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At thee, and heard him by the others nam’d Geri of Bello. Thou so wholly then
Wert busied with his spirit, who once rul’d The towers of Hautefort, that thou lookedst not That way, ere he was gone.”–“O guide belov’d! His violent death yet unaveng’d,” said I, “By any, who are partners in his shame,
Made him contemptuous: therefore, as I think, He pass’d me speechless by; and doing so Hath made me more compassionate his fate.” So we discours’d to where the rock first show’d The other valley, had more light been there, E’en to the lowest depth. Soon as we came O’er the last cloister in the dismal rounds Of Malebolge, and the brotherhood
Were to our view expos’d, then many a dart Of sore lament assail’d me, headed all
With points of thrilling pity, that I clos’d Both ears against the volley with mine hands. As were the torment, if each lazar-house Of Valdichiana, in the sultry time
‘Twixt July and September, with the isle Sardinia and Maremma’s pestilent fen,
Had heap’d their maladies all in one foss Together; such was here the torment: dire The stench, as issuing steams from fester’d limbs. We on the utmost shore of the long rock Descended still to leftward. Then my sight Was livelier to explore the depth, wherein The minister of the most mighty Lord,
All-searching Justice, dooms to punishment The forgers noted on her dread record.
More rueful was it not methinks to see The nation in Aegina droop, what time
Each living thing, e’en to the little worm, All fell, so full of malice was the air
(And afterward, as bards of yore have told, The ancient people were restor’d anew
From seed of emmets) than was here to see The spirits, that languish’d through the murky vale Up-pil’d on many a stack. Confus’d they lay, One o’er the belly, o’er the shoulders one Roll’d of another; sideling crawl’d a third Along the dismal pathway. Step by step
We journey’d on, in silence looking round And list’ning those diseas’d, who strove in vain To lift their forms. Then two I mark’d, that sat Propp’d ‘gainst each other, as two brazen pans Set to retain the heat. From head to foot, A tetter bark’d them round. Nor saw I e’er Groom currying so fast, for whom his lord Impatient waited, or himself perchance
Tir’d with long watching, as of these each one Plied quickly his keen nails, through furiousness Of ne’er abated pruriency. The crust
Came drawn from underneath in flakes, like scales Scrap’d from the bream or fish of broader mail. “O thou, who with thy fingers rendest off Thy coat of proof,” thus spake my guide to one, “And sometimes makest tearing pincers of them, Tell me if any born of Latian land
Be among these within: so may thy nails Serve thee for everlasting to this toil.” “Both are of Latium,” weeping he replied, “Whom tortur’d thus thou seest: but who art thou That hast inquir’d of us?” To whom my guide: “One that descend with this man, who yet lives, From rock to rock, and show him hell’s abyss.” Then started they asunder, and each turn’d Trembling toward us, with the rest, whose ear Those words redounding struck. To me my liege Address’d him: “Speak to them whate’er thou list.” And I therewith began: “So may no time Filch your remembrance from the thoughts of men In th’ upper world, but after many suns
Survive it, as ye tell me, who ye are, And of what race ye come. Your punishment, Unseemly and disgustful in its kind,
Deter you not from opening thus much to me.” “Arezzo was my dwelling,” answer’d one, “And me Albero of Sienna brought
To die by fire; but that, for which I died, Leads me not here. True is in sport I told him, That I had learn’d to wing my flight in air. And he admiring much, as he was void
Of wisdom, will’d me to declare to him The secret of mine art: and only hence,
Because I made him not a Daedalus,
Prevail’d on one suppos’d his sire to burn me. But Minos to this chasm last of the ten, For that I practis’d alchemy on earth,
Has doom’d me. Him no subterfuge eludes.” Then to the bard I spake: “Was ever race Light as Sienna’s? Sure not France herself Can show a tribe so frivolous and vain.” The other leprous spirit heard my words, And thus return’d: “Be Stricca from this charge Exempted, he who knew so temp’rately
To lay out fortune’s gifts; and Niccolo Who first the spice’s costly luxury
Discover’d in that garden, where such seed Roots deepest in the soil: and be that troop Exempted, with whom Caccia of Asciano
Lavish’d his vineyards and wide-spreading woods, And his rare wisdom Abbagliato show’d
A spectacle for all. That thou mayst know Who seconds thee against the Siennese
Thus gladly, bend this way thy sharpen’d sight, That well my face may answer to thy ken; So shalt thou see I am Capocchio’s ghost, Who forg’d transmuted metals by the power Of alchemy; and if I scan thee right,
Thus needs must well remember how I aped Creative nature by my subtle art.”

CANTO XXX

WHAT time resentment burn’d in Juno’s breast For Semele against the Theban blood,
As more than once in dire mischance was rued, Such fatal frenzy seiz’d on Athamas,
That he his spouse beholding with a babe Laden on either arm, “Spread out,” he cried, “The meshes, that I take the lioness
And the young lions at the pass: “then forth Stretch’d he his merciless talons, grasping one, One helpless innocent, Learchus nam’d,
Whom swinging down he dash’d upon a rock, And with her other burden self-destroy’d The hapless mother plung’d: and when the pride Of all-presuming Troy fell from its height, By fortune overwhelm’d, and the old king With his realm perish’d, then did Hecuba, A wretch forlorn and captive, when she saw Polyxena first slaughter’d, and her son, Her Polydorus, on the wild sea-beach
Next met the mourner’s view, then reft of sense Did she run barking even as a dog;
Such mighty power had grief to wrench her soul. Bet ne’er the Furies or of Thebes or Troy With such fell cruelty were seen, their goads Infixing in the limbs of man or beast,
As now two pale and naked ghost I saw That gnarling wildly scamper’d, like the swine Excluded from his stye. One reach’d Capocchio, And in the neck-joint sticking deep his fangs, Dragg’d him, that o’er the solid pavement rubb’d His belly stretch’d out prone. The other shape, He of Arezzo, there left trembling, spake; “That sprite of air is Schicchi; in like mood Of random mischief vent he still his spite.” To whom I answ’ring: “Oh! as thou dost hope, The other may not flesh its jaws on thee, Be patient to inform us, who it is,
Ere it speed hence.”–” That is the ancient soul Of wretched Myrrha,” he replied, “who burn’d With most unholy flame for her own sire, And a false shape assuming, so perform’d The deed of sin; e’en as the other there, That onward passes, dar’d to counterfeit Donati’s features, to feign’d testament
The seal affixing, that himself might gain, For his own share, the lady of the herd.” When vanish’d the two furious shades, on whom Mine eye was held, I turn’d it back to view The other cursed spirits. One I saw
In fashion like a lute, had but the groin Been sever’d, where it meets the forked part. Swoln dropsy, disproportioning the limbs With ill-converted moisture, that the paunch Suits not the visage, open’d wide his lips Gasping as in the hectic man for drought, One towards the chin, the other upward curl’d. “O ye, who in this world of misery,
Wherefore I know not, are exempt from pain,” Thus he began, “attentively regard
Adamo’s woe. When living, full supply Ne’er lack’d me of what most I coveted;
One drop of water now, alas! I crave. The rills, that glitter down the grassy slopes Of Casentino, making fresh and soft
The banks whereby they glide to Arno’s stream, Stand ever in my view; and not in vain;
For more the pictur’d semblance dries me up, Much more than the disease, which makes the flesh Desert these shrivel’d cheeks. So from the place, Where I transgress’d, stern justice urging me, Takes means to quicken more my lab’ring sighs. There is Romena, where I falsified
The metal with the Baptist’s form imprest, For which on earth I left my body burnt. But if I here might see the sorrowing soul Of Guido, Alessandro, or their brother,
For Branda’s limpid spring I would not change The welcome sight. One is e’en now within, If truly the mad spirits tell, that round Are wand’ring. But wherein besteads me that? My limbs are fetter’d. Were I but so light, That I each hundred years might move one inch, I had set forth already on this path,
Seeking him out amidst the shapeless crew, Although eleven miles it wind, not more
Than half of one across. They brought me down Among this tribe; induc’d by them I stamp’d The florens with three carats of alloy.” “Who are that abject pair,” I next inquir’d, “That closely bounding thee upon thy right Lie smoking, like a band in winter steep’d In the chill stream?”–“When to this gulf I dropt,” He answer’d, “here I found them; since that hour They have not turn’d, nor ever shall, I ween, Till time hath run his course. One is that dame The false accuser of the Hebrew youth;
Sinon the other, that false Greek from Troy. Sharp fever drains the reeky moistness out, In such a cloud upsteam’d.” When that he heard, One, gall’d perchance to be so darkly nam’d, With clench’d hand smote him on the braced paunch, That like a drum resounded: but forthwith Adamo smote him on the face, the blow
Returning with his arm, that seem’d as hard. “Though my o’erweighty limbs have ta’en from me The power to move,” said he, “I have an arm At liberty for such employ.” To whom
Was answer’d: “When thou wentest to the fire, Thou hadst it not so ready at command,
Then readier when it coin’d th’ impostor gold.” And thus the dropsied: “Ay, now speak’st thou true. But there thou gav’st not such true testimony, When thou wast question’d of the truth, at Troy.” “If I spake false, thou falsely stamp’dst the coin,” Said Sinon; “I am here but for one fault, And thou for more than any imp beside.”
“Remember,” he replied, “O perjur’d one, The horse remember, that did teem with death, And all the world be witness to thy guilt.” “To thine,” return’d the Greek, “witness the thirst Whence thy tongue cracks, witness the fluid mound, Rear’d by thy belly up before thine eyes, A mass corrupt.” To whom the coiner thus: “Thy mouth gapes wide as ever to let pass Its evil saying. Me if thirst assails,
Yet I am stuff’d with moisture. Thou art parch’d, Pains rack thy head, no urging would’st thou need To make thee lap Narcissus’ mirror up.”
I was all fix’d to listen, when my guide Admonish’d: “Now beware: a little more.
And I do quarrel with thee.” I perceiv’d How angrily he spake, and towards him turn’d With shame so poignant, as remember’d yet Confounds me. As a man that dreams of harm Befall’n him, dreaming wishes it a dream, And that which is, desires as if it were not, Such then was I, who wanting power to speak Wish’d to excuse myself, and all the while Excus’d me, though unweeting that I did. “More grievous fault than thine has been, less shame,” My master cried, “might expiate. Therefore cast All sorrow from thy soul; and if again
Chance bring thee, where like conference is held, Think I am ever at thy side. To hear
Such wrangling is a joy for vulgar minds.”

