisan mob; the hunters, the Pisan noblemen here mentioned; the wolf and whelps, Ugolino and his sons.

  504. It is a question whether in this line chiavar is to be rendered nailed up or locked. Villani and Benvenuto say the tower was locked, and the keys thrown into the Arno; and I believe most of the commentators interpret the line in this way. But the locking of a prison door, which must have been a daily occurrence, could hardly have caused the dismay here portrayed, unless it can be shown that the lower door of the tower was usually left unlocked.

    “The thirty lines from Ed io senti’ are unequalled,” says Landor, Pentameron, 40, “by any other continuous thirty in the whole dominions of poetry.”

  505. Italy; it being an old custom to call countries by the affirmative particle of the language.

  506. Capraia and Gorgona are two islands opposite the mouth of the Arno. Ampère, Voyage Dantesque, 217, remarks:⁠—

    “This imagination may appear grotesque and forced if one looks at the map, for the isle of Gorgona is at some distance from the mouth of the Arno, and I had always thought so, until the day when, having ascended the tower of Pisa, I was struck with the aspect which the Gorgona presented from that point. It seemed to shut up the Arno. I then understood how Dante might naturally have had this idea, which had seemed strange to me, and his imagination was justified in my eyes. He had not seen the Gorgona from the Leaning Tower, which did not exist in his time, but from some one of the numerous towers which protected the ramparts of Pisa. This fact alone would be sufficient to show what an excellent interpretation of a poet travelling is.”

  507. Napier, Florentine History, I 313:⁠—

    “He without hesitation surrendered Santa Maria a Monte, Fuccechio, Santa Croce, and Monte Calvole to Florence; exiled the most zealous Ghibellines from Pisa, and reduced it to a purely Guelphic republic; he was accused of treachery, and certainly his own objects were admirably forwarded by the continued captivity of so many of his countrymen, by the banishment of the adverse faction, and by the friendship and support of Florence.”

  508. Thebes was renowned for its misfortunes and grim tragedies, from the days of the sowing of the dragon’s teeth by Cadmus, down to the destruction of the city by Alexander, who commanded it to be utterly demolished, excepting only the house in which the poet Pindar was born. Moreover, the tradition runs that Pisa was founded by Pelops, son of King Tantalus of Thebes, although it derived its name from “the Olympic Pisa on the banks of the Alpheus.”

  509. Friar Alberigo, of the family of the Manfredi, Lords of Faenza, was one of the Frati Gaudenti, or Jovial Friars, mentioned in Canto XXIII 103. The account which the Ottimo gives of his treason is as follows:⁠—

    “Having made peace with certain hostile fellow-citizens, he betrayed them in this wise. One evening he invited them to supper, and had armed retainers in the chambers round the supper-room. It was in summertime, and he gave orders to his servants that, when after the meats he should order the fruit, the chambers should be opened, and the armed men should come forth and should murder alb the guests. And so it was done. And he did the like the year before at Castello delle Mura at Pistoia. These are the fruits of the Garden of Treason, of which he speaks.”

    Benvenuto says that his guests were his brother Manfred and his (Manfred’s) son. Other commentators say they were certain members of the Order of Frati Gaudenti. In 1300, the date of the poem, Alberigo was still living.

  510. A Rowland for an Oliver.

  511. This division of Cocytus, the Lake of Lamentation, is called Ptolomaea from Ptolomeus, 1 Maccabees 16:11, where “the captain of Jericho inviteth Simon and two of his sons into his castle, and there treacherously murdereth them”; for “when Simon and his sons had drunk largely, Ptolomee and his men rose up, and took their weapons, and came upon Simon into the banqueting-place, and slew him, and his two sons, and certain of his servants.”

    Or perhaps from Ptolemy, who murdered Pompey after the battle of Pharsalia.

  512. Of the three Fates, Clotho held the distaff, Lachesis spun the thread, and Atropos cut it.

    Odyssey, XI:⁠—

    “After him I perceived the might of Hercules, an image; for he himself amongst the immortal gods is delighted with banquets, and has the fair-legged Hebe, daughter of mighty Jove, and golden-sandalled Juno,”

  513. Ser Branco d’Oria was a Genoese, and a member of the celebrated Doria family of that city. Nevertheless he murdered at table his father-in-law, Michel Zanche, who is mentioned Canto XXII 88.

  514. This vituperation of the Genoese reminds one of the bitter Tuscan proverb against them: “Sea without fish; mountains without trees; men without faith; and women without shame.”

  515. Friar Alberigo.

  516. The fourth and last division of the Ninth Circle, the Judecca⁠—

    “the smallest circle, at the point
    Of all the Universe, where Dis is seated.”

    The first line, “The banners of the king of Hell come forth,” is a parody of the first line of a Latin hymn of the sixth century, sung in the churches during Passion week, and written by Fortunatus, an Italian by birth, but who died Bishop of Poitiers in 600, The first stanza of this hymn is⁠—

    “Vexilla regis prodeunt,
    Fulget crucis mysterium,
    Quo came carnis conditor,
    Suspensus est patibulo.”

    See Königsfeld, Lateinische Hymnen und Gesänge aus dem Mittelalter, 64.

  517. Milton, Paradise Lost, V 708:⁠—

    “His countenance as the morning star, that guides
    The starry flock.”

  518. Compare Milton’s descriptions of Satan, Paradise Lost, I 192, 589, II 636, IV 985:⁠—

    “Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate,
    With head uplift above the wave, and eyes
    That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides
    Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
    Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
    As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
    Titanian, or Earth-born, that warred on Jove,
    Briareus, or Typhon, whom the den
    By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
    Leviathan, which God of all his works
    Created hugest that swim the ocean stream:
    Him, haply, slumbering on the Norway foam,
    The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff,
    Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,
    With fixed anchor in his scaly rind
    Moors by his side under the lee, while night
    Invests the sea, and wished morn delays.
    So stretched out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay
    Chained on the burning lake.”

    “He, above the rest
    In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
    Stood like a tower: his form had yet not lost
    All her original brightness, nor appeared
    Less than archangel ruined, and the excess
    Of glory obscured: as when the sun new-risen
    Looks through the horizontal misty air,
    Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon,
    In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
    On half the nations, and with fear of change
    Perplexes monarchs: darkened so, yet shone
    Above them all the Archangel.”

    “As when far off at sea a fleet descried
    Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds
    Close sailing from Bengala or the isles
    Of Ternate and Tidore, whence merchants bring
    Their spicy drugs: they on the trading flood
    Through the wide Aethiopian to the Cape
    Ply, stemming nightly toward the pole: so seemed
    Far off the flying fiend.”

    “On the other side, Satan, alarmed,
    Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
    Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremoved:
    His stature reached the sky, and on his crest
    Sat horror plumed; nor wanted in his grasp
    What seemed both spear and shield.”

  519. The Ottimo and Benvenuto both interpret the three faces as symbolizing Ignorance, Hatred, and Impotence. Others interpret them as signifying the three quarters of the then known world, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

  520. Aethiopia; the region about the Cataracts of the Nile.

  521. Milton, Paradise Lost, II 527:⁠—

    “At last his sail-broad vans
    He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke
    Uplifted spurns the ground.”

  522. Landor in his Pentameron, 527, makes Petrarca say:⁠—

    “This is atrocious, not terrific nor grand. Alighieri is grand by his lights, not by his shadows; by his human affections, not by his infernal. As the minutest sands are the labors of some profound sea, or the spoils of some vast mountain, in like manner his horrid wastes and wearying minutenesses are the chafings of a turbulent spirit, grasping the loftiest things, and penetrating the deepest, and moving and moaning on the earth in loneliness and sadness.”

  523. Gabriele Rossetti, Spirito Antipapale, I 75, Miss Ward’s Tr., says:⁠—

    “The three spirits, who hang from the mouths of his Satan, are Judas, Brutus, and Cassius. The poet’s reason for selecting those names has never yet been satisfactorily accounted for; but we have no hesitation in pronouncing it to have been this⁠—he considered the Pope not only a betrayer and seller of Christ⁠—‘Where gainful merchandise is made of Christ throughout the livelong day,’ (Parad. 17,) and for that reason put Judas into his centre mouth; but a traitor and rebel to Caesar, and therefore placed Brutus and Cassius in the other two mouths; for the Pope, who was originally no more than Caesar’s vicar, became his enemy, and usurped the capital of his empire, and the supreme authority. His treason to Christ was not discovered by the world in general; hence the face of Judas is hidden⁠—‘He that hath his head within, and plies the feet without’ (Inf. 34); his treason to Caesar was open and manifest, therefore Brutus and Cassius show their faces.”

    He adds in a note:⁠—

    “The situation of Judas is the same as that of the Popes who were guilty of simony.”

  524. The evening of Holy Saturday.

  525. Iliad, V 305:⁠—

    “With this he struck the hip of Aeneas, where the thigh turns on the hip.”

  526. The canonical day, from sunrise to sunset, was divided into four equal parts, called in Italian Terza, Sesta, Nona, and Vespro, and varying in length with the change of season. “These hours,” says Dante, Convito, III 6, “are short or long⁠ ⁠… according as day and night increase or diminish.” Terza was the first division after sunrise; and at the equinox would be from six till nine. Consequently mezza terza, or middle tierce, would be half past seven.

  527. Jerusalem.

  528. The Mountain of Purgatory, rising out of the sea at a point directly opposite Jerusalem, upon the other side of the globe. It is an island in the South Pacific Ocean.

  529. This brooklet is Lethe, whose source is on the summit of the Mountain of Purgatory, flowing down to mingle with Acheron, Styx, and Phlegethon, and form Cocytus. See Canto XIV 136.

  530. It will be observed that each of the three divisions of the Divine Comedy ends with the word “Stars,” suggesting and symbolizing endless aspiration. At the end of the Inferno Dante “re-beholds the stars”; at the end of the Purgatorio he is “ready to ascend to the stars”; at the end of the Paradiso he feels the power of “that Love which moves the sun and other stars.” He is now looking upon the morning stars of Easter Sunday.

  531. The Mountain of Purgatory is a vast conical mountain, rising steep and high from the waters of the Southern Ocean, at a point antipodal to Mount Zion in Jerusalem. In Canto III 14, Dante speaks of it as

    “The hill
    That highest tow’rds the heaven uplifts itself”;

    and in Paradiso, XXVI 139, as

    “The mount that rises highest o’er the wave.”

    Around it run seven terraces, on which are punished severally the Seven Deadly Sins. Rough stairways, cut in the rock, lead up from terrace to terrace, and on the summit is the garden of the Terrestrial Paradise.

    The Seven Sins punished in the Seven Circles are⁠—1. Pride; 2. Envy; 3. Anger; 4. Sloth; 5. Avarice and Prodigality; 6. Gluttony; 7. Lust.

    The threefold division of the Purgatorio, marked only by more elaborate preludes, or by a natural pause in the action of the poem, is⁠—1. From Canto I to Canto IX; 2. From Canto IX to Canto XXVIII; 3. From Canto XXVIII to the end. The first of these divisions describes the region lying outside the gate of Purgatory; the second, the Seven Circles of the mountain; and the third, the Terrestrial Paradise on its summit.

    “Traces of belief in a Purgatory,” says Mr. Alger, Doctrine of a Future Life, p. 410, “early appear among the Christians. Many of the gravest Fathers of the first five centuries naturally conceived and taught⁠—as is indeed intrinsically reasonable⁠—that after death some souls will be punished for their sins until they are cleansed, and then will be released from pain. The Manichaeans imagined that all souls, before returning to their native heaven, must be borne first to the moon, where with good waters they would be washed pure from outward filth, and then to the sun, where they would be purged by good fires from every inward stain. After these lunar and solar lustrations, they were fit for the eternal world of light. But the conception of Purgatory as it was held by the early Christians, whether orthodox Fathers or heretical sects, was merely the just and necessary result of applying to the subject of future punishment the two ethical ideas that punishment should partake of degrees proportioned to guilt, and that it should be restorative.⁠ ⁠…

    “Pope Gregory the Great, in the sixth century⁠—either borrowing some of the more objectionable features of the Purgatory-doctrine previously held by the heathen, or else devising the same things himself from a perception of the striking adaptedness of such notions to secure an enviable power to the Church⁠—constructed, established, and gave working efficiency to the dogmatic scheme of Purgatory ever since firmly defended by the Papal adherents as an integral part of the Roman Catholic system. The doctrine as matured and promulgated by Gregory, giving to the representatives of the Church an almost unlimited power over Purgatory, rapidly grew into favor with the clergy, and sank with general conviction into the hopes and fears of the laity,”

  532. The Muse “of the beautiful voice,” who presided over eloquence and heroic verse.

  533. The nine daughters of Pierus, king of Macedonia, called the Pierides. They challenged the Muses to a trial of skill in singing, and being vanquished were changed by Apollo into magpies. Ovid, Metamorphoses V, Maynwaring’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Beneath their nails
    Feathers they feel, and on their faces scales;
    Their horny beaks at once each other scare,
    Their arms are plumed, and on their backs they bear
    Pied wings, and flutter in the fleeting air.
    Chatt’ring, the scandal of the woods, they fly,
    And there continue still their clam’rous cry:
    The same their eloquence, as maids or birds,
    Now only noise, and nothing then but words.”

  534. The highest heaven.

  535. The planet Venus.

  536. Chaucer, “Knightes Tale”:⁠—

    “The besy larke, the messager of day,
    Saleweth in hire song the morwe gray,
    And firy Phebus riseth up so bright,
    That all the orient laugheth of the sight.”

  537. The stars of the Southern Cross. Figuratively the four cardinal virtues. Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, and Temperance. See Canto XXXI 106:⁠—

    “We here are Nymphs, and in the Heaven are stars.”

    The next line may be interpreted in the same figurative sense.

    Humboldt, Personal Narrative, II 21, Miss Williams’s Tr., thus describes his first glimpse of the Southern Cross:⁠—

    “The pleasure we felt on discovering the Southern Cross was warmly shared by such of the crew as had lived in the colonies. In the solitude of the seas, we hail a star as a friend from whom we have long been separated. Among the Portuguese and the Spaniards peculiar motives seem to increase this feeling; a religious sentiment attaches them to a constellation, the form of which recalls the sign of the faith planted by their ancestors in the deserts of the New World.

    “The two great stars which mark the summit and the foot of the Cross having nearly the same right ascension, it follows hence, that the constellation is almost perpendicular at the moment when it passes the meridian. This circumstance is known to every nation that lives beyond the tropics, or in the Southern hemisphere. It has been observed at what hour of the night, in different seasons, the Cross o’ the South is erect or inclined. It is a timepiece that advances very regularly near four minutes a day, and no other group of stars exhibits, to the naked eye, an observation of time so easily made. How often have we heard our guides exclaim in the savannahs of Venezuela, or in the desert extending from Lima to Truxillo, ‘Midnight is past, the Cross begins to bend!’ How often those words reminded us of that aftecting scene, where Paul and Virginia, seated near the source of the river of Lataniers, conversed together for the last time, and where the old man, at the sight of the Southern Cross, warns them that it is time to separate.”

  538. By the “primal people” Dante does not mean our first parents, but “the early races which inhabited Europe and Asia,” says Mr. Barlow, Study of Dante, and quotes in confirmation of his view the following passage from Humboldt’s Cosmos, II:⁠—

    “In consequence of the precession of the equinoxes, the starry heavens are continually changing their aspect from every portion of the earth’s surface. The early races of mankind beheld in the far north the glorious constellations of the southern hemisphere rise before them, which, after remaining long invisible, will again appear in those latitudes after a lapse of thousands of years⁠ ⁠… The Southern Cross began to become invisible in 52° 30′ north latitude 2900 years before our era, since, according to Galle, this constellation might previously have reached an altitude of more than 10°. When it disappeared from the horizon of the countries of the Baltic, the great Pyramid of Cheops had already been erected more than 500 years.”

  539. Iliad, XVIII:⁠—

    “The Pleiades, and the Hyades, and the strength of Orion, and the Bear, which likewise they call by the appellation of the Wain, which there turns round and watches Orion; and it alone is deprived of the baths of Oceanus.”

  540. Cato of Utica. “Pythagoras escapes, in the fabulous hell of Dante,” says Sir Thomas Brown, Urn Burial, IV, “among that swarm of philosophers, wherein, whilst we meet with Plato and Socrates, Cato is found in no lower place than Purgatory.”

    In the description of the shield of Aeneas, Aeneid, VIII, Cato is represented as presiding over the good in the Tartarean realms: “And the good apart, Cato dispensing laws to them.” This line of Virgil may have suggested to Dante the idea of making Cato the warden of Purgatory.

    In the Convito, IV 28, he expresses the greatest reverence for him. Marcia returning to him in her widowhood, he says, “symbolizes the noble soul returning to God in old age.” And continues: “What man on earth was more worthy to symbolize God, than Cato? Surely none”;⁠—ending the chapter with these words: “In his name it is beautiful to close what I have had to say of the signs of nobility, because in him this nobility displays them all through all ages.”

    Here, on the shores of Purgatory, his countenance is adorned with the light of the four stars which are the four virtues. Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, and Temperance, and it is foretold of him, that his garments will shine brightly on the last day. And here he is the symbol of Liberty, since, for her sake, to him “not bitter was death in Utica”; and the meaning of Purgatory is spiritual Liberty, or freedom from sin through purification, “the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Therefore in thus selecting the “Divine Cato” for the guardian of this realm, Dante shows himself to have greater freedom than the critics, who accuse him of “a perverse theology in saving the soul of an idolater and suicide.”

  541. The “blind river” is Lethe, which by sound and not by sight had guided them through the winding cavern from the centre of the earth to the surface. Inferno XXXIV 130.

  542. His beard. Ford, Lady’s Trial:⁠—

    “Now the down
    Of softness is exchanged for plumes of age.”

    Dante uses the same expression. Inferno XX 45, and Petrarca, who became gray at an early period, says:⁠—

    “In such a tenebrous and narrow cage
    Were we shut up, and the accustomed plumes
    I changed betimes, and my first countenance.”

  543. Upon this speech of Virgil to Cato, Mr. Barlow, Study of Dante, remarks:⁠—

    “The eighth book of the Tesoro of Brunetto Latini is headed, Qui comincia la Rettorica che c’ insegna a ben parlare, e di governare città e popoli. In this art Dante was duly instructed by his loving master, and became the most able orator of his era in Italy. Giov. Villani speaks of him as retorico perfetto tanto in dittare e versificare come in aringhiera parlare. But without this record and without acquaintance with the poet’s political history, knowing nothing of his influence in debates and councils, nor of his credit at foreign courts, we might, from the occasional speeches in the Divina Commedia, be fully assured of the truth of what Villani has said, and that Dante’s words and manner were always skilfully adapted to the purpose he had in view, and to the persons whom he addressed.

    “Virgil’s speech to the venerable Cato is a perfect specimen of persuasive eloquence. The sense of personal dignity is here combined with extreme courtesy and respect, and the most flattering appeals to the old man’s wellknown sentiments, his love of liberty, his love of rectitude, and his devoted attachment to Marcia, are interwoven with irresistible art; but though the resentment of Cato at the approach of the strangers is thus appeased, and he is persuaded to regard them with as much favor as the severity of his character permits, yet he will not have them think that his consent to their proceeding has been obtained by adulation, but simply by the assertion of power vouchsafed to them from on high⁠—

    Ma se donna del Ciel ti muove e regge,
    Come tu di’, non c’ è mestier lusinga:
    Bastiti ben, che per lei mi richegge.

    In this also the consistency of Cato’s character is maintained; he is sensible of the flattery, but disowns its influence.”

  544. See Inferno, V 4.

  545. See Inferno, IV 128. Also Convito, IV 28:⁠—

    “This the great poet Lucan shadows forth in the second book of his Pharsalia, when he says that Marcia returned to Cato, and besought him and entreated him to take her back in his old age. And by this Marcia is understood the noble soul.”

    Lucan, Pharsalia, II, Rowe’s Tr.:⁠—

    “When lo! the sounding doors are heard to turn,
    Chaste Martia comes from dead Hortensius’ urn.

    Forth from the monument the mournful dame
    With beaten breasts and locks dishevelled came;
    Then with a pale, dejected, rueful look,
    Thus pleasing to her former lord she spoke.

    ‘At length a barren wedlock let me prove,
    Give me the name without the joys of love;
    No more to be abandoned let me come,
    That Cato’s wife may live upon my tomb.’ ”

  546. A symbol of humility. Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 232, says:⁠—

    “There is a still deeper significance in the passage quoted, a little while ago, from Homer, describing Ulysses casting himself down on the rushes and the corngiving land at the river shore⁠—the rushes and corn being to him only good for rest and sustenance⁠—when we compare it with that in which Dante tells us he was ordered to descend to the shore of the lake as he entered Purgatory, to gather a rush, and gird himself with it, it being to him the emblem not only of rest, but of humility under chastisement, the rush (or reed) being the only plant which can grow there;⁠—‘no plant which bears leaves, or hardens its bark, can live on that shore, because it does not yield to the chastisement of its waves.’ It cannot but strike the reader singularly how deep and harmonious a significance runs through all these words of Dante⁠—how every syllable of them, the more we penetrate it, becomes a seed of farther thought! For follow up this image of the girding with the reed, under trial, and see to whose feet it will lead us. As the grass of the earth, thought of as the herb yielding seed, leads us to the place where our Lord commanded the multitude to sit down by companies upon the green grass; so the grass of the waters, thought of as sustaining itself among the waters of affliction, leads us to the place where a stem of it was put into our Lord’s hand for his sceptre; and in the crown of thorns, and the rod of reed, was foreshown the everlasting truth of the Christian ages⁠—that all glory was to be begun in suffering, and all power in humility.”

  547. Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 248:⁠—

    “There is only one more point to be noticed in the Dantesque landscape; namely, the feeling entertained by the poet towards the sky. And the love of mountains is so closely connected with the love of clouds, the sublimity of both depending much on their association, that, having found Dante regardless of the Carrara mountains as seen from San Miniato, we may well expect to find him equally regardless of the clouds in which the sun sank behind them. Accordingly, we find that his only pleasure in the sky depends on its ‘white clearness,’⁠—that turning into bianco aspetto di celestro, which is so peculiarly characteristic of fine days in Italy. His pieces of pure pale light are always exquisite. In the dawn on the purgatorial mountain, first, in its pale white, he sees the tremolar della marina⁠—trembling of the sea; then it becomes vermilion; and at last, near sunrise, orange. These are precisely the changes of a calm and perfect dawn. The scenery of Paradise begins with ‘day added to day,’ the light of the sun so flooding the heavens, that ‘never rain nor river made lake so wide’; and throughout the Paradise all the beauty depends on spheres of light, or stars, never on clouds. But the pit of the Inferno is at first sight obscure, deep, and so cloudy that at its bottom nothing could be seen. When Dante and Virgil reach the marsh in which the souls of those who have been angry and sad in their lives are forever plunged, they find it covered with thick fog; and the condemned souls say to them,

    ‘We once were sad,
    In the stueet air, made gladsome by the sun.
    Now in these murky settlings are we sad.’

    Even the angel crossing the marsh to help them is annoyed by this bitter marsh smoke, fummo acerbo, and continually sweeps it with his hand from before his face.”

  548. Some commentators interpret Ove adorezza, by “where the wind blows.” But the blowing of the wind would produce an effect exactly opposite to that here described.

  549. Aeneid, VI:⁠—

    “When the first is torn off, a second of gold succeeds; and a twig shoots forth leaves of the same metal.”

  550. It was sunset at Jerusalem, night on the Ganges, and morning at the Mountain of Purgatory.

    The sun being in Aries, the night would “come forth with the scales,” or the sign of Libra, which is opposite Aries. These scales fall from the hand of night, or are not above the horizon by night, when the night exceeds, or is longer than the day.

  551. Boccaccio, Decamcerone, Prologue to the Third Day, imitates this passage:⁠—

    “The Aurora, as the sun drew nigh, was already beginning to change from vermilion to orange.”

  552. Argument used in the sense of means, or appliances, as in Inferno XXXI 55.

  553. Cervantes says in Don Quixote, Pt. I ch. 12, that the student Crisostomo “had a face like a benediction.”

  554. Sackville, in his “Induction” to the Mirror for Magistrates, says:⁠—

    “Whiles Scorpio dreading Sagittarius’ dart
    Whose bow prest bent in fight the string had slipped,
    Down slid into the ocean flood apart.”

  555. Odyssey, XI, Buckley’s Tr.:⁠—

    “But I, meditating in my mind, wished to lay hold of the soul of my departed mother. Thrice indeed I essayed it, and my mind urged me to lay hold of it, but thrice it flew from my hands, like unto a shadow, or even to a dream.”

    And Aeneid, VI, Davidson’s Tr.:⁠—

    “There thrice he attempted to throw his arms around his neck; thrice the phantom, grasped in vain, escaped his hold, like the fleet gales, or resembling most a fugitive dream.”

  556. Casella was a Florentine musician and friend of Dante, who here speaks to him with so much tenderness and affection as to make us regret that nothing more is known of him. Milton alludes to him in his Sonnet to Mr. H. Lawes:⁠—

    “Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
    Than his Casella, whom he woo’d to sing
    Met in the milder shades of Purgatory.”

  557. The first three months of the year of Jubilee, 1300. Milman, History of Latin Christianity, VI 285, thus describes it:⁠—

    “All Europe was in a frenzy of religious zeal. Throughout the year the roads in the remotest parts of Germany, Hungary, Britain, were crowded with pilgrims of all ages, of both sexes. A Savoyard above one hundred years old determined to see the tombs of the Apostles before he died. There were at times two hundred thousand strangers at Rome. During the year (no doubt the calculations were loose and vague) the city was visited by millions of pilgrims. At one time, so vast was the press both within and without the walls, that openings were broken for ingress and egress. Many people were trampled down, and perished by suffocation.⁠ ⁠… Lodgings were exorbitantly dear, forage scarce; but the ordinary food of man, bread, meat, wine, and fish, was sold in great plenty and at moderate prices. The oblations were beyond calculation. It is reported by an eyewitness that two priests stood with rakes in their hands sweeping the uncounted gold and silver from the altars. Nor was this tribute, like offerings or subsidies for Crusades, to be devoted to special uses, the accoutrements, provisions, freight of armies. It was entirely at the free and irresponsible disposal of the Pope. Christendom of its own accord was heaping at the Pope’s feet this extraordinary custom; and receiving back the gift of pardon and everlasting life.”

    See also note 253.

  558. The seashore of Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber, where the souls of those who were saved assembled, and were received by the Celestial Pilot, who transported them to the island of Purgatory. Minutius Felix, a Roman lawyer of the third century, makes it the scene of his Octavius, and draws this pleasant picture of the sands and the sea. Reeves’s Tr., p. 37:⁠—

    “It was vacation-time, and that gave me aloose from my business at the bar; for it was the season after the summer’s heat, when autumn promised fair, and put on the face of temperate. We set out, therefore, in the morning early, and as we were walking upon the seashore, and a kindly breeze fanned and refreshed our limbs, and the yielding sand softly submitted to our feet and made it delicious travelling, Cascilius on a sudden espied the statue of Serapis, and, according to the vulgar mode of superstition, raised his hand to his mouth, and paid his adoration in kisses. Upon which Octavius, addressing himself to me, said: ‘It is not well done, my brother Marcus, thus to leave your inseparable companion in the depth of Vulgar darkness, and to suffer him, in so clear a day, to stumble upon stones; stones, indeed, of figure, and anointed with oil, and crowned; but stones, however, still they are;⁠—for you cannot but be sensible that your permitting so foul an error in your friend redounds no less to your disgrace than his.’ This discourse of his held us through half the city; and now we began to find ourselves upon the free and open shore. There the gently washing waves had spread the extremest sands into the order of an artificial walk; and as the sea always expresses some roughness in his looks, even when the winds are still, although he did not roll in foam and angry surges to the shore, yet were we much delighted, as we walked upon the edges of the water, to see the crisping, frizzly waves glide in snaky folds, one while playing against our feet, and then again retiring and lost in the devouring ocean. Softly, then, and calmly as the sea about us, we travelled on, and kept upon the brim of the gently declining shore, beguiling the way with our stories.”

  559. This is the first line of the second canzone of the Convito.

  560. So in Paradiso, XXVI 139:⁠—

    “The mount that rises highest o’er the sea.”

  561. The tomb of Virgil is on the promontory of Pausilippo, overlooking the Bay of Naples. The inscription upon it is:⁠—

    Mantua me genuit: Calabri rapuere: tenet nunc
    Parthenope: cecini pascua, rura, duces.

    “The epitaph,” says Eustace, Classical Tour, I 499, “which, though not genuine, is yet ancient, was inscribed by order of the Duke of Pescolangiano, then proprietor of the place, on a marble slab placed in the side of the rock opposite the entrance of the tomb, where it still remains.”

    Forsyth, Italy, p. 378, says:⁠—

    Virgil’s tomb is so called, I believe, on the single authority of Donatus. Donatus places it at the right distance from Naples, but on the wrong side of the city; and even there he omits the grotto of Posilipo, which not being so deep in his time as the two last excavations have left it, must have opened precisely at his tomb. Donatus, too, gives, for Virgil’s own composition, an epitaph on the cliff now rejected as a forgery. And who is this Donatus?⁠—an obscure grammarian, or rather his counterfeit. The structure itself resembles a ruined pigeon-house, where the numerous columbaria would indicate a family-sepulchre: but who should repose in the tomb of Virgil, but Virgil alone? Visitors of every nation, kings and princes, have scratched their names on the stucco of this apocryphal ruin, but the poet’s awful name seems to have deterred them from versifying here.”

  562. Be satisfied with knowing that a thing is, without asking why it is. These were distinguished in scholastic language as the Demonstratio quia, and the Demonstratio propter quid.

  563. Places on the mountainous seaside road from Genoa to Pisa, known as the Riviera di Levante. Of this, Mr. Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 243, says:⁠—

    “The similes by which he illustrates the steepness of that ascent are all taken from the Riviera of Genoa, now traversed by a good carriage road under the name of the Cornice; but as this road did not exist in Dante’s time, and the steep precipices and promontories were then probably traversed by footpaths, which, as they necessarily passed in many places over crumbling and slippery limestone, were doubtless not a little dangerous, and as in the manner they commanded the bays of sea below, and lay exposed to the full blaze of the southeastern sun, they corresponded precisely to the situation of the path by which he ascends above the purgatorial sea, the image could not possibly have been taken from a better source for the fully conveying his idea to the reader: nor, by the way, is there reason to discredit, in this place, his powers of climbing; for, with his usual accuracy, he has taken the angle of the path for us, saying it was considerable more than forty-five. Now a continuous mountain slope of forty-five degrees is already quite unsafe either for ascent or descent, except by zigzag paths; and a greater slope than this could not be climbed, straightforward, but by help of crevices or jags in the rock, and great physical exertion besides.”

    Mr. Norton, Travel and Study, p. 1, thus describes the Riviera:⁠—

    “The Var forms the geographical boundary between France and Italy; but it is not till Nice is left behind, and the first height of the Riviera is surmounted, that the real Italy begins. Here the hills close round at the north, and suddenly, as the road turns at the top of a long ascent, the Mediterranean appears far below, washing the feet of the mountains that form the coast, and stretching away to the Southern horizon. The line of the shore is of extraordinary beauty. Here an abrupt cliff rises from the sea; here bold and broken masses of rock jut out into it; here the hills, their gray sides terraced for vineyards, slope gently down to the water’s edge; here they stretch into little promontories covered with orange and olive-trees.

    “One of the first of these promontories is that of Capo Sant’ Ospizio. A close grove of olives half conceals the old castle on its extreme point. With the afternoon sun full upon it, the trees palely glimmering as their leaves move in the light air, the sea so blue and smooth as to be like a darker sky, and not even a ripple upon the beach, it seems as if this were the very home of summer and of repose. It is remote and secluded from the stir and noise of the world. No road is seen leading to it, and one looks down upon the solitary castle and wonders what stories of enchantment and romance belong to a ruin that appears as if made for their dwelling-place. It is a scene out of that Italy which is the home of the imagination, and which becomes the Italy of memory.

    “As the road winds down to the sea, it passes under a high isolated peak, on which stands Esa, built as a city of refuge against pirates and Moors. A little farther on,

    ‘Its Roman strength Turbia showed
    In ruins by the mountain road,’⁠—

    not only recalling the ancient times, when it was the boundary city of Italy and Gaul, and when Augustus erected his triumphal arch within it, but associated also with Dante and the steep of Purgatory. Beneath lies Monaco, glowing ‘like a gem’ on its oval rock, the sea sparkling around it, and the long western rays of the sinking sun lingering on its little palace, clinging to its church belfry and its gray wall, as if loath to leave them.”

    In the Casa Magni, on the seashore near Lerici, Shelley once lived. He was returning thither from Leghorn, when he perished in a sudden storm at sea.

  564. After they had gone a mile, they were still a stone’s throw distant.

  565. See Convito, I 10.

  566. Manfredi, king of Apulia and Sicily, was a natural son of the Emperor Frederick the Second. He was slain at the battle of Benevento, in 1265; one of the great and decisive battles of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, the Guelph or Papal forces being commanded by Charles of Anjou, and the Ghibellines or Imperialists by Manfredi.

    Malispini, Storia, ch. 187, thus describes his death and burial:⁠—

    “Manfredi, being left with few followers, behaved like a valiant gentleman who preferred to die in battle rather than to escape with shame. And putting on his helmet, which had on it a silver eagle for a crest, this eagle fell on the saddlebow before him; and seeing this he was greatly disturbed, and said in Latin to the barons who were near him, ‘Hoc est signum Dei; for this crest I fastened on with my own hands in such a way that it could not fall.’ But he was not discouraged, and took heart, and went into battle like any other baron, without the royal insignia, in order not to be recognized. But short while it lasted, for his forces were already in flight; and they were routed and Manfredi slain in the middle of the enemy; and they were driven into the town by the soldiers of King Charles, for it was now night, and they lost the city of Benevento. And many of Manfredi’s barons were made prisoners, among whom were the Count Giordano, Messer Piero Asino degli Uberti, and many others, whom King Charles sent captive into Provence, and there had them put to death in prison; and he imprisoned many other Germans in different parts of the kingdom. And a few days afterwards the wife of Manfredi and his children and his sister, who were in Nocera de’ Sardini in Apulia, were taken prisoners by Charles; these died in prison. And for more than three days they made search after Manfredi; for he could not be found, nor was it known if he were dead, or a prisoner, or had escaped; because he had not worn his royal robes in the battle. And afterwards he was recognized by one of his own camp-followers, from certain marks upon his person, in the middle of the battlefield; and he threw him across an ass, and came shouting, ‘Who will buy Manfredi?’ for which a baron of the king beat him with a cane. And the body of Manfredi being brought to King Charles, he assembled all the barons who were prisoners, and asked each one if that was Manfredi; and timidly they answered yes. Count Giordano smote himself in the face with his hands, weeping and crying, ‘O my lord!’ whereupon he was much commended by the French, and certain Bretons besought that he might have honorable burial. Answered the king and said, ‘I would do it willingly, if he were not excommunicated’; and on that account he would not have him laid in consecrated ground, but he was buried at the foot of the bridge of Benevento, and each one of the army threw a stone upon his grave, so that a great pile was made. But afterwards, it is said, by command of the Pope, the Bishop of Cosenza took him from that grave, and sent him out of the kingdom, because it was Church land. And he was buried by the river Verde, at the confines of the kingdom and the Campagna. This battle was on a Friday, the last day of February, in the year one thousand two hundred and sixty-five.”

    Villani, who in his account of the battle copies Malispini almost literally, gives in another chapter, VI 46, the following portrait of Manfredi; but it must be remembered that Villani was a Guelph, and Manfredi a Ghibelline:⁠—

    “King Manfredi had for his mother a beautiful lady of the family of the Marquises of Lancia in Lombardy, with whom the Emperor had an intrigue, and was beautiful in person, and like his father and more than his father was given to dissipation of all kinds. He was a musician and singer, delighted in the company of buffoons and courtiers and beautiful concubines, and was always clad in green; he was generous and courteous, and of good demeanor, so that he was much beloved and gracious; but his life was wholly epicurean, hardly caring for God or the saints, but for the delights of the body. He was an enemy of holy Church, and of priests and monks, confiscating churches as his father had done; and a wealthy gentleman was he, both from the treasure which he inherited from the Emperor, and from King Conrad, his brother, and from his own kingdom, which was ample and fruitful, and which, so long as he lived, notwithstanding all the wars he had with the Church, he kept in good condition, so that it rose greatly in wealth and power, both by sea and by land.”

    This battle of Benevento is the same as that mentioned Inferno XXVIII 16:⁠—

    “At Ceperano, where a renegade
    Was each Apulian.”

  567. Constance, wife of the Emperor Henry the Sixth.

  568. His daughter Constance, who was married to Peter of Aragon, and was the mother of Frederic of Sicily and of James of Aragon.

  569. The Bishop of Cosenza and Pope Clement the Fourth.

  570. The name of the river Verde reminds one of the old Spanish ballad, particularly when one recalls the fact that Manfredi had in his army a band of Saracens:⁠—

    “Rio Verde, Rio Verde,
    Many a corpse is bathed in thee,
    Both of Moors and eke of Christians,
    Slain with swords most cruelly.”

  571. Those who died “in contumely of holy Church,” or under excommunication, were buried with extinguished and inverted torches.

  572. Plato’s doctrine of three souls: the Vegetative in the liver; the Sensative in the heart; and the Intellectual in the brain. See Convito, IV 7.

  573. See Convito, II 14, quoted note 1566.

  574. Sanleo, a fortress on a mountain in the duchy of Urbino; Noli, a town in the Genoese territory, by the seaside; Bismantova, a mountain in the duchy of Modena.

