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The Divine Comedy of Dante

Part 10 out of 11

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Of louder trump than mine, which hasteneth on,
Urging its arduous matter to the close),
Her words resum'd, in gesture and in voice
Resembling one accustom'd to command:
"Forth from the last corporeal are we come
Into the heav'n, that is unbodied light,
Light intellectual replete with love,
Love of true happiness replete with joy,
Joy, that transcends all sweetness of delight.
Here shalt thou look on either mighty host
Of Paradise; and one in that array,
Which in the final judgment thou shalt see."
As when the lightning, in a sudden spleen
Unfolded, dashes from the blinding eyes
The visive spirits dazzled and bedimm'd;
So, round about me, fulminating streams
Of living radiance play'd, and left me swath'd
And veil'd in dense impenetrable blaze.
Such weal is in the love, that stills this heav'n;
For its own flame the torch this fitting ever!
No sooner to my list'ning ear had come
The brief assurance, than I understood
New virtue into me infus'd, and sight
Kindled afresh, with vigour to sustain
Excess of light, however pure. I look'd;
And in the likeness of a river saw
Light flowing, from whose amber-seeming waves
Flash'd up effulgence, as they glided on
'Twixt banks, on either side, painted with spring,
Incredible how fair; and, from the tide,
There ever and anon, outstarting, flew
Sparkles instinct with life; and in the flow'rs
Did set them, like to rubies chas'd in gold;
Then, as if drunk with odors, plung'd again
Into the wondrous flood; from which, as one
Re'enter'd, still another rose. "The thirst
Of knowledge high, whereby thou art inflam'd,
To search the meaning of what here thou seest,
The more it warms thee, pleases me the more.
But first behooves thee of this water drink,
Or ere that longing be allay'd." So spake
The day-star of mine eyes; then thus subjoin'd:
"This stream, and these, forth issuing from its gulf,
And diving back, a living topaz each,
With all this laughter on its bloomy shores,
Are but a preface, shadowy of the truth
They emblem: not that, in themselves, the things
Are crude; but on thy part is the defect,
For that thy views not yet aspire so high."
Never did babe, that had outslept his wont,
Rush, with such eager straining, to the milk,
As I toward the water, bending me,
To make the better mirrors of mine eyes
In the refining wave; and, as the eaves
Of mine eyelids did drink of it, forthwith
Seem'd it unto me turn'd from length to round,
Then as a troop of maskers, when they put
Their vizors off, look other than before,
The counterfeited semblance thrown aside;
So into greater jubilee were chang'd
Those flowers and sparkles, and distinct I saw
Before me either court of heav'n displac'd.
O prime enlightener! thou who crav'st me strength
On the high triumph of thy realm to gaze!
Grant virtue now to utter what I kenn'd,
There is in heav'n a light, whose goodly shine
Makes the Creator visible to all
Created, that in seeing him alone
Have peace; and in a circle spreads so far,
That the circumference were too loose a zone
To girdle in the sun. All is one beam,
Reflected from the summit of the first,
That moves, which being hence and vigour takes,
And as some cliff, that from the bottom eyes
Its image mirror'd in the crystal flood,
As if 't admire its brave appareling
Of verdure and of flowers: so, round about,
Eyeing the light, on more than million thrones,
Stood, eminent, whatever from our earth
Has to the skies return'd. How wide the leaves
Extended to their utmost of this rose,
Whose lowest step embosoms such a space
Of ample radiance! Yet, nor amplitude
Nor height impeded, but my view with ease
Took in the full dimensions of that joy.
Near or remote, what there avails, where God
Immediate rules, and Nature, awed, suspends
Her sway? Into the yellow of the rose
Perennial, which in bright expansiveness,
Lays forth its gradual blooming, redolent
Of praises to the never-wint'ring sun,
As one, who fain would speak yet holds his peace,
Beatrice led me; and, "Behold," she said,
"This fair assemblage! stoles of snowy white
How numberless! The city, where we dwell,
Behold how vast! and these our seats so throng'd
Few now are wanting here! In that proud stall,
On which, the crown, already o'er its state
Suspended, holds thine eyes--or ere thyself
Mayst at the wedding sup,--shall rest the soul
Of the great Harry, he who, by the world
Augustas hail'd, to Italy must come,
Before her day be ripe. But ye are sick,
And in your tetchy wantonness as blind,
As is the bantling, that of hunger dies,
And drives away the nurse. Nor may it be,
That he, who in the sacred forum sways,
Openly or in secret, shall with him
Accordant walk: Whom God will not endure
I' th' holy office long; but thrust him down
To Simon Magus, where Magna's priest
Will sink beneath him: such will be his meed."


In fashion, as a snow-white rose, lay then
Before my view the saintly multitude,
Which in his own blood Christ espous'd. Meanwhile
That other host, that soar aloft to gaze
And celebrate his glory, whom they love,
Hover'd around; and, like a troop of bees,
Amid the vernal sweets alighting now,
Now, clustering, where their fragrant labour glows,
Flew downward to the mighty flow'r, or rose
From the redundant petals, streaming back
Unto the steadfast dwelling of their joy.
Faces had they of flame, and wings of gold;
The rest was whiter than the driven snow.
And as they flitted down into the flower,
From range to range, fanning their plumy loins,
Whisper'd the peace and ardour, which they won
From that soft winnowing. Shadow none, the vast
Interposition of such numerous flight
Cast, from above, upon the flower, or view
Obstructed aught. For, through the universe,
Wherever merited, celestial light
Glides freely, and no obstacle prevents.
All there, who reign in safety and in bliss,
Ages long past or new, on one sole mark
Their love and vision fix'd. O trinal beam
Of individual star, that charmst them thus,
Vouchsafe one glance to gild our storm below!
If the grim brood, from Arctic shores that roam'd,
(Where helice, forever, as she wheels,
Sparkles a mother's fondness on her son)
Stood in mute wonder 'mid the works of Rome,
When to their view the Lateran arose
In greatness more than earthly; I, who then
From human to divine had past, from time
Unto eternity, and out of Florence
To justice and to truth, how might I choose
But marvel too? 'Twixt gladness and amaze,
In sooth no will had I to utter aught,
Or hear. And, as a pilgrim, when he rests
Within the temple of his vow, looks round
In breathless awe, and hopes some time to tell
Of all its goodly state: e'en so mine eyes
Cours'd up and down along the living light,
Now low, and now aloft, and now around,
Visiting every step. Looks I beheld,
Where charity in soft persuasion sat,
Smiles from within and radiance from above,
And in each gesture grace and honour high.
So rov'd my ken, and its general form
All Paradise survey'd: when round I turn'd
With purpose of my lady to inquire
Once more of things, that held my thought suspense,
But answer found from other than I ween'd;
For, Beatrice, when I thought to see,
I saw instead a senior, at my side,
Rob'd, as the rest, in glory. Joy benign
Glow'd in his eye, and o'er his cheek diffus'd,
With gestures such as spake a father's love.
And, "Whither is she vanish'd?" straight I ask'd.
"By Beatrice summon'd," he replied,
"I come to aid thy wish. Looking aloft
To the third circle from the highest, there
Behold her on the throne, wherein her merit
Hath plac'd her." Answering not, mine eyes I rais'd,
And saw her, where aloof she sat, her brow
A wreath reflecting of eternal beams.
Not from the centre of the sea so far
Unto the region of the highest thunder,
As was my ken from hers; and yet the form
Came through that medium down, unmix'd and pure,
"O Lady! thou in whom my hopes have rest!
Who, for my safety, hast not scorn'd, in hell
To leave the traces of thy footsteps mark'd!
For all mine eyes have seen, I, to thy power
And goodness, virtue owe and grace. Of slave,
Thou hast to freedom brought me; and no means,
For my deliverance apt, hast left untried.
Thy liberal bounty still toward me keep.
That, when my spirit, which thou madest whole,
Is loosen'd from this body, it may find
Favour with thee." So I my suit preferr'd:
And she, so distant, as appear'd, look'd down,
And smil'd; then tow'rds th' eternal fountain turn'd.
And thus the senior, holy and rever'd:
"That thou at length mayst happily conclude
Thy voyage (to which end I was dispatch'd,
By supplication mov'd and holy love)
Let thy upsoaring vision range, at large,
This garden through: for so, by ray divine
Kindled, thy ken a higher flight shall mount;
And from heav'n's queen, whom fervent I adore,
All gracious aid befriend us; for that I
Am her own faithful Bernard." Like a wight,
Who haply from Croatia wends to see
Our Veronica, and the while 't is shown,
Hangs over it with never-sated gaze,
And, all that he hath heard revolving, saith
Unto himself in thought: "And didst thou look
E'en thus, O Jesus, my true Lord and God?
And was this semblance thine?" So gaz'd I then
Adoring; for the charity of him,
Who musing, in the world that peace enjoy'd,
Stood lively before me. "Child of grace!"
Thus he began: "thou shalt not knowledge gain
Of this glad being, if thine eyes are held
Still in this depth below. But search around
The circles, to the furthest, till thou spy
Seated in state, the queen, that of this realm
Is sovran." Straight mine eyes I rais'd; and bright,
As, at the birth of morn, the eastern clime
Above th' horizon, where the sun declines;
To mine eyes, that upward, as from vale
To mountain sped, at th' extreme bound, a part
Excell'd in lustre all the front oppos'd.
And as the glow burns ruddiest o'er the wave,
That waits the sloping beam, which Phaeton
Ill knew to guide, and on each part the light
Diminish'd fades, intensest in the midst;
So burn'd the peaceful oriflamb, and slack'd
On every side the living flame decay'd.
And in that midst their sportive pennons wav'd
Thousands of angels; in resplendence each
Distinct, and quaint adornment. At their glee
And carol, smil'd the Lovely One of heav'n,
That joy was in the eyes of all the blest.
Had I a tongue in eloquence as rich,
As is the colouring in fancy's loom,
'T were all too poor to utter the least part
Of that enchantment. When he saw mine eyes
Intent on her, that charm'd him, Bernard gaz'd
With so exceeding fondness, as infus'd
Ardour into my breast, unfelt before.


