Skip to main content

Full text of "Dante. An essay. To which is added a translation of De monarchia"

See other formats

i^\^ ^ 








R. W. CHURCH, M.A., D.C.L. 

DEA.N OF ST. Paul's, and honorary fellow of oriel college, oxford. 

To which is added 







The following Essay first appeared in the " Christian 
Remembrancer" of January, 1850, and it was re- 
printed in a volume of " Essays and Reviews," 
published in 1854. 

It was written before the appearance in Germany 
and England of the abundant recent literature on 
the subject. With the exception of a few trifling 
corrections, it is republished without change. 

By the desire of Mr. Macmillan, a translation of 
the De Motiarchia is subjoined. I am indebted for 
it to my son, Mr. F. J. Church, late Scholar of New 
College. It is made from the text of Witte's second 
edition of the De Monarchia, 1874. The De Mo- 
narchia has been more than once translated into 
Italian and German, in earlier or later times. But I 
do not know that any English translation has yet 
appeared. It is analysed in the fifteenth chapter of 
Mr. Bryce's " Holy Roman Empire." 

Witte, with much probability, I think, places the 



composition of the work in the first part of Dante's 
hfe, before his exile in 1301, while the pretensions 
and arguments of Boniface VIII. (1294-1303) were 
being discussed by Guelf and Ghibelline partisans, 
but before they were formally embodied in the famous 
Bull Unain Sanctavi, 1302. The character of the 
composition, for the most part, formal, general, and 
scholastic, sanguine in tone and with little personal 
allusion, is in strong contrast with the passionate and 
despairing language of resentment and disappoint- 
ment which marks his later writings. As an example 
of the political speculation of the time, it should be 
compared with the '■^ De Reginiine Principuni" ascribed 
to Thomas Aquinas. The whole subject of the me- 
diaeval idea of the Empire is admirably discussed 
jn Mr. Bryce's book referred to above. 

R. W. C, 

St. Paul's, 

November, 187S, 



[Jan. 1850.] 

The Divina Covinicdia is one of the landmarks of 
history. More than a magnificent poem, more than 
the beginning of a language and the opening of a 
national literature, more than the inspirer of art, and 
the glory of a great people, it is one of those rare 
and solemn monuments of the mind's power, which 
measure and test what it can reach to, which rise 
up ineffaceably and for ever as time goes on, 

* Dante s Divine Comedy, the Inferno ; a literal Prose Translation, 
loith the Text of the Original. By J. A. Carlyle, M.D., London : 1849. 
I have never quite forgiven myself for not having said' more of the 
unpretending but honest and most useful volume which stood at the 
head of this essay when it first appeared as an article. It was placed 
there, according to what was then a custom of article writers, as a peg 
to hang remarks upon which might or might not be criticisms of the 
particular book so noticed. It did not offer itself specially to my use, 
and my attention was busy with my own work. But this was no 
excuse for availing myself of a good book, and not giving it the notice 
which it deserved. To an English student beginning Dante, and 
wishing to study him in a scholarly manner, it is really more useful 
than a verse translation can be ; and I have always greatly regretted 
that the plan of translating the whole work was dropped for want of 
the appreciation which the first instalment ought to have had. (li^yS.) 



marking out Its advance by grander divisions than 
its centuries, and adopted as epochs by the con- 
sent of all who come after. It stands with the 
Iliad and Shakspere's Plays, with the writings of 
Aristotle and Plato, with the Novum Organon and 
the Principia, with Justinian's Code, with the Par- 
thenon and S. Peter's. It is the first Christian poem; 
and it opens European literature, as the Iliad did that 
of Greece and Rome. And, like the Iliad, it has never 
become out of date; it accompanies in undiminished 
freshness the literature which it began. 

We approach the history of such works, in which 
genius seems to have pushed its achievements to a new 
limit, with a kind of awe. The beginnings of all things, 
their bursting out from nothing, and gradual evolution 
into substance and shape, cast on the mind a solemn 
influence. They come too near the fount of being to 
be followed up without our feeling the shadows which 
surround it. We cannot but fear, cannot but feel 
ourselves cut off from this visible and familiar world 
—as we enter into the cloud. And as with the pro- 
cesses of nature, so it is with those offsprings of man's 
mind, by which he has added permanently one more 
great feature to the world, and cieated a new power 
which is to act on mankind to the end. The mystery 
of the inventive and creative faculty, the subtle and 
incalculable combinations by which it Avas led to its 


work, and carried through it, are out of the reach of 
investigating thought. Often the idea recurs of the 
precariousness of the result ; by how Httle the world 
might have lost one of its ornaments— by one sharp 
pang, or one chance meeting, or any other among 
the countless accidents among which man runs his 
course. And then the solemn recollection supervenes, 
that powers were formed, and life'-preserved, and cir- 
cumstances arranged, and actions controlled, that 
thus it should be : and the work which man has 
brooded over, and at last created, is the foster-child 
too of that " Wisdom which reaches from end to end, 
strongly and sweetly disposing all things." 

It does not abate these feelings, that we can follow 
in some cases and to a certain extent, the progress of 
a work. Indeed, the sight of the particular accidents 
among which it was developed — which belong perhaps 
to a heterogeneous and widely discordant order of 
things, which are out of proportion and out of har- 
mony vvath it, Avhich do not explain it, which have, as 
it may seem to us, no natural right to be connected 
Avith it, to bear on its character, or contribute to its 
acQomplishmcnt, to which we feel, as it Avere, ashamed 
to owe what v/e can least spare, yet on which its 
forming mind and purpose were dependent, and v/ith 
which they had to conspire — affects the imagination 
even more than cases where we see nothing. We are 

B 2 


tempted less to musing and wonder by the Iliad, a 
work without a history, cut off from its past, the 
sole relic and vestige of its age, unexplained in its 
origin and perfection, than by the Divina Coiiinicdia, 
destined for the highest ends and most universal 
sympathy, yet the reflection of a personal history, and 
issuing seemingly from its chance incidents. 

The Divina Coniiiicdia is singular among the great 
works with which it ranks, for its strong stamp 
of personal character and history. In general we 
associate little more than the name — not the life — of 
a great poet with his works ; personal interest belongs 
more usually to greatness in its active than its creative 
forms. But the whole idea and purpose of the 
Commedia, as well as its filling up and colouring, are 
determined by Dante's peculiar history. The loftiest, 
perhaps, in its aim and flight of all poems, it is also 
the most individual ; the writer's own life is 
chronicled in it, as well as the issues and upshot of 
all things. It is at once the mirror to all time .of the 
sins and perfections of men, of the judgments and 
grace of God, and the record, often the only one, of 
the transient names, and local factions, and obscure 
ambitions, and forgotten crimes, of the poet's own 
day ; and in that awful company to which he leads 
us, in the most unearthly of his scenes, we never lose 
sight of himself And when this peculiarity sends us 


to history, it seems as if the poem which was to hold 
such a place in Christian literature hung upon and 
grew out of chance events, rather than the deliberate 
design of its author. History indeed here, as 
generally, is but a feeble exponent of the course of 
growth in a great mind and great ideas. It shows us 
early a bent and purpose — the man conscious of 
power and intending to use it — and then the accidents 
among which he worked : but how that current of 
purpose threaded its way among them, how it was 
throv/n back, deflected, deepened, by them, we cannot 
learn from history. It presents but a broken and 
mysterious picture. A boy of quick and enthusiastic 
temper grows up into youth in a dream of love. The 
lady of his mystic passion dies early. He dreams of 
her still, not as a wonder of earth, but as a Saint in 
Paradise, and relieves his heart in an autobiography, 
a strange and perplexing work of fiction — quaint and 
subtle enough for a metaphysical conceit ; but, on the 
other hand, with far too much of genuine and deep 
feeling. It is a first essay ; he' closes it abruptly as if 
dissatisfied with his work, but with the resolution of 
raising at a future day a worthy monument to the 
memory of her whom he has lost. It is the promise 
and purpose of a great work. But a prosaic change 
seems to come over this half-ideal character. The 
lover becomes the student — the student of the 13th 


century — struggling painfully against difficulties, 
eager and hot after knowledge, wasting eyesight and 
stinting sleep, subtle, inquisitive, active-minded and 
sanguine, but omnivorous, overflowing with dialectical 
forms, loose in premiss and ostentatiously rigid in 
syllogism, fettered by the refinements of half- 
awakened taste, and the mannerisms of the Pro- 
vencals. Boethius and Cicero, and the mass of 
mixed learning within his reach, are accepted as the 
consolation of his human griefs : he is filled with the 
passion of universal knowledge, and the desire to 
communicate it. Philosophy has become the lady of 
his soul — to write allegorical poems in her honour, 
and to comment on them with all the apparatus of 
his learning in prose, his mode of celebrating her. 
Further, he marries ; it is said, not happily. The 
antiquaries, too, have disturbed romance by dis- 
covering that Beatrice also was married some years 
before her death. He appears, as time goes on, as 
a burgher of Florence, the father of a family, a 
politician, an envoy, a magistrate, a partisan, taking 
his full share in the quarrels of the day. At length 
we see him, at once an exile, and the poet of the 
Covunedia. Beatrice reappears — shadowy, melting 
at times into symbol and figure — but far too living 
and real, addressed with too intense and natural 
feeling, to be the mere personification of anything. 


The lady of the philosophical Canzoni has vanished. 
The student's dream has been broken, as the boy's 
had been ; and the earnestness of the man, en- 
lightened by sorrow, overleaping- the student's 
formalities and abstractions, reverted in sympathy to 
the earnestness of the boy, and brooded once more 
on that Saint in Paradise, whose presence and 
memory had once been so soothing, and v^-ho now 
seemed a real link between him and that stable 
country, "where the angels are in peace." Round 
her image, the reflection of purity, and truth, and 
forbearing love, was grouped that confused scene of 
trouble and effort, of failure and success, which the 
poet saw round him ; round her image it arranged 
itself in awful order — and that image, not a meta- 
physical abstraction, but the living memory, freshened 
by sorrow, and seen through the softening and 
hallowing vista of years, of Beatrice Portinari — no 
figment of imagination, but God's creature and 
servant. A childish love, dissipated by study and 
business, and revived in memory by heavy sorrow — 
a boyish resolution, made in a moment of feeling, 
interrupted, though it would be hazardous to say in 
Dante's case, laid aside, for apparently more manly 
studies, gave the idea and suggested the form of the 
" Sacred poem of earth and heaven." 

And the occasion of this startling unfolding of the 


poetic gift, of this passage of a soft and dreamy boy, 
into the keenest, boldest, sternest of poets, the free 
and mighty leader of European song, was, what is 
not ordinarily held to be a source of poetical inspira- 
tion, — the political life. The boy had sensibility, high 
aspirations, and a versatile and passionate nature ; the 
student added to this energy, various learning, gifts 
of language, and noble ideas on the capacities and 
ends of man. But it Avas the factions of Florence 
which made Dante a great poet. But for them, he 
might have been a modern critic and essayist born 
before his time, and have held a high place among the 
writers of fugitive verses ; in Italy, a graceful but 
trifling and idle tribe, often casting a deep and beau- 
tiful thought into a mould of expressive diction, but 
oftener toying with a foolish and glittering conceit, 
and whose languid genius was exhausted by a sonnet. 
He might have thrown into the shade the Guidos and 
Cinos of his day, to be eclipsed by Petrarch. But 
he learned in the bitter feuds of Italy not to trifle ; 
they opened to his view, and he had an eye to see, the 
true springs and abysses of this mortal life — motives 
and passions stronger than lovers' sentiments, evils 
beyond the consolations of Boethius and Cicero ; 
and from that fiery trial Avhich without searing 
his heart, annealed his strength and purpose, he drew 
that great gift and power, by which he stands pre- 


eminent even among his high compeers, the gift of 
being real. And the idea of the Covinicdia took 
shape, and expanded into its endless forms of terror 
and beauty, not under the roof-tree of the literary 
citizen, but when the exile had been driven out to the 
highways of the world, to study nature on the sea or 
by the river or on the mountain track, and to study 
men in the courts of Verona and Ravenna, and in the 
schools of Bologna and Paris — perhaps of Oxford. 

The connexion of these feuds with Dante's poem 
has given to the middle age history of Italy an 
interest of which it is not undeserving in itself, full as 
it is of curious exhibitions of character and contri- 
vance, but to which politically it cannot lay claim, 
amid the social phenomena, so far grander in scale 
and purpose and more felicitous in issue, of the other 
western nations. It is remarkable for keeping up an 
antique phase, which, in spite of modern arrange- 
ments, it has not yet lost. It is a history of cities. 
In ancient history all that is most memorable and 
instructive gathers round cities ; civilisation and 
empire w^ere concentrated ^\'ithin walls ; and it baffled 
the ancient mind to conceive how power should be 
possessed and wielded, by numbers larger than might 
be collected in a single market-place. The Roman 
Empire indeed aimed at being one in its administra- 
tion and law; but it was not a nation, nor were its- 

lo DANTE. 

provinces nations. Yet everywhere but in Italy, it 
prepared them for becoming- nations. And while 
everywhere else parts were uniting and union was 
becoming organisation — and neither geographical 
remoteness, nor unwieldiness of numbers, nor local 
interests and differences, were untractable obstacles 
to that spirit of fusion which was at once the ambition 
of the few and the instinct of the many ; and cities, 
even where most powerful, had become the centres of 
the attracting and joining forces, knots in the political 
network — while this was going on more or less 
happily throughout the rest of Europe, in Italy the 
ancient classic idea lingered in its simplicity, its 
narrowness and jealousy, wherever there was any 
political activity. The history of Southern Italy 
indeed is mainly a foreign one, the history of modern 
Rome merges in that of the Papacy ; but Northern 
Italy has a history of its own, and that is a history of 
separate and independent cities — points of reciprocal 
and indestructible repulsion, and within, theatres of 
action where the blind tendencies and traditions of 
classes and parties weighed little on the freedom of 
individual character, and citizens could Avatch and 
measure and study one another with the minuteness 
of private life. 

Two cities were the centres of ancient history in 
its most interesting time. And two cities of modern 

DANTE. 1 1 

Italy represent, with entirely undesigned but curiously 
exact coincidence, the parts of Athens and Rome. 
Venice, superficially so unlilce, is yet in many of its 
accidental features, and still more in its spirit, the 
counterpart of Rome, in its obscure and mixed origin, 
in its steady growth, in its quick sense of order and 
early settlement of its polity, in its grand and serious 
public spirit, in its subordination of the individual to 
tlie family, and the family to the state, in its combina- 
tion of remote dominion with the liberty of a solitaiy 
and sovereign city. And though the associations and 
the scale of the two were so different — though Rome 
had its hills and its legions, and Venice its lagunes 
and galleys — the long emipire of Venice, the heir of 
Carthage and predecessor of England on the seas, the 
great aristocratic republic of looo years, is the only 
empire that has yet matched Rome in length and 
steadiness of tenure. Brennus and Hannibal were 
not resisted with greater constancy than Doria and 
Louis XII. ; and that great aristocracy, long so proud, 
so high-spirited, so intelligent, so practical, who com- 
bined the enterprise and wealth of merchants, the self- 
devotion of soldiers and gravity of senators, Avitli the 
uniformity and obedience of a religious order, may 
compare without shame its Giustiniani, and Zenos, 
and Morosini, with Roman Fabii and Claudii. And 
Rome- could not be more contrasted with Athens than 

12 DANTE. 

Venice with Italian and contemporary Florence — 
stability with fitfulness, independence impregnable 
and secure, with a short-lived and troubled liberty, 
empire meditated and achieved, with a course of 
barren intrigues and quarrels. Florence, gay, 
capricious, turbulent, the city of party, the head and 
busy patroness of democracy in the cities round her — 
Florence, where popular government was inaugurated 
with its utmost exclusiveness and most pompous cere- 
monial ; waging her little summer wars against 
Ghibelline tyrants, revolted democracies, and her own 
exiles ; and further, so rich in intellectual gifts, in 
variety of individual character, in poets, artists, wits, 
historians — Florence in its brilliant days recalled the 
image of ancient Athens, and did not depart from its 
prototype in the beauty of its natural site, in its noble 
public buildings, in the size and nature of its territor\'. 
And the course of its history is similar and the result 
of similar causes — a traditional spirit of freedom, with 
its accesses of fitful energy, its periods of grand 
display and moments of glorious achievement, but 
producing nothing politically great or durable, and 
sinking at length into a resigned servitude. It had its 
Peisistratida; more successful than those of Athens ; 
it had, too, its Harmodius and Aristogeiton ; it had 
its great orator of liberty, as potent and as unfortunate 
as the antagonist of Philip. And finally, like Athens, 
it became content with the remembrance of its former 

DANTE. 13 

glor>% with being the fashionable and acknowledged 
seat of refinement and taste, with being a favoured 
dependency on the modern heir of the Caesars. But 
if to Venice belongs a grander pubhc history, Floren- 
tine names and works, like Athenian, will be living 
among men, when the Brenta shall have been left 
unchecked to turn the Lagunes into ploughland, and 
when Rome herself may no longer be the seat of the 

The year of Dante's birth was a memorable one in 
the annals of Florence, of Italy, and of Christendom.* 
The year 1265 Avas the year of that great victory 
of Benevento, where Charles of Anjou overthrew 
Manfred of Naples, and destroyed at one blow the 
power of the house of Swabia. From that time till 
the time of Charles V., the emperors had no footing 
in Italy. Further, that victory set up the French 
influence in Italy, which, transient in itself, produced 
such strange and momentous consequences, by the 
intimate connexion to which it led between the French 
kings and the Popes. The protection of France was 
dearly bought by the captivity of Avignon, the great 
western schism, and the consequent secularisation of 
the Papacy, which lasted on uninterrupted till the 
Council of Trent. Nearly three centuries of degrada- 
tion and scandal, unrelieved by one heroic effort 

* May, 1265. (Pelli.) Benevento : Feb. 26, 126^. The Florentine 
year began March 25. 

14 DANTE. 

among the successors of Gregory VII., connected the 
Reformation with the triumph of Chiirlcs and the Pope 
at Benevento. Finally, by it the Guelf party was 
restored for good in Florence ; the Guelf democracy, 
which had been trampled down by the Uberti and 
Manfred's chivalry at Montcaperti, once more raised 
its head ; and fortune, which had long wavered between 
the rival lilies, finally turned against the white one, 
till the name of Ghibelline became a proscribed 
one in Florence, as Jacobite was once in Scotland, or 
Papist in England, or Royalist in France. 

