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The Divine Comedy of 
Dante Alighieri 

Hell • Purgatory 


W//A Introduction and ^otes 
\olume ao 

P. F. Collier & Son Corporation 


Copyright, 1909 
By p. F. Colliek & Son 

■lanufacturbo in u. s. a. 


The Divine Comedy — 

Infekno [Hell]: 

Canto I 5 

Canto II 9 

Canto III 13 

Canto IV 16 

Canto V 21 

Canto VI 25 

Canto VII 28 

Canto VIII 32 

Canto IX 36 

Canto X 4" 

Canto XI 45 

Canto XII 48 

Canto XIII 53 

Canto XIV 57 

Canto XV ..... 61 

Canto XVI 65 

Canto XVII 69 

Canto XVIII .... 73 

Canto XIX 77 

Canto XX 81 

Canto XXI 85 

Canto XXII 89 

Canto XXIII .... 93 

Canto XXIV .... 98 

Canto XXV 102 

Canto XXVI .... 106 
Canto XXVII . . . .110 
Canto XXVIII . . . .114 

Canto XXIX . . . 

• "9 

Canto XXX . . . 

• "3 

Canto XXXI . . 

• "7 

Canto XXXII . . 

• 131 

Canto XXXIII . . 

• • 135 

Canto XXXIV . . 

. . 140 


Canto I i45 

Canto II 149 

Canto III i53 

Canto IV 157 

Canto V 161 

Canto VI 165 

Canto VII 170 

Canto VIII 175 

Canto IX 179 

Canto X 183 

Canto XI 186 

Canto XII 191 

Canto XIII 194 

Canto XIV 199 

Canto XV 204 

Canto XVI 208 

Canto XVII 212 

Canto XVIII .... 216 

Canto XIX 220 

Canto XX 225 

Canto XXI 230 

Canto XXII 234 

Canto XXIII . . . .238 






















Canto I 285 

Canto II 289 

Canto III 293 

Canto IV 297 

Canto V .301 

Canto VI 305 

Canto VII 310 

Canto VIII 314 

Canto IX 319 

Canto X 324 

Canto XI 329 































Much of the life of Dante Alighieri is obscure, and the known facts 
are surrounded by a haze of legend and conjecture. He was born in 
Florence in 1265, of a family noble but not wealthy. His early education 
is a matter of inference, but we know that he learned the art of writing 
verse from the poets of France and Provence, and that after he reached 
manhood he devoted much time to study and became profoundly learned. 
As a young man he saw military service and shared in the recreations of 
his contemporaries; and he married some time before he was thirty-two. 
In Dante's day politics in Florence were exciting and dangerous; and 
after a few years of participation in public affairs he was condemned to 
death by his political enemies in 1302. He saved himself by exile, and 
never returned to his native town. The rest of his life was mainly spent 
wandering about the north of Italy, in Verona, Bologna, Pisa, Lucca, and 
finally Ravenna, where he died in 1321. During the years of his exile 
he found generous patrons in men like the heads of the Scala family in 
Verona and Guido NovcUo da Polenta in Ravenna; and at Bologna and 
elsewhere he was welcomed as a teacher. 

In the early part of the century in which Dante was born, the literary 
language of Tuscany was still Latin, and not the least of his services to 
his country was his influence in finally establishing the dignity of Italian 
as a medium for great literature. He himself used Latin in at least three 
works: his lecture "De Aqua et Terra"; his "De Monarchia," in which 
he expounded his political theory of the relation of the Empire and the 
Papacy; and his unfinished "De Vulgari Eloquentia," containing his 
defense of the use of Italian. More important, however, were his two 
great works in the vernacular, the "Vita Nuova," a series of poems with 
prose commentary, on his love for Beatrice, and the "Divina Commedia." 

The Beatrice, real or ideal, who plays so important a part in the poetry 
of Dante, is stated by Boccaccio to have been the daughter of Folco 
Portinari, a rich Florentine, and wife of the banker Simone dei Bardi. 
With this actual person Dante's acquaintance seems to have been of the 
slightest; but, after the fashion of the chivalric lovers of the day, he took 
her as the object of his ideal devotion. She became for him, especially 
after her death in 1290, the center of a mystical devotion of extraordi- 
nary intensity, and appears in his masterpiece as the personification of 
heavenly enlightenment. 

The "Divine Comedy" was entitled by Dante himself merely "Com- 



iia," "meaning a poetic composition in a style intermediate between 
the sustained nobility of tragedy, and the popular tone of elegy." The 
word had no dramatic implication at that time, though it did involve a 
happy ending. The poem is the narrative of a journey down through 
Hell, up the mountain of Purgatory, and through the revolving heavens 
into the presence of God. In this aspect it belongs to the two familiar 
medieval literary types of the Journey and the Vision. It is also an alle- 
gory, representing under the symbolism of the stages and experiences of 
the journey, the history of a human soul, painfully struggling from sin 
through purification to the Beatific Vision. Other schemes of interpre- 
tation have been worked out and were probably intended, for Dante 
granted the medieval demand for a threefold and even fourfold signifi- 
cation in this type of writing. 

But the "Divine Comedy" belongs to still other literary forms than 
those mentioned. Professor Grandgent has pwinted out that it is also an 
encyclopedia, a poem in praise of Woman, and an autobiography. It 
contains much of what Dante knew of theology and philosophy, of 
astronomy and cosmography, and fragments of a number of other 
branches of learning, so that its encyclopedic character is obvious. In 
making it a monument to Beatrice, he surpassed infinitely all the poetry 
devoted to the praise of women in an age when the deification of women 
was the commonplace of poetry. And finally he made it an autobiography 
— not a narrative of the external events of his life, but of the agony of 
his soul. 

Thus, in an altogether unique way, Dante summarizes the literature, 
the philosophy, the science, and the religion of the Middle Ages. Through 
the intensity of his capacity for exfjerience, the splendor of his power of 
expression, and the depth of his spiritual and philosophic insight, he at 
once sums up and transcends a whole era of human history. 



Argument. — ^The writer, having lost his way in a gloomy forest, and being 
hindered by certain wild beasts from ascending a mountain, is met by Virgil, who 
promises to show him the punishments of Hell, and afterward of Purgatory; and 
that he shall then be conducted by Beatrice into Paradise. He follows the Roman poet. 

IN the midway' of this our mortal life, 
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray 
Gone from the path direct: and e'en to tell, 
It were no easy task, how savage wild 
That forest, how robust and rough its growth, 
Which to remember only, my dismay 
Renews, in bitterness not far from death. 
Yet, to discourse of what there good befel, 
All else will I relate discover'd there. 

How first I enter'd it I scarce can say. 
Such sleepy dulness in that instant weigh'd 
My senses down, when the true path I left; 
But when a mountain's foot I reach'd, where closed 
The valley that had pierced my heart with dread, 
I look'd aloft, and saw his shoulders broad 
Already vested with that planet's beam,* 
Who leads all wanderers safe through every way. 

Then was a little respite to the fear. 
That in my heart's recesses deep had lain 
All of that night, so pitifully past: 
And as a man, with difficult short breath, 
Forespent with toiling, 'scaped from sea to shore, 
Turns to the perilous wide waste, and stands 

*'7n the midway." The era of the highest point of which is, in those well 

poem is intended by these words to be framed by nature, at their thirty-fifth 

fixed to the thirty-fifth year of the poet's year. 

age, AJ>. 1300. In his Convito, human *"That planet's beam." The sun. 

life is compared to an arch or bow, the 



At gaze; e'en so my spirit, that yet faii'd, 
Struggling with terror, turn'd to view the straits 
That none hath passed and Hved. My weary frame 
After short pause recomforted, again 
I journey'd on over that lonely steep. 
The hinder foot' still firmer. Scarce the ascent 
Began, when, lo! a panther,* nimble, light, 
And cover 'd with a speckled skin, appear'd; 
Nor, when it saw me, vanish'd; rather strove 
To check my onward going; that oft-times. 
With purpose to retrace my steps, I turn'd. 

The hour was morning's prime, and on his way 
Aloft the sun ascended with those stars,'' 
That with him rose when Love Divine first moved 
Those its fair works: so that with joyous hope 
All things conspired to fill me, the gay skin 
Of that swift animal, the matin dawn, 
And the sweet season. Soon that joy was chased. 
And by new dread succeeded, when in view 
A lion came, 'gainst me as it appear'd. 
With his head held aloft and hunger-mad, 
That e'en the air was fear-struck. A she-wolf 
Was at his heels, who in her leanness seem'd 
Full of all wants, and many a land hath made 
Disconsolate ere now. She with such fear 
O'erwhelm'd me, at the sight of her appall'd, 
That of the height all hope I lost. As one. 
Who, with his gain elated, sees the time 
When all unawares is gone, he inwardly 
Mourns with heart-griping anguish; such was I, 
Haunted by that fell beast, never at peace, 
Who coming o'er against me, by degrees 
Impell'd me where the sun in silence rests. 

While to the lower space with backward step 
I fell, my ken discern'd the form of one 
Whose voice seem'd faint through long disuse of speech. 
When him in that great desert I espied, 

' "The hinder foot." In ascending a * "With those stars." The sun was in 

hill the weight of the body rests on the Aries, in which iiga he supjwses it to 

hinder foot. have begun its course at the creation. 

* "A panther." Pleasure or luxury. 


"Have mercy on me," cried I out aloud, 
"Spirit! or living man! whate'er thou be." 

He answered: "Now not man, man once I was, 
And born of Lombard parents, Mantuans both 
By country, when the power of Julius yet 
Was scarcely firm. At Rome my life was past. 
Beneath the mild Augustus, in the time 
Of fabled deities and false. A bard 
Was I, and made Anchises' upright son 
The subject of my song, who came from Troy, 
When the flames prey'd on Ilium's haughty towers. 
But thou, say wherefore to such fjerils past 
Return'st thou? wherefore not this pleasant mount 
Ascendest, cause and source of all delight?" 
"And art thou then that Virgil, that well-spring. 
From which such copious floods of eloquence 
Have issued?" I with front abash'd replied. 
"Glory and light of all the tuneful trainl 
May it avail me, that I long with zeal 
Have sought thy volume, and with love immense 
Have conn'd it o'er. My master thou, and guide! 
Thou he from whom alone I have derived 
That style, which for its beauty into fame 
Exalts me. See the beast, from whom I fled. 
O save me from her, thou illustrious sage! 
For every vein and pulse throughout my frame 
She hath made tremble." He, soon as he saw 
That I was weeping, answer 'd, "Thou must needs 
Another way pursue, if thou wouldst 'scape 
From out that savage wilderness. This beast. 
At whom thou criest, her way will suffer none 
To [>ass, and no less hinderance makes than death: 
So bad and so accursed in her kind, 
That never sated is her ravenous will. 
Still after food more craving than before. 
To many an animal in wedlock vile 
She fastens, and shall yet to many more. 
Until that greyhound' come, who shall destroy 

' This passaRc has been commonly un- spirit of his Veronese pauon, Can Grande 
derstood as a eulogium on the liberal della Scala. 


Her with sharp pain. He will not life supfwrt 
By earth nor its base metals, but by love, 
Wisdom, and virtue; and his land shall be 
The land 'twixt either Feltro.' In his might 
Shall safety to Italia's plains arise. 
For whose fair realm, Camilla, virgin pure, 
Nisus, Euryalus, and Turnus fell. 
He, with incessant chase, through every town 
Shall worry, until he to hell at length 
Restore her, thence by envy first let loose. 
I, for thy profit pondering, now devise 
That thou mayst follow me; and I, thy guide. 
Will lead thee hence through an eternal space. 
Where thou shalt hear despairing shrieks, and see 
Spirits of old tormented, who invoke 
A second death;' and those next view, who dwell 
Content in fire,' for that they hope to come. 
Whene'er the time may be, among the blest. 
Into whose regions if thou then desire 
To ascend, a spirit worthier'" than I 
Must lead thee, in whose charge, when I depart, 
Thou shalt be left: for that Almighty King, 
Who reigns above, a rebel to His law 
Adjudges me; and therefore hath decreed 
That, to His city, none through me should come. 
He in all parts hath sway; there rules, there holds 
His citadel and throne. O happy those. 
Whom there He chuses!" I to him in few: 
"Bard! by that God, whom thou didst not adore, 
I do beseech thee (that this ill and worse 
I may escape) to lead me where thou said'st. 
That I Saint Peter's gate" may view, and those 
Who, as thou tell'st, are in such dismal plight." 
Onward he moved, I close his steps pursued. 

'Verona, the country of Can della 'The spirits in Purgatory. 

ScaU, is situated between Feltro, a city '""A spirit worthier." Beatrice, who 

in the Marca Trivigiana, and Monte conducts the Poet through Paradise. 

Feltro, a city in the territory of Urbino. " The gate of Purgatory, which the 

' "A second death." "And in these Poet feigns to be guarded by an angel 

days men shall seek death, and shall not placed there by St. Peter, 
find it; and shall desire to die, and death 
shall flee from them." Rev. ix. 6. 




Akcument. — After the invocation, which poets are used to prefix to their works, 
he shows that, on a consideration of his own strength, he doubted whether it sufficed 
for the journey pro|xiscd to him, but that, being comforted by Virgil, he at last took 
courage, and followed him as his guide and master. 

'OW was the day departing, and the air, 
Imbrown'd with shadows, from their toils released 
All animals on earth; and I alone 
Prepared myself the conflict to sustain, 
Both of sad pity, and that perilous road. 
Which my unerring memory shall retrace. 

Muses! O high genius! now vouchsafe 
Your aid. O mind! that all I saw hast kept 
Safe in a written record, here thy worth 
And eminent endowments come to proof. 

1 thus began: "Bard! thou who art my guide. 
Consider well, if virtue be in me 
Sufficient, ere to this high enterprise 
TTiou trust me. Thou hast told that Silvius' sire,' 
Yet clothed in corruptible flesh, among 
The immortal tribes had entrance, and was there 
Sensibly present. Yet if Heaven's great Lord, 
Almighty foe to ill, such favor show'd 
In contemplation of the high effect. 
Both what and who from him should issue forth, 
It seems in reason's judgment well deserved; 
Sith he of Rome and of Rome's empire wide, 
In Heaven's empyreal height was chosen sire: 
Both which, if truth be spoken, were ordain'd 
And stablish'd for the holy place, where sits 
Who to great Peter's sacred chair succeeds. 
He from this journey, in thy song renown'd, 
Learn'd things, that to his victory gave rise 
And to the papal robe. In after-times 
The Chosen Vessel* also travel'd there. 
To bring us back assurance in that faith 
Which is the entrance to salvation's way. 
But I, why should I there presume? or who 
Permits it.' not itineas I, nor Paul. 

' "Silviut' sire." itneas. ' 'The Chosen Vessel." St. PatJ. 


Myself I deem not worthy, and none else 

Will deem me. I, if on this voyage then 

I venture, fear it will in folly end. 

Thou, who art wise, better my meaning know'st. 

Than I can speak." As one, who unresolves 

What he hath late resolved, and with new thoughts 

Changes his purpose, from his first intent 

Removed; e'en such was I on that dun coast. 

Wasting in thought my enterprise, at first 

So eagerly embraced. "If right thy words 

I scan," replied that shade magnanimous, 

"Thy soul is by vile fear assail'd, which oft 

So overcasts a man, that he recoils 

From noblest resolution, like a beast 

At some false semblance in the twilight gloom. 

That from this terror thou mayst free thyself, 

I will instruct thee why I came, and what 

I heard in that same instant, when for thee 

Grief touch'd me first. I was among the tribe. 

Who rest susfiended,' when a dame, so blest 

And lovely I besought her to command, 

Call'd me; her eyes were brighter than the star 

Of day; and she, with gentle voice and soft. 

Angelically tuned, her speech address'd: 

'O courteous shade of Mantua! thou whose fame 

Yet lives, and shall live long as nature lasts! 

A friend, not of my fortune but myself. 

On the wide desert in his road has met 

Hindrance so great, that he through fear has turn'd. 

Now much I dread lest he past help have stray'd. 

And I be risen too late for his relief. 

From what in heaven of him I heard. Speed now. 

And by thy eloquent persuasive tongue, 

And by all means for his deliverance meet, 

Assist him. So to me will comfort spring. 

I, who now bid thee on this errand forth. 

Am Beatrice;* from a place I come 

• The spirits in Limbo, neither admitted * "Beatrice." The daughter of Foico 

to a state of glory nor doomed to punish- Portinari, who is here invested with the 
ment character of celestial wisdom or theology. 


Revisited with joy. Lx)ve brought me thence. 

Who prompts my speech. When in my Master's sight 

I stand, thy praise to him I oft will tell.' 

"She then was silent, and I thus began: 
'O Lady! by whose influence alone 
Mankind excels whatever is contain'd 
Within that heaven which hath the smallest orb, 
So thy command delights me, that to obey, 
If it were done already, would seem late. 
No need hast thou further to speak thy will: 
Yet tell the reason, why thou art not loth 
To leave that ample space, where to return 
Thou burnest, for this centre here beneath.' 

"She then: 'Since thou so deeply wouldst inquire, 
I will instruct thee briefly why no dread 
Hinders my entrance here. Those things alone 
Are to be fear'd whence evil may proceed; 
None else, for none are terrible beside. 
I am so framed by God, thanks to His grace! 
That any sufferance of your misery 
Touches me not, nor flame of that fierce fire 
Assails me. In high Heaven a blessed Dame' 
Resides, who mourns with such effectual grief 
That hindrance, which I send thee to remove. 
That God's stern judgment to her will inclines.* 
To Lucia,' calling, her she thus bespake: 
'Now doth thy faithful servant need thy aid. 
And I commend him to thee.' At her word 
Sped Lucia, of all cruelty the foe. 
And coming to the place, where I abode 
Seated with Rachel, her of ancient days. 
She thus address'd me: "Thou true praise of God! 
Beatrice! why is not thy succour lent 
To him, who so much loved thee, as to leave 
For thy sake all the multitude admires? 
Dost thou not hear how pitiful his wail. 
Nor mark the death, which in the torrent flood, 
Swoln mightier than a sea, him struggling holds?" 

' "A blessed Dame." The Divine • "Lucia." The enlighteninj; Grace of 
Mercy. Heaven; as it is commonly explained. 

12 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto ii 

Ne'er among men did any with such speed 
Haste to their profit, flee from their annoy, 
As, when these words were sjwken, I came here, 
Down from my blessed seat, trusting the force 
Of thy pure eloquence, which thee, and all 
Who well have mark'd it, into honor brings.' 

"When she had ended, her bright beaming eyes 
Tearful she turn'd aside; whereat I felt 
Redoubled zeal to serve thee. As she will'd. 
Thus am I come: I saved thee from the beast, 
Who thy near way across the goodly mount 
Prevented. What is this comes o'er thee then? 
Why, why dost thou hang backP why in thy breast 
Harbour vile fear? why hast not courage there, 
And noble daring; since three maids,^ so blest. 
Thy safety plan, e'en in the court of Heaven; 
And so much certain good my words forebode?" 

As florets, by the frosty air of night 
Bent down and closed, when day has blanch'd their leaves, 
Rise all unfolded on their spiry stems; 
So was my fainting vigor new restored. 
And to my heart such kindly courage ran, 
That I as one undaunted soon replied: 
"O full of pity she, who undertook 
My succour! and thou kind, who didst perform 
So soon her true behest! With such desire 
Thou hast disposed me to renew my voyage. 
That my first purpose fully is resumed. 
Lead on: one only will is in us both. 
Thou art my guide, my master thou, and lord." 

So spake I; and when he had onward moved, 
I enter'd on the deep and woody way. 
' "Three maids." The Divine Mercy, Lucia and Beatrice. 

rcaciicS) iie is 




Akcument. — Dante, following Virgil, comes to the gate of Hell; where, after 
having read the dreadful words that are written thereon, they both enter. Here, as 
he understands from Virgil, those were punished who had passed their time (for 
living it could not be called) in a state of apathy and indifference both to good and 
evil. Then, pursuing their way, they arrive at the river Acheron; and there find the 
old ferryman Charon, who takes the spirits over to the opposite shore; which, ai 
(oon as Dante reaches, he is seized with terror, and falls into a trance. 

"*' - Through me you pass into the city of woe: 
Through me you pass into eternal pain: 
Through me among the f>eople lost for aye- 
Justice the founder of my fabric moved: 
To rear me was the task of Power divine, 
Supremest Wisdom, and primeval Love.' 
Before me things create were none, save things 
Eternal, and eternal I endure. 
All hope abandon, ye who enter here." 

Such characters, in color dim, I mark'd 
Over a portal's lofty arch inscribed. 
Whereat I thus: "Master, these words import 
Hard meaning." He as one prepared replied: 
"Here thou must all distrust behind thee leave; 
Here be vile fear extinguish'd. We are come 
Where I have told thee we shall see the souls 
To misery doom'd, who intellectual good 
Have lost." And when his hand he had stretch'd forth 
To mine, with pleasant looks, whence I was cheer'd, 
Into that secret place he led me on. 

Here sighs, with lamentations and loud moans, 
Resounded through the air pierced by no star. 
That e'en I wept at entering. Various tongues, 
Horrible languages, outcries of woe. 
Accents of anger, voices deep and hoarse. 
With hands together smote that swell'd the sounds. 
Made up a tumult, that forever whirls 
Round through that air with solid darkness stain'd, 
Like to the sand that in the whirlwind flies. 
I then, with horror yet encompast, cried: 
"O master! what is this I hear? what race 
Are these, who seem so overcome with woe?" 
' "Power," "Wisdom," "I.ove," the three Persoos of the Blessed Trinity. 

14 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto hi 

He thus to me: "This miserable fate 
Suffer the wretched souls of those, who lived 
Without or praise or blame, with that ill band 
Of angels mix'd, who nor rebellious proved, 
Nor yet were true to God, but for themselves 
Were only. From his bounds Heaven drove them forth 
Not to impair his lustre; nor the depth 
Of Hell receives them, lest the accursed tribe 
Should glory thence with exultation vain." 

I then: "Master! what doth aggrieve them thus, 
That they lament so loud?" He straight replied: 
"That will I tell thee briefly. These of death 
No hope may entertain: and their blind life 
So meanly passes, that all other lots 
They envy. Fame of them the world hath none, 
Nor suffers; Mercy and Justice scorn them both. 
Speak not of them, but look, and pass them by." 

And I, who straightway look'd, beheld a flag. 
Which whirling ran around so rapidly. 
That it no pause obtain'd: and following came 
Such a long train of spirits, I should ne'er 
Have thought that death so many had despoil'd. 

When some of these I recognized, I saw 
And knew the shade of him, who to base fear* 
Yielding, abjured his high estate. Forthwith 
I understood, for certain, this the tribe 
Of those ill spirits both to God displeasing 
And to His foes. These wretches, who ne'er lived. 
Went on in nakedness, and sorely stung 
By wasps and hornets, which bedew 'd their cheeks 
With blood, that, mix'd with tears, dropp'd to their feet, 
And by disgustful worms was gather'd there. 

Then looking further onwards, I beheld 

' This is commonly understood of through avarice or want of spirit, to sup- 

Celestine V, who abdicated the papal port the party of the Bianchi at Florence, 

power in 1294. Venturi mentions a work had been the main (xcasion of the 

written by Innocenzio Barccllini, of the miseries that befell them. But the testi- 

Celcstine order, and printed at Milan in mony of Fazio degli Uberti, who lived 

1701, in which an attempt is made to put so near the time of our author, seems 

a different interpretation on this passage. almost decisive on this point. He ex- 

Lombardi would apply it to some one of pressly speaks of the Pope Celestine as 

Dante's fellow-citizens, who, refusing, being in Hell. 


A throng upon the shore of a great stream; 
Whereat I thus: "Sir! grant me now to know 
Whom here we view, and whence impell'd they seem 
So eager to pass o'er, as I discern 
Through the blear light?" He thus to me in few: 
"This shalt thou know, soon as our steps arrive 
Beside the woful tide of Acheron." 

Then with eyes downward cast, and fill'd with shame, 
Fearing my words offensive to his ear, 
Till we had reach'd the river, I from spwech 
Abstain'd. And lo! toward us in a bark 
Comes on an old man, hoary white with eld. 
Crying, "Woe to you, wicked spirits! hope not 
Ever to see the sky again. I come 
To take you to the other shore across. 
Into eternal darkness, there to dwell 
In fierce heat and in ice. And thou, who there 
Standest, live spirit! get thee hence, and leave 
These who are dead." But soon as he beheld 
I left them not, "By other way," said he, 
"By other haven shalt thou come to shore. 
Not by this passage; thee a nimbler boat 
Must carry." Then to him thus spake my guide: 
"Charon! thyself torment not: so 'tis will'd, 
Where will and power are one: ask thou no more." 

Straightway in silence fell the shaggy cheeks 
Of him, the boatman o'er the livid lake. 
Around whose eyes glared wheeling flames. Meanwhile 
Those spirits, faint and naked, color changed, 
And gnash'd their teeth, soon as the cruel words 
They heard. God and their parents they blasphemed. 
The human kind, the place, the time, and seed. 
That did engender them and give them birth. 

Then all together sorely wailing drew 
To the curst strand, that every man must pass 
Who fears not God. Charon, demoniac form. 
With eyes of burning coal, collects them all. 
Beckoning, and each, that lingers, with his oar 
Strikes. As fall ofl the light autumnal leaves 
One still another following, till the bough 



Strews all its honours on the earth beneath; 
E'en in like manner Adam's evil brood 
Cast themselves, one by one, down from the shore, 
Each at a beck, as falcon at his call.' 

Thus go they over through the umber'd wave; 
And ever they on the opposing bank 
Be landed, on this side another throng 
Still gathers. "Son," thus spake the courteous guide, 
"Those who die subject to the wrath of God 
All here together come from every clime 
And to o'erpass the river are not loth: 
For so Heaven's justice goads them on, that fear 
Is turn'd into desire. Hence ne'er hath past 
Good spirit. If of thee Charon complain. 
Now mayst thou know the import of his words." 

This said, the gloomy region trembling shook 
So terribly, that yet with clammy dews 
Fear chills my brow. The sad earth gave a blast, 
That, lightening, shot forth a vermilion flame, 
Which all my senses conquer'd quite, and I 
Down dropp'd, as one with sudden slumber seized. 


Akgument. — ^The Poet, being roused by a clap of thunder, and followinf; his guide 
onward, descends into Limbo, which is the first circle of Hell, where he finds the 
souls of those, who, although they have lived virtuously and have not to suffer for 
great sins, nevertheless, through lack of baptism, merit not the bliss of Paradise. 
Hence he is led on by Virgil to descend into the second circle. 

BROKE the deep slumber in my brain a crash 
Of heavy thunder, that I shook myself. 
As one by main force roused. Risen upright, 
My rested eyes I moved around, and search'd 
With fixed ken, to know what place it was 
Wherein I stood. For certain, on the brink 
I found me of the lamentable vale, 
The dread abyss, that joins a thundrous sound 
Of plaints innumerable. Dark and deep, 

' "As a falcon at his call." This is bird that is enticed to the cage by the 
Vellutello's explanation, and seems pref- call of another." 
erable to that commonly given: "as a 


And thick with clouds o'erspread, mine eye in vain 
Explored its bottom, nor could aught discern. 

"Now let us to the blind world there beneath 
Descend," the bard began, all pale of look: 
"I go the first, and thou shalt follow next." 

Then I, his alter 'd hue perceiving, thus: 
"How may I speed, if thou yieldest to dread. 
Who still art wont to comfort me in doubt?" 

He then: "The anguish of that race below 
With pity stains my cheek, which thou for fear 
Mistakest. Let us on. Our length of way 
Urges to haste." Onward, this said, he moved; 
And entering led me with him, on the bounds 
Of the first circle that surrounds the abyss. 

Here, as mine ear could note, no plaint was heard 
Except of sighs, that made the eternal air 
Tremble, not caused by tortures, but from grief 
Felt by those multitudes, many and vast. 
Of men, women, and infants. Then to me 
The gende guide: "Inquirest thou not what spirits 
Are these which thou beholdest? Ere thou pass 
Farther, I would thou know, that these of sin 
Were blameless; and if aught they merited, 
It profits not, since baptism was not theirs. 
The fwrtal' to thy faith. If they before 
The Gospel lived, they served not God aright; 
And among such am I. For these defects. 
And for no other evil, we are lost; 
Only so far afBicted, that we live 
Desiring without hope." Sore grief assail'd 
My heart at hearing this, for well I knew 
Suspended in that Limbo many a soul 
Of mighty worth. "O tell me, sire revered! 
Tell me, my master!" I began, through wish 
Of full assurance in that holy faith 
Which vanquishes all error; "say, did e'er 
Any, or through his own or other's merit, 

' "Portal." "Porta della fede." This thority, as it would appear, of only two 
was an alteration made in the text by the manuscripts. The other reading is, "parte 
Academicians dclla Crusca, on the au- delta iede" "part of the faith." 



Come forth from thence, who afterward was blest?" 

Piercing the secret purport' of my speech, 
He answer'd: "I was new to that estate 
When I beheld a puissant one' arrive 
Amongst us, with victorious trophy crown'd. 
He forth the shade of our first parent drew, 
Abel, his child, and Noah righteous man. 
Of Moses lawgiver for faith approved, 
Of patriarch Abraham, and David king, 
Israel with his sire and with his sons, 
Nor without Rachel whom so hard he won, 
And others many more, whom He to bliss 
Exalted. Before these, be thou assured. 
No spirit of human kind was ever saved." 

We, while he spake, ceased not our onward road, 
Still passing through the wood; for so I name 
Those spirits thick beset. We were not far 
On this side from the summit, when I kenn'd 
A flame, that o'er the darken 'd hemisphere 
Prevailing shined. Yet we a little space 
Were distant, not so far but I in part 
Discover'd that a trilie in honour high 
That place possess'd. "O thou, who every art 
And science valuest! who are these, that boast 
Such honor, separate from all the rest?" 

He answer'd: "The renown of their great names, 
That echoes through your world above, acquires 
Favor in Heaven, which holds them thus advanced." 
Meantime a voice I heard: "Honor the bard 
Sublime! his shade returns, that left us late!" 
No sooner ceased the sound, than I beheld 
Four mighty spirits toward us bend their steps. 
Of semblance neither sorrowful nor glad. 

When thus my master kind began: "Mark him, 
Who in his right hand bears that falchion keen. 
The other three preceding, as their lord. 

* "Secret purport." Lombard! well ob- probably, it docs not occur once through- 
serves that Dante seems to have been out the whole of this first part of the 
restrained by awe and reverence from poem. 

uttering the name of Christ in this place ' "A puissant one." Our Saviour, 
of torment; and that for the same cause, 


This is that Homer, of all bards supreme: 
Flaccus the next, in satire's vein excelling; 
The third is Naso; Lucan is the last. 
Because they all that appellation own. 
With which the voice singly accosted me, 
Honouring they greet me thus, and well they judge." 

So I beheld united the bright school 
Of him the monarch of sublimest song,* 
That o'er the others like an eagle soars. 

When they together short discourse had held. 
They turn'd to me, with salutation kind 
Beckoning me; at the which my master smiled: 
Nor was this all; but greater honour still 
They gave me, for they made me of their tribe; 
And I was sixth amid so Icarn'd a band. 

Far as the luminous beacon on we pass'd. 
Speaking of matters, then befitting well 
To speak, now fitter left untold. At foot 
Of a magnificent castle we arrived. 
Seven times with lofty walls begirt, and round 
Defended by a pleasant stream. O'er this 
As o'er dry land we pass'd. Next, through seven gates, 
I with those sages enter'd, and we came 
Into a mead with lively verdure fresh. 

There dwelt a race, who slow their eyes around 
Majestically moved, and in their port 
Bore eminent authority: they spake 
Seldom, but all their words were tuneful sweet. 

We to one side retired, into a place 
Open and bright and lofty, whence each one 
Stood manifest to view. Incontinent, 
There on the green enamel of the plain 
Were shown me the great spirits, by whose sight 
I am exalted in my own esteem. 

Electra' there I saw accompanied 
By many, among whom Hector I knew, 
Anchises' pious son, and with hawk's eye 
Czsar all arm'd, and by Camilla there 

* "The monarch of sublimest song." ' Daughter of Atlas, and mother of 

Homer. Dardanus, founder of Troy. 


Penthesilea. On the other side, 

Old King Latinus seated by his child 

Lavinia, and that Brutus I beheld 

Who Tarquin chased, Lucretia, Cato's wife 

Marcia, with Julia' and Cornelia there; 

And sole apart retired, the Soldan fierce.' 

Then when a little more I raised my brow, 
I spied the master of the sapient throng," 
Seated amid the philosophic train. 
Him all admire, all pay him reverence due. 
There Socrates and Plato both I mark'd 
Nearest to him in rank, Democritus, 
Who sets the world at chance,' Diogenes, 
With Heraclitus, and Empedocles, 
And Anaxagoras, and Thalcs sage, 
Zeno, and Dioscorides well read 
In nature's secret lore. Orpheus I mark'd 
And Linus, Tully and moral Seneca, 
Euclid and Ptolemy, Hippocrates, 
Galenus, Avicen, and him who made 
That commentary vast, Avcrroes.'" 

Of all to speak at full were vain attempt; 
For my wide theme so urges, that oft-times 
My words fall short of what bechanced. In two 
The six associates part. Another way 
My sage guide leads me, from that air serene. 
Into a climate ever vex'd with storms: 
And to a part I come, where no light shines. 

• "Julia." The daughter of Julius ' "Who sets the world at chance." 

Caesar, and wife of Pompey. Democritus, who maintained the world to 

' "The Soldan fierce." Saladin, or have been formed by the fortuitous con- 

Salaheddin, the rival of Richard Coeur de course of atoms. 

Lion. ">Averrocs, called by the Arabians 

» "The master of the sapient thronR." Ibn Roschd, translated and commented 

"Maestro di color che sanno." Aristode. on the works of Aristotle. 



Argument. — Coming into the second circle of Hell, Dante at the entrance beholds 
Minos the Infernal Judge, by whom he is admoDished to beware how he enters those 
regions. Here he witnesses the punishment of carnal sinners, who are tossed about 
ceaselessly in the dark air by the most furious winds. Among these, he meets with 
Francesca of Rimini, through pity at whose sad tale he falls fainting to the ground. 

FROM the first circle I descended thus 
Down to the second, which, a lesser space 
Embracing, so much more of grief contains, 
Provoking bitter moans. There Minos stands, 
Grinning with ghastly feature: he, of all 
Who enter, strict examining the crimes. 
Gives sentence, and dismisses them beneath. 
According as he foldcth him around: 
For when before him comes the ill-fated soul. 
It all confesses; and that judge severe 
Of sins, considering what place in Hell 
Suits the transgression, with his tail so oft 
Himself encircles, as degrees beneath 
He dooms it to descend. Before him stand 
Always a numerous throng; and in his turn 
Each one to judgment passing, speaks, and hears 
His fate, thence downward to his dwelling hurl'd. 
"O thou! who to this residence of woe 
Approachest!" when he saw me coming, cried 
Minos, relinquishing his dread employ, 
"Look how thou enter here; beware in whom 
Thou place thy trust; let not the entrance broad 
Deceive thee to thy harm." To him my guide: 
"Wherefore exclaimest.' Hinder not his way 
By destiny appointed; so 'tis will'd. 
Where will and power are one. Ask thou no more." 

Now 'gin the rueful wailings to be heard. 
Now am I come where many a plaining voice 
Smites on mine ear. Into a place I came 
Where light was silent all. Bellowing there groan'd 
A noise, as of a sea in temf)est torn 
By warring winds. The stormy blast of Hell 
With restless fury drives the spirits on, 
Whirl'd round and dash'd amain with sore annoy. 


When they arrive before the ruinous sweep, 
There shrieks are heard, there lamentations, moans, 
And blasphemies 'gainst the good Power in Heaven. 
I understood, that to this torment sad 
The carnal sinners are condemn'd, in whom 
Reason by lust is sway'd. As, in large troops 
And multitudinous, when winter reigns, 
The starlings on their wings are borne abroad; 
So bears the tyrannous gust those evil souls. 
On this side and on that, above, below. 
It drives them: hope of rest to solace them 
Is none, nor e'en of milder pang. As cranes, 
Chanting their dolorous notes, traverse the sky, 
Stretch'd out in long array; so I beheld 
Spirits, who came loud wailing, hurried on 
By their dire doom. Then I: "Instructor! who 
Are these, by the black air so scourged?" "The first 
'Mong those, of whom thou question'st," he replied, 
"O'er many tongues was empress. She in vice 
Of luxury was so shameless, that she made 
Liking be lawful by promulged decree. 
To clear the blame she had herself incurr'd. 
This is Semiramis, of whom 'tis writ, 
That she succeeded Ninus her espoused; 
And held the land, which now the Soldan rules. 
The next in amorous fury slew herself. 
And to SichsEus' ashes broke her faith: 
Then follows Cleopatra, lustful queen." 

There mark'd I Helen, for whose sake so long 
The time was fraught with evil; there the great 
Achilles, who with love fought to the end. 
Paris I saw, and Tristan; and beside, 
A thousand more he show'd me, and by name 
Pointed them out, whom love bereaved of life. 

When I had heard my sage instructor name 
Those dames and knights of antique days, o'erpower'd 
By pity, well-nigh in amaze my mind 
Was lost; and I began: "Bard! willingly 
I would address those two together coming, 
Which seem so light before the wind." He thus: 


"Note thou, when nearer they to us approach. 
Then by that love which carries them along, 
Entreat; and they will come." Soon as the wind 
Sway'd them towards us, I thus framed my speech: 
"O wearied spirits! come, and hold discourse 
With us, if by none else restrain'd." As doves 
By fond desire invited, on wide wings 
And firm, to their sweet nest returning home. 
Cleave the air, wafted by their will along; 
Thus issued, from that troop where Dido ranks. 
They, through the ill air speeding: with such force 
My cry prevail'd, by strong affection urged. 

"O gracious creature and benign! who go'st 
Visiting, through this element obscure, 
Us, who the world with bloody stain imbrued; 
If, for a friend, the King of all, we own'd. 
Our prayer to him should for thy peace arise, 
Since thou hast pity on our evil plight. 
Of whatsoe'er to hear or to discourse 
It pleases thee, that will we hear, of that 
Freely with thee discourse, while e'er the wind. 
As now, is mute. The land,' that gave me birth. 
Is situate on the coast, where Po descends 
To rest in ocean with his sequent streams. 

"Love, that in gentle heart is quickly learnt, 
Entangled him by that fair form, from me 
Ta'en in such cruel sort, as grieves me still: 
Love, that denial takes from none beloved. 
Caught me with pleasing him so passing well. 
That, as thou seest, he yet deserts me not. 
Love brought us to one death: Caina' waits 
The soul, who spilt our Ufe." Such were their words; 
At hearing which, downward I bent my looks. 
And held them there so long, that the bard cried: 
"What art thou pondering?" I in answer thus: 
"Alas! by what sweet thoughts, what fond desire 
Must they at length to that ill pass have reach'd!" 

Then turning, I to them my speech address'd, 

' "The land." Ravenna. ' "Ca'ina." The place to which mur> 

defers are doomed. 


And thus began: "Francesca!' your sad fate 
Even to tears my grief and pity moves. 
But tell me; in the time of your sweet sighs, 
By what, and how Love granted, that ye knew 
Your yet uncertain wishes?" She replied: 
"No greater grief than to remember days 
Of joy, when misery is at hand. That kens 
Thy learn'd instructor. Yet so eagerly 
If thou art bent to know the primal root. 
From whence our love gat being, I will do 
As one, who weeps and tells his tale. One day, 
For our delight we read of Lancelot,* 
How him love thrall'd. Alone we were, and no 
Suspicion near us. Oft-times by that reading 
Our eyes were drawn together, and the hue 
Fled from our alter 'd cheek. But at one f>oint 
Alone we fell. When of that smile we read, 
The wished smile so rapturously kiss'd 
By one so deep in love, then he, who ne'er 
From me shall separate, at once my lips 
All trembling kiss'd. The book and writer both 
Were love's purveyors. In its leaves that day 
We read no more." While thus one spirit spake, 
The other wail'd so sorely, that heart-struck 
I, through compassion fainting, scem'd not far 
From death, and like a corse fell to the ground. 

' "Francesca." Francesca, the daughter taken in adultery, they were both put to 

of Guido da Polenta, Lord of Ravenna, death by the enraged Gianciotto. 

was given by her father in marriage to * "Lancelot." One of the Knights of 

Gianciotto, son of Malatesta, Lord of the Round Table, and the lover of 

Rimini, a man of extraordinary courage, Gincvra, or Guinever, celebrated in ro- 

but deformed in his person. His brother mance. The incident alluded to seems to 

Paolo, who unhappily possessed those have made a strong impression on the 

graces which the husband of Francesca imagination of Dante, who introduces it 

wanted, engaged her affections; and being again, in the Paradise, Canto xvi. 



Akcument. — On his recovery, the Poet finds himself in the third circle, where the 
gluttonous are punished. Their torment is, to lie in the mire, under a continual 
and heavy storm of hail, snow, and discolored water; Cerberus, meanwhile barking 
over them with his threefold throat, and rending them piecemeal. One of these, who 
on earth was named Ciacco, foretells the divisions with which Florence is about to 
be distracted. Dante proposes a question to his guide, who solves it; and they proceed 
toward the fourth circle. 

MY sense reviving, that erewhile had droop'd 
With pity for the kindred shades, whence grief 
O'ercame me wholly, straight around I see 
New torments, new tormented souls, which way 
Soe'er I move, or turn, or bend my sight. 
In the third circle I arrive, of showers 
Ceaseless, accursed, heavy and cold, unchanged 
For ever, both in kind and in degree. 
Large hail, discolor'd water, sleety flaw 
Through the dun midnight air stream'd down amain: 
Stank all the land whereon that tempest fell. 
Cerberus, cruel monster, fierce and strange, 
Through his wide threefold throat, barks as a dog 
Over the multitude immersed beneath. 
His eyes glare crimson, black his unctuous beard. 
His belly large, and claw'd the hands, with which 
He tears the spirits, flays them, and their limbs 
Piecemeal disparts. Howling there spread, as curs, 
Under the rainy deluge, with one side 
The other screening, oft they roll them round, 
A wretched, godless crew. When that great worm' 
Descried us, savage Cerberus, he of)ed 
His jaws, and the fangs show'd us; not a limb 
Of him but trembled. Then my guide, his palms 
Expanding on the ground, thence fiU'd with earth 
Raised them, and cast it in his ravenous maw. 
E'en as a dog, that yelling bays for food 
His keejjer, when the morsel comes, lets fall 
His fury, bent alone with eager haste 

' "When that great worm, descried us "The abhorred worm, 

... he opened his jaws." In Canto that boreth through the world." 
xxxiv. Lucifer is called 

26 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto vi 

To swallow it; so dropp'd the loathsome cheeks 
Of demon Cerberus, who thundering stuns 
The spirits, that they for deafness wish in vain. 

We, o'er the shades thrown prostrate by the brunt 
Of the heavy tempest passing, set our feet 
Upon their emptiness, that substance seem'd. 

They all along the earth extended lay, 
Save one, that sudden raised himself to sit. 
Soon as that way he saw us pass. "O thou I" 
He cried, "who through the infernal shades art led, 
Own, if again thou know'st me. Thou wast framed 
Or ere my frame was broken." I replied: 
"The anguish thou endurest perchance so takes 
Thy form from my remembrance, that it seems 
As if I saw thee never. But inform 
Me who thou art, that in a place so sad 
Art set, and in such torment, that although 
Other be greater, none disgusteth more." 
He thus in answer to my words rejoin'd: 
"Thy city, heap'd with envy to the brim. 
Aye, that the measure overflows its bounds, 
Held me in brighter days. Ye citizens 
Were wont to name me Ciacco.^ For the sin 
Of gluttony, damned vice, beneath this rain. 
E'en as thou seest, I with fatigue am worn: 
Nor I sole spirit in this woe: all these 
Have by like crime incurr'd like punishment." 

No more he said, and I my speech resumed: 
"Ciacco! thy dire affliction grieves me much, 
Even to tears. But tell me, if thou know'st, 
What shall at length befall the citizens 
Of the divided city;' whether any 
Just one inhabit there: and tell the cause. 
Whence jarring Discord hath assail'd it thus." 

He then: "After long striving they will come 

' "Ciacco." So called from hU inordi- ' "The divided city." The city of Flor- 

nate appetite; "ciacco," in Italian, si^jni- cnce, dividcKl into the Bianchi and Neri 

fying a pig. The real name of this glut- factions. 
ton has not been transmitted to us. 


To blood; and the wild party from the woods* 

Will chase the other* with much injury forth. 

Then it behooves that this must fall,' within 

Three solar circles;' and the other rise 

By borrow 'd force of one, who under shore 

Now rests.' It shall a long space hold aloof 

Its forehead, keeping under heavy weight 

The other opprest, indignant at the load, 

And grieving sore. The just are two in number.* 

But they neglected. Avarice, envy, pride, 

Three fatal sp>arks, have set the hearts of all 

On fire." Here ceased the lamentable sound; 

And I continued thus: "Still would I learn 

More from thee, further parley still entreat. 

Of Farinata and Tegghiaio'" say. 

They who so well deserved; of Giacopo," 

Arrigo, Mosca," and the rest, who bent 

Their minds on working good. Oh! tell me where 

They bide, and to their knowledge let me come. 

For I am prest with keen desire to hear 

If Heaven's sweet cup, or poisonous drug of Hell, 

Be to their lip assign'd." He answer'd straight: 

"These are yet blacker spirits. Various crimes 

Have sunk them deeper in the dark abyss. 

If thou so far descendest, thou mayst see them. 

But to the pleasant world, when thou return'st, 

Of me make mention, I entreat thee, there. 

No more I tell thee, answer thee no more." 

*"Thc wild party from the woods." agreed. Some understand them to be 

So called, because it was headed by Veri Dante himself and his friend Guido 

de' Cerchi, whose family had lately come Cavalcanti. 

into the city from Acona, and the woody '" "Of Farinata and Tegghiaio." See 

country of the Val di Nicvolc. Canto x. and notes, and Canto xvi. and 

' "The other." The opposite party of notes. 

the Ncri, at the head of which was Corso " "Giacopo." Giacopo Rusticucci. See 

Donati. Canto xvi. and notes. 

• "This must fall." The Bianchi. " "Arrigo, Mosca." Of Arrigo, who is 

' "Three solar circles." Three years. said by the commentators to have been 

' "Of one, who under shore now rests." of the noble family of the Fifanti, no 

Charles of Valois, by whose means the mention afterward occurs. Mosca dcgli 

Neri were replaced. Uberti, or de' Lamberti, is introduced in 

' "The just are two in number." Who Canto xxviii. 
these two were, the commentators are not 

28 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto vn 

This said, his fixed eyes he turn'd askance, 
A litde eyed me, then bent down his head. 
And 'midst his blind companions with it fell. 

When thus my guide: "No more his bed he leaves. 
Ere the last angel-trumpet blow. The Power 
Adverse to these shall then in glory come, 
E^ch one forthwith to his sad tomb repair. 
Resume his fleshly vesture and his form, 
And hear the eternal doom re-echoing rend 
The vault." So pass'd we through that mixture foul 
Of spirits and rain, with tardy steps; meanwhile 
Touching, though slightly, on the life to come. 
For thus I question'd: "Shall these tortures. Sir I 
When the great sentence passes, be increased, 
Or mitigated, or as now severe?" 

He then: "Consult thy knowledge; that decides. 
That, as each thing to more perfection grows, 
It feels more sensibly both good and pain. 
Though ne'er to true {jerfection may arrive 
This race accurst, yet nearer then, than now, 
They shall approach it." Compassing that path. 
Circuitous we journey'd; and discourse, 
Much more than I relate, between us pass'd: 
Till at the pwint, whence the steps led below, 
Arrived, there Plutus, the great foe, we found. 


Akgument. — In the present Canto, Dante describes his descent into the fourth 
circle, at the bc^inninK of which he sees Plutus stationed. Here one like doom awaits 
the prodigal and the avaricious; which is, to meet in direful conflict, rolling great 
weights against each other with mutual upbraidings. From hence Virgil takes occasion 
to show how vain the goods that are committed into the charge of Fortune; and this 
moves our author to inquire what being that Fortune is, of whom he speaks: which 
question being resolved, they go down into the fifth circle, where they find the 
wrathful and gloomy tormented in the Stygian lake. Having made a compass rotind 
great part of this lake, they come at last to the base of a lofty tower. 

«'j1 H me! O Satan! Satan!"' loud exdaim'd 

Plutus, in accent hoarse of wild alarm: 

And the kind sage, whom no event surprised. 

To comfort me thus spake: "Let not thy fear 

Harm thee, for power in him, be sure, is none 

'"Pape Satan, Pape Satan, aleppe;" words without meaning. 



To hinder down this rock thy safe descent." 

Then to that swoln lip turning, "Peace!" he cried, 

"Curst wolf! thy fury inward on thyself 

Prey, and consume thee! Through the dark profound, 

Not without cause, he passes. So 'tis will'd 

On high, there where the great Archangel pour'd 

Heaven's vengeance on the first adulterer proud." 

As sails, full spread and bellying with the wind. 
Drop suddenly collapsed, if the mast split; 
So to the ground down dropp'd the cruel fiend. 

Thus we, descending to the fourth steep ledge, 
Gain'd on the dismal shore, that all the woe 
Hems in of all the universe. Ah me! 
Almighty Justice! in what store thou heap'st 
New pains, new troubles, as I here beheld. 
Wherefore doth fault of ours bring us to this? 

E'en as a billow, on Charybdis rising. 
Against encounter'd billow dashing breaks; 
Such is the dance this wretched race must lead. 
Whom more than elsewhere numerous here I found. 
From one side and the other, with loud voice. 
Both roll'd on weights, by main force of their breasts, 
Then smote together, and each one forthwith 
Roll'd them back voluble, turning again; 
Exclaiming these, "Why boldest thou so fast?" 
Those answering, "And why castest thou away?" 
So, still repeating their despiteful song. 
They to the opposite point, on either hand. 
Traversed the horrid circle; then arrived. 
Both turn'd them round, and through the middle space. 
Conflicting met again. At sight whereof 
I, stung with grief, thus spake: "O say, my guide! 
What race is this. Were these, whose heads are shorn, 
On our left hand, all separate to the Church?" 

He straight replied: "In their first life, these all 
In mind were so distorted, that they made, 
According to due measure, of their wealth 
No use. This clearly from their words collect. 
Which they howl forth, at each extremity 
Arriving of the circle, where their crime 

30 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto vil 

Contrary in kind disparts them. To the Church 
Were separate those, that with no hairy cowls 
Are crowned, both Popes and Cardinals, o'er whom 
Avarice dominion absolute maintains." 

I then: " 'Mid such as these some needs must be. 
Whom I shall recognize, that with the blot 
Of these foul sins were stain'd." He answering thus: 
"Vain thought conceivest thou. That ignoble life. 
Which made them vile before, now makes them dark, 
And to all knowledge indiscernible. 
For ever they shall meet in this rude shock: 
These from the tomb with clenched grasp shall rise. 
Those with close-shaven locks. That ill they gave. 
And ill they kept, hath of the beauteous world 
Deprived, and set them at this strife, which needs 
No labor'd phrase of mine to set it off. 
Now mayst thou see, my son! how brief, how vain. 
The goods committed into Fortune's hands. 
For which the human race keep such a coiil 
Not all the gold that is beneath the moon. 
Or ever hath been, of these toil-worn souls 
Might purchase rest for one." I thus rejoin'd: 
"My guide I of these this also would I learn; 
This Fortune, that thou sjjeak'st of, what it is. 
Whose talons grasp the blessings of the world." 

He thus: "O beings blind I what ignorance 
Besets you! Now my judgment hear and mark. 
He, whose transcendent wisdom passes all. 
The heavens creating, gave them ruling powers 
To guide them; so that each part shines to each, 
Their light in equal distribution pour'd. 
By similar appointment he ordain'd. 
Over the world's bright images to rule, 
Superintendence of a guiding hand 
And general minister, which, at due time. 
May change the empty vantages of life 
From race to race, from one to other's blood, 
Beyond prevention of man's wisest care: 
Wherefore one nation rises into sway, 
Another languishes, e'en as her will 

CANTO vu HELX. 31 

Decrees, from us conceal'd, as in the grass 

The serpent train. Against her nought avails 

Your utmost wisdom. She with foresight plans, 

Judges, and carries on her reign, as theirs 

The other powers divine. Her changes know 

None intermission: by necessity 

She is made swift, so frequent come who claim 

Succession in her favors. This is slie, 

So execrated e'en by those whose debt 

To her is rather praise: they wrongfully 

With blame requite her, and with evil word; 

But she is blessed, and for that recks not: 

Amidst the other primal beings glad 

Rolls on her sphere, and in her bliss exults. 

Now on our way pass we, to heavier woe 

Descending: for each star is falling now. 

That mounted at our entrance, and forbids 

Too long our tarrying." We the circle cross'd 

To the next steep, arriving at a well. 

That boiling pours itself down to a foss 

Sluiced from its source. Far murkier was the wave 

Than sablest grain: and we in company 

Of the inky waters, journeying by their side, 

Enter'd, though by a different track, beneath. 

Into a lake, the Stygian named, expands 

The dismal stream, when it hath reach'd the foot 

Of the gray wither'd cliffs. Intent I stood 

To gaze, and in the marish sunk descried 

A miry tribe, all naked, and with looks 

Betokening rage. They with their hands alone 

Struck not, but with the head, the breast, the feet. 

Cutting each other piecemeal with their fangs. 

The good instructor spake: "Now seest thou, son! 
The souls of those, whom anger overcame. 
This too for certain know, that underneath 
The water dwells a multitude, whose sighs 
Into these bubbles make the surface heave. 
As thine eye tells thee wheresoe'er it turn. 
Fix'd in the slime, they say: 'Sad once were we. 
In the sweet air made gladsome by the sun. 



Carrying a foul and lazy mist within: 
Now in these murky settlings are we sad.' 
Such dolorous strain they gurgle in their throats, 
But word distinct can utter none." Our route 
Thus compass'd we, a segment widely stretch'd 
Between the dry embankment, and the core 
Of the loath'd pool, turning meanwhile our eyes 
Downward on those who gulp'd its muddy lees; 
Nor stopp'd, till to a tower's low base we came. 


Akcument. — A signal having been made from the tower, Phlegyas, the ferryman 
of the lake, speedily crosses it, and conveys Virgil and Dante to the other side. On 
their passage, they meet with Filippo Argenti, whose fury and torment are described. 
They then arrive at the city of Dis, the entrance whereto is denied, and the portals 
closed against them by many Demoiu. 

" Y theme pursuing, I relate, that ere 
We reach'd the lofty turret's base, our eyes 
Its height ascended, where we mark'd uphung 
Two cressets, and another saw from far 
Return the signal, so remote, that scarce 
The eye could catch its beam. I, turning round 
To the deep source of knowledge, thus inquired: 
"Say what this means; and what, that other light 
In answer set: what agency doth this.-'" 

"There on the filthy waters," he replied, 
"E'en now what next awaits us mayst thou see, 
If the marsh-gendered fog conceal it not." 

Never was arrow from the cord dismiss'd. 

That ran its way so nimbly through the air. 

As a small bark, that through the waves I spied 

Toward us coming, under the sole sway 

Of one that ferried it, who cried aloud: 

"Art thou arrived, fell spirit.?" — "Phlegyas, Phlegyas,' 

This time thou criest in vain," my lord replied; 

"No longer shalt thou have us, but while o'er 

The slimy pool we pass." As one who hears 

Of some great wrong he hath sustain'd, whereat 

• Phlegyas, so incensed against Apollo by whose vengeance he was cast into 
for having violated his daughter Coronis, Tartarus. See Virgil, /Eneas, 1. vi. 618. 
that be set fire to the temple of that deity. 

CANTO viii HELL 33 

Inly he pines: so Phlegyas inly pined 

In his fierce ire. My guide, descending, stepp'd 

Into the skiff, and bade me enter next. 

Close at his side; nor, till my entrance, seem'd 

The vessel freighted. Soon as both embark'd, 

Cutting the waves, goes on the ancient prow. 

More deeply than with others it is wont. 

While we our course o'er the dead channel held, 
One drench'd in mire before me came, and said: 
"Who art thou, that thus comest ere thine hour?" 

I answer'd: "Though I come, I tarry not: 
But who art thou, that art become so foul?" 

"One, as thou seest, who mourn:" he straight 

To which I thus: "In mourning and in woe, 
Curst spirit! tarry thou. I know thee well, 
E'en thus in filth disguised." Then stretch'd he forth 
Hands to the bark; whereof my teacher sage 
Aware, thrusting him back: "Away! down there 
To the other dogs!" then, with his arms my neck 
Encircling, kiss'd my cheek, and spake: "O soul. 
Justly disdainful! blest was she in whom 
Thou wast conceived. He in the world was one 
For arrogance noted: to his memory 
No virtue lends its lustre; even so 
Here is his shadow furious. There above. 
How many now hold themselves mighty kings, 
Who here like swine shall wallow in the mire, 
Leaving behind them horrible dispraise." 

I then: "Master! him fain would I behold 
Whelm'd in these dregs, before we quit the lake." 

He thus: "Or ever to thy view the shore 
Be offer'd, satisfied shall be that wish, 
Which well deserves completion." Scarce his words 
Were ended, when I saw the miry tribes 
Set on him with such violence, that yet 
For that render I thanks to God, and praise. 
"To Filippo Argentil" * cried they all: 
* Boccaccio tells us, "he was a man re- and the extreme waywardness and irasci- 
markable for the larfje proportions and bility of his temper." — "Decameron," G. 
extraordinary vigor of his bodily frame, ix. N. 8. 

34 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto viii 

And on himself the moody Florentine 
Turn'd his avenging fangs. Him here we left, 
Nor speak I of him more. But on mine ear 
Sudden a sound of lamentation smote, 
Whereat mine eye unbarr'd I sent abroad. 

And thus the good instructor: "Now, my son 
Draws near the city, that of Dis is named, 
With its grave denizens, a mighty throng." 

I thus: "The minarets already. Sir! 
There, certes, in the valley I descry. 
Gleaming vermilion, as if they from fire 
Had issued." He replied: "Eternal fire. 
That inward burns, shows them with ruddy flame 
Illumed; as in this nether Hell thou seest." 

We came within the fosses deep, that moat 
This region comfortless. The walls appear'd 
As they were framed of iron. We had made 
Wide circuit, ere a place we reach'd, where loud 
The mariner cried vehement: "Go forth: 
The entrance is here." Upon the gates I spied 
More than a thousand, w ho of old from Heaven 
Were shower 'd. With ireful gestures, "Who is this," 
They cried, "that, without death first felt, goes through 
The regions of the dead?" My sapient guide 
Made sign that he for secret parley wish'd; 
Whereat their angry scorn abating, thus 
They spake: "Come thou alone; and let him go. 
Who hath so hardily enter 'd this realm. 
Alone return he by his widess way; 
If well he knew it, let him prove. For thee. 
Here shalt thou tarry, who through clime so dark 
Hast been his escort." Now bethink thee, readerl 
What cheer was mine at sound of those curst words. 
I did believe I never should return. 

"O my loved guide 1 who more than seven times' 

' "Seven times." The commentators, Minos, Cerberus, Plutus, Phlegj'as, and 

says Venturi, perplex themselves with the Filippo Argenti, as so many others, we 

inquiry what seven perils these were shall have the number; and if this be not 

from which Dante had been delivered by satisfactory, we may suppose a deter- 

Virgil. Reckoning the beasts in the first minatc to have been put for an indeter- 

Canto as one of them, and adding Charon, minate number. 


Security hast render 'd me, and drawn 
From peril deep, whereto I stood exposed, 
Desert me not," I cried, "in this extreme. 
And, if our onward going be denied. 
Together trace we back our steps with speed." 

My hege, who thither had conducted me. 
Replied: "Fear not: for of our passage none 
Hath fxjwer to disappoint us, by such high 
Authority permitted. But do thou 
Expect me here; meanwhile, thy wearied spirit 
Comfort, and feed with kindly hope, assured 
I will not leave thee in this lower world." 
This said, departs the sire benevolent. 
And quits me. Hesitating I remain 
At war, 'twixt will and will not, in my thoughts. 

I could not hear what terms he offer'd them. 
But they conferr'd not long, for all at once 
Pellmell rush'd back within. Closed were the gates, 
By those our adversaries, on the breast 
Of my liege lord: excluded, he return'd 
To me with tardy steps. Upon the ground 
His eyes were bent, and from his brow erased 
All confidence, while thus in sighs he spake: 
"Who hath denied me these abodes of woe?" 
Then thus to me: "That I am anger'd, think 
No ground of terror: in this trial I 
Shall vanquish, use what arts they may within 
For hindrance. This their insolence, not new,* 
Erewhile at gate less secret they display'd, 
Which still is without bolt; upon its arch 
Thou saw'st the deadly scroll: and even now, 
On this side of its entrance, down the steep. 
Passing the circles, unescorted, comes 
One whose strong might can open us this land." 

* Virgil assures our poet that these evil Dante had read the fatal inscription, 

spirits had formerly shown the same in- "That gate which," says the Roman poet, 

solcncc when our Saviour descended into "an angel had just passed, by whose aid 

hell. They attempted to prevent him wc shall overcome this opposition, and 

from entering at the gate, over which gain admittance into the city." 




Argument. — After some hindrances, and having seen the hellish furies and other 
monsters, the Poet, by the help of an angel, enters the city of Dis, wherein he dis- 
covers that the heretics are punished in tombs burning with intense fire; and he, 
together with Virgil, passes onward between the sepulchres and the walls of the city. 

THE hue,' which coward dread on my pale cheeks 
Imprinted when I saw my guide turn back, 
Chased that from his which newly they had worn, 
And inwardly restrain'd it. He, as one 
Who listens, stood attentive: for his eye 
Not (ar could lead him through the sable air. 
And the thick-gathering cloud. "It yet behoves 
Wr win this fight;" thus he began: "if not, 
Such aid to us is ofler'd — Oh! how long 
Me seems it, ere the promised help arrive." 

I noted, how the sequel of his words 
Cloked their beginning; for the last he spake 
Agreed not with the first. But not the less 
My fear was at his saying; sith I drew 
To import worse, perchance, than that he held, 
His mutilated speech. "Doth ever any 
Into this rueful concave's extreme depth 
Descend, out of the first degree, whose pain 
Is deprivation merely of sweet hope.''" 

Thus I inquiring. "Rarely," he replied, 
"It chances, that among us any makes 
This journey, which I wend. Erewhile, 'tis true, 
Once came I here beneath, conjured by fell 
Erichtho,* sorceress, who compell'd the shades 
Back to their bodies. No long space my flesh 
Was naked of me, when within these walls 
She made me enter, to draw forth a spirit 
From out of Judas' circle. Lowest place 
Is that of all, obscurest, and removed 

'"The hue." Virgil, perceiving that *Erichtho, a Thessalian sorceress 

Dante was pale with fear, restrained those (Lucan, "Pharsal." 1. vi.), was employed 
outward tokens of displeasure which his by Sextus, son of Pompey the Great, to 
own countenance had betrayed. conjure up a spirit, who should inform 

him of the issue of the civil wars between 
his father and Cxsar. 


Farthest from Heaven's all-circling orb. The road 
Full well I know: thou therefore rest secure. 
That lake, the noisome stench exhaling, round 
The city of grief encompasses, which now 
We may not enter without rage." Yet more 
He added: but I hold it not in mind, 
For that mine eye toward the lofty tower 
Had drawn me wholly, to its burning top; 
Where, in an instant, I beheld uprisen 
At once three hellish furies stain'd with blood. 
In limb and motion feminine they seem'd; 
Around them greenest hydras twisting roll'd 
Their volumes; adders and cerastes crept 
Instead of hair, and their fierce temples bound. 

He, knowing well the miserable hags 
Who tend the queen of endless woe, thus spake: 
"Mark thou each dire Erynnis. To the left, 
This is Megacra; on the right hand, she 
Who wails, Alecto; and Tisiphone 
r th' midst." This said, in silence he remain'd. 
Their breast they each one clawing tore; themselves 
Smote with their palms, and such thrill clamour raised, 
That to the bard I clung, suspicion-bound. 
"Hasten Medusa: so to adamant 
Him shall we change;" all looking down exclaim'd: 
"E'en when by Theseus' might assail'd, we took 
No ill revenge." "Turn thyself round and keep 
Thy countenance hid; for if the Gorgon dire 
Be shown, and thoa shouldst view it, thy return 
Upwards would be forever lost." This said. 
Himself, my gentle master, turn'd me round; 
Nor trusted he my hands, but with his own 
He also hid me. Ye of intellect 
Sound and entire, mark well the lore' conceal'd 

' The Poet probably intends to call the perance, reason, figured under the person 
reader's attention to the alleRorical and of Virgil, with ihe ordinary grace of God, 
mystic sense of the present Canto, and may be a sufficient safeguard; but that 
not, as Venturi supposes, to that of the in ihe instance of more heinous crimes, 
whole work. Landino supposes this hid- such as those we shall hereafter see pun- 
den meaning to be that in the case of ished, a special grace, represented by the 
those vices which proceed from intern- angel, is requisite for our defence. 


Under close texture of the mystic strain. 

And now there came o'er the perturbed waves 
Loud-crashing, terrible, a sound that made 
Either shore tremble, as if of a wind 
Impetuous, from conflicting vapors sprung, 
That 'gainst some forest driving all his might. 
Plucks off the branches, beats them down, and hurls 
Afar; then, onward passing, proudly sweeps 
His whirlwind rage, while beasts and shepherds fly. 

Mine eyes he loosed, and spake: "And now direct 
Thy visual nerve along that ancient foam, 
There, thickest where the smoke ascends." .\s frogs 
Before their foe the serpent, through the wave 
Ply swifdy all, till at the ground each one 
Lies on a heap; more than a thousand spirits 
Destroy 'd, so saw I fleeing before one 
Who pass'd with unwet feet the Stygian sound. 
He, from his face removing the gross air. 
Oft his left hand forth stretch'd, and seem'd alone 
By that annoyance wearied. I perceived 
That he was sent from Heaven; and to my guide 
Turn'd me, who signal made, that I should stand 
Quiet, and bend to him. Ah me! how full 
Of noble anger seem'd he. To the gate 
He came, and with his wand touch'd it, whereat 
Open without impediment it flew. 

"Outcasts of heaven! O abject race, scorn'd!" 
Began he, on the horrid grunsel standing, 
"Whence doth this wild excess of insolence 
Lodge in you? wherefore kick you 'gainst that will 
Ne'er frustrate of its end, and which so oft 
Hath laid on you enforcement of your pangs? 
What profits at the Fates to butt the horn? 
Your Cerberus,* if ye remember, hence 
Bears still, peel'd of their hair, his throat and maw." 

* "Your Cerberus." Cerberus is feigned exploit to Hercules, a fabulous hero, 

to have been dra^K^ ^y Hercules, bound rather than to our Saviour. It would 

with a threefold chain, of which, says the seem as if the good father had forgotten 

angel, he still bears the marks. Lombardi that Cerberus is himself no less a creature 

blames the other interpreters for having of the imagination than the hero who 

supposed that the angel attributes this encountered him. 


This said, he turn'd back o'er the filthy way, 
And syllable to us spake none; but wore 
The semblance of a man by other care 
Beset, and keenly prest, than thought of him 
Who in his presence stands. Then we our steps 
Toward that territory moved, secure 
After the hallow 'd words. We, unopposed, 
There enter'd; and, my mind eager to learn 
What state a fortress like to that might hold, 
I, soon as enter'd, throw mine eye around. 
And see, on every part, wide-stretching space. 
Replete with bitter pain and torment ill. 

As where Rhone stagnates on the plains of Aries,' 
Or as at Pola,' near Quarnaro's gulf, 
That closes Italy and laves her bounds. 
The place is all thick spread with sepulchres; 
So was it here, save what in horror here 
Excell'd: for 'midst the graves were scattered flames, 
Wherewith intensely all throughout they burn'd, 
That iron for no craft there hotter needs. 

Their lids all hung suspended; and beneath. 
From them forth issued lamentable moans, 
Such as the sad and tortured well might raise. 

I thus: "Master! say who are these, interr'd 
Within these vaults, of whom distinct we hear 
The dolorous sighs." He answer thus return'd: 
"The arch-heretics are here, accompanied 
By every sect their followers; and much more 
Than thou believest, the tombs are freighted: like 
With like is buried; and the monuments 
Are different in degrees of heat." This said. 
He to the right hand turning, on we pass'd 
Betwixt the afBicted and the ramparts high. 

'"The plains of Aries." In Provcnjc. and 30, and by Fazio dcgli Uberti, Dit- 
These sepulchres are mentioned in the tamondo, L. iv. cap. xxL 
Life of Charlemagne, which has been at- • "At Pola." A city of Istria, situated 
tributed to Archbishop Turpin, cap. 38, near the gulf of Quariuu'o, in the Adriatic 




Argument. — Dante, having obtained permission from his guide, holds discoune 
with Farinata degli Uberti and Cavalcante Cavalcanti, who lie in their fiery tombs 
that are yet open, and not to be closed up till after the last judgment. Farinata pre- 
dicts the Poet's exile from Florence; and shows him that the condemned have knowl- 
edge of future things, but are ignorant of what is at present passing, unless it be 
revealed by some newcomer from earth. 

NOW by a secret pathway we proceed, 
Between the walls, that hem the region round, 
And the tormented souls: my master first, 
I close behind his steps. "Virtue supreme!" 
I thus began: "Who through these ample orbs 
In circuit lead'st me, even as thou will'st; 
Speak thou, and satisfy my wish. May those, 
Who lie within these sepulchres, be seen? 
Already all the lids are raised, and none 
O'er them keeps watch." He thus in answer spake: 
"They shall be closed all, what-time they here 
From Josaphat' return'd shall come, and bring 
Their bodies, which above they now have left. 
The cemetery on this part obtain, 
With Epicurus, all his followers. 
Who with the body make the spirit die. 
Here therefore satisfaction shall be soon. 
Both to the question ask'd, and to the wish* 
Which thou conceal'st in silence." I replied: 
"I keep not, guide beloved! from thee my heart 
Secreted, but to shun vain length of words; 
A lesson erewhile taught me by thyself." 

"O Tuscan! thou, who through the city of fire 
Alive art passing, so discreet of speech: 
Here, please thee, stay awhile. Thy utterance 
Declares the place of thy nativity 
To be that noble land, with which perchance 

' "Josaphat." It seems to have been a and for my heritage Israel, whom they 
common opinion among the Jews, as well have scattered among the nations, and 
as among many Christians, that the gen- parted my land." — Joel, iii. 2. 
eral judgment will be held in the valley ' "The wish." The wish that Dante 
of Josaphat, or Jehoshaphat. "I will also had not expressed was to see and con- 
gather all nations, and will bring them verse with the followers of Epicurus; 
down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and among whom, wc shall sec, were Farinata 
will plead with them there for my people, degli Uberti and Cavalcante Cavalcanti. 


I too severely dealt." Sudden that sound 

Forth issued from a vault, whereat, in fear, 

I somewhat closer to my leader's side 

Approaching, he thus spake: "What dost thou? Turn: 

Lo! Farinata' there, who hath himself 

Uplifted: from his girdle upwards, all 

Exposed, behold him." On his face was mine 

Already fix'd: his breast and forehead there 

Erecting, seem'd as in high scorn he held 

E'en Hell. Between the sepulchres, to him 

My guide thrust me, with fearless hands and prompt; 

This warning added: "See thy words be clear." 

He, soon as there I stood at the tomb's foot. 
Eyed me a space; then in disdainful mood 
Address'd me: "Say what ancestors were thine." 

I, willing to obey him, straight reveal'd 
The whole, nor kept back aught: whence he, his brow 
Somewhat uplifting, cried: "Fiercely were they 
Adverse to me, my party, and the blood 
From whence I sprang: twice,* therefore, I abroad 
Scatter'd them." "Though driven out, yet they each 

From all parts," answer'd I, "return'd; an art 
Which yours have shown they are not skill'd to learn." 

Then, peering forth from the unclosed jaw, 
Rose from his side a shade,* high as the chin, 
Leaning, methought, upon its knees upraised. 
It look'd around, as eager to explore 
If there were other with me; but perceiving 
That fond imagination quench'd, with tears 
Thus spake: "If thou through this blind prison go'st, 
Led by thy lofty genius and profound, 

' "Farinata." Farinata degli Uberti, a entitled the "Dittamonodo," in imitation 

noble Florentine, was the leader of the of Dante. 

Ghibellinc faction, when they obtained * "Twice." The first time in 1148, 

a signal victory over the Guelfi at Monta- when they were driven out by Frederick 

perto, near the river Arbia. Macchiavelli the Second. See G. Villani, lib. vL 0. 

calls him "a man of exalted soul, and xxxiv.; and the second time in 1260. 

great military talents." — "Hist, of Flor." Sec note to v. 83. 

b. ii. His grandson, Bonifacio, commonly ' "A shade." The spirit of Cavalcante 

called Fazio degli Uberti, wrote a poem, Cavalcanti, a noble Florentine, of the 

Guelf party. 


Where is my son?* and wherefore not with thee?" 
I straight rephed: "Not of myself I come; 
By him, who there expects me, through this clime 
Conducted, whom perchance Guido thy son 
Had in contempt." ' Already had his words 
And mode of punishment read me his name. 
Whence I so fully answer 'd. He at once 
Exclaim'd, up starting, "How! said'st thou, he had? 
No longer lives he? Strikes not on his eye 
The blessed daylight?" Then, of some delay 
I made ere my reply, aware, down fell 
Supine, nor after forth appear'd he more. 

Meanwhile the other, great of soul, near whom 
I yet was station'd, changed not countenance stern. 
Nor moved the neck, nor bent his ribbed side. 
"And if," continuing the first discourse, 
"They in this art," he cried, "small skill have shown; 
That doth torment me more e'en than this bed. 
But not yet fifty times* shall be relumed 
Her aspect, who reigns here queen of this realm,* 
Ere thou shalt know the full weight of that art. 
So to the pleasant world mayst thou return. 
As thou shalt tell me why, in all their laws, 
Against my kin this people is so fell." 

"The slaughter'" and great havoc," I replied, 
"That color'd Arbia's flood with crimson stain — 

•"My son." Guido, the son of Caval- months shall be passed, before thou shalt 

cantc Cavalcanti; "he whom I call the learn, by woeful experience, the difficulty 

first of my friends," says Dante in his of returning from banishment to thy 

"Vita Nuova" where the commencement native city." 

of their friendship is related. From the ' "Queen of this realm." The moon, 

character given of him by contemporary one of whose titles in heathen mythology 

writers, his temper was well formed to was Proserpine, queen of the shades be- 

assimilatc with that of our Poet. "He low. 

was," according to G. Villani, lib. viii. " "The slaughter." "By means of 
. c. xli., "of a philosophical and elegant Farinata degli Uberti, the Guclfi were 
mind, if he had not been too delicate and conquered by the army of King Man- 
fastidious." frcdi, near the river Arbia, with so great 

' " Guido they soon a slaughter, that those who escaped from 

Had in contempt." that defeat took refuge, not in Florence, 

Guido Cavalcanti, being more given to which city they considered as lost to them, 

philosophy than poetry, was perhaps no but in Lucca." — Macchiavclli, "Hist, of 

great admirer of Virgil. Flor." b. ii. and G. Villani, lib. vi. c. 

' "Not yet fifty times." "Not fifty Ixxx. and Ixxxi. 


To these impute, that in our hallow'd dome 
Such orisons" ascend." Sighing he shook 
The head, then thus resumed: "In that affray 
I stood not singly, nor, without just cause. 
Assuredly, should with the rest have stirr'd; 
But singly there I stood," when, by consent 
Of all, Florence had to the ground been razed, 
The one who openly forbade the deed." 

"So may thy lineage find at last repose," 
I thus adjured him, "as thou solve this knot, 
Which now involves my mind. If right I hear. 
Ye seem to view beforehand that which time 
Leads with him, of the present uninform'd." 

"We view, as one who hath an evil sight," 
He answer 'd, "plainly, objects far remote; 
So much of his large splendor yet imparts 
The Almighty Ruler: but when they approach, 
Or actually exist, our intellect 
Then wholly fails; nor of your human state. 
Except what others bring us, know we aught. 
Hence therefore mayst thou understand, that all 
Our knowledge in that instant shall expire. 
When on futurity the pmrtals close." 

Then conscious of my fault," and by remorse 
Smitten, I added thus: "Now shalt thou say 
To him there fallen, that his offspring still 
Is to the living join'd; and bid him know. 
That if from answer, silent, I abstain'd, 

" "Such orisons." This appears to al- the church to recover its strength. Thij 

lude to certain prayers which were of- cruel sentence, passed upon so noble a 

fercd up in the churches of Florence, for city, met with no opposition from any of 

deliverance from the hostile attempts of its citizens or friends, except Farinata 

the Ubcrti; or, it may be that the public degli Ubcrti, who openly and without 

councils being held in churches, the reserve forbade the measure; affirming, 

speeches delivered in them against the that he had endured so many hardships, 

Uberti are termed "orisons," or prayers. with no other view than that of being 

" "Singly there 1 stood." Guido NovcUo able to pass his days in his own countr>'. 

assembled a council of the Ghibellini at Macchiavclli, Hist, of Flor. b. ii. 

Empoli; where it was agreed by all, that, " "My fault." Dante felt remorse for 

in order to maintain the ascendancy of the not having returned an immediate an- 

Ghibelline party in Tuscany, it was ncces- swer to the inquiry of Cavalcante, from 

sary to destroy Florence, which could which delay he was led to believe that 

serve only (the people of that city being his son Guido was no longer living. 
Guelii) to enable the party attached to 


'Twas that my thought was occupied, intent 
Upon that error, which thy help hath solved." 

But now my master summoning me back 
I heard, and with more eager haste besought 
The spirit to inform me, who with him 
Partook his lot. He answer thus rcturn'd: 
"More than a thousand with me here are laid. 
Within is Frederick,'* second of that name, 
And the Lord Cardinal,'^ and of the rest 
I speak not." He, this said, from sight withdrew. 
But I my steps toward the ancient bard 
Reverting, ruminated on the words 
Betokening me such ill. Onward he moved, 
And thus, in going, question'd: "Whence the amaze 
That holds thy senses wrapt?" I satisfied 
The inquiry, and the sage enjoin'd me straight: 
"Let thy safe memory store what thou hast heard, 
To thee importing harm; and note thou this," 
With his raised finger bidding me take heed, 
"When thou shah stand before her gracious beam," 
Whose bright eye all surveys, she of thy life 
The future tenor will to thee unfold." 

Forthwith he to the left hand turn'd his feet: 
We left the wall, and toward the middle space 
Went by a path that to a valley strikes. 
Which e'en thus high exhaled its noisome steam. 

•'"Frederick." The Emperor Frederick generally known by the appellation of 

II., who died in 1 3;o. See notes to Canto "the Cardinal." It is reported of him 

xiii. that he declared if there were any such 

'^ "The Lord Cardinal." Ottavi.iiio thing as a human soul he had lost hib 

Ubaldini, a Florentine, made cardinal in for the Ghibellini. 
1245, and deceased about 1273. On ac- ""Her gracious beam." Beatrice, 

count of his great influence, he was 



Akcument. — Dante arrives at the vcrKc of a rocky precipice which encloses the 
seventh circle, where he sc-es the sepulchre of Anastasius the Heretic; behind the lid 
of which pausing a little, to make himself capable by degrees of enduring the fetid 
smell that steamed upward from the abyss, he is instructed by Virgil concerning the 
manner in which the three following circles arc dis|mscd, and what description of 
sinners is punished in each. He then inquires the reason why the carnal, the 
gluttonous, the avaricious and prodigal, the wrathful and gloomy, suffer not their 
punishments within the city of Dis. He next asks how the crime of usury is an 
offence against G<xl; and at length the two Poets go toward the place from whence a 
passage leads down to the seventh circle. 

UPON the utmost verge of a high bank, 
By craggy rocks environ'd round, we came. 
Where woes beneath, more cruel yet, were 
And here, to shun the horrible excess 
Of fetid exhalation upward cast 
From the profound abyss, behind the lid 
Of a great monument we stood retired. 
Whereon this scroll I mark'd: "I have in charge 
Pope Anastasius,' whom Photinus drew 
From the right path." "Ere our descent, behoves 
We make delay, that somewhat first the sense. 
To the dire breath accustom'd, afterward 
Regard it not." My master thus; to whom 
Answering I spake: "Some compensation find. 
That the time pass not wholly lost." He then: 
"Lo! how my thoughts e'en to thy wishes tend. 
My son! within these rocks," he thus began, 
"Are three close circles in gradation placed. 
As these which now thou leavest. Each one is full 
Of spirits accurst; but that the sight alone 
Hereafter may suffice thee, listen how 
And for what cause in durance they abide. 
"Of all malicious act abhorr'd in Heaven, 
The end is injury; and all such end 
Either by force or fraud works other's woe. 
But fraud, because of man's peculiar evil, 

' By some supposed to have been Anastasius II.; 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 I., Emperor of the East. 


To God is more displeasing; and beneath, 
The fraudulent are therefore doom'd to endure 
Severer pang. The violent occupy 
All the first circle; and because, to force. 
Three jDersons are obnoxious, in three rounds, 
Each within other separate, is it framed. 
To God, his neighbor, and himself, by man 
Force may be ofifcr'd; to himself I say, 
And his possessions, as thou soon shall hear 
At full. Death, violent death, and painful wounds 
Upon his neighbor he inflicts; and wastes. 
By devastation, pillage, and the flames, 
His substance. Slayers, and each one that smites 
In malice, plunderers, and all robbers, hence 
The torment undergo of the first round, 
In different herds. Man can do violence 
To himself and his own blessings: and for this, 
He, in the second round must aye deplore 
With unavailing penitence his crime, 
\yhoe'er deprives himself of life and light. 
In reckless lavishment his talent wastes, 
And sorrows there where he should dwell in joy. 
To God may force be offer'd, in the heart 
Denying and blaspheming His high power. 
And Nature with her kindly law contemning. 
And thence the inmost round marks with its seal 
Sodom, and Cahors, and all such as speak 
Contemptuously of the Godhead in their hearts. 
"Fraud, that in every conscience leaves a sting. 
May be by man employ 'd on one, whose trust 
He wins, or on another, who withholds 
Strict confidence. Seems as the latter way 
Broke but the bond of love which Nature makes. 
Whence in the second circle have their nest. 
Dissimulation, witchcraft, flatteries, 
Theft, falsehood, simony, all who seduce 
To lust, or set their honesty at pawn. 
With such vile scum as these. The other way 
Forgets both Nature's general love, and that 
Which thereto added afterward gives birth 
To special faith. Whence in the lesser circle. 


Point of the universe, dread seat of Dis, 
The traitor is eternally consumed." 

I thus: "Instructor, clearly thy discourse 
Proceeds, distinguishing the hideous chasm 
And its inhabitants with skill exact. 
But tell me this: they of the dull, fat pool, 
Whom the rain beats, or whom the tempest drives, 
Or who with tongues so fierce conflicting meet. 
Wherefore within the city fire-illumed 
Are not these punish'd, if God's wrath be on them.? 
And if it be not, wherefore in such guise 
Are they condemn'd.?" He answer thus return'd: 
"Wherefore in dotage wanders thus thy mind, 
Not so accustom'd ? or what other thoughts 
Possess it? Dwell not in thy memory 
The words, wherein thy ethic page^ describes 
Three dispositions adverse to Heaven's will. 
Incontinence, malice, and mad brutishness. 
And how incontinence the least offends 
God, and least guilt incurs.? If well thou note 
This judgment, and remember who they are. 
Without these walls to vain repentance doom'd. 
Thou shalt discern why they apart are placed 
From these fell spirits, and less wreakful pours 
Justice divine on them its vengeance down." 

"O sun! who healest all imjjerfect sight. 
Thou so contcnt'st me, when thou solvest my doubt, 
That ignorance not less than knowledge charms. 
Yet somewhat turn thee back," I in these words 
Continued, "where thou said'st, that usury 
Offends celestial Goodness; and this knot 
Perplex'd unravel." He thus made reply: 
"Philosophy, to an attentive ear. 
Clearly jx>ints out, not in one part alone, 
How imitative Nature takes her course 
From the celestial mind, and from its art: 
And where her laws' the Stagirite unfolds, 

*"Thy ethic pajje." He refers to malice, incontinence, and brutishness." 

Aristotle's Ethics, lib. vii. c. i : " let ' "Her laws." Aristotle's Physics, lib. 

it be defined that respecting; morals there ii. c. 2: "Art imitates nature." 
are three sorts of things to be avoided. 



Not many leaves scann'd o'er, observing well 
Thou shalt discover, that your art on her 
Obsequious follows, as the learner treads 
In his instructor's step; so that your art 
Deserves the name of second in descent 
From God. These two, if thou recall to mind 
Creation's holy book,* from the beginning 
Were the right source of life and excellence 
To human-kind. But in another path 
The usurer walks; and Nature in herself 
And in her follower thus he sets at nought. 
Placing elsewhere his hope.'' But follow now 
My steps on forward journey bent; for now 
The Pisces play with undulating glance 
Along the horizon, and the Wain' lies all 
O'er the northwest; and onward there a space 
Is our steep f>assage down the rocky height." 


Argument. — Descending by a ver>' rugged way into the seventh circle, where the 
violent arc punished, Dante and his leader find it guarded by the Minotaur; whose 
fury being pacified by Virgil, they step downward from crag to crag; till, drawing 
near the bottom, they descry a river of blood, wherein are tormented such as have 
committed violence against their neighbor. At these, when they strive to emerge 
from the blood, a troop of Centaurs, running along the side of the river, aim their 
arrows; and three of their band opposing our travellers at the foot of the steep, 
Virgil prevails so far that one consents to carry them both across the stream; and on 
their passage, Dante is informed by him of the course of the river, and of those that 
are punished therein. 

THE place, where to descend the precipice 
We came, was rough as Alp; and on its verge 
Such object lay, as every eye would shun. 
As is that ruin, which Adice's stream' 

* "Creation's holy book." Genesis, c. he does not avail himself of the means 

ii. V. 15: "And the Lord God took the which art, the follower and imitator of 

man, and put him into the Garden of nature, would afford him for the same 

Eden, to dress it, and to keep it." And, purposes. 

Genesis, c. iii. v. 19: "In the sweat of '"The Wain." The constellation 

thy face shalt thou cat bread." Bootes, or Charles's Wain. 

' "Placing elsewhere his hope." The ' "A<lice's stream." After a great deal 

usurer, trusting in the produce of his having been said on the subject, it still 

wealth lent out on usury, despises nature appears very uncertain at what part of 

directly, because he dtws not avail him- the river this fall of the mountain hap- 

self of her means for maintaining or en- pened. 
riching himself; and indirectly, because 


On this side Trento struck, shouldering the wave, 

Or loosed by earthquake or for lack of prop; 

For from the mountain's summit, whence it moved 

To the low level, so the headlong rock 

Is shiver'd, that some passage it might give 

To him who from above would pass; e'en such 

Into the chasm was that descent: and there 

At point of the disparted ridge lay stretch'd 

The infamy of Crete,' detested brood 

Of the feign'd heifer:' and at sight of us 

It gnaw'd itself, as one with rage distract. 

To him my guide exclaim'd: "Perchance thou deem'st 

The King of Athens* here, who, in the world 

Above, thy death contrived. Monster! avaunt! 

He comes not tutor'd by thy sister's art,' 

But to behold your torments is he come." 

Like to a bull, that with impetuous spring 
Darts, at the moment when the fatal blow 
Hath struck him, but unable to proceed 
Plunges on either side; so saw I plunge 
The Minotaur; whereat the sage exclaim'd: 
"Run to the passage! while he storms, 'tis well 
That thou descend." Thus down our road we took 
Through those dilapidated crags, that oft 
Moved underneath my feet, to weight like theirs 
Unused. I pondering went, and thus he spake: 
"Perhaps thy thoughts are of this ruin'd steep. 
Guarded by the brute violence, which I 
Have vanquish'd now. Know then, that when I erst 
Hither descended to the nether Hell, 
This rock was not yet fallen. But past doubt, 
(If well I mark) not long ere He arrived,' 
Who carried off from Dis the mighty spoil 
Of the highest circle, then through all its bounds 

' "The infamy of Crete." The Mino- ' "Thy sister's art." Ariadne. 

taur. ' Our Saviour, who, according to Dante, 

' "The feign'd heifer." Pasiphae. when he ascended from Hell, carried with 

* "The King of Athens." Theseus, who him the souls of the Patriarchs, and of 

was enabled by the instruction of Ariadne, other just men, out of the first circle. 

the sister of the Minotaur, to destroy that Sec Canto iv. 



Such trembling seized the deep concave and foul, 
I thought the universe was thrill'd with love, 
Whereby, there are who deem, the world hath oft 
Been into chaos turn'd: and in that point, 
Here, and elsewhere, that old rock toppled down. 
But fix thine eyes beneath: the river of blood 
Approaches, in the which all those are steep'd, 
Who have by violence injured." O blind lustl 
O foolish wrath! who so dost goad us on 
In the brief life, and in the eternal then 
Thus miserably o'erwhelm us. I beheld 
An ample foss, that in a bow was bent, 
As circling all the plain; for so my guide 
Had told. Between it and the ramp>art's base, 
On trail ran Centaurs, with keen arrows arm'd, 
As to the chase they on the earth were wont. 

At seeing us descend they each one stood; 
And issuing from the troop, three sped with bows 
And missile weapons chosen first; of whom 
One cried from far: "Say, to what pain ye come 
Condemn'd, who down this steep have journey 'd. Sf)eak 
From whence ye stand, or else the bow I draw." 

To whom my guide: "Our answer shall be made 
To Chiron, there, when nearer him we come. 
Ill was thy mind, thus ever quick and rash." 
Then me he touch'd and spake: "Nessus is this, 
Who for the fair Deianira died. 
And wrought himself revenge' for his own fate. 
He in the midst, that on his breast looks down, 
Is the great Chiron who Achilles nursed; 
That other, Pholus, prone to wrath." Around 
The foss these go by thousands, aiming shafts 
At whatsoever spirit dares emerge 
From out the blood, more than his guilt allows. 

We to those beasts, that rapid strode along. 
Drew near; when Chiron took an arrow forth, 

^Nessus, when dying by the hand of them. Deianira had occasion to try (he 

Hercules, charged Deianira to preserve experiment; and the venom, as Nessus 

the gore from his wound; for that if the had intended, caused Hercules to expire 

affections of Hercules should at any time in torments, 
be estranged from her, it would recall 

CANTO xii HELL 5' 

And with the notch push'd back his shaggy beard 

To the cheek-bone, then, his great mouth to view 

Exposing, to his fellows thus exclaim'd: 

"Are ye aware, that he who comes behind 

Moves what he touches? The feet of the dead 

Are not so wont." My trusty guide, who now 

Stood near his breast, where the two natures join. 

Thus made reply: "He is indeed alive, 

And solitary so must needs by me 

Be shown the gloomy vale, thereto induced 

By strict necessity, not by delight. 

She left her joyful harpings in the sky, 

Who this new office to my care consign'd. 

He is no robber, no dark spirit I. 

But by that virtue, which empowers my step 

To tread so wild a path, grant us, I pray. 

One of thy band, whom we may trust secure, 

Who to the ford may lead us, and convey 

Across, him mounted on his back; for he 

Is not a spirit that may walk the air." 

Then on his right breast turning, Chiron thus 
To Nessus spake: "Return, and be their guide. 
And if ye chance to cross another troop. 
Command them keep aloof." Onward we moved. 
The faithful escort by our side, along 
The border of the crimson-seething flood. 
Whence, from those steep'd within, loud shrieks arose. 

Some there I mark'd, as high as to their brow 
Immersed, of whom the mighty Centaur thus: 
"These are the souls of tyrants, who were given 
To blood and rapine. Here they wail aloud 
Their merciless wrongs. Here Alexander dwells. 
And Dionysius fell, who many a year 
Of woe wrought for fair Sicily. That brow, 
Whereon the hair so jetty clustering hangs, 
Is Azzolino;' that with flaxen locks 

• Azzolino, or Ezzolino di Romano, EccerinU, by Albcrtino Mussato, of Padua, 

Lord of Padua, Vicenza, Verona, and contemporary of Dante, and the most 

Brescia, who died in 1160. His atroci- elegant writer of Latin verse of that age. 
ties form the subject of a Latin tragedy, 


Obizzo' of Este, in the world destroy'd 

By his foul step-son." To the bard revered 

I turn'd me round, and thus he spake: "Let him 

Be to thee now first leader, me but next 

To him in rank." Then further on a space 

The Centaur paused, near some, who at the throat 

Were extant from the wave; and, showing us 

A spirit by itself apart retired, 

Exclaim'd: "He'° in God's bosom smote the heart, 

Which yet is honored on the bank of Thames." 

A race I next espied who held the head. 
And even all the bust, above the stream. 
'Midst these I many a face remcmber'd well. 
Thus shallow more and more the blood became, 
So that at last it but imbrued the feet; 
And there our passage lay athwart the foss. 

"As ever on this side the boiling wave 
Thou seest diminishing," the Centaur said, 
"So on the other, be thou well assured. 
It lower still and lower sinks its bed. 
Till in that part it reuniting join. 
Where 'tis the lot of tyranny to mourn. 
There Heaven's stern justice lays chastising hand 
On Attila, who was the scourge of earth, 
On Sextus and on Pyrrhus," and extracts 
Tears ever by the seething flood unlock'd 
From the Rinieri, of Corneto this, 
Pazzo the other named," who fill'd the ways 

• "Obizzo of Este." Marquis of Ferrara high altar, as the same Henrie kneeled 

and of the Marca d' Ancona, was mur- there to hear divine service." A. D. 1272. 

dered by his own son (whom, for that — Holinshcd's Chron., p. 275. See also 

most unnatural act, Dante calls his step- Giov. Villani, "Hist." lib. vii. c. xl., where 

son) for the sake of the treasures which it is said "that the heart of Henry was 

his rapacity had amassed. put into a golden cup, and placed on a 

""He." "Henrie, the brother of this pillar at London Bridge for a memorial 

Edmund, and son to the foresaid King to the English of the said outrage." 
of Almaine (Richard, brother of Henry "Sextus, either the son of Tarquin 

III of England), as he returned from the Proud or of Pompey the Great; and 

Affrike, where he had been with Prince Pyrrhus, King of Epirus. 
Edward, was slain at Vitcrbo in Italy " Two noted marauders, by whose dep- 

by the hand of Guy de Montfort, the son redations the public ways were infested, 

of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, The latter was of the noble family of 

in revenge of the same Simon's death. Pazzi in Florence. 
The murther was committed afore the 


With violence and war." This said, he turn'd, 
And quitting us, alone repass'd the ford. 


Argument. — Still in the seventh circle, Dante enters its second compartment, which 
contains both those who have done violence on their own persons and those who have 
violently consumed their goods; the first changed into rough and knotted trees whereon 
the harpies build their nests, the latter chased and torn by black, female mastiffs. 
Among the former, Piero dclle Vigne is one who tells him the cause of his having 
committed suicide, and moreover in what manner the souls are transformed into 
those trunks. Of the latter crew, he recognizes Lano, a Siennese, and Giacomo, a 
Paduan; and lastly, a Florentine, who had hung himself from his own roof, speaks to 
him of the calamities of his countrymen. 

ERE Nessus yet had reach'd the other bank, 
We enter'd on a forest, where no track 
Of steps had worn a way. Not verdant there 
The foliage, but of dusky hue; not light 
The boughs and tapering, but with knares deform'd 
And matted thick: fruits there were none, but thorns 
Instead, with venom fill'd. Less sharp than these, 
Less intricate the brakes, wherein abide 
Those animals, that hate the cultured fields, 
Betwixt Corneto and Cecina's stream.' 

Here the brute harpies make their nest, the same 
Who from the Strophades the Trojan band 
Drove with dire boding of their future woe. 
Broad are their pennons, of the human form 
Their neck and countenance, arm'd with talons keen 
The feet, and the huge belly fledged with wings. 
These sit and wail on the drear mystic wood. 