CANTO XXXI

THE very tongue, whose keen reproof before Had wounded me, that either cheek was stain’d, Now minister’d my cure. So have I heard, Achilles and his father’s javelin caus’d Pain first, and then the boon of health restor’d. Turning our back upon the vale of woe, W cross’d th’ encircled mound in silence. There Was twilight dim, that far long the gloom Mine eye advanc’d not: but I heard a horn Sounded aloud. The peal it blew had made The thunder feeble. Following its course The adverse way, my strained eyes were bent On that one spot. So terrible a blast
Orlando blew not, when that dismal rout O’erthrew the host of Charlemagne, and quench’d His saintly warfare. Thitherward not long My head was rais’d, when many lofty towers Methought I spied. “Master,” said I, “what land Is this?” He answer’d straight: “Too long a space Of intervening darkness has thine eye
To traverse: thou hast therefore widely err’d In thy imagining. Thither arriv’d
Thou well shalt see, how distance can delude The sense. A little therefore urge thee on.” Then tenderly he caught me by the hand; “Yet know,” said he, “ere farther we advance, That it less strange may seem, these are not towers, But giants. In the pit they stand immers’d, Each from his navel downward, round the bank.” As when a fog disperseth gradually,
Our vision traces what the mist involves Condens’d in air; so piercing through the gross And gloomy atmosphere, as more and more
We near’d toward the brink, mine error fled, And fear came o’er me. As with circling round Of turrets, Montereggion crowns his walls, E’en thus the shore, encompassing th’ abyss, Was turreted with giants, half their length Uprearing, horrible, whom Jove from heav’n Yet threatens, when his mutt’ring thunder rolls. Of one already I descried the face,
Shoulders, and breast, and of the belly huge Great part, and both arms down along his ribs. All-teeming nature, when her plastic hand Left framing of these monsters, did display Past doubt her wisdom, taking from mad War Such slaves to do his bidding; and if she Repent her not of th’ elephant and whale, Who ponders well confesses her therein
Wiser and more discreet; for when brute force And evil will are back’d with subtlety,
Resistance none avails. His visage seem’d In length and bulk, as doth the pine, that tops Saint Peter’s Roman fane; and th’ other bones Of like proportion, so that from above
The bank, which girdled him below, such height Arose his stature, that three Friezelanders Had striv’n in vain to reach but to his hair. Full thirty ample palms was he expos’d
Downward from whence a man his garments loops. “Raphel bai ameth sabi almi,”
So shouted his fierce lips, which sweeter hymns Became not; and my guide address’d him thus: “O senseless spirit! let thy horn for thee Interpret: therewith vent thy rage, if rage Or other passion wring thee. Search thy neck, There shalt thou find the belt that binds it on. Wild spirit! lo, upon thy mighty breast
Where hangs the baldrick!” Then to me he spake: “He doth accuse himself. Nimrod is this, Through whose ill counsel in the world no more One tongue prevails. But pass we on, nor waste Our words; for so each language is to him, As his to others, understood by none.”
Then to the leftward turning sped we forth, And at a sling’s throw found another shade Far fiercer and more huge. I cannot say
What master hand had girt him; but he held Behind the right arm fetter’d, and before The other with a chain, that fasten’d him From the neck down, and five times round his form Apparent met the wreathed links. “This proud one Would of his strength against almighty Jove Make trial,” said my guide; “whence he is thus Requited: Ephialtes him they call.
Great was his prowess, when the giants brought Fear on the gods: those arms, which then he piled, Now moves he never.” Forthwith I return’d: “Fain would I, if ‘t were possible, mine eyes Of Briareus immeasurable gain’d
Experience next.” He answer’d: “Thou shalt see Not far from hence Antaeus, who both speaks And is unfetter’d, who shall place us there Where guilt is at its depth. Far onward stands Whom thou wouldst fain behold, in chains, and made Like to this spirit, save that in his looks More fell he seems.” By violent earthquake rock’d Ne’er shook a tow’r, so reeling to its base, As Ephialtes. More than ever then
I dreaded death, nor than the terror more Had needed, if I had not seen the cords
That held him fast. We, straightway journeying on, Came to Antaeus, who five ells complete
Without the head, forth issued from the cave. “O thou, who in the fortunate vale, that made Great Scipio heir of glory, when his sword Drove back the troop of Hannibal in flight, Who thence of old didst carry for thy spoil An hundred lions; and if thou hadst fought In the high conflict on thy brethren’s side, Seems as men yet believ’d, that through thine arm The sons of earth had conquer’d, now vouchsafe To place us down beneath, where numbing cold Locks up Cocytus. Force not that we crave Or Tityus’ help or Typhon’s. Here is one Can give what in this realm ye covet. Stoop Therefore, nor scornfully distort thy lip. He in the upper world can yet bestow
Renown on thee, for he doth live, and looks For life yet longer, if before the time
Grace call him not unto herself.” Thus spake The teacher. He in haste forth stretch’d his hands, And caught my guide. Alcides whilom felt That grapple straighten’d score. Soon as my guide Had felt it, he bespake me thus: “This way That I may clasp thee;” then so caught me up, That we were both one burden. As appears The tower of Carisenda, from beneath
Where it doth lean, if chance a passing cloud So sail across, that opposite it hangs,
Such then Antaeus seem’d, as at mine ease I mark’d him stooping. I were fain at times T’ have pass’d another way. Yet in th’ abyss, That Lucifer with Judas low ingulfs,
I,ightly he plac’d us; nor there leaning stay’d, But rose as in a bark the stately mast.

CANTO XXXII

COULD I command rough rhimes and hoarse, to suit That hole of sorrow, o’er which ev’ry rock His firm abutment rears, then might the vein Of fancy rise full springing: but not mine Such measures, and with falt’ring awe I touch The mighty theme; for to describe the depth Of all the universe, is no emprize
To jest with, and demands a tongue not us’d To infant babbling. But let them assist
My song, the tuneful maidens, by whose aid Amphion wall’d in Thebes, so with the truth My speech shall best accord. Oh ill-starr’d folk, Beyond all others wretched! who abide
In such a mansion, as scarce thought finds words To speak of, better had ye here on earth Been flocks or mountain goats. As down we stood In the dark pit beneath the giants’ feet, But lower far than they, and I did gaze
Still on the lofty battlement, a voice Bespoke me thus: “Look how thou walkest. Take Good heed, thy soles do tread not on the heads Of thy poor brethren.” Thereupon I turn’d, And saw before and underneath my feet
A lake, whose frozen surface liker seem’d To glass than water. Not so thick a veil In winter e’er hath Austrian Danube spread O’er his still course, nor Tanais far remote Under the chilling sky. Roll’d o’er that mass Had Tabernich or Pietrapana fall’n,
Not e’en its rim had creak’d. As peeps the frog Croaking above the wave, what time in dreams The village gleaner oft pursues her toil, So, to where modest shame appears, thus low Blue pinch’d and shrin’d in ice the spirits stood, Moving their teeth in shrill note like the stork. His face each downward held; their mouth the cold, Their eyes express’d the dolour of their heart. A space I look’d around, then at my feet Saw two so strictly join’d, that of their head The very hairs were mingled. “Tell me ye, Whose bosoms thus together press,” said I, “Who are ye?” At that sound their necks they bent, And when their looks were lifted up to me, Straightway their eyes, before all moist within, Distill’d upon their lips, and the frost bound The tears betwixt those orbs and held them there. Plank unto plank hath never cramp clos’d up So stoutly. Whence like two enraged goats They clash’d together; them such fury seiz’d. And one, from whom the cold both ears had reft, Exclaim’d, still looking downward: “Why on us Dost speculate so long? If thou wouldst know Who are these two, the valley, whence his wave Bisenzio slopes, did for its master own
Their sire Alberto, and next him themselves. They from one body issued; and throughout Caina thou mayst search, nor find a shade More worthy in congealment to be fix’d,
Not him, whose breast and shadow Arthur’s land At that one blow dissever’d, not Focaccia, No not this spirit, whose o’erjutting head Obstructs my onward view: he bore the name Of Mascheroni: Tuscan if thou be,
Well knowest who he was: and to cut short All further question, in my form behold
What once was Camiccione. I await
Carlino here my kinsman, whose deep guilt Shall wash out mine.” A thousand visages Then mark’d I, which the keen and eager cold Had shap’d into a doggish grin; whence creeps A shiv’ring horror o’er me, at the thought Of those frore shallows. While we journey’d on Toward the middle, at whose point unites All heavy substance, and I trembling went Through that eternal chillness, I know not If will it were or destiny, or chance,
But, passing ‘midst the heads, my foot did strike With violent blow against the face of one. “Wherefore dost bruise me?” weeping, he exclaim’d, “Unless thy errand be some fresh revenge For Montaperto, wherefore troublest me?” I thus: “Instructor, now await me here, That I through him may rid me of my doubt. Thenceforth what haste thou wilt.” The teacher paus’d, And to that shade I spake, who bitterly
Still curs’d me in his wrath. “What art thou, speak, That railest thus on others?” He replied: “Now who art thou, that smiting others’ cheeks Through Antenora roamest, with such force As were past suff’rance, wert thou living still?” “And I am living, to thy joy perchance,” Was my reply, “if fame be dear to thee,
That with the rest I may thy name enrol.” “The contrary of what I covet most,”
Said he, “thou tender’st: hence; nor vex me more. Ill knowest thou to flatter in this vale.” Then seizing on his hinder scalp, I cried: “Name thee, or not a hair shall tarry here.” “Rend all away,” he answer’d, “yet for that I will not tell nor show thee who I am,
Though at my head thou pluck a thousand times.” Now I had grasp’d his tresses, and stript off More than one tuft, he barking, with his eyes Drawn in and downward, when another cried, “What ails thee, Bocca? Sound not loud enough Thy chatt’ring teeth, but thou must bark outright? What devil wrings thee?”–” Now,” said I, “be dumb, Accursed traitor! to thy shame of thee
True tidings will I bear.”–” Off,” he replied, “Tell what thou list; but as thou escape from hence To speak of him whose tongue hath been so glib, Forget not: here he wails the Frenchman’s gold. ‘Him of Duera,’ thou canst say, ‘I mark’d, Where the starv’d sinners pine.’ If thou be ask’d What other shade was with them, at thy side Is Beccaria, whose red gorge distain’d
The biting axe of Florence. Farther on, If I misdeem not, Soldanieri bides,
With Ganellon, and Tribaldello, him Who op’d Faenza when the people slept.”
We now had left him, passing on our way, When I beheld two spirits by the ice
Pent in one hollow, that the head of one Was cowl unto the other; and as bread
Is raven’d up through hunger, th’ uppermost Did so apply his fangs to th’ other’s brain, Where the spine joins it. Not more furiously On Menalippus’ temples Tydeus gnaw’d,
Than on that skull and on its garbage he. “O thou who show’st so beastly sign of hate ‘Gainst him thou prey’st on, let me hear,” said I “The cause, on such condition, that if right Warrant thy grievance, knowing who ye are, And what the colour of his sinning was,
I may repay thee in the world above, If that, wherewith I speak be moist so long.”