The names of Guelf and Ghibelline were the 
inheritance of a contest which, in its original meaning, 
had been long over. The old struggle between the 
priesthood and the empire was still kept up tradition- 
ally, but its ideas and interests were changed : they 
were still great and important ones, but not those of 
Gregory VII. It had passed over from the mixed 
region of the spiritual and temporal into the purely 
political. The cause of the popes was that of the 
independence of Italy — the freedom and alliance of 
the great cities of the north, and the dependence of 
the centre and south on the Roman See. To keep 
the Emperor out of Italy — to create a barrier of 
powerful cities against him south of the Alps — to 
form behind themselves a compact territory, rich, 
removed from the first burst of invasion, and main- 

DANTE. 15 

taining a strong body of interested feudatories, had 
now become the great object of the popes. It may 
have been a wise pohcy on their part, for the main- 
tenance of their spiritual influence, to attempt to 
connect tlieir own independence with the pohtical 
freedom of the Italian communities ; but certain it is 
that the ideas and the characters which gave a 
religious interest and grandeur to the earlier part of 
the contest, appear but sparingl}-, if at all, in its later 

The two parties did not care to keep in view prin- 
ciples which their chiefs had lost sight of The 
Emperor and the Pope were both real powers, able to 
protect and assist ; and they divided between them 
those who required protection and assistance. Geo- 
graphical position, the rivalry of neighbourhood, family 
tradition, private feuds, and above all private interest, 
were the main causes which assigned cities, families, 
and individuals to the Ghibelline or Guelf party. One 
party called themselves the Emperor's liegemen, and 
their watchword was authority and law ; the other 
side were the liegemen of Holy Church, and their cry 
was liberty; and the distinction as a broad one is 
true. But a democracy would become Ghibelline, 
without scruple, if its neighbour town was Guelf; and 
among the Guelf liegemen of the Church and liberty 
the pride of blood and love of power were not a whit 

1 6 DANTE. 

inferior to that of their opponents. Yet, though the 
original principle of the contest was lost, and the 
political distinctions of parties were often interfered 
with by interest or accident, it is not impossible to 
trace in the two factions differences of temper, of 
moral and political inclinations, which though visible 
only on a large scale and in the mass, were quite suffi- 
cient to give meaning and reality to their mutual 
opposition. These differences had come down, greatly 
altered of course, from the quarrel in which the parties 
took their rise. The Ghibellines as a body reflected 
the worldliness, the licence, the irreligion, the reckless 
selfishness, the daring insolence, and at the same time 
the gaiety and pomp, the princely magnificence and 
generosity and largeness of mind of the house of 
Swabia ; they were the men of the court and camp, 
imperious and haughty from ancient lineage or the 
Imperial cause, }-et not wanting in the frankness and 
courtesy of nobility ; careless of public opinion and 
public rights, but not dead to the grandeur of public 
objects and public services. Among them were 
found, or to them inclined, all Avho, whether from a 
base or a lofty ambition, desired to place their will 
above law* — the lord of the feudal castle, the robber- 

* " Maghinardo da Susinana {// ZJ^-wi?;//!?, Purg. 14) fu uno grande e 
savio tiranno .... gran castellano, e con molti fedeli : savio fu 
di guerra e bene avventuroso in piu battaglie, e al suo tempo fece gran 



knight of the Apennine pass, the magnificent but 
terrible tyrants of the cities, the pride and shame of 
Italy, the Visconti and Scaligers. That renowned 
Ghibelline chief, Avhom the poet finds in the fiery 
sepulchres of the unbelievers with the great Ghibelline 
emperor and the princely Ghibelline cardinal — the 
disdainfid and bitter but lofty spirit of Farinata degli 
Uberti, the conqueror, and then singly and at his own 
risk, the saviour of his country which had wronged 
him, represents the good as well as the bad side of 
his party. 

The Guelfs, on the other hand, were the party of 
the middle classes ; they rose out of and held to the 
people ; they were strong by their compactness, their 
organisation in cities, their commercial relations and 
interests, their command of money. Further, they 
were professedly the party of strictness and religion, 
a profession which fettered them as little as their 
opponents were fettered by the respect they claimed 
for imperial law. But though by personal unscrupu- 
lousness and selfishness, and in instances of public 
vengeance, they sinned as deeply as the Ghibellines, 
they stood far more committed as a party to a public 

cose. Ghibellino era di sua nazione e in sue opere ; ma co' Fiorentini 
era Guelfo e nimico di tutti i loro nimici, o Guelfi o Gliibellini che 
fossono." — G. Vill. vii. 149. A Ghibelline by birth and disposition ; 
yet, from circumstances, a close ally of the Guelfs of Florence. 


1 8 DANTE. 

meaning- and purpose — to improvement in law and 
the condition of the poor, to a protest against the 
insolence of the strong, to the encouragement of 
industry. The genuine Guelf spirit was austere, 
frugal, independent, earnest, religious, fond of its home 
and Church, and of those celebrations which bound 
together Church and home ; but withal very proud, 
very intolerant ; in its higher form intolerant of evil, 
but intolerant always to whatever displeased it. Yet 
there was a grave and noble manliness about it which 
long kept it alive in Florence. It had not as yet 
turned itself against the practical corruptions of the 
Church, which was its ally ; but this also it was to do, 
Vv'hen the popes had forsaken the cause of liberty, and 
leagued themselves with the brilliant tyranny of the 
Medici. Then Savonarola invoked, and not in vain, 
the stern old Guelf spirit of resistance, of domestic 
purity and severity, and of domestic religion, against 
unbelief and licentiousness even in the Church ; and 
the Guelf " Piagnoni " presented, in a more simple 
and generous shape, a resemblance to our own 
Puritans, as the Ghibellines often recall the coarser 
and worse features of our own Cavaliers. 

In Florence, these distinctions had become mere 
nominal ones, confined to the great families who 
carried on their private feuds under the old party 
names, when Frederick II. once more gave them 



their meaning. " Although the accursed Guelf and 
Ghibelline factions lasted amongst the nobles of 
Florence, and they often waged war among them- 
selves out of private grudges, and took sides for 
the said factions, and held one with another, and 
those Avho called themselves Guelfs desired the esta- 
blishment of the Pope and Holy Church, and those 
who called themselves Ghibellines favoured the 
Emperor and his adherents, yet withal the people and 
commonalty of Florence maintained itself in unity, to 
the well-being and honour and establishment of the 
commonwealth,"* But the appearance on the scene 
of an emperor of such talent and bold designs revived 
the languid contest, and gave to party a cause, and to 
individual passions and ambition an impulse and pre- 
text. The division between Guelf and Ghibelline 
again became serious, involved all Florence, armed 
house against house, and neighbourhood against 
neighbourhood, issued in merciless and vindictive 
warfare, grew on into a hopeless and deadly breach, 
and finally lost to Florence, without remedy or repair, 
half her noble houses and the love of the greatest of 
her sons. The old badge of their common country 
became to the two factions the sign of their impla- 
cable hatred ; the white lily of Florence, borne by the 

* G. Villani, vi. 33. 

C 2 


Ghibcllines, was turned to red by the Guclfs, and the 
flower of two colours marked a civil strife as cruel and 
as fatal, if on a smaller scale, as that of the English 

It was waged with the peculiar characteristics of 
Italian civil war. There the city itself was the scene 
of battle. A thirteenth century city in Italy bore on 
its face the evidence that it was built and arranged 
for such emergencies. Its crowded and narrow streets 
were a collection of rival castles, whose tall towers, 
rising thick and close over its roofs, or hanging 
perilously over its close courts, attested the emulous 
pride and the insecurity of Italian civic life. There, 
within a separate precinct, flanked and faced by 
jealous friends or deadly enemies, were clustered 
together the dwellings of the various members of each 
great house — their common home and the monument 
of their magnificence and pride, and capable of being^ 
as was so often necessary, their common refuge. In 
these fortresses of the leading families, scattered about 
the city, were the various points of onset and recovery 
in civic battle ; in the streets barricades were raised, 
mangonels and crossbows were plied from the towers, 
a series of separate combats raged through the city, 
till chance at length connected the attacks of one side, 

* G. Villani, vi. 33, 43 ; Farad. 19. 

DANTE. 21 

or some panic paralysed the resistance of the other, 
or a conflagration interposed itself between the com- 
batants, burning out at once Guelf and Ghibelline, 
and Ia\'ing half Florence in ashes. Each party had 
their turn of victory; each, when vanquished, went into 
exile, and carried on the war outside the walls ; each 
had their opportunity of remodelling the orders and 
framework of government, and each did so relentlessly 
at the cost of their opponents. They excluded classes, 
they proscribed families, they confiscated property, 
they sacked and burned warehouses, they levelled the 
palaces, and outraged the pride of their antagonists. 
To destroy was not enough, without adding to it the 
keenest and newest refinement of insult. Two 
buildings in Florence were peculiarly dear — among 
their '' cari liiog/W — to the popular feeling and the 
Guelf party : the Baptistery of St. John, " il mio bel 
St. Giovanni," " to which all the good people resorted 
on Sundays,"* where they had all received ba^Dtism, 
where they had been married, where families were 
solemnly reconciled ; and a tall and beautiful tower 
close by it, called the " Torre del Guardamorto," where 
the bodies of the " good people," who of old were all 
buried at S. Giovanni, rested on their way to the 
grave. The victorious Ghibellines, when they levelled 

* G. Villani, vi. 33, iv. 10; /;{/! 19; Pai-ad. 25. 

2 2 DANTE. 

the Guelf towers, overthrew this one, and endeavoured 
to make It crush in its fall the sacred church, 
"which," says the old chronicler, "was prevented by a 
miracle." The Guelfs, when their day came, built the 
walls of Florence with the stones of Ghibelline 
palaces.* One great family stands out pre-eminent 
in this fierce conflict as the victim and monument of 
party war. The head of the Ghibellines was the proud 
and powerful house of the Uberti, who shared with 
another great Ghibelline family, the Pazzi, the valley 
of the upper Arno. They lighted up the war in the 
Emperor's cause. They supported its weight and 
guided it. In time of peace they were foremost 
and unrestrained in defiance of law and in scorn of 
the people — in war, the people's fiercest and most 
active enemies. Heavy sufferers, in their property, 
and by the sword and axe, yet untamed and in- 
corrigible, they led the van in that battle, so long 
remembered to their cost by the Guelfs, the battle of 
Monteaperti (1260) — 

Lo strazio, e '1 gran scempio 

Che fece 1' Arbia colorata in rossa. — Inf. 10. 

That the head of their house, Farinata, saved 
Florence from the vengeance of his meaner associates, 
was not enough to atone for the unpardonable wrongs 

G. Villani, vi. 39, 65. 

DANTE. 23 

which they had done to the Guelfs and the democracy. 
When the red hly of the Guelfs finally supplanted the 
white one as the arms of Florence, and the badge of 
Guelph triumph, they were proscribed for ever, like 
the Peisistratidae and the Tarquins. In every amnesty 
their names were excepted. The site on which their 
houses had stood was never again to be built upon, 
and remains the Great Square of Florence ; the archi- 
tect of the Palace of the People v/as obliged to sacri- 
fice its symmetry, and to place it awry, that its Avails 
might not encroach on the accursed ground.* " They 
had been," says a writer, contemporary with Dante, 
speaking of the time when he also became an exile ; 
"they had been for more than forty years outlaws 
from their country, nor ever found mercy nor pity, 
remaining always abroad in great state, nor ever 
abased their honour, seeing that they ever abode 
with kings and lords, and to great things applied 
themselves." f They were loved as the}' were 
hated. When under the protection of a cardinal 
one of them visited the city, and the chequered 
blue and gold blazon of their house was, after 
an interval of half a century, again seen in the 
streets of Florence ; " many ancient Ghibclline men 

* G. Villani, vi. 33, viii. 2G ; Vasavi, Arnolfo di Lapo, i. 255 
(Fir. 1S46). t Dino Contpagni, p. S8. 

24 DANTE. 

and women pressed to kiss the arms,"* and even the 
common people did him honour. 

But the fortunes of Florentine factions depended 
on other causes than merely the address or vigour of 
their leaders. From the year of Dante's birth and 
Charles's victory, Florence, as far as we shall have to 
do with it, became irrevocably Guelf Not that the 
whole commonalty of Florence formally called itself 
Guelf, or that the Guelf party was co-extensive with 
it ; but the city was controlled by Guelf councils, 
devoted to the objects of the great Guelf party, and 
received in return the support of that party in curbing 
the pride of the nobles, and maintaining democratic 
forms. The Guelf party of Florence, though it was 
the life and soul of the republic, and irresistible in its 
disposal of the influence and arms of Florence, and 
though it embraced a large number of the most 
powerful families, is always spoken of as something 
distinct from, and external to, the governing powers, 
and the whole body of the people. It was a bod}- 
with a separate and self-constiti.ited existence ; — in 
the state and allied to it, but an independent element, 
holding on to a large and comprehensive union with- 
out the state. Its organisation in Florence is one of 
the most curious among the many curious combina- 

* Dino Couipagni, p. 107. 

DANTE. 25 

tions Avhich meet us in Italian history. After the 
final expulsion of the Ghibellines, the Guelf party took 
form as an institution, with definite powers, and a local 
existence. It appears with as distinct a shape as the 
Jacobin Club or the Orange Lodges, side by side with 
the government. It was a corporate body with a 
common seal, common property, not only in funds 
but lands — officers, archives, a common palace,* a 
great council, a secret committee, and last of all, a 
public accuser of the Ghibellines ; of the confiscated 
Ghibelline estates one-third went to the republic, 
another third to compensate individual Guelfs, the 
rest was assigned to the Guelf party.f A pope, 
(Clement IV., 1265-6S) had granted them his own 
arms J; and their device, a red eagle clutching a 
serpent, may be yet seen, with the red lily, and the 
party-coloured banner of the commonalty, on the 
battlements of the Palazzo Vecchio. 

But the expulsion of the Ghibellines did but little 
to restore peace. The great Guelf families, as old as 
many of the Ghibellines, had as little reverence as they 
for law or civic rights. Below these, the acknowledged 
nobility of Florence, were the leading families of the 
"people," houses created by successful industry or 
commerce, and pushing up into that privileged order, 

* Giotto painted in it : Vasari, Vit. di Giotto, p. 314. 
+ G. Villani, vii. 2, 17. J Ibid. vii. 2. 

26 DANTE. 

which, however ignored and even discredited by the 
laws, Avas fully recognised by feeling and opinion in 
the most democratic times of the republic. Rivalries 
and feuds, street broils and conspiracies, high-handed 
insolence from the great men, rough vengeance from 
the populace, still continued to vex jealous and 
changeful Florence. The popes sought in vain to 
keep in order their quarrelsome liegemen ; to reconcile 
Guelf with Guclf, and even Guelf with Ghibelline. 
Embassies went and came, to ask for mediation and to 
proffer it ; to apply the healing paternal hand ; to 
present an obsequious and ostentatious submission. 
Cardinal legates came in state, and were received 
with reverential pomp ; they formed private com- 
mittees, and held assemblies, and made marriages ; 
they harangued in honeyed words, and gained the 
largest promises ; on one occasion the Great Square 
was turned into a vast theatre, and on this stage one 
hundred and fifty dissidents on each side came forward, 
and in the presence and with the benediction of the 
cardinal kissed each other on the mouth.* And if per- 
suasion failed, the pope's representative hesitated not 
to excommunicate and interdict the faithful but obdu- 
rate city. But whether excommunicated or blessed, 
Florence could not be at peace ; however wise and 

* G. Villani, vii. 56. 

DANTE. 27 

subtle had been the peace-maker's arrangements, his 
departing cortege was hardly out of sight of the city 
before they were blown to the winds. Not more suc- 
cessful were the efforts of the sensible and moderate 
citizens who sighed for tranquillity within its walls. 
Dino Compagni's interesting though not very orderly 
narrative describes with great frankness, and with the 
perplexity of a simple-hearted man puzzled by the 
continual triumph of clever wickedness, the variety 
and the fruitlessncss of the expedients devised by him 
and other good citizens against the resolute and in- 
corrigible selfishness of the great Guelfs — ever, when 
checked in one form, breaking out in another ; proof 
against all persuasion, all benefits; not to be bound by 
law, or compact, or oath ; eluding or turning to its 
own account the deepest and sagest contrivances of 
constitutional wisdom. 

A great battle won against Ghibclline Arezzo * 
raised the renown and the military spirit of the 
Guelf party, for the fame of the battle was very 
great ; the hosts contained the choicest chivalry of 
either side, armed and appointed with emulous 
splendour. The fighting was hard, there was brilliant 
and conspicuous gallantry, and the victory was com- 
plete. It sealed Guelf ascendancy. The Ghibclline 

* Campaldino, in 1289. G. Vill. vii. 131 ; Dino Comp. p. 14. 

28 DANTE. 

warrior-bishop of Arezzo fell, with three of the Uberti, 
and other Ghibelline chiefs. It was a day of trial. 
" Many that day who had been thought of great 
prowess were found dastards, and many who had 
never been spoken of were held in high esteem." It 
repaired the honour of Florence, and the citizens 
showed their feeling of its importance by mixing up 
the marvellous with its story. Its tidings came to 
Florence — so runs the tale in Villani, Avho declares 
what he " heard and saw " himself — at the very hour 
in which it was won. The Priors of the republic were 
resting in their palace during the noonday heat ; 
suddenly the chamber door was shaken, and the cry 
heard: "Rise up! the Aretini are defeated." The 
door was opened, but there was no one ; their servants 
had seen no one enter the palace, and no one came 
from the army till the hour of vespers, on a long 
summer's day. In this battle the Guelf leaders had 
won great glory. The hero of the day was the 
proudest, handsomest, craftiest, most winning, most 
ambitious, most unscrupulous Guclf noble in Florence 
— one of a family who inherited the spirit and reck- 
lessness of the proscribed Uberti, and did not refuse 
the popular epithet of " Malefaiiii " — Corso Donati. 
He did not com.e back from the field of Campaldino, 
where he had won the battle by disobeying orders 

DANTE. 29 

with any increased disposition to yield to rivals, or 
court the populace, or respect other men's rights. 
Those rivals, too — -and they also had fought gallantly 
in the post of honour at Campaldino — were such as 
he hated from his soul — rivals whom he despised, and 
Vi'ho yet were too strong for him. His blood was 
ancient, they were upstarts ; he was a soldier, they 
were traders ; he was poor, they the richest men in 
Florence. They had come to live close to the Donati, 
they had bought the palace of an old Ghibelline 
family, they had enlarged, adorned, and fortified it, 
and kept great state there. They had crossed him in 
marriages, bargains, inheritances. They had won 
popularity, honour, influence ; and yet they were but 
men of business, while he had a part in all the 
political movements of the day. He was the friend 
and intimate of lords and noblemen, with great con- 
nexions and famous through all Italy ; they were the 
favourites of the common people for their kindness 
and good nature ; they even showed consideration for 
Ghibellines. He was an accomplished man of the 
world, keen and subtle, "full of malicious thoughts, 
mischievous and crafty ; " they were inexperienced in 
intrigue, and had the reputation of being clumsy and 
stupid. He was the most graceful and engaging of 
courtiers ; they were not even gentlemen. Lastly, in 

30 DANTE. 

the debates of that excitable repubhc he was the most 
eloquent speaker, and they were tongue-tied.* 

"There was a family," writes Dino Compagni, "who 
called themselves the Cerchi, men of low estate, but 
good merchants and very rich ; and they dressed richly, 
and maintained many servants and horses, and made a 
brave show ; and some of them bought the palace of 
the Conti Guidi, Avhich was near the houses of the 
Pazzi and Donati, who were more ancient of blood 
but not so rich ; therefore, seeing the Cerchi rise to 
great dignity, and that they had walled and enlarged 
the palace, and kept great state, the Donati began to 
have a great hatred against them." Villani gives the 
same account of the feud.f " It began in that quarter 
of scandal the Sesta of Porta S, Piero, between the 
Cerchi and Donati, on the one side through jealousy, 
on the other through churlish rudeness. Of the house 
of the Cerchi was head Messer Vieri de' Cerchi, 
and he and those of his house were people of great 
business, and powerful, and of great relationships, and 
most wealthy traders, so that their company was one 
of the greatest in the world ; men they were of soft life, 
and who meant no harm ; boorish and ill-mannered, 
like people who had come in a short time to great 
state and power. The Donati were gentlemen and 

* Dim Comp. pp. 32, 75, 94, 133. t G. Vill. viii. 39. 

