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v. 26. To Naples.]
Virgil died at Brundusium, from whence his body is said to have been removed to Naples.

v. 38. Desiring fruitlessly.] See H. Canto IV, 39.

v. 49. ‘Twixt Lerice and Turbia.] At that time the two extremities of the Genoese republic, the former on the east, the latter on the west. A very ingenious writer has had occasion, for a different purpose, to mention one of these places as remarkably secluded by its mountainous situation “On an eminence among the mountains, between the two little cities, Nice and Manoca, is the village of Torbia, a name formed from the Greek [GREEK HERE] Mitford on the Harmony of Language, sect. x. p. 351. 2d edit.

v. 78. As sheep.] The imitative nature of these animals supplies our Poet with another comparison in his Convito Opere, t. i. p 34. Ediz. Ven. 1793.

v. 110. Manfredi. King of Naples and Sicily, and the natural son of Frederick II. He was lively end agreeable in his manners, and delighted in poetry, music, and dancing. But he was luxurious and ambitious. Void of religion, and in his philosophy an Epicurean. See G. Villani l. vi. c. xlvii. and Mr. Matthias’s Tiraboschi, v. I. p. 38. He fell in the battle with Charles of Anjou in 1265, alluded to in Canto XXVIII, of Hell, v. 13, “Dying, excommunicated, King Charles did allow of his being buried in sacred ground, but he was interred near the bridge of Benevento, and on his grave there was cast a stone by every one of the army whence there was formed a great mound of stones. But some ave said, that afterwards, by command of the Pope. the Bishop of Cosenza took up his body and sent it out of the kingdom, because it was the land of the church, and that it was buried by the river Verde, on the borders of the kingdom and of Carapagna. this, however, we do not affirm.” G. Villani, Hist. l. vii. c. 9.

v. 111. Costanza.] See Paradise Canto III. v. 121.

v. 112. My fair daughter.] Costanza, the daughter of Manfredi, and wife of Peter III. King of Arragon, by whom she was mother to Frederick, King of Sicily and James, King of Arragon With the latter of these she was at Rome 1296. See G. Villani, 1. viii. c. 18. and notes to Canto VII.

v. 122. Clement.] Pope Clement IV.

v. 127. The stream of Verde.] A river near Ascoli, that falls into he Toronto. The “xtinguished lights ” formed part of the ceremony t the interment of one excommunicated.

v. 130. Hope.]
Mentre che la speranza ha fior del verde. Tasso, G. L. c. xix. st. 53.
–infin che verde e fior di speme.


v. 1. When.] It must be owned the beginning of this Canto is somewhat obscure. Bellutello refers, for an elucidation of it, to the reasoning of Statius in the twenty-fifth canto. Perhaps some illustration may be derived from the following, passage in South’s Sermons, in which I have ventured to supply the words between crotchets that seemed to be wanting to complete the sense. Now whether these three, judgement memory, and invention, are three distinct things, both in being distinguished from one another, and likewise from the substance of the soul itself, considered without any such faculties, (or whether the soul be one individual substance) but only receiving these several denominations rom the several respects arising from the several actions exerted immediately by itself upon several objects, or several qualities of the same object, I say whether of these it is, is not easy to decide, and it is well that it is not necessary Aquinas, and most with him, affirm the former, and Scotus with his followers the latter.” Vol. iv. Serm. 1.

v. 23. Sanleo.] A fortress on the summit of Montefeltro.

v. 24. Noli.] In the Genoese territory, between Finale and Savona.

v. 25. Bismantua.] A steep mountain in the territory of Reggio.

v. 55. From the left.] Vellutello observes an imitation of Lucan in this passage:

Ignotum vobis, Arabes, venistis in orbem, Umbras mirati nemornm non ire sinistras. Phars. s. 1. iii. 248

v. 69 Thou wilt see.] “If you consider that this mountain of Purgatory and that of Sion are antipodal to each other, you will perceive that the sun must rise on opposite sides of the respective eminences.”

v. 119. Belacqua.] Concerning this man, the commentators afford no information.


v. 14. Be as a tower.] Sta ome torre ferma

Berni, Orl. Inn. 1. 1. c. xvi. st. 48: In quei due piedi sta fermo il gigante
Com’ una torre in mezzo d’un castello.

And Milton, P. L. b. i. 591.
Stood like a tower.

v. 36. Ne’er saw I fiery vapours.] Imitated by Tasso, G. L, c. xix t. 62:
Tal suol fendendo liquido sereno
Stella cader della gran madre in seno.

And by Milton, P. L. b. iv. 558:
Swift as a shooting star
In autumn thwarts the night, when vapours fir’d Impress the air.

v. 67. That land.] The Marca d’Ancona, between Romagna and Apulia, the kingdom of Charles of Anjou.

v. 76. From thence I came.] Giacopo del Cassero, a citizen of Fano who having spoken ill of Azzo da Este, Marquis of Ferrara, was by his orders put to death. Giacopo, was overtaken by the assassins at Oriaco a place near the Brenta, from whence, if he had fled towards Mira, higher up on that river, instead of making for the marsh on the sea shore, he might have escaped.

v. 75. Antenor’s land.] The city of Padua, said to be founded by Antenor.

v. 87. Of Montefeltro I.] Buonconte (son of Guido da Montefeltro, whom we have had in the twenty-seventh Canto of Hell) fell in the battle of Campaldino (1289), fighting on the side of the Aretini.

v. 88. Giovanna.] Either the wife, or kinswoman, of Buonconte.

v. 91. The hermit’s seat.] The hermitage of Camaldoli.

v. 95. Where its name is cancel’d.] That is, between Bibbiena and Poppi, where the Archiano falls into the Arno.

v. 115. From Pratomagno to the mountain range.] From Pratomagno now called Prato Vecchio (which divides the Valdarno from Casentino) as far as to the Apennine.

v. 131. Pia.] She is said to have been a Siennese lady, of the family of Tolommei, secretly made away with by her husband, Nello della Pietra, of the same city, in Maremma, where he had some possessions.


v. 14. Of Arezzo him.] Benincasa of Arezzo, eminent for his skill in jurisprudence, who, having condemned to death Turrino da Turrita brother of Ghino di Tacco, for his robberies in Maremma, was murdered by Ghino, in an apartment of his own house, in the presence of many witnesses. Ghino was not only suffered to escape in safety, but (as the commentators inform us) obtained so high a reputation by the liberality with which he was accustomed to dispense the fruits of his plunder, and treated those who fell into his hands with so much courtesy, that he was afterwards invited to Rome, and knighted by Boniface VIII. A story is told of him by Boccaccio, G. x. N. 2.

v. 15. Him beside.] Ciacco de’ Tariatti of Arezzo. He is said to have been carried by his horse into the Arno, and there drowned, while he was in pursuit of certain of his enemies.

v. 17. Frederic Novello.] Son of the Conte Guido da Battifolle, and slain by one of the family of Bostoli.

v. 18. Of Pisa he.] Farinata de’ Scornigiani of Pisa. His father Marzuco, who had entered the order of the Frati Minori, so entirely overcame the feelings of resentment, that he even kissed the hands of the slayer of his son, and, as he was following the funeral, exhorted his kinsmen to reconciliation.

v. 20. Count 0rso.] Son of Napoleone da Cerbaia, slain by Alberto da Mangona, his uncle.

v. 23. Peter de la Brosse.] Secretary of Philip III of France. The courtiers, envying the high place which he held in the king’s favour, prevailed on Mary of Brabant to charge him falsely with an attempt upon her person for which supposed crime he suffered death. So say the Italian commentators. Henault represents the matter very differently: “Pierre de la Brosse, formerly barber to St. Louis, afterwards the favorite of Philip, fearing the too great attachment of the king for his wife Mary, accuses this princess of having poisoned Louis, eldest son of Philip, by his first marriage. This calumny is discovered by a nun of Nivelle in Flanders. La Brosse is hung.” Abrege Chron. t. 275, &c.

v. 30. In thy text.] He refers to Virgil, Aen. 1, vi. 376. Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando, 37. The sacred height Of judgment. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, a. ii. s. 2. If he, which is the top of judgment

v. 66. Eyeing us as a lion on his watch.] A guisa di Leon quando si posa.
A line taken by Tasso, G. L. c. x. st. 56.

v. 76. Sordello.] The history of Sordello’s life is wrapt in the obscurity of romance. That he distinguished himself by his skill in Provencal poetry is certain. It is probable that he was born towards the end of the twelfth, and died about the middle of the succeeding century. Tiraboschi has taken much pains to sift all the notices he could collect relating to him. Honourable mention of his name is made by our Poet in the Treatise de Vulg. Eloq. 1. i. c. 15.

v. 76. Thou inn of grief.]
Thou most beauteous inn
Why should hard-favour’d grief be lodg’d in thee? Shakespeare, Richard II a. 5. s. 1.

v. 89. Justinian’s hand.] “What avails it that Justinian delivered thee from the Goths, and reformed thy laws, if thou art no longer under the control of his successors in the empire?”

v. 94. That which God commands.] He alludes to the precept- “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s.”

v. 98. O German Albert!] The Emperor Albert I. succeeded Adolphus in 1298, and was murdered in 1308. See Par Canto XIX 114 v. 103. Thy successor.] The successor of Albert was Henry of Luxembourg, by whose interposition in the affairs of Italy our Poet hoped to have been reinstated in his native city.

v. 101. Thy sire.] The Emperor Rodolph, too intent on increasing his power in Germany to give much of his thoughts to Italy, “the garden of the empire.”

v. 107. Capulets and Montagues.] Our ears are so familiarized to the names of these rival families in the language of Shakespeare, that I have used them instead of the “Montecchi” and “Cappelletti.”

v. 108. Philippeschi and Monaldi.] Two other rival families in Orvieto.

v. 113. What safety, Santafiore can supply.] A place between Pisa and Sienna. What he alludes to is so doubtful, that it is not certain whether we should not read “come si cura”–” How Santafiore is governed.” Perhaps the event related in the note to v. 58, Canto XI. may be pointed at.

v. 127. Marcellus.]
Un Marcel diventa
Ogni villan che parteggiando viene. Repeated by Alamanni in his Coltivazione, 1. i.

v. 51. I sick wretch.] Imitated by the Cardinal de Polignac in his Anti-Lucretius, 1. i. 1052.