The kind instructor in these words began: 
"Ere further thou proceed, know thou art now 
r th* second round, and shalt be, till thou come 
Upon the horrid sand: look therefore well 
Around thee, and such things thou shalt behold, 
As would my speech discredit." On all sides 
I heard sad plainings breathe, and none could see 
From whom they might have issued. In amaze 
Fast bound I stood. He, as it seem'd, believed 

'A wild and woody tract, abounding horn; Corneto, a small city on the same 
in deer, goats, and wild boars. Cecina coast, in the patrimony of the Church, 
is a river not far to the south of Leg- 


That I had thought so many voices came 

From some amid those thickets close conceal'd, 

And thus his speech resum'd: "If thou lop oil 

A single twig from one of those ill plants, 

The thought thou hast conceived shall vanish quite." 

Thereat a litde stretching forth my hand, 
From a great wilding gather 'd I a branch, 
And straight the trunk exclaim'd: "Why pluck'st thou 

Then, as the dark blood trickled down its side. 

These words it added: "Wherefore tear'st me thus? 

Is there no touch of mercy in thy breast? 

Men once were we, that now are rooted here. 

Thy hand might well have spared us, had we been 

The souls of serpents." As a brand yet green, 

That burning at one end from the other sends 

A groaning sound, and hisses with the wind 

That forces out its way, so burst at once 

Forth from the broken splinter words and blood. 

I, letting fall the bough, remain'd as one 
Assail'd by terror; and the sage replied: 
"If he, O injured spirit! could have believed 
What he hath seen but in my verse described. 
He never against thee had strctch'd his hand. 
But I, because the thing surpass'd belief. 
Prompted him to this deed, which even now 
Myself I rue. But tell me, who thou wast; 
That, for this wrong to do thee some amends, 
In the upper world (for thither to return 
Is granted him) thy fame he may revive." 
"That pleasant word of thine," the trunk replied, 
"Hath so inveigled me, that I from speech 
Cannot refrain, wherein if I indulge 
A little longer, in the snare detain'd. 
Count it not grievous. I it was,' who held 
' "I it was." Picro dellc Vignc, a that he held a secret and traitorous intcr- 
native of Capua, who from a low condi- course with the Poix:, who was then at 
tion raised himself, by his eloquence and enmity with the Emperor. He was cruelly 
legal knowledge, to the office of Chan- condemned to lose his eyes. Driven to 
celior to the Emperor Frederick II. The despair by his unmerited calamity he 
courtiers, envious of his exalted situation, dashed out his brains against the wall] 
forged letters to make Frederick believe of a church, in the year 1245. 


Both keys to Frederick's heart, and lurn'd the wards, 

Opening and shutting, with a skill so sweet. 

That besides me, into his inmost breast 

Scarce any other could admittance find. 

The faith I bore to my high charge was such, 

It cost me the life-blood that warm'd my veins. 

The harlot, who ne'er turn'd her gloating eyes 

From Czsar's household, common vice and pest 

Of courts, 'gainst me inflamed the minds of all; 

And to Augustus they so spread the flame. 

That my glad honours changed to bitter woes. 

My soul, disdainful and disgusted, sought 

Refuge in death from scorn, and I became, 

Just as I was, unjust toward myself. 

By the new roots, which fix this stem, I swear, 

That never faith I broke to my liege lord, 

Who merited such honour; and of you. 

If any to the world indeed return, 

Clear he from wrong my memory, that lies 

Yet prostrate under envy's cruel blow." 

First somewhat pausing, till the mournful words 
Were ended, then to me the bard began: 
"Lose not the time; but speak, and of him ask. 
If more thou wish to learn." Whence I replied: 
"Question thou him again of whatsoe'er 
Will, as thou think'st, content me; for no power 
Have I to ask, such pity is at my heart." 

He thus resumed: "So may he do for thee 
Freely what thou cntreatest, as thou yet 
Be pleased, imprison'd spirit! to declare. 
How in these gnarled joints the soul is tied; 
And whether any ever from such frame 
Be loosen'd, if thou canst, that also tell." 

Thereat the trunk breathed hard, and the wind soon 
Changed into sounds articulate like these: 
"Briefly ye shall be answer'd. When departs 
The fierce soul from the body, by itself 
Thence torn asunder, to the seventh gulf 
By Minos doom'd, into the wood it falls. 
No place assign'd, but wheresoever chance 



Hurls it; there sprouting, as a grain of spelt, 

It rises to a sapling, growing thence 

A savage plant. The harpies, on its leaves 

Then feeding, cause both pain, and for the pain 

A vent to grief. We, as the rest, shall come 

For our own spoils, yet not so that with them 

We may again be clad; for what a man 

Takes from himself it is not just he have. 

Here we perforce shall drag them; and throughout 

The dismal glade our bodies shall be hung. 

Each on the wild thorn of his wretched shade." 

Attentive yet to listen to the trunk 
We stood, expecting further speech, when us 
A noise surprised; as when a man perceives 
The wild boar and the hunt approach his place 
Of station'd watch, who of the beasts and boughs 
Loud rustling round him hears. And lo! there came 
Two naked, torn with briers, in headlong (light. 
That they before them broke each fan o' th' wood. 
"Haste now," the foremost cried, "now haste thee, 

The other, as seem'd, impatient of delay. 
Exclaiming, "Lano!' not so bent for sp>eed 
Thy sinews, in the lists of Toppo's field." 
And then, for that perchance no longer breath 
Sufficed him, of himself and of a bush 
One group he made. Behind them was the wood 
Full of black female mastiffs, gaunt and fleet. 
As greyhounds that have newly slipt the leash. 
On him, who squatted down, they stuck their fangs, 
And having rent him piecemeal bore away 
The tortured limbs. My guide then seized my hand. 
And led me to the thicket, which in vain 
Mourn'd through its bleeding wounds: "O Giacomo 
Of Sant' Andrea!* what avails it thee," 
* Lano, a Sicnncsc, who bcinR reduced tain death, in the engagement which took 
by prodigalit)' to a state of extreme want, place at Toppo, near Arezzo. See G. 
found his existence no longer supportable; Villani, Hist. lib. vii. c. cxix. 
and having been sent by his countr>'mcn * Jacopo da Sant' Andrea, a Paduan, 

on a military expedition to assist the who, having wasted his property in the 
Florentines against the Aretini, took that most wanton acts of profusion, killed 
opportunit)' of exposing himself to cer- himself in despair. 


It cried, "that of me thou hast made thy screen? 
For thy ill life, what blame on me recoils?" 

When o'er it he had paused, my master spake: 
"Say who wast thou, that at so many points 
Breathest out with blood thy lamentable speech?" 

He answer'd: "O ye spirits! arrived in time 
To spy the shameful havoc that from me 
My leaves hath sever'd thus, gather them up, 
And at the foot of their sad parent-tree 
Carefully lay them. In that city'' I dwelt. 
Who for the Baptist her first patron changed. 
Whence he for this shall cease not with his art 
To work her woe: and if there still remain'd not 
On Arno's passage some faint glimpse of him, 
Those citizens, who rear'd once more her walls 
Upon the ashes left by Attila, 
Had labor 'd without profit of their toil. 
I slung the fatal noose' from my own roof." 


Argument. — They arrive at the beKinning of the third of those compart- 
ments into which this seventh circle is divided. It is a plain of dry and hot 
sand, where thrc-e kinds of violence are punished; namely, against God, against 
Nature, and against Art; and those who have thus sinned, are tormented 
by flakes of fire, which are eternally showering down upon them. Among 
the violent against God is found Capaneus, whose blasphemies they hear. 
Next, turning to the left along the forest of self-slayers, and having journeyed 
a little onward, they meet with a streamlet of blood that issues from the 
forest and traverses the sandy plain. Here Virgil speaks to our Poet of a huge 
ancient statue that stands within Mount Ida in Crete, from a fissure in which 
statue there is a dripping of tears, from which the said streamlet, together with 
the three other infernal rivers, are formed. 

SOON as the charity of native land 
Wrought in my bosom, I the scatter'd leaves 
Collected, and to him restored, who now 
Was hoarse with utterance. To the limit thence 
We came, which from the third the second round 
Divides, and where of justice is display 'd 

5 " Florence, that city which * "I slung the fatal noose." We are 

changed her first patron Mars for St. John not informed who this suicide was; some 
the Baptist." calling him Rocco de' Mozzi, and others 

Lotto degli Agli. 


Contrivance horrible. Things then first seen 

Clearher to manifest, I tell how next 

A plain we reach'd, that from its sterile bed 

Each plant repell'd. The mournful wood waves round 

Its garland on all sides, as round the wood 

Spreads the sad foss. There, on the very edge, 

Our steps we stay'd. It was an area wide 

Of arid sand and thick, resembling most 

The soil that erst by Cato's foot was trod. 

Vengeance of heaven! Oh I how shouldst thou be 
By all, who read what here mine eyes beheld. 

Of naked spirits many a flock I saw, 
All weeping piteously, to different laws 
Subjected; for on the earth some lay supine. 
Some crouching close were seated, others paced 
Incessantly around; the latter tribe 
More numerous, those fewer who beneath 
The torment lay, but louder in their grief. 

O'er all the sand fell slowly wafting down 
Dilated flakes of fire, as flakes of snow 
On Alpine summit, when the wind is hush'd. 
As, in the torrid Indian clime, the son 
Of Ammon saw, upon his warrior band 
Descending, solid flames, that to the ground 
Came down; whence he bethought him with his troop 
To trample on the soil; for easier thus 
The vapor was extinguish'd, while alone: 
So fell the eternal fiery Bood, wherewith 
The marie glow'd underneath, as under stove 
The viands, doubly to augment the pain. 
Unceasing was the play of wretched hands, 
Now this, now that way glancing, to shake off 
The heat, still falling fresh. I thus began: 
"Instructor! thou who all things overcomest. 
Except the hardy demons that rush'd forth 
To stop our entrance at the gate, say who 
Is yon huge spirit, that, as seems, heeds not 
The burning, but lies writhen in proud scorn, 
As by the sultry tempest immatured?" 


Straight he himself, who was aware I ask'd 
My guide of him, exclaim'd: "Such as I was 
When hving, dead such now I am. If Jove 
Weary his workman out, from whom in ire 
He snatch'd the Hghtnings, that at my last day 
Transfix'd me; if the rest he weary out. 
At their black smithy laboring by turns, 
In Mongibello, while he cries aloud, 
'Help, help, good Mulciber!' as erst he cried 
In the Phlegrxan warfare; and the bolts 
Launch he, full aim'd at me, with all his might; 
He never should enjoy a sweet revenge." 

Then thus my guide, in accent higher raised 
Than I before had heard him: "Capaneus! 
Thou art more punish'd, in that this thy pride 
Lives yet unquench'd: no torment, save thy rage, 
Were to thy fury pain proportion'd full." 

Next turning round to me, with milder lip 
He spake: "This of the seven kings was one. 
Who girt the Theban walls with siege, and held. 
As still he seems to hold, God in disdain. 
And sets His high omnipotence at naught. 
But, as I told him, his despiteful mood 
Is ornament well suits the breast that wears it. 
Follow me now; and look thoU set not yet 
Thy foot in the hot sand, but to the wood 
Keep ever close." Silently on we pass'd 
To where there gushes from the forest's bound 
A litde brook, whose crimson'd wave yet lifts 
My hair with horror. As the rill, that runs 
From Bulicame,' to be jwrtion'd out 
Among the sinful women, so ran this 
Down through the sand; its bottom and each bank 
Stone-built, and either margin at its side. 
Whereon I straight perceived our passage lay. 

"Of all that I have shown thee, since that gate 
We enter'd first, whose threshold is to none 
• A warm medicinal sprinR near would imply that it was the scene of 
Viterbo; the waters of which, as Landino licentious merriment among those who 
and Vellutelli affirm, passed by a place of frequented its baths, 
ill-fame. Venturi conjectures that Dante 



Denied, naught else so worthy of regard, 

As is this river, has thine eye discern'd. 

O'er which the flaming volley all is quench'd." 

So spake my guide; and I him thence besought, 
That having given me appetite to know. 
The food he too would give, that hunger craved. 

"In midst of ocean," forthwith he began, 
"A desolate country lies, which Crete is named; 
Under whose monarch, in old times, the world 
Lived pure and chaste. A mountain rises there, 
Call'd Ida, joyous once with leaves and streams. 
Deserted now like a forbidden thing. 
It was the spot which Rhea, Saturn's spouse. 
Chose for the secret cradle of her son; 
And better to conceal him, drown'd in shouts 
His infant cries. Within the mount, upright 
An ancient form there stands, and huge, that turns 
His shoulders toward Damiata; and at Rome, 
As in his mirror, looks. Of finest gold 
His head is shaf>ed, pure silver are the breast 
And arms, thence to the middle is of brass. 
And downward all beneath well-temper'd steel, 
Save the right foot of potter's clay, on which 
Than on the other more erect he stands. 
Each part, except the gold, is rent throughout; 
And from the fissure tears distil, which join'd 
Penetrate to that cave. They in their course, 
Thus far precipitated down the rock. 
Form Acheron, and Styx, and Phlegethon; 
Then by this straiten'd channel passing hence 
Beneath e'en to the lowest depth of all. 
Form there Cocytus, of whose lake (thyself 
Shalt see it) I here give thee no account." 

Then I to him: "If from our world this sluice 
Be thus derived; wherefore to us but now 
Appears it at this edge?" He straight replied: 
"The place, thou know'st, is round: and though great 

Thou have already past, still to the left 
Descending to the nethermost, not yet 


Hast thou the circuit made of the whole orb. 
Wherefore, if aught of new to us appear, 
It needs not bring up wonder in thy looks." 

Then I again inquired: "Where flow the streams 
Of Phlegethon and Lethe? for of one 
Thou tell'st not; and the other, of that shower. 
Thou say'st, is form'd." He answer thus reiurn'd: 
"Doubtless thy questions all well pleased I hear. 
Yet the red seething wave^ might have resolved 
One thou projxjsest. Lethe thou shalt see. 
But not vviihin this hollow, in the place 
Whither,' to lave themselves, the spirits go, 
Whose blame hath been by penitence removed." 
He added: "Time is now we quit the wood. 
Look thou my steps pursue: the margins give 
Safe passage, unimpeded by the flames; 
For over them all vapor is extinct." 


Argument. — Takinf; their way upon one of the mounds by which the streamlet, 
spoken of in the last Canto, was embanked, and having gone so far that they could 
no longer have discerned the forest if they had turned round to look for it, they meet a 
troop of spirits that come along the sand by the side of the pier. These arc they who 
have done violence to Nature; and among them Dante distinguishes Brunetto Latini, 
who had been formerly his master; with whom, turning a little backward, he holds 
a discourse which occupies the remainder of this Canto. 

ONE of the solid margins bears us now 
Envelop'd in the mist, that, from the stream 
Arising, hovers o'er, and saves from fire 
Both piers and water. As the Flemings rear 
Their mound, 'twixt Ghent and Bruges, to chase back 
The ocean, fearing his tumultuous tide 
That drives toward them; or the Paduans theirs 
Along the Brenta, to defend their towns 
And castles, ere the genial warmth be felt 
On Chiarcntana's' top; such were the mounds, 
So framed, though not in height or bulk to these 
Made equal, by the master, whosoe'er 

' Phlegethon. ' The other side of Purgatory. 
*A part of the Alps where the Brenta rises, swollen by melting snows. 

62 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xv 

He was, that raised them here. We from the wood 
Were now so far removed, that turning round 
I might not have discern'd it, when we met 
A troop of spirits, who came beside the pier. 

They each one eyed us, as at eventide 
One eyes another under a new moon; 
And toward us sharpen'd their sight, as keen 
As an old tailor at his needle's eye. 

Thus narrowly explored by all the tribe, 
I was agnized of one, who by the skirt 
Caught me, and cried, "What wonder have we here?" 

And I, when he to me outstretch'd his arm, 
Intendy fix'd my ken on his parch'd looks, 
That, although smirch'd with fire, they hinder'd not 
But I remember'd him; and toward his face 
My hand inclining, answer'd: "Ser Brunetto!^ 
And are ye here?" He thus to me: "My son! 
Oh let it not displease thee, if Brunetto 
Latini but a litde space with thee 
Turn back, and leave his fellows to proceed." 

I thus to him replied: "Much as I can, 
I thereto pray thee; and if thou be willing 
That I here seat me with thee, I consent; 
His leave, with whom I journey, first obtain'd." 

"O son!" said he, "whoever of this throng 
One instant stops, lies then a hundred years. 
No fan to ventilate him, when the fire 
Smitest sorest. Pass thou therefore on. I close 
Will at thy garments walk, and then rejoin 
My troop, who go mourning their endless doom." 

I dared not from the path descend to tread 
On equal ground with him, but held my head 
Bent down, as one who walks in reverent guise. 

"What chance or destiny," thus he began, 
"Ere the last day, conducts thee here below? 
And who is this that shows to thee the way?" 

' "Ser Brunetto, a Florentine, the secre- is in the French spoken in the reif;n of 

tary or chancellor of the city, and Dante's St. Louis, under the title of 'Trcsor'; and 

preceptor, hath left us a work so little contains a species of philosophical lec- 

read, that both the subject of it and the tures." 
language of it have been mistaken. It 


"There up aloft," I answer'd, "in the life 
Serene, I wander'd in a valley lost. 
Before mine age had to its fulness reach'd. 
But yester-morn I left it: then once more 
Into that vale returning, him I met; 
And by this path homeward he leads me back." 

"If thou," he answer'd, "follow but thy star, 
Thou canst not miss at last a glorious haven; 
Unless in fairer days my judgment err'd. 
And if my fate so early had not chanced. 
Seeing the heavens thus bounteous to thee, I 
Had gladly given thee comfort in thy work. 
But that ungrateful and malignant race, 
Who in old times came down from Fesole, 
Ay and still smack of their rough mountain flint, 
Will for thy good deeds show thee enmity. 
Nor wonder; for amongst ill-savor'd crabs 
It suits not the sweet fig-tree lay her fruit. 
Old fame reports them in the world for blind. 
Covetous, envious, proud. Look to it well: 
Take heed thou cleanse thee of their ways. For thee. 
Thy fortune hath such honor in reserve, 
That thou by either party shalt be craved 
With hunger keen: but be the fresh herb far 
From the goat's tooth. The herd of Fesole 
May of themselves make litter, not touch the plant. 
If any such yet spring on their rank bed, 
In which the holy seed revives, transmitted 
From those true Romans, who still there remain'd, 
When it was made the nest of so much ill." 

"Were all my wish fulfiU'd," I straight replied, 
"Thou from the confines of man's nature yet 
Hadst not been driven forth; for in my mind 
Is fix'd, and now strikes full upon my heart. 
The dear, benign, paternal image, such 
As thine was, when so lately thou didst teach me 
The way for man to win eternity: 
And how I prized the lesson, it behoves. 
That, long as life endures, my tongue should speak. 
What ofjny fate thou tell'st, that write I down; 


And, with another text' to comment on, 
For her I keep it, the celestial dame, 
Who will know all, if I to her arrive. 
This only would I have thee clearly note: 
That, so my conscience have no plea against me, 
Do Fortune as she list, I stand prepared. 
Not new or strange such earnest to mine ear. 
Speed Fortune then her wheel, as likes her best; 
The clown his mattock; all things have their course." 

Thereat my sapient guide upon his right 
Turn'd himself back, then looked at me, and spake: 
"He listens to good purpose who takes note." 

I not the less still on my way proceed. 
Discoursing with Brunetto, and inquire 
Who are most known and chief among his tribe. 

"To know of some is well;" he thus replied, 
"But of the rest silence may best beseem. 
Time would not serve us for report so long. 
In brief I tell thee, that all these were clerks, 
Men of great learning and no less renown, 
By one same sin polluted in the world. 
With them is Priscian; and Accorso's son, 
Francesco,* herds among the wretched throng: 
And, if the wish of so impure a blotch 
Possess'd thee, him^ thou also mightst have seen. 
Who by the servants' servant was transferr'd 
From Arno's seat to Bacchiglione, where 
His ill-strain'd nerves he left. I more would add. 
But must from further speech and onward way 
Alike desist; for yonder I behold 
A mist new-risen on the sandy plain. 
A company, with whom I may not sort, 

*"With another text." He refers to with this short epitaph: "Sepulcrum 

the predictions of Farinata, in Canto x. Accursii Glossatoris et Francisci eus Filii." 

* "Francesco." Accorso, a Florentine, ' "Him." Andrea de' Mozzi, who, that 

interpreted the Roman law at Bologna, his scandalous life might be less exposed 

and died in 1229, at the age of 78. His to observation, was translated either by 

authority was so great as to exceed that Nicholas III or Boniface VIII from the see 

of all the other interpreters, so that Cino of Florence to that of Vicenza, through 

da Pistoia termed him the Idol of Advo- which passes the river Bacchiglione. He 

cates. His sepulchre, and that of his son died at Vicenza. 
Francesco here spoken of, is at Bologna, 


Approaches. I commend my Treasure to thee, 
Wherein I yet survive; my sole request." 

This said, he turn'd, and seem'd as one of those 
Who o'er Verona's champaign try their speed 
For the green mantle; and of them he seem'd, 
Not he who loses but who gains the prize. 


Argument. — Journeying along the pier, which crosses the sand, they are now so 
near the end of it as to hear the noise of the stream falling into the eighth circle, 
when they meet the spirits of three military men; who judging Dante, from his dress, 
to be a countryman of theirs, entreat him to stop. He complies and speaks with 
them. The two Poets then reach the place where the water descends, being the 
termination of this third compartment m the seventh circle; and here Virgil, having 
thrown down into the hollow a cord, wherewith Dante was girt, they behold at that 
signal a monstrous and horrible figure come swimming up to them. 

NOW came I where the water's din was heard 
As down it fell into the other round, 
Resounding like the hum of swarming bees: 
irth together issued from a troop. 
That pass'd beneath the fierce tormenting storm, 
Three spirits, running swift. They toward us came, 
And each one cried aloud, "Oh! do thou stay. 
Whom, by the fashion of thy garb, we deem 
To be some inmate of our evil land." 

Ah me! what wounds I mark'd upwn their limbs. 
Recent and old, inflicted by the flames. 
E'en the remembrance of them grieves me yet. 

Attentive to their cry, my teacher paused. 
And turned to me his visage, and then spake: 
"Wait now: our courtesy these merit well: 
And were't not for the nature of the place, 
Whence glide the fiery darts, I should have said. 
That haste had better suited thee than them." 

They, when we stopp'd, resumed their ancient wail, 
And, soon as they had reach'd us, all the three 
Whirl'd round together in one restless wheel. 
As naked champions, smear'd with slippery oil 
Are wont, intent, to watch their place of hold 
And vantage, ere in closer strife they meet; 

66 THE DIVINE CCMEDY canto xvi 

Thus each one, as he wheel'd, his countenance 

At me directed, so that opposite 

The neck moved ever to the twinkling feet. 

"If woe of this unsound and dreary waste," 

Thus one began, "added to our sad cheer 

Thus peel'd with flame, do call forth scorn on us 

And our entreaties, let our great renown 

Incline thee to inform us who thou art. 

That dost imprint, with living feet unharm'd, 

The soil of Hell. He, in whose track thou seest 

My steps pursuing, naked though he be 

And reft of all, was of more high estate 

Than thou believest; grandchild of the chaste 

Gualdrada,' him they Guidoguerra call'd, 

Who in his lifetime many a noble act 

Achieved, both by his wisdom and his sword. 

The other, next to me that beats the sand. 

Is Aldobrandi,* name deserving well. 

In the upper world, of honor; and myself. 

Who in this torment do partake with them, 

Am Rusticucci,' whom, past doubt, my wife, 

Of savage temper, more than aught beside 

Hath to this evil brought." If from the fire 

I had been shelter'd, down amidst them straight 

' "Gualdrada." Gualdrada was the Romajtna, as her portion. Two sons were 
daughter of Bcllincione Berti, of whom the ofTsprinK of this union, Gugliclmo and 
mention is made in the Paradise, Cantos Ruggicri; the latter was father of Guido- 
XV and xvi. He was of the family of gucrra, who, at the head of four hundred 
Ravignani, a branch of the Adimari. The Florentines of the Guclf party, was sig- 
Emperor Otho IV being at a festival in nally instrumental to the victory of 
Florence, where Gualdrada was present, Charles of Anjou at Bcnevento, over 
was struck with her beauty; and in- Manfredi, King of Naples, in 1265. One 
quiring who she was, was answered by consequence of this was the expulsion 
Bellincione, that she was the daughter of the Ghibellini and the re-establishment 
of one who, if it was his Majesty's pleas- of the Guclfi at Florence, 
ure, would make her admit the honor * Tegghiaio Aldobrandi endeavored to 
of his salute. On overhearing this, she dissuade the Florentines from the attack 
arose from her scat, and blushing, desired which they meditated against the Sien- 
her father that he would not be so lib- nese; the rejection of his counsel oc- 
eral in his offers. The Emperor was de- casioncd the defeat which the former 
lighted by her resolute modesty, and call- sustained at Montaperto, and the con- 
ing to him Guido, one of his barons, sequent banishment of the Guelfi from 
gave her to him in marriage; at the same Florence. 

time raising him to the rank of a count, ' Giacopo Rusticucci, a Florentiiie, re- 

and bestowing on her the whole of Casen- markable for his opulence and generosity 

tino, and a part of the territory of of spirit. 


I then had cast me; nor my guide, I deem. 
Would have restrain'd my going: but that fear 
Of the dire burning vanquish'd the desire. 
Which made me eager of their wish'd embrace. 

I then began: "Not scorn, but grief much more. 
Such as long time alone can cure, your doom 
Fix'd deep within me, soon as this my lord 
Spake words, whose tenor taught me to expect 
That such a race, as ye are, was at hand. 
I am a countryman of yours, who still 
Affectionate have utter'd, and have heard 
Your deeds and names renown'd. Leaving the gall. 
For the sweet fruit I go, that a sure guide 
Hath promised to me. But behoves, that far 
As to the centre first I downward tend." 

"So may long space thy spirit guide thy limbs," 
He answer straight rcturn'd; "and so thy fame 
Shine bright when thou art gone, as thou shalt tell. 
If courtesy and valor, as they wont. 
Dwell in our city, or have vanish'd clean: 
For one amidst us late condemn'd to wail, 
Borsiere,* yonder walking with his peers. 
Grieves us no little by the news he brings." 

"An upstart multitude and sudden gains. 
Pride and excess, O Florence! have in thee 
Engender'd, so that now in tears thou mourn'st!" 

Thus cried I, with my face upraised, and they 

All three, who for an answer took my words, 

Look'd at each other, as men look when truth 

Comes to their ear. "If at so little cost," 

They all at once rejoin'd, "thou satisfy 

Others who question thee, O happy thou! 

Gifted with words so apt to speak thy thought. 

Wherefore, if thou escape this darksome clime, 

Returning to behold the radiant stars, 

When thou with pleasure shalt retrace the past,* 

See that of us thou speak among mankind." 

* Guglielmo Borsiere, a Florentine, * "QuanJo ti gioverh diccre to fui." 

whom Boccaccio terms "a man of cour- So Tasso, "G. L." c. xv. st. 38: 

teous and elegant manners, and of great "Quando mi gioveri narrar altrui 

readiness in conversation." Le noviti vedute, e dire; io fui." 


This said, they broke the circle, and so swift 
Fled, that as pinions seem'd their nimble feet. 

Not in so short a time might one have said 
"Amen," as they had vanish'd. Straight my guide 
Pursued his track. I follow'd: and small space 
Had we past onward, when the water's sound 
Was now so near at hand, that we had scarce 
Heard one another's speech for the loud din. 

E'en as the river,' that first holds its course 
Unmingled from the Mount of Vesulo, 
On the left side of Apennine, toward 
The east, which Acquacheta higher up 
They call, ere it descend into the vale, 
At Forli,' by that name no longer known, 
Rebellows o'er Saint Benedict, roH'd on 
From the Alpine summit down a precipice. 
Where space* enough to lodge a thousand spreads; 
Thus downward from a craggy steep we found 
That this dark wave resounded, roaring loud. 
So that the ear its clamour soon had stunn'd. 

I had a cord' that braced my girdle round. 
Wherewith I erst had thought fast bound to take 
The painted leopard. This when I had all 
Unloosen'd from me (so my master bade) 
I gather'd up, and stretch'd it forth to him. 
Then to the right he turn'd, and from the brink 
Standing few paces distant, cast it down 
Into the deep abyss. "And somewhat strange," 
Thus to myself I spake, "signal so strange 
Betokens, which my guide with earnest eye 
Thus follows." Ah! what caution must men use 

•He compares the fall of Phlcgethon cupied it, or because (says Landino) the 

to that of the Montone (a river in lords of that territory had intended to 

Romagoa) from the Apennines above the build a castle near the water-fall, and to 

Abbey of St. Benedict. All the other collect within its walls the population of 

streams that rise between the sources of the neighboring villages, 

the Po and the Montone, and fall from the ' "A cord." It is believed that our 

left side of the Apennines, join the Po poet in early life, had entered into the 

and accompany it to the sea. order of St. Francis. By observing the 

' There it loses the name of Acquacheta, rules of that profession he had designed 

and takes that of Montone. "to take the painted leopard" (that 

* Either because the abbey was capable animal represcoted Pleasure) "with this 

of containing more than those who oc- cord." 


With those who look not at the deed alone. 
But spy into the thoughts with subde skill. 

"Quickly shall come," he said, "what I expect; 
Thine eye discover quickly that, whereof 
Thy thought is dreaming." Ever to that truth, 
Which but the semblance of a falsehood wears, 
A man, if possible, should bar his lip; 
Since, although blameless, he incurs reproach. 
But silence here were vain; and by these notes, 
Which now I sing, reader, I swear to thee. 
So may they favor find to latest times! 
That through the gross and murky air I spied 
A shape come swimming up, that might have quell'd 
The stoutest heart with wonder; in such guise 
As one returns, who hath been down to loose 
An anchor grappled fast against some rock. 
Or to aught else that in the salt wave lies. 
Who, upward springing, close draws in his feet. 


Akoument. — The monster Gcryon is described; to whom while Virgil is speaking 
in order that he may carry them both down to the next circle, Dante, by permission, 
goes further along the edge of the void, to descry the third species of sinners contained 
in this compartment, namely, those who have done violence to Art; and then re- 
turning to his master, they both descend, seated on the back of Geryon. 

""W^O! the fell monster' with the deadly sting, 

I Who passes mountains, breaks through fenced 

I J walls 
And firm embattled spears, and with his filth 
Taints all the world." Thus me my guide address'd. 
And beckon'd him, that he should come to shore. 
Near to the stony causeway's utmost edge. 

Forthwith that image vile of Fraud appear'd, 
His head and upper part exposed on land. 
But laid not on the shore his bestial train. 
His face the semblance of a just man's wore. 
So kind and gracious was its outward cheer; 
The rest was serpent all: two shaggy claws 
' "The fell monster." Fraud. 


Reach'd to the arm-pits; and the back and breast, 

And either side, were painted o'er with nodes 

And orbits. Colours variegated more 

Nor Turks nor Tartars e'er on cloth of siate 

With interchangeable embroidery wove. 

Nor spread Arachne o'er her curious loom. 

As oft-times a light skiff, moor'd to the shore. 

Stands part in water, part upon the land; 

Or, as where dwells the greedy German boor. 

The beaver settles, watching for his prey; 

So on the rim, that fenced the sand with rock. 

Sat perch'd the fiend of evil. In the void 

Glancing, his tail upturn'd its venomous fork. 

With sting like scorpion's arm'd. Then thus my guide, 

"Now need our way must turn few steps apart. 

Far as to that ill beast, who couches there." 

Thereat, toward the right our downward course 
We shaped, and, better to escape the flame 
And burning marie, ten paces on the verge 
Proceeded. Soon as we to him arrive, 
A little farther on mine eye beholds 
A tribe of spirits, seated on the sand 
Near to the void. Forthwith my master spake: 
"That to the full thy knowledge may extend 
Of all this round contains, go now, and mark 
The mien these wear: but hold not long discourse. 
Till thou returnest, I with him meantime 
Will parley, that to us he may vouchsafe 
The aid of his strong shoulders." Tlius alone, 
Yet forward on the extremity I paced 
Of that seventh circle, where the mournful tribe 
Were seated. At the eyes forth gush'd their pangs. 
Against the vapors and the torrid soil 
Alternately their shifting hands they plied. 
Thus use the dogs in summer still to ply 
Their jaws and feet by turns, when bitten sore 
By gnats, or flies, or gadflies swarming round. 

Noting the visages of some, who lay 
Beneath the pelting of that dolorous fire. 
One of them all I knew not; but perceived, 


That pendent from his neck each bore a pouch* 
With colours and with emblems various mark'd, 
On which it seem'd as if their eye did feed. 

And when, amongst them, looking round I came, 
A yellow purse' I saw with azure wrought, 
That wore a lion's countenance and p>ort. 
Then, still my sight pursuing its career. 
Another* I beheld, than blood more red, 
A goose display of whiter wing than curd. 
And one, who bore a fat and azure swine'' 
Pictured on his white scrip, address'd me thus: 
"What dost thou in this deep? Go now and know, 
Since yet thou livest, that my neighbor here 
Vitaliano' on my left shall sit. 
A Paduan with these Florentines am I. 
Oft-times they thunder in mine ears, exclaiming, 
'Oh! haste that noble knight,' he who the pwuch 
With the three goats will bring.' " This said, he writhed 
The mouth, and loU'd the tongue out, like an ox 
That licks his nostrils. I, lest longer stay 
He ill might brook, who bade me stay not long. 
Backward my steps from those sad spirits turn'd. 

My guide already seated on the haunch 
Of the fierce animal I found; and thus 
He me encouraged. "Be thou stout: be bold. 
Down such a steep flight must we now descend. 
Mount thou before: for, that no power the tail 
May have to harm thee, I will be i' th' midst." 
As one, who hath an ague fit so near. 
His nails already are turn'd blue, and he 
Quivers all o'er, if he but eye the shade; 
Such was my cheer at hearing of his words. 
But shame soon interposed her threat, who makes 
The servant bold in presence of his lord. 

*A purse, whereon the armorial bear- GianfiKliazzi of Florence, 
ings of each were emblazoned. According * The arms of the Ubbriachi, another 

to Landino, our Poet implies that the Florentine family of high distinction, 
usurer can pretend to no other honor than ' The arms of the Scrovigni, a noble 

such as he derives from his purse and family of Padua, 
his family. The description of (xirsons * Vitaliano del Dente, a Paduan. 

by their heraldic insignia is remarkable. ' Giovanni Bujamonti, the most in- 

*"A yellow purse." The arms of the famous luurer of his time. 


I settled me upon those shoulders huge, 
And would have said, but that the words to aid 
My purpose came not, "Look thou clasp me firm." 

But he whose succour then not first I proved, 
Soon as I mounted, in his arms aloft. 
Embracing, held me up; and thus he spake: 
"Geryon! now move thee: be thy wheeling gyres 
Of ample circuit, easy thy descent. 
Think on the unusual burden thou sustain'st." 

As a small vessel, backcning out from land. 
Her station quits; so thence the monster loosed. 
And, when he felt himself at large, turn'd round 
There, where the breast had been, his forked tail. 
Thus, like an eel, outstretch'd at length he steer'd, 
Gathering the air up with retractile claws. 

Not greater was the dread, when Phaeton 
The reins let drop at random, whence high heaven, 
Whereof signs yet appear, was wrapt in flames; 
Nor when ill-fated Icarus perceived. 
By liquefaction of the scalded wax. 
The trusted pennons loosen'd from his loins, 
His sire exclaiming loud, "III way thou keep'st," 
Than was my dread, when round me on each part 
The air I view'd, and other object none 
Save the fell beast. He, slowly sailing, wheels 
His downward motion, unobserved of me. 
But that the wind, arising to my face, 
Breathes on me from below. Now on our right 
I heard the cataract beneath us leap 
With hideous crash; whence bending down to explore, 
New terror I conceived at the steep plunge; 
For flames I saw, and wailings smote mine ear: 
So that, all trembling, close I crouch'd my limbs. 
And then distinguish'd, unperceived before. 
By the dread torments that on every side 
Drew nearer, how our downward course we wound. 

As falcon, that hath long been on the wing. 
But lure nor bird hath seen, while in despair 
The falconer cries, "Ah me! thou stoop'st to earth," 
Wearied descends, whence nimbly he arose 


In many an airy wheel, and lighting sits 

At distance from his lord in angry mood; 

So Geryon lighting places us on foot 

Low down at base of the deep-furrow'd rock, 

And, of his burden there discharged, forthwith 

Sprang forward, like an arrow from the string. 


Argument. — The Poet describes the situation and form of the eighth circle, divided 
into ten gulfs, which contain as many different descriptions of fraudulent sinners; 
but in the present Canto he treats only of two sorts: the first is of those who, either 
for their own pleasure, or for that of another, have seduced any woman from her duty; 
and these are scourged of demons in the first gulf: the other sort is of flatterers, 
who in the second gulf arc condemned to remain immersed in filth. 

THERE is a place within the depths of Hell 
Call'd Malebolge, all of rock dark-stain'd 
With hue ferruginous, e'en as the steep 
That round it circling winds. Right in the midst 
Of that abominable region yawns 
A spacious gulf profound, whereof the frame 
Due time shall tell. The circle, that remains. 
Throughout its round, between the gulf and base 
Of the high craggy banks, successive forms 
Ten bastions, in its hollow bottom raised. 

As where, to guard the walls, full many a foss 
Begirds some stately casde, sure defence 
Affording to the space within; so here 
Were model'd these: and as like fortresses. 
E'en from their threshold to the brink without, 
Are flank'd with bridges; from the rock's low base 
Thus flinty paths advanced, that 'cross the moles 
And dykes struck onward far as to the gulf. 
That in one bound collected cuts them off. 
Such was the place, wherein we found ourselves 
From Geryon's back dislodged. The bard to left 
Held on his way, and I behind him moved. 

On our right hand new misery I saw. 
New pains, new executioners of wrath. 
That swarming peopled the first chasm. Below 
Were naked sinners. Hitherward they came, 


Meeting our faces, from the middle point; 
With us beyond, but with a larger stride. 
E'en thus the Romans,' when the year returns 
Of Jubilee, with better speed to rid 
The thronging multitudes, their means devise 
For such as pass the bridge; that on one side 
All front toward the castle, and approach 
Saint Peter's fane, on the other toward the mount. 

Each diverse way, along the grisly rock, 
Horn'd demons I beheld, with lashes huge. 
That on their back unmercifully smote. 
Ah! how they made them bound at the first stripel 
None for the second waited, nor the third. 

Meantime, as on I pass'd, one met my sight, 
Whom soon as view'd, "Of him," cried I, "not yet 
Mine eye hath had his fill." 1 therefore stay'd 
My feet to scan him, and the teacher kind 
Paused with me, and consented I should walk 
Backward a space; and the tormented spirit. 
Who thought to hide him, bent his visage down. 
But it avail'd him naught; for I exclaim'd: 
"Thou who dost cast thine eye upon the ground, 
Unless thy features do belie thee much, 
Venedico^ art thou. But what brings thee 
Into this bitter seasoning?" He replied: 
"Unwillingly I answer to thy words. 
But thy clear speech, that to my mind recalls 
The world I once inhabited, constrains me. 
Know then 't was I who led fair Ghisola 
To do the Marquis' will, however fame 
The shameful tale have bruited. Nor alone 
Bologna hither sendeth me to mourn. 
Rather with us the place is so o'erthrong'd. 
That not so many tongues this day are taught, 

' In the year 1300, Pope Boniface VIII, It was at this time, and on this occasion, 

to remedy the inconvenience occasioned that he first conceived the design of "com- 

by the press over the bridge of St. Angelo piling his book." 

during the time of the Jubilee, caused it ^ Vcnedico Caccianimico, a Bolognese, 

to be divided lengthwise by a partition. who prevailed on his sister Ghisola to 

G. Villani, who was present, describes the prostitute herself to Obizzo da Este. (See 

order that was preserved, lib. viii. c. xxxvi. Canto xii.) 

CANTO xvm HELL 75 

Betwixt the Reno and Savena's stream, 
To answer Sip(^ in their country's phrase. 
And if of that securer proof thou need, 
Remember but our craving thirst for gold." 

Him speaking thus, a demon with his throng 
Struck and exclaim'd, "Away, corrupter! here 
Women are none for sale." Forthwith I join'd 
My escort, and few paces thence we came 
To where a rock forth issued from the bank. 
That easily ascended, to the right 
Upon its splinter turning, we depart 
From those eternal barriers. When arrived 
Where, underneath, the gaping arch lets pass 
The scourged souls: "Pause here," the teacher said, 
"And let these others miserable now 
Strike on thy ken; faces not yet beheld. 
For that together they with us have walk'd." 

From the old bridge we eyed the pack, who came 
From the other side toward us, like the rest. 
Excoriate from the lash. My gentle guide. 
By me unqucstion'd, thus his speech resumed: 
"Behold that lofty shade, who this way tends, 
And seems too woe-begone to drop a tear. 
How yet the regal aspect he retains! 
Jason is he, whose skill and prowess won 
The ram from Colchis. To the Lemnian isle 
His passage thither led him, when those bold 
And pitiless women had slain all their males. 
There he with tokens and fair witching words 
Hypsipyle* beguiled, a virgin young. 
Who first had all the rest herself beguiled. 
Impregnated, he left her there forlorn. 
Such is the guilt condemns him to this pain. 
Here too Medea's injuries are avenged. 
All bear him company, who like deceit 
To his have practised. And thus much to know 

' "To answer Sipa." He denotes of the affirmative "sipa" instead either of 
Bologna by its situation between the rivers "si" or of "sia." 

Savena to the east and Reno to the west, ^ She deceived the other women, by 

and by a peculiarity of dialect, the use concealing her father Thoas, when they 

slew their males. 

76 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xvm 

Of the first vale suffice thee, and of those 
Whom its keen torments urge." Now had we come 
Where, crossing the next pier, the straiten'd path 
Bestrides its shoulders to another arch. 

Hence, in the second chasm we heard the ghosts, 
Who gibber in low melancholy sounds. 
With wide-stretch'd nostrils snort, and on themselves 
Smite with their palms. Upon the banks a scurf, 
From the foul steam condensed, encrusting hung. 
That held sharp combat with the sight and smell. 

So hollow is the depth, that from no part. 
Save on the summit of the rocky span. 
Could I distinguish aught. Thus far we came; 
And thence I saw, within the foss below, 
A crowd immersed in ordure, that appear'd 
Draff of the human body. There beneath 
Searching with eye inquisitive, I mark'd 
One with his head so grimed, 't were hard to deem 
If he were clerk or layman. Loud he cried: 
"Why greedily thus bendest more on me. 
Than on these other filthy ones, thy ken.?" 

"Because, if true my memory," I replied, 
"I heretofore have seen thee with dry locks; 
And thou Alessio' art, of Lucca sprung. 
Therefore than all the rest I scan thee more." 

Then beating on his brain, these words he spake: 
"Me thus low down my flatteries have sunk, 
Wherewith I ne'er enough could glut my tongue." 

My leader thus: "A litde further stretch 
Thy face, that thou the visage well mayst note 
Of that besotted, sluttish courtesan. 
Who there doth rend her with defiled nails. 
Now crouching down, now risen on her feet. 
Thais* is this, the harlot, whose false lip 
Answer'd her doting paramour that ask'd, 
'Thankest me much!' — 'Say rather, wondrously,' 
And, seeing this, here satiate be our view." 

' Of the old Interminei family. for his present; and Gnatho replies, that 

• "Thais." In the Eunuchus of Terence, she had expressed her obligation in the 
Thraso asks if Thais was obliged to him most forcible terms. 



Argument. — ^Thcy come to the third gulf, wherein are punished those who have 
been fiuilty of simony. These are fixed with the head downward in certain apertures, 
so that no more of them than the legs appears without, and on the soles of their feet 
are seen burning flames. Dante is taken down by his guide into the bottom of the 
gulf; and there finds Pope Nicholas V, whose evil deeds, together with those of other 
pontiffs, are bitterly reprehended. Virgil then carries him up again to the arch, which 
afiords them a passage over the following gulf. 

WOE to thee, Simon Magus! woe to you, 
His wretched followers! who the things of God, 
Which should be wedded unto goodness, them, 
Rapacious as ye are, do prostitute 
For gold and silver in adultery. 
Now must the trumpet sound for you, since yours 
Is the third chasm. Ufxjn the following vault 
We now had mounted, where the rock impends 
Directly o'er the centre of the foss. 

Wisdom Supreme! how wonderful the art, 
Which Thou dost manifest in Heaven, in earth, 
And in the evil world, how just a meed 
Allotting by Thy virtue unto all. 

I saw the livid stone, throughout the sides 
And in its bottom full of apertures. 
All equal in their width, and circular each. 
Nor ample less nor larger they appear'd 
Than, in Saint John's fair dome' of me beloved, 
Those framed to hold the pure baptismal streams. 
One of the which I brake, some few years past. 
To save a whelming infant: and be this 
A seal to undeceive whoever doubts 
The motive of my deed. From out the mouth 
Of every one emerged a sinner's feet. 
And of the legs high upward as the calf. 
The rest beneath was hid. On either foot 
The soles were burning; whence the flexile joints 
Glanced with such violent motion, as had snapt 

' The apertures in the rock were of the was playing near and fell in. He inti- 

same dimensions as the fonts of St. John mates that bis motive for breaking the 

the Baptist at Florence, one of which font had been maliciously represented by 

Dante had broken to rescue a child that his enemies. 

78 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xix 

Asunder cords or twisted withes. As flame, 
Feeding on unctuous matter, glides along 
The surface, scarcely touching where it moves; 
So here, from heel to point, glided the flames. 

"Master! say who is he, than all the rest 
Glancing in fiercer agony, on whom 
A ruddier flame doth prey?" I thus inquired. 

"If thou be willing," he replied, "that I 
Carry thee down, where least the slope bank falls, 
He of himself shall tell thee, and his wrongs." 

I then: "As pleases thee, to me is best. 
Thou art my lord; and know'st that ne'er I quit 
Thy will: what silence hides, that knowest thou." 

Thereat on the fourth pier we came, we turn'd 
And on our left descended to the depth, 
A narrow strait, and perforated close. 
Nor from his side my leader set me down, 
TiJJ to his orifice he broug^ht, whose limb 
Quivering express'd his p>ang. "Whoe'er thou art. 
Sad spirit! thus reversed, and as a stake 
Driven in the soil," — I in these words began; 
"If thou be able, utter forth thy voice." 

There stood I like the friar, that doth shrive 
A wretch for murder doom'd, who,e'en when fix'd, 
Calleth him back, whence death awhile delays. 

He shouted: "Ha! already standest there? 
Already standest there, O Boniface!^ 
By many a year the writing play'd me false. 
So early dost thou surfeit with the wealth. 
For which thou fearedst not in guile to take 
The lovely lady, and then mangle her?" 

I felt as those who, piercing not the drift 
Of answer made them, stand as if exposed 
In mockery, nor know what to reply; 
When Virgil thus admonish 'd: "Tell him quick, 
'I am not he, not he whom thou believest.' " 

And I, as was enjoin'd me, straight replied. 

^ The spirit mistakes Dante for Boni- predicting the death of that pope at a 
face VIII (who was then alive, and not later period. Boniface died in 1303. 
expected to arrive so soon, a prophecy 


That heard, the spirit all did wrench his feet, 
And, sighing, next in woeful accent sp>ake: 
"What then of me requirest? If to know 
So much imports thee, who I am, that thou 
Hast therefore down the bank descended, learn 
That in the mighty mande I was robed,' 
And of a she-bear was indeed the son. 
So eager to advance my whelps, that there 
My having in my purse above I stow'd, 
And here myself. Under my head are dragg'd 
The rest, my predecessors in the guilt 
Of simony. Stretch'd at their length, they lie 
Along an opening in the rock. 'Midst them 
I also low shall fall, soon as he comes. 
For whom I took thee, when so hastily 
I question'd. But already longer time 
Hath past, since my soles kindled, and I thus 
Upturn'd have stood, than is his doom to stand 
Planted with fiery feet. For after him, 
One yet of deeds more ugly shall arrive. 
From forth the west, a shepherd without law/ 
Fated to cover both his form and mine. 
He a new Jason' shall be call'd, of whom 
In Maccabees we read; and favor such 
As to that priest his King indulgent show'd. 
Shall be of France's monarch' shown to him." 

I know not if I here too far presumed. 
But in this strain I answer'd: "Tell me now 
What treasures from Saint Peter at the first 
Our Lord demanded, when he put the keys 
Into his charge? Surely he ask'd no more 
But 'Follow mel' Nor Peter,' nor the rest, 

* Nicholas III of the Orsini family, when Antiochus, called Epiphanes, took 
whom the Poet therefore calls "figliuol the kingdom, Jason, the brother of Onias, 
dell' orsa," "son of the she-bear." He labored to be high-priest, promising unto 
died in 1281. the king, by intercession, three hundred 

* Bertrand de Cot, Archbishop of Bor- and threescore talents of silver, and of 
deaux, who succeeded to the pontificate another revenue eighty talents." — Maccab. 
in 1305, as Clement V. He transferred the b. ii. ch. iv, 7, 8. 

Holy See to Avignon in 1308 (where it ' Philip IV. See G. Villani, lib. viiL c. 

remained till 1376), and died in 1314. Ixxx. 

' "But after the death of Seleucus, ' Acts of the Apostles, ch. i. 26. 


Or gold or silver of Matthias took, 
When lots were cast upon the forfeit place 
Of the condemned soul.' Abide thou then; 
Thy punishment of right is merited: 
And look thou well to that ill-gotten coin. 
Which against Charles' thy hardihood inspired. 
If reverence of the keys restrain'd me not, 
Which thou in happier time didst hold, I yet 
Severer speech might use. Your avarice 
O'ercasts the world with mourning, under foot 
Treading the good, and raising bad men up. 
Of shepherds like to you, the Evangelist 
Was ware, when her, who sits upon the waves, 
With kings in filthy whoredom he beheld; 
She who with seven heads tower'd at her birth. 
And from ten horns her proof of glory drew, 
Long as her spouse in virtue took delight. 
Of gold and silver ye have made your god, 
Differing wherein from the idolater. 
But that he worships one, a hundred ye? 
Ah, Constantine!'" to how much ill gave birth, 
Not thy conversion, but that plenteous dower, 
Which the first wealthy Father gain'd from thee." 

Meanwhile, as thus I sung, he, whether wrath 
Or conscience smote him, violent upsprang 
Spinning on either sole. I do believe 
My teacher well was pleased, with so composed 
A lip he listen'd ever to the sound 
Of the true words I utter 'd. In both arms 
He caught, and, to his bosom lifting me. 
Upward retraced the way of his descent. 

Nor weary of his weight, he press'd me close. 
Till to the summit of the rock we came. 
Our passage from the fourth to the fifth pier. 
His cherish'd burden there gendy he placed 

•"The condemned soul." Judas. '"He alludes to the pretended uift of 

' Nicholas III was enraged against the Lateran by Constantinc to Sylvester, 

Charles I, King of Sicily, because he re- of which Dante himself seems to imply 

jccted with scorn his proposition for an a doubt, in his treatise "Dc Monarchic." 

alliance between their families. See G. 

Villani. Hist., lib. iii. 



Upon the rugged rock and steep, a path 
Not easy for the clambering goat to mount. 
Thence to my view another vale appear'd. 


Argument. — The Poet relates the punishment of such as presumed, while living, 
to predict future events. It is to have their faces reversed and set the contrary 
way on their limbs, so that, being deprived of the power to see before them, they are 
coiutraincd ever to walk backward. Among these Virgil points out to him Am- 
phiaraijs, Tiresias, Aruns, and Manto (from the mention of whom he takes occasion 
to speak of the origin of Mantua), together with several others, who had practised 
the arts of divination and astrology. 

AND now the verse proceeds to torments new, 
/ \ Fit argument of this the twentieth strain 
X .^ Of the first song, whose awful theme records 
The spirits whelm'd in woe. Earnest I look'd 
Into the depth, that ojjen'd to my view, 
Moisten'd with tears of anguish, and beheld 
A tribe, that came along the hollow vale. 
In silence weeping: such their step as walk 
Quires, chanting solemn litanies, on earth. 

As on them more direct mine eye descends, 
Each wonderously seem'd to be reversed 
At the neck-bone, so that the countenance 
Was from the reins averted; and because 
None might before him look, they were compell'd 
To advance with backward gait. Thus one perhaps 
Hath been by force of palsy dean transposed. 
But I ne'er saw it nor believe it so. 

Now, reader! think within thyself, so God 
Fruit of thy reading give thee! how I long 
Could keep my visage dry, when I beheld 
Near me our form distorted in such guise. 
That on the hinder parts fallen from the face 
The tears down-streaming roU'd. Against a rock 
I leant and wept, so that my guide exclaim'd: 
"What, and art thou, too, witless as the rest? 
Here pity most doth show herself alive. 
When she is dead. What guilt exceedeth his. 
Who with Heaven's judgment in his passion strives? 


Raise up thy head, raise up, and see the mao 
Before whose eyes' earth gaped in Thebes, when all 
Cried out 'Amphiaraiis, whither rushest? 
Why lea vest thou the war?' He not the less 
Fell ruining far as to Minos down, 
Whose grapple none eludes. Lo! how he makes 
The breast his shoulders; and who once too far 
Before him wish'd to see, now backward looks, 
And treads reverse his jjath. Tiresias note. 
Who semblance changed, when woman he became 
Of male, through every limb transform'd; and then 
Once more behoved him with his rod to strike 
The two entwining serpents, ere the plumes. 
That mark'd the better sex, might shoot again. 

"Aruns,* with rere his belly facing, comes. 
On Luni's mountains 'midst the marbles white. 
Where delves Carrara's hind, who wons beneath, 
A cavern was his dwelling, whence the stars 
And main-sea wide in boundless view he held. 

"The next, whose loosen'd tresses overspread 
Her bosom, which thou seest not (for each hair 
On that side grows) was Manto, she who search'd 
Through many regions, and at length her seat 
Fix'd in my native land: whence a short space 
My words detain thy audience. When her sire 
From life departed, and in servitude 
The city dedicate to Bacchus mourn'd. 
Long time she went a wanderer through the world. 
Aloft in Italy's delightful land 
A lake there lies, at foot of that proud Alp 
That o'er the Tyrol locks Germania in, 
Its name Benacus, from whose ample breast 
A thousand springs, methinks, and more, between 
Camonica and Garda, issuing forth. 
Water the Ajiennine. There is a spot* 

' Amphiaraiis, one of the seven kings called Lunigiana), above Carrara, cele- 

who besieged Thebes. He is said lo have brated for its marble, 

been swallowed up by an opening of the ' "There is a spot." Prate di Fame, 

earth. where the dioceses of Trento, Verona, 

' Said to have dwelt in the mountains and Brescia meet, 
of Luni (whence that territory is still 


At midway of that lake, where he who bears 

Of Trento's flock the pastoral staff, with him 

Of Brescia, and the Veronese, might each 

Passing that way his benediction give. 

A garrison of goodly site and strong 

Peschiera* stands, to awe with front opposed 

The Bergamese and Brescian, whence the shore 

More slofx each way descends. There, whatsoe'er 

Benacus' bosom holds not, tumbling o'er 

Down falls, and winds a river flood beneath 

Through the green pastures. Soon as in his course 

The stream makes head, Benacus then no more 

They call the name, but Mincius, till at last 

Reaching Govcrno, into Po he falls. 

Not far his course hath run, when a wide flat 

It finds, which overstretching as a marsh 

It covers, pestilent in summer oft. 

Hence journeying, the savage maiden saw 

Midst of the fen a territory waste 

And naked of inhabitants. To shun 

All human converse, here she with her slaves, 

Plying her arts, remain'd, and liv'd, and left 

Her body tenantless. Thenceforth the tribes, 

Who round were scatter'd, gathering to that place, 

Assembled; for its strength was great, enclosed 

On all parts by the fen. On those dead bones 

They rear'd themselves a city, for her sake 

Calling it Mantua, who first chose the spot. 

Nor ask'd another omen for the name; 

Wherein more numerous the people dwelt, 

Ere Casalodi's madness' by deceit 

Was wronged of Pinamonte. If thou hear 

Henceforth another origin assign'd 

Of that my country, I forewarn thee now, 

That falsehood none beguile thee of the truth." 

* "Pcschicra." A garrison situated to people by banishing to their own castles 

the south of the lake, where it empties the nobles, who were obnoxious to them, 

and forms the Mincius. Pinamonte then put himself at the head 

'Alberto da Casalodi, in possession of of the populace, drove out Casalodi and 

Mantua, was persuaded by Pinamonte his adherents, and obtained the sov- 

Buonacossi to ingratiate himself with the ereignty for himself. 



I answer'd, "Teacher, I conclude thy words 
So certain, that all else shall be to me 
As embers lacking life. But now of these, 
Who here proceed, instruct me, if thou see 
Any that merit more especial note. 
For thereon is my mind alone intent." 

He straight replied: "That spirit, from whose cheek 
The beard sweeps o'er his shoulders brown, what time 
Grzcia was emptied of her males, that scarce 
The cradles were supplied, the seer was he 
In Aulis, who with Calchas gave the sign 
When first to cut the cable. Him they named 
Eurypilus: so sings my tragic strain. 
In which majestic measure well thou know'st. 
Who know'st it all. That other, round the loins 
So slender of his shape, was Michael Scot,* 
Practised in every slight of magic wile. 

"Guido Bonatti^ see: Asdente mark,' 
Who now were willing he had tended still 
The thread and cordwain, and too late ref)ents. 

"See next the wretches, who the needle left. 
The shuttle and the spindle, and became 
Diviners: baneful witcheries they wrought 
With images and herbs. But onward now: 
For now doth Cain with fork of thorns* confine 
On either hemisphere, touching the wave 
Beneath the towers of Sc /ille. Yesternight 
The moon was round. Thou mayst remember well: 
For she good service did thee in the gloom 
Of the deep wood." This said, both onward moved. 

• 'It is not long since there was in this 1550. "He flourished about 1230 and 

city (Florence) a great master in nccro- 1260. Though a learned astronomer he 

mancy, called Michele Scotto, because he was seduced by astrology, through which 

was from Scotland." Boccaccio, De- he was greatly in favor with many 

Cameron G. viii. N. 9. princes." 

^ An astrologer of Forli, on whose skill • A shoemaker at Parma, who deserted 

Guido da Montcfeltro, lord of that place, his business to practice the arts of divi- 

so relied, that he is reported never to nation. 

have gone into battle, except in the hour ' By Cain and the thorns ("The Man 

recommended to him by Bonatti. Lan- in the Moon") the Poet denotes that 

dino and Vellutello speak of his book on luminary. The same superstition is al- 

astrology. Macchiavelli mentions him in luded to in the Paradise, Canto ii. 52. 
the History of Florence, 1. L p. 24. ed. 



Argument. — Still in the eighth circle, which bears the name of Malebolge, they 
look down (rnm the bridge that passes over its Rhh gulf, upon the bartcrcrs or public 
peculators. These are plunged in a lake of boiling pitch, and guarded by Demons, 
to whom Virgil, leaving Dante apart, presents himself; and license being obtained to 
pass onward, both pursue their way. 

THUS we from bridge to bridge, with other talk, 
The which my drama cares not to rehearse, 
Pass'd on; and to the summit reaching, stood 
To view another gap, within the round 
Of Malebolge, other bootless pangs. 

Marvellous darkness shadow'd o'er the place. 
In the Venetians' arsenal as boils 
Through wintry months tenacious pitch, to smear 
Their unsound vessels; for the inclement time 
Seafaring men restrains, and in that while 
His bark one builds anew, another stops 
The ribs of his that hath made many a voyage. 
One hammers at the prow, one at the poop. 
This shapcth oars, that other cables twirls, 
The mizzen one lepahs, and main-sail rent; 
So, not by force of fire but art divine, 
Boil'd here a glutinous thick mass, that round 
Limed all the shore beneath. I that beheld. 
But therein naught distinguish'd, save the bubbles 
Raised by the boiling, and one mighty swell 
Heave, and by turns subsiding fall. While there 
I fix'd my ken below, "Mark! mark!" my guide 
Exclaiming, drew me toward him from the place 
Wherein I stood. I turn'd myself, as one 
Impatient to behold that which beheld 
He needs must shun, whom sudden fear unmans. 
That he his flight delays not for the view. 
Behind me I discern'd a devil black. 
That running up advanced along the rock. 
Ah! what fierce cruelty his look bespake. 
In act how bitter did he seem, with wings 
Buoyant outstretch'd and feet of nimblest tread. 
His shoulder, proudly eminent and sharp, 


Was with a sinner charged; by either haunch 
He held him, the foot's sinew griping fast. 

"Ye of our bridge!" he cried, "keen-talon'd iiendsl 
Lo! one of Santa Zita's elders. Him 
Whelm ye beneath, while I return for more. 
That land hath store of such. All men are there, 
Except Bonturo, barterers: of 'no' 
For lucre there an 'ay' is quickly made." 

Him dashing down, o'er the rough rock he turn'd; 
Nor ever after thief a mastiff loosed 
Sf)ed with like eager haste. That other sank, 
And forthwith writhing to the surface rose. 
But those dark demons, shrouded by the bridge. 
Cried, "Here the hallow'd visage saves not: here 
Is other swimming than in Serchio's wave. 
Wherefore, if thou desire we rend thee not. 
Take heed thou mount not o'er the pitch." This said. 
They grappled him with more than hundred hooks. 
And shouted: "Cover 'd thou must sport thee here; 
So, if thou canst, in secret mayst thou filch." 
E'en thus the cook bestirs him, with his grooms, 
To thrust the flesh into the caldron down 
With flesh-hooks, that it float not on the top. 

Me then my guide bespake: "Lest they descry 
That thou art here, behind a craggy rock 
Bend low and screen thee: and whate'er of force 
Be offer 'd me, or insult, fear thou not; 
For I am well advised, who have been erst 
In the like fray." Beyond the bridge's head 
Therewith he pass'd; and reaching the sixth pier. 
Behoved him then a forehead terror-proof. 

With storm and fury, as when dogs rush forth 
Upon the poor man's back, who suddenly 
From whence he standeth makes his suit; so rush'd 
Those from beneath the arch, and against him 
Their weapons all they pointed. He, aloud: 
"Be none of you outrageous: ere yotir tine 
Dare seize me, come forth from amongst you one, 
Who having heard my words, decide he then 


If he shall tear these limbs." They shouted loud, 
"Go, Malacoda!" Whereat one advanced. 
The others standing firm, and as he came, 
"What may this turn avail him?" he exclaim'd. 

"Believest thou, Malacoda! I had come 
Thus far from all your skirmishing secure," 
My teacher answer'd, "without will divine 
And destiny propitious? Pass we then; 
For so Heaven's pleasure is, that I should lead 
Another through this savage wilderness." 

Forthwith so fell his pride, that he let drop 
The instrument of torture at his feet, 
And to the rest exclaim'd: "We have no power 
To strike him." Then to me my guide: "O thou! 
Who on the bridge among the crags dost sit 
Low crouching, safely now to me return." 

I rose, and toward him moved with speed; the fiends 
Meantime all forward drew: me terror seized, 
Lest they should break the compact they had made. 
Thus issuing from Caprona,' once I saw 
Th' infantry, dreading lest his covenant 
The foe should break; so close he hemm'd them round. 

I to my leader's side adhered, mine eyes 
With fixt and motionless observance bent 
On their unkindly visage. They their hooks 
Protruding, one the other thus bespake: 
"Wilt thou I touch him on the hip?" To whom 
Was answer'd: "Even so; nor miss thy aim." 

But he, who was in conference with my guide, 
Turn'd rapid round; and thus the demon spake: 
"Stay, stay thee, Scarmiglione!" Then to us 
He added: "Further footing to your step 
This rock affords not, shiver'd to the base 
Of the sixth arch. But would ye still proceed. 
Up by this cavern go: not distant far, 
Another rock will yield you passage safe. 
■ "From Caprona." The surrender of in safety, to which event Dante was a 
the castle of Caprona to the combined witness, took place in 1290. See G. 
forces of Florence and Lucca, on condi- Villani, Hist. lib. vii. c. cxxxvi. 
tion that the garrison should inarch out 


Yesterday,' later by five hours than now, 
Twelve hundred threescore years and six had fill'd 
The circuit of their course, since here the way 
Was broken. Thitherward I straight despatch 
Certain of these my scouts, who shall espy 
If any on the surface bask. With them 
Go ye: for ye shall find them nothing fell. 
Come, Alichino, forth," with that he cried, 
"And Calcabrina, and Cagnazzo thou! 
The troop of ten let Barbariccia lead. 
With Libicocco, Draghinazzo haste, 
Fang'd Ciriatta, Grafliacane fierce, 
And Farfarello, and mad Rubicant. 
Search ye around the bubbling tar. For these, 
In safety lead them, where the other crag 
Uninterrupted traverses the dens." 

I then: "O master! what a sight is there. 
Ah! without escort, journey we alone. 
Which, if thou know the way, I covet not. 
Unless thy prudence fail thee, dost not mark 
How they do gnarl upon us, and their scowl 
Threatens us present tortures?" He replied: 
"I charge thee, fear not: let them, as they will, 
Gnarl on: 'tis but in token of their spite 
Against the souls who mourn in torment steep'd." 

To leftward o'er the pier they turn'd; but each 
Had first between his teeth prest close the tongue, 
Toward their leader for a signal looking. 
Which he with sound obscene triumphant gave. 
•"Yesterday." This passage fixes the l. The awful event alluded to, the Evan- 
era of Dante's descent at Good Friday, delists inform us, happened "at the ninth 
in the year 1300 (thirty-four years from hour," that is, our sixth, when "the rocks 
our blessed Lord's incarnation beinj; were rent," and the convulsion, according 
added to 1266), and at the thirty-fifth to Dante, was felt even in the depths of 
year of our Poet's age. See Canto i. v. Hell. Sec Canto xii. v. 38. 


HELL 89 


Argument. — Virgil and Dante proceed, accompanied by the Demons, and see 
other sinners of the same description in the same jjulf. The device of Ciampolo, one 
of these, to csca|X! from the Demons, who had laid hold on him. 

IT hath been heretofore my chance to see 
Horsemen with martial order shifting camp, 
To onset sallying, or in muster ranged. 
Or in retreat sometimes outstretch'd for flight: 
Light-armed squadrons and fleet foragers 
Scouring thy plains, Arezzo! have I seen. 
And clashing tournaments, and tilting jousts, 
Now with the sound of trumpets, now of bells, 
Tabors,' or signals made from castled heights. 
And with inventions multiform, our own, 
Or introduced from foreign land; but ne'er 
To such a strange recorder I beheld. 
In evolution moving, horse nor foot, 
Nor ship, that tack'd by sign from land or star. 

With the ten Demons on our way we went; 
Ah, fearful company! but in the church 
With saints, with gluttons at the tavern's mess. 

Still earnest on the pitch I gazed, to mark 
All things whate'er the chasm contain'd, and those 
Who burn'd within. As dolphins that, in sign 
To mariners, heave high their arched backs. 
That thence forewarn'd they may advise to save 
Their threaten'd vessel; so, at intervals. 
To ease the pain, his back some sinner show'd. 
Then hid more nimbly than the lightning-glance. 

E'en as the frogs, that of a watery moat 
Stand at the brink, with the jaws only out. 
Their feet and of the trunk all else conceal'd. 
Thus on each part the sinners stood; but soon 
As Barbariccia was at hand, so they 
Drew back under the wave. I saw, and yet 

' "Tabour, a drum, a common accom- characteristical propriety. It was im- 

paniment of war, is mentioned as one of ported into the European armies from 

the instruments of martial music in this the Saracens in the holy war." Warton's 

battle (in Richard Cceur-de-Uon) with Hist, of English Poetry, v. L S 4, p. 167. 

90 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxii 

My heart doth stagger, one, that waited thus, 
As it befalls that oft one frog remains, 
While the next springs away: and Grafiiacan, 
Who of the fiends was nearest, grappling seized 
His clotted locks, and dragg'd him sprawling up, 
That he appear'd to me an otter. Each 
Already by their names I knew, so well 
When they were chosen I observed, and mark'd 
How one the other call'd. "O RubicantI 
See that his hide thou with thy talons flay," 
Shouted together all the cursed crew. 

Then I: "Inform thee. Master! if thou may, 
What wretched soul is this, on whom their hands 
His foes have laid." My leader to his side 
Approach'd, and whence he came inquired; to whom 
Was answer'd thus: "Born in Navarre's donuin,' 
My mother placed me in a lord's retinue; 
For she had borne me to a losel vile, 
A spendthrift of his substance and himself. 
The good King Thibault' after that I served: 
To peculating here my thoughts were turn'd, 
Whereof I give account in this dire heat." 

Straight Ciriatto, from whose mouth a tusk 
Issued on either side, as from a boar, 
Ripp'd him with one of these. 'Twixt evil claws 
The mouse had fallen: but Barbariccia cried. 
Seizing him with both arms: "Stand thou apart 
While I do fix him on my prong transpierced." 
Then added, turning to my guide his face, 
"Inquire of him, if more thou wish to learn. 
Ere he again be rent." My leader thus: 
"Then tell us of the partners in thy guilt; 
Knowest thou any sprung of Latin land 

'Hij name is said to be Ciampolo. his cultivation of the liberal arts, his ex- 

' "Thibault 1, Kinu of Navarre, died on ercise and Icnowledue of music and poetry, 

June 8, 1233, as much to be commended in which he so much excelled that he 

for the desire he showed of aiding the was accustomed to compose verses and 

war in the Holy Land, as reprehensible sing them to the viol, and to exhibit 

and faulty for his design of oppressing his poetical compositions publicly in his 

the rights and privileges of the Church. palace, that they might be criticised by 

Thibault undoubtedly merits praise, as for all." 
his other endowments, so especially for 


Under the tar?" "I parted," he replied, 

"But now from one, who sojourn'd not far thence; 

So were I under shelter now with him, 

Nor hook nor talon then should scare me more." 

"Too long we suffer," Libicocco cried; 
TTien, darting forth a prong, seized on his arm, 
And mangled bore away the sinewy part. 
Him Draghinazzo by his thighs beneath 
Would next have caught; whence angrily their chief. 
Turning on all sides round, with threatening brow 
Restrain'd them. When their strife a little ceased. 
Of him, who yet was gazing on his wound. 
My teacher thus without delay inquired: 
"Who was the spirit, from whom by evil hap 
Parting, as thou hast told, thou camest to shore?" 

"It was the friar Gomita," * he rejoin'd, 
"He of Gallura, vessel of all guile, 
Who had his master's enemies in hand. 
And used them so that they commend him well. 
Money he took, and them at large dismiss'd; 
So he reports; and in each other charge 
Committed to his keeping play'd the part 
Of batterer to the height. With him doth herd 
The chief of Lx)godoro, Michel Zanche.' 
Sardinia is a theme whereof their tongue 
Is never weary. Out! alas! behold 
That other, how he grins. More would I say, 
But tremble lest he mean to maul me sore." 

Their captain then to Farfarello turning. 
Who roll'd his moony eyes in act to strike. 
Rebuked him thus: "Off, cursed bird! avaunt!" 

"If ye desire to see or hear," he thus 
Quaking with dread resumed, "or Tuscan spirits 
Or Lombard, I will cause them to apf)ear. 
Meantime let these ill talons bate their fury. 
So that no vengeance they may fear from them, 

* He was intrusted by Nino dc' Visconti Canto xxxiii and Purgatory, Canto viii. 
with the Kovernmtnt of Gallura, one of ' President of LoRodoro, of the four 

the four jurisdictions of Sardinia. He Sardinian jurisdictions. Sec Canto xxxiii. 

took a bribe from his master's enemies Note to v. 136. 
and allowed them to escape. See also 


And I, remaining in this self-same place, 
Will, for myself but one, make seven appear. 
When my shrill whistle shall be heard; for so 
Our custom is to call each other up." 

Cagnazzo at that word deriding grinn'd. 
Then wagg'd the head and spake: "Hear his device, 
Mischievous as he is, to plunge him down." 

Whereto he thus, who fail'd not in rich store 
Of nice-wove toils: "Mischief, forsooth, extremel 
Meant only to procure myself more woe." 

No longer Alichino then refrain'd, 
But thus, the rest gainsaying, him bespake: 
"If thou do cast thee down, I not on foot 
Will chase thee, but above the pitch will beat 
My plumes. Quit we the vantage ground, and let 
The bank be as a shield; that we may see, 
If singly thou prevail against us all." 

Now, reader, of new sport expect to hear. 

They each one turn'd his eyes to the other shore, 
He first, who was the hardest to persuade. 
The spirit of Navarre chose well his time, 
Planted his feet on land, and at one leap 
Escaping, disappointed their resolve. 

Them quick resentment stung, but him the most 
Who was the cause of failure: in pursuit 
He therefore sped, exclaiming, "Thou art caught." 

But little it avail'd; terror outstripp'd 
His following flight; the other plunged beneath, 
And he with upward pinion raised his breast: 
E'en thus the water-fowl, when she perceives 
The falcon near, dives instant down, while he 
Enraged and spent retires. That mockery 
In Calcabrina fury stirr'd, who flew 
After him, with desire of strife inflamed; 
And, for the barterer had 'scaped, so turn'd 
His talons on his comrade. O'er the dyke 
In grapple close they join'd; but the other proved 
A goshawk able to rend well his foe; 
And in the boiling lake both fell. The heat 
Was umpire soon between them; but in vain 


To lift themselves they strove, so fast were glued 
Their pennons. Barbariccia, as the rest, 
That chance lamenting, four in flight despatch'd 
From the other coast, with all their weapons arm'd. 
They, to their f)ost on each side Sf)eedily 
Descending, stretch'd their hooks toward the fiends, 
Who flounder'd, inly burning from their scars: 
And we departing left them to that broil. 


Argument. — ^The enraged Demons pursue Dante, but he is preserved from them 
by Virgil. On reaching the sixth gulf, he beholds the punishment of the hypocrites; 
which is, to pace coi.tinually round the gulf under the pressure of caps and hoods, 
that are gilt on the outside, but leaden within. He is addressed by two of these. 
Catalano and I^eringo, Knights of St. Mary, otherwise called Joyous Friars of 
Bologna. Caiaphas is seen fixed to a cross on the ground, and lies so stretched along 
the way, that all tread on him in passing. 

'N silence and in solitude we went. 
One first, the other following his steps. 
As minor friars journeying on their road. 

The present fray had turn'd my thoughts to muse 
Upon old /Esop's fable,' where he told 
What fate unto the mouse and frog befell; 
For language hath not sounds more like in sense, 
Than are these chances, if the origin 
And end of each be hcedfully compared. 
And as one thought bursts from another forth. 
So afterward from that another sprang. 
Which added doubly to my former fear. 
For thus I reason'd: "These through us have been 
So foil'd, with loss and mockery so complete. 
As needs must sting them sore. If anger then 
Be to their evil will conjoin'd, more fell 
They shall pursue us, than the savage hound 
Snatches the leveret panting 'twixt his jaws." 

Already I perceived my hair stand all 
On end with terror, and look'd eager back. 

' "jEsop's fable." The fable of the off by a kite. It is not among those 

frog, who offered to carry the mouse Greek fables which go under the name 

across a ditch, with the intention of o£ JEsop. 
drowning him, when both were carried 


94 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxiil 

"Teacher," I thus began, "if speedily 
Thyself and me thou hide not, much I dread 
Those evil talons. Even now behind 
They urge us: quick imagination works 
So forcibly, that I already feel them." 

He answer'd: "Were I form'd of leaded glass, 
I should not sooner draw unto myself 
Thy outward image, than I now imprint 
That from within. This moment came thy thoughts 
Presented before mine, with similar act 
And countenance similar, so that from both 
I one design have framed. If the right coast 
Incline so much, that we may thence descend 
Into the other chasm, we shall escape 
Secure from this imagined pursuit." 

He had not spoke his purpose to the end. 
When I from far beheld them with spread wings 
Approach to take us. Suddenly my guide 
Caught me, even as a mother that from sleep 
Is by the noise aroused, and near her sees 
The climbing fires, who snatches up her babe 
And flies ne'er pausing, careful more of him 
Than of herself, that but a single vest 
Clings round her limbs. Down from the jutting beach 
Supine he cast him to that pendent rock. 
Which closes on one part the other chasm. 

Never ran water with such hurrying pace 
Adown the tube to turn a land-mill's wheel, 
When nearest it approaches to the spokes. 
As then along that edge my master ran. 
Carrying me in his bosom, as a child. 
Not a companion. Scarcely had his feet 
Reach'd to the lowest of the bed beneath. 
When over us the steep they reach'd: but fear 
In him was none; for that high Providence, 
Which placed them ministers of the fifth foss, 
Power of departing thence took from them all. 

There in the depth we saw a painted tribe. 
Who paced with tardy steps around, and wept. 
Faint in appearance and o'ercome with toil. 


Caps had they on, with hoods, that fell low down 
Before their eyes, in fashion like to those 
Worn by the monks in Cologne.^ Their outside 
Was overlaid with gold, dazzling to view, 
But leaden all within, and of such weight, 
That Frederick's' compared to these were straw. 
Oh, everlasting wearisome attirel 

We yet once more with them together tum'd 
To leftward, on their dismal moan intent. 
But by the weight opprest, so slowly came 
The fainting f)eople, that our company 
Was changed, at every movement of the step. 

Whence I my guide address'd: "See that thou find 
Some spirit, whose name may by his deeds be known; 
And to that end look round thee as thou go'st." 

Then one, who understood the Tuscan voice, 
Cried after us aloud: "Hold in your feet. 
Ye who so swiftly speed through the dusk air. 
Perchance from me thou shalt obtain thy wish." 

Whereat my leader, turning, me bespake: 
"Pause, and then onward at their pace proceed." 

I staid, and saw two spirits in whose look 
Impatient eagerness of mind was mark'd 
To overtake me; but the load they bare 
And narrow path retarded their approach. 

Soon as arrived, they with an eye askance 
Perused me, but spake not: then turning, each 
To other thus conferring said: "This one 
Seems, by the action of his throat, alive; 
And, be they dead, what privilege allows 
They walk unmantled by the cumbrous stole?" 

Then thus to me: "Tuscan, who visitest 
The college of the mourning hyjxDcrites, 
Disdain not to instruct us who thou art." 

"By Arno's pleasant stream," I thus repUed, 
"In the great city I was bred and grew. 
And wear the body I have ever worn. 

'They wore unusually large cowls. high treason by wrapping them up ia 

'The Emperor Frederick II is said to lead and casting them into a furnace, 
have punished those who were guilty of 

96 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxiii 

But who are ye, from whom such mighty grief, 
As now I witness, courseth down your checks? 
What torment breaks forth in this bitter woe?" 

"Our bonnets gleaming bright with orange hue," 
One of them answer'd, "are so leaden gross, 
That with their weight they make the balances 
To crack beneath them. Joyous friars* we were, 
Bologna's natives; Catalano I, 
He Loderingo named; and by thy land 
Together taken, as men used to take 
A single and indifferent arbiter, 
To reconcile their strifes. How there we sped, 
Gardingo's vicinage' can best declare." 

"O friars!" I began, "your miseries — " 
But there brake off, for one had caught mine eye, 
Fix'd to a cross with three stakes on the ground: 
He, when he saw me, writhed himself, throughout 
Distorted, ruffling with deep sighs his beard. 
And Catalano, who thereof was 'ware. 
Thus spake: "That pierced spirit,' whom intent 
Thou view'st, was he who gave the Pharisees 
Counsel, that it were fitting for one man 

* "Joyous friars." "Those who ruled served the appellation siven them, and 
the city of Florence on the part of the were found to be more bent on enjoying 
Ghibellines perceiving this discontent and themselves than on any other object, 
murmuring, which they were fearful These two friars were called in by the 
might produce a rebellion against them- Florentines, and had a residence assigned 
selves, in order to satisfy the people, made them in the palace belonging to the 
choice of two knights, Frati Gaudenti people, over against the Abbey. Such was 
(joyous friars) of Bologna, on whom they the dependence placed on the character 
conferred the chief power in Florence; of their order, it was expected they would 
one named M. Catalano de" Malavolti, be impartial, and would save the com- 
the other M. Loderingo di Liandolo; one monwealth any unnecessary expense; in- 
an adherent of the Guelf, the other of the stead of which, though inclined to op- 
Ghibclline party. It is to be remarked, posite parties, they sccredy and hypo- 
that the Joyous Friars were called Knights critically concurred in promoting their 
of St. Mar>', and became knights on tak- own advantage rather than the public 
ing that habit; their robes were white, good." — G. Villani, b. vii. c. xiiL This 
the mantle sable, and the arms a white happened in 1266. 

field and red cross with two stars: their 'The name of that part of the city 
office was to defend widows and orphans, which was inhabited by the powerful 
they were to act as mediators; they had Ghibelline family of the Uberti, and de- 
internal regulations, like other religious stroycd under the partial and iniquitous 
bodies. The above-mentioned M. Loder- idministratinn of Catalano and Loderingo. 
ingo was the founder of that order. But ' "Thai pierced spirit." Ca'iaphas. 
it was not long before they too well de- 


To suffer for the people. He doth lie 
Transverse; nor any passes, but him first 
Behoves make feeling trial how each weighs. 
In straits like this along the foss are placed 
The father of his consort,' and the rest 
Partakers in that council, seed of ill 
And sorrow to the Jews." I noted then, 
How Virgil gazed with wonder upon him. 
Thus abjectly extended on the cross 
In banishment eternal. To the friar 
He next his words address'd: "We pray ye tell. 
If so be lawful, whether on our right 
Lies any opening in the rock, whereby 
We both may issue hence, without constraint 
On the dark angels, that compell'd they come 
To lead us from this depth." He thus replied: 
"Nearer than thou dost hope, there is a rock 
From the great circle moving, which o'ersteps 
Each vale of horror, save that here his cope 
Is shatter'd. By the ruin ye may mount: 
For on the side it slants, and most the height 
Rises below." With head bent down awhile 
My leader stood; then spake: "He warn'd us ill. 
Who yonder hangs the sinners on his hook." 

To whom the friar: "At Bologna erst 
I many vices of the Devil heard; 
Among the rest was said, 'He is a liar. 
And the father of lies!' " When he had spoke^ 
My leader with large strides proceeded on. 
Somewhat disturb'd with anger in his look. 

I therefore left the spirits heavy laden, 
And, following, his beloved footsteps mark'd. 
' Annas, father-in-law to Caiaphas. 





ARGUMENT. — ^Undcr the ttcon of his faithful master, Dante not without difficulty 
makes his way out of the sixth gulf; and in the seventh, sees the robbers tormented 
by venomous and pestilent serpents. The soul of Vanni Fucci, who had pillaged the 
sacristy of St. James in Pistoia, predicts some calamities that impended over that city, 
and over the Florentines. 

IN the year's early nonage,' when the sun 
Tempers his tresses in Aquarius' urn, 
And now toward equal day the nights recede; 
Whenas the rime upon the earth puts on 
Her dazzling sister's image, but not long 
Her milder sway endures; then riseth up 
The village hind, whom fails his wintry store. 
And looking out beholds the plain around 
All whiten'd; whence impatiently he smites 
His thighs, and to his hut returning in, 
There paces to and fro, wailing his lot. 
As a discomfited and helpless man; 
Then comes he forth again, and feels new hope 
Spring in his bosom, finding e'en thus soon 
The world hath changed its countenance, grasps his crook, 
And forth to pasture drives his little flock: 
So me my guide dishearten'd, when I saw 
His troubled forehead; and so speedily 
That ill was cured; for at the fallen bridge 
Arriving, toward me with a look as sweet, 
He turn'd him back, as that I first beheld 
At the steep mountain's foot. Regarding well 
The ruin, and some counsel first maintain'd 
With his own thought, he open'd wide his arm 
And took me up. As one, who, while he works. 
Computes his labor's issue, that he seems 
Still to foresee the effect; so lifting me 
Up to the summit of one peak, he fix'd 
His eye upon another. "Grapple that," 
Said he, "but first make proof, if it be such 
As will sustain thee." For one capt with lead 

• "At the latter part of January, when morning often wear the appearance of 
the sun enters Aquarius, and the equinox snow, but are melted by the rising sun." 
draws near, when the hoar-frosts in the 

CANTO xxrv HELL 99 

This were no journey. Scarcely he, though light. 
And I, though onward push'd from crag to crag. 
Could mount. And if the precinct of this coast 
Were not less ample than the last, for him 
I know not, but my strength had surely fail'd. 
But Malebolge all toward the mouth 
Inclining of the nethermost abyss, 
The site of every valley hence requires. 
That one side upward slope, the other fall. 

At length the point from whence the utmost stone 
Juts down, we reach'd; soon as to that arrived, 
So was the breath exhausted from my lungs 
I could no further, but did seat me there. 

"Now needs thy best of man;" so spake my guide: 
"For not on downy plumes, nor under shade 
Of canopy reposing, fame is won; 
Without which whosoe'r consumes his days, 
Leaveth such vestige of himself on earth. 
As smoke in air or foam upon the wave. 
Thou therefore rise: vanquish thy weariness 
By the mind's effort, in each struggle form'd 
To vanquish, if she suffer not the weight 
Of her corjxjreal frame to crush her down. 
A longer ladder yet remains to scale. 
From these to have escaped sufficeth not. 
If well thou note me, profit by my words." 

I straightway rose, and show'd myself less spent 
Than I in truth did feel me. "On," I cried, 
"For I am stout and fearless." Up the rock 
Our way we held, more rugged than before, 
Narrower, and steeper far to climb. From talk 
I ceased not, as we journey 'd, so to seem 
Least faint; whereat a voice from the other foss 
Did issue forth, for utterance suited ill. 
Though on the arch that crosses there I stood. 
What were the words I knew not, but who spake 
Seem'd moved in anger. Down I stoop'd to look; 
But my quick eye might reach not to the depth 
For shrouding darkness; wherefore thus I spake: 
"To the next circle, teacher, bend thy steps. 

100 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxiv 

And from the wall dismount we; for as hence 
I hear and understand not, so I see 
Beneath, and naught discern." "I answer not," 
Said he, "but by the deed. To fair request 
Silent performance maketh best return." 

We from the bridge's head descended, where 
To the eighth mound it joins; and then, the chasm 
Opening to view, I saw a crowd within 
Of serpents terrible, so strange of shape 
And hideous, that remembrance in my veins 
Yet shrinks the vital current. Of her sands 
Let Libya vaunt no more: if Jaculus, 
Pareas and Chelyder be her brood, 
Cenchris and Amphisbxna, plagues so dire 
Or in such numbers swarming ne'er she show'd. 
Not with all Ethiopia, and whate'er 
Above the Erythraean sea is spawn'd. 

Amid this dread exuberance of woe 
Ran naked spirits wing'd with horrid fear. 
Nor hope had they of crevice where to hide. 
Or heliotrope to charm them out of view. 
With serpents were their hands behind them bound. 
Which through their reins inflx'd the tail and head. 
Twisted in folds before. And lo! on one 
Near to our side, darted an adder up. 
And, where the neck is on the shoulders tied, 
Transpierced him. Far more quickly than e'er f)en 
Wrote O or I, he kindled, burn'd, and changed 
To ashes all, pour'd out upon the earth. 
When there dissolved he lay, the dust again 
UproU'd spontaneous, and the self-same form 
Instant resumed. So mighty sages tell. 
The Arabian Phoenix, when five hundred years 
Have well-nigh circled, dies, and springs forthwith 
Renascent: blade nor herb throughout his life 
He tastes, but tears of frankincense alone 
And odorous amomum: swaths of nard 
And myrrh his funeral shroud. As one that falls, 
He knows not how, by force demoniac dragg'd 


To earth, or through obstruction fettering up 
In chains invisible the powers of man, 
Who, risen from his trance, gazcth around, 
Bewilder'd with the monstrous agony 
He hath endured, and wildly staring sighs; 
So stood aghast the sinner when he rose. 

Oh! how severe God's judgment, that deals out 
Such blows in stormy vengeance. Who he was, 
My teacher next inquired; and thus in few 
He answer'd: "Vanni Fucci' am I call'd. 
Not long since rained down from Tuscany 
To this dire gullet. Me the bestial life 
And not the human pleased, mule that I was, 
Who in Pistoia found my worthy den." 

I then to Virgil: "Bid him stir not hence; 
And ask what crime did thrust him thither: once 
A man I knew him, choleric and bloody." 

The sinner heard and feign'd not, but toward me 
His mind directing and his face, wherein 
Was dismal shame depictured, thus he spake: 
"It grieves me more to have been caught by thee 
In this sad plight, which thou beholdest, than 
When I was taken from the other life. 
I have no power permitted to deny 
What thou inquirest. I am doom'd thus low 
To dwell, for that the sacristy by me 
Was rifled of its goodly ornaments. 
And with the guilt another falsely charged. 
But that thou mayst not joy to see me thus. 
So as thou e'er shalt 'scape this darksome realm. 
Open thine ears and hear what I forebode. 
Reft of the Neri first Pistoia' pines; 
Then Florence* changeth citizens and laws; 

' Said to have been an illegitimate off- Pistoia, with the help of the Bianchi who 

spring of the family of l^zari in Pistoia, ruled Florence, drove out the party of the 

to have robbed the sacristy of the church Neri from the former place, destroying 

of St. lames in that city, and to have their houses, palaces, and farms." 
charged Vanni dclla Nona with the sacri- * "Then Florence." "Soon after the 

lege; in consequence of which the latter Bianchi will be expelled from Florence, 

suffered death. the Neri will prevail, and the laws and 

•"In May, 1301, the Bianchi party o£ people will be changed." 


From Valdimagra,' drawn by wrathful Mars, 
A vapor rises, wrapt in turbid mists, 
And sharp and eager driveth on the storm 
With arrowy hurtling o'er Piceno's field, 
Whence suddenly the cloud shall burst, and strike 
Each helpless Bianco prostrate to the ground. 
This have I told, that grief may rend thy heart." 


Argument. — ^The sacrilegious Fucci vents his fury in blasphemy, is seized by 
serpents, and flying is pursued by Cacus in the form of a Centaur, who is described 
with a swarm of serpents on his haunch, and a dragon on his shoulders breathing 
forth fire. Our Poet then meets with the spirits of three of his countrymen, two of 
whom undergo a marvelous transformation in his presence. 

WHEN he had spoke, the sinner raised his hands' 
Pointed in mockery and cried: "Take them, 
I level them at thee." From that day forth 
The serpents were my friends; for round his neck 
One of them rolling twisted, as it said, 
"Be silent, tongue!" Another, to his arms 
Upgliding, tied them, riveting itself 
So close, it took from them the f)ower to move. 

Pistoia! ah, Pistoia! why dost doubt 
To turn thee into ashes, cumbering earth 
No longer, since in evil act so far 
Thou hast outdone thy seed.' I did not mark. 
Through all the gloomy circles of the abyss. 
Spirit, that swell'd so proudly 'gainst his God; 

* Alluding to the victory obtained by family on our Poet, at a subsequent period 

the Marquis Morello Malaspina of Valdi- of his exile, in 1307. 

magra, who put himself at the head of ' "The practice of thrusting out the 

the Neri, and defeated their opponents the thumb between the first and second 

Bianchi, in the Campo Piccno near Pistoia, fingers, to express the feelings of insult 

soon after the occurrence related in the and contempt, has prevailed very gener- 

preceding note on v. 142. Currado Ma- ally among the nations of Europe, and 

laspina is introduced in the eighth Canto for many ages had been denominated 

of the Purgatory; where it appears, that 'making the fig,' or described at least by 

although on the present occasion they some equivalent expression." — Deuce's 

espoused contrary sides, most important "Illustrations of Shakespeare," vol. i. p. 

favors were nevertheless conferred by that 492, cd. 1807. 


Not him,' who headlong fell from Thebes. He fled, 
Nor utter'd more; and after him there came 
A Centaur full of fury, shouting, "Where, 
Where is the caitiff?" On Maremma's marsh* 
Swarm not the serpent tribe, as on his haunch 
They swarm'd, to where the human face begins. 
Behind his head, upon the slioulders, lay 
With open wings a dragon, breathing fire 
On whomsoe'er he met. To me my guide: 
"Cacus is this, who underneath the rock 
Of Aventine spread oft a lake of blood. 
He, from his brethren parted, here must tread 
A different journey, for his fraudful theft 
Of the great herd that near him stall'd; whence found 
His felon deeds their end, beneath the mace 
Of stout Alcides, that perchance laid on 
A hundred blows, and not the tenth was felt." 
While yet he spake, the Centaur sped away: 
And under us three spirits came, of whom 
Nor I nor he was ware, till they exclaim'd, 
"Say who are ye!" We then brake off discourse. 
Intent on these alone. I knew them not: 
But, as it chanccth oft, befell that one 
Had need to name another. "Where," said he, 
"Doth Cianfa* lurk?" I, for a sign my guide 
Should stand attentive, placed against my lips 
The finger lifted. If, O reader! now 
Thou be not apt to credit what I tell. 
No marvel; for myself do scarce allow 
The witness of mine eyes. But as I look'd 
Toward them, lo! a serjsent with six feet 
Springs forth on one, and fastens full upon him: 
His midmost grasp'd the belly, a forefoot 
Seized on each arm (while deep in either cheek 
He flesh'd his fangs); the hinder on the thighs 
Were spread, 'twixt which the tail inserted curl'd 
Upon the reins behind. Ivy ne'er dasp'd 
A dodder'd oak, as round the other's limbs 

' Capaneus. Canto xiv. * Said to have been of the family of 

' Near the Tuscan shore. Donati at Floreoce. 

104 "^^^ DIVINE COMEDY canto xxv 

The hideous monster intertwined his own. 

Then, as they both had been of burning wax, 

Elach melted into other, mingling hues. 

That which was either now was seen no more. 

Thus up the shrinking paper, ere it burns, 

A brown tint glides, not turning yet to black, 

And the clean white expires. The other two 

Look'd on exclaiming, "Ah! how dost thou change, 

Agnello!* See! Thou art nor double now. 

Nor only one." The two heads now became 

One, and two figures blended in one form 

Appear'd, where both were lost. Of the four lengths 

Two arms were made: the belly and the chest, 

The thighs and legs, into such members changed 

As never eye hath seen. Of former shape 

All trace was vanish'd. Two, yet neither, seem'd 

That image miscreate, and so pass'd on 

With tardy steps. As underneath the scourge 

Of the fierce dog-star that lays bare the fields, 

Shifting from brake to brake the lizard seems 

A flash of lightning, if he thwart the road; 

So toward the entrails of the other two 

Approaching seem'd an adder all on fire. 

As the dark pepper-grain livid and swart. 

In that part, whence our life is nourish'd first. 

Once he transpierced; then down before him fell 

Stretch'd out. The pierced spirit look'd on him. 

But spake not; yea, stood motionless and yawn'd, 

As if by sleep or feverous fit assail'd. 

He eyed the serpent, and the serpent him. 

One from the wound, the other from the mouth 

Breathed a thick smoke, whose vapory columns join'd. 

Lucan in mute attention now may hear. 
Nor thy disastrous fate, Sabellus, tell, 
Nor thine, Nasidius. Ovid now be mute. 
What if in warbling fiction he record 
Cadmus and Arethusa, to a snake 
Him changed, and her into a fountain clear, 
I envy not; for never face to face 

* "Agnello." Agnello Brunelleschi. 


Two natures thus transmuted did he sing, 

Wherein both shapes were ready to assume 

The other's substance. They in mutual guise 

So answer 'd that the serpent split his train 

Divided to a fork, and the pierced spirit 

Drew close his steps together, legs and thighs 

Compacted, that no sign of juncture soon 

Was visible: the tail, disparted, took 

The figure which the spirit lost; its skin 

Softening, his indurated to a rind. 

The shoulders next I mark'd, that entering join'd 

The monster's arm-pits, whose two shorter feet 

So lengthen'd, as the others dwindling shrunk. 