DANTE. 31 

warriors, and of no excessive wealth . . . They were 
neighbours in Florence and in the country, and by 
the conversation of their jealousy with the peevish 
boorishness of the others, arose the proud scorn that 
there was between them." The glories of Campaldino 
were not as oil on these troubled Avaters. The con- 
querors flouted each other all the more fiercely in the 
streets on their return, and ill-treated the lower people 
with less scruple. No gathering for festive or serious 
purposes could be held without tempting strife. A 
marriage, a funeral, a ball, a gay procession of 
cavaliers and ladies — any meeting where one stood 
while another sat, where horse or man might jostle 
another, where pride might be nettled or temper 
shown, was in danger of ending in blood. The lesser 
quari'els meanwhile ranged themselves under the 
greater ones ; and these, especially that between the 
Cerchi and Donati, took more and more a political 
character. The Cerchi inclined more and more to 
the trading classes and the lower people ; they threw 
themselves on their popularity, and began to hold 
aloof from the meetings of the " Parte Guelfa," while 
this organised body became an instrument in the 
hands of their opponents, a club of the nobles. Corso 
Donati, besides mischief of a more substantial Icind, 
turned his ridicule on their solemn dulness and 
awkv/ard speech, and his friends the jesters, one 

32 DANTE. 

ScampoHno in particular, carried his gibes and nick- 
names all over Florence. The Cerchi received all in 
sullen and dogged indifference. They were satisfied 
with repelling attacks, and nursed their hatred.* 

Thus the city was divided, and the attempts to 
check the factions only exasperated them. It was 
in vain that, when at times the government and 
the populace lost patience, severe measures were 
taken. It was in vain that the reformer, Gian 
della Bella, carried for a time his harsh " orders 
of justice " against the nobles, and invested popular 
vengeance with the solemnity of law and with the 
pomp and ceremony of a public act — that when a 
noble had been convicted of killing a citizen, the 
great officer, " Standard-bearer," as he was called, " of 
justice," issued forth in state and procession, with the 
banner of justice borne before him, with all his train, 
and at the head of the armed citizens, to the house of 
the criminal, and razed it to the ground. An eye- 
witness describes the effect of such chastisement : — 
^' I, Dino Compagni, being Gonfalonier of Justice in 
1293, went to their houses, and to those of their rela- 
tions, and these I caused to be pulled down according 
to the laws. This beginning in the case of the other 
Gonfaloniers came to an evil effect; because, if they 

* Dino Compagni, pp. 32, 34, 38, 



demolished the houses according to the laws, the 
people said that they were cruel ; and if they did not 
demolish them completely, they said that they were 
cowards ; and many distorted justice for fear of the 
people." Gian della Bella was overthrown with few 
regrets even on the part of the people. Equally vain 
was the attempt to keep the peace by separating the 
leaders of the disturbances. They were banished by 
a kind of ostracism ; they departed in ostentatious 
meekness, Corso Donato to plot at Rome, Vieri de' 
Cerchi to return immediately to Florence. Anarchy 
had got too fast a hold on the city, and it required a 
stronger hand than that of the pope, or the signory of 
the republic, to keep it down. 

Yet Florence prospered. Every year it grew 
richer, more intellectual, more refined, more beautiful, 
more gay. With its anarchy there was no stagnation. 
Torn and divided as it was, its energy did not slacken, 
its busy and creative spirit was not deadened, its 
hopefulness not abated. The factions, fierce and 
personal as they were, did not hinder that interest in 
political ideas, that active and subtle study of the 
questions of civil government, that passion and 
ingenuity displayed in political contrivance, which 
now pervaded Northern Italy, everywhere mar- 
vellously patient and hopeful, though far from being 
equally successful. In Venice at the close of the 


34 BANTE. 

thirteenth century, that pohty was finally settled and 
consolidated, by which she was great as long as cities 
could be imperial, and which even in its decay 
survived the monarchy of Louis XIV. and existed 
within the memory of living men. In Florence, the 
constructive spirit of law and order only resisted, 
but never triumphed. Yet it was at this time resolute 
and sanguine, ready with experiment and change, 
and not yet dispirited by continual failure. Political 
interest, however, and party contests were not suf- 
ficient to absorb and employ the citizens of Florence. 
Their genial and versatile spirit, so keen, so inventive, 
so elastic, which made them such hot and impetuous 
partisans, kept them from being only this. The time 
was one of growth ; new knowledge, new powers, 
new tastes were opening to men — new pursuits 
attracted them. There was commerce, there was the 
school philosophy, there was the science of nature, 
there was ancient learning, there was the civil law, 
there were the arts, there was poetry, all rude as yet, 
and unformed, but full of hope — the living parents 
of mightier offspring. Fred erick II. h ad once more 
opened Aristotle to the Latin world ; he had given 
an impulse to the study of the great monuments of 
Roman legislation which was responded to through 
Italy ; himself a poet, his example and his splendid 
court had made poetry fashionable. In the end of 
the thirteenth century a great stride was made at 

DANTE. 35 

Florence. While her great poet was growing up to 
manhood, as rapid a change went on in her streets, 
her social customs, the wealth of her citizens, their 
ideas of magnificence and beauty, their appreciation 
of literature. It v/as the age of growing commerce 
and travel ; Franciscan missionaries had reached 
China, and settled there;* in 1294, Marco Polo 
returned to Venice, the first successful explorer of 
the East. The merchants of Florence lagged not ; 
their field of operation was Italy and the West ; they 
had their correspondents in London, Paris, and 
Bruges ; they were the bankers of popes and kings.f 
And their city shows to this day the wealth and 
magnificence of the last years of the thirteenth 
century. The ancient buildings, consecrated in the 
memory of the Florentine people, were repaired, 
enlarged, adorned with marble and bronze — Or San 
Michele, the Badia, the Baptistery ; and new buildings 
rose on a grander scale. In 1294 was begun the 
Mausoleum of the great Florentine dead, the Church 
of S. Croce. In the same year, a few months later, 
Arnolfo laid the deep foundations which were after- 
Avards to bear up Brunelleschi's dome, and traced the 
plan of the magnificent cathedral. In 1298 he began 

See the curious letters of John de Monte Coi-znno, about his mis- 
sion in Cathay, 1289-1305, in Wadding, vi. 69. 

t E.g. the Mozzi, of Greg. X. ; Peruzzi, of Phihp le Bel ; Spuri, of 
Boniface VHI. ; Ccrchi del Garbo, of Benedict XI. (G. Vill. vii. 42, 
viii. 63, 71 ; Dino Coiiip. p. 35). 

D 2 

36 DANTE. 

to raise a Town-hall worthy of the Republic, and of 
being the habitation of its magistrates, the frowning 
mass of the Palazzo Vecchio. In 1299, the third 
circle of the walls was commenced, with the bene- 
diction of bishops, and the concourse of all the " lords 
and orders " of Florence. And Giotto was now 
beginning to throw Cimabue into the shade — Giotto, 
the shepherd's boy, painter, sculptor, architect, and 
engineer at once, who a few years later was to com- 
plete and crown the architectural glories of Florence 
by that masterpiece of grace, his marble Campanile. 

Fifty years made then all that striking difference 
in domestic habits, in the materials of dress, in the 
value of money, which they have usually made in 
later centuries. The poet of the fourteenth century 
describes the proudest nobleman of a hundred years 
before "with his leathern girdle and clasp of bone;" 
and in one of the most beautiful of all poetic cele- 
brations of the good old time, draws the domestic 
life of ancient Florence in the household where his 
ancestor was born : 

A cosi riposato, a cosi bello 

Viver di cittadini, a cosi fida 

Cittadinanza, a cosi dolce ostello 

Maria mi die, chiamata in alte grida. — Par. c. 15.* 

* Florence, confined within that ancient wall, 

Whence still the chimes at noon and evening sound, 
Was sober, modest, and at peace with all. 

DANTE. 37 

There high-born dames, he says, still plied the distaff 
and the loom ; still rocked the cradle with the words 
which their own mothers had used ; or working with 
their maidens, told them old tales of the forefathers 
of the city, " of the Trojans, of Fiesole, and of Rome." 
Villani still finds this rudeness within forty years of 
the end of the century, almost within the limits of 
his own and Dante's life ; and speaks of that " old 
first people," il primo Popolo VcccJiio, with their coarse 
food and expenditure, their leather jerkins, and plain 
close gowns, their sm.all dowries and late marriages, 
as if they were the first founders of the city, and not 
a generation which had lasted on into his own.* 
Twenty years later, his story is of the gaiety, the 
riches, the profuse munificence, the brilliant festivities, 
the careless and joyous life, which attracted foreigners 
to Florence as the city of pleasure ; of companies of 

Myself have seen Bellincion Berti pace 

The street in leathern belt ; his lady come 
Forth from her toilet with unpainted face. 

* * ♦ 

Oh happy wives ! each soon to lay her head 

In her own tomb ; and no one yet compelled 
To weep deserted in a lonely bed. 

* ♦ * 

To such pure life of beauty and repose — 

Such faithful citizens — such happy men — 
The virgin gave me, when my mother's throes 

Forced her with cries to call on Mary's name. — Wright. 

* G. Vill. vi. 69 (1259). 

38 DANTE. 

a thousand or more, all clad in white robes, under 
a lord, styled " of Love," passing their time in sports 
and dances ; of ladies and knights, " going through 
the city with trumpets and other instruments, Avith 
joy and gladness." and meeting together in banquets 
evening and morning ; entertaining illustrious strangers, 
and honourably escorting them on horseback in their 
passage through the city; tempting by their liberality, 
courtiers, and wits, and minstrels, and jesters, to add 
to the amusements of Florence.* Nor were these the 
boisterous triumphs of unrefined and coarse merri- 
ment. How variety of character was drawn out, how 
its more delicate elements were elicited and tempered, 
how nicely it was observed, and how finely drawn, let 
the racy and open-eyed story-tellers of Florence 

Not perhaps in these troops of revellers, but amid 
music and song, and in the pleasant places of social 
and private life, belonging to the Florence of arts and 
poetry, not to the Florence of factions and strife, 
should we expect to find the friend of the sweet 
singer, Casella, and of the reserved and bold 
speculator, Guido Cavalcanti ; the mystic poet of the 
Vita Ntiova, so sensitive and delicate, trembling at a 
gaze or a touch, recording visions, painting angels, 

* G. Vill. vii. 89 (1283). 

DANTE. 39 

composing Canzoni and commenting on them ; finally 
devoting himself to the austere consolations of deep 
study. To superadd to such a character that of a 
democratic politician of the middle ages, seems an 
incongruous and harsh combination. Yet it was a 
real one in this instance. The scholar's life is, in cur 
idea of it, far separated from the practical and the 
political ; we have been taught by our experience to 
disjoin enthusiasm in love, in art, in what is abstract 
or imaginative, from keen interest and successful 
interference in the affairs and conflicts of life. The 
practical man may sometimes be also a dilettante ; 
but the dreamer or the thinker, wisely or indolently, 
ke eps o ut of the rough Avays where real passions and 
characters meet and jostle, or if he ventures, seldom 
gains honour there. The separation, though a natural 
one, grows wider as society becomes more vast and 
manifold, as its ends, functions, and pursuits are dis- 
entangled, while they multiply. But in Dante's time, 
and in an Italian city, it was not such a strange thing 
that the most refined and tender interpreter of feeling, 
the popular poet, whose verses touched all hearts, and 
were in every mouth, should be also at once the 
ardent follower of all abstruse and difficult learning, 
and a prominent character among those who ad- 
ministered the State. In that narrow sphere of action, 
in that period of dawning powers and circumscribed 

40 DANTE. 

knowledge, it seemed no unreasonable hope or unwise 
ambition to attempt the compassing of all science, 
and to make it subserve and illustrate the praise of 
active citizenship.* Dante, like other literary cele- 
brities of the time, was not less from the custom of 
the day, than from his own purpose, a public man. 
He took his place among his fellow-citizens ; he went 
out to war with them ; he fought, it is said, among 
the skirmishers at the great Guelf victory of Campal- 
dino ; to qualify himself for office in the democracy, 
he enrolled himself in one of the Guilds of the 
people, and was matriculated in the" Art "of the 
Apothecaries ; he served the State as its agent abroad ; 
he went on important missions to the cities and 
courts of Italy — according to a Florentine tradition, 
which enumerates fourteen distinct embassies, even to 
Hungary and France. In the memorable year of 
Jubilee, 1300, he was one of the Priors of the Republic. 
There is no shrinking from fellowship and co-operation 
and conflict with the keen or bold men of the market- 
place and council-hall, in that mind of exquisite and, 
as drawn by itself, exaggerated sensibility. The doings 
and characters of men, the workings of society, the 
fortunes of Italy, were watched and thought of with as 
deep an interest as the courses of the stars, and read 

* Vide the opening of the De Monarchia. 

DANTE. 41 

in the real spectacle of life with as profound emotion 
as in the miraculous page of Virgil ; and no scholar 
ever read Virgil with such feeling — no astronomer 
ever watched the stars with more eager inquisitiveness. 
The whole man opens to the world around him ; all 
affections and povv-ers, soul and sense, diligently and 
thoughtfully directed and trained, with free and con- 
current and equal energy, with distinct yet harmonious 
purposes, seek out their respective and appropriate 
objects, moral, intellectual, natural, spiritual, in that 
admirable scene and hard field where man is placed 
to labour and love, to be exercised, proved, and 

In a fresco in the chapel of the old palace of the 
Podesta * at Florence is a portrait of Dante, said to 
be by the hand of his_cqntemporary Giotto. It was 
discovered in 1841 under the Avhitewash, and a tracing 
made by Mr, Seymour Kirkup has been reproduced 
in fac-simile by the Arundel Society. The fresco was 
afterwards restored or repainted with no happy 
success. He is represented as he might have been 
in the year of Campaldino (1289). The countenance 
is youthful yet manly, more manly than it appears in 
the engravings of the picture ; but it only suggests 
the strong deep features of the well-known traditional 

* The Bargello, a prison (1850) ; a museum (1878). V. Vasari, p. 311. 

42 DANTE. 

face. He is drawn with much of the softness, and 
melancholy pensive sweetness, and with something- 
also of the quaint stiffness of the Vita Niiova — with 
his fxower and his book. With him is drawn his 
master, Brujietto_Latini,* and Corso Donati. We do 
not know what occasion led Giotto thus to associate 
him with the great " Baron." Dante was, indeed, 
closely connected with the Donati. The dwelling of 
his family was near theirs, in the " Quarter of 
Scandal," the Ward of the Porta S. Piero. He 
married a daughter of their house, Madonna Genima. 
None of his friends are commemorated with more 
affection than the companion of his light and way- 
ward days, remembered not without a shade of 
anxious sadness, yet with love and hope, Corso's 
brother, Forese.f No sweeter spirit sings and smiles 
in the illumined spheres of Paradise, than she whom 
Forese remembers as on earth one, 

Che tra bella c buona 
Non so qual fosse piu — J 

and who, from the depth of her heavenly joy, teaches 
the poet that in the lowest place among the blessed 

He died in 1294. G. Vill. viii. 10. t Purgat. c. 23. 

X Ibid. c. 24. 

My sister, good and beautiful — wliicli most I know not. 


DANTE. 43 

there can be no envy* — the sister of Forcse and 
Corso, Piccarda. The Comincdia, though it speaks, 
as if in prophecy, of Corso's miserable death, avoids 
the mention of his name.f Its silence is so remark- 
able as to seem significant. But though history does 
not group together Corso and Dante, the picture 
represents the truth — their fortunes were linked 
together. They were a,ctors in the same scene — at 
this distance of time two of the most prominent ; 
though a scene very different from that calm and 
grave assembly, which Giotto's placid pencil has 
drawn on the old chapel wall. 

The outlines of this j^art of Dante's history are so 
well known that it is not necessary to dwell on them ; 
and more than the outlines we know not. The family 
quarrels came to a head, issued in parties, and the 
parties took names ; they borrowed them from two 
rival factions in a neighbouring town, Pistoia, whose 
feud was imported into Florence ; and the Guelfs 
became divided into the Black Guelfs who were led 
by the Donati, and the White Guelfs who sided with 
the Cerchi.J It still professed to be but a family feud, 
confined to the great houses ; but they were too 
powerful and Florence too small for it not to affect 
the whole Republic. The middle classes and the 

* Parad. c. 3. + Purg: c. 24, 82-S7. 

t 111 1300. G. Villani, viii. 38, 39. 

44 DANTE. 

artisans looked on, and for a time not without satisfac- 
tion, at the strife of the great men ; but it grew 
evident that one party must crush the other, and 
become dominant in Florence ; and of the two, the 
Cerchi and their White adherents were less formidable 
to the democracy than the unscrupulous and over- 
bearing Donati, with their military renown and lordly 
tastes ; proud not merely of being nobles, but Guelf 
nobles ; always loyal champions, once the martyrs, 
and now the hereditary assertors, of the great Guelf 
cause. The Cerchi with less character and less zeal, 
but rich, liberal, and showy, and with more of rough 
kindness and vulgar good-nature for the common 
people, were more popular in Guelf Florence than the 
" Parte Guelfa ; " and, of course, the Ghibellines 
wished them well. Both the contemporary historians 
of Florence lead us to think that they might have 
been the governors and guides of the Republic — if 
they had chosen, and had known how ; and both, 
though condemning the two parties equally, seemed 
to have thought that this would have been the best 
result for the State. But the accounts of both, though 
they are very different writers, agree in their scorn 
of the leaders of the White Guelfs. They were 
upstarts, purse-proud, vain, and coarse-minded ; and 
they dared to aspire to an ambition which they were 
too dull and too cowardly to pursue, when the game 



Avas in their hands. They wished to rule ; but when 
they might, they were afraid. The commons were on 
their side, the moderate men, the party of law, the 
lovers of republican government, and for the most 
part the magistrates ; but they shrank from their 
fortune, "more from cowardice than from goodness, 
because they exceedingly feared their adversaries." * 
Boniface VIII. had no prepossessions in Florence, 
except for energy and an open hand ; the side which 
was most popular he would have accepted and 
backed; but "he would not lose," he said, "the men 
for the women." " lo non voglio perdcrc gll iioniiiii 
per le feniniinelle!' -^ If the Black party furnished 
types for the grosser or fiercer forms of wickedness in 
the poet's Hell, the White party surely were the 
originals of that picture of stupid and cowardly 
selfishness, in the miserable crowd who moan and are 
buffeted in the vestibule of the Pit, mingled with the 
angels who dared neither to rebel nor be faithful, but 
" iverc for tJiansdves ; " and whoever it may be \\\\o 
is singled out in the " setta dei cattivi," for deeper 
and special scorn — he, 

Che fece per vilta il gran rifiuto — + 

the idea was derived from the Cerchi in Florence. 

* Dwo Comp. p. 45. t Ibid. p. 62. t !>'/■ c 3> 60. 

46 DANTE. 

A French prince was sent by the Pope to mediate 
and make peace in Florence. The Black Guelfs and 
Corso DonatI came with him. The magistrates were 
overawed and perplexed. The White party were, 
step by step, amused, entrapped, led blindly into 
false plots, entangled in the elaborate subtleties, and 
exposed with all the zest and mockery, of Italian 
intrigue — finally chased out of their houses and from 
the city, condemned unheard, outlawed, ruined in 
name and property, by the Pope's French mediator. 
With them fell many citizens who had tried to hold 
the balance between the two parties : for the leaders 
of the Black Guelfs were guilty of no errors of weak- 
ness. In two extant lists of the proscribed — con- 
demned by default, for corruption and various crimes, 
especially for hindering the entrance into Florence of 
Charles de Valois, to a heavy fine and banishment — 
then, two months after, for contumacy, to be burned 
alive if he ever fell into the hands of the Republic — 
appears the name of Dante Alighieri ; and more than 
this, concerning the history of his expulsion, we know 


Of his subsequent life, history tells us little more 
than the general character. He acted for a time in 
concert with the expelled party, when they attempted 

Pelli, ]Mcmo7-ie per sainrc allazita di Dante. Fir. 1S23, pp. 105, 106. 