CANTO XXXIII

HIS jaws uplifting from their fell repast, That sinner wip’d them on the hairs o’ th’ head, Which he behind had mangled, then began: “Thy will obeying, I call up afresh
Sorrow past cure, which but to think of wrings My heart, or ere I tell on’t. But if words, That I may utter, shall prove seed to bear Fruit of eternal infamy to him,
The traitor whom I gnaw at, thou at once Shalt see me speak and weep. Who thou mayst be I know not, nor how here below art come: But Florentine thou seemest of a truth,
When I do hear thee. Know I was on earth Count Ugolino, and th’ Archbishop he
Ruggieri. Why I neighbour him so close, Now list. That through effect of his ill thoughts In him my trust reposing, I was ta’en
And after murder’d, need is not I tell. What therefore thou canst not have heard, that is, How cruel was the murder, shalt thou hear, And know if he have wrong’d me. A small grate Within that mew, which for my sake the name Of famine bears, where others yet must pine, Already through its opening sev’ral moons Had shown me, when I slept the evil sleep, That from the future tore the curtain off. This one, methought, as master of the sport, Rode forth to chase the gaunt wolf and his whelps Unto the mountain, which forbids the sight Of Lucca to the Pisan. With lean brachs
Inquisitive and keen, before him rang’d Lanfranchi with Sismondi and Gualandi.
After short course the father and the sons Seem’d tir’d and lagging, and methought I saw The sharp tusks gore their sides. When I awoke Before the dawn, amid their sleep I heard My sons (for they were with me) weep and ask For bread. Right cruel art thou, if no pang Thou feel at thinking what my heart foretold; And if not now, why use thy tears to flow? Now had they waken’d; and the hour drew near When they were wont to bring us food; the mind Of each misgave him through his dream, and I Heard, at its outlet underneath lock’d up The’ horrible tower: whence uttering not a word I look’d upon the visage of my sons.
I wept not: so all stone I felt within. They wept: and one, my little Anslem, cried: “Thou lookest so! Father what ails thee?” Yet I shed no tear, nor answer’d all that day Nor the next night, until another sun
Came out upon the world. When a faint beam Had to our doleful prison made its way,
And in four countenances I descry’d The image of my own, on either hand
Through agony I bit, and they who thought I did it through desire of feeding, rose O’ th’ sudden, and cried, ‘Father, we should grieve Far less, if thou wouldst eat of us: thou gav’st These weeds of miserable flesh we wear,
And do thou strip them off from us again.’ Then, not to make them sadder, I kept down My spirit in stillness. That day and the next We all were silent. Ah, obdurate earth!
Why open’dst not upon us? When we came To the fourth day, then Geddo at my feet Outstretch’d did fling him, crying, ‘Hast no help For me, my father!’ “There he died, and e’en Plainly as thou seest me, saw I the three Fall one by one ‘twixt the fifth day and sixth: Whence I betook me now grown blind to grope Over them all, and for three days aloud
Call’d on them who were dead. Then fasting got The mastery of grief.” Thus having spoke, Once more upon the wretched skull his teeth He fasten’d, like a mastiff’s ‘gainst the bone Firm and unyielding. Oh thou Pisa! shame Of all the people, who their dwelling make In that fair region, where th’ Italian voice Is heard, since that thy neighbours are so slack To punish, from their deep foundations rise Capraia and Gorgona, and dam up
The mouth of Arno, that each soul in thee May perish in the waters! What if fame
Reported that thy castles were betray’d By Ugolino, yet no right hadst thou
To stretch his children on the rack. For them, Brigata, Ugaccione, and the pair
Of gentle ones, of whom my song hath told, Their tender years, thou modern Thebes! did make Uncapable of guilt. Onward we pass’d,
Where others skarf’d in rugged folds of ice Not on their feet were turn’d, but each revers’d There very weeping suffers not to weep; For at their eyes grief seeking passage finds Impediment, and rolling inward turns
For increase of sharp anguish: the first tears Hang cluster’d, and like crystal vizors show, Under the socket brimming all the cup.
Now though the cold had from my face dislodg’d Each feeling, as ‘t were callous, yet me seem’d Some breath of wind I felt. “Whence cometh this,” Said I, “my master? Is not here below
All vapour quench’d?”–“‘Thou shalt be speedily,” He answer’d, “where thine eye shall tell thee whence The cause descrying of this airy shower.” Then cried out one in the chill crust who mourn’d: “O souls so cruel! that the farthest post Hath been assign’d you, from this face remove The harden’d veil, that I may vent the grief Impregnate at my heart, some little space Ere it congeal again!” I thus replied:
“Say who thou wast, if thou wouldst have mine aid; And if I extricate thee not, far down
As to the lowest ice may I descend!” “The friar Alberigo,” answered he,
“Am I, who from the evil garden pluck’d Its fruitage, and am here repaid, the date More luscious for my fig.”–“Hah!” I exclaim’d, “Art thou too dead!”–“How in the world aloft It fareth with my body,” answer’d he,
“I am right ignorant. Such privilege Hath Ptolomea, that ofttimes the soul
Drops hither, ere by Atropos divorc’d. And that thou mayst wipe out more willingly The glazed tear-drops that o’erlay mine eyes, Know that the soul, that moment she betrays, As I did, yields her body to a fiend
Who after moves and governs it at will, Till all its time be rounded; headlong she Falls to this cistern. And perchance above Doth yet appear the body of a ghost,
Who here behind me winters. Him thou know’st, If thou but newly art arriv’d below.
The years are many that have pass’d away, Since to this fastness Branca Doria came.” “Now,” answer’d I, “methinks thou mockest me, For Branca Doria never yet hath died,
But doth all natural functions of a man, Eats, drinks, and sleeps, and putteth raiment on.” He thus: “Not yet unto that upper foss By th’ evil talons guarded, where the pitch Tenacious boils, had Michael Zanche reach’d, When this one left a demon in his stead
In his own body, and of one his kin, Who with him treachery wrought. But now put forth Thy hand, and ope mine eyes.” I op’d them not. Ill manners were best courtesy to him.
Ah Genoese! men perverse in every way, With every foulness stain’d, why from the earth Are ye not cancel’d? Such an one of yours I with Romagna’s darkest spirit found,
As for his doings even now in soul
Is in Cocytus plung’d, and yet doth seem In body still alive upon the earth.