The feet behind then twisting up became 

That part that man conceals, which in the wretch 

Was cleft in twain. While both the shadowy smoke 

With a new color veils, and generates 

The excrescent pile on one, peeling it off 

From the other body, lo! upon his feet 

One upright rose, and prone the other fell. 

Nor yet their glaring and malignant lamps 

Were shifted, though each feature changed beneath. 

Of him who stood erect, the mounting face 

Retreated toward the temples, and what there 

Superfluous matter came, shot out in ears 

From the smooth cheeks; the rest, not backward dragg'd, 

Of its excess did shape the nose; and swell'd 

Into due size protuberant the lips. 

He, on the earth who lay, meanwhile extends 

His sharpcn'd visage, and draws down the ears 

Into the head, as doth the slug his horns. 

His tongue, continuous before and apt 

For utterance, severs; and the other's fork 

Closing unites. That done, the smoke was laid. 

The soul, transform'd into the brute, glides off. 

Hissing along the vale, and after him 

The other talking sputters; but soon turn'd 

His new-grown shoulders on him, and in few 

Thus to another spake: "Along this path 

Crawling, as I have done, speed Buoso now!" 

I06 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxvi 

So saw I fluctuate in successive change 
The unsteady ballast of the seventh hold: 
And here if aught my pen have swerved, events 
So strange may be its warrant. O'er mine eyes 
Confusion hung, and on my thoughts amaze. 

Yet 'scaped they not so covertly, but well 
I mark'd Sciancato: he alone it was 
Of the three first that came, who changed not: tho* 
The other's fate, Gavillel still dost rue. 


AacuMENT. — ^Remounting by the steps, down whkh they have descended to the 
seventh gulf, they go forward to the arch that stretches over the eighth, and from 
thence behold numberless flames wherein are punished the evil counsellors, each flame 
containing a sinner, save one, in which were Diomede and Ulysses, the latter of whom 
relates the manner of his death. 

FLORENCE, exult! for thou so mightily 
Hast thriven, that o'er land and sea thy wings 
Thou bcatest, and thy name spreads over hell. 
Among the plunderers, such the three I found 
Thy citizens; whence shame to me thy son, 
And no proud honour to thyself redounds. 

But if our minds, when dreaming near the dawn, 
Are of the truth presageful, thou ere long 
Shalt feel what Prato' (not to say the rest) 
Would fain might come upon thee; and that chance 
Were in good time, if it befell thee now. 
Would so it were, since it must needs befall! 
For as time wears me, I shall grieve the more. 
We from the depth departed; and my guide 
Remounting scaled the flinty steps, which late 
We downward traced, and drew me up the steep. 
Pursuing thus our solitary way 

' "Shalt feel what Prato." The Poet were assembled to witness a representa- 

prognosticates ihe calamities which were tion of hell and the infernal torments, in 

soon to befall his native city, and which, consequence of which accident many lives 

he says, even her nearest neighbor, Prato, were lost; and a conflagration, that in the 

would wish her. The calamities more following month destroyed more than 

particularly pointed at arc said to be the 1,700 houses. Sec G. Villani, Hist. lib. 

fall of a wooden bridge over the Arno, viii. c. Ixx. and Ixxi. 
in May, 1304, where a large multitude 


Among the crags and splinters of the rock, 
Sptd not our feet without the help of hands. 

Then sorrow seized me, which e'en now revives, 
As my thought turns again to what I saw. 
And, more than I am wont, I rein and curb 
The jxjwers of nature in me, lest they run 
Where Virtue guides not; that, if aught of good 
My gentle star or something better gave me, 
I envy not myself the precious boon. 

As in that season, when the sun least veils 
His face that lightens all, what time the fly 
Gives way to the shrill gnat, the peasant then. 
Upon some cliff reclined, beneath him sees 
Fire-flies innumerous spangling o'er the vale. 
Vineyard or tilth, where his day-labor lies; 
With flames so numberless throughout its space 
Shone the eighth chasm, apparent, when the depth 
Was to my view exposed. As he, whose wrongs 
The bears avenged, as its departure saw 
Elijah's chariot, when the steeds erect 
Raised their steep flight for heaven; his eyes meanwhile. 
Straining pursued them, till the flame alone, 
Upsoaring like a misty speck, he kenn'd: 
E'en thus along the gulf moves every flame, 
A sinner so enfolded close in each. 
That none exhibits token of the theft. 

Upon the bridge I forward bent to look 
And grasp'd a flinty mass, or else had fallen, 
Though push'd not from the height. The guide, who mark'd 
How I did gaze attentive, thus began: 
"Within these ardours are the spirits; each 
Swathed in confining fire." "Master! thy word," 
I answer'd, "hath assured me; yet I deem'd 
Already of the truth, already wish'd 
To ask thee who is in yon fire, that comes 
So parted at the summit, as it seem'd 
Ascending from that funeral pile^ where lay 
The Theban brothers." He replied: "Within, 

' The flame is said to have divided the conscious of the enmity that actuated 
bodies of Eteocles and Polynices, as if them while living. 


Ulysses there and Diomede endure 

Their penal tortures, thus to vengeance now 

Together hasting, as erewhile to wrath 

These in the flame with ceaseless groans deplore 

The ambush of the horse,' that open'd wide 

A portal for the goodly seed to pass. 

Which sow'd imperial Rome; nor less the guile 

Lament they, whence, of her Achilles 'reft, 

Deidamia yet in death complains. 

And there is rued the stratagem that Troy 

Of her Palladium spoil'd." — "If they have power 

Of utterance from within these sparks," said I, 

"O master! think my prayer a thousand-fold 

In repetition urged, that thou vouchsafe 

To pause till here the horned flame arrive. 

See, how toward it with desires I bend." 

He thus: "Thy prayer is worthy of much praise. 
And I accept it therefore; but do thou 
Thy tongue refrain: to question them be mine; 
For I divine thy wish; and they perchance, 
For they were Greeks,* might shun discourse with thee." 

When there the flame had come, where time and place 
Seem'd fitting to my guide, he thus began: 
"O ye, who dwell two spirits in one fire! 
If, living, I of you did merit aught, 
Whate'er the measure were of that desert, 
When in the world my lofty strain I jxjur'd, 
Move ye not on, till one of you unfold 
In what clime death o'ertook him self-destroy 'd." 

Of the old flame forthwith the greater horn 
Began to roll, murmuring, as a fire 
That labors with the wind, then to and fro 
Wagging the top, as a tongue uttering sounds. 
Threw out its voice, and spake; "When I escaped 
From Circe, who beyond a circling year 
Had held me near Caieta by her charms, 
Ej'e thus iEneas yet had named the shore; 
Nor fondness for my son, nor reverence 

* The wooden horse that caused itneas where his descendant] founded Rome, 
to quit Troy and seek his fortune in Italy, * Perhaps implying arrogance. 


Of my old father, nor return of love, 

That should have crown'd Penelope with joy. 

Could overcome in me the zeal I had 

To explore the world, and search the ways of life, 

Man's evil and his virtue. Forth I sail'd 

Into the deep illimitable main, 

With but one bark, and the small faithful band 

That yet cleaved to me. As Iberia far. 

Far as Marocco, either shore I saw. 

And the Sardinian and each isle beside 

Which round that ocean bathes. Tardy with age 

Were I and my companions, when we came 

To the strait pass,' where Hercules ordain'd 

The boundaries not to be o'erstepp'd by man. 

The walls of Seville to my right I left, 

On the other hand already Ceuta past. 

'O brothers!' I began, 'who to the west 

Through perils without number now have reach'd; 

To this the short remaining watch, that yet 

Our senses have to wake, refuse not proof 

Of the unpeopled world, following the track 

Of Phoebus. Call to mind from whence ye sprang: 

Ye were not form'd to live the life of brutes. 

But virtue to pursue and knowledge high.' 

With these few words I sharpen'd for the voyage 

The mind of my associates, that I then 

Could scarcely have withheld them. To the dawn 

Our [X)op we turn'd, and for the witless flight 

Made our oars wings, still gaining on the left. 

Each star of the other pole night now beheld. 

And ours so low, that from the ocean floor 

It rose not. Five times reillumed, as oft 

Vanish'd the light from underneath the moon. 

Since the deep way we enter'd, when from far 

Appear'd a mountain dim,* loftiest methought 

'The Strait of Gibraltar. the regions inhabited by men, and placed 

• The mounuin of Purgatory. — Among in the wean, reaching as far as to the 

various opinions respecting the situation lunar circle, so that the waters of the 

of the terrestrial paradise. Pictro I-om- deluge did not reach it." — Sent lib. iL 

bardo relates, that "it was separated by dist. 17. 

a long space, either of sea or land, from 

1 10 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxvii 

Of all I e'er beheld. Joy seized us straight; 
But soon to mourning changed. From the new land 
A whirlwind sprung, and at her foremost side 
Did strike the vessel. Thrice it whirl'd her round 
With all the waves; the fourth time lifted up 
The poop, and sank the prow: so fate decreed: 
And over us the booming billow closed." ' 


Argument. — The Poet, treating of the same punishment as in the last Canto, 
relates that he turned toward a flame in which was the Count Guido da MDntefcltro, 
whose inquiries respecting the state of Romagna he answers; and Guido is thereby 
induced to declare who he is, and why condemned to that torment. 

NOW upward rose the flame, and still'd its light 
To speak no more, and now pass'd on with leave 
From the mild f)oet gain'd; when following came 
Another, from whose top a sound confused, 
Forth issuing, drew our eyes that way to look. 

As the Sicilian bull,' that rightfully 
His cries first echoed who had shaped its mould, 
Did so rebellow, with the voice of him 
Tormented, that the brazen monster seem'd 
Pierced through with pain; thus, while no way they found, 
Nor avenue immediate through the flame, 
Into its language turn'd the dismal words: 
But soon as they had won their passage forth, 
Up from the point, which vibrating obey'd 
Their motion at the tongue, these sounds were heard: 
"O thou! to whom I now direct my voice, 
That lately didst exclaim in Lombard phrase, 
'Depart thou; I solicit thee no more;' 
Though somewhat tardy I perchance arrive. 
Let it not irk thee here to pause awhile, 

' "Closed." Venturi refers to Pliny and rise partly from the obscure oracle re- 

Solinus for the opinion that Ulysses was turned by the ghost of Tiresias to Ulysses 

the founder of Lisbon, from whence he (eleventh book of the Odyssey), and 

thinks it was easy for the fancy of a poet partly from the fate which there was 

to send him on yet further enterprises. reason to suppose had befallen some ad- 

The story (which it is not unlikely that venturous explorers of the Adantic Ocean, 

our author borrowed from some legend ' I'hc engine of torture invented by 

of the Middle Ages) may have taken its Perillus, for the tyrant Phalaiis. 


And with me parley: lol it irks not me. 
And yet I burn. If but e'en now thou fall 
Into this blind world, from that pleasant land 
Of Latium, whence I draw my sum of guilt. 
Tell me if those who in Romagna dwell 
Have px:ace or war. For of the mountains there' 
Was I, betwixt Urbino and the height 
Whence Tiber first unlocks his mighty flood." 

Leaning I listen'd yet with heedful car. 
When, as he touch'd my side, the leader thus: 
"Speak thou: he is a Latian." My reply 
Was ready, and I spake without delay: 
"O spirit! who art hidden here below. 
Never was thy Romagna without war 
In her proud tyrants' bosoms, nor is now: 
But open war there left I none. The state, 
Ravenna hath maintain'd this many a year. 
Is stedfast. There Polenta's eagle' broods; 
And in his broad circumference of plume 
O'ershadows Cervia. The green talons grasp 
The land,* that stood erewhile the proof so long 
And piled in bloody heap the host of France. 

"The old mastiff of Verrucchio and the young,' 
That tore Montagna* in their wrath, still make, 
Where they are wont, an augre of their fangs. 

"Lamone's city, and Santerno's,^ range 

*Montefeltro. which it had been besieged. See G. Vil- 

' "Polenta's eagle." Guido Novello da lani, lib. vii. c. Ixxxi. The Poet informs 

Poleota, who bore an eagle for his coat- Guido, its former ruler, that it is now 

of-arms. The name of Polenta was de- in the possession of Sinibaldo Ordolafii, 

rived from a casde so called in the whom he designates by his coat-of-arms, 

neighborhood of Brittonoro. Cervia is a a lion vert. 

small maritime city, about fifteen miles ' Malatesta and Malatestino his son, 
to the south of Ravenna. Guido was the lords of Rimini, called from their feroc- 
son of Ostasio da Polenta, and made him- ity, the mastiffs of Verrucchio, which 
self master of Ravenna in 1265. In 1322 was the name of their castle. Malates- 
he was deprived of his sovereignty, and tino was, perhaps, the husband of Fran- 
died at Bologna in 1323. This last and cesca, daughter of Guido da Polenu. 
most munificent patron of Dante is enu- See notes to Canto v. 113. 
merated among the poets of his tiine. ' Montagna de' Parcitati, a noble and 
*The territory of Forli, the inhabitants leader of the Ghibclline party at Rimini, 
of which, in 1282, were enabled, by the murdered by Malatestino. 
stratagem of Guido da Montcfeltro, the ' Lamone is the river at Faenza, and 
goveroor, to defeat the French army by Santerno at Imola. 

112 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxvii 

Under the lion of the snowy lair,' 

Inconstant partisan, that changeth sides, 

Or ever summer yields to winter's frost. 

And she, whose flank is wash'd of Savio's wave,* 

As 'twixt the level and the steep she lies. 

Lives so 'twixt tyrant power and liberty. 

"Now tell us, I entreat thee, who art thou: 
Be not more hard than others. In the world. 
So may thy name still rear its forehead high." 

Then roar'd awhile the fire, its sharpen'd point 
On either side waved, and thus breathed at last: 
"If I did think my answer were to one 
Who ever could return unto the world. 
This flame should rest unshaken. But since ne'er, 
If true be told me, any from this depth 
Has found his upward way, I answer thee. 
Nor fear lest infamy record the words. 

"A man of arms'" at first, I clothed me then 
In good Saint Francis' girdle, hoping so 
To have made amends. And certainly my hope 
Had fail'd not, but that he, whom curses light on, 
The high priest," again seduced me into sin. 
And how, and wherefore, listen while I tell. 
Long as this spirit moved the bones and pulp 
My mother gave me, less my deeds bespake 
The nature of the lion than the fox. 
All ways of winding subdety I knew, 
And with such art conducted, that the sound 
Reach'd the world's limit. Soon as to that part 
Of life I found me come, and when each behoves 
To lower sails and gather in the lines; 
That, which before had pleased me, then I rued. 
And to repentance and confession turn'd. 
Wretch that I was; and well it had bested me. 

* Machinardo Pagano, whose arms were that often descends with a swollen and 

a lion azure on a field argent. See also rapid stream from the Apennines. 
Purgatory, Canto xiv. 121. '"Guido da Montefeltro. 

'Ccscna, situated at the foot of a " Boniface VIII. 

mountain, and washed by the river Savio, 


The chief of the new Pharisees" meantime, 

Waging his warfare near the Lateran, 

Not with the Saracens or Jews (his foes 

All Christians were, nor against Acre one 

Had fought," nor traffick'd in the Soldan's land). 

He, his great charge nor sacred ministry, 

In himself reverenced, nor in me that cord 

Which used to mark with leanness whom it girded. 

As in Soracte, Constantine besought. 

To cure his leprosy, Sylvester's aid; 

So me, to cure the fever of his pride. 

This man besought: my counsel to that end 

He ask'd; and I was silent; for his words 

Seem'd drunken: but forthwith he thus resumed: 

'From thy heart banish fear: of all offence 

I hitherto absolve thee. In return. 

Teach me my purpose so to execute, 

That Penestrino cumber earth no more. 

Heaven, as thou knowest, I have power to shut 

And open: and the keys are therefore twain. 

The which my predecessor'* meanly prized.' 

"Then, yielding to the forceful arguments. 
Of silence, as more perilous I deem'd. 
And answer'd: Tathcr! since thou washest me 
Clear of that guilt wherein I now must fall. 
Large promise with performance scant, be sure, 
Shall make thee triumph in thy lofty seat.' 

"When I was number'd with the dead, then came 
Saint Francis for me; but a cherub dark 
He met, who cried, 'Wrong me not; he is mine, 
And must below to join the wretched crew, 

" Boniface VIII, whose enmity to the his power; and they accordingly soon 

family of Colonna prompted him to dc- afterward fell into the snare laid for 

stroy their houses near the Lateran. Wish- them, 1298. 

ing to obtain possession of their other " Alluding to the renegade Christians, 

seat, Penestrino, he consulted with Guido by whom the Saracens, in April, 1291, 

da Montefcltro, offering him absolution were assisted to recover St. John d'Acre, 

for his past sins, as well as for that which the last possession of the Christians in the 

he was then tempting him to commit. Holy Land. 

Guido's advice was that kind words and '* Celestine V. See notes to Canto iii. 

fair promises would put his enemies into 


For the deceitful counsel which he gave. 

E'er since I watch'd him, hovering at his hair. 

No power can the impenitent absolve; 

Nor to ref)ent, and will, at once consist. 

By contradiction absolute forbid.' 

Oh misery! how I shook myself, when he 

Seized me, and cried, 'Thou haply thought'st me not 

A disputant in logic so exact!' 

To Minos down he bore me; and the judge 

Twined eight times round his callous back the tail. 

Which biting with excess of rage, he spake: 

'This is a guilty soul, that in the fire 

Must vanish.' Hence, perdition-doom'd, I rove 

A prey to rankling sorrow, in this garb." 

When he had thus fulhll'd his words, the flame 
In dolour parted, beating to and fro. 
And writhing its sharp horn. We onward went, 
I and my leader, up along the rock. 
Far as another arch, that overhangs 
The foss, wherein the penalty is paid 
Of those who load them with committed sin. 


Argument. — They arrive in the ninth guli, where the sowers of scandal, schismatia, 
and heretics, are seen with their limbs maimed or divided in different ways. Among 
these the Poet finds Mohammed, Picro da Medicina, Curio, Mosca, and Bertrand 
de Born. 

""HO, e'en in words unfetter'd, might at full 

Tell of the wounds and blood that now I saw. 

Though he repeated oft the talc? No tongue 

So vast a theme could equal, speech and thought 

Both impotent alike. If in one band 

Collected, stood the jjcople all, who e'er 

Pour'd on Apulia's happy soil their blood, 

Slain by the Trojans, and in that long war,' 

When of the rings the measured booty made 

A pile so high, as Rome's historian writes 

Who errs not; with the multitude, that felt 

The griding force of Guiscard's Norman steel,' 

' The war of Hannibal in Italy. 

' Robert Guiscard, conqueror of Naples, died mo. See Paradise, Canto xviiL 


CANTO xxviii HELL 115 

And those the rest,' whose bones are gather'd yet 

At Ceperano, there where treachery 

Branded the Apuhan name, or where beyond 

Thy walls, O Tagliacozzo,* without arms 

The old Alardo conquer'd; and his limbs 

One were to show transpierced, another his 

Clean lopt away; a spectacle like this 

Were but a thing of naught, to the hideous sight 

Of the ninth chasm. A rundlet, that hath lost 

Its middle or side stave, gapes not so wide 

As one I mark'd, torn from the chin throughout 

Down to the hinder passage: 'twixt the legs 

Dangling his entrails hung, the midriff lay 

Open to view, and wretched ventricle. 

That turns the englutted aliment to dross. 

Whilst eagerly I fix on him my gaze. 
He eyed me, with his hands laid his breast bare, 
And cried, "Now mark how I do rip me: lo! 
How is Mohammed mangled: before me 
Walks Ali' weeping, from the chin his face 
Cleft to the forelock; and the others all, 
Whom here thou seest, while they lived, did sow 
Scandal and schism, and therefore thus are rent. 
A fiend is here behind, who with his sword 
Hacks us thus cruelly, slivering again 
Each of this ream, when we have compast round 
The dismal way; for first our gashes close 
Ere we repass before him. But, say who 
Art thou, that standest musing on the rock. 
Haply so lingering to delay the pain 
Sentenced upon thy crimes." "Him death not yet," 
My guide rejoin'd, "hath overta'en, nor sin 
Conducts to torment; but, that he may make 
Full trial of your state, I who am dead 
Must through the depths of Hell, from orb to orb, 
Conduct him. Trust my words; for they are true." 

•The army of Manfrcdi, which, victory which Charles gained over Con- 

throu);h the treachery of the Apulian radino, by the sage advice of the Sieur 

troops, was overcome by Charles of Anjou de Valcri, in 1268. 
in 1265. See the Purgatory, Canto iii. ^Thc disciple of Mohammed. 

* "O Tagliacozzo." He alludes to the 



More than a hundred spirits, when that they heard, 
Stood in the foss to mark me through amaze 
Forgetful of their pangs. "Thou, who perchance 
Shalt shortly view the sun, this warning thou 
Bear to Dolcino:' bid him, if he wish not 
Here soon to follow me, that with good store 
Of food he arm him, lest imprisoning snows 
Yield him a victim to Novara's power; 
No easy conquest else": with foot upraised 
For stepping, spake Mohammed, on the ground 
Then fix'd it to depart. Another shade, 
Pierced in the throat, his nostrils mutilate 
E'en from beneath the eyebrows, and one ear 
Lopt off, who, with the rest, through wonder stood 
Gazing, before the rest advanced, and bared 
His wind-pipe, that without was all o'ersmear'd 
With crimson stain. "O thou!" said he, "whom sin 
Condemns not, and whom erst (unless too near 
Resemblance do deceive me) I aloft 
Have seen on Latian ground, call thou to mind 
Piero of Medicina,' if again 
Returning, thou behold'st the pleasant land' 
That from Vercelli slopes to Marcabo; 
And there instruct the twain,' whom Fano boasts 
Her worthiest sons, Guido and Angelo, 
•"Dolcino." In 1305, a friar, called u re of food and the severity of the snowi, 
Dolcino, who belon);cd to no regular he was taken by the people of Novara, 
order, contrived to raise in Novara, in and burnt, with Margarita, his com- 
Lombardy, a large company of the meaner panion, and many others, whom he bad 
sort of people, declaring himself to be a seduced. 

true apostle of Christ and promulgating ' "Medicina." A place in the territory 

a community of projwrty and of wives, of Bologna. Piero fomented dissensions 
with many other such heretical doctrines. among the inhabitants of that city, and 
He blamed the Pope, cardinals, and other among the leaders of the neighboring 
prelates of the holy Church, for not ob- slates, 
serving their duty, nor leading the angelic * Lombardy. 

life, and affirmed that he ought to be ' "The twain." Guido del Cassero and 

pope. He was followed by more than Angiolello da Cagnano, two of the worth- 
three thousand men and women, who icst and most distinguished citizens of 
lived promiscuously on the mountains to- Fano, were invited by Malatestino da 
gether, like beasts, and, when they Rimini to an entertainment, on pretence 
wanted provisions, supplied themselves by that he had some important business to 
depredation and rapine. After two years, transact with them; and, according to in- 
many were struck with compunction at structinns given by him, they were 
the dissolute life they led, and his sect drowned in their passage near Cattolica, 
wa« much diminished; and, through fail- between Rimini and Fano. 


That if 'tis given us here to scan aright 

The future, they out of life's tenement 

Shall be cast forth, and whelm'd under the waves 

Near to Cattolica, through perfidy 

Of a fell tyrant. 'Twixt the Cyprian isle 

And Balearic, ne'er hath Neptune seen 

An injury so foul, by pirates done. 

Or Argive crew of old. That one-eyed traitor 

(Whose realm there is a spirit here were fain 

His eye had still lack'd sight of) them shall bring 

To conference with him, then so shape his end. 

That they shall need not 'gainst Focara's wind'" 

Offer up vow nor prayer." I answering thus: 

"Declare, as thou dost wish that I above 

May carry tidings of thee, who is he, 

In whom that sight doth wake such sad remembrance." 

Forthwith he laid his hand on the cheek-bone 
Of one, his fellow-spirit, and his jaws 
Expanding, cried: "Lo! this is he I wot of: 
He speaks not for himself: the outcast this, 
Who overwhelm'd the doubt in Czsar's mind," 
Affirming that delay to men prepared 
Was ever harmful." Oh! how terrified 
Methought was Curio, from whose throat was cut 
The tongue, which spake that hardy word. Then one, 
Maim'd of each hand, uplifted in the gloom 
The bleeding stumps, that they with gory spots 
Sullied his face, and cried: "Remember thee 
Of Mosca'^ too; I who, alas! exclaim'd, 

" "Focara's wind." Focara is a moun- meeting of themselves and their kinsmen 

tain, from which a wind blows that is was held, to consider of the best means 

peculiarly dangerous to the navigators of of revenging the insult. Mosca degli 

that coast. Uberti, or do' Lambcrti, persuaded them 

" "The doubt in Caesar's mind." Curio, to resolve on the assassination of Buon- 

whose speech (according to Lucan) de- dclmonte, exclaiming to them, "the thing 

termined Julius Casar to proceed when he once done, there is an end." This counsel 

had arrived at Rimini (the ancient Ari- and its effects were the source of many 

minum), and doubted whether he should terrible calamities to the State of Florence, 

prosecute the civil war. "This murder," says G. Villani, lib. v. 

^ "Mosca." Buondclmonte was en- cap. xxxviii, "was the cause and begin- 

gaged to marry a lady of the Amidei ning of the accursed Guelf and Ghibelline 

family, but broke his promise, and united parties in Florence." It happened in 1215. 

himself to one of the Donati. This was See the Paradise, Canto xvi. 139. 
so much resented by the former, that a 

Il8 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxviii 

'The deed once done, there is an end,' that proved 
A seed of sorrow to the Tuscan race." 

I added: "Ay, and death to thine own tribe." 
Whence, heaping woe on woe, he hurried off, 
As one grief-stung to madness. But I there 
Still linger 'd to behold the troop, and saw 
Thing, such as I may fear without more proof 
To tell of, but that conscience makes me firm, 
The boon companion, who her strong breastplate 
Buckles on him, that feels no guilt within, 
And bids him on and fear not. Without doubt 
I saw, and yet it seems to pass before me, 
A headless trunk, that even as the rest 
Of the sad flock paced onward. By the hair 
It bore the sever'd member, lantern-wise 
Pendent in hand, which look'd at us, and said, 
"Woe's me!" The spirit lighted thus himself; 
And two there were in one, and one in two. 
How that may be, he knows who ordereth so. 

When at the bridge's foot direct he stood, 
His arm aloft he rear'd, thrusting the head 
Full in our view, that nearer we might hear 
The words, which thus it utter'd: "Now behold 
This grievous torment, thou, who breathing go'st 
To spy the dead: behold, if any else 
Be terrible as this. And, that on earth 
Thou mayst bear tidings of me, know that I 
Am Bertrand,'' he of Born, who gave King John 
The counsel mischievous. Father and son 
I set at mutual war. For Absalom 
And David more did not Ahitophel, 
Spurring them on maliciously to strife. 
For parting those so closely knit, my brain 
Parted, alas! I carry from its source. 
That in this trunk inhabits. Thus the law 
Of retribution fiercely works in me." 

•• "Bertrand." Bcrtrand dc Born, against his fatlicr, Henry n of England. 
Vicomtc dc Hautcfort, near Pcrigucux Bcrtrand holds a distinguished place 
in Guienne, who incited John to rebel among the Provencal poets. 




Argument. — Dante, at the desire of Virgil, proceeds onward to the bridge that 
crosses the tenth gulf, from whence he hears the cries of the alchemists and forgers, 
who are tormented therein; but not being able to discern anything on account of the 
darkness, they descend the rock, that bounds this, the last of the compartments in 
which the eighth circle is divided, and then behold the spirits who are afflicted by 
divers plagues and diseases. Two of them, namely, Grifolioo of Arezzo, and Capoccbio 
of Sieoa, are introduced speaking. 

^O were mine eyes inebriate with the view 
Of the vast multitude, whom various wounds 
Disfigured, that they long'd to stay and weep. 

But Virgil roused me: "What yet gazest on? 
Wherefore doth fasten yet thy sight below 
Among the maim'd and miserable shades? 
Thou hast not shown in any chasm beside 
This weakness. Know, if thou wouldst number them, 
That two and twenty miles the valley winds 
Its circuit, and already is the moon 
Beneath our feet: the time f)ermitted now 
Is short; and more, not seen, remains to see." 

"If thou," I straight replied, "hadst weigh'd the cause, 
For which I look'd, thou hadst pierchance excused 
The tarrying still." My leader part pursued 
His way, the while I follow'd, answering him. 
And adding thus: "Within that cave I deem. 
Whereon so fixedly I held my ken, 
There is a spirit dwells, one of my blood. 
Wailing the crime that costs him now so dear." 

Then spake my master: "Let thy soul no more 

Afflict itself for him. Direct elsewhere 

Its thought, and leave him. At the bridge's foot 

I mark'd how he did point with menacing look 

At thee, and heard him by the others named 

Geri of Bello.' Thou so wholly then 

Wert busied with his spirit, who once riJed 

The towers of Hautefort, that thou lookedst not 

That way, ere he was gone." "O guide beloved! 

* "Gcri of Bcllo." A kinsman of the was more impartial in the allotment of 

Poet's, who was murdered by one of the his punishments tlian has generally been 

Sacchctti family. His being placed here, supposed, 
may be considered as a proof that Dante 


His violent death yet unavenged," said I, 
"By any, who are partners in his shame, 
Made him contemptuous; therefore, as I think. 
He pass'd me sjseechless by; and, doing so, 
Hath made me more compassionate his fate." 

So we discoursed 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 exposed, then many a dart 
Of sore lament assail'd me, headed all 
With |X)ints of thrilling pity, that I closed 
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 jjestilent fen,' 
Had heap'd their maladies all in one foss 
Together; such was here the torment: dire 
The stench, as issuing streams 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 /Egina^ 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 restored anew 
From seed of emmets), than was here to see 

*The valley through which passes the tioncd as a remarkably sluggish stream, 

river Chiana, bounded by Arezzo, Cor- in the Paradise, Canto xiii. 21. 
tona, Montepulciano, and Chiusi. In the 'See note to Canto xxv, v. 18. 

autumn it was formerly rendered un- * "In ^gina." He alludes to the fable 

wholesome by the stagnation of the water, of the ants changed into Myrmidons. — 

but has since been drained by the Em- Ovid, Met. lib. viL 
pcror Leopold II. The Chiana is men- 


The spirits, that languish 'd through the murky vale, 
Up-piled on many a stack. Confused they lay, 
One o'er the belly, o'er the shoulders one 
RoU'd of another; sideling crawl'd a third 
Along the dismal pathway. Step by step 
We journey'd on, in silence looking round, 
And listening those diseased, who strove in vain 
To lift their forms. Then two I mark'd, that sat 
Propt '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 
Tired 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 
Scraped 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 tortured thus thou seest: but who art thou 
That hast inquired 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 the 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." 

122 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxix 

"Arezzo was my dwelling," ' answer'd one, 
"And me Albero of Siena 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 Dzdalus, 
Prevail'd on one supposed his sire to burn me. 
But Minos to this chasm, last of the ten. 
For that I practised alchemy on earth. 
Has doom'd me. Him no subterfuge eludes." 

Then to the bard I spake: "Was ever race 
Light as Siena'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 temperately 
To lay out fortune's gifts; and Niccolo, 
Who first the spice's costly luxury 
Discover'd in tliat 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 Sienese 
Thus gladly, bend this way thy sharpen'd sight. 
That well my face may answer to thy ken; 
So shall thou see I am Capxxchio's ghost,* 
Who forged transmuted metals by the power 

' Grifolino of Arezzo, who promised longed to a company of prodigal and 

Albero, son of the Bishop of Siena, that luxurious youth in Siena, called the 

he would teach him the art of flying; "brigala godereccia." Niccolo was the in- 

and, because he did not keep his promise, ventor of a new manner of using cloves 

Albero prevailed on his father to have in cookery, and which was termed the 

him burnt for a necromancer. "costtima ticca." 

« The same imputation is again cast on ' "In that garden." Siena, 

the Sienese, Purgatory, Canto xiii, 141. 'Capocchio of Siena who is said to 

'This is said ironically. Stricca, Nic- have been a fellow-student of Dante's, 

colo Salimbeni, Caccia of Asciano, and in natural philosophy. 
Abbagliato, or Meo de' Folcacchieri, be- 


Of alchemy; and if I scan thee right. 

Thou needs must well remember how I aped 

Creative nature by my subde art." 


Argument. — In the same gulf, other kinds of impostors, as those who have counter- 
feited the persons of others, or debased the current coin, or deceived by speech under 
false pretences, are described as suffering various diseases. Sinon of Troy and Adamo 
of Brescia mutually reproach each other with their several impostures. 

WHAT time resentment burn'd in Juno's breast 
From Semcle against the Theban blood, 
As more than once in dire mischance was rued; 
Such fatal frenzy seized 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 
Strctch'd he his merciless talons, grasping one. 
One helpless innocent, Learchus named, 
Whom swinging down he dash'd upon a rock; 
And with her other burden, self-destroy 'd. 
The hapless mother plunged. And when the pride 
Of all presuming Troy fell from its height, 
By fortune overwhclm'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. 
But 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 ghosts 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, 

124 "^"^ DIVINE COMEDY canto xxx 

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 vents he still his spite." 

To whom I answering: "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 shajie assuming, so perform'd 
The deed of sin; e'en as the other there. 
That onward passes, dared 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 toward 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 

' Gianni Schicchi, of the family of traordinary value, here called "the lady 

Cavalcanti, possessed such a faculty of of the herd." 

molding his features to the resemblance ' Adamo of Brescia, at the instigation 

of others, that he was employed by Simon of Guido, Alcssaiidro, and their brother 

Donati to personate Buoso Donat'i, then Aghiunlfo, lords of Romena, counter- 

recendy deceased, and to make a will, feited the coin of FlorciKe; for which 

leaving Simon his heir; for which service crime he was burnt, 
he was remunerated with a mare of ex- 


Of Casentino,' making fresh and soft 

The banks whereby they glide to Arno's stream, 

Stand ever in my viewj and not in vain; 

For more the pictured 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 laboring 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 wandering. 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 less 

Than half of one across. They brought me down 

Among this tribe; induced by them, I stamp'd 

The ilorens with three carats of alloy." ' 

"Who are that abject pair," I next inquired, 
"That closely bounding thee upon thy right 
Lie smoking, like a hand in winter steep'd 
In the chill stream?" — "When to this gulf I dropp'd," 
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, 

'Romena, a part of Casentino. Florence in 1252, an era of great pros- 

*A fountain at Siena. pcrity for the republic; before which time 

' The florcn was a coin that ought to their most valuable coinage was of silver. 

have had twenty-four carats of pure gold. ' Potiphar's wife. 

Villani relates that it was first used at 

126 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxx 

One, gall'd perchance to be so darkly named. 
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 the imjxjstor gold." 

And thus the dropsied: "Ay, now spcak'st thou true: 
But there thou gavest 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 for but one fault. 
And thou for more than any imp beside." 

"Remember," he replied, "O (serjured 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 stuft with moisture. Thou art parch'd: 
Pains rack thy head: no urging wouldst 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 perceived 
How angrily he spake, and toward him turn'd 
With shame so poignant, as remember 'd yet 
Confounds me. As a man that dreams of harm 
Befallen him, dreaming wishes it a dream. 
And that which is, desires as if it were not; 
Such then was I, who, wanting fwwer to speak, 
Wish'd to excuse myself, and all the while 
Excused 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." 


Argument. — ^Thc Poets, following the sound of a loud horn, arc led by it to the 
ninth circle, in which there arc four rounds, one enclosed within the other, and 
containing as many sorts of traitors; but the present Canto shows only that the circle 
is encompassed with Giants, one of whom. Anta:us, takes them both in his arms and 
places them at the bottom of the circle. 

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 caused 
Pain first, and then the boon of health restored. 

Turning our back upwn the vale of woe, 
We cross'd the encircled mound in silence. There 
Was less than day and less than night, that far 
Mine eye advanced not: but I heard a horn 
Sounded so loud, the peal it rang 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 Charlemain, and quench'd 
His saintly warfare. Thitherward not long 
My head was raised, when many a lofty tower 
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 arrived 

' "When Charlemain with all his peer- and which, as Turpin and the Islandic 

age fell at Fontarabia." bards report, was endued with magical 

Milton, Paradise Lost, b. i. 586. See power, and might be heard at the dis- 

Warton's Hist, of Eng. Poetry, vol. i. sect. tance of twenty miles." See the Paradise, 

iii. p. 132. "This is the horn which Canto xviii. 
Orlaodo woo from the giant Jatmund, 


Thou well shall 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 immersed. 
Each from his navel downward, round the bank." 

As when a fog disperseth gradually. 
Our vision traces what the mist involves 
Condensed 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 the abyss, 
Was turreted with giants, half their length 
Uprearing, horrible, whom Jove from Heaven 
Yet threatens, when his muttering 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 the 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 scem'd 
In length and bulk, as doth the pine' that tops 
Saint Peter's Roman fane; and the other bones 
Of like proportion, so that from above 
The bank, which girdled him below, such height 
Arose his stature, that three Friezelanders 

' A castle near Siena. thrown down by liRhtninR, it was trans- 

' "The pine." "The larjfe pine of ferret! to the place where it now is, in the 

bronze, which once ornamented the top Pope's garden, by the side of the great 

of the mole of Adrian, afterwards deco- corridor of Belvedere. In the time of our 

rated the top of the belfry of St. Peter; Poet, the pine was then cither on the 

and having (according to Buti) been belfry or on the steps of St. Peter's." 


Had striven in vain to reach but to his hair. 
Full thirty ample palms was he exfwsed 
Downward from whence a man his garment 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. 
Spirit confused! lo, on 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 plied. 
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 answered: "Thou shalt see 
Not far from hence Antseus, 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 

^Uomeaning sounds, meant, it is supposed, to express the confusion at the building 

of Babel. 

130 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxi 

Like to this spirit, save that in his looks 

More fell he seems." By violent earthquake rock'd 

Ne'er shook a tower, 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 believed, 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, straiten'd sore. 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 Antxus seem'd, as at mine ease 

I mark'd him stooping. I were fain at times 

* The country near Carthage. as proof of God's judgment displayed in 

•The combat between Hercules (Al- the duel, according to the singular super- 

ddet) and Antxus is adduced by the poet stition of those times. 

in his treatise "Dc Monarchia," lib. ii., ' The leaning tower at Bologna. 


To have past another way. Yet in the abyss, 
That Lucifer with Judas low ingulfs, 
Lightly he placed us; nor, there leaning, stay'd; 
But rose, as in a bark the stately mast. 


Argument. — This Canto treats of the first, and, in part, of the second of those 
rounds, into which the ninth and last, or frozen circle, is divided. In the former, 
called Caina, Dante finds Camiccione de' Pazzi, who gives him an account of other 
sinners who arc there punished; and in the next, named Antenora, he hears in like 
manner from Bocca dcgli Abbati who his fellow-sufferers arc. 

COULD I command rough rhymes and hoarse, to 
That hole of sorrow o'er which every rock 
His firm abutment rears, then might the vein 
Of fancy rise full springing: but not mine 
Such measures, and with faltering awe I touch 
The mighty theme; for to describe the depth 
Of all the universe, is no emprise 
To jest with, and demands a tongue not used 
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 
Bespake 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. RoU'd o'er that mass 


Had Tabernich or Pietrapana' fallen, 

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 shrined 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 closed up 
So stoutly. Whence, like two enraged goats. 
They clash'd together: them such fury seized. 

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 hand 
At that one blow dissever'd; not Focaccia,* 

' "Tabernich or Pietrapana." The one romance of Lancelot of the Lake, Arthur, 

a mountain in Sclavonia, the other in that having discovered the traitorous intentions 

tract of country called the Garfagnana, of his son, pierces him throuRh with hii 

not far from Lucca. lance, so that the sunbeam passes through 

• Alessandro and Napoleone, sons of the body. 

Alberto Alberti, who murdered each * Focaccia of Canccllieri (the Pistoian 

other. They were proprietors of the val- family), whose atrocious act of revenge 

ley of Falterona, where the Bisenzio rises, against his uncle is said to have given rise 

falling into the Arno six miles from to the parties, Bianchi and Neri, in the 

Rorence. year 1300. 

' Mordred, son of King Arthur. In the 


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 shaped into a doggish grin; whence creeps 
A shivering 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 chilness, 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 paused 
And to that shade I spake, who bitterly 
Still cursed 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 sufferance, wert thou living still?" 

"And I am living, to thy joy perchance," 
Was my reply, "if fame be dear to thee, 

'Sassol Maschcroni, a Florentine, who 'The defeat of the Guelfi at Monu- 

murdcrcd his uncle. perto through the treachery of Bocca degli 

* Camiccione de' Pazzi of Valdarno, by Abbati, who, during the engagement, cut 

whom his kinsman Ubertino was treach- off the hand of Giacopo del Vacca de' 

erously put to death. Pazzi, the Florentine standard-bearer. 

'"Carlino." One of the same family. '"So called from Antenor, who, ac- 
He betrayed the Castel di Piano Travigne, cording to Dictys Cretensis (de Bcllo Troj. 
in Valdarno, to the Florentines, after the lib. v.) and Dares Phrygius (De Excidio 
refugees of the Bianca and Ghibelline Trojz) betrayed Troy his country." Lorn- 
party had defended it against a siege for bardi. 
twenty-nine days, in the summer of 1302. 

134 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto juuui 

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 chattering 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." — "Ofl!" he replied; 
"Tell what thou list: but, as thou 'scape 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 starved 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. Further on. 
If I misdeem not, Soldanieri'^ bides, 
With Ganellon," and Tribaldello,'* him 
Who oped 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 

'" Buoso of Cremona, of the family of '^ "Gianni Soldanieri," says Vitlani, 
Duera, bribed by Guy de Montfort to Hist. lib. vii. c. xiv., "put himself at the 
leave a pass between Piedmont and head of the people, in the hopes of rising 
Parma, with the defence of which he had into power, not aware that the result 
been intrusted by the Ghibellines, open to would be mischief to the Ghibclline party, 
the army of Charles of Anjou, A. D. and his own ruin." — A. D. 1266. 
1265, at which the people of Cremona "The betrayer of Charlemain, men- 
were so enraged that they extirpated the tioncd by Archbishop Turpin. He is a 
whole family. G. Villani. type of treachery with the poets of the 

" Abbot of Vallombrosa, Pope's legate Middle Ages, 

at Florence, behe.-ided for his intrigues ■* Tribaldcllo de' Manfrcdi, bribed to 

with the Ghibellines. betray the city of Faenza, 1282. 


Was cowl unto the other; and as bread 
Is raven'd up through hunger, the uppermost 
Did so apply his fangs to the 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 color of his sinning was, 
I may repay thee in the world above. 
If that, wherewith I sf)eak, be moist so long." 


Akcument. — ^The Poet ii told by Count Ugolino de' Gherardeschi of the cruel 
manner in which he and his children were famished in the tower at Pisa, by command 
of the Archbishop RugK>eri. He next discourses of the third round, called Ptolomea, 
wherein those arc punished who have betrayed others under the semblance of kindness; 
and among these he finds the Friar Alberigo dc' Manfredi, who tells him of one 
whose soul was already tormented in that place, though his body appeared still td 
be alive upon the earth, being yielded up to the governance of a fiend. 

HIS jaws uplifting from their fell repast. 
That sinner wip)ed them on the hairs o' the 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 the Archbishop he 

•"Count Ugolino." — "In the year Judge Nino di Gallura de' Visconti; an- 

1288, in the month of July, Pisa was other, consisting of others of the same 

much divided by competitors for the faction, by the Count Ugolino de' Ghe- 

sovereignty; one party, composed of cer- rardeschi; and a third by the Archbishop 

tain of the Gueiti, being headed by the Ruggicri degii Ubaldini, with the Lan- 




Ruggieri. Why I neighbor 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 several 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 

Unto the mountain' which forbids the sight 
Of Lucca to the Pisan. With lean brachs 
Inquisitive and keen, before him ranged 

franchi, Sismondi, Gualandi, and other 
Ghibelline houses. The Count Ugolino, 
to effect his purpose, united with the arch- 
bishop and his party, and having betrayed 
Nino, his sister's son, they contrived that 
he and his followers should either be 
driven out of Pisa, or their persons seized. 
Nino hearing this, and not seeing any 
means of defending himself, retired to 
Calci, his castle, and formed an alliance 
with the Florentines and the people of 
Lucca, against the Pisans. The count, be- 
fore Nino was gone, in order to cover his 
treachery, when everything was settled for 
his expulsion, quitted Pisa, and repaired 
to a manor of his called Settimo; whence, 
as soon as he was informed of Nino's de- 
parture, he returned to Pisa with great 
rejoicing and festivity, and was elevated 
to the supreme power with every demon- 
stration of triumph and honor. But his 
greatness was not of long continuance. It 
pleased the Almighty that a total reverse 
of fortune should ensue, as a punishment 
for his acts of treachery and guilt; for he 
was said to have poisoned the Count An- 
sclmo da Capraia, his sister's son, on ac- 
count of the envy and fear excited in his 
mind by the high esteem in which the 
gracious manners of Anselmo were held 

'The mountain S. Giuliano 

by the Pisans. The power of the Guelfi 
being so much diminished, the archbishop 
devised means to betray the Count Ugo- 
lino, and caused him to be suddenly 
attacked in his palace by the fury of the 
people, whom he had exasperated, by 
telling them that Ugolino had betrayed 
Pisa, and given up their casdes to the 
citizens of Florence and of Lucca. He 
was immediately compelled to surrender; 
his bastard son and his grandson fell in 
the assault; and two of his sons, with 
their two sons also, were conveyed to 
prison. ... In the following March, the 
Pisans, who had imprisoned the Count 
Ugolino, with two of his sons and two of 
his grandchildren, the offspring of his sod 
the Count Guclfo, in a tower on the 
Piazza of the Anziani, caused the tower 
to be locked, the key thrown into the 
Arno, and all food to be withheld from 
them. In a few days they died of hunger; 
but the Count first with loud cries de- 
clared his penitence, and yet neither priest 
nor friar alloweil to shrive him. All 
the five, when dead, were dragged out 
of the prison, and meanly interred; and 
from thenceforward the tower was called 
the Tower of Famine, and so shall ever 
be." G. Villani, lib. vii. 
between Pisa and Lucca. 

CANTO xxxni HELL 137 

Lanfranchi with Sismondi and Gualandi. 

After short course the father and the sons 

Seem'd tired 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 uf>on the visage of my sons. 

I wept not: so all stone I felt within. 

They wept: and one, my little Anselm, 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 descried 

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' the sudden, and cried, Tather, we should grieve 

Far less if thou wouldst eat of us: thou gavest 

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 Gaddo 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 

138 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxiii 

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. O thou Pisa! shame 

Of all the people, who their dwelling make 

In that fair region, where the Italian voice 

Is heard; since that thy neighbors 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, Uguccione, and the pair 

Of gende 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 reversed. 

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 dislodged 
Elach 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 vajX)r quench'd?" — "Thou shalt be speedily," 
He answer'd, "where thine eyes 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 litde space, 

' Small islands near the mouth of the Arao. 

CANTO xxxui HELL 139 

Ere it congeal again." I thus replied: 

"Say who thou wast, if thou wouldst have mine 

And if I extricate thee not, far down 
As to the lowest ice may I descend." 

"The friar Alberigo," ■* answer'd 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 oft-times the soul 
Drops hither, ere by Atropos divorced. 
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 arrived below. 
The years are many that have passed 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." 

*"Thc friar Alberigo." Alberiso de' * "Ptolomea." This circle is named 

Manfrcdi, of Faenza, one of the Frati Ptolomca from Ptolemy the son of Abu- 

Godenti (Joyous Friars), who having bus, by whom Simon and his sons were 

quarrelled with some of his brotherhood, murdered, at a great banquet he had 

under pretence of wishing to be rccon- made for them. See I Maccabees, ch. 

ciled, invited them to a banquet, at the xvi. Or from Ptolemy, King of Egypt, 

conclusion of which he called for the the betrayer of Pompey the Great, 

fruit, a signal for the assassins to rush in • "Branca Doria." The family of Doria 

and despatch those whom he had marked was possessed of great influence in Genoa, 

for destruction. Hence, adds Landino, it Branca is said to have murdered his 

is said proverbially of one who has been father-iii-law, Michel Zaoche. See CaotO 

stabbed, that he had had some of the xxii. 
friar Alberigo's fruit. 

140 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxiv 

He thus: "Not yet unto that upper foss 
By th' evil talons guarded, where the pitch 
Tenacious boils, had Michel 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 oped 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 plunged, and yet doth seem 
In body still alive upon the earth. 


Akcument. — In the fourth and last round of the ninth circle, those who have 
betrayed their benefactors are wholly covered with ice. And in the midst is Lucifer, 
at whose back Dante and Virgil ascend, till by a secret path they reach the surface of 
the other hemisphere of the earth, and once more obtain sight of the stars. 

"h I AHE banners of Hell's Monarch do come forth 
I Toward us; therefore look," so spake my guide, 
M "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 pleased that I should see 
^The friar Alberigo. 


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 the ice 
Stood forth; and I in stature am more like 
A giant, than the giants are 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 misery 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, the 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. 
Bruised as with ponderous 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 oft-times the back 
Was stript of all its skin. "That upper spirit. 
Who hath worst punishment," so spake my guide. 

142 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxiv 

"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. The other, Cassius, that appears 
So large of limb. But night now reascends; 
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 of)cd, 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 foresjjent, 
"We must depart from evil so extreme:" 
Then at a rocky opening issued forth, 
And placed me on the brink to sit, next join'd 
With wary step my side. I raised 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 past. 
Bethink them if sore toil oppress'd mc then. 

"Arise," my master cried, "upon thy feet. 
The way is long, and much uncouth the road; 
And now within one hour and a half of noon* 
The sun returns." It was no palace-hall 

' "Brutus." Landino stnigRlcs to cxtri- tus to have been actuated by evil motives 

cate Brutus from the unworthy lot which in putting Caesar to death, the excellence 

is here assigned him. He maintains that of the patriot's character in other respects 

by Brutus and Cassius arc not meant the would only have aggravated his guilt in 

individuals known by those names, but that particular. 

any who put a lawful monarch to death. ' The Poet uses the Hebrew manner of 

Yet if Cxsar was such, the conspirators computing the day, according to which 

might be regarded as deserving of their the third hour answers to our twelve 

doom. If Dante, however, believed Bru- o'clock at noon. 


Lofty and luminous wherein we stood. 

But natural dungeon where ill-footing was 

And scant supply of light. "Ere from the abyss 

I separate," thus when risen I began: 

"My guide! vouchsafe few words to set me free 

From error's thraldom. Where is now the ice? 

How standcth he in posture thus reversed? 

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 the other side the centre, where I grasp'd 

The abhorred worm that boreth through the world. 

Thou wast on the other side, so long as I 

Descended; when I turn'd, thou didst o'erpass 

That point, to which from every part is dragg'd 

All heavy substance. Thou art now arrived 

Under the hemisphere opposed to that, 

Which the great continent doth overspread, 

And underneath whose canopy expired 

The Man, that was born sinless and so lived. 

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 we scaled, yet standeth fix'd, 

As at the first. On this part he fell down 

From Heaven; and th' earth here prominent before, 

Through fear of him did veil her with the sea. 

And to our hemisphere retired. 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 

' The mountain of Purgatory. This word is used to express the whole 

* "The vaulted tomb" ("La tomba"). depth of the infernal region. 

144 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxiv 

To the fair world: and heedless of repose 
We climb'd, he first, I following his steps, 
Till on our view the beautiful lights of Heaven 
Dawn'd through a circular opening in the cave: 
Thence issuing we again beheld the stars. 



Akgument, — The Poet describes the delight he experienced at issuing a little before 
dawn from the infernal regions, into the pure air that surrounds the isle of Purgatory; 
and then relates how, turning to the right, he beheld four stars never seen before, but 
by our first parents, and met on his left the shade of Cato of Utica, who, having 
warned him and Virgil what is needful to be done before they proceed on their way 
through Purgator)', disappears; and the two poets go toward the shore, where Virgil 
cleanses Dante's face with the dew, and girds him with a reed, as Cato had 

^'ER better waves to speed her rapid course 
The hght bark of my genius lifts the sail, 
Well pleased to leave so cruel sea behind; 
And of that second region will I sing, 
In which the human spirit from sinful blot 
Is purged, and for ascent to Heaven prepares. 

Here, O ye hallow'd Nine! for in your train 
I follow, here the deaden'd strain revive; 
Nor let Calliope refuse to sound 
A somewhat higher song, of that loud tone 
Which when the wretched birds of chattering note' 
Had heard, they of forgiveness lost all hope. 

Sweet hue of eastern sapphire, that was spread 
O'er the serene aspect of the pure air, 
High up as the first circle,^ to mine eyes 
Unwonted joy renew'd, soon as I 'scaped 
Forth from the atmosphere of deadly gloom. 
That had mine eyes and bosom fiU'd with grief. 
The radiant planet,' that to love invites, 
Made all the orient laugh, and veil'd beneath 
The Pisces' light,'' that in his [her] escort came. 

' "Birds of chattering note." For the likes to be as far off the rest of the com- 

fable of the daughters of Pierus who mcntators as possible) will have it, the 

challenged the muses to sing, and were highest circle of the stars, 
by them chaniccd into magpies, sec Ovid, ' "Planet." Venus. 

Met. lib. v. fab. 5. * The constellation of the Fish veiled by 

' "The first circle." Either, as some the more luminous body of Venus, then 

suppose, the moon; or, as Lombardi (who a morning star. 


146 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto i 

To the right hand I turn'd, and fix'd my mind 
On the other pole attentive, where I saw 
Four stars^ ne'er seen before save by the ken 
Of our first parents.' Heaven of their rays 
Seem'd joyous. O thou northern site! bereft 
Indeed, and widow'd, since of these deprived. 

As from this view I had desisted, straight 
Turning a litde toward the other pole. 
There from whence now the wain' had disappear'd, 
I saw an old man' standing by my side 
Alone, so worthy of reverence in his look. 
That ne'er from son to father more was owed. 
Low down his beard, and mix'd with hoary white. 
Descended, like his locks, which, parting, fell 
Upon his breast in double fold. The beams 
Of those four luminaries on his face 
So brightly shone, and with such radiance clear 
Deck'd it, that I beheld him as the sun. 

"Say who are ye, that stemming the blind stream. 
Forth from the eternal prison-house have fled?" 
He spoke and moved those venerable plumes. 
"Who hath conducted, or with lantern sure 
Lights you emerging from the depth of night. 
That makes the infernal valley ever black? 
Are the firm statutes of the dread abyss 
Broken, or in high Heaven new laws ordain'd, 
That thus, condemn'd, ye to my caves approach?" 

My guide, then laying hold on me, by words 
And intimations given with hand and head. 
Made my bent knees and eye submissive pay 
Due reverence; then thus to him replied: 

"Not of myself I come; a Dame from heaven* 
Descending, him besought me in my charge 
To bring. But since thy will implies, that more 
Our true condition I unfold at large. 
Mine is not to deny thee thy request. 

' Symbolical of the four cardinal vir- paradise, placed on the summit of Purga- 
tues, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and tory. 
Temperance. ' Charles's Wain, or Bootes. 

• "Our first parents." In the terrestrial • "An old man." Cato. 

' Beatrice. See Hell, ii. 54. 


This mortal ne'er hath seen the farthest gloom; 

But erring by his folly had approach'd 

So near, that little space was left to turn. 

Then, as before I told, I was despatch'd 

To work his rescue; and no way remain'd 

Save this which I have ta'en. I have display 'd 

Before him all the regions of the bad; 

And purpose now those spirits to display, 

That under thy command are purged from sin. 

How I have brought him would be long to say. 

From high descends the virtue, by whose aid 

I to thy sight and hearing him have led. 

Now may our coming please thee. In the search 

Of liberty he journeys: that how dear, 

They know who for her sake have life refused. 

Thou knowest, to whom death for her was sweet 

In Utica, where thou didst leave those weeds, 

That in the last great day will shine so bright. 

For us the eternal edicts are unmoved; 

He breathes, and I of Minos am not bound. 

Abiding in that circle, where the eyes 

Of thy chaste Marcia beam, who still in look 

Prays thee, O hallow'd spirit! to own her thine. 

Then by her love we implore thee, let us pass 

Through thy seven regions;'" for which, best thanks 

I for thy favour will to her return. 

If mention there below thou not disdain." 

"Marcia so pleasing in my sight was found," 
He then to him rejoin'd, "while I was there. 
That all she ask'd me I was fain to grant. 
Now that beyond the accursed stream she dwells. 
She may no longer move mc, by that law," 
Which was ordain'd me, when I issued thence. 
Not so, if Dame from Heaven, as thou sayst, 
Moves and directs thee; then no flattery needs. 
Enough for me that in her name thou ask. 

'" "Through thy seven regions." The " "By that law." When he was dc- 

teven rounds of Purgatory, in which the livcred by Christ from Limbo, a change 
seven capital sins arc punished. of affections accompanied his change of 



Go therefore now: and with a slender reed" 
See that thou duly gird him, and his face 
Lave, till all sordid stain thou wipe from thence. 
For not with eye, by any cloud obscured. 
Would it be seemly before him to come, 
Who stands the foremost minister in Heaven. 
This islet all around, there far beneath. 
Where the wave beats it, on the oozy bed 
Produces store of reeds. No other plant, 
Cover'd with leaves, or harden'd in its stalk. 
There lives, not bending to the water's sway. 
After, this way return not; but the sun 
Will show you, that now rises, where to take 
The mountain in its easiest ascent." 

He disappear'd; and I myself upraised 
Speechless, and to my guide retiring close, 
Toward him turn'd mine eyes. He thus began: 
"My son! observant thou my steps pursue. 
We must retreat to rereward; for that way 
The champain to its low extreme declines." 

The dawn had chased the matin hour of prime, 
Which fled before it, so that from afar 
I spied the trembling of the ocean stream. 

We traversed the deserted plain, as one 
Who, wander'd from his track, thinks every step 
Trodden in vain till he regain the path. 

When we had come, where yet the tender dew 
Strove with the sun, and in a place where fresh 
The wind breathed o'er it, while it slowly dried; 
Both hands extended on the watery grass 
My master placed, in graceful act and kind. 
Whence I of his intent before apprised, 
Stretch'd out to him my cheeks suffused with tears. 
There to my visace he anew restored 
That hue which the dun shades of Hell conceal'd. 

Then on the solitary shore arrived, 
• That never sailing on its waters saw 
Man that could after measure back his course, 
He girt me in such manner as had pleased 
'* A type of simplicity and patience. 


Him who instructed; and, oh strange to tell I 
As he selected every humble plant, 
Wherever one was pluck'd another there 
Resembling, straightway in its place arose. 


AncnMENT. — ^They behold a vessel under conduct of an angel, coming over the 
waves with spirits to Purgatory, among whom, when the passengers have landed, 
Dante recognizes his friend Casclla; but, while they are entertained by him with a 
song, they hear Cato exclaiming against their negligent loitering, and at that rebuke 
hasten forward to the mountain. 

NOW had the sun' to that horizon reach'd, 
That covers, with the most exalted point 
Of its meridian circle, Salem's walls; 
And night, that opposite to him her orb 
Rounds, from the stream of Ganges issued forth. 
Holding the scales,^ that from her hands are dropt 
When she reigns highest:' so that where I was, 
Aurora's white and vermeil-tinctured cheek 
To orange turn'd as she in age increased. 

Meanwhile we linger'd by the water's brink, 
Like men, who, musing on their road, in thought 
Journey, while motionless the body rests. 
When lo! as, near upon the hour of dawn. 
Through the thick vapors Mars with fiery beam 
Glares down in west, over the ocean floor; 
So seem'd, what once again I hope to view, 
A light, so swiftly coming through the sea. 
No winged course might equal its career. 
From which when for a space I had withdrawn 
Mine eyes, to make inquiry of my guide, 
Again I look'd, and saw it grown in size 
And brightness: then on either side appear'd 
Something, but what I knew not, of bright hue, 

• "Now had the sun." Dante was now ^ "When she reigns highest" is (accord- 
antipodal to Jerusalem; so that while the ing to Venturi, whom I have followed) 
sun was setting with respect to that place, "when the autumnal equinox is passed." 
which he supposes to be the middle of Lombard! supposes it to mean "when the 
the inhabited earth, to him it was rising. nights begin to increase, that is, after the 

' The constellation Libra. summer solstice." 

150 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto ii 

And by degrees from underneath it came 

Another. My preceptor silent yet 

Stood, while the brightness, that we first discern'd, 

Open'd the form of wings: then when he knew 

The pilot, cried aloud, "Down, down; bend low 

Thy knees; behold God's angel: fold thy hands: 

Now shalt thou see true ministers indeed. 

Lo! how all human means he sets at naught; 

So that nor oar he needs, nor other sail 

Except his wings, between such distant shores. 

Lo! how straight up to Heaven he holds them rear'd. 

Winnowing the air with those eternal plumes, 

That not like mortal hairs fall off or change." 

As more and more toward us came, more bright 
Appear'd the bird of God, nor could the eye 
Endure his splendor near: I mine bent down. 
He drove ashore in a small bark so swift 
And light, that in its course no wave it drank. 
The heavenly steersman at the prow was seen, 
Visibly written Blessed in his looks. 
Within a hundred spirits and more there sat. 

"In Exitu* Israel de Egypto," 
All with one voice together sang, with what 
In the remainder of that hymn is writ. 
Then soon as with the sign of holy cross 
He bless'd them, they at once leap'd out on land: 
He, swifdy as he came, return'd. The crew. 
There left, appear'd astounded with the place, 
Gazing around, as one who sees new sights. 

From every side the sun darted his beams. 
And with his arrowy radiance from mid heaven 
Had chased the Capricorn, when that strange tribe, 
Lifting their eyes toward us: "If ye know. 
Declare what path will lead us to the mount." 

Them Virgil answer'd: "Ye suppose, perchance, 
Us well acquainted with this place: but here, 
We, as yourselves, are strangers. Not long erst 
We came, before you but a little space. 
By other road so rough and hard, that now 
* 'In Exitu." "When Israel came out of Egypt." Ps. cxiv. 


The ascent will seem to us as play." The spirits, 
Who from my breathing had perceived I lived, 
Grew pale with wonder. As the multitude 
Flock round a herald sent with olive branch, 
To hear what news he brings, and in their haste 
Tread one another down; e'en so at sight 
Of me those happy spirits were fix'd, each one 
Forgetful of its errand to depart 
Where, cleansed from sin, it might be made all fair. 

TTien one I saw darting before the rest 
With such fond ardour to embrace me, I 
To do the like was moved. O shadows vain! 
Except in outward semblance: thrice my hands 
I clasp'd behind it, they as oft return'd 
ILmpty into my breast again. Surprise 
I need must think was painted in my looks. 
For that the shadow smiled and backward drew. 
To follow it I hasten'd, but with voice 
Of sweetness it enjoin'd me to desist. 
Then who it was I knew, and pray'd of it. 
To talk with me it would a little pause. 
It answer 'd: "Thee as in my mortal frame 
I loved, so loosed from it I love thee still. 
And therefore pause: but why walkest thou here?" 

"Not without purpose once more to return. 
Thou find'st me, my Casella,' where I am. 
Journeying this way;" I said: "but how of thee 
Hath so much time been lost?" He answer'd straight: 

"No outrage hath been done to me, if he,' 
Who when and whom he chooses takes, hath oft 
Denied me passage here; since of just will 
His will he makes. These three months past' indeed. 
He, who so chose to enter, with free leave 

' "My Casella." A Florentine, cele- Than his Casclla, whom he wooed to 

bratcd for his skill in music, "in whose sing, 

company, says Landino, "Dante often re- Met in the milder shades of Purgatory." 

created his spirits, wearied by severer ' "He." The conducting angel, 

studies." See Dr. Burncy's History of ' "These three months past." Since the 

Music, vol. ii. cap. iv., p. 322. See also time of the Jubilee, during which all 

Milton's sonnet to Henry Lawes: spirits not condeomed to eternal punisb- 

'Dante shall give fame leave to set thee mcnt were supposed to past over to 

higher Purgatory as soon as they pleased. 

152 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto ii 

Hath taken; whence I wandering by the shore' 
Where Tiber's wave grows salt, of him gain'd kind 
Admittance, at that river's mouth, toward which 
His wings are pointed; for there always throng 
All such as not to Acheron descend." 

Then I: "If new law taketh not from thee 
Memory or custom of love-tuned song, 
That whilom all my cares had power to 'swage; 
Please thee therewith a little to console 
My spirit, that encumber'd with its frame. 
Travelling so far, of pain is overcome." 

"Love, that discourses in my thoughts," he then 
Began in such soft accents, that within 
The sweetness thrills me yet. My gentle guide. 
And all who came with him, so well were pleased, 
That seem'd naught else might in their thoughts have 

Fast fix'd in mute attention to his notes 
We stood, when lol that old man venerable 
Exclaiming, "How is this, ye tardy spirits? 
What negligence detains you loitering here? 
Run to the mountain to cast off those scales, 
That from your eyes the sight of God conceal." 

As a wild flock of pigeons, to their food 
Collected, blade or tares, without their pride 
Accustom'd, and in still and quiet sort. 
If aught alarm them, suddenly desert 
Their meal, assail'd by more important care; 
So I that new<ome troop beheld, the song 
Deserting, hasten to the mountain's side. 
As one who goes, yet, where he tends, knows not. 

Nor with less hurried step did we depart. 
* "The shore." Ostia. 



Argument. — Our Poet, perceiving no shadow except that cast by his own body, is 
fearful that Virgil has deserted him; but he is freed from that error, and both arrive 
together at the foot of the mountain; on finding it too steep to climb, they inquire 
the way from a troop of spirits that are coming toward them, and are by them shown 
which is the easiest ascent. Manfredi, King of Naples, who is one of these spirits, bids 
Dante inform his daughter Costanza, Queen of Arragon, of the manner in which he 
had died. 

THEM sudden flight had scatter'd o'er the plain, 
Turn'd toward the mountain, whither reason's 
Drives us: I, to my faithful company 
Adhering, left it not. For how, of him 
Deprived, might I have sped.' or who, beside, 
Would o'er the mountainous tract have led my steps.' 
He, with the bitter pang of self-remorse, 
Seem'd smitten. O clear conscience, and upright! 
How doth a little failing wound thee sore. 

Soon as his feet desisted (slackening pace) 
From haste, that mars all decency of act, 
My mind, that in itself before was wrapt, 
Its thought expanded, as with joy restored; 
And full against the steep ascent I set 
My face, where highest to Heaven its top o'erflows. 

The sun, that flared behind, with ruddy beam 
Before my form was broken; for in me 
His rays resistance met. I turn'd aside 
With fear of being left, when I beheld 
Only before myself the ground obscured. 
When thus my solace, turning him around, 
Bespake me kindly: "Why distrustest thou? 
Believest not I am with thee, thy sure guide? 
It now is evening there, where buried lies 
The body in which I cast a shade, removed 
To Naples' from Brundusium's wall. Nor thou 
Marvel, if before me no shadow fall, 
More than that in the skyey element 
One ray obstructs not other. To endure 
Torments of heat and cold extreme, like frames 

' "To Naples." Virgil died at Brundusium, from whence his body is said to have 
been removed to Naples. 

154 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto m 

That virtue hath disposed, which, how it works. 
Wills not to us should be reveal'd. Insane, 
Who hojjes our reason may that space explore. 
Which holds three persons in one substance knit. 
Seek not the wherefore, race of human kind; 

Could ye have seen the whole, no need had been 
For Mary to bring forth. Moreover, ye 
Have seen such men desiring fruitlessly; 
To whose desires, refx)se would have been given. 
That now but serve them for eternal grief. 
I speak of Plato, and the Stagirite, 
And others many more." And then he bent 
Downward his forehead, and in troubled mood 
Broke off his speech. Meanwhile we had arrived 
Far as the mountain's foot, and there the rock 
Found of so steep ascent, that nimblest steps 
To climb it had been vain. The most remote. 
Most wild, untrodden path, in all the tract 
Twixt Lerice and Turbia,* were to this 
A ladder easy and open of access. 

"Who knows on which hand now the steep declines?** 
My master said, and paused; "so that he may 
Ascend, who Journeys without aid of wing?" 
And while, with looks directed to the ground, 
The meaning of the pathway he explored, 
And I gazed upward round the stony height; 
On the left hand appeat'd to us a troop 
Of spirits, that toward us moved their steps; 
Yet moving seem'd not, they so slow approach'd. 

I thus my guide address'd: "Upraise thine eyes: 
Lo! that way some, of whom thou mayst obtain 
Counsel, if of thyself thou flnd'st it not." 

Straightway he look'd, and with free speech replied; 
"Let us tend thither: they but sofdy come. 
And thou be firm in hope, my son beloved." 

Now was that crowd from us distant as far, 
(When we some thousand steps, I say, had past,) 
As at a throw the nervous arm could fling; 

^ "Twixt Lerice and Turbia." At that republic; the former on the east, the 
time the two rxtremities of the Genoese latter on the west. 


When all drew backward on the massy crags 
Of the steep bank, and firmly stood unmoved, 
As one, who walks in doubt, might stand to look. 

"O spirits perfect! O already choseni" 
Virgil to them began: "by that blest peace. 
Which, as I deem, is for you all prepared. 
Instruct us where the mountain low declines, 
So that attempt to mount it be not vain. 
For who knows most, him loss of time most grieves." 

As sheep, that step from forth their fold, by one. 
Or pairs, or three at once; meanwhile the rest 
Stand fearfully, bending the eye and nose 
To ground, and what the foremost does, that do 
The others, gathering round her if she stops, 
Simple and quiet, nor the cause discern; 
So saw I moving to advance the first. 
Who of that fortunate crew were at the head, 
Of modest mien, and graceful in their gait. 
When they before me had beheld the light 
From my right side fall broken on the ground. 
So that the shadow reach'd the cave; they stopp'd, 
And somewhat back retired: the same did all 
Who follow 'd, though unweeting of the cause. 

"Unask'd of you, yet freely I confess. 
This is a human body which ye see. 
That the sun's light is broken on the ground, 
Marvel not: but believe, that not without 
Virtue derived from Heaven, we to climb 
Over this wall aspire." So them bespake 
My master; and that virtuous tribe rejoin'd: 
"Turn, and before you there the entrance lies;" 
Making a signal to us with bent hands. 

Then of them one began. "Whoe'er thou art. 
Who journey 'st thus this way, thy visage turn; 
Think if me elsewhere thou hast ever seen." 

I toward him turn'd, and with fix'd eye beheld. 
Comely and fair, and gende of aspect 
He seem'd, but on one brow a gash was mark'd. 

When humbly I disclaim'd to have beheld 
Him ever: "Now behold!" he said, and show'd 


High on his breast a wound: then smiling spake. 

"I am Manfredi,' grandson to the Queen 
Costanza:* whence I pray thee, when return'd. 
To my fair daughter^ go, the parent glad 
Of Aragonia and Sicilia's pride; 
And of the truth inform her, if of me 
Aught else be told. When by two mortal blows 
My frame was shatter'd, I betook myself 
Weeping to Him, who of free will forgives. 
My sins were horrible: but so wide arms 
Hath goodness infinite, that it receives 
All who turn to it. Had this text divine 
Been of Cosenza's shepherd better scann'd. 
Who then by Clement* on my hunt was set. 
Yet at the bridge's head my bones had lain, 
Near Benevento, by the heavy mole 
Protected; but the rain now drenches them. 
And the wind drives, out of the kingdom's bounds, 
Far as the stream of Verde,' where, with lights 
Extinguish'd, he removed them from their bed. 
Yet by their curse we are not so destroy 'd. 
But that the eternal love may turn, while hope 
Retains her verdant blossom. True it is, 
That such one as in contumacy dies 

' "Manfredi." King of Naples and said, that afterward, by command of the 
Sicily, and the natural son of Frederick Pope, the Bishop of Cosenza took up his 
11. He was lively and agreeable in his body and sent it out of the kingdom, be- 
manncrs, delighted in poetry, music, and cause it was the land of the Church; and 
dancing. But he was luxurious and am- that it was buried by the river Verde, on 
bitious, void of religion, and in his the borders of the kingdom and of Cam- 
philosophy an Epicurean. He fell in the pagna." 

battle with Charles of Anjou in 1265, * See Paradise, Canto iii. 121. 

alluded to in Canto xxviii of Hell, ver. 'Costanza, the daughter of Manfredi, 

13, or rather in that of Benevento. The and wife of Peter III, King of Arragon, 

successes of Charles were so rapidly fol- by whom she was mother to Frederick, 

lowed up, that our author, exact as he King of Sicily, and )ames. King of Ar- 

generally is, might not have thought it ragon. With the latter of these she wa» 

necessary to distinguish them in point of at Rome, 1296. 

time. "Dying excommunicated. King • "Clement." Pope Clement IV. 

Cliarles did not allow of his being buried ' "The stream of Verde." A river near 

in sacred ground, but he was interred Ascoli, that falls into the Tronto. The 

near the bridge of Benevento; and on his "extinguished lights" formed part of the 

grave there was cast a stone by every one ceremony at the interment of one cx- 

of the army, whence there was formed communicated. 
a great mound of stones. But some have 


Against the holy Church, though he repent, 

Must wander thirty-fold for all the time 

In his presumption past: if such decree 

Be not by prayers of good men shorter made. 

Look therefore if thou canst advance my bliss; 

Revealing to my good Costanza, how 

Thou hast beheld me, and beside, the terms 

Laid on me of that interdict; for here 

By means of those below much profit comes." 


Argument. — Dante and Virgil ascend the mountain of Purgatory, by a steep and 
narrow path pent in on each side by rock, till they reach a part of it that opens into 
a ledge or cornice. There scaling themselves, and turning to the east, Dante wonders 
at seeing the sun on their left, the cause of which is explained to him by Virgil; 
and while they continue their discourse, a voice addresses them, at which they turn, 
and find several spirits behind the rock, and among the rest one named Belacqua, 
who had been known to our Poet on earth, and who tells that he is doomed to linger 
there on account of his having delayed his repentance to the last. 

WHEN by sensations of delight or pain, 
That any of our faculties hath seized, 
Entire the soul collects herself, it seems 
She is intent upon that power alone; 
And thus the error is disproved, which holds 
The soul not singly lighted in the breast. 
And therefore whenas aught is heard or seen, 
That firmly keeps the soul toward it turn'd, 
Time passes, and a man perceives it not. 
For that, whereby we hearken, is one power; 
Another that, which the whole spirit hath: 
This is as it were bound, while that is free. 

This found I true by proof, hearing that spirit 
And wondering; for full fifty steps' aloft 
The sun had measured, unobserved of me, 
When we arrived where all with one accord 
The spirits shouted, "Here is what ye ask." 

A larger aperture oft-times is stopt, 
With forked stake of thorn by villager, 
When the ripe grape imbrowns, than was the path, 
' Three hours twenty minutes; fifteen degrees being reckoned to an hour. 

158 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto iv 

By which my guide, and I behind him close, 

Ascended sohtary, when that troop 

Departing left us. On Sanleo's' road 

Who journeys, or to Noli' low descends, 

Or mounts Bismantua's* height, must use his feet; 

But here a man had need to fly, I mean 

With the swift wing and plumes of high desire, 

Conducted by his aid, who gave me hope. 

And with light furnish'd to direct my way. 

We through the broken rock ascended, close 
Pent on each side, while underneath the ground 
Ask'd help of hands and feet. When we arrived 
Near on the highest ridge of the steep bank. 
Where the plain level open'd, I exdaim'd, 
"O Master! say, which way can we proceed." 

He answer'd, "Let no step of thine recede. 
Behind me gain the mountain, till to us 
Some practised guide appear." That eminence 
Was lofty, that no eye might reach its point; 
And the side proudly rising, more than line 
From the mid quadrant to the centre drawn. 
1, wearied, thus began: "Parent beloved! 
Turn and behold how I remain alone. 
If thou stay not." — "My son!" he straight replied, 
"Thus far put forth thy strength;" and to a track 
Pointed, that, on this side projecting, round 
Circles the hill. His words so spurr'd me on. 
That I, behind him, clambering, forced myself, 
Till my feet press'd the circuit plain beneath. 
There both together seated, turn'd we round 
To eastward, whence was our ascent: and oft 
Many beside have with delight look'd back. 

First on the nether shores I turn'd mine eyes. 
Then raised them to the sun, and wondering mark'd 
That from the left it smote us. Soon perceived 
That poet sage, how at the car of light 

* "Sanleo." A fortress on the summit ' "Noli." In the Genoese territor>', be- 

of Montcfcltro. The situation b described twecn Finale and Savona. 
by Troya, Veltro Allegorico, p. 11. It is * "Bismantua." A steep mountain in 

a conspicuous object to travellers along the territory of Reggio. 
the cornice on the Riviera di Genoa. 


Amazed' I stood, where 'twixt us and the north 
Its course it enter'd. Whence he thus to me: 
"Were Leda's offspring' now in company 
Of that broad mirror, that high up and low 
Imparts his light beneath, thou mightst behold 
The ruddy Zodiac nearer to the Bears 
Wheel, if its ancient course it not forsook. 
How that may be, if thou wouldst think; within 
Pondering, imagine Sion with this mount 
Placed on the earth, so that to both be one 
Horizon, and two hemispheres apart. 
Where lies the path' that Phaeton ill knew 
To guide his erring chariot: thou wilt see' 
How of necessity by this, on one. 
He passes, while by that on the other side; 
If with clear view thine intellect attend." 

"Of truth, kind teacher!" I exclaim'd, "so clear 
Aught saw I never, as I now discern. 
Where seem'd my ken to fail, that the mid orb' 
Of the supernal motion (which in terms 
Of art is call'd the Equator, and remains 
Still 'twixt the sun and winter) for the cause 
Thou hast assign'd, from hence toward the north 
Departs, when those, who in the Hebrew land 
Were dwellers, saw it towards the warmer part. 
But if it please thee, I would gladly know, 

' "Amazed." He wonders that being the Zodiac never changes, nor appears to 

turned to the east he should see the sun change, with respect to the remainder of 

on his left, since in all the regions on this the heavens." — Lombardi. 

side of the tropic of Cancer it is seen on ' "The path." The ecliptic, 

the right of one who turns his face ' "Thou wilt see." "If you consider 

toward the east; not recollecting that he that this mountain of Purgatory, and that 

was now antipodal to Europe, from of Sion, are antipodal to each other, you 

whence he had seen the sun taking an will perceive that the sun must rise on 

opposite course. opposite sides of the respective emi- 

' "As the constellation of the Gemini is ncnces." 

nearer the Bears than Aries is, it is certain * "That the mid orb." "That the equa- 

that if the sun, instead of being in Aries, tor (which is always situated between that 

had been in Gemini, both the sun and part where, when the sun is, he causes 

that portion of the Zodiac made 'ruddy' summer, and the other where his absence 

by the sun, would have been seen to produces winter) recedes from this moun- 

'wheel nearer to the Bears.' By the 'ruddy tain toward the north, at the time when 

Zodiac' must necessarily be understood the Jews inhabiting Mount Sion saw it 

that portion of the Zodiac affected or depart toward the south." — Lombardi. 
made red by the sun; for the whole of 



How far we have to journey: for the hill 

Mounts higher, than this sight of mine can mount." 

He thus to me: "Such is this steep ascent, 
That it is ever difficult at first, 
But more a man proceeds, less evil grows.'" 
When pleasant it shall seem to thee, so much 
That upward going shall be easy to thee 
As in a vessel to go down the tide. 
Then of this path thou wilt have reach'd the end. 
There hop* to rest thee from thy toil. No more 
I answer, and thus far from certain know." 
As he his words had spoken, near to us 
A voice there sounded: "Yet ye first perchance 
May to repose you by constraint be led." 
At sound thereof each turn'd; and on the left 
A huge stone we beheld, of which nor I 
Nor he before was ware. Thither we drew; 
And there were some, who in the shady place 
Behind the rock were standing, as a man 
Through idleness might stand. Among them one, 
Who seem'd to be much wearied, sat him down. 
And with his arms did fold his knees about. 
Holding his face between them downward bent. 

"Sweet Sir!" I cried, "behold that man who shows 
Himself more idle than if laziness 
Were sister to him." Straight he turn'd to us. 
And, o'er the thigh lifting his face, observed. 
Then in these accents spake: "Up then, proceed. 
Thou valiant one." Straight who it was I knew; 
Nor could the pain I felt (for want of breath 
Still somewhat urged me) hinder my approach. 
And when I came to him, he scarce his head 
Uplifted, saying, "Well hast thou discern'd, 
How from the left the sun his chariot leads?" 

His lazy acts and broken words my lips 
To laughter somewhat moved; when I began: 
"Belacqua," now for thee I grieve no more. 

"Because in ascending he gets rid of Belacqua was an excellent master of the 

the weight of his sins. harp and lute, but ver>' negligent in his 

" In the margin of the Monte Casino affairs both spiritual and temporal." 
MS. there is found this brief notice: "This 


But tell, why thou art seated upright there. 
Waitest thou escort to conduct thee hence? 
Or blame I only thine accustom'd ways?" 
Then he: "My brother! of what use to mount. 
When, to my suffering, would not let me pass 
The bird of God, who at the portal sits? 
Behoves so long that Heaven first bear me round 
Without its limits, as in life it bore; 
Because I, to the end, repentant sighs 
Delay 'd; if prayer do not aid me first, 
That riseth up from heart which lives in grace. 
What other kind avails, not heard in Heaven?" 

Before me now the poet, up the mount 
Ascending, cried: "Haste thee: for see the sun 
Has touch'd the point meridian; and the night 
Now covers with her foot Marocco's shore." 


Akgument. — ^TTicy meet with others, who had deferred their repentance till over- 
taken by a violent death, when sufficient space being allowed them, they were then 
saved; and among these, Giacopo del Casscro, Buoncontc da Montefeltro, and Pia, 
a lady of Siena. 

NOW had I left those spirits, and pursued 
The steps of my conductor; when behind, 
Pointing the finger at me, one exdaim'd: 
cjee, now it seems as if the light not shone 
From the left hand' of him beneath,' and he. 
As living, seems to be led on." Mine eyes, 
I at that sound reverting, saw them gaze. 
Through wonder, first at me; and then at me 
And the light broken underneath, by turns. 
"Why are thy thoughts thus riveted," my guide 
Exclaim'd, "that thou hast slack'd thy pace? or how 
Imports it thee, what thing is whisper'd here? 
Come after me, and to their babblings leave 

'The sun was, therefore, on the right left; so now that they are again going 

of our travellers. For, as before, when forward, it must be on the opposite side 

seated and looking to the cast whence of them, 

they had ascended, the sun was on their ^ Of Dante, following Virgil, 

1 62 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto v 

The crowd. Be as a tower, that, firmly set. 

Shakes not its top for any blast that blows. 

He, in whose bosom thought on thought shoots out, 

Still of his aim is wide, in that the one 

Sicklies and wastes to naught the other's strength." 

What other could I answer, save "I come".? 
I said it, somewhat with that color tinged, 
Which oft-times pardon meriteth for man. 

Meanwhile traverse along the hill there came, 
A little way before us, some who sang 
The "Miserere" in responsive strains. 
When they f)erceived that through my body I 
Gave way not for the rays to pass, their song 
Straight to a long and hoarse exclaim they changed; 
And two of them, in guise of messengers. 
Ran on to meet us, and inquiring ask'd: 
"Of your condition we would gladly learn." 

To them my guide: "Ye may return, and bear 
Tidings to them who sent you, that his frame 
Is real flesh. If, as I deem, to view 
His shade they paused, enough is answer'd them: 
Him let them honor: they may prize him well." 

Ne'er saw I fiery vapors with such speed 
Cut through the serene air at fall of night, 
Nor August's clouds athwart the setting sun. 
That upward these did not in shorter space 
Return; and, there arriving, with the rest 
Wheel back on us, as with loose rein a troop. 

"Many," exclaim'd the bard, "are these, who throng 
Around us: to petition thee, they come. 
Go therefore on, and listen as thou go'st." 

"O spirit! who go'st on to blessedness. 
With the same limbs that clad thee at thy birth," 
Shouting they came: "a little rest thy step. 
Look if thou any one amongst our tribe 
Hast e'er beheld, that tidings of him there' 
Thou mayst report. Ah, wherefore go'st thou on? 
Ah, wherefore tarriest thou not? We all 
By violence died, and to our latest hour 
* "There." Upon the earth. 


Were sinners, but then warn'd by light from Heaven; 
So that, repenting and forgiving, we 
Did issue out of life at peace with God, 
Who, with desire to see Him, fills our heart." 

Then I: "The visages of all I scan, 
Yet none of ye remember. But if aught 
That I can do may please you, gentle spirits! 
Sfwak, and I will perform if, by that peace. 
Which, on the steps of guide so excellent 
Following, from world to world, intent I seek." 

In answer he began: "None here distrusts 
Thy kindness, though not promised with an oath; 
So as the will fail not for want of power. 
Whence I, who sole before the other spieak. 
Entreat thee, if thou ever see that land* 
Which lies between Romagna and the realm 
Of Charles, that of thy courtesy thou pray 
Those who inhabit Fano, that for me 
Their adorations duly be put up. 
By which I may purge off my grievous sins. 
From thence I came.' But the deep passages, 
Whence issued out the blood* wherein I dwelt, 
Ujjon my bosom in Antenor's land' 
Were made, where to be more secure I thought. 
The author of the deed was Este's prince. 
Who, more than right could warrant, with his wrath 
Pursued me. Had 1 toward Mira fled. 
When overta'en at Oriaco, still 
Might I have breathed. But to the marsh I sped; 
And in the mire and rushes tangled there 
Fell, and beheld my life-blood float the plain." 

Then said another: "Ah! so may the wish. 
That takes thee o'er the mountain, be fulfiU'd, 
As thou shalt graciously give aid to mine. 

*The Marca d' Ancona, between Ro- Brcnta, whence, if he had fled toward 

magna and Apulia, the kingdom of Mira, higher up on that river, instead of 

Charles of Anjou. making for the marsh on the sea-shore, 

' Giacopo del Cassero, a citizen of he might have escaped. 
Fano, who having spoken ill of A7.Z0 da " Supposed to be the seat of life. 

Este, Marquis of Ferrara, was by his ' Padua, said to be founded by Antenor. 

orders put to death. Giacopo was over- This implies a reflection on the Paduans. 

taken by the assassins at Oriaco, near the See Hell, xxxii. 89. 


Of Montefeltro I;' Buonconte I: 
Giovanna' nor none else have care for me; 
Sorrowing with these I therefore go." I thus: 
"From Campaldino's field what force or chance 
Drew thee, that ne'er thy sepulture was known?" 

"Oh!" answer 'd he, "at Casentino's foot 
A stream there courseth, named Archiano, sprung 
In Apennine above the hermit's seat.'" 
E'en where its name is cancel'd," there came I, 
Pierced in the throat, fleeing away on foot, 
And bloodying the plain. Here sight and speech 
Fail'd me; and, finishing with Mary's name, 
I fell, and tenandess my flesh remain'd. 
I will report the truth; which thou again 
Tell to the living. Me God's angel took. 
Whilst he of Hell exclaim'd: 'O thou from Heaven! 
Say wherefore hast thou robb'd me? Thou of him 
The eternal portion bcar'st with thee away. 
For one poor tear that he deprives me of. 
But of the other, other rule I make.' 

"Thou know'st how in the atmosphere collects 
That vapour dank, returning into water 
Soon as it mounts where cold condenses it. 
That evil will," which in his intellect 
Still follows evil, came; and raised the wind 
And smoky mist, by virtue of the power 
Given by his nature. Thence the valley, soon 
As day was spent, he cover'd o'er with cloud. 
From Pratomagno to the mountain range;" 
And stretch'd the sky above; so that the air 
Impregnate changed to water. Fell the rain; 
And to the fosses came all that the land 

' Buonconte, son of Cuido da Monte- " The Devil. This notion of the Evil 

feltro (sec also the twenty-seventh canto Spirit having power over the elements, 

of Hell), fell in the battle of Campaldino ap|X!ars to have arisen from his beinj; 

(1289), (ighting on the side of the termed the "prince of the air," in the 

Arctini. In this engagement our Poet took New Testament, 

a distinguished part. " From Pratomagno, now called Prato 

' Wife or kinswoman of Buonconte. Vecchio (which divides the Valdarno 

'"The hermitage of Camaldoli. fiom Casentino), as far as to the Apen- 

" Between Bibbiena and Poppi, where nines. 
the Archiano joins the Arno. 


Contain'd not; and, as mightiest streams are wont, 

To the great river, with such headlong sweep, 

Rush'd, that naught stay'd its course. My stiffen'd frame 

Laid at his mouth, the fell Archiano found, 

And dashed it into Arno; from my breast 

Loosening the cross, that of myself I made 

When overcome with pain. He hurl'd me on. 

Along the banks and bottom of his course; 

Then in his muddy sf>oils encircling wrapt." 

"Ah! when thou to the world shalt be return'd, 
And rested after thy long road," so spake 
Next the third spirit; "then remember me. 
I once was Pia.'* Sienna gave me life; 
Maremma took it from me. That he knows. 
Who me with jewel'd ring had first espoused." 


.Argument. — ^Many besides, who arc in like case with those spoken of in the last 
Canto, beseech our Poet to obtain for them the prayers of their friends, when he shall 
be returned to this world. This moves him to express a doubt to his guide, how the 
dead can be profited by the prayers of the living; for the solution of which doubt 
he is referred to Beatrice. Afterward he meets with Sordello the Mantuan. whose 
affection, shown to Virgil his countryman, leads Dante to break forth into an invective 
against the unnatural divisions with which Italy, and more especially Florence, was 

WHEN from their game of dice men separate. 
He who hath lost remains in sadness fix'd. 
Revolving in his mind what luckless throws 
He cast: but, meanwhile, all the company 
Go with the other; one before him runs, 
And one behind his mantle twitches, one 
Fast by his side bids him remember him. 
He stops not; and each one, to whom his hand 
Is stretch'd, well knows he bids him stand aside; 
And thus' he from the press defends himself. 
E'en such was I in that close<rowding throng; 

'*"Pia." She is said to have been a Maremma, where he had some posses- 
Siennese lady, of the family of Tolommei, sions. 

secretly made away with by her husband, ' "And thus." It was usual for money 

Nello dclla Pietra, of the same city, in to be given to bystanders at play by 


l66 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto vi 

And turning so my face around to all, 
And promising, I 'scaped from it with pains. 

Here of Arezzo him' I saw, who fell 
By Ghino's cruel arm; and him beside,' 
Who in his chase was swallow'd by the stream. 
Here Frederic Novello,* with his hand 
Stretch'd forth, entreated; and of Pisa he,* 
Who put the good Marzucco to such proof 
Of constancy. Count Orso' I beheld; 
And from its frame a soul dismiss'd for spite 
And envy, as it said, but for no crime; 
I speak of Peter de la Brosse:' and here. 
While she yet lives, that Lady of Brabant, 
Let her beware; lest for so false a deed 
She herd with worse than these. When I was freed 
From all those spirits, who pray'd for others' prayers 
To hasten on their state of blessedness; 
Straight I began: "O thou, my luminary! 
It seems expressly in thy text denied. 
That Heaven's supreme decree can ever bend 
To supplication; yet with this design 
Do these entreat. Can then their hope be vain? 

* Beniocasa of Arezzo, eminent for his came his resentment, that he even kissed 
skill in jurisprudence, who having con- the hands of the slayer of his son, and 
demned to death Turrino da Turrita, as he was followinu the funeral, exhorted 
brother of Ghino di Tacco, for his rob- his kinsmen to reconciliation. 

berics in Maremma, was murdered by ' "Count Orso." Son of Napoleone da 

Ghino, in an apartment of his own house, Cerbaia, slain by Alberto da Mangona, his 

in the presence of many witnesses. Ghino uncle. 

was not only suffered to escape in safety, ' Secretary of Philip III of France. The 

but obtained so hish a reputation by the courtiers envying the high place which 

liberality with which he dispensed the he held in the King's favor, prevailed on 

fruits of his plunder, and treated those Mary of Brabant to charge him falsely 

who fell into his hands with so much with an attempt upon her person; for 

courtesy, that he was afterward invited to which supposed crime he suffered death. 

Rome, and knighted by Boniface VIII. So say the Italian commentators. Henault 

'Cione, or Ciacco de' Tarlatti of represents the matter very differently: 

Arezzo, carried by his horse into the "Pierre de la Brosse, formerly barber to 

Arno, and there drowned, while in pur- St. Louis, afterward the favorite of 

suit of enemies. Philip, fearing the too great attachment 

* "Frederic Novello." Son of the Conte of the King for his wife Mary, accuses this 
Guido da Battifolle, and slain by one of princess of having poisoned Louis, eldest 
the family of Bostoli. son of Philip, by his first marriage. This 

' Farinata de' Scornigiani, of Pisa. His calumny is discovered by a nun of Nivelle, 
father, Marzucco, who had entered the in Flanders. La Brosse is hanged." 
order of the Frati Minori, so entirely over- 


Or is thy saying not to me reveai'd?" 

He thus to me: "Both what I write is plain, 
And these deceived not in their hof)e; if well 
Thy mind consider, that the sacred height 
Of judgment doth not stoop, because love's flame 
In a short moment all fulfills, which he, 
Who sojourns here, in right should satisfy. 
Besides, when I this point concluded thus. 
By praying no defect could be supplied; 
Because the prayer had none access to God. 
Yet in this deep suspicion rest thou not 
Contented, unless she assure thee so. 
Who betwixt truth and mind infuses light: 
I know not if thou take me right; I mean 
Beatrice. Her thou shalt behold above. 
Upon this mountain's crown, fair seat of joy." 
Then I: "Sir! let us mend our speed; for now 
I tire not as before: and lo! the hill' 
Stretches its shadow far." He answer'd thus: 
"Our progress with this day shall be as much 
As we may now despatch; but otherwise 
Than thou supposes! is the truth. For there 
Thou canst not be, ere thou once more behold 
Him back returning, who behind the steep 
Is now so hidden, that, as erst, his beam 
Thou dost not break. But lo! a spirit there 
Stands solitary, and toward us looks: 
It will instruct us in the speediest way." 

We soon approach'd it. O thou Lombard spirit! 
How didst thou stand, in high abstracted mood, 
Scarce moving with slow dignity thine eyes. 
It spoke not aught, but let us onward pass, 
Eying us as a lion on his watch. 
But Virgil, with entreaty mild, advanced, 
Requesting it to show the best ascent. 
It answer to his question none return'd; 
But of our country and our kind of life 
Demanded. When my courteous guide began, 
"Mantua," the shadow, in itself absorb'd, 
' "The hill." It was now past the moon. 


Rose toward us from the place in which it stood, 
And cried, "Mantuan! I am thy countryman, 
Sordello." ' Each the other then embraced. 

Ah, slavish Italy! thou inn of grief! 
Vessel without a pilot in loud storm! 
Lady no longer of fair provinces. 
But brothel-house impure! this gentle spirit, 
Even from the pleasant sound of his dear land 
Was prompt to greet a fellow citizen 
With such glad cheer: while now thy living ones 
In thee abide not without war; and one 
Malicious gnaws another; ay, of those 
Whom the same wall and the same moat contains. 
Seek, wretched one! around the sea<oasts wide; 
Then homeward to thy bosom turn; and mark, 
If any part of thee sweet peace enjoy. 
What boots it, that thy reins Justinian's hand 
Refitted, if thy saddle be unprest? 
Naught doth he now but aggravate thy shame. 
Ah, people! thou obedient still should'st live, 
And in the saddle let thy Czsar sit, 
If well thou marked'st that which God commands. 

Look how that beast to fellness hath relapsed. 
From having lost correction of the spur, 
Since to the bridle thou hast set thine hand, 
O German Albert!'" who abandon'st her 
That is grown savage and unmanageable. 
When thou shouldst clasp her flanks with forked heels. 
Just judgment from the stars fall on thy blood; 
And be it strange and manifest to all; 
Such as may strike thy successor" with dread; 
For that thy sire" and thou have sufler'd thus, 

•Sordcllo's life is wrapt in obscurity. "Henry of Luxemburg, by whose in- 

Hc distinguished himself by his skill in terposition in the affairs of Italy our Poet 

Provencal poetry and many feats of mili- hoped to have been reinstated in his 

tary prowess have been attributed to him. native city. 