Freely the sage, though wrapt in musings high,
Assum'd the teacher's part, and mild began:
"The wound, that Mary clos'd, she open'd first,
Who sits so beautiful at Mary's feet.
The third in order, underneath her, lo!
Rachel with Beatrice. Sarah next,
Judith, Rebecca, and the gleaner maid,
Meek ancestress of him, who sang the songs
Of sore repentance in his sorrowful mood.
All, as I name them, down from deaf to leaf,
Are in gradation throned on the rose.
And from the seventh step, successively,
Adown the breathing tresses of the flow'r
Still doth the file of Hebrew dames proceed.
For these are a partition wall, whereby
The sacred stairs are sever'd, as the faith
In Christ divides them. On this part, where blooms
Each leaf in full maturity, are set
Such as in Christ, or ere he came, believ'd.
On th' other, where an intersected space
Yet shows the semicircle void, abide
All they, who look'd to Christ already come.
And as our Lady on her glorious stool,
And they who on their stools beneath her sit,
This way distinction make: e'en so on his,
The mighty Baptist that way marks the line
(He who endur'd the desert and the pains
Of martyrdom, and for two years of hell,
Yet still continued holy), and beneath,
Augustin, Francis, Benedict, and the rest,
Thus far from round to round. So heav'n's decree
Forecasts, this garden equally to fill.
With faith in either view, past or to come,
Learn too, that downward from the step, which cleaves
Midway the twain compartments, none there are
Who place obtain for merit of their own,
But have through others' merit been advanc'd,
On set conditions: spirits all releas'd,
Ere for themselves they had the power to choose.
And, if thou mark and listen to them well,
Their childish looks and voice declare as much.
"Here, silent as thou art, I know thy doubt;
And gladly will I loose the knot, wherein
Thy subtle thoughts have bound thee. From this realm
Excluded, chalice no entrance here may find,
No more shall hunger, thirst, or sorrow can.
A law immutable hath establish'd all;
Nor is there aught thou seest, that doth not fit,
Exactly, as the finger to the ring.
It is not therefore without cause, that these,
O'erspeedy comers to immortal life,
Are different in their shares of excellence.
Our Sovran Lord--that settleth this estate
In love and in delight so absolute,
That wish can dare no further--every soul,
Created in his joyous sight to dwell,
With grace at pleasure variously endows.
And for a proof th' effect may well suffice.
And 't is moreover most expressly mark'd
In holy scripture, where the twins are said
To, have struggled in the womb. Therefore, as grace
Inweaves the coronet, so every brow
Weareth its proper hue of orient light.
And merely in respect to his prime gift,
Not in reward of meritorious deed,
Hath each his several degree assign'd.
In early times with their own innocence
More was not wanting, than the parents' faith,
To save them: those first ages past, behoov'd
That circumcision in the males should imp
The flight of innocent wings: but since the day
Of grace hath come, without baptismal rites
In Christ accomplish'd, innocence herself
Must linger yet below. Now raise thy view
Unto the visage most resembling Christ:
For, in her splendour only, shalt thou win
The pow'r to look on him." Forthwith I saw
Such floods of gladness on her visage shower'd,
From holy spirits, winging that profound;
That, whatsoever I had yet beheld,
Had not so much suspended me with wonder,
Or shown me such similitude of God.
And he, who had to her descended, once,
On earth, now hail'd in heav'n; and on pois'd wing.
"Ave, Maria, Gratia Plena," sang:
To whose sweet anthem all the blissful court,
From all parts answ'ring, rang: that holier joy
Brooded the deep serene. "Father rever'd:
Who deign'st, for me, to quit the pleasant place,
Wherein thou sittest, by eternal lot!
Say, who that angel is, that with such glee
Beholds our queen, and so enamour'd glows
Of her high beauty, that all fire he seems."
So I again resorted to the lore
Of my wise teacher, he, whom Mary's charms
Embellish'd, as the sun the morning star;
Who thus in answer spake: "In him are summ'd,
Whatever of buxomness and free delight
May be in Spirit, or in angel, met:
And so beseems: for that he bare the palm
Down unto Mary, when the Son of God
Vouchsaf'd to clothe him in terrestrial weeds.
Now let thine eyes wait heedful on my words,
And note thou of this just and pious realm
The chiefest nobles. Those, highest in bliss,
The twain, on each hand next our empress thron'd,
Are as it were two roots unto this rose.
He to the left, the parent, whose rash taste
Proves bitter to his seed; and, on the right,
That ancient father of the holy church,
Into whose keeping Christ did give the keys
Of this sweet flow'r: near whom behold the seer,
That, ere he died, saw all the grievous times
Of the fair bride, who with the lance and nails
Was won. And, near unto the other, rests
The leader, under whom on manna fed
Th' ungrateful nation, fickle and perverse.
On th' other part, facing to Peter, lo!
Where Anna sits, so well content to look
On her lov'd daughter, that with moveless eye
She chants the loud hosanna: while, oppos'd
To the first father of your mortal kind,
Is Lucia, at whose hest thy lady sped,
When on the edge of ruin clos'd thine eye.
"But (for the vision hasteneth so an end)
Here break we off, as the good workman doth,
That shapes the cloak according to the cloth:
And to the primal love our ken shall rise;
That thou mayst penetrate the brightness, far
As sight can bear thee. Yet, alas! in sooth
Beating thy pennons, thinking to advance,
Thou backward fall'st. Grace then must first be gain'd;
Her grace, whose might can help thee. Thou in prayer
Seek her: and, with affection, whilst I sue,
Attend, and yield me all thy heart." He said,
And thus the saintly orison began.


"O virgin mother, daughter of thy Son,
Created beings all in lowliness
Surpassing, as in height, above them all,
Term by th' eternal counsel pre-ordain'd,
Ennobler of thy nature, so advanc'd
In thee, that its great Maker did not scorn,
Himself, in his own work enclos'd to dwell!
For in thy womb rekindling shone the love
Reveal'd, whose genial influence makes now
This flower to germin in eternal peace!
Here thou to us, of charity and love,
Art, as the noon-day torch: and art, beneath,
To mortal men, of hope a living spring.
So mighty art thou, lady! and so great,
That he who grace desireth, and comes not
To thee for aidance, fain would have desire
Fly without wings. Nor only him who asks,
Thy bounty succours, but doth freely oft
Forerun the asking. Whatsoe'er may be
Of excellence in creature, pity mild,
Relenting mercy, large munificence,
Are all combin'd in thee. Here kneeleth one,
Who of all spirits hath review'd the state,
From the world's lowest gap unto this height.
Suppliant to thee he kneels, imploring grace
For virtue, yet more high to lift his ken
Toward the bliss supreme. And I, who ne'er
Coveted sight, more fondly, for myself,
Than now for him, my prayers to thee prefer,
(And pray they be not scant) that thou wouldst drive
Each cloud of his mortality away;
That on the sovran pleasure he may gaze.
This also I entreat of thee, O queen!
Who canst do what thou wilt! that in him thou
Wouldst after all he hath beheld, preserve
Affection sound, and human passions quell.
Lo! Where, with Beatrice, many a saint
Stretch their clasp'd hands, in furtherance of my suit!"
The eyes, that heav'n with love and awe regards,
Fix'd on the suitor, witness'd, how benign
She looks on pious pray'rs: then fasten'd they
On th' everlasting light, wherein no eye
Of creature, as may well be thought, so far
Can travel inward. I, meanwhile, who drew
Near to the limit, where all wishes end,
The ardour of my wish (for so behooved),
Ended within me. Beck'ning smil'd the sage,
That I should look aloft: but, ere he bade,
Already of myself aloft I look'd;
For visual strength, refining more and more,
Bare me into the ray authentical
Of sovran light. Thenceforward, what I saw,
Was not for words to speak, nor memory's self
To stand against such outrage on her skill.
As one, who from a dream awaken'd, straight,
All he hath seen forgets; yet still retains
Impression of the feeling in his dream;
E'en such am I: for all the vision dies,
As 't were, away; and yet the sense of sweet,
That sprang from it, still trickles in my heart.
Thus in the sun-thaw is the snow unseal'd;
Thus in the winds on flitting leaves was lost
The Sybil's sentence. O eternal beam!
(Whose height what reach of mortal thought may soar?)
Yield me again some little particle
Of what thou then appearedst, give my tongue
Power, but to leave one sparkle of thy glory,
Unto the race to come, that shall not lose
Thy triumph wholly, if thou waken aught
Of memory in me, and endure to hear
The record sound in this unequal strain.
Such keenness from the living ray I met,
That, if mine eyes had turn'd away, methinks,
I had been lost; but, so embolden'd, on
I pass'd, as I remember, till my view
Hover'd the brink of dread infinitude.
O grace! unenvying of thy boon! that gav'st
Boldness to fix so earnestly my ken
On th' everlasting splendour, that I look'd,
While sight was unconsum'd, and, in that depth,
Saw in one volume clasp'd of love, whatever
The universe unfolds; all properties
Of substance and of accident, beheld,
Compounded, yet one individual light
The whole. And of such bond methinks I saw
The universal form: for that whenever
I do but speak of it, my soul dilates
Beyond her proper self; and, till I speak,
One moment seems a longer lethargy,
Than five-and-twenty ages had appear'd
To that emprize, that first made Neptune wonder
At Argo's shadow darkening on his flood.
With fixed heed, suspense and motionless,
Wond'ring I gaz'd; and admiration still
Was kindled, as I gaz'd. It may not be,
That one, who looks upon that light, can turn
To other object, willingly, his view.
For all the good, that will may covet, there
Is summ'd; and all, elsewhere defective found,
Complete. My tongue shall utter now, no more
E'en what remembrance keeps, than could the babe's
That yet is moisten'd at his mother's breast.
Not that the semblance of the living light
Was chang'd (that ever as at first remain'd)
But that my vision quickening, in that sole
Appearance, still new miracles descry'd,
And toil'd me with the change. In that abyss
Of radiance, clear and lofty, seem'd methought,
Three orbs of triple hue clipt in one bound:
And, from another, one reflected seem'd,
As rainbow is from rainbow: and the third
Seem'd fire, breath'd equally from both. Oh speech
How feeble and how faint art thou, to give
Conception birth! Yet this to what I saw
Is less than little. Oh eternal light!
Sole in thyself that dwellst; and of thyself
Sole understood, past, present, or to come!
Thou smiledst; on that circling, which in thee
Seem'd as reflected splendour, while I mus'd;
For I therein, methought, in its own hue
Beheld our image painted: steadfastly
I therefore por'd upon the view. As one
Who vers'd in geometric lore, would fain
Measure the circle; and, though pondering long
And deeply, that beginning, which he needs,
Finds not; e'en such was I, intent to scan
The novel wonder, and trace out the form,
How to the circle fitted, and therein
How plac'd: but the flight was not for my wing;
Had not a flash darted athwart my mind,
And in the spleen unfolded what it sought.
Here vigour fail'd the tow'ring fantasy:
But yet the will roll'd onward, like a wheel
In even motion, by the Love impell'd,
That moves the sun in heav'n and all the stars.