DANTE. 47 

to force their way back to Florence ; he gave them 
up at last in scorn and despair : but he never rctvirncd 
to Florence. And he found no new home for the 
rest of his days. Nineteen years, from his exile to 
his death, he was a wanderer. The character is 
stamped on his writings. History, tradition, docu- 
ments, all scanty or dim, do but disclose him to us at 
different points, appearing here and there, we are not 
told how or why. One old record, discovered by 
antiquarian industry, shows him in a village church 
near Florence, planning, with the Cerchi and the 
White party, an attack on the Black Guelfs. In 
another, he appears in the Val di Magra, making- 
peace between its small potentates : in another, as 
the inhabitant of a certain street in Padua. The tra- 
ditions of some remote spots about Italy still connect 
his name with a ruined tower, a mountain glen, a cell 
in a convent. In the recollections of the following 
generation, his solemn and melancholy form mingled 
reluctantly, and for awhile, in the brilliant court of 
the Scaligers ; and scared the women, as a visitant of 
the other world, as he passed by their doors in the 
streets of Verona. Rumour brings him to the West 
— with probability to Paris, more doubtfully to 
Oxford. But little certain can be made out about 
the places where he was an honoured and admired, 
but it may be, not always a welcome guest, till we find 

48 DANTE. 

him sheltered, cherished, and then laid at last to rest, 
by the Lords of Ravenna. There he still rests, in a 
small, solitary chapel, built, not by a Florentine, 
but a Venetian. Florence, " that mother of little 
love," asked for his bones ; but rightly asked in vain.* 
Hi's place of repose is better in those remote and 
forsaken streets " by the shore of the Adrian Sea," 
hard by the last relics of the Roman Empire — the 
mausoleum of the children of Theodosius, and the 
mosaics of Justinian — than among the assembled 
dead of S. Croce, or amid the magnificence of 
S. Maria del Fiore.f 

The Conniicdia, at the first glance, shows the 
traces of its author's life. It is the work of a 
wanderer. The very form in which it is cast is that 
of a journey, difficult, toilsome, perilous, and full of 
change. It is more than a working out of that 
touching phraseology of the middle ages, in which 
" the way " was the technical theological expression 

* See Dr. Barlow's 6'/jr//i Centettary Festivals of Dante. (1866.) 
t These notices have been carefully collected by Pelli, who seems 
to have left little to glean (i^/t'/wmt.', &c. Ed. 2^^ 1823). A few addi- 
tions have been made by Gerini {Mem. Star, delta Ltinigiana), and 
Troy a [Veltro AllegoTicd), but they are not of much importance. 
Ari'ivabene {Secolo di Dante) has brought together a mass of illustration 
which is very useful, and would be more so, if he were more careful, 
and quoteci his authorities. Balbo arranges these materials with sense 
and good feeling ; though, as a writer, he is below his subject. A few 
traits and anecdotes may be found in the novelists — as Sacchetti. 



for this mortal life ; and "viator" meant man in his 
state of trial, as " compreJiensor'' meant man made 
perfect, having attained to his heavenly country. It 
is more than merely this. The writer's mind is full of 
the recollections and definite images of his various 
journeys. The permanent scenery of the Inferno and 
Pnrgatorio, very variously and distinctly marked, is 
that of travel. The descent down the sides of the 
Pit, and the ascent of the Sacred Mountain, show one 
familiar with such scenes — one who had climbed pain- 
fully in perilous passes, and grown dizzy on the brink of 
narrow ledges over sea or torrent. It is scenery from 
the gorges of the Alps and Apennines, or the terraces 
and precipices of the Riviera. Local reminiscences 
abound : — the severed rocks of the Adige Valley — the 
waterfall of S. Benedetto — the crags of Pietra-pana 
and S. Leo, which overlook the plains of Lucca and 
Ravenna — the " fair river " that flows among the 
poplars between Chiaveri and Sestri — the marble 
quarries of Carrara — the " rough and desert ways 
between Lerici and Turbia," and those towery clifts, 
going sheer into the deep sea at Noli, which travellers 
on the Corniche road some thirty years ago may yet 
remember with fear. Mountain experience furnished 
that picture of the traveller caught in an Alpine mist 
and gradually climbing above it ; seeing the vapours 
grow thin, and the sun's orb appear faintly through 



them ; and issuing at last into sunshine on the 
mountain top, while the light of sunset was lost 
already on the shores below : 

Ai raggi, morti gia nei bassi lidi : — Piirg. 17. 

or that image of the cold dull shadow over the torrent, 
beneath the Alpine fir — 

Un' ombra smorta 
Oual sotto foglie verdi e raijii nigri 
Sovra suoi freddi rivi, 1' Alpe porta : — Piirg. 33.* 

or of the large snow-flakes falling without wind, among 
the mountains — 

d' un cader lento 
Piovean di fuoco dilatate falde 
Come di neve in Alpe senza vento. — Iiifej-no, I4.t 

He delights in a local name and local image — the 
boiling pitch, and the clang of the shipwrights in the 
arsenal of Venice — the sepulchral fields of Aries and 
Pola — the hot-spring of Viterbo — the hooded monks 
of Cologne — the dykes of Flanders and Padua — the 
Maremma, with its rough brushwood, its wild boars, 

* A death-like shade — 
Like that beneath black boughs and foliage green 
O'er the cool streams in Alpine glens display'd. — Wright. 

t O'er all the sandy desert falling slow, 

Were shower'd dilated flakes of fire, like snow 
On Alpine summits, when the wind is low. — Ibid. 

DANTE. 51 

its snakes, and fevers. He had listened to the south 
wind among the pine tops, in the forest by the sea, at 
Ravenna. He had watched under the Carisenda 
tower at Bologna, and seen the driving clouds " give 
away their motion " to it, and make it seem to be 
falling ; and had noticed how at Rome the October 
sun sets between Corsica and Sardinia* His images 


of the sea are numerous and definite — the ship backing 
out of the tier in harbour, the diver plunging after the 
fouled anchor, the mast rising, the ship going fast be- 
fore the wind, the water closing in its wake, the arched 
backs of the porpoises the forerunners of a gale, the 
admiral watching everything from poop to prow, the 
oars stopping altogether at the sound of the whistle, 
the swelling sails becoming slack when the mast snaps 
and falls.f Nowhere could we find so many of the 
most characteristic and strange sensations of the 
traveller touched with such truth. Everyone knows 
the lines which speak of the voyager's sinking of heart 
on the first evening at sea, and of the longings wakened 
in the traveller at the beginning of his journey by the 
distant evening bellj ; the traveller's morning feelings 
are not less delicately noted — the strangeness on first 
waking in the open air with the sun high; morning 

* /;;/ 31, iS. 

t Ibid. 17, 16, 31; Pur^^. 24; Par. 2; /;;/ 22; Piirg. 30; 
Par. 25 ; /;;/ 7. J Piirg. 8. " Era gib. V ora," &c. 

E 2 

52 DANTE. 

thoughts, as day by day he wakes nearer home ; the 
morning sight of the sea-beach quivering in the 
early hght ; the tarrying and Hngering, before setting 
out in the morning * — 

Noi eravam liinghesso '1 mare ancora, 
Come gente che pensa al suo cammino, 
Che va col cuore, e col corpo dimora.t 

He has recorded equally the anxiety, the curiosity, 

the suspicion with which, in those times, stranger 

met and eyed stranger on the road ; and a still more 

characteristic trait is to be found in those lines 

where he describes the pilgrim gazing around in 

the church of his vow, and thinking how he shall tell 

of it: 

E quasi peregrin che si ricrea 
Nel tempio del suo voto riguardando, 
E spera gia ridir com' ello stea : — Parad. 31.$ 

or again, in that description, so simple and touching, 
of his thoughts while waiting to see the relic for which 
he left his home : 

* Purg. 19, 27, I, 2. 

+ By ocean's shore we still prolonged our stay 
Like men, who, thinking of a journey near, 
Advance in thought, while yet their limbs delay. — Wright. 
X And like a pilgrim who with fond delight 
Surveys the temple he has vow'd to see. 
And hopes one day its wonders to recite. — Ieid. 

DANTE. 53 

Quale e colui che forse di Croazia 
Viene a veder la Veronica nostra, 
Che per 1' antica fama non si sazia, 

I\Ia dice nel pensier, fin che si rnostra ; 
Signer mio Gesu Cristo, Uio verace, 
Or fu 31 fatta la sembianza vostra? — Parad. 31.* 

Of tl iese y ears then of disappointment and exile 
the Divina Covnncdia was the labour and fruit. A 
story in Boccaccio's Hfe of Dante, told v,-ith some 
detail, implies indeed that it was begun, and some pro- 
gress made in it, while Dante was yet in Florence — 
begun_in Latin, and he quotes three lines of it — con- 
tinued afterwards in Italian. This is not impossible ; 
indeed the germ and presage of it may be traced in 
the Vita Nuova. The idealised saint is there, in ali 
the grace of her pure and noble humbleness, the guide 

* Like one who, from Croatia come to see 
Our Veronica (image long adored), 
Gazes, as though content he ne'er could be — 
Thus musing, while the relic is pourtray'd — 
"Jesus my God, my Saviour and my Lord, 
O were thy features these I see display'd ? " — Wright. 

Quella imagine benedetta la quale Gesu Cristo lascio a noi pet 
esempio della sua bellissima figura. — Vita Nuova, p. 353. 

He speaks of the pilgrims going to Rome to see it ; compare also 
the sonnet to the pilgrims, p. 355 : 

Deh peregrini, che pensosi andate 
Forse di cosa, che non v'e presente, 
Venite voi di si lontana gente, 
Com' alia vista voi ne dimostrate. 



and safeguard of the poet's soul. She is already in 
glory with Mary the queen of angels. She already 
beholds the face of the Everblessed. And the cnvoye 
of the Vita Nuova is the promise of the Comnicdia. 
" After this sonnet," (in which he describes how be- 
yond the widest sphere of heaven his love had beheld 
a lady receiving honour, and dazzling by her gloiy 
the unaccustomed spirit) — "After this sonnet there 
appeared to me a marvellous vision, in which I saw 
things which made me resolve not to speak more of 
this blessed one, until such time as I should be able to 
indite more worthily of her. And to attain to this, 
I study to the utmost of my power, as she truly knows. 
So that, if it shall be the pleasure of Him, by whom 
all things live, that my life continue for some years, I 
hope to say of her that which never hath been said of 
any woman. And afterwards, may it please Him, 
who is the Lord of kindness, that my soul may go to 
behold the glory of her lady, that is, of that blessed 
Beatrice, who gloriously gazes on the countenance of 
Him, qui est per omnia seeula benedicttcsy^ It would 
be wantonly violating probabihty and the unity of a 
great life, to suppose that this purpose, though trans- 
formed, was ever forgotten or laid aside. The poet 
knew not indeed what he was promising, what he was 

* Vita Nuova, last paragraph. See Piirg. 30 ; Farad. 30, 6, 28-33. 



pledging himself to — through what years of toil and 
anguish he would have to seek the light and the power 
he had asked ; in what form his high venture should 
be realised. But the Coviniedia is the work of no 
light resolve, and we need not be surprised at finding 
the resolve and the purpose at the outset of the poet's 
life. We may freely accept the key supplied by the 
words of the Vita Niiova. The spell of boyhood is 
never broken, through the ups and downs of life. His 
course of thought advances, alters, deepens, but is con- 
tinuous. From youth to age, from the first glimpse to 
the perfect work, the same idea abides with him, 
" even from the flower till the grape was ripe." It 
may assume various changes — an image of beauty, a 
figure of philosophy, a voice from the other world, a 
type of heavenly wisdom and joy — but still it holds, 
in self-imposed and willing thraldom, that creative 
and versatile and tenacious spirit. It was the dream 
and hope of too deep and strong a mind to fade and 
come to naught — to be other than the seed of the 
achievement and crown of life. But with all faith in the 
star and the freedom of genius, wejnay-xiQubt. whether 
t he pro sperous citizen would have done that which was 
done by the man without a home. Beatrice's glory 
might have been sung in grand though barbarous 
Latin to the literati of the fourteenth century ; or a 
poem of new beauty might have fixed the language 

56 DANTE. 

and opened the literature of modern Italy ; but it 
could hardly have been the Commedi a. That belongs, 
in its date and its greatness, to the time when sorrow 
had become the poet's daily portion, and the condition 
of his life. 

The Connnxdia is a novel and startling apparition 
in literature. Probably it has been felt by some, who 
have approached it with the reverence due to a work 
of such renown, that the world has been generous in 
placing it so high. It seems so abnormal, so lawless, 
so reckless of all ordinary proprieties and canons of 
feeling, taste, and composition. It is rough and 
abrupt ; obscure in phrase and allusion, doubl}' 
obscure in purpose. It is a medley of all subjects 
usually kept distinct : scandal of the day and 
transcendental science, politics and confessions, 
coarse satire and angelic joy, private wrongs, with 
the mysteries of the faith, local names and habitations 
of earth, with visions of hell and heaven. It is hard 
to keep up with the ever-changing current of feeling, 
to pass as the poet passes, without effort or scruple, 
from tenderness to ridicule, from hope to bitter scorn 
or querulous complaint, from high-raised devotion to 
the calmness of prosaic subtleties or grotesque detail. 
Each separate element and vein of thought has its 
precedent, but not their amalgamation. Many had 
written visions of the unseen world, but they had 



not blended with them their personal fortunes. 
S. Augustine had taught the soul to contemplate its 
own history, and had traced its progress from dark- 
ness to light ;* but he had not interwoven with it the 
history of Italy, and the consummation of all earthly 
destinies. Satire was no new thing; Juvenal had 
given it a moral, some of the Provencal poets a 
political turn ; S. Jerome had kindled into it fiercely 
and bitterly even while expounding the Prophets ; 
but here it streams forth in all its violence, within the • 
precincts of the eternal world, and alternates with the 
hymns of the blessed. Lucretius had drawn forth 
the poetry of nature and its laws ; Virgil and Livy 
had unfolded the poetry of the Roman empire ; 
S. Augustine, the still grander poetry of the history 
of the City of God ; but none had yet ventured to 
weave into one the three wonderful threads. And pC'rii.k<,| 
yet the scope of the Italian poet, vast and com- l^^u't'^M' 
prehensive as the issue of all things, universal as the ^'^^ ^ 
government which directs nature and intelligence, 3 ^4-\k 
forbids him not to stoop to the lowest caitiff he has 
ever despised, the minutest fact in nature that has 
ever struck his eye, the merest personal association 
which hangs pleasantly in his memory. Writing for 
all time, he scruples not to mix with all that is august 

* See Convito, i, 2. 


and permanent in history and prophecy, incidents the 
most transient, and names the most obscure ; to waste 
an immortahty of shame or praise on those about 
whom his own generation Avere to inquire in vain. 
Scripture history runs into profane ; Pagan legends 
teach their lesson side by side with Scripture scenes 
and miracles ; heroes and poets of heathenism, 
separated from their old classic world, have their 
place in the world of faith, discourse with Christians 
of Christian dogmas, and even mingle with the 
Saints ; Virgil guides the poet through his fear and 
his penitence to the gates of Paradise. 

This feeling of harsh and extravagant incongruity, 
of causeless and unpardonable darkness, is perhaps 
the first impression of many readers of the Conimcdia. 
But probably as they read on, there will mingle with 
this a sense of strange and unusual grandeur, arising 
not alone from the hardihood of the attempt, and the 
mystery of the subject, but from the power and the 
character of the poet. It will strike them that words 
cut deeper than is their wont ; that from that wild 
uncongenial imagery, thoughts emerge of singular 
truth and beauty. Their dissatisfaction will be 
chequered, even disturbed — for we can often bring 
ourselves to sacrifice much for the sake of a clear and 
consistent view — by the appearance, amid much that 
repels them, of proofs undeniable and accumulating 

DANTE. 59 

of genius as mighty as it is strange. Their perplexity 
and disappointment may grow into distinct con- 
demnation, or it may pass into admiration and 
deHght ; but no one has ever come to the end of the 
Coviinedia without feeling that if it has given him a 
new view and specimen of the wildness and unac- 
countable waywardness of the human mind, it has 
also added, as few other books have, to his knowledge 
of its feelings, its capabilities, and its grasp, and 
suggested larger and more serious thoughts, for 
which he may be grateful, concerning that unseen 
world of which he is even here a member. • 

Dante would not have thanked his admirers for 
becoming apologists. Those in whom the sense of 
imperfection and strangeness overpowers sympathy 
for grandeur, and enthusiasm for nobleness, and joy 
in beauty, he certainly would have left to themselves. 
But neither would he teach any that he was leading 
them along a smooth and easy road. The Covnncdia 
will always be a hard and trying book ; nor did the 
writer much care that it should be otherwise. Much 
of this is no doubt to be set down to its age ; much 
of its roughness and extravagance, as well as of its 
beauty — its allegorical spirit, its frame and scener>^ 
The idea of a visionary voyage through the worlds of 
pain and bliss is no invention of the poet — it was one 
of the commonest and most familiar medieval vehicles 

6o DANTE. 

of censure or warning ; and those who love to trace 
the growth and often strange fortunes of popular 
ideas, or whose taste leads them to disbelieve in 
genius, and track the parentage of great inventions 
to the foolish and obscure, may find abundant 
materials in the literature of legends.* But his own 
age — the age which received the Coviiiicdia with 
mingled enthusiasm and wonder, and called it the 
Divine, was as much perplexed as we are, though 
probably rather pleased thereby than offended. That 
within a century after its composition, in the more 
famous cities and universities of Italy, Florence, 
Venice, Bologna, and Pisa, chairs should have been 
founded, and illustrious men engaged to lecture on it, 
is a strange homage to its power, even in that time of 
quick feeling ; but as strange and great a proof of its 
obscurity. What is dark and forbidding in it was 
scarcely more clear to the poet's contemporaries. 
And he, whose last object was amusement, invites no 
audience but a patient and confiding one. 

O voi die siete in piccioletta barca, 
Desiderosi di ascoltar, seguiti 
Dietro al mio legno che cantando varca, 

Tornate a riveder li vostri liti : 
Non vi mettete in pelago, clie forse 
Perdendo me rimarreste smarriti. 

* Vide Ozaiiam, Dank, pp. 535, sqq. Ed. 2''-. 

DANTE. 6 1 

L' acqua ch' io prendo giammai non si corse : 
Minerva spira, e conducemi Apollo, 
E nuove muse mi dimostran 1' Orse. 

Voi altri pochi, die drizzaste '1 collo 
Per tempo al pan degli angeli, del quale 
Vivesi qui, ma non si vien satollo, 

Metter potete ben per 1' alto sale 
Vostro navigio, servando mio solco 
Dinanzi all' acqua che ritorna eguale. 

Que gloriosi che passaro a Colco, 
Non s' ammiraron, come voi farete, 
Ouando Jason vider fatto bifolco. — Farad, i.* 

The character of the Coninicdia belongs much 
more, in its excellence and its imperfections, to the 

* O ye who fain would listen to my song, 
Following in little bark full eagerly 
My venturous ship, that chanting hies along, 

Turn back unto your native shores again ; 
Tempt not the deep, lest haply losing me. 
In unknown paths bewildered ye remain. 