  575. Like Christian going up the hill Difficulty in Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress:⁠—

    “I looked then after Christian to see him go up the hill, where I perceived he fell from running to going, and from going to clambering upon his hands and knees, because of the steepness of the place,”

  576. More than forty-five degrees.

  577. If the sun were in Gemini, or if we were in the month of May, you would see the sun still farther to the north.

  578. Rubecchio is generally rendered red or ruddy. But Jacopo dalla Lana says: “Rubecchio in the Tuscan tongue signifies an indented mill-wheel.” This interpretation certainly renders the image more distinct. The several signs of the Zodiac are so many cogs in the great wheel; and the wheel is an image which Dante more than once applies to the celestial bodies.

  579. The Ecliptic. See note 247.

  580. This, the Mountain of Purgatory; and that, Mount Zion.

  581. The Seven Stars of Ursa Major, the North Star.

  582. Compare Thomson’s description of the “pleasing land of drowsy-head,” in the Castle of Indolence:⁠—

    “And there a season atween June and May,
    Half prankt with spring, with summer half imbrowned,
    A listless climate made, where, sooth to say,
    No living wight could work, ne cared even for play.”

  583. “He loved also in life,” says Arrivabene, Commento Storico, 584, “a certain Belacqua, an excellent maker of musical instruments.”

    Benvenuto da Imola says of him: “He was a Florentine who made guitars and other musical instruments. He carved and ornamented the necks and heads of the guitars with great care, and sometimes also played. Hence Dante, who delighted in music, knew him intimately.” This seems to be all that is known of Belacqua.

  584. Measure for Measure, II 2:⁠—

    “True prayers
    That shall be up at heaven, and enter there
    Ere sunrise; prayers from preserved souls,
    From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate
    To nothing temporal.”

  585. There is an air of reality about this passage, like some personal reminiscence of street gossip, which gives perhaps a little credibility to the otherwise incredible anecdotes of Dante told by Sacchetti and others;⁠—such as those of the ass-driver whom he beat, and the blacksmith whose tools he threw into the street for singing his verses amiss, and the woman who pointed him out to her companions as the man who had been in Hell and brought back tidings of it.

  586. Some editions read in this line mezza notte, midnight, instead of prima notte, early nightfall.

    Of meteors Brunetto Latini, Tresor, I pt. 3, ch. 107, writes:⁠—

    “Likewise it often comes to pass that a dry vapor, when it has mounted so high that it takes fire from the heat which is above, falls, when thus kindled, towards the earth, until it is spent and extinguished, whence some people think it is a dragon or a star which falls.”

    Milton, Paradise Lost, IV 556, describing the flight of Uriel, says:⁠—

    “Swift as a shooting star
    In Autumn thwarts the night, when vapors fired
    Impress the air, and show the mariner
    From what point of his compass to beware
    Impetuous winds.”

  587. Shakespeare’s “war ’twixt will and will not,” and “letting I dare not wait upon I would.”

  588. This is Jacopo del Cassero of Fano, in the region between Romagna and the kingdom of Naples, then ruled by Charles de Valois (Charles Lackland). He was waylaid and murdered at Oriago, between Venice and Padua, by Azzone the Third of Este.

  589. Leviticus 17:2:⁠—

    “The life of the flesh is in the blood.”

  590. Among the Paduans, who are called Antenori, because their city was founded by Antenor of Troy. Brunetto Latini, Tresor, I ch. 39, says:⁠—

    “Then Antenor and Priam departed thence, with a great company of people, and went to the Marca Trevisana, not far from Venice, and there they built another city which is called Padua, where lies the body of Antenor, and his sepulchre is still there.”

  591. La Mira is on the Brenta, or one of its canals, in the fen-lands between Padua and Venice.

  592. Buonconte was a son of Guido di Montefeltro, and lost his life in the battle of Campaldino in the Val d’Arno. His body was never found; Dante imagines its fate.

    Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 252, remarks:⁠—

    “Observe, Buonconte, as he dies, crosses his arms over his breast, pressing them together, partly in his pain, partly in prayer. His body thus lies by the river shore, as on a sepulchral monument, the arms folded into a cross. The rage of the river, under the influence of the evil demon, unlooses this cross, dashing the body supinely away, and rolling it over and over by bank and bottom. Nothing can be truer to the action of a stream in fury than these lines. And how desolate is it all! The lonely flight⁠—the grisly wound, ‘pierced in the throat,’⁠—the death, without help or pity⁠—only the name of Mary on the lips⁠—and the cross folded over the heart. Then the rage of the demon and the river⁠—the noteless grave⁠—and, at last, even she who had been most trusted forgetting him⁠—

    ‘Giovanna nor none else have care for me.’

    “There is, I feel assured, nothing else like it in all the range of poetry; a faint and harsh echo of it, only, exists in one Scottish ballad, ‘The Twa Corbies.’ ”

  593. The wife of Buonconte.

  594. Ampère, Voyage Dantesque, p. 241, thus speaks of the battle of Campaldino:⁠—

    “In this plain of Campaldino, now so pleasant and covered with vineyards, took place, on the 11th of June, 1289, a rude combat between the Guelphs of Florence and the fuorusciti Ghibellines, aided by the Aretines. Dante fought in the front rank of the Florentine cavalry; for it must needs be that this man, whose life was so complete, should have been a soldier, before being a theologian, diplomatist, and poet. He was then twenty-four years of age. He himself described this battle in a letter, of which only a few lines remain. ‘At the battle of Campaldino,’ he says, ‘the Ghibelline party was routed and almost wholly slain. I was there, a novice in arms; I had great fear, and at last great joy, on account of the divers chances of the fight.’ One must not see in this phrase the confession of cowardice, which could have no place in a soul tempered like that of Alighieri. The only fear he had was lest the battle should be lost. In fact, the Florentines at first seemed beaten; their infantry fell back before the Aretine cavalry; but this first advantage of the enemy was its destruction, by dividing its forces. These were the vicissitudes of the battle to which Dante alludes, and which at first excited his fears, and then caused his joy.”

  595. The Convent of Camaldoli, thus described by Forsyth, Italy, p. 117:⁠—

    “We now crossed the beautiful vale of Prato Vecchio, rode round the modest arcades of the town, and arrived at the lower convent of Camaldoli, just at shutting of the gates. The sun was set and every object sinking into repose, except the stream which roared among the rocks, and the convent-bells which were then ringing the Angelus.

    “This monastery is secluded from the approach of woman in a deep, narrow, woody dell. Its circuit of dead walls, built on the conventual plan, gives it an aspect of confinement and defence; yet this is considered as a privileged retreat, where the rule of the order relaxes its rigor, and no monks can reside but the sick or the superannuated, the dignitary or the steward, the apothecary or the bead-turner. Here we passed the night, and next morning rode up by the steep traverses to the Santo Eremo, where Saint Romualdo lived and established

    de’ tacenti cenobiti il coro,
    L’ arcane penitenze, ed i digiuni
    Al Camaldoli suo.

    “The Eremo is a city of hermits, walled round, and divided into streets of low, detached cells. Each cell consists of two or three naked rooms, built exactly on the plan of the Saint’s own tenement, which remains just as Romualdo left it eight hundred years ago; now too sacred and too damp for a mortal tenant.

    “The unfeeling Saint has here established a rule which anticipates the pains of Purgatory. No stranger can behold without emotion a number of noble, interesting young men bound to stand erect chanting at choir for eight hours a day; their faces pale, their heads shaven, their beards shaggy, their backs raw, their legs swollen, and their feet bare. With this horrible institute the climate conspires in severity, and selects from society the best constitutions. The sickly novice is cut off in one or two winters, the rest are subject to dropsy, and few arrive at old age.”

  596. Where the Archiano loses its name by flowing into the Arno.

  597. Epistle of Jude, 9:⁠—

    “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said. The Lord rebuke thee.”

    And Jeremy Taylor, speaking of the pardon of sin, says:⁠—

    “And while it is disputed between Christ and Christ’s enemy who shall be Lord, the pardon fluctuates like the wave, striving to climb the rock, and is washed off like its own retinue, and it gets possession by time and uncertainty, by difficulty and the degrees of a hard progression.”

  598. Brunetto Latini, Tresor, I ch. 107:⁠—

    “Then arise vapors like unto smoke, and mount aloft in air, where little by little they gather and grow, until they become dark and dense, so that they take away the sight of the sun; and these are the clouds; but they never are so dark as to take away the light of day; for the sun shines through them, as if it were a candle in a lantern, which shines outwardly, though it cannot itself be seen. And when the cloud has waxed great, so that it can no longer support the abundance of water, which is there as vapor, it must needs fall to earth, and that is the rain.”

  599. In Ephesians 2:2, the evil spirit is called “the prince of the power of the air.”

    Compare also Inferno XXIII 16,

    “If anger upon evil will be grafted.”

    and Inferno XXXI 55,

    “For where the argument of intellect
    Is added unto evil will and power,
    No rampart can the people make against it.”

  600. This Pratomagno is the same as the Prato Vecchio mentioned in note 595. The “great yoke” is the ridge of the Apennines.

    Dr. Barlow, Study of Dante, p. 199, has this note on the passage:⁠—

    “When rain falls from the upper region of the air, we observe at a considerable altitude a thin light veil, or a hazy turbidness; as this increases, the lower clouds become diffused in it, and form a uniform sheet. Such is the stratus cloud described by Dante (V 115) as covering the valley from Pratomagno to the ridge on the opposite side above Camaldoli. This cloud is a widely extended horizontal sheet of vapor, increasing from below, and lying on or near the earth’s surface. It is properly the cloud of night, and first appears about sunset, usually in autumn; it comprehends creeping mists and fogs which ascend from the bottom of valleys, and from the surface of lakes and rivers, in consequence of air colder than that of the surface descending and mingling with it, and from the air over the adjacent land cooling down more rapidly than that over the water, from which increased evaporation is taking place,”

  601. Milton, Paradise Lost, IV 500:⁠—

    “As Jupiter
    On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds
    That bring May-flowers.”

  602. His arms crossed upon his breast.

  603. Ampère, Voyage Dantesque, 255:⁠—

    “Who was this unhappy and perhaps guilty woman? The commentators say that she was of the family of Tolomei, illustrious at Siena. Among the different versions of her story there is one truly terrible. The outraged husband led his wife to an isolated castle in the Maremma of Siena, and there shut himself up with his victim, waiting his vengeance from the poisoned atmosphere of this solitude. Breathing with her the air which was killing her, he saw her slowly perish. This funeral tête-à-tête found him always impassive, until, according to the expression of Dante, the Maremma had unmade what he had once loved. This melancholy story might well have no other foundation than the enigma of Dante’s lines, and the terror with which this enigma may have struck the imaginations of his contemporaries.

    “However this may be, one cannot prevent an involuntary shudder, when, showing you a pretty little brick palace [at Siena], they say, ‘That is the house of the Pia.’ ”

    Benvenuto da Imola gives a different version of the story, and says that by command of the husband she was thrown from the window of her palace into the street, and died of the fall.

    Bandello, the Italian Novelist, Pt. I Nov. 12, says that the narrative is true, and gives minutely the story of the lovers, with such embellishments as his imagination suggested.

    Ugo Foscolo, Edinb. Review, XXIX 458, speaks thus:⁠—

    “Shakespeare unfolds the character of his persons, and presents them under all the variety of forms which they can naturally assume. He surrounds them with all the splendor of his imagination, and bestows on them that full and minute reality which his creative genius could alone confer. Of all tragic poets, he most amply develops character. On the other hand, Dante, if compared not only to Virgil, the most sober of poets, but even to Tacitus, will be found never to employ more than a stroke or two of his pencil, which he aims at imprinting almost insensibly on the hearts of his readers. Virgil has related the story of Eurydice in two hundred verses; Dante, in sixty verses, has finished his masterpiece⁠—the tale of Francesca da Rimini. The history of Desdemona has a parallel in the following passage of Dante. Nello della Pietra had espoused a lady of noble family at Sienna, named Madonna Pia. Her beauty was the admiration of Tuscany, and excited in the heart of her husband a jealousy, which, exasperated by false reports and groundless suspicions, at length drove him to the desperate resolution of Othello. It is difficult to decide whether the lady was quite innocent; but so Dante represents her. Her husband brought her into the Maremma, which, then as now, was a district destructive to health. He never told his unfortunate wife the reason of her banishment to so dangerous a country. He did not deign to utter complaint or accusation. He lived with her alone, in cold silence, without answering her questions, or listening to her remonstrances. He patiently waited till the pestilential air should destroy the health of this young lady. In a few months she died. Some chroniclers, indeed, tell us, that Nello used the dagger to hasten her death. It is certain that he survived her, plunged in sadness and perpetual silence. Dante had, in this incident, all the materials of an ample and very poetical narrative. But he bestows on it only four verses.”

    For a description of the Maremma, see note 181.

    Also Rogers, Italy, near the end:⁠—

    “Where the path
    Is lost in rank luxuriance, and to breathe
    Is to inhale distemper, if not death;
    Where the wild-boar retreats, when hunters chafe,
    And, when the day-star flames, the buffalo-herd
    Afflicted plunge into the stagnant pool,
    Nothing discerned amid the water-leaves,
    Save here and there the likeness of a head,
    Savage, uncouth; where none in human shape
    Come, save the herdsman, levelling his length
    Of lance with many a cry, or Tartar-like
    Urging his steed along the distant hill,
    As from a danger.”

  604. Zara was a game of chance, played with three dice.

  605. Messer Benincasa of Arezzo, who, while Vicario del Podestà, or Judge, in Siena, sentenced to death a brother and a nephew of Ghino di Tacco for highway robbery. He was afterwards an Auditor of the Ruota in Rome, where, says Benvenuto:⁠—

    “one day as he sat in the tribunal, in the midst of a thousand people, Ghino di Tacco appeared like Scaevola, terrible and nothing daunted; and having seized Benincasa, he plunged his dagger into his heart, leaped from the balcony, and disappeared in the midst of the crowd stupefied with terror,”

  606. This terrible Ghino di Tacco was a nobleman of Asinalunga in the territory of Siena; one of those splendid fellows, who, from some real or imaginary wrong done them, take to the mountains and highways to avenge themselves on society. He is the true type of the traditionary stage bandit, the magnanimous melodramatic hero, who utters such noble sentiments and commits such atrocious deeds.

    Benvenuto is evidently dazzled and fascinated by him, and has to throw two Romans into the scale to do him justice. His account is as follows:⁠—

    “Reader, I would have thee know that Ghino was not, as some write, so infamous as to be a great assassin and highway robber. For this Ghino di Tacco was a wonderful man, tall, muscular, black-haired, and strong; as agile as Scsvola, as prudent and liberal as Papirius Cursor. He was of the nobles of La Fratta, in the county of Siena; who, being forcibly banished by the Counts of Santafiore, held the noble castle of Radicofani against the Pope. With his marauders he made many and great prizes, so that no one could go safely to Rome or elsewhere through those regions. Yet hardly any one fell into his hands, who did not go away contented, and love and praise him.⁠ ⁠… If a merchant were taken prisoner, Ghino asked him kindly how much he was able to give him; and if he said five hundred pieces of gold, he kept three hundred for himself, and gave back two hundred, saying, ‘I wish you to go on with your business and to thrive.’ If it were a rich and fat priest, he kept his handsome mule, and gave him a wretched horse. And if it were a poor scholar, going to study, he gave him some money, and exhorted him to good conduct and proficiency in learning.”

    Boccaccio, Decameron, X 2, relates the following adventure of Ghino di Tacco and the Abbot of Cligni:⁠—

    “Ghino di Tacco was a man famous for his bold and insolent robberies, who being banished trom Siena, and at utter enmity with the Counts di Santa Fiore, caused the town of Radicofani to rebel against the Church, and lived there whilst his gang robbed all who passed that way. Now when Boniface the Eighth was Pope, there came to court the Abbot of Cligni, reputed to be one of the richest prelates in the world, and having debauched his stomach with high living, he was advised by his physicians to go to the baths of Siena, as a certain cure. And, having leave from the Pope, he set out with a goodly train of coaches, carriages, horses, and servants, paying no respect to the rumors concerning this robber. Ghino was apprised of his coming, and took his measures accordingly; when, without the loss of a man, he enclosed the Abbot and his whole retinue in a narrow defile, where it was impossible for them to escape. This being done, he sent one of his principal fellows to the Abbot with his service, requesting the favor of him to alight and visit him at his castle. Upon which the Abbot replied, with a great deal of passion, that he had nothing to do with Ghino, but that his resolution was to go on, and he would see who dared to stop him. ‘My Lord,’ quoth the man, with a great deal of humility, ‘you are now in a place where all excommunications are kicked out of doors; then please to oblige my master in this thing; it will be your best way.’ Whilst they were talking together, the place was surrounded with highwaymen, and the Abbot, seeing himselt a prisoner, went with a great deal of ill will with the fellow to the castle, followed by his whole retinue, where he dismounted, and was lodged, by Ghino’s appointment, in a poor, dark little room, whilst every other person was well accommodated according to his respective station, and the carriages and all the horses taken exact care of. This being done, Ghino went to the Abbot, and said, ‘My Lord, Ghino, whose guest you are, requests the favor of you to let him know whither you are going, and upon what account?’ The Abbot was wise enough to lay all his haughtiness aside for the present, and satisfied him with regard to both. Ghino went away at hearing this, and, resolving to cure him without a bath, he ordered a great fire to be kept constantly in his room, coming to him no more till next morning, when he brought him two slices of toasted bread, in a fine napkin, and a large glass of his own rich white wine, saying to him, ‘My Lord, when Ghino was young, he studied physic, and he declares that the very best medicine for a pain in the stomach is what he has now provided for you, of which these things are to be the beginning. Then take them, and have a good heart.’ The Abbot, whose hunger was much greater than was his will to joke, ate the bread, though with a great deal of indignation, and drank the glass of wine; after which he began to talk a little arrogantly, asking many questions, and demanding more particularly to see this Ghino. But Ghino passed over part of what he said as vain, and the rest he answered very courteously, declaring that Ghino meant to make him a visit very soon, and then left him. He saw him no more till next morning, when he brought him as much bread and wine as before, and in the same manner. And thus he continued during many days, till he found the Abbot had eaten some dried beans, which he had left purposely in the chamber, when he inquired of him, as from Ghino, how he found his stomach? The Abbot replied, ‘I should be well enough were I out of this man’s clutches. There is nothing I want now so much as to eat, for his medicines have had such an effect upon me, that I am fit to die with hunger.” Ghino, then, having furnished a room with the Abbot’s own goods, and provided an elegant entertainment, to which many people of the town were invited, as well as the Abbot’s own domestics, went the next morning to him, and said, ‘My Lord, now you find yourself recovered, it is time for you to quit this infirmary.’ So he took him by the hand, and led him into the chamber, leaving him there with his own people; and as he went out to give orders about the feast, the Abbot was giving an account how he had led his life in that place, whilst they declared that they had been used by Ghino with all possible respect. When the time came, they sat down and were nobly entertained, but still without Ghino’s making himself known. But after the Abbot had continued some days in that manner, Ghino had all the goods and furniture brought into a large room, and the horses were likewise led into the courtyard which was under it, when he inquired how his Lordship now found himself, or whether he was yet able to ride. The Abbot made answer that he was strong enough, and his stomach perfectly well, and that he only wanted to quit this man. Ghino then brought him into the room where all his goods were, showing him also to the window, that he might take a view of his horses, when he said, ‘My Lord, you must understand it was no evil disposition, but his being driven a poor exile from his own house, and persecuted with many enemies, that forced Ghino di Tacco, whom I am, to be a robber upon the highways, and an enemy to the court of Rome. You seem, however, to be a person of honor; as, therefore, I have cured you of your pain in your stomach, I do not mean to treat you as I would do another person that should fall into my hands, that is, to take what I please, but I would have you consider my necessity, and then give me what you will yourself. Here is all that belongs to you; the horses you may see out of the window: take either part or the whole, just as you are disposed, and go or stay, as is most agreeable to you.’ The Abbot was surprised to hear a highwayman talk in so courteous a manner, which did not a little please him; so, turning all his former passion and resentment into kindness and goodwill, he ran with a heart full of friendship to embrace him: ‘I protest solemnly, that to procure the friendship of such an one as I take you to be, I would undergo more than what you have already made me suffer. Cursed be that evil fortune which has thrown you into this way of life!’ So, taking only a few of his most necessary things, and also of his horses, and leaving all the rest, he came back to Rome. The Pope had heard of the Abbot’s being a prisoner, and though he was much concerned at it, yet, upon seeing him, he inquired what benefit he had received from the baths? The Abbot replied, with a smile, ‘Holy Father, I found a physician much nearer, who has cured me excellently well’; and he told him the manner of it, which made the Pope laugh heartily, when, going on with his story, and moved with a truly generous spirit, he requested of his Holiness one favor. The Pope, imagining he would ask something else, freely consented to grant it. Then said the Abbot, ‘Holy Father, what I mean to require is, that you would bestow a free pardon on Ghino di Tacco, my doctor, because, of all people of worth that I ever met with, he certainly is most to be esteemed, and the damage he does is more the fault of fortune than himself. Change but his condition, and give him something to live upon, according to his rank and station, and I dare say you will have the same opinion of him that I have.’ The Pope, being of a noble spirit, and a great encourager of merit, promised to do so, it he was such a person as he reported, and, in the meantime, gave letters of safe-conduct for his coming thither. Upon that assurance, Ghino came to court, when the Pope was soon convinced of his worth, and reconciled to him, giving him the priory of an hospital, and creating him a knight. And there he continued as a friend and loyal servant to the Holy Church, and to the Abbot of Cligni, as long as he lived.”

  607. Clone de’ Tarlati of Pietramala, who, according to the Ottimo, after the fight at Bibbiena, being pursued by the enemy, endeavored to ford the Arno, and was drowned. Others interpret the line differently, making him the pursuing party. But as he was an Aretine, and the Aretines were routed in this battle, the other rendering is doubtless the true one.

  608. Federigo Novello, son of Ser Guide Novello of Casentino, slain by one of the Bostoli. “A good youth,” says Benvenuto, “and therefore Dante makes mention of him.”

    The Pisan who gave occasion to Marzucco to show his fortitude was Marzucco’s own son, Farinata degli Scoringiani. He was slain by Beccio da Caproni, or, as Benvenuto asserts, declaring that Boccaccio told him so, by Count Ugolino. His father, Marzucco, who had become a Franciscan friar, showed no resentment at the murder, but went with the other friars to his son’s funeral, and in humility kissed the hand of the murderer, extorting from him the exclamation, “Thy patience overcomes my obduracy.” This was an example of Christian forgiveness which even that vindictive age applauded.

  609. Count Orso was a son of Napoleone d’Acerbaja, and was slain by his brother-in-law (or uncle) Alberto.

  610. Pierre de la Brosse was the secretary of Philip le Bel of France, and suffered at his hands a fate similar to that which befell Pier della Vigna at the court of Frederick the Second. See note 185. Being accused by Marie de Brabant, the wife of Philip, of having written love-letters to her, he was condemned to death by the king in 1276. Benvenuto thinks that during his residence in Paris Dante learned the truth of the innocence of Pierre de la Brosse.

  611. In Aeneid, VI:⁠—

    “Cease to hope that the decrees of the gods are to be changed by prayers.”

  612. The apex juris, or top of judgment; the supreme decree of God. Measure for Measure, II 2:⁠—

    “How would you be,
    If He who is the top of judgment should
    But judge you as you are?”

  613. Virgil’s Bucolics, Eclogue I:⁠—

    “And now the high tops of the villages smoke afar, and larger shadows fall from the lofty mountains.”

  614. This has generally been supposed to be Sordello the Troubadour. But is it he? Is it Sordello the Troubadour, or Sordello the Podestà of Verona? or are they one and the same person? After much research, it is not easy to decide the question, and to

    “Single out
    Sordello, compassed murkily about
    With ravage of six long sad hundred years.”

    Yet as far as it is possible to learn it from various conflicting authorities,

    “Who will may hear Sordello’s story told.”

    Dante, in his treatise De Volgari Eloquio, I 15, speaks of Sordello of Mantua as “a man so choice in his language, that not only in his poems, but in whatever way he spoke, he abandoned the dialect of his province.” But here there is no question of the Provençal in which Sordello the Troubadour wrote, but only of Italian dialects in comparison with the universal and cultivated Italian, which Dante says “belongs to all the Italian cities, and seems to belong exclusively to none.” In the same treatise, II 13, he mentions a certain Gotto of Mantua as the author of many good songs; and this Gotto is supposed to be Sordello, as Sordello was born at Goïto in the province of Mantua. But would Dante in the same treatise allude to the same person under different names? Is not this rather the Sordel de Goi, mentioned by Raynouard, Choix de Poésies Originales des Troubadours, V 445?

    In the old Provençal manuscript quoted by Raynouard, Choix de Poésies Originales des Troubadours, V 444, Sordello’s biography is thus given:⁠—

    “Sordello was a Mantuan of Sirier, son of a poor knight, whose name was Sir El Cort. And he delighted in learning songs and in making them, and rivalled the good men of the court as far as possible, and wrote love-songs and satires. And he came to the court of the Count of Saint Boniface, and the Count honored him greatly, and by way of pastime (a forma de solatz) he fell in love with the wife of the Count, and she with him. And it happened that the Count quarrelled with her brothers, and became estranged from her. And her brothers, Sir Icellis and Sir Albrics, persuaded Sir Sordello to run away with her; and he came to live with them in great content. And afterwards he went into Provence, and received great honor from all good men, and from the Count and Countess, who gave him a good castle and a gentlewoman for his wife.”

    Citing this passage, Millot, Histoire Littéraire des Troubadours, II 80, goes on to say:⁠—

    “This is all that our manuscripts tell us of Sordello. According to Agnelli and Platina, historians of Mantua, he was of the house of the Visconti of that city; valiant in deeds of arms, famous in jousts and tournaments, he won the love of Beatrice, daughter of Ezzelin da Romano, Lord of the Marca Trevigiana, and married her; he governed Mantua as Podestà and Captain-General; and though son-in-law of the tyrant Ezzelin, he always opposed him, being a great lover of justice.

    “We find these facts cited by Crescimbeni, who says that Sordello was the lord of Goïto; but as they are not applicable to our poet, we presume they refer to a warrior of the same name, and perhaps of a different family.

    “Among the pieces of Sordello, thirty-four in number, there are some fifteen songs of gallantry, though Nostrodamus says that all his pieces turn only upon philosophic subjects.”

    Nostrodamus’s account, as given by Crescimbeni, L’Istoria Della Volgar Poesia, II 105, is as follows:⁠—

    “Sordello was a Mantuan poet, who surpassed in Provençal song Calvo, Folchetto of Marseilles, Lanfranco Cicala, Percival Doria, and all the other Genoese and Tuscan poets, who took far greater delight in our Provençal tongue, on account of its sweetness, than in their own maternal language. This poet was very studious, and exceeding eager to know all things, and as much as any one of his nation excellent in learning as well as in understanding and in prudence. He wrote several beautiful songs, not indeed of love, for not one of that kind is found among his works, but on philosophic subjects. Raymond Belinghieri, the last Count of Provence of that name, in the last days of his life, (the poet being then but fifteen years of age,) on account of the excellence of his poetry and the rare invention shown in his productions, took him into his service, as Pietro di Castelnuovo, himself a Provençal poet, informs us. He also wrote various satires in the same language, and among others one in which he reproves all the Christian princes; and it is composed in the form of a funeral song on the death of Blancasso.”

    In the Histoire Littéraire de la France, XIX 452, Eméric-David, after discussing the subject at length, says:⁠—

    “Who then is this Sordello, haughty and superb, like a lion in repose⁠—this Sordello, who, in embracing Virgil, gives rise to this sudden explosion of the patriotic sentiments of Dante? Is it a singer of love and gallantry? Impossible. This Sordello is the old Podestà of Mantua, as decided a Ghibelline as Dante himself; and Dante utters before him sentiments which he well knows the zealous Ghibclline will share. And what still more confirms our judgment is, that Sordello embraces the knees of Virgil, exclaiming, ‘O glory of the Latians,’ etc. In this admiration, in this love of the Latin tongue, we still see the Podestà, the writer of Latin; we do not see the Troubadour.”

    Benvenuto calls Sordello a “noble and prudent knight,” and “a man of singular virtue in the world, though of impenitent life,” and tells a story he has heard of him and Cunizza, but does not vouch for it. “Ezzelino,” he says, “had a sister greatly addicted to the pleasures of love, concerning whom much is said in the ninth Canto of Paradiso. She, being enamored of Sordello, had cautiously contrived that he should visit her at night by a back door near the kitchen of her palace at Verona. And as there was in the street a dirty slough in which the swine wallowed, and puddles of filthy water, so that the place would seem in no way suspicious, he caused himself to be carried by her servant to the door where Cunizza stood ready to receive him. Ezzelino having heard of this, one evening, disguised as a servant, carried Sordello, and brought him back. Which done, he discovered himself to Sordello, and said, ‘Enough; abstain in future from doing so foul a deed in so foul a place.’ Sordello, terrified, humbly besought pardon; promising never more to return to his sister. But the accursed Cunizza again enticed him into his former error. Wherefore, fearing Ezzelino, the most formidable man of his time, he left the city. But Ezzelino, as some say, afterwards had him put to death.”

    He says, moreover, that Dante places Sordello alone and separate from the others, like Saladin in Inferno IV 129, on account of his superiority, or because he wrote a book entitled “The Treasure of Treasures”; and that Sordello was a Mantuan of the village of Goïto⁠—“beautiful of person, valiant of spirit, gentle of manner.”

    Finally, Quadrio, Storia d’ogni Poesia, II 130, easily cuts the knot which no one can untie; but unfortunately he does not give his authorities. He writes:⁠—

    “Sordello, native of Goïto, (Sordel de Goi,) a village in the Mantuan territory, was born in 1184, and was the son of a poor knight named Elcort.” He then repeats the story of Count Saint Boniface, and of Sordello’s reception by Count Raymond in Provence, and adds: “Having afterwards returned to Italy, he governed Mantua with the title of Regent and Captain-General; and was opposed to the tyrant Ezzelino, being a great lover of justice, as Agnelli writes. Finally he died, very old and full of honor, about 1280. He wrote not only in Provençal, but also in our own common Italian tongue; and he was one of those poets who avoided the dialect of his own province, and used the good, choice language, as Dante affirms in his book of Volgar Eloquenza.”

    If the reader is not already sufficiently confused, he can easily become so by turning to Tiraboschi, Storia della Lett. Ital., IV 360, where he will find the matter thoroughly discussed, in sixteen solid pages, by the patient librarian of Modena, who finally gives up in despair and calls on the Royal Academy for help;

    “But that were overbold;⁠—
    Who would has heard Sordello’s story told.”

  615. Before Dante’s time Fra Guittone had said, in his famous Letter to the Florentines:⁠—

    “O queen of cities, court of justice, school of wisdom, mirror of life, and mould of manners, whose sons were kings, reigning in every land, or were above all others, who art no longer queen but servant, oppressed and subject to tribute! no longer court of justice, but cave of robbers, and school of all folly and madness, mirror of death and mould of felony, whose great strength is stripped and broken, whose beautiful face is covered with foulness and shame; whose sons are no longer kings but vile and wretched servants, held, wherever they go, in opprobrium and derision by others.”

    See also Petrarca, Canzone XVI, Lady Dacre’s Tr., beginning:⁠—

    “O my own Italy! though words are vain
    The mortal wounds to close,
    Unnumbered, that thy beauteous bosom stain,
    Yet may it soothe my pain
    To sigh for the Tiber’s woes,
    And Arno’s wrongs, as on Po’s saddened shore
    Sorrowing I wander and my numbers pour.”

    And Filicaja’s sonnet:⁠—

    “Italy! Italy! thou who ’rt doomed to wear
    The fatal gift of beauty, and possess
    The dower funest of infinite wretchedness,
    Written upon thy forehead by despair;
    Ah! would that thou wert stronger, or less fair,
    That they might fear thee more, or love thee less,
    Who in the splendor of thy loveliness
    Seem wasting, yet to mortal combat dare!
    Then from the Alps I should not see descending
    Such torrents of armed men, nor Gallic horde
    Drinking the wave of Po, distained with gore,
    Nor should I see thee girded with a sword
    Not thine, and with the stranger’s arm contending,
    Victor or vanquished, slave forevermore.”

  616. Gibbon, Decline and Fall, Ch. XLIV, says:⁠—

    “The vain titles of the victories of Justinian are crumbled into dust; but the name of the legislator is inscribed on a fair and everlasting monument. Under his reign, and by his care, the civil jurisprudence was digested in the immortal works of the Code, the Pandects, and the Institutes; the public reason of the Romans has been silently or studiously transfused into the domestic institutions of Europe, and the laws of Justinian still command the respect or obedience of independent nations. Wise or fortunate is the prince who connects his own reputation with the honor and interest of a perpetual order of men.”

  617. Luke 12:17:⁠—

    “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

    And in the Vision of Piers Ploughman, 563:⁠—

    Reddite Caesari, quod God,
    That Caesari bifalleth,
    Et quae sunt Dei Deo,
    Or ellis ye don ille.”

  618. Albert, son of the Emperor Rudolph, was the second of the house of Hapsburg who bore the title of King of the Romans. He was elected in 1298, but never went to Italy to be crowned. He came to an untimely and violent death, by the hand of his nephew John, in 1308. This is the judgment of Heaven to which Dante alludes.

    His successor was Henry of Luxembourg, Dante’s “divine and triumphant Henry,” who, in 1311, was crowned at Milan with the Iron Crown of Lombardy, Il Sacro Chiodo, as it is sometimes called, from the plate of iron with which the crown is lined, being, according to tradition, made from a nail of the Cross. In 1312, he was again crowned with the Golden Crown at Rome, and died in the following year. “But the end of his career drew on,” says Milman, History of Latin Christianity, VI 520. “He had now advanced, at the head of an army which his enemies dared not meet in the field, towards Siena. He rode still, seemingly in full vigor and activity. But the fatal air of Rome had smitten his strength. A carbuncle had formed under his knee; injudicious remedies inflamed his vitiated blood. He died at Buonconvento, in the midst of his awestruck army, on the festival of St. Bartholomew. Rumors of foul practice, of course, spread abroad; a Dominican monk was said to have administered poison in the Sacrament, which he received with profound devotion. His body was carried in sad state, and splendidly interred at Pisa.

    “So closed that empire, in which, if the more factious and vulgar Ghibellines beheld their restoration to their native city, their triumph, their revenge, their sole administration of public affairs, the nobler Ghibellinism of Dante foresaw the establishment of a great universal monarchy necessary to the peace and civilization of mankind. The ideal sovereign of Dante’s famous treatise on Monarchy was Henry of Luxembourg. Neither Dante nor his time can be understood but through this treatise. The attempt of the Pope to raise himself to a great pontifical monarchy had manifestly ignominiously failed: the Ghibelline is neither amazed nor distressed at this event. It is now the turn of the Imperialist to unfold his noble vision. ‘An universal monarchy is absolutely necessary for the welfare of the world’; and this is part of his singular reasoning: ‘Peace,’ (says the weary exile, the man worn out in cruel strife, the wanderer from city to city, each of those cities more fiercely torn by faction than the last,) ‘universal Peace is the first blessing of mankind. The angels sang, not riches or pleasures, but peace on earth: peace the Lord bequeathed to his disciples. For peace One must rule. Mankind is most like God when at unity, for God is One; therefore under a monarchy. Where there is parity there must be strife; where strife, judgment; the judge must be a third party intervening with supreme authority.’ Without monarchy can be no justice, nor even liberty; for Dante’s monarch is no arbitrary despot, but a constitutional sovereign; he is the Roman law impersonated in the Emperor; a monarch who should leave all the nations, all the free Italian cities, in possession of, their rights and old municipal institutions.”

  619. The two noble families of Verona, the Montagues and Capulets, whose quarrels have been made familiar to the English-speaking world by Romeo and Juliet:⁠—

    “Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
    By thee, old Capulet and Montague,
    Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets,
    And made Verona’s ancient citizens
    Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments,
    To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
    Cankered with peace, to part your cankered hate.”

  620. Families of Orvieto.

  621. Santafiore is in the neighborhood of Siena, and much infested with banditti.

  622. The state of Rome in Dante’s time is thus described by Mr. Norton, Travel and Study, pp. 246⁠–⁠248:⁠—

    “On the slope of the Quirinal Hill, in the quiet enclosure of the convent of St. Catharine of Siena, stands a square, brick tower, seven stories high. It is a conspicuous object in any general view of Rome; for there are few other towers so tall, and there is not a single spire or steeple in the city. It is the Torre delle Milizie. It was begun by Pope Gregory the Ninth, and finished near the end of the thirteenth century by his vigorous and warlike successor, Boniface the Eighth. Many such towers were built for the purposes of private warfare, in those times when the streets of Rome were the fightingplaces of its noble families; but this is, perhaps, the only one that now remains undiminished in height and unaltered in appearance. It was a new building when Dante visited Rome; and it is one of the very few edifices that still preserve the aspect they then presented. The older ruins have been greatly changed in appearance, and most of the structures of the Middle Ages have disappeared, in the vicissitudes of the last few centuries. The Forum was then filled with a confused mass of ruins and miserable dwellings, with no street running through their intricacies. The Capitol was surrounded with uneven battlemented walls, and bore the character and look of an irregular citadel. St. Peter’s was a low basilica; the Colosseum had suffered little from the attacks of Popes or princes, neither the Venetian nor the Farnese palace having as yet been built with stones from its walls; and centuries were still to pass before Michel Angelo, Bernini, and Borromini were to stamp its present character upon the face of the modern city. The siege and burning of Rome by Robert Guiscard, in 1084, may be taken as the dividing-line between the city of the Emperors and the city of the Popes, between ancient and modern Rome.⁠ ⁠… Rome was in a state of too deep depression, its people were too turbulent and unsettled, to have either the spirit or the opportunity for great works. There was no established and recognized authority, no regular course of justice. There was not even any strong force, rarely any overwhelming violence, which for a time at least could subdue opposition, and organize a steady, and consequently a beneficent tyranny. The city was continually distracted by petty personal quarrels, and by bitter family feuds. Its obscure annals are full of bloody civil victories and defeats⁠—victories which brought no gain to those who won them, defeats which taught no lesson to those who lost them. The breath of liberty never inspired with life the dead clay of Rome; and though for a time it might seem to kindle some vital heat, the glow soon grew cold, and speedily disappeared. The records of Florence, Siena, Bologna, and Perugia are as full of fighting and bloodshed as those of Rome; but their fights were not mere brawh, nor were their triumphs always barren. Even the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which were like the coming of the spring after a long winter, making the earth to blossom, and gladdening the hearts of men⁠—the centuries which elsewhere in Italy, and over the rest of Europe, gave birth to the noblest medieval Art, when every great city was adorning itself with the beautiful works of the new architecture, sculpture, and painting⁠—even these centuries left scarcely any token of their passage over Rome. The sun, breaking through the clouds that had long hidden it, shone everywhere but here. While Florence was building her Cathedral and her Campanile, and Orvieto her matchless Duomo⁠—while Pisa was showing her piety and her wealth in her Cathedral, her Camposanto, her Baptistery, and her Tower⁠—while Siena was beginning a church greater and more magnificent in design than her shifting fortune would permit her to complete⁠—Rome was building neither cathedral nor campanile, but was selling the marbles of her ancient temples and tombs to the builders of other cities, or quarrying them for her own mean uses.”