It is probable that he was born at the " The Emperor Rodolph, too intent on 

end of the twelfth, and died about the increasing his power in Germany to give 

middle of the succeeding, century. much of his thoughts to Italy, "the garden 

'" The Emperor Albert I succeeded of the empire." 
Adolphus in 1298, and was murdered in 
1308. Sec Paradise, Canto xix. 1 14. 


Through greediness of yonder realms detain'd, 

The garden of the empire to run waste. 

Come, see the Capulets and Montagues," 

The Filippeschi and Monaldi," man 

Who carest for naught! those sunk in grief, and these 

With dire suspicion rack'd. Come, cruel one! 

Come, and behold the oppression of the nobles. 

And mark their injuries; and thou mayst see 

What safety Santafiore can supply.'^ 

Come and behold thy Rome, who calls on thee, 

Desolate widow, day and night with moans, 

"My Cxsar, why dost thou desert my side?" 

Come, and behold what love among thy people: 

And if no pity touches thee for us. 

Come, and blush for thine own report. For me, 

If it be lawful, O Almighty Power! 

Who wast on earth for our sakes crucified. 

Are thy just eyes turn'd elsewhere? or is this 

A preparation, in the wondrous depth 

Of thy sage counsel made, for some good end, 

Entirely from our reach of thought cut ofl? 

So are the Italian cities all o'erthrong'd 

With tyrants, and a great Marcellus made 

Of every petty factious villager. 

My Florence! thou mayst well remain unmoved 
At this digression, which affects not thee: 
Thanks to thy people, who $0 wisely speed. 
Many have justice in their heart, that long 
Waiteth for counsel to direct the bow. 
Or ere it dart unto its aim: but thine 
Have it on their lips' edge. Many refuse 
To bear the common burdens: readier thine 
Answer uncall'd, and cry, "Behold I stoop!" 

Make thyself glad, for thou hast reason now. 
Thou wealthy! thou at peace! thou wisdom-fraught! 
Facts best will witness if I sp>eak the truth. 
Athens and Lacedzmon, who of old 
Enacted laws, for civil arts renown'd, 

" Two powerful GhibetUne families of '* Two rival families in Orvieto. 
Verona. '^ A place between Pisa and Siena. 


Made little progress in improving life 
Toward thee, who usest such nice subdety. 
That to the middle of November scarce 
Reaches the thread thou in October weavest. 
How many times within thy memory. 
Customs, and laws, and coins, and offices 
Have been by thee renew'd, and people changed. 
If thou remember'st well and canst see clear, 
Thou wilt perceive thyself like a sick wretch, 
Who finds no rest upon her down, but oft 
Shifting her side, short respite seeks from pain. 


Argument. — ^Thc approach of night hindering further ascent, Sordello conducts 
our Poet apart to an eminence, from whence they behold a pleasant recess, in form 
of a flowery valley, scooped out of the mountain; where are many famous spirits, and 
among them the Emperor Rodolph, Ottocar, King of Bohemia, Philip III of France, 
Henry of Navarre, Peter III of Arragon, Charles I of Naples, Henry III of England, 
and William, Marquis of Montferrat. 

A FTER their courteous greetings joyfully 
/ \ Seven times exchanged, Sordello backward drew 
y % Exclaiming, "Who are ye?" — "Before this mount 
By spirits worthy of ascent to God 
Was sought, my bones had by Octavius' care 
Been buried. I am Virgil; for no sin 
Deprived of Heaven, except for lack of faith." 
So answer'd him in few my gende guide. 
As one, who aught before him suddenly 
Beholding, whence his wonder riseth, cries, 
"It is, yet is not," wavering in belief; 
Such he appear'd; then downward bent his eyes. 
And, drawing near with reverential step. 
Caught him, where one of mean estate might clasp 
His lord. "Glory of Latium!" he exclaim'd, 
"In whom our tongue its utmost power display 'd; 
Boast of my honor'd birth-place 1 what desert 
Of mine, what favour, rather, undeserved. 
Shows thee to me? If I to hear that voice 
Am worthy, say if from below thou comest, 


And from what cloister's pale." — "Through every 

Of that sad region," he replied, "thus far 
Am I arrived, by heavenly influence led: 
And with such aid I come. Not for my doing, 
But for not doing, have I lost the sight 
Of that high Sun, whom thou desirest, and who 
By me too late was known. There is a place' 
There underneath, not made by torments sad. 
But by dun shades alone; where mourning's voice 
Sounds not of anguish sharp, but breathes in sighs. 
There I with little innocents abide, 
Who by death's fangs were bitten, ere exempt 
From human taint. There I with those abide. 
Who the three holy virtues^ put not on. 
But understood the rest,' and without blame 
FoUow'd them all. But, if thou know'st, and canst, 
Direct us how we soonest may arrive, 
Where Purgatory its true beginning takes." 

He answer'd thus: "We have no certain place 
Assign'd us: upward I may go, or round. 
Far as I can, I join thee for thy guide. 
But thou beholdest now how day declines; 
And upward to proceed by night, our powei 
Excels: therefore it may be well to choose 
A place of pleasant sojourn. To the right 
Some spirits sit apart retired. If thou 
Consentest, I to these will lead thy steps: 
And thou wilt know them, not without delight." 

"How chances this?" was answer'd: "whoso wish'd 
To ascend by night, would he be thence dcbarr'd 
By other, or through his own weakness fail?" 

The good Sordello then, along the ground 
Trailing his finger, spoke: "Only this line 
Thou shalt not overpass, soon as the sun 
Hath disappear'd; not that aught else impedes 
Thy going upward, save the shades of night. 
These, with the want of power, perplex the will. 

' Limbo. See Hell, Canto iv. 24 ' "The rest." Prudence, Justice, Forti- 

' Faith, Hope, and Charity. tude, and Temperance. 


With them thou haply mightst return beneath. 
Or to and fro around the mountain's side 
Wander, while day is in the horizon shut." 

My master straight, as wondering at his speech, 
Exclaim'd: "Then lead us quickly, where thou sayst 
That, while we stay, we may enjoy delight." 

A little space we were removed from thence. 
When I perceived the mountain hoUow'd out, 
Even as large valleys hoUow'd out on earth. 

"That way," the escorting spirit cried, "we go, 
Where in a bosom the high bank recedes: 
And thou await renewal of the day." 

Betwixt the steep and plain, a crooked path 
Led us traverse into the ridge's side. 
Where more than half the sloping edge expires. 
Refulgent gold, and silver thrice refined, 
And scarlet grain and ceruse, Indian wood 
Of lucid dye serene, fresh emeralds 
But newly broken, by the herbs and flowers 
Placed in that fair recess, in color all 
Had been surpass'd, as great surpasses less. 
Nor nature only there lavish'd her hues. 
But of the sweetness of a thousand smells 
A rare and undistinguish'd fragrance made. 

"Salve Regina," * on the grass and flowers, 
Here chanting, I beheld those spirits sit, 
Who not beyond the valley could be seen. 

"Before the westering sun sink to his bed," 
Began the Mantuan, who our steps had turn'd, 
" 'Mid those, desire not that I lead ye on. 
For from this eminence ye shall discern 
Better the acts and visages of all. 
Than, in the nether vale, among them mix'd. 
He, who sits high above the rest, and seems 
To have neglected that he should have done. 
And to the others' song moves not his lip, 
The Emperor Rodolph call, who might have heal'd 
The wounds whereof fair Italy hath died, 
* "Salve Regina." The beginning of a prayer to the Virgin. 


So that by others she revives but slowly. 

He, who with kindly visage comforts him, 

Sway'd in that country,' where the water springs. 

That Moldaw's river to the Elbe, and Elbe 

Rolls to the ocean: Ottocar' his name: 

Who in his swaddling-clothes was of more worth 

Than Wenceslaus his son, a bearded man, 

Pamper'd with rank luxuriousncss and ease. 

And that one with the nose deprest,' who close 

In counsel seems with him of gentle look,' 

Flying expired, withering the lily's flower. 

Lxx)k there, how he doth knock against his breast. 

The other ye behold, who for his cheek 

Makes of one hand a couch, with frequent sighs. 

They are the father and the father-in-law 

Of Gallia's bane:' his vicious life they know 

And foul; thence comes the grief that rends them thus. 

"He, so robust of limb,'" who measure keeps 
In song with him of feature prominent," 
With every virtue bore his girdle braced. 

* 'That country," Bohemia. ransomed; for which he was much 
' "Ottocar." King of Bohemia, who blamed and held in great abhorrence. 

was killed in the battle of Marchficld, And from thenceforth the realm of 

fought with Rodolph, August 26, 1278. France fell evermore into degradation and 

Wenceslaus II, his son, who succeeded decline. And it is observable that between 

him in the Kingdom of Bohemia, died in the taking of Acre and this seizure in 

1305. The latter is again taxed with lux- Krance, the merchants of Florence re- 

ury in the Paradise, xix. 1 23. ceived great damage and ruin of their 

' "That one with the nose dcprest." property." 
Philip III, of France, father of Philip IV. "> "He, so robust of limb." Peter III, 

He died in 1285, at Perpignan, in his re- called the Great, King of Arragon, who 

treat from Arragon. died in 1 285, leaving four sons, Alonzo, 

• "Him of gentle look." Henry of James, Frederick, and Peter. The two for- 
Navarre, father of Jane, married to Philip mcr succeeded him in the Kingdom of 
IV, of France, whom Dante calls "mal di Arragon, and Frederick in that of Sicily. 
Francia." — "Gallia's bane." " "Him of feature prominent." "Dal 

•"Gallia's bane." G. Villani, lib. vii. maschio naso" — "with the masculine 

cap. cxivi, speaks with equal resentment nose." Charles I, King of Naples, Count 

of Philip IV. "In 1291, on the night of of Anjou, and brother of St. Louis. He 

the calends of May, Philip le Bel, King of died in 1284. The annalist of Florence 

France, by advice of Biccio and Musciatto remarks that "there had been no sov- 

Franzesi, ordered all the Italians, who ereign of the house of France, since the 

were in his country and realm, to be time of Charlemagne, by whom Charles 

seized, under pretence of seizing the was surpassed either in military renown 

money-lenders, but thus he caused the and prowess, or in the loftiness of his 

good merchants also to bo seized and understanding." 


And if that stripling,'^ who behind him sits, 

King after him had lived, his virtue then 

From vessel to like vessel had been pour'd; 

Which may not of the other heirs be said. 

By James and Frederick his realms are held; 

Neither the better heritage obtains. 

Rarely into the branches of the tree 

Doth human worth mount up: and so ordains 

He who bestows it, that as His free gift 

It may be call'd. To Charles" my words apply 

No less than to his brother in song; 

Which Pouille and Provence now with grief confess. 

So much that plant degenerates from its seed, 

As, more than Beatrix and Margaret, 

Costanza''' still boasts of her valorous spouse. 

"Behold the King of simple life and plain, 
Harry of England," sitting there alone: 
He through his branches better issue" spreads. 

"That one, who, on the ground, beneath the rest, 
Sits lowest, yet his gaze directs aloft. 
Is William, that brave Marquis," for whose cause, 
The deed of Alexandria and his war 
Makes Montferrat and Canavese weep." 

" "That stripling." Either (as the old " "Harry of England. " Henry III. The 

commentators suppose) Alonzo III, King contemporary annalist speaks of this king 

of Arragon, the eldest son of Peter III, in similar terms. G. Villani, lib. v. cap. iv. 

who died in 1291, at the age of 27; or, "From Richard was born Heary, who 

according to Venturi, Peter, the youngest reigned after him, who was a plain man 

son. The former was a young prince of of good faith, but of little courage." 

virtue sufficient to have justified the '' "Better issue." Edward I, of whose 

culogium and the hopes of Dante. glory our Poet was perhaps a witness, in 

" "To Charles." "Al Nausto" — Charles his visit to England. "From the said 

II, King of Naples, is no less inferior to Henry was born the good King Edward, 

his father, Chiles I, than James and who reigns in our times, who has done 

Frederick to theirs, Peter III. great things, whereof we shall make men- 

" "Costanza." Widow of Peter III. tion in due place." — G. Villani, ibid. 

She has been already mentioned in the " "William, that brave Marquis." Wil- 

third Canto, v. 112. By Beatrix and liam. Marquis of Montferrat, was treach- 

Margaret are probably meant two of the erously seized by his own subjects, at 

daughters of Raymond Bercnger, Count Alessandria in Lombardy, A. D. 1290, and 

of Provence; the latter married to St. ended his life in prison. A war ensued 

Louis of France, the former to his brother between the people of Alessandria and 

Charles of Anjou, King of Naples. See those of Montferrat and the Canavese, 

Paradise, Canto vi. 135. Dante therefore now part of Piedmont, 
considers Peter as the most illustrious of 
the three monarchs. 



Argument. — Two Angels, with flaminK swords broken at the points, descend to 
keep watch over the valley, into which Virgil and Dante entering by desire of Sor- 
dello, our Poet meets with joy the spirit of Nino, the judge of Gallura, one who was 
well known to hini. Meantime three exceedingly bright stars appear near the pole, 
and a serpent creeps subtly into the valley, but flees at hearing the approach of those 
angelic guards. Lasdy, Conrad Malaspina predicts to our Poet his future banishment. 

NOW was the hour that wakens fond desire 
In men at sea, and melts their thoughtful heart 
Who in the morn have bid sweet friends farewell, 
And pilgrim newly on his road with love 
Thrills, if he hear the vesper bell from far, 
That seems to mourn for the expiring day: 
When I, no longer taking heed to hear, 
Began, with wonder, from those spirits to mark 
One risen from its seat, which with its hand 
Audience implored. Both palms it join'd and raised, 
Fixing its stedfast gaze toward the east. 
As telling God, "I care for naught beside." 

"Te Lucis Ante," ' so devoutly then 
Came from its lip, and in so soft a strain, 
That all my sense in ravishment was lost. 
And the rest after, softly and devout, 
FoUow'd through all the hymn, with upward gaze 
Directed to the bright supernal wheels. 

Here, reader! for the truth make thine eyes keen: 
For of so subtle texture is this veil. 
That thou with ease mayst pass it through unmark'd. 

I saw that gende band silendy next 
Look up, as if in expectation held, 
Pale and in lowly guise; and, from on high, 
I saw, forth issuing descend beneath, 
Two Angels, with two flame-illumined swords. 
Broken and mutilated of their points. 
Green as the tender leaves but newly born. 
Their vesture was, the which, by wings as green 
Beaten, they drew behind them, fann'd in air. 
A litde over us one took his stand; 

' "Te lucis ante terminnm ," the first verse of the hymn in the last part of the 
sacred office, termed "complin." 

176 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto vm 

The other lighted on the opfwsing hill; 

So that the troop were in the midst contain'd. 

Well I descried the whiteness on their heads; 
But in their visages the dazzled eye 
Was lost, as faculty that by too much 
Is overpower'd. "From Mary's bosom both 
Are come," exclaim'd SordcUo, "as a guard 
Over the vale, 'gainst him, who hither tends. 
The serpent." Whence, not knowing by which path 
He came, I turn'd me round; and closely press'd. 
All frozen, to my leader's trusted side. 

Sordello paused not: "To the valley now 
(For it is time) let us descend; and hold 
Converse with those great shadows: haply much 
Their sight may please ye." Only three steps down 
Methinks I measured, ere I was beneath, 
And noted one who look'd as with desire 
To know me. Time was now that air grew dim; 
Yet not so dim, that, 'twixt his eyes and mine, 
It clear'd not up what was conceal'd before. 
Mutually toward each other we advanced. 
Nino, thou courteous judge!' what joy I felt. 
When I perceived thou wert not with the bad. 

No salutation kind on either part 
Was left unsaid. He then inquired: "How long. 
Since thou arrived'st at the mountain's foot, 
Over the distant waves?" — "Oh!" answer'd I, 
"Through the sad seats of woe this morn I came; 
And still in my first life, thus journeying on, 
The other strive to gain." Soon as they heard 
My words, he and Sordello backward drew, 
As suddenly amazed. To Virgil one, 
The other to a spirit turn'd, who near 
Was seated, crying: "Conrad!' up with speed: 
Come, see what of His grace high God hath will'd." 
Then turning round to me: "By that rare mark 
Of honour, which thou owest to Him, who hides 
So deeply His first cause it hath no ford; 

' Nino di Gallura de' Visconti, nephew betrayed by him. 
to Count Ugolino dc' Gherardeschi, and ' Father to Marccllo Malaspina. 


When thou shalt be beyond the vast of waves, 

Tell my Giovanna,* that for me she call 

There, where reply to innocence is made. 

Her mother,' I believe, loves me no more; 

Since she has changed the white and wimpled folds,* 

Which she is doom'd once more with grief to wish. 

By her it easily may be f)erceived, 

How long in woman lasts the flame of love, 

If sight and touch do not relume it oft. 

For her so fair a burial will not make 

The viper,' which calls Milan to the field. 

As had been made by shrill Gallura's bird." * 

He spoke, and in his visage took the stamp 
Of that right zeal, which with due temperature 
Glows in the bosom. My insatiate eyes 
Meanwhile to Heaven had travel'd, even there 
Where the bright stars are slowest, as a wheel 
Nearest the axle; when my guide inquired: 
"What there aloft, my son, has caught thy gaze?" 

I answer'd: "The three torches,' with which here 
The pole is all on fire." He then to me: 
"The four resplendent stars, thou saw'st this morn. 
Are there beneath; and these, risen in their stead." 

While yet he spoke, Sordello to himself 
Drew him, and cried: "Lo there our enemy!" 
And with his hand pointed that way to look. 

Along the side, where barrier none arose 
Around the litde vale, a serpent lay, 
Such haply as gave Eve the bitter food. 
Between the grass and flowers, the evil snake 
Came on, reverting oft his lifted head; 

* The daughter of Nino, and wife of than a certain shame which appears, how- 

Riccardo da Camino, of Trevisi. ever unreasonably, to have attached to a 

' "Her mother." Beatrice, Marchioness second marriage, 

of Este, wife of Nino, and after his death ' The three evangelical virtues. Faith, 

married to Galeazzo de' Visconti of Milan. Hope, and Charity, are supposed to rise 

' The weeds of widowhood. in the evening, to denote their belonging 

' The arms of Galeazzo and the ensign to the contemplative; as the four others 

of the Milanese. are made to rise in the morning to signify 

' The cock was the ensign of Gallura, their belonging to the active life: or per- 

Nino's province in Sardinia. It is not haps it may mark the succession, in order 

known whether Beatrice had any further of time, of the Gospel to the heathen 

cause to regret her nuptials with Galeazzo, system of morality. 



And, as a beast that smooths its polish'd coat, 
Licking his back. I saw not, nor can tell, 
How those celestial falcons from their seat 
Moved, but in motion each one well descried. 
Hearing the air cut by their verdant plumes, 
The serpent fled; and, to their stations, back 
The Angels up return'd with equal flight. 

The spirit, (who to Nino, when he call'd, 
Had come), from viewing me with fixed ken. 
Through all that conflict, loosen'd not his sight. 

"So may the lamp, which leads thee up on high. 
Find, in thy free resolve, of wax so much. 
As may suffice thee to the enamel'd height." 
It thus began: "If any certain news 
Of Valdimagra and the neighbour part 
Thou know'st, tell me, who once was mighty there. 
They call'd me Conrad Malaspina; not 
That old one, but from him I sprang. The love 
I bore my people is now here refined." 

"In your domains," I answer'd, "ne'er was I. 

But, through all Eurof>e, where do those men dwell, 

To whom their glory is not manifest? 

The fame, that honours your illustrious house. 

Proclaims the nobles, and proclaims the land; 

So that he knows it, who was never there. 

I swear to you, so may my upward route 

Prosf)er, your honoured nation not impairs 

The value of her coffer and her sword. 

Nature and use give her such privilege. 

That while the world is twisted from his course 

By a bad head, she only walks aright, 

And has the evil way in scorn." He then: 

"Now pass thee on: seven times the tired sun'" 

Revisits not the couch, which with four feet 

The forked Aries covers, ere that kind 

Opinion shall be nail'd into thy brain 

•*"The sun shall not enter into the shalt there meet with." Dante was hos- 

constellation of Aries seven times more, pitably received by the Marchese Marcello, 

before thou shalt have still better cause or Mnrcllo Malaspina, during his banish- 

for the good opinion thou expresses! of mcnt, A. D. 1307. 
Valdimagra, in the kind reception thou 


With stronger nails than other's speech can drive; 
If the sure course of judgment be not stay'd." 


Akcument. — Dante is carried up the mountain, asleep and dreaming, by Lucia; and, 
on awakening, finds himself, two hours after sunrise, with Virgil, near the gate o£ 
Purgatory, through which they are admitted by the Angel deputed by St. Peter to 
keep it. 

NOW the fair consort of Tithonus old, 
Arisen from her mate's beloved arms, 
Look'd palely o'er the eastern cliff; her brow, 
Lucent with jewels, glitter'd, set in sign 
Of that chill animal,' who with his train 
Smites fearful nations: and where then we were, 
Two steps of her ascent the night had past; 
And now the third was closing up its wing,' 
When I, who had so much of Adam with me. 
Sank down upon the grass, o'ercome with sleep, 
There where all five' were seated. In that hour, 
When near the dawn the swallow her sad lay, 
Remembering haply ancient grief,* renews; 
And when our minds, more wanderers from the flesh. 
And less by thought restrain'd, are, as 't were, full 
Of holy divination in their dreams; 
TTien, in a vision, did I seem to view 
A golden-feather'd eagle in the sky, 
With open wings, and hovering for descent; 
And I was in that place, methought, from whence 
Young Ganymede, from his associates 'reft. 
Was snatch'd aloft to the high consistory. 
"Perhaps," thought I within me, "here alone 
He strikes his quarry, and elsewhere disdains 

' "Of that chill animal." The scorpion, which would still leave an insurmounuble 

' "The third was closing up its wing." difficulty in the first verse. 

The night being divided into four watches, '"All five." Virgil, Dante, Sordello, 

I think he may mean that the third was Nino, and Corrado Malaspina. 

past, and the fourth and last was begun, * "Remembering haply ancient grief." 

so that there might be some faint glim- Progne having been changed into a 

mering of morning twilight; and not swallow after the outrage done her by 

merely, as Lombarcli supposes, that the Tereus. 
third watch was drawing toward its close. 

l8o THE DIVINE COMEDY canto ix 

To pounce upon the prey." Therewith, it seem'd, 
A little wheeling in his aery tour, 
Terrible as the lightning, rush'd he down, 
And snatch'd me upward even to the fire. 
There both, I thought, the eagle and myself 
Did burn; and so intense the imagined flames, 
That needs my sleep was broken off. As erst 
Achilles shook himself, and round him roU'd 
His waken'd eyeballs, wondering where he was, 
Whenas his mother had from Chiron fled 
To Scyros, with him sleeping in her arms; 
There whence the Greeks did after sunder him; 
E'en thus I shook me, soon as from my face 
The slumber parted, turning deadly pale. 
Like one ice-struck with dread. Sole at my side 
My comfort stood: and the bright sun was now 
More than two hours aloft: and to the sea 
My looks were turn'd. "Fear not," my master cried, 
"Assured we are at happy point. Thy strength 
Shrink not, but rise dilated. Thou art come 
To Purgatory now. Lo! there the cliff 
That circling bounds it. Lo! the entrance there. 
Where it doth seem disparted. Ere the dawn 
Usher'd the day-light, when thy wearied soul 
Slept in thee, o'er the flowery vale beneath 
A lady came, and thus bespake me: 'I 
Am Lucia.' Suffer me to take this man. 
Who slumbers. Easier so his way shall speed.' 
Sordello and the other gentle shapes 
Tarrying, she bare thee up: and, as day shone. 
This summit reach'd: and I pursued her steps. 
Here did she place thee. First, her lovely eyes 
That open entrance show'd me; then at once 
She vanish'd with thy sleep." Like one, whose doubts 
Are chased by certainty, and terror turn'd 
To comfort on discovery of the truth. 
Such was the change in me: and as my guide 
Beheld me fearless, up along the cliff 
He moved, and I behind him, toward the height. 
* "Lucia." See Hell, c. ii 97 and Paradise, c. xxxii. 113. 


Reader! thou markest how my theme doth rise; 
Nor wonder therefore, if more artfully 
I prop the structure. Nearer now we drew. 
Arrived whence, in that part, where first a breach 
As of a wall appear'd, I could descry 
A portal, and three steps beneath, that led 
For inlet there, of different colour each; 
And one who watch'd, but spake not yet a word. 
As more and more mine eye did stretch its view, 
I mark'd him seated on the highest step. 
In visage such, as past my pwwer to bear. 
Grasp'd in his hand, a naked sword glanced back 
The rays so toward me, that I oft in vain 
My sight directed. "Speak, from whence ye stand;" 
He cried: "What would ye? Where is your escort? 
Take heed your coming upward harm ye not." 

"A heavenly dame, not skill-less of these things," 
Replied the instructor, "told us, even now, 
'Pass that way: here the gate is.'" — "And may she. 
Befriending, prosper your ascent," resumed 
The courteous keeper of the gate: "Come then 
Before our steps." We straightway thither came. 

The lowest stair* was marble white, so smooth 
And polish'd, that therein my mirror 'd form 
Distinct I saw. The next of hue more dark 
Than sablest grain, a rough and singed block, 
Crack'd lengthwise and across. The third, that lay 
Massy above, seem'd porphyry, that flamed 
Red as the life-blood spwuting from a vein. 
On this God's angel either foot sustain'd, 
Upon the threshold seated, which appear'd 
A rock of diamond. Up the trinal steps 
My leader cheerly drew me. "Ask," said he, 
"With humble heart, that he unbar the bolt." 

Piously at his holy feet devolved 
I cast me, praying him for pity's sake 
That he would open to me; but first fell 

' The white step suKRcsts the con- contrition on their account; the porphyry, 
science of the penitent reflecting his of- the fervor with which he resolves on the 
fences; the burnt and cracked one, his future pursuit of piety and virtue. 

1 82 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto ix 

Thrice on my bosom prostrate. Seven times' 

The letter, that denotes the inward stain, 

He, on my forehead, with the blunted point 

Of his drawn sword, inscribed. And "Look," he cried, 

"When enter'd, that thou wash these scars away." 

Ashes, or earth ta'en dry out of the ground. 
Were of one colour with the robe he wore. 
From underneath that vestment forth he drew 
Two keys,' of metal twain: the one was gold, 
Its fellow silver. With the pallid first. 
And next the burnish'd, he so ply'd the gate. 
As to content me well. "Whenever one 
Faileth of these, that in the key-hole straight 
It turn not, to this alley then expect 
Access in vain." Such were the words he spake. 
"One is more precious:' but the other needs 
Skill and sagacity, large share of each. 
Ere its good task to disengage the knot 
Be worthily perform'd. From Peter these 
I hold, of him instructed that I err 
Rather in opening, than in keeping fast; 
So but the suppliant at my feet implore." 

Then of that hallow'd gate he thrust the door, 
Exclaiming, "Enter, but this warning hear: 
He forth again departs who looks behind." 

As in the hinges of that sacred ward 
The swivels turn'd, sonorous metal strong. 
Harsh was the grating; nor so surlily 
Roar'd the Tarpcian, when by force bereft 
Of good Metellus, thenceforth from his loss 
To leanness doom'd. Attentively I turn'd, 
Listening the thunder that first issued forth; 
And "We praise thee, O God," methought I heard, 

^ "Seven times." Seven P's, to denote Lateranensibus, produces instances of his 

the seven sins (Pcccata) of which he was bcinj: represented with one key, and with 

to be cleansed in his passage through three. We have here, however, not St. 

Purgatory. Peter, but an anjiel deputed by him. 

* "Two keys." Lombardi remarks that ' The golden key denotes the divine 

painters have usually drawn St. Peter authority by which the priest absolves 

with two keys, the one of gold and the the sinners; the silver, the learning and 

other of silver; but that Niccolo Ale- judgment requisite for the due discharge 

manni, in his Dissertation de Parietinis of that office. 


In accents blended with sweet melody. 

The strains came o'er mine ear, e'en as the sound 

Of choral voices, that in solemn chant 

With organ" mingle, and now high and clear 

Come swelling, now float indistinct away. 


Argument. — BeinR admitted at the gate of Purgatory, our Poets ascend a winding 
path up the rock, till they reach an open and level space that extends each way round 
the mountain. On the side that rises, and which is of white marble, are seen artfully 
engraven many stories of humility, which whilst they arc contemplating, there ap- 
proach the souls of those who expiate the sin of pride, and who are bent down be- 
neath the weight of heavy stones. 

WHEN we had passed the threshold of the gate, 
(Which the soul's ill aflection doth disuse. 
Making the crooked seem the straighter path,) 
I heard its closing sound. Had mine eyes tum'd, 
For that ofTence what plea might have avail'd.'' 
We mounted up the riven rock, that wound 
On either side alternate, as the wave 
Flies and advances. "Here some little art 
Behoves us," said my leader, "that our steps 
Observe the varying flexure of the path." 

Thus we so slowly sped, that with cleft orb 
The moon once more o'erhangs her watery couch, 
Ere we that strait have threaded. But when free, 
We came, and open, where the mount above 
One solid mass retires; I spent with toil. 
And both uncertain of the way, we stood. 
Upon a plain more lonesome than the roads 
That traverse desert wilds. From whence the brink 
Borders upon vacuity, to foot 
Of the steep bank that rises still, the space 
Had measured thrice the stature of a man: 
And, distant as mine eye could wing its flight, 
To leftward now and now to right despatch'd, 
That cornice equal in extent appear'd. 

'•"Organ." Organi were used in Italy the Emperor Julian's writinp, which 
as early as in the sixth century. If I shows that the organ was not unknown 
remember righdy there is a passage in in his time. 


Not yet our feet had on that summit moved, 
When I discover'd that the bank, around, 
Whose proud uprising all ascent denied, 
Was marble white; and so exactly wrought 
With quaintest sculpture, that not there alone 
Had Polycletus, but e'en nature's self 
Been shamed. The Angel (who came down to earth 
With tidings of the peace so many years 
Wept for in vain, that oped the heavenly gates 
From their long interdict) before us seem'd. 
In a sweet act, so sculptured to the life. 
He look'd no silent image. One had sworn 
He had said "Hail!" for she was imaged there. 
By whom the key did open to God's love; 
And in her act as sensibly imprest 
That word, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord," 
As figure seal'd on wax. "Fix not thy mind 
On one place only," said the guide beloved. 
Who had me near him on that part where lies 
The heart of man. My sight forthwith I turn'd, 
And mark'd, behind the Virgin Mother's form, 
Up)on that side where he that moved me stood, 
Another story graven on the rock. 

I past athwart the bard, and drew me near, 
That it might stand more aptly for my view. 
There, in the self-same marble, were engraved 
The cart and kine, drawing the sacred ark. 
That from unbidden office awes mankind. 
Before it came much people; and the whole 
Parted in seven quires. One sense cried "Nay," 
Another, "Yes, they sing." Like doubt arose 
Betwixt the eye and smell, from the curl'd fume 
Of incense breathing up the well-wrought toil. 
Preceding the blest vessel, onward came 
With light dance leaping, girt in humble guise, 
Israel's sweet harper: in that hap he seem'd 
Less, and yet more, than kingly. Opposite 
At a great palace, from the lattice forth 
Look'd Michol, like a lady full of scorn 
And sorrow. To behold the tablet next, 


Which, at the back of Michol, whitely shone, 
I moved me. There, was storied on the rock 
The exahed glory of the Roman prince, 
Whose mighty worth moved Gregory' to earn 
His mighty conquest, Trajan the Emperor. 
A widow at his bridle stood, attired 
In tears and mourning. Round about them troop'd 
Full throng of knights; and overhead in gold 
The eagles floated, struggling with the wind. 
The wretch appear'd amid all these to say: 
"Grant vengeance. Sire! for, woe beshrew this heart. 
My son is murder'd." He replying seem'd: 
"Wait now till I return." And she, as one 
Made hasty by her grief: "O Sire! if thou 
Dost not return?" — "Where I am, who then is, 
May right thee." — "What to thee is other's good. 
If thou neglect thy own?" — "Now comfort thee;" 
At length he answers. "It beseemeth well 
My duty be jjerform'd, ere I move hence: 
So justice wills; and pity bids me stay." 

He, whose ken nothing new surveys, produced 
That visible speaking, new to us and strange, 
The like not found on earth. Fondly I gazed 
Upon those patterns of meek humbleness. 
Shapes yet more precious for their artist's sake; 
When "Lx)!" the {xset whispcr'd, "where this way 
(But slack their pace) a multitude advance. 
These to the lofty steps shall guide us on." 

Mine eyes, though bent on view of novel sights, 
Their loved allurement, were not slow to turn. 

Reader! I would not that amazed thou miss 
Of thy good purpose, hearing how just God 
Decrees our debts be cancel'd. Ponder not 
The form of suffering. Think on what succeeds: 
Think that, at worst, beyond the mighty doom 
It cannot pass. "Instructor!" I began, 
"What I see hither tending, bears no trace 
Of human semblance, nor of aught beside 

• "Gregor)'." St. Gregory's prayers arc said to have delivered Trajan from hell. 
Sec Paradise, Canto xx. 40. 

l86 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xr 

That my foil'd sight can guess." He answering thus: 

"So curb'd to earth, beneath their heavy terms 

Of torment stoop they, that mine eye at first 

Struggled as thine. But look intently thither; 

And disentangle with thy laboring view. 

What, underneath those stones, approacheth: now, 

E'en now, mayst thou discern the pangs of each." 

Christians and proud! O poor and wretched ones! 
That, feeble in the mind's eye, lean your trust 
Upon unstaid perverseness: know ye not 
That we are worms, yet made at last to form 
The winged insect,* imp'd with angel plumes, 
That to Heaven's justice unobstructed soars? 
Why buoy ye up aloft your unfledged souls? 
Abortive then and shapeless ye remain. 
Like the untimely embryon of a worm. 

As, to support incumbent floor or roof, 
For corbel, is a figure sometimes seen. 
That crumples up its knees unto its breast; 
With the feign'd pwsture, stirring ruth unfeign'd 
In the beholder's fancy; so I saw 
These fashion'd, when I noted well their guise. 

Each, as his back was laden, came indeed 
Or more or less contracted; and it seem'd 
As he, who show'd most patience in his look, 
Wailing exclaim'd: "I can endure no more." 


Argument. — After a prayer uttered by the spirits, who were spoken of in the last 
Canto, Virgil inquires the way upward, and is answered by one, who declares himself 
to have been Omberto, son of the Count of Santafiorc. Next our Poet distinguishes 
Oderigi, the illuminator, who discourses on the vanity of worldly fame, and points out 
to him the soul of Provcnzano Salvani. 

OTHOU Almighty Father! who dost make 
The heavens Thy dwelling, not in bounds con- 
But that, with love intenser, there Thou view'st 
Thy primal effluence; hallow'd be Thy name: 
Join, each created being, to extol 

* "The winged insect." The butterfly was an ancient and well-known symbol of the 

human soul. 


Thy might; for worthy humblest thanks and praise 

Is Thy blest Spirit. May Thy kingdom's peace 

Come unto us; for we, unless it come, 

With all our striving, thither tend in vain. 

As, of their will, the Angels unto Thee 

Tender meet sacrifice, circling Thy throne 

With loud hosannas; so of theirs be done 

By saindy men on earth. Grant us, this day. 

Our daily manna, without which he roams 

Through this rough desert retrograde, who most 

Toils to advance his steps. As we to each 

Pardon the evil done us, pardon Thou 

Benign, and of our merit take no count. 

'Gainst the old adversary, prove Thou not 

Our virtue, easily subdued; but free 

From his incitements, and defeat his wiles. 

This last petition, dearest Lord! is made 

Not for ourselves; since that were needless now; 

But for their sakes who after us remain." 

Thus for themselves and us good sf)eed imploring. 
Those spirits went beneath a weight like that 
We sometimes feel in dreams; all, sore beset, 
But with unequal anguish; wearied all; 
Round the first circuit; purging as they go 
The world's gross darkness off. In our behoof 
If their vows still be offer'd, what can here 
For them be vow'd and done by such, whose wills 
Have root of goodness in them? Well beseems 
That we should help them wash away the stains 
They carried hence; that so, made pure and light. 
They may spring upward to the starry spheres. 

"Ah! so may mercy-temf)er'd justice rid 
Your burdens sjDeedily; that ye have fxjwer 
To stretch your wing, which e'en to your desire 
Shall lift you; as ye show us on which hand 
Toward the ladder leads the shortest way. 
And if there be more passages than one, 
Instruct us of that easiest to ascend: 
For this man, who comes with me, and bears yet 
The charge of fleshly raiment Adam left him. 

1 88 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xi 

Despite his better will, but slowly mounts." 

From whom the answer came unto these words, 

Which my guide spake, appear'd not; but 'twas said: 

"Along the bank to rightward come with us; 

And ye shall find a pass that mocks not toil 

Of living man to climb: and were it not 

That I am hinder'd by the rock, wherewith 

This arrogant neck is tamed, whence needs I stoop 

My visage to the ground; him, who yet lives. 

Whose name thou speak'st not, him I fain would view; 

To mark if e'er I knew him, and to crave 

His pity for the fardel that I bear. 

I was of Latium;' of a Tuscan born, 

A mighty one: Aldobrandesco's name 

My sire's, I know not if ye e'er have heard. 

My old blood and forefathers' gallant deeds 

Made me so haughty, that I clean forgot 

The common mother; and to such excess 

Wax'd in my scorn of all men, that I fell, 

Fell therefore; by what fate, Siena's sons. 

Each child in Campagnatico, can tell. 

I am Omberto: not me, only, pride 

Hath injured, but my kindred all involved 

In mischief with her. Here my lot ordains 

Under this weight to groan, till I appease 

God's angry justice, since I did it not 

Amongst the living, here amongst the dead." 

Listening I bent my visage down: and one 
(Not he who spake) twisted beneath the weight 
That urged him, saw me, knew me straight, and call'd; 
Holding his eyes with difficulty fix'd 
Intent upon me, stooping as I went 
Companion of their way. "O!" I exclaim'd, 
"Art thou not Oderigi?' art not thou 
Agobbio's glory, glory of that art 
Which they of Paris call the limner's skill?" 

"Brother!" said he, "with tints, that gayer smile, 

* "\ was of Latium." Omberto, the son such a pitch of fury against him that he 

of Guglielmo Aldobrandesco, Count of was murdered by them at Campagnatico. 

Santafiore, in the territory of Siena. His ' The illuminator, or miniature painter, 

arrogance provoked his countrymen to a friend of Giotto and Dante. 


Bolognian Franco's' pencil lines the leaves. 

His all the honour now; my light obscured. 

In truth, I had not been thus courteous to him 

The whilst I lived, through eagerness of zeal 

For that pre-eminence my heart was bent on. 

Here, of such pride, the forfeiture is paid. 

Nor were I even here, if, able still 

To sin, I had not turn'd me unto God. 

O powers of man! how vain your glory, nipt 

E'en in its height of verdure, if an age 

Less bright succeed not. Cimabue thought 

To lord it over painting's field; and now 

The cry is Giotto's,* and his name eclipsed. 

Thus hath one Guido from the other' snatch'd 

The letter'd prize: and he, perhaps, is born, 

Who shall drive either from their nest. The noise 

Of worldly fame is but a blast of wind. 

That blows from diverse points, and shifts its name, 

Shifting the point it blows from. Shalt thou more 

Live in the mouths of mankind, if thy flesh 

Part shrivel'd from thee, than if thou hadst died 

Before the coral and the pap were left; 

Or e'er some thousand years have past? and that 

Is, to eternity compared, a space 

Briefer than is the twinkling of an eye 

To the heaven's slowest orb. He there, who treads 

So leisurely before me, far and wide 

Through Tuscany resounded once; and now 

Is in Siena scarce with whispers named: 

There was he sovereign, when destruction caught 

The maddening rage of Florence, in that day 

Proud as she now is loathsome. Your renown 

Is as the herb, whose hue doth come and go; 

'Franco of Bologna, who is said to XI and Robert, King of Naples; and en- 
have been a pupil of Oderigi's. joyed the society and friendship of Dante, 

* "The cry is Giotto's." In Giotto we whose hkcncss he has transmitted to pos- 

have a proof at how early a period the terity. 

fine arts were encouraged in Italy. His ' Guido Cavalcanti, the friend of our 
talents were discovered by Cimabue, while Poet, had eclipsed the literary fame of 
he was tending sheep for his father in the Guido Guinicelli. Sec also the twenty- 
neighborhood of Florence, and he was sixth Canto, 
afterward patronized by Pope Benedict 


And his might withers it, by whom it sprang 

Crude from the lap of earth." I thus to him: 

"True are thy sayings: to my heart they breathe 

The kindly spirit of meekness, and allay 

What tumours rankle there. But who is he. 

Of whom thou spakest but now?" — "This," he replied, 

"Is Provenzano. He is here, because 

He reach'd with grasp presumptuous, at the sway 

Of all Siena. Thus he still hath gone. 

Thus goeth never-resting, since he died. 

Such is the acquittance render'd back of him, 

Who, in the mortal life, too much hath dared." 

I then: "If soul, that to life's verge delays 

Repentance, linger in that lower space, 

Nor hither mount, (unless good prayers befriend), 

Or ever time, long as it lived, be past; 

How chanced admittance was vouchsafed to him.'" 

"When at his glory's topmost height," said he, 
"Respect of dignity all cast aside, 
Freely he fix'd him on Siena's plain, 
A suitor* to redeem his suffering friend. 
Who languish'd in the prison-house of Charles; 
Nor, for his sake, refused through every vein 
To tremble. More I will not say; and dark, 
I know, my words are; but thy neighbours soon 
Shall help thee to a comment on the text. 
This is the work, that from these limits freed him." 

• Provenzano Salvani, for the sake of and this act of self-abasement atoned for 

one of his friends who was detained in his general ambition. He fell at Vald' 

captivity by Charles I of Sicily, personally Elsa, where the Florentines discomfited 

supplicated the people of Siena to con- the Siencsc in June, 1269. 
tribute the ransom required by the King; 



Argument. — Dante, beins desired by Virgil to look down on the ground which 
they are treading, observes that it is wrought over with imagery exhibiting various 
instances of pride recorded in history and fable. They leave the first cornice, and 
are ushered to the next by an angel who points out the way. 

WITH equal pace, as oxen in the yoke, 
F, with that laden spirit, journey 'd on. 
Long as the mild instructor suffer 'd me; 
But, when he bade me quit him, and proceed, 
(For "Here," said he, "behoves with sail and oars 
Each man, as best he may, push on his bark,") 
Upright, as one disposed for sfjeed, I raised 
My body, still in thought submissive bow'd. 

I now my leader's track not loth pursued; 
And each had shown how light we fared along. 
When thus he warned me: "Bend thine eyesight down, 
For thou, to ease the way, shalt find it good 
To ruminate the bed beneath thy feet." 

As, in memorial of the buried, drawn 
Upon earth-level tombs, the sculptured form 
Of what was once, appears, (at sight whereof 
Tears often stream forth, by remembrance waked, 
Whose sacred stings the piteous often feel). 
So saw I there, but with more curious skill 
Of portraiture o'erwrought, whate'er of space 
From forth the mountain stretches. On one part 
Him I beheld, above all creatures erst 
Created noblest, lightening fall from Heaven: 
On the other side, with bolt celestial pierced, 
Briareus; cumbering earth he lay, through dint 
Of mortal ice-stroke. The Thymbrjcan god," 
With Mars, I saw, and Pallas, round their sire, 
Arm'd still, and gazing on the giants' limbs 
Strewn o'er the ethereal field. Nimrod I saw: 
At foot of the stupendous work he stood. 
As if bewilder'd, looking on the crowd 
Leagued in his proud attempt on Sennaar's plain. 

O Niobe! in what a trance of woe 
' "The Thymbra;an god." Apollo. 


Thee I beheld, upon that highway drawn, 
Seven sons on either side thee slain. O Saul! 
How ghastly didst thou look, on thine own sword 
Expiring, in Gilboa, from that hour 
Ne'er visited with rain from heaven, or dew. 

O fond Arachne! thee I also saw. 
Half spider now, in anguish, crawling up 
The unfinish'd web thou weaved'st to thy bane. 

Rehoboam! here thy shape doth seem 
Louring no more defiance; but fear-smote. 
With none to chase him, in his chariot whirl'd. 

Was shown beside upon the solid floor. 
How dear Alcmzon forced his mother rate 
That ornament, in evil hour received: 
How, in the temple, on Sennacherib fell 
His sons, and how a corpse they left him there. 
Was shown the scath, and cruel mangling made 
By Tomyris on Cyrus, when she cried, 
"Blood thou didst thirst for: take thy fill of blood." 
Was shown how routed in the battle fled 
The Assyrians, Holofernes slain, and e'en 
The relics of the carnage. Troy I mark'd. 
In ashes and in caverns. Oh! how fallen. 
How abject, Ilion, was thy semblance there. 

What master of the pencil or the style 
Had traced the shades and lines, that might have made 
The subtlest workman wonder? Dead, the dead; 
The living seem'd alive: with clearer view. 
His eye beheld not, who beheld the truth. 
Than mine what I did tread on, while I went 
Low bending. Now swell out, and with stiff necks 
Pass on, ye sons of Eve! vale not your looks. 
Lest they descry the evil of your path. 

1 noted not (so busied was my thought) 
How much we now had circled of the mount; 
And of his course yet more the sun had spent; 
When he, who with still wakeful caution went, 
Admonish'd: "Raise thou up thy head: for know 
Time is not now for slow suspense. Behold, 
That way, an Angel hasting toward us. Lo, 


When duly the sixth handmaid doth return 
From service on the day. Wear thou, in look 
And gesture, seemly grace of reverent awe; 
That gladly he may forward us aloft. 
Consider that this day ne'er dawns again." 

Time's loss he had so often warn'd me 'gainst, 
I could not miss the scope at which he aim'd. 

The goodly shape approach'd us, snowy white 
In vesture, and with visage casting streams 
Of tremulous lustre like the matin star. 
His arms he open'd, then his wings; and spake: 
"Onward! the steps, behold, are near; and now 
The ascent is without difficulty gain'd." 

A scanty few are they, who, when they hear 
Such tidings, hasten. O, ye race of men! 
Though born to soar, why suffer ye a wind 
So slight to bafSe ye? He led us on 
Where the rock parted; here, against my front, 
Did beat his wings; then promised I should fare 
In safety on my way. As to ascend 
That steep, upon whose brow the chapel stands,* 
(O'er Rubaconte, looking lordly down 
On the well-guided city'), up the right 
The imjjetuous rise is broken by the steps 
Carved in that old and simple age, when still 
The registry* and label rested safe; 
Thus is the acclivity relieved, which here, 
Precipitous, from the other circuit falls: 
But, on each hand, the tall cliff presses close. 

As, entering, there we turn'd, voices, in strain 
Ineffable, sang: "Blessed^ are the poor 
In spirit." Ah! how far unlike to these 

' "The chapel stands." The church of ' "The well-guided city." This is said 

San Mtniato in Florence, situated on a ironically of Florence, 

height that overlooks the Arno, where it * "The registry." In allusion to certain 

is crossed by the bridge Rubaconte, so instances of fraud committed in Dante's 

called from Mcsser Rubaconte da Man- time with respect to the public accounts 

della, of Milan, chief magistrate of and measures. 

Florence, by whom the bridge was ' "Blessed." "Blessed are the poor in 

founded in 1237. (The bridge is now spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of 

generally known as the Ponte alle Grazie. heaven." Matt. v. }. 

194 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xill 

The straits of Hell: here songs to usher OS, 

There shrieks of woe. We chmb the holy stairs: 

And lighter to myself by far I secm'd 

Than on the plain before; whence thus I spake: 

"Say, master, of what heavy thing have I 

Been lighten'd; that scarce aught the sense of toil 

Affects me journeying?" He in few replied: 

"When sin's broad characters,' that yet remain 

Upon thy temples, though well nigh effaced. 

Shall be, as one is, all clean razed out; 

Then shall thy feet by heartiness of will 

Be so o'ercome, they not alone shall feel 

No sense of labor, but delight much more 

Shall wait them, urged along their upward way." 

Then like to one, upon whose head is placed 
Somewhat he deems not of, but from the becks 
Of others, as they pass him by; his hand 
Lends therefore help to assure him, searches, finds, 
And well performs such office as the eye 
Wants power to execute; so stretching forth 
The fingers of my right hand, did I find 
Six only of the letters, which his sword. 
Who bare the keys, had traced upon my brow. 
The leader, as he mark'd mine action, smiled. 


Argument. — They gain the second cornice, where the sin of envy is purged; and 
having proceeded a little to the right, they hear voices uttered by invisible spirits 
recounting famous examples of charity, and next behold the shades, or souls, of the 
envious clad in sackcloth, and having their eyes sewed up with an iron thread. 
Amongst these Dante finds Sapia, a Siennese lady, from whom he learns the cause of 
her being there. 

'E reach'd the summit of the scale, and stood 
Upon the second buttress of that mount 
Which healcth him who climbs. A cornice there 

Like to the former, girdles round the hill; 

Save that its arch, with sweep less ample, bends. 

• "Sin's broad characters." Of the seven now vanished in consequence of his hav- 

P's, that denoted the same number of ing passed the place where the sin of 

sins (Pcccata) whereof he was to be pride, the chief of them, was expiated, 
cleansed (see Canto ix. loo), the first had 



Shadow, nor image there, is seen: all smooth 
The rampart and the path, reflecting naught 
But the rock's sullen hue. "If here we wait, 
For some to question," said the bard, "I fear 
Our choice may haply meet too long delay." 

Then fixedly upon the sun his eyes 
He fasten'd; made his right the central point 
From whence to move; and turn'd the left aside. 
"O pleasant light, my confidence and hop)e! 
Conduct us thou," he cried, "on this new way. 
Where now I venture; leading to the bourn 
We seek. The universal world to thee 
Owes warmth and lustre. If no other cause 
Forbid, thy beams should ever be our guide." 

Far, as is measured for a mile on earth. 
In brief space had we journey'd; such prompt will 
Impell'd; and toward us flying, now were heard 
Spirits invisible, who courteously 
Unto love's table bade the welcome guest. 
The voice, that first flew by, call'd forth aloud, 
"They have no wine," so on behind us past. 
Those sounds reiterating, nor yet lost 
In the faint distance, when another came 
Crying, "I am Orestes," ' and alike 
Wing'd its fleet way. "O father!" I exclaim'd, 
"What tongues are these?" and as I question 'd, lo! 
A third exclaiming, "Love ye those have wrong'd you." 

"This circuit," said my teacher, "knots the scourge 
For envy; and the cords are therefore drawn 
By charity's correcting hand. The curb 
Is of a harsher sound; as thou shalt hear 
(If I deem rightly) ere thou reach the pass. 
Where pardon sets them free. But fix thine eyes 
Intendy through the air; and thou shalt see 
A multitude before thee seated, each 
Along the shelving grot." Then more than erst 
I oped mine eyes; before me view'd; and saw 
Shadows with garments dark as was the rock; 
And when we pass'd a little forth, I heard 
' "Orestes." Alluding to his friendship with Pyladcs. 

196 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xill 

A crying, "Blessed Mary! pray for us, 
Michael and Peter! all ye saintly host!" 

I do not think there walks on earth this day 
Man so remorseless, that he had not yearn'd 
With pity at the sight that next I saw. 
Mine eyes a load of sorrow teem'd, when now 
I stood so near them, that their semblances 
Came clearly to my view. Of sackcloth vile 
Their covering seem'd; and, on his shoulder, one 
Did stay another, leaning; and all lean'd 
Against the cliff. E'en thus the blind and poor, 
Near the confessionals, to crave an alms, 
Stand, each his head upon his fellow's sunk; 
So most to stir compassion, not by sound 
Of words alone, but that which moves not less, 
The sight of misery. And as never beam 
Of noon-day visiteth the eyeless man, 
E'en so was heaven a niggard unto these 
Of his fair light: for, through the orbs of all, 
A thread of wire, impiercing, knits them up. 
As for the taming of a haggard hawk. 
It were a wrong, methought, to pass and look 
On others, yet myself the while unseen. 
To my sage counsel therefore did I turn. 
He knew the meaning of the mute appeal. 
Nor waited for my questioning, but said: 
"Speak; and be brief, be subtile in thy words." 

On that part of the cornice, whence no rim 
Engarlands its steep fall, did Virgil come; 
On the other side me were the spirits, their cheeks 
Bathing devout with penitential tears. 
That through the dread impalement forced a way. 

I turn'd me to them, and "O shades!" said I, 
"Assured that to your eyes unveil'd shall shine 
The lofty light, sole object of your wish. 
So may Heaven's grace clear whatsoe'er of foam 
Floats turbid on the conscience, that thenceforth 
The stream of mind roll limpid from its source; 
As ye declare (for so shall ye impart 
A boon I dearly prize) if any soul 


Of Latiutn dwell among ye: and perchance 
That soul may profit, if I learn so much." 

"My brother! we are, each one, citizens 
Of one true city.' Any, thou wouldst say. 
Who lived a stranger in Italia's land." 

So heard I answering, as appear'd, a voice 
That onward came some space from whence I stood. 

A spirit I noted, in whose look was mark'd 
Expectance. Ask ye how ? The chin was raised 
As in one reft of sight. "Spirit," said I, 
"Who for thy rise art tutoring, (if thou be 
That which didst answer to me), or by place. 
Or name, disclose thyself, that I may know thee." 

"I was," it answer'd, "of Sienna: here 
I cleanse away with these the evil life, 
Soliciting with tears that He, who is. 
Vouchsafe Him to us. Though Sapia' named. 
In sapience I excell'd not; gladder far 
Of other's hurt, than of the good befell me. 
That thou mayst own I now deceive thee not. 
Hear, if my folly were not as I speak it. 
When now my tears sloped waning down the arch. 
It so bechanced, my fellow<itizens 
Near CoUe met their enemies in the field; 
And I pray'd God to grant what He had will'd.* 
There were they vanquish'd, and betook themselves 
Unto the bitter passages of flight. 
I mark'd the hunt; and waxing out of bounds 
In gladness, lifted up my shameless brow. 
And, like the merlin' cheated by a gleam, 
Cried: 'It is over. Heaven! I fear thee not.* 
Upon my verge of life I wish'd for peace 
With God; nor yet repentance had supplied 
What I did lack of duty, were it not 

J" Citizens of one true city!" *" What He had will'd." That 

"For here we have no continuing city, her countrymen should be defeated in 

but we seek one to come." — Hcb. xiii. 14. battle. 

' "Sapia." A lady of Sienna, livinR in ' Induced by a gleam of fine weather 

exile at Colic, so overjoyed at a defeat in the winter to escape from his master, 

which her countrymen sustained near the merlin was soon oppressed by the 

that place, that she declared nothing more rigor of the season. 
was wanting to make her die contented. 

198 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xiii 

The hermit Piero,' touch'd with charity, 
In his devout orisons thought on me. 
But who art thou that question'st of our state, 
Who go'st, as I believe, with lids unclosed, 
And breathest in thy talk?" — "Mine eyes," said I, 
"May yet be here ta'en from me; but not long; 
For they have not offended grievously 
With envious glances. But the woe beneath' 
Urges my soul with more exceeding dread. 
That nether load already weighs me down." 

She thus: "Who then, amongst us here aloft, 
Hath brought thee, if thou weenest to return?" 

"He," answered I, "who standeth mute beside me. 
I live: of me ask therefore, chosen spirit! 
If thou desire I yonder yet should move 
For thee my mortal feet." — "Oh!" she replied, 
"This is so strange a thing, it is great sign 
That God doth love thee. Therefore with thy prayer 
Sometime assist me: and, by that I crave. 
Which most thou covetest, that if thy feet 
E'er tread on Tuscan soil, thou save my fame 
Amongst my kindred. Them shalt thou behold 
With that vain multitude,' who set their hof)e 
On Telamone's haven; there to fail 
Confounded, more than when the fancied stream 
They sought, of Dian call'd: but they, who lead 
Their navies, more than ruin'd hopes shall mourn." 

•'The hermit Piero." Piero Petti- subject to the sin of pride, than to that 
nagno, a holy hermit of Florence. of envy. 

' Dante felt that he was much more • The Sienese. 



Argument. — Our Poet on this second cornice finds also the souls of Guido del Duca 
of Brettinoro, and Rinieri da Calboli of RomaKna; the latter of whom, hearing that 
he comes from the banks of the Arno, invciyhs against the degeneracy of all those 
who dwell in the cities visited by that stream; and the former, in like manner, against 
the inhabitants of Romagna. On leaving these, our Poets hear voices recording noted 
instances of envy. 

"^'^AY,' who is he around our mountain winds, 
^^^ Or ever death has pruned his wing for flight; 
J^^ ^ That opes his eyes, and covers them at will?" 

"I know not who he is, but know thus much; 
He comes not singly. Do thou ask of him. 
For thou art nearer to him; and take heed. 
Accost him gendy, so that he may speak." 

Thus on the right two spirits, bending each 
Toward the other, talked of me; then both 
Addressing me, their faces backward lean'd. 
And thus the one' began: "O soul, who yet 
Pent in the body, tendest towards the sky! 
For charity, we pray thee, comfort us; 
Recounting whence thou comest, and who thou art: 
For thou dost make us, at the favor shown thee. 
Marvel, as at a thing that ne'er hath been." 

"There stretches through the midst of Tuscany," 
I straight began, "a brooklet,' whose well-head 
Springs up in Falterona; with his race 
Not satisfied, when he some hundred miles 
Hath measured. From his banks bring I this frame. 
To tell you who I am were words mis-spent: 
For yet my name scarce sounds on rumour's lip." 

"If well I do incorporate with my thought 
The meaning of thy Sfjeech," said he, who first 
Address'd me, "thou dost speak of Arno's wave." 

To whom the other:* "Why hath he conceal'd 
The tide of that river, as a man 
£)oth of some horrible thing.'" The spirit, who 

' "Say." The two spirits who thus ' The Arno, that rises in Falterona, a 

speak to each other are Guido del Duca, mountain in the Apennines. Its course 

of Brettinoro, and Rinieri da Calboli, of is 120 miles. 
Romagna. * Rinieri da Calboli. 

' "The one." Guido del Duca. 

200 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xiv 

Thereof was question'd, did acquit him thus: 
"I know not: but 'tis fitting well the name 
Should perish of that vale; for from the source,* 
Where teems so plenteously the Alpine steep 
Maim'd of Pelorus, (that doth scarcely pass 
Beyond that limit), even to the point 
Where unto ocean is restored what heaven 
Drains from the exhaustless store for all earth's streams, 
Throughout the space is virtue worried down, 
As 't were a snake, by all, for mortal foe; 
Or through disastrous influence on the place. 
Or else distortion of misguided wills 
That custom goads to evil: whence in those, 
TTie dwellers in that miserable vale, 
Nature is so transform'd, it seems as they 
Had shared of Circe's feeding. 'Midst brute swine,* 
Worthier of acorns than of other food 
Created for man's use, he shapeth first 
His obscure way; then, sloping onward, finds 
Curs,' snarlers more in spite than power, from whom 
He turns with scorn aside: still journeying down, 
By how much more the curst and luckless foss' 
Swells out to largeness, e'en so much it finds 
Dogs turning into wolves.' Descending still 
Through yet more hollow eddies, next he meets 
A race of foxes,'" so replete with craft. 
They do not fear that skill can master it. 
Nor will I cease because my words are heard" 
By other ears than thine. It shall be well 
For this man,'* if he keep in memory 
What from no erring spirit I reveal. 
Lo! I behold thy grandson," that becomes 
* From the rise of the Arno in the ' "Wolves." The Florentines. 

Apennines, whence Pelorus in Sicily was "• "Foxes." The Pisans. 

torn by a convulsion of the earth, even " Guido still addresses Rinicri. 

to the point where the same river unites " For Dante, who has told us that he 

with the ocean. Virtue is persecuted by comes from the banks of Arno. 

all. " "Thy grandson." Fulcicri da Cal- 

' The people of Casentino. boli, grandson of Rinieri da Calboli, who 

' "Curs." The Arno leaves Arezzo is here spoken to. The atrocities pre- 

about four miles to the left. dieted came to pass in 1302. 

' "Foss." So in his anger he terms the 



A hunter of those wolves, upon the shore 

Of the fierce stream; and cows them all with dread. 

Their flesh, yet living, sets he up to sale. 

Then, like an aged beast, to slaughter dooms. 

Many of life he reaves, himself of worth 

And goodly estimation. Smear'd with gore, 

Mark how he issues from the rueful wood; 

Leaving such havoc, that in thousand years 

It spreads not to prime lustihood again." 

As one, who tidings hears of woe to come. 
Changes his looks perturb'd, from whate'er part 
The peril grasp him; so beheld I change 
That spirit, who had turn'd to listen; struck 
With sadness, soon as he had caught the word. 

His visage, and the other's speech, did raise 
Desire in me to know the names of both; 
Whereof, with meek entreaty, I inquired. 

The shade, who late address'd me, thus resumed: 
"Thy wish imports, that I vouchsafe to do 
For thy sake what thou wilt not do for mine. 
But, since God's will is that so largely shine 
His grace in thee, I will be liberal too. 
Guido of Duca know then that I am. 
Envy so parch'd my blood, that had I seen 
A fellow man made joyous, thou had'st mark'd 
A livid paleness overspread my cheek. 
Such harvest reap I of the seed I sow'd. 
O man! why place thy heart where there doth need 
Exclusion of participants in good ? 
This is Rinieri's spirit; this, the boast 
And honour of the house of Calboli; 
Where of his worth no heritage remains. 
Nor his the only blood, that hath been stript 
('Twixt Po, the mount, the Reno, and the shore") 
Of all that truth or fancy asks for bliss: 
But, in those limits, such a growth has sprung 
Of rank and venom'd roots, as long would mock 
Slow culture's toil. Where is good Lizio.'"' where 

'*The boundaries of RomaRna. duced into Boccaccio's Decameron, G. v. 

""Lizio." Lizio da Valbona intro- N. 4. 


Mainardi, Traversaro, and Carpigna?'* 

O bastard slips of old Romagna's line! 

When in Bologna the low artisan," 

And in Faenza yon Bernardin" sprouts, 

A gentle cyon from ignoble stem. 

Wonder not, Tuscan, if thou see me weep, 

When I recall to mind those once loved names, 

Guido of Prata," and of Azzo him'" 

That dwelt with us; Tignoso" and his troop. 

With Traversaro's house and Anastagio's,*" 

(Each race disherited); and beside these, 

The ladies and the knights, the toils and ease. 

That witch'd us into love and courtesy; 

Where now such malice reigns in recreant hearts 

O Brettinoro!" wherefore tarriest still. 

Since forth of thee thy family hath gone, 

And many, hating evil, join'd their steps? 

Well doeth he, that bids his lineage cease, 

Bagnacavallo;" Castrocaro ill, 

And Conio worse,^* who care to propagate 

A race of Counties^ from such blood as theirs. 

Well shall ye also do, Pagani," then 

When from amongst you hies your demon child; 

Not so, howe'er, that thenceforth there remain 

" Arrigo Manardi, of Faenza, or, as gcr arrived among them, contended with 
some say, of Brettinoro; Pier Traversaro, one another by whom he should be enter- 
Lord of Ravenna; and Guido di Carpigna, tained; and that in order to end this dis- 
of Montefeltro. pute, they set up a pillar with as many 

" One who had been a mechanic, rings as there were fathers of families 

named Lambertaccio, arrived at almost among them, a ring being assigned to 

supreme power in Bologna. each, and that accordingly as a stranger 

" Benardin di Fosco, a man of low on his arrival hung his horse's bridle on 

origin, but great talents, who governed one or other of these, he became his 

at Faenza. guest to whom the ring belonged. 

" "Prata." A place between Faenza '* "Bagnacavallo." A castle between 

and Ravenna. Imola and Ravenna. 

^''"Of Azzo him." Ugolino, of the "" Castrocaro ill, and Conio 

Ubaldini family in Tuscany. worse." Both in Romagna. 

•' Federigo Tignoso of Rimini. " "Counties." I have used this word 

''Two noble families of Ravenna. here for "counts," as it is in Shakespeare. 

'• "O Brettinoro." A beautifully sit- " "Pagani." The Pagani were lords of 

uated castle in Romagna, the hospitable Faenza and Imola. One of them, Machi- 

residence of Guiilo del Duca, who is here nardo, was named "the Demon," from 

speaking. Landino relates that there were his treachery. See Hell, Canto xxvii. 47 

several of this family who, when a stran- and note. 


True proof of what ye were. O Hugolin," 
Thou sprung of Fantolini's line! thy name 
Is safe; since none is look'd for after thee 
To cloud its lustre, warping from thy stock. 
But, Tuscan! go thy ways; for now I take 
Far more delight in weeping, than in words. 
Such pity for your sakcs hath wrung my heart." 

We knew those gentle spirits, at parting, heard 
Our steps. Their silence therefore, of our way. 
Assured us. Soon as we had quitted them, 
Advancing onward, lo! a voice, that seem'd 
Like volley 'd lightning, when it rives the air, 
Met us, and shouted, "Whosoever finds 
Will slay me"; then fled from us, as the bolt 
Lanced sudden from a downward-rushing cloud. 
When it had given short truce unto our hearing, 
Behold the other with a crash as loud 
As the quick-following thunder: "Mark in me 
Aglauros, turn'd to rock." I, at the sound 
Retreating, drew more closely to my guide. 

Now in mute stilness rested all the air; 
And thus he spake: "There was the galling bit, 
Which should keep man within his boundary. 
But your old enemy so baits the hook. 
He drags you eager to him. Hence nor curb 
Avails you, nor reclaiming call. Heaven calls, 
And, round about you wheeling, courts your gaze 
With everlasting beauties. Yet your eye 
Turns with fond doting still upon the earth. 
Therefore He smites you who discerneth all." 

** "Hugolin." Ufiolino Ubaldini, a on account of his age probably, was not 
Qoble and virtuous person in Facnza, who, likely to leave any offspring behind him. 

204 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xv 


Akgdment. — An Angel invites them to ascend the next steep. On their way 
Dante suggests certain doubts, which arc resolved by Virgil: and, when they reach the 
third cornice, where the sin of anger is purged, our Poet, in a kind of waking dream, 
beholds remarkable instances of patience; and soon after they are enveloped in a dense 

AS much as 'twixt the third hour's close and dawn, 
/\ Appeareth of Heaven's sphere, that ever whirls 
y % As restless as an infant in his play; 
So much appear'd remaining to the sun 
Of his slope journey towards the western goal. 

Evening was there, and here the noon of night; 
And full upon our forehead smote the beams. 
For round the mountain, circling, so our path 
Had led us, that toward the sunset now 
Direct we journey'd; when I felt a weight 
Of more exceeding splendour, than before. 
Press on my front. The cause unknown, amaze 
Possess'd me! and both hands against my brows 
Lifting, I interposed them, as a screen. 
That of its gorgeous superflux of light 
Clips the diminish'd orb. As when the ray, 
Striking on water or the surface clear 
Of mirror, leaps unto the opposite part, 
Ascending at a glance, e'en as it fell. 
And as much differs from the stone, that falls 
Through equal space, (so practic skill hath shown); 
Thus, with refracted light, before me seem'd 
The ground there smitten; whence, in sudden haste. 
My sight recoil'd. "What is this, sire beloved! 
'Gainst which I strive to shield the sight in vain?" 
Cried I, "and which toward us moving seems?" 

"Marvel not, if the family of Heaven," 
He answer'd, "yet with dazzling radiance dim 
Thy sense. It is a messenger who comes. 
Inviting man's ascent. Such sights ere long. 
Not grievous, shall impart to thee delight, 
As thy perception is by nature wrought 
Up to their pitch." The blessed Angel, soon 


As we had reach'd him, hail'd us with glad voice: 
"Here enter on a ladder far less steep 
Than ye have yet encounter'd." We forthwith 
Ascending, heard behind us chanted sweet, 
"Blessed the merciful," ' and "Happy thou. 
That conquer'st." Lonely each, my guide and I, 
Pursued our upward way; and as we went, 
Some profit from his words I hoped to win. 
And thus of him inquiring, framed my speech: 
"What meant Romagna's spirit,' when he spake 
Of bliss exclusive, with no partner shared?" 

He straight replied: "No wonder, since he knows 
What sorrow waits on his own worst defect. 
If he chide others, that they less may mourn. 
Because ye point your wishes at a mark. 
Where, by communion of possessors, part 
Is lessen'd, envy bloweth up men's sighs. 
No fear of that might touch yc, if the love 
Of higher sphere exalted your desire. 
For there, by how much more they call it ours. 
So much propriety of each in good 
Encreases more, and heighten'd chdrity 
Wraps that fair cloister in a brighter flame." 

"Now lack I satisfaction more," said I, 
"Than if thou hadst been silent at the first; 
And doubt more gathers on my labouring thought.. 
How can it chance, that good distributed, 
The many, that fxjssess it, makes more rich. 
Than if 't were shared by few?" He answering thus: 
"Thy mind, reverting still to things of earth, 
Strikes darkness from true light. The highest Good 
Unlimited, ineffable, doth so speed 
To love, as beam to lucid body darts. 
Giving as much of ardour as it finds. 
The sempiternal effluence streams abroad. 
Spreading, wherever charity extends;. 
So that the more aspirants to that bliss 
Are multiplied, more good is there to love, 
And more is loved; as mirrors, that reflect, 
• "Blessed the merciful." Matt v. 7. * Guido del Duca, of Brettinoro. 

206 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xv 

Each unto other, propagated light. 

If these my words avail not to allay 

Thy thirsting, Beatrice thou shalt see. 

Who of this want, and of all else thou hast, 

Shall rid thee to the full. Provide but thou, 

That from thy temples may be soon erased, 

E'en as the two already, those five scars. 

That, when they pain thee worst, then kindliest heal." 

"Thou," I had said, "content'st me"; when I saw 
The other round was gain'd, and wondering eyes 
Did keep me mute. There suddenly I seem'd 
By an ecstatic vision wrapt away; 
And in a temple saw, methought, a crowd 
Of many persons; and at the entrance stood 
A dame, whose sweet demeanour did express 
A mother's love, who said, "Child! why hast thou 
Dealt with us thus? Behold thy sire and I 
Sorrowing have sought thee"; and so held her peace; 
And straight the vision fled. A female next 
Appear'd before me, down whose visage coursed 
Those waters, that grief forces out from one 
By deep resentment stung, who seem'd to say: 
'If thou, Pisistratus, be lord indeed 
Over this city,' named with such debate 
Of adverse gods, and whence each science sparkles, 
Avenge thee of those arms, whose bold embrace 
Hath clasp'd our daughter"; and to her, meseem'd. 
Benign and meek, with visage undisturb'd. 
Her sovran spake: "How shall we those requite* 
Who wish us evil, if we thus condemn 
The man that loves us?" After that I saw 
A multitude, in fury burning, slay 
With stones a stripling youth,* and shout amain 
"Destroy, destroy"; and him I saw, who bow'd 

' "Over this city." Athens, named after his wife, when she urged him to inflict 

Minerva (K9riir^), in consequence of her the punishment of death on a young man, 

having produced a more valuable gift for who, inflamed with love for his daughter, 

it in the olive than Neptune had done in had snatched a kiss from her in public, 

the horse. ' "A stripling youth." The Proto- 

* "How shall we those requite?" martyr Stephen. 
The answer of Pisistratus the tyrant to 


Heavy with death unto the ground, yet made 
His eyes, unfolded upward, gates to Heaven, 
Praying forgiveness of the Almighty Sire, 
Amidst that cruel conflict, on his foes, 
With looks that win compassion to their aim. 

Soon as my spirit, from her airy flight 
Returning, sought again the things whose truth 
Depends not on her shaping, I observed 
She had not roved to falsehood in her dreams. 

Meanwhile the leader, who might see I moved 
As one who struggles to shake off his sleep, 
Exciaim'd: "What ails thee, that thou canst not hold 
Thy footing firm; but more than half a league 
Hast travel'd with closed eyes and tottering gait. 
Like to a man by wine or sleep o'ercharged?" 

"Beloved father! so thou deign," said I, 
"To listen, I will tell thee what appear'd 
Before me, when so fail'd my sinking steps." 

He thus: "Not if thy countenance were mask'd 
With hundred vizards, could a thought of thine, 
How small soe'er, elude me. What thou saw'st 
Was shown, that freely thou mightst ope thy heart 
To the waters of peace, that flow diffused 
From their eternal fountain. I not ask'd. 
What ails thee? for such cause as he doth, who 
Looks only with that eye, which sees no more. 
When spiritless the body lies; but ask'd. 
To give fresh vigour to thy foot. Such goads, 
The slow and loitering need; that they be found 
Not wanting, when their hour of watch returns." 

So on we journey'd, through the evening sky 
Gazing intent, far onward as our eyes. 
With level view, could stretch against the bright 
Vespertine ray: and lo! by slow degrees 
Gathering, a fog made towards us, dark as night. 
There was no room for 'scaping; and that mist 
Bereft us, both of sight and the pure air. 

208 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xvi 


Argument. — As they proceed through the mist, they hear the voice* of spirits 
praying. Marco Lombardo, one of these, points out to Dante the error of such as 
impute our actions to necessity; explains to him that man is endued with free will; 
and shows that much of human depravity results from the undue mixture of spiritual 
and temporal authority in rulers. 

HELL'S dunnest gloom, or night unlustrous, dark, 
Of every planet 'reft, and pall'd in clouds, 
Did never spread before the sight a veil 
In thickness like that fog, nor to the sense 
So palpable and gross. Entering its shade. 
Mine eye endured not with unclosed lids; 
Which marking, near me drew the faithful guide, 
Offering me his shoulder for a stay. 

As the blind man behind his leader walks. 
Lest he should err, or stumble unawares 
On what might harm him or perhaps destroy; 
I journey 'd through that bitter air and foul. 
Still listening to my escort's warning voice, 
"Look that from me thou part not." Straight I heard 
Voices, and each one seem'd to pray for peace, 
And for compassion, to the Lamb of God 
That taketh sins away. Their prelude still 
Was "Agnus Dei"; and through all the choir, 
One voice, one measure ran, that perfect seem'd 
The concord of their song. "Are these I hear 
Spirits, O master.?" I exclaim'd; and he, 
"Thou aim'st aright: these loose the bonds of wrath." 

"Now who art thou, that through our smoke dost cleave. 
And speak'st of us, as thou thyself e'en yet 
Dividedst time by calends.'" So one voice 
Bespake me; whence my master said, "Reply; 
And ask, if upward hence the passage lead." 

"O being! who dost make thee pure, to stand 
Beautiful once more in thy Maker's sight; 
Along with me: and thou shalt hear and wonder." 
Thus I, whereto the spirit answering spake: 
"Long as 'tis lawful for me, shall my steps 
Follow on thine; and since the cloudy smoke 


Forbids the seeing, hearing in its stead 
Shall keep us join'd." I then forthwith began: 
"Yet in my mortal swathing, I ascend 
To higher regions; and am hither come 
Thorough the fearful agony of Hell. 
And, if so largely God hath doled His grace, 
That, clean beside all modern precedent, 
He wills me to behold His kingly state; 
From me conceal not who thou wast, ere death 
Had loosed thee; but instruct me: and instruct 
If rightly to the pass I tend; thy words 
The way directing, as a safe escort." 

"I was of Lombardy, and Marco call'd:' 
Not inexperienced of the world, that worth 
I still aflected, from which all have turn'd 
The nerveless bow aside. Thy course tends right 
Unto the summit:" and, replying thus. 
He added, "I beseech thee pray for me. 
When thou shalt come aloft." And I to him: 
"Accept my faith for pledge I will perform 
What thou requirest. Yet one doubt remains, 
That wrings me sorely, if I solve it not. 
Singly before it urged me, doubled now 
By thine opinion, when I couple that 
With one elsewhere declared; each strengthening other. 
The world indeed is even so forlorn 
Of all good, as thou speak'st it, and so swarms 
With every evil. Yet, beseech thee, point 
The cause out to me, that myself may see, 
And unto others show it: for in Heaven 
One places it, and one on earth below." 

Then heaving forth a deep and audible sigh, 

"Brother!" he thus began, "the world is blind; 

And thou in truth comest from it. Ye, who live, 

' A Venetian Rentleman. "Lombardo" da Camino, lord of Trevigi, who raised 

both was his surname and denoted the a contribution among the nobles of Lom- 

country to which he belonged. G. Vil- bardy; of which when Marco was in- 

lani, lib. vii. cap. cxx., terms him "a wise formed, he wrote back with much indig- 

and worthy courtier." Bcnvenuto da nation to Riccardo, that he had rather die 

Imola, says I^ndino, relates of him, that than remain under obligations to so many 

being imprisoned and not able to pay his benefactors. Riccardo then paid the whole 

ransom, he wrote to his friend Riccardo out of his own purse. 

210 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xvi 

Do so each cause refer to Heaven above. 

E'en as its motion, of necessity, 

Drew with it all that moves. If this were so, 

Free choice in you were none; nor justice would 

There should be joy for virtue, woe for ill. 

Your movements have their primal bent from Heaven; 

Not all: yet said I all; what then ensues? 

Light have ye still to follow evil or good. 

And of the will free power, which, if it stand 

Firm and unwearied in Heaven's first assay, 

Conquers at last, so it be cherish'd well. 

Triumphant over all. To mightier force. 

To better nature subject, ye abide 

Free, not constrain'd by that which forms in you 

The reasoning mind uninfluenced of the stars. 

If then the present race of mankind err, 

Seek in yourselves the cause, and find it there; 

Herein thou shalt confess me no false spy. 

"Forth from His plastic hand, who charm'd beholds 
Her image ere she yet exist, the soul 
Comes like a babe, that wantons sportively. 
Weeping and laughing in its wayward moods; 
As artless, and as ignorant of aught, 
Save that her Maker being one who dwells 
With gladness ever, willingly she turns 
To whate'er yields her joy. Of some slight good 
The flavour soon she tastes; and, snared by that, 
With fondness she pursues it; if no guide 
Recall, no rein direct her wandering course. 
Hence it behoved, the law should be a curb; 
A sovereign hence behoved, whose piercing view 
Might mark at least the fortress* and main tower 
Of the true city. Laws indeed there are: 
But who is he observes them? None; not he. 
Who goes before, the shepherd of the flock, 

•justice, the most necessary virtue in to be the law of God; "the sovereign," 

the chief magistrate, as the commentators a spiritual ruler, and "the true city," the 

for the most part explain it. Sec also society of true believers; so that "the for- 

Dante's De Monarchic, book I. Yet Lom- tress," according to him, denotes the 

bardi understands the law here spoken of principal parts of Christian duty. 


Who' chews the cud but doth not cleave the hoof. 

Therefore the multitude, who see their guide 

Strike at the very good they covet most, 

Feed there and look no further. Thus the cause 

Is not corrupted nature in yourselves, 

But ill<onducting, that hath turn'd the world 

To evil. Rome, that turn'd it unto good. 

Was wont to boast two suns,* whose several beams 

Cast light on either way, the world's and God's. 

One since hath quench'd the other; and the sword 

Is grafted on the crook; and, so conjoin'd. 

Each must perforce decline to worse, unawed 

By fear of other. If thou doubt me, mark 

The blade: each herb is judged of by its seed. 

That land,' through which Adice and the Po 

Their waters roll, was once the residence 

Of courtesy and valour, ere the day' 

That frown'd on Frederick; now secure may pass 

Those limits, whosoe'er hath left, for shame, 

To talk with good men, or come near their haunts. 

Three aged ones are still found there, in whom 

The old time chides the new: these deem it long 

Ere God restore them to a better world: 

The good Gherardo,' of Palazzo he, 

Conrad;' and Guido of Castello,' named 

In Gallic phrase more fitly the plain Lombard. 

On this at last conclude. The Church of Rome, 

Mixing two governments that ill assort, 

Hath miss'd her footing, fallen into the mire. 

And there herself and burden much defiled." 

'"Who." He compares the Pope, on vito, p. 173. "Let us suppose that Ghe- 

account of the union of the temporal with rardo da Camino had been the grandson 

the spiritual power in his person, to an of the meanest hind that ever drank of 

unclean beast in the Lcvitical law. "The the Sile or the Cagnano, and that his 

camel, because he chcwcth the cud, but grandfather was not yet forgotten; who 

divideth not the hoof." Levit. vi. 4. will dare to say that Gherardo da Camino 

* The Emperor and Bishop of Rome. was a mean man, and who will nor agree 

* "That land." Lombardy. with me in calling him noble?" 

* Before the Emperor Frederick 11 was ' Currado da Palazzo of Brescia, 
defeated at Parma, in 1248. 'Of Reggio. All the Italians were called 

' Gherardo da Camino, of Trevigi. He Lombards by the French, 
is honorably mcntioncti in our Poet's Con- 

212 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xvn 

"O Marco!" I replied, "thine arguments 
Convince me: and the cause I now discern. 
Why of the heritage no portion came 
To Levi's offspring. But resolve me this: 
Who that Gherardo is, that as thou say'st 
Is left a sample of the perish'd race, 
And for rebuke to this untoward age?" 

"Either thy words," said he, "deceive, or else 
Are meant to try me; that thou, speaking Tuscan, 
Appear'st not to have heard of good Gherardo; 
The sole addition that, by which I know him; 
Unless I borrow 'd from his daughter Ga'ia" 
Another name to grace him. God be with you. 
I bear you company no more. Behold 
The dawn with white ray glimmering through the mist. 
I must away — the angel comes — ere he 
Appear." He said, and would not hear me more. 


Argument. — The Poet issues from that thick vapour; and soon after hii fancy 
represents to him in lively portraiture some noted examples of an(;cr. This imagina- 
tion is dissipated by the appearance of an angel, who marshals them onward to the 
fourth cornice, on which the sin of gloominess or indifference is purged; and here 
Virgil shows him that this vice proceeds from a defect of love, and that all love 
can be only of two sorts, either natural, or of the soul; of which sorts the former is 
always right, but the latter may err either in respect of object or of degree. 

jALL to remembrance, reader, if thou e'er 

Hast on an Alpine height been ta'en by cloud, 

Through which thou saw'st no better than the mole 

Doth through opacous membrane; then, whene'er 

The watery vapours dense began to melt 

Into thin air, how faintly the sun's sphere 

Seem'd wading through them: so thy nimble thought 

May image, how at first I rebeheld 

The sun, that bedward now his couch o'erhung. 

Thus, with my leader's feet still equaling pace, 

From forth that cloud I came, when now expired 

'" "His daughter Ga'ia." A lady claim to the praise of having been the 

equally admired for her modesty, the first among the Italian ladies, by whom 

beauty of her person, and the excellency the veroacular poetry was cultivated, 
ot her talents. Gaia may perhaps lay 



The parting beams from ofl the nether shores. 

O quick and forgetive power I that sometimes dost 
So rob us of ourselves, we take no mark 
Though round about us thousand trumpets clang; 
What moves thee, if the senses stir not? Light 
Moves thee from Heaven, spontaneous, self-inform'd; 
Or, likelier, gliding down with swift illapse 
By will divine. Portray'd before me came 
The traces of her dire impiety, 
Whose form was changed into the bird, that most 
Delights itself in song:' and here my mind 
Was inwardly so wrapt, it gave no place 
To aught that ask'd admittance from without. 
Next shower'd into my fantasy a shape 
As of one crucified, whose visage spake 
Fell rancour, malice deep, wherein he died; 
And round him Ahasuerus the great king; 
Esther his bride; and Mordecai the just. 
Blameless in word and deed. As of itself 
That unsubstantial coinage of the brain 
Burst, like a bubble, when the water fails 
That fed it; in my vision straight uprose 
A damsel' weeping loud, and cried, "O queeni 
O mother! wherefore has intemperate ire 
Driven thee to loathe thy being? Not to lose 
Lavinia, desperate thou hast slain thyself. 
Now hast thou lost me. I am she, whose tears 
Mourn, ere I fall, a mother's timeless end." 

E'en as a sleep breaks off, if suddenly 

New radiance strikes upon the closed lids. 

The broken slumber quivering ere it dies; 

Thus, from before me, sunk that imagery. 

Vanishing, soon as on my face there struck 

The light, outshining far our earthly beam. 

' I cannot think, with Vellutcllo, that two, but through mistake slew her own 

the swallow is here meant. Dante prob- son Itylus, and for her punishment was 

ably alludes to the story of Philomela, as transformed by Jupiter into a nightinRale. 
it is found in Homer's "Odyssey," b. xix. ^ Lavinia, mourning for her mother 

518. Philomela intended to slay the son Amata, who, impelled by grief and indig- 

of her husband's brother Amphion, in- nation for the supposed death of Turnus, 

cited to it by the envy of his wife, who destroyed herself, 
had six children, while herself had only 

214 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xvii 

As round I turn'd me to survey what place 

I had arrived at, "Here ye mount": exdaim'd 

A voice, that other purpose left me none 

Save will so eager to behold who spake, 

I could not chuse but gaze. As 'fore the sun, 

That weighs our vision down, and veils his form 

In light transcendent, thus my virtue fail'd 

Unequal. "This is Spirit from above, 

Who marshals us our upward way, unsought; 

And in his own light shrouds him. As a man 

Doth for himself, so now is done for us. 

For whoso waits imploring, yet sees need 

Of his prompt aidance, sets himself prepared 

For blunt denial, ere the suit be made. 

Refuse we not to lend a ready foot 

At such inviting: haste we to ascend. 

Before it darken: for we may not then, 

Till morn again return." So spake my guide; 

And to one ladder both address'd our steps; 

And the first stair approaching, I perceived 

Near me as 't were the waving of a wing. 

That fann'd my face, and whisper'd: "Blessed they, 

The peace-makers: they know not evil wrath." 

Now to such height above our heads were raised 
The last beams, follow'd close by hooded night, 
That many a star on all sides through the gloom 
Shone out. "Why partest from me, O my strength.'" 
So with myself I communed; for I felt 
My o'ertoil'd sinews slacken. We had reach'd 
The summit, and were fix'd like to a bark 
Arrived at land. And waiting a short space. 
If aught should meet mine ear in that new round, 
Then to my guide I turn'd, and said: "Loved sire! 
Declare what guilt is on this circle purged. 
If our feet rest, no need thy speech should pause." 

He thus to me: "The love of good, whate'er 
Wanted of just proportion, here fulfils. 
Here plies afresh the oar, that loiter'd ill. 
But that thou mayst yet clearlier understand. 
Give ear unto my words; and thou shalt cull 


Some fruit may please thee well, from this delay. 

"Creator, nor created being, e'er, 
My son," he thus began, "was without love, 
Or natural, or the free spirit's growth. 
Thou hast not that to learn. The natural still 
Is without error: but the other swerves, 
If on ill object bent, or through excess 
Of vigour, or defect. While e'er it seeks 
TTie primal blessings,' or with measure due 
The inferior,* no delight, that flows from it. 
Partakes of ill. But let it warp to evil. 
Or with more ardour than behoves, or less. 
Pursue the good; the thing created then 
Works 'gainst its Maker. Hence thou must infer 
That love is germin of each virtue in ye, 
And of each act no less, that merits pain. 
Now' since it may not be, but love intend 
The welfare mainly of the thing it loves, 
All from self-hatred are secure; and since 
No being can be thought to exist apart. 
And independent of the first, a bar 
Of equal force restrains from hating that. 

"Grant the distinction just; and it remains 
The evil must be another's, which is loved. 
Three ways such love is gender'd in your clay. 
There is' who hopes (his neighbour's worth deprest) 
Pre-eminence himself; and covets hence. 
For his own greatness, that another fall. 
There is' who so much fears the loss of power, 
Fame, favour, glory, (should his fellow mount 
Above him), and so sickens at the thought, 
He loves their opposite: and there is he,' 
Whom wrong or insult seems to gall and shame. 
That he doth thirst for vengeance; and such needs 
Must dote on other's evil. Here beneath, 

'"The primal blessings." Spiritual can therefore rejoice only in the evil 

good. which befalls others." 

* "The inferior." Temporal good. • "There is." The proud. 

' "Now." "It is impossible for any ' "There is." The envious, 

being, either to hate itself, or to hate the • "There is he." The resentful. 

First Cause of all, by which it exists. We 



This threefold love is mourn'd. Of the other sort 
Be now instructed; that which follows good, 
But with disorder'd and irregular course. 

"All indistincdy apprehend a bliss, 
On which the soul may rest; the hearts of all 
Yearn after it; and to that wished bourn 
All therefore strive to tend. If ye behold, 
Or seek it, with a love remiss and lax; 
This cornice, after just repenting, lays 
Its penal torment on ye. Other good 
There is, where man finds not his happiness: 
It is not true fruition; not that blest 
Essence, of every good the branch and root. 
The love too lavishly bestow'd on this. 
Along three circles over us, is mourn'd. 
Account of that division tripartite 
Expect not, fitter for thine own research." 


AncuMENT. — Virgil discourses further concerning the nature of love. Then a multi- 
tude of spirits rush by; two of whom, in van of the rest, record instances of zeal 
and fervent affection, and another, who was Abbot of San Zeno in Verona, declares 
himself to Virgil and Oante; and lastly follow other spirits, shouting forth memorable 
examples of the sin for which they suiTer. The Poet, pursuing his meditations, falls 
into a dreamy slumber. 

THE teacher ended, and his high discourse 
Concluding, earnest in my looks inquired 
If I appear'd content; and I, whom still 
Unsated thirst to hear him urged, was mute. 
Mute outwardly, yet inwardly I said: 
"Perchance my too much questioning offends." 
But he, true father, mark'd the secret wish 
By diffidence restrain'd; and, speaking, gave 
Me boldness thus to speak: "Master! my sight 
Gathers so lively virtue from thy beams. 
That all, thy words convey, distinct is seen. 
Wherefore I pray thee, father, whom this heart 
Holds dearest, thou wouldst deign by proof t' unfold 
That love, from which, as from their source, thou bring'st 
All good deeds and their opposite." He then: 


"To what I now disclose be thy clear ken 

Directed; and thou plainly shalt behold 

How much those blind have err'd, who make themselves 

The guides of men. The soul, created apt 

To love, moves versatile which way soe'er 

Aught pleasing prompts her, soon as she is waked 

By pleasure into act. Of substance true 

Your apprehension forms its counterfeit; 

And, in you the ideal shap>e presenting. 

Attracts the soul's regard. If she, thus drawn, 

Incline toward it; love is that inclining, 

And a new nature knit by pleasure in ye. 

Then, as the fire points up, and mounting seeks 

His birth-place and his lasting seat, e'en thus 

Enters the captive soul into desire. 

Which is a spiritual motion, that ne'er rests 

Before enjoyment of the thing it loves. 

Enough to show thee, how the truth from those 

Is hidden, who aver all love a thing 

Praiseworthy in itself; although perhaps 

Its matter seem still good. Yet if the wax 

Be good, it follows not the impression must." 

"What love is," I return'd, "thy words, O guide! 
And my own docile mind, reveal. Yet thence 
New doubts have sprung. For, from without, if love 
Be offered to us, and the spirit knows 
No other footing; tend she right or wrong. 
Is no desert of hers." He answering thus: 
"What reason here discovers, I have power 
To show thee: that which lies beyond, expect 
From Beatrice, faith not reason's task. 
Spirit, substantial form, with matter join'd. 
Not in confusion mix'd, hath in itself 
Specific virtue of that union born. 
Which is not felt except it work, nor proved 
But through effect, as vegetable life 
By the green leaf. From whence his intellect 
Deduced its primal notices of things, 
Man therefore knows not, or his appetites 
Their first affections; such in you, as zeal 

21 8 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xvin 

In bees to gather honey; at the first, 

Volition, meriting nor blame nor praise. 

But o'er each lower faculty supreme, 

That, as she list, are summon'd to her bar, 

Ye have that virtue' in you, whose Just voice 

Uttereth counsel, and whose word should keep 

The threshold of assent. Here is the source, 

Whence cause of merit in you is derived; 

E'en as the affections, good or ill, she takes, 

Or severs, winnow'd as the chaff. Those men,' 

Who, reasoning, went to depth profoundest, mark'd 

That innate freedom; and were thence induced 

To leave their moral teaching to the world. 

Grant then, that from necessity arise 

All love that glows within you; to dismiss 

Or harbour it, the jxjwer is in yourselves. 

Remember, Beatrice, in her style, 

Denominates free choice by eminence 

The noble virtue; if in talk with thee 

She touch uf)on that theme." The moon, well nigh 

To midnight hour belated, made the stars 

Appear to wink and fade; and her broad disk 

Seem'd like a crag on fire, as up the vault' 

That course she journey 'd, which the sun then warms 

When they of Rome behold him at his set 

Betwixt Sardinia and the Corsic isle. 

And now the weight, that hung upon my thought, 

Was lighten'd by the aid of that clear spirit. 

Who raiseth Andes* above Mantua's name. 

I therefore, when my questions had obtain'd 

Solution plain and ample, stood as one 

Musing in dreamy slumber; but not long 

Slumber'd; for suddenly a multitude, 

The steep already turning from behind, 

' "That virtue." Reason. those who are in Rome he appears to set 
^ "Those men." The great moral between the isles of Corsica and Sardinia, 
philosophers among the heathen. * "Andes." Andes, now Pietola, made 
^ "Up the vault." The moon passed more famous than Mantua, near which 
with a motion opposite to that of the it is situated, by having been the birth- 
heavens, through the constellation of the place of Virgil. 
Scorpion, in which the sun is, when to 


Rush'd on. With fury and like random rout, 
As echoing on their shores at midnight heard 
Ismenus and Asopus,' for his Thebes 
If Bacchus' help were needed; so came these 
Tumultuous, curving each his rapid step, 
By eagerness impell'd of holy love. 

Soon they o'ertook us; with such swiftness moved 
The mighty crowd. Two spirits at their head 
Cried, weeping, "Blessed Mary' sought with haste 
The hilly region. Cscsar,' to subdue 
Ilerda, darted in Marseilles his sting, 
And flew to Spain." — "Oh, tarry not: awayl" 
The others shouted; "let not time be lost 
Through slackness of aflection. Hearty zeal 
To serve reanimates celestial grace." 

"O ye! in whom intenser fervency 
Haply supplies, where lukewarm erst ye fail'd. 
Slow or neglectful, to absolve your part 
Of good and virtuous; this man, who yet lives, 
(Credit my tale, though strange,) desires to ascend. 
So morning rise to light us. Therefore say 
Which hand leads nearest to the rifted rock." 

So spake my guide; to whom a shade return'd: 
"Come after us, and thou shalt find the cleft. 
We may not linger: such resistless will 
Speeds our unwearied course. Vouchsafe us then 
Thy pardon, if our duty seem to thee 
Discourteous rudeness. In Verona I 
Was Abbot' of San Zeno, when the hand 
Of Barbarossa grasp'd imperial sway. 
That name ne'er utter'd without tears in Milan. 
And there is he,* hath one foot in his grave, 

' "Ismenus and Asopus." Rivers near funerals of Pompey, at Ilerda (Lerida) in 

Thebes. Spain. 

' "And Mary arose in those days, and * Alberto, Abbot of San Zeno in Verona, 

went into the hill country with haste, when Frederick I was Emperor, by whom 

into a city of )udah; and entered into the Milan was besieged and reduced to ashes, 

house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth." in 1 162. 

— Luke i. 39. " "There is he." Alberto della Scala, 

' Casar left Brutus to complete the Lord of Verona, who had made his 

siege of Marseilles, and hastened on to natural son Abbot of San Zeno. 
the attack of Afranius and Pctrcius, the 

220 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xix 

Who for that monastery ere long shall weep, 
Ruing his pwwer misused: for that his son. 
Of body ill compact, and worse in mind, 
And born in evil, he hath set in place 
Of its true pastor." Whether more he spake, 
Or here was mute, I know not: he had sped 
E'en now so far beyond us. Yet thus much 
I heard, and in remembrance treasured it. 