I am the first this voyage to essay ; 

Minerva breathes — Apollo is my guide ; 
And new-born muses do the Bears display. 

Ye other few, who have look'd ujd on high 
For angels' food betimes, e'en here supplied 
Largely, but not enough to satisfy, — • 

Mid the deep ocean ye your course may take, 
My track pursuing the pure waters through. 
Ere reunites the quickly-closing wake. 

Those glorious ones, who drove of yore their prow 
To Colchos, wonder'd not as ye will do, 
When they saw Jason working at the plough. 

Wright's Dante. 

62 DANTE. 

poet himself and the nature of his work, than to his 
age. That cannot screen his faults ; nor can it 
arrogate to itself, it must be content to share, his 
glory. His leading idea and line of thought was 
much more novel then than it is now, and belongs 
much more to the modern than the medieval world. 
The Story of a Life, the poetry of man's journey 
through the wilderness to his true country, is now in 
various and very different shapes as hackneyed a form 
of imagination, as an allegory, an epic, a legend of 
chivalry were in former times. Not, of course, that 
any time has been without its poetical feelings and 
ideas on the subject ; and never were they deeper and 
more diversified, more touching and solemn, than 
in the ages that passed from S. Augustine and 
S. Gregory to S. Thomas and S. Bonaventura. But a 
philosophical poem, where they were not merely the 
colouring, but the subject, an epos of the soul, placed 
for its trial in a fearful and wonderful world, with 
relations to time and matter, history and nature, good 
and evil, the beautiful, the intelligible, and the 
mysterious, sin and grace, the infinite and the eternal 
— and having in the company and under the influences 
of other intelligences, to make its choice, to struggle, 
to succeed or fail, to gain the light, or be lost — this 
was a new and unattempted theme. It has been 
often tried since, in faith or doubt, in egotism, in 

DANTE. (i2> 

sorrow, in murmuring, in affectation, sometimes in 
joy — in various forms, in prose and verse, completed 
or fragmentary, in reality or fiction, in the direct or 
the shadowed story, in the Pilgrim's Progress, in 
Rousseau's Confessions, in Wilhelm Meister and Fcmst, 
in the Excursion. It is common enough now for the 
poet, in the faith of human sympathy, and in the sense 
of the unexhausted vastness of his mysterious subject, 
to beheve that his fellows will not see without interest 
and profit, glimpses of his own path and fortunes — 
hear from his lips the disclosure of his chief delights, 
his warnings, his fears — follow the many-coloured 
changes, the impressions and workings, of a character, 
at once the contrast and the counterpart to their own. 
But it was a new path then ; and he needed to be, and 
was, a bold man, who first opened it — a path never 
trod without peril, usually with loss or failure. 

And certainly no great man ever made less secret 
to himself of his own genius. He is at no pains to 
rein in or to dissemble his consciousness of i^ower, 
which he has measured without partiality, and feels 
sure will not fail him. " Fidandomi di me piii chc di 
un altro "* — is a reason which he assigns without 
reserve. We look with the distrust and hesitation of 
modern days, yet, in spite of ourselves, not without 

* Convito, I, lo. 

64 DANTE. 

admiration and regret, at such frank hardihood. It 
was more common once than now. When the world 
was young, it was more natural and allowable — it was 
often seemly and noble. Men knew not their diffi- 
culties as we know them — we, to whom time, which 
has taught so much wisdom, has brought so many 
disappointments — we who have seen how often the 
powerful have fallen short, and the noble gone astray, 
and the most adm.irable missed their perfection. It 
is becoming in us to distrust ourselves — to be shy if 
we cannot be modest ; it is but a respectful tribute 
to human weakness and our brethren's failures. But 
there was a time when great men dared to claim their 
greatness — not in foolish self-complacency, but in un- 
embarrassed and majestic simplicity, in magnanimity 
and truth, in the consciousness of a serious and noble 
purpose, and of strength to fulfil it. Without passion, 
without elation as without shrinking, the poet surveys 
his superiority and his high position, as something 
external to him ; he has no doubts about it, and 
affects none. He would be a coward, if he shut his 
eyes to what he could do ; as much a trifler in dis- 
playing reserve as ostentation. Nothing is more 
striking in the Comniedia than the serene and un- 
hesitating confidence with which he announces himself 
the heir and reviver of the poetic power so long lost 
to the world — the heir and reviver of it in all its 

DANTE. 65 

fulness. He doubts not of the judgment of posterity. 
One has arisen who shall throw into the shade all 
modern reputations, who shall bequeath to Christen- 
dom the glory of that namiC of Poet, " che piu dura e 
piu onora," hitherto the exclusive boast of heathenism, 
and claim the rare honours of the laurel : 

Si rade volte, padre, se ne coglie 
Per trionfare o Cesare o poeta, 
(Colpa e vergogna dell' umane voglie), 

Che partorir letizia in su la lieta 
Delfica deith. dovria la fronda 
Peneia quando alcun di se asseta. — Parad. i.* 

He has but to follow his star to be sure of the glorious 
port : t he is the master of language : he can give 
fame to the dead — no task or enterprise appals him, 
for whom spirits keep watch in heaven, and angels 
have visited the shades — " tal si parti dal cantar 
alleluia : " — who is Virgil's foster child and familiar 
friend. Virgil bids him lay aside the last vestige of 
fear. Virgil is to "crown him king and priest over 

* For now so rarely Poet gathers these, 
Or Caesar, winning an immortal praise 
(Shame unto man's degraded energies), 
That joy should to the Delphic God arise 
When haply any one aspires to gain 
The high reward of the Peneian prize. — Wright. 

+ Brunetto Latini's Prophecy, //;/ 15. 


66 DANTE. 

himself," * for a higher venture than heathen poetry 
had dared ; in Virgil's company he takes his place 
without diffidence, and without vain-glory, among the 
great poets of old — a sister soul.f 

Poiche la voce fu restata e queta, 

Vidi quattro grand' ombie a noi venire : 

Sembianza avean ne trista ne lieta : 

* * * * 

Cosi vidi adunar la bella scuola 
Di quel signer delF altissimo canto 
Che sovra gli altri come aquila vola. 

Da ch' ebber ragionato insieme alquanto 
Volsersi a me con salutevol cenno 
E '1 mio maestro sorrise di tanto. 

E piii d' onore ancora assai mi fenno : 
Ch' essi mi fecer della loro schiera, 
Si ch' io fui sesto tra cotanto senno. — Inf. 4.$ 

* See the grand ending of Piirg. 27. 

Tratto t' ho qui con ingegno e con arte : 
Lo tuo piacere omai prendi per duce : 
Fuor se' dell' arte vie, fuor se' dell' arte. 

Vedi il sole che 'n fronte ti riluce. 
Vede 1' erbetta, i fiori, e gli arboscelli 
Che questa terra sol da se produce. 

Mentre che vegnon lieti gli occhi belli 
Che lagrimando a te venir mi fenno, 
Seder ti puoi e puoi andar tra elli. 

Non aspettar mio dir piu ne mio cenno ; 
Libero, dritto, sano e tuo arbitrio, 
E fallo fora non fare a suo senno : 
Perch' io te sopra te corono e mitrio. 
+ Pitrg. c. 21. 

X Ceased had the voice — when in composed array 
Four mighty shades approaching I survey'd ; — 

DANTE. 67 

This sustained magnanimity and lofty self- 
reliance, which never betrays itself, is one of the main 
elements in the grandeur of the Coimnedia. It is an 
imposing spectacle to see such fearlessness, such free- 
dom, and such success in an untried path, amid 
unprepared materials and rude instruments, models 
scanty and only half understood, powers of language 
still doubtful and suspected, the deepest and strongest 
thought still confined to unbending forms and the 
harshest phrase ; exact and extensive knowledge, as 
yet far out of reach ; with no help from time, which 
familiarises all things, and of which, manner, elabora- 
tion, judgment, and taste are the gifts and inheritance; 
— to see the poet, trusting to his eye "which saw 
everything"* and his searching and creative spirit, 
venture undauntedly into all regions of thought and 
feeling, to draw thence a picture of the government 
of the universe. 

Nor joy, nor sorrow did their looks betray. 

'/! * * * 

Assembled thus, was offered to my sight 
The school of him, the Prince of poetry, 
Who, eagle-like, o'er others takes his flight. 

When they together had conversed awhile, 
They turned to me with salutation bland, 
Which from my master drew a friendly smile : 

And greater glory still they bade me share, 
Making me join their honourable band — • 
The sixth united to such genius rare. — Wright. 
* " Dante che tutto vedea." — Sacchetti, Nov. 114. 

F 2 

68 DANTE. 

But such greatness had to endure its price and its 
counterpoise. Dante was alone : — except in his 
visionary world, solitary and companionless. The 
blind Greek had his throng of listeners ; the blind 
Englishman his home and the voices of his daughters ; 
Shakspere had his free associates of the stage ; 
Goethe, his correspondents, a court, and all Germany 
to applaud. Not so Dante. The friends of his youth 
are already in the region of spirits, and meet him 
there — Casella, Forese ; — Guido Cavalcanti will soon 
be with them. In this upper world he thinks and 
writes as a friendless man — to whom all that he had 
held dearest was either lost or embittered ; he 
thinks and writes for himself 

And so he is his own law ; he owns no tribunal of 
opinion or standard of taste, except among the great 
dead. He hears them exhort him to " let the world 
talk on — to stand like a tower unshaken by the 
winds." * He fears to be " a timid friend to truth," 
" — to lose life among those who shall call this present 
time antiquity." f He belongs to no party. He is 

f La luce in che lideva il mio tesoro 
Ch' io trovai li, si fe' prima coirusca, 
Quale a raggio di sole specchio d'oro ; 

Indi rispose : coscienza fusca 
O della propria o dell' altrui vergogna 
Pur sentira la tua parola brusca ; 

DANTE. 69 

his own arbiter of the beautiful and the becoming ; 
his own judge over right and injustice, innocence and 
guilt. He has no followers to secure, no school to 
humour, no public to satisfy ; nothing to guide him, 
and nothing to consult, nothing to bind him, nothing 
to fear, out of himself In full trust in heart and will, 
in his sense of truth, in his teeming brain, he gives 
himself free course. If men have idolised the worth- 
less, and canonised the base, he reverses their award 
without mercy, and without apology ; if they have 
forgotten the just because he was obscure, he 
remembers him : if "Monna Berta and Ser Martino,"* 

Ma nondimen, rimossa ogni menzogna, 
Tutta tua vision fa manifesta, 
E lascia pur grattar dov' e la rogna : 

Che se la voce tua sara molesta 
Nel prime gusto, vital nutrimento 
Lascera poi quando sara digesta. 

Questo tuo grido fara come vento 
Che le piu alte cime piii percuote : 
E cio non fia d' onor poco argomento. 

Pero ti son mostrate, in queste ruote, 
Nel monte, e nella valle dolorosa, 
Pur r anime che son di fama note. 

Che r animo di quel ch' ode non posa, 
Ne ferma fede, per esemplo ch' aja 
La sua radice incognito e nascosa, 

Ne per altro argumento che non paja. — Farad. 17. 
Non creda Monna Berta e Ser MartiEO 
Per vedere un furare, altro offerere, 
Vederli dentro al consiglio divino : 
Che quel puo siu-ger, e quel puo cadere. — Ibid. 13. 

70 DANTE. 

the wimpled and hooded gossips of the day, with their 
sage company, have settled it to their own satisfaction 
that Providence cannot swerve from their general 
rules, cannot save where they have doomed, or reject 
where they have approved — he both fears more and 
hopes more. Deeply reverent to the judgment of the 
ages past, reverent to the persons whom they have 
immortalised for good and even for evil, in his own 
day he cares for no man's person and no man's judg- 
ment. And he shrinks not from, the auguries and 
forecastings of his mind about their career and fate. 
Men reasoned rapidly in those days on such subjects, 
and without much scruple ; but not with such delibe- 
rate and discriminating sternness. The most popular 
and honoured names in Florence, 

Farinata e '1 Tegghiaio, che fur si degni, 
Jacopo Rusticucci, Arrigo, e '1 Mosca 
E gli altri, ch' a ben far poser gl' ingegni ; 

have yet the damning brand : no reader of the 
Inferno can have forgotten the shock of that terrible 
reply to the poet's questionings about their fate : 

Ei son trale anime piu nere.* 
If he is partial, it is no vulgar partiality : friendship 

* Inf. 6. 



and old affection do not venture to exempt from its 
fatal doom the sin of his famous master, Brunette 
Latini ; * nobleness and great deeds, a kindred 
character and common wrongs, are not enough to 
redeem Farinata ; and he who could tell her story 
bowed to the eternal law, and dared not save 
Francesca. If he condemns by a severer rule than 
that of the world, he absolves with fuller faith in the 
possibilities of grace. Many names of whom history 
has recorded no good, are marked by him for bliss ; 
yet not without full respect for justice. The penitent 
of the last hour is saved, but he suffers loss. Man- 
fred's soul is rescued ; mercy had accepted his tears, 
and forgiven his great sins ; and the excmnmunication 
of his enemy did not bar his salvation : 

Per lor maladizion si non si perde 
Che non possa tornar 1' eterno amore 
IMentre che la speranza ha fior del verde. — Piirg. 3. 

Yet his sin, though pardoned, was to keep him for 
long years from the perfection of heaven.f And with 
the same independence with which he assigns their 
fate, he selects his instances — instances which are to 

* Che in la mente m' e fitta, ed or m' accuora, 
La car a buona iTnagine paterna. — Inf. 15. 
+ Charles of Anjou, his Guelf conqueror, is placed above him, in the 
valley of the kings {Piirg. 7), "Colui dal maschio naso" — notwith- 
standing the charges afterwards made against him {Purg. 20). 

72 DANTE. 

be the types of character and its issues. No man 
ever owned more unreservedly the fascination of great- 
ness, its sway over the imagination and the heart ; no 
one prized more the grand harmony and sense of 
fitness which there is, when the great man and the 
great ofhce are joined in one, and reflect each other's 
greatness. The famous and great of all ages are 
gathered in the poet's vision ; the great names even 
of fable — Geryon and the giants, the Minotaur and 
Centaurs, and the heroes of Thebes and Troy. But 
not the great and famous only : this is too narrow, 
too conventional a sphere ; it is not real enough. He 
felt, what the modern world feels so keenly, that 
wonderful histories are latent in the inconspicuous 
paths of life, in the fugitive incidents of the hour, 
among the persons whose faces we have seen. The 
Church had from the first been witness to the deep 
interest of individual life. The rising taste for novels 
showed that society at large was beginning to be alive 
to it. And it is this feeling — that behind the veil 
there may be grades of greatness but nothing insigni- 
ficant — that led Dante to refuse to restrict himself to 
the characters of fame. He will associate with them 
the living men who have stood round him ; they are 
part of the same company with the greatest. That 
they have interested him, touched him, moved his 
indignation or pity, struck him as examples of great 

DANTE. 73 

vicissitude or of a perfect life, have pleased him, loved 
him — this is enough why they should live in his poem 
as they have lived to him. He chooses at will ; 
history, if it has been negligent at the time about 
those whom he thought worthy of renown, must be 
content with its loss. He tells their story, or touches 
them with a word like the most familiar names, 
according as he pleases. The obscure highway 
robber, the obscure betrayer of his sister's honour — 
Rinier da Corneto and Rinier Pazzo, and Caccianimico 
— are ranked, not according to their obscurity, but 
according to the greatness of their crimes, with the 
famous conquerors, and " scourges of God," and 
seducers of the heroic age, Pyrrhus and Attila, and 
the great Jason of " royal port, who sheds no tear in 
his torments."* He earns as high praise from Virgil, 
for his curse on the furious wrath of the old frantic 
Florentine burgher, as if he had cursed the disturber 
of the world's peace, f And so in the realms of joy, 
among the faithful accomplishers of the highest trusts, 
kings and teachers of the nations, founders of orders, 
sainted empresses, appear those whom, though the 
world had forgotten or misread them, the poet had 
enshrined in his familiar thoughts, for their sweetness, 
their gentle goodness, their nobility of soul ; the 

* See the magnificent picture, Inf. i8. 
t Ibid. 8. 

74 DANTE. 

penitent, the nun, the old crusadnig ancestor, the 
pilgrim who had deserted the greatness which he had 
created, the brave logician, who " syllogised unpala- 
table truths " in the Ouartier Latin of Paris.* 

There is small resemblance in all this — this 
arbitrary and imperious tone, this range of ideas, 
feelings, and images, this unshackled freedom, this 
harsh reality — to the dreamy gentleness of the Vita 
Nuova, or even the staid argumentation of the more 
mature Convito. The Vita Nuova is all self- con- 
centration — a brooding, not unpleased, over the 
varying tides of feeling, which are little influenced 
by the world without ; where every fancy, every 
sensation, every superstition of the lover is detailed 
with the most whimsical subtlety. The Commedia, 
too, has its tenderness — and that more deep, more 
natural, more true, than the poet had before adapted 
to the traditionary formulae of the " Courts of Love," 
— the eyes of Beatrice are as bright, and the " con- 
quering light of her smile ;"t they still culminate, 

* Cunizza, Piccarda, Cacciaguida, Romeo. {ParaJ. 9, 3, 15, 6, 10.) 

La luce eterna di Sigieri 

Che leggendo nel vico degli Strami 
Sillogizzo invidiosi veri 

in company with S. Thomas Aquinas, in the sphere of the Sun. 
Ozanam gives a few particulars of this forgotten professor of the " Rue 
du Fouarre," pp. 320-23. 

+ Vincendo me col lume d' un sorriso. — Parad. 18. 



but they are not alone, in the poet's heav^en. And 
the professed subiect of the Coiinicdia is still Dante's 
own^JiXe ; he still makes himself the central 
point. And steeled as he is by that high and hard 
experience of which his poem is the projection and 
type — " Ben tetragono ai colpi di ventura " — a stern 
and brief-spoken man, set on objects, and occupied 
with a theme, lofty and vast as can occupy man's 
thoughts, he still lets escape ever and anon some 
passing avowal of delicate sensitiveness,* lingers for 
a moment on some indulged self-consciousness, some 
recollection of his once quick and changeful mood — 
" io che son trasmutabil per tutte guise " t — or half 
playfully alludes to the whispered name of a lady,J 

* For instance, his feeling of distress at gazing at tlie blind, who 
were not aware of his presence — 

A me pareva andando fare oltraggio 

Vedendo altrui, non essendo veduto : — Piirg. 13. 

and of shame, at being tempted to listen to a quarrel between two lost 
spirits : 

Ad ascoltarli er' io del tutto fisso, 
Quando '1 Maestro mi disse : or pm- mira, 
Che per poco e, che teco non mi risso. 

Quando io '1 senti' a me parlar con ira 
Volsimi verso lui con tal vergogna, 
Ch' ancor per la memoria mi si gira, &c. — Inf. 30. 
and the burst, 

O dignitosa coscienza e netta, 
Come t' e picciol fallo amaro morso. — Ptirg. 3. 
t Farad. 5. J Purg. 24. 

76 DANTE. 

whose pleasant courtesy has beguiled a few days of 
exile. But he is no longer spell-bound and entangled 
in fancies of his own weaving — absorbed in the un- 
profitable contemplation of his own internal sensations. 
The man is indeed the same, still a Florentine, still 
metaphysical, still a lover. He returns to the haunts 
and images of youth, to take among them his poet's 
crown ; but " with other voice and other garb," * a 
penitent and a prophet — with larger thoughts, wider 
sympathies, freer utterance ; sterner and fiercer, yet 
nobler and more genuine in his tenderness — as one 
whom trial has made serious, and keen, and intolerant 
of evil, but not sceptical or callous ; yet with the 
impressions and memories of a very different scene 
from his old day-dreams. 