Ceu lectum peragrat membris languentibus aeger In latus alterne faevum dextrumque recumbens Nec javat: inde oculos tollit resupinus in altum: Nusquam inventa quies; semper quaesita: quod illi Primum in deliciis fuerat, mox torquet et angit: Nec morburm sanat, nec fallit taedia morbi.


v. 14. Where one of mean estate might clasp his lord.] Ariosto Orl. F. c. xxiv. st. 19

E l’abbracciaro, ove il maggior s’abbraccia Col capo nudo e col ginocchio chino.

v. 31. The three holy virtues.] Faith, Hope and Charity.

v. 32. The red.] Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance.

v. 72. Fresh emeralds.]
Under foot the violet,
Crocus, and hyacinth with rich inlay Broider’d the ground, more colour’d than with stone Of costliest emblem.
Milton, P. L. b. iv. 793

Compare Ariosto, Orl. F. c. xxxiv. st. 49.

v. 79. Salve Regina.] The beginning of a prayer to the Virgin. It is sufficient here to observe, that in similar instances I shall either preserve the original Latin words or translate them, as it may seem best to suit the purpose of the verse.

v. 91. The Emperor Rodolph.] See the last Canto, v. 104. He died in 1291.

v. 95. That country.] Bohemia.

v. 97. Ottocar.] King of Bohemia, was killed in the battle of Marchfield, fought with Rodolph, August 26, 1278. Winceslaus II. His son,who succeeded him in the kingdom of Bohemia. died in 1305. He is again taxed with luxury in the Paradise Canto XIX. 123.

v. 101. That one with the nose deprest. ] Philip III of France, who died in 1285, at Perpignan, in his retreat from Arragon.

v. 102. Him of gentle look.] Henry of Naverre, father of Jane married to Philip IV of France, whom Dante calls “mal di Francia” -” Gallia’s bane.”

v. 110. He so robust of limb.] Peter III called the Great, King of Arragon, who died in 1285, leaving four sons, Alonzo, James, Frederick and Peter. The two former succeeded him in the kingdom of Arragon, and Frederick in that of Sicily. See G. Villani, 1. vii. c. 102. and Mariana, I. xiv. c. 9. He is enumerated among the Provencal poets by Millot, Hist. Litt. Des Troubadours, t. iii. p. 150.

v. 111. Him of feature prominent.] “Dal maschio naso”-with the masculine nose.” Charles I. King of Naples, Count of Anjou, and brother of St. Lonis. He died in 1284. The annalist of Florence remarks, that “there had been no sovereign of the house of France, since the time of Charlemagne, by whom Charles was surpassed either in military renown, and prowess, or in the loftiness of his understanding.” G. Villani, 1. vii. c. 94. We shall, however, find many of his actions severely reprobated in the twentieth Canto.

v. 113. That stripling.] Either (as the old commentators suppose) Alonzo III King of Arragon, the eldest son of Peter III who died in 1291, at the age of 27, or, according to Venturi, Peter the youngest son. The former was a young prince of virtue sufficient to have justified the eulogium and the hopes of Dante.

See Mariana, 1. xiv. c. 14.

v. 119. Rarely.]
Full well can the wise poet of Florence That hight Dante, speaken in this sentence Lo! in such manner rime is Dantes tale.
Full selde upriseth by his branches smale Prowesse of man for God of his goodnesse Woll that we claim of him our gentlenesse: For of our elders may we nothing claime
But temporal thing, that men may hurt and maime. Chaucer, Wife of Bathe’s Tale.

Compare Homer, Od. b. ii. v. 276; Pindar, Nem. xi. 48 and Euripides, Electra, 369.

v. 122. To Charles.] “Al Nasuto.” -“Charles II King of Naples, is no less inferior to his father Charles I. than James and Frederick to theirs, Peter III.”

v. 127. Costanza.] Widow of Peter III She has been already mentioned in the third Canto, v. 112. By Beatrice and Margaret are probably meant two of the daughters of Raymond Berenger, Count of Provence; the former married to St. Louis of France, the latter to his brother Charles of Anjou.
See Paradise, Canto Vl. 135. Dante therefore considers Peter as the most illustrious of the three monarchs.

v. 129. Harry of England.] Henry III.

v. 130. Better issue.] Edward l. of whose glory our Poet was perhaps a witness, in his visit to England.

v. 133. William, that brave Marquis.] William, Marquis of Monferrat, was treacherously seized by his own subjects, at Alessandria, in Lombardy, A.D. 1290, and ended his life in prison. See G. Villani, 1. vii. c. 135. A war ensued between the people of Alessandria and those of Monferrat and the Canavese.


v. 6. That seems to mourn for the expiring day.] The curfew tolls the knell of parting day. Gray’s Elegy.

v. 13. Te Lucis Ante.] The beginning of one of the evening hymns.

v. 36. As faculty.]

My earthly by his heav’nly overpower’d * * * *
As with an object, that excels the sense, Dazzled and spent.
Milton, P. L. b. viii. 457.

v. 53. Nino, thou courteous judge.] Nino di Gallura de’ Visconti nephew to Count Ugolino de’ Gherardeschi, and betrayed by him. See Notes to Hell Canto XXXIII.

v. 65. Conrad.] Currado Malaspina.

v. 71 My Giovanna.] The daughter of Nino, and wife of Riccardo da Cammino of Trevigi.

v. 73. Her mother.] Beatrice, marchioness of Este wife of Nino, and after his death married to Galeazzo de’ Visconti of Milan.

v. 74. The white and wimpled folds.] The weeds of widowhood.

v. 80. The viper.] The arms of Galeazzo and the ensign of the Milanese.

v. 81. Shrill Gallura’s bird.] The cock was the ensign of Gallura, Nino’s province in Sardinia. Hell, Canto XXII. 80. and Notes.

v. 115. Valdimagra.] See Hell, Canto XXIV. 144. and Notes.

v. 133. Sev’n times the tired sun.] “The sun shall not enter into the constellation of Aries seven times more, before thou shalt have still better cause for the good opinion thou expresses” of Valdimagra, in the kind reception thou shalt there meet with.” Dante was hospitably received by the Marchese Marcello Malaspina, during his banishment. A.D. 1307.


v. 1. Now the fair consort of Tithonus old.] La concubina di Titone antico.
So Tassoni, Secchia Rapita, c. viii. st. 15. La puttanella del canuto amante.

v. 5. Of that chill animal.] The scorpion.

v. 14. Our minds.] Compare Hell, Canto XXVI. 7.

v. 18. A golden-feathered eagle. ] Chaucer, in the house of Fame at the conclusion of the first book and beginning of the second, represents himself carried up by the “grim pawes” of a golden eagle. Much of his description is closely imitated from Dante.

v. 50. Lucia.] The enIightening, grace of heaven Hell, Canto II. 97.

v. 85. The lowest stair.] By the white step is meant the distinctness with which the conscience of the penitent reflects his offences, by the burnt and cracked one, his contrition on, their account; and by that of porphyry, the fervour with which he resolves on the future pursuit of piety and virtue. Hence, no doubt, Milton describing “the gate of heaven,” P. L. b. iii. 516.

Each stair mysteriously was meant.

v. 100. Seven times.] Seven P’s, to denote the seven sins (Peccata) of which he was to be cleansed in his passage through purgatory.

v. 115. One is more precious.] The golden key denotes the divine authority by which the priest absolves the sinners the silver expresses the learning and
judgment requisite for the due discharge of that office.

v. 127. Harsh was the grating.]
On a sudden open fly
With impetuous recoil and jarring, sound Th’ infernal doors, and on their hinges grate Harsh thunder
Milton, P. L. b. ii 882

v. 128. The Turpeian.]
Protinus, abducto patuerunt temple Metello. Tunc rupes Tarpeia sonat: magnoque reclusas Testatur stridore fores: tune conditus imo Eruitur tempo multis intactus ab annnis
Romani census populi, &c.
Lucan. Ph. 1. iii. 157.


v. 6. That Wound.] Venturi justly observes, that the Padre d’Aquino has misrepresented the sense of this passage in his translation.

–dabat ascensum tendentibus ultra
Scissa tremensque silex, tenuique erratica motu.

The verb “muover”‘ is used in the same signification in the Inferno, Canto XVIII. 21.

Cosi da imo della roccia scogli

–from the rock’s low base
Thus flinty paths advanc’d.