Verse 12. Benign Apollo.] Chaucer has imitated this invention
very closely at the beginning of the Third Booke of Fame.

If, divine vertue, thou
Wilt helpe me to shewe now
That in my head ymarked is,
* * * * *
Thou shalt see me go as blive
Unto the next laurer I see,
And kisse it for it is thy tree
Now entre thou my breast anone.

v. 15. Thus for.] He appears to mean nothing more than that
this part of his poem will require a greater exertion of his
powers than the former.

v. 19. Marsyas.] Ovid, Met. 1. vi. fab. 7. Compare Boccaccio,
II Filocopo, 1. 5. p. 25. v. ii. Ediz. Fir. 1723. "Egli nel
mio petto entri," &c. - "May he enter my bosom, and let my voice
sound like his own, when he made that daring mortal deserve to
come forth unsheathed from his limbs. "
v. 29. Caesar, or bard.] So Petrarch, Son. Par. Prima.

Arbor vittoriosa e trionfale,
Onor d'imperadori e di poeti.

And Spenser, F. Q. b. i. c. 1. st. 9,
The laurel, meed of mighty conquerours
And poets sage.

v. 37. Through that.] "Where the four circles, the horizon, the
zodiac, the equator, and the equinoctial colure, join; the last
threeintersecting each other so as to form three crosses, as may
be seen in the armillary sphere."

v. 39. In happiest constellation.] Aries. Some understand the
planetVenus by the "miglior stella "

v. 44. To the left.] Being in the opposite hemisphere to ours,
Beatrice that she may behold the rising sun, turns herself to the

v. 47. As from the first a second beam.] "Like a reflected
sunbeam," which he compares to a pilgrim hastening homewards.

Ne simil tanto mal raggio secondo
Dal primo usci.
Filicaja, canz. 15. st. 4.

v. 58. As iron that comes boiling from the fire.] So Milton,
P. L. b. iii. 594.
--As glowing iron with fire.

v. 69. Upon the day appear'd.

--If the heaven had ywonne,
All new of God another sunne.
Chaucer, First Booke of Fame

E par ch' agginuga un altro sole al cielo.
Ariosto, O F. c. x. st. 109.

Ed ecco un lustro lampeggiar d' intorno
Che sole a sole aggiunse e giorno a giorno.
Manno, Adone. c. xi. st. 27.

Quando a paro col sol ma piu lucente
L'angelo gli appari sull; oriente
Tasso, G. L. c. i.

-Seems another morn
Ris'n on mid-noon.
Milton, P. L. b. v. 311.

Compare Euripides, Ion. 1550. [GREEK HERE]
66. as Glaucus. ] Ovid, Met. 1. Xiii. Fab. 9

v. 71. If.] "Thou O divine Spirit, knowest whether 1 had not
risen above my human nature, and were not merely such as thou
hadst then, formed me."

v. 125. Through sluggishness.]
Perch' a risponder la materia e sorda.

So Filicaja, canz. vi. st 9.
Perche a risponder la discordia e sorda

"The workman hath in his heart a purpose, he carrieth in mind the
whole form which his work should have; there wanteth not him
skill and desire to bring his labour to the best effect, only the
matter, which he hath to work on is unframeable." Hooker's Eccl.
Polity, b. 5. 9.


v. 1. In small bark.]

Con la barchetta mia cantando in rima
Pulci, Morg. Magg. c. xxviii.

Io me n'andro con la barchetta mia,
Quanto l'acqua comporta un picciol legno

v. 30. This first star.] the moon

v. 46. E'en as the truth.] Like a truth that does not need
demonstration, but is self-evident."

v. 52. Cain.] Compare Hell, Canto XX. 123. And Note

v. 65. Number1ess lights.] The fixed stars, which differ both
in bulk and splendor.

v. 71. Save one.] "Except that principle of rarity and
denseness which thou hast assigned." By "formal principles,
"principj formali, are meant constituent or essential causes."
Milton, in imitation of this passage, introduces the angel
arguing with Adam respecting the causes of the spots on the moon.

But, as a late French translator of the Paradise well remarks,
his reasoning is physical; that of Dante partly metaphysical and
partly theologic.

v. 111. Within the heaven.] According to our Poet's system,
there are ten heavens; the seven planets, the eighth spheres
containing the fixed stars, the primum mobile, and the empyrean.

v. 143. The virtue mingled.] Virg. Aen. 1. vi 724.
Principio coelum, &c.


v. 16. Delusion.] "An error the contrary to that of Narcissus,
because he mistook a shadow for a substance, I a substance for a

v. 50. Piccarda.] The sister of Forese whom we have seen in the
Purgatory, Canto XXIII.

v. 90. The Lady.] St. Clare, the foundress of the order called
after her She was born of opulent and noble parents at Assisi, in
1193, and died in 1253. See Biogr. Univ. t. 1. p. 598. 8vo.
Paris, 1813.

v. 121. Constance.] Daughter of Ruggieri, king of Sicily, who,
being taken by force out of a monastery where she had professed,
was married to the Emperor Henry Vl. and by him was mother to
Frederick 11. She was fifty years old or more at the time, and
"because it was not credited that she could have a child at that
age, she was delivered in a pavilion and it was given out, that
any lady, who pleased, was at liberty to see her. Many came, and
saw her, and the suspicion ceased." Ricordano Malaspina in
Muratori, Rer. It. Script. t. viii. p. 939; and G. Villani, in
the same words, Hist. I v. c. 16

The French translator above mentored speaks of her having
poisoned her husband. The death of Henry Vl. is recorded in the
Chronicon Siciliae, by an anonymous writer, (Muratori, t. x.) but
not a word of his having been poisoned by Constance, and
Ricordano Malaspina even mentions her decease as happening before
that of her husband, Henry V., for so this author, with some
others, terms him. v. 122. The second.] Henry Vl. son of
Frederick I was the second emperor of the house of Saab; and his
son Frederick II "the third and last."


v. 6. Between two deer]

Tigris ut auditis, diversa valle duorum
Extimulata fame, mugitibus armentorum
Neseit utro potius ruat, et ruere ardet utroque.
Ovid, Metam. 1. v. 166

v. 13. Daniel.] See Daniel, c. ii.

v. 24. Plato.] [GREEK HERE] Plato Timaeus v. ix. p. 326.
Edit. Bip. "The Creator, when he had framed the universe,
distributed to the stars an equal number of souls, appointing to
each soul its several star."

v. 27. Of that.] Plato's opinion.

v. 34. The first circle.] The empyrean.

v. 48. Him who made Tobias whole.]

Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deign'd
To travel with Tobias, and secur'd
His marriage with the sev'n times wedded maid,
Milton, P. L. b. v. 223.

v. 67. That to the eye of man.] "That the ways of divine
justice are often inscrutable to man, ought rather to be a motive
to faith than an inducement to heresy." Such appears to me the
most satisfactory explanation of the passage.

v. 82. Laurence.] Who suffered martyrdom in the third century.

v. 82. Scaevola.] See Liv. Hist. D. 1. 1. ii. 12.

v. 100. Alcmaeon.] Ovid, Met. 1. ix. f. 10.