After that it was the pleasure of the citizens of that fairest 
and most famous daughter of Rome, Florence, to cast me forth 
from her most sweet bosom (wherein I had been nourished up 
to the maturity of my life, and in which, with all peace to her, 
I long with all my heart to rest my weary soul, and finish the 
time which is given me), I have passed through almost all the 
regions to which this language reaches, a wanderer, almost a 
beggar, displaying, against my will, the stroke of fortune, which 
is ofttimes unjustly wont to be imputed to the person stricken. 
Truly, I have been a ship without a sail or helm, carried to 
divers harbours, and gulfs, and shores, by that parching wind 
which sad poverty breathes ; and I have seemed vile in the eyes 
of many, who perchance, from some fame, had imagined of me 

* Farad. 25. 

DANTE. 77 

in another form; in the sight of whom not only did my presence 
become nought, but every work of mine less prized, both what 
had been and what was to be wrought. — Convito, Tr. i. c. 3. 

Thus proved, and thus furnished — thus inde- 
pendent and confident, daring to trust his instinct 
and genius in what was entirely untried and unusual, 
he entered on his great poem, to shadow forth, under 
the figure of his own conversion and purification, not 
merely how a single soul rises to its perfection, but 
how this visible world, in all its phases of nature, life, 
and society, is one with the invisible, which borders 
on it, actuates, accomplishes, and explains it. It is 
this vast plan — to take into his scope, not the soul 
only in its struggles and triumph, but all that the soul 
finds itself engaged with in its course ; the accidents 
of the hour, and of ages past ; the real persons, great 
and small, apart from and without whom it cannot 
think or act ; the material world, its theatre and 
home — it is this which gives so many various sides to 
the Commedia, which makes it so novel and strange. 
It is not a mere personal history, or a pouring forth of 
feeling, like the Vita Nuova, though he is himself the 
mysterious voyager, and he opens without reserve his 
actual life and his heart ; he speaks, indeed, in the 
first person, yet he is but a character of the drama, 
and in great part of it with not more of distinct 
personality than in that paraphrase of the penitential 

78 DANTE. 

Psalms, in which he has preluded so much of the 
Commedia. Yet the Comnicdia is not a pure allegory; 
it admits, and makes use of the allegorical, but the 
laws of allegory are too narrow for it ; the real in it 
is too impatient of the veil, and breaks through in all 
its hardness and detail, into what is most shadowy. 
History is indeed viewed not in its ephemeral look, 
but under the light of God's final judgments; in its 
completion, not in its provisional and fragmentary 
character ; viewed therefore but in faith ; — but its 
issues, which in this confused scene we ordinarily 
contemplate in the gross, the poet brings down to 
detail and individuals ; he faces and grasps the 
tremendous thought that the very men and women 
whom we see and speak to, are now the real repre- 
sentatives of sin and goodness, the true actors in that 
scene which is so familiar to us as a picture — un- 
flinching and terrible heart, he endures to face it in 
its most harrowing forms. But he wrote not for 
sport, nor to give poetic pleasure ; he wrote to warn ; 
the seed of the Commedia was sown in tears, and 
reaped in misery : and the consolations which it offers 
are awful as they are real. 

Thus, though he throws into symbol and image, 
what can only be expressed by symbol and image, 
we can as little forget in reading him this real world 
in which we live, as we can in one of Shakspere's 



plays. It is not merely that the poem is crowded 
with real personages, most of them having the single 
interest to us of being real. But all that is associated 
with man's history and existence is interwoven with 
the main course of thought — all that gives character 
to life, all that gives it form and feature, even to 
quaintness, all that occupies the mind, or employs 
the hand — speculation, science, arts, manufactures, 
monuments, scenes, customs, proverbs, ceremonies, 
games, punishments, attitudes of men, habits of living 
creatures. The wildest and most unearthly imagina- 
tions, the most abstruse thoughts take up into, and 
incorporate with themselves the forcible and familiar 
impressions of our mother earth, and do not refuse 
the company and aid even of the homeliest. 

This is not mere poetic ornament, peculiarly, 
profusely, or extravagantly employed. It is one of 
the ways in w^hich his dominant feeling expresses 
itself — spontaneous and instinctive in each several 
instance of it, but the kindling and effluence of 
deliberate thought, and attending on a clear purpose 
— the feeling of the real and intimate connexion 
between the objects of sight and faith. It is not that 
he sees in one the simple counterpart and reverse of 
the other, or sets himself to trace out universally their 
mutual correspondences ; he has too strong a sense of 
the reality of this familiar life to reduce it merely to 

8o DANTE. 

a shadow and type of the unseen. What he struggles 
to express in countless ways, with all the resources of 
his strange and gigantic power, is that this world and 
the next are both equally real, and both one — parts, 
however different, of one whole. The world to come 
we know but in "a glass darkly;" man can only 
think and imagine of it in images, which he knows to 
be but broken and faint reflections : but this world we 
know, not in outline, and featureless idea, but by 
name, and face, and shape, by place and person, by 
the colours and forms which crowd over its surface, 
the men who people its habitations, the events which 
mark its moments. Detail fills the sense here, and is 
the mark of reality. And thus he seeks to keep alive 
the feeling of what that world is which he connects 
with heaven and hell ; not by abstractions, not much 
by elaborate and highly-finished pictures, but by 
names, persons, local features, definite images. Widely 
and keenly has he ranged over and searched into the 
world — with a largeness of mind which disdained not 
to mark and treasure up, along with much unheeded 
beauty, many a characteristic feature of nature, un- 
noticed because so common. All his pursuits and 
interests contribute to the impression, which, often 
instinctively it may be, he strives to produce, of the 
manifold variety of our life. As a man of society, his 
memory is full of its usages, formalities, graces, follies. 

DANTE. 8 1 

fashions — of expressive motions, postures, gestures, 
looks — of music, of handicrafts, of the conversation of 
friends or associates — of all that passes, so transient, 
yet so keenly pleasant or distasteful, between man 
and man. As a traveller, he recalls continually the 
names and scenes of the world ; — as a man of specu- 
lation, the secrets of nature — the phenomena of light, 
the theory of the planets' motions, the idea and laws 
of physiology. As a man of learning, he is filled with 
the thoughts and recollections of ancient fable and 
history ; as a politician, with the thoughts, prognosti- 
cations, and hopes, of the history of the day ; as a 
moral philosopher he has watched himself, his ex- 
ternal sensations and changes, his inward passions, 
his mental powers, his ideas, his conscience ; he has 
far and wide noted character, discriminated motives, 
classed good and evil deeds. All that the man of 
society, of travel, of science, of learning, the politician, 
the moralist, could gather, is used at will in the great 
poetic structure ; but all converges to the purpose, 
and is directed by the intense feeling of the theologian, 
who sees this wonderful and familiar scene melting 
into, and ending in another yet more wonderful, but 
which will one day be as familiar — who sees the diffi- 
cult but sure progress of the manifold remedies of the 
Divine government to their predestined issue ; and, 
over all, God and His saints. 

82 DANTE. 

So comprehensive in interest is the Cominedia. 
Any attempt to explain it, by narrowing that interest 
to politics, philosophy, the moral life, or theology 
itself, must prove inadequate. Theology strikes the 
key-note ; but history, natural and metaphysical 
science, poetry, and art, each in their turn join in the 
harmony, independent, yet ministering to the whole. 
If from the poem itself we could be for a single 
moment in doubt of the reality and dominant place 
of religion in it, the plain-spoken prose of the Convito 
would show how he placed " the Divine Science, full 
of all peace, and allowing no strife of opinions and 
sophisms, for the excellent certainty of its subject, 
which is God," in single perfection above all other 
sciences, " which are, as Solomon speaks, but queens, 
or concubines, or maidens ; but she is the ' Dove,' and 
the ' perfect one ' — ' Dove,' because without stain of 
strife — 'perfect,' because perfectly she makes us 
behold the truth, in which our soul stills itself and is 
at rest." But the same passage * shows likewise how 
he viewed all human knowledge and human interests, 
as holding their due place in the hierarchy of wisdom, 
and among the steps of man's perfection. No account 
of the Commcdia will prove sufficient, which does not 
keep in view, first of all, the high moral purpose and 

* Convito, Tr, 2, c. 14, 15. 

DANTE, 83 

deep spirit of faith with which it was written, and 
then the wide hberty of materials and means which 
the poet allowed himself in working out his design. 

Doubtless, his writings have a political aspect. 
The " great Ghibelline poet " is one of Dante's 
received synonymes ; of his strong political opinions, 
and the importance he attached to them, there can be 
no doubt. And he meant his poem to be the vehicle 
of them, and the record to all ages of the folly and 
selfishness with which he saw men governed. That 
he should take the deepest interest in the goings on 
of his time, is part of his greatness ; to suppose that 
he stopped at them, or that he subordinated to 
political objects or feelings all the other elements of 
his poem, is to shrink up that greatness into very 
narrow limits. Yet this has been done by men of 
mark and ability, by Italians, by men Avho read the 
Cominedia in their own mother-tongue. It has been 
maintained as a satisfactory account of it — maintained 
Avith great labour and pertinacious ingenuity — that 
Dante meant nothing more by his poem than the 
conflicts and ideal triumph of a political party. The 
hundred cantos of that vision of the universe are but 
a manifesto of the Ghibelline propaganda, designed, 
under the veil of historic images and scenes, to 
insinuate what it was dangerous to announce ; and 
Beatrice, in all her glory and sweetness, is but a 

G 2 

84 DANTE. 

specimen of the jargon, cant, and slang of Ghibellinc 
freemasonry. When Itahans write thus, they degrade 
the greatest name of their country to a depth of 
laborious imbecility, to which the trifling of schoolmen 
and academicians is as nothing. It is to solve the 
enigma of Dante's works, by imagining for him a 
character in which it is hard to say which predomi- 
nates, the pedant, mountebank, or infidel. After that 
we may read Voltaire's sneers with patience, and even 
enter with gravity on the examination of Father 
Hardouin's Historic Doubts. The fanaticism of an 
outraged liberalism, produced by centuries of injustice 
and despotism, is but a poor excuse for such perverse 

Dante, was.- not a Ghibelline, though he longed for 
the interposition of an Imperial power. Historically 
he did not belong to the Ghibelline party. It is true 
that he forsook the Guelfs, with whom he had been 
brought up, and that the White Guelfs, with whom 
he was expelled from Florence, were at length merged 
and lost in the Ghibelline partyf ; and he acted with 
them for a time. J But no words can be stronger 

* In the Remains of Arthur Henry Hallam is a paper, in which 
he examines and disposes of this theory with a courteous and forbearing- 
irony, which would have deepened probably into something more, on 
thinking over it a second time. 

t Dino Comp. pp. 89-91, 

:|: His name appears among the White delegates in 1307. Pelli, p. 117. 

DANTE. z^ 

than those in which he disjoins himself from that 
"■evil and foolish company," and claims his inde- 
pendence — 

A te fia bello 
Avertifatto parte per te stesso* 

And it is not easy to conceive a Ghibelline partisan 
putting into the mouth of Justinian, the type of law 
and empire, a general condemnation of his party as 
heavy as that of their antagonists ; — the crime of 
having betrayed, as the Guelfs had resisted, the great 
symbol of public right— 

Omai puoi giudicar di que' cotali 
Ch' io accusal di sopra, e de' lor falll 
Che son cagion di tutti 1 vostri mall. 

L' uno al pubblico segno 1 gigli gialll 
Oppone, e quel s' appropria faltro a parte, 
Si ch' e forte a veder qual piu si falli. 

Fac'cian li G]iibcllm,Jaccian lor arte 
Self altro segno J che mal segue quello 
Seiiipre chi la giustizia e lui diparte.\ 

And though, as the victim of the Guelfs of Florence, 
he found refuge among Ghibelline princes, hs had 
friends among Guelfs also. His steps and his tongue 
were free to the end. And in character and feeling, 
in his austerity, his sturdiness and roughness, his 
intolerance of corruption and pride, his strongly- 

* Parad. 17. f Ibid. 6. 

86 DANTE. 

marked devotional temper, he was much less a Ghibel- 
line than like one of those stern Guelfs who hailed 

But he had a very decided and complete political 
theory, which certainly was not Guelf; and, as parties 
then were, it was not much more Ghibelline, Most 
assuredly no set of men would have more vigorously 
resisted the attempt to realise his theory, would have 
joined more heartily with all immediate opponents 
— Guelfs, Black, White, and Green, or even Boni- 
face VIII., — to keep out such an emperor as Dante 
imagined, than the Ghibelline nobles and potentates. 

Dante's political views were a dream; though a 
dream based on what had been, and an anticipation 
of what was, in part at least, to come. It was a dream 
in the middle ages, in divided and republican Italy, 
the Italy of cities — of a real and national government, 
based on justice and law. It was the dream of a real 
state. He imagined that the Roman empire had been 
one great sta,te ; he persuaded himself that Christen- 
dom might be such. He was wrong in both instances ; 
but in this case, as in so many others, he had already 
caught the spirit and ideas of a far-distant future ; 
and the political organisation of modern times, so 
familiar to us that we cease to think of its exceeding 
wonder, is the practical confirmation, though in a 
form very different from what he imagined, of the 

DANTE. 87 

depth and farsightedness of those expectations which 
are in outward form so chimerical — " i mici non falsi 

He had studied the "iniinite disorders of the 
world " in one of their most unrestrained scenes, the 
streets of an Italian republic. Law was powerless, 
good men were powerless, good intentions came to 
naught ; neither social habits nor public power could 
resist, when selfishness chose to have its way. The 
Church was indeed still the salt of the nations ; but it 
had once dared and achieved more ; it had once been 
the only power which ruled them. And this it could 
do no longer. If strength and energy had been 
enough to make the Church's influence felt on govern- 
ment, there was a Pope who could have done it — a 
man who was undoubtedly the most wondered at and 
admired of his age, whom friend or foe never charac- 
terised, without adding the invariable epithet of his 
greatness of soul — the " inagjianivttis peccaior"^ whose 
Roman grandeur in meeting his unworthy fate fasci- 
nated into momentary sympathy even Dante.t But 

* Benvenuto da Imola. 
+ Veggio in Alagna entrar lo fiordaliso, 
E nel vicario suo Cristo esser catto ; 

Veggiolo un' altra volta esser deriso ; 
Veggio rinnovellar I'aceto e '1 fele, 
E tra vivi Jadroni essere anciso. — P^^^g' 20. 

G. Villani, viii. 63. Come magnanimo e valente, disse, Dacchl per 

88 DANTE. 

among the things which Boniface VIII. could not 
do, even if he cared about it, was the maintaining 
peace and law in Italian towns. And while this great 
political power was failing, its correlative and anta- 
gonist was paralysed also. " Since the death of 
Frederic II.," says Dante's contemporary, "the fame 
and recollections of the empire were w^ell - nigh 
extinguished. "=i^ Italy was left without government 
— "come nave senza nocchicro in gran tempesta" — to 
the mercies of her tyrants : 

Che le terre d'ltalia tutte piene 
Son di tiranni, e un Marcel diventa 
Ogni villan, die parteggiando viene. — Piirg. 6. 

In this scene of violence and disorder, with the 
Papacy gone astray, the empire debased and impotent, 
the religious orders corrupted, power meaning lawless- 
ness, the well-disposed become weak and cowardly, 
religion neither guide nor check to society, but only 
the consolation of its victims — Dante was bold and 
hopeful enough to believe in the Divine appointment, 
and in the possibility, of law and government — of a 
state. In his philosophy, the institutions which provide 

tradimento, come Gesu Crista, voglio csser prcso e mi conviene morire, almcno 
voglio morire come Papa ; e di presente si fece parare dell' ammanto 
di S. Piero, e colla corona di Constantino in capo, e colle chiavi e croce 
in mano, e in su la sedia papale si pose a sedere, e giunto a lui Sciarra 
e gli allri suoi nimici, con villane parole lo scherniro. 
* Dino Compagni, p. 135. 

DANTE. 89 

for man's peace and liberty in this life are part of God's 
great order for raising men to perfection ; — not indis- 
pensable, yet ordinary parts ; having their important 
place, though but for the present time ; and though 
imperfect, real instruments of His moral government. 
He could not believe it to be the intention of Provi- 
dence, that on the introduction of higher hopes and 
the foundation of a higher society, civil society should 
collapse and be left to ruin, as henceforth useless or 
prejudicial in man's trial and training ; that the sig- 
nificant intimations of nature, that law and its results, 
justice, peace, and stability, ought to be and might be 
realised among men, had lost their meaning and faded 
away before the announcement of a kingdom not of 
this world. And if the perfection of civil society had 
not been superseded by the Church, it had become 
clear, if events were to be read as signs, that she was 
not intended to supply its political offices and functions. 
She had taught, elevated, solaced, blessed, not only 
individual souls, but society ; she had for a time even 
governed it : but though her other powers remained, she 
could govern it no longer. Failure had made it cer- 
tain that, in his strong and quaint language, " Virtus 
mtthorizandi regnum nostm luortcJitatis est contra 
naturam ccclesice ; ergo nou est dc nuincro virtiitum 
siianimr^ Another and distinct organisation was 

De Monarch, lib. iii. d. 188, Ed. Fraticelli. 

90 DANTE. 

required for this, unless the temporal order was no 
longer worthy the attention of Christians. 

This is the idea of the De Monarchia ; and 
though it holds but a place in the great scheme of the 
Conimedia, it is prominent there also — an idea seen 
but in a fantastic shape, encumbered and confused 
with most grotesque imagery, but the real idea of 
polity and law, which the experience of modern 
Europe has attained to. 

He found in clear outline in the Greek philosophy, 
the theory of merely human society ; and raising its 
end and purpose, "finein totius Jmmancs civilitatis" to 
a height and dignity which Heathens could not fore- 
cast, he adopted it in its more abstract and ideal 
form. He imagined a single authority, unselfish, 
inflexible, irresistible, which could make all smaller 
tyrannies to cease, and enable every man to live in 
peace and liberty, so that he lived in justice. It is 
simply what each separate state of Christendom has 
by this time more or less perfectly achieved. The 
theoriser of the middle ages could conceive of its 
accomplishment only in one form, as grand as it was 
impossible — a universal monarchy. 