In neither place is actual motion intended to be expressed.

v. 52. That from unbidden. office awes mankind.] Seo 2 Sam. G.

v 58. Preceding.] Ibid. 14, &c.

v. 68. Gregory.] St. Gregory’s prayers are said to have delivered Trajan from hell. See Paradise, Canto XX. 40.

v. 69. Trajan the Emperor. For this story, Landino refers to two writers, whom he calls “Heunando,” of France, by whom he means Elinand, a monk and chronicler, in the reign of Philip Augustus, and “Polycrato,” of England, by whom is meant John of Salisbury, author of the Polycraticus de Curialium Nugis, in the twelfth century. The passage in the text I find to be nearly a translation from that work, 1. v. c. 8. The original appears to be in Dio Cassius, where it is told of the Emperor Hadrian, lib. I xix. [GREEK HERE]
When a woman appeared to him with a suit, as he was on a journey, at first he answered her, ‘I have no leisure,’ but she crying out to him, ‘then reign no longer’ he turned about, and heard her cause.”

v. 119. As to support.] Chillingworth, 54. speaks of “those crouching anticks, which seem in great buildings to labour under the weight they bear.” And Lord Shaftesbury has a similar illustration in his Essay on Wit and Humour, p. 4. s. 3.


v. 1. 0 thou Mighty Father.] The first four lines are borrowed by Pulci, Morg. Magg. c. vi.
Dante, in his ‘Credo,’ has again versified the Lord’s prayer.

v. 58. I was of Latinum.] Omberto, the son of Guglielino Aldobrandeseo, Count of Santafiore, in the territory of Sienna His arrogance provoked his countrymen to such a pitch of fury against him, that he was murdered by them at Campagnatico.

v. 79. Oderigi.] The illuminator, or miniature painter, a friend of Giotto and Dante

v. 83. Bolognian Franco.] Franco of Bologna, who is said to have been a pupil of Oderigi’s.

v. 93. Cimabue.] Giovanni Cimabue, the restorer of painting, was born at Florence, of a noble family, in 1240, and died in 1300. The passage in the text is an illusion to his epitaph:

Credidit ut Cimabos picturae castra tenere, Sic tenuit vivens: nunc tenet astra poli.

v. 95. The cry is Giotto’s.] In Giotto we have a proof at how early a period the fine arts were encouraged in Italy. His talents were discovered by Cimabue, while he was tending sheep for his father in the neighbourhood of Florence, and he was afterwards patronized by Pope Benedict XI and Robert King of Naples, and enjoyed the society and friendship of Dante, whose likeness he has transmitted to posterity. He died in 1336, at the age of 60.

v. 96. One Guido from the other.] Guido Cavalcanti, the friend of our Poet, (see Hell, Canto X. 59.) had eclipsed the literary fame of Guido Guinicelli, of a noble family in Bologna, whom we shall meet with in the twenty-sixth Canto and of whom frequent mention is made by our Poet in his Treatise de Vulg. Eloq. Guinicelli died in 1276. Many of Cavalcanti’s writings, hitherto in MS. are now publishing at Florence” Esprit des Journaux, Jan. 1813.

v. 97. He perhaps is born.] Some imagine, with much probability, that Dante here augurs the greatness of his own poetical reputation. Others have fancied that he prophesies the glory of Petrarch. But Petrarch was not yet born.

v. 136. suitor.] Provenzano salvani humbled himself so far for the sake of one of his friends, who was detained in captivity by Charles I of Sicily, as personally to supplicate the people of Sienna to contribute the sum required by the king for his ransom:

and this act of self-abasement atoned for his general ambition and pride.

v. 140. Thy neighbours soon.] “Thou wilt know in the time of thy banishment, which is near at hand, what it is to solicit favours of others and ‘tremble through every vein,’ lest they should be refused thee.”


v. 26. The Thymbraen god.] Apollo

Si modo, quem perhibes, pater est Thymbraeus Apollo. Virg. Georg. iv. 323.

v. 37. Mars.]

With such a grace,
The giants that attempted to scale heaven When they lay dead on the Phlegren plain Mars did appear to Jove.
Beaumont and Fletcher, The Prophetess, a. 2. s. 3.

v. 42. O Rehoboam.] 1 Kings, c. xii. 18.

v. 46. A1cmaeon.] Virg. Aen. l. vi. 445, and Homer, Od. xi. 325.

v. 48. Sennacherib.] 2 Kings, c. xix. 37.

v. 58. What master of the pencil or the style.] –inimitable on earth
By model, or by shading pencil drawn. Milton, P. L. b. iii. 509.

v. 94. The chapel stands.] The church of San Miniato in Florence situated on a height that overlooks the Arno, where it is crossed by the bridge Rubaconte, so called from Messer Rubaconte da Mandelia, of Milan chief magistrate of Florence, by whom the bridge was founded in 1237. See G. Villani, 1. vi. c. 27.

v. 96. The well-guided city] This is said ironically of Florence.

v. 99. The registry.] In allusion to certain instances of fraud committed with respect to the public accounts and measures See Paradise Canto XVI. 103.


v. 26. They have no wine.] John, ii. 3. These words of the Virgin are referred to as an instance of charity.

v. 29. Orestes] Alluding to his friendship with Pylades

v. 32. Love ye those have wrong’d you.] Matt. c. v. 44.

v. 33. The scourge.] “The chastisement of envy consists in hearing examples of the opposite virtue, charity. As a curb and restraint on this vice, you will presently hear very different sounds, those of threatening and punishment.”

v. 87. Citizens Of one true city.]
“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek to come.” Heb. C. xiii. 14.

v. 101. Sapia.] A lady of Sienna, who, living in exile at Colle, was so overjoyed at a defeat which her countrymen sustained near that place that she declared nothing more was wanting to make her die contented.

v. 114. The merlin.] The story of the merlin is that having been induced by a gleam of fine weather in the winter to escape from his master, he was soon oppressed by the rigour of the season.

v. 119. The hermit Piero.] Piero Pettinagno, a holy hermit of Florence.

v. 141. That vain multitude.] The Siennese. See Hell, Canto XXIX. 117. “Their acquisition of Telamone, a seaport on the confines of the Maremma, has led them to conceive hopes of becoming a naval power: but this scheme will prove as chimerical as their former plan for the discovery of a subterraneous stream under their city.” Why they gave the appellation of Diana to the imagined stream, Venturi says he leaves it to the antiquaries of Sienna to conjecture.


v. 34. Maim’d of Pelorus.] Virg. Aen. 1. iii. 414.

–a hill
Torn from Pelorus
Milton P. L. b. i. 232

v. 45. ‘Midst brute swine.] The people of Casentino.

v. 49. Curs.] The Arno leaves Arezzo about four miles to the left.

v. 53. Wolves.] The Florentines.

v. 55. Foxes.] The Pisans

v. 61. Thy grandson.] Fulcieri de’ Calboli, grandson of Rinieri de’ Calboli, who is here spoken to. The atrocities predicted came to pass in 1302. See G. Villani, 1. viii c. 59

v. 95. ‘Twixt Po, the mount, the Reno, and the shore.] The boundaries of Romagna.

v. 99. Lizio.] Lizio da Valbona, introduced into Boccaccio’s Decameron, G. v. N, 4.

v. 100. Manardi, Traversaro, and Carpigna.1 Arrigo Manardi of Faenza, or as some say, of Brettinoro, Pier Traversaro, lord of Ravenna, and Guido di Carpigna of Montefeltro.

v. 102. In Bologna the low artisan.] One who had been a mechanic named Lambertaccio, arrived at almost supreme power in Bologna.

v. 103. Yon Bernardin.] Bernardin di Fosco, a man of low origin but great talents, who governed at Faenza.

v. 107. Prata.] A place between Faenza and Ravenna

v. 107. Of Azzo him.] Ugolino of the Ubaldini family in Tuscany He is recounted among the poets by Crescimbeni and Tiraboschi.

v. 108. Tignoso.] Federigo Tignoso of Rimini.

v. 109. Traversaro’s house and Anastagio’s.] Two noble families of Ravenna. She to whom Dryden has given the name of Honoria, in the fable so admirably paraphrased from Boccaccio, was of the former: her lover and the specter were of the Anastagi family.

v. 111. The ladies, &c.] These two lines express the true spirit of chivalry. “Agi” is understood by the commentators whom I have consulted,to mean “the ease procured for others by the exertions of knight-errantry.” But surely it signifies the alternation of ease with labour.

v. 114. O Brettinoro.] A beautifully situated castle in Romagna, the hospitable residence of Guido del Duca, who is here speaking.

v. 118. Baynacavallo.] A castle between Imola and Ravenna

v. 118. Castracaro ill
And Conio worse.] Both in Romagna.

v. 121. Pagani.] The Pagani were lords of Faenza and Imola. One of them Machinardo, was named the Demon, from his treachery. See Hell, Canto XXVII. 47, and Note.

v. 124. Hugolin.] Ugolino Ubaldini, a noble and virtuous person in Faenza, who, on account of his age probably, was not likely to leave any offspring behind him. He is enumerated among the poets by Crescimbeni, and Tiraboschi. Mr. Matthias’s edit. vol. i. 143

v. 136. Whosoever finds Will slay me.] The words of Cain, Gen. e. iv. 14.

v. 142. Aglauros.] Ovid, Met. I, ii. fate. 12.

v. 145. There was the galling bit.] Referring to what had been before said, Canto XIII. 35.


v. 1. As much.] It wanted three hours of sunset.

v. 16. As when the ray.] Compare Virg. Aen. 1.viii. 22, and Apol. Rhod. 1. iii. 755.

v. 19. Ascending at a glance.] Lucretius, 1. iv. 215.

v. 20. Differs from the stone.] The motion of light being quicker than that of a stone through an equal space.

v. 38. Blessed the merciful. Matt. c. v. 7.

v. 43. Romagna’s spirit.] Guido del Duea, of Brettinoro whom we have seen in the preceding Canto.

v. 87. A dame.] Luke, c. ii. 18

v. 101. How shall we those requite.] The answer of Pisistratus the tyrant to his wife, when she urged him to inflict the punishment of death on a young man, who, inflamed with love for his daughter, had snatched from her a kiss in public. The story is told by Valerius Maximus, 1.v. 1.

v. 105. A stripling youth.] The protomartyr Stephen.


v. 94. As thou.] “If thou wert still living.”

v. 46. I was of Lombardy, and Marco call’d.] A Venetian gentleman. “Lombardo” both was his surname and denoted the country to which he belonged. G. Villani, 1. vii. c. 120, terms him “a wise and worthy courtier.”

v. 58. Elsewhere.] He refers to what Guido del Duca had said in the thirteenth Canto, concerning the degeneracy of his countrymen.

v. 70. If this were so.] Mr. Crowe in his Lewesdon Hill has expressed similar sentiments with much energy.