--Ultusque parente parentem
Natus, erit facto pius et sceleratus eodem.

v. 107. Of will.] "What Piccarda asserts of Constance, that she
retained her affection to the monastic life, is said absolutely
and without relation to circumstances; and that which I affirm is
spoken of the will conditionally and respectively: so that our
apparent difference is without any disagreement."
v. 119. That truth.] The light of divine truth.


v. 43. Two things.] The one, the substance of the vow; the
other, the compact, or form of it.

v. 48. It was enjoin'd the Israelites.] See Lev. e. xii, and

v. 56. Either key.] Purgatory, Canto IX. 108.

v. 86. That region.] As some explain it, the east, according to
others the equinoctial line.

v. 124. This sphere.] The planet Mercury, which, being nearest
to the sun, is oftenest hidden by that luminary


v. 1. After that Constantine the eagle turn'd.] Constantine,
in transferring the seat of empire from Rome to Byzantium,
carried the eagle, the Imperial ensign, from the west to the
east. Aeneas, on the contrary had moved along with the sun's
course, when he passed from Troy to Italy.

v. 5. A hundred years twice told and more.] The Emperor
Constantine entered Byzantium in 324, and Justinian began his
reign in 527.

v. 6. At Europe's extreme point.] Constantinople being situated
at the extreme of Europe, and on the borders of Asia, near those
in the neighbourhood of Troy, from whence the first founders of
Rome had emigrated.

v. 13. To clear th' incumber'd laws.] The code of laws was
abridged and reformed by Justinian.

v. 15. Christ's nature merely human.] Justinian is said to have
been a follower of the heretical Opinions held by Eutyches," who
taught that in Christ there was but one nature, viz. that of the
incarnate word."
Maclaine's Mosheim, t. ii. Cent. v. p. ii. c. v. 13.

v. 16. Agapete.] Agapetus, Bishop of Rome, whose Scheda Regia,
addressed to the Emperor Justinian, procured him a place among
the wisest and most judicious writers of this century."
Ibid. Cent. vi. p. ii c. ii. 8.

v. 33. Who pretend its power.] The Ghibellines.

v. 33. And who oppose ] The Guelphs.

v. 34. Pallas died.] See Virgil, Aen. 1. X.

v. 39. The rival three.] The Horatii and Curiatii.

v. 41. Down.] "From the rape of the Sabine women to the
violation of Lucretia."
v. 47. Quintius.] Quintius Cincinnatus.

E Cincinnato dall' inculta chioma.

v. 50. Arab hordes.] The Arabians seem to be put for the
barbarians in general.

v. 54. That hill.] The city of Fesulae, which was sacked by the
Romans after the defeat of Cataline.

v. 56. Near the hour.] Near the time of our Saviour's birth.

v. 59. What then it wrought.] In the following fifteen lines
the Poet has comprised the exploits of Julius Caesar.

v. 75. In its next bearer's gripe.] With Augustus Caesar.

v. 89. The third Caesar.] "Tiberius the third of the Caesars,
had it in his power to surpass the glory of all who either
preceded or came after him, by destroying the city of .Jerusalem,
as Titus afterwards did, and thus revenging the cause of God
himself on the Jews."

v. 95. Vengeance for vengeance ] This will be afterwards
explained by the Poet himself.
v. 98. Charlemagne.] Dante could not be ignorant that the reign
of Justinian was long prior to that of Charlemagne; but the
spirit of the former emperor is represented, both in this
instance and in what follows, as conscious of the events that had
taken place after his own time.

v. 104. The yellow lilies.] The French ensign.

v. 110. Charles.] The commentators explain this to mean Charles
II, king of Naples and Sicily. Is it not more likely to allude to
Charles of Valois, son of Philip III of France, who was sent for,
about this time, into Italy by Pope Boniface, with the promise of
being made emperor? See G. Villani, 1. viii. c. 42.

v. 131. Romeo's light.] The story of Romeo is involved in some
uncertainty. The French writers assert the continuance of his
ministerial office even after the decease of his soverign
Raymond Berenger, count of Provence: and they rest this assertion
chiefly on the fact of a certain Romieu de Villeneuve, who was
the contemporary of that prince, having left large possessions
behind him, as appears by his will, preserved in the archives of
the bishopric of Venice. There might however have been more than
one person of the name of Romieu, or Romeo which answers to that
of Palmer in our language. Nor is it probable that the Italians,
who lived so near the time, were misinformed in an occurrence of
such notoriety. According to them, after he had long been a
faithful steward to Raymond, when an account was required from
him of the revenues whichhe had carefully husbanded, and his
master as lavishly disbursed, "He demanded the little mule, the
staff, and the scrip, with which he had first entered into the
count's service, a stranger pilgrim from the shrine of St. James
in Galicia, and parted as he came; nor was it ever known whence
he was or wither he went." G. Villani, 1. vi. c. 92.

v. 135. Four daughters.] Of the four daughters of Raymond
Berenger, Margaret, the eldest, was married to Louis IX of
France; Eleanor; the next, to Henry III, of England; Sancha, the
third, to Richard, Henry's brother, and King of the Romans; and
the youngest, Beatrice, to Charles I, King of Naples and Sicily,
and brother to Louis.

v. 136. Raymond Berenger.] This prince, the last of the house
of Barcelona, who was count of Provence, died in 1245. He is in
the list of Provencal poets. See Millot, Hist, Litt des
Troubadours, t. ii. P. 112.


v. 3. Malahoth.] A Hebrew word, signifying "kingdoms."

v. 4. That substance bright.] Justinian.

v. 17. As might have made one blest amid the flames.]
So Giusto de' Conti, Bella Mano. "Qual salamandra."

Che puommi nelle fiammi far beato.

v. 23. That man who was unborn.] Adam.

v. 61. What distils.] "That which proceeds immediately from
God, and without intervention of secondary causes, in immortal."

v. 140. Our resurrection certain.] "Venturi appears to mistake
the Poet's reasoning, when he observes: "Wretched for us, if we
had not arguments more convincing, and of a higher kind, to
assure us of the truth of our resurrection." It is here
intended, I think, that the whole of God's dispensations to man
should be considered as a proof of our resurrection. The
conclusion is that as before sin man was immortal,
so being restored to the favor of heaven by the expiation made
for sin, he necessarily recovers his claim to immortality.

There is much in this poem to justify the encomium which the
learned Salvini has passed on it, when, in an epistle to Redi,
imitating what Horace had said of Homer, that the duties of life
might be better learnt from the Grecian bard than from the
teachers of the porch or the academy, he says--

And dost thou ask, what themes my mind engage?
The lonely hours I give to Dante's page;
And meet more sacred learning in his lines
Than I had gain'd from all the school divines.

Se volete saper la vita mia,
Studiando io sto lungi da tutti gli nomini
Ed ho irnparato piu teologia
In questi giorni, che ho riletto Dante,
Che nelle scuole fattto io non avria.


v. 4. Epicycle,] "In sul dosso di questo cerchio," &c.
Convito di Dante, Opere, t. i. p. 48, ed. Ven. 1793.
"Upon the back of this circle, in the heaven of Venus, whereof we
are now treating, is a little sphere, which has in that heaven a
revolution of its own: whose circle the astronomers term

v. 11. To sit in Dido's bosom.] Virgil. Aen. 1. i. 718,

v. 40. 'O ye whose intellectual ministry.]
Voi ch' intendendo il terzo ciel movete. The first line in our
Poet" first canzone. See his Convito, Ibid. p. 40.

v. 53. had the time been more.] The spirit now speaking is
Charles Martel crowned king of Hungary, and son of Charles 11
king of Naples and Sicily, to which
dominions dying in his father's lifetime, he did not succeed.

v. 57. Thou lov'dst me well.] Charles Martel might have been
known to our poet at Florence whither he came to meet his father
in 1295, the year of his death. The retinue and the habiliments
of the young monarch are minutely described by G. Villani, who
adds, that "he remained more than twenty days in Florence,
waiting for his father King Charles and his brothers during which
time great honour was done him by the, Florentines and he showed
no less love towards them, and he was much in favour with all."
1. viii. c. 13. His brother Robert, king of Naples, was the
friend of Petrarch.

v. 60. The left bank.] Provence.

v. 62. That horn
Of fair Ausonia.]
The kingdom of Naples.

v. 68. The land.] Hungary.

v. 73. The beautiful Trinaeria.] Sicily, so called from its
three promontories, of which Pachynus and Pelorus, here
mentioned, are two.

v. 14 'Typhaeus.] The giant whom Jupiter is fabled to have
under the mountain Aetna from whence he vomits forth smoke and

v. 77. Sprang through me from Charles and Rodolph.] "Sicily
would be still ruled by a race of monarchs, descended through me
from Charles I and Rodolph I the former my grandfather king of
Naples and Sicily; the latter emperor of Germany, my
father-in-law; "both celebrated in the Purgatory Canto, Vll.

v. 78. Had not ill lording.] "If the ill conduct of our
governors in Sicily had not excited the resentment and hatred of
the people and stimulated them to that dreadful massacre at the
Sicilian vespers;" in consequence of which the kingdom fell into
the hands of Peter III of Arragon, in 1282

v. 81. My brother's foresight.] He seems to tax his brother
Robert with employing necessitous and greedy Catalonians to
administer the affairs of his kingdom.

v. 99. How bitter can spring up.] "How a covetous son can
spring from a liberal father." Yet that father has himself been
accused of avarice in the Purgatory Canto XX. v. 78; though his
general character was that of a bounteous prince.

v. 125. Consult your teacher.] Aristole. [GREEK HERE]
De Rep. 1. iii. c. 4. "Since a state is made up of members
differing from one another, (for even as an animal, in the first
instance, consists of soul and body, and the soul, of reason and
desire; and a family, of man and woman, and property of master
and slave; in like manner a state consists both of all these and
besides these of other dissimilar kinds,) it necessarily follows
that the excellence of all the members of the state cannot be one
and the same."

v. 136. Esau.] Genesis c. xxv. 22.

v. 137. Quirinus.] Romulus, born of so obscure a father, that
his parentage was attributed to Mars.


v. 2. O fair Clemenza.] Daughter of Charles Martel, and second
wife of Louis X. of France.

v. 2. The treachery.] He alludes to the occupation of the
kingdom of Sicily by Robert, in exclusion of his brother s son
Carobert, or Charles. Robert, the rightful heir. See G. Villani,
1. viii. c. 112.

v. 7. That saintly light.] Charles Martel.

v. 25. In that part.] Between Rialto and the Venetian
territory, and the sources of the rivers Brenta and Piava is
situated a castle called Romano, the birth-place of the famous
tyrant Ezzolino or Azzolino, the brother of Cunizza, who is now
speaking. The tyrant we have seen in "the river of blood." Hell,
Canto XII. v. 110.

v. 32. Cunizza.] The adventures of Cunizza, overcome by the
influence of her star, are related by the chronicler Rolandino of
Padua, 1. i. c. 3, in Muratori Rer. It. Script. t. viii. p. 173.