CANTO XXXIV

“THE banners of Hell’s Monarch do come forth Towards us; therefore look,” so spake my guide, “If thou discern him.” As, when breathes a cloud Heavy and dense, or when the shades of night Fall on our hemisphere, seems view’d from far A windmill, which the blast stirs briskly round, Such was the fabric then methought I saw, To shield me from the wind, forthwith I drew Behind my guide: no covert else was there. Now came I (and with fear I bid my strain Record the marvel) where the souls were all Whelm’d underneath, transparent, as through glass Pellucid the frail stem. Some prone were laid, Others stood upright, this upon the soles, That on his head, a third with face to feet Arch’d like a bow. When to the point we came, Whereat my guide was pleas’d that I should see The creature eminent in beauty once,
He from before me stepp’d and made me pause. “Lo!” he exclaim’d, “lo Dis! and lo the place, Where thou hast need to arm thy heart with strength.” How frozen and how faint I then became, Ask me not, reader! for I write it not,
Since words would fail to tell thee of my state. I was not dead nor living. Think thyself If quick conception work in thee at all, How I did feel. That emperor, who sways
The realm of sorrow, at mid breast from th’ ice Stood forth; and I in stature am more like A giant, than the giants are in his arms. Mark now how great that whole must be, which suits With such a part. If he were beautiful
As he is hideous now, and yet did dare To scowl upon his Maker, well from him
May all our mis’ry flow. Oh what a sight! How passing strange it seem’d, when I did spy Upon his head three faces: one in front
Of hue vermilion, th’ other two with this Midway each shoulder join’d and at the crest; The right ‘twixt wan and yellow seem’d: the left To look on, such as come from whence old Nile Stoops to the lowlands. Under each shot forth Two mighty wings, enormous as became
A bird so vast. Sails never such I saw Outstretch’d on the wide sea. No plumes had they, But were in texture like a bat, and these He flapp’d i’ th’ air, that from him issued still Three winds, wherewith Cocytus to its depth Was frozen. At six eyes he wept: the tears Adown three chins distill’d with bloody foam. At every mouth his teeth a sinner champ’d Bruis’d as with pond’rous engine, so that three Were in this guise tormented. But far more Than from that gnawing, was the foremost pang’d By the fierce rending, whence ofttimes the back Was stript of all its skin. “That upper spirit, Who hath worse punishment,” so spake my guide, “Is Judas, he that hath his head within
And plies the feet without. Of th’ other two, Whose heads are under, from the murky jaw Who hangs, is Brutus: lo! how he doth writhe And speaks not! Th’ other Cassius, that appears So large of limb. But night now re-ascends, And it is time for parting. All is seen.” I clipp’d him round the neck, for so he bade; And noting time and place, he, when the wings Enough were op’d, caught fast the shaggy sides, And down from pile to pile descending stepp’d Between the thick fell and the jagged ice. Soon as he reach’d the point, whereat the thigh Upon the swelling of the haunches turns, My leader there with pain and struggling hard Turn’d round his head, where his feet stood before, And grappled at the fell, as one who mounts, That into hell methought we turn’d again. “Expect that by such stairs as these,” thus spake The teacher, panting like a man forespent, “We must depart from evil so extreme.”
Then at a rocky opening issued forth, And plac’d me on a brink to sit, next join’d With wary step my side. I rais’d mine eyes, Believing that I Lucifer should see
Where he was lately left, but saw him now With legs held upward. Let the grosser sort, Who see not what the point was I had pass’d, Bethink them if sore toil oppress’d me then. “Arise,” my master cried, “upon thy feet. “The way is long, and much uncouth the road; And now within one hour and half of noon The sun returns.” It was no palace-hall
Lofty and luminous wherein we stood, But natural dungeon where ill footing was And scant supply of light. “Ere from th’ abyss I sep’rate,” thus when risen I began,
“My guide! vouchsafe few words to set me free From error’s thralldom. Where is now the ice? How standeth he in posture thus revers’d? And how from eve to morn in space so brief Hath the sun made his transit?” He in few Thus answering spake: “Thou deemest thou art still On th’ other side the centre, where I grasp’d Th’ abhorred worm, that boreth through the world. Thou wast on th’ other side, so long as I Descended; when I turn’d, thou didst o’erpass That point, to which from ev’ry part is dragg’d All heavy substance. Thou art now arriv’d Under the hemisphere opposed to that,
Which the great continent doth overspread, And underneath whose canopy expir’d
The Man, that was born sinless, and so liv’d. Thy feet are planted on the smallest sphere, Whose other aspect is Judecca. Morn
Here rises, when there evening sets: and he, Whose shaggy pile was scal’d, yet standeth fix’d, As at the first. On this part he fell down From heav’n; and th’ earth, here prominent before, Through fear of him did veil her with the sea, And to our hemisphere retir’d. Perchance To shun him was the vacant space left here By what of firm land on this side appears, That sprang aloof.” There is a place beneath, From Belzebub as distant, as extends
The vaulted tomb, discover’d not by sight, But by the sound of brooklet, that descends This way along the hollow of a rock,
Which, as it winds with no precipitous course, The wave hath eaten. By that hidden way
My guide and I did enter, to return To the fair world: and heedless of repose We climbed, he first, I following his steps, Till on our view the beautiful lights of heav’n Dawn, through a circular opening in the cave: Thus issuing we again beheld the stars.

NOTES TO HELL

CANTO I

Verse 1. In the midway.] That the era of the Poem is intended by these words to be fixed to the thirty fifth year of the poet’s age, A.D. 1300, will appear more plainly in Canto XXI. where that date is explicitly marked.

v. 16. That planet’s beam.] The sun.

v. 29. The hinder foot.] It is to be remembered, that in ascending a hill the weight of the body rests on the hinder foot.

v. 30. A panther.] Pleasure or luxury.

v. 36. With those stars.] The sun was in Aries, in which sign he supposes it to have begun its course at the creation.

v. 43. A lion.] Pride or ambition.

v. 45. A she wolf.] Avarice.

v. 56. Where the sun in silence rests.] Hence Milton appears to have taken his idea in the Samson Agonistes:

The sun to me is dark
And silent as the moon, &c The same metaphor will recur, Canto V. v. 29. Into a place I came
Where light was silent all.

v. 65. When the power of Julius.] This is explained by the commentators to mean “Although it was rather late with respect to my birth before Julius Caesar assumed the supreme authority, and made himself perpetual dictator.”

v. 98. That greyhound.] This passage is intended as an eulogium on the liberal spirit of his Veronese patron Can Grande della Scala.

v. 102. ‘Twizt either Feltro.] Verona, the country of Can della Scala, is situated between Feltro, a city in the Marca Trivigiana, and Monte Feltro, a city in the territory of Urbino.

v. 103. Italia’s plains.] “Umile Italia,” from Virgil, Aen lib. iii. 522.
Humilemque videmus
Italiam.

v. 115. Content in fire.] The spirits in Purgatory.

v. 118. A spirit worthier.] Beatrice, who conducts the Poet through Paradise.

v. 130. Saint Peter’s gate.] The gate of Purgatory, which the Poet feigns to be guarded by an angel placed on that station by St. Peter.

CANTO II

v. 1. Now was the day.] A compendium of Virgil’s description Aen. lib. iv 522. Nox erat, &c. Compare Apollonius Rhodius, lib iii. 744, and lib. iv. 1058

v. 8. O mind.]
O thought that write all that I met, And in the tresorie it set
Of my braine, now shall men see If any virtue in thee be.
Chaucer. Temple of Fame, b. ii. v.18

v. 14. Silvius’sire.] Aeneas.

v. 30. The chosen vessel.] St.Paul, Acts, c. ix. v. 15. “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way; for he is a chosen vessel unto me.”

v. 46. Thy soul.] L’anima tua e da viltate offesa. So in Berni, Orl Inn.lib. iii. c. i. st. 53.
Se l’alma avete offesa da viltate.

v. 64. Who rest suspended.] The spirits in Limbo, neither admitted to a state of glory nor doomed to punishment.

v. 61. A friend not of my fortune, but myself.] Se non fortunae sed hominibus solere esse amicum. Cornelii Nepotis Attici Vitae, c. ix.

v. 78. Whatever is contain’d.] Every other thing comprised within the lunar heaven, which, being the lowest of all, has the smallest circle.

v. 93. A blessed dame.] The divine mercy.

v. 97. Lucia.] The enlightening grace of heaven.

v. 124. Three maids.] The divine mercy, Lucia, and Beatrice.

v. 127. As florets.] This simile is well translated by Chaucer–
But right as floures through the cold of night Iclosed, stoupen in her stalkes lowe, Redressen hem agen the sunne bright, And speden in her kinde course by rowe, &c. Troilus and Creseide, b.ii.
It has been imitated by many others, among whom see Berni, Orl.Inn. Iib. 1. c. xii. st. 86. Marino, Adone, c. xvii. st. 63. and Sor. “Donna vestita di nero.” and Spenser’s Faery Queen, b.4. c. xii. st. 34. and b. 6 c. ii. st. 35.

CANTO III

v. 5. Power divine
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.] The three persons of the blessed Trinity.
v. 9. all hope abandoned.] Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch’entrate.
So Berni, Orl. Inn. lib. i. c. 8. st. 53. Lascia pur della vita ogni speranza.

v. 29. Like to the sand.]
Unnumber’d as the sands
Of Barca or Cyrene’s torrid soil Levied to side with warring winds, and poise Their lighter wings.
Milton, P. L. ii. 908.

v. 40. Lest th’ accursed tribe.] Lest the rebellious angels should exult at seeing those who were neutral and therefore less guilty, condemned to the same punishment with themselves.

v. 50. A flag.]
All the grisly legions that troop Under the sooty flag of Acheron
Milton. Comus.

v. 56. Who to base fear
Yielding, abjur’d his high estate.] This is commonly understood of Celestine the Fifth, who abdicated the papal power in 1294. Venturi mentions a work written by Innocenzio Barcellini, of the Celestine order, and printed in Milan in 1701, In which an attempt is made to put a different interpretation on this passage.

v. 70. through the blear light.]
Lo fioco lume
So Filicaja, canz. vi. st. 12.
Qual fioco lume.

v. 77. An old man.]
Portitor has horrendus aquas et flumina servat Terribili squalore Charon, cui plurima mento Canities inculta jacet; stant lumina flamma. Virg. 7. Aen. Iib. vi. 2.

v. 82. In fierce heat and in ice.]
The delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods or to reside In thrilling regions of thick ribbed ice. Shakesp. Measure for Measure, a. iii.s.1. Compare Milton, P. L. b. ii. 600.

v. 92. The livid lake.] Vada livida.
Virg. Aen. Iib. vi. 320
Totius ut Lacus putidaeque paludis Lividissima, maximeque est profunda vorago. Catullus. xviii. 10.

v. 102. With eyes of burning coal.]
His looks were dreadful, and his fiery eyes Like two great beacons glared bright and wide. Spenser. F.Q. b. vi. c. vii.st. 42

v. 104. As fall off the light of autumnal leaves.] Quam multa in silvis autumul frigore primo Lapsa cadunt folia.
Virg. Aen. lib. vi. 309
Compare Apoll. Rhod. lib. iv. 214.