He then, who never fail'd me at my need, 
Cried, "Hither turn. Lx)! two with sharp remorse 
Chiding their sin." In rear of all the troop 
These shouted: "First they died,'" to whom the sea 
Open'd, or ever Jordan saw his heirs: 
And they," who with ^Eneas to the end 
Endured not suffering, for their portion chose 
Life without glory." Soon as they had fled 
Past reach of sight, new thought within me rose 
By others foUow'd fast, and each unlike 
Its fellow: till led on from thought to thought, 
And pleasured with the fleeting train, mine eye 
Was closed, and meditation changed to dream. 


Argument. — The Poet, after describing his dream, relates how, at the summoning 
of an Angel, he ascends with Virgil to the fifth cornice, where the sin of avarice i> 
cleansed, and where he finds Pope Adrian the fifth. 

IT was the hour,' when of diurnal heat 
No reliques chafe the cold beams of the moon, 
O'erpower'd by earth, or planetary sway 
Of Saturn; and the geomancer' sees 
His Greater Fortune up the east ascend. 
Where gray dawn checkers first the shadowy cone, 

'" "First they died." The Israelites, ' "The geomancer." The geomancers, 
who on account of their disobedience died when they divined, drew a figure consist- 
before reaching the promised land. ing of sixteen marks, named from so 

" "And they." Those Trojans, who, many stars which constitute the end of 

wearied with their voyage, chose rather Aquarius and the beginning of Pisces, 

to remain in Sicily with Acestes than ac- One of these they called "the greater for- 

company ^Cncas to Italy. tune." 

' "The hour." Near the dnwn. 


When, 'fore me in my dream, a woman's shajie' 
There came, with lips that stammer'd, eyes aslant, 
Distorted feet, hands maim'd, and colour pale. 

I look'd upon her: and, as sunshine cheers 
Limbs numb'd by nightly cold, e'en thus my look 
Unloosed her tongue; next, in brief space, her form 
Decrepit raised erect, and faded face 
With love's own hue illumed. Recovering speech, 
She forthwith, warbling, such a strain began. 
That I, how loth soe'er, could scarce ha.e held 
Attention from the song. "I," thus she sang, 
"I am the Syren, she, whom mariners 
On the wide sea are wilder'd when they hear; 
Such fulness of delight the listener feels. 
I, from his course, Ulysses* by my lay 
Enchanted drew. Whoe'er frequents me once. 
Parts seldom: so I charm him, and his heart 
Contented knows no void." Or ere her mouth 
Was closed, to shame her, at my side appear'd 
A dame' of semblance holy. With stern voice 
She utter 'd: "Say, O Virgil! who is this?" 
Which hearing, he approach'd, with eyes still bent 
Toward that goodly presence: the other seized her. 
And, her robes tearing, open'd her before. 
And show'd the belly to me, whence a smell, 
Exhaling loathsome, waked me. Round I turn'd 
Mine eyes: and thus the teacher: "At the least 
Three times my voice hath call'd thee. Rise, begoae. 
Let us the opening find where thou mayst pass." 

I straightway rose. Now day, fxjur'd down from h!gb, 
Fill'd all the circuits of the sacred mount; 
And, as we journey'd, on our shoulder smote 
The early ray. I follow'd, stooping low 
My forehead, as a man, o'ercharged with thought, 

' "A woman's shape." Worldly happi- for the contradiction is, to suppose that 

ncss. This allegory reminds us of the she is here represented as purposely de- 

"Choice of Hercules." viatinR from the truth. Or Dante may 

* "Ulysses." It is not easy to determine have followed some legend of the Middle 

why Ulysses, contrary to the authority Ages. 

of Homer, is said to have been drawn ' "A dame." Philosophy, or perhapt 

aside from his course by the song of the Truth. 
Siren. No improbable way of accounting 


Who bends him to the likeness of an arch 
That midway spans the flood; when thus I heard, 
"Come, enter here," in tone so soft and mild, 
As never met the ear on mortal strand. 

With swan-like wings disprcd and pointing up. 
Who thus had spoken marshal'd us along. 
Where, each side of the solid masonry. 
The sloping walls retired; then moved his plumes, 
And fanning us, affirm'd that those, who mourn,' 
Are blessed, for that comfort shall be theirs. 

"What aileth thee, that still thou look'st to earth?" 
Began my leader; while the angelic shape 
A litde over us his station took. 

"New vision," I replied, "hath raised in me 
Surmisings strange and anxious doubts, whereon 
My soul intent allows no other thought 
Or room, or entrance." — "Hast thou seen," said he 
"That old enchantress, her, whose wiles alone 
The spirits o'er us weep for? Hast thou seen 
How man may free him of her bonds? Enough. 
Let thy heels spurn the earth; and thy raised ken 
Fix on the lure, which Heaven's eternal King 
Whirls in the rolling spheres." As on his feet 
The falcon first looks down, then to the sky 
Turns, and forth stretches eager for the food, 
That woos him thither; so the call I heard: 
So onward, far as the dividing rock 
Gave way, I journey'd, till the plain was reach'd. 

On the fifth circle when I stood at large, 
A race appear'd before me, on the ground 
All downward lying prone and weeping sore. 
"My soul hath cleaved to the dust," I heard 
With sighs so deep, they well nigh choked the words. 

"O ye elect of God! whose penal woes 
Both hope and justice mitigate, direct 
Towards the steep rising our uncertain way." 

"If ye approach secure from this our doom. 
Prostration, and would urge your coiu-se with speed, 

•"Who mourn." "Blessed are they that moura; lot they shall be comforted." — 

Matt. V. 4 


See that ye still to rightward keep the brink." 

So them the bard besought; and such the words, 
Beyond us some short space, in answer came. 

I noted what remain'd yet hidden from them:' 
Thence to my liege's eyes mine eyes I bent, 
And he, forthwith interpreting their suit, 
Beckon'd his glad assent. Free then to act 
As pleased me, I drew near, and took my stand 
Over that shade whose words I late had mark'd. 
And, "Spirit!" I said, "in whom repentant tears 
Mature that blessed hour when thou with God 
Shalt find acceptance, for a while suspend 
For me that mightier care. Say who thou wast; 
Why thus ye grovel on your bellies prone; 
And if, in aught, ye wish my service there. 
Whence living I am come." He answering spake: 
"The cause why Heaven our back towards his cope 
Reverses, shalt thou know: but me know first. 
The successor of Peter,' and the name 
And title of my lineage, from that stream* 
That 'twixt Chiaveri and Siestri draws 
His limpid waters through the lowly glen. 
A month and litde more by proof I learnt, 
With what a weight that robe of sovereignty 
Upon his shoulder rests, who from the mire 
Would guard it; that each other fardel seems 
But feathers in the balance. Late, alas! 
Was my conversion: but, when I became 
Rome's pastor, I discerned at once the dream 
And cozenage of life; saw that the heart 
Rested not there, and yet no prouder height 
Lured on the climber: whereof, of that life 
No more enamor'd, in my bosom love 
Of purer being kindled. For till then 

' "I noted what remain'd yet hidden came Pope, with the title of Adrian V, in 

from them." They were ignorant, it 1276. 

appeared, whether Dante was come there '"That stream." The river Lavagno, 

to be purged of his sins. in the Genoese territorj'; to the east of 

' "The successor of Peter." Ottobuono, which territory are situated Siestri and 

of the family of Fieschi, Counts of La- Chiaveri. 
vagno, died thirty-nine days after he be- 


I was a soul in misery, alienate 

From God, and covetous of all earthly things; 

Now, as thou seest, here punish'd for my doting. 

Such cleansing from the taint of avarice. 

Do spirits, converted, need. This mount inflicts 

No direr penalty. E'en as our eyes 

Fasten'd below, nor e'er to loftier clime 

Were lifted; thus hath justice level'd us, 

Here on the earth. As avarice quench'd our love 

Of good, without which is no working; thus 

Here justice holds us prison 'd, hand and foot 

Chain'd down and bound, while Heaven's just Lord shall 

So long to tarry, motionless, outstretch'd." 

My knees I stoop'd, and would have spoke; but he. 
Ere my beginning, by his ear perceived 
I did him reverence; and "What cause," said he, 
"Hath bow'd thee thus?" — "Compunction," I rejoin'd, 
"And inward awe of your high dignity." 

"Up," he exclaim'd, "brother! upon thy feet 
Arise; err not: thy fellow-servant I, 
(Thine and all others') of one Sovran Power. 
If thou hast ever mark'd those holy sounds 
Of gospel truth, 'nor shall be given in marriage,' 
Thou mayst discern the reasons of my sjjeech. 
Go thy ways now; and linger here no more. 
Thy tarrying is a let unto the tears, 
With which I hasten that whereof thou spakest. 
I have on earth a kinswoman;'" her name 
Alagia, worthy in herself, so ill 
Example of our house corrupt her not: 
And she is all remaineth of me there." 

'" "A kinswoman." Alalia is said to tectors during his exile. See Canto viii. 
have been the wife of the Marchcsc Mar- 133. 
cello Malaspina, one of the Poet's pro- 



Akcument. — Among those of the fifth cornice, Hugh Capet records illustrious ex- 
amples of voluntary poverty and of bouniy; then tells who himself is, and speaks of 
his descendants on the French throne; and. lastly, adds some noted instances of 
avarice. When he has ended, the mountain shakes, and all the spirits sing "Glory to 

ILL strives the will, 'gainst will more wise that strives: 
His pleasure therefore to mine own preferr'd, 
I drew the sponge yet thirsty from the wave. 
Onward I moved: he also onward moved, 
Who led me, coasting still, wherever place 
Along the rock was vacant; as a man 
Walks near the battlements on narrow wall. 
For those on the other part, who drop by drop 
Wring out their all-infecting malady, 
Too closely press the verge. Accurst be thou. 
Inveterate wolf!' whose gorge ingluts more prey, 
Than every beast beside, yet is not fill'd; 
So bottomless thy maw. Ye spheres of Heaven! 
To whom there are, as seems, who attribute 
All change in mortal state, when is the day 
Of his appearing,' for whom fate reserves 
To chase her hence? With wary steps and slow 
We pass'd; and I attentive to the shades, 
Whom piteously I heard lament and wail; 
And, 'midst the wailing, one before us heard 
Cry out "O blessed Virgin!" as a dame 
In the sharp pangs of childbed; and "How poor 
Thou wast," it added, "witness that low roof 
Where thou didst lay thy sacred burden down. 
O good Fabricius! thou didst virtue choose 
With poverty, before great wealth with vice." 

The words so pleased me, that desire to know 
The spirit, from whose lip they seem'd to come, 
Did draw me onward. Yet it spake the gift 
Of Nicholas,' which on the maidens he 

' "Wolf." Avarice. as to resolve on exposing the chastity of 

* He is thought to allude to Can his three daughters to sale, Nicholas threw 

Grande della Scala. See Hell, Canto i. 98. in at the window of their house three 

' An angel having revealed to him that bags of money, containing a sufficient por- 

the father of a family was so impoverished tion for each of them. 

226 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xx 

Bounteous bestow'd, to save their youthful prime 
Unblemish'd. "Spirit! who dost speak of deeds 
So worthy, tell me who thou wast," I said, 
"And why thou dost with single voice renew 
Memorial of such praise. That boon vouchsafed 
Haply shall meet reward; if I return 
To finish the short pilgrimage of life, 
Still speeding to its close on resdess wing." 

"I," answer 'd he, "will tell thee; not for help. 
Which thence I look for; but that in thyself 
Grace so exceeding shines, before thy time 
Of mortal dissolution. I was root* 
Of that ill plant, whose shade such prison sheds 
O'er ail the Christian land, that seldom thence 
Good fruit is gather 'd. Vengeance soon should come, 
Had Ghent and Douay, Lille and Bruges power;' 
And vengeance I of Heaven's great Judge implore. 
Hugh Capet was I hight: from me descend 
The Philips and the Louis, of whom France 
Newly is govern'd: born of one, who plied 
The slaughterer's trade' at Paris. When the race 
Of ancient kings had vanish'd (all save one' 
Wrapt up in sable weeds) within my gripe 
I found the reins of empire, and such pwwers 
Of new acquirement, with full store of friends. 
That soon the widow'd circlet of the crown 
Was girt ufx)n the temples of my son,' 
He, from whose bones the anointed race begins. 
■• "Root." Hugh Capet, ancestor of who carried on the trade of a butcher, at 
Philip IV. Paris, and whether the sanguinary dis- 

' These cities had lately been seized by position of Hugh Capet's father is not 
Philip IV. The spirit intimates the ap- stigmatized by this opprobrious appel- 
proaching defeat of the French army by lation. 

the Flemings, in the battle of Courtrai, 'The posterity of Charlcmain, the 

which happened in 1302. second race of French monarchs, had 

' "The slaughterer's trade." This re- failed, with the exception of Charles of 
flection on the birth of his ancestor in- Lorraine, who is said, on account of the 
duced Francis I to forbid the reading of melancholy temper of his mind, to have 
Dante in his dominions. Hugh Capet, always clothed himself in black. Venturi 
who came to the throne of France in suggests that Dante may have confounded 
987, was, however, the grandson of him with Childeric III, the last of the 
Robert, who was the brother of Eudes, Merovingian, or first, race, who was de- 
King of France in 888; and it may, there- posed and made a monk in 751. 
fore, well be questioned whether by ' Hugh Capet caused his son Robert 
Beccaio di Parigi is meant literally one to be crowned at Orleans. 


Till the great dower of Provence' had removed 
The stains, that yet obscured our lowly blood, 
Its sway indeed was narrow; but howe'er 
It wrought no evil: there, with force and lies, 
Began its rapine: after, for amends, 
Poitou it seized, Navarre and Gascony. 
To Italy came Charles; and for amends, 
Young Conradine,'" an innocent victim, slew; 
And sent the angelic teacher" back to Heaven, 
Still for amends. I see the time at hand, 
That forth from France invites another Charles" 
To make himself and kindred better known. 
Unarm'd he issues, saving with that lance, 
Which the arch-traitor tilted with," and that 
He carries with so home a thrust, as rives 
The bowels of poor Florence. No increase 
Of territory hence, but sin and shame 
Shall be his guerdon; and so much the more 
As he more lightly deems of such foul wrong. 
I see the other'* (who a prisoner late 

' "The great dower of Provence." lincigc of the Lords of Aquino, who had 
Louis IX and his brother Charles of rebclle<l against the king, and doubting 
Anjou married two of the four daughters lest fic should be made cardinal; whence 
of Raymond Berenger, Count of Provence, the Church of God received great dam- 
See Paradise, c. vi. 135. age. He died at the abbey of Fossanova, 

'" "Young Conradine." Charles of in Campagna." G. Villani, lib. ix. 

Anjou put Conradino to death in 1268, " "Another Charles." Charles of Valois, 

and became King of Naples. brother of Philip IV, was sent by Pope 

" "The angelic teacher." Thomas Boniface VIII to settle the disturbed state 

Aquinas. He was reported to have been of Florence. In consequence of the mcas- 

poisoncd by a physician, who wished to ures he adopted for that purpose, our 

ingratiate himself with Charles of Anjou. Poet and his friends were condemned to 

"In the year 1323, at the end of July, by exile and death. 

the said Pope John and by his cardinals, " " with that lance." 

was canonized at Avignon, Thomas If I remember right, in one of the old 

Aquinas, of the order of Saint Dominic, romances, Judas is represented tilting with 

a master in divinity and philosophy. A our Saviour. 

man most excellent in all science, and " "The other." Charles, King of 

who expounded the sense of Scripture Naples, the eldest son of Charles of Anjou, 

better than anyone since the time of having, contrary to the directions of his 

Augustin. He lived in the time of father, engaged with Ruggieri de Lauria, 

Charles I, King of Sicily; and going to the admiral of Peter of Arragon, was 

the council at Lyons, it is said that he made prisoner, and carried into Sicily, 

was killed by a physician of the said June, 1284. He afterward, in considera- 

king, who put poison for him into some tion of a large sum of money, married 

sweetmeats, thinking to ingratiate himself his daughter to Azzo VIII, Marquis of 

with King Charles, because he was of the Fcrrara. 


Had stept on shore) exposing to the mart 

His daughter, whom he bargains for, as do 

The Corsairs for their slaves. O avarice! 

What canst thou more, who hast subdued our blood 

So wholly to thyself, they feel no care 

Of their own flesh? To hide with direr guilt 

Past ill and future, lo! the flower-de-luce" 

Enters Alagna; in his Vicar Christ 

Himself a captive, and his mockery 

Acted again. Lo! to his holy lip 

The vinegar and gall once more applied; 

And he 'twixt living robbers doom'd to bleed. 

Lo! the new Pilate, of whose cruelty 

Such violence cannot fill the measure up. 

With no decree to sanction, pushes on 

Into the temple" his yet eager sails. 

"O sovran Master! when shall I rejoice 
To see the vengeance, which Thy wrath, well-pleased, 
In secret silence broods? — While daylight lasts, 
So long what thou didst hear of her, sole sf)ouse 
Of the Great Spirit, and on which thou turn'dst 
To me for comment, is the general theme 
Of all our prayers; but, when it darkens, then 
A different strain we utter; then record 
Pygmalion, whom his gluttonous thirst of gold 
Made traitor, robber, parricide: the woes 
Of Midas, which his greedy wish ensued, 
Mark'd for derision to all future times: 
And the fond Achan," how he stole the prey, 
That yet he seems by Joshua's ire pursued. 
Sapphira with her husband next we blame; 
And praise the forefeet, that with furious ramp 
" "The flowcr-dc-luce." Boniface VIII annalist in the next chapter. Thus, says 
was seized at Alagna in Campagna, by Landino, was verified the prophecy of 
the order of Philip IV, in the year 1303, Cclestine respecting him, that he should 
and soon after died of grief. G. Villani, enter on the popedom like a fox, reign 
lib. viii. cap. Ixiii. "As it pleased God, like a lion, and die like a dog. 
the heart of Boniface being petrified with " It is uncertain whether our Poet 

grief, through the injury he had sustained, alludes still to the event mentioned in 
when he came to Rome, he fell into a the preceding note, or to the destruction 
strange malady, for he gnawed himself of the order of the Templars in 1310, 
as one frantic, and in this state expired." but the latter appears more probable. 
His character is strongly drawn by the " "Achan." Joshua vii. 


Spurn'd Heliodorus." All the mountain round 
Rings with the infamy of Thracia's king," 
Who slew his Phrygian charge: and last a shout 
Ascends: 'Declare, O Crassus!"* for thou know'st, 
The flavour of thy gold.' The voice of each 
Now high, now low, as each his impulse prompts, 
Is led through many a pitch, acute or grave. 
Therefore, not singly, I erewhile rehearsed 
That blessedness we tell of in the day: 
But near me, none, beside, his accent raised." 

From him we now had parted, and essay'd 
With utmost efforts to surmount the way; 
When I did feel, as nodding to its fall. 
The mountain tremble; whence an icy chill 
Seized on me, as on one to death convey 'd. 
So shook not Delos, when Latona there 
Couch'd to bring forth the twin-born eyes of Heaven. 

Forthwith from every side a shout arose 
So vehement, that suddenly my guide 
Drew near, and cried: "Doubt not, while I conduct thee." 
"Glory!" all shouted (such the sounds mine ear 
Gather'd from those, who near me swell'd the sounds), 
"Glory in the highest be to God." We stood 
Immovably suspended, like to those. 
The shepherds, who first heard in Bethlehem's field 
That song: till ceased the trembling, and the song 
Was ended: then our hallow'd path resumed. 
Eying the prostrate shadows, who renew'd 
Their custom'd mourning. Never in my breast 
Did ignorance so struggle with desire 
Of knowledge, if my memory do not err, 
As in that moment; nor through haste dared I 
To question, nor myself could aught discern. 
So on I fared, in thoughtfulness and dread. 

" "Heliodorus." "For there appeared " "Thracia's king." Polymnestor, the 

unto them an horse, with a terrible rider murderer of Polydorus. Hell, Canto xxx. 

upon him, and adorned with a very fair 19. 

covering, and he ran fiercely and smote *" "Crassus." Marcus Crassus, who fell 

at Heliodorus with his fore feet." 2 miserably in the Parthian war. 
Maccabees iii. 25. 

230 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxi 


ARcuME>rr. — ^The two Poets are overtaken by the spirit of Statius, who, being 
cleansed, is on his way to Paradise, and who explains the cause of the mountain 
shaking, and of the hymn; his joy at beholding Virgil. 

THE natural thirst, ne'er quench'd but from the well' 
Whereof the woman of Samaria craved. 
Excited; haste, along the cumber'd path. 
After my guide, impell'd; and pity moved 
My bosom for the 'vengeful doom though just. 
When lo! even as Luke* relates, that Christ 
Appear'd unto the two upon their way, 
New-risen from His vaulted grave; to us 
A shade appear'd, and after us approach'd, 
Contemplating the crowd beneath its feet. 
We were not ware of it; so first it spake. 
Saying, "God give you peace, my brethren!" then 
Sudden we ttu-n'd: and Virgil such salute. 
As fitted that kind greeting, gave; and cried: 
"Peace in the blessed council be thy lot. 
Awarded by that righteous court which me 
To everlasting banishment exiles." 

"How!" he exclaim'd, nor from his speed meanwhile 
Desisting; "If that ye be spirits whom God 
Vouchsafes not room above; who up the height 
Has been thus far your guide?" To whom the bard: 
"If thou observe the tokens,' which this man. 
Traced by the finger of the Angel, bears; 
'Tis plain that in the kingdom of the just 
He needs must share. But sithence she,* whose wheel 
Spins day and night, for him not yet had drawn 
That yarn, which on the fatal distaH piled, 
Clotho apportions to each wight that breathes; 
His soul, that sister is to mine and thine, 
Not of herself could mount; for not like ours 

' "The well." 'The woman saith unto the Angel, in order to his being cleared 

him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst of them in his passage through Purgatory 

not." — John, iv. 15. to Paradise. 

^ "Luke." Chapter xxiv. 13. * "She." Lachesis, one of the three 

' "The tokens." The letter P for Pec- fates. 
cata, sins, inscribed upon his forehead bjp 


Her ken: whence I, from forth the amfJe gulf 
Of Hell, was ta'en, to lead him, and will lead 
Far as my lore avails. But, if thou know. 
Instruct us for what cause, the mount erewhile 
Thus shook, and trembled: wherefore all at once 
Seem'd shouting, even from his wave-wash'd foot." 

That questioning so tallied with my wish, 
The thirst did feel abatement of its edge 
E'en from expectance. He forthwith replied: 
"In its devotion, nought irregular 
This mount can witness, or by punctual rule 
Unsanction'd; here from every change exempt. 
Other than that, which Heaven in itself 
Doth of itself receive, no influence 
Can reach us. Tempest none, shower, hail, or snow, 
Hoar frost, or dewy moistness, higher falls 
Than that brief scale of threefold steps: thick clouds. 
Nor scudding rack, are ever seen: swift glance 
Ne'er lightens; nor Thaumantian Iris gleams. 
That yonder often shifts on each side Heaven. 
Vapour adust doth never mount above 
The highest of the trinal stairs, whereon 
Peter's vicegerent stands. Lower f)erchance. 
With various motion rock'd, trembles the soil: 
But here, through wind in earth's deep hollow pent, 
I know not how, yet never trembled: then 
Trembles, when any spirit feels itself 
So purified, that it may rise, or move 
For rising; and such loud acclaim ensues. 
Purification, by the will alone, 
Is proved, that free to change society 
SeiMS the soul rejoicing in her will. 
Desire of bliss is present from the first; 
But strong propension hinders, to that wish 
By the just ordinance of Heaven opposed; 
Propension now as eager to fulfill 
The allotted torment, as erewhile to sin. 
And I, who in this punishment had lain 
Five hundred years and more, but now have felt 
Free wish for happier dime. Therefore thou fclt'st 


The mountain tremble; and the spirits devout 

Heard'st, over all his limits, utter praise 

To that liege Lord, whom I entreat their joy 

To hasten." Thus he spake: and, since the draught 

Is grateful ever as the thirst is keen. 

No words may s{>eak my fullness of content. 

"Now," said the instructor sage, "I see the net 
That takes ye here; and how the toils are loosed; 
Why rocks the mountain, and why ye rejoice. 
Vouchsafe, that from thy lips I next may learn 
Who on the earth thou wast; and wherefore here, 
So many an age, wert prostrate." — "In that time. 
When the good Titus,' with Heaven's King to help, 
Avenged those piteous gashes, whence the blood 
By Judas sold did issue; with the name' 
Most lasting and most honor 'd, there, was I 
Abundantly renown'd," the shade replied, 
"Not yet with faith endued. So passing sweet 
My vocal spirit; from Tolosa, Rome 
To herself drew me, where I merited 
A myrtle garland to inwreathe my brow. 
Statius they name me still. Of Thebes I sang, 
And next of great Achilles; but i' the way 
Fell with the second burden. Of my flame 
Those sparkles were the seeds, which I derived 
From the bright fountain of celestial fire 
That feeds unnumber'd lamps; the song I mean 
Which sounds /Eneas' wanderings: that the breast 
I hung at; that the nurse, from whom my veins 
Drank inspiration: whose authority 
Was ever sacred with me. To have lived 
Coeval with the Mantuan, I would bide 
The revolution of another sun 
Beyond my stated years in banishment." 

The Mantuan, when he heard him, turn'd to me; 
And holding silence, by his countenance 
Enjoin'd me silence: but the power, which wills, 

■•"When the good Titus." When it salem, should avenge the death of otir 
was so ordered by the divine Providence Saviour on the Jews, 
that Titus, by the destruction of Jeru- ' "The name." The name of Poet. 


Bears not supreme control: laughter and tears 
Follow so closely on the passion prompts them, 
They wait not for the motions of the will 
In natures most sincere. I did but smile, 
As one who winks; and thereupon the shade 
Broke ofl, and peer'd into mine eyes, where best 
Our looks interpret. "So to good event 
Mayst thou conduct such great emprise," he cried, 
"Say, why across thy visage beam'd, but now, 
The lightning of a smile." On either part 
Now am I straiten'd; one conjures me sf>eak. 
The other to silence binds me: whence a sigh 
I utter, and the sigh is heard. "Sf)eak on," 
The teacher cried: "and do not fear to speak; 
But tell him what so earnestly he asks." 
Whereon I thus: "Perchance, O ancient spirit! 
Thou marvel'st at my smiling. There is room 
For yet more wonder. He, who guides my ken 
On high, he is that Mantuan, led by whom 
Thou didst presume of men and gods to sing. 
If other cause thou deem'dst for which I smiled, 
Leave it as not the true one: and believe 
Those words, thou spakest of him, indeed the cause." 

Now down he bent to embrace my teacher's feet; 
But he forbade him: "Brother! do it not: 
Thou art a shadow, and behold'st a shade." 
He, rising, answer'd thus: "Now hast thou proved 
The force and ardour of the love I bear thee, 
When I forget we are but things of air. 
And, as a substance, treat an empty shade." 




Argument. — ^Dante, Virgil, and Stadus mount to the sixth cornice, where the sin 
of gluttony is cleansed, the two Latin Poets discoursing by the way. Turning to the 
right, they find a tree hung with sweet-smelling fruit, and watered by a shower 
that issues from the rock. Voices are heard to proceed from among the leaves, 
recording examples of temperance. 

'OW we had left the Angel, who had turn'd 

To the sixth circle our ascending step; 

One gash from ofl my forehead razed; while 


Whose wishes tend to justice, shouted forth, 

"Blessed!"' and ended with "I thirst"; and I, 

More nimble than along the other straits. 

So journey'd, that, without the sense of toil, 

I follow'd upwards the swift-footed shades; 

When Virgil thus began: "Let its pure flame 

From virtue flow, and love can never fail 

To warm another's bosom, so the light 

Shine manifestly forth. Hence, from that hour. 

When, 'mongst us in the purlieus of the deep, 

Came down the spirit of Aquinum's bard. 

Who told of thine aflection, my good will 

Hath been for thee of quality as strong 

As ever link'd itself to one not seen. 

Therefore these stairs will now seem short to me. 

But tell me: and, if too secure, I Itxjse 

The rein with a friend's licence, as a friend 

Forgive me, and speak now as with a friend: 

How chanced it covetous desire could find 

Place in that bosom, 'midst such ample store 

Of wisdom, as thy zeal had treasured there?" 

First somewhat moved to laughter by his words, 

Statius replied: "Each syllable of thine 

Is a dear pledge of love. Things oft appear. 

That minister false matter to our doubts. 

When their true causes are removed from sight. 

Thy question doth assure me, thou believest 

I was on earth a covetous man; perhaps 

' "Blessed." "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for 
they shall be filled." — Matt. v. 6. 


Because thou found'st tne in that circle placed. 
Know then I was too wide of avarice: 
And e'en for that excess, thousands of moons 
Have wax'd and waned upon my sufferings. 
And were it not that I with heedful care 
Noted, where thou exclaim'st, as if in ire, 
With human nature, 'Why, thou cursed thirst 
Of gold! dost not with juster measure guide 
The appetite of mortals?' I had met 
The fierce encounter of the voluble rock. 
Then was I ware that, with too ample wing. 
The hands may haste to lavishment; and turn'd, 
As from my other evil, so from this, 
In penitence. How many from their grave 
Shall with shorn locks' arise, who living, ay, 
And at life's last extreme, of this offence. 
Through ignorance, did not repent! And know, 
The fault, which lies direct from any sin 
In level opposition, here, with that, 
Wastes its green rankness on one common heap. 
Therefore, if I have been with those, who wail 
Their avarice, to cleanse me; through reverse 
Of their transgression, such hath been my lot." 

To whom the sovran of the pastoral song: 
"While thou didst sing that cruel warfare waged 
By the twin sorrow of Jocasta's womb' 
From thy discourse with Clio there, it seems 
As faith had not been thine; without the which. 
Good deeds suffice not. And if so, what sun 
Rose on thee, or what candle pierced the dark. 
That thou didst after see to hoise the sail. 
And follow where the fisherman had led?" 

He answering thus: "By thee conducted first, 
I enter 'd the Parnassian grots, and quaff'd 
Of the clear spring: illumined first by thee, 
Open'd mine eyes to God. Thou didst, as one 
Who, journeying through the darkness, bears a light 
Behind, that profits not himself, but makes 

' "With shorn locks." See Hell, Canto ' "The twin sorrow of Jocasta's womb." 

vii, s8. Eteocles and Polynices. 

236 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxii 

His followers wise, when thou cxdaimed'st, 'Lo! 

A renovated world. Justice return'd. 

Times of primeval innocence restored. 

And a new race descended from aix)ve.* 

Poet and Christian both to thee I owed. 

That thou mayst mark more clearly what I trace. 

My hand shall stretch forth to inform the lines 

With livelier colouring. Soon o'er all the world. 

By messengers from Heaven, the true belief 

Teem'd now prolific; and that word of thine. 

Accordant, to the new instructors chimed. 

Induced by which agreement, I was wont 

Resort to them; and soon their sanctity 

So won ufwn me, that, Domitian's rage 

Pursuing them, I mix'd my tears with theirs; 

And, while on earth I stay'd, still succor'd them; 

And their most righteous customs made me scorn 

All sects besides. Before I led the Greeks, 

In tuneful fiction, to the streams of Thebes, 

I was baptized; but secredy, through fear, 

Remain'd a Christian, and conform'd long time 

To Pagan rites. Four centuries and more, 

I, for that lukewarmness, was fain to pace 

Round the fourth circle. Thou then, who hast raised 

The covering which did hide such blessing from me. 

Whilst much of this ascent is yet to climb, 

Say, if thou know, where our old Terence bides, 

Czcilius, Plautus, Varro: if condemn'd 

They dwell, and in what province of the deep." 

"These," said my guide, "with Persius and myself, 

And others many more, are with that Greek,* 

Of mortals, the most cherish'd by the Nine, 

In the first ward' of darkness. There, oft-times. 

We of that mount hold converse, on whose top 

For aye our nurses live. We have the bard 

Of Pella,' and the Teian,' Agatho, 

Simonides, and many a Grecian else 

Ingarlanded with laurel. Of thy train, 

*"That Greek." Homer. 'Euripides. 

* "In the first ward." In Limbo. ^ "The TciaD." Anacreon. 


Antigone is there, Deiphile, 

Argia, and as sorrowful as erst 

Ismene, and who show'd Langia's wave:' 

£)eidamia with her sisters there, 

And blind Tiresias' daughter," and the bride 

Sea-born of Peleus." "* Either poet now 

Was silent; and no longer by the ascent 

Or the steep walls obstructed, round them cast 

Inquiring eyes. Four handmaids of the day 

Had finish'd now their office, and the fifth 

Was at the chariot-beam, directing still 

Its flamy point aloof; when thus my guide: 

"Methinks, it well behoves us to the brink 

Bend the right shoulder, circuiting the mount. 

As we have ever used." So custom there 

Was usher to the road; the which we chose 

Less doubtful, as that worthy shade" complied. 

They on before me went: I sole pursued. 
Listening their speech, that to my thoughts convey 'd 
Mysterious lessons of sweet f)oesy. 
But soon they ceased; for midway of the road 
A tree we found, with goodly fruitage hung, 
And pleasant to the smell: and as a fir. 
Upward from bough to bough, less ample spreads; 
So downward this less ample spread; that none, 
Methinks, aloft may climb. Upon the side, 
That closed our path, a liquid crystal fell 
From the steep rock, and through the sprays above 
Streanj'd showering. With associate step the bards 
Drew near the plant; and, from amidst the leaves, 
A voice was heard: "Ye shall be chary of me;" 
And after added: "Mary took more thought 
For joy and honour of the nuptial feast. 
Than for herself, who answers now for you. 

* Hypsipile. although she was placed there as a sinner, 

'"Tiresias" daughter." Dante, as some yet, as one of famous memory, she had 

have thought, had forgotten that he had also a place among the worthies in 

placed Manto, the daughter of Tiresias, Limbo. 

among the sorcerers. Sec Hell, Canto xx. '"Thetis. 

Vellutello endeavors to reconcile the ap- " "That worthy shade." Statius. 

parent inconsistency, by observing, that 


238 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxm 

The women of old Rome were satisfied 
With water for their beverage. Daniel" fed 
On pulse, and wisdom gain'd. The primal age 
Was beautiful as gold: and hunger then 
Made acorns tasteful; thirst, each rivulet 
Run nectar. Honey and locusts were the food, 
Whereon the Baptist in the wilderness 
Fed, and that eminence of glory reach'd 
And greatness, which the Evangelist records." 


Argument. — ^They arc overtaken by the spirit of Fome, who had been a friend 
of our Poet's on earth, and who now inveighs bitterly against the immodest dress of 
their countrywomen at Florence. 

N the green leaf mine eyes were fix'd, like his 
Who throws away his days in idle chase 
Of the diminutive birds, when thus I heard 
The more than father warn me: "Son! our time 
Asks thriftier using. Linger not: away!" 

Thereat my face and steps at once I turn'd 
Toward the sages, by whose converse cheer'd 
I journey 'd on, and felt no toil: and lo! 
A sound of weeping, and a song: "My lips,' 
O Lord!" and these so mingled, it gave birth 
To pleasure and to pain. "O Sire beloved! 
Say what is this I hear." Thus I inquired. 

"Spirits," said he, "who, as they go, perchance, 

Their debt of duty pay." As on their road 

The thoughtful pilgrims, overtaking some 

Not known unto them, turn to them, and look, 

But stay not; thus, approaching from behind 

With sjxedier motion, eyed us, as they pass'd, 

A crowd of spirits, silent and devout. 

""Daniel." "Then said Daniel to Mel- should drink: and gave them pulse. As 

zar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had for these four children, God gave them 

set over Daniel, Hananiah, Michael, and knowledge and skill in all learning and 

Azariah, 'Prove thy servants, I beseech wisdom: and Daniel had understanding 

thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse in all visions and dreams." — Ibid. 16, 17. 
to eat, and water to drink.' " — Dan. i. 1 1, ' "O Lord, open thou my lips; and my 

12. "Thus Melzar took away the portion mouth shall show forth thy praise." — 

of their meat, and the wine that they Psalm li. 15. 


The eyes of each were dark and hollow; pale 
Their visage, and so lean withal, the bones 
Stood staring through the skin. I do not think 
Thus dry and meagre Erisichthon show'd, 
When pinch'd by sharp-set famine to the quick. 

"Lo!" to myself I mused, "the race, who lost 
Jerusalem, when Mary with dire beak 
Prey'd on her child." The sockets seem'd as rings. 
From which the gems were dropt. Who reads the name^ 
Of man upon his forehead, there the M 
Had traced most plainly. Who would deem, that scent 
Of water and an apple could have proved 
Powerful to generate such pining want. 
Not knowing how it wrought? While now I stood. 
Wondering what thus could waste them, (for the cause 
Of their gaunt hoUowness and scaly rind 
Appear'd not,) lo! a spirit turn'd his eyes 
In their deep-sunken cells, and fasten'd them 
On me, then cried with vehemence aloud: 
"What grace is this vouchsafed meV By his looks 
I ne'er had recognized him: but the voice 
Brought to my knowledge what his cheer conceal'd. 
Remembrance of his alter'd lineaments 
Was kindled from that spark; and I agnized 
The visage of Forese.' "Ah! respect 
This wan and leprous-wither'd skin," thus he 
Suppliant implored, "this macerated flesh. 
Speak to me truly of thyself. And who 
Are those twain spirits, that escort thee there? 
Be it not said thou scorn'st to talk with me." 

"That face of thine," I answer'd him, "which dead 
I once bewail'd, disposes me not less 
For weeping, when I see it thus transform'd. 
Say then, by Heaven, what blasts ye thus? The whilst 
I wonder, ask not speech from me: unapt 
Is he to speak, whom other will employs." 

' The temples, nose, and forehead arc xxiv. and Paradise, Canto iii. Cionacci is 

supposed to represent this letter [of the referred to by Lombardi, in order to show 

Latin word (H)OMO — man), and the that Forese was also the brother of Corso 

eyes the two O's. Donati, our author's political enemy. 

' A brother of Piccarda. See also Canto 


He thus: "The water and the plant, we pass'd, 
With power are gifted, by the eternal will 
Infused; the which so pines me. Every spirit. 
Whose song bewails his gluttony indulged 
Too grossly, here in hunger and in thirst 
Is purified. The odour, which the fruit, 
And spray that showers uf)on the verdure, breathe, 
Inflames us with desire to feed and drink. 
Nor once alone, encompassing our route. 
We come to add fresh fuel to the pain: 
Pain, said I? solace rather: for that will, 
To the tree, leads us, by which Christ was led 
To call on Eli, joyful, when he paid 
Our ransom from his vein." I answering thus: 
"Forese! from that day, in which the world 
For better life thou changedst, not five years 
Have circled. If the pwwer of sinning more 
Were first concluded in thee, ere thou knew'st 
That kindly grief which re-espouses us 
To God, how hither art thou come so soon ? 
I thought to find thee lower,* there, where time 
Is recompense for time." He straight replied: 
"To drink up the sweet wormwood of affliction 
I have been brought thus early, by the tears 
Stream'd down my Nella's" cheeks. Her prayers devout, 
Her sighs have drawn me from the coast, where oft 
Expectance lingers; and have set me free 
From the other circles. In the sight of God 
So much the dearer is my widow prized, 
She whom I loved so fondly, as she ranks 
More singly eminent for virtuous deeds. 
The tract, most barbarous of Sardinia's isle,* 
Hath dames more chaste, and modester by far, 
Than that wherein I left her. O sweet brother! 
What wouldst thou have me say? A time to come 
Stands full within my view, to which this hour 
Shall not be counted of an ancient date, 

♦ In the Ante-PufRitory. See Canto ii. which that name was given, on account 
' The wife of Forese. of the uncivilized state of its inhabitants, 

• The Barbagia is a part of Sardinia, to who are said to have gone nearly naked. 


When from the pulpit shall be loudly warn'd 

The unblushing dames of Florence, lest they bare 

Unkerchief'd bosoms to the common gaze. 

What savage women hath the world e'er seen. 

What Saracens,' for whom there needed scourge 

Of spiritual or other discipline. 

To force them walk with covering on their limbs? 

But did they see, the shameless ones, what Heaven 

Wafts on swift wing toward them while I speak. 

Their mouths were oped for howling: they shall taste 

Of sorrow (unless foresight cheat me here), 

Or e'er the cheek of him be clothed with down. 

Who is now rock'd with lullaby asleep. 

Ah! now, my brother, hide thyself no more: 

Thou seest how not I alone, but all. 

Gaze, where thou veil'st the intercepted sun." 

Whence I replied: "If thou recall to mind 

What we were once together, even yet 

Remembrance of those days may grieve thee sore. 

That I forsook that life, was due to him 

Who there precedes me, some few evenings past. 

When she was round, who shines with sister lamp 

To his that glisters yonder," and I show'd 

The sun. " 'Tis he, who through profoundest night 

Of the true dead has brought me, with this flesh 

As true, that follows. From that gloom the aid 

Of his sure comfort drew me on to climb. 

And, climbing, wind along this mountain-steep, 

Which rectifies in you whate'er the world 

Made crooked and depraved. I have his word, 

That he will bear me company as far 

As till I come where Beatrice dwells: 

But there must leave me. Virgil is that spirit. 

Who thus hath promised," and I pointed to him; 

"The other is that shade, for whom so late 

Your realm, as he arose, exulting, shook 

Through every pendent cliff and rocky bound." 

' "Saracens." This word, during the (except the Jews) who did not profess 
Middle Ages, was applied to all nations Christianity. 

242 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto juiv 


Argument. — Forese points out several others by name who are here, like himself, 
purifying themselves from the vice of gluttony; and amongst the rest, Buonaggiunta 
of Lucca, with whom our Poet converses. Forese then predicts the violent end of 
Dante's political enemy, Corso Donati; and, when he has quitted them, the Poet, in 
company with Statius and Virgil, arrives at another tree, from whence issue voices 
that record ancient examples of gluttony; and proceeding forward, they are directed 
by an Angel which way to ascend to the next cornice of the mountain. 


UR journey was not slacken'd by our talk, 

Nor yet our talk by journeying. Still we spake, 

And urged our travel stoutly, like a ship 

When the wind sits astern. The shadowy forms, 

That seem'd things dead and dead again, drew in 

At their deep-delved orbs rare wonder of me, 

Perceiving I had life; and I my words 

Continued, and thus spake: "He journeys up 

Perhaps more tardily than else he would. 

For others' sake. But tell me, if thou know'st, 

Where is Piccarda.' Tell me, if I see 

Any of mark, among this multitude 

Who eye me thus." — "My sister (she for whom, 

'Twixt beautiful and good, I cannot say 

Which name was fitter) wears e'en now her crown, 

And triumphs in Olympus." Saying this, 

He added: "Since spare diet hath so worn 

Our semblance out, 'tis lawful here to name 

Each one. This," and his finger then he raised, 

"Is Buonaggiunta,' — Buonaggiunta, he 

Of Lucca: and that face beyond him, pierced 

Unto a leaner fineness than the rest, 

Had keeping of the Church; he was of Tours,' 

And purges by wan abstinence away 

Bolsena's eels and cups of muscadel." 

He show'd me many others, one by one: 

And all, as they were named, seem'd well content; 

For no dark gesture I discern'd in any. 

I saw, through hunger, Ubaldino' grind 

' "Buonaggiunta." Buonaggiunta Urbi- became Pope with the title of Martin IV 
ciani, of Lucca. in 1281, and died in 1285. 

* "He was of Tours." Simon of Tours ' Ubaldino degli Ubaldini, of Pila, in 

the Florentine territory. 


His teeth on emptiness; and Boniface,* 

That waved the crozier o'er a numerous flock. 

I saw the Marquis, who had time erewhile 

To swill at Forli with less drought; yet so. 

Was one ne'er sated. I howe'er, like him 

That, gazing 'midst a crowd, singles out one, 

So singled him of Lucca; for methought 

Was none amongst them took such note of me. 

Somewhat I heard him whisper of Gentucca: 

The sound was indistinct, and murmur'd there. 

Where justice, that so strips them, fix'd her sting. 

"Spirit!" said I, "it seems as thou wouldst fain 
Speak with me. Let me hear thee. Mutual wish 
To converse prompts, which let us both indulge." 

He, answering, straight began: "Woman is born, 
Whose brow no wimple shades yet, that shall make 
My city please thee, blame it as they may. 
Go then with this forewarning. If aught false 
My whisper too implied, the event shall tell. 
But say, if of a truth I see the man 
Of that new lay the inventor, which begins 
With 'Ladies, ye that con the lore of love.' " 

To whom I thus: "Count of me but as one. 
Who am the scribe of love; that, when he breathes, 
Take up my pen, and, as he dictates, write." 

"Brother!" said he, "the hindrance, which once held 
The notary, with Guittone and myself. 
Short of that new and sweeter style I hear. 
Is now disclosed: I see how ye your plumes 
Stretch, as the inditer guides them; which, no question, 
Ours did not. He that seeks a grace beyond. 
Sees not the distance parts one style from other." 
And, as contented, here he held his peace. 

Like as the birds, that winter near the Nile, 
In squared regiment direct their course. 
Then stretch themselves in file for speedier flight; 
Thus all the tribe of spirits, as they turn'd 

* "Boniface." Archbishop of Ravenna, of the above-mentioned Ubaldini; and by 
By Venturi be is called Bonifazio de' Landino, Francioso, a Frenchman. 
FieKhi, a Genoese; by Vellutello, the son 


Their visage, faster fled, nimble alike 
Through leanness and desire. And as a man, 
Tired with the motion of a trotting steed, 
Slacks pace, and stays behind his company, 
Till his o'erbreathed lungs keep temperate time; 
E'en so Forese let that holy crew 
Proceed, behind them lingering at my side. 
And saying: "When shall I again behold thee?" 

"How long my life may last," said I, "I know not: 
This know, how soon soever I return, 
My wishes will before me have arrived: 
Sithence the place,' where I am set to live, 
Is, day by day, more scoop'd of all its good; 
And dismal ruin seems to threaten it." 

"Go now," he cried: "lo! he," whose guilt is most. 
Passes before my vision, dragg'd at heels 
Of an infuriate beast. Toward the vale. 
Where guilt hath no redemption, on its speeds. 
Each step increasing swiftness on the last; 
Until a blow it strikes, that leaveth him 
A corse most vilely shatter'd. No long space 
Those wheels have yet to roll," (therewith his eyes 
Look'd up to Heaven,) "ere thou shalt plainly see 
That which my words may not more plainly tell. 
I quit thee: time is precious here: I lose 
Too much, thus measuring my pace with thine." 

As from a troop of well-rank'd chivalry. 
One knight, more enterprising than the rest. 
Pricks forth at gallop, eager to display 
His prowess in the first encounter proved; 
So parted he from us, with lengthen'd strides; 
And left me on the way with those twain spirits, 
Who were such mighty marshals of the world. 

* "The place." Florence. valorous knights, the best speaker, the 
•"He." Corso Donati was suspected most expert statesman, the most re- 
of aiming at the sovereignty of Florence, nowned and enterprising man of his age 
To escape the fury of his fellow^itizens, in Italy, a comely knight and of graceful 
he fled away on horseback, but falling, carriage, but very worldly, and in his 
was overtaken and slain, A. D. 1308. The time had formed many conspiracies in 
contemporary annalist, after relating at Florence, and entered into many scan- 
length the circumstances of his fate, adds, dalous practices for the sake of attaining 
"that he was one of the wisest and most state and lordship." G. Villani, lib. v. 


When he beyond us had so fled, mine eyes 
No nearer reach'd him, than my thoughts his words. 
The branches of another fruit, thick hung, 
And blooming fresh, appear'd. E'en as our steps 
Turn'd thither; not far off, it rose to view. 
Beneath it were a multitude, that raised 
Their hands, and shouted forth I know not what 
Unto the boughs; like greedy and fond brats, 
That beg, and answer none obtain from him, 
Of whom they beg; but more to draw them on, 
He, at arm's length, the object of their wish 
Above them holds aloft, and hides it not. 

At length, as undeceived, they went their way: 
And we approach the tree, whom vows and tears 
Sue to in vain; the mighty tree. "Pass on, 
And come not near. Stands higher up the wood. 
Whereof Eve tasted: and from it was ta'en 
This plant." Such sounds from midst the thickets came 
Whence I, with either bard, close to the side 
That rose, pass'd forth beyond. "Remember," next 
We heard, "those unblest creatures of the clouds,' 
How they their twyfold bosoms, overgorged. 
Opposed in fight to Theseus: call to mind 
The Hebrews, how, effeminate, they stoop'd 
To ease their thirst; whence Gideon's ranks were thinn'd. 
As he to Midian' march'd adown the hills." 

Thus near one border coasting, still we heard 
The sins of gluttony, with woe erewhile 
Reguerdon'd. Then along the lonely path, 
Once more at large, full thousand paces on 
We travel'd, each contemplative and mute. 

"Why pensive journey so ye three alone?" 
Thus suddenly a voice exclaim'd: whereat 
I shook, as doth a scared and paltry beast; 
Then raised my head, to look from whence it came. 

Was ne'er, in furnace, glass, or metal, seen 
So bright and glowing red, as was the shape 
I now beheld. "If ye desire to mount," 
He cried; "here must ye turn. This way he goes, 
' The Centaurs. • Judges, vii. 

246 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxr 

Who goes in quest of peace." His countenance 
Had dazzled me; and to my guides I faced 
Backward, like one who walks as sound directs. 
As when, to harbinger the dawn, springs up 
On freshen'd wing the air of May, and breathes 
Of fragrance, all impregn'd with herb and flowers; 
E'en such a wind I felt upon my front 
Blow gently, and the moving of a wing 
Perceived, that, moving, shed ambrosial smell; 
And then a voice: "Blessed are they, whom grace 
Doth so illume, that appetite in them 
Exhaleth no inordinate desire. 
Still hungering as the rule of temperance wills." 


Argument. — Virgil and Statius resolve some doubts that have arisen in the mind 
of Dante (rom what he had just seen. They all arrive on the seventh and last cornice, 
where the sin of incontinence is purged in fire; and the spirits of those suffering 
therein are heard to record illustrious instances of chastity. 

IT was an hour, when he who climbs, had need 
To walk uncrippled: for the sun' had now 
To Taurus the meridian circle left, 
And to the Scorpion left the night. As one. 
That makes no pause, but presses on his road, 
Whate'er betide him, if some urgent need 
Impel; so enter'd we upon our way. 
One before other; for, but singly, none 
That steep and narrow scale admits to climb. 
E'en as the young stork lifteth up his wing 
Through wish to fly, yet ventures not to quit 
The nest, and drops it; so in me desire 
Of questioning my guide arose, and fell. 
Arriving even to the act that marks 
A man prepared for speech. Him all our haste 
Restrain'd not; but thus spake the sire beloved: 
"Fear not to speed the shaft, that on thy lip 

' "The sun." The sun had passed the Taurus, to which as the Scorpion is op- 
meridian two hours, and that meridian posite, the latter constellation was con- 
wat now occupied by the constellation of sequently at the meridian of night. 


Stands trembling for its flight." Encouraged thus, 
I straight began: "How there can leanness come, 
Where is no want of nourishment to feed?" 

"If thou," he answer'd, "hadst remember'd thee. 
How Meleager* with the wasting brand 
Wasted alike, by equal fires consumed; 
This would not trouble thee: and hadst thou thought. 
How in the mirror' your reflected form 
With mimic motion vibrates; what now seems 
Hard, had apfiear'd no harder than the pulp 
Of summer-fruit mature. But that thy will 
In certainty may find its full repose, 
Lo Statius here! on him I call, and pray 
That he would now be healer of thy wound." 

"If, in thy presence, I unfold to him 
The secrets of Heaven's vengeance, let me plead 
Thine own injunction to exculpate mc." 
So Statius answer'd, and forthwith began: 
"Attend my words, O son, and in thy mind 
Receive them; so shall they be light to clear 
The doubt thou offer'st. Blood, concocted well. 
Which by the thirsty veins is ne'er imbibed. 
And rests as food sujjerfluous, to be ta'en 
From the replenish'd table, in the heart 
Derives effectual virtue, that informs 
The several human limbs, as being that 
Which passes through the veins itself to make them. 
Yet more concocted it descends, where shame 
Forbids to mention: and from thence distils 
In natural vessel on another's blood. 
There each unite together; one disposed 
To endure, to act the other, through that f)ower 
Derived from whence it came; and being met. 
It 'gins to work, coagulating first; 
Then vivifies what its own substance made 

* Virpil reminds Dante that, as Me- ' As the reflection of a form in a mirror 

leager was wasted away by the decree of is modified with the modification of the 

the fates, and not through want of blood; form itself; so the soul, separated from 

so by the divine appointment, there may the earthly body, impresses the ghon of 

be leanness where there is no need of that body with its own affections, 



Consist. With animation now indued, 

TTie active virtue (differing from a plant 

No further, than that this is on the way. 

And at its Umit that) continues yet 

To operate, that now it moves, and feels, 

As sea-sponge clinging to the rock: and there 

Assumes the organic powers its seed convcy'd. 

This is the moment, son! at which the virtue. 

That from the generating heart proceeds. 

Is pliant and expansive; for each limb 

Is in the heart by forgetful nature plann'd. 

How babe of animal becomes, remains 

For thy considering. At this point, more wise, 

Than thou, has err'd, making the soul disjoin'd 

From passive intellect, because he saw 

No organ for the latter's use assign'd. 

"Open thy bosom to the truth that comes. 
Know, soon as in the embryo, to the brain 
Articulation is complete, then turns 
The primal Mover with a smile of joy 
On such great work of nature; and imbreathes 
New spirit replete with virtue, that what here 
Active it finds, to its own substance draws; 
And forms an individual soul, that lives. 
And feels, and bends reflective on itself. 
And that thou less may'st marvel at the word, 
Mark the sun's heat; how that to wine doth change, 
Mix'd with the moisture filter'd through the vine. 
"When Lachesis hath spun the thread,* the soul 
Takes with her both the human and divine. 
Memory, intelligence, and will, in act 
Far keener than before; the other powers 
Inactive all and mute. No pause allow'd, 
In wondrous sort self-moving, to one strand 
Of those, where the departed roam, she falls: 
Here learns her destined path. Soon as the place 
Receives her, round the plastic virtue beams, 
Distinct as in the living limbs before: 
And as the air, when saturate with showers, 
* "When Lachesis haih spun the thread." When a man's life on earth is at an end. 


Tile casual beam refracting, decks itself 
With many a hue; so here the ambient air 
Weareth that form, which influence of the soul 
Imprints on it: and like the flame, that where 
The fire moves, thither follows; so, henceforth. 
The new form on the spirit follows still: 
Hence hath it semblance, and is shadow call'd, 
With each sense, even to the sight, indued: 
Hence speech is ours, hence laughter, tears, and sighs, 
Which thou mayst oft have witness'd on the mount. 
The obedient shadow fails not to present 
Whatever varying passion moves within us. 
And this the cause of what thou marvel'st at." 

Now the last flexure of our way we reach'd; 
And to the right hand turning, other care 
Awaits us. Here the rocky precipice 
Hurls forth redundant flames; and from the rim 
A blast up-blown, with forcible rebuff 
Driveth them back, sequester'd from its bound. 

Behoved us, one by one, along the side. 
That border'd on the void, to pass; and I 
Fear'd on one hand the fire, on the other fear'd 
Headlong to fall: when thus the instructor warn'd: 
"Strict rein must in this place direct the eyes. 
A little swerving and the way is lost." 

Then from the bosom of the burning mass, 
"O God of mercy!"' heard I sung, and felt 
No less desire to turn. And when I saw 
Spirits along the flame proceeding, I 
Between their footsteps and mine own was fain 
To share by turns my view. At the hymn's close 
They shouted loud, "I do not know a man;"' 
Then in low voice again took up the strain; 
Which once more ended, "To the wood," they cried, 
"Ran Dian, and drave forth Callisto stung 
With Cytherea's poison"; then return 'd 
Unto their song; then many a pair extoll'd, 

• "Summat Deus clementii." The be- the modern it is "summz parens clemen- 
(Hnning of the hymn sung on the Sabbath tii." 
at matins, as in the ancient breviaries; in ' Luke, i. 34. 

250 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxvi 

Who lived in virtue chastely and the bands 
Of wedded love. Nor from that task, I ween, 
Surcease they; whilesoe'er the scorching fire 
Enclasps them. Of such skill appliance needs, 
To medicine the wound that healeth last. 


Argument. — The spirits wonder at seeing the shadow cast by the body of Dante 
on the flame as he passes it. This moves one of them to address him. It proves to 
be Guide Guinicelli. the Italian poet, who points out to him the spirit of Arnault 
Daniel, the Provencal, with whom he also speaks. 

WHILE singly thus along the rim we walk'd. 
Oft the good master warn'd me: "Look thou 
Avail it that I caution thee." The sun [well. 
Now all the western clime irradiate changed 
From azure tinct to white; and, as I pass'd. 
My passing shadow made the umber'd flame 
Burn ruddier. At so strange a sight I mark'd 
That many a spirit marvel'd on his way. 
This bred occasion first to speak of me. 
"He seems," said they, "no insubstantial frame:" 
Then, to obtain what certainty they might, 
Stretch'd tow'rd me, careful not to overpass 
The burning pale. "O thou! who followest 
The others, haply not more slow than they. 
But moved by reverence; answer me, who burn 
In thirst and fire: nor I alone, but these 
All for thine answer do more thirst, than doth 
Indian or ^Ethiop for the cooling stream. 
Tell us, how is it that thou makest thyself 
A wall against the sun, as thou not yet 
Into the inextricable toils of death 
Hadst enter'd?" Thus spake one; and I had straight 
Declared me, if attention had not turn'd 
To new appearance. Meeting these, there came, 
Midway the burning path, a crowd, on whom 
Earnestly gazing, from each part I view 
The shadows all press forward, severally 
Each snatch a hasty kiss, and then away. 


E'en so the emmets, 'mid their dusky troops. 

Peer closely one at other, to spy out 

Their mutual road perchance, and how they thrive. 

That friendly greeting parted, ere despatch 
Of the first onward step, from either tribe 
Loud clamour rises: those, who newly come. 
Shout "Sodom and Gomorrah!" these, "The cow 
Pasiphae enter'd, that the beast she woo'd 
Might rush unto her luxury." Then as cranes, 
That part toward the Riphxan mountains fly. 
Part toward the Lybic sands, these to avoid 
The ice, and those the sun; so hasteth off 
One crowd, advances the other; and resume 
Their first song, weeping, and their several shout. 

Again drew near my side the very same. 
Who had erewhile besought me; and their looks 
Mark'd eagerness to listen. I, who twice 
Their will had noted, spake: "O spirits! secure, 
Whene'er the time may be, of peaceful end; 
My limbs, nor crude, nor in mature old age, 
Have I left yonder: here they bear me, fed 
With blood, and sinew-strung. That I no more 
May live in blindness, hence I tend aloft. 
There is a Dame on high, who wins for us 
This grace, by which my mortal through your realm 
I bear. But may your utmost wish soon meet 
Such full fruition, that the orb of heaven. 
Fullest of love, and of most ample space. 
Receive you; as ye tell (upon my page 
Henceforth to stand recorded) who ye are; 
And what this multitude, that at your backs 
Have pass'd behind us." As one, mountain-bred, 
Rugged and clownish, if some city's walls 
He chance to enter, round him stares agape. 
Confounded and struck dumb; e'en such appear'd 
Each spirit. But when rid of that amaze, 
(Not long the inmate of a noble heart,) 
He, who before had question'd, thus resumed: 
"O blessed! who, for death preparing, takest 
Experience of our limits, in thy bark; 

252 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxvi 

Their crime, who not with us proceed, was that 

For which, as he did triumph, C^sar heard 

The shout of 'queen,' to taunt him. Hence their cry 

Of 'Sodom,' as they parted; to rebuke 

Themselves, and aid the burning by their shame. 

Our sinning was hermaphrodite: but we, 

Because the law of human kind we broke. 

Following like beasts our vile concupiscence, 

Hence parting from them, to our own disgrace 

Record the name of her, by whom the beast 

In bestial tire was acted. Now our deeds 

Thou know'st, and how we sinn'd. If thou by name 

Wouldst haply know us, time fjermits not now 

To tell so much, nor can I. Of myself 

Learn what thou wishest. Guinicelli I; 

Who having truly sorrow'd ere my last. 

Already cleanse me." With such pious joy, 

As the two sons upon their mother gazed 

From sad Lycurgus' rescued; such my joy 

(Save that I more repress'd it) when I heard 

From his own lips the name of him pronounced. 

Who was a father to me, and to those 

My betters, who have ever used the sweet 

And pleasant rhymes of love. So naught I heard, 

Nor spake; but long time thoughtfully I went. 

Gazing on him; and, only for the fire. 

Approached not nearer. When my eyes were fed 

By looking on him; with such solemn pledge, 

As forces credence, I devoted me 

Unto his service wholly. In reply 

He thus bespake me: "What from thee I hear 

Is graved so deeply on my mind, the waves 

Of Lethe shall not wash it off, nor make 

A whit less lively. But as now thy oath 

Has seal'd the truth, declare what cause impels 

' Hypsipile had left her infant charge, of Lycurjjus's resentment, the joy her own 

the son of Lycurgus, on a bank, where children felt at the sight of her was such 

it was destroyed by a serpent, when she as our Poet felt on beholding his pred- 

went to show the Argive army the river ecessor Guinicelli. 
of Langia; and on her escaping the effects 


That love, which both thy looks and speech bewray." 

"Those dulcet lays," I answer'd; "which, as long 
As of our tongue the beauty does not fade. 
Shall make us love the very ink that traced them." 

"Brother!" he cried, and pointed at the shade 
Before him, "there is one, whose mother speech 
Doth owe to him a fairer ornament. 
He' in love ditties, and the tales of prose. 
Without a rival stands; and lets the fools 
Talk on, who think the songster of Limoges' 
O'ertops him. Rumour and the popular voice 
They look to, more than truth; and so confirm 
Opinion, ere by art or reason taught. 
Thus many of the elder time cried up 
Guittone, giving him the prize, till truth 
By strength of numbers vanquish'd. If thou own 
So ample privilege, as to have gain'd 
Free entrance to the cloister, whereof Christ 
Is Abbot of the college; say to him 
One paternoster for me, far as needs 
For dwellers in this world, where power to sin 
No longer tempts us." Haply to make way 
For one that follow 'd next, when that was said. 
He vanish'd through the fire, as through the wave 
A fish, that glances diving to the deep. 

I, to the spirit he had shown me, drew 
A little onward, and besought his name, 
For which my heart, I said, kept gracious room. 
He frankly thus began: "Thy courtesy* 
So wins on me, I have nor power nor will 
To hide me. I am Arnault; and with songs, 
Sorely waymenting for my folly past. 
Thorough this ford of fire I wade, and see 
The day, I hope for, smiling in my view. 
I pray ye by the worth that guides ye up 

'Dante and Petrarch place Arnault appears to have been in favor with the 

Daniel first among Provencal poets. monarchs of Castile, Leon, Navarre, and 

'Giraud de Borncil, of Sideuil, a castle Arragon. 

in Limoges. He was a Troubadour, much * Arnault is here made to speak in his 

admired and caressed in his day, and own tongue, the Provencal. 

254 "^^^ DIVINE COMEDY cakto xxvu 

Unto the summit of the scale, in time 
Remember ye my sufferings." With such words 
He disappear'd in the refining flame. 


Arcumknt. — An Angel sends them forward through the fire to the last ascent, 
which leads to the terrestrial Paradise, situated on the summit of the mountain. They 
have not proceeded many steps on their way upward, when the fall of night hinders 
them from going further; and our Poet, who has lain down with Virgil and Statius 
to rest, beholds in a dream two females, figuring the active and contemplative life. 
With the return of morning, they reach the height; and here Virgil gives Dante full 
liberty to use his own pleasure and judgment in the choice of his way, till he shall 
meet with Beatrice. 

NOW was the sun' so station'd, as when first 
His early radiance quivers on the heights, 
Where stream 'd his Maker's blood; while Libra 
Above Hesperian Ebro; and new fires. 
Meridian, flash on Ganges' yellow tide. 

So day was sinking, when the Angel of God 
Appear'd before us. Joy was in his mien. 
Forth of the flame he stood upon the brink; 
And with a voice, whose lively clearness far 
Surpass'd our human, "Blessed^ are the pure 
In heart," he sang: then near him as we came, 
"Go ye not further, holy spirits!" he cried, 
"Ere the fire pierce you: enter in; and list 
Attentive to the song ye hear from thence." 

I, when I heard his saying, was as one 
Laid in the grave. My hands together clasp'd, 
And upward stretching, on the fire I look'd; 
And busy fancy conjured up the forms 
Erewhile beheld alive consumed in flames. 

The escorting spirits turn'd with gentle looks 
Toward me; and the Mantuan spake: "My son. 
Here torment thou mayst feel, but canst not death. 
Remember thee, remember thee, if I 
Safe e'en on Geryon brought thee; now I come 
More near to God, wilt thou not trust me now.' 

' "The sun." At Jerusalem it was dawn, in Spain midnight, and in India noonday, 
in PurgatoiT sunjct. ' "Blessed." — Matt. v. 8. 


Of this be sure; though in its womb that flame 
A thousand years contain'd thee, from thy head 
No hair should jjerish. If thou doubt my truth, 
Approach; and with thy hand thy vesture's hem 
Stretch forth, and for thyself confirm belief. 
Lay now ail fear, oh! lay all fear aside. 
Turn hither, and come onward undismay'd," 

I still, though conscience urged, no step advanced. 

When still he saw me fix'd and obstinate. 
Somewhat disturb'd he cried: "Mark now, my son. 
From Beatrice thou art by this wall 
Divided." As at Thisbe's name the eye 
Of Pyramus was open'd, (when life ebb'd 
Fast from his veins), and took one parting glance, 
While vermeil dyed the mulberry; thus I turn'd 
To my sage guide, relenting, when I heard 
The name that springs forever in my breast. 

He shook his forehead; and, "How long," he said, 
"Linger we now?" then smiled, as one would smile 
Upon a child that eyes the fruit and yields. 
Into the fire before me then he walk'd; 
And Statius, who erewhile no litde space 
Had parted us, he pray'd to come behind. 

I would have cast me into molten glass 
To cool me, when I enter 'd; so intense 
Raged the conflagrant mass. The sire beloved. 
To comfort me, as he proceeded, still 
Of Beatrice talk'd. "Her eyes," saith he, 
"E'en now I seem to view." From the other side 
A voice, that sang, did guide us; and the voice 
Following, with heedful ear, we issued forth, 
There where the path led upward. "Come," ' we heard, 
"Come, blessed of my Father." Such the sounds. 
That hail'd us from within a light, which shone 
So radiant, I could not endure the view. 
"The sun," it added, "hastes: and evening comes. 
Delay not: ere the western sky is hung 
With blackness, strive ye for the pass." Our way 
Upright within the rock arose, and faced 
Such part of heaven, that from before my steps 
'"Come." — Matt. xxv. 34. 

256 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxvn 

The beams were shrouded of the sinking sun. 

Nor many stairs were overpast, when now 
By fading of the shadow we perceived 
The sun behind us couch'd; and ere one face 
Of darkness o'er its measureless expanse 
Involved the horizon, and the night her lot 
Held individual, each of us had made 
A stair his pallet; not that will, but power, 
Had fail'd us, by the nature of that mount 
Forbidden further travel. As the goats. 
That late have skipt and wanton'd rapidly 
Upon the craggy cliffs, ere they had ta'en 
Their supper on the herb, now silent lie 
And ruminate beneath the umbrage brown, 
While noon-day rages; and the goatherd leans 
Upon his staff, and leaning watches them: 
And as the swain, that lodges out all night 
In quiet by his flock, lest beast of prey 
Disperse them: even so all three abode, 
I as a goat, and as the shepherds they. 
Close pent on either side by shelving rock. 

A little glimpse of sky was seen above; 
Yet by that litde I beheld the stars. 
In magnitude and lustre shining forth 
With more than wonted glory. As I lay. 
Gazing on them, and in that fit of musing 
Sleep overcame me, sleep, that bringcth oft 
Tidings of future hap. About the hour, 
As I believe, when Venus from the east 
First lighten'd on the mountain, she whose orb 
Seems always glowing with the fire of love, 
A lady young and beautiful, I dream'd, 
Was passing o'er a lea; and, as she came, 
Methought I saw her ever and anon 
Bending to cull the flowers; and thus she sang: 
"Know ye, whoever of my name would ask, 
That I am Leah:* for my brow to weave 

* Leah, the active life; Rachel, the con- of Julius II in the church of S. Pietro in 
templative; Michael AnRelo has used these Vincolo. 
allegorical personages on his monument 


A garland, these fair hands unwearied ply. 
To please me at the crystal mirror, here 
I deck me. But my sister Rachel, she 
Before her glass abides the livelong day, 
Her radiant eyes beholding, charm'd no less. 
Than I with this delightful task. Her joy 
In contemplation, as in labour mine." 

And now as glimmering dawn appear'd, that breaks 
More welcome to the pilgrim still, as he 
Sojourns less distant on his homeward way. 
Darkness from all sides fled, and with it fled 
My slumber; whence I rose, and saw my guide 
Already risen. "That delicious fruit. 
Which through so many a branch the zealous care 
Of mortals roams in quest of, shall this day 
Appease thy hunger." Such the words I heard 
From Virgil's lip; and never greeting heard. 
So pleasant as the sounds. Within me straight 
Desire so grew upon desire to mount, 
Thenceforward at each step I felt the wings 
Increasing for my flight. When we had run 
O'er all the ladder to its topmost round. 
As there we stood, on me the Mantuan fix'd 
His eyes, and thus he spake: "Both fires, my son, 
The temporal and eternal, thou hast seen; 
And art arrived, where of itself my ken 
No further reaches. I, with skill and art. 
Thus far have drawn thee. Now thy pleasure take 
For guide. Thou hast o'ercome the steeper way, 
O'ercome the straiter. Lo! the sun, that darts 
His beam upon my forehead: lo! the herb, 
The arborets and flowers, which of itself 
This land pours forth profuse. Till those bright eyes* 
With gladness come, which, weeping, made me haste 
To succour thee, thou mayst or seat thee down. 
Or wander where thou wilt. Expect no more 
Sanction of warning voice or sign from me, 
Free of thy own arbitrement to chuse, 
Discreet, judicious. To distrust thy sense 
' The eyes of Beatrice. 

258 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxviii 

Were henceforth error. I invest thee then 
With crown and mitre, sovereign o'er thyself." 


Argument. — Dante wanders through the forest of the terrestrial Paradise, till he 
is stopped by a stream, on the other side of which he beholds a fair lady, culling 
flowers. He speaks to her; and she, in reply, explains to him certain things touching 
the nature of that place, and tells that the water, which flows between them, is here 
called Lethe, and in another place has the name of Eunoe. 

THROUGH that celestial forest, whose thick shade 
With lively greenness the new-springing day 
Attemf)er'd, eager now to roam, and search 
Its limits round, forthwith I left the bank; 
Along the champain leisurely my way 
Pursuing, o'er the ground, that on all sides 
Delicious odour breathed. A pleasant air, 
That intermitted never, never veer'd, 
Smote on my temples, gently, as a wind 
Of softest influence: at which the sprays, 
Obedient all, lean'd trembling to that part' 
Where first the holy mountain casts his shade; 
Yet were not so disorder'd, but that still 
Upon their top the feather 'd quiristers 
Applied their wonted art, and with full joy 
Welcomed those hours of prime, and warbled shrill 
Amid the leaves, that to their jocund lays 
Kept tenour; even as from branch to branch. 
Along the piny forests on the shore 
Of Chiassi, rolls the gathering melody. 
When Eolus hath from his cavern loosed 
The dripping south. Already had my steps. 
Though slow, so far into that ancient wood 
Transported me, I could not ken the place 
Where I had enter 'd; when, behold! my path 
Was bounded by a rill, which, to the left, 
With litde rippling waters bent the grass 
That issued from its brink. On earth no wave 
How clean soe'er, that would not seem to have 
' "To that part." The west. 


Some mixture in itself, compared with this, 
Transpicuous clear; yet darkly on it roU'd, 
Darkly beneath perpetual gloom, which ne'er 
Admits or sun or moon-light there to shine. 

My feet advanced not; but my wondering eyes 
Pass'd onward, o'er the streamlet to survey 
The tender May-bloom, flush'd through many a hue, 
In prodigal variety: and there. 
As object, rising suddenly to view. 
That from our bosom every thought beside 
With the rare marvel chases, I lieheld 
A lady^ all alone, who, singing, went. 
And culling flower from flower, wherewith her way 
Was all o'er painted. "Lady beautiful! 
Thou, who (if looks, that use to speak the heart. 
Art worthy of our trust) with love's own beam 
Dost warm thee," thus to her my speech I framed; 
"Ah! please thee hither toward the streamlet bend 
Thy steps so near, that I may list thy song. 
Beholding thee and this fair place, methinks, 
I call to mind where wander'd and how look'd 
Proserpine, in that season, when her child 
The mother lost, and she the bloomy spring." 

As when a lady, turning in the dance, 
Doth foot it feady, and advances scarce 
One step before the other to the ground; 
Over the yellow and vermilion flowers. 
Thus turn'd she at my suit, most maiden-like 
Valing her sober eyes; and came so near. 
That I distincdy caught the dulcet sound. 
Arriving where the limpid waters now 
Laved the greensward, her eyes she deign'd to raise, 
That shot such splendour on me, as I ween 
Ne'er glanced from Cytherea's, when her son 
Had sped his keenest weapon to her heart. 
Upon the opposite bank she stood and smiled; 
As through her graceful fingers shifted still 

'Most of the commentators suppose estates called the Patrimony of St. Peter, 

that this lady, who in the last Canto is and died in 1115. But it seems more 

called Matilda, is the Countess Matilda, probable that she should be intended for 

who endowed the Holy Sec with the an allegorical personage. 

26o THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxvin 

The intermingling dyes, which without seed 
That lofty land unbosoms. By the stream 
Three paces only were we sunder'd: yet, 
The Hellespont, where Xerxes pass'd it o'er, 
(A curb for ever to the pride of man,') 
Was by Leander not more hateful held 
For floating, with inhospitable wave, 
'Twixt Sestos and Abydos, than by me 
That flood, because it gave no passage thence. 

"Strangers ye come; and haply in this place. 
That cradled human nature in its birth. 
Wondering, ye not without suspicion view 
My smiles: but that sweet strain of psalmody, 
'Thou, Lxjrd! hast made me glad,' ■* will give ye light, 
Which may uncloud your minds. And thou, who stand'st 
The foremost, and didst make thy suit to me. 
Say if aught else thou wish to hear: for I 
Came prompt to answer every doubt of thine." 

She spake; and I replied: "I know not how 

To reconcile this wave, and rustling sound 

Of forest leaves, with what I late have heard 

Of opfxjsite rejxjrt." She answering thus: 

"I will unfold the cause, whence that proceeds. 

Which makes thee wonder; and so purge the cloud 

That hath enwrapt thee. The First Good, whose joy 

Is only in Himself, created man. 

For happiness; and gave this goodly place. 

His pledge and earnest of eternal peace. 

Favour'd thus highly, through his own defect 

He fell; and here made short sojourn; he fell. 

And, for the bitterness of sorrow, changed 

Laughter unblamed and ever-new delight. 

That vapours none, exhaled from earth beneath. 

Or from the waters, (which, wherever heat 

Attracts them, follow), might ascend thus far 

To vex man's peaceful state, this mountain rose 

So high toward the Heaven, nor fears the rage 

* Because Xerxes had been so humbled, army, in the hopes of subduinf; Greece, 

when he was compelled to repass the * "Thou, Lord! hast made me glad." — 

Hellespont in one small bark, after having Psalm xcii. 4. 
a little before crossed with a prodigious 


Of elements contending; from that part 

Exempted, where the gate his limit bars. 

Because the circumambient air, throughout. 

With its first impulse circles still, unless 

Aught interpose to check or thwart its course; 

Upon the summit, which on every side 

To visitation of the impassive air 

Is open, doth that motion strike, and makes 

Beneath its sway the umbrageous wood resound: 

And in the shaken plant such power resides, 

That it impregnates with its efficacy 

The voyaging breeze, upon whose subtle plume 

That, wafted, flies abroad; and the other land,' 

Receiving, (as 'tis worthy in itself. 

Or in the clime, that warms it,) doth conceive; 

And from its womb produces many a tree 

Of various virtue. This when thou hast heard. 

The marvel ceases, if in yonder earth 

Some plant, without apparent seed, be found 

To fix its fibrous stem. And further learn, 

That with prolific foison of all seeds 

This holy plain is fiU'd, and in itself 

Bears fruit that ne'er was pluck'd on other soil. 

"The water, thou behold'st, springs not from vein. 
Restored by vajxjur, that the cold converts; 
As stream that intermittently repairs 
And spends his pulse of life; but issues forth 
From fountain, solid, undecaying, sure: 
And, by the Will Omnific, full supply 
Feeds whatsoe'er on either side it f)ours; 
On this, devolved with power to take away 
Remembrance of oflence; on that, to bring 
Remembrance back of every good deed done. 
From whence its name of Lethe on this part; 
On the other, Eunoe: both of which must first 

* The continent, inhabited by the living, terrestrial Paradise, which is situated on 
and separated from PurRatory by the the summit of Purgatory; and this is the 
ocean, is afTccted (and that diversely, ac- cause why some plants are found on 
cording to the nature of the soil, or the earth without any apparent seed to pro- 
climate) by a virtue, conveyed to it by duce them, 
the winds from plants growing in the 

262 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxix 

Be tasted, ere it work; the last exceeding 

All flavours else. Albeit thy thirst may now 

Be well contented, if I here break off, 

No more revealing; yet a corollary 

I freely give beside: nor deem my words 

Less grateful to thee, if they somewhat pass 

The stretch of promise. They, whose verse of yore 

The golden age recorded and its bliss. 

On the Parnassian mountain, of this place 

Perhaps had dream'd. Here was man guildess; here 

Perpetual spring, and every fruit; and this 

The far-famed nectar." Turning to the bards, 

When she had ceased, I noted in their looks 

A smile at her conclusion; then my face 

Again directed to the lovely dame. 


AitcuMENT. — ^The lady, who in a following Canto is called Matilda, moves along 
the side of the stream in a contrary direction to the current, and Dante keeps equal 
pace with her on the opposite bank. A marvellous sight, preceded by music, appears 
in view. 

SINGING, as if enamour'd, she resumed 
And closed the song, with "Blessed they' whose sins 
Are cover 'd." Like the wood-nymphs then, that 
Singly across the sylvan shadows; one [tripp'd 

Eager to view, and one to escape the sun; 
So moved she on, against the current, up 
The verdant rivage. I, her mincing step 
Observing, with as tardy step pursued. 

Between us not an hundred paces trod. 
The bank, on each side bending equally. 
Gave me to face the orient. Nor our way 
Far onward brought us, when to me at once 
She turn'd, and cried: "My brother! look, and hearken." 
And lo! a sudden lustre ran across 
Through the great forest on all parts, so bright, 
I doubted whether lightning were abroad; 
But that, expiring ever in the spleen 

' "Blessed they." — Psalm xxxii. i . 


That doth unfold it, and this during still, 

And waxing still in splendour, made me question 

What it might be: and a sweet melody 

Ran through the luminous air. Then did I chide. 

With warrantable zeal, the hardihood 

Of our first parent; for that there, where earth 

Stood in obedience to the Heavens, she only. 

Woman, the creature of an hour, endured not 

Restraint of any veil, which had she borne 

Devoutly, joys, ineffable as these, 

Had from the first, and long time since, been mine. 

While, through that wilderness of primy sweets 
That never fade, suspense I walk'd, and yet 
Exjjectant of beatitude more high; 
Before us, like a blazing iire, the air 
Under the green boughs glow'd; and, for a song. 
Distinct the sound of melody was heard. 

O ye thrice holy virgins! for your sakes 
If e'er I suffer'd hunger, cold, and watching. 
Occasion calls on me to crave your bounty. 
Now through my breast let Helicon his stream 
Pour copious, and Urania^ with her choir 
Arise to aid me; while the verse unfolds 
Things, that do almost mock the grasp of thought. 

Onward a space, what seem'd seven trees of gold 
The intervening distance to mine eye 
Falsely presented; but, when I was come 
So near them, that no lineament was lost 
Of those, with which a doubtful object, seen 
Remotely, plays on the misdeeming sense; 
Then did the faculty, that ministers 
Discourse to reason, these for tapers of gold* 
Distinguish; and i' the singing trace the sound 
"Hosanna!" Above, their beauteous garniture 
Flamed with more ample lustre, than the moon 
Through cloudless sky at midnight, in her noon. 

'"Urania." Landino observes, that in- If rightly thou art call'd." 

tending to sing of heavenly things, he Paradise Lost, b. vii. i. 

righdy invokes Urania. Thus Milton: 'See Rev. i. 12. 

"Descend from Heaven, Urania, by that 


I turn'd me, full of wonder, to my guide; 
And he did answer with a countenance 
Charged with no less amazement: whence my view 
Reverted to those lofty things, which came 
So slowly moving toward us, that the bride 
Would have outstript them on her bridal day. 

The lady call'd aloud: "Why thus yet burns 
Affection in thee for these living lights. 
And dost not look on that which follows them?" 

I straightway mark'd a tribe behind them walk, 
As if attendant on their leaders, clothed 
With raiment of such whiteness, as on earth 
Was never. On my left, the watery gleam 
Borrow'd, and gave me back, when there I look'd, 
As in a mirror, my left side portray'd. 

When I had chosen on the river's edge 
Such station, that the distance of the stream 
Alone did separate me; there I stay'd 
My steps for clearer prospect, and beheld 
The flames go onward, leaving, as they went, 
The air behind them painted as with trail 
Of liveliest pencils; so distinct were mark'd 
All those seven listed colours, whence the sun 
Maketh his bow, and Cynthia her zone. 
These streaming gonfalons did flow beyond 
My vision; and ten f»aces, as I guess. 
Parted the outermost. Beneath a sky 
So beautiful, came four and twenty elders,* 
By two and two, with flower-de-luces crown'd. 
All sang one song: "Blessed be thou' among 
The daughters of Adam! and thy loveliness 
Blessed forever!" After that the flowers. 
And the fresh herblets, on the opposite brink, 
Were free from that elected race; as light 
In heaven doth second light, came after them 
Four' animals, each crown'd with verdurous leaf. 
With six wings each was plumed; the plumage full 

'"Upon the seats I saw four and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." — Luke 
twenty elders sitting." — ^Rev. iv. 4. i. 42. 

' "Blessed art thou among women, and ' "Four." The four evangelists. 


Of eyes; and the eyes of Argus would be such, 
Were they endued with life. Reader! more rhymes 
I will not waste in shadowing forth their form: 
For other need so straitens, that in this 
I may not give my bounty room. But read 
Ezekiel;' for he paints them, from the north 
How he beheld them come by Chebar's flood, 
In whirlwind, cloud, and fire; and even such 
As thou shall find them character'd by him, 
Here were they; save as to the pennons: there, 
From him departing, John' accords with me. 
The space, surrounded by the four, enclosed 
A car triumphal:' on two wheels it came. 
Drawn at a Gryphon's'" neck; and he above 
Stretch'd either wing uplifted, 'tween the midst 
And the three listed hues, on each side, three; 
So that the wings did cleave or injure none; 
And out of sight they rose. The members, far 
As he was bird, were golden; white the rest. 
With vermeil intervein'd. So beautiful 
A car, in Rome, ne'er graced Augustus' pomp. 
Or Africanus': e'en the sun's itself 
Were poor to this; that chariot of the sun. 
Erroneous, which in blazing ruin fell 
At Tellus' prayer devout, by the just doom 
Mysterious of all-seeing Jove. Three nymphs," 
At the right wheel, came circling in smooth dance: 
TTie one so ruddy, that her form had scarce 
Been known within a furnace of clear flame; 

'"Ezckid." "And I look«I, and be- each of them six wings about him." — 

hold, a whirlwind came out of the north, Rev. iv. 8. 

a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, ' Either the Christian Church or per- 

and a brightness was about it, and out haps the papal chair, 

of the midst thereof as the color of '"Under the griffin (gryphon), an im- 

amber, out of the midst of fire. Also out aginary creature, the fore-part of which 

of the midst thereof came the likeness of is an eagle, and the hinder a lion, is 

four living creatures. And this was their shadowed forth the union of the divine 

appearance; they had the likeness of a and the human nature in Jesus Christ, 

man. And every one had four faces, and " The three evangelical virtues: Char- 

every one had four wings." — Ezekiel, i. ity, Hope, and Faith. Faith may be pro- 

4, 5, 6. duced by charity, or charity by faith, but 

• "John." "And the four beasts had the inducements to hope must arise cither 

from one or other of these. 

266 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxk 

The next did look, as ii the flesh and bones 

Were emerald; snow new-fallen seem'd the third. 

Now seem'd the white to lead, the ruddy now; 

And from her song who led, the others took 

Their measure, swift or slow. At the other wheel, 

A band quaternion,'* each in purple clad, 

Advanced with festal step, as, of them, one 

The rest conducted;" one, upon whose front 

Three eyes were seen. In rear of all this group, 

Two old men'* I beheld, dissimilar 

In raiment, but in port and gesture like. 

Solid and mainly grave; of whom, the one 

Did show himself some favor'd counsellor 

Of the great Coan," him, whom nature made 

To serve the costliest creature of her tribe: 

His fellow mark'd an opposite intent; 

Bearing a sword, whose glitterancc and keen edge, 

E'en as I viewed it with the flood between, 

Appall'd me. Next, four others" I beheld 

Of humble seeming: and, behind them all. 

One single old man," sleeping as he came. 

With a shrewd visage. And these seven, each 

Like the first troop were habited; but wore 

No braid of lilies on their temples wreathed. 

Rather, with roses and each vermeil flower, 

A sight, but litde distant, might have sworn. 

That they were all on fire above their brow. 

Whenas the car was o'er against me, straight 
Was heard a thundering, at whose voice it seem'd 
The chosen multitude were stay'd; for there. 
With the first ensigns, made they solemn halt. 

** The four moral virtues, of whom the benefit of her favorite creature, man." 

Prudence directs the others. " "The commentators," says Venturi, 

^ PrudeiKe, described with three eyes, "suppose these four to be the four cvan- 

bccause she regards the past, the present, j^lists; but I should rather take them to 

ar.d the future. be four principal doctors of the Church." 

'* "Two old men." St. Luke, the physi- Yet both Landino and Vellutello expressly 

cian, characterized as the writer of the call them the authors of the episdet. 

Acts of the Apostles, and St. Paul, repre- James, Peter, John, and Jude. 

tented with a sword, on account, as it " As some say, St. John, under the 

should seem, of the power of his style. character of the author of the Apocalypse. 

'* Hippocrates, "whom nature made for 



Arcumen't. — Beatrice descends from Heaven, and rebukes the Poet. 

SOON as that [xilar light,' fair ornament 
Of the first Heaven, which hath never known 
Setting nor rising, nor the shadowy veil 
Of other cloud than sin, to duty there 
Each one convoying, as that lower doth 
The steersman to his port, stood firmly fix'd; 
Forthwith the saintly tribe, who in the van 
Between the Gryphon and its radiance came, 
Did turn them to the car, as to their rest: 
And one, as if commission'd from above, 
In holy chant thrice shouted forth aloud; 
"Comc,^ sf>ouse! from Libanus:" and all the rest 
Took up the song. — At the last audit, so 
The blest shall rise, from forth his cavern each 
Uplifting lightly his new-vested flesh; 
As, on the sacred litter, at the voice 
Authoritative of that elder, sprang 
A hundred ministers and messengers 
Of life eternal. "Blessed' thou, who comest!" 
And, "Oh!" they cried, "from full hands scatter ye 
Unwithering lilies": and, so saying, cast 
Flowers overhead and round them on all sides. 

I have beheld, ere now, at break of day. 
The eastern clime all roseate; and the sky 
Opjxjscd, one deep and beautiful serene; 
And the sun's face so shaded, and with mists 
Attemper'd, at his rising, that the eye 
Long while endured the sight: thus, in a cloud 
Of flowers, that from those hands angelic rose, 
And down within and outside of the car 
Fell showering, in white veil with olive wreathed, 
A virgin in my view appear 'd, beneath 

* The seven candlesticks of gold, which * "Come with me from Lebanon, my 

he calls the polar liRht of Heaven itself, spouse, with me, from Lebanon." — Song 

because they perform the same office for of Solomon, iv. 8. 

Christians that the polar star docs for ' "Blessed is he that Cometh in the 

mariners, in guiding them to their port, name of the Lord." — Matt. xxi. 9. 


Green mantle, robed in hue of living flame: 

And o'er my spirit, that so long a time 

Had from her presence felt no shuddering dread. 

Albeit mine eyes discern'd her not, there moved 

A hidden virtue from her, at whose touch 

The power of ancient love was strong within me. 

No sooner on my vision streaming, smote 
The heavenly influence, which, years past, and e'en 
In childhood, thrill'd me, than towards Virgil I 
Turn'd me to leftward; panting, like a babe, 
That flees for refuge to his mother's breast, 
If aught have terrified or work'd him woe: 
And would have cried, "There is no dram of blood, 
That doth not quiver in me. The old flame 
Throws out clear tokens of reviving fire." 
But Virgil had bereaved us of himself; 
Virgil, my best-loved father, Virgil, he 
To whom I gave me up for safety: nor 
All, our prime mother lost, avail'd to save 
My undew'd cheeks from blur of soiling tears. 

"Dante! weep not that Virgil leaves thee; nay. 
Weep thou not yet: behoves thee feel the edge 
Of other sword; and thou shalt weep for that." 

As to the prow or stern, some admiral 
Paces the deck, inspiriting his crew. 
When 'mid the sail-yards all hands ply aloof; 
Thus, on the left side of the car, I saw 
(Turning me at the sound of mine own name, 
Which here I am compell'd to register) 
The virgin station'd, who before appear'd 
Veil'd in that festive shower angelical. 

Towards me, across the stream, she bent her eyes; 
Though from her brow the veil descending, bound 
With foliage of Minerva, sufler'd not 
That I beheld her clearly: then with act 
Full royal, still insulting o'er her thrall, 
Added, as one who, speaking, keepcth back 
The bitterest saying, to conclude the speech: 
"Observe me well. I am, in sooth, I am 
Beatrice. What! and hast thou deign'd at last 


Approach the mountain? Knewest not, O man! 

Thy happiness is here?" Down fell mine eyes 

On the clear fount; but there, myself espying, 

Recoil'd, and sought the greensward; such a weight 

Of shame was on my forehead. With a mien 

Of that stern majesty, which doth surround 

A mother's presence to her awe-struck child, 

She look'd; a flavor of such bitterness 

Was mingled in her pity. There her words 

Brake off; and suddenly the angels sang, 

"In thee, O gracious Lord! my hope hath been": 

But* went no further than, "Thou, Lord! hast set 

My feet in ample room." As snow, that lies, 

Amidst the living rafters on the back 

Of Italy, congeal'd, when drifted high 

And closely piled by rough Sclavonian blasts; 

Breathe but the land whereon no shadow falls, 

And straightway melting it distils away, 

Like a fire-wasted taper: thus was I, 

Without a sigh or tear, or ever these 

Did sing, that, with the chiming of Heaven's sphere, 

Still in their warbling chime: but when the strain 

Of dulcet symphony express'd for me 

Their soft compassion, more than could the words, 

"Virgin! why so consumest him?" then, the ice 

Congeal'd about my bosom, turn'd itself 

To spirit and water; and with anguish forth 

Gush'd, through the lips and eyelids, from the heart. 

Upon the chariot's same edge still she stood. 
Immovable; and thus address'd her words 
To those bright semblances with pity touch'd: 
"Ye in the eternal day your vigils keep; 
So that nor night nor slumber, with close stealth, 
Conveys from you a single step, in all 
The goings on of time: thence, with more heed 
I shape mine answer, for his car intended. 
Who there stands weeping; that the sorrow now 
May equal the transgression. Not alone 

* "But." They sang the thirty-first What follows would not have suited the 
Psalm, to the end of the eighth verse, place or the occasion. 

270 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxx 

Through operation of the mighty orbs. 

That mark each seed to some predestined aim. 

As with aspect or fortunate or ill 

The constellations meet; but through benign 

Largess of heavenly graces, which rain down 

From such a height as mocks our vision, this man 

Was, in the freshness of his being, such, 

So gifted virtually, that in him 

All better habits wondrously had thrived 

The more of kindly strength is in the soil. 

So much doth evil seed and lack of culture 

Mar it the more, and make it run to wildness. 

These looks sometime upheld him; for I show'd 

My youthful eyes, and led him by their light 

In upright walking. Soon as I had reach'd 

The threshold of my second age, and changed 

My mortal for immortal; then he left me. 

And gave himself to others. When from flesh 

To spirit I had risen, and increase 

Of beauty and of virtue circled me, 

I was less dear to him, and valued less. 

His steps were turn'd into deceitful ways, 

Following false images of good, that make 

No promise peticct. Nor avail'd me aught 

To sue for inspirations, with the which, 

I, both in dreams of night, and otherwise, 

Did call him back; of them, so litdc rcck'd him. 

Such depth he fell, that all device was short 

Of his preserving, save that he should view 

The children of perdition. To this end 

I visited the purlieus of the dead: 

And one, who hath conducted him thus high. 

Received my supplications urged with weeping. 

It were a breaking of God's high decree, 

If Lethe should be pass'd, and such food^ tasted. 

Without the cost of some repentant tear." 

' The oblivion of sins. 

CANTO xua PtniGATORY 27 1 


AxcuMENT. — Beatrice continues her reprehension of Dante, who confesses his error, 
and falls to the ground; coming to himself again, he is by Matilda drawn through 
the waters of Lethe, and presented first to the four virgins who figure the cardinal 
virtues; these in their turn lead him to the Gryphon, a symbol of our Saviour; and 
the three virgins, representing the evangelical virtues, intercede for him with Beatrice, 
that she would display to him tier second beauty. 

" X-^THOU!" her words she thus without delay 
■ ■ Resuming, turn'd their point on me, to whom 

^^__^ They, with but lateral edge,' seem'd harsh before: 
"Say thou, who stand'st beyond the holy stream, 
If this be true. A charge, so grievous, needs 
Thine own avowal." On my faculty 
Such strange amazement hung, the voice expired 
Imperfect, ere its organs gave it birth. 

A little space refraining, then she spake: 
"What dost thou muse on? Answer me. The wave 
On thy remembrances of evil yet 
Hath done no injury." A mingled sense 
Of fear and of confusion, from my lips 
Did such a "Yea" produce, as needed help 
Of vision to interpret. As when breaks. 
In act to be discharged, a cross-bow bent 
Beyond its pitch, both nerve and bow o'erstretch'd; 
The flagging weapon feebly hits the mark: 
Thus, tears and sighs forth gushing, did I burst. 
Beneath the heavy load : and thus my voice 
Was slacken'd on its way. She straight began: 
"When my desire invited thee to love 
The good, which sets a bound to our aspirings; 
What bar of thwarting foss or linked chain 
Did meet thee, that thou so shouldst quit the hope 
Of further progress? or what bait of ease. 
Or promise of allurement, led thee on 
Elsewhere, that thou elsewhere shouldst rather wait?" 

A bitter sigh I drew, then scarce found voice 
To answer; hardly to these sounds my lips 

' "V/ith but lateral edge." The words Angel, Dante had thought sufficiently 
o£ Beatrice, when not addressed directly harsh. 
u> himself, but spoken of him to the 

272 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxi 

Gave utterance, wailing: "Thy fair looks withdrawn, 

Things present, with deceitful pleasures, turn'd 

My steps aside." She answering spake: "Hadst thou 

Been silent, or denied what thou avow'st. 

Thou hadst not hid thy sin the more; such eye 

Observes it. But whene'er the sinner's cheek 

Breaks forth into the precious-streaming tears 

Of self-accusing, in our court the wheel 

Of justice doth run counter to the edge.' 

Howe'er, that thou mayst profit by thy shame 

For errors past, and that henceforth more strength 

May arm thee, when thou hear'st the Syren-voice; 

Lay thou aside the motive to this grief. 

And lend attentive ear, while I unfold 

How opposite a way my buried flesh 

Should have impell'd thee. Never didst thou spy, 

In art or nature, aught so passing sweet. 