She eloped from her first husband, Richard of St. Boniface, in
the company of Sordello, (see Purgatory, Canto VI. and VII. )
with whom she is supposed to have cohabited before her marriage:
then lived with a soldier of Trevigi, whose wife was living at
the same time in the same city, and on his being murdered by her
brother the tyrant, was by her brother married to a nobleman of
Braganzo, lastly when he also had fallen by the same hand she,
after her brother's death, was again wedded in Verona.

v. 37. This.] Folco of Genoa, a celebrated Provencal poet,
commonly termed Folques of Marseilles, of which place he was
perhaps bishop. Many errors of Nostradamus, regarding him, which
have been followed by Crescimbeni, Quadrio, and Millot, are
detected by the diligence of Tiraboschi. Mr. Matthias's ed. v.
1. P. 18. All that appears certain, is what we are told in this
Canto, that he was of Genoa, and by Petrarch in the Triumph of
Love, c. iv. that he was better known by the appellation he
derived from Marseilles, and at last resumed the religious habit.
One of his verses is cited by Dante, De Vulg. Eloq. 1. ii. c. 6.

v. 40. Five times.] The five hundred years are elapsed: and
unless the Provencal MSS. should be brought to light the poetical
reputation of Folco must rest on the mention made of him by the
more fortunate Italians.

v. 43 The crowd.] The people who inhabited the tract of country
bounded by the river Tagliamento to the east, and Adice to the

v. 45. The hour is near.] Cunizza foretells the defeat of
Giacopo da Carrara, Lord of Padua by Can Grande, at Vicenza, on
the 18th September 1314. See G. Villani, 1. ix. c. 62.
v. 48. One.] She predicts also the fate of Ricciardo da Camino,
who is said to have been murdered at Trevigi, where the rivers
(Sile and Cagnano meet) while he was engaged in playing at chess.

v. 50. The web.] The net or snare into, which he is destined to

v. 50. Feltro.] The Bishop of Felto having received a number of
fugitives from Ferrara, who were in opposition to the Pope, under
a promise of protection, afterwards gave them up, so that they
were reconducted to that city, and the greater part of them there
put to death.

v. 53. Malta's.] A tower, either in the citadel of Padua, which
under the tyranny of Ezzolino, had been "with many a foul and
midnight murder fed," or (as some say) near a river of the same
name, that falls into the lake of Bolsena, in which the Pope was
accustomed to imprison such as had been guilty of an irremissible

v. 56 This priest.] The bishop, who, to show himself a zealous
partisan of the Pope, had committed the above-mentioned act of

v. 58. We descry.] "We behold the things that we predict, in
the mirrors of eternal truth."

v. 64. That other joyance.] Folco.

v. 76. Six shadowing wings.] "Above it stood the seraphims:
each one had six wings." Isaiah, c. vi. 2.

v. 80. The valley of waters.] The Mediterranean sea.

v. 80. That.] The great ocean.

v. 82. Discordant shores.] Europe and Africa.

v. 83. Meridian.] Extending to the east, the Mediterranean at
last reaches the coast of Palestine, which is on its horizon when
it enters the straits of Gibraltar. "Wherever a man is," says
Vellutello, "there he has, above his head, his own particular
meridian circle."

v. 85. --'Twixt Ebro's stream
And Macra's.]
Eora, a river to the west, and Macra, to the east of Genoa, where
Folco was born.

v. 88. Begga.] A place in Africa, nearly opposite to Genoa.

v. 89. Whose haven.] Alluding to the terrible slaughter of the
Genoese made by the Saracens in 936, for which event Vellutello
refers to the history of Augustino Giustiniani.

v. 91. This heav'n.] The planet Venus.

v. 93. Belus' daughter.] Dido.

v. 96. She of Rhodope.] Phyllis.

v. 98. Jove's son.] Hercules.

v. 112. Rahab.] Heb. c. xi. 31.

v. 120. With either palm.] "By the crucifixion of Christ"

v. 126. The cursed flower.] The coin of Florence, called the

v. 130. The decretals.] The canon law.

v. 134. The Vatican.] He alludes either to the death of Pope
Boniface VIII. or, as Venturi supposes, to the coming of the
Emperor Henry VII. into Italy, or else, according to the yet more
probable conjecture of Lombardi, to the transfer of the holy see
from Rome to Avignon, which took place in the pontificate of
Clement V.


v. 7. The point.] "To that part of heaven," as Venturi explains
it, "in which the equinoctial circle and the Zodiac intersect
each other, where the common motion of the heavens from east to
west may be said to strike with greatest force against the motion
proper to the planets; and this repercussion, as it were, is here
the strongest, because the velocity of each is increased to the
utmost by their respective distance from the poles. Such at least
is the system of Dante."

v. 11. Oblique.] The zodiac.

v. 25. The part.] The above-mentioned intersection of the
circle and the zodiac.

v. 26. Minister.] The sun.

v. 30. Where.] In which the sun rises every day earlier after
the vernal equinox.

v. 45. Fourth family.] The inhabitants of the sun, the fourth

v. 46. Of his spirit and of his offspring.] The procession of
the third, and the generation of the second person in the

v. 70. Such was the song.] "The song of these spirits was

v. 86. No less constrained.] "The rivers might as easily cease
to flow towards the sea, as we could deny thee thy request."

v. 91. I then.] "I was of the Dominican order."

v. 95. Albert of Cologne.] Albertus Magnus was born at
Laugingen, in Thuringia, in 1193, and studied at Paris and at
Padua, at the latter of which places he entered into the
Dominican order. He then taught theology in various parts of
Germany, and particularly at Cologne. Thomas Aquinas was his
favourite pupil. In 1260, he reluctantly accepted
the bishopric of Ratisbon, and in two years after resigned it,
and returned to his cell in Cologne, where the remainder of his
life was passed in superintending the school, and in composing
his voluminous works on divinity and natural science. He died in
1280. The absurd imputation of his having dealt in the magical
art is well known; and his biographers take some pains to clear
him of it. Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum, by Quetif and
Echard, Lut. Par. 1719. fol. t. 1. p. 162.

v. 96. Of Aquinum, Thomas.] Thomas Aquinas, of whom Bucer is
reported to have said, "Take but Thomas away, and I will overturn
the church of Rome," and whom Hooker terms "the greatest among
the school divines," (Eccl. Pol. b. 3. 9), was born of noble
parents, who anxiously, but vainly, endeavoured to divert him
from a life of celibacy and study; and died in 1274, at the age
of fourty-seven. Echard and Quetif, ibid. p. 271. See also
Purgatory Canto XX. v. 67.

v. 101. Gratian.] "Gratian, a Benedictine monk belonging to the
convent of St. Felix and Nabor, at Bologna, and by birth a
Tuscan, composed, about the year 1130, for the use of the
schools, an abridgment or epitome of canon law, drawn from the
letters of the pontiffs, the decrees of councils, and the
writings of the ancient doctors."
Maclaine's Mosheim, v. iii. cent. 12. part 2. c. i. 6.

v. 101. To either forum.] "By reconciling," as Venturi explains
it "the civil with the canon law."

v. 104. Peter.] "Pietro Lombardo was of obscure origin, nor is
the place of his birth in Lombardy ascertained. With a
recommendation from the bishop of Lucca to St. Bernard, he went
into France to continue his studies, and for that purpose
remained some time at Rheims, whence he afterwards proceeded to
Paris. Here his reputation was so great that Philip, brother of
Louis VII., being chosen bishop of Paris, resigned that dignity
to Pietro, whose pupil he had been. He held his bishopric
only one year, and died in 1160. His Liber Sententiarum is
highly esteemed. It contains a system of scholastic theology, so
much more complete than any which had been yet seen, that it may
be deemed an original work." Tiraboschi, Storia della Lett.
Ital. t. iii. 1. 4. c. 2.

v. 104. Who with the widow gave.] This alludes to the beginning
of the Liber Sententiarum, where Peter says: "Cupiens aliquid de
penuria ac tenuitate nostra cum paupercula in gazophylacium
domini mittere,"
v. 105. The fifth light.] Solomon.

v. 112. That taper's radiance.] St. Dionysius the Areopagite.
"The famous Grecian fanatic, who gave himself out for Dionysius
the Areopagite, disciple of St. Paul, and who, under the
protection of this venerable name, gave laws and instructions to
those that were desirous of raising their souls above all human
things in order to unite them to their great source by sublime
contemplation, lived most probably in this century (the fourth),
though some place him before, others after, the present period."
Maclaine's Mosheim, v. i. cent. iv. p. 2. c. 3. 12.