Of this be sure,
Where freedom is not, there no virtue is, &c.

Compare Origen in Genesim, Patrum Graecorum, vol. xi. p. 14. Wirer burgi,
1783. 8vo.

v. 79. To mightier force.] “Though ye are subject to a higher power than that of the heavenly constellations, e`en to the power of the great Creator himself, yet ye are still left in the possession of liberty.”

v. 88. Like a babe that wantons sportively.] This reminds one of the Emperor Hadrian’s verses to his departing soul:

Animula vagula blandula, &c

v. 99. The fortress.] Justice, the most necessary virtue in the chief magistrate, as the commentators explain it.

v. 103. Who.] He compares the Pope, on account of the union of the temporal with the spiritual power in his person, to an unclean beast in the levitical law. “The camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof, he is unclean unto you.” Levit. c. xi. 4.

v. 110. Two sons.] The Emperor and the Bishop of Rome.

v. 117. That land.] Lombardy.

v. 119. Ere the day.] Before the Emperor Frederick II was defeated before Parma, in 1248. G. Villani, 1. vi. c. 35.

v. 126. The good Gherardo.] Gherardo di Camino of Trevigi. He is honourably mentioned in our Poet’s “Convito.” Opere di Dante, t. i. p. 173 Venez. 8vo. 1793. And Tiraboschi supposes him to have been the same Gherardo with whom the Provencal poets were used to meet with hospitable reception. See Mr. Matthias’s edition, t. i. p. 137, v. 127.
Conrad.] Currado da Palazzo, a gentleman of Brescia.

v. 127. Guido of Castello.] Of Reggio. All the Italians were called Lombards by the French.

v. 144. His daughter Gaia.] A lady equally admired for her modesty, the beauty of her person, and the excellency of her talents. Gaia, says Tiraboschi, may perhaps lay claim to the praise of having been the first among the Italian ladies, by whom the vernacular poetry was cultivated. Ibid. p. 137.


v. 21. The bird, that most Delights itself in song.] I cannot think with Vellutello, that the swallow is here meant. Dante probably alludes to the story of Philomela, as it is found in Homer’s Odyssey, b. xix. 518 rather than as later poets have told it. “She intended to slay the son of her husband’s brother Amphion, incited to it, by the envy of his wife, who had six children, while herself had only two, but through mistake slew her own son Itylus, and for her punishment was transformed by Jupiter into a nightingale.”
Cowper’s note on the passage.
In speaking of the nightingale, let me observe, that while some have considered its song as a melancholy, and others as a cheerful one, Chiabrera appears to have come nearest the truth, when he says, in the Alcippo, a. l. s. 1, Non mal si stanca d’ iterar le note
O gioconde o dogliose,
Al sentir dilettose.

Unwearied still reiterates her lays,
Jocund or sad, delightful to the ear.

v. 26. One crucified.] Haman. See the book of Esther, c. vii. v. 34. A damsel.] Lavinia, mourning for her mother Amata, who, impelled by grief and indignation for the supposed death of Turnus, destroyed herself. Aen. 1. xii. 595.

v. 43. The broken slumber quivering ere it dies.] Venturi suggests that this bold and unusual metaphor may have been formed on that in Virgil.

Tempus erat quo prima quies mortalibus aegris Incipit, et dono divun gratissima serpit. Aen. 1. ii. 268.

v. 68. The peace-makers.] Matt. c. v. 9.

v. 81. The love.] “A defect in our love towards God, or lukewarmness in piety, is here removed.”

v. 94. The primal blessings.] Spiritual good.

v. 95. Th’ inferior.] Temporal good.

v. 102. Now.] “It is impossible for any being, either to hate itself, or to hate the First Cause of all, by which it exists. We can therefore only rejoice in the evil which befalls others.”

v. 111. There is.] The proud.

v. 114. There is.] The envious.

v. 117. There is he.] The resentful.

v. 135. Along Three circles.] According to the allegorical commentators, as Venturi has observed, Reason is represented under the person of Virgil, and Sense under that of Dante. The former leaves to the latter to discover for itself the three carnal sins, avarice, gluttony and libidinousness; having already declared the nature of the spiritual sins, pride, envy, anger, and indifference, or lukewarmness in piety, which the Italians call accidia, from the Greek word.


v. 1. The teacher ended.] Compare Plato, Protagoras, v. iii. p. 123. Bip. edit. [GREEK HERE] Apoll. Rhod. 1. i. 513, and Milton, P. L. b. viii. 1.
The angel ended, &c.

v. 23. Your apprehension.] It is literally, “Your apprehensive faculty derives intention from a thing really existing, and displays the intention within you, so that it makes the soul turn to it.” The commentators labour in explaining this; and whatever sense they have elicited may, I think, be resolved into the words of the translation in the text.

v. 47. Spirit.] The human soul, which differs from that of brutes, inasmuch as, though united with the body, it has a separate existence of its own.
v. 65. Three men.] The great moral philosophers among the heathens.

v. 78. A crag.] I have preferred the reading of Landino, scheggion, “crag,” conceiving it to be more poetical than secchion, “bucket,” which is the common reading. The same cause, the vapours, which the commentators say might give the appearance of increased magnitude to the moon, might also make her seem broken at her rise.

v. 78. Up the vault.] The moon passed with a motion opposite to that of the heavens, through the constellation of the scorpion, in which the sun is, when to those who are in Rome he appears to set between the isles of Corsica and Sardinia.

v. 84. Andes.] Andes, now Pietola, made more famous than Mantua near which it is situated, by having been the birthplace of Virgil.

v. 92. Ismenus and Asopus.] Rivers near Thebes

v. 98. Mary.] Luke, c i. 39, 40

v. 99. Caesar.] See Lucan, Phars. I. iii. and iv, and Caesar de Bello Civiii, I. i. Caesar left Brutus to complete the siege of Marseilles, and hastened on to the attack of Afranius and Petreius, the generals of Pompey, at Ilerda (Lerida) in Spain.

v. 118. abbot.] Alberto, abbot of San Zeno in Verona, when Frederick I was emperor, by whom Milan was besieged and reduced to ashes.

v. 121. There is he.] Alberto della Scala, lord of Verona, who had made his natural son abbot of San Zeno.

v. 133. First they died.] The Israelites, who, on account of their disobedience, died before reaching the promised land.

v. 135. And they.] Virg Aen. 1. v.


v. 1. The hour.] Near the dawn.

v. 4. The geomancer.] The geomancers, says Landino, when they divined, drew a figure consisting of sixteen marks, named from so many stars which constitute the end of Aquarius and the beginning of Pisces. One of these they called “the greater fortune.”

v. 7. A woman’s shape.] Worldly happiness. This allegory reminds us of the “Choice of Hercules.”

v. 14. Love’s own hue.]
A smile that glow’d
Celestial rosy red, love’s proper hue. Milton, P. L. b. viii. 619

–facies pulcherrima tune est
Quum porphyriaco variatur candida rubro Quid color hic roseus sibi vult? designat amorem: Quippe amor est igni similis; flammasque rubentes Ignus habere solet.
Palingenii Zodiacus Vitae, 1. xii.

v. 26. A dame.] Philosophy.

v. 49. Who mourn.] Matt. c. v. 4.

v. 72. My soul.] Psalm cxix. 5

v. 97. The successor of Peter Ottobuono, of the family of Fieschi Counts of Lavagna, died thirty-nine days after he became Pope, with the title of Adrian V, in 1276.

v. 98. That stream.] The river Lavagna, in the Genoese territory.

v. 135. nor shall be giv’n in marriage.] Matt. c. xxii. 30. “Since in this state we neither marry nor are given in marriage, I am no longer the spouse of the church, and therefore no longer retain my former dignity.

v. 140. A kinswoman.] Alagia is said to have been the wife of the Marchese Marcello Malaspina, one of the poet’s protectors during his exile. See Canto VIII. 133.


v. 3. I drew the sponge.] “I did not persevere in my inquiries from the spirit though still anxious to learn more.” v. 11. Wolf.] Avarice.

v. 16. Of his appearing.] He is thought to allude to Can Grande della Scala. See Hell, Canto I. 98.

v. 25. Fabricius.] Compare Petrarch, Tr. della Fama, c. 1.