CANTO IV

v. 8. A thund’rous sound.] Imitated, as Mr. Thyer has remarked, by Milton, P. L. b. viii. 242.
But long ere our approaching heard Noise, other, than the sound of dance or song Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage.

v. 50. a puissant one.] Our Saviour.

v. 75. Honour the bard
Sublime.]

Onorate l’altissimo poeta.
So Chiabrera, Canz. Eroiche. 32.
Onorando l’altissimo poeta.

v. 79. Of semblance neither sorrowful nor glad.] She nas to sober ne to glad.
Chaucer’s Dream.

v. 90. The Monarch of sublimest song.] Homer.

v. 100. Fitter left untold.]
Che’l tacere e bello,
So our Poet, in Canzone 14.
La vide in parte che’l tacere e bello, Ruccellai, Le Api, 789.
Ch’a dire e brutto ed a tacerlo e bello And Bembo,
“Vie pui bello e il tacerle, che il favellarne.” Gli. Asol. lib. 1.

v. 117. Electra.] The daughter of Atlas, and mother of Dardanus the founder of Troy. See Virg. Aen. b. viii. 134. as referred to by Dante in treatise “De Monarchia,” lib. ii. “Electra, scilicet, nata magni nombris regis Atlantis, ut de ambobus testimonium reddit poeta noster in octavo ubi Aeneas ad Avandrum sic ait “Dardanus Iliacae,” &c.

v. 125. Julia.] The daughter of Julius Caesar, and wife of Pompey.

v. 126. The Soldan fierce.] Saladin or Salaheddin, the rival of Richard coeur de lion. See D’Herbelot, Bibl. Orient. and Knolles’s Hist. of the Turks p. 57 to 73 and the Life of Saladin, by Bohao’edin Ebn Shedad, published by Albert Schultens, with a Latin translation. He is introduced by Petrarch in the Triumph of Fame, c. ii

v. 128. The master of the sapient throng.] Maestro di color che sanno.
Aristotle–Petrarch assigns the first place to Plato. See Triumph of Fame, c. iii.
Pulci, in his Morgante Maggiore, c. xviii. says, Tu se’il maestro di color che sanno.

v. 132. Democritus
Who sets the world at chance.]
Democritus,who maintained the world to have been formed by the fortuitous concourse of atoms.

v. 140. Avicen.] See D’Herbelot Bibl. Orient. article Sina. He died in 1050. Pulci here again imitates our poet:

Avicenna quel che il sentimento
Intese di Aristotile e i segreti, Averrois che fece il gran comento.
Morg. Mag. c. xxv.

v. 140. Him who made
That commentary vast, Averroes.] Averroes, called by the Arabians Roschd, translated and commented the works of Aristotle. According to Tiraboschi (storia della Lett. Ital. t. v. 1. ii. c. ii. sect. 4.) he was the source of modern philosophical impiety. The critic quotes some passages from Petrarch (Senil. 1. v. ep. iii. et. Oper. v. ii. p. 1143) to show how strongly such sentiments prevailed in the time of that poet, by whom they were held in horror and detestation He adds, that this fanatic admirer of Aristotle translated his writings with that felicity, which might be expected from one who did not know a syllable of Greek, and who was therefore compelled to avail himself of the unfaithful Arabic versions. D’Herbelot, on the other hand, informs us, that “Averroes was the first who translated Aristotle from Greek into Arabic, before the Jews had made their translation: and that we had for a long time no other text of Aristotle, except that of the Latin translation, which was made from this Arabic version of this great philosopher (Averroes), who afterwards added to it a very ample commentary, of which Thomas Aquinas, and the other scholastic writers, availed themselves, before the Greek originals of Aristotle and his commentators were known to us in Europe.” According to D’Herbelot, he died in 1198: but Tiraboschi places that event about 1206.

CANTO V

v. 5. Grinning with ghastly feature.] Hence Milton: Death
Grinn’d horrible a ghastly smile. P. L. b. ii. 845.

v. 46. As cranes.] This simile is imitated by Lorenzo de Medici, in his Ambra, a poem, first published by Mr. Roscoe, in the Appendix to his Life of Lorenzo.
Marking the tracts of air, the clamorous cranes Wheel their due flight in varied ranks descried: And each with outstretch’d neck his rank maintains In marshal’d order through th’ ethereal void. Roscoe, v. i. c. v. p. 257. 4to edit. Compare Homer. Il. iii. 3. Virgil. Aeneid. 1 x. 264, and Ruccellai, Le Api, 942, and Dante’s Purgatory, Canto XXIV. 63.

v. 96. The land.] Ravenna.

v. 99 Love, that in gentle heart is quickly learnt.] Amor, Ch’ al cor gentil ratto s’apprende. A line taken by Marino, Adone, c. cxli. st. 251.

v. 102. Love, that denial takes from none belov’d.] Amor, ch’ a null’ amato amar perdona. So Boccacio, in his Filocopo. l.1.
Amore mal non perdono l’amore a nullo amato. And Pulci, in the Morgante Maggiore, c. iv. E perche amor mal volontier perdona, Che non sia al fin sempre amato chi ama. Indeed many of the Italian poets have repeated this verse.

v. 105. Caina.] The place to which murderers are doomed.

v. 113. Francesca.] Francesca, daughter of Guido da Polenta, lord of Ravenna, was given by her father in marriage to Lanciotto, son of Malatesta, lord of Rimini, a man of extraordinary courage, but deformed in his person. His brother Paolo, who unhappily possessed those graces which the husband of Francesca wanted, engaged her affections; and being taken in adultery, they were both put to death by the enraged Lanciotto. See Notes to Canto XXVII. v. 43
The whole of this passage is alluded to by Petrarch, in his Triumph of Love c. iii.

v. 118.
No greater grief than to remember days Of joy,xwhen mis’ry is at hand!]
Imitated by Marino:
Che non ha doglia il misero maggiore Che ricordar la giola entro il dolore. Adone, c. xiv. st. 100
And by Fortiguerra:
Rimembrare il ben perduto
Fa piu meschino lo presente stato. Ricciardetto, c. xi. st. 83.
The original perhaps was in Boetius de Consol. Philosoph. “In omni adversitate fortunae infelicissimum genus est infortunii fuisse felicem et non esse.” 1. 2. pr. 4

v. 124. Lancelot.] One of the Knights of the Round Table, and the lover of Ginevra, or Guinever, celebrated in romance. The incident alluded to seems to have made a strong impression on the imagination of Dante, who introduces it again, less happily, in the Paradise, Canto XVI.

v. 128. At one point.]
Questo quel punto fu, che sol mi vinse. Tasso, Il Torrismondo, a. i. s. 3.

v. 136. And like a corpse fell to the ground ] E caddi, come corpo morto cade.
So Pulci:
E cadde come morto in terra cade. Morgante Maggoire, c. xxii

CANTO VI

v. 1. My sense reviving.]
Al tornar della mente, che si chiuse Dinanzi alla pieta de’ duo cognati.
Berni has made a sportive application of these lines, in his Orl. Inn. l. iii. c. viii. st. 1.

v. 21. That great worm.] So in Canto XXXIV Lucifer is called Th’ abhorred worm, that boreth through the world. Ariosto has imitated Dante:
Ch’ al gran verme infernal mette la briglia, E che di lui come a lei par dispone. Orl. Fur. c. xlvi. st. 76.

v. 52. Ciacco.] So called from his inordinate appetite: Ciacco, in Italian, signifying a pig. The real name of this glutton has not been transmitted to us. He is introduced in Boccaccio’s Decameron, Giorn. ix. Nov. 8.

v. 61. The divided city.] The city of Florence, divided into the Bianchi and Neri factions.

v. 65. The wild party from the woods.] So called, because it was headed by Veri de’ Cerchi, whose family had lately come into the city from Acone, and the woody country of the Val di Nievole.

v. 66. The other.] The opposite parts of the Neri, at the head of which was Corso Donati.

v. 67. This must fall.] The Bianchi.

v. 69. Of one, who under shore
Now rests.]
Charles of Valois, by whose means the Neri were replaced.

v. 73. The just are two in number.] Who these two were, the commentators are not agreed.

v. 79. Of Farinata and Tegghiaio.] See Canto X. and Notes, and Canto XVI, and Notes.

v. 80. Giacopo.] Giacopo Rusticucci. See Canto XVI, and Notes.

v. 81. Arrigo, Mosca.] Of Arrigo, who is said by the commentators to have been of the noble family of the Fifanti, no mention afterwards occurs. Mosca degli Uberti is introduced in Canto XXVIII. v.

108. Consult thy knowledge.] We are referred to the following passage in St. Augustin:–“Cum fiet resurrectio carnis, et bonorum gaudia et malorum tormenta majora erunt. “–At the resurrection of the flesh, both the happiness of the good and the torments of the wicked will be increased.”