  623. This recalls Pope’s Universal Prayer:⁠—

    “Father of all! in every age,
    In every clime, adored,
    By saint, by savage, and by sage,
    Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!”

  624. Not the great Roman general who took Syracuse, after Archimedes had defended it so long with his engines and burning-glasses, but a descendant of his, who in the civil wars took part with Pompey and was banished by Caesar. Pope’s Essay on Man, Ep. IV 257:⁠—

    “And more true joy Marcellus exiled feels,
    Than Caesar with a senate at his heels.”

  625. Of the state of Florence, Napier writes, Florentine History, I 122:⁠—

    “It was not the simple movement of one great body against another; not the force of a government in opposition to the people; not the struggle of privilege and democracy, of poverty and riches, or starvation and repletion; but one universal burst of unmitigated anarchy. In the streets, lanes, and squares, in the courts of palaces and humbler dwellings, were heard the clang of arms, the screams of victims, and the gush of blood: the bow of the bridegroom launched its arrows into the very chambers of his young bride’s parents and relations, and the bleeding son, the murdered brother, or the dying husband were the evening visitors of Florentine maids and matrons, and aged citizens. Every art was practised to seduce and deceive, and none felt secure even of their nearest and dearest relatives. In the morning a son left his paternal roof with undiminished love, and returned at evening a corpse, or the most bitter enemy! Terror and death were triumphant; there was no relaxation, no peace by day or night: the crash of the stone, the twang of the bow, the whizzing shaft, the jar of the trembling mangonel from tower and turret, were the dismal music of Florence, not only for hours and days, but months and years. Doors, windows, the jutting galleries and roofs, were all defended, and yet all unsafe: no spot was sacred, no tenement secure: in the dead of night, the most secret chambers, the very hangings, even the nuptial bed itself, were often known to conceal an enemy.

    “Florence in those days was studded with lofty towers; most of the noble families possessed one or more, at least two hundred feet in height, and many of them far above that altitude. These were their pride, their family, citadels; and jealously guarded; glittering with arms and men, and instruments of war. Every connecting balcony was alive with soldiers; the battle raged above and below, within and without; stones rained in showers, arrows flew thick and fast on every side; the seragli, or barricades, were attacked and defended by chosen bands armed with lances and boar-spears; foes were in ambush at every corner, watching the bold or heedless enemy; confusion was everywhere triumphant, a demon seemed to possess the community, and the public mind, reeling with hatred, was steady only in the pursuit of blood. Yet so accustomed did they at last become to this fiendish life, that one day they fought, the next caroused together in drunken gambols, foe with foe, boasting of their mutual prowess; nor was it until after nearly five years of reciprocal destruction, that, from mere lassitude, they finally ceased thus to mangle each other, and, as it were for relaxation, turned their fury on the neighboring states.”

  626. Upon this subject Napier, Florentine History, II 626, remarks:⁠—

    “A characteristic, and, if discreetly handled, a wise regulation of the Florentines, notwithstanding Dante’s sarcasms, was the periodical revision of their statutes and ordinances, a weeding out, as it were, of the obsolete and contradictory, and a substitution of those which were better adapted to existing circumstances and the forward movement of man. There are certain fundamental laws necessarily permanent and admitted by all communities, as there are certain moral and theological truths acknowledged by all religions; but these broad frames or outlines are commonly filled up with a thick network of subordinate regulations, that cover them like cobwebs, and often impede the march of improvement. The Florentines were early aware of this, and therefore revised their laws and institutions more or less frequently and sometimes factiously, according to the turbulent or tranquil condition of the times; but in 1394, after forty years’ omission, an officer was nominated for that purpose, but whether permanently or not is doubtful.”

  627. See note 561.

  628. Limbo, Inferno IV 25, the “foremost circle that surrounds the abyss.”

    “There, in so far as I had power to hear,
    Were lamentations none, but only sighs,
    Which tremulous made the everlasting air.
    And this was caused by sorrow without torment
    Which the crowds had, that many were and great,
    Of infants and of women and of men.”

  629. The three Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

  630. The four Cardinal Virtues, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance.

  631. John 12:35:⁠—

    “Then Jesus said unto them. Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.”

  632. In the Middle Ages the longing for rest and escape from danger, which found its expression in cloisters, is expressed in poetry by descriptions of flowery, secluded meadows, suggesting the classic meadows of asphodel. Dante has given one already in the Inferno, and gives another here.

    Compare with these the following from The Miracles of Our Lady, by Gonzalo de Bercéo, a monk of Calahorra, who lived in the thirteenth century, and is the oldest of the Castilian poets whose name has come down to us:⁠—

    “I, Gonzalo de Bercéo, in the gentle summer-tide,
    Wending upon a pilgrimage, came to a meadow’s side;
    All green was it and beautiful, with flowers far and wide,
    A pleasant spot, I ween, wherein the traveller might abide.
    Flowers with the sweetest odors filled all the sunny air,
    And not alone refreshed the sense, but stole the mind from care;
    On every side a fountain gushed, whose waters pure and fair
    Ice-cold beneath the summer sun, but warm in winter were.
    There on the thick and shadowy trees, amid the foliage green,
    Were the fig and the pomegranate, the pear and apple seen,
    And other fruits of various kinds, the tufted leaves between;
    None were unpleasant to the taste and none decayed, I ween.
    The verdure of the meadow green, the odor of the flowers,
    The grateful shadows of the trees, tempered with fragrant showers,
    Refreshed me in the burning heat of the sultry noontide hours;
    O, one might live upon the balm and fragrance of those bowers.
    Ne’er had I found on earth a spot that had such power to please,
    Such shadows from the summer sun, such odors on the breeze;
    I threw my mantle on the ground, that I might rest at ease,
    And stretched upon the greensward lay in the shadow of the trees.
    There, soft reclining in the shade, all cares beside me flung,
    I heard the soft and mellow notes that through the woodland rung.
    Ear never listened to a strain, from instrument or tongue,
    So mellow and harmonious as the songs above me sung.”

    See also Brunetto Latini, Tesoretto, XIX; the Vision of Piers Ploughman; Gower’s Confessio Amantis, VIII, etc.

  633. Of this description Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 228, remarks:⁠—

    “Now, almost in the opening of the Purgatory, as there at the entrance of the Inferno, we find a company of great ones resting in a grassy place. But the idea of the grass now is very different. The word now used is not ‘enamel,’ but ‘herb,’ and instead of being merely green, it is covered with flowers of many colors. With the usual mediseval accuracy, Dante insists on telling us precisely what these colors were, and how bright; which he does by naming the actual pigments used in illumination⁠—‘Gold, and fine silver, and cochineal, and white lead, and Indian wood, serene and lucid, and fresh emerald, just broken, would have been excelled, as less is by greater, by the flowers and grass of the place.’ It is evident that the ‘emerald’ here means the emerald green of the illuminators; for a fresh emerald is no brighter than one which is not fresh, and Dante was not one to throw away his words thus. Observe, then, we have here the idea of the growth, life, and variegation of the ‘green herb,’ as opposed to the smalto of the Inferno; but the colors of the variegation are illustrated and defined by the reference to actual pigments; and, observe, because the other colors are rather bright, the blue ground (Indian wood, indigo?) is sober; lucid, but serene; and presently two angels enter, who are dressed in the green drapery, but of a paler green than the grass, which Dante marks, by telling us that it was ‘the green of leaves just budded.’

    “In all this, I wish the reader to observe two things: first, the general carefulness of the poet in defining color, distinguishing it precisely as a painter would (opposed to the Greek carelessness about it); and, secondly, his regarding the grass for its greenness and variegation, rather than, as a Greek would have done, for its depth and freshness. This greenness or brightness, and variegation, are taken up by later and modern poets, as the things intended to be chiefly expressed by the word ‘enamelled’; and, gradually, the term is taken to indicate any kind of bright and interchangeable coloring; there being always this much of propriety about it, when used of greensward, that such sward is indeed, like enamel, a coat of bright color on a comparatively dark ground; and is thus a sort of natural jewelry and painter’s work, different from loose and large vegetation. The word is often awkwardly and falsely used, by the later poets, of all kinds of growth and color; as by Milton of the flowers of Paradise showing themselves over its wall; but it retains, nevertheless, through all its jaded inanity, some halfunconscious vestige of the old sense, even to the present day.”

  634. The old church hymn attributed to Arminius or Hermann, Count of Vehringen, in the eleventh century, beginning:⁠—

    “Salve Regina, mater misericordiae,
    Vita, dulcedo et spas nostra, salve.”

  635. Rudolph of Hapsburg, first Emperor of the house of Austria, was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1273. “It is related,” says Voltaire, Annales de l’Empire, I 303, “that, as the imperial sword, which they pretended was that of Charlemagne, could not be found, several lords made this defect in the formalities a pretext for not taking the oath pf allegiance. He seized a crucifix; This is my sceptre, he said, and all paid homage to him. This single act of firmness made him respectable, and the rest of his conduct showed him to be worthy of the Empire.”

    He would not go to Rome to be crowned, and took so little interest in Italian affairs, that Italy became almost independent of the Empire, which seems greatly to disturb the mind of Dante. He died in 1291.

  636. Ottocar the Second, king of Bohemia, who is said to have refused the imperial crown. He likewise refused to pay homage to Rudolph, whom he used to call his maître d’hôtel, declaring he had paid his wages and owed him nothing. Whereupon Rudolph attacked and subdued him. According to Voltaire, Annales de l’Empire, I 306, “he consented to pay homage to the Emperor as his liege-lord, in the island of Kamberg in the middle of the Danube, under a tent whose curtains should be closed to spare him public mortification. Ottocar presented himself covered with gold and jewels; Rudolph, by way of superior pomp, received him in his simplest dress; and in the middle of the ceremony the curtains of the tent fell, and revealed to the eyes of the people and of the armies, that lined the Danube, the proud Ottocar on his knees, with his hands clasped in the hands of his conqueror, whom he had often called his maître d’hôtel, and whose Grand-Seneschal he now became. This story is accredited, and it is of little importance whether it be true or not.”

    But the wife was not quiet under this humiliation, and excited him to revolt against Rudolph. He was again overcome, and killed in battle in 1278.

  637. This Winceslaus, says the Ottimo, was “most beautiful among all men; but was not a man of arms; he was a meek and humble ecclesiastic, and did not live long.” Why Dante accuses him of living in luxury and ease does not appear.

  638. Philip the Third of France, surnamed the Bold (1270⁠–⁠1285). Having invaded Catalonia, in a war with Peter the Third of Aragon, both by land and sea, he was driven back, and died at Perpignan during the retreat.

  639. He with the benign aspect, who rests his cheek upon his hand, is Henry of Navarre, surnamed the Fat, and brother of “Good King Thibault,” Inferno XXII 52. An old French chronicle quoted by Philalcthes says, that, “though it is a general opinion that fat men are of a gentle and benign nature, nevertheless this one was very harsh.”

  640. Philip the Fourth of France, surnamed the Fair, son of Philip the Third, and son-in-law of Henry of Navarre (1285⁠–⁠1314).

  641. Peter the Third of Aragon (1276⁠–⁠1285), the enemy of Charles of Anjou and competitor with him for the kingdom of Sicily. He is counted among the Troubadours, and when Philip the Bold invaded his kingdom, Peter launched a song against him, complaining that the “flower-de-luce kept him sorrowing in his house,” and calling on the Gascons for aid.

  642. Charles of Anjou, king of Sicily and Naples (1265). Villani, VII 1, thus describes him:⁠—

    “This Charles was wise and prudent, and valiant in arms, and rough, and much feared and redoubted by all the kings of the world; magnanimous and of a high spirit; steadfast in carrying on every great enterprise, firm in every adversity, and true to every promise, speaking little and doing much. He laughed but little; was chaste as a monk, catholic, harsh in judgment, and of a fierce countenance; large and muscular in person, with an olive complexion and a large nose, and looked the king more than any other lord. He sat up late at night, and slept little, and was in the habit of saying that a great deal of time was lost in sleeping. He was generous to his knights, but eager to acquire land, lordship, and money wherever he could, to furnish means for his enterprises and wars. In courtiers, minstrels, and players he never took delight.”

    Yet this is the monarch whose tyranny in Sicily brought about the bloody revenge of the Sicilian Vespers; which in turn so roused the wrath of Charles, that he swore that, “if he could live a thousand years, he would go on razing the cities, burning the lands, torturing the rebellious slaves. He would leave Sicily a blasted, barren, uninhabited rock, as a warning to the present age, an example to the future.”

  643. Philip the Third of Aragon left four sons, Alfonso, James, Frederick, and Peter. Whether the stripling here spoken of is Alonzo or Peter does not appear.

  644. Chaucer, “Wif of Bathes Tale”:⁠—

    “Wel can the wise poet of Florence,
    That highte Dant, speken of this sentence:
    Lo, in swiche maner rime is Dantes tale.
    Ful selde up riseth by his branches smale
    Prowesse of man, for God of his goodnesse
    Wol that we claime of him our gentillesse:
    For of our elders may we nothing claime
    But temporel thing, that man may hurt and maime.”

  645. It must be remembered that these two who are singing together in this Valley of Princes were deadly foes on earth; and one had challenged the ather to determine their quarrel by single combat.

    “The wager of battle between the kings,” says Milman, History of Latin Christianity, VI 168, “which maintained its solemn dignity up almost to the appointed time, ended in a pitiful comedy, in which Charles of Anjou had the ignominy of practising base and disloyal designs against his adversary; Peter, that of eluding the contest by craft, justifiable only as his mistrust of his adversary was well or ill grounded, but much too cunning for a frank and generous knight. He had embarked with his knights for the South of France; he was cast back by tempests on the shores of Spain. He set off with some of his armed companions, crossed the Pyrenees undiscovered, appeared before the gates of Bordeaux, and summoned the English Seneschal. To him he proclaimed himself to be the king of Aragon, demanded to see the lists, rode down them in slow state, obtained an attestation that he had made his appearance within the covenanted time, and affixed his solemn protest against the palpable premeditated treachery of his rival, which made it unsafe for him to remain longer at Bordeaux. Charles, on his part, was furious that Peter had thus broken through the spider’s web of his policy. He was in Bordeaux when Peter appeared under the walls, and had challenged him in vain. Charles presented himself in full armor on the appointed day, summoned Peter to appear, proclaimed him a recreant and a dastardly craven, unworthy of the name of knight.”

    Charles of Anjou, Peter the Third of Aragon, and Philip the Third of France, all died in the same year, 1285.

  646. These kingdoms being badly governed by his son and successor, Charles the Second, called the Lame.

  647. Daughters of Raymond Berenger the Fifth, Count of Provence; the first married to St. Louis of France, and the second to his brother, Charles of Anjou.

  648. Constance, daughter of Manfredi of Apulia, and wife of Peter the Third of Aragon.

  649. Henry the Third (1216⁠–⁠1272), of whom Hume says:⁠—

    “This prince was noted for his piety and devotion, and his regular attendance on public worship; and a saying of his on that head is much celebrated by ancient writers. He was engaged in a dispute with Louis the Ninth of France, concerning the preference between sermons and masses; he maintained the superiority of the latter, and affirmed that he would rather have one hour’s conversation with a friend, than hear twenty of the most elaborate discourses pronounced in his praise.”

    Dickens, Child’s History of England, Ch. XV, says of him:⁠—

    “He was as much of a king in death as he had ever been in life. He was the mere pale shadow of a king at all times.”

    His “better issue” was Edward the First, called, on account of his amendment and establishment of the laws, the English Justinian, and less respectfully Longshanks, on account of the length of his legs. “His legs had need to be strong,” says the authority just quoted, “however long, and this they were; for they had to support him through many difficulties on the fiery sands of Syria, where his small force of soldiers fainted, died, deserted, and seemed to melt away. But his prowess made light of it, and he said, ‘I will go on, if I go on with no other follower than my groom.’ ”

  650. The Marquis of Monferrato, a Ghibelline, was taken prisoner by the people of Alessandria in Piedmont, in 1290, and, being shut up in a wooden cage, was exhibited to the public like a wild beast. This he endured for eighteen months, till death released him. A bloody war was the consequence between Alessandria and the Marquis’s provinces of Monferrato and Canavese.

  651. The city of Alessandria is in Piedmont, between the Tanaro and the Bormida, and not far from their junction. It was built by the Lombard League, to protect the country against the Emperor Frederick, and named in honor of Pope Alexander the Third, a protector of the Guelphs. It is said to have been built in a single year, and was called in derision, by the Ghibellines, Allessandria della Paglia (of the Straw); either from the straw used in the bricks, or more probably from the supposed insecurity of a city built in so short a space of time.

  652. Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, III 302:⁠—

    “It was the hour when every traveller
    And every watchman at the gate of towns
    Begins to long for sleep, and drowsiness
    Is falling even on the mother’s eyes
    Whose child is dead.”

    Also Byron, Don Juan, III 108:⁠—

    “Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the heart
    Of those who sail the seas, on the first day
    When they from their sweet friends are torn apart;
    Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way,
    As the far bell of vesper makes him start,
    Seeming to weep the dying day’s decay.
    Is this a fancy which our reason scorns?
    Ah! surely nothing dies but something mourns!”

  653. The word “pilgrim” is here used by Dante in a general sense, meaning any traveller.

  654. Gray, “Elegy”:⁠—

    “The curfew tolls the knell of parting day.”

  655. An evening hymn of the Church, sung at Complines, or the latest service of the day:⁠—

    “Te lucis ante terminum,
    Rerum creator, poscimus
    Ut pro tua dementia
    Sis presul ad custodiam.

    “Procul recedant somnia
    Et noxium phantasmata,
    Hostemque nostrum comprime,
    Ne polluantur corpora.

    “Presta, Pater piissime,
    Patrique compar Unice,
    Cum Spiritu Paraclito
    Regnans per omne saeculum.”

    This hymn would seem to have no great applicability to disembodied spirits; and perhaps may have the same reference as the last petition in the Lord’s Prayer, Canto XI 19:⁠—

    “Our virtue, which is easily o’ercome,
    Put not to proof with the old Adversary,
    But thou from him who spurs it so, deliver.
    This last petition verily, dear Lord,
    Not for ourselves is made, who need it not,
    But for their sake who have remained behind us.”

    Dante seems to think his meaning very easy to penetrate. The commentators have found it uncommonly difficult.

  656. Genesis 3:24:⁠—

    “And he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

  657. Justice tempered with mercy, say the commentators.

  658. Green, the color of hope, which is the distinguishing virtue of Purgatory. On the symbolism of colors, Mrs. Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, Introd., says:⁠—

    “In very early Art we find colors used in a symbolical or mystic sense, and, until the ancient principles and traditions were wholly worn out of memory or set aside by the later painters, certain colors were appropriated to certain subjects and personages, and could not arbitrarily be applied or misapplied. In the old specimens of stained glass we find these significations scrupulously attended to. Thus:⁠—

    White, represented by the diamond or silver, was the emblem of light, religious purity, innocence, virginity, faith, joy, and life. Our Saviour wears white after his resurrection. In the judge it indicated integrity; in the rich man, humility; in the woman, chastity. It was the color consecrated to the Virgin, who, however, never wears white except in pictures of the Assumption.

    Red, the ruby, signified fire, divine love, the Holy Spirit, heat, or the creative power, and royalty. White and red roses expressed love and innocence, or love and wisdom, as in the garland with which the angel crowns St. Cecilia. In a bad sense, red signified blood, war, hatred, and punishment. Red and black combined were the colors of purgatory and the Devil.

    Blue, or the sapphire, expressed heaven, the firmament, truth, constancy, fidelity. Christ and the Virgin wear the red tunic and the blue mantle, as signifying heavenly love and heavenly truth.2104 The same colors were given to St. John the Evangelist, with this difference⁠—that he wore the blue tunic and the red mantle; in later pictures the colors are sometimes red and green.

    Yellow, or gold, was the symbol of the sun; of the goodness of God; initiation, or marriage; faith, or fruitfulness. St. Joseph, the husband of the Virgin, wears yellow. In pictures of the Apostles, St. Peter wears a yellow mantle over a blue tunic. In a bad sense, yellow signifies inconstancy, jealousy, deceit; in this sense it is given to the traitor Judas, who is generally habited in dirty yellow.

    Green, the emerald, is the color of spring; of hope, particularly hope in immortality; and of victory, as the color of the palm and the laurel.

    Violet, the amethyst, signified love and truth; or, passion and suffering. Hence it is the color often worn by the martyrs. In some instances our Saviour, after his resurrection, is habited in a violet, instead of a blue mantle. The Virgin also wears violet after the crucifixion. Mary Magdalene, who as patron saint wears the red robe, as penitent wears violet and blue, the colors of sorrow and of constancy. In the devotional representation of her by Timoteo della Vite, she wears red and green, the colors of love and hope.

    Gray, the color of ashes, signified mourning, humility, and innocence accused; hence adopted as the dress of the Franciscans (the Gray Friars); but it has since been changed for a dark rusty brown.

    Black expressed the earth, darkness, mourning, wickedness, negation, death; and was appropriate to the Prince of Darkness. In some old illuminated MSS., Jesus, in the Temptation, wears a black robe. White and black together signified purity of life, and mourning or humiliation; hence adopted by the Dominicans and the Carmelites.”

  659. It was not so dark that on a near approach he could not distinguish objects indistinctly visible at a greater distance.

  660. Nino de’ Visconti of Pisa, nephew of Count Ugolino, and Judge of Gallura in Sardinia. Dante had known him at the siege of Caprona, in 1290, where he saw the frightened garrison march out under safeguard. Inferno XXI 95. It was this “gentle Judge,” who hanged Friar Gomita for peculation, Inferno XXII 82.

  661. His daughter, still young and innocent.

  662. His widow married Galeazzo de’ Visconti of Milan, “and much discomfort did this woman suffer with her husband,” says the Ottimo, “so that many a time she wished herself a widow.”

  663. Hamlet, IV 5:⁠—

    “His obscure funeral,
    No trophy, sword, or hatchment o’er his grave.”

  664. The Visconti of Milan had for their coat of arms a viper; and being on the banner, it led the Milanese to battle.

  665. The arms of Gallura. “According to Fara, a writer of the sixteenth century,” says Valery, Voyage en Corse et en Sardaigne, II 37, “the elegant but somewhat chimerical historian of Sardinia, Gallura is a Gallic colony; its arms are a cock; and one might find some analogy between the natural vivacity of its inhabitants and that of the French.” Nino thinks it would look better on a tombstone than a viper.

  666. These three stars are the Alpha of Euridanus, of the Ship, and of the Golden Fish; allegorically, if any allegory be wanted, the three Theological Virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity. The four morning stars, the Cardinal Virtues of active life, are already set; these announce the evening and the life contemplative.

  667. Compare this with Milton’s description of the serpent, Paradise Lost, IX 434, 496:⁠—

    “Nearer he drew, and many a walk traversed
    Of stateliest covert, cedar, pine, or palm;
    Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen,
    Among thick-woven arborets, and flowers
    Imbordered on each bank.

    Not with indented wave,
    Prone on the ground, as since; but on his rear,
    Circular base of rising folds, that towered
    Fold above fold, a surging maze! his head
    Crested aloft, and carbuncle his eyes;
    With burnished neck of verdant gold, erect
    Amidst his circling spires, that on the grass
    Floated redundant: pleasing was his shape
    And lovely; never since of serpent-kind
    Lovelier, not those that in Illyria changed
    Hermione and Cadmus, or the god
    In Epidaurus; nor to which transformed
    Ammonian Jove or Capitoline was seen⁠—
    He with Olympias, this with her who bore
    Scipio, the height of Rome. With tract oblique
    At first, as one who sought access, but feared
    To interrupt, sidelong he works his way.
    As when a ship, by skilful steersman wrought
    Nigh river’s mouth or foreland, where the wind
    Veers oft, as oft so steers, and shifts her sail;
    So varied he, and of his tortuous train
    Curled many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve.
    … Oft he bowed
    His turret crest, and sleek enamelled neck,
    Fawning; and licked the ground whereon she trod.”

  668. In the original al sommo smalto, to the highest enamel; referring either to the Terrestrial Paradise, enamelled with flowers, or to the highest heaven enamelled with stars. The azure-stone, pierre d’azur, or lapis lazuli, is perhaps a fair equivalent for the smalto, particularly if the reference be to the sky.

  669. The valley in Lunigiana, through which runs the Magra, dividing the Genoese and Tuscan territories. Paradiso IX 89:⁠—

    “The Magra, that with journey short
    Doth from the Tuscan part the Genoese.”

  670. Currado or Conrad Malaspina, father of Marcello Malaspina, who six years later sheltered Dante in his exile, as foreshadowed in line 136, It was from the convent of the Corvo, overlooking the Gulf of Spezia, in Lunigiana, that Frate Ilario wrote the letter describing Dante’s appearance in the cloister.

  671. Pope Boniface the Eighth.

  672. Before the sun shall be seven times in Aries, or before seven years are passed.

  673. Ecclesiastes 12:11:⁠—

    “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies.”

  674. With this canto ends the first day in Purgatory, as indicated by the description of evening at the beginning, and the rising of the stars in line 89. With it closes also the first subdivision of this part of the poem, indicated, as the reader will not fail to notice, by the elaborate introduction of the next canto.

  675. “Dante begins this canto,” says Benvenuto da Imola, “by saying a thing that was never said or imagined by any other poet, which is, that the aurora of the moon is the concubine of Tithonus. Some maintain that he means the aurora of the sun; but this cannot be, if we closely examine the text.” This point is elaborately discussed by the commentators. I agree with those who interpret the passage as referring to a lunar aurora. It is still evening; and the hour is indicated a few lines lower down.

    To Tithonus was given the gift of immortality, but not of perpetual youth. As Tennyson makes him say:⁠—

    “The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
    The vapors weep their burthen to the ground,
    Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
    And after many a summer dies the swan.
    Me only cruel immortality
    Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
    Here at the quiet limit of the world,
    A white-haired shadow roaming like a dream
    The ever silent spaces of the East,
    Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.”

  676. Don Quixote, I 2:⁠—

    “Scarcely had ruddy Phoebus spread the golden tresses of his beauteous hair over the face of the wide and spacious earth, and scarcely had the painted little birds, with the sweet and mellifluous harmony of their serrated tongues, saluted the approach of rosy Aurora, when, quitting the soft couch of her jealous husband, she disclosed herself to mortals through the gates and balconies of the Manchegan horizon.”

  677. As the sun was in Aries, and it was now the fourth day after the full moon, the Scorpion would be rising in the dawn which precedes the moon.

  678. This indicates the time to be two hours and a half after sunset, or half past eight o’clock. Two hours of the ascending night are passed, and the third is half over.

    This circumstantial way of measuring the flight of time is Homeric. Iliad, X 250:⁠—

    “Let us be going, then, for the night declines fast, and the morning is near. And the stars have already far advanced, and the greater portion of the night, by two parts, has gone by, but the third portion still remains.”

  679. Namely, his body.

  680. Virgil, Sordello, Dante, Nino, and Conrad. And here Dante falls upon the grass and sleeps till dawn. There is a long pause of rest and sleep between this line and the next, which makes the whole passage doubly beautiful. The narrative recommences like the twitter of early birds just beginning to stir in the woods.

  681. For the tragic story of Tereus, changed to a lapwing, Philomela to a nightingale, and Procne to a swallow, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, VI:⁠—

    “Now, with drawn sabre and impetuous speed,
    In close pursuit he drives Pandion’s breed;
    Whose nimble feet spring with so swift a force
    Across the fields, they seem to wing their course.
    And now, on real wings themselves they raise,
    And steer their airy flight by different ways;
    One to the woodland’s shady covert hies,
    Around the smoky roof the other flies;
    Whose feathers yet the marks of murder stain,
    Where stamped upon her breast the crimson spots remain.
    Tereus, through grief and haste to be revenged,
    Shares the like fate, and to a bird is changed;
    Fixed on his head the crested plumes appear,
    Long is his beak, and sharpened like a spear;
    Thus armed, his looks his inward mind display,
    And, to a lapwing turned, he fans his way.”

    See also Confessio Amantis, V:⁠—

    “And of her suster Progne I finde
    How she was torned out of kinde
    Into a swalwe swift of wing,
    Which eke in winter lith swouning
    There as she may no thing be sene,
    And whan the world is woxe grene
    And comen is the somer tide,
    Then fleeth she forth and ginneth to chide
    And chitereth out in her langage
    What falshede is in mariage,
    And telleth in a maner speche
    Of Tereus the spouse breche.”

  682. Pope, Temple of Fame, 7:⁠—

    “What time the morn mysterious visions brings,
    While purer slumbers spread their golden wings.”

  683. Mount Ida.

  684. To the region of fire. Brunetto Latini, Tresor, Ch. CXIII, says:⁠—

    “After the environment of the air is seated the fourth element; this is an orb of fire, which extends to the moon and surrounds this atmosphere in which we are. And know that above the fire is in the first place the moon, and the other stars, which are all of the nature of fire.”

  685. To prevent Achilles from going to the siege of Troy, his mother Thetis took him from Chiron, the Centaur, and concealed him in female attire in the court of Lycomedes, king of Scyros.

  686. As Richter says:⁠—

    “The hour when sleep is nigh unto the soul.”

  687. Lucia, the Enlightening Grace of heaven. Inferno II 97.

  688. Nino and Conrad.

  689. Ovid uses a like expression:⁠—

    “Sleep and the god together went away.”

  690. The first stair is Confession; the second, Contrition; and the third, Penance.

  691. Purple and black. See note 83.

  692. The gate of Paradise is thus described by Milton, Paradise Lost, III 501:⁠—

    “Far distant he descries,
    Ascending by degrees magnificent
    Up to the wall of heaven, a structure high;
    At top whereof, but far more rich, appeared
    The work as of a kingly palace gate,
    With frontispiece of diamond and gold
    Imbellished; thick with sparkling orient gems
    The portal shone, inimitable on earth
    By model or by shading pencil drawn.
    The stairs where such as whereon Jacob saw
    Angels ascending and descending, bands
    Of guardians briglit, when he from Esau fled
    To Padan-Aram in the field of Luz,
    Dreaming by night under the open sky,
    And waking cried, ‘This is the gate of heaven.’
    Each stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood
    There always, but drawn up to heaven sometimes
    Viewless; and underneath a bright sea flowed
    Of jasper, or of liquid pearl, whereon
    Who after came from earth sailing arrived,
    Wafted by angels; or flew o’er the lake,
    Rapt in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds.”

  693. The Seven Sins, which are punished in the seven circles of Purgatory; Pride, Envy, Anger, Sloth, Avarice, Gluttony, Lust.

  694. The golden key is the authority of the confessor; the silver, his knowledge.

  695. Luke 9:62:⁠—

    “No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

    And 17:32:⁠—

    “Remember Lot’s wife.”

    Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, Lib. III Met. 12:⁠—

    “Heu! noctis prope terminos
    Orpheus Eurydicen suam
    Vidit, perdidit, occidit.
    Vos haec fabula respicit,
    Quicumque in superum diem
    Mentem ducere quaeritis,
    Nam qui Tartareum in specus
    Victus lumina flexerit,
    Quicquid prascipuum trahit,
    Perdit, dum videt inferos.”

  696. Milton, Paradise Lost, II 879:⁠—

    “On a sudden open fly
    With impetuous recoil and jarring sound
    The infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
    Harsh thunder.”

  697. When Caesar robbed the Roman treasury on the Tarpeian hill, the tribune Metellus strove to defend it; but Caesar, drawing his sword, said to him, “It is easier to do this than to say it.”

    Lucan, Pharsalia, III:⁠—

    “The tribune with unwilling steps withdrew,
    While impious hands the rude assault renew:
    The brazen gates with thundering strokes resound,
    And the Tarpeian mountain rings around.
    At length the sacred storehouse, open laid,
    The hoarded wealth of ages past displayed;
    There might be seen the sums proud Carthage sent,
    Her long impending ruin to prevent.
    There heaped the Macedonian treasures shone,
    What great Flaminius and Aemilius won
    From vanquished Philip and his hapless son.
    There lay, what flying Pyrrhus lost, the gold
    Scorned by the patriot’s honesty of old:
    Whate’er our parsimonious sires could save,
    What tributary gifts rich Syria gave;
    The hundred Cretan cities’ ample spoil;
    What Cato gathered from the Cyprian isle.
    Riches of captive kings by Pompey borne,
    In happier days, his triumph to adorn,
    From utmost India and the rising morn;
    Wealth infinite, in one rapacious day,
    Became the needy soldiers’ lawless prey:
    And wretched Rome, by robbery laid low,
    Was poorer than the bankrupt Caesar now.”

  698. The hymn of St. Ambrose, universally known in the churches as the Te Deum.

  699. Thomson, “Hymn”:⁠—

    “In swarming cities vast
    Assembled men to the deep organ join
    The long-resounding voice, oft breaking clear
    At solemn pauses through the swelling bass,
    And, as each mingling flame increases each,
    In one united ardor rise to heaven.”

  700. In this canto is described the First Circle of Purgatory, where the sin of Pride is punished.

  701. It being now Easter Monday, and the fourth day after the full moon, the hour here indicated would be four hours after sunrise. And as the sun was more than two hours high when Dante found himself at the gate of Purgatory (Canto IX 44), he was an hour and a half in this needle’s eye.

  702. Which was so steep as to allow of no ascent; dritto di salita being used in the sense of right of way.

  703. Polycletus, the celebrated Grecian sculptor, among whose works one, representing the bodyguard of the king of Persia, acquired such fame for excellence as to be called “the Rule.”

  704. With this description of the sculptures on the wall of Purgatory compare that of the shield which Vulcan made for Achilles, Iliad, XVIII 484, Buckley’s Tr.:⁠—

    “On it he wrought the earth, and the heaven, and the sea, the unwearied sun, and the full moon. On it also he represented all the constellations with which the heaven is crowned, the Pleiades, the Hyades, and the strength of Orion, and the Bear, which they also call by the appellation of the Wain, which there revolves, and watches Orion; but it alone is free from the baths of the ocean.

    “In it likewise he wrought two fair cities of articulate speaking men. In the one, indeed, there were marriages and feasts; and they were conducting the brides from their chambers through the city with brilliant torches, and many a bridal song was raised. The youthful dancers were wheeling round, and among them pipes and lyres uttered a sound; and the women standing, each at her portals, admired. And people were crowded together in an assembly, and there a contest had arisen; for two men contended for the ransom-money of a slain man: the one affirmed that he had paid all, appealing to the people; but the other denied, averring that he had received naught: and both wished to find an end of the dispute before a judge. The people were applauding both, supporters of either party, and the heralds were keeping back the people; but the elders sat upon polished stones, in a sacred circle, and the pleaders held in their hands the staves of the clear-voiced heralds; with these then they arose, and alternately pleaded their cause. Moreover, in the midst lay two talents of gold, to give to him who should best establish his claim among them. But round the other city sat two armies of people glittering in arms; and one of two plans was agreeable to them, either to waste it, or to divide all things into two parts⁠—the wealth, whatever the pleasant city contained within it. They, however, had not yet complied, but were secretly arming themselves for an ambuscade. Meanwhile, their beloved wives and young children kept watch, standing above, and among them the men whom old age possessed. But they (the younger men) advanced; but Mars was their leader, and Pallas Minerva, both golden, and clad in golden dresses, beautiful and large, along with their armor, radiant all round, and indeed like gods; but the people were of humbler size. But when they now had reached a place where it appeared fit to lay an ambuscade, by a river, where there was a watering-place for all sorts of cattle, there then they settled, clad in shining steel. There, apart from the people, sat two spies, watching when they might perceive the sheep and crooked-horned oxen. These, however, soon advanced, and two shepherds accompanied them, amusing themselves with their pipes, for they had not yet perceived the stratagem. Then they, discerning them, ran in upon them, and immediately slaughtered on all sides the herds of oxen, and the beautiful flocks of snow-white sheep; and slew the shepherds besides. But they, when they heard the great tumult among the oxen, previously sitting in front of the assembly, mounting their nimble-footed steeds, pursued; and soon came up with them. Then, having marshalled themselves, they fought a battle on the banks of the river, and wounded one another with their brazen spears. Among them mingled Discord and Tumult, and destructive Fate, holding one alive recently wounded, another unwounded, but a third, slain, she drew by the feet through the battle; and had the garment around her shoulders crimsoned with the gore of men. But they turned about, like living mortals, and fought, and drew away the slaughtered bodies of each other.

    “On it he also placed a soft fallow field, rich glebe, wide, thrice-ploughed; and in it many ploughmen drove hither and thither, turning round their teams. But when, returning, they reached the end of the field, then a man, advancing, gave into their hands a cup of very sweet wine; but they turned themselves in series, eager to reach the other end of the deep fallow. But it was all black behind, similar to ploughed land, which indeed was a marvel beyond all others.