v. 116. That pleader.] 1n the fifth century, Paulus Orosius,
"acquired a considerable degree of reputation by the History he
wrote to refute the cavils of the Pagans against Christianity,
and by his books against the Pelagians and Priscillianists."
Ibid. v. ii. cent. v. p. 2. c. 2. 11. A similar train of
argument was pursued by Augustine, in his book De Civitate Dei.
Orosius is classed by Dante, in his treatise De Vulg. Eloq. I ii
c. 6. as one of his favourite authors, among those "qui usi sunt
altissimas prosas,"--" who have written prose with the greatest
loftiness of style."

v. 119. The eighth.] Boetius, whose book De Consolatione
Philosophiae excited so much attention during the middle ages,
was born, as Tiraboschi conjectures, about 470. "In 524 he was
cruelly put to death by command of Theodoric, either on real or
pretended suspicion of his being engaged in a conspiracy." Della
Lett. Ital. t. iii. 1. i. c. 4.

v. 124. Cieldauro.] Boetius was buried at Pavia, in the
monastery of St. Pietro in Ciel d'oro.

v. 126. Isidore.] He was Archbishop of Seville during forty
years, and died in 635. See Mariana, Hist. 1. vi. c. 7.
Mosheim, whose critical opinions in general must be taken with
some allowance, observes that "his grammatical theological, and
historical productions, discover more learning and pedantry, than
judgment and taste."

v. 127. Bede.] Bede, whose virtues obtained him the appellation
of the Venerable, was born in 672 at Wearmouth and Jarrow, in the
bishopric of Durham, and died in 735. Invited to Rome by Pope
Sergius I., he preferred passing almost the whole of his life in
the seclusion of a monastery. A catalogue of his numerous
writings may be seen in Kippis's Biographia Britannica, v. ii.

v. 127. Richard.] Richard of St. Victor, a native either of
Scotland or Ireland, was canon and prior of the monastery of that
name at Paris and died in 1173. "He was at the head of the
Mystics in this century and his treatise, entitled the Mystical
Ark, which contains as it were the marrow of this kind of
theology, was received with the greatest avidity." Maclaine's
Mosheim, v. iii. cent. xii. p. 2. c. 2. 23.

v. 132. Sigebert.] "A monk of the abbey of Gemblours who was in
high repute at the end of the eleventh, and beginning of the
twelfth century." Dict. de Moreri.

v. 131. The straw-litter'd street.] The name of a street in
Paris: the "Rue du Fouarre."

v. 136. The spouse of God.] The church.


v. 1. O fond anxiety of mortal men.] Lucretius, 1. ii. 14

O miseras hominum mentes ! O pectora caeca
Qualibus in tenebris vitae quantisque periclis
Degitur hoc aevi quodcunque est!

v. 4. Aphorisms,] The study of medicine.

v. 17. 'The lustre.] The spirit of Thomas Aquinas

v. 29. She.] The church.

v. 34. One.] Saint Francis.

v. 36. The other.] Saint Dominic.

v. 40. Tupino.] A rivulet near Assisi, or Ascesi where Francis
was born in 1182.

v. 40. The wave.] Chiascio, a stream that rises in a mountain
near Agobbio, chosen by St. Ubaldo for the place of his

v. 42. Heat and cold.] Cold from the snow, and heat from the
reflection of the sun.

v. 45. Yoke.] Vellutello understands this of the vicinity of
the mountain to Nocera and Gualdo; and Venturi (as I have taken
it) of the heavy impositions laid on those places by the
Perugians. For GIOGO, like the Latin JUGUM, will admit of either

v. 50. The east.]

This is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

v. 55. Gainst his father's will.] In opposition to the wishes
of his natural father

v. 58. In his father's sight.] The spiritual father, or bishop,
in whose presence he made a profession of poverty.

v. 60. Her first husband.] Christ.

v. 63. Amyclas.] Lucan makes Caesar exclaim, on witnessing the
secure poverty of the fisherman Amyclas:

--O vite tuta facultas
Pauperis, angustique lares! O munera nondum
Intellecta deum! quibus hoc contingere templis,
Aut potuit muris, nullo trepidare tumultu,
Caesarea pulsante manu?
Lucan Phars. 1. v. 531.

v. 72. Bernard.] One of the first followers of the saint.

v. 76. Egidius.] The third of his disciples, who died in 1262.
His work, entitled Verba Aurea, was published in 1534, at Antwerp
See Lucas Waddingus, Annales Ordinis Minoris, p. 5.

v. 76. Sylvester.] Another of his earliest associates.

v. 83. Pietro Bernardone.] A man in an humble station of life
at Assisi.

v. 86. Innocent.] Pope Innocent III.

v. 90. Honorius.] His successor Honorius III who granted
certain privileges to the Franciscans.

v. 93. On the hard rock.] The mountain Alverna in the Apennine.

v. 100. The last signet.] Alluding to the stigmata, or marks
resembling the wounds of Christ, said to have been found on the
saint's body.

v. 106. His dearest lady.] Poverty.

v. 113. Our Patriarch ] Saint Dominic.

v. 316. His flock ] The Dominicans.

v. 127. The planet from whence they split.] "The rule of their
order, which the Dominicans neglect to observe."


v. 1. The blessed flame.] Thomas Aquinas

v. 12. That voice.] The nymph Echo, transformed into the
repercussion of the voice.

v. 25. One.] Saint Buonaventura, general of the Franciscan
order, in which he effected some reformation, and one of the most
profound divines of his age. "He refused the archbishopric of
York, which was offered him by Clement IV, but afterwards was
prevailed on to accept the bishopric of Albano and a cardinal's
hat. He was born at Bagnoregio or Bagnorea, in Tuscany, A.D.
1221, and died in 1274." Dict. Histor. par Chaudon et Delandine.
Ed. Lyon. 1804.

v. 28. The love.] By an act of mutual courtesy, Buonaventura,
a Franciscan, is made to proclaim the praises of St. Dominic,
as Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican, has celebrated those of St.

v. 42. In that clime.] Spain.

v. 48. Callaroga.] Between Osma and Aranda, in Old Castile,
designated by the royal coat of arms.

v. 51. The loving minion of the Christian faith.] Dominic was
born April 5, 1170, and died August 6, 1221. His birthplace,
Callaroga; his father and mother's names, Felix and Joanna, his
mother's dream; his name of Dominic, given him in consequence of
a vision by a noble matron, who stood sponsor to him, are all
told in an anonymous life of the saint, said to be written in the
thirteenth century, and published by Quetif and Echard,
Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum. Par. 1719. fol. t 1. p. 25.
These writers deny his having been an inquisitor, and indeed the
establishment of the inquisition itself before the fourth Lateran
council. Ibid. p. 88.

v. 55. In the mother's womb.] His mother, when pregnant with
him, is said to have dreamt that she should bring forth a white
and black dog, with a lighted torch in its mouth.

v. 59. The dame.] His godmother's dream was, that he had one
star in his forehead, and another in the nape of his neck, from
which he communicated light to the east and the west.

v. 73. Felix.] Felix Gusman.

v. 75. As men interpret it.] Grace or gift of the Lord.

v. 77. Ostiense.] A cardinal, who explained the decretals.

v. 77. Taddeo.] A physician, of Florence.

v. 82. The see.] "The apostolic see, which no longer continues
its wonted liberality towards the indigent and deserving; not
indeed through its own fault, as its doctrines are still the
same, but through the fault of the pontiff, who is seated in it."

v. 85. No dispensation.] Dominic did not ask license to
compound for the use of unjust acquisitions, by dedicating a part
of them to pious purposes.

v. 89. In favour of that seed.] "For that seed of the divine
word, from which have sprung up these four-and-twenty plants,
that now environ thee."

v. 101. But the track.] "But the rule of St. Francis is already
deserted and the lees of the wine are turned into mouldiness."

v. 110. Tares.] He adverts to the parable of the taxes and the

v. 111. I question not.] "Some indeed might be found, who still
observe the rule of the order, but such would come neither from
Casale nor Acquasparta:" of the former of which places was
Uberto, one master general, by whom the discipline had been
relaxed; and of the latter, Matteo, another, who had enforced it
with unnecessary rigour.

v. 121. -Illuminato here,
And Agostino.]
Two among the earliest followers of St. Francis.

v. 125. Hugues of St. Victor.] A Saxon of the monastery of
Saint Victor at Paris, who fed ill 1142 at the age of
forty-four. "A man distinguished by the fecundity of his genius,
who treated in his writings of all the branches of sacred and
profane erudition that were known in his time, and who composed
several dissertations that are not destitute of merit."
Maclaine's Mosheim, Eccl. Hist. v. iii . cent. xii. p. 2. 2. 23.
I have looked into his writings, and found some reason for
this high eulogium.

v. 125. Piatro Mangiadore.] "Petrus Comestor, or the Eater,
born at Troyes, was canon and dean of that church, and afterwards
chancellor of the church of Paris. He relinquished these
benefices to become a regular canon of St. Victor at Paris, where
he died in 1198. Chaudon et Delandine Dict. Hist. Ed. Lyon.
1804. The work by which he is best known, is his Historia
Scolastica, which I shall have occasion to cite in the Notes to
Canto XXVI.

v. 126. He of Spain.] "To Pope Adrian V succeeded John XXI a
native of Lisbon a man of great genius and extraordinary
acquirements, especially in logic and in medicine, as his books,
written in the name of Peter of Spain (by which he was known
before he became Pope), may testify. His life was not much
longer than that of his predecessors, for he was killed at
Viterbo, by the falling in of the roof of his chamber, after he
had been pontiff only eight months and as many days.
A.D. 1277. Mariana, Hist. de Esp. l. xiv. c. 2.

v. 128. Chrysostom.] The eloquent patriarch of Constantinople.

v. 128. Anselmo.] "Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born
at Aosta, about 1034, and studied under Lanfrane at the monastery
of Bec, in Normandy, where he afterwards devoted himself to a
religious life, in his twenty-seventh year. In three years he
was made prior, and then abbot of that monastery! from whence he
was taken, in 1093, to succeed to the archbishopric, vacant by
the death of Lanfrane. He enjoyed this dignity till his death, in
1109, though it was disturbed by many
dissentions with William II and Henry I respecting the immunities
and investitures. There is much depth and precisian in his
theological works." Tiraboschi, Stor. della Lett. Ital. t. iii.