CANTO VII

v. 1. Ah me! O Satan! Satan!] Pape Satan, Pape Satan, aleppe. Pape is said by the commentators to be the same as the Latin word papae! “strange!” Of aleppe they do not give a more satisfactory account.
See the Life of Benvenuto Cellini, translated by Dr. Nugent, v. ii. b. iii c. vii. p 113, where he mentions “having heard the words Paix, paix, Satan! allez, paix! in the court of justice at Paris. 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.”

v. 12. The first adulterer proud.] Satan.

v. 22. E’en as a billow.]
As when two billows in the Irish sowndes Forcibly driven with contrarie tides Do meet together, each aback rebounds With roaring rage, and dashing on all sides, That filleth all the sea with foam, divides The doubtful current into divers waves. Spenser, F.Q. b. iv. c. 1. st. 42.

v. 48. Popes and cardinals.] Ariosto, having personified Avarice as a strange and hideous monster, says of her– Peggio facea nella Romana corte
Che v’avea uccisi Cardinali e Papi. Orl. Fur. c. xxvi. st. 32.
Worse did she in the court of Rome, for there She had slain Popes and Cardinals.

v. 91. By necessity.] This sentiment called forth the reprehension of Cecco d’Ascoli, in his Acerba, l. 1. c. i.

In cio peccasti, O Fiorentin poeta, &c. Herein, O bard of Florence, didst thou err Laying it down that fortune’s largesses Are fated to their goal. Fortune is none, That reason cannot conquer. Mark thou, Dante, If any argument may gainsay this.

CANTO VIII

v. 18. Phlegyas.] Phlegyas, who was so incensed against Apollo for having violated his daughter Coronis, that he set fire to the temple of that deity, by whose vengeance he was cast into Tartarus. See Virg. Aen. l. vi. 618.

v. 59. Filippo Argenti.] Boccaccio tells us, “he was a man remarkable for the large proportions and extraordinary vigor of his bodily frame, and the extreme waywardness and irascibility of his temper.” Decam. g. ix. n. 8.

v. 66. The city, that of Dis is nam’d.] So Ariosto. Orl. Fur. c. xl. st. 32

v. 94. Seven times.] The commentators, says Venturi, perplex themselves with the inquiry what seven perils these were from which Dante had been delivered by Virgil. Reckoning the beasts in the first Canto as one of them, and adding Charon, Minos, Cerberus, Plutus, Phlegyas and Filippo Argenti, as so many others, we shall have the number, and if this be not satisfactory, we may suppose a determinate to have been put for an indeterminate number.

v. 109. At war ‘twixt will and will not.] Che si, e no nel capo mi tenzona.
So Boccaccio, Ninf. Fiesol. st. 233.

Il si e il no nel capo gli contende. The words I have adopted as a translation, are Shakespeare’s, Measure for Measure. a. ii. s. 1.

v. 122. This their insolence, not new.] Virgil assures our poet, that these evil spirits had formerly shown the same insolence when our Savior descended into hell. They attempted to prevent him from entering at the gate, over which Dante had read the fatal inscription. “That gate which,” says the Roman poet, “an angel has just passed, by whose aid we shall overcome this opposition, and gain admittance into the city.”

CANTO IX

v. 1. The hue.] Virgil, perceiving that Dante was pale with fear, restrained those outward tokens of displeasure which his own countenance had betrayed.

v. 23. Erictho.] Erictho, a Thessalian sorceress, according to Lucan, Pharsal. l. vi. was employed by Sextus, son of Pompey the Great, to conjure up a spirit, who should inform him of the issue of the civil wars between his father and Caesar.

v. 25. No long space my flesh
Was naked of me.]
Quae corpus complexa animae tam fortis inane. Ovid. Met. l. xiii f. 2
Dante appears to have fallen into a strange anachronism. Virgil’s death did not happen till long after this period.

v. 42. Adders and cerastes.]
Vipereum crinem vittis innexa cruentis. Virg. Aen. l. vi. 281.
–spinaque vagi torquente cerastae . . . et torrida dipsas
Et gravis in geminum vergens eaput amphisbaena. Lucan. Pharsal. l. ix. 719.
So Milton:
Scorpion and asp, and amphisbaena dire, Cerastes horn’d, hydrus and elops drear, And dipsas.
P. L. b. x. 524.

v. 67. A wind.] Imitated by Berni, Orl. Inn. l. 1. e. ii. st. 6.

v. 83. With his wand.]
She with her rod did softly smite the raile Which straight flew ope.
Spenser. F. Q. b. iv. c. iii. st. 46.

v. 96. What profits at the fays to but the horn.] “Of what avail can it be to offer violence to impassive beings?”

v. 97. Your Cerberus.] Cerberus is feigned to have been dragged by Hercules, bound with a three fold chain, of which, says the angel, he still bears the marks.

v. 111. The plains of Arles.] In Provence. See Ariosto, Orl. Fur. c. xxxix. st. 72

v. 112. At Pola.] A city of Istria, situated near the gulf of Quarnaro, in the Adriatic sea.

CANTO X

v. 12. Josaphat.] It seems to have been a common opinion among the Jews, as well as among many Christians, that the general judgment will be held in the valley of Josaphat, or Jehoshaphat: “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people, and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Joel, iii. 2.

v. 32. Farinata.] Farinata degli Uberti, a noble Florentine, was the leader of the Ghibelline faction, when they obtained a signal victory over the Guelfi at Montaperto, near the river Arbia. Macchiavelli calls him “a man of exalted soul, and great military talents.” Hist. of Flor. b. ii.

v. 52. A shade.] The spirit of Cavalcante Cavalcanti, a noble Florentine, of the Guelph party.

v. 59. My son.] Guido, the son of Cavalcante Cavalcanti; “he whom I call the first of my friends,” says Dante in his Vita Nuova, where the commencement of their friendship is related. >From the character given of him by contemporary writers his temper was well formed to assimilate with that of our poet. “He was,” according to G. Villani, l. viii. c. 41. “of a philosophical and elegant mind, if he had not been too delicate and fastidious.” And Dino Compagni terms him “a young and noble knight, brave and courteous, but of a lofty scornful spirit, much addicted to solitude and study.” Muratori. Rer. Ital. Script t. 9 l. 1. p. 481. He died, either in exile at Serrazana, or soon after his return to Florence, December 1300, during the spring of which year the action of this poem is supposed to be passing. v. 62. Guido thy son
Had in contempt.]
Guido Cavalcanti, being more given to philosophy than poetry, was perhaps no great admirer of Virgil. Some poetical compositions by Guido are, however, still extant; and his reputation for skill in the art was such as to eclipse that of his predecessor and namesake Guido Guinicelli, as we shall see in the Purgatory, Canto XI. His “Canzone sopra il Terreno Amore” was thought worthy of being illustrated by numerous and ample commentaries. Crescimbeni Ist. della Volg. Poes. l. v. For a playful sonnet which Dante addressed to him, and a spirited translation of it, see Hayley’s Essay on Epic Poetry, Notes to Ep. iii.

v. 66. Saidst thou he had?] In Aeschylus, the shade of Darius is represented as inquiring with similar anxiety after the fate of his son Xerxes.

[GREEK HERE]

Atossa: Xerxes astonish’d, desolate, alone– Ghost of Dar: How will this end? Nay, pause not. Is he safe? The Persians. Potter’s Translation.

v. 77. Not yet fifty times.] “Not fifty months shall be passed, before thou shalt learn, by woeful experience, the difficulty of returning from banishment to thy native city”

v.83. The slaughter.] “By means of Farinata degli Uberti, the Guelfi were conquered by the army of King Manfredi, near the river Arbia, with so great a slaughter, that those who escaped from that defeat took refuge not in Florence, which city they considered as lost to them, but in Lucca.” Macchiavelli. Hist. of Flor. b 2.

v. 86. Such orisons.] This appears to allude to certain prayers which were offered up in the churches of Florence, for deliverance from the hostile attempts of the Uberti.

v. 90. Singly there I stood.] Guido Novello assembled a council of the Ghibellini at Empoli where it was agreed by all, that, in order to maintain the ascendancy of the Ghibelline party in Tuscany, it was necessary to destroy Florence, which could serve only (the people of that city beingvGuelfi) to enable the party attached to the church to recover its strength. This cruel sentence, passed upon so noble a city, met with no opposition from any of its citizens or friends, except Farinata degli Uberti, who openly and without reserve forbade the measure, affirming that he had endured so many hardships, and encountered so many dangers, with no other view than that of being able to pass his days in his own country. Macchiavelli. Hist. of Flor. b. 2.

v. 103. My fault.] Dante felt remorse for not having returned an immediate answer to the inquiry of Cavalcante, from which delay he was led to believe that his son Guido was no longer living.

v. 120. Frederick.] The Emperor Frederick the Second, who died in 1250. See Notes to Canto XIII.

v. 121. The Lord Cardinal.] Ottaviano Ubaldini, a Florentine, made Cardinal in 1245, and deceased about 1273. On account of his great influence, he was generally known by the appellation of “the Cardinal.” It is reported of him that he declared, if there were any such thing as a human soul, he had lost his for the Ghibellini.

v. 132. Her gracious beam.] Beatrice.

CANTO XI

v. 9. Pope Anastasius.] The commentators are not agreed concerning the identity of the person, who is here mentioned as a follower of the heretical Photinus. By some he is supposed to have been Anastasius the Second, by others, the Fourth of that name; while a third set, jealous of the integrity of the papal faith, contend that our poet has confounded him with Anastasius 1. Emperor of the East.

v. 17. My son.] The remainder of the present Canto may be considered as a syllabus of the whole of this part of the poem.

v. 48. And sorrows.] This fine moral, that not to enjoy our being is to be ungrateful to the Author of it, is well expressed in Spenser, F. Q. b. iv. c. viii. st. 15. For he whose daies in wilful woe are worne The grace of his Creator doth despise, That will not use his gifts for thankless nigardise.

v. 53. Cahors.] A city in Guienne, much frequented by usurers

v. 83. Thy ethic page.] He refers to Aristotle’s Ethics.