    “On it likewise he placed a field of deep corn, where reapers were cutting, having sharp sickles in their hands. Some handfuls fell one after the other upon the ground along the furrow, and the binders of sheaves tied others with bands. Three binders followed the reapers, while behind them boys gathering the handfuls, and bearing them in their arms, continually supplied them; and among them the master stood by the swath in silence, holding a sceptre, delighted in heart. But apart, beneath an oak, servants were preparing a banquet, and, sacrificing a huge ox, they ministered; while women sprinkled much white barley on the meat, as a supper for the reapers.

    “On it likewise he placed a vineyard, heavily laden with grapes, beautiful, golden; but the clusters throughout were black; and it was supported throughout by silver poles. Round ic he drew an azure trench, and about it a hedge of tin; but there was only one path to it, by which the gatherers went when they collected the vintage. Young virgins and youths, of tender minds, bore the luscious fruit in woven baskets, in the midst of whom a boy played sweetly on a shrill harp; and with tender voice sang gracefully to the chord; while they, beating the ground in unison with dancing and shouts, followed, skipping with their feet.

    “In it he also wrought a herd of oxen with horns erect. But the kine were made of gold and of tin, and rushed out with a lowing from the stall to the pasture, beside a murmuring stream, along the breeze-waving reeds. Four golden herdsmen accompanied the oxen, and nine dogs, swift of foot, followed. But two terrible lions detained the bull, roaring among the foremost oxen, and he was dragged away, loudly bellowing, and the dogs and youths followed for a rescue. They indeed, having torn off the skin of the great ox, lapped up his entrails and black blood; and the shepherds vainly pressed upon them, urging on their fleet dogs. These however refused to bite the lions, but, standing very near, barked, and shunned them.

    “On it illustrious Vulcan also formed a pasture in a beautiful grove full of white sheep, and folds, and covered huts and cottages.

    “Illustrious Vulcan likewise adorned it with a dance, like unto that which, in wide Gnossus, Dsdalus contrived for fair-haired Ariadne. There danced youths and alluring virgins, holding each other’s hands at the wrist. These wore fine linen robes, but those were dressed in well-woven tunics, shining as with oil; these also had beautiful garlands, and those wore golden swords, hanging from silver belts. Sometimes, with skilful feet, they nimbly bounded round; as when a potter, sitting, shall make trial of a wheel fitted to his hands, whether it will run: and at other times again they ran back to their places through one another. But a great crowd surrounded the pleasing dance, amusing themselves; and among them two tumblers, beginning their songs, spun round through the midst.

    “But in it he also formed the vast strength of the river Oceanus, near the last border of the well-formed shield.”

    See also Virgil’s description of the Shield of Aeneas, Aeneid, VIII, and of the representations on the walls of the Temple of Juno at Carthage, Aeneid, I. Also the description of the Temple of Mars, in Statius, Thebaid, VII, and that of the tomb of the Persian queen in the Alexandreis of Philip Gualtier, noticed in Mr. Sumner’s article, Atlantic Monthly, XVI 754. And finally “the noble kerving and the portreitures” of the Temples of Venus, Mars, and Diana, in Chaucer’s “Knightes Tale”:⁠—

    “Why shulde I not as vvel eke tell you all
    The portreiture that was upon the wall
    Within the temple of mighty Mars the Rede?

    “First on the wall was peinted a forest,
    In which thcr wonncth neythcr man ne best;
    With knotty, knarry, barrein trees old,
    Of stubbes sharpe, and hldous to behold;
    In which ther ran a romble and a swough,
    As though a storme shuld bresten every bough.
    And, dounward from an hill, under a bent,
    Ther stood the temple of Mars Armipotcnt,
    Wrought all of burned stele; of which th’ entrée
    Was longe and streite, and gastly for to see;
    And therout came a rage and swiche a vise,
    That it made all the gates for to rise.
    The northern light in at the dore shone;
    For window, on the wall, ne was ther none,
    Thurgh which men mighten any light discerne.
    The dore was all of athamant eterne;
    Yclenched, overthwart and endelong,
    With yren tough. And, for to make it strong,
    Every piler the temple to sustene
    Was tonne-gret, of yren bright and shcne.

    “Ther saw I, first, the derke imagining
    Of felonie, and alle the compassing;
    The cruel ire, red as any glede;
    The pikepurse; and eke the pale drede;
    The smiler, with the knif under the cloke;
    The shepen brenning, with the blake smoke;
    The treson of the mordring in the bedde;
    The open werre, with woundes all bebledde;
    Conteke, with blody knif and sharp menace:
    All full of chirking was that sory place.
    The sleer of himself, yet, saw I there,
    His herte-blood hath bathed all his here,
    The naile ydriven in the shode anyght,
    The colde deth, with mouth gaping upright.”

  705. Luke 1:28:⁠—

    “And the angel came in unto her and said. Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee.”

  706. Luke 1:38:⁠—

    “And Mary said. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.”

  707. 2 Samuel 6:6, 7:⁠—

    “And when they came to Nachon’s threshing-floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.”

  708. 2 Samuel 6:14:⁠—

    “And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.”

  709. 2 Samuel 6:16:⁠—

    “And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.”

  710. This story of Trajan is told in nearly the same words, though in prose, in the Fiore di Filosofi, a work attributed to Brunetto Latini. See Nannucci, Manuale della Letteratura del Prima Secolo, in. 291. It may be found also in the Legenda Aurea, in the Cento Novelle Antiche, Nov. 67, and in the Life of St. Gregory, by Paulus Diaconus.

    As told by Ser Brunetto the story runs thus:⁠—

    “Trajan was a very just Emperor, and one day, having mounted his horse to go into battle with his cavalry, a woman came and seized him by the foot, and, weeping bitterly, asked him and besought him to do justice upon those who had without cause put to death her son, who was an upright young man. And he answered and said, ‘I will give thee satisfaction when I return.’ And she said, ‘And if thou dost not return?’ And he answered, ‘If I do not return, my successor will give thee satisfaction.’ And she said, ‘How do I know that? and suppose he do it, what is it to thee if another do good? Thou art my debtor, and according to thy deeds shalt thou be judged; it is a fraud for a man not to pay what he owes; the justice of another will not liberate thee, and it will be well for thy successor if he shall liberate himself.’ Moved by these words the Emperor alighted, and did justice, and consoled the widow, and then mounted his horse, and went to battle, and routed his enemies. A long time afterwards St. Gregory, hearing of this justice, saw his statue, and had him disinterred, and found that he was all turned to dust, except his bones and his tongue, which was like that of a living man. And by this St. Gregory knew his justice, for this tongue had always spoken it; so that then he wept very piteously through compassion, praying God that he would take this soul out of Hell, knowing that he had been a Pagan. Then God, because of these prayers, drew that soul from pain, and put it into glory. And thereupon the angel spoke to St. Gregory, and told him never to make such a prayer again, and God laid upon him as a penance either to be two days in Purgatory, or to be always ill with fever and side-ache. St. Gregory as the lesser punishment chose the fever and side-ache (male di fianco).”

  711. Gregory’s “great victory” was saving the soul of Trajan by prayer.

  712. Jeremy Taylor says:⁠—

    “As the silkworm eateth itself out of a seed to become a little worm; and there feeding on the leaves of mulberries, it grows till its coat be off, and then works itself into a house of silk; then, casting its pearly seeds for the young to breed, it leaveth its silk for man, and dieth all white and winged in the shape of a flying creature: so is the progress of souls.”

  713. Gower, Confessio Amantis, I:⁠—

    “The proude vice of veingloire
    Remembreth nought of purgatoire.”

    And Shakespeare, King Henry the Eighth, III 2:⁠—

    “I have ventured,
    Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
    This many summers in a sea of glory.”

  714. The angels, the first creation or effects of the divine power.

  715. Wisdom of Solomon 7:25:⁠—

    “For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty.”

    In the Vulgate: Vapor est enim virtutis Dei.

  716. See note 160.

  717. Or Italian. The speaker is Omberto Aldobrandeschi, Count of Santaliore, in the Maremma of Siena. “The Counts of Santafiore were, and are, and almost always will be at war with the Sienese,” says the Ottimo. In one of these wars Omberto was slain, at the village of Campagnatico. “The author means,” continues the same commentator, “that he who cannot carry his head high should bow it down like a bulrush.”

  718. Vasari, Lives of the Painters, Mrs. Foster’s Tr., I 103, says:⁠—

    “At this time there lived in Rome⁠—to omit nothing relative to art that may be worthy of commemoration⁠—a certain Oderigi of Agobbio, an excellent miniature-painter of those times, with whom Giotto lived on terms of close friendship; and who was therefore invited by the Pope to illuminate many books for the library of the palace: but these books have in great part perished in the lapse of time. In my book of ancient drawings I have some few remains from the hand of this artist, who was certainly a clever man, although much surpassed by Franco of Bologna, who executed many admirable works in the same manner, for the same Pontiff, (and which were also destined for the library of the palace,) at the same time with those of Oderigi. From the hand of Franco also, I have designs, both in painting and illuminating, which may be seen in my book above cited; among others are an eagle, perfectly well done, and a lion tearing up a tree, which is most beautiful.”

  719. The art of illuminating manuscripts, which was called in Paris alluminare, was in Italy called miniare. Hence Oderigi is called by Vasari a miniatore, or miniature-painter.

  720. Franco Bolognese was a pupil of Oderigi, who perhaps alludes to this fact in claiming a part of the honor paid to the younger artist.

  721. Of Cimabue, Vasari, Lives of the Painters, Mrs. Foster’s Tr., I 35, says:⁠—

    “The overwhelming flood of evils by which unhappy Italy had been submerged and devastated had not only destroyed whatever could properly be called buildings, but, a still more deplorable consequence, had totally exterminated the artists themselves, when, by the will of God, in the year 1240, Giovanni Cimabue, of the noble family of that name, was born, in the city of Florence, to give the first light to the art of painting. This youth, as he grew up, being considered by his father and others to give proof of an acute judgment and a clear understanding, was sent to Santa Maria Novella to study letters under a relation, who was then master in grammar to the novices of that convent. But Cimabue, instead of devoting himself to letters, consumed the whole day in drawing men, horses, houses, and other various fancies, on his books and different papers⁠—an occupation to which he felt himself impelled by nature; and this natural inclination was favored by fortune, for the governors of the city had invited certain Greek painters to Florence, for the purpose of restoring the art of painting, which had not merely degenerated, but was altogether lost. These artists, among other works, began to paint the Chapel of the Gondi, situate next the principal chapel, in Santa Maria Novella, the roof and walls of which are now almost entirely destroyed by time⁠—and Cimabue, often escaping from the school, and having already made a commencement in the art he was so fond of, would stand watching those masters at their work, the day through. Judging from these circumstances, his father, as well as the artists themselves, concluded him to be well endowed for painting, and thought that much might be hoped from his future efforts, if he were devoted to that art. Giovanni was accordingly, to his no small satisfaction, placed with those masters. From this time he labored incessantly, and was so far aided by his natural powers that he soon greatly surpassed his teachers both in design and coloring. For these masters, caring little for the progress of art, had executed their works as we now see them, not in the excellent manner of the ancient Greeks, but in the rude modern style of their own day. Wherefore, though Cimabue imitated his Greek instructors, he very much improved the art, relieving it greatly from their uncouth manner, and doing honor to his country by the name he acquired, and by the works which he performed. Of this we have evidence in Florence from the pictures which he painted there; as, for example, the front of the altar of Santa Cecilia, and a picture of the Virgin, in Santa Croce, which was, and is still, attached to one of the pilasters on the right of the choir.”

  722. Shakespeare, Troil. and Cres., III 3:⁠—

    “The present eye praises the present object:
    Then marvel not, thou great and complete man,
    That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax;
    Since things in motion sooner catch the eye
    Than what not stirs. The cry went once on thee;
    And still it might, and yet it may again,
    If thou wouldst not entomb thyself alive,
    And case thy reputation in thy tent.”

    Cimabue died in 1300. His epitaph is:

    “Credidit ut Cimabos picturae castra tenere,
    Sic tenuit vivens, nunc tenet astra poli.”

    Vasari, Lives of the Painters, I 93:⁠—

    “The gratitude which the masters in painting owe to Nature⁠—who is ever the truest model of him who, possessing the power to select the brightest parts from her best and loveliest features, employs himself unweariedly in the reproduction of these beauties⁠—this gratitude, I say, is due, in my judgment, to the Florentine painter Giotto, seeing that he alone⁠—although born amidst incapable artists, and at a time when all good methods in art had long been entombed beneath the ruins of war⁠—yet, by the favor of Heaven, he, I say, alone succeeded in resuscitating Art, and restoring her to a path that may be called the true one. And it was in truth a great marvel, that from so rude and inapt an age Giotto should have had strength to elicit so much, that the art of design, of which the men of those days had little, if any knowledge, was by his means effectually recalled into life. The birth of this great man took place in the hamlet of Vespignano, fourteen miles from the city of Florence, in the year 1276. His father’s name was Bondone, a simple husbandman, who reared the child, to whom he had given the name of Giotto, with such decency as his condition permitted. The boy was early remarked for extreme vivacity in all his childish proceedings, and for extraordinary promptitude of intelligence; so that he became endeared, not only to his father, but to all who knew him in the village and around it. When he was about ten years old, Bondone gave him a few sheep to watch, and with these he wandered about the vicinity⁠—now here and now there. But, induced by Nature herself to the arts of design, he was perpetually drawing on the stones, the earth, or the sand, some natural object that came before him, or some fantasy that presented itself to his thoughts. It chanced one day that the affairs of Cimabue took him from Florence to Vespignano, when he perceived the young Giotto, who, while his sheep fed around him, was occupied in drawing one of them from the life, with a stone slightly pointed, upon a smooth, clean piece of rock⁠—and that without any teaching whatever but such as Nature herself had imparted. Halting in astonishment, Cimabue inquired of the boy if he would accompany him to his home, and the child replied, he would go willingly, if his father were content to permit it. Cimabue therefore requesting the consent of Bondone, the latter granted it readily, and suffered the artist to conduct his son to Florence, where, in a short time, instructed by Cimabue and aided by Nature, the boy not only equalled his master in his own manner, but became so good an imitator of Nature that he totally banished the rude Greek manner, restoring art to the better path adhered to in modern times, and introducing the custom of accurately drawing living persons from nature, which had not been used for more than two hundred years. Or, if some had attempted it, as said above, it was not by any means with the success of Giotto. Among the portraits by this artist, and which still remain, is one of his contemporary and intimate friend, Dante Alighieri, who was no less famous as a poet than Giotto as a painter, and whom Messer Giovanni Boccaccio has lauded so highly in the introduction to his story of Messer Forese da Rabatta, and of Giotto the painter himself. This portrait is in the chapel of the palace of the Podestà in Florence; and in the same chapel are the portraits of Ser Brunetto Latini, master of Dante, and of Messer Corso Donati, an illustrious citizen of that day.”

    Pope Benedict the Ninth, hearing of Giotto’s fame, sent one of his courtiers to Tuscany, to propose to him certain paintings for the Church of St. Peter.

    “The messenger,” continues Vasari, “when on his way to visit Giotto, and to inquire what other good masters there were in Florence, spoke first with many artists in Siena⁠—then, having received designs from them, he proceeded to Florence, and repaired one morning to the workshop where Giotto was occupied with his labors. He declared the purpose of the Pope, and the manner in which that Pontiff desired to avail himself of his assistance; and, finally, requested to have a drawing, that he might send it to his Holiness, Giotto, who was very courteous, took a sheet of paper and a pencil dipped in a red color, then, resting his elbow on his side, to form a sort of compass, with one turn of the hand he drew a circle, so perfect and exact that it was a marvel to behold. This done, he turned smiling to the courtier, saying, ‘Here is your drawing.’ ‘Am I to have nothing more than this?’ inquired the latter, conceiving himself to be jested with. ‘That is enough and to spare,’ returned Giotto; ‘send it with the rest, and you will see if it will be recognized.’ The messenger, unable to obtain anything more, went away very ill satisfied, and fearing that he had been fooled. Nevertheless, having despatched the other drawings to the Pope, with the names of those who had done them, he sent that of Giotto also, relating the mode in which he had made his circle, without moving his arm and without compasses; from which the Pope, and such of the courtiers as were well versed in the subject, perceived how far Giotto surpassed all the other painters of his time. This incident, becoming known, gave rise to the proverb, still used in relation to people of dull wits⁠—Tu sei piu tondo che l’O di Giotto; the significance of which consists in the double meaning of the word ‘tondo,’ which is used in the Tuscan for slowness of intellect and heaviness of comprehension, as well as for an exact circle. The proverb has besides an interest from the circumstance which gave it birth.⁠ ⁠…

    “It is said that Giotto, when he was still a boy, and studying with Cimabue, once painted a fly on the nose of a figure on which Cimabue himself was employed, and this so naturally, that, when the master returned to continue his work, he believed it to be real, and lifted his hand more than once to drive it away before he should go on with the painting.”

    Boccaccio, Decameron, VI 5, tells this tale of Giotto:⁠—

    “As it often happens that fortune hides under the meanest trades in life the greatest virtues, which has been proved by Pampinea; so are the greatest geniuses found frequently lodged by Nature in the most deformed and misshapen bodies, which was verified in two of our own citizens, as I am now going to relate. For the one, who was called Forese da Rabatta, being a little deformed mortal, with a flat Dutch face, worse than any of the family of the Baronci, yet was he esteemed by most men a repository of the civil law. And the other, whose name was Giotto, had such a prodigious fancy, that there was nothing in Nature, the parent of all things, but he could imitate it with his pencil so well, and draw it so like, as to deceive our very senses, imagining that to be the very thing itself which was only his painting: therefore, having brought that art again to light, which had lain buried for many ages under the errors of such as aimed more to captivate the eyes of the ignorant, than to please the understandings of those who were really judges, he may be deservedly called one of the lights and glories of our city, and the rather as being master of his art, notwithstanding his modesty would never suffer himself to be so esteemed; which honor, though rejected by him, displayed itself in him with the greater lustre, as it was so eagerly usurped by others less knowing than himself, and by many also who had all their knowledge from him. But though his excellence in his profession was so wonderful, yet as to his person and aspect he had no way the advantage of Signor Forese. To come then to my story. These two worthies had each his country-seat at Mugello, and Forese being gone thither in the vacation time, and riding upon an unsightly steed, chanced to meet there with Giotto, who was no better equipped than himself, when they returned together to Florence. Travelling slowly along, as they were able to go no faster, they were overtaken by a great shower of rain, and forced to take shelter in a poor man’s house, who was well known to them both; and, as there was no appearance of the weather’s clearing up, and each being desirous of getting home that night, they borrowed two old, rusty cloaks, and two rusty hats, and they proceeded on their journey. After they had gotten a good part of their way, thoroughly wet, and covered with dirt and mire, which their two shuffling steeds had thrown upon them, and which by no means improved their looks, it began to clear up at last, and they, who had hitherto said but little to each other, now turned to discourse together; whilst Forese, riding along and listening to Giotto, who was excellent at telling a story, began at last to view him attentively from head to foot, and, seeing him in that wretched, dirty pickle, without having any regard to himself he fell a laughing, and said, ‘Do you suppose, Giotto, if a stranger were to meet with you now, who had never seen you before, that he would imagine you to be the best painter in the world, as you really are?’ Giotto readily replied, ‘Yes, sir, I believe he might think so, if, looking at you at the same time, he would ever conclude that you had learned your A. BC’ At this Forese was sensible of his mistake, finding himself well paid in his own coin.”

    Another story of Giotto may be found in Sacchetti, Nov. 75.

  723. Probably Dante’s friend, Guido Cavalcanti, note 140; and Guido Guinicelli, note 1046, whom he calls

    “The father
    Of me and of my betters, who had ever
    Practised the sweet and gracious rhymes of love.”

  724. Some commentators suppose that Dante here refers to himself. He more probably is speaking only in general terms, without particular reference to any one.

  725. Ben Jonson, “Ode on the Death of Sir H. Morison”:⁠—

    “It Is not growing like a tree
    In bulk, doth make men better be;
    Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
    To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear;
    A lily of a day
    Is fairer far in May,
    Although it fall and die that night;
    It was the plant and flower of light.”

  726. The babble of childhood; pappo for pane, bread, and dindi for danari, money.

    Halliwell, Dic. of Arch. and Prov. Words:⁠—

    Dinders, small coins of the Lower Empire, found at Wroxeter.”

  727. The revolution of the fixed stars, according to the Ptolemaic theory, which was also Dante’s, was thirty-six thousand years.

  728. “Who goes so slowly,” interprets the Ottimo.

  729. At the battle of Monte Aperto. See note 143.

  730. Henry Vaughan, Sacred Poems:⁠—

    “O holy hope and high humility,
    High as the heavens above;
    These are your walks, and you have showed them me
    To kindle my cold love!”

    And Milton, Sams. Agon., 185:⁠—

    “Apt words have power to swage
    The tumors of a troubled mind.”

  731. A haughty and ambitious nobleman of Siena, who led the Sienese troops at the battle of Monte Aperto. Afterwards, when the Sienese were routed by the Florentines at the battle of Colle in the Val d’ Elsa, (note 772,) he was taken prisoner “and his head was cut off,” says Villani, VII 31, “and carried through all the camp fixed upon a lance. And well was fulfilled the prophecy and revelation which the Devil had made to him, by means of necromancy, but which he did not understand; for the Devil, being constrained to tell how he would succeed in that battle, mendaciously answered, and said: ‘Thou shalt go forth and fight, thou shalt conquer not die in the battle, and thy head shall be the highest in the camp.’ And he, believing from these words that he should be victorious, and believing he should be lord over all, did not put a stop after ‘not’ (vincerai no, morrai, thou shalt conquer not, thou shalt die). And therefore it is great folly to put faith in the Devil’s advice. This Messer Provenzano was a great man in Siena after his victory at Monte Aperto, and led the whole city, and all the Ghibelline party of Tuscany made him their chief, and he was very presumptuous in his will.”

    The humility which saved him was his seating himself at a little table in the public square of Siena, called the Campo, and begging money of all passers to pay the ransom of a friend who had been taken prisoner by Charles of Anjou, as here narrated by Dante.

  732. Spenser, Faery Queene, VI c. 7, st. 22:⁠—

    “He, therewith much abashed and affrayd,
    Began to tremble every limbe and vaine.”

  733. A prophecy of Dante’s banishment and poverty and humiliation.

  734. In the first part of this canto the same subject is continued, with examples of pride humbled, sculptured on the pavement, upon which the Proud are doomed to gaze as they go with their heads bent down beneath their heavy burdens,

    “So that they may behold their evil ways.”

    Iliad, XIII 700:⁠—

    “And Ajax, the swift son of Oileus, never at all stood apart from the Telamonian Ajax; but as in a fallow field two dark bullocks, possessed of equal spirit, drag the compacted plough, and much sweat breaks out about the roots of their horns, and the well-polished yoke alone divides them, stepping along the furrow, and the plough cuts up the bottom of the soil, so they, joined together, stood very near to each other.”

  735. In Italy a pedagogue is not only a teacher, but literally a leader of children, and goes from house to house collecting his little flock, which he brings home again after school.

    Galatians 3:24:⁠—

    “The law was our schoolmaster (Paidagogos) to bring us unto Christ.”

  736. Tombs under the pavement in the aisles of churches, in contradistinction to those built aloft against the walls.

  737. The reader will not fail to mark the artistic structure of the passage from this to the sixty-third line. First there are four stanzas beginning, “I saw”; then four beginning, “O”; then four beginning, “Displayed”; and then a stanza which resumes and unites them all.

  738. Luke 10:18:⁠—

    “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”

    Milton, Paradise Lost, I 44:⁠—

    “Him the Almighty Power
    Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky,
    With hideous ruin and combustion, down
    To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
    In adamantine chains and penal fire,
    Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.”

  739. Iliad, I 403:⁠—

    “Him of the hundred hands, whom the gods call Briareus, and all men Aegaeon.”

    note 472.

    He was struck by the thunderbolt of Jove, or by a shaft of Apollo, at the battle of Flegra. “Ugly medley of sacred and profane, of revealed truth and fiction!” exclaims Venturi.

  740. Thymbraeus, a surname of Apollo, from his temple in Thymbra.

  741. Nimrod, who “began to be a mighty one in the earth,” and his “tower whose top may reach unto heaven.”

    Genesis 11:8:⁠—

    “So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth, and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

    See also note 470.

  742. Lombardi proposes in this line to read “together” instead of “proud”; which Biagioli thinks is “changing a beautiful diamond for a bit of lead; and stupid is he who accepts the change.”

  743. Among the Greek epigrams is one on Niobe, which runs as follows:⁠—

    “This sepulchre within it has no corse;
    This corse without here has no sepulchre,
    But to itself is sepulchre and corse.”

    Ovid, Metamorphoses, VI, Croxall’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Widowed and childless, lamentable state!
    A doleful sight, among the dead she sate;
    Hardened with woes, a statue of despair,
    To every breath of wind unmoved her hair;
    Her cheek still reddening, but its color dead,
    Faded her eyes, and set within her head.
    No more her pliant tongue its motion keeps,
    But stands congealed within her frozen lips.
    Stagnate and dull, within her purple veins,
    Its current stopped, the lifeless blood remains.
    Her feet their usual offices refuse,
    Her arms and neck their graceful gestures lose:
    Action and life from every part are gone,
    And even her entrails turn to solid stone;
    Yet still she weeps, and whirled by stormy winds,
    Borne through the air, her native country finds;
    There fixed, she stands upon a bleaky hill,
    There yet her marble cheeks eternal tears distil.”

  744. Homer, Iliad, XXIV 604, makes them but twelve:⁠—

    “Twelve children perished in her halls, six daughters and six blooming sons; these Apollo slew from his silver bow, enraged with Niobe; and those Diana, delighting in arrows, because she had deemed herself equal to the beautifulcheeked Latona. She said that Latona had borne only two, but she herself had borne many; nevertheless those, though but two, exterminated all these.”

    But Ovid, Metamorphoses, VI, says:⁠—

    “Seven are my daughters of a form divine,
    With seven fair sons, an indefective line.”

  745. 1 Samuel 31:4, 5:⁠—

    “Then said Saul unto his armor-bearer. Draw thy sword and thrust me through therewith, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through and abuse me. But his armor-bearer would not, for he was sore afraid; therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.”

  746. 2 Samuel 1:21:⁠—

    “Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain upon you.”

  747. Arachne, daughter of Idmon the dyer of Colophon. Ovid, Metamorphoses, VI:⁠—

    “One at the loom so excellently skilled,
    That to the goddess she refused to yield.
    Low was her birth, and small her native town,
    She from her art alone obtained renown.

    Nor would the work, when finished, please so much,
    As, while she wrought, to view each graceful touch;
    Whether the shapeless wool in balls she wound,
    Or with quick motion turned the spindle round,
    Or with her pencil drew the neat design,
    Pallas her mistress shone in every line.
    This the proud maid with scornful air denies,
    And even the goddess at her work defies;
    Disowns her lieavcnly mistress every hour,
    Nor asks her aid, nor deprecates her power.
    Let us, she cries, but to a trial come,
    And if she conquers, let her fix my doom.”

    It was rather an unfair trial of skill, at the end of which Minerva, getting angry, struck Arachne on the forehead with her shuttle of boxwood.

    “The unhappy maid, impatient of the wrong,
    Down from a beam her injured person hung;
    When Pallas, pitying her wretched state,
    At once prevented and pronounced her fate:
    ‘Live; but depend, vile wretch!’ the goddess cried,
    ‘Doomed in suspense forever to be tied;
    That all your race, to utmost date of time,
    May feel the vengeance and detest the crime.’
    Then, going off, she sprinkled her with juice
    Which leaves of baneful aconite produce.
    Touched with the poisonous drug, her flowing hair
    Fell to the ground and left her temples bare;
    Her usual features vanished from their place,
    Her body lessened all, but most her face.
    Her slender fingers, hanging on each side
    With many joints, the use of legs supplied;
    A spider’s bag the rest, from which she gives
    A thread, and still by constant weaving lives.”

  748. In the revolt of the Ten Tribes. 1 Kings 12:18:⁠—

    “Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died; therefore King Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.”

  749. Amphiaraus, the soothsayer, foreseeing his own death if he went to the Theban war, concealed himself, to avoid going. His wife Eriphyle, bribed by a “golden necklace set with diamonds,” betrayed to her brother Adrastus his hiding-place, and Amphiaraus, departing, charged his son Alcmeon to kill Eriphyle as soon as he heard of his death.

    Ovid, Metamorphoses, IX:⁠—

    “The son shall bathe his hands in parent’s blood,
    And in one act be both unjust and good.”

    Statius, Theb., II 355, Lewis’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Fair Eriphyle the rich gift beheld,
    And her sick breast with secret envy swelled.
    Not the late omens and the well-known tale
    To cure her vain ambition aught avail.
    O had the wretch by self-experience known
    The future woes, and sorrows not her own!
    But fate decrees her wretched spouse must bleed,
    And the son’s frenzy clear the mother’s deed.”

  750. Isaiah 37:38:⁠—

    “And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia, and Esarhaddon, his son, reigned in his stead.”

  751. Herodotus, Book I Ch. 214, Rawlinson’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Tomyris, when she found that Cyrus paid no heed to her advice, collected all the forces of her kingdom, and gave him battle. Of all the combats in which the barbarians have engaged among themselves, I reckon this to have been the fiercest.⁠ ⁠… The greater part of the army of the Persians was destroyed, and Cyrus himself fell, after reigning nine and twenty years. Search was made among the slain, by order of the queen, for the body of Cyrus, and when it was found, she took a skin, and, filling it full of human blood, she dipped the head of Cyrus in the gore, saying, as she thus insulted the corse, ‘I live and have conquered thee in fight, and yet by thee am I ruined; for thou tookest my son with guile; but thus I make good my threat, and give thee thy fill of blood.’ Of the many different accounts which are given of the death of Cyrus, this which I have followed appears to me most worthy of credit.”

  752. After Judith had slain Holofernes. Judith 15:1:⁠—

    “And when they that were in the tents heard, they were astonished at the thing that was done. And fear and trembling fell upon them, so that there was no man that durst abide in the sight of his neighbor, but, rushing out all together, they fled into every way of the plain and of the hill country.⁠ ⁠… Now when the children of Israel heard it, they all fell upon them with one consent, and slew them unto Chobai.”

  753. This tercet unites the “I saw,” “O,” and “Displayed,” of the preceding passage, and binds the whole as with a selvage.

  754. Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 19:⁠—

    “There was probably never a period in which the influence of art over the minds of men seemed to depend less on its merely imitative power, than the close of the thirteenth century. No painting or sculpture at that time reached more than a rude resemblance of reality. Its despised perspective, imperfect chiaroscuro, and unrestrained flights of fantastic imagination, separated the artist’s work from nature by an interval which there was no attempt to disguise, and little to diminish. And yet, at this very period, the greatest poet of that, or perhaps of any other age, and the attached friend of its greatest painter, who must over and over again have held full and free conversation with him respecting the objects of his art, speaks in the following terms of painting, supposed to be carried to its highest perfection:⁠—

    ‘Qual di pennel fu maestro, e di stile
    Che ritraesse l’ ombre, e i tratti, ch’ ivi
    Mirar farieno uno ingegno sottile.
    Morti li morti, e i vivi parean vivi:
    Non vide me’ di me, chi vide il vero,
    Quant’ io calcai, fin che chinato givi.’

    Dante has here clearly no other idea of the highest art than that it should bring back, as in a mirror or vision, the aspect of things passed or absent. The scenes of which he speaks are, on the pavement, forever represented by angelic power, so that the souls which traverse this circle of the rock may see them, as if the years of the world had been rolled back, and they again stood beside the actors in the moment of action. Nor do I think that Dante’s authority is absolutely necessary to compel us to admit that such art as this might indeed be the highest possible. Whatever delight we may have been in the habit of taking in pictures, if it were but truly offered to us to remove at our will the canvas from the frame, and in lieu of it to behold, fixed forever, the image of some of those mightyscenes which it has been our way to make mere themes for the artist’s fancy⁠—if, for instance, we could again behold the Magdalene receiving her pardon at Christ’s feet, or the disciples sitting with him at the table of Emmaus⁠—and this not feebly nor fancifully, but as if some silver mirror, that had leaned against the wall of the chamber, had been miraculously commanded to retain forever the colors that had flashed upon it for an instant⁠—would we not part with our picture, Titian’s or Veronese’s though it might be?”

  755. The sixth hour of the day, or noon of the second day.

  756. Florence is here called ironically “the well guided” or well governed. Rubaconte is the name of the most easterly of the bridges over the Arno, and takes its name from Messer Rubaconte, who was Podestà of Florence in 1236, when this bridge was built. Above it on the hill stands the church of San Miniato. This is the hill which Michel Angelo fortified in the siege of Florence. In early times it was climbed by stairways.

  757. In the good old days, before any one had falsified the ledger of the public accounts, or the standard of measure. In Dante’s time a certain Messer Niccola tore out a leaf from the public records, to conceal some villany of his; and a certain Messer Durante, a customhouse officer, diminished the salt-measure by one stave. This is again alluded to, Paradiso XVI 105.

  758. Matthew 5:3:⁠—

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    It must be observed that all the Latin lines in Dante should be chanted with an equal stress on each syllable, in order to make them rhythmical.

  759. The Second Circle, or Cornice, where is punished the sin of Envy; of which St. Augustine says:⁠—

    “Envy is the hatred of another’s felicity; in respect of superiors, because they are not equal to them; in respect of inferiors, lest they should be equal to them; in respect of equals, because they are equal to them. Through envy proceeded the fall of the world, and the death of Christ.”

  760. The livid color of Envy.

  761. The military precision with which Virgil faces to the right is Homeric. Biagioli says that Dante expresses it “after his own fashion, that is, entirely new and different from mundane custom.”

  762. Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, V Met. 2:⁠—

    “Him the Sun, then, rightly call⁠—
    God who sees and lightens all.”

  763. John 2:3:⁠—

    “And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him. They have no wine.”

    Examples are first given of the virtue opposite the vice here punished. These are but “airy tongues that syllable men’s names”; and it must not be supposed that the persons alluded to are actually passing in the air.

  764. The name of Orestes is here shouted on account of the proverbial friendship between him and Pylades. When Orestes was condemned to death, Pylades tried to take his place, exclaiming, “I am Orestes.”

  765. Matthew 5:44:⁠—

    “But I say unto you. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.”

  766. See Canto XIV 147.

  767. The next stairway leading from the second to the third circle.

  768. The Litany of All Saints.

  769. Latian for Italian.

  770. A Sienese lady living in banishment at Colle, where from a tower she witnessed the battle between her townsmen and the Florentines.

    “Sapia hated the Sienese,” says Benvenuto, “and placed herself at a window not far from the field of battle, waiting the issue with anxiety, and desiring the rout and ruin of her own people. Her desires being verified by the entire discomfiture of the Sienese, and the death of their captain,” (Provenzan Salvani, see note 731,) “exultant and almost beside herself, she lifted her bold face to heaven, and cried, ‘Now, O God, do with me what thou wilt, do me all the harm thou canst; now my prayers are answered, and I die content.’ ”

  771. Gower, Confessio Amantis, II:⁠—

    “Whan I have sene another blithe
    Of love and hadde a goodly chere,
    Ethna, which brenneth yere by yere,
    Was thanne nought so hote as I
    Of thilk e sore which prively
    Mine hertes thought withinne brenneth.”

  772. Convito, IV 23:⁠—

    “Every effect, in so far as it is effect, receiveth the likeness of its cause, as far as it can retain it. Therefore, inasmuch as our life, as has been said, and likewise that of every living creature here below, is caused by the heavens, and the heavens reveal themselves to all these effects, not in complete circle, but in part thereof, so must its movement needs be above; and as an arch retains all lives nearly, (and, I say, retains those of men as well as of other living creatures,) ascending and curving, they must be in the similitude of an arch. Returning then to our life, of which it is now question, I say that it proceeds in the image of this arch, ascending and descending.”

  773. The warm days near the end of January are still called in Lombardy I giorni della merla, the days of the blackbird; from an old legend, that once in the sunny weather a blackbird sang, “I fear thee no more, O Lord, for the winter is over.”

  774. Peter Pettignano, or Pettinajo, was a holy hermit, who saw visions and wrought miracles at Siena. Forsyth, Italy, 149, describing the festival of the Assumption in that city in 1802, says:⁠—

    “The Pope had reserved for this great festival the Beatification of Peter, a Sienese comb-maker, whom the Church had neglected to canonize till now. Poor Peter was honored with all the solemnity of music, high-mass, an officiating cardinal, a florid panegyric, pictured angels bearing his tools to heaven, and combing their own hair as they soared; but he received five hundred years ago a greater honor than all, a verse of praise from Dante.”

  775. Dante’s besetting sin was not envy, but pride.

  776. On the other side of the world.

  777. The vanity of the Sienese is also spoken of Inferno XXIX 123.

  778. Talamone is a seaport in the Maremma, “many times abandoned by its inhabitants,” says the Ottimo, “on account of the malaria. The town is utterly in ruins; but as the harbor is deep, and would be of great utility if the place were inhabited, the Sienese have spent much money in repairing it many times, and bringing in inhabitants; it is of little use, for the malaria prevents the increase of population.”

    Talamone is the ancient Telamon, where Marius landed on his return from Africa.

  779. The Diana is a subterranean river, which the Sienese were in search of for many years to supply the city with water. “They never have been able to find it,” says the Ottimo, “and yet they still hope.” In Dante’s time it was evidently looked upon as an idle dream. To the credit of the Sienese be it said, they persevered, and finally succeeded in obtaining the water so patiently sought for. The Pozzo Diana, or Diana’s Well, is still to be seen at the Convent of the Carmen.