1. iv. c. 2. Ibid. c. v. "It is an observation made by many
modern writers, that the demonstration of the existence of God,
taken from the idea of a Supreme Being, of which Des Cartes is
thought to be the author, was so many ages back discovered and
brought to light by Anselm. Leibnitz himself makes
the remark, vol. v. Oper. p. 570. Edit. Genev. 1768."

v. 129. Donatus.] Aelius Donatus, the grammarian, in the fourth
century, one of the preceptors of St. Jerome.

v. 130. Raban.] "Rabanus Maurus, Archbishop of Mentz, is
deservedly placed at the head of the Latin writers of this age."
Mosheim, v. ii. cent. ix. p. 2 c. 2. 14.

v. 131. Joachim.] Abbot of Flora in Calabria; "whom the
multitude revered as a person divinely inspired and equal to the
most illustrious prophets of ancient times." Ibid. v. iii.
cent. xiii. p. 2. c. 2. 33.

v. 134. A peer.] St. Dominic.


v. 1. Let him.] "Whoever would conceive the sight that now
presented itself to me, must imagine to himself fifteen of the
brightest stars in heaven, together with seven stars of Arcturus
Major and two of Arcturus Minor, ranged in two circles, one
within the other, each resembling the crown of Ariadne, and
moving round m opposite directions."

v. 21. The Chiava.] See Hell, Canto XXIX. 45.

v. 29. That luminary.] Thomas Aquinas.

v. 31. One ear.] "Having solved one of thy questions, I proceed
to answer the other. Thou thinkest, then, that Adam and Christ
were both endued with all the perfection of which the human
nature is capable and therefore wonderest at what has been said
concerning Solomon"

v. 48. That.] "Things corruptible and incorruptible, are only
emanations from the archetypal idea residing in the Divine mind."

v. 52. His brightness.] The Word: the Son of God.

v. 53. His love triune with them.] The Holy Ghost.

v. 55. New existences.] Angels and human souls.

v. 57. The lowest powers.] Irrational life and brute matter.

v. 62. Their wax and that which moulds it.] Matter, and the
virtue or energy that acts on it.

v. 68. The heav'n.] The influence of the planetary bodies.

v. 77. The clay.] Adam.

v. 88. Who ask'd.] "He did not desire to know the number of the
stars, or to pry into the subtleties of metaphysical and
mathematical science: but asked for that wisdom which might fit
him for his kingly office."

v. 120. --Parmenides Melissus Bryso.]
For the singular opinions entertained by the two former of these
heathen philosophers, see Diogenes Laertius, 1. ix. and Aristot.
de Caelo, 1. iii. c. 1 and Phys. l. i. c. 2. The last is also
twice adduced by 2. Aristotle (Anal Post. 1. i. c. 9. and Rhet.
1. iii. c. 2.) as 3. affording instances of false reasoning.

v. 123. Sabellius, Arius.] Well-known heretics.

v. 124. Scymitars.] A passage in the travels of
Bertradon de la Brocquiere, translated by Mr. Johnes, will
explain this
allusion, which has given some trouble to the commentators. That
traveler, who wrote before Dante, informs us, p. 138, that the
wandering Arabs used their scymitars as mirrors.

v. 126. Let not.] "Let not short-sighted mortals presume to
decide on the future doom of any man, from a consideration of his
present character and actions."


v. 5. Such was the image.] The voice of Thomas Aquinas
proceeding, from the circle to the centre and that of Beatrice
from the centre to the circle.

v. 26. Him.] Literally translated by Chaucer, Troilus and

Thou one two, and three eterne on live
That raignest aie in three, two and one
Uncircumscript, and all maist circonscrive,

v. 81. The goodliest light.] Solomon.

v. 78. To more lofty bliss.] To the planet Mars.

v. 94. The venerable sign.] The cross.

v. 125. He.] "He who considers that the eyes of Beatrice became
more radiant the higher we ascended, must not wonder that I do
not except even them as I had not yet beheld them since our
entrance into this planet."


v. 24. Our greater Muse.] Virgil Aen. 1. vi. 684.
v. 84. I am thy root.] Cacciaguida, father to Alighieri, of
whom our Poet was the great-grandson.

v. 89. The mountain.] Purgatory.

v. 92. Florence.] See G. Villani, l. iii. c. 2.

v. 93. Which calls her still.] The public clock being still
within the circuit of the ancient walls.

v. 98. When.] When the women were not married at too early an
age, and did not expect too large a portion.

v. 101. Void.] Through the civil wars.

v. 102 Sardanapalus.] The luxurious monarch of Assyria Juvenal
is here imitated, who uses his name for an instance of
effeminacy. Sat.

v. 103. Montemalo ] Either an elevated spot between Rome and
Viterbo, or Monte Mario, the site of the villa Mellini,
commanding a view of Rome.

v. 101. Our suburban turret.] Uccellatojo, near Florence, from
whence that city was discovered.

v. 103. Bellincion Berti.] Hell, Canto XVI. 38. nd Notes.
There is a curious description of the simple manner in which the
earlier Florentines dressed themselves in G. Villani, 1 vi. c.

v. 110. Of Nerli and of Vecchio.] Two of the most opulent
families in Florence.

v. 113. Each.] "None fearful either of dying in banishment, or
of being deserted by her husband on a scheme of battle in France.

v. 120. A Salterello and Cianghella.] The latter a shameless
woman of the family of Tosa, married to Lito degli Alidosi of
Imola: the former Lapo Salterello, a lawyer, with whom Dante was
at variance.

v. 125. Mary.] The Virgin was involved in the pains of
child-birth Purgatory, Canto XX. 21.

v. 130 Valdipado.] Cacciaguida's wife, whose family name was
Aldighieri; came from Ferrara, called Val di Pado, from its being
watered by the Po.

v. 131. Conrad.] The Emperor Conrad III who died in 1152.
See G. Villani, 1. iv. 34.

v. 136. Whose people.] The Mahometans, who were left in
possession of the Holy Land, through the supineness of the Pope.


v. 10. With greeting.] The Poet, who had addressed the spirit,
not knowing him to be his ancestor, with a plain "Thou," now uses
more ceremony, and calls him "You," according to a custom
introduced among the Romans in the latter times of the empire.

v. 15. Guinever.] Beatrice's smile encouraged him to proceed
just as the cough of Ginevra's female servant gave her mistress
assurance to admit the freedoms of Lancelot. See Hell, Canto V.

v. 23. The fold.] Florence, of which John the Baptist was the
patron saint.

v. 31. From the day.] From the Incarnation to the birth of
Cacciaguida, the planet Mars had returned five hundred and
fifty-three times to the constellation of Leo, with which it is
supposed to have a congenial influence. His birth may,
therefore, be placed about 1106.

v. 38. The last.] The city was divided into four compartments.
The Elisei, the ancestors of Dante, resided near the entrance of
that named from the Porta S. Piero, which was the last reached by
the competitor in the annual race at Florence. See G. Villani,
1. iv. c. 10.

v. 44. From Mars.] "Both in the times of heathenish and of
Christianity." Hell, Canto XIII. 144.

v. 48. Campi and Certaldo and Fighine.] Country places near

v. 50. That these people.] That the inhabitants of the above-
mentioned places had not been mixed with the citizens: nor the
limits of Florence extended beyond Galluzzo and Trespiano."

v. 54. Aguglione's hind and Signa's.] Baldo of Aguglione, and
Bonifazio of Signa.

v. 56. Had not the people.] If Rome had continued in her
allegiance to the emperor, and the Guelph and Ghibelline factions
had thus been prevented, Florence would not have been polluted by
a race of upstarts, nor lost the most respectable of her ancient

v. 61. Simifonte.] A castle dismantled by the Florentines. G.
Villani, 1. v. c. 30. The individual here alluded to is no
longer known.

v. 69. The blind bull.] So Chaucer, Troilus and Cresseide. b.

For swifter course cometh thing that is of wight
When it descendeth than done things light.