[GREEK HERE]

“In the next place, entering, on another division of the subject, let it be defined. that respecting morals there are three sorts of things to be avoided, malice, incontinence, and brutishness.”

v. 104. Her laws.] Aristotle’s Physics. [GREEK HERE] “Art imitates nature.” –See the Coltivazione of Alamanni, l. i.

-I’arte umana, &c.

v. 111. Creation’s holy book.] Genesis, c. iii. v. 19. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.”

v. 119. The wain.] The constellation Bootes, or Charles’s wain.

CANTO XII

v. 17. The king of Athens.] Theseus, who was enabled, by the instructions of Ariadne, the sister of the Minotaur, to destroy that monster.

v. 21. Like to a bull.] [GREEK HERE] Homer Il. xvii 522 As when some vig’rous youth with sharpen’d axe A pastur’d bullock smites behind the horns And hews the muscle through; he, at the stroke Springs forth and falls.
Cowper’s Translation.

v. 36. He arriv’d.] Our Saviour, who, according to Dante, when he ascended from hell, carried with him the souls of the patriarchs, and other just men, out of the first circle. See Canto IV.

v. 96. Nessus.] Our poet was probably induced, by the following line in Ovid, to assign to Nessus the task of conducting them over the ford:
Nessus edit membrisque valens scitusque vadorum. Metam, l. ix.
And Ovid’s authority was Sophocles, who says of this Centaur– [GREEK HERE] Trach.570
He in his arms, Evenus’ stream
Deep flowing, bore the passenger for hire Without or sail or billow cleaving oar.

v. 110. Ezzolino.] Ezzolino, or Azzolino di Romano, a most cruel tyrant in the Marca Trivigiana, Lord of Padua, Vicenza, Verona, and Brescia, who died in 1260. His atrocities form the subject of a Latin tragedy, called Eccerinis, by Albertino Mussato, of Padua, the contemporary of Dante, and the most elegant writer of Latin verse of that age. See also the Paradise, Canto IX. Berni Orl. Inn. l ii c. xxv. st. 50. Ariosto. Orl. Fur. c. iii. st. 33. and Tassoni Secchia Rapita, c. viii. st 11.

v. 111. Obizzo’ of Este.] Marquis of Ferrara and of the Marca d’Ancona, was murdered by his own son (whom, for the most unnatural act Dante calls his step-son), for the sake of the treasures which his rapacity had amassed. See Ariosto. Orl. Fur. c. iii. st 32. He died in 1293 according to Gibbon. Ant. of the House of Brunswick. Posth. Works, v. ii. 4to.

v. 119. He.] “Henrie, the brother of this Edmund, and son to the foresaid king of Almaine (Richard, brother of Henry III. of England) as he returned from Affrike, where he had been with Prince Edward, was slain at Viterbo in Italy (whither he was come about business which he had to do with the Pope) by the hand of Guy de Montfort, the son of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, in revenge of the same Simon’s death. The murther was committed afore the high altar, as the same Henrie kneeled there to hear divine service.” A.D. 1272, Holinshed’s chronicles p 275. See also Giov. Villani Hist. I. vii. c. 40.

v. 135. On Sextus and on Pyrrhus.] Sextus either the son of Tarquin the Proud, or of Pompey the Great: or as Vellutelli conjectures, Sextus Claudius Nero, and Pyrrhus king of Epirus.

v. 137.
The Rinieri, of Corneto this, Pazzo the other named.]
Two noted marauders, by whose depredations the public ways in Italy were infested. The latter was of the noble family of Pazzi in Florence.

CANTO XIII

v. 10. Betwixt Corneto and Cecina’s stream.] A wild and woody tract of country, abounding in deer, goats, and wild boars. Cecina is a river not far to the south of Leghorn, Corneto, a small city on the same coast in the patrimony of the church.

v. 12. The Strophades.] See Virg. Aen. l. iii. 210.

v. 14. Broad are their pennons.] From Virg. Aen. l. iii. 216.

v. 48. In my verse described.] The commentators explain this, “If he could have believed, in consequence of my assurances alone, that of which he hath now had ocular proof, he would not have stretched forth his hand against thee.” But I am of opinion that Dante makes Virgil allude to his own story of Polydorus in the third book of the Aeneid.

v. 56. That pleasant word of thine.] “Since you have inveigled me to speak my holding forth so gratifying an expectation, let it not displease you if I am as it were detained in the snare you have spread for me, so as to be somewhat prolix in my answer.”

v. 60. I it was.] Pietro delle Vigne, a native of Capua, who, from a low condition, raised himself by his eloquence and legal knowledge to the office of Chancellor to the Emperor Frederick II. whose confidence in him was such, that his influence in the empire became unbounded. The courtiers, envious of his exalted situation, contrived, by means of forged letters, to make Frederick believe that he held a secret and traitorous intercourse with the Pope, who was then at enmity with the Emperor. In consequence of this supposed crime he was cruelly condemned by his too credulous sovereign to lose his eyes, and, being driven to despair by his unmerited calamity and disgrace, he put an end to his life by dashing out his brains against the walls of a church, in the year 1245. Both Frederick and Pietro delle Vigne composed verses in the Sicilian dialect which are yet extant.

v. 67. The harlot.] Envy. Chaucer alludes to this in the Prologue to the Legende of Good women.
Envie is lavender to the court alway, For she ne parteth neither night ne day Out of the house of Cesar; thus saith Dant.

v. 119. Each fan o’ th’ wood.] Hence perhaps Milton: Leaves and fuming rills, Aurora’s fan. P. L. b. v. 6.

v. 122. Lano.] Lano, a Siennese, who, being reduced by prodigality to a state of extreme want, found his existence no longer supportable; and, having been sent by his countrymen on a military expedition, to assist the Florentine against the Aretini, took that opportunity of exposing himself to certain death, in the engagement which took place at Toppo near Arezzo. See G. Villani, Hist. l. 7. c. cxix.

v. 133. O Giocomo
Of Sant’ Andrea!]
Jacopo da Sant’ Andrea, a Paduan, who, having wasted his property in the most wanton acts of profusion, killed himself in despair. v. 144. In that City.] “I was an inhabitant of Florence, that city which changed her first patron Mars for St. John the Baptist, for which reason the vengeance of the deity thus slighted will never be appeased: and, if some remains of his status were not still visible on the bridge over the Arno, she would have been already leveled to the ground; and thus the citizens, who raised her again from the ashes to which Attila had reduced her, would have laboured in vain.” See Paradise, Canto XVI. 44.
The relic of antiquity to which the superstition of Florence attached so high an importance, was carried away by a flood, that destroyed the bridge on which it stood, in the year 1337, but without the ill effects that were apprehended from the loss of their fancied Palladium.

v. 152. I slung the fatal noose.] We are not informed who this suicide was.

CANTO XIV

v. 15. By Cato’s foot.] See Lucan, Phars, l. 9.

v. 26. Dilated flakes of fire.] Compare Tasso. G. L. c. x. st. 61.

v. 28. As, in the torrid Indian clime.] Landino refers to Albertus Magnus for the circumstance here alluded to.

v. 53. In Mongibello.]
More hot than Aetn’ or flaming Mongibell. Spenser, F. Q. b. ii. c. ix. st. 29. See Virg. Aen. 1. viii. 416. and Berni. Orl. Inn 1. i. c. xvi. st. 21. It would be endless to refer to parallel passages in the Greek writers.

v. 64. This of the seven kings was one.] Compare Aesch. Seven Chiefs, 425. Euripides, Phoen. 1179 and Statius. Theb. l. x. 821.

v. 76. Bulicame.] A warm medicinal spring near Viterbo, the waters of which, as Landino and Vellutelli affirm, passed by a place of ill fame. Venturi, with less probability, conjectures that Dante would imply, that it was the scene of much licentious merriment among those who frequented its baths.

v. 91. Under whose monarch.]
Credo pudicitiam Saturno rege moratam In terris.
Juv. Satir. vi.

v. 102. His head.] Daniel, ch. ii. 32, 33.

v. 133. Whither.] On the other side of Purgatory.

CANTO XV

v. 10. Chiarentana.] A part of the Alps where the Brenta rises, which river is much swoln as soon as the snow begins to dissolve on the mountains.

v. 28. Brunetto.] “Ser Brunetto, a Florentine, the secretary or chancellor of the city, and Dante’s preceptor, hath left us a work so little read, that both the subject of it and the language of it have been mistaken. It is in the French spoken in the reign of St. Louis,under the title of Tresor, and contains a species of philosophical course of lectures divided into theory and practice, or, as he expresses it, “un enchaussement des choses divines et humaines,” &c. Sir R. Clayton’s Translation of Tenhove’s Memoirs of the Medici, vol. i. ch. ii. p. 104. The Tresor has never been printed in the original language. There is a fine manuscript of it in the British Museum, with an illuminated portrait of Brunetto in his study prefixed. Mus. Brit. MSS. 17, E. 1. Tesor. It is divided into four books, the first, on Cosmogony and Theology, the second, a translation of Aristotle’s Ethics; the third on Virtues and Vices; the fourth, on Rhetoric. For an interesting memoir relating to this work, see Hist. de l’Acad. des Inscriptions, tom. vii. 296. His Tesoretto, one of the earliest productions of Italian poetry, is a curious work, not unlike the writings of Chaucer in style and numbers, though Bembo remarks, that his pupil, however largely he had stolen from it, could not have much enriched himself. As it is perhaps but little known, I will here add a slight sketch of it.

Brunetto describes himself as returning from an embassy to the King of Spain, on which he had been sent by the Guelph party from Florence. On the plain of Roncesvalles he meets a scholar on a bay mule, who tells him that the Guelfi are driven out of the city with great loss.