  780. The admirals who go to Talamone to superintend the works will lose there more than their hope, namely, their lives.

  781. The subject of the preceding canto is here continued. Compare the introductory lines with those of Canto V.

  782. These two spirits prove to be Guido del Duca and Rinieri da Calboli.

  783. A mountain in the Apennines, northeast of Florence, from which the Arno takes its rise. Ampère, Voyage Dantesque, p. 246, thus describes this region of the Val d’ Arno:⁠—

    “Farther on is another tower, the tower of Porciano, which is said to have been inhabited by Dante. From there I had still to climb the summits of the Falterona. I started towards midnight in order to arrive before sunrise. I said to myself. How many times the poet, whose footprints I am following, has wandered in these mountains! It was by these little alpine paths that he came and went, on his way to friends in Romagna or friends in Urbino, his heart agitated with a hope that was never to be fulfilled. I figured to myself Dante walking with a guide under the light of the stars, receiving all the impressions produced by wild and weather-beaten regions, steep roads, deep valleys, and the accidents of a long and difficult route, impressions which he would transfer to his poem. It is enough to have read this poem to be certain that its author has travelled much, has wandered much. Dante really walks with Virgil. He fatigues himself with climbing, he stops to take breath, he uses his hands when feet are insufficient. He gets lost, and asks the way. He observes the height of the sun and stars. In a word, one finds the habits and souvenirs of the traveller in every verse, or rather at every step of his poetic pilgrimage.

    “Dante has certainly climbed the top of the Falterona. It is upon this summit, from which all the Valley of the Arno is embraced, that one should read the singular imprecation which the poet has uttered against this whole valley. He follows the course of the river, and as he advances marks every place he comes to with fierce invective. The farther he goes, the more his hate redoubles in violence and bitterness. It is a piece of topographical satire, of which I know no other example.”

  784. The Apennines, whose long chain ends in Calabria, opposite Cape Peloro in Sicily. Aeneid, III 410, Davidson’s Tr.:⁠—

    “But when, after setting out, the wind shall waft you to the Sicilian coast, and the straits of narrow Pelorus shall open wider to the eye, veer to the land on the left, and to the sea on the left, by a long circuit; fly the right both sea and shore. These lands, they say, once with violence and vast desolation convulsed, (such revolutions a long course of time is able to produce,) slipped asunder; when in continuity both lands were one, the sea rushed impetuously between, and by its waves tore the Italian side from that of Sicily; and with a narrow frith runs between the fields and cities separated by the shores. Scylla guards the right side, implacable Charybdis the left, and thrice with the deepest eddies of its gulf swallows up the vast billows, headlong in, and again spouts them out by turns high into the air, and lashes the stars with the waves.”

    And Lucan, Pharsalia, II:⁠—

    “And still we see on fair Sicilians sands
    Where part of Apennine Pelorus stands.”

    And Shelley, “Ode to Liberty”:⁠—

    “O’er the lit waves every Aeolian isle
    From Pithecusa to Pelorus
    Howls, and leaps, and glares in chorus.”

  785. When Dante wrote this invective against the inhabitants of the Val d’ Arno, he probably had in mind the following passage of Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, IV Pros. 3, Ridpath’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Hence it again follows, that everything which strays from what is good ceases to be; the wicked therefore must cease to be what they were; but that they were formerly men, their human shape, which still remains, testifies. By degenerating into wickedness, then, they must cease to be men. But as virtue alone can exalt a man above what is human, so it is on the contrary evident, that vice, as it divests him of his nature, must sink him below humanity; you ought therefore by no means to consider him as a man whom vice has rendered vicious. Tell me. What difference is there betwixt a wolf who lives by rapine, and a robber whom the desire of another’s wealth stimulates to commit all manner of violence? Is there anything that bears a stronger resemblance to a wrathful dog who barks at passengers, than a man whose dangerous tongue attacks all the world? What is liker to a fox than a cheat, who spreads his snares in secret to undermine and ruin you? to a lion, than a furious man who is always ready to devour you? to a deer, than a coward who is afraid of his own shadow? to an ass, than a mortal who is slow, dull, and indolent? to the birds of the air, than a man volatile and inconstant? and what, in fine, is a debauchee who is immersed in the lowest sensual gratifications, but a hog who wallows in the mire? Upon the whole, it is an unquestionable truth that a man who forsakes virtue ceases to be a man; and, as it is impossible that he can ascend in the scale of beings, he must of necessity degenerate and sink into a beast.”

  786. The people of Casentino. Forsyth, Italy, p. 126:⁠—

    “On returning down to the Casentine, we could trace along the Arno the mischief which followed a late attempt to clear some Apennines of their woods. Most of the soil, which was then loosened from the roots and washed down by the torrents, lodged in this plain; and left immense beds of sand and large rolling stones on the very spot where Dante describes

    ‘Li ruscclletti che de’ verdi colli
    Del Casentin discendon giuso in Arno,
    Facendo i lor canali e freddi e molli.’

    “I was surprised to find so large a town as Bibbiena in a country devoid of manufactures, remote from public roads, and even deserted by its landholders; for the Niccolini and Vecchietti, who possess most of this district, prefer the obscurer pleasures of Florence to their palaces and preeminence here. The only commodity which the Casentines trade in is pork. Signore Baglione, a gentleman at whose house I slept here, ascribed the superior flavor of their hams, which are esteemed the best in Italy and require no cooking, to the dryness of the air, the absence of stagnant water, and the quantity of chestnuts given to their hogs. Bibbiena has been long renowned for its chestnuts, which the peasants dry in a kiln, grind into a sweet flour, and then convert into bread, cakes, and polenta.”

  787. The people of Arezzo. Forsyth, Italy, p. 128:⁠—

    “The Casentines were no favorites with Dante, who confounds the men with their hogs. Yet, following the divine poet down the Arno, we came to a race still more forbidding. The Aretine peasants seem to inherit the coarse, surly visages of their ancestors, whom he styles Bottoli. Meeting one girl, who appeared more cheerful than her neighbors, we asked her how far it was from Arezzo, and received for answer, ‘Quanto c’e.’ ”

    “The valley widened as we advanced, and when Arezzo appeared, the river left us abruptly, wheeling off from its environs at a sharp angle, which Dante converts into a snout, and points disdainfully against the currish race.⁠ ⁠…

    “On entering the Val di Chiana, we passed through a peasantry more civil and industrious than their Aretine neighbors. One poor girl, unlike the last whom we accosted, was driving a laden ass, bearing a billet of wood on her head, spinning with the rocca, and singing as she went on. Others were returning with their sickles from the fields which they had reaped in the Maremma, to their own harvest on the hills. That contrast which struck me in the manners of two cantons so near as Cortona to Arezzo, can only be a vestige of their ancient rivality while separate republics. Men naturally dislike the very virtues of their enemies, and affect qualities as remote from theirs as they can well defend.”

  788. The Florentines.

  789. The Pisans.

  790. At the close of these vituperations, perhaps to soften the sarcasm by making it more general, Benvenuto appends this note:⁠—

    “What Dante says of the inhabitants of the Val d’ Arno might be said of the greater part of the Italians, nay, of the world. Dante, being once asked why he had put more Christians than Gentiles into Hell, replied, ‘Because I have known the Christians better.’ ”

  791. Messer Fulcieri da Calboli of Forli, nephew of Rinieri. He was Podestà of Florence in 1302, and, being bribed by the Neri, had many of the Bianchi put to death.

  792. Florence, the habitation of these wolves, left so stripped by Fulcieri, on his retiring from office, that it will be long in recovering its former prosperity.

  793. Guido del Duca of Brettinoro, near Forli, in Romagna; nothing remains but the name. He and his companion Rinieri were “gentlemen of worth, if they had not been burned up with envy.”

  794. On worldly goods, where selfishness excludes others; in contrast with the spiritual, which increase by being shared. See Canto XV 45.

  795. Rinieri da Calboli. “He was very famous,” says the Ottimo, and history says no more. In the Cento Novelle Antiche, Nov. 44, Roscoe’s Tr., he figures thus:⁠—

    “A certain knight was one day entreating a lady whom he loved to smile upon his wishes, and among other delicate arguments which he pressed upon her was that of his own superior wealth, elegance, and accomplishments, especially when compared with the merits of her own liege-lord, ‘whose extreme ugliness, madam,’ he continued, ‘I think I need not insist upon.’ Her husband, who overheard this compliment from the place of his concealment, immediately replied, ‘Pray, sir, mend your own manners, and do not vilify other people.’ The name of the plain gentleman was Lizio di Valbona, and Messer Rinieri da Calvoli that of the other.”

  796. In Romagna, which is bounded by the Po, the Apennines, the Adriatic, and the river Reno, that passes near Bologna.

  797. For study and pleasure.

  798. Of Lizio and Manardi the Ottimo says:⁠—

    “Messer Lizio di Valbona, a courteous gentleman, in order to give a dinner at Forli, sold half his silken bedquilt for sixty florins. Arrigo Manardi was of Brettinoro; he was a gentleman full of courtesy and honor, was fond of entertaining guests, made presents of robes and horses, loved honorable men, and all his life was devoted to largess and good living.”

    The marriage of Riccardo Manardi with Lizio’s daughter Caterina is the subject of one of the tales of the Decameron, V 4. Pietro Dante says, that, when Lizio was told of the death of his dissipated son, he replied, “It is no news to me, he never was alive.”

  799. Of Pier Traversaro the Ottimo says: “He was of Ravenna, a man of most gentle blood”; and of Guido di Carpigna: “He was of Montefeltro.⁠ ⁠… Most of the time he lived at Brettinoro, and surpassed all others in generosity, loved for the sake of loving, and lived handsomely.”

  800. “This Messer Fabbro,” says the Ottimo, “was born of low parents, and lived so generously that the author (Dante) says there never was his like in Bologna.”

  801. The Ottimo again:⁠—

    “This Messer Bernardino, son of Fosco, a farmer, and of humble occupation, became so excellent by his good works, that he was an honor to Faenza; and he was named with praise, and the old grandees were not ashamed to visit him, to see his magnificence, and to hear his pleasant jests.”

  802. Guido da Prata, from the village of that name, between Faenza and Forli, and Ugolin d’ Azzo of Faenza, according to the same authority, though “of humble birth, rose to such great honor, that, leaving their native places, they associated with the noblemen before mentioned.”

  803. Frederick Tignoso was a gentleman of Rimini, living in Brettinoro. “A man of great mark,” says Buti, “with his band of friends.” According to Benvenuto, “he had beautiful blond hair, and was called tignoso (the scurvy fellow) by way of antiphrase.” The Ottimo speaks of him as follows: “He avoided the city as much as possible, as a place hostile to gentlemen, but when he was in it, he kept open house.”

  804. Ancient and honorable families of Ravenna. There is a story of them in the Decameron, Gior. V Nov. 8, which is too long to quote. Upon this tale is founded Dryden’s poem of “Theodore and Honoria.”

  805. Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, I 1:⁠—

    “The dames, the cavaliers, the arms, the loves,
    The courtesies, the daring deeds I sing.”

  806. Brettinoro, now Bertinoro, is a small town in Romagna, between Forli and Cesena, in which lived many of the families that have just been mentioned. The hills about it are still celebrated for their wines, as its inhabitants were in old times for their hospitality. The following anecdote is told of them by the Ottimo, and also in nearly the same words in the Cento Novelle Antiche, Nov. 88:⁠—

    “Among other laudable customs of the nobles of Brettinoro was that of hospitality, and their not permitting any man in the town to keep an inn for money. But there was a stone column in the middle of the town,” (upon which were rings or knockers. Ho if all the front-doors were there represented,) “and to this, as soon as a stranger made his appearance, he was conducted, and to one of the rings hitched his horse or hung his hat upon it; and thus, as chance decreed, he was taken to the house of the gentleman to whom the ring belonged, and honored according to his rank. This column and its rings were invented to remove all cause of quarrel among the noblemen, who used to run to get possession of a stranger, as nowadays they almost run away from him.”

  807. Towns in Romagna. “Bagnacavallo, and Castrocaro, and Conio,” says the Ottimo, “were all habitations of courtesy and honor. Now in Bagnacavallo the Counts are extinct; and he (Dante) says it does well to produce no more of them because they had degenerated like those of Conio and Castrocaro.

  808. The Pagani were Lords of Faenza and Imola. The head of the family, Mainardo, was surnamed “the Devil.”⁠—See note 403. His bad repute will always be a reproach to the family.

  809. A nobleman of Faenza, who died without heirs, and thus his name was safe.

  810. Milton, Comus:⁠—

    “Of calling shapes and beckoning shadows dire,
    And airy tongues that syllable men’s names.”

    These voices in the air proclaim examples of envy.

  811. Genesis 4:13, 14:⁠—

    “And Cain said unto the Lord,⁠ ⁠… Every one that findeth me shall slay me.”

  812. Aglauros through envy opposed the interview of Mercury with her sister Herse, and was changed by the god into stone. Ovid, Metamorphoses, I, Addison’s Tr.:⁠—

    “ ‘Then keep thy seat forever,’ cries the god,
    And touched the door, wide opening to his rod.
    Fain would she rise and stop him, but she found
    Her trunk too heavy to forsake the ground;
    Her joints are all benumbed, her hands are pale,
    And marble now appears in every nail.
    As when a cancer in the body feeds,
    And gradual death from limb to limb proceeds,
    So does the chillness to each vital part
    Spread by degrees, and creeps into her heart;
    Till hardening everywhere, and speechless grown,
    She sits unmoved, and freezes to a stone.
    But still her envious hue and sullen mien
    Are in the sedentary figure seen.”

  813. The falconer’s call or lure, which he whirls round in the air to attract the falcon on the wing.

  814. Ovid, Metamorphoses, I, Dryden’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Thus, while the mute creation downward bend
    Their sight, and to their earthly mother tend,
    Man looks aloft; and with erected eyes
    Beholds his own hereditary skies.”

  815. Beaumont and Fletcher, The Laws of Candy, IV 1:⁠—

    “Seldom despairing men look up to heaven,
    Although it still speak to ’em in its glories;
    For when sad thoughts perplex the mind of man,
    There is a plummet in the heart that weighs
    And pulls us, living, to the dust we came from.”

  816. In this canto is described the ascent to the Third Circle of the mountain. The hour indicated by the peculiarly Dantesque introduction is three hours before sunset, or the beginning of that division of the canonical day called Vespers. Dante states this simple fact with curious circumlocution, as if he would imitate the celestial sphere in this scherzoso movement. The beginning of the day is sunrise; consequently the end of the third hour, three hours after sunrise, is represented by an arc of the celestial sphere measuring forty-five degrees. The sun had still an equal space to pass over before his setting. This would make it afternoon in Purgatory, and midnight in Tuscany, where Dante was writing the poem.

  817. From a perpendicular.

  818. Matthew 5:7:⁠—

    “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”;

    —sung by the spirits that remained behind. See note 758.

  819. Perhaps an allusion to “what the Spirit saith unto the churches,” Revelation 2:7:⁠—

    “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”

    And also the “hidden manna,” and the “morning star,” and the “white raiment,” and the name not blotted “out of the book of life.”

  820. Milton, Paradise Lost, V 71:⁠—

    “Since good the more
    Communicated, more abundant grows.”

  821. Convito, IV 20:⁠—

    “According to the Apostle, ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and Cometh down from the Father of lights.’ He says then that God only giveth this grace to the soul of him whom he sees to be prepared and disposed in his person to receive this divine act⁠ ⁠… Whence if the soul is imperfectly placed, it is not disposed to receive this blessed and divine infusion; as when a pearl is badly disposed, or is imperfect, it cannot receive the celestial virtue, as the noble Guido Guinizzelli says in an ode of his, beginning,

    ‘To noble heart love doth for shelter fly.’

    The soul, then, may be ill placed in the person through defect of temperament, or of time; and in such a soul this divine radiance never shines. And of those whose souls are deprived of this light it may be said that they are like valleys turned toward the north, or like subterranean caverns, where the light of the sun never falls, unless reflected from some other place illuminated by it.”

    The following are the first two stanzas of Guido’s “Ode”:⁠—

    “To noble heart love doth for shelter fly,
    As seeks the bird the forest’s leafy shade;
    Love was not felt till noble heart beat high,
    Nor before love the noble heart was made;
    Soon as the sun’s broad flame
    Was formed, so soon the clear light filled the air,
    Yet was not till he came;
    So love springs up in noble breasts, and there
    Has its appointed space,
    As heat in the bright flame finds its allotted place.

    “Kindles in noble heart the fire of love,
    As hidden virtue in the precious stone;
    This virtue comes not from the stars above,
    Till round it the ennobling sun has shone;
    But when his powerful blaze
    Has drawn forth what was vile, the stars impart
    Strange virtue in their rays;
    And thus when nature doth create the heart
    Noble, and pure, and high,
    Like virtue from the star, love comes from woman’s eye.”

  822. Paradiso XIV 40:⁠—

    “Its brightness is proportioned to the ardor,
    The ardor to the vision, and the vision
    Equals what grace it has above its merit.”

  823. Luke 2:48:⁠—

    “And his mother said unto him. Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.”

  824. The contest between Neptune and Minerva for the right of naming Athens, in which Minerva carried the day by the vote of the women. This is one of the subjects which Minerva wrought in her trial of skill with Arachne. Ovid, Metamorphoses, VI:⁠—

    “Pallas in figures wrought the heavenly powers,
    And Mars’s hill among the Athenian towers.
    On lofty thrones twice six celestials sate,
    Jove in the midst, and held their warm debate;
    The subject weighty, and well known to fame,
    From whom the city should receive its name.
    Each god by proper features was expressed,
    Jove with majestic mien excelled the rest.
    His three-forked mace the dewy sea-god shook,
    And, looking sternly, smote the ragged rock;
    When from the stone leapt forth a sprightly steed,
    And Neptune claims the city for the deed.
    Herself she blazons, with a glittering spear,
    And crested helm that veiled her braided hair,
    With shield, and scaly breastplate, implements of war.
    Struck with her pointed lance, the teeming earth
    Seemed to produce a new, surprising birth;
    When from the glebe the pledge of conquest sprung,
    A tree pale-green with fairest olives hung.”

  825. Pisistratus, the tyrant of Athens, who used his power so nobly as to make the people forget the usurpation by which he had attained it. Among his good deeds was the collection and preservation of the Homeric poems, which but for him might have perished. He was also the first to found a public library in Athens. This anecdote is told by Valerius Maximus, Fact. ac Dict., VI I.

  826. The stoning of Stephen. Acts 7:54:⁠—

    “They gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven.⁠ ⁠… Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him.⁠ ⁠… And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice. Lord, lay not this sin to their charge! And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

  827. He recognizes it to be a vision, but not false, because it symbolized the truth.

  828. The Third Circle of Purgatory, and the punishment of the Sin of Pride.

  829. Poor, or impoverished of its stars by clouds. The same expression is applied to the Arno, Canto XIV 45, to indicate its want of water.

  830. In the Litany of the Saints:⁠—

    “Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.

    “Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.

    “Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us!”

  831. Still living the life temporal, where time is measured by the calendar.

  832. Marco Lombardo was a Venetian nobleman, a man of wit and learning and a friend of Dante. “Nearly all that he gained,” says the Ottimo, “he spent in charity.⁠ ⁠… He visited Paris, and, as long as his money lasted, he was esteemed for his valor and courtesy. Afterwards he depended upon those richer than himself, and lived and died honorably.” There are some anecdotes of him in the Cento Novelle Antiche, Nov. 41, 52, hardly worth quoting.

    It is doubtful whether the name of Lombardo is a family name, or only indicates that Marco was an Italian, after the fashion then prevalent among the French of calling all Italians Lombards. See note 848.

    Benvenuto says of him that he “was a man of noble mind, but disdainful, and easily moved to anger.”

    Buti’s portrait is as follows:⁠—

    “This Marco was a Venetian, called Marco Daca; and was a very learned man, and had many political virtues, and was very courteous, giving to poor noblemen all that he gained, and he gained much; for he was a courtier, and was much beloved for his virtue, and much was given him by the nobility; and as he gave to those who were in need, so he lent to all who asked. So that, coming to die, and having much still due to him, he made a will, and among other bequests this, that whoever owed him should not be held to pay the debt, saying, ‘Whoever has, may keep.’ ”

    Portarelli thinks that this Marco may be Marco Polo the traveller; but this is inadmissible, as he was still living at the time of Dante’s death.

  833. What Guido del Duca has told him of the corruption of Italy, in Canto XIV.

  834. Ovid, Metamorphoses, X, Ozell’s Tr.:⁠—

    “The god upon its leaves
    The sad expression of his sorrow weaves,
    And to this hour the mournful purple wears
    Ai, ai, inscribed in funeral characters.”

  835. See the article “Cabala,” at the end of Vol. III.

  836. Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, V Prosa 2, Ridpath’s Tr.:⁠—

    “ ‘But in this indissoluble chain of causes, can we preserve the liberty of the will? Does this fatal Necessity restrain the motions of the human soul?’⁠—‘There is no reasonable being,’ replied she, ‘who has not freedom of will: for every being distinguished with this faculty is endowed with judgment to perceive the differences of things; to discover what he is to avoid or pursue. Now what a person esteems desirable, he desires; but what he thinks ought to be avoided, he shuns. Thus every rational creature hath a liberty of choosing and rejecting. But I do riot assert that this liberty is equal in all beings. Heavenly substances, who are exalted above us, have an enlightened judgment, an incorruptible will, and a power ever at command effectually to accomplish their desires. With regard to man, his immaterial spirit is also free; but it is most at liberty when employed in the contemplation of the Divine mind; it becomes less so when it enters into a body; and is still more restrained when it is imprisoned in a terrestrial habitation, composed of members of clay; and is reduced, in fine, to the most extreme servitude when, by plunging into the pollutions of vice, it totally departs from reason: for the soul no sooner turns her eye from the radiance of supreme truth to dark and base objects, but she is involved in a mist of ignorance, assailed by impure desires; by yielding to which she increases her thraldom, and thus the freedom which she derives from nature becomes in some measure the cause of her slavery. But the eye of Providence, which sees everything from eternity, perceives all this; and that same Providence disposes everything she has predestinated, in the order it deserves. As Homer says of the sun. It sees everything and hears everything.’ ”

    Also Milton, Paradise Lost, II 557:⁠—

    “Others apart sat on a hill retired,
    In thoughts more elevate, and reasoned high
    Of providence, foreknowledge, will and fate,
    Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,
    And found no end, in wandering mazes lost.”

    See also note 1675.

  837. Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, V Prosa 3, Ridpath’s Tr.:⁠—

    “But I shall now endeavor to demonstrate, that, in whatever way the chain of causes is disposed, the event of things which are foreseen is necessary; although prescience may not appear to be the necessitating cause of their befalling. For example, if a person sits, the opinion formed of him that he is seated is of necessity true; but by inverting the phrase, if the opinion is true that he is seated, he must necessarily sit. In both cases, then, there is a necessity; in the latter, that the person sits; in the former, that the opinion concerning him is true: but the person doth not sit, because the opinion of his sitting is true, but the opinion is rather true because the action of his being seated was antecedent in time. Thus, though the truth of the opinion may be the effect of the person taking a seat, there is, nevertheless, a necessity common to both. The same method of reasoning, I think, should be employed with regard to the prescience of God, and future contingencies; for, allowing it to be true that events are foreseen because they are to happen, and that they do not befall because they are foreseen, it is still necessary that what is to happen must be foreseen by God, and that what is foreseen must take place. This then is of itself sufficient to destroy all idea of human liberty.”

  838. Ptolemy says, “The wise man shall control the stars”; and the Turkish proverb, “Wit and a strong will are superior to Fate.”

  839. Though free, you are subject to the divine power which has immediately breathed into you the soul, and the soul is not subject to the influence of the stars, as the body is.

  840. Shakespeare, Lear, V 3:⁠—

    “And take upon’s the mystery of things,
    As if we were God’s spies.”

  841. Convito, IV 12:⁠—

    “The supreme desire of everything, and that first given by nature, is to return to its source; and since God is the source of our souls, and maker of them in his own likeness, as is written, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,’ to him this soul chiefly desireth to return. And like as a pilgrim, who goeth upon a road on which he never was before, thinketh every house he seeth afar off to be an inn, and, not finding it so, directeth his trust to the next, and thus from house to house until he reacheth the inn; in like manner our soul, presently as she entereth the new and untravelled road of this life, turneth her eyes to the goal of her supreme good; and therefore whatever thing she seeth that seemeth to have some good in it, she believeth to be that. And because her knowledge at first is imperfect, not being experienced nor trained, small goods seem great, and therefore with them beginneth her desire. Hence we see children desire exceedingly an apple; and then, going farther, desire a little bird; and farther still, a beautiful dress; and then a horse; and then a woman; and then wealth not very great, and then greater, and then greater still. And this cometh to pass, because she findeth not in any of these things that which she is seeking, and trusteth to find it farther on.”

  842. Henry Vaughan, Sacred Poems:⁠—

    “They are indeed our pillar-fires,
    Seen as we go;
    They are that city’s shining spires
    We travel to.”

  843. Leviticus 11:4:⁠—

    “The camel because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof: he is unclean to you.”

    Dante applies these words to the Pope as temporal sovereign.

  844. Worldly goods. As in the old French satirical verses:⁠—

    “Au temps passé du siècle d’or,
    Crosse de bois, évêque d’or;
    Maintenant changent les lois,
    Crosse d’or, evêque de bois.”

  845. The Emperor and the Pope; the temporal and spiritual power.

  846. Lombardy and Romagna.

  847. The dissension and war between the Emperor Frederick the Second and Pope Gregory the Ninth. Milman, History of Latin Christianity, Book X Ch. 3, says:⁠—

    “The Empire and the Papacy were now to meet in their last mortal and implacable strife; the two first acts of this tremendous drama, separated by an interval of many years, were to be developed during the pontificate of a prelate who ascended the throne of St. Peter at the age of eighty. Nor was this strife for any specific point in dispute, like the right of investiture, but avowedly for supremacy on one side, which hardly deigned to call itself independence; for independence, on the other, which remotely at least aspired after supremacy. Caesar would bear no superior, the successor of St. Peter no equal. The contest could not have begun under men more strongly contrasted, or more determinedly oppugnant in character, than Gregory the Ninth and Frederick the Second. Gregory retained the ambition, the vigor, almost the activity of youth, with the stubborn obstinacy, and something of the irritable petulance, of old age. He was still master of all his powerful faculties; his knowledge of affairs, of mankind, of the peculiar interests of almost all the nations in Christendom, acquired by long employment in the most important negotiations both by Innocent the Third and by Honorius the Third; eloquence which his own age compared to that of Tully; profound erudition in that learning which, in the medieval churchman, commanded the highest admiration. No one was his superior in the science of the canon law; the Decretals, to which he afterwards gave a more full and authoritative form, were at his command, and they were to him as much the law of God as the Gospels themselves, or the primary principles of morality. The jealous reverence and attachment of a great lawyer to his science strengthened the lofty pretensions of the churchman.

    “Frederick the Second, with many of the noblest qualities which could captivate the admiration of his own age, in some respects might appear misplaced, and by many centuries prematurely born. Frederick having crowded into his youth adventures, perils, successes, almost unparalleled in history, was now only expanding into the prime of manhood. A parentless orphan, he had struggled upward into the actual reigning monarch of his hereditary Sicily; he was even then rising above the yoke of the turbulent magnates of his realm, and the depressing tutelage of the Papal See; he had crossed the Alps a boyish adventurer, and won so much through his own valor and daring that he might well ascribe to himself his conquest, the kingdom of Germany, the imperial crown; he was in undisputed possession of the Empire, with all its rights in Northern Italy; King of Apulia, Sicily, and Jerusalem. He was beginning to be at once the Magnificent Sovereign, the knight, the poet, the lawgiver, the patron of arts, letters, and science; the Magnificent Sovereign, now holding his court in one of the old barbaric and feudal cities of Germany among the proud and turbulent princes of the Empire, more often on the sunny shores of Naples or Palermo, in southern and almost Oriental luxury; the gallant Knight and troubadour Poet, not forbidding himself those amorous indulgences which were the reward of chivalrous valor and of the ‘gay science’; the Lawgiver, whose farseeing wisdom seemed to anticipate some of those views of equal justice, of the advantages of commerce, of the cultivation of the arts of peace, beyond all the toleration of adverse religions, which even in a more dutiful son of the Church would doubtless have seemed godless indifference. Frederick must appear before us in the course of our history in the full development of all these shades of character; but besides all this, Frederick’s views of the temporal sovereignty were as imperious and autocratic as those of the haughtiest churchman of the spiritual supremacy. The ban of the Empire ought to be at least equally awful with that of the Church; disloyalty to the Emperor was as heinous a sin as infidelity to the head of Christendom; the independence of the Lombard republics was as a great and punishable political heresy. Even in Rome itself, as head of the Roman Empire, Frederick aspired to a supremacy which was not less unlimited because vague and undefined, and irreconcilable with that of the Supreme Pontiff. If ever Emperor might be tempted by the vision of a vast hereditary monarchy to be perpetuated in his house, the princely house of Hohenstaufen, it was Frederick. He had heirs of his greatness; his eldest son was King of the Romans; from his loins might yet spring an inexhaustible race of princes; the failure of his imperial line was his last fear. The character of the man seemed formed to achieve and to maintain this vast design; he was at once terrible and popular, courteous, generous, placable to his foes; yet there was a depth of cruelty in the heart of Frederick towards revolted subjects, which made him look on the atrocities of his allies, Eccelin di Romano, and the Salinguerras, but as legitimate means to quell insolent and stubborn rebellion.⁠ ⁠…

    “It is impossible to conceive a contrast more strong or more irreconcilable than the octogenarian Gregory, in his cloister palace, in his conclave of stern ascetics, with all but severe imprisonment within conventual walls, completely monastic in manners, habits, views, in corporate spirit, in celibacy, in rigid seclusion from the rest of mankind, in the conscientious determination to enslave, if possible, all Christendom to its inviolable unity of faith, and to the least possible latitude of discipline; and the gay and yet youthful Frederick, with his mingled assemblage of knights and ladies, of Christians, Jews, and Mohammedans, of poets and men of science, met, as it were, to enjoy and minister to enjoyment⁠—to cultivate the pure intellect⁠—where, if not the restraints of religion, at least the awful authority of churchmen was examined with freedom, sometimes ridiculed with sportive wit.”

    See also note 145.

  848. Currado (Conrad) da Palazzo of Brescia; Gherardo da Camino of Treviso; and Guido da Castello of Reggio. Of these three the Ottimo thus speaks:⁠—

    “Messer Currado was laden with honor during his life, delighted in a fine retinue, and in political life in the government of cities, in which he acquired much praise and fame.

    “Messer Guido was assiduous in honoring men of worth, who passed on their way to France, and furnished many with horses and arms, who came hitherward from France. To all who had honorably consumed their property, and returned more poorly furnished than became them, he gave, without hope of return, horses, arms, and money.

    “Messer Gherardo da Camino delighted not in one, but in all noble things, keeping constantly at home.”

    He farther says, that his fame was so great in France that he was there spoken of as the “simple Lombard,” just as, “when one says the City, and no more, one means Rome.” Benvenuto da Imola says that all Italians were called Lombards by the French. In the Histoire et Cronique du petit Jehan de Saintré, fol. 219, ch. IV, the author remarks:⁠—

    “The fifteenth day after Saintré’s return, there came to Paris two young, noble, and brave Italians, whom we call Lombards.”

  849. Deuteronomy 18:2:⁠—

    “Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the Lord is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.”

  850. “This Gherardo,” says Buti, “had a daughter, called, on account of her beauty, Gaja; and so modest and virtuous was she, that through all Italy was spread the fame of her beauty and modesty.”

    The Ottimo, who preceded Buti in point of time, gives a somewhat different and more equivocal account. He says:⁠—

    “Madonna Gaia was the daughter of Messer Gherardo da Camino: she was a lady of such conduct in amorous delectations, that her name was notorious throughout all Italy; and therefore she is thus spoken of here.”

  851. The trance and vision of Dante, and the ascent to the Fourth Circle, where the sin of Sloth is punished.

  852. Iliad, III 10:⁠—

    “As the south wind spreads a mist upon the brow of a mountain, by no means agreeable to the shepherd, but to the robber better than night, in which a man sees only as far as he can cast a stone.”

  853. In this vision are represented some of the direful effects of anger, beginning with the murder of Itys by his mother, Procne, and her sister, Philomela. Ovid, VI:⁠—

    “Now, at her lap arrived, the flattering boy
    Salutes his parent with a smiling joy;
    About her neck his little arms are thrown,
    And he accosts her in a prattling tone.

    When Procne, on revengeful mischief bent,
    Home to his heart a piercing poniard sent.
    Itys, with rueful cries, but all too late,
    Holds out his hands, and deprecates his fate;
    Still at his mother’s neck he fondly aims,
    And strives to melt her with endearing names;
    Yet still the cruel mother perseveres,
    Nor with concern his bitter anguish hears.
    This might suffice; but Philomela too
    Across his throat a shining cutlass drew.”

    Or perhaps the reference is to the Homeric legend of Philomela, Odyssey, XIX 518:⁠—

    “As when the daughter of Pandarus, the swarthy nightingale, sings beautifully when the spring newly begins, sitting in the thick branches of trees, and she, frequently changing, pours forth her much-sounding voice, lamenting her dear Itylus, whom once she slew with the brass through ignorance.”

  854. Esther 7:9, 10:⁠—

    “And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king. Behold also, the gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said. Hang him thereon. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified.”

  855. Lavinia, daughter of King Latinus and Queen Amata, betrothed to Turnus. Amata, thinking Turnus dead, hanged herself in anger and despair. Aeneid, XII 875, Dryden’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Mad with her anguish, impotent to bear
    The mighty grief, she loathes the vital air.
    She calls herself the cause of all this ill,
    And owns the dire effects of her ungoverned will;
    She raves against the gods, she beats her breast,
    She tears with both her hands her purple vest;
    Then round a beam a running noose she tied,
    And, fastened by the neck, obscenely died

    “Soon as the fatal news by fame was blown,
    And to her dames and to her daughters known,
    The sad Lavinia rends her yellow hair
    And rosy cheeks; the rest her sorrow share;
    With shrieks the palace rings, and madness of despair.”

  856. See Paradiso V 134:⁠—

    “Even as the sun, that doth conceal himself
    By too much light.”

    And Milton, Paradise Lost, III 380:⁠—

    “Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear.”

  857. Matthew 5:9:⁠—

    “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

  858. Sloth. See note 111. And Brunetto Latini, Tesoretto, XXI 145:⁠—

    “In ira nasce e posa
    Accidia niquitosa.”

  859. The first, the object; the second, too much or too little vigor.

  860. The sins of Pride, Envy, and Anger. The other is Sloth, or lukewarmness in well-doing, punished in this circle.

  861. The sins of Avarice, Gluttony, and Lust.

  862. The punishment of the sin of Sloth.

  863. Milton, Paradise Lost, V 100:⁠—

    “But know that in the soul
    Are many lesser faculties, that serve
    Reason as chief; among these Fancy next
    Her office holds; of all external things,
    Which the five watchful senses represent,
    She forms imaginations, aery shapes,
    Which Reason joining or disjoining frames
    All what we affirm or what deny, and call
    Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
    Into her private cell, when Nature rests.”

  864. Bound or taken captive by the image of pleasure presented to it. See Canto XVII 91.

  865. The region of Fire. Brunetto Latini, Tresor, Ch. CVIII:⁠—

    “After the zone of the air is placed the fourth element. This is an orb of fire without any moisture, which extends as far as the moon, and surrounds this atmosphere in which we are. And know that above the fire is first the moon, and the other stars, which are all of the nature of fire.”

  866. If the soul follows the appetitus naturalis, or goes not with another foot than that of nature.

  867. In the language of the Scholastics, Form was the passing from the potential to the actual. “Whatever is Act,” says Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Quaest. LXVI Art. 1, “whatever is Act is Form; quod est actus est forma.” And again Form was divided into Substantial Form, which caused a thing to be; and Accidental Form, which caused it to be in a certain way, “as heat makes its subject not simply to be, but to be hot.”

    “The soul,” says the same Angelic Doctor, Quaest. LXXVI Art. 4, “is the substantial form of man; anima est forma substantialis hominis.” It is segregate or distinct from matter, though united with it.

  868. “This” refers to the power that counsels, or the faculty of Reason.

  869. Accepts, or rejects like chaff.

  870. Dante makes Beatrice say, Paradiso V 19:⁠—

    “The greatest gift that in his largess God
    Creating made, and unto his own goodness
    Nearest conformed, and that which he doth prize
    Most highly, is the freedom of the will,
    Wherewith the creatures of intelligence
    Both all and only were and are endowed.”

  871. Near midnight of the Second Day of Purgatory.

  872. The moon was rising in the sign of the Scorpion, it being now five days after the full; and when the sun is in this sign, it is seen by the inhabitants of Rome to set between the islands of Corsica and Sardinia.

  873. Virgil, born at Pietola, near Mantua.

  874. The burden of Dante’s doubts and questions, laid upon Virgil.

  875. Rivers of Boeotia, on whose banks the Thcbans crowded at night to invoke the aid of Bacchus to give them rain for their vineyards.

  876. The word falcare, in French faucher, here translated “curve,” is a term of equitation, describing the motion of the outer foreleg of a horse in going round in a circle. It is the sweep of a mower’s scythe.

  877. Luke 1:39:⁠—

    “And Mary arose in those days and went into the hillcountry with haste.”

  878. Caesar on his way to subdue Ilerda, now Lerida, in Spain, besieged Marseilles, leaving there part of his army under Brutus to complete the work.

  879. Nothing is known of this Abbot, not even his name. Finding him here, the commentators make bold to say that he was “slothful and deficient in good deeds.” This is like some of the definitions in the Crusca, which, instead of the interpretation of a Dantesque word, give you back the passage in which it occurs.