As were the limbs that in their beauteous frame 

Enclosed me, and are scatter'd now in dust. 

If sweetest thing thus fail'd thee with my death. 

What, afterward, of mortal, should thy wish 

Have tempted ? When thou first hadst felt the dart 

Of perishable things, in my departing 

For better realms, thy wing thou shouldst have pruned 

To follow me; and never stoop'd again. 

To 'bide a second blow, for a slight girl,' 

Or other gaud as transient and as vain. 

The new and inexjDerienced bird* awaits. 

Twice it may be, or thrice, the fowler's aim; 

But in the sight of one whose plumes are full, 

In vain the net is spread, the arrow wing'd." 

I stood, as children silent and ashamed 
Stand, listening, with their eyes upon the earth. 
Acknowledging their fault, and self<ondemn'd. 
And she resumed: "If, but to hear, thus pains thee. 
Raise thou thy beard, and lo! what sight shall do." 

' "The weapons of divine justice arc of Lucca, mentioned in the twenty-fourth 

blunted by the confession and sorrow of Canto, 

the offender." * "Bird." "Surely in vain the net is 

^ "For a slight fori." Daniello and spread in the sight of any bird." — Prov. 

Venturi say that this alludes to Gentucca i. 17. 


With less reluctance yields a sturdy holm, 
Rent from its fibres by a blast, that blows 
From off the pole, or from larbas' land,' 
Than I at her behest my visage raised: 
And thus the face denoting by the beard, 
I mark'd the secret sting her words convey'd. 

No sooner lifted I mine aspect up, 
Than I perceived those primal creatures cease 
Their flowery sprinkling; and mine eyes beheld 
(Yet unassured and wavering in their view) 
Beatrice; she, who toward the mystic shape, 
That joins two natures in one form, had turn'd: 
And, even under shadow of her veil. 
And parted by the verdant rill that flow'd 
Between, in loveliness she seem'd as much 
Her former self surpassing, as on earth 
All others she surpass'd. Remorseful goads 
Shot sudden through me. Each thing else, the more 
Its love had late beguiled me, now the more 
Was loathsome. On my heart so keenly smote 
The bitter consciousness, that on the ground 
O'erpower'd I fell: and what my state was then, 
She knows, who was the cause. When now my strength 
Flow'd back, returning outward from the heart. 
The lady,' whom alone I first had seen, 
I found above me. "Loose me not," she cried: 
"Loose not thy hold:" and lo! had dragg'd me high 
As to my neck into the stream; while she. 
Still as she drew me after, swept along. 
Swift as a shuttle, bounding o'er the wave. 

The blessed shore approaching, then was heard 
So sweedy, "Tu asperges me," that I 
May not remember, much less tell the sound. 

The beauteous dame, her arms expanding, clasp'd 
My temples, and immerged me where 'twas fit 
The wave should drench me: and, thence raising up. 
Within the fourfold dance of lovely nymphs 
Presented me so laved; and with their arm 
They each did cover me. "Here are we nymphs, 
• "From larbas' land." The south. ' "The lady." Matilda. 

274 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxh 

And in the heaven are stars. Or ever earth 

Was visited of Beatrice, we, 

Appointed for her handmaids, tended on her. 

We to her eyes will lead thee: but the light 

Of gladness, that is in them, well to scan. 

Those yonder three, of deeper ken than ours. 

Thy sight shall quicken." Thus began their song: 

And then they led me to the Gryphon's breast. 

Where, turn'd toward us, Beatrice stood. 

"Spare not thy vision. We have station'd thee 

Before the emeralds, whence love, erewhile. 

Hath drawn his weapons on thee." As they spake, 

A thousand fervent wishes riveted 

Mine eyes upon her beaming eyes, that stood. 

Still fix'd toward the Gryphon, motionless. 

As the sun strikes a mirror, even thus 

Within those orbs the twyfold being shone; 

Forever varying, in one figure now 

Reflected, now in other. Reader! muse 

How wondrous in my sight it secm'd, to mark 

A thing, albeit steadfast in itself. 

Yet in its imaged semblance mutable. 

Full of amaze, and joyous, while my soul 
Fed on the viand, whereof still desire 
Grows with satiety; the other three. 
With gesture that declared a loftier line. 
Advanced: to their own carol, on they came 
Dancing, in festive ring angelical. 

"Turn, Beatrice!" was their song: "Oh! turn 
Thy saintly sight on this thy faithful one. 
Who, to behold thee, many a wearisome pace 
Hath measured. Gracious at our prayer, vouchsafe 
Unveiled to him thy cheeks; that he may mark 
Thy second beauty, now conceal'd." O splendour! 
O sacred light eternal! who is he. 
So pale with musing in Pierian shades, 
Or with that fount so lavishly imbued, 
Whose spirit should not fail him in the essay 
To represent thee such as thou didst seem. 


When under cope of the still<himing Heaven 
Thou gavest to open air thy charms reveal'd? 


Akcument. — Dante is warned not to gaze too fixedly on Beatrice. The procession 
moves on, accompanied by Matilda, Statius, and Dante, till they reach an exceeding 
lofty tree, where divers strange chances befall. 

MINE eyes with such an eager coveting 
Were bent to rid them of their ten years' thirst,' 
No other sense was waking: and e'en they 
Were fenced on either side from heed of aught; 
So tangled, in its custom'd toils, that smile 
Of saindy brightness drew me to itself: 
When forcibly, toward the left, my sight 
The sacred virgins turn'd; for from their lips 
I heard the warning sounds: "Too fix'd a gazel" 

Awhile my vision labour'd; as when late 
Upon the o'erstrained eyes the sun hath smote: 
But soon, to lesser object, as the view 
Was now recover'd, (lesser in respect 
To that excess of sensible, whence late 
I had perforce been sunder'd), on their right 
I mark'd that glorious army wheel, and turn, 
Against the sun and sevenfold lights, their front. 
As when, their bucklers for protection raised, 
A well-ranged troop, with portly banners curl'd, 
Wheel circling, ere the whole can change their ground; 
E'en thus the goodly regiment of Heaven 
Proceeding, all did pass us, ere the car 
Had sloped his beam. Attendant at the wheels 
The damsels turn'd; and on the Gryphon moved 
The sacred burden, with a pace so smooth. 
No feather on him trembled. The fair dame. 
Who through the wave had drawn me, companied 
By Statius and myself, pursued the wheel. 
Whose orbit, rolling, mark'd a lesser arch. 
' "Their ten years' thirst." Beatrice had been dead ten years. 

276 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxn 

Through the high wood, now void, (the more her blame, 
Who by the serpent was beguiled), I pass'd, 
With step in cadence to the harmony 
Angelic. Onward had we moved, as far. 
Perchance, as arrow at three several flights 
Full wing'd had sped, when from her station down 
Descended Beatrice. With one voice 
All murmur'd "Adam"; circling next a plant 
Despoil'd of flowers and leaf, on every bough. 
Its tresses, spreading more as more they rose, 
Were such, as 'midst their forest wilds, for height, 
The Indians might have gazed at. "Blessed thou. 
Gryphon!^ whose beak, hath never pluck'd that tree 
Pleasant to taste: for hence the appetite 
Was warp'd to evil." Round the stately trunk 
Thus shouted forth the rest, to whom rcturn'd 
The animal twice-gender'd: "Yea! for so 
The generation of the just are saved." 
And turning to the chariot-pole, to foot 
He drew it of the widow'd branch, and bound 
There, left unto the stock whereon it grew. 

As when large floods of radiance from above 
Stream, with that radiance mingled, which ascends 
Next after setting of the scaly sign, 
Our plants then burgeon, and each wears anew 
His wonted colours, ere the sun have yoked 
Beneath another star his flamy steeds; 
Thus putting forth a hue more faint than rose, 
And deeper than the violet, was renew'd 
The plant, erewhile in all its branches bare. 
Unearthly was the hymn, which then arose. 
I understood it not, nor to the end 
Endured the harmony. Had I the skill 
To pencil forth how closed the unpitying eyes 
Slumbering, when Syrinx warbled, (eyes that paid 
So dearly for their watching), then, like painter, 
That with a model paints, I might design 

' "Gryphon." Our Saviour's submission "render unto Czsar the things that are 
to the Roman Empire appears to be in- Caisar's." 
tended, and particularly his injunction to 


The manner of my falling into sleep. 
But feign who will the slumber cunningly, 
I pass it by to when I waked; and tell, 
How suddenly a flash of splendour rent 
The curtain of my sleep, and one cries out, 
"Arise: what dost thou?" As the chosen three. 
On Tabor's mount, admitted to behold 
The blossoming of that fair tree,' whose fruit 
Is coveted of Angels, and doth make 
Perpetual feast in Heaven; to themselves 
Returning, at the word whence deeper sleeps* 
Were broken, they their tribe diminish 'd saw; 
Both Moses and Elias gone, and changed 
The stole their Master wore; thus to myself 
Returning, over me beheld I stand 
The piteous one,' who, cross the stream, had brought 
My steps. "And where," all doubting, I exclaim'd, 
"Is Beatrice?" — "See her," she replied, 
"Beneath the fresh leaf, seated on its root. 
Behold the associate choir that circles her. 
The others, with a melody more sweet 
And more profound, journeying to higher realms. 
Upon the Gryphon tend." If there her words 
Were closed, I know not; but mine eyes had now 
Ta'en view of her, by whom all other thoughts 
Were barr'd admittance. On the very ground 
Alone she sat, as she had there been left 
A guard upon the wain, which I beheld 
Bound to the twyform beast. The seven nymphs 
Did make themselves a cloister round about her; 
And, in their hands, upheld those lights' secure 
From blast septentrion and the gusty south. 
"A litde while thou shalt be forester here; 
And citizen shalt be, forever with me. 
Of that true Rome,' wherein Christ dwells a Roman, 

• "The blossominR of that fair tree." * "Deeper sleeps." The sleep of death. 
Our Saviour's transtiKuration. "As the in the instance of the ruler of the syna- 
apple-trcc among the trees of the wood, gogue's daughter and of Lazarus." 
$0 is my beloved among the sons." — Solo- ' "The piteous one." Matilda, 

mon's Song, ii. 3. ' "Those lights." The tapers of gold. 

' "Of that true Rome." Of Heaven. 

278 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxu 

To profit the misguided world, keep now 
Thine eyes upon the car; and what thou seest, 
Take heed thou write, returning to that place."' 

Thus Beatrice: at whose feet inclined 
Devout, at her behest, my thought and eyes 
I, as she bade, directed. Never fire. 
With so swift motion, forth a stormy cloud 
Leap'd downward from the welkin's farthest bound. 
As I beheld the bird of Jove' descend 
Down through the tree; and, as he rush'd, the rind 
Disparting crush beneath him; buds much more, 
And leaflets. On the car, with all his might 
He struck; whence, staggering, like a ship it reel'd, 
At random driven, to starboard now, o'ercome. 
And now to larboard, by the vaulting waves. 

Next, springing up into the chariot's womb, 
A fox"* I saw, with hunger seeming pined 
Of all good food. But, for his ugly sins 
The saindy maid rebuking him, away 
Scampering he turn'd, fast as his hide-bound corpse 
Would bear him. Next, from whence before he came, 
I saw the eagle dart into the hull 
O' the car, and leave it with his feathers lined:" 
And then a voice, like that which issues forth 
From heart with sorrow rived, did issue forth 
From Heaven, and "O poor bark of mine!" it cried, 
"How badly art thou freighted." Then it seem'd 
That the earth open'd, between either wheel; 
And I beheld a dragon'^ issue thence, 
That through the chariot fix'd his forked train; 
And like a wasp, that draggeth back the sting. 
So drawing forth his baleful train, he dragg'd 
Part of the bottom forth; and went his way. 
Exulting. What remain'd, as lively turf 

' "To that place." To the earth. " "With his feathers lined." In allusion 

' "The bird of Jove." This, which is to the donations made by Consuntine to 

imitated from Ezekiel, xvii. 3, 4, is typical the Church. 

of the persecutions which the Church sus- '^ "A dragon." Probably Mohammed; 

tained from the Roman emperors. for what Lombardi olTers to the conuary 

'" "A fox." By the fox probably is is far from satisfactory. 

represented the treachery of the heretics. 


With green herb, so did clothe itself with plumes," 

Which haply had, with purpose chaste and kind, 

Been ofler'd; and therewith were clothed the wheels, 

Both one and other, and the beam, so quickly, 

A sigh were not breathed sooner. Thus transform'd, 

The holy structure, through its several parts. 

Did put forth heads;" three on the beam, and one 

On every side: the first like oxen horn'd; 

But with a single horn upon their front. 

The four. Like monster, sight hath never seen. 

O'er it" methought there sat, secure as rock 

On mountain's lofty top, a shameless whore. 

Whose ken roved loosely round her. At her side, 

As 't were that none might bear her off, I saw 

A giant stand; and ever and anon 

They mingled kisses. But, her lustful eyes 

Chancing on me to wander, that fell minion 

Scourged her from head to foot all o'er; then full 

Of jealousy, and fierce with rage, unloosed 

The monster, and dragg'd on," so far across 

The forest, that from me its shades alone 

Shielded the harlot and the new-form'd brute. 

••"With plumes." The increase of envy, hurtful, at least in their primary 

wealth and temporal dominion, which effects, chiefly to him who is guilty of 

followed the supposed gift of Constantine. them. 

'* "Heads." By the seven heads, it is " "0"er it." The harlot is thought to 

supposed with sufficient probability, arc represent the state of the Church under 

meant the seven capital sins: by the three Boniface VIII, and the giant to figure 

with two horns, pride, anger, and avarice, Philip IV of France, 

injurious both to man himself and to his " "Dragg'd on." The removal of the 

neighbor: by the four with one horn, Pope's residence from Rome to Avignon 

gluttony, gloominess, concupiscence, and is pointed at. 

28o THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxiii 


Argument. — After a hymn sung, Beatrice leaves the tree, and takes with her the 
seven virgins, Matilda, Statius, and Dante. She then darkly predicts to our Poet some 
future events. Lastly, the whole band arrive at the fountain, from whence the two 
ttreains, Lethe and Eunoc, separating, flow different ways; and Matilda, at the desire 
of Beatrice, causes our Poet to drink of the latter stream. 

'/" ■ ^HE heathen,' Lord! are come:" responsive thus, 
' The trinal now, and now the virgin band 


Quaternion, their sweet psalmody began, 
Weeping; and Beatrice listen'd, sad 
And sighing, to the song, in such a mood. 
That Mary, as she stood beside the Cross, 
Was scarce more changed. But when they gave her place 
To speak, then, risen upright on her feet, 
She, with a colour glowing bright as fire, 
Did answer: "Yet a litde while,' and ye 
Shall see me not; and, my beloved sistersi 
Again a little while, and ye shall see me." 

Before her then she marshal'd all the seven; 
And, beckoning only, motion'd me, the dame, 
And that remaining sage,' to follow her. 

So on she pass'd; and had not set, I ween, 
Her tenth step to the ground, when, with mine eyes 
Her eyes encountered; and, with visage mild, 
"So mend thy pace," she cried, "that if my words 
Address thee, thou mayst still be aptly placed 
To hear them." Soon as duly to her side 
I now had hasten'd: "Brother!" she began, 
"Why makest thou no attempt at questioning, 
As thus we walk together.'" Like to those 
Who, speaking with too reverent an awe 
Before their betters, draw not forth the voice 
Alive unto their lips, befel me then 
That I in sounds imperfect thus began: 
"Lady! what I have need of, that thou know'st; 
And what will suit my need." She answering thus: 

' "The heathen." "O God, the heathen and ye shall not see me; and again a 

are come into thine inheritance." — Psalm little while, and ye shall see me." — John 

Ixxix. I. xvi. 1 6. 

* "Yet a little while." "A little while, ' "That remaining sage." Statius. 


"Of fearfulness and shame, I will that thou 

Henceforth do rid thee; that thou sf>eak no more, 

As one who dreams. Thus far be taught of me: 

The vessel which thou saw'st the serpent break, 

Was, and is not:* let him, who hath the blame, 

Hope not to scare God's vengeance with a sop.' 

Without an heir forever shall not be 

That eagle,' he, who left the chariot plumed. 

Which monster made it first and next a prey. 

Plainly I view, and therefore speak, the stars 

E'en now approaching, whose conjunction, free 

From all impediment and bar, brings on 

A season, in the which, one sent from God, 

(Five hundred, five, and ten, do mark him out,) 

That foul one, and the accomplice of her guilt, 

The giant, both, shall slay. And if perchance 

My saying, dark as Themis or as Sphinx, 

Fail to persuade thee, (since like them it foils 

The intellect with blindness), yet ere long 

Events shall be the Naiads, that will solve 

This knotty riddle; and no damage light 

On flock or field. Take heed; and as these words 

By me are utter'd, teach them even so 

To those who live that life, which is a race 

To death: and when thou writest them, keep in mind 

Not to conceal how thou hast seen the plant, 

That twice' hath now been spoil'd. This whoso robs. 

This whoso plucks, with blasphemy of deed 

Sins against God, who for His use alone 

Creating hallow 'd it. For taste of this, 

♦'"Was, and is not." "The beast that son murdered, within the space of nine 

was, and is not." — Rev. xvii. 11. days." 

' "Hope not to scare God's venReance • "That eagle." He proBnosticatcs that 

with a sop." "Let not him who hath oc- the Emperor of Germany will not always 

casioned the destruction of the Church, continue to submit to the usurpations of 

that vessel which the serpent brake, hope the Pope, and foretells the coming of 

to appease the anger of the Deity by any Henry VII, Duke of Luxemburg, signified 

outward acts of religious, or rather super- by the numerical figures DVX; or, as 

stitious, ceremony; such as was that, in Lombardi supposes, of Can Grande della 

our Poet's time, performed by a murderer Scala, appointed the leader of the Ghibel- 

at Florence, who imagined himself secure line forces. 

from vengeance, if he ate a sop of ' "Twice." First by the eagle and next 

bread in wine upon the grave of the per- by the giant. 

282 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxiu 

In f>ain and in desire, five thousand years 
And upward, the first soul did yearn for him 
Who punish'd in himself the fatal gust. 

"Thy reason slumbers, if it deem this height, 
And summit thus inverted, of the plant. 
Without due cause: and were not vainer thoughts, 
As Elsa's numbing waters,' to thy soul. 
And their fond pleasures had not dyed it dark 
As Pyramus the mulberry; thou hadst seen. 
In such momentous circumstance alone, 
God's equal justice morally implied 
In the forbidden tree. But since I mark thee, 
In understanding, harden'd into stone. 
And, to that hardness, spotted too and stain'd, 
So that thine eye is dazzled at my word; 
I will, that, if not written, yet at least 
Painted thou take it in thee, for the cause. 
That one brings home his staff inwreathed with palm." 

I thus: "As wax by seal, that changeth not 
Its impress, now is stamp'd my brain by thee. 
But wherefore soars thy wish'd-for speech so high 
Beyond my sight, that loses it the more. 
The more it strains to reach it?" — "To the end 
That thou mayst know," she answer'd straight, "the school, 
That thou hast follow'd; and how far behind. 
When following my discourse, its learning halts: 
And mayst behold your art, from the divine 
As distant, as the disagreement is 
'Twixt earth and Heaven's most high and rapturous orb," 

"I not remember," I replied, "that e'er 
I was estranged from thee; nor for such fault 
Doth conscience chide me." Smiling she return'd: 
"If thou canst not remember, call to mind 
How lately thou hast drunk of Lethe's wave; 
And, sure as smoke doth indicate a flame, 
In that forgetfulness itself conclude 
Blame from thy alienated will incurr'd. 

* "Elsa's numbing waters." The Elsa, about twenty miles below Florence, is said 
a little stream, which flows into the Arno to possess a petrifying quality. 


From henceforth, verily, my words shall be 

As naked, as will suit them to appwar 

In thy unpractised view." More sparkling now, 

And with retarded course, the sun possess'd 

The circle of mid-day, that varies still 

As the aspect varies of each several clime; 

When, as one, sent in vaward of a troop 

For escort, pauses, if perchance he spy 

Vestige of somewhat strange and rare; so paused 

The sevenfold band, arriving at the verge 

Of a dun umbrage hoar, such as is seen. 

Beneath green leaves and gloomy branches, oft 

To overbrow a bleak and alpine cliff. 

And, where they stood, before them, as it seem'd, 

I, Tigris and Euphrates both, beheld 

Forth from one fountain issue; and, like friends, 

Linger at parting. "O enlightening beam! 

O glory of our kind! beseech thee say 

What water this, which, from one source derived, 

Itself removes to distance from itself?" 

To such entreaty answer thus was made: 
"Entreat Matilda, that she teach thee this." 

And here, as one who clears himself of blame 
Imputed, the fair dame return'd: "Of me 
He this and more hath learnt; and I am safe 
That Lethe's water hath not hid it from him." 

And Beatrice: "Some more pressing care, 
That oft the memory 'reaves, perchance hath made 
His mind's eye dark. But lo, where Eunoe flowsl 
Lead thither; and, as thou art wont, revive 
His fainting virtue." As a courteous spirit. 
That proffers no excuses, but as soon 
As he hath token of another's will. 
Makes it his own; when she had ta'en me, thus 
The lovely maiden moved her on, and call'd 
To Statius, with an air most lady-like: 
"Come thou with him." Were further space allow'd. 
Then, Reader! might I sing, though but in part. 
That beverage, with whose sweetness I had ne'er 


Been sated. But, since all the leaves are full, 
Appointed for this second strain, mine art 
With warning bridle checks me. I return'd 
From the most holy wave, regenerate. 
E'en as new plants renew'd with foliage new. 
Pure and made apt for mounting to the stars. 


Argument. — The Poet ascends with Beatrice toward the first heaven; and is, by 
her, resolved of certain doubts which arise in his mind. 

HIS glory, by whose might all things are moved, 
Pierces the universe, and in one part 
Sheds more resplendence, elsewhere less. In 
That largeliest of His light partakes, was I, [Heaven 
Witness of things, which, to relate again, 
Surpasscth 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 beloved. 
Thus far' hath one of steep Parnassus' brows 
Sufficed 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, unsheathed. O power divine! 
If thou to me of thine impart so much, 
That of that happy realm the shadow 'd form 
Traced 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 

' "Thus far." He appears to mean ^ "Do thou." Make me thine instru- 

nothinj; more than that this part of his mcnt; and, through me, utter such sound 
poem will require a greater exertion of as when thou didst contend with Marsyas, 
bis powers than the former. 



Will fit me. If but seldom, mighty Sire! 
To grace his triumph, gathers thence a wreath 
Cxsar, or bard, (more shame for human wills 
Depraved), joy to the Delphic god must spring 
From the Peneian foliage, when one breast 
Is with such thirst inspired. From a small spark 
Great flame hath risen : after me, perchance. 
Others with better voice may pray, and gain, 
From the Cyrrhaean city, answer kind. 

Through divers 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 well-nigh by 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 upward rise, 
Even 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 
Uf)on the sun. Much is allow 'd us there. 
That here exceeds our power; thanks to the place 
Made for the dwelling of the human kind. 

I sufler'd it not long; and yet so long. 
That I beheld it bickering sparks around, 
As iron that comes boiling from the fire. 
And suddenly upwn the day appcar'd 
A day new-risen; as he, who hath the power, 

' "Where the four circles, the horizon, * "Morning there." It was morning 

the zodiac, the equator, and the equinoc- where he then was, aiid about eventide 

tial colure join; the last three intersect- on the earth. 

ing each other so as to form three crosses, ' "To the left." Being in the opposite 

as may be seen in the armillary sphere." hemisphere to ours, Beatrice, that she may 

* Aries. Some understand the planet behold the rising sun, turns herself to the 

Venus by the "migliore Stella." left. 


Had with another sun bedeck'd the sky. 

Her eyes fast flx'd on the eternal wheels, 
Beatrice stood unmoved; and I with ken 
Fix'd upon her, from upward gaze removed, 
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 trans-human 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 Heaven is ruled; 
Thou know'st, who by Thy light didst bear me up. 
Whcnas the wheel which Thou dost ever guide. 
Desired Spirit! with its harmony. 
Temper 'd of Thee and measured, charm'd mine ear. 
Then scem'd to me so much of Heaven 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, inflamed 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 
Makest dull; so that thou seest not the thing. 
Which thou hadst seen, had that been shaken ofJ. 
Thou art not on the earth as thou believest; 
For lightning, scaped from its own proper place. 
Ne'er ran, as thou hast hither now return 'd." 

Although divested of my first-raised 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 utterance of a piteous sigh. 
She toward 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, diversly; some more, 

Some less approaching to their primal source. 

Thus they to different havens are moved on 

Through the vast sea of being, and each one 

With instinct given, that bears it in its course: 

This to the lunar sphere directs the fire; 

This moves 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; but even those, 

That have intelligence and love, are pierced. 

That Providence, who so well orders all. 

With her own light makes ever calm the Heaven,' 

In which the substance, that hath greatest sfx^d,'" 

Is turn'd: and thither now, as to our seat 

Predestined, 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, oft-times, but ill accords the form 

To the design of art, through sluggishness 

Or 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 vitious fondness. Thou no more admire 

Thy soaring (if I rightly deem) than lapse 

Of torrent downward from a mountain's height. 

There would in thee for wonder be more cause. 

If, free of hindrance, thou hadst stay'd below, 

* This order it is, that gives to the ' " The Heaven." The empyrean, 
universe the form of unity, and there- which is always motionless. 

fore resemblance to God. '""The substance, etc." The primum 

• All things, as they have their befrin- mobile. 
ning from the Supreme Being, so are they 
referred to Him again. 


As living fire unmoved upon the earth." 

So said, she turn'd toward the Heaven her face. 


AnouMEMT. — Dante and his celestial guide enter the moon. The cause of the 
spots or shadows, which appear in that body, is explained to him. 

A LL ye, who in small bark have following sail'd, 

/% Eager to listen, on the adventurous track 
Y % Of my proud keel, that singing cuts her 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 Colchis, 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 gazed, and I on her; 
And in such space as on the notch a dart 
Is placed, then loosen'd flies, I saw myself 
Arrived, where wonderous thing engaged my sight. 
Whence she, to whom no care 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." 

Meseem'd as if a cloud had cover'd us, 
1 "This first star." The moon. 


Translucent, solid, firm, and polish'd bright, 

Like adamant, which the sun's beam had smit. 

Within itself the ever-during pearl 

Received 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'dl 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 answer'd: "Lady! I with thoughts devout. 
Such as I best can frame, give thanks to Him, 
Who hath removed 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 smiled, then spake: "If mortals err 
In their opinion, when the key of sense 
Unlocks not, surely wonder's weajwn 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 caused, I deem, by bodies dense or rare." 

She then resumed: "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 o£ 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 effused. 

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 

Pass through, there needs must be a limit, whence 

Its contrary no further lets it pass. 

And hence the beam, that from without proceeds, 

Must be pour'd back; as colour comes, through glass 

Reflected, which behind it lead conceals. 

Now wilt thou say, that there of murkier hue, 

Than, in the other part, the ray is shown. 

By being thence refracted farther back. 

From this perplexity will free thee soon 

Experience, if thereof thou trial make. 

The fountain whence your arts derive their streams. 

Three mirrors shalt thou take, and two remove 

From thee alike; and more remote the third. 

Betwixt the former pair, shall meet thine eyes: 

Then turn'd toward them, cause behind thy back 

A light to stand, that on the three shall shine, 

And thus reflected come to thee from all. 

Though that, beheld most distant, do not stretch 

A space so ample, yet in brightness thou 

Wilt own it equaling the rest. But now. 

As under snow the ground, if the warm ray 

Smites it, remains dismantled of the hue 

And cold, that cover'd it before; so thee, 

Oismanded in thy mind, I will inform 

' "Change the leaves." Would, like leaves of parchment, be darker in some parts 
than in others. 


With light so lively, that the tremulous beam 

Shall quiver where it falls. Within the Heaven,' 

Where peace divine inhabits, circles round 

A body, in whose virtue lies the being 

Of all that it contains. The following Heaven, 

That hath so many lights, this being divides. 

Through different essences, from it distinct. 

And yet contain'd within it. The other orbs 

Their separate distinctions variously 

Dispose, for their own seed and produce apt. 

Thus do these organs of the world proceed, 

As thou beholdest now, from step to step; 

Their influences from above deriving, 

And thence transmitting downward. Mark me well; 

How through this passage to the truth I ford, 

The truth thou lovest; that thou henceforth, alone, 

Mayst know to keep the shallows, safe, untold. 

"The virtue and motion of the sacred orbs, 
As mallet by the workman's hand, must needs 
By blessed movers* be inspired. This Heaven,* 
Made beauteous by so many luminaries, 
From the deep spirit,' that moves its circling sphere, 
Its image takes and impress as a seal: 
And as the soul, that dwells within your dust, 
Through members different, yet together form'd. 
In different powers resolves itself; e'en so 
The intellectual efficacy unfolds 
Its goodness multiplied throughout the stars; 
On its own unity revolving still. 
Different virtue' compact different 
Makes with the precious body it enlivens. 
With which it knits, as life in you is knit. 

' Accordinj; to our Poet's system, there * "By blessed movers." By Angels, 

are ten Heavens. The Heaven, "where ' "This Heaven." The Heaven of fixed 

peace divine inhabits," is the empyrean; stars. 

the body within it, that "circles round," ' "The deep spirit" The moving 

is the primtim mobile; "the following Angel. 

Heaven," that of the fixed stars; and "the '"Different virtue." "There is one 

other orbs," the seven lower Heavens, glory of the sun, and another glory of 

are Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, the moon, and another glory of the stars; 

Mercury, and the Moon. Thus Milton, for one star differeth from another star 

"Paradise Lost" b. iii. 481. in glor)'." — i Cor. xv. 41. 


From its original nature full of joy, 

The virtue mingled through the body shines, 

As joy through pupil of the living eye. 

From hence proceeds that which from light to light 

Seems different, and not from dense or rare. 

This is the formal cause, that generates, 

Proportion'd to its power, the dusk or clear." 


Argument. — ^In the moon Dante meets with Piccarda, the sister of Forese, who 
tells him that this planet is allotted to those, who, after having made profession of 
chastity and a religious life, had been compelled to violate their vows; and she then 
point! out to him the spirit of the Empress Costanza. 

THAT sun,' which erst with love my bosom 
Had of fair truth unveil'd the sweet aspect, 
By proof of right, and of the false reproof; 
And I, to own myself convinced and free 
Of doubt, as much as needed, raised my head 
Erect for speech. But soon a sight appear'd. 
Which, so intent to mark it, held me fix'd 
That of confession I no longer thought. 

As through translucent and smooth glass, or wave 
Clear and unmoved, and flowing not so deep 
As that its bed is dark, the shape returns 
So faint of our impictured lineaments. 
That, on white forehead set, a pearl as strong 
Comes to the eye; such saw I many a face. 
All stretch'd to speak; from whence I straight conceived, 
Delusion' opposite to that, which raised. 
Between the man and fountain, amorous flame. 

Sudden, as I perceived them, deeming these 
Reflected semblances, to see of whom 
They were, I turn'd mine eyes, and nothing saw; 
Then turn'd them back, directed on the light 
Of my sweet guide, who, smiling, shot forth beams 
From her celestial eyes. "Wonder not thou," 

' "That sun." Beatrice. a shadow for a substance; I, a substance 

* "Delusion." "An error the contrary for a shadow." 
to that of Narcissus; because he mistook 

294 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto m 

She cried, "at this my smiling, when I sec 
Thy childish judgment; since not yet on truth 
It rests the foot, but, as it still is wont, 
Makes thee fall back in unsound vacancy. 
True substances are these, which thou behold'st. 
Hither through failure of their vow exiled. 
But speak thou with them; listen, and believe, 
That the true light, which fills them with desire. 
Permits not from its beams their feet to stray." 

Straight to the shadow, which for converse seem'd 
Most earnest, I address'd me; and began 
As one by over-eagerness perplex'd: 
"O spirit, born for joy! who in the rays 
Of life eternal, of that sweetness know'st 
The flavour, which, not tasted, passes far 
All apprehension; me it well would please. 
If thou wouldst tell me of thy name, and this 
Your station here." Whence she with kindness prompt 
And eyes glist'ring with smiles: "Our charity, 
To any wish by justice introduced. 
Bars not the door; no more than She above, 
Who would have all her court be like herself. 
I was a virgin sister in the earth; 
And if thy mind observe me well, this form. 
With such addition graced of loveliness. 
Will not conceal me long; but thou wilt know 
Piccarda,' in the tardiest sphere thus placed. 
Here 'mid these other blessed also blest. 
Our hearts, whose high affections burn alone 
With pleasure from the Holy Spirit conceived, 
Admitted to His order, dwell in joy. 
And this condition, which appears so low. 
Is for this cause assign'd us, that our vows 
Were, in some part, neglected and made void." 

Whence I to her replied: "Something divine 
Beams in your countenances wondrous fair; 
From former knowledge quite transmuting you. 

• "Piccarda." The sister of Corso Petrarch has been supposed to allude to 
Donati, and of Forese, whom we have this lady in his "Triumph of Chastity," 
seeo in the Purgatory, Canto xxiv. v. i6o, etc. 


Therefore to recollect was I so slow. 
But what thou say'st hath to my memory 
Given now such aid, that to retrace your forms 
Is easier. Yet inform me, ye, who here 
Are happy; long ye for a higher place. 
More to behold, and more in love to dwell?" 

She with those other spirits gently smiled; 
Then answer 'd with such gladness, that she seem'd 
With love's first flame to glow: "Brother! our will 
Is, in composure, settled by the power 
Of charity, who makes us will alone 
What we possess, and naught beyond desire: 
If we should wish to be exalted more, 
Then must our wishes jar with the high will 
Of Him, who sets us here; which in these orbs 
Thou wilt confess not possible, if here 
To be in charity must needs befall. 
And if her nature well thou contemplate. 
Rather it is inherent in this state 
Of blessedness, to keep ourselves within 
The Divine Will, by which our wills with His 
Are one. So that as we, from step to step. 
Are placed throughout this kingdom, pleases all, 
Even as our King, who in us plants His will; 
And in His will is our tranquillity: 
It is the mighty ocean, whither tends 
Whatever it creates and Nature makes." 

Then saw I clearly how each spot in Heaven 
' • Paradise, though with like gracious dew 
The supreme virtue shower not over all. 

But as it chances, if one sort of food 
Hath satiated, and of another still 
The appetite remains, that this is ask'd, 
And thanks for that return'd; e'en so did I, 
In word and motion, bent from lier to learn 
What web it was,* through which she had not drawn 
The shutde to its point. She thus began: 
"Exalted worth and perfectness of life 

* "What vow of religious life it was that she had been hindered from completing, 
had been com)x^lled to break." 

296 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto ill 

The Lady' higher up inshrine in Heaven, 
By whose pure laws upon your nether earth 
The robe and veil they wear; to that intent, 
That e'en till death they may keep watch, or sleep. 
With their great Bridegroom, who accepts each vow, 
Which to His gracious pleasure love conforms. 
I from the world, to follow her, when young 
Escaped; and, in her vesture mantling me, 
Made promise of the way her sect enjoins. 
Thereafter men, for ill than good more apt, 
Forth snatch'd me from the pleasant cloister's pale. 
God knows' how, after that, my life was framed. 
This other splendid shape, which thou bchold'st 
At my right side, burning with all the light 
Of this our orb, what of myself I tell 
May to herself apply. From her, like me 
A sister, with like violence were torn 
The saintly folds, that shaded her fair brows. 
E'en when she to the world again was brought 
In spite of her own will and better wont. 
Yet not for that the bosom's inward veil 
Did she renounce. This is the luminary 
Of mighty Constance,' who from that loud blast, 
Which blew the second' over Suabia's realm, 
That f)Ower produced, which was the third and last." 
She ceased from further talk, and then began 

' St. Clare, the foundress of the order body was smitten with leprosy; in a few 

called after her. She was born at Assisi, days, through the divine disposal, she 

in 1 193, and died in 1253. passed with a palm of virginity to the 

' Rodolfo da Tossignano, Hist. Seraph. Lord. 

Relig., relates the following legend of ' Daughter of Ruggicri, King of Sicily, 

Piccarda: "Her brother Corso, inflamed who being taken by force out of a mon- 

with rage against his virgin sister, having astery was married to the Emperor Henry 

joined with him Farinata, an infamous VI and by him was mother of Frederick 

assassin, and twelve other abandoned II. She was Mtv years old or more at the 

ruffians, entered the monastery by a lad- time, and "because it was not credited 

dor, and carried away his sister forcibly that she could have a child at that age, 

to his own house; and then tearing off she was delivered in a pavilion, and it 

her religious habit, compelled her to go was given out that any lady, who pleased, 

in a secular garment to her nuptials. was at liberty to see her." 

Before the spouse of Christ came together ' Henry VI, son of Frederick I, was the 

with her new husband, she knelt down second emperor of the house of Suabia; 

before a crucifix and recommended her .ind his son Frederick II "the third and 

virginity to Christ. Soon after her whole last." 


"Ave Maria" singing; and with that song 
Vanish'd, as heavy substance through deep wave. 

Mine eye, that, far as it was capable. 
Pursued her, when in dimness she was lost, 
Turn'd to the mark where greater want impell'd 
And bent on Beatrice all its gaze. 
But she, as lightning, beam'd upon my looks; 
So that the sight sustain'd it not at first. 
Whence I to question her became less prompt. 


AxGUMENT. — ^While they still continue in the moon, Beatrice removes certain 
doubts which Dante had conceived respecting the place assigned to the blessed, and 
respecting the will absolute or conditional. He inquires whether it is possible to 
make satisfaction for a vow broken. 

BETWEEN two kinds of food, both equally 
Remote and tempting, first a man might die 
Of hunger, ere he one could freely chuse. 
E'en so would stand a lamb between the maw 
Of two fierce wolves, in dread of both alike: 
E'en so between two deer a dog would stand. 
Wherefore, if I was silent, fault nor praise 
I to myself impute; by equal doubts 
Held in suspense; since of necessity 
It happen'd. Silent was I, yet desire 
Was painted in my looks; and thus I spake 
My wish more earnestly than language could. 

As Daniel,' when the haughty king he freed 
From ire, that spurr'd him on to deeds unjust 
And violent; so did Beatrice then. 

"Well I discern," she thus her words address'd, 
"How thou art drawn by each of these desires;* 
So that thy anxious thought is in itself 
Bound up and stifled, nor breathes freely forth. 
Thou arguest: if the good intent remain; 
What reason that another's violence 

' "Daniel." See Dan. ii. Beatrice did which had enraged him against the 

for Dante what Daniel did for Nebu- Chaldeans. See Hell, Canto xiv. 
chadnezzar, when he freed the King ^ His desire to have each of the doubts, 

from the uncertainty respecting his dream, which Beatrice mentions, resolved. 

298 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto iv 

Should stint the measure of my fair desert? 

"Cause too thou find'st for doubt, in that it seems. 
That spirits to the stars, as Plato' deem'd, 
Return. These are the questions which thy will 
Urge equally; and therefore I, the first, 
Of that* will treat which hath the more of gall* 
Of Seraphim' he who is most enskied, 
Moses and Samuel, and either John 
Chuse which thou wilt, nor even Mary's self, 
Have not in any other Heaven their seats, 
Than have those spirits which so late thou saw'st; 
Nor more or fewer years exist; but all 
Make the first circle' beauteous, diversely 
Partaking of sweet life, as more or less 
AfiSation of eternal bliss pervades them. 
Here were they shown thee, not that fate assigns 
This for their sphere, but for a sign to thee 
Of that celestial furthest from the height. 
Thus needs, that ye may apprehend, we speak: 
Since from things sensible alone ye learn 
That, which, digested rightly, after turns 
To intellectual. For no other cause 
The Scripture, condescending graciously 
To your perception, hands and feet to God 
Attributes, nor so means: and holy Church 
Doth represent with human countenance 
Gabriel, and Michiiel, and him who made 
Tobias whole. Unlike what here thou seest, 
The judgment of Timaeus, who affirms 
Each soul restored to its particular star; 
Believing it to have been taken thence, 
When nature gave it to inform her mold: 
Yet to appearance his intention is 

' "Plato." Plato, Tunzus, v. ix. p. 326. as he had read in the Timxus of Plato. 

"The Creator, when he had framed the Angels, then, and beatified spirits, she 

universe, distributed to the stars an equal declares, dwell all and eternally together, 

number of souls, appointing to each soul only partaking more or less of the divine 

its several star." glory, in the empyrean; although, in con- 

* "Of that." Plato's opinion. dcsccnsion to human understanding, they 

' Which is the more dangerous. .ippcar to have different, spheres allotted 

' She first resolves his doubt whether to them, 
souls do not return to their own stars, ' "The first circle." The empyrean. 


Not what his words declare: and so to shun 

Derision, haply thus he hath disguised 

His true opinion. If his meaning be, 

That to the influencing of these orbs revert 

The honour and the blame in human acts, 

Perchance he doth not wholly miss the truth. 

This principle, not understood aright, 

Erewhile perverted well-nigh all the world; 

So that it fell to fabled names of Jove, 

And Mercury, and Mars. That other doubt. 

Which moves thee, is less harmful; for it brings 

No peril of removing thee from me. 

"That, to the eye of man,' our justice seems 

Unjust, is argument for faith, and not 

For heretic declension. But, to the end 

This truth' may stand more clearly in your view, 

I will content thee even to thy wish. 

"If violence be, when that which suffers, nought 
Consents to that which forceth, not for this 
These spirits stood exculpate. For the will, 
That wills not, still survives, unquench'd, and doth, 
As nature doth in fire, though violence 
Wrest it a thousand times; for, if it yield 
Or more or less, so far it follows force. 
And thus did these, when they had fxjwer to seek 
The hallow 'd place again. In them, had will 
Been perfect, such as once upon the bars 
Held Laurence'" firm, or wrought in Scscvola 
To his own hand remorseless; to the path. 
Whence they were drawn, their steps had hasten'd back, 
When liberty return'd: but in too few, 
Resolve, so stedfast, dwells. And by these words. 
If duly weigh'd, that argument is void, 
Which oft might have perplex'd thee still. But now 

' "That the ways of divine justice are of the meritorious. After all, Beatrice 

often inscrutable to man, ought rather to ends by admitting that there was a defect 

be a motive to faith than an inducement in the will, which hindered Constance 

to heresy." and the others from seizing the first 

• "This truth." That it is no impeach- opportunity of returning to the monastic 

ment of God's justice, if merit be lessened life. 

through compulsion of others, without '" Martyr of the third century. 

any failure of good intention on the part 


Another question thwarts thee, which, to solve, 
Might try thy patience without better aid. 
I have, no doubt, instill'd into thy mind. 
That blessed spirit may not lie; since near 
The source of primal truth it dwells for aye: 
And thou mightst after of Piccarda learn 
That Constance held affection to the veil; 
So that she seems to contradict me here. 
Not seldom, brother, it hath chanced for men 
To do what they had gladly left undone; 
Yet, to shun peril, they have done amiss: 
E'en as Alcmxon, at his father's" suit 
Slew his own mother;'^ so made pitiless. 
Not to lose pity. On this point bethink thee. 
That force and will are blended in such wise 
As not to make the offence excusable. 
Absolute will agrees not to the wrong; 
But inasmuch as there is fear of woe 
From non-compliance, it agrees. Of will'* 
Thus absolute, Piccarda spake, and I 
Of the other; so that both have truly said." 

Such was the flow of that pure rill, that well'd 
From forth the fountain of all truth; and such 
The rest, that to my wandering thoughts I found. 

"O thou, of primal love the prime delight. 
Goddess!" I straight replied, "whose lively words 
Still shed new heat and vigour through my soul; 
Affection fails me to requite thy grace 
With equal sum of gratitude: be His 
To recompense, who sees and can reward thee. 
Well I discern, that by that Truth'* alone 
Enlighten'd, beyond which no truth may roam, 
Our mind can satisfy her thirst to know: 
Therein she resteth, e'en as in his lair 
The wild beast, soon as she hath reach'd that bound. 
And she hath power to reach it; else desire 

" "Hu father's." Amphiaraus. and without relation to circumstances; 

" "His own mother." Eriphylc. and that, which I affirm, is spoken of 

""Of will." What Piccarda asserts of the will conditionally and respectively: 

Constance, that she retained her affection so that "both have truly said." 

to the monastic life, is said absolutely '*The light of divine truth. 


Were given to no end. And thence doth doubt 

Spring, like a shoot, around the stock of truth; 

And it is nature which, from height to height, 

On to the summit prompts us. This invites, 

This doth assure me, Lady! reverently 

To ask thee of another truth, that yet 

Is dark to me. I fain would know, if man 

By other works well done may so supply 

The failure of his vows, that in your scale 

They lack not weight." I spake; and on me straight 

Beatrice look'd, with eyes that shot forth sparks 

Of love celestial, in such copious stream. 

That, virtue sinking in me overjX)wer'd, 

I turn'd; and downward bent, confused, my sight. 


Akcument. — ^The question proposed in the last Canto is answered. Dante ascends 
with Beatrice to the planet Mercury, which is the second heaven; and here he finds 
a multitude of spirits, one of whom offers to satisfy him of anything be may desire 
to know from them. 

" ~r F beyond earthly wont,' the flame of love 
I Illume me, so that I o'ercome thy power 
M of vision, marvel not: but learn the cause 
In that perfection of the sight, which, soon 
As apprehending, hasteneth on to reach 
The good it apprehends. I well discern. 
How in thine intellect already shines 
The light eternal, which to view alone 
Ne'er fails to kindle love; and if aught else 
Your love seduces, 'tis but that it shows 
Some ill-mark'd vestige of that primal beam. 

"This wouldst thou know: if failure of the vow 
By other service may be so supplied. 
As from self-question to assure the soul." 

Thus she her words, not heedless of my wish. 
Began; and thus, as one who breaks not off 

• 'If beyond earthly wont." Dante hav- of the last Canto, she tells him to at- 
ing been unable to sustain the splendor tribute her increase of brightness to the 
of Beatrice, as wc have seen at the end place in which they were. 

302 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto v 

Discourse, continued in her saintly strain. 
"Supreme of gifts,^ which God, creating, gave 
Of His free bounty, sign most evident 
Of goodness, and in His account most prized 
Was liberty of will; the boon, wherewith 
All intellectual creatures, and them sole. 
He hath endow'd. Hence now thou mayst infer 
Of what high worth the vow, which so is framed 
That when man offers, God well-pleased accepts: 
For in the compact between God and him. 
This treasure, such as I describe it to thee, 
He makes the victim; and of his own act. 
What compensation therefore may he find? 
If that, whereof thou hast oblation made. 
By using well thou think'st to consecrate. 
Thou wouldst of theft do charitable deed. 
Thus I resolve thee of the greater pxjint. 

"But forasmuch as holy Church, herein 
Dispensing, seems to contradict the truth 
I have discover'd to thee, yet behoves 
Thou rest a little longer at the board, 
Ere the crude aliment which thou hast ta'en, 
Digested fitly, to nutrition turn. 
Open thy mind to what I now unfold; 
And give it inward keeping. Knowledge comes 
Of learning well retain'd, unfruitful else. 

"This sacrifice, in essence, of two things 
Consisteth: one is that, whereof 'tis made; 
The covenant, the other.' For the last, 

* "Supreme of gifts." So in the "De souls separated from the body, and de- 

Monarchia," lib. i. pp. 107 and 108. "If parting from it well and holily, lose not 

then the judgment altogether move the the liberty of choice on account of the 

appetite, and is in no wise prevented by immutability of the will, but retain it 

it, it is free. But if the judgment be most perfecdy and powerfully. This 

moved by the apjietite in any way pre- being discerned, it is again plain that 

venting it, it cannot be free: because it this liberty, or principle of all our liberty, 

acts not of itself, but is led captive by is the greatest good conferred on human 

another. And hence it is that brutes nature by God; because by this very thing 

cannot have free judgment, because their we are here made happy, as men; by this 

judgments are always prevented by ap- we arc elsewhere happy, as divine beings." 
petite. And hence it may also appear ' The one, the substance of the vow, 

manifest that intellectual substances, as of a single life, or of keeping fast; the 

whose wills are immutable, and likewise other, the compact. 


It ne'er is cancel'd, if not kept: and hence 

I spake, erewhile, so strictly of its force. 

For this it was enjoin'd the Israehtes/ [change 

Though leave were given them, as thou know'st, to 

The offering, still to offer. The other part, 

The matter and the substance of the vow, 

May well be such, as that, without offence. 

It may for other substance be exchanged. 

But, at his own discretion, none may shift 

The burden on his shoulders; unreleased 

By either key,' the yellow and the white. 

Nor deem of any change, as less than vain, 

If the last bond* be not within the new 

Included, as the quatre in the six. 

No satisfaction therefore can be paid 

For what so precious in the balance weighs. 

That all in counterpxjise must kick the beam. 

Take then no vow at random: ta'en, with faith 

Preserve it; yet not bent, as Jephthah once, 

Blindly to execute a rash resolve. 

Whom better it had suited to exclaim, 

'I have done ill,' than to redeem his pledge 

By doing worse: or, not unlike to him 

In folly, that great leader of the Greeks; 

Whence, on the altar, Iphigenia mourn'd 

Her virgin beauty, and hath since made mourn 

Both wise and simple, even all, who hear 

Of so fell sacrifice. Be ye more staid, 

O Christians! not, like feather, by each wind 

Removable; nor think to cleanse yourselves 

In every water. Either testament. 

The old and new, is yours: and for your guide. 

The shepherd of the Church. Let this suffice 

To save you. When by evil lust enticed. 

Remember ye be men, not senseless beasts; 

Nor let the Jew, who dwelleth in your streets, 

Hold you in mockery. Be not, as the lamb. 

That, fickle wanton, leaves its mother's milk, 

*See Lev. c. xii. and xxvii. 'If the thing substituted be not more 

'Purgatory, Canto ix. 108. precious than the thing released. 

304 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto v 

To dally with itself in idle play." 

Such were the words that Beatrice sjiake: 
These ended, to that region, where the world 
Is liveliest, full of fond desire she turn'd. 

Though mainly prompt new question to propose, 
Her silence and changed look did keep me dumb. 
And as the arrow, ere the cord is still, 
Leapeth unto its mark; so on we sped 
Into the second realm. There I beheld 
The dame, so joyous, enter, that the orb 
Grew brighter at her smiles; and, if the star 
Were moved to gladness, what then was my cheer, 
Whom nature hath made apt for every change! 

As in a quiet and clear lake the fish, 
If aught approach them from without, do draw 
Toward it, deeming it their food; so drew 
Full more than thousand splendours toward us; 
And in each one was heard: "Lo! one arrived 
To multiply our loves!" and as each came, 
The shadow, streaming forth effulgence new, 
Witness'd augmented joy. Here, Reader! think, 
If thou didst miss the sequel of my tale, 
To know the rest how sorely thou wouldst crave; 
And thou shall see what vehement desire 
Possess'd me, soon as these had met my view. 
To know their state. "O born in happy hour! 
Thou, to whom grace vouchsafes, or e'er thy close 
Of fleshly warfare, to behold the thrones 
Of that eternal triumph; know, to us 
The light communicated, which through Heaven 
Expatiates without bound. TTierefore, if aught 
Thou of our beams wouldst borrow for thine aid, 
Spare not; and, of our radiance, take thy fill." 

Thus of those piteous spirits one bespake me; 
And Beatrice next: "Say on; and trust 
As unto gods." — "How in the light supreme 
Thou harbour'st, and from thence the virtue bring'st, 
That, sparkling in thine eyes, denotes thy joy, 
I mark; but, who thou art, am still to seek; 
Or wherefore, worthy spirit! for thy lot 


This sphere' assign'd, that oft from mortal ken 
Is veil'd by other's beams." I said; and turn'd 
Toward the lustre, that with greeting kind 
Erewhile had hail'd me. Forthwith, brighter far 
Than erst, it wax'd: and, as himself the sun 
Hides through excess of light, when his warm gaze' 
Hath on the mantle of thick vapours prey'd; 
Within its proper ray the saindy shap>e 
Was, through increase of gladness, thus conceal'd; 
And, shrouded so in splendour, answer'd me, 
E'en as the tenour of my song declares. 


Argument. — ^The spirit, who had offered to satisfy the inquiries of Daote, declares 
himself to be the Emperor Justitiian; and after speaking of his own actions, recounts 
the victories, before him, obtained under the Roman Eagle. He then infornu our 
Poet that the soul of Romeo the pilgrim is in the same star. 

" A^^^^ '^^' Constantine the eagle turn'd' 
/% Against the motions of the Heaven, that roll'd 
/ % Consenting with its course, when he of yore, 
Lavinia's spouse, was leader of the flight; 
A hundred years twice told and more,' his seat 
At Europe's extreme point,^ the bird of Jove 
Held, near the mountains, whence he issued first; 
There under shadow of his sacred plumes 
Swaying the world, till through successive hands 
To mine he came devolved. Czsar I was 
And am Justinian; destined by the will 
Of that prime love, whose influence I feel, 

' "This sphere." The planet Mercury, along with the sun's course, when he 

which being nearest to the sun, is oftenest passed from Troy to Italy, 
hidden by that luminary. * "A hundred years twice told and 

' "When his warm gaze." When the more." The Emperor Constantine en- 
sun has dried up the vapors that shaded tered Byzantium in 324; and Justinian 
his brightness. began his reign in 527. 

' Constantine, in transferring the seat * "At Europe's extreme point." Con- 

of empire from Rome to Byzantium, car- stantine being situated at the extreme 

ried the eagle, the imperial ensign, from of Europe, and on the borders of Asia, 

the west to the east. ;Eneas, on the con- near those mountains in the neighborhood 

trary, had, with better augury, moved of Troy, from whence the first founders 

of Rome had emigrated. 

306 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto vi 

From vain excess to clear the incumber'd laws.* 
Or e'er that work engaged me, I did hold 
In Christ one nature only;^ with such faith 
Contented. But the blessed Agapete,' 
Who was chief shepherd, he with warning voice 
To the true faith recall 'd me. I believed 
His words: and what he taught, now plainly see, 
As thou in every contradiction seest 
The true and false opposed. Soon as my feet 
Were to the Church reclaim'd, to my great task, 
By inspiration of God's grace impell'd, 
I gave me wholly; and consign'd mine arms 
To Belisarius, with whom Heaven's right hand 
Was link'd in such conjointment, 'twas a sign 
That I should rest. To thy first question thus 
I shape mine answer, which were ended here. 
But that its tendency doth prompt perforce 
To some addition; that thou well mayst mark. 
What reason on each side they have to plead. 
By whom that holiest banner is withstood, 
Both who pretend its power^ and who oppose.' 
"Beginning from that hour, when Pallas died 
To give it rule, behold the valorous deeds 
Have made it worthy reverence. Not unknown 
To thee, how for three hundred years and more 
It dwelt in Alba, up to those fell lists 
Where, for its sake, were met the rival three;' 
Nor aught unknown to thee, which it achieved 
Down'" from the Sabines' wrong to Lucrece' woe. 
With its seven kings conquering the nations round; 
Nor all it wrought, by Roman worthies borne 
'Gainst Brennus and the Epirot prince," and hosts 
Of single chiefs, or states in league combined 

^The code of laws was abridged and the Emperor Justinian, procured him a 

reformed by Justinian. place amon^ the wisest and most judicious 

' Justinian is said to have been a fol- writers of this country." Ibid, 

lower of heretical opinions held by Eu- ' The Ghibellincs. ' The Guelfs. 

tyches, "who taught that in Christ there 'The Horatii and Curiatii. 

was but one nature, viz., that of the in- '" "From the rape of the Sabine women 

carnate Word." Machine's Mosheim. to the violation of Lucrctia." 

• "Agapete." "Agapetus, Bishop of " King Pyrrhus. 
Rome, whose Scheda Regia, addressed to 


Of social warfare: hence, Torquatus stern, 

And Quintius'* named of his neglected locks, 

The Dccii, and the Fabii hence acquired 

Their fame, which I with duteous zeal embalm. 

By it the pride of Arab hordes" was quell'd. 

When they, led on by Hannibal, o'erpass'd 

The Alpine rocks, whence glide thy currents, Pol 

Beneath its guidance, in their prime of days 

Scipio and Pompey triumph'd; and that hill'* 

Under whose summit'^ thou didst see the light, 

Rued its stern bearing. After, near the hour," 

When Heaven was minded that o'er all the world 

His own deep calm should brood, to Caesar's hand 

Did Rome consign it; and what then it wrought" 

From Var unto the Rhine, saw Isere's flood, 

Saw Loire and Seine, and every vale, that fills 

The torrent Rhone. What after that it wrought. 

When from Ravenna it came forth, and leap'd 

The Rubicon, was of so bold a flight, 

That tongue nor pen may follow it. Toward Spain 

It wheel'd its bands, then toward Dyrrachium smote. 

And on Pharsalia, with so fierce a plunge. 

E'en the warm Nile was conscious to the pang; 

Its native shores Antandros, and the streams 

Of Simois revisited, and there 

Where Hector lies; then ill for Ptolemy 

His {jennons shook again; lightening thence fell 

On Juba, and the next, upon your west, 

At sound of the Pompeian trump, return'd. 

"What following, and in its next bearer's gripe,** 
It wrought, is now by Cassius and Brutus 
Bark'd of in Hell; and by Perugia's sons, 
And Modena's, was mourn'd. Hence wcepcth still 

"Quinrius Cincinnatus. ""Near the hour." Of our Saviour's 

" The Arabians seem to be put for the birth, 

barbarians in general. " "What then it wrought." In the fol- 

u "That hill." The city of Fiesole, lowing fifteen lines the Poet has com- 

which was sacked by the Romans after the prised the exploits of Julius Carsar, for 

defeat of Catiline. which, and for the allusions in the greater 

" "Under whose summit." "At the part of this speech of Justinian's, I must 

foot of which is situated Florence, thy refer my reader to the history of Rome, 

birth-place." " With Augustus Carsar. 


Sad Cleofatra, who, pursued by it, 
Took from the adder black and sudden death. 
With him it ran e'en to the Red Sea coast; 
With him composed the world to such a peace, 
That of his temple Janus barr'd the door. 

"But all the mighty standard yet had wrought. 
And was appointed to perform thereafter, 
Throughout the mortal kingdom which it sway'd, 
Falls in appearance dwindled and obscured. 
If one with steady eye and perfect thought 
On the third Cisar" look; for to his hands, 
The living Justice, in whose breath I move, 
Committed glory, e'en into his hands. 
To execute the vengeance of its wrath. 

"Hear now, and wonder at, what next I tell. 
After with Titus it was sent to wreak 
Vengeance for vengeance of the ancient sin. 
And, when the Lombard tooth, with fang impure, 
Did gore the bosom of the holy Church, 
Under its wings, victorious Charlemain^" 
Sped to her rescue. Judge then for thyself 
Of those, whom I erewhile accused to thee, 
What they are, and how grievous their offending, 
Who are the cause of all your ills. The one" 
Against the universal ensign rears 
The yellow lilies;" and with partial aim, 
That, to himself, the other" arrogates: 
So that 'tis hard to see who most offends. 
Be yours, ye Ghibellines, to veil your hearts 
Beneath another standard: ill is this 
Follow'd of him, who severs it and justice: 
And let not with his Guelfs the new<rown'd Charles 

'*. "The third Cisar." The eagle in long prior to that of Charlemagne; but 

the hand of Tiberius, the third of the the spirit of the former emperor is repre- 

Czsars, outdid all its achievements, both scnted, both in this instance and in what 

past and future, by becoming the instru- follows, as conscious of the events that 

ment of that mighty and mysterious act had taken place after his own time, 

of satisfaction made to the divine justice " "The one." The Guelf party, 

in the crucifixion of our Lord. *' The French ensign. 

'" "Charlemain." Dante could not be " The Ghibclline party, 
ignorant that the reign of Justinian was 


Assail it;'* but those talons hold in dread, 
Which from a lion of more lofty port 
Have rent the casing. Many a time ere now 
The sons have for the sire's transgression wail'd: 
Nor let him trust the fond belief, that Heaven 
Will truck its armour for his lilied shield. 

"This little star is furnish'd with good spirits, 
Whose mortal lives were busied to that end. 
That honour and renown might wait on them: 
And, when desires" thus err in their intention, 
True love must needs ascend with slacker beam. 
But it is part of our delight, to measure 
Our wages with the merit; and admire 
The close proportion. Hence doth heavenly justice 
Temper so evenly affection in us. 
It ne'er can warp to any wrongfulness. 
Of diverse voices is sweet music made: 
So in our life the different degrees 
Render sweet harmony among these wheels. 

"Within the pead, that now encloseth us. 
Shines Romeo's light,'' whose goodly deed and fair 
Met ill acceptance. But the Provencals, 
That were his foes, have little cause for mirth. 
Ill shapes that man his course, who makes his wrong 
Of other's worth. Four daughters" were there born 
To Raymond Berenger; and every one 
Became a queen: and this for him did Romeo, 
Though of mean state and from a foreign land. 

•♦"Charles." The commentators ex- was required from him of the revenues 

plain this to mean Charles II, King of which his master had lavishly disbursed, 

Naples and Sicily. Is it not more likely he demanded the little mule, the staff, 

to allude to Charles of Valois, son of and the scrip, with which he had first 

Philip III of France, who was sent for, entered into the Count's service, a 

about this time, into Italy by Pope Boni- stranger pilgrim from the shrine of St. 

tace, with the promise of being made Em- James, in Galicta, and parted as he came, 

peror? See G. Villani, lib. viii. cap. xlii. "Of the four daughters of Raymond, 

" When honour and fame are the chief Margaret, the eldest, was married to 

motives to action, the love for Heaven Louis IX of France; Eleanor to Henry III 

must become less fervent. of England; Sancha to Richard, Henry's 

^ After he had long been faithful brother, and King of the Romans; and 

steward to Raymond Berenger, Count of the youngest, Beatrix, to Charles I, King 

Provence, and last of the house of Barce- of Naples and Sicily, and brother to 

lona, who died 1245, when an account Louis. 

310 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto vu 

Yet envious tongues incited him to ask 
A reckoning of that just one, who return'd 
Twelve fold to him for ten. Aged and poor 
He parted thence: and if the world did know 
The heart he had, begging his life by morsels, 
Twould deem the praise, it yields him, scandy dealt." 


Argument. — In consequence of what had been said by Justinian, who together 
with the other spirits has now disappeared, some doubts arise in the mind of Dante 
respecting the human redemption. These difficulties are fully explained by Beatrice. 


'-OSANNA^ Sanctus Deus Sabaoth. 

Superillustrans claritate tud 

Felices ignes horum malahoth." 

Thus chanting saw I turn that substance bright,* 

With fourfold lustre to its orb again, 

Revolving; and the rest, unto their dance. 

With it, moved also; and, like swiftest sparks. 

In sudden distance from my sight were veil'd. 

Me doubt possess'd; and "Speak," it whisper'd me, 

"Speak, speak unto thy lady; that she quench 

Thy thirst with drops of sweetness." Yet blank awe, 

Which lords it o'er me, even at the sound 

Of Beatrice's name, did bow me down 

As one in slumber held. Not long that mood 

Beatrice suffer 'd: she, with such a smile. 

As might have made one blest amid the flames,' 

Beaming upon me, thus her words began: 

"Thou in thy thought art pxindering (as I deem. 

And what I deem is truth) how just revenge 

Could be with justice punish'd: from which doubt 

I soon will free thee; so thou mark my words; 

For they of weighty matter shall possess thee. 

Through suffering not a curb upon the power 

That will'd in him, to his own profiting. 

That man, who was unborn,* condemn'd himself; 

• "Hosanna." "Hosanna holy God of ^ Justinian. 

Sabaoth, abundantly illumining with thy ' So Giusto Ue' CoatL 

brightness the blessed lires of these king- 'Adam. 


And, in himself, all, who since him have lived. 

His offspring: whence, below, the human kind 

Lay sick in grievous error many an age; 

Until it pleased the Word of God to come 

Amongst them down, to His own f)erson joining 

The nature from its Maker far estranged. 

By the mere act of His eternal love. 

Contemplate here the wonder I unfold: 

The nature with its Maker thus conjoin'd. 

Created first was blameless, pure and good; 

But, through itself alone, was driven forth 

From Paradise, because it had eschew'd 

The way of truth and life, to evil turn'd. 

Ne'er then was penalty so just as that 

Inflicted by the Cross, if thou regard 

The nature in assumption doom'd; ne'er wrong 

So great, in reference to Him, who took 

Such nature on Him, and endured the doom. 

So different effects' flow'd from one act: 

For by one death God and the Jews were pleased; 

And Heaven was open'd, though the earth did quake. 

Count it not hard henceforth, when thou dost hear 

That a just vengeance" was, by righteous court, 

Justly revenged. But yet I see thy mind, 

By thought on thought arising, sore perplex'd; 

And, with how vehement desire, it asks 

Solution of the maze. What I have heard. 

Is plain, thou sayst: but wherefore God this way 

For our redemption chose, eludes my search. 

"Brother! no eye of man not perfected. 
Nor fully ripcn'd in the flame of love, 
May fathom this decree. It is a mark. 
In sooth, much aim'd at, and but litde kenn'd: 
And I will therefore show thee why such way 

' The death of Christ was pleasing to ' The punishment of Christ by the 

God, inasmuch as it satisfied the divine Jews, although just as far as regarded the 

justice; and to the Jews, because it grati- human nature assumed by Him, and so 

fied their malignity; and while Heaven a righteous vengeance of sin, yet being 

opened for joy at man's ransom, the earth unjust as regards the divine nature, was 

trembled through compassion for its itself justly revenged on the Jews by the 

Maker. destruction of Jerusalem. 


Was worthiest. The celestial Love, that spurns 

All envying in its bounty, in itself 

With such effulgence blazeth, as sends forth 

All beauteous things eternal. What distils 

Immediate thence, no end of being knows; 

Bearing its seal immutably imprest. 

Whatever thence immediate falls, is free. 

Free wholly, uncontrollable by power 

Of each thing new: by such conformity 

More grateful to its Author, whose bright beams, 

Though all partake their shining, yet in those 

Are liveliest, which resemble Him the most. 

These tokens of pre-eminence' on man 

Largely bestow'd, if any of them fail. 

He needs must forfeit his nobility, 

No longer stainless. Sin alone is that. 

Which doth disfranchise him, and make unlike 

To the Chief Good; for that its light in him 

Is darken'd. And to dignity thus lost 

Is no return; unless, where guilt makes void. 

He for ill pleasure pay with equal pain. 

Your nature, which entirely in its seed 

Transgress'd, from these distinctions fell, no less 

Than from its state in Paradise; nor means 

Found of recovery (search all methods out 

As strictly as thou may) save one of these. 

The only fords were left through which to wade: 

Either, that God had of His courtesy 

Released him merely; or else, man himself 

For his own folly by himself atoned. 

"Fix now thine eye, intently as thou canst. 
On the everlasting counsel; and explore. 
Instructed by my words, the dread abyss. 

"Man in himself had ever lack'd the means 
Of satisfaction, for he could not stoop 
Obeying, in humility so low. 
As high, he, disobeying, thought to soar: 

^ The before-mentioned gifts of im- similitude nnd agrceableness to the Divine 
mediate creation by God, independence Being, all at hrst conferred on man. 
on secondary causes, and consequent 


And, for this reason, he had vainly tried, 

Out of his own sufficiency to pay 

The rigid satisfaction. Then behoved 

That God should by His own ways lead him back 

Unto the life, from whence he fell, restored; 

By both His ways, I mean, or one alone." 

But since the deed is ever prized the more. 

The more the doer's good intent appears; 

Goodness celestial, whose broad signature 

Is on the universe, of all its ways 

To raise ye up, was fain to leave out none. 

Nor aught so vast or so magnificent. 

Either for Him who gave or who received, 

Between the last night and the primal day, 

Was or can be. For God more bounty show'd. 

Giving Himself to make man capable 

Of his return to life, than had the terms 

Been mere and unconditional release. 

And for His justice, every method else 

Were all too scant, had not the Son of God 

Humbled Himself to put on mortal flesh. 

"Now, to content thee fully, I revert; 
And further in some part' unfold my sjjeech. 
That thou mayst see it clearly as myself. 

"I see, thou sayst, the air, the fire I see, 
The earth and water, and all things of them 
ComfKJunded, to corruption turn, and soon 
Dissolve. Yet these were also things create. 
Because, if what were told me, had been true. 
They from corruption had been therefore free. 

"The Angels, O my brother! and this clime 
Wherein thou art, impassable and pure, 
I call created, even as they are 

•Either by mercy and justice united ately from God, but from a virtue or 

or by mercy alone. power created by God; that the soul of 

' She reverts to that part of her dis- brutes and plants is in like manner drawn 

course where she had said that what pro- forth by the stars with a combination of 

ceeds immediately from God "no end of those elements meetly tempered, "di com- 

being knows." She then proceeds to tell pUssion potemiala": but that the angels 

him that the elements, which, though he and the heavens may be said to be created 

knew them to be created, he yet saw dis- in that very manner in which they exist, 

solved, received their form not immedi- without any intervention of agency. 

314 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto vm 

In their whole being. But the elements, 

Which thou hast named, and what of them is made. 

Are by created virtue inform'd: create, 

Their substance; and create, the informing virtue 

In these bright stars, that round them circling move. 

The soul of every brute and of each plant, 

The ray and motion of the sacred lights, 

Draw from complexion with meet power endued. 

But this our life the Eternal Good inspires 

Immediate, and enamours of itself; 

So that our wishes rest for ever here. 

"And hence thou mayst by inference conclude 
Our resurrection certain, if thy mind 
Consider how the human flesh was framed. 
When both our parents at the first were made." 


Argument. — The Poet ascends with Beatrice to the third heaven, the planet Venus; 
and here finds the sou) of Charles Mattel, King of Hungary, who had been Dante's 
friend on earth, and who now, after speaking of the realms to which he was heir, 
unfolds the cause why children differ in disposition {rom their parents. 

THE world' was, in its day of pcti\ dark, 
Wont to believe the dotage of fond love, 
From the fair Cyprian deity, who rolls 
In her third epicycle, shed on men 
By stream of potent radiance: therefore they 
Of elder time, in their old error blind. 
Not her alone with sacrifice adored 
And invocation, but like honours paid 
To Cupid and Dione, deem'd of them 
Her mother, and her son, him whom they feign'd 
To sit in Dido's bosom: and from her. 
Whom I have sung preluding, borrow 'd they 
The appellation of that star, which views 

'The Poet, on his arrival at the third Venus, they paid divine honors; as they 

Heaven, tells us that the world, in its worshipped the supposed mother and son 

days of heathen darkness, believed the of Venus, under the names of Dione and 

influence of sensual love to proceed from Cupid, 
the star, to which, under the name of 


Now obvious, and now averse, the sun. 

I was not ware that I was wafted up 
Into its orb; but the new lovehness. 
That graced my lady, gave me ample proof 
That we had enter'd there. And as in flame 
A sparkle is distinct, or voice in voice 
Discern'd, when one its even tenour keeps, 
The other comes and goes; so in that light 
I other luminaries saw, that coursed 
In circling motion, rapid more or less. 
As their eternal vision each impels. 

Never was blast from vapour charged with cold, 
Whether invisible to eye or no, 
Descended with such sp>eed, it had not seem'd 
To linger in dull tardiness, compared 
To those celestial lights, that toward us came, 
Leaving the circuit of their joyous ring. 
Conducted by the lofty Seraphim. 
And after them, who in the van appear'd. 
Such an Hosanna sounded as hath left 
Desire, ne'er since extinct in mc, to hear 
Renew'd the strain. Then, parting from the rest. 
One near us drew, and sole began: "We all 
Are ready at thy pleasure, well disposed 
To do thee gentle service. We are they 
To whom thou in the world erewhile didst sing; 
*0 ye! whose intellectual ministry 
Moves the third Heaven:' and in one orb we roll. 
One motion, one impulse, with those who rule 
Princedoms in Heaven; yet are of love so full, 
That to please thee 'twill be as sweet to rest." 

After mine eyes had with meek reverence 
Sought the celestial guide, and were by her 
Assured, they turn'd again unto the light, 
Who had so largely promised; and with voice 
That bare the lively pressure of my zeal, 
"Tell who ye are," I cried. Forthwith it grew 
In size and splendour, through augmented joy; 
And thus it answer 'd: "A short date, below, 



The world possess'd me.^ Had the time been more, 

Much evil, that will come, had never chanced. 

My gladness hides thee from me, which doth shine 

Around, and shroud me, as an animal 

In its own silk enswathed. Thou lovedst me well,* 

And hadst good cause; for had my sojourning 

Been longer on the earth, the love I bare thee 

Had put forth more than blossoms. The left bank,* 

That Rhone, when he hath mix'd with Sorga, laves. 

In me its lord expected, and that horn 

Of fair Ausonia,' with its boroughs old, 

Bari, and Croton, and Gaeta piled, 

From where the Trento disembogues his waves 

With Verde mingled, to the salt-sea flood. 

Already on my temples beam'd the crown, 

Which gave me sovereignty over the land' 

By Danube wash'd, whenas he strays beyond 

The limits of his German shores. The realm, 

Where, on the gulf by stormy Eurus lash'd, 

Betwixt Pelorus and Pachynian heights. 

The beautiful Trinacria' lies in gloom, 

(Not through Typhoeus,' but the vapoury cloud 

Bituminous upsteam'd), that too did look 

To have its sceptre wielded by a race [ Rodolph,* 

Of monarchs, sprung through me from Charles and 

Had not ill-lording,'° which doth desperate make 

' The spirit now speaking is Charles * "The left bank." Provence. 
Mattel, crowned Kinj; of Hungary, and ' The kingdom of Naples, 
son of Charles II, King of Naples and ' "The land." Hungary. 
Sicily, to which throne, dying in his ' Sicily; so called from its three prom- 
father's lifetime, he did not succeed. The ontories of which Pachynus and Pelo- 
evil, that would have been prevented by rus, here mentioned, are two. 
the longer life of Charles Martel, was 'The giant, whom Jupiter ovcr- 
that resistance which his brother Robert, whelmed under Mount jf.lni, whence he 
King of Sicily, who succeeded him, made vomited forth smoke and flame, 
to the Emperor Henry VII. ' "Sicily would be still ruled by mon- 

' Charles Martel might have been archs, descended through me from 

known to our Poet at Florence, whither Charles I and Rodolph I, the former my 

he came to meet his father in 1259, the grandfather. King of Naples and Sicily; 

year of his death. G. Villani says that the latter. Emperor of Germany, my 

"he remained more than twenty days in father-in-law;" both celebrated in the 

Florence, waiting for his father. King "Purgator>'," Canto vii. 

Charles, and his brothers." Lib. vii. cap. '" If the ill-conduct of our governors 

xiii. His brother Robert, King of Naples, in Sicily had not excited the people to that 

was the friend of Petrarch. dreadful massacre at the Sicilian vespers 


The people ever, in Palermo raised 

The shout of 'death,' re-echoed loud and long. 

Had but my brother's foresight" kenn'd as much. 

He had been warier, that the greedy want 

Of Catalonia might not work his bale. 

And truly need there is that he forecast, 

Or other for him, lest more freight be laid 

On his already over-laden bark. 

Nature in him, from bounty fallen to thrift. 

Would ask the guard of braver arms, than such 

As only care to have their coffers flU'd." 

"My liege! it doth enhance the joy thy words 
Infuse into me, mighty as it is, 
To think my gladness manifest to thee. 
As to myself, who own it, when thou look'st 
Into the source and limit of all good. 
There, where thou markest that which thou dost speak. 
Thence prized of me the more. Glad thou hast made 
Now make intelligent, clearing the doubt [me: 

Thy speech hath raised in me; for much I muse. 
How bitter can spring up," when sweet is sown." 

I thus inquiring; he forthwith replied: 
"If I have jx)wer to show one truth, soon that 
Shall face thee, which thy questioning declares 
Behind thee now conceal'd. The Good," that guides 

in consequence of which the kingdom fell first, or the Creator of them should fail, 

into the hands of Peter III of Arragon, To this Dante replies, that Nature, he 

in 1282. is satisfied, thus directed must do her 

" He seems to tax his brother Robert part. Charles Martel then reminds him 
with employing necessitous and greedy that he had learned from Aristotle that 
Catalonians (o administer the affairs of his human society requires a variety of con- 
kingdom, ditions, and consequently a variety of 

" "How a covetous son can spring qualifications in its members. Accord- 

from a liberal father." Yet that father ingly, men are born with different powers 

has himself been accused of avarice in the and capacities, caused by the influence of 

"Purgatory," Canto xx. 78; though his the heavenly bodies at the time of their 

general character was that of a boun- nativity; on which influence, and not on 

teous prince. their parents, those powers and capacities 

"The Supreme Being uses these depend. Charles Martel adds, by way of 

spheres as the intelligent instruments of corollary, that the want of observing their 

His providence in the conduct of ter- n.itural bent, in the destination of men to 

restrial natures; so that these natures can- their several offices in life, is the occasion 

not but be conducted aright, unless these nf much of the disorder that prevails in 

heavenly bodies should themselves fail the world, 
from not having been made perfect al 



And blessed makes this realm which thou dost mount, 

Ordains its providence to be the virtue 

In these great bodies: nor the natures only 

The all-perfect Mind provides for, but with them 

That which preserves them too; for naught, that lies 

Within the range of that unerring bow. 

But is as level with the destined aim. 

As ever mark to arrow's point opposed. 

Were it not thus, these Heavens, thou dost visit, 

Would their effect so work, it would not be 

Art, but destruction; and this may not chance. 

If the intellectual powers, that move these stars. 

Fail not, and who, first faulty made them, fail. 

Wilt thou this truth more clearly evidenced?" 

To whom I thus: "It is enough: no fear, 
I see, lest nature in her part should tire." 

He straight rejoin'd: "Say, were it worse for man. 
If he lived not in fellowship on earth?" 

"Yea," answer'd I; "nor here a reason needs." 

"And may that be, if different estates 
Grow not of different duties in your life? 
Consult your teacher,'* and he tells you 'no.' " 

Thus did he come, deducing to this point. 

And then concluded: "For this cause behoves, 

The roots, from whence your operations come, 

Must differ. Therefore one is Solon born; 

Another, Xerxes; and Melchisedec 

A third; and he a fourth, whose airy voyage 

Cost him his son." In her circuitous course. 

Nature, that is the seal to mortal wax. 

Doth well her art, but no distinction owns 

Twixt one or other household. Hence befals 

That Esau is so wide of Jacob: hence 

Quirinus" of so base a father springs, 

•* Aristotle, De Rep., lib. iii. cap. 4: of all these, and besides these of other 

Since a state is made up of members dissimilar kinds); it necessarily follows 

differing from one another (for even as that the excellence of all the members of 

an animal, in the first instance, consists the state cannot be one and the same, 
of soul and body; and the soul, of reason " Dxdalus. 

and desire; and a family, of man and "" "Quirinus." Romulus, born of so 

woman; and property, of master and obscure a father that his parentage was 

slave; in like manner a state consists both attributed to Mars. 


He dates from Mars his lineage. Were it not 

That Providence celestial overruled, 

Nature, in generation, must the path 

Traced by the generator still pursue 

Unswervingly. Thus place I in thy sight 

That, which was late behind thee. But, in sign 

Of more affection for thee, 'tis my will 

Thou wear this corollary. Nature ever, 

Finding discordant fortune, like all seed 

Out of its proper climate, thrives but ill. 

And were the world below content to mark 

And work on the foundation nature lays, 

I would not lack supply of excellence. 

But ye perversely to religion strain 

Him, who was born to gird on him the sword, 

And of the fluent phraseman make your king: 

Therefore your steps have wander'd from the path." 


Akcument. — ^The next spirit who converses with our Poet in the planet Venus 
is the amorous Cunizza. To her succeeds Folco, or Folqucs, the Provcnfal bard, who 
declares that the soul of Rahab the harlot is there also; and then, blaming the Pope 
for his neglect of the Holy Land, prognosticates some reverse to the papal power. 


^FTER solution of my doubt, thy Charles, 
O fair Clemenza,' of the treachery^ spake, 
_That must befal his seed; but, "Tell it not," 
Said he, "and let the destined years come round." 
Nor may I tell thee more, save that the meed 
Of sorrow well-deserved shall quit your wrongs. 

And now the visage of that saindy light' 
Was to the sun, that fills it, turn'd again. 
As to the good, whose plenitude of bliss 
Sufficeth all. O ye misguided souls! 
Infatuate, who from such a good estrange 
Your hearts, and bend your gaze on vanity, 
Alas for you! — And lo! toward me, next, 

' Daughter of Charles Martel, and Robert, in exclusion of his brother's son 

second wife of Louis X of France. Carobert, or Charles Robert, the rightful 

* "The treachery." He alludes to the heir, 

occupation of the Kingdom of Sicily by ' Charles Martel. 

320 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto ix 

Another of those splendent forms approach'd, 

That, by its outward brightening, testified 

The will it had to pleasure me. The eyes 

Of Beatrice, resting, as before, 

Firmly upon me, manifested forth 

Approval of my wish. "And O," I cried, 

"Blest spirit! quickly be my will perform 'd; 

And prove thou to me,'' that my inmost thoughts 

I can reflect on thee." Thereat the light, 

That yet was new to me, from the recess. 

Where it before was singing, thus began. 

As one who joys in kindness: "In that part' 

Of the depraved Italian land, which lies 

Between Rialto and the fountain springs 

Of Brenta and of Piava, there doth rise. 

But to no lofty eminence, a hill. 

From whence erewhile a firebrand did descend. 

That sorely shent the region. From one root 

I and it sprang; my name on earth Cunizza:' 

And here I glitter, for that by its light 

This star o'ercame me. Yet I naught repine,' 

Nor grudge myself the cause of this my lot: 

Which haply vulgar hearts can scarce conceive. 

"This' jewel, that is next me in our Heaven, 
Lustrous and costly, great renown hath left, 
And not to perish, ere these hundred years 

* The thoughts of all created minds of Padua. She eIo|)cd from her first hus- 
beirif; seen by the Deity, and all that is in band, Richard uf St. Boniface, in the 
the Deity being the object of vision to company of Sordcllo, with whom she is 
beatified spirits, such spirits must con- supjxised to have cohabited before her 
scquently see the thoughts of all created marriage: then lived with a soldier of 
minds. Dante, therefore, requests of the Trcvigi, whose wife was living at the 
spirit, who now approaches him, a proof same time in the same city; and, on his 
of this truth with regard to his own being murdered by her brother the tyrant, 
thoughts. See v. 70. was by her brother married to a noble- 

' Between Rialto in the Venetian terri- man of Braganzo: lastly, when he also 

tory, and the sources of the rivers Brenta had fallen by the same hand, she after 

and Piava, is situated a castle called her brother's death, was again wedded 

Romano, the birthplace of the famous in Verona. 

tyrant F.zzolino or Azzolino, the brother ' "I am not dissatisfied that I am not 

of Cunizza, who is now speaking. See allotted a higher place." 

Hell, Canto xii. v. 110. '"This." Foico of Genoa, a celebrated 

• "Cunizza." The adventures of Cuniz- Provencal poet, commonly termed Folques 
za, overcome by the influence of her star, of Marseilles, of which place he was per- 
are related by the chronicler Rolandino, haps bishop. 


Five times* absolve their round. Consider thou. 
If to excel be worthy man's endeavour, 
When such life may attend the first.'" Yet they 
Care not for this, the crowd" that now are girt 
By Adice and Tagliamento, still 
Impenitent, though scourged. The hour is near" 
When for their stubbornness, at Padua's marsh 
The water shall be changed, that laves Vicenza. 
And where Cagnano meets with Sile, one" 
Lords it, and bears his head aloft, for whom 
The web'* is now a-warping. Feltro" too 
Shall sorrow for its godless shepherd's fault. 
Of so deep stain, that never, for the like. 
Was Malta's" bar unclosed. Too large should be 
The skillet" that would hold Ferrara's blood. 
And wearied he, who ounce by ounce would weigh it, 
The which this priest," in show of party-zeal. 
Courteous will give; nor will the gift ill suit 
The country's custom. We descry above 
Mirrors, ye call them Thrones, from which to us 
Reflected shine the judgments of our God: 
Whence these our sayings we avouch for good." 
She ended; and appear'd on other thoughts 

•The 500 years arc elapsed. them up; $0 that they were reconducted 

••when the mortal life of man may to that city, and the greater part of 

be attended by so lasting and glorious a them there put to death, 

memory, which is a kind of second life. " "Malta's." A tower, either in the 

" The people who inhabited the coun- citadel of Padua, which, under the 

try boundc<l by the Tagliamento to the tyranny of Ezzolino, had been "with 

cast and Adicc to the west. many a foul and midnight murder fed"; 

"Cunizza foretells the defeat of Gia- or (as some say) near a river of the same 

copo da Carrara and the Paduans, by Can name, that falls into the Lake of Bolsena, 

Grande, at Vicenza, on September 18, in which the Pope was accustomed to im- 

1314. prison such as had been guilty of aa 

" "One." She predicts also the fate of irremissible sin. 

Riccardo da Camino, who is said to have " "The skillet." The blood shed could 

been murdered at Trevigi (where the not be contained in such a vessel, if it 

rivers Sile and Cagnano meet) where he were of the usual size, 

was engaged in playing at chess. "The bishop, who, to show himself a 

■* "The web." The net, or snare, into zealous partisan of the Pope, had com- 

which he is destined to fall. mittcd the above-mentioned act of trcach- 

" The Bishop of Feltro having received cry. The commentators arc not agreed 

a number of fugitives from Ferrara, who as to his name. Troya calls him Ales- 

wcrc in opposition to the Pope, under a sandro NovcUo, and relates the circum- 

promise of protection, afterward gave stances at full. 

322 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto u 

Intent, re-entering on the wheel she late 

Had left. That other joyance meanwhile wax'd 

A thing to marvel at, in splendour glowing, 

Like choicest ruby stricken by the sun. 

For, in that upper clime, effulgence" comes 

Of gladness, as here laughter: and below, 

As the mind saddens, murkier grows the shade. 

"God seeth all: and in Him is thy sight," 
Said I, "blest spirit! Therefore will of His 
Cannot to thee be dark. Why then delays 
Thy voice to satisfy my wish untold; 
That voice, which joins the inexpressive song. 
Pastime of Heaven, the which those Ardours sing. 
That cowl them with six shadowing wings" outspread? 
I would not wait thy asking, wert thou known 
To me, as throughly I to thee am known." 

He, forthwith answering, thus his words began: 
"The valley of waters,^' widest next to that" 
Which doth the earth engarland, shapes its course, 
Between discordant shores," against the sun 
Inward so far, it makes meridian" there. 
Where was before the horizon. Of that vale 
Dwelt I upon the shore, 'twixt Ebro's stream 
And Macra's," that divides with passage brief 
Genoan bounds from Tuscan. East and west 
Are nearly one to Begga^' and my land 
Whose haven" erst was with its own blood warm. 
Who knew my name, were wont to call me Folco; 
And I did bear impression of this Heaven," 

'*As ioy is expressed by laughter on when it enters the Straits o( Gibraltar, 
earth, so is it by an increase of splendor " Ebro, a river to the west, and Macra, 

in Paradise; and, on the contrary, grief a river to the east, of Genoa, where Folco 

is betokened in Hell by augmented dark- was born; others think that Marseilles, 

ness. and not C}enoa, is here described; and 

'" "Above it stood the seraphims; each then Ebro must be understood of the 

one had six wings." — Is. vi. 2. river in Spain. 

" The Mediterranean Sea. " "Begga." A place in Africa. 

'^ "That." The great ocean. " Alluding to the slaughter of the 

" Europe and Africa. Genoese by the Saracens in 936. 

'* "Meridian." Extending to the east, " The planet Venus, by which Folco 

the Mediterranean at last reaches the declares himself to have been formerly 

coast of Palestine, which is on its horizon influenced. 


That now bears mine: for not with fiercer flame 

Glow'd Belus' daughter," injuring alike 

Sichzus and Creusa, than did I, 

Long as it suited the unripen'd down 

That fledged my cheek; nor she of Rhodope,*" 

That was beguiled of Demophoon; 

Nor Jove's son," when the charms of lole 

Were shrined within his heart. And yet there bides 

No sorrowful repentance here, but mirth, 

Not for the fault, (that doth not come to mind,) 

But for the virtue, whose o'erruling sway 

And providence have wrought thus quaindy. Here 

The skill is look'd into, that fashioneth 

With such effectual working, and the good 

Discern'd, accruing to the lower world 

From this above. But fully to content 

Thy wishes all that in this sphere have birth, 

Demands my further parle. Inquire thou wouldst. 

Who of this light is denizen, that here 

Beside me sparkles, as the sunbeam doth 

On the clear wave. Know then, the soul of Rahab** 

Is in that gladsome harbour; to our tribe 

United, and the foremost rank assign'd. 

She to this Heaven," at which the shadow ends 

Of your sublunar world, was taken up, 

First, in Christ's triumph, of all souls redeem'd: 

For well behoved, that, in some part of Heaven, 

She should remain a trophy, to declare 

The mighty conquest won with either palm;" 

For that she favour'd first the high exploit 

Of Joshua on the Holy Land, whereof 

The Pope''' recks little now. Thy city, plant 

Of him,*" that on his Maker turn'd the back, 

And of whose envying so much woe hath sprung, 

* "Belus" daughter." Dido. shadow of the earth ends (Almagest) 

"• "She of Rhodopc." Phyllis. writes Ptolemy." — Vellutello. 

" "Jove's son." Hercules. ^ By both hands nailed to the cross. 

"^''Rahab." Heb. xi. 31. ""Who cares not that the Holy Land 

u "lliis plaoet of Venus, at which the is in the possession of the Saracem." 

** "Of him. " Of Satan. 


Engenders and expands the cursed flower," 
That hath made wander both the sheep and lambs, 
Turning the shepherd to a wolf. For this, 
The Gospel and great teachers laid aside. 
The decretals," as their stuft margins show, 
Are the sole study. Pope and Cardinals, 
Intent on these, ne'er journey but in thought 
To Nazareth, where Gabriel opied his wings. 
Yet it may chance, ere long, the Vatican," 
And other most selected parts of Rome, 
That were the grave of Peter's soldiery, 
Shall be deliver'd from the adulterous bond." 


Akcument. — Their next ascent carries them into the sun, which is the fourth 
heaven. Here they are encompassed with a wreath of blessed spirits, twelve in 
number. Thomas Aquinas, who is one of these, declares the names and endowments 
of the rest. 


" OOKING into His First-Born with the Love, 

Which breathes from both eternal, the first Might 
Ineffable, wherever eye or mind 
Can roam, hath in such order all disposed. 
As none may see and fail to enjoy. Raise, then, 
O reader! to the lofty wheels, with me. 
Thy ken directed to the point,' whereat 
One motion strikes on the other. There begin 
Thy wonder of the mighty Architect, 

"The coin of Florence, the florin; the "He alludes either to the death of 

covetous desire of which has excited the Pope Boniface VIII or to the coming of 

Pope to so much evil. the Emperor Henry VII into Italy; or else 

" "The decretals." The canon law. So to the transfer of the Holy See from 

in the "De Monarchii," lib. iii. p. 137: Rome to Avignon, which took place in 

"There are also a third set, whom they the pontificate of Clement V. 
call Dccrctalists. These, alike ignorant of ' To that part of heaven where the 

theology and philosophy, relying wholly equinoctial circle and the Zodiac intersect 

on their decretals (which I indeed esteem each other, where the common motion of 

not unworthy of reverence), in the hope the heavens from cast to west may be 

I suppose of obtaining for them a para- said to strike with greatest force against 

mount influence, derogate from the the motion proper to the planets, and 

authority of the empire. Nor is this to this repercussion, as it were, is here the 

be wondered at, when I have heard one strongest, because the velocity of each is 

of them impudendy maintaining, that increased to the utmost by their respec- 

traditions are the foundation of the faith tive distances from the poles, 
of the Church." 


Who loves His work so inwardly, His eye 
Doth ever watch it. See, how thence oblique* 
Brancheth the circle, where the planets roll 
To pour their wished influence on the world; 
Whose path not bending thus, in Heaven above* 
Much virtue would be lost, and here on earth 
All power well-nigh extinct: or, from direct 
Were its departure distant more or less, 
r the universal order, great defect 
Must, both in Heaven and here beneath, ensue. 

Now rest thee, reader! on thy bench, and muse 
Anticipative of the feast to come; 
So shall delight make thee not feel thy toil. 
Lo! I have set before thee; for thyself 
Feed now: the matter I indite, henceforth 
Demands entire my thought. Join'd with the part,* 
Which late we told of, the great minister' 
Of nature, that upon the world imprints 
The virtue of the Heaven, and doles out 
Time for us with his beam, went circling on 
Along the spires,' where' each hour sooner comes; 
And I was with him, weetless of ascent. 
But as a man,' that weets his thought, ere thinking. 

For Beatrice, she who passeth on 
So suddenly from good to better, time 
Counts not the act, oh then how great must needs 
Have been her brightness! What there was i' th' sun, 
(Where I had enter'd,) not through change of hue, 
But light transparent — did I summon up 
Genius, art, practice — I might not so speak, 
It should be e'er imagined: yet believed 

' "Oblique." The Zodiac. * The intersection of the equinoctial 

' If the planets did not preserve that circle and the Zodiac, 

order in which they move, they would ' "Minister." The sun. 

not receive nor transmit their due in- • Accordinjt to Dante, as the earth is 

fluences; and if the Zodiac were not thus motionless, the sun passes by a spiral 

oblique; if toward the north it cither motion, from one tropic to another, 

passed or went short of the tropic of ' "Where." In which the sun rises 

Cancer, or else toward the south it earlier every day after the vernal equinox, 

passed, or went short of the tropic of ' "But as a man." That is, he was 

Capricorn, it would not divide the sea- quite insensible of it. 
sons as it now does. 

326 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto x 

It may be, and the sight be justly craved. 
And if our fantasy fail of such height, 
What marvel, since no eye above the sun 
Hath ever travel 'd? Such are they dwell here. 
Fourth family' of the Omnipotent Sire, 
Who of His Spirit and of His Offspring'" shows; 
And holds them still enraptured with the view. 
And thus to me Beatrice: "Thank, oh thank. 
The Sun of Angels, Him, who by His grace 
To this perceptible hath lifted thee." 

Never was heart in such devotion bound. 
And with complacency so absolute 
Disposed to render up itself to God, 
As mine was at those words: and so entire 
The love for Him, that held me, it eclipsed 
Beatrice in oblivion. Nought displeased 
Was she, but smiled thereat so joyously. 
That of her laughing eyes the radiance brake 
And scatter'd my collected mind abroad. 

Then saw I a bright band, in liveliness 
Surpassing, who themselves did make the crown. 
And us their centre: yet more sweet in voice. 
Than, in their visage, beaming. Cinctured thus. 
Sometime Latona's daughter we behold. 
When the impregnate air retains the thread 
That weaves her zone. In the celestial court, 
Whence I return, are many jewels found. 
So dear and beautiful, they cannot brook 
Transporting from that realm: and of these lights 
Such was the song." Who doth not prune his wing 
To soar up thither, let him'^ look from thence 
For tidings from the dumb. When, singing thus, 
Those burning suns had circled round us thrice. 
As nearest stars around the fixed pole; 
Then seem'd they like to ladies, from the dance 
Not ceasing, but suspense, in silent pause, 

* "Fourth family." The inhabitants of " The song of these spirits was like a 

the sun, the fourth planet. jewel so highly prized that the cxporta- 

'" The procession of the third and lion of it is prohibited by law. 
the generation of the second person in '^ Let him not expect intelligence of 

the Trinity. that place, for it surpasses description. 


Listening, till they have caught the strain anew: 

Suspended so they stood: and, from within, 

Thus heard I one, who spake: "Since with its beam 

The Grace, whence true love lighteth first his flame, 

That after doth increase by loving, shines 

So multiplied in thee, it leads thee up 

Along this ladder, down whose hallow'd steps 

None e'er descend, and mount them not again; 

Who from his phial should refuse thee wine 

To slake thy thirst, no less constrained" were. 

Than water flowing not unto the sea. 