Struck with grief at these mournful tidings, and musing with his head bent downwards, he loses his road, and wanders into a wood. Here Nature, whose figure is described with sublimity, appears, and discloses to him the secrets of her operations. After this he wanders into a desert; but at length proceeds on his way, under the protection of a banner, with which Nature had furnished him, till on the third day he finds himself in a large pleasant champaign, where are assembled many emperors, kings, and sages. It is the habitation of Virtue and her daughters, the four Cardinal Virtues. Here Brunetto sees also Courtesy, Bounty, Loyalty, and Prowess, and hears the instructions they give to a knight, which occupy about a fourth part of the poem. Leaving this territory, he passes over valleys, mountains, woods, forests, and bridges, till he arrives in a beautiful valley covered with flowers on all sides, and the richest in the world; but which was continually shifting its appearance from a round figure to a square, from obscurity to light, and from populousness to solitude. This is the region of Pleasure, or Cupid, who is accompanied by four ladies, Love, Hope, Fear, and Desire. In one part of it he meets with Ovid, and is instructed by him how to conquer the passion of love, and to escape from that place. After his escape he makes his confession to a friar, and then returns to the forest of visions: and ascending a mountain, he meets with Ptolemy, a venerable old man. Here the narrative breaks off. The poem ends, as it began, with an address to Rustico di Filippo, on whom he lavishes every sort of praise.

It has been observed, that Dante derived the idea of opening his poem by describing himself as lost in a wood, from the Tesoretto of his master. I know not whether it has been remarked, that the crime of usury is branded by both these poets as offensive to God and Nature: or that the sin for which Brunetto is condemned by his pupil, is mentioned in the Tesoretto with great horror. Dante’s twenty-fifth sonnet is a jocose one, addressed to Brunetto. He died in 1295.

v. 62. Who in old times came down from Fesole.] See G. Villani Hist. l. iv. c. 5. and Macchiavelli Hist. of Flor. b. ii.

v. 89. With another text.] He refers to the prediction of Farinata, in Canto X.

v. 110. Priscian.] There is no reason to believe, as the commentators observe that the grammarian of this name was stained with the vice imputed to him; and we must therefore suppose that Dante puts the individual for the species, and implies the frequency of the crime among those who abused the opportunities which the education of youth afforded them, to so abominable a purpose.

v. 111. Francesco.] Son of Accorso, a Florentine, celebrated for his skill in jurisprudence, and commonly known by the name of Accursius.

v. 113. Him.] Andrea de’ Mozzi, who, that his scandalous life might be less exposed to observation, was translated either by Nicholas III, or Boniface VIII from the see of Florence to that of Vicenza, through which passes the river Baccchiglione. At the latter of these places he died.

v. 114. The servants’ servant.] Servo de’ servi. So Ariosto, Sat. 3.
Degli servi
Io sia il gran servo.

v. 124. I commend my Treasure to thee.] Brunetto’s great work, the Tresor.
Sieti raccomandato ‘l mio Tesoro.
So Giusto de’ Conti, in his Bella Mano, Son. “Occhi:” Siavi raccommandato il mio Tesoro.

CANTO XVI

v. 38. Gualdrada.] Gualdrada was the daughter of Bellincione Berti, of whom mention is made in the Paradise, Canto XV, and XVI. He was of the family of Ravignani, a branch of the Adimari.

The Emperor Otho IV. being at a festival in Florence, where Gualdrada was present, was struck with her beauty; and inquiring who she was, was answered by Bellincione, that she was the daughter of one who, if it was his Majesty’s pleasure, would make her admit the honour of his salute. On overhearing this, she arose from her seat, and blushing, in an animated tone of voice, desired her father that he would not be so liberal in his offers, for that no man should ever be allowed that freedom, except him who should be her lawful husband. The Emperor was not less delighted by her resolute modesty than he had before been by the loveliness of her person, and calling to him Guido, one of his barons, gave her to him in marriage, at the same time raising him

to the rank of a count, and bestowing on her the whole of Casentino, and a part of the territory of Romagna, as her portion. Two sons were the offspring of this union, Guglielmo and Ruggieri, the latter of whom was father of Guidoguerra, a man of great military skill and prowess who, at the head of four hundred Florentines of the Guelph party, was signally instrumental to the victory obtained at Benevento by Charles of Anjou, over Manfredi, King of Naples, in 1265. One of the consequences of this victory was the expulsion of the Ghibellini, and the re-establishment of the Guelfi at Florence.

v. 39. Many a noble act.] Compare Tasso, G. L. c. i. st. 1.

v. 42. Aldobrandiu] Tegghiaio Aldobrandi was of the noble family of Adimari, and much esteemed for his military talents. He endeavored to dissuade the Florentines from the attack, which they meditated against the Siennese, and the rejection of his counsel occasioned the memorable defeat, which the former sustained at Montaperto, and the consequent banishment of the Guelfi from Florence.

v. 45. Rusticucci.] Giacopo Rusticucci, a Florentine, remarkable for his opulence and the generosity of his spirit.

v. 70. Borsiere.] Guglielmo Borsiere, another Florentine, whom Boccaccio, in a story which he relates of him, terms “a man of courteous and elegant manners, and of great readiness in conversation.” Dec. Giorn. i. Nov. 8.

v. 84. When thou with pleasure shalt retrace the past.] Quando ti giovera dicere io fui.
So Tasso, G. L. c. xv. st. 38.
Quando mi giovera narrar altrui Le novita vedute, e dire; io fui.

v. 121. Ever to that truth.] This memorable apophthegm is repeated by Luigi Pulci and Trissino.

Sempre a quel ver, ch’ ha faccia di menzogna E piu senno tacer la lingua cheta
Che spesso senza colpa fa vergogna. Morgante. Magg. c. xxiv.

La verita, che par mensogna
Si dovrebbe tacer dall’ uom ch’e saggio. Italia. Lib. C. xvi.

CANTO XVII

v. 1. The fell monster.] Fraud.

v. 53. A pouch.] A purse, whereon the armorial bearings of each were emblazoned. According to Landino, our poet implies that the usurer can pretend to no other honour, than such as he derives from his purse and his family.

v. 57. A yellow purse.] The arms of the Gianfigliazzi of Florence.

v. 60. Another.] Those of the Ubbriachi, another Florentine family of high distinction.

v. 62. A fat and azure swine.] The arms of the Scrovigni a noble family of Padua.

v. 66. Vitaliano.] Vitaliano del Dente, a Paduan.

v. 69. That noble knight.] Giovanni Bujamonti, a Florentine usurer, the most infamous of his time.

CANTO XVIII

v. 28. With us beyond.] Beyond the middle point they tended the same way with us, but their pace was quicker than ours.

v. 29. E’en thus the Romans.] In the year 1300, Pope Boniface VIII., to remedy the inconvenience occasioned by the press of people who were passing over the bridge of St. Angelo during the time of the Jubilee, caused it to be divided length wise by a partition, and ordered, that all those who were going to St. Peter’s should keep one side, and those returning the other.

v. 50. Venedico.] Venedico Caccianimico, a Bolognese, who prevailed on his sister Ghisola to prostitute herself to Obizzo da Este, Marquis of Ferrara, whom we have seen among the tyrants, Canto XII.

v. 62. To answer Sipa.] He denotes Bologna by its situation between the rivers Savena to the east, and Reno to the west of that city; and by a peculiarity of dialect, the use of the affirmative sipa instead of si.

v. 90. Hypsipyle.] See Appolonius Rhodius, l. i. and Valerius Flaccus l.ii. Hypsipyle deceived the other women by concealing her father Thoas, when they had agreed to put all their males to death.

v. 120. Alessio.] Alessio, of an ancient and considerable family in Lucca, called the Interminei.

v. 130. Thais.] He alludes to that passage in the Eunuchus of Terence where Thraso asks if Thais was obliged to him for the present he had sent her, and Gnatho replies, that she had expressed her obligation in the most forcible terms. T. Magnas vero agere gratias Thais mihi? G. Ingentes.
Eun. a. iii. s. i.

CANTO XIX

v. 18. Saint John’s fair dome.] The apertures in the rock were of the same dimensions as the fonts of St. John the Baptist at Florence, one of which, Dante says he had broken, to rescue a child that was playing near and fell in. He intimates that the motive of his breaking the font had been maliciously represented by his enemies.

v. 55. O Boniface!] The spirit mistakes Dante for Boniface VIII. who was then alive, and who he did not expect would have arrived so soon, in consequence, as it should seem, of a prophecy, which predicted the death of that Pope at a later period. Boniface died in 1303.

v. 58. In guile.] “Thou didst presume to arrive by fraudulent means at the papal power, and afterwards to abuse it.”

v. 71. In the mighty mantle I was rob’d.] Nicholas III, of the Orsini family, whom the poet therefore calls “figliuol dell’ orsa,” “son of the she-bear.” He died in 1281.

v. 86. From forth the west, a shepherd without law.] Bertrand de Got Archbishop of Bordeaux, who succeeded to the pontificate in 1305, and assumed the title of Clement V. He transferred the holy see to Avignon in 1308 (where it remained till 1376), and died in 1314.

v. 88. A new Jason.] See Maccabees, b. ii. c. iv. 7,8.

v. 97. Nor Peter.] Acts of the Apostles, c.i. 26.

v. 100. The condemned soul.] Judas.

v. 103. Against Charles.] Nicholas III. was enraged against Charles I, King of Sicily, because he rejected with scorn a proposition made by that Pope for an alliance between their families. See G. Villani, Hist. l. vii. c. liv.

v. 109. Th’ Evangelist.] Rev. c. xvii. 1, 2, 3. Compare Petrarch. Opera fol. ed. Basil. 1551. Epist. sine titulo liber. ep. xvi. p. 729.

v. 118. Ah, Constantine.] He alludes to the pretended gift of