Un Curio ed un Fabricio, &c.

v. 30. Nicholas.] The story of Nicholas is, that an angel having revealed to him that the father of a family was so impoverished as to resolve on exposing the chastity of his three daughters to sale, he threw in at the window of their house three bags of money, containing a sufficient portion for each of them. v. 42. Root.] Hugh Capet, ancestor of Philip IV. v. 46. Had Ghent and Douay, Lille and Bruges power.] These cities had lately been seized by Philip IV. The spirit is made to imitate the approaching defeat of the French army by the Flemings, in the battle of Courtrai, which happened in 1302. v. 51. The slaughter’s trade.] This reflection on the birth of his ancestor induced Francis I to forbid the reading of Dante in his dominions Hugh Capet, who came to the throne of France in 987, was however the grandson of Robert, who was the brother of Eudes, King of France in 888.

v. 52. All save one.] The posterity of Charlemagne, the second race of French monarchs, had failed, with the exception of Charles of Lorraine who is said, on account of the melancholy temper of his mind, to have always clothed himself in black. Venturi suggest that Dante may have confounded him with Childeric III the last of the Merosvingian, or first, race, who was deposed and made a monk in 751.

v. 57. My son.] Hugh Capet caused his son Robert to be crowned at Orleans.

v. 59. The Great dower of Provence.] Louis IX, and his brother Charles of Anjou, married two of the four daughters of Raymond Berenger Count of Provence. See Par. Canto VI. 135.

v. 63. For amends.] This is ironical

v. 64. Poitou it seiz’d, Navarre and Gascony.] I venture to read-
Potti e Navarra prese e Guascogna,

instead of

Ponti e Normandia prese e Guascogna
Seiz’d Ponthieu, Normandy and Gascogny.

Landino has “Potti,” and he is probably right for Poitou was annexed to the French crown by Philip IV. See Henault, Abrege Chron. A.D. l283, &c. Normandy had been united to it long before by Philip Augustus, a circumstance of which it is difficult to imagine that Dante should have been ignorant, but Philip IV, says Henault, ibid., took the title of King of Navarre: and the subjugation of Navarre is also alluded to in the Paradise, Canto XIX. 140. In 1293, Philip IV summoned Edward I. to do him homage for the duchy of Gascogny, which he had conceived the design of seizing. See G. Villani, l. viii. c. 4.

v. 66. Young Conradine.] Charles of Anjou put Conradine to death in 1268; and became King of Naples. See Hell, Canto XXVIII, 16, and Note.

v. 67. Th’ angelic teacher.] Thomas Aquinas. He was reported to have been poisoned by a physician, who wished to ingratiate himself with Charles of Anjou. G. Villani, I. ix. c. 218. We shall find him in the Paradise, Canto X.

v. 69. Another Charles.] Charles of Valois, brother of Philip IV, was sent by Pope Boniface VIII to settle the disturbed state of Florence. In consequence of the measures he adopted for that purpose, our poet and his friend, were condemned to exile and death.

v. 71. -with that lance
Which the arch-traitor tilted with.]

con la lancia
Con la qual giostro Guida.

If I remember right, in one of the old romances, Judas is represented tilting with our Saviour.

v. 78. The other.] Charles, King of Naples, the eldest son of Charles of Anjou, having, contrary to the directions of his father, engaged with Ruggier de Lauria, the admiral of Peter of Arragon, was made prisoner and carried into Sicily, June, 1284. He afterwards, in consideration of a large sum of money, married his daughter to Azzo VI11, Marquis of Ferrara.

v. 85. The flower-de-luce.] Boniface VIII was seized at Alagna in Campagna, by order of Philip IV., in the year 1303, and soon after died of grief. G. Villani, 1. viii. c. 63.

v. 94. Into the temple.] It is uncertain whether our Poet alludes still to the event mentioned in the preceding Note, or to the destruction of the order of the Templars in 1310, but the latter appears more probable.

v. 103. Pygmalion.] Virg. Aen. 1. i. 348.

v. 107. Achan.] Joshua, c. vii.

v. 111. Heliodorus.] 2 Maccabees, c. iii. 25. “For there appeared unto them a horse, with a terrible rider upon him, and adorned with a very fair covering, and he ran fiercely and smote at Heliodorus with his forefeet.”

v. 112. Thracia’s king.] Polymnestor, the murderer of Polydorus. Hell, Canto XXX, 19.

v. 114. Crassus.] Marcus Crassus, who fell miserably in the Parthian war. See Appian, Parthica.


v. 26. She.] Lachesis, one of the three fates.

v. 43. –that, which heaven in itself Doth of itself receive.]
Venturi, I think rightly interprets this to be light.

v. 49. Thaumantian.] Figlia di Taumante [GREEK HERE]

Compare Plato, Theaet. v. ii. p. 76. Bip. edit., Virg; Aen. ix. 5, and Spenser, Faery Queen, b. v. c. 3. st. 25.

v. 85. The name.] The name of Poet.

v. 89. From Tolosa.] Dante, as many others have done, confounds Statius the poet, who was a Neapolitan, with a rhetorician of the same name, who was of Tolosa, or Thoulouse. Thus Chaucer, Temple of Fame, b. iii. The Tholason, that height Stace.

v. 94. Fell.] Statius lived to write only a small part of the Achilleid.


v. 5. Blessed.] Matt. v. 6.

v. 14. Aquinum’s bard.] Juvenal had celebrated his contemporary Statius, Sat. vii. 82; though some critics imagine that there is a secret derision couched under his praise.

v. 28. Why.] Quid non mortalia pecaora cogis Anri sacra fames?
Virg. Aen. 1. iii. 57

Venturi supposes that Dante might have mistaken the meaning of the word sacra, and construed it “holy,” instead of “cursed.” But I see no necessity for having recourse to so improbable a conjecture.

v. 41. The fierce encounter.] See Hell, Canto VII. 26.

v. 46. With shorn locks.] Ibid. 58.

v. 57. The twin sorrow of Jocasta’s womb.] Eteocles and Polynices

v. 71. A renovated world.] Virg. Ecl. iv. 5

v. 100. That Greek.] Homer

v. 107. Of thy train. ] Of those celebrated in thy Poem.”

v. 112. Tiresias’ daughter.] Dante appears to have forgotten that he had placed Manto, the daughter of Tiresias, among the sorcerers. See Hell Canto XX. Vellutello endeavours, rather awkwardly, to reconcile the inconsistency, by observing, that although she was placed there as a sinner, yet, as one of famous memory, she had also a place among the worthies in Limbo.

Lombardi excuses our author better, by observing that Tiresias had a daughter named Daphne. See Diodorus Siculus, 1. iv. 66.

v. 139. Mary took more thought.] “The blessed virgin, who answers for yon now in heaven, when she said to Jesus, at the marriage in Cana of Galilee, ‘they have no wine,’ regarded not the gratification of her own taste, but the honour of the nuptial banquet.”

v. 142 The women of old Rome.] See Valerius Maximus, 1. ii. c. i.


v. 9. My lips.] Psalm ii. 15.

v. 20. The eyes.] Compare Ovid, Metam. 1. viii. 801

v. 26. When Mary.] Josephus, De Bello Jud. 1. vii. c. xxi. p. 954 Ed Genev. fol. 1611. The shocking story is well told

v. 27. Rings.]
In this habit
Met I my father with his bleeding rings Their precious stones new lost.
Shakespeare, Lear, a. 5. s. 3

v. 28. Who reads the name.] “He, who pretends to distinguish the letters which form OMO in the features of the human face, “might easily have traced out the M on their emaciated countenances.” The temples, nose, and forehead are supposed to represent this letter; and the eyes the two O’s placed within each side of it.

v. 44. Forese.] One of the brothers of Piccarda, she who is again spoken of in the next Canto, and introduced in the Paradise, Canto III.

V. 72. If the power.] “If thou didst delay thy repentance to the last, when thou hadst lost the power of sinning, how happens it thou art arrived here so early?”

v. 76. Lower.] In the Ante-Purgatory. See Canto II.

v. 80. My Nella.] The wife of Forese.

v. 87. The tract most barb’rous of Sardinia’s isle.] The Barbagia is part of Sardinia, to which that name was given, on account of the uncivilized state of its inhabitants, who are said to have gone nearly naked.

v. 91. The’ unblushing domes of Florence.] Landino’s note exhibits a curious instance of the changeableness of his countrywomen. He even goes beyond the acrimony of the original. “In those days,” says the commentator, “no less than in ours, the Florentine ladies exposed the neck and bosom, a dress, no doubt, more suitable to a harlot than a matron. But, as they changed soon after, insomuch that they wore collars up to the chin, covering the whole of the neck and throat, so have I hopes they will change again; not indeed so much from motives of decency, as through that fickleness, which pervades every action of their lives.”

v. 97. Saracens.] “This word, during the middle ages, was indiscriminately applied to Pagans and Mahometans; in short, to all nations (except the Jew’s) who did not profess Christianity.” Mr. Ellis’s specimens of Early English Metrical Romances, vol. i. page 196, a note. Lond. 8vo. 1805.


v. 20. Buonaggiunta.] Buonaggiunta Urbiciani, of Lucca. “There is a canzone by this poet, printed in the collection made by the Giunti, (p. 209,).land a sonnet to Guido Guinicelli in that made by Corbinelli, (p 169,) from which we collect that he lived not about 1230, as Quadrio supposes, (t. ii. p. 159,) but towards the end of the thirteenth century. Concerning, other poems by Buonaggiunta, that are preserved in MS. in some libraries, Crescimbeni may be consulted.” Tiraboschi, Mr. Matthias’s ed. v. i. p. 115.