Compare Aristotle, Ethic. Nic. l. vi. c. 13. [GREEK HERE]

v. 72. Luni, Urbisaglia.] Cities formerly of importance, but
then fallen to decay.

v. 74. Chiusi and Sinigaglia.] The same.

v. 80. As the moon.] "The fortune of us, that are the moon's
men doth ebb and flow like the sea." Shakespeare, 1 Henry IV.
a. i. s. 2.

v. 86. The Ughi.] Whoever is curious to know the habitations of
these and the other ancient Florentines, may consult G. Villani,
l. iv.

v. 91. At the poop.] Many editions read porta, "gate." -The
same metaphor is found in Aeschylus, Supp. 356, and is there also
scarce understood by the critics. [GREEK HERE] Respect these
wreaths, that crown your city's poop.

v. 99. The gilded hilt and pommel.] The symbols of knighthood

v. 100. The column cloth'd with verrey.] The arms of the Pigli.

v. 103. With them.] Either the Chiaramontesi, or the Tosinghi
one of which had committed a fraud in measuring out the wheat
from the public granary. See Purgatory, Canto XII. 99

v. 109. The bullets of bright gold.] The arms of the Abbati, as
it is conjectured.

v. 110. The sires of those.] "Of the Visdomini, the Tosinghi
and the Cortigiani, who, being sprung from the founders of the
bishopric of Florence are the curators of its revenues, which
they do not spare, whenever it becomes vacant."

v. 113. Th' o'erweening brood.] The Adimari. This family was
so little esteemed, that Ubertino Donato, who had married a
daughter of Bellincion Berti, himself indeed derived from the
same stock (see Note to Hell Canto XVI. 38.) was offended with
his father-in-law, for giving another of his daughters in
marriage to one of them.

v. 124. The gateway.] Landino refers this to the smallness of
the city: Vellutello, with less probability, to the simplicity of
the people in naming one of the gates after a private family.

v. 127. The great baron.] The Marchese Ugo, who resided at
Florence as lieutenant of the Emperor Otho III, gave many of the
chief families license to bear his arms. See G. Villani, 1. iv.
c. 2., where the vision is related, in consequence of which he
sold all his possessions in Germany, and founded seven abbeys, in
one whereof his memory was celebrated at Florence on St. Thomas's
v. 130. One.] Giano della Bella, belonging to one of the
families thus distinguished, who no longer retained his place
among the nobility, and had yet added to his arms a bordure or.
See Macchiavelli, 1st. Fior. 1. ii. p. 86. Ediz. Giolito.

v. 132. -Gualterotti dwelt
And Importuni.]
Two families in the compartment of the city called Borgo.

v. 135. The house.] Of Amidei. See Notes to Canto XXVIII. of
Hell. v. 102.

v. 142. To Ema.] "It had been well for the city, if thy
ancestor had been drowned in the Ema, when he crossed that stream
on his way from Montebuono to Florence."

v. 144. On that maim'd stone.] See Hell, Canto XIII. 144. Near
the remains of the statue of Mars. Buondelmonti was slain, as if
he had been a victim to the god; and Florence had not since known
the blessing of peace.

v. 150. The lily.] "The arms of Florence had never hung
reversed on the spear of her enemies, in token of her defeat; nor
been changed from argent to gules;" as they afterwards were, when
the Guelfi gained the predominance.


v. 1. The youth.] Phaeton, who came to his mother Clymene, to
inquire of her if he were indeed the son of Apollo. See Ovid,
Met. 1. i. ad finem.

v. 6. That saintly lamp.] Cacciaguida.

v. 12. To own thy thirst.] "That thou mayst obtain from others
a solution of any doubt that may occur to thee."

v. 15. Thou seest as clear.] "Thou beholdest future events,
with the same clearness of evidence, that we discern the simplest
mathematical demonstrations."

v. 19. The point.] The divine nature.

v. 27. The arrow.]
Nam praevisa minus laedere tela solent.

Che piaga antiveduta assai men duole.
Petrarca, Trionfo del Tempo

v. 38. Contingency.] "The evidence with which we see the future
portrayed in the source of all truth, no more necessitates that
future than does the image, reflected in the sight by a ship
sailing down a stream, necessitate the motion of the vessel."

v. 43. From thence.] "From the eternal sight; the view of the

v. 49. There.] At Rome, where the expulsion of Dante's party
from Florence was then plotting, in 1300.

v. 65. Theirs.] "They shall be ashamed of the part they have
taken aga'nst thee."

v. 69. The great Lombard.] Either Alberto della Scala, or
Bartolommeo his eldest son. Their coat of arms was a ladder and
an eagle.

v. 75. That mortal.] Can Grande della Scala, born under the
influence of Mars, but at this time only nine years old

v. 80. The Gascon.] Pope Clement V.

v. 80. Great Harry.] The Emperor Henry VII.

v. 127. The cry thou raisest.] "Thou shalt stigmatize the
faults of those who are most eminent and powerful."


v. 3. Temp'ring the sweet with bitter.]
Chewing the end of sweet and bitter fancy.
Shakespeare, As you Like it, a. 3. s. 3.

v. 26. On this fifth lodgment of the tree.] Mars, the fifth ot
the @

v. 37. The great Maccabee.] Judas Maccabeus.

v. 39. Charlemagne.] L. Pulci commends Dante for placing
Charlemagne and Orlando here:
Io mi confido ancor molto qui a Dante
Che non sanza cagion nel ciel su misse
Carlo ed Orlando in quelle croci sante,
Che come diligente intese e scrisse.
Morg. Magg. c. 28.

v. 43. William and Renard.] Probably not, as the commentators
have imagined, William II of Orange, and his kinsman Raimbaud,
two of the crusaders under Godfrey of Bouillon, (Maimbourg, Hist.
des Croisades, ed. Par. 1682. 12mo. t. i. p. 96.) but rather the
two more celebrated heroes in the age of Charlemagne. The
former, William l. of Orange, supposed to have been the founder
of the present illustrious family of that name, died about 808,
according to Joseph de la Piser, Tableau de l'Hist. des Princes
et Principante d'Orange. Our countryman, Ordericus Vitalis,
professes to give his true life, which had been misrepresented in
the songs of the itinerant bards." Vulgo canitur a joculatoribus
de illo, cantilena; sed jure praeferenda est relatio
authentica." Eccl. Hist. in Duchesne, Hist. Normann Script.
p. 508. The latter is better known by having been celebrated by
Ariosto, under the name of Rinaldo.

v. 43. Duke Godfey.] Godfrey of Bouillon.

v. 46. Robert Guiscard.] See Hell, Canto XXVIII. v. 12.

v. 81. The characters.] Diligite justitiam qui judicatis
terrarm. "Love righteousness, ye that be judges of the earth "
Wisdom of Solomon, c. i. 1.

v. 116. That once more.] "That he may again drive out those who
buy and sell in the temple."

v. 124. Taking the bread away.] "Excommunication, or the
interdiction of the Eucharist, is now employed as a weapon of

v. 126. That writest but to cancel.] "And thou, Pope Boniface,
who writest thy ecclesiastical censures for no other purpose than
to be paid for revoking them."

v. 130. To him.] The coin of Florence was stamped with the
impression of John the Baptist.


v. 38. Who turn'd his compass.] Compare Proverbs, c. viii. 27.
And Milton, P. L. b. vii 224.

v. 42. The Word] "The divine nature still remained
incomprehensible. Of this Lucifer was a proof; for had he
thoroughly comprehended it, he would not have fallen."

v. 108. The Ethiop.] Matt. c. xii. 41.

v. 112. That volume.] Rev. c. xx. 12.

v. 114. Albert.] Purgatory, Canto VI. v. 98.

v. 116. Prague.] The eagle predicts the devastation of Bohemia
by Albert, which happened soon after this time, when that Emperor
obtained the kingdom for his eldest son Rodolph. See Coxe's
House of Austria, 4to. ed. v. i. part 1. p. 87

v. 117. He.] Philip IV of France, after the battle of Courtrai,
1302, in which the French were defeated by the Flemings, raised
the nominal value of the coin. This king died in consequence of
his horse being thrown to the ground by a wild boar, in 1314

v. 121. The English and Scot.] He adverts to the disputes
between John Baliol and Edward I, the latter of whom is commended
in the Purgatory, Canto VII. v. 130.

v. 122. The Spaniard's luxury.] The commentators refer this to
Alonzo X of Spain. It seems probable that the allusion is to
Ferdinand IV who came to the crown in 1295, and died in 1312, at
the age of twenty four, in consequence, as it was supposed, of
his extreme intemperance.
See Mariana, Hist I. xv. c. 11.

v. 123. The Bohemian.] Winceslaus II. Purgatory, Canto VII. v.

v. 125. The halter of Jerusalem.] Charles II of Naples and
Jerusalem who was lame. See note to Purgatory, Canto VII. v.
122, and XX. v. 78.

v. 127. He.] Frederick of Sicily son of Peter III of Arragon.
Purgatory, Canto VII. v. 117. The isle of fire is Sicily, where
was the tomb of Anchises.

v. 133. His uncle.] James, king of Majorca and Minorca, brother
to Peter III.

v. 133. His brother.] James II of Arragon, who died in 1327.
See Purgatory, Canto VII. v. 117.

v. 135. Of Portugal.] In the time of Dante, Dionysius was king
of Portugal. He died in 1328, after a reign of near forty-six
years, and does not seem to have deserved the stigma here
fastened on him. See Mariana. and 1. xv. c. 18. Perhaps the
rebellious son of Dionysius may be alluded to.

v. 136. Norway.] Haquin, king of Norway, is probably meant;
who, having given refuge to the murderers of Eric VII king of
Denmark, A D. 1288, commenced a war against his successor, Erie
VIII, "which continued for nine years, almost to the utter ruin
and destruction of both kingdoms." Modern Univ. Hist. v. xxxii
p. 215.

v. 136. -Him
Of Ratza.]
One of the dynasty of the house of Nemagna, which ruled the
kingdom of Rassia, or Ratza, in Sclavonia, from 1161 to 1371, and
whose history may be found in Mauro Orbino, Regno degli Slavi,
Ediz. Pesaro. 1601. Uladislaus appears to have been the sovereign
in Dante's time, but the disgraceful forgery adverted to in the
text, is not recorded by the historian v. 138. Hungary.] The
kingdom of Hungary was about this time disputed by Carobert, son
of Charles Martel, and Winceslaus, prince of Bohemia, son of
Winceslaus II. See Coxe's House of Austria, vol. i. p. 1. p. 86.

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