Thou fain wouldst hear, what plants are these, that bloom 

In the bright garland, which, admiring, girds 

This fair dame round, who strengthens thee for Heaven. 

I, then," was of the lambs, that Dominic 

Leads, for his saintly flock, along the way 

Where well they thrive, not swoln with vanity. 

He, nearest on my right hand, brother was, 

And master to me: Albert of Cologne" 

Is this; and, of Aquinum, Thomas'" I. 

If thou of all the rest wouldst be assured, 

Let thine eye, waiting on the words I speak, 

In circuit journey round the blessed wreath. 

That next resplendence issues from the smile 

Of Gratian," who to either forum'* lent 

" "The rivers might as easily cease to reported to have said, "Take but Thomas 

flow toward the sea, as we could deny away, and I will overturn the Church of 

thee thy request." Rome"; and whom Hooker terms "the 

'* "I was of the Dominican order." greatest among the school divines" — 

" Albertus Magnus was born at Laugin- ("Ecd. Pol." b. iii. § 9), was born of 

gen, in Thuringia, in 1193, and studied noble parents, who anxiously but vainly 

at Paris and at Padua; at the latter place endeavored to divert him from a life of 

he entered into the Dominican order. He celibacy and study. He died in 1274, at 

then taught theology in various parts of the age of forty-seven. 

Germany, and particularly at Cologne. " "Gratian." Gratian, a Benedictine 

Thomas Aquinas was his favorite pupil. monk belonging to the convent of St. 

In 1260 he reluctantly accepted the Felix and Nabor, at Bologna, and by birth 

bishopric of Ratisbon, and in two years a Tuscan, com |x>scd, about the year 1130, 

after resigned it, and returned to his cell for the use of the schools, an abridgement 

in Cologne, where the remainder of his or epitome of canon law, drawn from the 

life was passed in superintending the letters of the pontiffs, the decrees of coun- 

school, and in composing his volummous cils and the writings of the ancient 

works on divinity and natural science. He doctors, 

died in 1280. ""To either forum." By reconciling 

" Thomas Aquinas, of whom Bucer is the civil with the canon law. 


Such help, as favour wins in Paradise. 

The other, nearest, who adorns our quire. 

Was Peter," he that with the widow gave 

To holy Church his treasure. The fifth light," 

Goodliest of all, is by such love inspired, 

That all your world craves tidings of his doom:" 

Within, there is a lofty light, endow'd 

With sapience so profound, if truth be truth, 

That with a ken of such wide amplitude 

No second hath arisen. Next behold 

That taper's radiance,'* to whose view was shown, 

Clearliest, the nature and the ministry 

Angelical, while yet in flesh it dwelt. 

In the other little light serenely smiles 

That pleader " for the Christian temples, he, 

Who did provide Augustin of his lore. 

Now, if thy mind's eye pass from light to light. 

Upon my praises following, of the eighth^* 

Thy thirst is next. The saindy soul, that shows 

The world's deceitfulness, to all who hear him, 

Is, with the sight of all the good that is, 

Blest there. The limbs, whence it was driven, lie 

" "Peter." Pietro Lombardo was of ob- out for Dionysius the Areopagitc, disciple 

scure origin, nor is the place of his birth of St. Paul, and who, under the protec- 

in Lombardy ascertained. With a rccom- tion of this venerable name, gave laws 

mendation from the Bishop of Lucca to and instructions to those that were de- 

St. Bernard, he went into France to con- sirous of raising their souls above all 

tinue bis studies; and for that purpose re- human things, in order to unite them to 

mained some time at Rheims, whence he their great source by sublime contempla- 

proceeded to Paris. Here his reputation tion, lived most probably in the fourth 

was so great that Philip, brother of Louis century." Maclainc's Mosheim. 

VII, being chosen Bishop of Paris, re- " "That pleader." In the fifth century, 

signed that dignity to Pietro, whose pupil Paulus Orosius "acquired a considerable 

he had been. He held his bishopric only degree of reputation by the history he 

one year, and died 1160. His "Liber wrote to refute the cavils of the Pagans 

Scntcntiarum" is highly esteemed. It con- against Christianity, and by his books 

tains a system of scholastic theology, against the Pelagians and Priscillianists." 

much more complete than any which had Ibid, 

been yet seen. '* Boctius, whose book "de Conso- 

*" "The fifth light." Solomon. latione Philosophiar," excited so much at- 

** "His doom." It was a common ques- tention during the Middle Ages, was born 

non, It seems, whether Solomon were about 470. "In 524 he was cruelly put 

saved or no. to death by Theodoric, cither on real or 

'* St. Dionysius, the Arcopagite. "The pretended mspicion of his being engaged 

famous Grecian fanatic, who gave himself in a conspiracy." Delia Lett. Ital. 


Down in Cieldauro;" and from martyrdom 

And exile came it here. Lo! further on, 

Where flames the arduous spirit of Isidore;" 

Of Bade;" and Richard," more than man, erewhile. 

In deep discernment. Lasdy this, from whom 

Thy look on me reverteth, was the beam 

Of one, whose spirit, on high musings bent. 

Rebuked the lingering tardiness of death. 

It is the eternal light of Sigebert^' 

Who 'scaped not envy, when of truth he argued, 

Reading in the straw-litter'd street."'" Forthwith, 

As clock, that calleth up the sjxiuse of God" 

To win her Bridegroom's love at matin's hour. 

Each part of other fidy drawn and urged, 

Sends out a tinkling sound, of note so sweet, 

Affection springs in well-disposed breast; 

Thus saw I move the glorious wheel; thus heard 

Voice answering voice, so musical and soft, 

It can be known but where day endless shines. 


Akcument. — Thomas Aquinas enters at large into the life and character of St. 
Francis; and then solves one of two difficulties, which he perceived to have risen in 
Dante's mind from what he had heard in the last Canto. 

^FOND anxiety of mortal meni 
How vain and inconclusive arguments 
Are those, which make thee beat thy wings below. 
For statutes one, and one for aphorisms' 

" "Cieldauro." Boetius was buried at prior of the monastery of that name at 

Pavia, in the monastery of St. Pietro in Paris; and died in 1173. "He was at the 

Ciel d'Oro. head of the Mystics in this century; and 

" He was Archbishop o£ Seville during his treatise, entitled the "Mystical Ark," 

forty years, and died in 635. which contains as it were the marrow of 

" "Bcdc." Bede, whose virtues ob- this kind of theology, was received with 

tained him the appellation of the Vener- the greatest avidity." Machine's Mosheim. 

able, was born in 672, at Wearmouth and " A monk of the Abbey of Gemblours, 

Jarrow in the bishopric of Durham, and in high repute at the end of the eleventh, 

died at Jarrow in 735. Invited to Rome and beginning of the twelfth century, 

by Pope Sergius I, he preferred passing "The name of a street in Paris; the 

almost the whole of his life in the seclu- "Rue de Fouarre." 

sion of a monastery. " The Church. 

•* Richard of St. Victor, a native either ■ The study of medicine, 
of Scotland or Ireland, was canon and 



Was hunting; this the priesthood foUow'd; that. 

By force or sophistry, aspired to rule; 

To rob, another; and another sought. 

By civil business, wealth; one, moiling, lay 

Tangled in net of sensual delight; 

And one to wistless indolence resign'd; 

What time from all these empdy things escaped, 

With Beatrice, I thus gloriously 

Was raised aloft, and made the guest of Heaven. 

They of the circle to that {X)int, each one. 
Where erst it was, had turn'd; and steady glow'd. 
As candle in his socket. Then within 
The lustre,' that erewhile bespake me, smiling 
With merer gladness, heard I thus begin: 

"E'en as His beam illumes me, so I look 
Into the Eternal Light, and clearly mark 
Thy thoughts, from whence they rise. Thou art in doubt, 
And wouldst, that I should bolt my words afresh 
In such plain open phrase, as may be smooth 
To thy perception, where I told thee late 
That 'well they thrive';' and that 'no second such* 
Hath risen,' which no small distinction needs. 

"The Providence, that governeth the world, 
In depth of counsel by created ken 
Unfathomable, to the end that she,' 
Who with loud cries was 'spoused in precious blood, 
Might keep her footing toward her well-beloved,' 
Safe in herself and constant unto Him, 
Hath two ordain'd, who should on either hand 
In chief escort her: onc,^ seraphic all 
In fervency; for wisdom upon earth. 
The other,' splendour of cherubic light. 
I but of one will tell: he tells of both, 
Who one commendeth, which of them soe'er 
Be taken: for their deeds were to one end. 

"Between Tupino,' and the wave that falls 

* The spirit of Thomas Aquinas. ' "One." St. Francis. 

* See the last Canto, v. 93. ' "The other." St. Dominic 

*Scc the last Canto, v. III. 'Thomas Aquinas describes the birth- 

* "She." The Church. place of St. Francis, between Tupino, a 

* Jesus Christ. rivulet near Assisi, or Ascesi, where the 


From blest Ubaldo's chosen hill, there hangs 

Rich slope of mountain high, whence heat and cold'" 

Are wafted through Perugia's eastern gate: 

And Nocera with Gualdo, in its rear. 

Mourn for their heavy yoke." Upon that side, 

Where it doth break its steepness most, arose 

A sun upon the world, as duly this 

From Ganges doth: therefore let none, who speak 

Of that place, say Ascesi; for its name 

Were lamely so deliver 'd; but the East, 

To call things righdy, be it henceforth styled. 

He was not yet much distant from his rising, 

When his good influence 'gan to bless the earth. 

A dame," to whom none openeth pleasure's gate 

More than to death, was, 'gainst his father's will," 

His stripling choice: and he did make her his, 

Before the spiritual court," by nuptial bonds. 

And in his father's sight: from day to day. 

Then loved her more devoutly. She, bereaved 

Of her first Husband," slighted and obscure. 

Thousand and hundred years and more, rcmain'd 

Without a single suitor, till he came. 

Nor aught avail'd, that, with Amyclas," she 

Was found unmoved at rumour of his voice. 

Who shook the world: nor aught her constant boldness. 

Whereby with Christ she mounted on the Cross, 

When Mary stay'd beneath. But not to deal 

saint was born in 1182, and Chiascio, a "In opposition to the wishes of his 

stream that rises in a mountain near natural father. 

Agobbio, chosen by St. Ubaldo for his re- '* He made a vow of poverty in the 

tirement. presence of the bishop and of his natural 

'"Cold from the snow, and heat from father, 

the reflection of the sun. " "Her first Husband." Christ. 

*' Vcllutcllo understands this of the " Lucan makes Carsar exclaim, on wit- 
vicinity of the "mountain" to Nocera and ncssing the secure poverty of the fisher- 
Gualdo; and Venturi of the heavy im- man Amyclas: — 
positions laid on those places by the "O happy povertyl thou greatest good 
Perugians. Bestow'd by Heaven, but seldom under- 

"In the under church of St. Francis, stood! 

Aisisi, is a picture painted by Giotto from Here nor the cruel spoiler seeks his 

this subject. It is considered one of the prey, 

artist's best works. Sec Kugler's "Hand- Nor ruthless armies take their dreadful 

book of the History of Painting, trans- way." etc. — Rowe. 
lated by a lady." Lond. 1842, p. 48. 


Thus closely with thee longer, take at large 

The lovers' titles — Poverty and Francis. 

Their concord and glad looks, wonder and love, 

And sweet regard gave birth to holy thoughts, 

So much, that venerable Bernard" first 

Did bare his feet, and, in pursuit of peace 

So heavenly, ran, yet deem'd his footing slow. 

O hidden riches! O prolific good! 

Egidius" bares him next, and next Sylvester," 

And follow, both, the bridegroom: so the bride 

Can please them. Thenceforth goes he on his way, 

The father and the master, with his spouse, 

And with that family, whom now the cord*" 

Girt humbly: nor did abjectness of heart 

Weigh down his eyelids, for that he was son 

Of Pietro Bernardone,*' and by men 

In wondrous sort despised. But royally 

His hard intention he to Innocent" 

Set forth; and, from him, first received the seal 

On his religion. Then, when numerous flock'd 

The tribe of lowly ones, that traced his steps, 

Whose marvellous life deservedly were sung 

In heights empyreal; through Honorius'" hand 

A second crown, to deck their Guardian's virtues. 

Was by the eternal Spirit inwreathed: and when 

He had, through thirst of martyrdom, stood up 

In the proud Soldan's presence,^' and there preach'd 

Christ and His followers, but found the race 

Unrif)en'd for conversion; back once more 

He hasted (not to intermit his toil) 

And reap'd Ausonian lands. On the hard rock,** 

" Of Quintavalle; one of the first fol- " A man in an humble station of life 

lowers of the saint at Assisi, 

•* "Egidius." The third of his dis- " Pope Innocent III. 

ciples, who died in 1262. His work, ""Honorius." His successor Honorius 

entitled "Verba Aurea," was published III, wtii, granted certain privileges to the 

in 1534. at Antwerp. Franciscans. 

'• Another of his earliest associates! '* The Soldan of Egypt, before whom 

*• "Whom now the cord." St. Francis St. Francis is said to have preached, 

bound his body with a cord, in sign that '' Mt. Alverna in the Apennines, 
it required, like a beast, to be led by a 


Twixt Arno and the Tiber, he from Christ 
Took the last signet," which his limbs two years 
Did carry. Then, the season come that He, 
Who to such good had destined him, was pleased 
To advance him to the meed, which he had earn'd 
By his self-humbling; to his brotherhood. 
As their just heritage, he gave in charge 
His dearest lady:" and enjoin'd their love 
And faith to her; and, from her bosom, will'd 
His goodly spirit should move forth, returning 
To its appointed kingdom; nor would have 
His body" laid upon another bier. 

"Think now of one, who were a fit colleague 
To keep the bark of Peter, in deep sea, 
Helm'd to right fX)int; and such our Patriarch" was. 
Therefore who follow him as he enjoins, 
Thou mayst be certain, take good lading in. 
But hunger of new viands tempts his flock;" 
So that they needs into strange pastures wide 
Must spread them: and the more remote from him 
The stragglers wander, so much more they come 
Home, to the sheep>-fold, destitute of milk. 
There are of them, in truth, who fear their harm, 
And to the shepherd cleave; but these so few, 
A little stuff may furnish out their cloaks. 

"Now, if my words be clear; if thou have ta'en 
Good heed; if that, which I have told, recall 
To mind; thy wish may be in part fulfiU'd: 
For thou wilt see the plant from whence they split;" 
And he shall see, who girds him, what that means, 
'That well they thrive, not swoln with vanity.' " 

*• "The last signet." Alluding to the posited in a place where criminals were 

ttigmata, or marks resembling the wounds executed and interred, 

of Christ, said to have been found on the " St. Dominic, to whose order Thomas 

saint's body. Aquinas belonged. 

" "His dearest lady." Poverty. ""His flock." The Dominicans. 

" He forbade any funeral pomp to be " "The rule of their order, which the 

observed at his burial; and, as it is said, Dominicans neglect to observe." 
ordered that his remains should be de- 

334 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto 3Ui 


AxcuMENT. — A second circle of glorified souls encompasses the first. Buonaventura, 
who is one of them, celebrates the praises of St. Dominic, and informs Dante who the 
other eleven are, that arc in this second circle or garland. 

SOON as its final word the blessed flame' 
Had raised for utterance, straight the holy mill* 
Began to wheel; nor yet had once revolved. 
Or e'er another, circling, compass'd it, 
Motion to motion, song to song, conjoining; 
Song, that as much our muses doth excel. 
Our Syrens with their tuneful pipes, as ray 
Of primal splendour doth its faint reflex. 

As when, if Juno bid her handmaid forth, 
Two arches parallel, and trick'd alike. 
Span the thin cloud, the outer taking birth 
From that within (in manner of that voice' 
Whom love did melt away, as sun the mist), 
And they who gaze, presageful call to mind 
The compact, made with Noah, of the world 
No more to be o'erflow'd; about us thus, 
Of sempiternal roses, bending, wreathed 
Those garlands twain; and to the innermost 
E'en thus the external answer'd. When the footing, 
And other great festivity, of song. 
And radiance, light with light accordant, each 
Jocund and blythe, had at their pleasure still'd, 
(E'en as the eyes, by quick volition moved. 
Are shut and raised together), from the heart 
Of one* amongst the new lights' moved a voice, 

' Thomas Aquinas. and Dante were encompassed, are by a 

^ The circle of spirits. bold figure termed two garlands of never- 

' One rainbow giving back the image fading roses, 

of the other, as sound is reflected by * "One." St. Buonaventura, general 

Echo, that nymph, who was melted away of the Franciscan order, in which he 

by her fondness for Narcissus, as vapor effected some reformation; and one of the 

is melted by the sun. The reader will most profound divines of his age. "He 

observe in the text not only a second and refused the archbishopric of York, which 

third simile within the first, but two was offered him by Clement IV, but af- 

mythological and one sacred allusion terward was prevailed on to accept the 

bound up together with the whole. Even bishopric of Albano and a cardinal's hat. 

after this accumulation of imagery, the He was born at Gagnoregio or Bagnorea, 

two circles of spirits, by whom Beatrice in Tuscany, A. D. 1221, and died in 


That made me seem* like needle to the star, 

In turning; to its whereabout; and thus 

Began: "The love/ that makes me beautiful, 

Prompts me to tcU of the other guide, for whom 

Such good of mine is spoken. Where one is, 

The other worthily should also be; 

That as their warfare was alike, alike 

Should be their glory. Slow, and full of doubt, 

And with thin ranks, after its banner moved 

The army of Christ, (which it so dearly cost 

To reappoint), when its imjjerial Head 

Who reigneth ever, for the drooping host 

Did make provision, through grace alone. 

And not through its deserving. As thou heard'st,' 

Two champions to the succour of His spouse 

He sent, who by their deeds and words might join 

Again His scatter'd people. In that dime* 

Where springs the pleasant west-wind to unfold 

The fresh leaves, with which Europe sees herself 

New-garmented; nor from those billows'" far. 

Beyond whose chiding, after weary course. 

The sun doth sometimes" hide him; safe abides 

The happy Callaroga,'^ under guard 

Of the great shield, wherein the lion lies 

Subjected and supreme. And there was born 

The loving minion of the Christian faith," 

The hallow'd wrestler, gentle to his own, 

1274." Diet. Histor. par Chaudon ct • See the last Canto, v. 33. 
Oelandine, Ed. Lyon. 1804. '"In that clime." Spain. 

' In the circle that had newly sur- '" "Those billows." The Atlantic, 

rounded the first. " During the summer solstice. 

• " "That made me turn to it, as the '^ "Callaroga." Between Osma and 

needle does to the pole." Aranda, in Old Castile designated by the 

' "The love." By an act of mutual royal coat-of-arms. 
courtesy, Buonaventura, a Franciscan, is "Dominic was born April 5, 1170, and 
made to proclaim the praises of St. Dom- died August 6, 1221. His birthplace 
inic, as Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican, Callaroga; his father and mother's names, 
has celebrated those of St. Francis; and in Felix, and Joanna; his mother's dream; 
like manner each blames the irregulari- his name of Dominic, given him in con- 
ties, not of the other's order, but of that sequence of a vision by his godmother, 
to which himself belonged. F.ven Mac- are all told in an anonymous life of the 
chiavelli, no great friend to the Church, saint, said to have been written in the 
attributes the revival of Christianity to thirteenth century, 
the influence of these two saints. 

336 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto Xll 

And to his enemies terrible. So replete 

His soul with lively virtue, that when first 

Created, even in the mother's womb,'* 

It prophesied. When, at the sacred font. 

The spousals were complete 'twixt faith and him, 

Where pledge of mutual safety was exchanged, 

The dame," who was his surety, in her sleep 

Beheld the wondrous fruit, that was from him 

And from his heirs to issue. And that such 

He might be construed, as indeed he was. 

She was inspired to name him of his owner, 

Whose he was wholly; and so call'd him Dominic. 

And I speak of him, as the labourer. 

Whom Christ in His own garden chose to be 

His hclfvmate. Messenger he seem'd, and friend 

Fast-knit to Christ; and the first love he show'd. 

Was after the first counsel'" that Christ gave. 

Many a time" his nurse, at entering, found 

That he had risen in silence, and was prostrate, 

As who should say, 'My errand was for this.' 

O happy father! Felix" rightly named. 

O favour'd mother! rightly named Joanna; 

If that do mean, as men interpret it." 

Not for the world's sake, for which now they toil 

Ujxjn Ostiense^" and Taddeo's" lore; 

But for the real manna, soon he grew 

Mighty in learning; and did set himself 

'* His mother, when pregnant with " His nurse, when she returned to him, 

him, is said to have dreamt that she often found that he had left his bed, and 

should bring forth a white and black dog was prostrate, and in prayer, 

with a lighted torch in his mouth, which " "Felix." Felix Gusman. 

were signs of the habit to be worn by " Grace or gift of the Lord, 

his order, and of his fervent zeal. '"Arrigo (atmut 1250 A. D.), a native 

" His godmother's dream was, that he of Susa, and cardinal of Ostia and Velletri, 

had one star in his forehead and another hence his name of Osticnse, was cele- 

in the najie of his neck, from which he brated for his lectures on the Decretals, 

communicated light to the east and the ^' "Taddco." Either the physician or 

west. the lawyer of that name. The former, 

" "Icsus said unto him. If thou wilt be T. d' Alderotto, a Florentine, called the 

perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and Hippocratean, translated the Ethics of 

give to the poor, and thou shall have Aristotle into Latin; and died toward the 

treasure in heaven; and come and follow end of the thirteenth century. The other, 

me." — Matt. xix. 21. Dominic is said of Bologna, left no writings behind him. 
to have followed this advice. 


To go about the vineyard, that soon turns 

To wan and wither'd, if not tended well: 

And from the see" (whose bounty to the just 

And needy is gone by, not through its fault. 

But his who fills it basely), he besought. 

No dispensation*' for commuted wrong. 

Nor the first vacant fortune,** nor the tenths 

That to God's pau[>ers rightly appertain. 

But, 'gainst an erring and degenerate world. 

License to fight, in favour of that seed" 

From which the twice twelve cions gird thee round. 

Then, with sage doctrine and good will to help, 

Forth on his great apostleship he fared. 

Like torrent bursting from a lofty vein; 

And, dashing 'gainst the stocks of heresy. 

Smote fiercest, where resistance was most stout. 

Thence many rivulets have since been turn'd. 

Over the garden catholic to lead 

Their living waters, and have fed its plants. 

"If such, one wheel" of that two-yoked car. 
Wherein the holy Church defended her. 
And rode triumphant through the civil broil; 
Thou canst not doubt its fellow's excellence, 
Which Thomas," ere my coming, hath declared 
So courteously unto thee. But the track,*' 
Which its smooth fellies made, is now deserted: 
That, mouldy mother is, where late were lees. 
His family, that wont to trace his path. 
Turn backward, and invert their steps; erelong 
To rue the gathering in of their ill crop. 
When the rejected tares" in vain shall ask 

•^'Thc apostolic sec, which no longer from which have sprung up these four- 
continues its wonted liberality toward the and-twcnty plants, these holy spirits that 
indigent and deserving; not indeed now environ thee." 

through its own fault, as its doctrines are " Dominic; as the other wheel a 

still the same, but through the fault of Francis, 

the pontiff, who is seated in it." " "Thomas." Thomas Aquinas. 

•* Dominic did not ask for license to ** "But the track." "But the rule of 

compound for the use of unjust acquisi- St. Francis is already deserted; and the 

tions by dedicating a part of them to pious lees of the wine are turned into mouldi- 

purposcs. ness." 

"The first benefice that fell vacant. ""Tares." He adverts to the parable 

" "For that seed of the divine Word, of the tares and the wheat 

338 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xu 

Admittance to the barn. I question not* 

But he, who search'd our volume, leaf by leaf. 

Might still find page with this inscription on'tj 

'I am as I was wont.' Yet such were not 

From Acquasparta nor Casale, whence. 

Of those who come to meddle with the text. 

One stretches and another cramps its rule. 

Bonaventura's life in me behold, 

From Bagnoregio; one, who, in discharge 

Of my great offices, still laid aside 

All sinister aim. Illuminato here, 

And Agostino" join me: two they were. 

Among the first of those barefooted meek ones, 

Who sought God's friendship in the cord: with 

Hugues of Saint Victor;" Pietro Mangiadore;" 
And he of Sjjain" in his twelve volumes shining; 
Nathan the prophet; Metropolitan 
Chrysostom;" and Anselmo;** and, who deign'd 
To put his hand to the first art, Donatus. 

^ "I question not." "Some indeed '* To Pope Adrian V succeeded John 

might be found, who still observe the rule XXI, a native of Lisbon; a man of great 

oi the order; but such would come neither genius and cxtraordinar>' acquirements, 

from Casalc nor Acquasparta." At Ca- especially in logic and in medicine, as 

sale, in, the discipline had been his books, written in the name of Peter of 

enforced by Uberto with unnecessary Spain, (by which he was known before 

rigor; and at Acquasparta, in the territory he became Pope), may testify. He was 

of Todi, it had been equally relaxed by killed at Vitcrbo, by the falling in of the 

the Cardinal Matteo, general of the order. roof of his chamber, after he had been 

^' Two among the earliest followers of pontiff only eight months and as many 

St. Francis. days, A. D. 1277. 

*' "Hugues of Saint Victor." He was " "Chrysostom." The eloquent Pa- 

of the monastery of St. Victor at Paris, triarch of Constantinople, 
and died in 11 42, at the age of forty -four. ""Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 

His ten books, illustrative of the celestial was born at Aosta, about 1034, and 

hierarchy of Dionysius the Areopagite, ac- studied under Lanfranc, at the monastery 

cording to the translation of Joannes of Bee in Normandy, where he afterward 

Scoius, are inscribed to King Louis, son devoted himself to a religious life, in his 

of Louis le Gros, by whom the monas- twenty -seventh year. In three years he 

tcry had been founded. was made prior, and then abbot of that 

" "Pietro Mangiadore." Petnu Comes- monastery; from whence he was taken, 

tor, or the Eater, born at Troyes, was in 1093, to succeed to the archbishopric, 

canon and dean of that church, and vacant by the death of Lanfranc. He 

afterward chaiKellor of the church of enjoyed this dignity till his death in 11 09, 

Paris. He relinquished these benefices though it was disturbed by many dis- 

to become a regular canon of St. Victor sensions with William II and Henry 1 

at Paris, where he died in 1198. respecting immunities and investitures. 


Raban" is here; and at my side there shines 

Calabria's abbot, Joachim," endow 'd 

With soul prophetic. The bright courtesy 

Of friar Thomas and his goodly lore. 

Have moved me to the bhzxm of a peer'* 

So worthy; and with me have moved this throng." 


Argument. — -Thomai Aquinas resumes his speech. He solves the other of those 
doubts which he discerned in the mind of Dante, and waras him earnesdy against 
assenting to any proposition without having duly examined it. 

IET him,' who would conceive what now I saw. 
Imagine, (and retain the image firm 
^As mountain rock, the whilst he hears me speak,) 
Of stars, fifteen, from midst the ethereal host 
Selected that, with lively ray serene, 
O'ercome the massiest air: thereto imagine 
The wain, that, in the bosom of our sky, 
Spins ever on its axle night and day. 
With the bright summit of that horn, which swells 
Due from the pole, round which the first wheel rolls. 
To have ranged themselves in fashion of two signs 
In Heaven, such as Ariadne made. 
When death's chill seized her; and that one of them 
Did compass in the other's beam; and both 
In such sort whirl around, that each should tend 
With opposite motion; and, conceiving thus, 
Of that true constellation, and the dance 
Twofold, that circled me, he shall attain 
As 'twere the shadow; for things there as much 
Surpass our usage, as the swiftest Heaven 
Is swifter than the Chiana.' There was sung 

•^Rabanus Mauruj, Archbishop of ccive the sight that now presented itself 

Mentz, 847, is placed at the head of the to me, must imagine to himself fifteen of 

L.atin writers of this age. the brightest stars in heaven, together 

^ Abbot of Flora in Calabria; whom with seven stars of Arcturus Major and 

the multitude revered as divinely inspired, two of Arcturus Minor, ranged in two 

and equal to the most illustrious prophets circles, one within the other, each re- 

of ancient times. sembling the crown of Ariadne, and 

" "A peer." St. Dominic. moving round in opposite directions." 

' "Let him." "Whoever would con- ' See Hell, Canto xxix. 45. 


No Bacchus, and no lo Patan, but 

Three Persons in the Godhead, and in one 

Person that nature and the human join'd. 

The song and round were measured: and to US 
Those saindy lights attended, happier made 
At each new ministering. Then silence brake 
Amid the accordant sons of Deity, 
That luminary,' in which the wondrous life 
Of the meek man of God* was told to me; 
And thus it spake: "One ear* o' the harvest thresh'd. 
And its grain safely stored, sweet charity 
Invites me with the other to like toil. 

"Thou know'st, that in the bosom,* whence the rib 
Was ta'en to fashion that fair cheek, whose taste 
All the world pays for; and in that, which pierced 
By the keen lance, both after and before 
Such satisfaction offer'd as outweighs 
Each evil in the scale; whate'er of light 
To human nature is allow'd, must all 
Have by His virtue been infused, who form'd 
Both one and other: and thou thence admirest 
In that I told thee, of beatitudes, 
A second there is none to him enclosed 
In the fifth radiance. Of)en now thine eyes 
To what I answer thee; and thou shalt see 
Thy deeming and my saying meet in truth, 
As centre in the round. That' which dies not, 
And that which can die, are but each the beam 
Of that idea, which our Sovereign Sire 
Engendereth loving; for that lively light,* 

•Thomas Aquinas. and also in the breast of Christ, which, 

* St. Francis. See Canto xL 25. being pierced by the lance, made satis- 

* "Having solved one of thy questions, faction for the sins of the whole world; 
I proceed to answer the other. Thou as much wisdom resided, as human na- 
thinkest then that Adam and Christ were ture was capable of: and thou dost there- 
both endued with all the perfection of fore wonder that I should have spoken 
which the human nature is capable; and of Solomon as the wisest" See Canto x. 
therefore wonderest at what has been 105. 

said concerning Solomon." ' "That." Things, corruptible and in- 

* "Thou knowest that in the breast of corruptible, are only emanations from the 
Adam, whence the rib was taken to make archetypal idea residing in the Divine 
that fair cheek of Eve, which, by tasting Mind. 

the apple, brought death into the world; *The Word; the Son of God. 


Which passeth from His splendour, not disjoin'd 
From Him, nor from His love triune with them,* 
Doth, through His bounty, congregate itself, 
Mirror 'd, as 'twere, in new existences;'" 
Itself unalterable, and ever one. 

"Descending hence unto the lowest powers," 
Its energy so sinks, at last it makes 
But brief contingencies; for so I name 
Things generated, which the heavenly orbs 
Moving, with seed or without seed, produce. 
Their wax, and that which moulds it," differ much: 
And thence with lustre, more or less, it shows 
The ideal stamp imprest: so that one tree. 
According to his kind, hath better fruit, 
And worse: and, at your birth, ye, mortal men. 
Are in your talents various. Were the wax 
Moulded with nice exactness, and the heaven" 
In its disposing influence supreme, 
The brightness of the seal" should be complete: 
But nature renders it imperfect ever; 
Resembling thus the artist, in his work. 
Whose faltering hand is faithless to his skill. 
Therefore," if fervent Love dispwse, and mark 
The lustrous Image of the primal Virtue, 
There all (lerfection is vouchsafed; and such 
The clay" was made, accomplish'd with each gift. 
That life can teem with; such the burden fill'd 
The Virgin's bosom: so that I commend 
Thy judgment, that the human nature ne'er 
Was, or can be, such as in them it was. 

"Did I advance no further than this point; 
'How then had he no peer?' thou might'st reply. 
But, that what now appears not, may appear 

•"His love triune with them." "The brightness of the Divine idea 

The Holy Ghost. before spoken of. 

" Anjjels and human souls. '* "Therefore." Daniello remarks that 

" Irrational life and brute matter. our Poet intends this for a brief dc- 

" "Their wax, and that which moulds scription of the Trinity: the primal virtue 

it." Matter, and the virtue or energy signif>ing the Father; the lustrous miage, 

that acts on it. the Son; the fervent love, the Holy 

" "The heaven." The influence of the Ghost. 

planetary bodies. " "The clay." Adam. 


Right plainly, ponder, who he was, and what 
(When he was bidden 'Ask') the motive, sway'd 
To his requesting. I have spoken thus, 
That thou mayst see, he was a king, who ask'd" 
For wisdom, to the end he might be king 
Sufficient: not, the number to search out 
Of the celestial movers; or to know. 
If necessary with contingent e'er 
Have made necessity; or whether that 
Be granted, that first motion" is; or if. 
Of the mid<ircle," can by art be made 
Triangle, with its corner blunt or sharp. 

"Whence, noting that, which I have said, and this, 
Thou kingly prudence and that ken mayst learn, 
At which the dart of my intention aims. 
And, marking clearly, that I told thee, 'Risen,' 
Thou shalt discern it only hath respect 
To kings, of whom are many, and the good 
Are rare. With this distinction take my words; 
And they may well consist with that which thou 
Of the first human father dost believe, 
And of our well-beloved. And let this 
Henceforth be lead unto thy feet, to make 
Thee slow in motion, as a weary man. 
Both to the 'yea' and to the 'nay' thou seest not. 
For he among the fools is down full low. 
Whose affirmation, or denial, is 
Without distinction, in each case alike. 
Since it befalls, that in most instances 
Current opinion leans to false: and then 
Aflection bends the judgment to her ply. 

"Much more than vainly doth he loose from shore, 

""Who ask'd." "He did not desire cording to that principle, repugnant in 

to know the number of the celestial in- caiisis processus in infinitum." Lombardi. 

telli);cnccs, or to pry into the subtleties " "Of the mid-circle." "If in the half 

of logical, metaphysical, or mathematical of the circle a rectilinear triangle can be 

science: but asked for that wisdom which described, one side of which shall be the 

might fit him for his kingly office." diameter of the same circle, without its 

'• "That first motion." "If we must forming a right angle with the other two 

allow one first motion, which is not sides; which geometry shows to be im. 

caused by other motion; a question re- possible." Lombardi. 
(olved affirmatively by metaphysics, ac- 


Since he returns not such as he set forth, 

Who fishes for the truth and wanteth skill. 

And open proofs of this unto the world 

Have been afforded in Parmenides, 

Melissus, Bryso," and the crowd beside, 

Who journey 'd on, and knew not whither: so did 

Sabellius, Arius,^' and the other fools, 

Who, like to scimitars,*' reflected back 

The scripture-image by distortion marr'd. 

"Let not the people be too swift to judge; 
As one who reckons on the blades in field, 
Or e'er the crop be ripe. For I have seen 
The thorn frown rudely all the winter long, 
And after bear the rose upon its top; 
And bark, that all her way across the sea 
Ran straight and sjjeedy, perish at the last 
E'en in the haven's mouth. Seeing one steal. 
Another bring his offering to the priest, 
Let not" Dame Birtha and Sir Martin" thence 
Into Heaven's counsels deem that they can pry; 
For one of these may rise, the other fall." 

*• " Parmenides, ^ "Let not." "Let not shortsighted 

Melissus, Bryso." mortals presume to decide on the future 

For the singular opinions entertained by doom of any man, from a consideration 

the two former of these heathen philos- of his present character and actions." This 

ophers, see Diogenes Lacrtius, lib. ix. is meant as an answer to the doubts 

" "Sabellius, Arius." Well-known entertained respecting the salvation of 

heretics. Solomon. See Canto x. 107. 

*' "Scimitars." Berlradon dc la Broc- ** "Dame Birtha and Sir Martin." 

quibre, who wrote before Da,ite, informs Names put generally for persons who 

us that the wandering Arabs used their have more curiosity than discretion, 
scimitars as mirrors. 



Akooment. — Solomon, who is one of the spirits in the inner circle, declares what 
the appearance of the blest will be after the resurrection of the body. Beatrice and 
Dante arc translated into the fifth heaven, which is that of Mars; and here behold 
the souls of those, who had died fighting for the true faith, ranged in the sign 
of the crosi, athwart which the spirits move to the sound of a melodious hymn. 

FROM centre to the circle, and so back 
From circle to the centre, water moves 
In the round chalice, even as the blow 
Impels it, inwardly, or from without. 
Such was the image' glanced into my mind, 
As the great spirit of Aquinum ceased; 
And Beatrice, after him, her words 
Resumed alternate: "Need there is (though yet 
He tells it to you not in words, nor e'en 
In thought) that he should fathom to its depth 
Another mystery. Tell him, if the light. 
Wherewith your substance blooms, shall stay with you 
Eternally, as now; and, if it doth. 
How, when' ye shall regain your visible forms, 
The sight may without harm endure the change, 
That also tell." As those, who in a ring 
Tread the light measure, in their fitful mirth 
Raise loud the voice, and spring with gladder bound; 
Thus, at the hearing of that pious suit. 
The saintly circles, in their tourneying 
And wondrous note, attested new delight. 

Whoso laments, that we must dofi this garb 
Of frail mortality, thenceforth to live 
Immortally above; he hath not seen 
The sweet refreshing of that heavenly shower.' 

Him, who lives ever, and forever reigns 
In mystic union of the three in one. 
Unbounded, bounding all, each spirit thrice 
Sang, with such melody, as, but to hear, 
For highest merit were an ample meed. 

' The voice of Thomas Aquinas pro- • "When." When ye shall be again 

ceeding from the circle to the centre; clothed with your bodies at the resur- 

and that of Beatrice, from the centre to rcction. 

the circle. ' That effusion of beatific light 


And from the lesser orb the goodliest light/ 

With gentle voice and mild, such as perhaps 

The Angel's once to Mary, thus replied: 

"Long as the joy of Paradise shall last, 

Our love shall shine around that raiment, bright 

As fervent; fervent as, in vision, blest; 

And that as far, in blessedness, exceeding. 

As it hath grace, beyond its virtue, great. 

Our shape, regarmented with glorious weeds 

Of saintly flesh, must, being thus entire. 

Show yet more gracious. Therefore shall increase 

Whate'er, of light, gratuitous imparts 

The Supreme Good; light, ministering aid, 

The better to disclose His glory: whence. 

The vision needs increasing, must increase 

The fervour, which it kindles; and that too 

The ray, that comes from it. But as the gleed 

Which gives out flame, yet in its whiteness shines 

More livelily than that, and so preserves 

Its projjer semblance; thus this circling sphere 

Of splendour shall to view less radiant seem. 

Than shall our fleshly robe, which yonder earth 

Now covers. Nor will such excess of light 

O'erpower us, in corporeal organs made 

Firm, and susceptible of all delight." 

So ready and so cordial an "Amen" 
Follow 'd from either choir, as plainly spoke 
Desire of their dead bodies; yet perchance 
Not for themselves, but for their kindred dear, 
Mothers and sires, and those whom best they loved. 
Ere they were made imperishable flame. 

And lo! forthwith there rose up round about 
A lustre, over that already there; 
Of equal clearness, like the brightening up 
Of the horizon. As at evening hour 
Of twilight, new appearances through Heaven 
Peer with faint glimmer, doubtfully descried; 
So, there, new substances, methought, began 
To rise in view beyond the other twain, 
* "The goodliest light." Solomon. 

346 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto uv 

And wheeling, sweep their ampler circuit wide. 

O genuine glitter of eternal Beam! 
With what a sudden whiteness did it flow, 
O'erpowering vision in me. But so fair. 
So passing lovely, Beatrice show'd, 
Mind cannot follow it, nor words express 
Her infinite sweetness. Thence mine eyes regain'd 
Power to look up; and I beheld myself, 
Sole with my lady, to more lofty bliss* 
Translated: for the star, with warmer smile 
Impurpled, well denoted our ascent. 

With all the heart, and with that tongue which speaks 
The same in all, an holocaust I made 
To God, befitting the new grace vouchsafed. 
And from my bosom had not yet upsteam'd 
The fuming of that incense, when I knew 
The rite accepted. With such mighty sheen 
And mantling crimson, in two listed rays 
The splendours shot before me, that I cried, 
"God of Sabaoth! that dost prank them thus!" 

As leads the galaxy from pole to pole, 
Distinguish'd into greater lights and less, 
Its pathway, which the wisest fail to spe\l; 
So thickly studded, in the depth of Mars, 
Those rays described the venerable sign. 
That quadrants in the round conjoining frame. 

Here memory mocks the toil of genius. Christ 
Beam'd on that cross; and pattern fails me now. 
But whoso takes his cross, and follows Christ, 
Will pardon me for that I leave untold, 
When in the flecker'd dawning he shall spy 
The glitterance of Christ. From horn to horn. 
And 'tween the summit and the base, did move 
Lights, scintillating, as they met and pass'd. 
Thus oft are seen with ever<hangeful glance. 
Straight or athwart, now rapid and now slow. 
The atomies of bodies, long or short. 
To move along the sunbeam, whose slant line 
Checkers the shadow interposed by art 
* "To more lofty blus." To the planet Mars. 


Against the noontide heat. And as the chime 
Of minstrel music, dulcimer, and harp 
With many strings, a pleasant dinning makes 
To him, who heareth not distinct the note; 
So from the lights, which there appear'd to me, 
Gather'd along the cross a melody, 
That, indistinrtly heard, with ravishment 
Possess'd me. Yet I mark'd it was a hymn 
Of lofty praises; for there came to me 
"Arise," and "Conquer," as to one who hears 
And comprehends not. Me such ecstasy 
O'ercame, that never, till that hour, was thing 
That held me in so sweet imprisonment. 

Perhaps my saying overbold appears. 
Accounting less the pleasure of those eyes. 
Whereon to look fulfilleth all desire. 
But he, who is aware those living seals 
Of every beauty work with quicker force. 
The higher they are risen; and that there 
I had not turn'd me to them; he may well 
Excuse me that, whereof in my excuse 
I do accuse me, and may own my truth; 
That holy pleasure here not yet reveal'd. 
Which grows in transport as we mount aloof. 


AiGUMENT. — TTie spirit of Cacciaguida, our Poet's ancestor, glides rapidly to the 
foot of the cross; tells who he is; and speaks of the simplicity of the Florentines in his 
days, since then much corrupted. 

TRUE love, that ever shows itself as clear 
In kindness, as loose appetite in wrong. 
Silenced that lyre harmonious, and still'd 
The sacred cords, that are by Heaven's right hand 
Unwound and tighten'd. How to righteous prayers 
Should they not hearken, who, to give me will 
For praying, in accordance thus were mute? 
He hath in sooth good cause for endless grief. 
Who, for the love of thing that lasteth not. 
Despoils himself forever of that love. 


As oft along the still and pure serene, 
At nightfall, glides a sudden trail of fire, 
Attracting with involuntary heed 
The eye to follow it, erewhile at rest; 
And seems some star that shifted place in Heaven, 
Only that, whence it kindles, none is lost. 
And it is soon extinct: thus from the horn. 
That on the dexter of the cross extends, 
Down to its foot, one luminary ran 
From mid the cluster shone there; yet no gem 
Dropp'd from its foil: and through the beamy list. 
Like flame in alabaster, glow'd its course. 

So forward stretch'd him (if of credence aught 
Our greater muse may claim) the pious ghost 
Of old Anchises, in the Elysian bower, 
When he perceived his son. "O thou, my blood! 

most exceeding grace divine! to whom, 
As now to thee, hath twice the heavenly gate 
Been e'er unclosed?" So spake the light: whence I 
Turn'd me toward him; then unto my dame 

My sight directed: and on either side 
Amazement waited mc; for in her eyes 
Was lighted such a smile, I thought that mine 
Had dived unto the bottom of my grace 
And of my bliss in Paradise. Forthwith, 
To hearing and to sight grateful alike, 
The spirit to his proem added things 

1 understood not, so profound he spake: 
Yet not of choice, but through necessity. 
Mysterious; for his high conception soar'd 
Beyond the mark of mortals. When the flight 
Of holy transfwrt had so spent it's rage. 
That nearer to the level of our thought 

The speech descended; the first sounds I heard 
Were, "Blest be thou, Triunal Deity! 
That hast such favour in my seed vouchsafed." 
Then follow'd. "No unpleasant thirst, though long, 
Which took me reading in the sacred book. 
Whose leaves or white or dusky never change, 
Thou hast allay'd, my son! within this light. 


From whence my voice thou hear'st: more thanks to her, 

Who, for such lofty mounting, has with plumes 

Begirt thee. Thou dost deem thy thoughts to me 

From Him transmitted, who is first of all, 

E'en as all numbers ray from unity. 

And therefore dost not ask me who I am. 

Or why to thee more joyous I appear, 

Than any other in this gladsome throng. 

The truth is as thou deem'st; for in this life 

Both less and greater in that Mirror look, 

In which thy thoughts, or e'er thou think'st, are shown. 

But, that the love, which keeps me wakeful ever, 

Urging with sacred thirst of sweet desire. 

May be contented fully; let thy voice. 

Fearless, and frank, and jocund, utter forth 

Thy will distinctly, utter forth the wish. 

Whereto my ready answer stands decreed." 

I turn'd me to Beatrice; and she heard 
Ere I had spoken, smiling an assent. 
That to my will gave wings; and I began: 
"To each among your tribe, what time ye kenn'd 
The nature, in whom naught unequal dwells. 
Wisdom and love were in one measure dealt; 
For that they are so equal in the Sun, 
From whence ye drew your radiance and your heat. 
As makes all likeness scant. But will and means, 
In mortals, for the cause ye well discern. 
With unlike wings are fledged. A mortal, I 
Experience inequality like this; 
And therefore give no thanks, but in the heart. 
For thy paternal greeting. This howe'er 
I pray thee, living topaz! that ingemm'st 
This precious jewel; let me hear thy name." 

"I am thy root,' O leaf! whom to expect 
Even, hath pleased me." Thus the prompt reply 
Prefacing, next it added: "He, of whom^ 

' '1 am thy root." CacciaKuida, father round of Purgatory more than a hundred 

to Alighieri, of whom our Poet was the years; and it is fit that thou by thy good 

great-grandson. deserts shouldst endeavor to shorten the 

'"He, of whom." "Thy great-grand- time of his remaining there." His son 

father, Alighieri, has been iii the first Bellincionc was living in 1266; and of 

35© THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xv 

Thy kindred appellation comes, and who, 
These hundred years and more, on its first ledge 
Hath circuited the mountain, was my son. 
And thy great-grandsire. Well befits, his long 
Endurance should he shorten'd by thy deeds. 

"Florence, within her ancient limit-mark. 
Which calls her still' to matin prayers and noon. 
Was chaste and sober, and abode in peace. 
She had no armlets and no head-tires then; 
No purfled dames; no zone, that caught the eye 
More than the person did. Time was not yet. 
When* at his daughter's birth the sire grew pale, 
For fear the age and dowry should exceed. 
On each side, just propwrtion. House was none 
Void^ of its family: nor yet had come 
Sardanapalus,' to exhibit feats 
Of chamber prowess. Montemalo' yet 
O'er our suburban turret* rose; as much 
To be surpast in fall, as in its rising. 
I saw Bellincion Berti" walk abroad 
In leathern girdle, and a clasp of bone; 
And, with no artful colouring on her cheeks, 

him was born the father of our Poet, 38, and notes. "And observe that in the 

whom Benvenuto da Imola calls a lawyer time of the said people (A. D. 1259), 

by profession. and before and for a long time after, the 

'The public clock being still within citizens of Florence lived soberly, on 

the circuit of the ancient walls. coarse viands, and at little cost, and in 

* When the women were not married many customs and courtesies of life were 
at too early an age, and did not expect rude and unpolished; and dressed them- 
too large a portion. selves and their women in coarse cloths: 

'Through the civil wars and banish- many wore plain leather, without cloth 

ments. Or he may mean that houses over it; bonnets on their heads; and all, 

were not formerly built merely for show, boots on the feet; and the Florentine wo- 

nor of greater size than was necessary for men were without ornament: the better 

containing the families that inhabited sort content with a close gown of scarlet 

them. cloth of Yprcs or of camlet, bound with a 

' The luxurious monarch of Assyria. girdle in the ancient mode, and a mantle 

' Either ao elevated spot between Rome lined with fur, and a hood to it, which 

and Viterbo; or Monte Mario, the site of was worn on the head; the common sort 

the villa Mellini, commanding a view of of women were clad in a coarse gown of 

Rome. Cambrai in like manner . . . and with 

* Uccellatoio, near Florence, whence their coarse way of living and poverty 
that city was discovered. Florence had [the Florentines) did greater and more 
not yet vied with Rome in the grandeur virtuous deeds than have been done in 
of her public buildings. our times with greater refinement and 

* "Bellincion Berti." Hell, Canto xvi. wealth." — G. Villani, lib. vi. c. Ixxi. 


His lady leave the glass. The sons I saw 

Of Nerli, and of Vecchio,'" well content 

With unrobed jerkin; and their good dames handling 

The spindle and the flax: O happy they! 

Each" sure of burial in her native land, 

And none left desolate a-bed for France. 

One waked to tend the cradle, hushing it 

With sounds that lull'd the parent's infancy: 

Another, with her maidens, drawing off 

The tresses from the distaff, lectured them 

Old tales of Troy, and Fesole, and Rome. 

A Salterello and Cianghella" we 

Had held as strange a marvel, as ye would 

A Cincinnatus or Cornelia now. 

"In such composed and seemly fellowship, 
Such faithful and such fair equality, 
In so sweet household, Mary" at my birth 
Bestow'd me, call'd on with loud cries; and there. 
In your old baptistery, I was made 
Christian at once and Cacciaguida; as were 
My brethren, Eliseo and Moronto. 

"From Valdipado'* came to me my spouse; 
And hence thy surname grew. I follow 'd then 
The Emperor Conrad:'^ and his knighthood he 
Did gird on me; in such good part he took 
My valiant service. After him I went 
To testify against that evil law. 
Whose people," by the Shepherd's fault, possess 
Your right usurp'd. There I by that foul crew 
Was disentangled from the treacherous world 

"Two opulent families in Florence. in the pains of child-birth. Purgatory, 

""Each." "None fearful either of Canto xx. 21. 

dying in banishment, or of being deserted '* Cacciaguida 's wife, whose family 

by her husband on a scheme of trafiic name was Alighieri, came from Ferrara, 

in France." called Val di Pado, from its being watered 

" The latter a shameless woman of by the Po. 

the family of Tosa, married to Lito dcgli '* "Conrad." The Emperor Conrad 

Alidosi of Imola: the former Lapo Sal- III, who died in 11 52. 

terello, a lawyer, with whom Dante was "The Mohammedans, who were left 

at variance. "We should have held an in the possession of the Holy Land, 

abandoned character, like these, as a great through the supineness of the Pope. See 

wonder, as ye would the contrary now." Canto iv. 12 J. 

" "Mary." The Virgin was invoked 

352 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xvi 

Whose base affection many a spirit soils; 
And from the martyrdom came to this peace." 


Argument. — Cacciaguida relates the time of his birth; and, describing the extent 
of Florence when he lived there, recounts the names of the chief families who then 
inhabited it. Its degeneracy, and subsequent disgrace, he attributes to the introduction 
of families from the neighboring country and villages, and to their mixture with the 
primitive citizens. 

O SLIGHT respect of man's nobility! 
I never shall account it marvellous. 
That our infirm affection here below 
Thou movest to boasting; when I could not chuse, 
E'en in that region of unwarp'd desire. 
In Heaven itself, but make my vaunt in thee. 
Yet cloak thou art soon shorten'd; for that Time, 
Unless thou be eked out from day to day. 
Goes round thee with his shears. Resuming then, 
With greeting' such as Rome was first to bear, 
But since hath disaccustom'd, I began: 
And Beatrice, that a little space 
Was sever'd, smiled; reminding me of her, 
Whose cough embolden'd (as the story holds) 
To first offence the doubting Guenever.* 

"You are my sire," said I: "you give me heart 
Freely to speak my thought: above myself 
You raise me. Through so many streams with joy 
My soul is fiU'd, that gladness wells from it; 
So that it bears the mighty tide, and bursts not. 
Say then, my honour'd stem! what ancestors 
Were those you sprang from, and what years were mark'd 
In your first childhood.? Tell me of the fold,' 
That hath Saint John for guardian, what was then 
Its state, and who in it were highest seated!" 

' "With irreeting." The Poet, who had • Beatrice's smile reminded him of the 

addressed the spirit, not knowing him to female servant who, by her coughing, 

he his ancestor, with a plain "Thou," emboldened Queen Guenevcr to encour- 

now uses more ceremony, and calls him age Lancelot. Sec Hell, Canto v. 124. 

"You," according to a custom of the ' Florence, of which John the Baptist 

Romans in the latter times of the empire, was the patron saint. 


As embers, at the breathing of the wind, 
Their flame enliven; so that light I saw 
Shine at my blandishments; and, as it grew 
More fair to look on, so with voice more sweet, 
Yet not in this our modern phrase, forthwith 
It answer'd: "From the day,* when it was said 
'Hail Virgin!' to the throes by which my mother, 
Who now is sainted, lightcn'd her of me 
Whom she was heavy with, this fire had come 
Five hundred times and fourscore, to relume 
Its radiance underneath the burning foot 
Of its own lion. They, of whom I sprang, 
And I, had there our birth-place, where the last? 
Partition of our city first is reach'd 
By him that runs her annual game. Thus much 
Suffice of my forefathers: who they were, 
And whence they hither came, more honourable 
It is to pass in silence than to tell. 
All those, who at that time were there, betwixt 
Mars and the Baptist, fit to carry arms. 
Were but the fifth of them this day alive. 
But then the citizen's blood, that now is mix'd 
From Campi and Certaldo and Fighine,* 
Ran purely through the last mechanic's veins. 
O how much better were it, that these people' 
Were neighbours to you; and that at Galluzzo 
And at Trespiano ye should have your boundary; 
Than to have them within, and bear the stench 
Of Aguglione's hind, and Signa's,' him. 
That hath his eye already keen for bartering. 
Had not the people,' which of all the world 

*Froni the incarnation of our Lord to was the last reached by the competitor in 
the birth of Caccia^iuida, the planet Mars the annual race at Florence, 
had returned 580 times to the constella- ' Country places near Florence, 
tion of I.eo, with which it is supposed ' "That the inhabitants of the above- 
to have a congenial influence. As Mars mentioned places had not been mixed 
then completed his revolution in a period with the citizens; nor the limits of 
of forty-three days short of two years, Florence extended beyond Galluzzo and 
Cacciaguida was born about 1090. Trespiano." 

' The city was divided into four com- ' Baldo of Aguglione, and Bonifazio 

partments. The F.lisei, the ancestors of of Sif;na. 

Dante, resided near the entrance of that 'If Rome had continued in her alio- 

named from the Porta S. Piero, which giance to the Emperor, and the Guelfi- 


Degenerates most, been stepdame unto Czsar, 

But, as a mother to her son, been kind. 

Such one, as hath become a Florentine, 

And trades and trafScs, hath been turn'd adrift 

To Simifonte,'° where his grandsire plied 

The beggar's craft: the Conti were possest 

Of Montemurlo" still: the Cerchi still 

Were in Acone's parish: nor had haply 

From Valdigreve passed the Buondelmonti. 

The city's malady hath ever source 

In the confusion of its persons, as 

The body's, in variety of food: 

And the blind bull falls with a steeper plunge. 

Than the blind lamb: and oftentimes one sword 

Doth more and better execution. 

Than five. Mark Luni; Urbisaglia" mark; 

How they are gone; and after them how go 

Chiusi and Sinigaglia!" and 't will seem 

No longer new, or strange to thee, to hear 

That families fail, when cities have their end. 

All things that appertain to ye, like yourselves. 

Are mortal: but mortality in some 

Ye mark not; they endure so long, and you 

Pass by so suddenly. And as the moon 

Doth, by the rolling of her heavenly sphere. 

Hide and reveal the strand unceasingly; 

So fortune deals with Florence. Hence admire not 

At what of them I tell thee, whose renown 

Time covers, the first Florentines. I saw 

The Ughi, Catilini, and Filippi, 

The Alberichi, Greci, and Ormanni, 

Now in their wane, illustrious citizens; 

And great as ancient, of Sannella him, 

With him of Area saw, and Soldanieri, 

Ghibellioe factions had thus been pre- "The Conti Guidi, unable to defend 

vented, Florence would not have been their castle from the Pistoians, sold it to 

polluted by a race of upstarts, nor lost the state of Florence, 

her best element. " Cities formerly of importance, but 

'" A castle dismantled by the Floren- then fallen to decay, 

tines. The person here alluded to is not " The same, 


And Ardinghi, and Bostichi. At the poop'^ 

That now is laden with new felony 

So cumbrous it may s{)eedily sink the bark, 

The Ravignani sat, of whom is sprung 

The County Guido, and whoso hath since 

His tide from the famed Bellincion ta'en. 

Fair governance was yet an art well prized 

By him of Pressa: Galigaio show'd 

The gilded hilt and pwmmel,'^ in his house; 

The column, clothed with verrey," still was seen 

Unshaken; the Sacchctti still were great, 

Giuochi, Fifanti, Galli, and Barucci, 

With them" who blush to hear the bushel named. 

Of the Calfucci still the branchy trunk 

Was in its strength: and, to the curule chairs, 

Sizii and Arrigucci" yet were drawn. 

How mighty them" I saw, whom, since, their pride 

Hath undone! And in all their goodly deeds 

Florence was, by the bullets of bright gold," 

O'erflourish'd. Such the sires of those,^' who now, 

As surely as your church is vacant, flock 

Into her consistory, and at leisure 

There stall them and grow fat. The o'crweening broad," 

That plays the dragon after him that flees. 

But unto such as turn and show the tooth, 

Ay or the purse, is gende as a lamb. 

Was on its rise, but yet so slight esteem'd. 

That Ubertino of Donati grudged 

His father-in-law should yoke him to its tribe. 

**The Cerchi, Dame's enemies, had ^"Thc arms o£ the Abbati, or of the 

succeeded to the houses over the gate of Lambcrti. 
St. Peter. " Of the Visdomini, the Tosinghj, and 

*• The symbols of knighthood. the Cortigiani, who, being sprung from 

" The arms of the Pigli, or as some the founders of the bishopric of Florence, 

wrote it, the Billi. are the curators of its revenues, which 

" Either the Chiaramontesi, or the To- they do not spare, whenever it becomes 

singhij one of which had committc<l a vacant. 

fraud in measuring out the wheat from ^'This family was so little esteemed 

the public granary. See Purgatory, Canto that Ubertino Donate, of the same stock 

xii. 99- as his wife, was ofiended with his father- 

"'Thesc families still obtained the in-law, Bellincion Berti, for giving an- 

magistracies." other daughter to one of them. 

" "Them." The Uberti. 


Already Caponsacco" had descended 

Into the mart from Fesole: and Giuda 

And Infangato" were good citizens. 

A thing incredible I tell, though true: 

The gateway, named from those of Pera, led 

Into the narrow circuit of your wells. 

Each one, who bears the sightly quartering! 

Of the great Baron," (he whose name and worth 

The festival of Thomas still revives,) 

His knighthood and his privilege retain'd; 

Albeit one," who borders them with gold, 

This day is mingled with the common herd. 

In Borgo yet the Gualterotti dwelt, 

And Importuni;" well for its repose. 

Had it still lack'd of newer neighbourhood." 

The house," from whence your tears have had their spring, 

Through the just anger, that hath murder 'd ye 

And put a period to your gladsome days. 

Was honour'd; it, and those consorted with it. 

O Buondelmonte! what ill counselling 

Prevail'd on thee to break the plighted bond? 

Many, who now are weeping, would rejoice, 

Had God to Ema*" given thee, the first time 

Thou near our city earnest. But so was doom'd: 

** The Caponsacchi, who had removed chcse Ugo was doomed to sufTer the fame, 

from Fiesole. if he did not repent. Struck with horror, 

'* Guida Guidi and the family of In- he commended himself to the Virgin 

fangati. Mary; and soon after founded the seven 

"The Marchcse Ugo, who resided at religious houses." 

Florence as lieutenant of the Emperor ^'Giano della Bella, of one of the 

Otho III, gave many of the chief families families thus distinguished, who no longer 

license to bear his arms. A vision is re- retained his place among the nobility, 

lated, in consequence of which he sold and had yet added to his arms a hordure 

all his possessions in Germany, and or. 

founded seven abbeys, in one whereof his " Two families in the compartment of 

memory was celebrated at Florence on the city called Borgo. 

St. Thomas's day. "The marquis, when ^s Some understand this of the Bardi; 

hunting, strayed away from his people, and others, of the Buondelmonti. 

and, wandering through a forest, came to ^' "The house." Of Amidei. 

a smithy, where he saw black and de- ^ "To Ema." "It had been well for 

formed men tormenting others with fire the city if thy ancestor had been drowned 

and hammers; and, asking the meaning in the Ema when he crossed that stream 

of this, he was told that they were con- on his way from Montcbuono to Flo- 

demned souls, who suffered this pun- rence." 
ishment, and that the soul of the Mar- 



Florence! on that maim'd stone" which guards the bridge 
The victim, when thy peace departed, fell. 

"With these and others like to them, I saw 
Florence in such assured tranquillity, 
She had no cause at which to grieve: with these 
Saw her so glorious and so just, that ne'er 
The lily" from the lance had hung reverse, 
Or through division been with vermeil dyed." 


AnGUMENT. — Cacciajn^ii^s predicts to our Poet his exile and the calamities he had 
to infer; and, lastly, exhorts him to write the present poem. 

(UCH as the youth,' who came to Clymene, 
To certify himself of that reproach 
Which had been fasten'd on him, (he whose end. 
Still makes the fathers chary to their sons), 
E'en such was I; nor unobserved was such 
Of Beatrice, and that saintly lamp,' 
Who had erewhile for me his station moved; 
When thus my lady: "Give thy wish free vent. 
That it may issue, bearing true repwrt 
Of the mind's impress: not that aught thy words 
May to our knowledge add, but to the end 
That thou mayst use thyself to own thy thirst,' 
And men may mingle for thee when they hear." 

"O plant, from whence I spring! revered and loved! 
Who soar'st so high a pitch, that thou as dear,* 
As earthly thought determines two obtuse 
In one triangle not contain'd, so clear 
Dost see contingencies, ere in themselves 
Existent, looking at the point' whereto 

•' Near the remains of the statue of Clymene, to inquire if he were indeed the 

Mars, Buondelmonti was slain, as if he son of Apollo, 

had been a victim to the god; and * Cacciaguida. 

Florence had not since known the blessing ' "That thou mayst obtain from others 

of peace. a solution of any doubt that may occur 

''The arms of Florence had never to thee." 

hung reversed on the spear of her en- * "Thou beholdest future events with 

emics; nor been changed from argent to the same clearness of evidence that we 

gules; as they afterward were, when the discern the simplest mathematical demon- 

Guelfi gained the predominance. strations." 

' Phaeton, who came to his mother ' The divine nature. 


All times are present; I, the whilst I scaled 
With Virgil the soul-purifying mount 
And visited the nether world of woe, 
Touching my future destiny have heard 
Words grievous, though I feel me on all sides 
Well squared to fortune's blows. Therefore my will 
Were satisfied to know the lot awaits me; 
The arrow, seen beforehand, slacks his flight." 
So said I to the brightness, which erewhile 
To me had sjxjken; and my will declared. 
As Beatrice will'd, explicitly. 
Nor with oracular response obscure, 
Such as, or e'er the Lamb of God was slain. 
Beguiled the credulous nations: but, in terms 
Precise, and unambiguous lore, replied 
The spirit of paternal love, enshrined. 
Yet in his smile apparent; and thus spake: 
"Contingency," whose verge extendeth not 
Beyond the tablet of your mortal mold. 
Is all depictured in the eternal sight; 
But hence derivcth not necessity,' 
More than the tall ship, hurried down the flood, 
Is driven by the eye that looks on it. 
From thence,* as to the ear sweet harmony 
From organ comes, so comes before mine eye 
The time prepared for thee. Such as driven out 
From Athens, by his cruel stepdame's' wiles, 
Hippolytus departed; such must thou 
Depart from Florence. This they wish, and this 
Contrive, and will ere long effectuate, there,'" 
Where gainful merchandize is made of Christ 
Throughout the live-long day. The common cry," 
Will, as 'tis ever wont, affix the blame 

• "ContlnKcncy." Contingency, which • From the view of the Deity HinuelL 

has no place beyond the limits of the *Phxdra. 

material world. '""There." At Rome, where the ex- 

' "The evidence with which we see pulsion of Dante's party from Florence 

casual events portrayed in the source of was then plotting, in 1300. 

all truth, no more necessitates those " The multitude will, as usual, be ready 

events, than does the image, reflected in to blame those who are sufferers, whose 

the sight by a ship sailing down a stream, cause will at last be vindicated by the 

necessitate the motion of the vessel." overthrow of their enemies. 


Unto the party injured: but the truth 

Shall, in the vengeance it dispenseth, find 

A faithful witness. Thou shall leave each thing 

Beloved most dearly: this is the first shaft 

Shot from the bow of exile. Thou shah prove 

How salt the savour is of other's bread; 

How hard the passage, to descend and climb 

By other's stairs. But that shall gall thee most, 

Will be the worthless and vile company, 

With whom thou must be thrown into these straits. 

For all ungrateful, impious all, and mad. 

Shall turn 'gainst thee: but in a little while. 

Theirs," and not thine, shall be the crimson'd brow. 

Their course shall so evince their brutishness, 

To have ta'en thy stand apart shall well become thee. 

"First refuge thou must find, first place of rest. 
In the great Lombard's" courtesy, who bears. 
Upon the ladder perch'd, the sacred bird. 
He shall behold thee with such kind regard, 
That 'twixt ye two, the contrary to that 
Which 'falls 'twixt other men, the granting shall 
Forerun the asking. With him shalt thou see 
That mortal," who was at his birth imprest 
So strongly from this star, that of his deeds 
The nations shall take note. His unripe age 
Yet holds him from observance; for these wheels 
Only nine years have compasst him about. 
But, ere the Gascon" practise on great Harry," 
Sparkles of virtue shall shoot forth in him, 
In equal scorn of labours and of gold 
His bounty shall be spread abroad so widely. 
As not to let the tongues, e'en of his foes. 
Be idle in its praise. Look thou to him, 
And his beneficence: for he shall cause 
Reversal of their lot to many people; 

" "They shall be ashamed of the part Scala, born under the influence of Mars, 

they have taken against thee." but at this time only nine years old. He 

" Either Bartolommco dclla Scala or was a son of Alberto della Scala. 
Alboino his brother. Their coat-of-arms " "The Gascon." Pope Clement V. 

was a ladder and an eagle. " The Emperor Henry VII. 

""That mortal." Can Grande della 


Rich men and beggars interchanging fortunes. 
And thou shalt bear this written in thy soul, 
Of him, but tell it not:" and things he told 
Incredible to those who witness them; 
Then added: "So interpret thou, my son, 
What hath been told thee. — Lo! the ambushment 
That a few circling seasons hide for thee. 
Yet envy not thy neighbours: time extends 
Thy span beyond their treason's chastisement." 

Soon as the saintly spirit, by silence, mark'd 
Completion of that web, which I had strctch'd 
Before it, warp'd for weaving; I began, 
As one, who in perplexity desires 
Counsel of other, wise, benign and friendly: 
"My father! well I mark how time spurs on 
Toward me, ready to inflict the blow, 
Which falls most heavily on him who most 
Abandoneth himself. Therefore 'tis good 
I should forecast, that, driven from the place" 
Most dear to me, I may not lose myself " 
All other by my song. Down through the world 
Of infinite mourning; and along the mount. 
From whose fair height my lady's eyes did lift me; 
And, after, through this Heaven, from light to 

Have I learnt that, which if I tell again, 
It may with many wofuUy disrelish: 
And, if I am a timid friend to truth, 
I fear my life may perish among those. 
To whom these days shall be of ancient date." 

The brightness, where enclosed the treasure" smiled, 
Which I had found there, first shone glisteringly. 
Like to a golden mirror in the sun; 
Next answer'd: "Conscience, dimm'd or by its own 
Or other's shame, will feel thy saying sharp. 
Thou, notwithstanding, all deceit removed, 

" "The place." Our poet here dis- '• "That being driven out of my coun- 
covers both that Florence, much as he in- try, I may not deprive myself of every 
veighs against it, was still the dearest ob- other place by the boldness with which 
ject of his affections, and that it was not I expose in my writings the vices of man- 
without some scruple he indulged his sa- kind." 
tirical vein. '* "The treasure." Cacciaguida. 


See the whole vision be made manifest; 

And let them wince, who have their withers wrung. 

What though, when tasted first, thy voice shall prove 

Unwelcome: on digestion, it will turn 

To vital nourishment. The cry thou raisest. 

Shall, as the wind doth, smite the proudest summits; 

Which is of honour no light argument. 

For this, there only have been shown to thee. 

Throughout these orbs, the mountain, and the deep, 

Spirits, whom fame hath note of. For the mind 

Of him, who hears, is loth to acquiesce 

And fix its faith, unless the instance brought 

Be palpable, and proof apparent urge." 


Akoument. — Dante sees the souls of many renowned warriors and crusaders in the 
planet Mars; and then ascends with Beatrice to Jupiter, the sixth heaven, in which he 
tinds the souls o( those who had administered justice righdy in the world, so disposed, 
as to form the figure of an eagle. The Canto concludes with an invective against 
the avarice of the clergy, and especially of the pope. 

NOW in his word, sole, ruminating, joy'd 
That blessed spirit: and I fed on mine. 
Tempering the sweet with bitter. She mean- 
Who let! me unto God, admonish'd: "Muse 
On other thoughts: bethink thee, that near Him 
I dwell, who recompenseth every wrong." 

At the sweet sounds of comfort straight I turn'd; 
And, in the saintly eyes what love was seen, 
I leave in silence here, nor through distrust 
Of my words only, but that to such bliss 
The mind remounts not without aid. Thus much 
Yet may 1 speak; that, as I gazed on her. 
Affection found no room for other wish. 
While the everlasting pleasure, that did full 
On Beatrice shine, with second view 
From her fair countenance my giadden'd soul 
Contented; vanquishing me with a beam 
Of her soft smile, she spake: "Turn thee, and list. 
These eyes are not thy only Paradise." 

As here, we sometimes in the looks may see 



The affection mark'd, when that its sway hath ta'en 

The spirit wholly; thus the hallow'd light,' 

To whom I turn'd, flashing, bewray'd its will 

To talk yet further with me, and began: 

"On this fifth lodgment of the tree,* whose life 

Is from its top, whose fruit is ever fair 

And leaf unwithering, blessed spirits abide, 

That were below, ere they arrived in Heaven, 

So mighty in renown, as every muse 

Might grace her triumph with them. On the horns 

Look, therefore, of the cross: he whom I name, 

Shall there enact, as doth in summer cloud 

Its nimble fire." Along the cross I saw, 

At the repeated name of Joshua, 

A splendour gliding; nor, the word was said, 

Ere it was done: then, at the naming, saw. 

Of the great Maccabee,' another move 

With whirling speed; and gladness was the scourge 

Unto that top. The next for Charlemain 

And for the peer Orlando, two my gaze 

Pursued, intently, as the eye pursues 

A falcon flying. Last, along the cross, 

William, and Renard,* and Duke Godfrey' drew 

My ken, and Robert Guiscard.' And the soul 

Who spake with me, among the other lights 

Did move away, and mix; and with the quire 

Of heavenly songsters proved his tuneful skill. 

To Beatrice on my right I bent. 
Looking for intimation, or by word 
Or act, what next behoved; and did descry 
Such mere effulgence in her eyes, such joy. 
It pass'd all former wont. And, as by sense 
Of new delight, the man, who perseveres 
In good deeds, doth (jerceive, from day to day, 

' In which the spirit of Cacciaguida the age of Charlemain. The former, 

Wis enclosed. William I of Orange, supposed to have 

^ Mars, the fifth of the heavens. been the founder of the present illustrious 

' Judas Maccabxus. family of that name, died about 808. The 

'Probably not William II of OranRe, latter has been celebrated by Ariosto, 

and his kinsman Raimbaud, two of the under the name of Rinaldo. 

crusaders under Godfrey of Bouillon, but ' Godfrey of Bouillon. 

rather the two more celebrated heroes in 'See Hell, Canto xxviii. 12. 


His virtue growing; I e'en thus perceived. 

Of my ascent, together with the Heaven, 

The circuit widen'd; noting the increase 

Of beauty in that wonder. Like the change 

In a brief moment on some maiden's cheek. 

Which, from its fairness, doth discharge the weight 

Of pudency, that stain'd it; such in her. 

And to mine eyes so sudden was the change. 

Through silvery whiteness of that temperate star, 

Whose sixth orb now enfolded us. I saw. 

Within that Jovial cresset, the clear sparks 

Of love, that reign'd there, fashion to my view 

Our language. And as birds, from river banks 

Arisen, now in round, now lengthen'd troop, 

Array them in their flight, greeting, as seems. 

Their new-found pastures; so, within the lights, 

The saindy creatures flying, sang; and made 

Now D, now I, now L, figured i' the air. 

First singing to their notes they moved; then, one 

Becoming of these signs, a litde while 

Did rest them, and were mute. O nymph divine 

Of Pegasean race! who souls, which thou 

Inspirest, makcst glorious and long-lived, as they 

Cities and realms by thee; thou with thyself 

Inform me; that I may set forth the shapes. 

As fancy doth present them: be thy power 

Display'd in this brief song. The characters. 

Vocal and consonant, were five-fold seven. 

In order, each, as they apf)ear'd, I mark'd. 

Diligite Justitiam, the first. 

Both verb and noun all blazon'd; and the extreme. 

Qui judicatis terram. In the M 

Of the fifth word they held their station; 

Making the star seem silver streak'd with gold. 

And on the summit of the M, I saw 

Descending other lights, that rested there. 

Singing, mcthinks, their bliss and primal good. 

Then, as at shaking of a lighted brand. 

Sparkles innumerable on all sides 

Rise scatter'd, source of augury to the unwise; 

364 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xviii 

Thus more than thousand twinkling lustres hence 
Seem'd reascending; and a higher pitch 
Some mounting, and some less, e'en as the sun. 
Which kindleth them, decreed. And when each one 
Had settled in his place; the head and neck 
Then saw I of an eagle, livelily 
Graved in that streaky fire. Who painteth there,' 
Hath none to guide Him: of Himself He guides: 
And every line and texture of the nest 
Doth own from Him the virtue fashions it. 
The other bright beatitude,' that seem'd 
Erewhile, with lilied crowning, well content 
To overonopy the M, moved forth. 
Following gently the impress of the bird. 

Sweet star; what glorious and thick-studded gems 
Declared to me our justice on the earth 
To be the effluence of that Heaven, which thou, 
Thyself a costly jewel, dost inlay. 
Therefore I pray the Sovran Mind, from whom 
Thy motion and thy virtue are begun. 
That He would look from whence the fog doth rise, 
To vitiate thy beam; so that once more' 
He may put forth his hand 'gainst such, as drive 
Their traffic in that sanctuary, whose walls 
With miracles and martyrdoms were built. 

Ye host of Heaven, whose glory I survey! 
O beg ye grace for those, that are, on earth. 
All after ill example gone astray. 
War once had for his instrument the sword: 
But now 'tis made, taking the bread away," 
Which the good Father locks from none. — And thou, 
That writest but to cancel," think, that they. 
Who for the vineyard, which thou wastest, died, 
Peter and Paul, live yet, and mark thy doings. 

' "Who painteth there." The Deity rist, is now employed as a weapon of war- 

himself. fare. 

* The band of spirits. " "That writest but to cancel." "And 

'That he may again drive out those thou, Pope Boniface, who writest thy 

who buy and sell in the temple. ecclesiastical censures for no other pur- 

'" "Taking the bread away." Excom- pose than to be paid for revoking them." 
munication, or interdiction of the Eucha- 


Thou hast good cause to cry, "My heart so cleaves 
To him,'* that lived in solitude remote, 
And for a dance was dragg'd to martyrdom, 
I wist not of the Fisherman nor Paul." 


AxcuMENT. — ^The eagle speaks as with one voice proceeding from a multitude of 
spirits, that compose it; and declares the cause for which it is exalted to that state of 
glory. It then solves a doubt, which our Poet had entertained, respecting the pos- 
sibility of salvation without belief in Christ; exposes the inelBcacy of a mere profession 
of such belief; and prophesies the evil appearance that many Christian potentates will 
make at the day of judgment. 

BEFORE my sight appear'd, with open wings. 
The beauteous image; in fruition sweet, 
Gladdening the thronged spirits. Elach did seem 
A litde ruby, whereon so intense 
The sun-beam glow'd, that to mine eyes it came 
In clear refraction. And that, which next 
Befalls me to portray, voice hath not utter'd. 
Nor hath ink written, nor in fantasy 
Was e'er conceived. For I beheld and heard 
The beak discourse; and, what intention form'd 
Of many, singly as of one express. 
Beginning: "For that I was just and piteous, 
I am exalted to this height of glory. 
The which no wish exceeds: and there on earth 
Have I my memory left, e'en by the bad 
Commended, while they leave its course untrod." 

Thus is one heat from many embers felt; 
As in that image many were the loves, 
And one the voice, that issued from them all: 
Whence I address'd them: "O perennial flowers 
Of gladness everlasting! that exhale 
In single breath your odours manifold; 
Breathe now: and let the hunger be appeased, 
That with great craving long hath held my soul. 
Finding no food on earth. This well I know; 

'* "To him." The coin of Florence Pope is made to declare that he felt more 
was stamped with the impression of John devotion, than either for Peter or Paul, 
the Baptist; and, for this, the avaricious 


That if there be in Heaven a rer.lm, that shows 

In faithful mirror the celestial Justice, 

Yours without veil reflects it. Ye discern 

The heed, wherewith I do prepare myself 

To hearken; ye, the doubt, that urges me 

With such inveterate craving." Straight I saw, 

Like to a falcon issuing from the hood, 

That rears his head, and claps him with his wings, 

His beauty and his eagerness bewraying; 

So saw I move that stately sign, with praise 

Of grace divine inwoven, and high song 

Of inexpressive joy. "He," it began, 

"Who turn'd His compass on the world's extreme, 

And in that space so variously hath wrought, 

Both openly and in secret; in such wise 

Could not, through all the universe, display 

Impression of His glory, that the Word 

Of His omniscience should not still remain 

In infinite excess. In proof whereof. 

He first through pride supplanted, who was sum 

Of each created being, waited not 

For light celestial; and abortive fell. 

Whence needs each lesser nature is but scant 

Receptacle unto that Good, which knows 

No limit, measured by itself alone. 

Therefore your sight, of the omnipresent Mind 

A single beam, its origin must own 

Surpassing far its utmost pwtency. 

The ken, your world is gifted with, descends 

In the everlasting Justice as low down, 

As eye doth in the sea; which, though it mark 

The bottom from the shore, in the wide main 

Discerns it not; and ne'ertheless it is; 

But hidden through its deepness. Light is none, 

Save that which cometh from the pure serene 

Of ne'er disturbed ether: for the rest, 

'Tis darkness all; or shadow of the flesh. 

Or else its poison. Here confess reveal'd 

That covert, which hath hidden from thy search 

The living justice, of the which thou madcst 


Such frequent question; for thou said'st — 'A man 

Is born on Indus' banks, and none is there 

Who speaks of Christ, nor who doth read nor write; 

And ail his inclinations and his acts. 

As far as human reason sees, are good; 

And he oflendeth not in word or deed: 

But unbaptizcd he dies, and void of faith. 

Where is the justice that condemns him? where 

His blame, if he believeth not?' — What then, 

And who art thou, that on the stool wouldst sit 

To judge at distance of a thousand miles 

With the short-sighted vision of a span? 

To him, who subtilizes thus with me. 

There would assuredly be room for doubt 

Even to wonder, did not the safe word 

Of Scripture hold supreme authority. 

"O animals of clay! O spirits gross! 
The Primal Will,' that in itself is good. 
Hath from itself, the chief Good, ne'er been moved. 
Justice consists in consonance with it, 
Derivable by no created good. 
Whose very cause depends upon its beam." 

As on her nest the stork, that turns about 
Unto her young, whom lately she halh fed. 
Whiles they with upward eyes do look on her; 
So lifted I my gaze; and, bending so. 
The ever-blessed image waved its wings. 
Labouring with such deep counsel. Wheeling round 
It warbled, and did say: "As are my notes 
To thee, who understand'st them not; such is 
The eternal judgment unto mortal ken." 

TTien still abiding in that ensign ranged, 
Wherewith the Romans overawed the world, 
Those burning splendours of the Holy Spirit 
Took up the strain; and thus it spake again: 
"None ever hath ascended to this realm, 
Who hath not a believer been in Christ, 
Either before or after the blest limbs 
Were nail'd upon the wood. But lo! of those 
' The divine will. 


Who call 'Christ, Christ,' ' there shall be many found. 
In judgment, further off from Him by far. 
Than such to whom His name was never known. 
Christians like these the /Ethiop' shall condemn: 
When that the two assemblages shall part; 
One rich eternally, the other poor. 

"What may the Persians say unto your kings. 
When they shall see that volume,* in the which 
All their dispraise is written, spread to view? 
There amidst Albert's^ works shall that be read. 
Which will give speedy motion to the pen, 
When Prague' shall mourn her desolated realm. 
There shall be read the woe, that he' doth work 
With his adulterate money on the Seine, 
Who by the tusk will perish; there be read 
The thirsting pride, that maketh fool alike 
The English and Scot,* impatient of their bound. 
There shall be seen the Spaniard's luxury;' 
The delicate living there of the Bohemian,'" 
Who still to worth has been a willing stranger. 
The halter of Jerusalem" shall see 
A unit for his virtue; for his vices, 
No less a mark than million. He," who guards 

* "Not every one that saith unto me, raised the nominal value of the coin. 
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom This King died in consequence of his 
of heaven." — Matt. vii. 21. horse being thrown to the ground by a 

' "The /Ethiop." "The men of Nineveh wild boar, in 1314. 

shall rise in judgment with this genera- ' "The English and Scot." He adverts 

lion, and shall condemn it." — Matt. xii. to the disputes between John Baliol and 

41. Edward I, the latter of whom is com- 

* "That volume." "And I saw the dead, mended in the Purgatory, Canto vii. 130. 
small and great, stand before God; and '"The Spaniard's luxury." It seems 
the books were opened: and another book probable that the allusion is to Ferdinand 
was opened, which is the book of life; IV, who came to the crown in 1295, and 
and the dead were judged out of those died in 13 12, at the age of twenty-four, in 
things which were written in the books, consequence, as it was supposed, of his 
according to their works." — Rev. xx. 12. extreme intemperance. 

' "Albert." Purgatory, Canto vi. 98. '" "The Bohemian." Wenceslaus 11. 

* "Prague." The eagle predicts the dev- Purgatory, Canto vii. 99. 

astation of Bohemia by Albert, which ""The halter of Jerusalem." Charles 

happened soon after this time, when that II of Naples and Jerusalem, who was 

Emperor obtained the kingdom for his lame. 

eldest son Rodolph. " "He." Frederick of Sicily, son of 

' "He." Philip IV of France, after the Peter III of Arragon. Purgatory, Canto 

battle of Courtrai, 1302, in which the vii. 117. The isle of fire is Sicily, where 

French were defeated by the Flemings, was the tomb of Anchiscs. 


The isle of fire by old Anchises honour'd, 

Shall find his avarice there and cowardice; 

And better to denote his littleness, 

The writing must be letters maim'd, that sp>eak 

Much in a narrow space. All there shall know 

His uncle" and his brother's " filthy doings, 

Who so renown'd a nation and two crowns 

Have bastardized. And they, of Portugal" 

And Norway," there shall be exposed, with him 

Of Ratza," who hath counterfeited ill 

The coin of Venice. O blest Hungary!" 

If thou no longer patiently abidest 

Thy ill-entreating: and, O blest Navarre!" 

If with thy mountainous girdle'" thou wouldst arm thee. 

In earnest of that day, e'en now are heard 

Wailings and groans in Famagosta's streets 

And Nicosia's," grudging at their beast, 

Who keepeth even footing with the rest." 

" "His uncle." James, King of Majorca to 1371, and whose history may be found 

and Minorca, brother to Peter III. in Mauro Orbino. Uladislaus appears to 

" "His brother." James II of Arragon, have been the sovereign in Dante's time; 

who died in 13J7. See Purgatory, Canto but the disgraceful forgery, adverted to 

vii. 117. in the text, is not recorded by the his- 

" "Of Portugal." In the time of Dante, torian. 
Dionysius was King of Portugal. He " "Hungary." The kingdom of Hun- 
died in 1325, after a reign of nearly gary was about this time disputed by 
forty-six years, and does not seem to Carobcrt, son of Charles Martel, and 
have deserved the stigma here fastened Wenccslaus, prince of Bohemia, son of 
on him. Perhaps the rebellious son of Wenccslaus II. 
Dionysius may be alluded to. ""Navarre." Navarre was now under 

""Norway." Haquin, King of Nor- the yoke of France. It soon after (in 

way, is probably meant; who having '3a8) followed the advice of Dante, and 

given refuge to the murderers of Eric had a monarch of its own. 

VII, King of Denmark, A. D. 1288, com- ^ "Mountainous girdle." The Pyrenees, 
menced a war against his successor, Eric *' " Famagosta's streets 

VIII, "which continued for nine years. And Nicosia's." 

almost to the utter ruin and destruction Cities in the Kingdom of Cyprus, at that 

of both kingdoms." time ruled by Henry VII, a pusillanimous 

" " him prince. The meaning appears to be, that 

Of Ratza." the complaints made by those cities of 

One of the dynasty of the house of Ne- their weak and worthless governor may 

magna, which ruled the Kingdom of be regarded as an earnest of his condem- 

Rassia or Ratza, in Sclavonia, from 1161 nation at the lost doom. 



Argument. — ^The eagle celebrates the praise of certain kings, whoie glorified spirits 
form the eye of the bird. In the pupil is David; and, in the circle round it, Trajan, 
Hezekiah, Constantine, William II of Sicily, and Ripheus. It explains to our Poet 
how the souls of those whom he supposed to have had no means of believing in 
Christ, came to be in Heaven; and concludes with an admonition against presuming 
to fathom the counsels of God. 

WHEN, disappearing from our hemisphere, 
The world's enlightener vanishes, and day 
On all sides wasteth; suddenly the sky, 
Erewhile irradiate only with his beam, 
Is yet again unfolded, putting forth 
Innumerable lights wherein one shines. 
Of such vicissitude in Heaven I thought; 
As the great sign,' that marshaleth the world 
And the world's leaders, in the blessed beak 
Was silent: for that all those living lights, 
Waxing in splendour, burst forth into songs, 
Such as from memory glide and fall away. 

Sweet Love, that doth apparel thee in smiles! 
How lustrous was thy semblance in those sparkles, 
Which merely are from holy thoughts inspired. 
After' the precious and bright beaming stones. 
That did ingem the sixth light, ceased the chiming 
Of their angelic bells; methought 1 heard 
The murmuring of a river, that doth fall 
From rock to rock transpicuous, making known 
The richness of his spring-head: and as sound 
Of cittern, at the fret-board, or of pipe. 
Is, at the wind-hole, modulate and tuned; 
Thus up the neck, as it were hollow, rose 
That murmuring of the eagle; and forthwith 
Voice there assumed; and thence along the beak 
Issued in form of words, such as my heart 
Did look for, on whose tables I inscribed them. 
"The part in me, that sees and bears the sun 
In mortal eagles," it began, "must now 

' The eagle, the imperial ensign. sixth planet (Jupiter) had ceased their 

* "After." "After the spirits in the singing." 


Be noted steadfastly: for, of the fires 

That figure me, those, glittering in mine eye, 

Are chief of all the greatest. This, that shines 

Midmost for pupil, was the same who' sang 

The Holy Spirit's song, and bare about 

The ark from town to town: now doth he know 

The merit of his soul-impassion'd strains 

By their well-fitted guerdon. Of the five. 

That make the circle of the vision, he,* 

Who to the beak is nearest, comforted 

The widow for her son: now doth he know, 

How dear it costeth not to follow Christ; 

Both from experience of this pleasant life, 

And of its opposite. He next,^ who follows 

In the circumference, for the over-arch, 

By true repenting slack'd the pace of death: 

Now knoweth he, that the decrees of Heaven* 

Alter not, when, through pious prayer below, 

To-day is made to-morrow's destiny. 

The other following,' with the laws and me. 

To yield the Shepherd room, pass'd o'er* to Greece; 

From good intent, producing evil fruit: 

Now knoweth he, how all the ill, derived 

From his well doing, doth not harm him aught; 

Though it have brought destruction on the world. 

That, which thou scest in the under bow. 

Was William,' whom that land bewails, which weeps 

For Charles and Frederick living: now he knows, 

How well is loved in Heaven the righteous king; 

Which he betokens by his radiant seeming. 

Who, in the erring world beneath, would deem 

» "Who." David. ' Left the Roman State to the Pope, 

* Trajan. See Purgatory, x. 68. and transferred the seat of the empire 

' "He next." Hezekiah. to Constantinople. 

•The eternal counsels of God are in- 'William II, called "the Good," King 

deed immutable, thouRh they appear to of Sicily, at the latter part of the twelfth 

us men to be altered by the prayers of the century. He was of the Norman line of 

pious. sovereigns. His loss was as much the 

' Constantine. No passage in which subject of regret in his dominions, as the 

Dante's opinion of the evil that had arisen presence of Charles II of Anjou, and 

from the mixture of the civil with the Frederick of Arragon, was of sorrow, 
ecclesiastical power is tnore unequivocally 

372 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xx 

Tliat Trojan Ripheus," in this round, was set. 
Fifth of the saintly splendours? now he knows 
Enough of that, which the world cannot see; 
The grace divine: albeit e'en his sight 
Reach not its utmost depth." Like to the lark, 
That warbling in the air expatiates long. 
Then, trilling out his last sweet melody. 
Drops, satiate with the sweetness; such appear'd 
That image, stampt by the everlasting pleasure. 
Which fashions, as they are, all things that be. 

I, though my doubting were as manifest. 
As is through glass the hue that mantles it. 
In silence waited not; for to my lips 
"What things are these?" involuntary rush'd. 
And forced a p>assage out: whereat I mark'd 
A sudden lightening and new revelry. 
The eye was kindled; and the blessed sign, 
No more to keep me wondering and suspense. 
Replied: "I see that thou believest these things. 
Because I tell them, but discern'st not how; 
So that thy knowledge waits not on thy faith: 
As one, who knows the name of thing by rote. 
But is a stranger to its properties, 
Till other's tongue reveal them. Fervent love. 
And lively hope, with violence assail 
The Kingdom of the Heavens, and overcome 
The will of the Most High; not in such sort 
As man prevails o'er man; but conquers it. 
Because 'tis willing to be conquer'd; still. 
Though conquer'd, by its mercy, conquering. 

"Those, in the eye who live the first and fifth. 
Cause thee to marvel, in that thou behold'st 
The region of the Angels deck'd with them. 
They quitted not their bodies, as thou deem'st. 
Gentiles, but Christians; in firm rooted faith, 
This," of the feet in future to be pierced, 
That," of feet nail'd already to the Cross. 

" "Then Ripheus fell, the justest far of " "This." Riphcus. 

all the sons of Troy." — Virgil, i£neid. "'That." Trajan, 

lib. ii. 417. 


One from the barrier of the dark abyss, 

Where never any with good will returns, 

Came back unto his bones. Of lively hope 

Such was the meed; of lively hope, that wing'd 

The prayers" sent up to God for his release. 

And put f)ower into them to bend his will. 

The glorious Spirit, of whom I speak to thee; 

A little while returning to the flesh. 

Believed in Him, who had the means to help; 

And, in believing, nourish'd such a flame 

Of holy love, that at the second death 

He was made sharer in our gamesome mirth. 

The other, through the riches of that grace. 

Which from so deep a fountain doth distil. 

As never eye created saw its rising. 

Placed all his love below on just and right: 

Wherefore, of grace, God oped in him the eye 

To the redemption of mankind to come; 

Wherein believing, he endured no more 

The filth of Paganism, and for their ways 

Rebuked the stubborn nations. The three nymphs,'* 

Whom at the right wheel thou beheld'st advancing. 

Were sponsors for him, more than thousand years 

Before baptizing. O how far removed. 

Predestination! is thy root from such 

As see not the First Cause entire: and ye, 

O mortal men! be wary how ye judge: 

For we, who see our Maker, know not yet 

The number of the chosen; and esteem 

Such scantiness of knowledge our delight: 

For all our good is, in that Primal Good, 

Concentrate; and God's will and ours are one." 

So, by that form divine, was given to me 
Sweet medicine to clear and strengthen sight. 
And, as one handling skilfully the harp. 
Attendant on some skilful songster's voice 
Bids the chord vibrate; and therein the song 
Acquires more pleasure: so the whilst it sfake. 

"The prayers o£ St. Gregory. ""The three nymphs." Faith, Hope, 

and Charity. Purgatory, Canto xxix. Ii6. 


It doth remember me, that I beheld 
The pair" of blessed luminaries move, 
Like the accordant twinkling of two eyes, 
Their beamy circlets, dancing to the sounds. 


Akgument. — Dante ascends with Beatrice to the seventh heaven, which is the 
planet Saturn; vfhercin is placed a ladder, so lofty, that the top of it is out of his sight. 
Here are the souls of those who had passed their life in holy retirement and con- 
templation. Piero Damiano comes near them, and answers questions put to him by 
Dante; then declares who he was on earth; and ends by declaiming against the 
luxury of pastors and prelates in those times. 

AGAIN mine eyes were fix'd on Beatrice; 

/ \ And, with mine eyes, my soul that in her looks 
L m Found all contentment. Yet no smile she wore: 
And, "Did I smile," quoth she, "thou wouldst be straight 
Like Semele when into ashes turn'd; 
For, mounting these eternal palace-stairs. 
My beauty, which the loftier it climbs, 
As thou hast noted, still doth kindle more. 
So shines, that, were no tempering interposed, 
Thy mortal puissance would from its rays 
Shrink, as the leaf doth from the thunderbolt. 
Into the seventh splendour' are we wafted. 
That, underneath the burning lion's breast,' 
Beams, in this hour, commingled with his might. 
Thy mind be with thine eyes; and, in them, mirror 'd' 
The shape, which in this mirror shall be shown." 

Whoso can deem, how fondly I had fed 
My sight upon her blissful countenance, 
May know, when to new thoughts I changed, what joy 
To do the bidding of my heavenly guide; 
In equal balance,* poising either weight. 

Within the crystal, which records the name 
(As its remoter circle girds the world) 

"Ripheus and Trajan. Saturn (soon after, v. 22, called the 

' The planet Saturn. cr)stal ) , "be reflected in the mirror of 

* The constellation Leo. thy sight." 

' "In them, mirror'd." "Let the ^ "My pleasure was as great in com- 

form which thou shalt now behold in plying with her will, at in beholding 

this mirror," the planet, that is, of her countenance." 


Of that loved monarch,'* in whose happy reign 

No ill had f)0wer to harm, I saw rear'd up. 

In colour like to sun-illumined gold, 

A ladder, which my ken pursued in vain, 

So lofty was the summit; down whose steps 

I saw the splendours in such multitude 

E>escending, every light in Heaven, methought. 

Was shed thence. As the rooks, at dawn of day, 

Bestirring them to dry their feathers chill, 

Some sfjeed their way a-field; and homeward some, 

Returning, cross their flight; while some abide. 

And wheel around their airy lodge: so seem'd 

That glitterance," wafted on alternate wing. 

As upon certain stair it came, and clash'd 

Its shining. And one, lingering near us, wax'd 

So bright, that in my thought I said: "TTje love, 

Which this betokens me, admits no doubt." 

Unwillingly from question I refrain; 
To her, by whom my silence and my speech 
Are order'd, looking for a sign: whence she. 
Who in the sight of Him, that seeth all. 
Saw wherefore I was silent, prompted me 
To indulge the fervent wish; and I began: 
"I am not worthy, of my own desert. 
That thou shouldst answer me: but for her sake, 
Who hath vouchsafed my asking, spirit blest. 
That in thy joy art shrouded! say the cause. 
Which bringeth thee so near: and wherefore, say. 
Doth the sweet symphony of Paradise 
Keep silence here, ftervading with such sounds 
Of rapt devotion every lower sphere?" 
"Mortal art thou in hearing, as in sight;" 
Was the reply: "and what forbade the smile^ 
Of Beatrice interrupts our song. 
Only to yield thee gladness of my voice. 
And of the light that vests me, I thus far 
Descend these hallow 'd steps; not that more love 

' Saturn. Compare Hell, Canto xiv. the ladder, made those different move- 

91- ments. as of birds. 