v. 23. He was of Tours.] Simon of Tours became Pope, with the title of Martin IV in 1281 and died in 1285.

v. 29. Ubaldino.] Ubaldino degli Ubaldini, of Pila, in the Florentine territory.

v. 30. Boniface.] Archbishop of Ravenna. By Venturi he is called Bonifazio de Fieschi, a Genoese, by Vellutello, the son of the above, mentioned Ubaldini and by Laudino Francioso, a Frenchman.

v. 32. The Marquis.] The Marchese de’ Rigogliosi, of Forli.

v. 38. gentucca.] Of this lady it is thought that our Poet became enamoured during his exile.
v. 45. Whose brow no wimple shades yet.] “Who has not yet assumed the dress of a woman.”

v. 46. Blame it as they may.] See Hell, Canto XXI. 39.

v. 51. Ladies, ye that con the lore of love.]Donne ch’ avete intelletto d’amore.The first verse of a canzone in our author’s Vita Nuova.

v. 56. The Notary.] Jucopo da Lentino, called the Notary, a poet of these times. He was probably an Apulian: for Dante, (De Vulg. Eloq. I. i. c 12.) quoting a verse which belongs to a canzone of his published by the Giunti, without mentioning the writer’s name, terms him one of “the illustrious Apulians,” praefulgentes Apuli. See Tiraboschi, Mr. Matthias’s edit. vol. i. p. 137. Crescimbeni (1. i. Della Volg. Poes p. 72. 4to. ed. 1698) gives an extract from one of his poems, printed in Allacci’s Collection, to show that the whimsical compositions called “Ariette ” are not of modern invention.

v. 56. Guittone.] Fra Guittone, of Arezzo, holds a distinguished place in Italian literature, as besides his poems printed in the collection of the Giunti, he has left a collection of letters, forty in number, which afford the earliest specimen of that kind of writing in the language. They were published at Rome in 1743, with learned illustrations by Giovanni Bottari. He was also the first who gave to the sonnet its regular and legitimate form, a species of composition in which not only his own countrymen, but many of the best poets in all the cultivated languages of modern Europe, have since so much delighted.

Guittone, a native of Arezzo, was the son of Viva di Michele. He was of the order of the ” Frati Godenti,” of which an account may be seen in the Notes to Hell, Canto XXIII. In the year 1293, he founded a monastery of the order of Camaldoli, in Florence, and died in the following year. Tiraboschi, Ibid. p. 119. Dante, in the Treatise de Vulg. Eloq. 1. i. c. 13, and 1. ii. c. 6., blames him for preferring the plebeian to the mor courtly style; and Petrarch twice places him in the company of our Poet. Triumph of Love, cap. iv. and Son. Par. See “Sennuccio mio”

v. 63. The birds.] Hell, Canto V. 46, Euripides, Helena, 1495, and Statius; Theb. 1. V. 12.
v. 81. He.] Corso Donati was suspected of aiming at the sovereignty of Florence. To escape the fury of his fellow citizens, he fled away on horseback, but failing, was overtaken and slain, A.D. 1308. The contemporary annalist, after relating at length the circumstances of his fate, adds, “that he was one of the wisest and most valorous knights the best speaker, the most expert statesman, the most renowned and enterprising, man of his age in Italy, a comely knight and of graceful carriage, but very worldly, and in his time had formed many conspiracies in Florence and entered into many scandalous practices, for the sake of attaining state and lordship.” G. Villani, 1. viii. c. 96. The character of Corso is forcibly drawn by another of his contemporaries Dino Compagni. 1. iii., Muratori, Rer. Ital. Script. t. ix. p. 523.

v. 129. Creatures of the clouds.] The Centaurs. Ovid. Met. 1. fab. 4 v. 123. The Hebrews.] Judges, c. vii.


v. 58. As sea-sponge.] The fetus is in this stage is zoophyte.

v. 66. -More wise
Than thou, has erred.]
Averroes is said to be here meant. Venturi refers to his commentary on Aristotle, De Anim 1. iii. c. 5. for the opinion that there is only one universal intellect or mind pervading every individual of the human race. Much of the knowledge displayed by our Poet in the present Canto appears to have been derived from the medical work o+ Averroes, called the Colliget. Lib. ii. f. 10. Ven. 1400. fol.

v. 79. Mark the sun’s heat.] Redi and Tiraboschi (Mr. Matthias’s ed. v. ii. p. 36.) have considered this an anticipation of a profound discovery of Galileo’s in natural philosophy, but it is in reality taken from a passage in Cicero “de Senectute,” where, speaking of the grape, he says, ” quae, et succo terrae et calore solis augescens, primo est peracerba gustatu, deinde maturata dulcescit.”

v. 123. I do, not know a man.] Luke, c. i. 34.

v. 126. Callisto.] See Ovid, Met. 1. ii. fab. 5.


v. 70. Caesar.] For the opprobrium east on Caesar’s effeminacy, see Suetonius, Julius Caesar, c. 49.

v. 83. Guinicelli.] See Note to Canto XI. 96.

v. 87. lycurgus.] Statius, Theb. 1. iv. and v. Hypsipile had left her infant charge, the son of Lycurgus, on a bank, where it was destroyed by a serpent, when she went to show the Argive army the river of Langia: and, on her escaping the effects of Lycurgus’s resentment, the joy her own children felt at the sight of her was such as our Poet felt on beholding his predecessor Guinicelli.

The incidents are beautifully described in Statius, and seem to have made an impression on Dante, for he again (Canto XXII. 110.) characterizes Hypsipile, as her-
Who show’d Langia’s wave.

v. 111. He.] The united testimony of Dante, and of Petrarch, in his Triumph of Love, e. iv. places Arnault Daniel at the head of the Provencal poets. That he was born of poor but noble parents, at the castle of Ribeyrae in Perigord, and that he was at the English court, is the amount of Millot’s information concerning him (t. ii. p. 479).

The account there given of his writings is not much more satisfactory, and the criticism on them must go for little better than nothing.

It is to be regretted that we have not an opportunity of judging for ourselves of his “love ditties and his tales of prose “

Versi d’amore e prose di romanzi.

Our Poet frequently cities him in the work De Vulgari Eloquentia. According to Crescimbeni, (Della Volg. Poes. 1. 1. p. 7. ed. 1698.) He died in 1189.

v. 113. The songster of Limoges.] Giraud de Borneil, of Sideuil, a castle in Limoges. He was a troubadour, much admired and caressed in his day, and appears to have been in favour with the monarchs of Castile, Leon, Navarre, and Arragon He is quoted by Dante, De Vulg. Eloq., and many of his poems are still remaining in MS. According to Nostradamus he died in 1278. Millot, Hist. Litt. des Troub. t. ii. p. 1 and 23. But I suspect that there is some error in this date, and that he did not live to see so late a period.

v. 118. Guittone.] See Cano XXIV. 56.

v. 123. Far as needs.] See Canto XI. 23.

v. 132. Thy courtesy.] Arnault is here made to speak in his own tongue, the Provencal. According to Dante, (De Vulg. Eloq. 1. 1. c. 8.) the Provencal was one language with the Spanish. What he says on this subject is so curious, that the reader will perhaps not be displeased it I give an abstract of it.

He first makes three great divisions of the European languages. “One of these extends from the mouths of the Danube, or the lake of Maeotis, to the western limits of England, and is bounded by the limits of the French and Italians, and by the ocean. One idiom obtained over the whole of this space: but was afterwards subdivided into, the Sclavonian, Hungarian, Teutonic, Saxon, English, and the vernacular tongues of several other people, one sign remaining to all, that they use the affirmative io, (our English ay.) The whole of Europe, beginning from the Hungarian limits and stretching towards the east, has a second idiom which reaches still further than the end of Europe into Asia. This is the Greek. In all that remains of Europe, there is a third idiom subdivided into three dialects, which may be severally distinguished by the use of the affirmatives, oc, oil, and si; the first spoken by the Spaniards, the next by the French, and the third by the Latins (or Italians). The first occupy the western part of southern Europe, beginning from the limits of the Genoese. The third occupy the eastern part from the said limits, as far, that is, as the promontory of Italy, where the Adriatic sea begins, and to Sicily. The second are in a manner northern with respect to these for they have the Germans to the east and north, on the west they are bounded by the English sea, and the mountains of Arragon, and on the south by the people of Provence and the declivity of the Apennine.” Ibid. c. x. “Each of these three,” he observes, “has its own claims to distinction The excellency of the French language consists in its being best adapted, on account of its facility and agreeableness, to prose narration, (quicquid redactum, sive inventum est ad vulgare prosaicum suum est); and he instances the books compiled on the gests of the Trojans and Romans and the delightful adventures of King Arthur, with many other histories and works of instruction. The Spanish (or Provencal) may boast of its having produced such as first cultivated in this as in a more perfect and sweet language, the vernacular poetry: among whom are Pierre d’Auvergne, and others more ancient.
The privileges of the Latin, or Italian are two: first that it may reckon for its own those writers who have adopted a more sweet and subtle style of poetry, in the number of whom are Cino, da Pistoia and his friend, and the next, that its writers seem to adhere to, certain general rules of grammar, and in so doing give it, in the opinion of the intelligent, a very weighty pretension to preference.”