But he did not start from an abstraction. He 
believed that history attested the existence of such a 
monarchy. The prestige of the Roman empire was 
then strong. Europe still lingers on the idea, and 

DANTE. 91 

cannot even yet bring itself to give up its part in that 
great monument of human power. But in the middle 
ages the Empire was still believed to exist. It was 
the last greatness which had been seen in the Vv'orld, 
and the world would not beheve that it was over. 
Above all, in Italy, a continuity of lineage, of 
language, of local names, and in par!; of civilisation 
and law, forbad the thought that the great Roman 
people had ceased to be. Florentines and Venetians 
boasted that they were Romans : the legends which 
the Florentine ladies told to their maidens at the 
loom were tales of their mother city, Rome. The 
Roman element, little understood, but profoundly 
reverenced and dearly cherished, was dominant ; the 
conductor of civilisation, and enfolding the inheritance 
of all the wisdom, experience, feeling, art, of the past, 
it elevated, even while it overawed, oppressed, and 
enslaved. A deep belief in Providence added to the 
intrinsic grandeur of the empire a sacred character. 
The flight of the eagle has been often told and often 
sung ; but neither in Livy or Virgil, Gibbon or 
Bossuet, with intenser sympathy or more kindred 
power, than in those rushing and unflagging verses in 
which the middle-age poet hears the imperial legis- 
lator relate the fated course of the "sacred sign," 
from the day when Pallas died for it, till it accom- 
plished the vengeance of heaven in Judsea, and 

92 DANTE. 

afterwards, under Charlemagne, smote down the 
enemies of the Church.^' 

The following passage, from the Dc MonarcJna, 
will show the poet's view of the Roman empire, and 
its office in the world : 

To the reasons above alleged, a memorable experience 
brings confirmation : I mean that state of mankind which the 
Son of God, when He would for man's salvation take man upon 
Him, either waited for, or ordered when so He willed. For if 
from the fall of our first parents, which was the starting-point 
of all our wanderings, we retrace the various dispositions of 
men and their times, we shall not find at any time, except under 
the divine monarch Augustus, when a perfect monarchy existed, 
that the world was everywhere cjuiet. And that then mankind 
was happy in the tranciuillity of universal peace, this all writers 
of history, this famous poets, this even the Scribe of the meek- 
ness of Christ has deigned to attest. And lastly, Paul has 
' called that most blessed condition, the fulness of time. Truly 
time, and the things of time, were full, for no mystery of our 
felicity then lacked its minister. But how the world has gone 
on from the time when that seamless robe was first torn by the 
claws of covetousness, we may read, and would that we might 
not also see. O race of men, by how great storms and losses, 
by how great shipwrecks hast thou of necessity been vexed 
since, transformed into a beast of many heads, thou hast been 
struggling different ways, sick in understanding, equally sick in 
heart. The higher intellect, with its invincible reasons, thou 
reckest not of; nor of the inferior, with its eye of experience ; 
nor of affection, with the sweetness of divine suasion, when the 
trumpet of the Holy Ghost sounds to thee — " Behold, how good 
is it, and how pleasant, brethren, to dwell together in unity." — 
De Monarch, lib. i. p. 54. 

* Farad, c. 6. 

DANTE. 93 

Yet this great Roman empire existed still unim- 
paired in name — not unimposing even in what really 
remained of it. Dante, to supply a want, turned it 
into a theory — a theory easy to smile at now, but 
A\'hich contained and was a beginning of unknown or 
unheeded truth. What he yearns after is the pre- 
dominance of the principle of justice in civil society. 
That, if it is still imperfect, is no longer a dream in 
our day ; but experience had never realised it to him, 
and he takes refuge in tentative and groping theory. 
The divinations of the greatest men have been vague 
and strange, and none have been stranger than those 
of the author of the Dc j\IonarcJua. The second 
book, in which he establishes the title of the Roman 
people to Universal Empire, is as startling a piece of 
mediasval argument as it Vv^ould be easy to find. 

As when we cannot attain to look upon a cause, we 
commonly wonder at a new effect, so when we know the cause, 
we look down with a certain derision on those who remain in 
wonder. And I indeed wondered once how the Roman people 
had, without any resistance, been set over the world ; and 
looking at it superficially, I thought that they had obtained this 
by no right, but by mere force of arms. But when I fixed deeply 
the eyes of my mind on it, and by most effectual signs knew 
that Divine Providence had wrought this, wonder departed, and 
a certain scornful contempt came in its stead, when I perceived 
the nations raging against the pre-eminence of the Roman 
people : — when I see the people imagining a vain thing, as I 
once used to do ; when, moreover, I grieve over kings and 
princes agreeing in this only, to be against their Lord and his 



anointed Roman Emperor. Wherefore in derision, not without 
a certain grief, I can cry out, for that glorious people and for 
Ctesar, with him who cried in behalf of the Prince of Heaven, 
" Why did the nations rage, and the people imagine vain things ; 
the kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were joined in 
one against the Lord and his anointed." But (because natural 
love suffers not derision to be of long duration, but, like the 
summer sun, which, scattering the morning mists, irradiates the 
east with light, so prefers to pour forth the light of correction) 
therefore to break the bonds of the ignorance of such kings and 
rulers, to show that the human race is free from their yoke, I 
will exhort myself, in company with the most holy Prophet, 
taking up his following words, " Let us break their bonds, and 
cast away from us their yoke." — De Mona^'ch. lib. ii. p. 58. 

And to prove this pre-eminence of right in the 
Roman people, and their heirs, the Emperors of 
Christendom, he appeals not m.erely to the course 
of Providence, to their high and noble ancestry, to the 
blessings of their just and considerate laws, to their 
iniselfish guardianship of the world — " Roinanum 
imperiiLVi dc fontc nascitur pietatis ; " — not merel}^ 
to their noble examples of private virtue, self-devo- 
tion, and public spirit — " those most sacred victims 
of the Decian house, who laid down their lives for the 
public weal, as Livy — not as they deserved, but as he 
was able — tells to their glory ; and that unspeakable 
sacrifice of freedom's sternest guardians, the Catos ; " 
not merely to the "judgment of God" in that great 
duel and wager of battle for empire, in which heaven 
declared against all other champions and "co-athletes" 



— Alexander, Pyrrhus, Hannibal, and by all the 
formalities of judicial combat awarded the great prize 
to those who fought, not for love or hatred, but justice 
— " Qiiis igitiir nunc adeo obtuscs mentis est, qni non 
videat, sub Jure duelli gloviosuvi popiduni coronani totiiis 
orbis esse liicratum ? " — not merely to arguments 
derived "from the principles of the Christian faith " — 
but to miracles. " The Roman empire," he says, 
" was, in order to its perfections, aided by the help of 
miracles ; therefore it was willed by God ; and, by 
consequence, both was, and is, of right." And these 
miracles, "proved by the testimony of illustrious 
authorities," are the prodigies of Livy — the ancile of 
Numa, the geese of the Capitol, the escape of Clelia, 
the hail-storm which checked Hannibal.* 

The intellectual phenomenon is a strange one. It 
would be less strange if Dante were arguing in the 
schools, or pleading for a party. But even Henry of 
Luxemburg cared little for such a throne as the poet 
wanted him to fill, much less Can Grande and the 
Visconti. The idea, the theory, and the argument, 
are of the writer's own solitary meditation. We may 
wonder. But there are few things more strange than 
the history of argument. How often has a cause or 
an idea turned out, in the eyes of posterity, so much 

* De Mo}iarch. lib. ii. pp. 62, 66, 78, 82, 84, 10S-I14, 1 16, 12-1^. 

96 DANTE. 

better than its arguments. How often have we seen 
argument getting as it were into a groove, and unable 
to extricate itself, so as to do itself justice. The every- 
day cases of private experience, of men defending 
right conclusions on wrong or conventional grounds, 
or in a confused form, entangled with conclusions of a ' 
like yet different nature ; — of arguments, theories, 
solutions, which once satisfied, satisfying us no longer 
on a question about which we hold the same belief — 
of one party unable to comprehend the arguments of 
another — of one section of the same side smiling at 
the defence of their common cause by another — are 
all reproduced on a grander scale in the history of 
society. There too, one age cannot comprehend 
another ; there too it takes time to disengage, subor- 
dinate, eliminate. Truth of this sort is not the elabora- 
tion of one keen or strong mind, but of the secret 
experience of many ; " niJiil sine atate est, 07nnia tempus 
expectant!' But a counterpart to the De Monarehia is 
not wanting in our own day ; theory has not ceased 
to be mighty. In warmth and earnestness, in sense 
of historic grandeur, in its support of a great cause and 
a great idea, not less than in the thought of its motto, 
efs Kolpavos ecrTa, De Maistre's volume jDu Pape, recalls 
the antagonist De MonareJiia ; but it recalls it not 
less in its bold dealing with facts, and its bold assump- 
tion of principles, though the knowledge and debates 

r>ANTE. 97 

of five more busy centuries, and the experience of 
modern courts and revolutions, might have guarded 
the Piedmontese nobleman from the mistakes of the 
old Florentine. 

But the idea of the De^Mgnarchia is no key to the 
Coinvicdia. The direct and primary purpose of the 
Couniicdia is surely its obvious one. It is to stamp a 
deep impression on the mind, of the issues of good 
and ill doing here — of the real worlds of pain and joy. 
To do this forcibly, it is done in detail — of course it 
can only be done in figure. Punishment, purification, 
or the fulness of consolation are, as he would think, at 
this very moment, the lot of all the numberless spirits 
who have ever lived here — spirits still living and 
sentient as himself: parallel with our life, they too are 
suffering or are at rest. Without pause or interval, in 
all its parts simultaneously, this awful scene is going 
on — the judgments of God are being fulfilled — could 
we but see it. It exists, it might be seen, at each 
instant of time, by a soul whose eyes were opened, 
which Avas carried through it. And this he imagines. 
It had been imagined before ; it is the working out, 
which is peculiar to him. It is not a barren vision. 
His subject is, besides the eternal world, the soul 
which contemplates it ; by sight, according to his 
figures — in reality, by faith. As he is led on from 
woe to deeper woe, then through the tempered chas- 

98 DANTE. 

tisements and resignation of Purgatory to the beatific 
vision, he is tracing the course of the soul on earth, 
reahsing sin and weaning itself from it — of its purifica- 
tion and preparation for its high lot, by converse with 
the good and wise, by the remedies of grace, by efforts 
of will and love, perhaps by the dominant guidance 
of some single pure and holy influence, whether of 
person, or institution, or thought. Nor will we say but 
that beyond this earthly probation, he is not also 
striving to grasp and imagine to himself something of 
that awful process and training, by which, whether in 
or out of the flesh, the spirit is made fit to meet its 
Maker, its Judge, and its Chief Good. 

Thus it seems that even in its main design, the 
poem has more than one aspect ; it is a picture, a 
figure, partially a history, perhaps an anticipation. 
And this is confirmed, by what the poet has himself 
distinctly stated, of his ideas of poetic composition. 
His view is expressed generally in his philosophical 
treatise, the Convito \ but it is applied directly to the 
Commedia, in a letter, which, if in its present form, of 
doubtful authenticity, without any question represents 
his sentiments, and the substance of which is incorpo- 
rated in one of the earliest writings on the poem, Boc- 
caccio's commentary. The following is his account of 
the subject of the poem : 

For the evidence of what is to be said, it is to be noted, that 
this work is not of one single meaning only, but may be said tc 

DANTE. 99 

have many meanings {^' polysetisuuni"). For the first meaning 
is that of the letter — another is that of things signified by the 
letter ; the first of these is called the literal sense, the second, 
the allegorical or moral. This mode of treating a subject may 
for clearness' sake be considered in those verses of the Psalm, 
"In exitu Israel." "When Israel came out of Egypt, and the 
house of Jacob from the strange people, Judah was his sanc- 
tuary, and Israel his dominion." For if we look at the letter 
only, there is here signified, the going out of the children of 
Israel in the time of Moses — if at the allegory there is signified 
our redemption through Christ — if at the inoral sense there is 
signified to us the conversion of the soul from the mourning 
and misery of sin to the state of grace — if at the anagogic 
sense,* there is signified the passing out of the holy soul from 
the bondage of this corruption to the liberty of everlasting glory. 
And these mystical meanings, though called by different names, 
may all be called allegorical as distinguished from the literal or 

historical sense This being considered, it is plain that 

there ought to be a twofold subject, concerning which the two 
corresponding meanings may proceed. Therefore we must 
consider first concerning the subject of this work as it is to be 
understood literally, then as it is to be considered allegorically. 
The subject then of the whole work, taken literally only, is the 
state of souls after death considered in itself. For about this, and 
on this, the whole work turns. But if the work be taken allegori- 
cally, its subject is man, as, by his freedom of choice deserving well 
or ill, he is subject to the justice which rewards and punishes.t 

The passage in the Convito is to the same effect ; 
but his remarks on the moral and anagogic meaning 
may be quoted : 

The third sense is called mo?'al ; that it is which readers 

* Litera gesta refert, quid credas allegoria, 
Moralis quid agas, quid speres anagogia. 

De Witte's note from Buti. 
t Ep. ad Kan Grand. § 6, 7. 

H 2 

loo DANTE. 

ought to go on noting carefully in writings, for their own profit 
and that of their disciples : as in the Gospel it may be noted, 
when Christ went up to the mountain to be transfigured, that of 
the twelve Apostles, he took with him only three ; in which morally 
we may understand, that in the most secret things we ought to 
have but few companions. The fourth sort of meaning is called 
anagogic, that is, above our sense ; and this is when we 
spiritually interpret a passage, which even in its literal meaning^ 
by means of the things signified, expresses the heavenly things 
of everlasting glory : as may be seen in that song of the 
Prophet, which says, that in the coming out of the people of 
Israel from Egypt, Judah was made holy and free ; which 
although it is manifestly true according to the letter, is not less 
true as spiritually understood ; that is, that when the soul comes 
out of sin, it is made holy and free, in its own power.* 

With this passage before us there can be no doubt 
of the meaning, however veiled, of those beautiful 
Hnes, already referred to, in which Virgil, after having 
conducted the poet up the steeps of Purgatory, where 
his sins have been one by one cancelled by the 
ministering angels, finally takes leave of him, and 
bids him wait for Beatrice, on the skirts of the earthly 

Paradise : 

Come la scala tutta sotto noi 
Fu corsa e fummo in su '1 grado superno, 
In me ficco Virgilio gli occhi suoi, 

E disse : " II temporal fuoco, e 1' eterno 
Veduto hai, figlio, e se' venuto in parte 
Ov' io per me piu oltre non discerno. 

Tratto t' ho qui con ingegno e con arte : 
Lo tuo piacere omai prendi per duce ; 

* Conviio, Tr, 2, c. I. 

DANTE. loi 

Fuor se' dell' erte vie, fuor se' dell' arte. 

Vedi il sole che 'n fronte ti riluce : 
Vedi r erbetta, i fiori, e gli arboscelli 
Che quella terra sol da se produce. 

IMentre che vegnon lieti gli occhi belli 
Che lagrimando a te venir mi fenno, 
Seder ti puoi e puoi andar tra elli. 

Non aspettar mio dir piii ne mio cenno : 
Libero, dritto, sano e tuo arbitrio, 
E fallo fora non fare a suo senno : — 

Perch' io te sopra te corono e mitrio." * 

The general meaning of the Cofnmcdia is clear 
enough. But it certainly does appear to refuse to be 

* 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 the 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 thy 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 mayest or seat the'e down, 
Or wander where thou wilt. Expect no more 
Sanction of warning voice or sign from me, 
Free of thine own arbitrement to choose, 
Discreet, judicious. To distrust thy sense 
Wcie henceforth error. I invest thee then 
With crown and mitre, sovereign o'er thyself." 

Purg. c. 27. — Gary. 


fitted into a connected formal scheme of interpreta- 
tion. It is not a homogeneous, consistent allegory, 
like the Pilgrims Progjrss and the Fairy Queen. 
The allegory c ontinual ly breaks off, shifts its ground, 
gives place to other elements, or mingles with them — 
like a stream which suddenly sinks into the earth, 
and after passing under plains and mountains, re- 
appears in a distant point, and in different scenery. 
We can, indeed, imagine its strange author com- 
menting on it, and finding or marking out its prosaic 
substratum, with the cold-blooded precision and 
scholastic distinctions of the Convito. However, he 
has not done so. And of the many enigmas which 
present themselves, either in its structure or sepa- 
rate parts, the key seems hopelessly lost. The 
early commentators are very ingenious, but very 
unsatisfactory ; they see where we can see, but 
beyond that they are as full of uncertainty as 
ourselves. It is in character with that solitary 
and haughty spirit, while touching universal sym- 
pathies, appalling and charming all hearts, to have 
delighted in his own dark sayings, which had 
meaning only to himself It is true that, whether 
in irony, or from that quaint studious care for 
the appearance of literal truth, which makes him 
apologise for the wonders which he relates, and 
confirm them by an oath, " on the words of his 

DANTE. 103 

poem,"* he provokes and challenges us ; bids us 
admire "doctrine hidden under strange verses ;"t 
bids us strain our eyes, for the veil is thin : 

Aguzza, qui, letter, ben 1' occhi al vero : 

Che ii Velo e ora ben tanto sottile, 

Certo, che il trapassar dentro e leggiero. — Purg. c. 8. 

But eyes are still strained in conjecture and doubt. 

Yet the most certain and detailed commentary, 
one which assigned the exact reason for every image 
or allegory, and its place and connexion in a general 
scheme, would add but little to the charm or to the 
use of the poem. It is not so obscure but that every 
man's experience who has thought over and felt the 
mystery of our present life, may supply the com- 
mentary — the more ample, the wider and more 
various has been his experience, the deeper and 
keener his feeling. Details and links of connexion 
may be matter of controversy. Whether the three 
beasts of the forest mean definitely the vices of the 
time, or of Florence specially, or of the poet himself 
— " the wickedness of his heels, compassing him round 

* Sempre a quel ver, ch' ha faccia di menzogna, 
De' 1' uom chiuder le labbra, quanto puote, 
Pero che senza colpa fa vergogna. 

Ma qui tacer nol posso ; e per le note 
Di questa Commedia, lettor, ti giuro 
S' elle non sien di lunga grazia vote, (S:c. — Inf. 16. 
+ Inf. 9. 

1 04 DANTE. 

about " — may still exercise critics and antiquaries ; 
but that they carry with them distinct and special 
impressions of evil, and that they are the hindrances 
of man's salvation, is not doubtful. And our know- 
ledge of the key of the allegory, where we possess it, 
contributes but little to the effect. We may infer 
from the Coiivito^ that the eyes of Beatrice stand defi- 
nitely for the dcuionstrations, and her smiles for the 
persiiasions of wisdom ; but the poetry of the Paradiso 
is not about demonstrations and persuasions, but 
about looks and smiles ; and the ineffable and holy 
calm — " serenitatis ct ccteriiitatis afflatus " — which per- 
vades it, comes from the sacred truths, and holy per- 
sons, and that deep spirit of high-raised yet composed 
devotion, which it requires no interpreter to show us. 

Figure and symbol, then, are doubtless the law of 
composition in the Coinnicdia ; but this law discloses 
itself very variously, and with different degrees of 
strictness. In its primary and most general form, it 
is palpable, consistent, pervading. There can be no 
doubt that the poem is meant to be understood 
figuratively — no doubt of what in general it is meant 
to shadow forth — no doubt as to the general m.eaning 
of its parts, their connexion with each other. But in 
its secondary and subordinate applications, the law 

* Convito, Tr. 3, c. 15. 