• That multitude of shining spir- ' Because it would have overcome 

its, who, coming to a certain point of thee. 



Invites me; for, lol there aloft,' as much 
Or more of love is witness'd in those flames: 
But such my lot by charity assign'd, 
That makes us ready servants, as thou seest. 
To execute the counsel of the Highest." 

"That in this court," said I, "O sacred lamp! 
Love no compulsion needs, but follows free 
The eternal Providence, I well discern: 
This harder find to deem: why, of thy peers. 
Thou only, to this office wert foredoom'd." 

I had not ended, when, like rapid mill, 
Upon its centre whirl'd the light; and then 
The love that did inhabit there, replied: 
"Splendour eternal, piercing through these folds, 
Its virtue to my vision knits; and thus 
Supported, lifts me so above myself. 
That on the sovran Essence, which it wells from, 
I have the power to gaze: and hence the joy. 
Wherewith I sparkle, equaling with my blaze 
The keenness of my sight. But not the soul,' 
That is in Heaven most lustrous, nor the Seraph, 
That hath his eyes most fix'd on God, shall solve 
What thou hast ask'd: for in the abyss it lies 
Of th' everlasting statute sunk so low. 
That no created ken may fathom it. 
And, to the mortal world when thou return'st. 
Be this reported: that none henceforth dare 
Direct his footsteps to so dread a bourn. 
The mind, that here is radiant, on the earth 
Is wrapt in mist. Look then if she may do 
Below, what passeth her ability 
When she is ta'en to Heaven." By words like these 
Admonish'd, I the question urged no more; 
And of the spirit humbly sued alone 
To instruct me of its state. " 'Twixt either shore" 
Of Italy, nor distant from thy land, 
A stony ridge" ariseth; in such sort, 

' "There aloft." Where the other very Angels themselves, 
souls were. '"Between the Adriatic Gulf and 

• "Not the soul." The particular ends the Mediterranean Sea. 
of Providence being concealed from the " A part of the Apennines. 


The thunder doth not lift his voice so high. 

They call it Catria:" at whose foot, a cell 

Is sacred to the lonely Eremite; 

For worship set apart and holy rites." 

A third time thus it spake; then added: "There 

So firmly to God's service I adhered. 

That with no costlier viands than the juice 

Of olives, easily I pass'd the heats 

Of summer and the winter frosts; content 

In heaven-ward musings. Rich were the returns 

And fertile, which that cloister once was used 

To render to these Heavens: now 'tis fallen 

Into a waste so empty, that ere long 

Detection must lay bare its vanity. 

Pietro Damiano" there was I y<lept: 

Pietro the sinner, when before I dwelt, 

Beside the Adriatic,'* in the house 

Of our blest Lady. Near upon my close 

Of mortal life, through much importuning 

I was constrain'd to wear the hat,'^ that still 

From bad to worse is shifted. — Cephas" came: 

He came, who was the Holy Spirit's vessel;" 

Barefoot and lean; eating their bread, as chanced, 

At the first table. Modern Shepherds need 

"Now ihe Abbey of Santa Croce, at Facnza in 1072. His letters throw 

in the Duchy of Urbino, about half much light on the obscure history of 

way between Gubbio and La Pergola. these times. Besides them, he has left 

Here Dante is said to have resided for several treatises on sacred and ec- 

some time. clesiastical subjects. His eloquence is 

" "Pietro Damiano." "S. Pietro worthy of a better age." Tiraboschi, 

Damiano obtained a great and well- Storia della Lett. Ital. 

merited reputation by the pains he " Some editions and manuscripts 

took to correct the abuses among the have "fu," instead of "fui." According 

clergy. Ravenna is supposed to have to the former of these readings, S. 

been the place of his birth, about 1007. Pietro Damiano is made to distinguish 

He was employed in several important himself from S. Pietro degli Onesti, 

missions, ami rewarded by Stephen IX surnamed "II Peccator," founder of 

with the dignity of cardinal, and the the monastery of S. Maria del Porto, on 

bishopric of Ostia, to which, however, the Adriatic coast, near Ravenna, who 

he preferred his former retreat in the died in 1 119, at about eighty years of 

monastery of Fonte Avellana, and pre- age. 

vailed on Alexander II to permit him ""The hat." The cardinal's hat. 

to retire thither. Yet he did not long " "Cephas." St. Peter, 

continue in this seclusion, before he " St. Paul. See Hell, Canto ii 30. 
was sent on other embassies. He died 



Those who on either hand may prop and lead them, 
So burly are they grown; and from behind, 
Others to hoist them. Down the palfrey's sides 
Spread their broad mantles, so as both the beasts 
Are cover'd with one skin. O patience! thou 
That look'st on this, and dost endure so long." 
I at those accents saw the splendours down 
From step to step alight, and wheel, and wax. 
Each circuiting, more beautiful. Round this" 
They came, and stay'd them; utter'd then a shout 
So loud, it hath no likeness here: nor I 
Wist what it spake, so deafening was the thunder. 


Argument. — He beholds many other spirits of the devout and contemplative; and 
among these is addressed by St. Benedict, who, after disclosing his own name and 
the names of certain of his companions in bliss, replies to the request made by our 
Poet that he might look on the form of the saint, without that covering of splendor, 
which then invested it; and then proceeds, lastly, to inveigh against the corruption 
of the monks. Next Dante mounts with his heavenly conductress to the eighth 
heaven, or that of the fixed stars, which he enters at the constellation of the Twins; 
and thence looking back, reviews all the space he has passed between his present 
station and the earth. 

^STOUNDED, to the guardian of my steps 

I turn'd me, like the child, who always runs 

Thither for succour, where he trusteth most: 

And she was like the mother, who her son 

Beholding pale and breathless, with her voice 

Soothes him, and he is cheer'd; for thus she spake. 

Soothing me: "Know'st not thou, thou art in Heaven? 

And know'st not thou, whatever is in Heaven, 

Is holy; and that nothing there is done. 

But is done zealously and well.' Deem now, 

What change in thee the song, and what my smile 

Had wrought, since thus the shout had power to move 


In which, couldst thou have understood their prayers, 

The vengeance' were already known to thee. 

Which thou must witness ere thy mortal hour. 

'• "Round this." Round the spirit of posed, intimates the approaching fate of 
Pietro Damiann. Boniface VIII. Sec Purgatory, Canto xx. 

' "The vengeance. " Beatrice, it is sup- 86. 



The sword of Heaven is not in haste to smite, 
Nor yet doth linger; save unto his seeming, 
Who, in desire or fear, doth look for it. 
But elsewhere now I bid thee turn thy view; 
So shalt thou many a famous spirit behold." 

Mine eyes directing, as she will'd, I saw 
A hundred litde spheres, that fairer grew 
By interchange of splendour. I remain'd. 
As one, who fearful of o'er-much presuming. 
Abates in him the keenness of desire, 
Nor dares to question; when, amid those pearls. 
One largest and most lustrous onward drew, 
That it might yield contentment to my wish; 
And, from within it, these the sounds I heard. 

"If thou, like me, beheld'st the charity 
That burns amongst us; what thy mind conceives 
Were utter'd. But that, ere the lofty bound 
Thou reach, expectance may not weary thee; 
I will make answer even to the thought. 
Which thou hast such respect of. In old days. 
That mountain, at whose side Cassino' rests, 
Was, on its height, frequented by a race 
Deceived and ill-disposed: and I it was,' 
Who thither carried first the name of Him, 
Who brought the soul-subliming truth to man. 
And such a speeding grace shone over me. 
That from their impious worship I reclaim'd 
The dwellers round about, who with the world 
Were in delusion lost. These other flames. 
The spirits of men contemplative, were all 
Enliven'd by that warmth, whose kindly force 
Gives birth to flowers and fruits of holiness. 
Here is Macarius;* Romoaldo^ here; 

' A castle in the Terra di Lavoro. writers of the fourth centur>', as his works 

' "A new order of monks, which in a displayed, some few things excepted, the 

manner absorbed all the others that were brightest and most lovely portraiture of 

established in the west, was instituted, sanctity and virtue." Ibid. 

529, by Benedict of Nursia, a man of 'S. Romoaldo, a native of Ravenna, 

piety and reputation for the age he lived and the founder of the order of Camal- 

in." Maclainc's Mosheim, Eccles. Hist. doli, died in 1027. He was the author 

■• "Macarius, an Eg>|)tian monk, de- of a commentary on the Psalms, 
serves the first rank among the practical 


And here my brethren, who their steps refrain'd 
Within the cloisters, and held firm their heart." 

I answering thus: "Thy gende words and kind, 
And this the cheerful semblance I behold, 
Not unobservant, beaming in ye all. 
Have raised assurance in me; wakening it 
Full-blossom'd in my bosom, as a rose 
Before the sun, when the consummate flower 
Has spread to utmost amplitude. Of thee 
Therefore intreat I, father, to declare 
If I may gain such favour, as to gaze 
Upon thine image by no covering veil'd." 

"Brother!" he thus rejoin'd, "in the last sphere' 
Expect completion of thy lofty aim: 
For there on each desire completion waits, 
And there on mine; where every aim is found 
Perfect, entire, and for fulfilment ripe. 
There all things are as they have ever been: 
For space is none to bound; nor pole divides. 
Our ladder reaches even to that clime; 
And so, at giddy distance, mocks thy view. 
Thither the patriarch Jacob' saw it stretch 
Its topmost round; when it appear'd to him 
With Angels laden. But to mount it now 
None lifts his foot from earth: and hence my rule 
Is left a profidess stain upon the leaves; 
The walls, for abbey rear'd, turn'd into dens; 
The cowls, to sacks choak'd up with musty meal. 
Foul usury doth not more lift itself 
Against God's pleasure, than that fruit, which makes. 
The hearts of monks so wanton: for whate'er 
Is in the Church's keeping, all pertains 
To such, as sue for Heaven's sweet sake; and not 
To those, who in respect of kindred claim. 
Or on more vile allowance. Mortal flesh 

' 'In the last sphere." The Empyrean, dreamed, and behold, a ladder set upon 

where he afterward sees St. Benedict, the earth, and (he top of it reached to 

Canto xxxii. ?o. Beatified spirits, though heaven: and behold the angels of God 

they have difJerent heavens allotted them, ascending and descending on it." — Gen. 

have all their seats in that higher sphere, xxviii. 11. 

^"The patriarch Jacob." "And he 


Is grown so dainty, good beginnings last not 

From the oak's birth unto the acorn's setting. 

His convent Peter founded without gold 

Or silver; I, with prayers and fasting, mine; 

And Francis, his in meek humility. 

And if thou note the point, whence each proceeds, 

Then look what it hath err'd to; thou shalt find 

The white grown murky. Jordan was turn'd back: 

And a less wonder, than the refluent sea. 

May, at God's pleasure, work amendment here." 

So saying, to his assembly back he drew: 
And they together cluster'd into one; 
Then all roU'd upward, like an eddying wind. 

The sweet dame beckon'd me to follow them: 
And, by that influence only, so prevail'd 
Over my nature, that no natural motion, 
Ascending or descending here below. 
Had, as I mounted, with my pennon vied. 

So, reader, as my hop)e is to return 
Unto the holy triumph, for the which 
I oft-times wail my sins, and smite my breast; 
Thou hadst been longer drawing out and thrusting 
Thy finger in the fire, than I was, ere 
The sign," that followeth Taurus, I beheld, 
And enter'd its precinct. O glorious stars! 
O light impregnate with exceeding virtue! 
To whom whate'er of genius lifteth me 
Above the vulgar, grateful I refer; 
With ye the parent' of all mortal life 
Arose and set, when I did first inhale 
The Tuscan air; and afterward, when grace 
Vouchsafed me entrance to the lofty wheel'" 
That in its orb impels ye, fate decreed 
My passage at your clime. To you my soul 
Devoudy sighs, for virtue, even now. 
To meet the hard emprise that draws me on. 

"Thou art so near the sum of blessedness," 

' "The sign." The constellation of constellation of the Twins at the time of 
Gemini. Dante's birth. 

•"The parent." The sun was in the '""The lofty wheel." The eighth 

heaven; that 01 the fixed stars. 


Said Beatrice, "that behoves thy ken 

Be vigilant and clear. And, to this end, 

Or ever thou advance thee further, hence 

Look downward, and contemplate, what a world 

Already stretch'd under our feet there lies: 

So as thy heart may, in its blithest mood, 

Present itself to the triumphal throng, 

Which, through the ethereal concave, comes rejoicing." 

I straight obey'd; and with mine eye return'd 
Through all the seven spheres; and saw this globe 
So pitiful of semblance, that perforce 
It moved my smiles; and him in truth I hold 
For wisest, who esteems it least; whose thoughts 
Elsewhere are fix'd, him worthiest call and best. 
I saw the daughter of Latona shine 
Without the shadow," whereof late I deem'd 
That dense and rare were cause. Here I sustain'd 
The visage, Hyperion, of thy son;" 
And mark'd, how near him with their circles, round 
Move Maia and Dione;'' here discern'd 
Jove's tempering 'twixt his sire and son;" and hence, 
Their changes and their various aspects, 
Distinctly scann'd. Nor might I not descry 
Of all the seven, how bulky each, how swift; 
Nor, of their several distances, not learn. 
This petty area, (o'er the which we stride 
So fiercely), as along the eternal Twins 
I wound my way, appear'd before me all. 
Forth from the havens stretch'd unto the hills. 
Then, to the beauteous eyes, mine eyes return'd. 

" "Without the shadow." See Canto mother of the latter, and Maia of the 

ii. 71. former deity. 

" "Of thy son." The sun. '* " 'Twixt his sire and son." Betwixt 

" "Maia and Dione." The planets Saturn and Mars. 
Mercury and Venus, Dione beinK the 

CANTO xxin 



ARcimiENT. — He sees Christ triumphing with his Church. The Saviour ascends 
followed by his Virgin Mother. The others remain with St. Peter. 

E'EN as the bird, who midst the leafy bower 
Has, in her nest, sat darkling through the night, 
With her sweet brood; impatient to descry 
Their wished looks, and to bring home their food. 
In the fond quest unconscious of her toil: 
She, of the time prevenient, on the spray, 
That overhangs their couch, with wakeful gaze 
Expects the sun; nor ever, till the dawn, 
Removeth from the east her eager ken: 
So stood the dame erect, and bent her glance 
Wistfully on that region,' where the sun 
Abateth most his speed; that, seeing her 
Suspense and wondering, I became as one, 
In whom desire is waken'd, and the hope 
Of somewhat new to come fills with delight. 

Short space ensued; I was not held, I say, 
Long in expectance, when I saw the Heaven 
Wax more and more resplendent; and, "Behold," 
Cried Beatrice, "the triumphal hosts 
Of Christ, and all the harvest gather'd in. 
Made ripe by these revolving spheres." Meseem'd, 
That, while she spake, her image all did burn; 
And in her eyes such fulness was of joy. 
As I am fain to pass unconstrued by. 

As in the calm full moon, when Trivia* smiles. 
In peerless beauty, 'mid the eternal nymphs,' 
That paint through all its gulfs the blue profound; 
In bright pre-eminence so saw I there 
O'er million lamps a Sun, from whom ail drew 
Their radiance, as from ours the starry train: 
And, through the living light, so lustrous glow'd 
The substance, that my ken endured it not. 

' "That region." Toward the south, * "Trivia." A name of Diana, 

where the course of the sun appears less ' "The eternal nymphs." The stars, 

rapid, than when he is in the east or Those starry nymphs which dance about 

the west. the pole. Drunimond Sonnet. 


Beatrice! sweet and precious guide. 
Who cheer 'd me with her comfortable words: 
"Against the virtue, that o'erpowereth thee. 
Avails not to resist. Here is the Might,^ 
And here the Wisdom, which did open lay 
The path, that had been yearned for so long, 
Betwixt the Heaven and earth." Like to the fire. 
That, in a cloud imprison'd, doth break out 
Expansive, so that from its womb enlarged. 

It falleth against nature to the ground; 
Thus, in that heavenly banqueting, my soul 
Outgrew herself; and, in the transport lost, 
Holds now remembrance none of what she was. 

"Ope thou thine eyes, and mark me: thou hast seen 
Things, that empower thee to sustain my smile." 

1 was as one, when a forgotten dream 
Doth come across him, and he strives in vain 
To shape it in his fantasy again: 

Whenas that gracious boon was proffer'd me, 
Which never may be cancel'd from the book 
Wherein the past is written. Now were all 
Those tongues to sound, that have, on sweetest milk 
Of Polyhymnia and her sisters, fed 
And fatten'd; not with all their help to boot, 
Unto the thousandth parcel of the truth. 
My song might shadow forth that saintly smile, 
How merely, in her saindy looks, it wrought. 
And, with such figuring of Paradise, 
The sacred strain must leap, like one that meets 
A sudden interruption to his road. 
But he, who thinks how ponderous the theme, 
And that 'tis laid upon a mortal shoulder. 
May pardon, if it tremble with the burden. 
The track, our venturous keel must furrow, brooks 
No unribb'd pinnace, no self-sparing pilot. 
"Why doth my face," said Beatrice, "thus 
Enamour thee, as that thou dost not turn 
Unto the beautiful garden, blossoming 
* "The Might." Our Saviour. 


Beneath the rays of Christ? Here is the Rose,* 

Wherein the Word Divine was made incarnate; 

And here the UUes,' by whose odour known 

The way of life was follow 'd." Prompt I heard 

Her bidding, and encounter'd once again 

The strife of aching vision. As, erewhile, [cloud, 

Through glance of sun-light, stream'd through broken 

Mine eyes a flower-besprinkled mead have seen; 

Though veil'd themselves in shade: so saw I there 

Legions of splendours, on whom burning rays 

Shed lightnings from above; yet saw I not 

The fountain whence they flow'd. O gracious Virtue 

Thou, whose broad stamp is on them, higher up 

Thou didst exalt Thy glory,' to give room 

To my o'erlabour'd sight; when at the name 

Of that fair flower,' whom duly I invoke 

Both morn and eve, my soul with all her might 

Collected, on the goodliest ardour fix'd. 

And, as the bright dimensions of the star 

In Heaven excelling, as once here on earth, 

Were, in my eye-balls livelily pourtray'd; 

Lo! from within the sky a cresset* fell. 

Circling in fashion of a diadem; 

And girt the star; and, hovering, round it wheel'd. 

Whatever melody sounds sweetest here. 
And draws the spirit most unto itself. 
Might seem a rent cloud, when it grates the thunder; 
Compared unto the sounding of that lyre,'" 
Wherewith the goodliest sapphire," that inlays 
The floor of Heaven, was crown'd. "Angelic Love 
I am, who thus with hovering flight enwheel 

' "The rose." The Virgin Mary, who divine light retired upward, to render the 

is termed by the Church, "Rosa Mystica." eyes of Dante more capable of enduring 

"I was exalted like a palm-tree in En- the spectacle which now presented itself. 

gaddi, and as a rose-plant in Jericho." — ' " the name 

Ecclesiasticus, xxiv. 14. Of that fair flower." 

•"The lilies.' The Apostles. "And The name of the Virgin, 

give ye a sweet savour as frankincense, ' "A cresset." The angel Gabriel, 

and flourish as a lily." — Ecclesiasticus, "' "That lyre." By synecdoche, the 

xxxix. 14. lyre is put for the angel. 

' "Thou didst exalt thy glory." The " The Virgin. 

386 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxia 

The lofty rapture from that womb inspired, 
Where our desire did dwell: and round thee so, 
Lady of Heaven! will hover; long as thou 
Thy Son shalt follow, and diviner joy 
Shall from thy presence gild the highest sphere." 

Such close was to the circling melody: 
And, as it ended, all the other lights 
Took up the strain, and echoed Mary's name. 

The robe," that with its regal folds enwraps 
The world, and with the nearer breath of God 
Doth burn and quiver, held so far retired 
Its inner hem and skirting over us. 
That yet no glimmer of its majesty 
Had stream'd unto me: therefore were mine eyes 
Unequal to pursue the crowned flame," 
That towering rose, and sought the seed" it bore. 
And like to babe, that stretches forth its arms 
For very eagerness toward the breast. 
After the milk is taken; so outstretch'd 
Their wavy summits all the fervent band. 
Through zealous love to Mary: then, in view. 
There halted; and "Regina Coeli"" sang 
So sweedy, the delight hath left me never. 

Oh! what o'erflowing plenty is up-piled 
In those rich-laden coffers," which below 
Sow'd the good seed, whose harvest now they keep. 
Here are the treasures tasted, that with tears 
Were in the Babylonian exile" won. 
When gold had fail'd them. Here, in synod high 
Of ancient council with the new convened, 
Under the Son of Mary and of God, 
Victorious he" his mighty triumph holds, 
To whom the keys of glory were assign'd. 

" "The robe." The ninth heaven, the '• 'Those rich-laden coffers." Those 

primum mobile, that enfolds and moves spirits, who, having sown the seed of 

the eight lower heavens. good works on earth, now contain the 

" "The crowned flame." The Virgin, fruit of their pious endeavors, 
with the angel hovering over her. " "In the Babylonian exile." During 

'* "The seed." Our Saviour. their abode in this world. 

" "Regina Coeli." "The beginning of " "He." St. Peter, with the other holy 

an anthem, sung by the Church at Easter, men of the Old and New Testaments, 
in honor of Our Lady." 




Argument. — St. Peter examines Dante touching Faith, and U contented with his 

" X'"^V YE! in chosen fellowship advanced 
■ ■ To the great supper of the blessed Lamb, 
^^^^ Whereon who feeds hath every wish fulfill'd; 
If to this man through God's grace be vouchsafed 
Foretaste of that, which from your table falls, 
Or ever death his fated term prescribe; 
Be ye not heedless of his urgent will: 
But may some influence of your sacred dews 
Sprinkle him. Of the fount ye alway drink, 
Whence flows what most he craves." Beatrice spake; 
And the rejoicing spirits, like to spheres 
On firm-set poles revolving, trail'd a blaze 
Of comet splendour: and as wheels, that wind 
Their circles in the horologe, so work 
The stated rounds, that to the observant eye 
The first seems still, and as it flew, the last; 
E'en thus their carols weaving variously. 
They, by the measure paced, or swift, or slow, 
Made me to rate the riches of their joy. 

From that, which I did note in beauty most 
Excelling, saw I issue forth a flame 
So bright, as none was left more goodly there. 
Round Beatrice thrice it wheel'd about, 
With so divine a song, that fancy's ear 
Records it not; and the pen passeth on, 
And leaves a blank: for that our mortal speech, 
Nor e'en the inward shaping of the brain. 
Hath colours fine enough to trace such folds. 

"O saintly sister mine! thy prayer devout 
Is with so vehement affection urged, 
Thou dost unbind me from that beauteous sphere." 

Such were the accents towards my lady breathed 
From that blest ardour, soon as it was stay'd; 
To whom she thus: "O everlasting light 
Of him, within whose mighty grasp our Lord 
Did leave the keys, which of this wondrous bliss 


He bare below! tent this man as thou wilt. 

With lighter probe or deep, touching the faith. 

By the which thou didst on the billows walk. 

If he in love, in hope, and in belief. 

Be steadfast, is not hid from thee: for thou 

Hast there thy ken, where all things are beheld 

In liveliest portraiture. But since true faith 

Has peopled this fair realm with citizens; 

Meet is, that to exalt its glory more. 

Thou, in his audience, shouldst thereof discourse." 

Like to the bachelor, who arms himself, 
And speaks not, till the master have propwsed 
The question, to approve, and not to end it; 
So I, in silence, arm'd me, while she spake, 
Summoning up each argument to aid; 
As was behovcful for such questioner, 
And such profession: "As good Christian ought, 
Declare thee, what is faith?" Whereat I raised 
My forehead to the light, whence this had breathed; 
Then turn'd to Beatrice; and in her looks 
Approval met, that from their inmost fount 
I should unlock the waters. "May the grace. 
That giveth me the captain of the Church 
For confessor," said I, "vouchsafe to me 
Apt utterance for my thoughts;" then added: "Sire! 
E'en as set down by the unerring style 
Of thy dear brother, who with thee conspired 
To bring Rome in unto the way of life, 
Faith of things hoped is substance, and the proof 
Of things not seen; and herein doth consist 
Methinks its essence." — "Rightly hast thou deem'd," 
Was answer'd; "if thou well discern, why first 
He hath defined it substance, and then proof." 

"The deep things," I replied, "which here I scan 
Distinctly, are below from mortal eye 
So hidden, they have in belief alone 
Their being; on which credence, hope sublime 
Is built: and, therefore substance, it intends. 
And inasmuch as we must needs infer 


From such belief our reasoning, all respect 
To other view excluded; hence of proof 
The intention is derived." Forthwith I heard: 
"If thus, whate'er by learning men attain, 
Were understood; the sophist would want room 
To exercise his wit." So breathed the flame 
Of love; then added: "Current is the coin 
Thou utter'st, both in weight and in alloy. 
But tell me, if thou hast it in thy purse." 

"Even so glittering and so round," said I, 
"I not a whit misdoubt of its assay." 
Next issued from the deep-imbosom'd splendour: 
"Say, whence the costly jewel, on the which 
Is founded every virtue, came to thee." 

"The flood," I answer'd, "from the Spirit of God 
Rain'd down upon the ancient bond and new,' — 
Here is the reasoning that convinceth me 
So feelingly, each argument beside 
Seems blunt and forceless in comparison." 
Then heard I: "Wherefore boldest thou that each, 
The elder proposition and the new. 
Which so persuade thee, are the voice of Heaven?" 

"The works, that foUow'd, evidence their truth," 
I answer'd: "Nature did not make for these 
The iron hot, or on her anvil mould them." 

"Who voucheth to thee of the works themselves," 
Was the reply, "that they in very deed 
Are that they purport? None hath sworn so to thee." 

"That all the world," said I, "should have been 
To Christian, and no miracle been wrought. 
Would in itself be such a miracle. 
The rest were not an hundredth part so great. 
E'en thou went'st forth in poverty and hunger 
To set the goodly plant, that, from the vine 
It once was, now is grown unsightly bramble." 

That ended, through the high celestial court 
Resounded all the spheres, "Praise we one God!" 
• "The ancient bond and new." The Old and New Testameott. 

390 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxiv 

In song of most unearthly melody. 

And when that Worthy^ thus, from branch to branch, 

Examining, had led me, that we now 

Approach'd the topmost bough; he straight resumed: 

"The grace, that holds sweet dalliance with thy soul 

So far discreedy hath thy lips unclosed; 

That, whatsoe'er has past them, I commend. 

Behoves thee to express, what thou believest. 

The next; and, whereon, thy belief hath grown." 

"O saintly sire and spiritl" I began, 
"Who seest that, which thou didst so believe, 
As to outstrip feet younger than thine own. 
Toward the sepulchre; thy will is here. 
That I the tenour of my creed unfold; 
And thou, the cause of it, hast likewise ask'd. 
And I reply: I in one God believe; 
One sole eternal Godhead, of whose love 
All Heaven is moved. Himself unmoved the while. 
Nor demonstration physical alone. 
Or more intelligential and abstruse. 
Persuades me to this faith: but from that truth 
It Cometh to me rather, which is shed 
Through Moses; the rapt Prophets; and the Psalms; 
The Gospel; and what ye yourselves did write. 
When ye were gifted of the Holy Ghost. 
In three eternal Persons I believe; 
Essence threefold and one; mysterious league 
Of union absolute, which, many a time. 
The word of gospel lore upon my mind 
Imprints: and from this germ, this firstling spark 
The lively flame dilates; and, like Heaven's star, 
Doth glitter in me." As the master hears, 
Well pleased, and then enfoldeth in his arms 
The servant, who hath joyful tidings brought. 
And having told the errand keeps his peace; 
Thus benediction uttering with song. 
Soon as my peace I held, compass'd me thrice 

* "Quel Baron." In the next Canto, Boccaccio, G. vi. N. lo, we find "Baron 
St. James is called "Baronc" So in Mcsscr Santo Antonio." 


The apostolic radiance, whose behest 

Had oped my lips: so well their answer pleased. 


Akcument. — Sl James questions our Poet coocerning Hope. Next St. John appears; 
and, on perceiving that Dante looks intently on hiin, informs him that he, St. John, 
had left his body resolved into earth, upon the earth, and that Christ and the Virgin 
alone had come with their bodies into Heaven. 

IF e'er the sacred poem, that hath made 
Both Heaven and earth copartners in its toil. 
And with lean abstinence, through many a year. 
Faded my brow, be destined to prevail 
Over the cruelty, which bars me forth 
Of the fair sheep-fold,' where, a sleeping lamb. 
The wolves set on and fain had worried me; 
With other voice, and fleece of other grain, 
I shall forthwith return; and, standing up 
At my baptismal font, shall claim the wreath 
Due to the poet's temples: for I there 
First enter'd on the faith, which maketh souls 
Acceptable to God: and, for its sake,' 
Peter had then circled my forehead thus. 

Next from the squadron, whence had issued forth 
The first fruit of Christ's vicars on the earth. 
Toward us moved a light, at view whereof 
My Lady, full of gladness, spake to me: 
"Lo! lo! behold the peer of mickle might. 
That makes Galicia throng'd with visitants."* 

As when the ring-dove by his mate alights; 
In circles, each about the other wheels. 
And, murmuring, coos his fondness; thus saw I 

' Florence, whence he was banished. and barrenness of those parts, and by the 
' For the sake of that faith. incursions of the Moors, who made cap- 
' "At the time that the sepulchre of lives many of the pilgrims. The canons 
the apostle St. James was discovered, the of St. Eloy, afterward (the precise time 
devotion for that place extended itself is not known), with a desire of remedy- 
not only over all Spain, but even round ing these evils, built, in many places along 
about to foreign nations. Multitudes from the whole road, which reached as far 
all parts of the world came to visit it. as to France, hospitals for the reception 
Many others were deterred by the difB- of the pilgrims." 
culty of the journey, by the roughness 


One, of the other* great and glorious prince, 
With kindly greeting, hail'd; extolling, both, 
Their heavenly banqueting: but when an end 
Was to their gratulation, silent, each, 
Before me sat they down, so burning bright, 
I could not look upon them. Smiling then, 
Beatrice spake: "O life in glory shrined! 
Who' didst the largess of our kingly court 
Set down with faithful pen, let now thy voice, 
Of hope the praises, in this height resound. 
For well thou know'st, who figurest it as oft, 
As Jesus, to ye three, more brighdy shone." 

"Lift up thy head; and be thou strong in trust: 
For that, which hither from the mortal world 
Arriveth, must be ripen'd in our beam." 

Such cheering accents from the second flame' 
Assured me; and mine eyes I lifted up' 
Unto the mountains, that had bow'd them late 
With over-heavy burden. "Sith our Liege 
Wills of His grace, that thou, or e'er thy death, 
In the most secret council with His lords 
Shouldst be confronted, so that having view'd 
The glories of our court, thou mayest therewith 
Thyself, and all who hear, invigorate 
With hope, that leads to blissful end; declare. 
What is that hope? how it doth flourish in thee? 
And whence thou hadst it?" Thus, proceeding still, 
The second light: and she, whose gentle love 
My soaring pennons in that lofty flight 
Escorted, thus preventing me, rejoin'd: 
"Among her sons, not one more full of hope. 
Hath the Church Militant: so 'tis of him 
Recorded in the Sun, whose liberal orb 
Enlightened all our tribe: and ere his term 
Of warfare, hence permitted he is come, 

* "One, of the other." St. Peter and ' "The second flame." St. James. 

St. James. '"I lifted up." "I looked up to the 

' "Who." The Episde of St. James is aposdes." "I will lift up mine eyes unto 

here attributed to the elder aposde of the hills, from whence comcth my help." 

that name, whose shrine was at Com- — Psalm cxxi. i. 
postella, in Galicia. 


From Egypt to Jerusalem,' to see. 
The other points, both which' thou hast inquired, 
Not for more knowledge, but that he may tell 
How dear thou hold'st the virtue; these to him 
Leave I: for he may answer thee with ease, 
And without boasting, so God give him grace." 

Like to the scholar, practised in his task, 
Who, willing to give proof of diligence. 
Seconds his teacher gladly; "Hope," said I, 
"Is of the joy to come a sure expectance. 
The effect of grace divine and merit preceding. 
This light from many a star, visits my heart; 
But flow'd to me, the first, from him who sang 
The songs of the Supreme; himself supreme 
Among his tuneful brethren. 'Let all hope 
In thee,' so spake his anthem, 'who have known 
Thy name;' and, with my faith, who knows not that.' 
From thee, the next, distilling from his spring. 
In thine epistle, fell on me the drops 
So plenteously, that I on others shower 
The influence of their dew." Whileas I spake, 
A lamping, as of quick and volley 'd lightning. 
Within the bosom of that mighty sheen'" 
Play'd tremulous; then forth these accents breathed: 
"Love for the virtue, which attended me 
E'en to the palm, and issuing from the field. 
Glows vigorous yet within me; and inspires 
To ask of thee, whom also it delights, 
What promise thou from hope, in chief, dost win." 

"Both scriptures, new and ancient," I replied, 
"Propose the mark (which even now I view) 
For souls beloved of God. Isaias" saith, 
'That, in their own land, each one must be clad 
In two-fold vesture;' and their proper land 
Is this delicious life. In terms more full, 

• From the lower world to Heaven. '" "That mif^hty sheen." The spirit of 

*One [xiint Beatrice has herself an- St. James, 
swcred: "how that hope flourishes in " "Isaias." "He hath clothed me with 

him." TTie other two remain for Dante the garments of salvation, he hath covered 
to resolve. «ne with the robe of righteousness." — 

Chap. Ixi. 10. 


And clearer far, thy brother" hath set forth 
This revelation to us, where he tells 
Of the white raiment destined to the saints." 
And, as the words were ending, from above, 
"They hope in Thee!" first heard we cried: whereto 
Answer'd the carols all. Amidst them next, 
A light of so clear amplitude emerged. 
That winter's month were but a single day, 
Were such a crystal in the Cancer's sign. 

Like as a virgin riseth up, and goes. 
And enters on the mazes of the dance; 
Though gay, yet innocent of worse intent. 
Than to do fitting honour to the bride: 
So I beheld the new effulgence come 
Unto the other two, who in a ring 
Wheel'd, as became their rapture. In the dance. 
And in the song, it mingled. And the dame 
Held on them fix'd her looks; e'en as the spouse. 
Silent, and moveless. "This" is he, who lay 
Upon the bosom of our Pelican: 
This he, into whose keeping, from the Cross, 
The mighty charge was given." Thus she spake: 
Yet therefore naught the more removed her sight 
From marking them: or e'er her words began. 
Or when they closed. As he, who looks intent. 
And strives with searching ken, how he may see 
The sun in his eclipse, and, through desire 
Of seeing, loseth power of sight; so I" 
Peer'd on that last resplendence, while I heard: 
"Why dazzlest thou thine eyes in seeking that. 
Which here abides not ? Earth my body is. 
In earth; and shall be, with the rest, so long. 
As till our number equal the decree 
Of the Most High. The two" that have ascended, 

" 'Thy brother." St. John in the Rev. there in body, or in spirit only; having 

vii. 9. had his doubts raised by that saying of 

"St. John, who reclined on the bosom our Saviour's: "If I will, that he tarry 

of our Saviour, and to whose charge Jesus till I come, what is that to thee?" 

recommended his mother. "Christ and Mary, decribcd in Canto 

'* "So I." He looked so earnestly, to xxiii. ai rising above his sight, 
descry whether St. John were present 


In this our blessed cloister, shine alone 
With the two garments. So report below." 

As when, for ease of labour, or to shun 
Suspected peril, at a whistle's breath, 
The oars, erewhile dash'd frequent in the wave, 
All rest: the flamy circle at that voice 
So rested; and the mingling sound was still. 
Which from the trinal band, soft-breathing, rose. 
I turn'd, but ah! how trembled in my thought, 
When, looking at my side again to see 
Beatrice, I descried her not; although. 
Not distant, on the happy coast she stood. 


AnoinuENT. — St John examines our Poet touching Charity. Afterward Adam tells 
when he was created, and placed in the terrestrial Paradise; how long he remained in 
that state; what was the occasion of his fall; when he was admitted into Heaven; and 
what language he spake. 

WITH dazzled eyes, whilst wondering I remain'd; 
Forth of the beamy flame,' which dazzled me. 
Issued a breath, that in attention mute 
Detain'd me; and these words it spake: " 'Twere well 
That, long as till thy vision, on my form 
O'erspent, regain its virtue, with discourse 
Thou compensate the brief delay. Say then, 
Beginning, to what f)oint thy soul aspires: 
And meanwhile rest assured, that sight in thee 
Is but o'erpower'd a space, not wholly quench'd; 
Since thy fair guide and lovely, in her look 
Hath potency, the like to that, which dwell 
In Ananias' hand." ^ I answering thus: 
"Be to mine eyes the remedy, or late 
Or early, at her pleasure; for they were 
The gates, at which she enter 'd, and did light 
Her never-dying fire. My wishes here 
Are centred: in this palace is the weal. 
That Alpha and Omega is, to all 

' "The beamy flame." St. John. his hand on St. Paul, restored his sight 

'"Ananias' hand." Who, by putting Acts, ix. 17. 


The lessons love can read me." Yet again 
The voice, which had dispersed my fear when dazed 
With that excess, to converse urged, and spake: 
"Behoves thee sift more narrowly thy terms; 
And say, who level'd at this scope thy bow." 

"Philosophy," said I, "hath arguments, 
And this place hath authority enough. 
To imprint in me such love: for, of constraint, 
Good, inasmuch as we perceive the good. 
Kindles our love; and in degree the more. 
As it comprises more of goodness in 't. 
The essence then, where such advantage is, 
That each good, found without it, is naught else 
But of His light the beam, must needs attract 
The soul of each one, loving, who the truth 
Discerns, on which this proof is built. Such truth 
Learn I from Him, who shows me the first love 
Of all intelligential substances 
Eternal: from His voice I learn, whose word 
Is truth; that of Himself to Moses saith, 
'I will make all My good before thee pass;' 
Lastly, from thee I learn, who chief proclaim'st, 
E'en at the outset' of thy heralding. 
In mortal ears the mystery of Heaven." 

"Through human wisdom, and the authority 
Therewith agreeing," heard I answer'd, "keep 
The choicest of thy love for God. But say. 
If thou yet other cords within thee feel'st. 
That draw thee towards Him; so that thou report 
How many are the fangs, with which this love 
Is grappled to thy soul." I did not miss. 
To what intent the eagle of our Lord* 
Had pointed his demand; yea, noted well 
The avowal which he led to; and resumed: 
"All grappling bonds, that knit the heart to God, 
Confederate to make fast our charity. 
The being of the world; and mine own being; 
The death which He endured, that I should live; 
And that, which all the faithful hope, as I do; 
' "At the outset." John i. i, etc. * 'The eagle of our Lord." St. John. 


To the foremention'd lively knowledge join'd; 
Have from the sea of ill love saved my bark, 
And on the coast secured it of the right. 
As for the leaves,' that in the garden bloom. 
My love for them is great, as is the good 
Dealt by the eternal hand, that tends them all." 

I ended: and therewith a song most sweet 
Rang through the spheres; and "Holy, holy, holy," 
Accordant with the rest, my lady sang. 
And as a sleep is broken and dispersed 
Through sharp encounter of the nimble light. 
With the eye's spirit running forth to meet 
The ray, from membrane on to membrane urged; 
And the upstartled wight loathes that he sees; 
So, at his sudden waking, he misdeems 
Of all around him, till assurance waits 
On better judgment: thus the saindy dame 
Drove from before mine eyes the motes away, 
With the resplendence of her own, that cast 
Their brightness downward, thousand miles below. 
Whence I my vision, clearer than before, 
Recover'd; and well nigh astounded, ask'd 
Of a fourth light, that now with us I saw. 

And Beatrice: "The first living soul,' 
That ever the first Virtue framed, admires 
Within these rays his Maker." Like the leaf, 
That bows its lithe top till the blast is blown; 
By its own virtue rear'd, then stands aloof: 
So I, the whilst she said, awe-stricken bow'd. 
Then eagerness to speak embolden'd me; 
And I began: "O fruit! that wast alone 
Mature, when first engcnder'd; ancient father! 
That doubly seest in every wedded bride 
Thy daughter, by affinity and blood; 
Devoutly as I may, I pray thee hold 
Converse with me: my will thou seest: and I, 
More speedily to hear thee, tell it not." 

It chanceth oft some animal bewrays. 
Through the sleek covering of his furry coat, 
' "The leaves." Created beings. • "The first living soul." Adam. 

398 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxvi 

The fondness, that stirs in him, and conforms 

His outside seeming to the cheer within: 

And in like guise was Adam's spirit moved 

To joyous mood, that through the covering shone, 

Transparent, when to pleasure me it spake: 

"No need thy will be told, which I untold 

Better discern, than thou whatever thing 

Thou hold'st most certain: for that will I see 

In Him, who is truth's mirror; and Himself, 

Parhelion unto all things, and naught else, 

To Him. This wouldst thou hear: how long since, God 

Placed me in that high garden, from whose bounds 

She led thee up this ladder, steep and long; 

What space endured my season of delight; 

Whence truly sprang the wrath that banish'd me; 

And what the language, which I spake and framed. 

Not that I tasted of the tree, my son, 

Was in itself the cause of that exile, 

But only my transgressing of the mark 

Assign'd me. There, whence' at thy lady's best 

The Mantuan moved him, still was I debarr'd 

This council, till the sun had made complete. 

Four thousand and three hundred rounds and twice, 

His annual journey; and, through every light 

In his broad pathway, saw I him return. 

Thousand save seventy times, the whilst 1 dwelt 

Upon the earth. The language I did use 

Was worn away, or ever Nimrod's race 

Their unaccomplishable work began. 

For naught, that man inclines to, e'er was lasting; 

Left by his reason free, and variable 

As is the sky that sways him. That he speaks, 

Is nature's prompting: whether thus, or thus, 

She leaves to you, as ye do most affect it. 

Ere I descended into Hell's abyss. 

El was the name on earth of the Chief Good, 

Whose joy enfolds me: Eli then 'twas call'd. 

' "Whence." That is, from Limbo. Sec of hb deliverance, which followed the 
Hell, Canto ii. 53. Adam says that 5,232 death of Christ, 
years elapsed from his creation to the time 


And so beseemeth: for, in mortals, use 
Is as the leaf u(X)n the bough: that goes. 
And other comes instead. Upon the mount 
Most high above the waters, all my life. 
Both innocent and guilty, did but reach 
From the first hour, to that which cometh next 
(As the sun changes quarter) to the sixth." 


Argument. — St. Peter bitterly rebukes the covetousnets of his successors in the 
Apostolic Sec, while all the heavenly host sympathize in his indignation; they then 
vanish upward. Beatrice bids Dante again cast his view below. Afterward they are 
borne into the ninth heaven, of which she shows him the nature and properties; 
blaming the pcrverseness of man, who places his will on low and perishable things. 

THEN "Glory to the Father, to the Son, 
And to the Holy Spirit," rang aloud 
Throughout all Paradise; that with the song 
My spirit reel'd, so passing sweet the strain. 
And what I saw was equal ecstasy: 
One universal smile it seem'd of all things; 
Joy past compare; gladness unutterable; 
Imperishable life of peace and love; 
Exhaustless riches, and unmeasured bliss. 

Before mine eyes stood the four torches' lit: 
And that,* which first had come, began to wax 
In brightness; and, in semblance, such became, 
As Jove might be, if he and Mars were birds, 
And interchanged their plumes. Silence ensued, 
Through the blest quire; by Him, who here appoints 
Vicissitude of ministry, enjoin'd; 
When thus I heard: "Wonder not, if my hue 
Be changed; for, while I speak, these shalt thou see 
All in like manner change with me. My place 
He' who usurps on earth, (my place, ay, mine. 
Which in the presence of the Son of God 
Is void,) the same hath made my cemetery 
A common sewer of puddle and of blood: 

' "Four torches." St. Peter, St. James, planet Jupiter would, if it assumed the 
St. John, and Adam. sanguine appearance of Mars. 

' "That." St. Peter, who looked as the ' "He." Boniface VIII. 

400 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxvii 

The more below his triumph, who from hence 

MaHgnant fell." Such colour, as the sun. 

At eve or morning, paints an adverse cloud, 

Then saw I sprinkled over all the sky. 

And as the unblemish'd dame, who, in herself 

Secure of censure, yet at bare report 

Of other's failing, shrinks with maiden fear; 

So Beatrice, in her semblance, changed: 

And such eclipse in Heaven, methinks, was seen. 

When the Most Holy suffer'd. Then the words 

Proceeded, with voice, alter'd from itself 

So clean, the semblance did not alter more. 

"Not to this end was Christ's sjx)use with my blood, 

With that of Linus, and of Cletus,* fed; 

That she might serve for purchase of base gold: 

But for the purchase of this happy life, 

Did Sextus, Pius, and Callixtus bleed, 

And Urban;' they, whose doom was not without 

Much weeping seal'd. No purpose was of ours,' 

That on the right hand of our successors, 

Part of the Christian people should be set. 

And part upon their left; nor that the keys. 

Which were vouchsafed me, should for ensign serve 

Unto the banners, that do levy war 

On the baptized; nor I, for sigil-mark, 

Set upon sold and lying privileges: 

Which makes me oft to bicker and turn red. 

In shepherd's clothing, greedy wolves' below 

Range wide o'er all the pastures. Arm of God! 

Why longer slecp'st thou ? Cahorsines and Gascons* 

Prejjare to quaff our blood. O good beginning! 

To what a vile conclusion must thou stoop. 

Rut the high Providence, which did defend, 

* Bishops of Rome in the first century. as a mark to authorize iniquitous grants 

' The former two, bishops of the same and privileRes." 

see, in the second; and the others, in the ' "Wolves shall succeed to teachers, 

fourth century. Rricvous wolves." — Milton, "Paradise 

' "We did not intend that our succes- Lost," b. xii. 508. 

sors should take any part in the political ' He alludes to Jacques d'Ossa, a native 

divisions among Christians; or that my of Cahors, pope, as John XXII, in i)i6, 

figure (the seal of St. Peter) should serve after the chair had been two years vacant, 

and to Clement V, a Gascon. 


Through Scipio, the world's empery for Rome, 

Will not delay its succour: and thou, son. 

Who through thy mortal weight shalt yet again 

Return below, open thy lips, nor hide 

What is by me not hidden." As a flood 

Of frozen vapours streams adown the air. 

What time the she-goat' with her skiey horn 

Touches the sun; so saw I there stream wide 

The vapours, who with us had linger'd late. 

And with glad triumph deck the ethereal cope. 

Onward my sight their semblances pursued; 

So far pursued, as till the space between 

From its reach sever'd them: whereat the guide 

Celestial, marking me no more intent 

On upward gazing, said, "Look down, and see 

What circuit thou hast compast." From the hour'" 

When I before had cast my view beneath. 

All the first region overpast I saw. 

Which from the midmost to the boundary winds; 

That onward, thence, from Gades," I beheld 

The unwise passage of Laertes' son; 

And hitherward the shore,'* where thou, Europa, 

Madest thee a joyful burden; and yet more 

Of this dim spot had seen, but that the sun," 

A constellation off and more, had ta'en 

His progress in the zodiac underneath. 

Then by the spirit, that doth never leave 

Its amorous dalliance with my lady's looks. 

Back with redoubled ardour were mine eyes 

Led unto her: and from her radiant smiles, 

Whenas I turn'd me, pleasure so divine 

Did lighten on me, that whatever bait 

Or art or nature in the human flesh, 

Or in its limn'd resemblance, can combine 

•When the sun is in Capricorn. " Phoenicia, where Europa, daughter of 

" "From the hour." Since he had last Agenor, mounletl on the back of Jupiter, 

looked (see Canto xxii) he |)erccived that in his shape of a bull. 

he had passed from the meridian circle to " "The sun." Dante was in the con- 

the eastern horizon; the half of our stellation of Gemini, and the sun in Aries. 

hemisphere, and a quarter of the heaven. There was, therefore, part of those two 

" See Hell, Canto xxvL 106. constellations, and the whole of Tauruf, 

between them. 

402 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxvn 

Through greedy eyes to take the soul withal, 
Were, to her beauty, nothing. Its boon influence 
From the fair nest of Leda'* rapt me forth, 
And wafted on into the swiftest Heaven. 
What place for entrance Beatrice chose, 
I may not say; so uniform was all, 
Liveliest and loftiest. She my secret wish 
Divined; and, with such gladness, that God's love 
Seem'd from her visage shining, thus began: 
"Here is the goal, whence motion on his race 
Starts: motionless the centre, and the rest 
All moved around. Except the soul divine. 
Place in this Heaven is none; the soul divine, 
Wherein the love, which ruleth o'er its orb, 
Is kindled, and the virtue, that it sheds: 
One circle, light and love, enclasping it. 
As this doth clasp the others; and to Him, 
Who draws the bound, its limit only known. 
Measured itself by none, it doth divide 
Motion to all, counted unto them forth. 
As by the fifth or half ye count forth ten. 
The vase, wherein time's roots are plunged, thou seest: 
Look elsewhere for the leaves. O mortal lust! 
That canst not lift thy head above the waves 
Which whelm and sink thee down. The will in man 
Bears goodly blossoms; but its ruddy promise 
Is, by the dripping of perpetual rain. 
Made mere abortion: faith and innocence 
Are met with but in babes; each taking leave. 
Ere cheeks with down are sprinkled: he, that fasts 
While yet a stammerer, with his tongue let loose 
Gluts every food alike in every moon: 
One, yet a babbler, loves and listens to 
His mother; but no sooner hath free use 
Of sf)eech, than he doth wish her in her grave. 
So suddenly doth the fair child of him. 
Whose welcome is the morn and eve his parting. 
To negro blackness change her virgin white. 

""The fair nest of Leda." From the Gemini; thus called, because Leda was the 
mother of the twins, Castor and Pollux. 


"Thou, to abate thy wonder, note, that none 
Bears rule in earth; and its frail family 
Are therefore wanderers. Yet before the date, 
When through the hundredth in his reckoning dropt. 
Pale January must be shoved aside 
From winter's calendar, these heavenly spheres 
Shall roar so loud, that fortune shall be fain" 
To turn the poop, where she hath now the prow; 
So that the fleet run onward: and true fruit. 
Expected long, shall crown at last the bloom." 


Argument. — Still in the ninth heaven, our Poet is permitted to behold the divine 
essence; and then sees, in three hierarchies, the nine choirs of angels. Beatrice clean 
lome difficulties which occur to him on thb occasion. 

SO she, who doth imparadise my soul, 
Had drawn the veil from off our present life, 
And bared the truth of poor mortality: 
When lo! as one who, in a mirror, spies 
The shining of a flambeau at his back, 
Lit sudden ere he deem of its approach. 
And turneth to resolve him, if the glass 
Have told him true, and sees the record faithful 
As note is to its metre; even thus, 
I well remember, did befal to me. 
Looking upon the beauteous eyes, whence love 
Had made the leash to take me. As I turn'd: 
And that which none, who in that volume looks, 
Can miss of, in itself apparent, struck 
My view; a point I saw, that darted light 
So sharp, no lid, unclosing, may bear up 
Against its keenness. The least star we ken 
From hence, had seem'd a moon; set by its side, 
As star by side of star. And so far off. 
Perchance, as is the halo from the light 
Which paints it, when most dense the vapour spreads; 

" "Fortune shall be fain." The com- he vainly hoped would follow on the 
mentators in k^"'^'''! suppose that our arrival of the Emperor Henry VII in Italy. 
Poet here augurs that great reform which 

404 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxviii 

There wheel'd about the point a circle of fire, 

More rapid than the motion which surrounds, 

Sjjeediest, the world. Another this enring'd; 

And that a third; the third a fourth, and that 

A fifth encompass'd; which a sixth next bound; 

And over this, a seventh, following, reach'd 

Circumference so ample, that its bow. 

Within the span of Juno's messenger, 

Had scarce been held entire. Beyond a seventh. 

Ensued yet other two. And every one, 

As more in number distant from the fir«. 

Was tardier in motion: and that glow'd 

With flame most pure, that to the sparkle of truth, 

Was nearest; as partaking most, methinks. 

Of its reality. The guide beloved 

Saw me in anxious thought suspense, and spake: 

"Heaven, and all nature, hangs upon that point. 

The circle thereto most conjoin'd observe; 

And know, that by intenser love its course 

Is, to this swiftness, wing'd." To whom I thus: 

"It were enough; nor should I further seek. 

Had I but witness'd order, in the world 

Appointed, such as in these wheels is seen. 

But in the sensible world such difference is, 

That in each round shows more divinity. 

As each is wider from the centre. Hence, 

If in this wondrous and angelic temple. 

That hath, for confine, only light and love, 

My wish may have completion, I must know. 

Wherefore such disagreement is between 

The exemplar and its copy: for myself, 

Contemplating, I fail to pierce the cause." 

"It is no marvel, if thy fingers foil'd 
Do leave the knot untied: so hard 'tis grown 
For want of tenting." Thus she said: "But take," 
She added, "if thou wish thy cure, my words. 
And entertain them subtly. Every orb. 
Corporeal, doth proportion its extent 
Unto the virtue through its parts diffused. 
The greater blessedness preserves the more. 


The greater is the body (if all parts 

Share equally) the more is to preserve. 

Therefore the circle, whose swift course enwheels 

The universal frame, answers to that 

Which is supreme in knowledge and in love. 

Thus by the virtue, not the seeming breadth 

Of substance, measuring, thou shalt see the Heavens, 

Each to the intelligence that ruleth it. 

Greater to more, and smaller unto less, 

Suited in strict and wondrous harmony." 

As when the north blows from his milder cheek 
A blast, that scours the sky, forthwith our air, 
Clear'd of the rack that hung on it before. 
Glitters; and, with his beauties all unveil'd. 
The firmament looks forth serene, and smiles: 
Such was my cheer, when Beatrice drove 
With clear reply the shadows back, and truth 
Was manifested, as a star in Heaven. 
And when the words were ended, not unlike 
To iron in the furnace, every cirque. 
Ebullient, shot forth scintillating fires: 
And every sparkle shivering to new blaze, 
In number' did outmillion the account 
Reduplicate upon the chequer'd board. 
Then heard I echoing on, from choir to choir, 
"Hosanna," to the fixed jx)int, that holds. 
And shall for ever hold them to their place, 
From everlasting, irremovable. 

Musing awhile I stood: and she, who saw 

My inward meditations, thus began: 

"In the first circles, they, whom thou beheld'st 

Are Seraphim and Cherubim. Thus swift 

Follow their hoops, in likeness to the point, 

Near as they can, approaching; and they can 

The more, the loftier their vision. Those 

That round them fleet, gazing the Godhead next. 

Are Thrones; in whom the first trine ends. And all 

' "In number." The sparkles exceeded next, two; for the third, four; and $0 

the number which would be produced by went on doubling to the end of the ac- 

the sixty-four squares of a chess-board, if count, 
for the first we reckoned one; for the 

406 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxviii 

Are blessed, even as their sight descends 

Deeper into the Truth, wherein rest is 

For every mind. Thus happiness hath root 

In seeing, not in loving, which of sight 

Is aftergrowth. And of the seeing such 

The meed, as unto each, in due degree, 

Grace and good-will their measure have assign'd. 

The other trine, that with still opening buds 

In this eternal springtide blossom fair. 

Fearless of bruising from the nightly ram,' 

Breathe up in warbled melodies threefold 

Hosannas, blending ever; from the three, 

Transmitted, hierarchy of gods, for aye 

Rejoicing; dominations first; next them. 

Virtues; and powers the third; the next to whom 

Are princedoms and archangels, with glad round 

To tread their festal ring; and last, the band 

Angelical, dis|X)rting in their sphere. 

All, as they circle in their orders, look 

Aloft; and, downward, with such sway prevail, 

That all with mutual impulse tend to God. 

These once a mortal view beheld. Desire 

In Dionysius,' so intensely wrought, 

That he, as I have done, ranged them; and named. 

Their orders, marshal'd in his thought. From him. 

Dissentient, one refused his sacred read. 

But soon as in this Heaven his doubting eyes 

Were opcn'd, Gregory* at his error smiled. 

Nor marvel, that a denizen of earth 

Should scan such secret truth; for he had learnt' 

' Not injured, like spring products, by in Heaven, there is much that resembles 

the influence of autumn, when the con- what is said on the same subject by our 

stellation Aries rises at sunset. Poet. The learned prelate, however, ap- 

'The Areopa>;ite, in his book "De pears a little inconsistent, when, after 

Coelesti Hierarchia." having blamed Dionysius the ArcopaRite, 

* "Gregory." Gregory the Great. "for reckoning up exactly the several 

* "He had learnt." Dionysius, he says, orders of the angelical hierarchy, as if he 
had learnt from St. Paul. The book had seen a muster of the heavenly host 
above referred to, which goes under his before his eyes" (v. i. p. 313). he himself 
name, was the production of a later age. speaks more particularly of the several 
In Bishop Bull's seventh sermon, which orders m the celestial hierarchy than Holy 
treats of the different degrees of beatitude Scripture warrants. 


Both this and much beside of these our orbs. 
From an eye-witness to Heaven's mysteries." 


Argument. — Beatrice beholds, in the mirror of divine truth, some doubts which 
had entered the mind of Uantc. These she resolves; and then digresses into a 
vehement reprehension of certain theologians and preachers in those days, whose 
ignorance or avarice induced them to substitute their own inventions for the pure 
word of the Gospel. 

NO longer, than what time Latona's twins 
Cover'd of Libra and the fleecy star. 
Together both, girding the horizon hang; 
In even balance, from the zenith jxjised; 
Till from that verge, each, changing hemisphere. 
Part the nice level; e'en so brief a space 
Did Beatrice's silence hold. A smile 
Sat painted on her cheek; and her fix'd gaze 
Bent on the pwint, at which my vision fail'd: 
When thus, her words resuming, she began: 
"I speak, nor what thou wouldst inquire demand; 
For I have mark'd it, where all time and place 
Are present. Not for increase to Himself 
Of good, which may not be increased, but forth 
To manifest His glory by its beams; 
Inhabiting His own eternity. 
Beyond time's limit or what bound soe'er 
To circumscribe His being; as He will'd, 
Into new natures, like unto Himself, 
Eternal Love unfolded. Nor before, 
As if in dull inaction, torpid, lay. 
For, not in process of before or aft. 
Upon these waters moved the Spirit of God. 
Simple and mix'd, both form and substance, forth 
To perfect being started, like three darts 
Shot from a bow three-corded. And as ray 
In crystal, glass, and amber, shines entire, 
E'en at the moment of its issuing; thus 
Did, from the eternal Sovran, beam entire 
His threefold operation, at one act 


Produced coeval. Yet, in order, each 

Created his due station knew: those highest, 

Who pure intelHgence were made; mere power, 

The lowest; in the midst, bound with strict league. 

Intelligence and pxjwer, unsever'd bond. 

Long tract of ages by the Angels past, 

Ere the creating of another world. 

Described on Jerome's pages,' thou hast seen. 

But that what I disclose to thee is true. 

Those penmen,* whom the Holy Spirit moved 

In many a passage of their sacred book. 

Attest; as thou by diligent search shalt find: 

And reason,' in some sort, discerns the same, 

Who scarce would grant the heavenly ministers. 

Of their perfection void, so long a space. 

Thus when and where these spirits of love were made, 

Thou know'st, and how: and, knowing, hast allay'd 

Thy thirst, which from the triple question* rose. 

Ere one had reckon'd twenty, e'en so soon. 

Part of the Angels fell: and in their fall, 

Confusion to your elements ensued. 

The others kept their station: and this task. 

Whereon thou look'st, began, with such delight. 

That they surcease not ever, day nor night, 

Their circling. Of that fatal lapse the cause 

Was the curst pride of him, whom thou hast seen 

Pent with the world's incumbrance. Those, whom here 

Thou seest, were lowly to confess themselves 

Of His free bounty, who had made them apt 

For ministcries so high: therefore their views 

Were, by enlightening grace and their own merit. 

Exalted; so that in their will confirm 'd 

They stand, nor fear to fall. For do not doubt. 

But to receive the grace, which Heaven vouchsafes, 

I St. Jerome had described the An)^ls purpose if they had been created before 

as created Ion;; before the rest nf the the corporeal world, which they were to 

universe; an opinion which Thomas govern. 

Aquinas controverted. * He had wished to know where, when, 

'As in Gen. i. i, and Eccles. xviii. i. and how the Angels had been created, 

' "Reason." The heavenly ministers and these three questions had been re- 

("motori") would have existed to no solved. 


Is meritorious, even as the soul 

With prompt affection welcometh the guest. 

Now, without further help, if with good heed 

My words thy mind have treasured, thou henceforth 

This consistory round about mayst scan. 

And gaze thy fill. But, since thou hast on earth 

Heard vain disputers, reasoners in the schools. 

Canvass the angelic nature, and dispute 

Its fx)wers of apprehension, memory, choice; 

Therefore, 'tis well thou take from me the truth, 

Pure and without disguise; which they below. 

Equivocating, darken and perplex. 

"Know thou, that, from the first, these substances. 
Rejoicing in the countenance of God, 
Have held unceasingly their view, intent 
Upon the glorious vision, from the which 
Nought absent is nor hid: where then no change 
Of newness, with succession, interrupts. 
Remembrance, there, needs none to gather up 
Divided thought and images remote. 

"So that men, thus at variance with the truth. 
Dream, though their eyes be open; reckless some 
Of error; others well aware they err. 
To whom more guilt and shame are jusdy due. 
Each the known track of sage philosophy 
Deserts, and has a bye-way of his own: 
So much the resdess eagerness to shine, 
And love of singularity prevail. 
Yet this, offensive as it is, provokes 
Heaven's anger less, than when the Book of God 
Is forced to yield to man's authority, 
Or from its straightness warp'd: no reckoning made 
What blood the sowing of it in the world 
Has cost; what favour for himself he wins, 
Who meekly clings to it. The aim of all 
Is how to shine: e'en they, whose office is 
To preach the Gospel, let the Gospel sleep. 
And pass their own inventions off instead. 
One tells, how at Christ's suffering the wan moon 
Bent back her steps, and shadow'd o'er the sun 


With intervenient disk, as she withdrew: ' 
Another, how the hght shrouded itself 
Within its tabernacle, and left dark 
The Spaniard, and the Indian, with the Jew. 
Such fables Florence in her pulpit hears, 
Bandied about more frequent, than the names 
Of Bindi and of Lapi'' in her streets. 
The sheep, meanwhile, poor widess ones, return 
From pasture, fed with wind: and what avails 
For their excuse, they do not see their harm? 
Christ said not to His first conventicle, 
'Go forth and preach impostures to the world,' 
But gave them truth to build on; and the sound 
Was mighty on their lips: nor needed they, 
Beside the Gospel, other spear or shield. 
To aid them in their warfare for the faith. 
The preacher now provides himself with store 
Of jests and gibes; and, so there be no lack 
Of laughter, while he vents them, his big cowl 
Distends, and he has won the meed he sought: 
G}uld but the vulgar catch a glimpse the while 
Of that dark bird which nesdes in his hood. 
They scarce would wait to hear the blessing said. 
Which now the dotards hold in such esteem, 
That every counterfeit, who spreads abroad 
The hands of holy promise, finds a throng 
Of credulous fools beneath. Saint Anthony 
Fattens with this his swine,' and others worse 
Than swine, who diet at his lazy board. 
Paying with unstampt metal' for their fare, 

"But (for we far have wander'd) let us seek 
The forward path again; so as the way 
Be shorten'd with the time. No mortal tongue, 
Nor thought of man, hath ever reach'd so far. 
That of these natures he might count the tribes. 
What Daniel" of their thousands hath reveal'd, 

^Common names at Florence. a blow at Boniface vm, from whom, in 

' On the sale of these blessinj^, the 1 297, they obtained the privileges of an 

brothers of Sl Anthony supported them- independent congregation. 

selves and their paramours. From behind ' With false indulgences. 

the swine of St. Anthonv, our Poet levels * "Daniel." "Thousand thousands min- 


With finite number, infinite conceals. 

The fountain, at whose source these drink their beams, 

With light supplies them in as many modes, 

As there are splendours that it shines on: each 

According to the virtue it conceives. 

Differing in love and sweet affection. 

Look then how lofty and how huge in breadth 

The eternal Might, which, broken and dispersed 

Over such countless mirrors, yet remains 

Whole in itself and one, as at the first." 


AicuMENT. — Dante is taken up with Bcauicc into the empyrean; and there having 
his sight strengthened by her aid, and by the virtue derived from looking on the river 
of hght, he sees the triumph of the Angels and of the souls of the blessed. 

NOON'S fervid hour perchance six thousand miles' 
From hence is distant; and the shadowy cone 
Almost to level on our earth declines; 
When, from the midmost of this blue abyss, 
By turns some star is to our vision lost. 
And straightway as the handmaid of the sun 
Puts forth her radiant brow, all, light by light. 
Fade; and the spangled firmament shuts in. 
E'en to the loveliest of the glittering throng. 
Thus vanish'd gradually from my sight 
The triumph, which plays ever round the {>oint. 
That overcame me, seeming (for it did) 
Engirt' by that it girdeth. Wherefore love. 
With loss of other object, forced me bend 
Mine eyes on Beatrice once again. 

If all, that hitherto is told of her, 
Were in one praise concluded, 'twere too weak 
To furnish out this turn. Mine eyes did look 
On beauty, such, as I believe in sooth, 

istercd unto him, and ten thousand times ofl, and the shadow,formcd by the earth 

ten thousand stood before him." — Dan. over the part of it inhabited by the Poet, 

vii. 10. is about to disappear. 

' He compares the vanishing of the * "Appearing to be encompassed by 

vision to the fading away of the stars these angelic bands, which are in reality 

at dawn, when it is noonday 6,oou miles encompassed by it." 


Not merely to exceed our human; but. 
That save its Maker, none can to the full 
Enjoy it. At this point o'erpower'd I fail; 
Unequal to my theme; as never bard 
Of buskin or of sock hath fail'd before. 
For as the sun doth to the feeblest sight, 
E'en so remembrance of that witching smile 
Hath disposscst my spirit of itself. 
Not from that day, when on this earth I first 
Beheld her charms, up to that view of them, 
Have I with song applausive ever ceased 
To follow; but now follow them no more; 
My course here bounded, as each artist's is, 
When it doth touch the limit of his skill. 

She (such as I bequeath her to the bruit 
Of louder trump than mine, which hastcneth on 
Urging its arduous matter to the close) 
Her words resumed, in gesture and in voice 
Resembling one accustom'd to command: 
"Forth' from the last corporeal are we come 
Into the Heaven, that is unbodied light; 
Light intellectual, replete with love; 
Love of true happiness, replete with joy; 
Joy, that transcends all sweetness of delight. 
Here shalt thou look on either mighty host* 
Of Paradise; and one in that array, 
Which in the final judgment thou shalt see." 

As when the lightning, in a sudden spleen 
Unfolded, dashes from the blinding eyes 
The visive spirits, dazzled and bedimm'd; 
So, round about me, fulminating streams 
Of living radiance play'd, and left me swathed 
And veiled in dense impenetrable blaze. 
Such weal is in the love, that stills this heaven; 
For its own flame'' the torch thus fitting ever. 

No sooner to my listening ear had come 

' From the ninth sphere to the cm- and of beatified souls; the latter in the 
pyrcan, which is mere light. form they will have at the last day. 

* Of Angels, that remained faithful, ' Thus disposing the spirits to receive 

its own beatific light. 


The brief assurance, than I understood 

New virtue into me infused, and sight 

Kindled afresh, with vigour to sustain 

Excess of light however pure. I look'd; 

And, in the likeness of a river, saw 

Light flowing, from whose amber-seeming waves 

Flash'd up effulgence, as they glided on 

Twixt banks, on either side, painted with spring, 

Incredible how fair: and, from the tide. 

There ever and anon, outstarting, flew 

Sparkles instinct with life; and in the flowers 

Did set them, like to rubies, chased in gold: 

Then, as if drunk with odours, plunged again 

Into the wondrous flood; from which, as one 

Re-enter 'd, still another rose. "The thirst 

Of knowledge high, whereby thou art inflamed, 

To search the meaning of what here thou seest, 

The more it warms thee, pleases me the more. 

But first behoves thee of this water drink. 

Or e'er that longing be allay 'd." So spake 

The day-star of mine eyes: then thus subjoin'd: 

"This stream; and these, forth issuing from its gulf, 

And diving back, a living topaz each; 

With all this laughter on its bloomy shores; 

Are but a preface, shadowy of the truth 

They emblem: not that, in themselves, the things 

Are crude; but on thy part is the defect. 

For that thy views not yet aspire so high." 

Never did babe, that had outslept his wont, 
Rush, with such eager straining, to the milk. 
As I toward the water; bending me, 
To make the better mirrors of mine eyes 
In the refining wave: and as the eaves 
Of mine eyelids did drink of it, forthwith 
Seem'd it unto me turn'd from length to round. 
Then as a troop of maskers, when they put 
Their vizors off, look other than before; 
The counterfeited semblance thrown aside: 
So into greater jubilee were changed 
Those flowers and sparkles; and distinct I saw. 

414 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxx 

Before me, either court of Heaven display'd. 

O prime enlightener! thou who gavest me strength 
On the high triumph of Thy realm to gaw, 
Grant virtue now to utter what I kenn'd. 

There is in Heaven a light, whose goodly shine 
Makes the Creator visible to all 
Created, that in seeing Him alone 
Have peace; and in a circle spreads so far, 
That the circumference were too loose a zone 
To girdle in the sun. All is one beam. 
Reflected from the summit of the first, 
That moves, which being hence and vigour takes. 
And as some cliff, that from the bottom eyes 
His image mirror'd in the crystal flood, 
As if to admire his brave apparelling 
Of verdure and of flowers; so, round about. 
Eying the light, on more than million thrones. 
Stood, eminent, whatever from our earth 
Has to the skies return'd. How wide the leaves. 
Extended to their utmost, of this rose, 
Whose lowest step embosoms such a space 
Of ample radiance! Yet, nor amplitude 
Nor height impeded, but my view with ease 
Took in the full dimensions of that joy. 
Near or remote, what there avails, where God 
Immediate rules, and Nature, awed, suspends 
Her sway.' Into the yellow of the rose 
Perennial, which, in bright expansiveness. 
Lays forth its gradual blooming, redolent 
Of praises to the never-wintering sun. 
As one, who fain would speak yet holds his peace, 
Beatrice led me; and, "Behold," she said, 
"This fair assemblage; stoles of snowy white, 
How numberless. The city, where we dwell. 
Behold how vast; and these our seats so throng'd. 
Few now are wanting here. In that proud stall, 
On which, the crown, already o'er its state 
Suspended, holds thine eyes — or e'er thyself 
Mayst at the wedding sup — shall rest the soul 


Of the great Harry ,° he who, by the world 
Augustus haii'd, to Italy must come. 
Before her day be ripe. But ye are sick, 
And in your tetchy wantonness as blind, 
As is the bantling, that of hunger dies. 
And drives away the nurse. Nor may it be. 
That he,' who in the sacred forum sways. 
Openly or in secret, shall with him 
Accordant walk: whom God will not endure 
r the holy office long; but thrust him down 
To Simon Magus, where Alagna's priest' 
Will sink beneath him: such will be his meed." 


Argument. — ^The Poet expatiates further on the glorious vision described in the 
last Canto. On looking round for Beatrice, he finds that she has left him, and that 
an old man is at his side. This proves to be St. Bernard, who shows him that Beatrice 
has returned to her throne, and then points out to him the blessedness of the 
Virgin Mother. 

IN fashion, as a snow white rose, lay then 
Before my view the saindy multitude,' 
Which in His own blood Christ espoused. Meanwhile, 
That other host,^ that soar aloft to gaze 
And celebrate His glory, whom they love, 
Hover'd around; and, like a troop of bees. 
Amid the vernal sweets alighting now, 
Now, clustering, where their fragrant labour glows. 
Flew downward to the mighty flower, or rose 
From the redundant petals, streaming back 
Unto the steadfast dwelling of their joy. 
Faces had they of flame, and wings of gold: 

' "Of the Kfeat Harr>-." The Emperor was of a magnanimous heart, much 
Henry VII, who died in 1313. "Henr>', feared and held in awe; and if he had 
Count of Luxemburg, held the imperial lived longer, would have done the great- 
power three years, seven months and est things." G. VillanL 
eighteen days from his first coronation ' Clement V. Sec Canto xxvii. 53. 
to his death. He was a man wise, and * "Alagna's priest." Pope Boniface 
just, and gracious; brave and intrepid VIII. Hell, Canto xix. 79. 
in arms; a man of honor and a good ' Human souls, advanced to this state 
catholic; and although by his lineage of glory through the mediation of Christ, 
he was of no great condition, yet he '"That other host." The Angels. 



The rest was whiter than the driven snow; 
And, as they flitted down into the flower, 
From range to range, fanning their plumy loins, 
Whisper'd the peace and ardour, which they won 
From that soft winnowing. Shadow none, the vast 
Interposition of such numerous flight 
Cast, from above, upon the flower, or view 
Obstructed aught. For, through the universe. 
Wherever merited, celestial light 
Glides freely, and no obstacle prevents. 

All there, who reign in safety and in bliss, 
Ages long past or new, on one sole mark 
Their love and vision fix'd. O trinal beam 
Of individual star, that charm'st them thus! 
Vouchsafe one glance to gild our storm below.' 

If the grim brood,* from Arctic shores that roam'd, 
(Where Helice' for ever, as she wheels, 
Sparkles a mother's fondness on her son). 
Stood in mute wonder 'mid the works of Rome, 
When to their view the Lateran arose 
In greatness more than earthly; I, who then 
From human to divine had past, from time 
Unto eternity, and out of Florence 
To justice and to truth, how might I chuse 
But marvel too.? 'Twixt gladness and amaze, 
In sooth no will had I to utter aught, 
Or hear. And, as a pilgrim, when he rests 
Within the temple of his vow, looks round 
In breathless awe, and hopes some time to tell 
Of all its goodly state; e'en so mine eyes 
Coursed up and down along the living light. 
Now low, and now aloft, and now around. 
Visiting every step. Lxx)ks I beheld. 
Where charity in soft piersuasion sat; 
Smiles from within, and radiance from above; 
And, in each gesture, grace and honour high. 

So roved my ken, and in its general form 

'To guide us through the dangers of '"Hclice." Callistro, and her son 

this tempestuous life. Areas, changed into the constellation of 

* "If the grim brood." The northern the Greater Bear and Arctophylax, or 

hordes who invaded Rome. Bootes. 


All Paradise survey 'd: when round I turn'd 

With purfx)se of my lady to inquire 

Once more of things, that held my thought suspense. 

But answer found from other than I ween'd; 

For, Beatrice, when I thought to see, 

I saw instead a senior, at my side, 

Robed, as the rest, in glory. Joy benign 

Glow'd in his eye, and o'er his cheek diffused. 

With gestures such as spake a father's love. 

And, "Whither is she vanish'd?" straight I ask'd. 

"By Beatrice summon'd," he replied, 
"I come to aid thy wish. Looking aloft 
To the third circle from the highest, there 
Behold her on the throne, wherein her merit 
Hath placed her." Answering not, mine eyes I raised. 
And saw her, where aloof she sat, her brow 
A wreath reflecting of eternal beams. 
Not from the centre of the sea so far 
Unto the region of the highest thunder, 
As was my ken from hers; and yet the form 
Came through that medium down, unmix'd and pure. 

"O Lady! thou in whom my hop)es have rest; 
Who, for my safety, hast not scorn'd, in Hell 
To leave the traces of thy footsteps mark'd; 
For all mine eyes have seen, I to thy power 
And goodness, virtue owe and grace. Of slave 
Thou hast to freedom brought me: and no means, 
For my deliverance apt, hast left untried. 
Thy liberal bounty still toward me keep: 
That, when my spirit, which thou madest whole, 
Is loosen'd from this body, it may find 
Favour with thee." So I my suit preferr'd: 
And she, so distant, as appear 'd, look'd down. 
And smiled; then toward the eternal fountain turn'd. 

And thus the senior, holy and revered: 
"That thou at length mayst happily conclude 
Thy voyage, (to which end I was despatch'd, 
By supplication moved and holy love), 
Let thy upsoaring vision range, at large. 
This garden through: for so, by ray divine 

4l8 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxx 

Kindled, thy ken a higher flight shall mount; 

And from Heaven's Queen, whom fervent I adore. 

All gracious aid befriend us; for that I 

Am her own faithful Bernard."' Like a wight, 

Who haply from Croatia wends to see 

Our Veronica,' and, the while 'tis shown. 

Hangs over it with never-sated gaze, 

And, all that he hath heard revolving, saith 

Unto himself in thought: "And didst Thou look 

E'en thus, O Jesus, my true Lord and God? 

And was this semblance Thine?" So gazed I then 

Adoring; for the charity of him,' 

Who musing, in this world that peace enjoy 'd, 

Stood livelily before me. "Child of grace!" 

Thus he began: "Thou shalt not knowledge gain 

Of this glad being, if thine eyes are held 

Still in this depth below. But search around 

The circles, to the furthest, till thou spy 

Seated in state, the Queen' that of this realm 

Is sovran." Straight mine eyes I raised; and bright, 

As, at the birth of morn, the eastern clime 

Above the horizon, where the sun declines; 

So to mine eyes, that upward, as from vale 

To mountain sped, at the extreme bound, a part 

Excell'd in lustre all the front opposed. 

And as the glow burns ruddiest o'er the wave, 

That waits the ascending team, which Phaeton 

111 knew to guide, and on each part the light 

Diminish 'd fades, intensest in the midst; 

So burn'd the peaceful oriflame, and slack'd 

On every side the living flame decay'd. 

' "Bernard." St. Bernard, the venerable the Virgin, and "opposed the doctrine 

Abbot of Clairvaux, and the great pro- itself with the greatest vigor, as it sup- 

moter of the Second Crusade, who died posed her being honored with a privilege 

A. D. 1 1 53, in his sixty-third year. He which belonged to Christ alone." 

has been termed the last of the fathers ' A copy in miniature of the picture of 

of the Church. That the part he acts Christ, which is supposed to have been 

in the present poem should be assigned miraculously imprinted upon a handker- 

to him, appears somewhat remarkable, chief preserved in the church of St. Peter 

when we consider that he severely cen- at Rome, 

sured the new festival i-sublished in ' "Him." St. Bernard, 

honor of the Immaculate Conception of • "The queen." The Virgin Mary. 


And in that midst their sportive pennons waved 
Thousands of Angels; in resplendence each 
Distinct, and quaint adornment. At their glee 
And carol, smiled the Lovely One of Heaven, 
That joy was in the eyes of all the blest. 
Had I a tongue in eloquence as rich, 
As is the colouring in fancy's loom, 
'Twere all too poor to utter the least part 
Of that enchantment. When he saw mine eyes 
Intent on her, that charm'd him; Bernard gazed 
With so exceeding fondness, as infused 
Ardour into my breast, unfelt before. 


AnouMENT. — St Bernard shows him, on their several thrones, the other blessed 
souls, of both the Old and New Testament; explains to him that their places are 
assigned them by grace, and not according to merit; and, lastly, tells him that if he 
would obtain power to descry what remained of the heavenly vision, he must unite 
with bim in supplication to Mary. 

FREELY the sage, though wrapt in musings high. 
Assumed the teacher's part, and mild began: 
"The wound, that Mary closed, she' open'd first, 
Who sits so beautiful at Mary's feet. 
The third in order, underneath her, lo! 
Rachel with Beatrice: Sarah next; 
Judith; Rebecca; and the gleaner-maid. 
Meek ancestress' of him, who sang the songs 
Of sore repentance in his sorrowful mood. 
All, as I name them, down from leaf to leaf. 
Are, in gradation, throned on the rose. 
And from the seventh step, successively, 
Adown the breathing tresses of the flower. 
Still doth the file of Hebrew dames proceed. 
For these are a partition wall, whereby 
The sacred stairs are sever'd, as the faith 
In Christ divides them. On this part, where blooms 
Each leaf in full maturity, are set 
Such as in Christ, or e'er He came, believed. 
On the other, where an intersected space 
' Eve. ' Ruth, the ancestress of David. 

420 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxii 

Yet shows the semicircle void, abide 

All they, who look'd to Christ already come 

And as our Lady on her glorious stool, 

And they who on their stools beneath her sit, 

This way distinction make; e'en so on his, 

The mighty Baptist that way marks the line 

(He who endured the desert, and the pains 

Of martyrdom, and, for two years,' of Hell, 

Yet still continued holy), and beneath, 

Augustin;'' Francis;' Benedict;' and the rest, 

Thus far from round to round. So Heaven's decree 

Forecasts, this garden equally to fill, 

With faith in either view, past or to come. 

Learn too, that downward from the step, which cleaves, 

Midway, the twain compartments, none there are 

Who place obtain for merit of their own, 

But have through others' merit been advanced, 

On set conditions; spirits all released. 

Ere for themselves they had the power to chuse. 

And, if thou mark and listen to them well. 

Their childish looks and voice declare as much. 

"Here, silent as thou art, I know thy doubt; 

And gladly will I loose the knot, wherein 

Thy subtile thoughts have bound thee. From this realm 

Excluded, chance no entrance here may find; 

No more than hunger, thirst, or sorrow can. 

A law immutable hath stablish'd all; 

Nor is there aught thou seest, that doth not fit. 

Exactly, as the finger to the ring. 

It is not, therefore, without cause, that these 

O'erspeedy comers to immortal life. 

Are different in their shares of excellence. 

Our Sovran Lord, that settleth this estate 

In love and in delight so absolute. 

That wish can dare no further, every soul. 

Created in His joyous sight to dwell, 

With grace, at pleasure, variously endows. 

* The time that elapsed between the * BUhop of Hippo, fourth century. See 

death of the Baptist and his redemption also Canto x. 117. 
by the death of Christ. ' "Francis." See Canto xi. 

' "Benedict." See Canto xxii. 


And for a proof the effect may well suffice. 

And 'tis moreover most expressly mark'd 

In holy Scripture, where the twins are said 

To have struggled in the womb. Therefore, as grace 

Inweaves the coronet, so every brow 

Weareth its proper hue of orient light. 

And merely in respect to his prime gift, 

Not in reward of meritorious deed. 

Hath each his several degree assign'd. 

In early times with their own innocence 

More was not wanting than the parents' faith, 

To save them: those first ages past, behoved 

That circumcision in the males should imp 

The flight of innocent wings: but since the day 

Of grace hath come, without baptismal rites 

In Christ accomplish'd, innocence herself 

Must linger yet below. Now raise thy view 

Unto the visage most resembling Christ: 

For, in her splendour only, shalt thou win 

The power to look on Him." Forthwith I saw 

Such floods of gladness on her visage shower'd, 

From holy spirits, winging that profound; 

That, whatsoever I had yet beheld. 

Had not so much suspended me with wonder, 

Or shown me such similitude of God. 

And he, who had to her descended, once. 

On earth, now hail'd in Heaven; and on poised wing, 

"Ave, Maria, Gratia Plena," sang: 

To whose sweet anthem all the blissful court. 

From all parts answering, rang: that holier joy 

Brooded the deep serene. "Father revered! 

Who deign'st, for me, to quit the pleasant place 

Wherein thou sittest, by eternal lot; 

Say, who that Angel is, that with such glee 

Beholds our Queen, and so enamour 'd glows 

Of her high beauty, that all fire he seems." 

So I again resorted to the lore 
Of my wise teacher, he, whom Mary's charms 
Embellish'd, as the sun the morning star; 
Who thus in answer spake: "In him are summ'd. 

422 THE DIVINE COMEDY canto xxxii 

Whate'er of buxomness and free delight 

May be in spirit, or in Angel, met: 

And so beseems: for that he bare the palm 

Down unto Mary, when the Son of God 

Vouchsafed to clothe Him in terrestrial weeds. 

Now let thine eyes wait heedful on my words; 

And note thou of this just and pious realm 

The chiefest nobles. Those, highest in bliss. 

The twain, on each hand next our Empress throned. 

Are as it were two roots unto this rose: 

He to the left, the parent, whose rash taste 

Proves bitter to his seed; and, on the right. 

That ancient father of the holy Church, 

Into whose keeping Christ did give the keys 

Of this sweet flower; near whom behold the seer,' 

That, ere he died, saw all the grievous times 

Of the fair bride, who with the lance and nails 

Was won. And, near unto the other, rests 

The leader, under whom, on manna, fed 

The ungrateful nation, fickle and [Derverse. 

On the other part, facing to Peter, lo! 

Where Anna sits, so well content to look 

On her loved daughter, that with moveless eye 

She chants the loud hosanna: while, opposed 

To the first father of your mortal kind, 

Is Lucia,' at whose best thy lady sped. 

When on the edge of ruin closed thine eye. 

"But (for the vision hasteneth to an end) 
Here break we off, as the good workman doth. 
That shapes the cloak according to the cloth; 
And to the Primal Love our ken shall rise; 
That thou mayst penetrate the brightness, far 
As sight can bear thee. Yet, alas! in sooth 
Beating thy pennons, thinking to advance. 
Thou backward fall'st. Grace then must first be gain'd; 
Her grace, whose might can help thee. Thou in prayer 
Seek her: and, with affection, whilst I sue. 
Attend, and yield me all thy heart." He said; 
And thus the saindy orison began. 
' St. John. ' See Hell, Canto ii. 97, and Purgatory, Canto ix. jo. 



AjtcUMENT. — St. Bernard supplicates the Virgin Mary that Dante may have grace 
given him to contemplate the brightness of the Divine Majesty, which is accordingly 
granted; and Uantc then himself prays to God for ability to show forth some part 
of the celestial glory in his writings. Lastly, he is admitted to a glimpse of the great 
mystery; the Trinity, and the Union of Man with God. 

"^^^ VIRGIN MOTHER, daughter of thy Son! 
■ ■ Created beings all in lowliness 
X, ^ Surpassing, as in height above them all; 
Term by the eternal counsel pre-ordain'd; 
Ennobler of thy nature, so advanced 
In thee, that its great Maker did not scorn, 
To make Himself his own creation; 
For in thy womb rekindling shone the love 
Reveal'd, whose genial influence makes now 
This flower to germin in eternal peace: 
Here thou to us, of charity and love, 
Art, as the noon-day torch; and art, beneath, 
To mortal men, of hope a living spring. 
So mighty art thou. Lady, and so great, 
That he, who grace desireth, and comes not 
To thee for aidance, fain would have desire 
Fly without wings. Not only him, who asks. 
Thy bounty succours; but doth freely oft 
Forerun the asking. Whatsoe'er may be 
Of excellence in creature, pity mild. 
Relenting mercy, large munificence, 
Are all combined in thee. Here kneeleth one. 
Who of all spirits hath review'd the state. 
From the world's lowest gap unto this height. 
Suppliant to thee he kneels, imploring grace 
For virtue yet more high, to lift his ken 
Toward the bliss supreme. And I, who ne'er 
Coveted sight, more fondly, for myself, 
Than now for him, my prayers to thee prefer, 
(And pray they be not scant), that thou wouldst 
Each cloud of his mortality away, [drive 

Through thine own prayers, that on the sovran joy 
Unveil'd he gaze. This yet, I pray thee. Queen, 


Who canst do what thou wilt; that in him thou 

Wouldst, after all he hath beheld, preserve 

Affection sound, and human passions quell. 

Lo! where, with Beatrice, many a saint 

Stretch their clasp'd hands, in furtherance of my suit." 

The eyes, that Heaven with love and awe regards, 
Fix'd on the suitor, witness'd, how benign 
She looks on pious prayers: then fasten'd they 
On the everlasting light, wherein no eye 
Of creature, as may well be thought, so far 
Can travel inward. I, meanwhile, who drew 
Near to the limit, where all wishes end. 
The ardour of my wish (for so behoved) 
Ended within me. Beckoning smiled the sage. 
That I should look aloft: but, ere he bade. 
Already of myself aloft I look'd; 
For visual strength, refining more and more. 
Bare me into the ray authentical 
Of sovran light. Thenceforward, what I saw, 
Was not for words to speak, nor memory's self 
To stand against such outrage on her skill. 

As one, who from a dream awaken'd, straight, 
All he hath seen forgets; yet still retains 
Impression of the feeling in his dream; 
E'en such am I: for all the vision dies. 
As 'twere, away; and yet the sense of sweet, 
That sprang from it, still trickles in my heart. 
Thus in the sun-thaw is the snow unseal'd; 
Thus in the winds on flitting leaves was lost 
The Sibyl's sentence. O eternal beam! [soar?) 

(Whose height what reach of mortal thought may 
Yield me again some little particle 
Of what Thou then appearedst; give my tongue 
Power, but to leave one sparkle of Thy glory. 
Unto the race to come, that shall not lose 
Thy triumph wholly, if Thou waken aught 
Of memory in me, and endure to hear 
The record sound in this unequal strain. 

Such keenness from the living ray I met. 
That, if mine eyes had turn'd away, methinks. 


I had been lost; but, so embolden'd, on 
I pass'd, as I remember, till my view 
Hover'd the brink of dread infinitude. 

O grace, unenvying of Thy boon! that gavest 
Boldness to fix so earnestly my ken 
On the everlasting splendour, that I look'd. 
While sight was unconsumed, and, in that depth. 
Saw in one volume clasp'd of love, whate'er 
The universe unfolds; all properties 
Of substance and of accident, beheld, 
Compounded, yet one individual light 
The whole. And of such bond methinks I saw 
The universal form; for that whene'er 
I do but speak of it, my soul dilates 
Beyond her proper self; and, till I speak. 
One moment seems a longer lethargy. 
Than five-and-twenty ages had appear 'd 
To that emprize, that first made Neptune wonder 
At Argo's shadow darkening on his flood. 

With fixed heed, suspense and motionless, 

Wondering I gazed; and admiration still 

Was kindled as I gazed. It may not be. 

That one, who looks up>on that light, can turn 

To other object, willingly, his view. 

For all the good, that will may covet, there 

Is summ'd; and all, elsewhere defective found. 

Complete. My tongue shall utter now, no more 

E'en what remembrance keeps, than could the babe's 

That yet is moisten'd at his mother's breast. 

Not that the semblance of the living light 

Was changed, (that ever as at first remain'd). 

But that my vision quickening, in that sole 

Appearance, still new miracles descried. 

And toil'd me with the change. In that abyss 

Of radiance, clear and lofty, seem'd, methought, 

Three orbs of triple hue, dipt in one bound:' 

And, from another, one reflected seem'd, 

' "Three orbs of triple hue, dipt in one second, and tliird, and of the impocsi- 

bound." The Trinity. This passage may bility that the human soul should attain 

be compared to what Plato, in his second to what it desires to know of them, by 

Epistle, enigmatically says of a first, means of anything akin to itself. 


As rainbow is from rainbow: and the third 
Seem'd fire, breathed equally from both. O speech! 
How feeble and how faint art thou, to give 
Conception birth. Yet this to what I saw 
Is less than litde. O eternal Light! 
Sole in Thyself that dwell'st; and of Thyself 
Sole understood, past, present, or to come; 
Thou smiledst, on that circling,* which in Thee 
Seem'd as reflected splendour, while I mused; 
For I therein, methought, in its own hue 
Beheld our image painted: steadfasdy 
I therefore pored upon the view. As one, 
Who versed in geometric lore, would fain 
Measure the circle; and, though pondering long 
And deeply, that beginning, which he needs. 
Finds not: e'en such was I, intent to scan 
The novel wonder, and trace out the form, 
How to the circle fitted, and therein 
How placed: but the flight was not for my wing; 
Had not a flash darted athwart my mind, 
And, in the spleen, unfolded what it sought. 

Here vigour fail'd the towering fantasy: 
But yet the will roU'd onward, like a wheel 
In even motion, by the Lx)ve impell'd. 
That moves the sun in Heaven and all the stars. 

* "That circling." The second of the dimly beheld the mystery of the Incar- 
cireles, "Light of Light," in which he nation. 


Adveur, opposite. 

Afflation, the act of blowing upon, or the 

state of being blown upon. 
Agnized, acknowledged; recognized; 


Backening, hindering. 

Betteadi, profits. 

Beuiraying, discovering, betra^ring. 

Brachi, female hounds; dogs that pursue 

their prey by the scent. 
Burgein, bud, put forth branches. 

Champain, flat, open country. 

Charlemain, Charlemagne: Charles the 

Chusei, chooses. 

Cirque, a circle; an encircling cliff. 

Cittern, a musical instrument, like a 
guiur, but strung with wire iiutead 
of gut. 

Clolfed, concealed; disguised; con- 

Cope, head-covering; summit; canopy. 

Curule-chair, among the Romans a chair 
of state reserved under the Republic 
for officers of high dignity, hence called 
"curule magistrates." 

Cyon, scioa. 

Doddered, overgrown with dodder, or 
slender, twining, leafless parasites, in- 
volving and destroying the whole plant 
on which they grow. 

Diipred, expanded. 

Empery, empire, sovereignty, dominion. 
Emprize, undertaking of great import and 

Erit, formerly. 

fealty, dexterously; nimbly. 
Fardel, burden. 

foiton, outpouring; abundance. 
Fosj, moat; ditch; depression; chasm. 
Frore, frozen; frosty. 

Germain, related. 

deed, spark. 

Governance, the art of governing. 
Grot, grotto; crypt; bidden chamber. 
Gyres, circles. 

Hight, called; named. 
Holm, holly; oak-holm. 

Indurated, hardened; obdurate. 

Jocund, cheerful; care-free. 

Ken, sub. attention, understanding; v. 
recognize, apprehend. 

Lea, meadow. 

Limn'd, painted; drawn; illuminated. 

List, Purg., c. 1 8, I. 59, please; Purg., c. 

23, 1. 48, listen to. 
Losel, a lazy vagabond; a scoundrel. 

Meed, reward, in both bad and good 

Micl^e, much; great. 

Nathless, none the less. 

Omnific, all-creating. 

Pallet, couch; resting place. 
Practic, practical skill; i. e., proof. 
Primy, flourishing; in its prime. 
Proem, preface; introduction. 
Propension, inclination. 

Quaternion, composed of four, as in Purg., 

c- 33. '• 3. the four virgins. 
Quatre, four. 
Quire, choir; company. 
Quiresters, choristers; singing birds. 

Ramp, leap; spring; bound. 
Reaves, bereaves. 
Rere, rear; backward. 
Rereward, to the rear. 
Rivage, river bank; shore; coast. 

Sempiternal, having beginning, but no 
end; everlasting. 




Seplcnirion, northern. 

Sheret, hurt; damaged. 

Sickli", makes sick. 

Sipl-mark., seal; signature; an occult sign, 

mark, or character. 
Sith, since; afterwards. 
Sithence, since; seeing that. 
Swerd, sword. 

Tent, prove; sound; tempt; try. 

Tetchy, peevish; irritable. 

Tilth, that which is tilled; or the act of 

Tinct, tinged; colored. 

Tourneying, competing (or turning, vary- 

Transpicuous, transparent. 

Trinal, threefold. 

Trine, threefold. 

Twyfold, twofold. 

Unweeting, unwitting; unconscious. 

Vaward, vanward; to the front. 

Vermeil dyed the mulberry, etc., the story 
as told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses, 
the blood of Pyramis dyed the white 
mulberry a dark tint or purple hue. 

Vermeil-tinctured, vermilion-tinged or 
rosy colored. 

Verrey, verry, same as vtdri, a term in 
heraldry denoting green-tinctured. 

Visive, visual. 

Wain, sub. Charles's wain— churl's or 
farmer's wagon, the seven brightest 
stars of the constellation Great Bear, 
which has been called a wagon or 
"wain" since the time of Homer; v., 
to carry. 

Waymenting, bewailing; lamentation. 

Whenas, when; whereas; while. 

Whilom, once; formerly. 

Wons, lives; dwells.