  880. This is the famous Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who, according to the German popular tradition, is still sitting in a cave in the Kipphaüser mountains, waiting for something to happen, while his beard has grown through the stone-table before him. In 1162 he burned and devastated Milan, Brescia, Piacenza, and Cremona. He was drowned in the Salef in Armenia, on his crusade in 1190, endeavoring to ford the river on horseback in his impatience to cross. His character is thus drawn by Milman, History of Latin Christianity, Book VIII Ch. 7, and sufficiently explains why Dante calls him “the good Barbarossa”:⁠—

    “Frederick was a prince of intrepid valor, consummate prudence, unmeasured ambition, justice which hardened into severity, the ferocity of a barbarian somewhat tempered with a high chivalrous gallantry; above all, with a strength of character which subjugated alike the great temporal and ecclesiastical princes of Germany; and was prepared to assert the Imperial rights in Italy to the utmost. Of the constitutional rights of the Emperor, of his unlimited supremacy, his absolute independence of, his temporal superiority over, all other powers, even that of the Pope, Frederick proclaimed the loftiest notions. He was to the Empire what Hildebrand and Innocent were to the Popedom. His power was of God alone; to assert that it was bestowed by the successor of St. Peter was a lie, and directly contrary to the doctrine of St. Peter.”

  881. Alberto della Scala, Lord of Verona. He made his natural son, whose qualifications for the office Dante here enumerates, and the commentators repeat. Abbot of the Monastery of San Zeno.

  882. See note 111.

  883. Numbers 32:11, 12:⁠—

    “Surely none of the men that came out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun; for they have wholly followed the Lord.”

  884. The Trojans who remained with Acestes in Sicily, instead of following Aeneas to Italy. Aeneid, V:⁠—

    “They enroll the matrons for the city, and set on shore as many of the people as were willing⁠—souls that had no desire of high renown.”

  885. The end of the Second Day.

  886. The ascent to the Fifth Circle, where Avarice is punished. It is the dawn of the Third Day.

  887. Brunetto Latini, Tresor, Ch. CXI:⁠—

    “Saturn, who is sovereign over all, is cruel and malign and of a cold nature.”

  888. Geomancy is divination by points in the ground, or pebbles arranged in certain figures, which have peculiar names. Among these is the figure called the Fortuna Major, which is thus drawn:⁠—

    The geomancy figure for Fortuna Major.

    and which by an effort of imagination can also be formed out of some of the last stars of Aquarius, and some of the first of Pisces.

    Chaucer, Troil. and Cres., III 1415:⁠—

    “But whan the cocke, commune astrologer,
    Gan on his brest to bete and after crowe,
    And Lucifer, the dayes messanger,
    Gan for to rise and out his hemes throwe,
    And estward rose, to him that could it knowe,
    Fortuna Major.”

  889. Because the sun is following close behind.

  890. This “stammering woman” of Dante’s dream is Sensual Pleasure, which the imagination of the beholder adorns with a thousand charms. The “lady saintly and alert” is Reason, the same that tied Ulysses to the mast, and stopped the ears of his sailors with wax that they might not hear the song of the Sirens.

    Gower, Confessio Amantis, I:⁠—

    “Of such nature
    They ben, that with so swete a steven
    Like to the melodic of heven
    In womannishe vois they singe
    With notes of so great likinge,
    Of suche mesure, of suche musike,
    Wherof the shippes they beswike
    That passen by the costes there.
    For whan the shipmen lay an ere
    Unto the vois, in here airs
    They wene it be a paradis,
    Which after is to hem an helle.”

  891. “That is,” says Buti, “they shall have the gift of comforting their souls.”

    Matthew 5:4:⁠—

    “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”

  892. The three remaining sins to be purged away are Avarice, Gluttony, and Lust.

  893. See Canto XIV 148.

  894. Psalms 119:25:⁠—

    “My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.”

  895. Know that I am the successor of Peter. It is Pope Adrian the Fifth who speaks. He was of the family of the Counts of Lavagna, the family taking its title from the river Lavagna, flowing between Siestri and Chiaveri, towns on the Riviera di Genova. He was Pope only thirty-nine days, and died in 1276. When his kindred came to congratulate him on his election, he said, “Would that ye came to a Cardinal in good health, and not to a dying Pope.”

  896. Revelation 19:10:⁠—

    “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me. See thou do it not, I am thy fellow-servant.”

  897. Matthew 22:30:⁠—

    “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels in heaven.”

    He reminds Dante that here all earthly distinctions and relations are laid aside. He is no longer “the Spouse of the Church.”

  898. Penitence; line 92:⁠—

    “In whom weeping ripens
    That without which to God we cannot turn.”

  899. Madonna Alagia was the wife of Marcello Malespini, that friend of Dante with whom, during his wanderings he took refuge in the Lunigiana, in 1307.

  900. In this canto the subject of the preceding is continued, namely, the punishment of Avarice and Prodigality.

  901. To please the speaker. Pope Adrian the Fifth, (who, Canto XIX 139, says,

    “Now go, no longer will I have thee linger,”)

    Dante departs without further question, though not yet satisfied.

  902. See the article “Cabala” at the end of Vol. III.

  903. This is generally supposed to refer to Can Grande della Scala. See note 22.

  904. The inn at Bethlehem.

  905. The Roman Consul who rejected with disdain the bribes of Pyrrhus, and died so poor that he was buried at the public expense, and the Romans were obliged to give a dowry to his daughters. Virgil, Aeneid, VI 844, calls him “powerful in poverty.” Dante also extols him in the Convito, IV 5.

  906. Gower, Confessio Amantis, V 13:⁠—

    “Betwene the two extremites
    Of vice stont the propertes
    Of vertue, and to prove it so
    Take avarice and take also
    The vice of prodegalite,
    Betwene hem liberalite,
    Which is the vertue of largesse
    Stant and governeth his noblesse.”

  907. This is St. Nicholas, patron saint of children, sailors, and travellers. The incident here alluded to is found in the Legenda Aurea of Jacobus de Voragine, the great storehouse of medieval wonders.

    It may be found also in Mrs. Jameson’s Sacred and Legendary Art, II 62, and in her version runs thus:⁠—

    “Now in that city there dwelt a certain nobleman who had three daughters, and, from being rich, he became poor; so poor that there remained no means of obtaining food for his daughters but by sacrificing them to an infamous life; and oftentimes it came into his mind to tell them so, but shame and sorrow held him dumb. Meantime the maidens wept continually, not knowing what to do, and not having bread to eat; and their father became more and more desperate. When Nicholas heard of this, he thought it a shame that such a thing should happen in a Christian land; therefore one night, when the maidens were asleep, and their father alone sat watching and weeping, he took a handful of gold, and, tying it up in a handkerchief, he repaired to the dwelling of the poor man. He considered how he might bestow it without making himself known, and, while he stood irresolute, the moon coming from behind a cloud showed him a window open; so he threw it in, and it fell at the feet of the father, who, when he found it, returned thanks, and with it he portioned his eldest daughter. A second time Nicholas provided a similar sum, and again he threw it in by night; and with it the nobleman married his second daughter. But he greatly desired to know who it was that came to his aid; therefore he determined to watch, and when the good saint came for the third time, and prepared to throw in the third portion, he was discovered, for the nobleman seized him by the skirt of his robe, and flung himself at his feet, saying, O Nicholas! servant of God! why seek to hide thyself?’ and he kissed his feet and his hands. But Nicholas made him promise that he would tell no man. And many other charitable works did Nicholas perform in his native city.”

  908. If we knew from what old chronicle, or from what Professor of the Rue du Fouarre, Dante derived his knowledge of French history, we might possibly make plain the rather difficult passage which begins with this line. The spirit that speaks is not that of the King Hugh Capet, but that of his father, Hugh Capet, Duke of France and Count of Paris. He was son of Robert the Strong. Pasquier, Rech. de la France, VI i, describes him as both valiant and prudent, and says that, “although he was never king, yet was he a maker and unmaker of kings,” and then goes on to draw an elaborate parallel between him and Charles Martel.

    The “malignant plant” is Philip the Fair, whose character is thus drawn by Milman, History of Latin Christianity, Book XI Ch. 8:⁠—

    “In Philip the Fair the gallantry of the French temperament broke out on rare occasions; his first Flemish campaigns were conducted with bravery and skill, but Philip ever preferred the subtle negotiation, the slow and wily encroachment; till his enemies were, if not in his power, at least at great disadvantage, he did not venture on the usurpation or invasion. In the slow systematic pursuit of his object he was utterly without scruple, without remorse. He was not so much cruel as altogether obtuse to human suffering, if necessary to the prosecution of his schemes; not so much rapacious as, finding money indispensable to his aggrandizement, seeking money by means of which he hardly seemed to discern the injustice or the folly. Never was man or monarch so intensely selfish as Philip the Fair: his own power was his ultimate scope; he extended so enormously the royal prerogative, the influence of France, because he was King of France. His rapacity, which persecuted the Templars, his vindictiveness, which warred on Boniface after death as through life, was this selfishness in other forms.”

    He was defeated at the battle of Courtray, 1302, known in history as the battle of the Spurs of Gold, from the great number found on the field after the battle. This is the vengeance imprecated upon him by Dante.

  909. For two centuries and a half, that is, from 1060 to 13 16, there was either a Louis or a Philip on the throne of France. The succession was as follows:⁠—

    Philip I the Amorous, 1060.
    Louis VI the Fat, 1108.
    Louis VII the Young, 1137.
    Philip II Augustus, 1180.
    Louis VIII the Lion, 1223.
    Louis IX the Saint, 1226.
    Philip III the Bold, 1270.
    Philip IV the Fair, 1285.
    Louis X, 1314.

  910. It is doubtful whether this passage is to be taken literally or figuratively. Pasquier, Rech. de la France, Liv. VI Ch. I (thinking it is the King Hugh Capet that speaks), breaks forth in indignant protest as follows:⁠—

    “From this you can perceive the fatality there was in this family from its beginning to its end, to the disadvantage of the Carlovingians. And moreover, how ignorant the Italian poet Dante was, when in his book entitled Purgatory he says that our Hugh Capet was the son of a butcher. Which word, once written erroneously and carelessly by him, has so crept into the heads of some simpletons, that many who never investigated the antiquities of our France have fallen into this same heresy. François de Villon, more studious of taverns and alehouses than of good books, says in some part of his works,

    “Si feusse les hoirs de Capet
    Qui fut extrait de boucherie.”

    And since then Agrippa Alamanni, in his book on the Vanity of Science, chapter “Of Nobility,” on this first ignorance declares impudently against the genealogy of our Capet. If Dante thought that Hugh the Great, Capet’s father, was a butcher, he was not a clever man. But if he used this expression figuratively, as I am willing to believe, those who cling to the shell of the word are greater blockheads still.⁠ ⁠…

    “This passage of Dante being read and explained by Luigi Alamanni, an Italian, before Francis the First of that name, he was indignant at the imposture, and commanded it to be stricken out. He was even excited to interdict the reading of the book in his kingdom. But for my part, in order to exculpate this author, I wish to say that under the name of Butcher he meant that Capet was son of a great and valiant warrior.⁠ ⁠… If Dante understood it thus, I forgive him; if otherwise, he was a very ignorant poet.”

    Benvenuto says that the name of Capet comes from the fact that Hugh, in playing with his companions in boyhood, “was in the habit of pulling off their caps and running away with them.” Ducange repeats this story from an old chronicle, and gives also another and more probable origin of the name, as coming from the hood or cowl which Hugh was in the habit of wearing.

    The belief that the family descended from a butcher was current in Italy in Dante’s time. Villani, IV 3, says:⁠—

    “Most people say that the father was a great and rich burgher of Paris, of a race of butchers or dealers in cattle.”

  911. When the Carlovingian race were all dead but one. And who was he? The Ottimo says it was Rudolph, who became a monk and afterwards Archbishop of Rhcims. Bcnvenuto gives no name, but says only “a monk in poor, coarse garments.” Buti says the same. Daniello thinks it was some Friar of St. Francis, perhaps St. Louis, forgetting that these saints did not see the light till some two centuries after the time here spoken of. Others say Charles of Lorraine; and Biagioli decides that it must be either Charles the Simple, who died a prisoner in the castle of Peronne, in 922; or Louis of Outré-Mer, who was carried to England by Hugh the Great, in 936, The Man in Cloth of Gray remains as great a mystery as the Man in the Iron Mask.

  912. Hugh Capet was crowned at Rheims, in 987. The expression which follows shows clearly that it is Hugh the Great who speaks, and not Hugh the founder of the Capetian dynasty.

  913. Until the shame of the low origin of the family was removed by the marriage of Charles of Anjou, brother of Saint Louis, to the daughter of Raimond Berenger, who brought him Provence as her dower.

  914. Making amends for one crime by committing a greater. The particular transaction here alluded to is the seizing by fraud and holding by force these provinces in the time of Philip the Fair.

  915. Charles of Anjou.

  916. Curradino, or Conradin, son of the Emperor Conrad IV, a beautiful youth of sixteen, who was beheaded in the square of Naples by order of Charles of Anjou, in 1268. Voltaire, in his rhymed chronology at the end of his Annales de l’Empire, says,

    “C’est en soixante-huit que la main d’un bourreau
    Dans Conradin son fils éteint un sang si beau.”

    Endeavoring to escape to Sicily after his defeat at Tagliacozzo, he was carried to Naples and imprisoned in the Castel deir Uovo. “Christendom heard with horror,” says Milman, History of Latin Christianity, Book XI Ch. 3, “that the royal brother of St. Louis, that the champion of the Church, after a mock trial, by the sentence of one judge, Robert di Lavena⁠—after an unanswerable pleading by Guido de Suzaria, a famous jurist⁠—had condemned the last heir of the Swabian house⁠—a rival king who had fought gallantly for his hereditary throne⁠—to be executed as a felon and a rebel on a public scaffold. So little did Conradin dread his fate, that, when his doom was announced, he was playing at chess with Frederick of Austria. ‘Slave,’ said Conradin to Robert of Bari, who read the fatal sentence, ‘do you dare to condemn as a criminal the son and heir of kings? Knows not your master that he is my equal, not my judge?’ He added, ‘I am a mortal, and must die; yet ask the kings of the earth if a prince be criminal for seeking to win back the heritage of his ancestors. But if there be no pardon for me, spare, at least, my faithful companions; or if they must die, strike me first, that I may not behold their death.’ They died devoutly, nobly. Every circumstance aggravated the abhorrence; it was said⁠—perhaps it was the invention of that abhorrence⁠—that Robert of Flanders, the brother of Charles, struck dead the judge who had presumed to read the iniquitous sentence. When Conradin knelt, with uplifted hands, awaiting the blow of the executioner, he uttered these last words, ‘O my mother! how deep will be thy sorrow at the news of this day!’ Even the followers of Charles could hardly restrain their pity and indignation. With Conradin died his young and valiant friend, Frederick of Austria, the two Lancias, two of the noble house of Donaticcio of Pisa. The inexorable Charles would not permit them to be buried in consecrated ground.”

  917. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor of the Schools, died at the convent of Fossa Nuova in the Campagna, being on his way to the Council of Lyons, in 1274. He is supposed to have been poisoned by his physician, at the instigation of Charles of Anjou.

  918. Charles of Valois, who came into Italy by invitation of Boniface the Eighth, in 1301. See Inferno VI 69.

  919. There is in old French literature a poem entitled Le Tournoyement de l’Antechrist, written by Hugues de Mery, a monk of the Abbey of St. Germain-des-Prés, in the thirteenth century, in which he describes a battle between the Virtues under the banner of Christ, and the Vices under that of Antichrist.

    In the Vision of Piers Ploughman, there is a joust between Christ and the foul fiend:⁠—

    “Thanne was Feith in a fenestre,
    And cryde a fili David,
    As dooth an heraud of armes,
    Whan aventrous cometh to justes.
    Old Jewes of Jerusalem
    For joye thei songen,
    Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.

    “Thanne I frayned at Feith,
    What al that fare by-mente,
    And who sholde juste in Jerusalem.
    ‘Jhesus,’ he seide,
    ‘And fecche that the fend claymeth,
    Piers fruyt the Plowman.’

    “ ‘Who shal juste with Jhesus?’ quod I,
    ‘Jewes or scrybes?’

    “ ‘Nay,’ quod he; ‘The foule fend,
    And fals doom and deeth.’ ”

  920. By the aid of Charles of Valois the Neri party triumphed in Florence, and the Bianchi were banished, and with them Dante.

  921. There is an allusion here to the nickname of Charles of Valois, Senzaterra, or Lackland.

  922. Charles the Second, son of Charles of Anjou. He went from France to recover Sicily after the Sicilian Vespers. In an engagement with the Spanish fleet under Admiral Rugieri d’ Oria, he was taken prisoner. Dante says he sold his daughter, because he married her for a large sum of money to Azzo the Sixth of Este.

  923. Aeneid, III 56. “Cursed thirst of gold, to what dost thou not drive the hearts of men.”

  924. The flower-de-luce is in the banner of France. Borel, Trésor de Recherches, cited by Roquefort, Glossaire, under the word Leye, says:⁠—

    “The oriflamme is so called from gold and flame; that is to say, a lily of the marshes. The lilies are the arms of France in a field of azure, which denotes water, in memory that they (the French) came from a marshy country. It is the most ancient and principal banner of France, sown with these lilies, and was borne around our kings on great occasions.”

    Roquefort gives his own opinion as follows:⁠—

    “The Franks, afterwards called French, inhabited (before entering Gaul properly so called) the environs of the Lys, a river of the Low Countries, whose banks are still covered with a kind of iris or flag of a yellow color, which differs from the common lily and more nearly resembles the flower-de-luce of our arms. Now it seems to me very natural that the kings of the Franks, having to choose a symbol to which the name of armorial bearings has since been given, should take in its composition a beautiful and remarkable flower, which they had before their eyes, and that they should name it, from the place where it grew in abundance, flower of the river Lys.”

    These are the lilies of which Drayton speaks in his “Ballad of Agincourt”:⁠—

    “… when our grandsire great,
    Claiming the regal seat,
    By many a warlike feat
    Lopped the French lilies.”

  925. This passage alludes to the seizure and imprisonment of Pope Boniface the Eighth by the troops of Philip the Fair at Alagna or Anagni, in 1303. Milman, History of Latin Christianity, Book XI Ch. 9, thus describes the event:⁠—

    “On a sudden, on the 7th September (the 8th was the day for the publication of the Bull), the peaceful streets of Anagni were disturbed. The Pope and the Cardinals, who were all assembled around him, were startled with the trampling of armed horse, and the terrible cry, which ran like wildfire through the city, ‘Death to Pope Boniface! Long live the King of France!’ Sciarra Colonna, at the head of three hundred horsemen, the Barons of Cercano and Supino, and some others, the sons of Master Massio of Anagni, were marching in furious haste, with the banner of the king of France displayed. The ungrateful citizens of Anagni, forgetful of their pride in their holy compatriot, of the honor and advantage to their town from the splendor and wealth of the Papal residence, received them with rebellious and acclaiming shouts.

    “The bell of the city, indeed, had tolled at the first alarm; the burghers had assembled; they had chosen their commander; but that commander, whom they ignorantly or treacherously chose, was Arnulf, a deadly enemy of the Pope. The banner of the Church was unfolded against the Pope by the captain of the people of Anagni. The first attack was on the palace of the Pope on that of the Marquis Gaetani, his nephew, and those of three Cardinals, the special partisans of Boniface. The houses of the Pope and of his nephew made some resistance. The doors of those of the Cardinals were beaten down, the treasures ransacked and carried off; the Cardinals themselves fled from the backs of the houses through the common sewer. Then arrived, but not to the rescue, Arnulf, the Captain of the People; he had perhaps been suborned by Reginald of Supino. With him were the sons of Chiton, whose father was pining in the dungeons of Boniface. Instead of resisting, they joined the attack on the palace of the Pope’s nephew and his own. The Pope and his nephew implored a truce; it was granted for eight hours. This time the Pope employed in endeavoring to stir up the people to his defence; the people coldly answered, that they were under the command of their Captain. The Pope demanded the terms of the conspirators. ‘If the Pope would save his life, let him instantly restore the Colonna Cardinals to their dignity, and reinstate the whole house in their honors and possessions; after this restoration the Pope must abdicate, and leave his body at the disposal of Sciarra.’ The Pope groaned in the depths of his heart. ‘The word is spoken.’ Again the assailants thundered at the gates of the palace; still there was obstinate resistance. The principal church of Anagni, that of Santa Maria, protected the Pope’s palace. Sciarra Colonna’s lawless band set fire to the gates; the church was crowded with clergy and laity and traders who had brought their precious wares into the sacred building. They were plundered with such rapacity that not a man escaped with a farthing.

    “The Marquis found himself compelled to surrender, on the condition that his own life, that of his family and of his servants, should be spared. At these sad tidings the Pope wept bitterly. The Pope was alone; from the first the Cardinals, some from treachery, some from cowardice, had fled on all sides, even his most familiar friends: they had crept into the most ignoble hiding-places. The aged Pontiff alone lost not his self-command. He had declared himself ready to perish in his glorious cause; he determined to fall with dignity. ‘If I am betrayed like Christ, I am ready to die like Christ.’ He put on the stole of St. Peter, the imperial crown was on his head, the keys of St. Peter in one hand and the cross in the other: he took his seat on the Papal throne, and, like the Roman Senators of old, awaited the approach of the Gaul.

    “But the pride and cruelty of Boniface had raised and infixed deep in the hearts of men passions which acknowledged no awe of age, of intrepidity, or religious majesty. In William of Nogaret the blood or his Tolosan ancestors, in Colonna, the wrongs, the degradation, the beggary, the exile of all his house, had extinguished every feeling but revenge. They insulted him with contumelious reproaches; they menaced his life. The Pope answered not a word. They insisted that he should at once abdicate the Papacy. ‘Behold my neck, behold my head,’ was the only reply. But fiercer words passed between the Pope and William of Nogaret. Nogaret threatened to drag him before the Council of Lyons, where he should be deposed from the Papacy. ‘Shall I suffer myself to be degraded and deposed by Paterins like thee, whose fathers were righteously burned as Paterins?’ William turned fiery red, with shame thought the partisans of Boniface, more likely with wrath. Sciarra, it was said, would have slain him outright; he was prevented by some of his own followers, even by Nogaret. ‘Wretched Pope, even at this distance the goodness of my Lord the King guards thy life.’

    “He was placed under close custody, not one of his own attendants permitted to approach him. Worse indignities awaited him. He was set on a vicious horse, with his face to the tail, and so led through the town to his place of imprisonment. The palaces of the Pope and of his nephew were plundered; so vast was the wealth, that the annual revenues of all the kings in the world would not have been equal to the treasures found and carried off by Sciarra’s freebooting soldiers. His very private chamber was ransacked; nothing left but bare walls.

    “At length the people of Anagni could no longer bear the insult and the sufferings heaped upon their illustrious and holy fellow-citizen. They rose in irresistible insurrection, drove out the soldiers by whom they had been overawed, now gorged with plunder, and doubtless not unwilling to withdraw. The Pope was rescued, and led out into the street, where the old man addressed a few words to the people: ‘Good men and women, ye see how mine enemies have come upon me, and plundered my goods, those of the Church and of the poor. Not a morsel of bread have I eaten, not a drop have I drunk, since my capture. I am almost dead with hunger. If any good woman will give me a piece of bread and a cup of wine, if she has no wine, a little water, I will absolve her, and any one who will give me their alms, from all their sins.’ The compassionate rabble burst into a cry, ‘Long life to the Pope!’ They carried him back to his naked palace. They crowded, the women especially, with provisions, bread, meat, water, and wine. They could not find a single vessel: they poured a supply of water into a chest. The Pope proclaimed a general absolution to all except the plunderers of his palace. He even declared that he wished to be at peace with the Colonnas and all his enemies. This perhaps was to disguise his intention of retiring, as soon as he could, to Rome.

    “The Romans had heard with indignation the sacrilegious attack on the person of the Supreme Pontiff. Four hundred horse under Matteo and Gaetano Orsini were sent to conduct him to the city. He entered it almost in triumph; the populace welcomed him with every demonstration of joy. But the awe of his greatness was gone; the spell of his dominion over the minds of men was broken. His overweening haughtiness and domination had made him many enemies in the Sacred College, the gold of France had made him more. This general revolt is his severest condemnation. Among his first enemies was the Cardinal Napoleon Orsini. Orsini had followed the triumphal entrance of the Pope. Boniface, to show that he desired to reconcile himself with all, courteously invited him to his table. The Orsini coldly answered, ‘that he must receive the Colonna Cardinals into his favor; he must not now disown what had been wrung from him by compulsion.’ ‘I will pardon them,’ said Boniface, ‘but the mercy of the Pope is not to be from compulsion.’ He found himself again a prisoner.

    “This last mortification crushed the bodily, if not the mental strength of the Pope. Among the Ghibellines terrible stories were bruited abroad of his death. In an access of fury, either from poison or wounded pride, he sat gnawing the top of his staff, and at length either beat out his own brains against the wall, or smothered himself (a strange notion!) with his own pillows. More friendly, probably more trustworthy, accounts describe him as sadly but quietly breathing his last, surrounded by eight Cardinals, having confessed the faith and received the consoling offices of the Church. The Cardinal-Poet anticipates his mild sentence from the Divine Judge.

    “The religious mind of Christendom was at once perplexed and horror-stricken by this act of sacrilegious violence on the person of the Supreme Pontiff; it shocked some even of the sternest Ghibellines. Dante, who brands the pride, the avarice, the treachery of Boniface in his most terrible words, and has consigned him to the direst doom, (though it is true that his alliance with the French, with Charles of Valois, by whom the poet had been driven into exile, was among the deepest causes of his hatred to Boniface,) nevertheless expresses the almost universal feeling. Christendom shuddered to behold the Fleur-de-lis enter into Anagni, and Christ again captive in his Vicar, the mockery, the gall and vinegar, the crucifixion between living robbers, the insolent and sacrilegious cruelty of the second Pilate.”

    Compare this scene with that of his inauguration as Pope, note 270.

  926. This “modern Pilate” is Philip the Fair, and the allusion in the following lines is to the persecution and suppression of the Order of the Knights Templars, in 1307⁠—1312. See Milman, History of Latin Christianity, Book XII Ch. 2, and Villani, VIII 92, who says the act was committed per cupidigia di guadagnare, for love of gain; and says also:⁠—

    “The king of France and his children had afterwards much shame and adversity, both on account of this sin and on account of the seizure of Pope Boniface.”

  927. What he was saying of the Virgin Mary, line 19.

  928. The brother of Dido and murderer of her husband. Aeneid, I 350: “He, impious and blinded with the love of gold, having taken Sichrcus by surprise, secretly assassinates him before the altar, regardless of his sister’s great affection.”

  929. The Phrygian king, who, for his hospitality to Silenus, was endowed by Bacchus with the fatal power of turning all he touched to gold. The most laughable thing about him was his wearing ass’s ears, as a punishment for preferring the music of Pan to that of Apollo.

    Ovid, XI, Croxall’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Pan tuned the pipe, and with his rural song
    Pleased the low taste of all the vulgar throng;
    Such songs a vulgar judgment mostly please:
    Midas was there, and Midas judged with these.”

    See also Hawthorne’s story of “The Golden Touch” in his Wonder-Book.

  930. Joshua 7:21:⁠—

    “When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.”

  931. Acts 5:1, 2:⁠—

    “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”

  932. The hoof-beats of the miraculous horse in the Temple of Jerusalem, when Heliodorus, the treasurer of King Sclcucus, went there to remove the treasure. 2 Maccabees 3:25:⁠—

    “For there appeared unto them an horse with a terrible rider upon him, and adorned with a very fair covering, and he ran fiercely, and smote at Heliodorus with his forefeet, and it seemed that he that sat upon the horse had complete harness of gold.”

  933. Aeneid, III 49, Davidson’s Tr.:⁠—

    “This Polydore unhappy Priam had formerly sent in secrecy, with a great weight of gold, to be brought up by the king of Thrace, when he now began to distrust the arms of Troy, and saw the city with close siege blocked up. He, [Polymnestor,] as soon as the power of the Trojans was crushed, and their fortune gone, espousing Agamemnon’s interest and victorious arms, breaks every sacred bond, assassinates Polydore, and by violence possesses his gold. Cursed thirst of gold, to what dost thou not drive the hearts of men!”

  934. Lucinius Crassus, surnamed the Rich. He was Consul with Pompey, and on one occasion displayed his vast wealth by giving an entertainment to the populace, at which the guests were so numerous that they occupied ten thousand tables. He was slain in a battle with the Parthians, and his head was sent to the Parthian king, Hyrodes, who had molten gold poured down its throat. Plutarch does not mention this circumstance in his Life of Crassus, but says:⁠—

    “When the head of Crassus was brought to the door, the tables were just taken away, and one Jason, a tragic actor of the town of Tralles, was singing the scene in the Bacchac of Euripides concerning Agave. He was receiving much applause, when Sillaces coming to the room, and having made obeisance to the king, threw down the head of Crassus into the midst of the company. The Parthians receiving it with joy and acclamations, Sillaces, by the king’s command, was made to sit down, while Jason handed over the costume of Pentheus to one of the dancers in the chorus, and taking up the head of Crassus, and acting the part of a bacchante in her frenzy, in a rapturous, impassioned manner, sang the lyric passages,

    ‘We’ve hunted down a mighty chase to-day,
    And from the mountain bring the noble prey.’ ”

  935. This is in answer to Dante’s question, line 35:⁠—

    “And why only
    Thou dost renew these praises well deserved?”

  936. The occasion of this quaking of the mountain is given. Canto XXI 58:⁠—

    “It trembles here, whenever any soul
    Feels itself pure, so that it soars, or moves
    To mount aloft, and such a cry attends it.”

  937. An island in the Aegean Sea, in the centre of the Cyclades. It was thrown up by an earthquake, in order to receive Latona, when she gave birth to Apollo and Diana⁠—the Sun and the Moon.

  938. Luke 2:13, 14:⁠—

    “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

  939. Gower, Confessio Amantis, III 5:⁠—

    “When Goddes sone also was bore,
    He sent his aungel down therfore,
    Whom the shepherdes herden singe:
    Pees to the men of welwillinge
    In erthe be amonge us here.”

  940. This canto is devoted to the interview with the poet Statius, whose release from punishment was announced by the earthquake and the outcry at the end of the last canto.

  941. John 4:14, 15:⁠—

    “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst.⁠ ⁠… The woman saith unto him. Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”

  942. Luke 24:13⁠–⁠15:⁠—

    “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communcd together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.”

  943. Among the monks of the Middle Ages there were certain salutations, which had their customary replies or countersigns. Thus one would say, “Peace be with thee!” and the answer would be, “And with thy spirit!” Or, “Praised be the Lord!” and the answer, “World without end!”

  944. The letters upon Dante’s forehead.

  945. Lachesis. Of the three Fates, Clotho prepared and held the distaff, Lachesis spun the thread, and Atropos cut it.

    “These,” says Plato, Republic, X, “are the daughters of Necessity, the Fates, Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropos; who, clothed in white robes, with garlands on their heads, chant to the music of the Sirens; Lachesis the events of the Past, Clotho those of the Present, Atropos those of the Future.”

  946. See Canto XVIII 46:⁠—

    “What reason seeth here,
    Myself can tell thee; beyond that await
    For Beatrice, since ’tis a work of faith.”

    So also Cowley, in his poem on the “Use of Reason in Divine Matters”:⁠—

    “Though Reason cannot through Faith’s mysteries see,
    It sees that there and such they be;
    Leads to heaven’s door, and there does humbly keep,
    And there through chinks and keyholes peep;
    Though it, like Moses, by a sad command
    Must not come into the Holy Land,
    Yet thither it infallibly does guide,
    And from afar ’tis all descried.”

  947. Nothing unusual ever disturbs the religio loci, the sacredness of the mountain.

  948. This happens only when the soul, that came from heaven, is received back into heaven; not from any natural causes affecting earth or air.

  949. The gate of Purgatory, which is also the gate of Heaven.

  950. Iris, one of the Oceanides, the daughter of Thaumas and Electra; the rainbow.

  951. The soul in Purgatory feels as great a desire to be punished for a sin, as it had to commit it.

  952. The siege of Jerusalem under Titus, surnamed the “Delight of Mankind,” took place in the year 70. Statius, who is here speaking, was born at Naples in the reign of Claudius, and had already become famous “under the name that most endures and honors,” that is, as a poet. His works are the Silvae, or miscellaneous poems; the Thebaid, an epic in twelve books; and the Achilleid, left unfinished. He wrote also a tragedy, Agave, which is lost.

    Juvenal says of him, Satire VII, Dryden’s Tr.:⁠—

    “All Rome is pleased when Statius will rehearse,
    And longing crowds expect the promised verse;
    His lofty numbers with so great a gust
    They hear, and swallow with such eager lust:
    But while the common suffrage crowned his cause,
    And broke the benches with their loud applause,
    His Muse had starved, had not a piece unread,
    And by a player bought, supplied her bread.”

    Dante shows his admiration of him by placing him here.

  953. Statius was not born in Toulouse, as Dante supposes, but in Naples, as he himself states in his Silvae, which work was not discovered till after Dante’s death. The passage occurs in Book III Eclogue V, To Claudia his Wife, where he describes the beauties of Parthenope, and calls her the mother and nurse of both, amborum genetrix altrixque.

    Landino thinks that Dante’s error may be traced to Placidus Lactantius, a commentator of the Thebaid, who confounded Statius the poet of Naples with Statius the rhetorician of Toulouse.

  954. Would be willing to remain another year in Purgatory.

  955. Petrarca uses the same expression⁠—the lightning of the angelic smile, il lampeggiar dell’ angelica riso.

  956. See Canto XIX 133.

  957. The ascent to the Sixth Circle, where the sin of Gluttony is punished.

  958. Matthew 5:6:⁠—

    “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.”

  959. The satirist Juvenal, who flourished at Rome during the last half of the first century of the Christian era, and died at the beginning of the second, aged eighty. He was a contemporary of Statius, and survived him some thirty years.

  960. Aeneid, III 56:⁠—

    “O cursed hunger of gold, to what dost thou not drive the hearts of men.”

  961. The punishment of the Avaricious and Prodigal. Inferno VII 26:⁠—

    “With great howls
    Rolling weights forward by main force of chest.”

  962. Dante says of the Avaricious and Prodigal, Inferno VII 56:⁠—

    “These from the sepulchre shall rise again
    With the fist closed, and these with tresses shorn.”

  963. Her two sons, Eteocles and Polynices, of whom Statius sings in the Thebaid, and to whom Dante alludes by way of illustration. Inferno XXVI 54. See also note 383.

  964. Statius begins the Thebaid with an invocation to Clio, the Muse of History, whose office it was to record the heroic actions of brave men, I 55:⁠—

    “What first, O Clio, shall adorn thy page,
    The expiring prophet, or Aetolian’s rage?
    Say, wilt thou sing how, grim with hostile blood,
    Hippomedon repelled the rushing flood,
    Lament the Arcadian youth’s untimely fate,
    Or Jove, opposed by Capaneus, relate?”

    Skelton, “Elegy on the Earl of Northumberland”:⁠—

    “Of hevenly poems, O Clyo calde by name
    In the college of musis goddess hystoriale.”

  965. Saint Peter.

  966. 70, Virgil’s Bucolics, Ecl. IV, 5, a passage supposed to foretell the birth of Christ:⁠—

    “The last era of Cumaean song is now arrived; the great series of ages begins anew; now the Virgin returns, returns the Saturnian reign; now a new progeny is sent down from the high heaven.”

  967. The Fourth Circle of Purgatory, where Sloth is punished. Canto XVII 85:⁠—

    “The love of good, remiss
    In what it should have done, is here restored;
    Here plied again the ill-belated oar.”

  968. Some editions read in this line, instead of nostra amico⁠—nostra antico, our ancient Terence; but the epithet would be more appropriate to Plautus, who was the earlier writer.

  969. Plautus, Caecilius, and Terence, the three principal Latin dramatists; Varro, “the most learned of the Romans,” the friend of Cicero, and author of some five hundred volumes, which made St. Augustine wonder how he who wrote so many books could find time to read so many; and how he who read so many could find time to write so many.

  970. Persius, the Latin satirist.

  971. Homer.

  972. Mrs. Browning, “Wine of Cyprus”:⁠—

    “Our Euripides, the human⁠—
    With his droppings of warm tears;
    And his touches of things common,
    Till they rose to touch the spheres.”

    But why does Dante make no mention here of “Aeschylus the thunderous” and “Sophocles the royal”?

    Antiphon was a tragic and epic poet of Attica, who was put to death by Dionysius because he would not praise the tyrant’s writings. Some editions read Anacreon for Antiphon.

  973. Simonides, the poet of Cos, who won a poetic prize at the age of eighty, and is said to be the first poet who wrote for money.

    Agatho was an Athenian dramatist, of whom nothing remains but the name and a few passages quoted in other writers.

  974. Some of the people that Statius introduces into his poems. Antigone, daughter of Oedipus; Deiphile, wife of Tideus; Argìa, her sister, wife of Polynices; Ismene, another daughter of Oedipus, who is here represented as still lamenting the death of Atys, her betrothed.

  975. Hypsipile, who pointed out to Adrastus the fountain of Langìa, when his soldiers were perishing with thirst on their march against Thebes.

  976. Of the three daughters of Tiresias only Manto is mentioned by Statius in the Thebaid. But Dante places Manto among the Soothsayers, Inferno XX 55, and not in Limbo. Had he forgotten this?

  977. Thetis, the mother of Achilles, and Deidamia, the daughter of Lycomedes. They are among the personages in the Achilleid of Statius.

  978. Four hours of the day were already passed.

  979. Cowley, “The Tree of Knowledge”:⁠—

    “The sacred tree ’midst the fair orchard grew,
    The phoenix Truth did on it rest
    And built his perfumed nest,
    That right Porphyrian tree which did true Logic show;
    Each leaf did learned notions give
    And th’ apples were demonstrative;
    So clear their color and divine
    The very shade they cast did other lights outshine.”

    This tree of Temptation, however, is hardly the tree of Knowledge, though sprung from it, as Dante says of the next, in Canto XXIV 117. It is meant only to increase the torment of the starving souls beneath it, by holding its fresh and dewy fruit beyond their reach.

  980. John 2:3:⁠—

    “And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.”