v. 1. The sun.] At Jerusalem it was dawn, in Spain midnight, and in India noonday, while it was sunset in Purgatory

v. 10. Blessed.] Matt. c. v. 8.

v. 57. Come.] Matt. c. xxv. 34.

v. 102. I am Leah.] By Leah is understood the active life, as Rachel figures the contemplative. The divinity is the mirror in which the latter looks. Michel Angelo has made these allegorical personages the subject of two statues on the monument of Julius II. in the church of S. Pietro in Vincolo. See Mr. Duppa’s Life of Michel Angelo, Sculpture viii. And x. and p 247.

v. 135. Those bright eyes.] The eyes of Beatrice.


v. 11. To that part.] The west.

v. 14. The feather’d quiristers] Imitated by Boccaccio, Fiammetta, 1. iv. “Odi i queruli uccelli,” &c. –“Hear the querulous birds plaining with sweet songs, and the boughs trembling, and, moved by a gentle wind, as it were keeping tenor to their notes.”

v. 7. A pleasant air.] Compare Ariosto, O. F. c. xxxiv. st. 50.

v. Chiassi.] This is the wood where the scene of Boccaccio’s sublimest story is laid. See Dec. g. 5. n. 8. and Dryden’s Theodore and Honoria Our Poet perhaps wandered in it daring his abode with Guido Novello da Polenta.

v. 41. A lady.] Most of the commentators suppose, that by this lady, who in the last Canto is called Matilda, is to be understood the Countess Matilda, who endowed the holy see with the estates called the Patrimony of St. Peter, and died in 1115. See G. Villani, 1. iv. e. 20 But it seems more probable that she should be intended for an allegorical personage.

v. 80. Thou, Lord hast made me glad.] Psalm xcii. 4

v. 146. On the Parnassian mountain.]
In bicipiti somniasse Parnasso.
Persius Prol.


v. 76. Listed colours.]
Di sette liste tutte in quel colori, &c. –a bow
Conspicuous with three listed colours gay. Milton, P. L. b. xi. 865.

v. 79. Ten paces.] For an explanation of the allegorical meaning of this mysterious procession, Venturi refers those “who would see in the dark” to the commentaries of Landino, Vellutello, and others: and adds that it is evident the Poet has accommodated to his own fancy many sacred images in the Apocalypse. In Vasari’s Life of Giotto, we learn that Dante recommended that book to his friend, as affording fit subjects for his pencil.

v. 89. Four.] The four evangelists.

v. 96. Ezekiel.] Chap. 1. 4.

v. 101. John.] Rev. c. iv. 8.

v. 104. Gryphon.] Under the Gryphon, an imaginary creature, the forepart of which is an eagle, and the hinder a lion, is shadowed forth the union of the divine and human nature in Jesus Christ. The car is the church.

v. 115. Tellus’ prayer.] Ovid, Met. 1. ii. v. 279.

v. 116. ‘Three nymphs.] The three evangelical virtues: the first Charity, the next Hope, and the third Faith. Faith may be produced by charity, or charity by faith, but the inducements to hope must arise either from one or other of these.

v. 125. A band quaternion.] The four moral or cardinal virtues, of whom Prudence directs the others.

v. 129. Two old men.] Saint Luke, characterized as the writer of the Arts of the Apostles and Saint Paul.

v. 133. Of the great Coan.] Hippocrates, “whom nature made for the benefit of her favourite creature, man.”

v. 138. Four others.] “The commentators,” says Venturi; “suppose these four to be the four evangelists, but I should rather take them to be four principal doctors of the church.” Yet both Landino and Vellutello expressly call them the authors of the epistles, James, Peter, John and Jude.

v. 140. One single old man.] As some say, St. John, under his character of the author of the Apocalypse. But in the poem attributed to Giacopo, the son of our Poet, which in some MSS, accompanies the original of this work, and is descriptive of its plan, this old man is said to be Moses.

E’l vecchio, ch’ era dietro a tutti loro Fu Moyse.

And the old man, who was behind them all, Was Moses.
See No. 3459 of the Harl. MSS. in the British Museum.


v. 1. The polar light.] The seven candlesticks.

v. 12. Come.] Song of Solomon, c. iv. 8.

v. 19. Blessed.] Matt. c. xxi. 9.

v. 20. From full hands.] Virg. Aen 1. vi. 884.

v. 97. The old flame.]
Agnosco veteris vestigia flammae
Virg. Aen. I. I. 23.

Conosco i segni dell’ antico fuoco.
Giusto de’ Conti, La Bella Mano.

v. 61. Nor.] “Not all the beauties of the terrestrial Paradise; in which I was, were sufficient to allay my grief.”

v. 85. But.] They sang the thirty-first Psalm, to the end of the eighth verse.

v. 87. The living rafters.] The leafless woods on the Apennine.

v. 90. The land whereon no shadow falls.] “When the wind blows, from off Africa, where, at the time of the equinox, bodies being under the equator cast little or no shadow; or, in other words, when the wind is south.”

v. 98. The ice.] Milton has transferred this conceit, though scarcely worth the pains of removing, into one of his Italian poems, son.


v. 3. With lateral edge.] The words of Beatrice, when not addressed directly to himself, but speaking to the angel of hell, Dante had thought sufficiently harsh.

v. 39. Counter to the edge.] “The weapons of divine justice are blunted by the confession and sorrow of the offender.”

v. 58. Bird.] Prov. c. i. 17

v. 69. From Iarbas’ land.] The south.

v. 71. The beard.] “I perceived, that when she desired me to raise my beard, instead of telling me to lift up my head, a severe reflection was implied on my want of that wisdom which should accompany the age of manhood.”

v. 98. Tu asperges me.] A prayer repeated by the priest at sprinkling the holy water.

v. 106. And in the heaven are stars.] See Canto I. 24.

v. 116. The emeralds.] The eyes of Beatrice.


v. 2. Their ten years’ thirst.] Beatrice had been dead ten years.

v. 9. Two fix’d a gaze.] The allegorical interpretation of Vellutello whether it be considered as justly terrible from the text or not, conveys so useful a lesson, that it deserves our notice. “The understanding is sometimes so intently engaged in contemplating the light of divine truth in the scriptures, that it becomes dazzled, and is made less capable of attaining such knowledge, than if it had sought after it with greater moderation”

v. 39. Its tresses.] Daniel, c. iv. 10, &c.

v. 41. The Indians.]
Quos oceano proprior gerit India lucos. Virg. Georg. 1. ii. 122,
Such as at this day to Indians known. Milton, P. L. b. ix. 1102.

v. 51. When large floods of radiance.] When the sun enters into Aries, the constellation next to that of the Fish.

v. 63. Th’ unpitying eyes.] See Ovid, Met. 1. i. 689.

v. 74. The blossoming of that fair tree.] Our Saviour’s transfiguration.

v. 97. Those lights.] The tapers of gold.

v. 101. That true Rome.] Heaven.

v. 110. The bird of Jove.] This, which is imitated from Ezekiel, c. xvii. 3, 4. appears to be typical of the persecutions which the church sustained from the Roman Emperors.

v. 118. A fox.] By the fox perhaps is represented the treachery of the heretics.

v. 124. With his feathers lin’d.]. An allusion to the donations made by the Roman Emperors to the church.

v. 130. A dragon.] Probably Mahomet.

v. 136. With plumes.] The donations before mentioned.

v. 142. Heads.] By the seven heads, it is supposed with sufficient probability, are meant the seven capital sins, by the three with two horns, pride, anger, and avarice, injurious both to man himself and to his neighbor: by the four with one horn, gluttony, lukewarmness, concupiscence, and envy, hurtful, at least in their primary effects, chiefly to him who is guilty of them.

v. 146. O’er it.] The harlot is thought to represent the state of the church under Boniface VIII and the giant to figure Philip IV of France.

v. 155. Dragg’d on.] The removal of the Pope’s residence from Rome to Avignon is pointed at.


v. 1. The Heathen.] Psalm lxxix. 1.

v. 36. Hope not to scare God’s vengeance with a sop.] “Let not him who hath occasioned the destruction of the church, that vessel which the serpent brake, hope to appease the anger of the Deity by any outward acts of religious, or rather superstitious, ceremony, such as was that, in our poet’s time, performed by a murderer at Florence, who imagined himself secure from vengeance, if he ate a sop of bread in wine, upon the grave of the person murdered, within the space of nine days.”

v. 38. That eagle.] He prognosticates that the Emperor of Germany will not always continue to submit to the usurpations of the Pope, and foretells the coming of Henry VII Duke of Luxembourg signified by the numerical figures DVX; or, as Lombardi supposes, of Can Grande della Scala, appointed the leader of the Ghibelline forces. It is unnecessary to point out the imitation of the Apocalypse in the manner of this prophecy.

v. 50. The Naiads.] Dante, it is observed, has been led into a mistake by a corruption in the text of Ovid’s Metam. I. vii. 75, where he found-
Carmina Naiades non intellecta priorum;

instead of Carmina Laiades, &c. as it has been since corrected. Lombardi refers to Pansanias, where “the Nymphs” are spoken of as expounders of oracles for a vindication of the poet’s accuracy. Should the reader blame me for not departing from the error of the original (if error it be), he may substitute

Events shall be the Oedipus will solve, &c.

v. 67. Elsa’s numbing waters.] The Elsa, a little stream, which flows into the Arno about twenty miles below Florence, is said to possess a petrifying quality.

v. 78. That one brings home his staff inwreath’d with palm.] “For the same cause that the pilgrim, returning from Palestine, brings home his staff, or bourdon, bound with palm,” that is, to show where he has been.