  981. Daniel 1:12:⁠—

    “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink.⁠ ⁠… And Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”

  982. Compare the description of the Golden Age in Ovid, Metamorphoses, I:⁠—

    “The golden age was first; when man, yet new,
    No rule but uncorrupted reason knew,
    And, with a native bent, did good pursue.
    Unforced by punishment, unawed by fear,
    His words were simple, and his soul sincere;
    Needless was written law, where none opprest:
    The law of man was written in his breast:
    No suppliant crowds before the judge appeared,
    No court erected yet, nor cause was heard:
    But all was safe, for conscience was their guard.
    The mountain-trees in distant prospect please,
    Ere yet the pine descended to the seas;
    Ere sails were spread, new oceans to explore;
    And happy mortals, unconcerned for more,
    Confined their wishes to their native shore.
    No walls were yet: nor fence, nor mote, nor mound,
    Nor drum was heard, nor trumpet’s angry sound:
    Nor swords were forged; but, void of care and crime,
    The soft creation slept away their time.
    The teeming earth, yet guiltless of the plough,
    And unprovoked, did fruitful stores allow:
    Content with food, which nature freely bred,
    On wildings and on strawberries they fed;
    Cornels and bramble-berries gave the rest,
    And falling acorns furnished out a feast.
    The flowers unsown in fields and meadows reigned;
    And western winds immortal spring maintained.
    In following years, the bearded corn ensued
    From earth unasked, nor was that earth renewed.
    From veins of valleys milk and nectar broke,
    And honey sweating through the pores of oak.”

    Also Boethius, Book II Met. 5, and the Ode in Tasso’s Aminta, Leigh Hunt’s Tr., beginning:⁠—

    “O lovely age of gold!
    Not that the rivers rolled
    With milk, or that the woods wept honeydew;
    Not that the ready ground
    Produced without a wound,
    Or the mild serpent had no tooth that slew;
    Not that a cloudless blue
    Forever was in sight,
    Or that the heaven which burns,
    And now is cold by turns,
    Looked out in glad and everlasting light;
    No, nor that even the insolent ships from far
    Brought war to no new lands, nor riches worse than war:

    “But solely that that vain
    And breath-invented pain,
    That idol of mistake, that worshipped cheat,
    That Honor⁠—since so called
    By vulgar minds appalled⁠—
    Played not the tyrant with our nature yet.
    It had not come to fret
    The sweet and happy fold
    Of gentle human-kind;
    Nor did its hard law bind
    Souls nursed in freedom; but that law of gold,
    That glad and golden law, all free, all fitted,
    Which Nature’s own hand wrote⁠—What pleases, is permitted.”

    Also Don Quixote’s address to the goatherds, Don Quixote, Book II Ch. 3, Jarvis’s Tr.:⁠—

    “After Don Quixote had satisfied his hunger, he took up an handful of acorns, and, looking on them attentively, gave utterance to expressions like these:⁠—

    “ ‘Happy times, and happy ages! those to which the ancients gave the name of golden, not because gold (which, in this our iron age, is so much esteemed) was to be had, in that fortunate period, without toil and labor; but because they who then lived were ignorant of these two words, Meum and Tuum. In that age of innocence, all things were in common; no one needed to take any other pains for his ordinary sustenance, than to lift up his hand and take it from the sturdy oaks, which stood inviting him liberally to taste of their sweet and relishing fruit. The limpid fountains, and running streams, offered them, in magnificent abundance, their delicious and transparent waters. In the clefts of rocks, and in the hollow of trees, did the industrious and provident bees form their commonwealths, offering to every hand, without usury, the fertile produce of their most delicious toil. The stout cork-trees, without any other inducement than that of their own courtesy, divested themselves of their light and expanded bark, with which men began to cover their houses, supported by rough poles, only for a defence against the inclemency of the seasons. All then was peace, all amity, all concord. As yet the heavy coulter of the crooked plough had not dared to force open, and search into, the tender bowels of our first mother, who unconstrained offered, from every part of her fertile and spacious bosom, whatever might feed, sustain, and delight those her children, who then had her in possession. Then did the simple and beauteous young shepherdesses trip it from dale to dale, and from hill to hill, their tresses sometimes plaited, sometimes loosely flowing, with no more clothing than was necessary modestly to cover what modesty has always required to be concealed; nor were there ornaments like those nowadays in fashion, to which the Tyrian purple and the so-many-ways martyred silk give a value; but composed of green dock-leaves and ivy interwoven; with which, perhaps, they went as splendidly and elegantly decked as our court-ladies do now, with all those rare and foreign inventions which idle curiosity hath taught them. Then were the amorous conceptions of the soul clothed in simple and sincere expressions, in the same way and manner they were conceived, without seeking so much depreciate, confound, and perartificial phrases to set them off. Nor secute her, not daring then to disturb as yet were fraud, deceit, and malice or offend her. As yet the judge did intermixed with truth and plain-dealnot make his own will the measure of ing. Justice kept within her proper justice; for then there was neither bounds; favor and interest, which now cause nor person to be judged.’ ”

  983. The punishment of the sin of Gluttony.

  984. Shakespeare, As You Like It, II 7:⁠—

    “Under the shade of melancholy boughs
    Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time.”

  985. Psalms 51:15:⁠—

    “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.”

  986. Erisichthon the Thessalian, who in derision cut down an ancient oak in the sacred groves of Ceres. He was punished by perpetual hunger, till, other food failing him, at last he gnawed his own flesh. Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII, Vernon’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Straight he requires, impatient in demand,
    Provisions from the air, the seas, the land;
    But though the land, air, seas, provisions grant,
    Starves at full tables, and complains of want.
    What to a people might in dole be paid,
    Or victual cities for a long blockade,
    Could not one wolfish appetite assuage;
    For glutting nourishment increased its rage.
    As rivers poured from every distant shore
    The sea insatiate drinks, and thirsts for more;
    Or as the fire, which all materials burns,
    And wasted forests into ashes turns,
    Grows more voracious as the more it preys,
    Recruits dilate the flame, and spread the blaze:
    So impious Erisichthon’s hunger raves,
    Receives refreshments, and refreshments craves.
    Food raises a desire for food, and meat
    Is but a new provocative to eat.
    He grows more empty as the more supplied,
    And endless cramming but extends the void.”

  987. This tragic tale of the siege of Jerusalem by Titus is thus told in Josephus, Jewish War, Book VI Ch. 3, Whiston’s Tr.:⁠—

    “There was a certain woman that dwelt beyond Jordan; her name was Mary; her father was Eleazar, of the village Bethezub, which signifies the house of Hyssop. She was eminent for her family and her wealth, and had fled away to Jerusalem with the rest of the multitude, and was with them besieged therein at this time. The other effects of this woman had been already seized upon, such I mean as she had brought with her out of Perea, and removed to the city. What she had treasured up besides, as also what food she had contrived to save, had been also carried off by the rapacious guards, who came every day running into her house for that purpose. This put the poor woman into a very great passion, and by the frequent reproaches and imprecations she cast at these rapacious villains, she had provoked them to anger against her; but none of them, either out of the indignation she had raised against herself, or out of commiseration of her case, would take away her life. And if she found any food, she perceived her labors were for others and not for herself; and it was now become impossible for her any way to find any more food, while the famine pierced through her very bowels and marrow, when also her passion was fired to a degree beyond the famine itself. Nor did she consult with anything but with her passion and the necessity she was in. She then attempted a most unnatural thing, and, snatching up her son who was a child sucking at her breast, she said, ‘O thou miserable infant! For whom shall I preserve thee in this war, this famine, and this sedition? As to the war with the Romans, if they preserve our lives, we must be slaves. This famine also will destroy us, even before that slavery comes upon us. Yet are these seditious rogues more terrible than both the other. Come on, be thou my food, and be thou a fury to these seditious varlets, and a byword to the world; which is all that is now wanting to complete the calamities of the Jews.’ As soon as she had said this, she slew her son, and then roasted him, and ate the one half of him, and kept the other half by her concealed. Upon this the seditious came in presently, and, smelling the horrid scent of this food, they threatened her that they would cut her throat immediately, if she did not show them what food she had gotten ready. She replied, that she had saved a very fine portion of it for them; and withal uncovered what was left of her son. Hereupon they were seized with a horror and amazement of mind, and stood astonished at the sight, when she said to them: ‘This is mine own son, and what hath been done was mine own doing. Come, eat of this food; for I have eaten of it myself. Do not you pretend to be either more tender than a woman, or more compassionate than a mother. But if you be so scrupulous, and do abominate this my sacrifice, as I have eaten the one half, let the rest be reserved for me also.’ After which those men went out trembling, being never so much affrighted at anything as they were at this, and with some difficulty they left the rest of that meat to the mother. Upon which the whole city was full of this horrid action immediately; and while everybody laid this miserable case before their own eyes, they trembled as if this unheard of action had been done by themselves. So those that were thus distressed by the famine were very desirous to die, and those already dead were esteemed happy, because they had not lived long enough either to hear or to see such miseries.”

  988. Shakespeare, King Lear, V 3:⁠—

    “And in this habit
    Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
    Their precious stones new lost.”

  989. In this fanciful recognition of the word omo (homo, man) in the human face, so written as to place the two o’s between the outer strokes of the m, the former represent the eyes, and the latter the nose and cheekbones:⁠—

    The word “omo” made to look like a human face.

    Brother Berthold, a Franciscan monk of Regensburg, in the thirteenth century, makes the following allusion to it in one of his sermons. See Wackernagel, Deutsches Lesebuch, I 678. The monk carries out the resemblance into still further detail:⁠—

    “Now behold, ye blessed children of God, the Almighty has created you soul and body. And he has written it under your eyes and on your faces, that you are created in his likeness. He has written it upon your very faces with ornamented letters. With great diligence are they embellished and ornamented. This your learned men well understand, but the unlearned may not understand it. The two eyes are two o’s. The h is properly no letter; it only helps the others; so that homo with an h means Man. Likewise the brows arched above, and the nose down between them are an m, beautiful with three strokes. So is the ear a d, beautifully rounded and ornamented. So are the nostrils beautifully formed like a Greek ε, beautifully rounded and ornamented. So is the mouth an i, beautifully adorned and ornamented. Now behold, ye good Christian people, how skilfully he has adorned you with these six letters, to show that ye are his own, and that he has created you! Now read me an o and an m and another o together; that spells homo. Then read me a d and an e and an i together; that spells dei. Homo dei, man of God, man of God!”

  990. Forese Donati, the brother-in-law and intimate friend of Dante.

    “This Forese,” says Buti, “was a citizen of Florence, and was brother of Messer Corso Donati, and was very gluttonous; and therefore the author feigns that he found him here, where the Gluttons are punished.”

    Certain vituperative sonnets, addressed to Dante, have been attributed to Forese. If authentic, they prove that the friendship between the two poets was not uninterrupted. See Rossetti, Early Italian Poets, Appendix to Part II.

  991. The same desire that sacrifice and atonement may be complete.

  992. Matthew 27:46:⁠—

    Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani? that is to say. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

  993. Outside the gate of Purgatory, where those who had postponed repentance till the last hour were forced to wait as many years and days as they had lived impenitent on earth, unless aided by the devout prayers of those on earth. See Canto IV.

  994. Nella, contraction of Giovannella, widow of Forese. Nothing is known of this good woman but the name, and what Forese here says in her praise.

  995. Covino, Descriz. Geograf. dell’ Italia, p. 52, says:⁠—

    “In the district of Arborea, on the slopes of the Gennargentu, the most vast and lofty mountain range of Sardinia, spreads an alpine country which in Dante’s time, being almost barbarous, was called the Barbagia.”

  996. Sacchetti, the Italian novelist of the fourteenth century, severely criticises the fashions of the Florentines, and their sudden changes, which he says it would take a whole volume of his stories to enumerate. In Nov. 178, he speaks of their wearing their dresses “far below their armpits,” and then “up to their ears”; and continues, in Napier’s version, Florentine History, II 539:⁠—

    “The young Florentine girls, who used to dress so modestly, have now changed the fashion of their hoods to resemble courtesans, and thus attired they move about laced up to the throat, with all sorts of animals hanging as ornaments about their necks. Their sleeves, or rather their sacks, as they should be called⁠—was there ever so useless and pernicious a fashion! Can any of them reach a glass or take a morsel from the table without dirtying herself or the cloth by the things she knocks down? And thus do the young men, and worse; and such sleeves are made even for sucking babes. The women go about in hoods and cloaks; most of the young men without cloaks, in long, flowing hair, and if they throw off their breeches, which from their smallness may easily be done, all is off, for they literally stick their posteriors into a pair of socks and expend a yard of cloth on their wristbands, while more stuff is put into a glove than a cloak-hood. However, I am comforted by one thing, and that is, that all now have begun to put their feet in chains, perhaps as a penance for the many vain things they are guilty of; for we are but a day in this world, and in that day the fashion is changed a thousand times: all seek liberty, yet all deprive themselves of it: God has made our feet free, and many with long pointed toes to their shoes can scarcely walk: he has supplied the legs with hinges, and many have so bound them up with close lacing that they can scarcely sit: the bust is tightly bandaged up; the arms trail their drapery along; the throat is rolled in a capuchin; the head so loaded and bound round with caps over the hair that it appears as though it were sawed off. And thus I might go on forever discoursing of female absurdities, commencing with the immeasurable trains at their feet, and proceeding regularly upwards to the head, with which they may always be seen occupied in their chambers; some curling, some smoothing, and some whitening it, so that they often kill themselves with colds caught in these vain occupations.”

  997. Statius.

  998. Continuation of the punishment of Gluttony.

  999. Continuing the words with which the preceding canto closes, and referring to Statius.

  1000. Piccarda, sister of Forese and Corso Donati. She was a nun of Santa Clara, and is seen by Dante in the first heaven of Paradise, which Forese calls “high Olympus.” See Paradiso III 49, where her story is told more in detail.

  1001. Buonagiunta Urbisani of Lucca is one of the early minor poets of Italy, a contemporary of Dante. Rossetti, Early Italian Poets, 77, gives some specimens of his sonnets and canzoni. All that is known of him is contained in Benvenuto’s brief notice:⁠—

    “Buonagiunta of Urbisani, an honorable man of the city of Lucca, a brilliant orator in his mother tongue, a facile producer of rhymes, and still more facile consumer of wines; who knew our author in his lifetime, and sometimes corresponded with him.”

    Tiraboschi also mentions him, Storia della Lett., IV 397:⁠—

    “He was seen by Dante in Purgatory punished among the Gluttons, from which vice, it is proper to say, poetry did not render him exempt.”

  1002. Pope Martin the Fourth, whose fondness for the eels of Bolsena brought his life to a sudden close, and his soul to this circle of Purgatory, has been ridiculed in the well-known epigram⁠—

    “Gaudent anguillae, quod mortuus hic jacet ille
    Qui quasi morte reas excoriabat eas.”

    “Martin the Fourth,” says Milman, History of Latin Christianity, VI 143, “was born at Mont Pence in Brie; he had been Canon of Tours. He put on at first the show of maintaining the lofty character of the Churchman. He excommunicated the Viterbans for their sacrilegious maltreatment of the Cardinals; Rinaldo Annibaldeschi, the Lord of Viterbo, was compelled to ask pardon on his knees of the Cardinal Rosso, and forgiven only at the intervention of the Pope. Martin the Fourth retired to Orvieto.

    “But the Frenchman soon began to predominate over the Pontiff; he sunk into the vassal of Charles of Anjou. The great policy of his predecessor, to assuage the feuds of Guelph and Ghibelline, was an Italian policy; it was altogether abandoned. The Ghibellines in every city were menaced or smitten with excommunication; the Lambertazzi were driven from Bologna. Forli was placed under interdict for harboring the exiles; the goods of the citizens were confiscated for the benefit of the Pope. Bertoldo Orsini was deposed from the Countship of Romagna; the office was bestowed on John of Appia, with instructions everywhere to coerce or to chastise the refractory Ghibellines.”

    Villani, Book VI Ch. 106, says:⁠—

    “He was a good man, and very favorable to Holy Church and to those of the house of France, because he was from Tours.”

    He is said to have died of a surfeit. The eels and sturgeon of Bolsena, and the wines of Orvieto and Montefiascone, in the neighborhood of whose vineyards he lived, were too much for him. But he died in Perugia, not in Orvieto.

  1003. The Lake of Bolsena is in the Papal States, a few miles northwest of Viterbo, on the road from Rome to Siena. It is thus described in Murray’s Handbook of Central Italy, p. 199:⁠—

    “Its circular form, and being in the centre of a volcanic district, hashed to its being regarded as an extinct crater; but that hypothesis can scarcely be admitted when the great extent of the lake is considered. The treacherous beauty of the lake conceals malaria in its most fatal forms; and its shores, although there are no traces of a marsh, are deserted, excepting where a few sickly hamlets are scattered on their western slopes. The ground is cultivated in many parts down to the water’s edge, but the laborers dare not sleep for a single night during the summer or autumn on the plains where they work by day; and a large tract of beautiful and productive country is reduced to a perfect solitude by this invisible calamity. Nothing can be more striking than the appearance of the lake, without a single sail upon its waters, and with scarcely a human habitation within sight of Bolsena; and nothing perhaps can give the traveller who visits Italy for the first time a more impressive idea of the effects of malaria.”

    Of the Vernaccia or Vernage, in which Pope Martin cooked his eels, Henderson says. The History of Ancient and Modern Wines, p. 296:⁠—

    “The Vernage⁠ ⁠… was a red wine, of a bright color, and a sweetish and somewhat rough flavor, which was grown in Tuscany and other parts of Italy, and derived its name from the thick-skinned grape, vernaccia (corresponding with the vinaciola of the ancients), that was used in the preparation of it.”

    Chaucer mentions it in the “Merchant’s Tale”:⁠—

    “He drinketh ipocras, clarre, and vernage
    Of spices hot, to increasen his corage.”

    And Redi, “Bacchus in Tuscany,” Leigh Hunt’s Tr., p. 30, sings of it thus:⁠—

    “If anybody doesn’t like Vernaccia,
    I mean that sort that’s made in Pietrafitta,
    Let him fly
    My violent eye;
    I curse him, clean, through all the Alpha-beta.”

  1004. Ovid, Metamorphoses VII, says of Erisichthon, that he

    “Deludes his throat with visionary fare,
    Feasts on the wind and banquets on the air.”

  1005. Ubaldin dalla Pila was a brother of the Cardinal Ottaviano degli Ubaldini, mentioned Inferno X 120, and father of the Archbishop Ruggieri, Inferno XXXIII 14. According to Sacchetti, Nov. 205, he passed most of his time at his castle, and turned his gardener into a priest; “and Messer Ubaldino,” continues the novelist, “put him into his church; of which one may say he made a pigsty; for he did not put in a priest, but a pig in the way of eating and drinking, who had neither grammar nor any good thing in him.”

    Some writers say that this Boniface, Archbishop of Ravenna, was a son of Ubaldino; but this is confounding him with Ruggieri, Archbishop of Pisa. He was of the Fieschi of Genoa. His pasturing many people alludes to his keeping a great retinue and court, and the free life they led in matters of the table.

  1006. Messer Marchese da Forlì, who answered the accusation made against him, that “he was always drinking,” by saying, that “he was always thirsty.”

  1007. A lady of Lucca with whom Dante is supposed to have been enamored. “Let us pass over in silence,” says Balbo, Life and Times of Dante, II 177, “the consolations and errors of the poor exile.” But Buti says:⁠—

    “He formed an attachment to a gentle lady, called Madonna Gentucca, of the family of Rossimpelo, on account of her great virtue and modesty, and not with any other love.”

    Benvenuto and the Ottimo interpret the passage differently, making gentucca a common noun⁠—gente bassa, low people. But the passage which immediately follows, in which a maiden is mentioned who should make Lucca pleasant to him, seems to confirm the former interpretation.

  1008. In the throat of the speaker, where he felt the hunger and thirst of his punishment.

  1009. Chaucer, Complaint of the Blacke Knight, 194:⁠—

    “But even like as doth a skrivenere,
    That can no more tell what that he shal write,
    But as his maister beside dothe indite.”

  1010. A canzone of the Vita Nuova, beginning, in Rossetti’s version, Early Italian Poets, p. 255:⁠—

    “Ladies that have intelligence in love,
    Of mine own lady I would speak with you;
    Not that I hope to count her praises through,
    But, telling what I may, to ease my mind.”

  1011. Jacopo da Lentino, or “the Notary,” was a Sicilian poet who flourished about 1250, in the later days of the Emperor Frederick the Second. Crescimbeni, L’Istoria Della Volgar Poesia, III 43, says that Dante “esteemed him so highly, that he even mentions him in his Comedy, doing him the favor to put him into Purgatory.” Tassoni, and others after him, make the careless statement that he addressed a sonnet to Petrarca. He died before Petrarca was born. Rossetti gives several specimens of his sonnets and canzonette in his Early Italian Poets, of which the following is one:⁠—

    Of his Lady in Heaven.

    “I have it in my heart to serve God so
    That into Paradise I shall repair⁠—
    The holy place through the which everywhere
    I have heard say that joy and solace flow.
    Without my lady I were loath to go⁠—
    She who has the bright face and the bright hair;
    Because if she were absent, I being there,
    My pleasure would be less than naught, I know.
    Look you, I say not this to such intent
    As that I there would deal in any sin:
    I only would behold her gracious mien,
    And beautiful soft eyes, and lovely face,
    That so it should be my complete content
    To see my lady joyful in her place.”

    Fra Guittone d’ Arezzo, a contemporary of the Notary, was one of the Frati Gaudenti, or Jovial Friars, mentioned in note 336. He first brought the Italian Sonnet to the perfect form it has since preserved, and left behind the earliest specimens of Italian letter-writing. These letters are written in a very florid style, and are perhaps more poetical than his verses, which certainly fall very far short of the “sweet new style.” Of all his letters the best is that “To the Florentines,” from which a brief extract is given note 615.

  1012. Corso Donati, the brother of Forese who is here speaking, and into whose mouth nothing but Ghibelline wrath could have put these words. Corso was the leader of the Neri in Florence, and a partisan of Charles de Valois. His death is recorded by Villani, VIII 96, and is thus described by Napier, Florentine History, I 407:⁠—

    “The popularity of Corso was now thoroughly undermined, and the priors, after sounding the Campana for a general assembly of the armed citizens, laid a formal accusation before the Podestà Piero Branca d’ Agobbio against him for conspiring to overthrow the liberties of his country, and endeavoring to make himself Tyrant of Florence: he was immediately cited to appear, and, not complying, from a reasonable distrust of his judges, was within one hour, against all legal forms, condemned to lose his head, as a rebel and traitor to the commonwealth.

    “Not willing to allow the culprit more time for an armed resistance than had been given for legal vindication, the Scignory, preceded by the Gonfalonier of justice, and followed by the Podestà, the captain of the people, and the executor⁠—all attended by their guards and officers⁠—issued from the palace; and with the whole civic force marshalled in companies, with banners flying, moved forward to execute an illegal sentence against a single citizen, who nevertheless stood undaunted on his defence.

    “Corso, on first hearing of the prosecution, had hastily barricaded all the approaches to his palace, but, disabled by the gout, could only direct the necessary operations from his bed; yet thus helpless, thus abandoned by all but his own immediate friends and vassals; suddenly condemned to death; encompassed by the bitterest foes, with the whole force of the republic banded against him, he never cowered for an instant, but courageously determined to resist, until succored by Uguccione della Faggiola, to whom he had sent for aid. This attack continued during the greater part of the day, and generally with advantage to the Donati, for the people were not unanimous, and many fought unwillingly, so that, if the Rossi, Bardi, and other friends had joined, and Uguccioni’s forces arrived, it would have gone hard with the citizens. The former were intimidated, the latter turned back on hearing how matters stood; and then only did Corso’s adherents lose heart and slink from the barricades, while the townsmen pursued their advantage by breaking down a garden wall opposite the Stinche prisons and taking their enemy in the rear. This completed the disaster, and Corso, seing no chance remaining, fled towards the Casentino; but, being overtaken by some Catalonian troopers in the Florentine service, he was led back a prisoner from Rovezzano. After vainly endeavoring to bribe them, unable to support the indignity of a public execution at the hands of his enemies, he let himself fall from his horse, and, receiving several stabs in the neck and flank from the Catalan lances, his body was left bleeding on the road, until the monks of San Salvi removed it to their convent, where he was interred next morning with the greatest privacy. Thus perished Corso Donati, ‘the wisest and most worthy knight of his time; the best speaker, the most experienced statesman; the most renowned, the boldest, and most enterprising nobleman in Italy: he was handsome in person and of the most gracious manners, but very worldly, and caused infinite disturbance in Florence on account of his ambition.’⁠ ⁠…2105 ‘People now began to repose, and his unhappy death was often and variously discussed, according to the feelings of friendship or enmity that moved the speaker; but in truth, his life was dangerous, and his death reprehensible. He was a knight of great mind and name, gentle in manners as in blood; of a fine figure even in his old age, with a beautitul countenance, delicate features, and a fair complexion; pleasing, wise; and an eloquent speaker. His attention was ever fixed on important things; he was intimate with all the great and noble, had an extensive influence, and was famous throughout Italy. He was an enemy of the middle classes and their supporters, beloved by the troops, but full of malicious thoughts, wicked, and artful. He was thus basely murdered by a foreign soldier, and his fellow -citizens well knew the man, for he was instantly conveyed away: those who ordered his death were Rosso della Tosa and Pazzino de’ Pazzi, as is commonly said by all; and some bless him and some the contrary. Many believe that the two said knights killed him, and I, wishing to ascertain the truth, inquired diligently, and found what I have said to be true.’2106 Such is the character of Corso Donati, which has come down to us from two authors who must have been personally acquainted with this distinguished chief, but opposed to each other in the general politics of their country.”

    See also note 94.

  1013. Virgil and Statius.

  1014. Dante had only so far gone round the circle, as to come in sight of the second of these trees, which from distance to distance encircle the mountain.

  1015. In the Terrestrial Paradise on the top of the mountain.

  1016. The Centaurs, born of Ixion and the Cloud, and having the “double breasts” of man and horse, became drunk with wine at the marriage of Hippodamia and Pirithous, and strove to carry off the bride and the other women by violence. Theseus and the rest of the Lapithae opposed them, and drove them from the feast. This famous battle is described at great length by Ovid, Metamorphoses XII, Dryden’s Tr.:⁠—

    “For one, most brutal of the brutal brood,
    Or whether wine or beauty fired his blood,
    Or both at once, beheld with lustful eyes
    The bride; at once resolved to make his prize.
    Down went the board; and fastening on her hair,
    He seized with sudden force the frighted fair.
    ’Twas Eurytus began: his bestial kind
    His crime pursued; and each, as pleased his mind,
    Or her whom chance presented, took: the feast
    An image of a taken town expressed.

    “The cave resounds with female shrieks; we rise
    Mad with revenge, to make a swift reprise:
    And Theseus first, ‘What frenzy has possessed,
    O Eurytus,’ he cried, ‘thy brutal breast,
    To wrong Pirithous, and not him alone,
    But, while I live, two friends conjoined in one?’ ”

  1017. Judges 7:5, 6:⁠—

    “So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men; but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.”

  1018. The Angel of the Seventh Circle.

  1019. The ascent to the Seventh Circle of Purgatory, where the sin of Lust is punished.

  1020. When the sign of Taurus reached the meridian, the sun, being in Aries, would be two hours beyond it. It is now two o’clock of the afternoon. The Scorpion is the sign opposite Taurus.

  1021. Shakespeare, Hamlet, I 2:⁠—

    “And did address
    Itself to motion, like as it would speak.”

  1022. Meleager was the son of Oeneus and Althaea, of Calydon. At his birth the Fates were present and predicted his future greatness. Clotho said that he would be brave; Lachesis, that he would be strong; and Atropos, that he would live as long as the brand upon the fire remained unconsumed.

    Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII:⁠—

    “There lay a log unlighted on the hearth,
    When she was laboring in the throes of birth
    For th’ unborn chief; the fatal sisters came,
    And raised it up, and tossed it on the flame
    Then on the rock a scanty measure place
    Of vital flax, and turned the wheel apace;
    And turning sung, ‘To this red brand and thee,
    O new-born babe, we give an equal destiny’;
    So vanished out of view. The frighted dame
    Sprung hasty from her bed, and quenched the flame.
    The log, in secret locked, she kept with care,
    And that, while thus preserved, preserved her heir.”

    Meleager distinguished himself in the Argonautic expedition, and afterwards in the hunt of Calydon, where he killed the famous boar, and gave the boar’s head to Atalanta; and when his uncles tried to take possession of it, he killed them also. On hearing this, and seeing the dead bodies, his mother in her rage threw the brand upon the fire again, and, as it was consumed, Meleager perished.

    Mr. Swinburne, Atalanta in Calydon:⁠—

    Chorus

    “When thou dravest the men
    Of the chosen of Thrace,
    None turned him again
    Nor endured he thy face
    Clothed round with the blush of the battle, with light from a terrible place.

    Oeneus

    “Thou shouldst die as he dies
    For whom none sheddeth tears;
    Filling thine eyes
    And fulfilling thine ears
    With the brilliance of battle, the bloom and the beauty, the splendor of spears.

    Chorus

    “In the ears of the world
    It is sung, it is told,
    And the light thereof hurled
    And the noise thereof rolled
    From the Acroceraunian snow to the ford of the fleece of gold.

    Meleager

    “Would God ye could carry me
    Forth of all these;
    Heap sand and bury me
    By the Chersonese
    Where the thundering Bosphorus answers the thunder of Pontic seas.

    Oeneus

    “Dost thou mock at our praise
    And the singing begun
    And the men of strange days
    Praising my son
    In the folds of the hills of home, high places of Calydon?

    Meleager

    “For the dead man no home is;
    Ah, better to be
    What the flower of the foam is
    In fields of the sea,
    That the sea-waves might be as my raiment, the gulf-stream a garment for me.

    “Mother, I dying with unforgetful tongue
    Hail thee as holy and worship thee as just
    Who art unjust and unholy; and with my knees
    Would worship, but thy fire and subtlety,
    Dissundering them, devour me; for these limbs
    Are as light dustand Grumblings from mine urn
    Before the fire has touched them; and my face
    As a dead leaf or dead foot’s mark on snow,
    And all this body a broken barren tree
    That was so strong, and all this flower of life
    Disbranched and desecrated miserably,
    And minished all that god-like muscle and might
    And lesser than a man’s: for all my veins
    Fail me, and all mine ashen down.”

  1023. The dissertation which Dante here puts into the mouth of Statius maybe found also in a briefer prose form in the Convito, IV 21. It so much excites the enthusiasm of Varchi, that he declares it alone sufficient to prove Dante to have been a physician, philosopher, and theologian of the highest order; and goes on to say:⁠—

    “I not only confess, but I swear, that as many times as I have read it, which day and night are more than a thousand, my wonder and astonishment have always increased, seeming every time to find therein new beauties and new instruction, and consequently new difficulties.”

    This subject is also discussed in part by Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I Quaest. CXIX, De propagations hominis quantum ad corpus.

    Milton, in his Latin poem, De Idea Platonica, has touched upon a theme somewhat akin to this, but in a manner to make it seem very remote. Perhaps no two passages could better show the difference between Dante and Milton, than this canto and “Plato’s Archetypal Man,” which in Leigh Hunt’s translation runs as follows:⁠—

    “Say, guardian goddesses of woods,
    Aspects, felt in solitudes;
    And Memory, at whose blessed knee
    The Nine, which thy dear daughters be,
    Learnt “of the majestic past;
    And thou, that in some antre vast
    Leaning afar off dost lie,
    Otiose Eternity,
    Keeping the tablets and decrees
    Of Jove, and the ephemerides
    Of the gods, and calendars,
    Of the ever festal stars;
    Say, who was he, the sunless shade,
    After whose pattern man was made;
    He first, the full of ages, born
    With the old pale polar morn,
    Sole, yet all; first visible thought,
    After which the Deity wrought?
    Twin-birth with Pallas, not remain
    Doth he in Jove’s o’crshadowed brain;
    But though of wide communion,
    Dwells apart, like one alone;
    And fills the wondering embrace,
    (Doubt it not) of size and place.
    Whether, companion of the stars,
    With their tenfold round he errs;
    Or inhabits with his lone
    Nature in the neighboring moon;
    Or sits with body-waiting souls,
    Dozing by the Lethaean pools:⁠—
    Or whether, haply, placed afar
    In some blank region of our star,
    He stalks, an unsubstantial heap,
    Humanity’s giant archetype;
    Where a loftier bulk he rears
    Than Atlas, grappler of the stars,
    And through their shadow-touched abodes
    Brings a terror to the gods.
    Not the seer of him had sight,
    Who found in darkness depths of light;2107
    His travelled eyeballs saw him not
    In all his mighty gulfs of thought:⁠—
    Him the farthest-footed good,
    Pleiad Mercury, never showed
    To any poet’s wisest sight
    In the silence of the night:⁠—
    News of him the Assyrian priest2108
    Found not in his sacred list,
    Though he traced back old king Nine,
    And Belus, elder name divine,
    And Osiris, endless famed.
    Not the glory, triple-named,
    Thrice great Hermes, though his eyes
    Read the shapes of all the skies,
    Left him in his sacred verse
    Revealed to Nature’s worshippers.

    “O Plato! and was this a dream
    Of thine in bowery Academe?
    Wert thou the golden tongue to tell
    First of this high miracle,
    And charm him to thy schools below?
    O call thy poets back, if so,2109
    Back to the state thine exiles call,
    Thou greatest fabler of them all;
    Or follow through the self-same gate,
    Thou, the founder of the state.”

  1024. The heart, where the blood takes the “virtue informative,” as stated in line 40.

  1025. The vegetative soul, which in man differs from that in plants, as being in a state of development, while that of plants is complete already.

  1026. The vegetative becomes a sensitive soul.

  1027. “This was the opinion of Averroes,” says the Ottimo, “which is false, and contrary to the Catholic faith.”

    In the language of the Schools, the Possible Intellect, intellectus possibilis, is the faculty which receives impressions through the senses, and forms from them pictures or phantasmata in the mind. The Active Intellect, intellectus agens, draws from these pictures various ideas, notions, and conclusions. They represent the Understanding and the Reason.

  1028. God.

  1029. Redi, “Bacchus in Tuscany”:⁠—

    “Such bright blood is a ray enkindled
    Of that sun, in heaven that shines,
    And has been left behind entangled
    And caught in the net of the many vines.”

  1030. When Lachesis has spun out the thread of life.

  1031. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I Quaest. CXVIII Art. 3:⁠—

    “Anima intellectiva remanet destructo corpore.”

  1032. Either upon the shores of Acheron or of the Tiber.

  1033. Aeneid, VI 723, Davidson’s Tr.:⁠—

    “In the first place, the spirit within nourishes the heavens, the earth, and watery plains, the moon’s enlightened orb, and the Titanian stars; and the mind, diffused through all the members, actuates the whole frame, and mingles with the vast body of the universe. Thence the race of men and beasts, the vital principles of the flying kind, and the monsters which the ocean breeds under its smooth plain. These principles have the active force of fire, and are of a heavenly original, so far as they are not clogged by noxious bodies, blunted by earthborn limbs and dying members. Hence they fear and desire, grieve and rejoice; and, shut up in darkness and a gloomy prison, lose sight of their native skies. Even when with the last beams of light their life is gone, yet not every ill, nor all corporeal stains, are quite removed from the unhappy beings; and it is absolutely necessary that many imperfections which have long been joined to the soul should be in marvellous ways increased and riveted therein. Therefore are they afflicted with punishments, and pay the penalties of their former ills. Some, hung on high, are spread out to the empty winds; in others, the guilt not done away is washed out in a vast watery abyss, or burned away in fire. We each endure his own manes, thence are we conveyed along the spacious Elysium, and we, the happy few, possess the fields of bliss; till length of time, after the fixed period is elapsed, hath done away the inherent stain, and hath left the pure celestial reason, and the fiery energy of the simple spirit.”

  1034. “God of clemency supreme”; the church hymn, sung at matins on Saturday morning, and containing a prayer for purity.

  1035. Luke 1:34:⁠—

    “Then said Mary unto the angel. How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”

  1036. Helice, or Callisto, was a daughter of Lycaon, king of Arcadia. She was one of the attendant nymphs of Diana, who discarded her on account of an amour with Jupiter, for which Juno turned her into a bear. Arcas was the offspring of this amour. Jupiter changed them to the constellations of the Great and Little Bear.

    Ovid, Metamorphoses II, Addison’s Tr.:⁠—

    “But now her son had fifteen summers told,
    Fierce at the chase, and in the forest bold;
    When, as he beat the woods in quest of prey,
    He chanced to rouse his mother where she lay.
    She knew her son, and kept him in her sight,
    And fondly gazed: the boy was in a fright,
    And aimed a pointed arrow at her breast,
    And would have slain his mother in the beast;
    But Jove forbad, and snatched them through the air
    In whirlwinds up to Heaven, and fixed them there;
    Where the new constellations nightly rise,
    And add a lustre to the Northern skies,

    “When Juno saw the rival in her height,
    Spangled with stars, and circled round with light,
    She sought old Ocean in his deep abodes,
    And Tethys, both revered among the gods.
    They ask what brings her there: ‘Ne’er ask,’ says she,
    ‘What brings me here; Heaven is no place for me.
    You’ll see, when Night has covered all things o’er,
    Jove’s starry bastard and triumphant whore
    Usurp the heavens; you’ll see them proudly roll
    In their new orbs, and brighten all the pole.’ ”

  1037. The punishment of the sin of Lust.

  1038. It is near sunset, and the western sky is white, as the sky always is in the neighborhood of the sun.

  1039. A ghostly or spiritual body.

  1040. Pasiphae, wife of Minos, king of Crete, and mother of the Minotaur. Virgil, Eclogue VI 45, Davidson’s Tr.:⁠—

    “And he soothes Pasiphae in her passion for the snow-white bull: happy woman if herds had never been! Ah, ill-fated maid, what madness seized thee? The daughters of Proetus with imaginary lowings filled the fields; yet none of them pursued such vile embraces of a beast, however they might dread the plough about their necks, and often feel for horns on their smooth foreheads. Ah, ill-fated maid, thou now art roaming on the mountains! He, resting his snowy side on the soft hyacinth, ruminates the blenched herbs under some gloomy oak, or courts some female in the numerous herd.”

  1041. The Riphaean mountains are in the north of Russia. The sands are the sands of the deserts.

  1042. Beatrice.

  1043. The highest heaven. Paradiso XXVII.

  1044. In one of Caesar’s triumphs the Roman soldiery around his chariot called him “Queen”; thus reviling him for his youthful debaucheries with Nicomedes, king of Bithynia.

  1045. The cow made by Daedalus.

  1046. Guido Guinicelli, the best of the Italian poets before Dante, flourished in the first half of the thirteenth century. He was a native of Bologna, but of his life nothing is known. His most celebrated poem is a Canzone on the Nature of Love, which goes far to justify the warmth and tenderness of Dante’s praise. Rossetti, Early Italian Poets, p. 24, gives the following version of it, under the title of “The Gentle Heart”:⁠—

    “Within the gentle heart Love shelters him,
    As birds within the green shade of the grove.
    Before the gentle heart, in Nature’s scheme,
    Love was not, nor the gentle heart ere Love.
    For with the sun, at once,
    So sprang the light immediately; nor was
    Its birth before the sun’s.
    And Love hath his effect in gentleness
    Of very self; even as
    Within the middle fire the heat’s excess.

    “The fire of Love comes to the gentle heart
    Like as its virtue to a precious stone;
    To which no star its influence can impart
    Till it is made a pure thing by the sun:
    For when the sun hath smit
    From out its essence that which there was vile,
    The star endoweth it.
    And so the heart created by God’s breath
    Pure, true, and clean from guile,
    A woman, like a star, enamoreth.

    “In gentle heart Love for like reason is
    For which the lamp’s high flame is fanned and bowed:
    Clear, piercing bright, it shines for its own bliss;
    Nor would it burn there else, it is so proud.
    For evil natures meet
    With Love as it were water met with fire,
    As cold abhorring heat.
    Through gentle heart Love doth a track divine⁠—
    Like knowing like; the same
    As diamond runs through iron in the mine.

    “The sun strikes full upon the mud all day;
    It remains vile, nor the sun’s worth is less.
    ‘By race I am gentle,’ the proud man doth say:
    He is the mud, the sun is gentleness.
    Let no man predicate
    That aught the name of gentleness should have,
    Even in a king’s estate,
    Except the heart there be a gentle man’s.
    The star-beam lights the wave⁠—
    Heaven holds the star and the star’s radiance.

    “God, in the understanding of high Heaven,
    Burns more than in our sight the living sun:
    There to behold His Face unveiled is given;
    And Heaven, whose will is homage paid to One,
    Fulfils the things which live
    In God, from the beginning excellent.
    So should my lady give
    That truth which in her eyes is glorified,
    On which her heart is bent,
    To me whose service waiteth at her side.

    “My lady, God shall ask, ‘What daredst thou?’
    (When my soul stands with all her acts reviewed;)
    ‘Thou passedst Heaven, into My sight, as now,
    To make Me of vain love similitude.
    To Me doth praise belong,
    And to the Queen of all the realm of grace
    Who endeth fraud and wrong.’
    Then may I plead: ‘As though from Thee he came,
    Love wore an angel’s face:
    Lord, if I loved her, count it not my shame.’ ”

  1047. Hypsipyle was discovered and rescued by her sons Eumenius and Thoas, (whose father was the “bland Jason,” as Statius calls him,) just as King Lycurgus in his great grief was about to put her to death for neglecting the care of his child, who through her neglect had been stung by a serpent.

    Statius, Thebaid, V 949, says it was Tydeus who saved Hysipyle:⁠—

    “But interposing Tydeus rushed between,
    And with his shield protects the Lemnian queen.”

  1048. In the old Romance languages the name of prosa was applied generally to all narrative poems, and particularly to the monorhythmic romances. Thus Gonzalo de Bercéo, a Spanish poet of the thirteenth century, begins a poem on the Vida del Glorioso Confessor Santo Domingo de Silos:⁠—

    “De un confessor Sancto quiero fer una prosa,
    Quiero fer una prosa en roman paladino,
    En qual suele el pueblo fablar á su vecino,
    Ca non so tan letrado per fer otro Latino.”

  1049. Gerault de Berneil of Limoges, born of poor parents, but a man of talent and learning, was one of the most famous Troubadours of the thirteenth century. The old Provençal biographer, quoted by Raynouard, Choix de Poésies, V 166, says:⁠—

    “He was a better poet than any who preceded or followed him, and was therefore called the Master of the Troubadours.⁠ ⁠… He passed his winters in study, and his summers in wandering from court to court with two minstrels who sang his songs.”

    The following specimen of his poems is from [Taylor’s] Lays of the Minnesingers and Troubadours, p. 247. It is an Aubade, or song of the morning:⁠—

    “Companion dear! or sleeping or awaking,
    Sleep not again! for lo! the morn is nigh,
    And in the east that early star is breaking,
    The day’s forerunner, known unto mine eye;
    The morn, the morn is near.

    “Companion dear! with carols sweet I call thee;
    Sleep not again! I hear the birds’ blithe song
    Loud in the woodlands; evil may befall thee,
    And jealous eyes awaken, tarrying long,
    Now that the morn is near.

    “Companion dear! forth from the window looking,
    Attentive mark the signs of yonder heaven;
    Judge if aright I read what they betoken:
    Thine all the loss, if vain the warning given;
    The morn, the morn is near.

    “Companion dear! since thou from hence wert straying,
    Nor sleep nor rest these eyes have visited;
    My prayers unceasing to the Virgin paying,
    That thou in peace thy backward way might tread.
    The morn, the morn is near.

    “Companion dear! hence to the fields with me!
    Me thou forbad’st to slumber through the night,
    And I have watched that livelong night for thee;
    But thou in song or me hast no delight,
    And now the morn is near.

    Answer.

    “Companion dear! so happily sojourning,
    So blest am I, I care not forth to speed:
    Here brightest beauty reigns, her smiles adorning
    Her dwelling place⁠—then wherefore should I heed
    The morn or jealous eyes?”

    According to Nostrodamus he died in 1278. Notwithstanding his great repute, Dante gives the palm of excellence to Arnaud Daniel, his rival and contemporary. But this is not the general verdict of literary history.

  1050. Fra Guittone d’ Arezzo. See note 1011.

  1051. Venturi has the indiscretion to say:⁠—

    “This is a disgusting compliment after the manner of the French; in the Italian fashion we should say, ‘You will do me a favor, if you will tell me your name.’ ”

    Whereupon Biagioli thunders at him in this wise:⁠—

    “Infamous dirty dog that you are, how can you call this a compliment after the manner of the French? How can you set off against it what any cobbler might say? Away! and a murrain on you!”

  1052. Arnaud Daniel, the Troubadour of the thirteenth century, whom Dante lauds so highly, and whom Petrarca calls “the Grand Master of Love,” was born of a noble family at the castle of Ribeyrac in Périgord. Millot, Histoire Littéraire des Troubadours, II 479, says of him:⁠—

    “In all ages there have been false reputations, founded on some individual judgment, whose authority has prevailed without examination, until at last criticism discusses, the truth penetrates, and the phantom of prejudice vanishes. Such has been the reputation of Arnaud Daniel.”

    Raynouard confirms this judgment, and says that, “in reading the works of this Troubadour, it is difficult to conceive the causes of the great celebrity he enjoyed during his life.”

    Arnaud Daniel was the inventor of the Sestina, a song of six stanzas of six lines each, with the same rhymes repeated in all, though arranged in different and intricate order, which must be seen to be understood. He was also author of the metrical romance of Lancillotto, or Launcelot of the Lake, to which Dante doubtless refers in his expression prose di romanzi, or proses of romance. The following anecdote is from the old Provençal authority, quoted both by Millot and Raynouard, and is thus translated by Miss Costello, Early Poetry of France, p. 37:⁠—

    “Arnaud visited the court of Richard Coeur de Lion in England, and encountered there a jongleur, who defied him to a trial of skill, and boasted of being able to make more difficult rhymes than Arnaud, a proficiency on which he chiefly prided himself. He accepted the challenge, and the two poets separated, and retired to their respective chambers to prepare for the contest. The Muse of Arnaud was not propitious, and he vainly endeavored to string two rhymes together. His rival, on the other hand, quickly caught the inspiration. The king had allowed ten days as the term of preparation, five for composition, and the remainder for learning it by heart to sing before the court. On the third day the jongleur declared that he had finished his poem, and was ready to recite it, but Arnaud replied that he had not yet thought of his. It was the jongleur’s custom to repeat his verses out loud every day, in order to learn them better, and Arnaud, who was in vain endeavoring to devise some means to save himself from the mockery of the court at being outdone in this contest, happened to overhear the jongleur singing. He went to his door and listened, and succeeded in retaining the words and the air. On the day appointed they both appeared before the king. Arnaud desired to be allowed to sing first, and immediately gave the song which the jongleur had composed. The latter, stupefied with astonishment, could only exclaim: ‘It is my song, it is my song.’ ‘Impossible!’ cried the king; but the jongleur, persisting, requested Richard to interrogate Arnaud, who would not dare, he said, to deny it. Daniel confessed the fact, and related the manner in which the affair had been conducted, which amused Richard far more than the song itself. The stakes of the wager were restored to each, and the king loaded them both with presents.”

    According to Nostrodamus, Arnaud died about 1189. There is no other reason for making him speak in Provençal than the evident delight which Dante took in the sound of the words, and the peculiar flavor they give to the close of the canto. Raynouard says that the writings of none of the Troubadours have been so disfigured by copyists as those of Arnaud. This would seem to be true of the very lines which Dante writes for him; as there are at least seven different readings of them.

    Here Venturi has again the indiscretion to say that Arnaud answers Dante in “a kind of lingua-franca, part Provençal and part Catalan, joining together the perfidious French with the vile Spanish, perhaps to show that Arnaud was a clever speaker of the two.” And again Biagioli suppresses him with “that unbridled beast of a Venturi,” and this “most potent argument of his presumptuous ignorance and impertinence.”

  1053. Translation:⁠—

    So pleases me your courteous demand,
    I cannot and I will not hide me from you.
    I am Arnaut, who weep and singing go;
    Contrite I see the folly of the past,
    And joyous see the hoped-for day before me.
    Therefore do I implore you, by that power
    Which guides you to the summit of the stairs,
    Be mindful to assuage my suffering!

  1054. The description of the Seventh and last Circle continued.

    Cowley, “Hymn to Light”:⁠—

    “Say from what golden quivers of the sky
    Do all thy winged arrows fly?”

  1055. When the sun is rising at Jerusalem, it is setting on the Mountain of Purgatory; it is midnight in Spain, with Libra in the meridian, and noon in India.

    “A great labyrinth of words and things,” says Venturi, “meaning only that the sun was setting!” and this time the “dolce pedagogo” Biagioli lets him escape without the usual reprimand.

  1056. Matthew 5:8:⁠—

    “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

  1057. With the hands clasped and turned palm downwards, and the body straightened backward in attitude of resistance.

  1058. Inferno XVII.

  1059. Knowing that he ought to confide in Virgil and go forward.

  1060. The story of the Babylonian lovers, whose trysting-place was under the white mulberry-tree near the tomb of Ninus, and whose blood changed the fruit from white to purple, is too well known to need comment. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV, Eusden’s Tr.:⁠—

    “At Thisbe’s name awaked, he opened wide
    His dying eyes; with dying eyes he tried
    On her to dwell, but closed them slow and died.”

  1061. Statius had for a long while been between Virgil and Dante.

  1062. Matthew 25:34:⁠—

    “Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

  1063. Dr. Furness’s “Hymn”:⁠—

    “Slowly by God’s hand unfurled,
    Down around the weary world
    Falls the darkness.”

  1064. Evening of the Third Day of Purgatory. Milton, Paradise Lost, IV 598:⁠—

    “Now came still Evening on, and Twilight gray
    Had in her sober livery all things clad:
    Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
    They to their grassy couch, these to their nests
    Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale;
    She all night long her amorous descant sung;
    Silence was pleased: now glowed the firmament
    With living sapphires: Hesperus, that led
    The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon,
    Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
    Apparent queen, unveiled her peerless light,
    And o’er the dark her silver mantle threw.”

  1065. The vision which Dante sees is a foreshadowing of Matilda and Beatrice in the Terrestrial Paradise. In the Old Testament Leah is a symbol of the Active life, and Rachel of the Contemplative; as Martha and Mary are in the New Testament, and Matilda and Beatrice in the Divine Comedy.

    “Happy is that house,” says Saint Bernard, “and blessed is that congregation, where Martha still complaineth of Mary.”

    Dante says in the Convito, IV 17:⁠—

    “Truly it should be known that we can have in this life two felicities, by following two different and excellent roads, which lead thereto; namely, the Active life and the Contemplative.”

    And Owen Feltham in his Resolves:⁠—

    “The mind can walk beyond the sight of the eye, and, though in a cloud, can lift us into heaven while we live. Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass, whereby, in her long remove, she discerneth God as if he were nearer hand. I persuade no man to make it his whole life’s business. We have bodies as well as souls. And even this world, while we are in it, ought somewhat to be cared for. As those states are likely to flourish, where execution follows sound advisements, so is man, when contemplation is seconded by action. Contemplation generates; action propagates. Without the first, the latter is defective. Without the last, the first is but abortive and embryous. Saint Bernard compares contemplation to Rachel, which was the more fair; but action to Leah, which was the more fruitful. I will neither always be busy and doing, nor ever shut up in nothing but thoughts. Yet that which some would call idleness, I will call the sweetest part of my life, and that is, my thinking.”

  1066. Venus, the morning star, rising with the constellation Pisces, two hours before the sun.

  1067. Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 221:⁠—

    “This vision of Rachel and Leah has been always, and with unquestionable truth, received as a type of the Active and Contemplative life, and as an introduction to the two divisions of the Paradise which Dante is about to enter. Therefore the unwearied spirit of the Countess Matilda is understood to represent the Active life, which forms the felicity of Earth; and the spirit of Beatrice the Contemplative life, which forms the felicity of Heaven. This interpretation appears at first straightforward and certain; but it has missed count of exactly the most important fact in the two passages which we have to explain. Observe: Leah gathers the flowers to decorate herself, and delights in her own Labor. Rachel sits silent, contemplating herself, and delights in her own Image. These are the types of the Unglorified Active and Contemplative powers of Man. But Beatrice and Matilda are the same powers, glorified. And how are they glorified? Leah took delight in her own labor; but Matilda, in operibus manuum Tuarum⁠—in God’s labor: Rachel, in the sight of her own face; Beatrice, in the sight of God’s face.”

  1068. The morning of the Fourth Day of Purgatory.

  1069. Happiness.

  1070. The Terrestrial Paradise. Compare Milton, Paradise Lost, IV 214:⁠—

    “In this pleasant soil
    His far more pleasant garden God ordained:
    Out of the fertile ground he caused to grow
    All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
    And all amid them stood the Tree of Life,
    High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
    Of vegetable gold; and next to Life,
    Our death, the Tree of Knowledge, grew fast by,
    Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill.
    Southward through Eden went a river large,
    Nor changed his course, but through the shaggy hill
    Passed underneath Ingulfed; for God had thrown
    That mountain as his garden mould, high raised
    Upon the rapid current, which through veins
    Of porous earth with kindly thirst up drawn,
    Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill
    Watered the garden; thence united fell
    Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood,
    Which from his darksome passage now appears;
    And now, divided into four main streams,
    Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm
    And country, whereof here needs no account;
    But rather to tell how, if art could tell,
    How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks,
    Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
    With mazy error under pendent shades
    Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
    Flowers worthy of Paradise; which not nice art
    In beds and curious knots, but nature boon
    Poured forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain;
    Both where the morning sun first warmly smote
    The open field, and where the unpierced shade
    Imbrowned the noontide bowers. Thus was this place
    A happy rural seat of various view:
    Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm;
    Others, whose fruit, burnished with golden rind,
    Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,
    If true, here only, and of delicious taste.
    Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
    Grazing the tender herb, were interposed;
    Or palmy hillock, or the flowery lap
    Of some irriguous valley spread her store;
    Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose.
    Another side, umbrageous grots and caves
    Of cool recess, o’er which the mantling vine
    Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
    Luxuriant: meanwhile murmuring waters fall
    Down the slope hills, dispersed, or in a lake,
    That to the fringed bank with myrtle crowned
    Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
    The birds their choir apply; airs, vernal airs,
    Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
    he trembling leaves; while universal Pan,
    Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
    Led on the eternal spring.”

  1071. Ruskin, Modern Painters, III 219:⁠—

    “As Homer gave us an ideal landscape, which even a god might have been pleased to behold, so Dante gives us, fortunately, an ideal landscape, which is specially intended for the terrestrial paradise. And it will doubtless be with some surprise, after our reflections above on the general tone of Dante’s feelings, that we find ourselves here first entering a forest, and that even a thick forest.⁠ ⁠…

    “This forest, then, is very like that of Colonos in several respects⁠—in its peace and sweetness, and number of birds; it differs from it only in letting a light breeze through it, being therefore somewhat thinner than the Greek wood; the tender lines which tell of the voices of the birds mingling with the wind, and of the leaves all turning one way before it, have been more or less copied by every poet since Dante’s time. They are, so far as I know, the sweetest passage of wood description which exists in literature.”

    Homer’s ideal landscape, here referred to, is in Odyssey V, where he describes the visit of Mercury to the Island of Calypso. It is thus translated by Buckley:⁠—

    “Immediately then he bound his beautiful sandals beneath his feet, ambrosial, golden; which carried him both over the moist wave, and over the boundless earth, with the breath of the wind.⁠ ⁠… Then he rushed over the wave like a bird, a seagull, which, hunting for fish in the terrible bays of the barren sea, dips frequently its wings in the brine; like unto this Mercury rode over many waves. But when he came to the distant island, then, going from the blue sea, he went to the continent; until he came to the great cave in which the fair-haired Nymph dwelt; and he found her within. A large fire was burning on the hearth, and at a distance the smell of well-cleft cedar, and of frankincense, that were burning, shed odor through the island: but she within was singing with a beautiful voice, and, going over the web, wove with a golden shuttle. But a flourishing wood sprung up around her grot, alder and poplar, and sweet-smelling cypress. There also birds with spreading wings slept, owls and hawks, and wide tongued crows of the ocean, to which maritime employments are a care. There a vine in its prime was spread about the hollow grot, and it flourished with clusters. But four fountains flowed in succession with white water, turned near one another, each in different ways; but around there flourished soft meadows of violets and of parsley. There indeed even an immortal coming would admire it when he beheld, and would be delighted in his mind; there the messenger, the slayer of Argus, standing, admired.”

    And again, at the close of the same book, where Ulysses reaches the shore at Phaeacia:⁠—

    “Then he hastened to the wood; and found it near the water in a conspicuous place, and he came under two shrubs, which sprang from the same place; one of wild olive, the other of olive. Neither the strength of the moistly blowing winds breathes through them, nor has the shining sun ever struck them with its beams, nor has the shower penetrated entirely through them: so thick were they grown entangled with one another; under which Ulysses came.”

    The wood of Colonos is thus described in one of the Choruses of the Oedipus Coloneus of Sophocles, Oxford Tr., Anon.:⁠—

    “Thou hast come, O stranger, to the seats of this land, renowned for the steed; to seats the fairest on earth, the chalky Colonus; where the vocal nightingale, chief abounding, trills her plaintive note in the green vales, tenanting the dark-hued ivy and the leafy grove of the god, untrodden [by mortal foot], teeming with fruits, impervious to the sun, and unshaken by the winds of every storm; where Bacchus ever roams in revelry companioning his divine nurses. And ever day by day the narcissus, with its beauteous clusters, burst into bloom by heaven’s dew, the ancient coronet of the mighty goddesses, and the saffron with golden ray; nor do the sleepless founts that feed the channels of Cephissus fail, but ever, each day, it rushes o’er the plains with its stainless wave, fertilizing the bosom of the earth; nor have the choirs of the Muses spurned this clime; nor Venus, too, of the golden rein. And there is a tree, such as I hear not to have ever sprung in the land of Asia, nor in the mighty Doric island of Pelops, a tree unplanted by hand, of spontaneous growth, terror of the hostile spear, which flourishes chiefly in this region, the leaf of the azure olive that nourishes our young. This shall neither any one in youth nor in old age, marking for destruction, and having laid it waste with his hand, set its divinity at naught; for the eye that never closes of Morian Jove regards it, and the blue-eyed Minerva.”

    We have also Homer’s description of the Garden of Alcinoüs, Odyssey, VII, Buckley’s Tr.:⁠—

    “But without the hall there is a large garden, near the gates, of four acres; but around it a hedge was extended on both sides. And there tall, flourishing trees grew, pears, and pomegranates, and apple-trees producing beautiful fruit, and sweet figs, and flourishing olives. Of these the fruit never perishes, nor does it fail in winter or summer, lasting throughout the whole year; but the west wind ever blowing makes some bud forth, and ripens others. Pear grows old after pear, apple after apple, grape also after grape, and fig after fig. There a fruitful vineyard was planted: one part of this ground, exposed to the sun in a wide place, is dried by the sun; and some [grapes] they are gathering, and others they are treading, and further on are unripe grapes, having thrown off the flower, and others are slightly changing color. And there are all kinds of beds laid out in order, to the furthest part of the ground, flourishing throughout the whole year: and in it are two fountains, one is spread through the whole garden, but the other on the other side goes under the threshold of the hall to the lofty house, from whence the citizens are wont to draw water.”

    Dante’s description of the Terrestrial Paradise will hardly fail to recall that of Mount Acidale in Spenser’s Faerie Queene, VI x 6:⁠—

    “It was an Hill plaste in an open plaine,
    That round about was bordered with a wood
    Of matchlesse hight, that seemed th’ earth to disdaine;
    In which all trees of honour stately stood,
    And did all winter as in sommer bud,
    Spredding pavilions for the birds to bowre,
    Which in their lower braunches sung aloud;
    And in their tops the soring hauke did towre,
    Sitting like king of fowlcs in maicsty and powre.

    “And at the foote thereof a gentle flud
    His silver waves did softly tumble downe,
    Unmard with ragged mosse or filthy mud;
    Ne mote wylde beastes, ne mote the ruder clowne,
    Thereto approch; ne filth mote therein drowne:
    But Nymphcs and Faeries by the bancks did sit
    In the woods shade which did the waters crowne,
    Keeping all noysome things away from it,
    And to the waters fall tuning their accents fit.

    “And on the top thereof a spacious plaine
    Did spred itselfe, to serve to all delight,
    Either to daunce, when they to daunce would faine,
    Or else to course-about their bases light;
    Ne ought there wanted, which for pleasure might
    Desired be, or thence to banish bale:
    So pleasauntly the Hill with equall hight
    Did seeme to overlooke the lowly vale;
    Therefore it rightly cleeped was Mount Acidale.”

    See also Tasso’s Garden of Armida, in the Gerusalemme, XVI.

  1072. Chiassi is on the seashore near Ravenna. “Here grows a spacious pine forest,” says Covino, Descr. Geog., p. 39, “which stretches along the sea between Ravenna and Cervia.”

  1073. The river Lethe.

  1074. This lady, who represents the Active life to Dante’s waking eyes, as Leah had done in his vision, and whom Dante afterwards. Canto XXXIII 119, calls Matilda, is generally supposed by the commentators to be the celebrated Countess Matilda, daughter of Boniface, Count of Tuscany, and wife of Guelf, of the house of Suabia. Of this marriage Villani, IV 21, gives a very strange account, which, if true, is a singular picture of the times. Napier, Florentine History, I Ch. 4 and 6, gives these glimpses of the Countess:⁠—

    “This heroine died in 1115, after a reign of active exertion for herself and the Church against the Emperors, which generated the infant and as yet nameless factions of Guelf and Ghibelline. Matilda endured this contest with all the enthusiasm and constancy of a woman, combined with a manly courage that must ever render her name respectable, whether proceeding from the bigotry of the age, or to oppose imperial ambition in defence of her own defective title. According to the laws of that time, she could not as a female inherit her father’s states, for even male heirs required a royal confirmation. Matilda therefore, having no legal right, feared the Emperor and clung to the Popes, who already claimed, among other prerogatives, the supreme disposal of kingdoms.⁠ ⁠…

    “The Church had ever come forward as the friend of her house, and from childhood she had breathed an atmosphere of blind and devoted submission to its authority; even when only fifteen she had appeared in arms against its enemies, and made two successful expeditions to assist Pope Alexander the Second during her mother’s lifetime.

    “No wonder, then, that in a superstitious age, when monarchs trembled at an angry voice from the Lateran, the habits of early youth should have mingled with every action of Matilda’s life, and spread an agreeable mirage over the prospect of her eternal salvation: the power that tamed a Henry’s pride, a Barbarossa’s fierceness, and afterwards withstood the vast ability of a Frederic, might without shame have been reverenced by a girl whose feelings so harmonized with the sacred strains of ancient tradition and priestly dignity. But from whatever motive, the result was a continual aggrandizement of ecclesiastics; in prosperity and adversity; during life and after death; from the lowliest priest to the proudest pontiff.

    “The fearless assertion of her own independence by successful struggles with the Emperor was an example not overlooked by the young Italian communities under Matilda’s rule, who were already accused by imperial legitimacy of political innovation and visionary notions of government.⁠ ⁠…

    “Being then at a place called Monte Baroncione, and in her sixty-ninth year, this celebrated woman breathed her last, after a long and glorious reign of incessant activity, during which she displayed a wisdom, vigor, and determination of character rarely seen even in men. She bequeathed to the Church all those patrimonial estates of which she had previously disposed by an act of gift to Gregory the Seventh, without, however, any immediate royal power over the cities and other possessions thus given, as her will expresses it, ‘for the good of her soul, and the souls of her parents.’

    “Whatever may now be thought of her chivalrous support, her bold defence, and her deep devotion to the Church, it was in perfect harmony with the spirit of that age, and has formed one of her chief merits with many even in the present. Her unflinching adherence to the cause she had so conscientiously embraced was far more noble than the Emperor Henry’s conduct. Swinging between the extremes of unmeasured insolence and abject humiliation, he died a victim to Papal influence over superstitious minds; an influence which, amongst other debasing lessons, then taught the world that a breach of the most sacred ties and dearest affections of human nature was one means of gaining the approbation of a Being who is all truth and beneficence.

    “Matilda’s object was to strengthen the chief spiritual against the chief temporal power, but reserving her own independence; a policy subsequently pursued, at least in spirit, by the Guelphic states of Italy. She therefore protected subordinate members of the Church against feudal chieftains, and its head against the feudal Emperor. True to her religious and warlike character, she died between the sword and the crucifix, and two of her last acts, even when the hand of death was already cold on her brow, were the chastisement of revolted Mantua, and the midnight celebration of Christ’s nativity in the depth of a freezing and unusually inclement winter.”

  1075. Ovid, Metamorphoses V, Maynwaring’s Tr.:⁠—

    “Here, while young Proserpine, among the maids,
    Diverts herself in these delicious shades;
    While like a child with busy speed and care
    She gathers lilies here, and violets there;
    While first to fill her little lap she strives,
    Hell’s grizzly monarch at the shade arrives;
    Sees her thus sporting on the flowery green,
    And loves the blooming maid, as soon as seen.
    His urgent flame impatient of delay,
    Swift as his thought he seized the beauteous prey,
    And bore her in his sooty car away.
    The frighted goddess to her mother cries,
    But all in vain, for now far off she flies.
    Far she behind her leaves her virgin train;
    To them too cries, and cries to them in vain.
    And while with passion she repeats her call,
    The violets from her lap, and lilies fall:
    She misses them, poor heart! and makes new moan;
    Her lilies, ah! are lost, her violets gone.”

  1076. Ovid, Metamorphoses X, Eusden’s Tr.:⁠—

    “For Cytherëa’s lips while Cupid prest,
    He with a heedless arrow razed her breast.
    The goddess felt it, and, with fury stung,
    The wanton mischief from her bosom flung:
    Yet thought at first the danger slight, but found
    The dart too faithful, and too deep the wound.
    Fired with a mortal beauty, she disdains
    To haunt th’ Idalian mount, or Phrygian plains.
    She seeks not Cnidos, nor her Paphian shrines,
    Nor Amathus, that teems with brazen mines:
    Even Heaven itself with all its sweets unsought,
    Adonis far a sweeter Heaven is thought.”

  1077. When Xerxes invaded Greece he crossed the Hellespont on a bridge of boats with an army of five million. So say the historians. On his return he crossed it in a fishing boat almost alone⁠—“a warning to all human arrogance.”

    Leander naturally hated the Hellespont, having to swim it so many times. The last time, according to Thomas Hood, he met with a sea nymph, who, enamored of his beauty, carried him to the bottom of the sea. See Hero and Leander, stanza 45:⁠—

    “His eyes are blinded with the sleety brine,
    His ears are deafened with the wildering noise;
    He asks the purpose of her fell design,
    But foamy waves choke up his struggling voice,
    Under the ponderous sea his body dips,
    And Hero’s name dies bubbling on his lips.

    “Look how a man is lowered to his grave,
    A yearning hollow in the green earth’s lap;
    So he is sunk into the yawning wave,
    The plunging sea fills up the watery gap;
    Anon he is all gone, and nothing seen,
    But likeness of green turf and hillocks green.

    “And where he swam, the constant sun lies sleeping,
    Over the verdant plain that makes his bed;
    And all the noisy waves go freshly leaping,
    Like gamesome boys over the churchyard dead;
    The light in vain keeps looking for his face,
    Now screaming sea-fowl settle in his place.”

  1078. Psalm 92:4:⁠—

    “For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.”

  1079. Canto XXI 46:⁠—

    “Because that neither rain, nor hail, nor snow,
    Nor dew, nor hoar-frost any higher falls
    Than the short, little stairway of three steps.”

  1080. Only six hours, according to Adam’s own account in Paradiso XXI 139:⁠—

    “Upon the mount which highest o’er the wave
    Rises was I, with life or pure or sinful,
    From the first hour to that which is the second,
    As the sun changes quadrant, to the sixth.”

  1081. Above the gate described in Canto IX.

  1082. Virgil and Statius smile at this allusion to the dreams of poets.

  1083. The Terrestrial Paradise and the Apocalyptic Procession of the Church Triumphant.

  1084. Psalm 32:1:⁠—

    “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”

  1085. Counted together, their steps were not a hundred in all.

  1086. The Muse of Astronomy, or things celestial, represented as crowned with stars and robed in azure. Milton, Paradise Lost, VII 1, makes the same invocation:⁠—

    “Descend from heaven, Urania, by that name
    If rightly thou art called, whose voice divine
    Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
    Above the flight of Pegasean wing.
    The meaning, not the name, I call: for thou
    Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
    Of old Olympus dwell’st; but, heavenly-born,
    Before the hills appeared, or fountain flowed,
    Thou with Eternal Wisdom didst converse,
    Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play
    In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased
    With thy celestial song.”

  1087. The general form which objects may have in common, and by which they resemble each other.

  1088. The faculty which lends discourse to reason is apprehension, or the faculty by which things are first conceived. See Canto XVIII 22:⁠—

    “Your apprehension from some real thing
    An image draws, and in yourselves displays it,
    So that it makes the soul turn unto it.”

  1089. Revelation 1:12, 20:⁠—

    “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And, being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks⁠ ⁠… And the seven candlesticks⁠ ⁠… are the seven churches.”

    Some commentators interpret them as the seven Sacraments of the Church; others, as the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost.

  1090. Delia or Diana, the moon; and her girdle, the halo, sometimes seen around it.

  1091. Revelation 4:4:⁠—

    “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.”

    These four and twenty elders are supposed to symbolize here the four and twenty books of the Old Testament. The crown of lilies indicates the purity of faith and doctrine.

  1092. The salutation of the angel to the Virgin Mary. Luke 1:28:⁠—

    “Blessed art thou among women.”

    Here the words are made to refer to Beatrice.

  1093. The four Evangelists, of whom the four mysterious animals in Ezekiel are regarded as symbols. Mrs. Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, I 99:⁠—

    “The general application of the Four Creatures to the Four Evangelists is of much earlier date than the separate and individual application of each symbol, which has varied at different times; that propounded by St. Jerome, in his commentary on Ezekiel, has since his time prevailed universally. Thus, then⁠—

    “To St. Matthew was given the Cherub, or human semblance, because he begins his Gospel with the human generation of Christ; or, according to others, because in his Gospel the human nature of the Saviour is more insisted on than the divine. In the most ancient mosaics, the type is human, not angelic, for the head is that of a man with a beard.

    St. Mark has the Lion, because he has set forth the royal dignity of Christ; or, according to others, because he begins with the mission of the Baptist⁠—‘the voice of one crying in the wilderness,’⁠—which is figured by the lion: or, according to a third interpretation, the lion was allotted to St. Mark because there was, in the Middle Ages, a popular belief that the young of the lion was born dead, and after three days was awakened to vitality by the breath of its sire; some authors, however, represent the lion as vivifying his young, not by his breath, but by his roar. In either case the application is the same; the revival of the young lion was considered as symbolical of the resurrection, and Mark was commonly called the ‘historian of the resurrection.’ Another commentator observes that Mark begins his Gospel with ‘roaring,’⁠—‘the voice of one crying in the wilderness’; and ends it fearfully with a curse⁠—‘He that believeth not shall be damned’; and that, therefore, his appropriate attribute is the most terrible of beasts, the lion.

    “Luke has the Ox, because he has dwelt on the priesthood of Christ, the ox being the emblem of Sacrifice.

    “John has the Eagle, which is the symbol of the highest inspiration, because he soared upwards to the contemplation of the divine nature of the Saviour.”

  1094. Ezekiel 1:4:⁠—

    “And I looked, and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof, as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot; and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass.”

  1095. In Revelation 4:8, they are described as having “each of them six wings”; in Ezekiel, as having only four.

  1096. The triumphal chariot is the Church. The two wheels are generally interpreted as meaning the Old and New Testaments; but Dante, Paradiso XII 106, speaks of them as St. Dominic and St. Francis.

  1097. The Griffin, half lion and half eagle, is explained by all the commentators as a symbol of Christ, in his divine and human nature. Didron, in his Christian Iconography, interprets it differently. He says, Millington’s Tr., I 458:⁠—

    “The mystical bird of two colors is understood in the manuscript of Herrade to mean the Church; in Dante, the bi-formed bird is the representative of the Church, the Pope. The Pope, in fact, is both priest and king; he directs the souls and governs the persons of men; he reigns over things in heaven. The Pope, then, is but one single person in two natures, and under two forms; he is both eagle and lion. In his character of Pontiff, or as an eagle, he hovers in the heavens, and ascends even to the throne of God to receive his commands; as the lion or king he walks upon the earth in strength and power.”

    He adds in a note:⁠—

    “Some commentators of Dante have supposed the griffin to be the emblem of Christ, who, in fact, is one single person with two natures; of Christ, in whom God and man are combined. But in this they are mistaken; there is, in the first place, a manifest impropriety in describing the car as drawn by God as by a beast of burden. It is very doubtful even whether Dante can be altogether freed from the imputation of a want of reverence in harnessing the Pope to the car of the Church.”

  1098. The wings of the Griffin extend upward between the middle list or trail of splendor of the seven candles and the three outer ones on each side.

  1099. The chariot of the sun, which Phaeton had leave to drive for a day, is thus described by Ovid, Metamorphoses II, Addison’s Tr.:⁠—

    “A golden axle did the work uphold,
    Gold was the beam, the wheels were orbed with gold.
    The spokes in rows of silver pleased the sight,
    The seat with parti-colored gems was bright;
    Apollo shined amid the glare of light.”

  1100. In smiting Phaeton with a thunderbolt. Ovid, Metamorphoses II:⁠—

    “Jove called to witness every power above,
    And even the god whose son the chariot drove,
    That what he acts he is compelled to do,
    Or universal ruin must ensue.
    Straight he ascends the high ethereal throne,
    From whence he used to dart his thunder down,
    From whence his showers and storms he used to pour,
    But now could meet with neither storm nor shower;
    Then, aiming at the youth, with lifted hand,
    Full at his head he hurled the forky brand,
    In dreadful thund’rings. Thus th’ almighty sire
    Suppressed the raging of the fires with fire.”

    See also note 247.

  1101. The three Theological or Evangelical Virtues, Charity, Hope, and Faith. For the symbolism of colors in Art, see Mrs. Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, quoted note 658.

  1102. The four Cardinal Virtues, Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, and Temperance. They are clothed in purple to mark their nobility. Prudence is represented with three eyes, as looking at the past, the present, and the future.

  1103. St. Luke and St. Paul.

  1104. St. Luke is supposed to have been a physician; a belief founded on Colossians 4:14:⁠—

    “Luke, the beloved physician.”

    The animal that nature holds most dear is man.

  1105. The sword with which St. Paul is armed is a symbol of warfare and martyrdom; “I bring not peace, but a sword.” St. Luke’s office was to heal; St. Paul’s to destroy. Mrs. Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, I 188, says:⁠—

    “At what period the sword was given to St. Paul as his distinctive attribute is with antiquaries a disputed point; certainly much later than the keys were given to Peter. If we could be sure that the mosaic on the tomb of Otho the Second, and another mosaic already described, had not been altered in successive restorations, these would be evidence that the sword was given to St. Paul as his attribute as early as the sixth century; but there are no monuments which can be absolutely trusted as regards the introduction of the sword before the end of the eleventh century; since the end of the fourteenth century it has been so generally adopted, that in the devotional effigies I can remember no instance in which it is omitted. When St. Paul is leaning on the sword, it expresses his martyrdom; when he holds it aloft, it expresses also his warfare in the cause of Christ: when two swords are given to him, one is the attribute, the other the emblem; but this double allusion does not occur in any of the older representations. In Italy I never met with St. Paul bearing two swords, and the only instance I can call to mind is the bronze statue by Peter Vischer, on the shrine of St. Sebald, at Nuremberg.”