Che si reca ‘I bordon di palma cinto.

“In regard to the word bourdon, why it has been applied to a pilgrim’s staff, it is not easy to guess. I believe, however that this name has been given to such sort of staves, because pilgrims usually travel and perform their pilgrimages on foot, their staves serving them instead of horses or mules, then called bourdons and burdones, by writers in the middle ages.” Mr. Johnes’s Translation of Joinville’s Memoirs. Dissertation xv, by M. du Cange p. 152. 4to. edit. The word is thrice used by Chaucer in the Romaunt of the Rose.



His glory, by whose might all things are mov’d, Pierces the universe, and in one part
Sheds more resplendence, elsewhere less. In heav’n, That largeliest of his light partakes, was I, Witness of things, which to relate again Surpasseth power of him who comes from thence; For that, so near approaching its desire Our intellect is to such depth absorb’d, That memory cannot follow. Nathless all, That in my thoughts I of that sacred realm Could store, shall now be matter of my song. Benign Apollo! this last labour aid,
And make me such a vessel of thy worth, As thy own laurel claims of me belov’d.
Thus far hath one of steep Parnassus’ brows Suffic’d me; henceforth there is need of both For my remaining enterprise Do thou
Enter into my bosom, and there breathe So, as when Marsyas by thy hand was dragg’d Forth from his limbs unsheath’d. O power divine! If thou to me of shine impart so much,
That of that happy realm the shadow’d form Trac’d in my thoughts I may set forth to view, Thou shalt behold me of thy favour’d tree Come to the foot, and crown myself with leaves; For to that honour thou, and my high theme Will fit me. If but seldom, mighty Sire! To grace his triumph gathers thence a wreath Caesar or bard (more shame for human wills Deprav’d) joy to the Delphic god must spring From the Pierian foliage, when one breast Is with such thirst inspir’d. From a small spark Great flame hath risen: after me perchance Others with better voice may pray, and gain From the Cirrhaean city answer kind.
Through diver passages, the world’s bright lamp Rises to mortals, but through that which joins Four circles with the threefold cross, in best Course, and in happiest constellation set He comes, and to the worldly wax best gives Its temper and impression. Morning there, Here eve was by almost such passage made; And whiteness had o’erspread that hemisphere, Blackness the other part; when to the left I saw Beatrice turn’d, and on the sun
Gazing, as never eagle fix’d his ken. As from the first a second beam is wont
To issue, and reflected upwards rise, E’en as a pilgrim bent on his return,
So of her act, that through the eyesight pass’d Into my fancy, mine was form’d; and straight, Beyond our mortal wont, I fix’d mine eyes Upon the sun. Much is allowed us there,
That here exceeds our pow’r; thanks to the place Made for the dwelling of the human kind
I suffer’d it not long, and yet so long That I beheld it bick’ring sparks around, As iron that comes boiling from the fire. And suddenly upon the day appear’d
A day new-ris’n, as he, who hath the power, Had with another sun bedeck’d the sky.
Her eyes fast fix’d on the eternal wheels, Beatrice stood unmov’d; and I with ken
Fix’d upon her, from upward gaze remov’d At her aspect, such inwardly became
As Glaucus, when he tasted of the herb, That made him peer among the ocean gods; Words may not tell of that transhuman change: And therefore let the example serve, though weak, For those whom grace hath better proof in store If I were only what thou didst create, Then newly, Love! by whom the heav’n is rul’d, Thou know’st, who by thy light didst bear me up. Whenas the wheel which thou dost ever guide, Desired Spirit! with its harmony
Temper’d of thee and measur’d, charm’d mine ear, Then seem’d to me so much of heav’n to blaze With the sun’s flame, that rain or flood ne’er made A lake so broad. The newness of the sound, And that great light, inflam’d me with desire, Keener than e’er was felt, to know their cause. Whence she who saw me, clearly as myself, To calm my troubled mind, before I ask’d, Open’d her lips, and gracious thus began: “With false imagination thou thyself
Mak’st dull, so that thou seest not the thing, Which thou hadst seen, had that been shaken off. Thou art not on the earth as thou believ’st; For light’ning scap’d from its own proper place Ne’er ran, as thou hast hither now return’d.” Although divested of my first-rais’d doubt, By those brief words, accompanied with smiles, Yet in new doubt was I entangled more,
And said: “Already satisfied, I rest From admiration deep, but now admire
How I above those lighter bodies rise.” Whence, after utt’rance of a piteous sigh, She tow’rds me bent her eyes, with such a look, As on her frenzied child a mother casts; Then thus began: “Among themselves all things Have order; and from hence the form, which makes The universe resemble God. In this
The higher creatures see the printed steps Of that eternal worth, which is the end
Whither the line is drawn. All natures lean, In this their order, diversely, some more, Some less approaching to their primal source. Thus they to different havens are mov’d on Through the vast sea of being, and each one With instinct giv’n, that bears it in its course; This to the lunar sphere directs the fire, This prompts the hearts of mortal animals, This the brute earth together knits, and binds. Nor only creatures, void of intellect,
Are aim’d at by this bow; hut even those, That have intelligence and love, are pierc’d. That Providence, who so well orders all, With her own light makes ever calm the heaven, In which the substance, that hath greatest speed, Is turn’d: and thither now, as to our seat Predestin’d, we are carried by the force Of that strong cord, that never looses dart, But at fair aim and glad. Yet is it true, That as ofttimes but ill accords the form To the design of art, through sluggishness Of unreplying matter, so this course
Is sometimes quitted by the creature, who Hath power, directed thus, to bend elsewhere; As from a cloud the fire is seen to fall, From its original impulse warp’d, to earth, By vicious fondness. Thou no more admire Thy soaring, (if I rightly deem,) than lapse Of torrent downwards from a mountain’s height. There would in thee for wonder be more cause, If, free of hind’rance, thou hadst fix’d thyself Below, like fire unmoving on the earth.” So said, she turn’d toward the heav’n her face.


All ye, who in small bark have following sail’d, Eager to listen, on the advent’rous track Of my proud keel, that singing cuts its way, Backward return with speed, and your own shores Revisit, nor put out to open sea,
Where losing me, perchance ye may remain Bewilder’d in deep maze. The way I pass
Ne’er yet was run: Minerva breathes the gale, Apollo guides me, and another Nine
To my rapt sight the arctic beams reveal. Ye other few, who have outstretch’d the neck. Timely for food of angels, on which here They live, yet never know satiety,
Through the deep brine ye fearless may put out Your vessel, marking, well the furrow broad Before you in the wave, that on both sides Equal returns. Those, glorious, who pass’d o’er To Colchos, wonder’d not as ye will do,
When they saw Jason following the plough. The increate perpetual thirst, that draws Toward the realm of God’s own form, bore us Swift almost as the heaven ye behold.
Beatrice upward gaz’d, and I on her, And in such space as on the notch a dart Is plac’d, then loosen’d flies, I saw myself Arriv’d, where wond’rous thing engag’d my sight. Whence she, to whom no work of mine was hid, Turning to me, with aspect glad as fair, Bespake me: “Gratefully direct thy mind
To God, through whom to this first star we come.” Me seem’d as if a cloud had cover’d us, Translucent, solid, firm, and polish’d bright, Like adamant, which the sun’s beam had smit Within itself the ever-during pearl
Receiv’d us, as the wave a ray of light Receives, and rests unbroken. If I then
Was of corporeal frame, and it transcend Our weaker thought, how one dimension thus Another could endure, which needs must be If body enter body, how much more
Must the desire inflame us to behold That essence, which discovers by what means God and our nature join’d! There will be seen That which we hold through faith, not shown by proof, But in itself intelligibly plain,
E’en as the truth that man at first believes. I answered: “Lady! I with thoughts devout, Such as I best can frame, give thanks to Him, Who hath remov’d me from the mortal world. But tell, I pray thee, whence the gloomy spots Upon this body, which below on earth
Give rise to talk of Cain in fabling quaint?” She somewhat smil’d, then spake: “If mortals err In their opinion, when the key of sense
Unlocks not, surely wonder’s weapon keen Ought not to pierce thee; since thou find’st, the wings Of reason to pursue the senses’ flight
Are short. But what thy own thought is, declare.” Then I: “What various here above appears, Is caus’d, I deem, by bodies dense or rare.” She then resum’d: “Thou certainly wilt see In falsehood thy belief o’erwhelm’d, if well Thou listen to the arguments, which I
Shall bring to face it. The eighth sphere displays Numberless lights, the which in kind and size May be remark’d of different aspects;
If rare or dense of that were cause alone, One single virtue then would be in all,
Alike distributed, or more, or less. Different virtues needs must be the fruits Of formal principles, and these, save one, Will by thy reasoning be destroy’d. Beside, If rarity were of that dusk the cause,
Which thou inquirest, either in some part That planet must throughout be void, nor fed With its own matter; or, as bodies share Their fat and leanness, in like manner this Must in its volume change the leaves. The first, If it were true, had through the sun’s eclipse Been manifested, by transparency
Of light, as through aught rare beside effus’d. But this is not. Therefore remains to see The other cause: and if the other fall,
Erroneous so must prove what seem’d to thee. If not from side to side this rarity