DANTE. 105 

works — to our eye at least — irregularly, unequally, 
and fitfully. There can be no question that Virgil, 
the poet's guide, represents the purely human element 
in the training of the soul and of society, as Beatrice 
does the divine. But neither represent the whole ; he 
does not sum up all appliances of wisdom in Virgil, 
nor all teachings and influences of grace in Beatrice ; 
these have their separate figures. And both represent 
successively several distinct forms of their general anti- 
types. They have various degrees of abstractness, 
and narrow down, according to that order of things 
to which they refer and correspond, into the special 
and the personal. In the general economy of the 
poem, Virgil stands for human wisdom in its widest 
sense ; but he also stands for it in its various shapes, 
in the different parts. He is the type of human 
philosophy and science.* He is, again, more defi- 
nitely, that spirit of imagination and poetry, which 
opens men's eyes to the glory of the visible, and the 
truth of the invisible ; and to Italians, he is a definite 
embodiment of it, their own great poet, "vates, pocta 
nostcr." t In the Christian order, he is human 
wisdom, dimly mindful of its heavenly origin — pre- 
saging dimly its return to God — sheltering in heathen 

"O tu ch' onori ogni scienza ed arte." — It!/. 4. " Quel savio 
gentil che tutto seppe." — Inf. 7. "II mar di tutto '1 senno." — Inf. 8. 
'^ De Monarchia. 

io6 DANTE. 

times that " vague and unconnected family of religious 
truths, originally from God, but sojourning without 
the sanction of miracle or visible home, as pilgrims up 
and down the world."* In the political order, he is 
the guide of law-givers, wisdom fashioning the im- 
pulses and instincts of men into the harmony of 
society, contriving stability and peace, guarding 
justice ; fit part for the poet to fill, who had sung 
the origin of Rome, and the justice and peace of 
Augustus. In the order of individual life, and the 
progress of the individual soul, he is the human con- 
science witnessing to duty, its discipline and its hopes, 
and with yet more certain and fearful presage, to 
its vindication ; the human conscience seeing and 
acknowledging the law, but unable to confer power to 
fulfil it — wakened by grace from among the dead, 
leading the living man up to it, and waiting for its 
light and strength. But he is more than a figure. 
To the poet himself, who blends with his high argu- 
ment his whole life, Virgil had been the utmost that 
mind can be to mind — teacher, quickener and revealer 
of power, source of thought, exemplar and model, 
never disappointing, never attained to, observed with 
" long study and great love : " 

Tu duca, tu signer, e tu maestro. — Inf. 2. 
* Newman's Arians. 

DANTE. 107 

And towards this great master, the poet's whole 
soul is poured forth in reverence and affection. To 
Dante he is no figure, but a person — with feelings 
and weaknesses — overcome by the vexation, kindling 
into the wrath, carried away by the tenderness, of the 
moment. He reads his scholar's heart, takes him by 
the hand in danger, carries him in his arms and in 
his bosom, "like a son more than a companion," 
rebukes his unworthy curiosity, kisses him when he 
shows a noble spirit, asks pardon for his own mis- 
takes. Never were the kind, yet severe ways of a 
master, or the disciple's diffidence and open-hearted- 
ness, drawn with greater force, or less effort ; and he 
seems to have been reflecting on his own affection to 
Virgil, when he makes Statius forget that they were 
both but shades : 

Or puoi la quantitate 

Comprender dell' amor ch' a te mi scalda, 
Quando disjuento la fiostra vanitate 
Tratiando V oinbra come cosa salda. — Purg. 21. 

And so with the poet's second guide. The great 
idea which Beatrice figures, though always present, is 
seldom rendered artificially prominent, and is often 
entirely hidden beneath the rush of real recollections, 
and the creations of dramatic power. Abstractions 
venture and trust themselves among realities, and for 
the time are forgotten. A name, a real person, a 

io8 DANTE. 

historic passage, a lament or denunciation, a tragedy 
of actual life, a legend of classic times, the fortunes of 
friends — the story of Francesca or Ugolino, the fate 
of Buonconte's corpse, the apology of Pier delle Vigne, 
the epitaph of Madonna Pia, Ulysses' western voyage, 
the march of Roman history — appear and absorb for 
themselves all interest : or else it is a philosophical 
speculation, or a theory of morality, or a case of con- 
science — not indeed alien from the main subject, yet 
independent of the allegory, and not translateable into 
any new meaning — standing on their own ground, 
worked out each according to its own law ; but they 
do not disturb the main course of the poet's thought, 
who grasps and paints each detail of human life in its 
own peculiarity, while he sees in each a significance 
and interest beyond itself. He does not stop in each 
case to tell us so, but he makes it felt. The tale ends, 
the individual disappears, and the great allegory 
resumes its course. It is like one of those great 
musical compositions which alone seem capable of 
adequately expressing, in a limited time, a course of 
unfolding and change, in an idea, a career, a life, a 
society — where one great thought predominates, recurs, 
gives colour and meaning, and forms the unity of the 
whole, yet passes through many shades and transi- 
tions ; is at one time definite, at another suggestive 
and mvsterious ; incorporating and giving free place 



and play to airs and melodies even of an alien cast ; 
sti-iking off abruptly from its expected road, but 
v.'ithout ever losing itself, without breaking its true 
continuity, or failing of its completeness. 

This then seems to us the end and purpose of the 
Commedia ; — to produce on the mind a sense of the 
judgments of God, analogous to that produced by 
Scripture itself. They are presented to us in the 
Bible in shapes which address themselves primarily to 
the heart and conscience, and seek not carefully to" 
explain themselves. They are likened to the " great 
deep," to the "strong mountains" — vast and awful, 
but abrupt and incomplete, as the huge, broken, 
rugged piles and chains of mountains. And we see 
them through cloud and mist, in shapes only approxi- 
mating to the true ones. Still they impress us deeply 
and truly, often the more deeply because uncon- 
sciously. A character, an event, a word, isolated and 
unexplained, stamps its meaning ineffaceably, though 
ever a matter of question and wonder ; it may be 
dark to the intellect, yet the conscience understands 
it, often but too well. In such suggestive ways is the 
Divine government for the most part put before us in 
the Bible — v/ays which do not satisfy the under- 
standing, but which fill us with a sense of reality. 
And it seems to have been by meditating on them, 
which he certainly did, much and thoughtfully— and 

no DANTE. 

on the infinite variety of similar ways in which the 
strongest impressions are conveyed to us in ordinary 
life, by means short of clear and distinct explanation 
— by looks, by images, by sounds, by motions, by 
remote allusion and broken words, that Dante was led 
to choose so new and remarkable a mode of con- 
veying to his countrymen his thoughts and feelings 
and presentiments about the mystery of God's counsel. 
The Bible teaches us by means of real history, traced 
so far as is necessary along its real course. The poet 
expresses his view of the world also in real history, 
but carried on into figure. 

The poetry with which the Christian Church had 
been instinct from the beginning, converges and is 
gathered up in the Commcdia. The faith had early 
shown its poetical aspect. It is superfluous to dwell 
on this, for it is the charge against ancient teaching 
that it was too large and imaginative. It soon began 
to try rude essays in sculpture and mosaic : expressed 
its feeling of nature in verse and prose, rudely also, 
but often with originality and force ; and opened a 
new vein of poetry in the thoughts, hopes, and aspira- 
tions of regenerate man. Modern poetry must go 
back, for many of its deepest and most powerful 
sources, to the writings of the Fathers, and their 
followers of the School. The Church further had a 
poetry of its own, besides the poetry of literature ; 


it had the poetry of devotion — the Psalter chanted 
daily, in a new language and a new meaning ; and 
that wonderful body of hymns, to which age after age 
had contributed its offering, from the Ambrosian 
hymns to the Ve7ii, Sancte Spiritiis of a king of 
France, the Pange lingua of Thomas Aquinas, the 
Dies ir(Ej and Stahat Mater, . of the two Fran- 
ciscan brethren, Thomas of Celano, and Jacopone.^^ 
The elements and fragments of poetry were every- 
where in the Church — in her ideas of life, in her rules 
and institutions for passing through it, in her prepara- 
tion for death, in her offices, ceremonial, celebrations, 
usages, her consecration of domestic, literary, com- 
mercial, civic, military, political life, the meanings 
and ends she had given them, the religious seriousness 
with which the forms of each were dignified — in her 
doctrine, and her dogmatic system — her dependence 
on the unseen world — her Bible. From each and all 
of these, and from that public feeling, which, if it 
expressed itself but abruptly and incoherently, was 
quite alive to the poetry which surrounded it, the 
poet received due impressions of greatness and 
beauty, of joy and dread. Then the poetry of 
Christian religion and Christian temper, hitherto 
dispersed, or manifested in act only, found its full and 

* Trench, Sacred Latin Poetry, 1849. 

112 DANTE. 

distinct utterance, not unv/orthy to rank in grandeur, 
in music, in sustained strength, with the last noble 
voices from expiring Heathenism. 

But a long interval had passed since then. The 
Coinviedla first disclosed to Christian and modern 
Europe that it was to have a literature of its own, 
great and admirable, though in its own language and 
embodying its own ideas. " It was as if, at some of 
the ancient games, a stranger had appeared upon the 
plain, and thrown his quoit among the marks of 
former casts, which tradition had ascribed to the 
demi-gods." * We are so accustomed to the excellent 
and varied literature of modern times, so original, so 
perfect in form and rich in thought, so expressive of 
all our sentiments, meeting so completely our wants, 
fulfilling our ideas, that we can scarcely imagine the 
time v/hen this condition was new — when society Avas 
beholden to a foreign language for the exponents of 
its highest thoughts and feelings. But so it was 
when Dante wrote. The great poets, historians, 
philosophers of his day, the last great works of 
intellect, belonged to old Rome, and the Latin 
language. So wonderful and prolonged was the 
fascination of Rome. Men still lived under its 
influence ; believed that the Latin language was the 

* Ilallam's Middle A^cs, z ix. vol, iii. p. 563. 

DANTE. 113 

perfect and permanent instrument of thought in its 
highest forms, the only expression of refinement and 
civihsation ; and had not conceived the hope that 
their own dialects could ever rise to such heights of 
dignity and power. Latin, which had enchased and 
preserved such precious remains of ancient wisdom, 
was now shackling the living mind in its efforts. 
Men imagined that they were still using it naturally 
on all high themes and solemn business ; but though 
they used it with facility, it was no longer natural ; 
it had lost the elasticity of life, and had become in 
their hands a stiffened and distorted, though still 
powerful, instrument. The very use of the word 
latino in the writers of this period, to express 
what is clear and philosophical in language,* while it 
shows their deep reverence for it, shows how Latin 
civilisation was no longer their own, how it had 
insensibly become an external and foreign element. 
But they found it very hard to resign their claim to a 
share in its glories ; with nothing of their own to 
match against it, they still delighted to speak of it as 
"our language," or its writers as "our poets," "our 
historians." f 

The spell was indeed beginning to break. Guido 

* Farad. 3, 12, 17. Convit, p. 108. "A piu Latinamcnte vedere 
la sentenza letterale." 

t Vid. the De Alonarchia. 


114 DANTE. 

CaA^alcanti, Dante's strange, stern, speculative friend, 
who is one of the fathers of the Italian language, is 
characterised in the Commedia^ by his scornful dislike 
of Latin, even in the mouth of Virgil. Yet Dante 
himself, the great assertor, by argument and example, 
of the powers of the Vulgar tongue, once dared not 
to think that the Vulgar tongue could be other to the 
Latin, than as a subject to his sovereign. He was 
bolder when he wrote De Vulgari Eloqido : but in 
the earlier Convito, while pleading earnestly for the 
beauty of the Italian, he yields with reverence the 
first place to the Latin — for nobleness, because the 
Latin is permanent, and the Vulgar subject to fluctua- 
tion and corruption ; for power, because the Latin 
can express conceptions to which the Vulgar is 
unequal ; for beauty, because the structure of the 
Latin is a masterly arrangement of scientific art, and 
the beauty of the Vulgar depends on mere use.f The 
very title of his poem, the Commedia, contains in it a 
homage to the lofty claims of the Latin. It is called 
a Comedy, and not Tragedy, he says, after a mar- 
vellous account of the essence and etymology of the 
two, first, because it begins sadly, and ends joyfully ; 
and next, because of its language, that humble 

Inf. 10, and compare the Vii. N. p. 334, ed. Fraticelll 
t Convito, i. 5. 

DANTE. 115 

speech of ordinary life, " in which even women 
converse." * 

He honour ed the Latin, but his love was for the 
Itah'an. He was its champion, and indignant defender 
against the depreciation of ignorance and fashion. 
Confident of its power and jealous of its beauty, he 
pours forth his fierce scorn on the blind stupidity, the 

Ep. ad Kan Grand. § 9, — a curious specimen of tlie learning of 
the time: "Sciendum est, quod Conicedia diciim 3. kcoixt], villa ei ahrj, 
quod est catifus, unde Comoedia quasi villanus cantus. Et est Comoedia 
genus quoddam poeticce narratiotiis, ab omnibus aliis differens. Differt 
ergo a Tragoedia in materia per hoc, quod Tragcedia in principio est 
admirabilis et quieta, in fine foetida et horribilis ; et dicitur propter hoc 
a rpayof, i.e. hirciis, et wS?;, quasi catitus kir'cinus, i.e. fcetidus ad 
modum hirci, ut patet per Senecam in suis tragoediis. Comcedia vero 
inchoat asperitatem alicujus rei, sed ejus materia prospere terminatur, 
ut patet per Terentium in suis Comcediis. . . . Similiter differunt in 
modo loquendi ; elate et sublime Tragcedia, Comwdia vero remisse et 
humiliter sicut vult Horat. in Poet. . . . Et per hoc patet, quod 
Comcedia diciter prassens opus. Nam si ad materiam respiciamus, a 
principio horribilis et foetida est, quia Infernus : in fine prospera, 
desiderabilis et grata, quia Paradisjis. Si ad modum loquendi, 
remissus est modus et humilis, quia locutio Vulgaris, in qua et mulier- 
culse communicant. Et sic patet quia Cotncedia dicitur." Cf. de Vulg. 
Eloq. 2, 4, Parad. 30. He calls the ^neid, "/' alt a Tragcdia" Inf. 
20, 113. Compare also Boccaccio's explanation of his mother's dream 
of the peacock. Dante, he says, is like the Peacock, among other 
reasons, " because the peacock has coarse feet, and a quiet gait ; " and 
"the vulgar language, on which the Commedia supports itself, is coarse 
in comparison with the high and masterly literary style which every 
other poet uses, though it be more beautiful than others, being in con- 
formity with modern minds. The quiet gait signifies the humility of 
the style, which is necessarily required in Co/nmedia, as those know 
who understand what is meant by Commedia.''' 

I 2 

ii6 DANTE. 

affectation, the vain glory, the envy, and above all, 
the cowardice of Italians who held lightly their 
mother tongue. " Many," he says, after enumerating 
the other offenders, " from this pusillanimity and 
cowardice disparage their own language, and exalt 
that of others ; and of this sort are those hateful 
dastards of Italy — abbominevoli cattizd d' Italia — who 
think vilcl}' of that precious language ; which, if it is 
vile in anything, is vile only so far as it sounds in the 
prostituted mouth of these adulterers."* He noted 
and compared its various dialects ; he asserted its 
capabilities not only in verse, but in expressive, 
flexible, and majestic prose. And to the deliberate 
admiration of the critic and the man, were added the 
homely but dear associations, which no language can 
share with that of early days. Italian had been the 
language of his parents — " Questo mio Volgare fu il 
congiiignitorc delli viicigcncranti, die con csso parlavano" 
— and further, it was this modern language, ''questo 
mio Volgare^' which opened to him the way of know- 
ledge, which had introduced him to Latin, and the 
sciences which it contained. It was his benefactor 
and guide — he personifies it — and his boyish friendship 
had grown stronger and more intimate by mutual 
good ofhces. " There has also been between us the 

* Convito, i. II. 

DANTE. 117 

goodwill of intercourse ; for from the beginning of my 
life I have had with it kindness and conversation, and 
have used it, deliberating, interpreting, and questioning; 
so that, if friendship grows with use, it is evident how 
it must have grown in me." * 

From this language he exacted a hard trial ; — a 
Avork which should rank with the ancient works. 
N one such had appeared ; none had even advanced 
such a pretension. Not that it was a time dead to 
literature or literary am.bition. Poets and historians 
had written, and were writing in Italian. The same 
year of jubilee which fixed itself so deeply in Dante's 
mind, and became the epoch of his vision — the same 
scene of Roman greatness in its decay, which after- 
wards suggested to Gibbon the Decline and Fall, 
prompted, in the father of Italian history, the desire 
to follow in the steps of Sallust and Livy, and prepare 
the way for Machiavelli and Guicciardini, Davila, and 
Fra Paolo, -f- Poetry had been cultivated in the 

* Convito, i. 13. 

+ G. Villani was at Rome in the year of jubilee 1300, and 
describes tlie great concourse and order of the pilgrims, whom he 
reckons at 200,000, in the course of the year. "And I," he pro- 
ceeds, "finding myself in that blessed pilgrimage in the holy city of 
Rome, seeing the great and ancient things of the same, and reading the 
histories of the great deeds of the Romans, written by Virgil, and 
by Sallust, and Lucan, and Titus Livius, and Valerius, and Paulus 
Orosius, and other masters of histories, who wrote as well of the smaller 
matters as of the greater, concerning the exploits and deeds of the 

ii8 DANTE. 

Roman languages of the West — in Aquitaine and 
Provence, especially — for more than two centuries ; 
and lately, with spirit and success, in Italian. Names 
had become popular, reputations had risen and waned, 
verses circulated and were criticised, and even des- 
cended from the high and refined circles to the 
workshop. A story is told of Dante's indignation, 
when he heard the canzoni which had charmed the 
Florentine ladies mangled by the rude enthusiasm of 
a blacksmith at his forge.* Literature was a grow- 
ing fashion ; but it was humble in its aspirations 
and efforts. Men wrote like children, surprised and 
pleased with their success ; yet allowing themselves 
in mere amusement, because conscious of weakness 
which they could not cure. 

Romans ; and further, of the strange things of the whole world, for 
memory and example's sake to those who should come after — I, too, 
took their style and fashion, albeit that, as their scholar, I be not 
worthy to execute such a work. But, considering that our city of 
Florence, the daughter and creation of Rome, was in its rising, and on 
the eve of achieving great things, as Rome was in its decline, it seemed 
to me convenient to bring into this volume and new chronicle all the 
deeds and beginnings of the city of Florence, so far as I have been able 
to gather and recover them ; and for the future, to follow at large the 
doings of the Florentines, and the other notable things of the world 
briefly, as long as it may be God's pleasure ; under which hope, rather 
by his grace than by my poor science, I entei-ed on this enterprise : and 
so, in the year 1300, being returned from Rome, I began to compile 
this book, in reverence towards God and St. John, and commendation 
of our city of Florence." — G. Vill. viii. 36. 
* Sacchetti, Nov. 114. 

DANTE. 119 

Dante, by the Divina Commedia, was the restorer 
of seriousness in literature. He was so, by the 
magnitude and pretensions of his work, and by the 
earnestness of its spirit. He first broke through the 
prescription which had confined great works to the 
Latin, and the faithless prejudices which, in the 
language of society, could see powers fitted for no 
higher task than that of expressing, in curiously 
diversified forms, its most ordinary feelings. But he 
did much more. Literature was going astray in its 
tone, while growing in importance ; the Commedia 
checked it. The Provencal and Italian poetry was, 
with the exception of some pieces of political satire, 
almost exclusively amatory, in the most fantastic and 
aff"ected fashion. Li expression, it had not even the 
merit of being natural ; in purpose it was trifling ; in 
the spirit which it encouraged, it was something 
worse. Doubtless it brought a degree of refinement 
with it, but it was refinement purchased at a high 
price, by intellectual distortion, and moral insensi- 
bility. But this was not all. The brilliant age of 
Frederick H., for such it was, was deeply mined by 
religious unbelief However strange this charge first 
sounds against the thirteenth century, no one can 
look at all closely into its history, at least in Italy, 
without seeing that the idea of infidelity — not heresy, 
but infidelity — was quite a familiar one ; and that 


side by side with the theology of Aquinas and Bona- 
Ventura, there was working among those who in- 
fluenced fashion and opinion, among the great men, 
and the men to whom learning was a profession, a 
spirit of scepticism and irreligion almost monstrous 
for its time, which found its countenance in Frederick's 
refined and enlightened court. The genius of the 
great doctors might have kept in safety the Latin 
Schools, but not the free and home thoughts which 
found utterance in the language of the people, if the 
solemn beauty of the Italian Covimedia had not 
seized on all minds. It would have been an evil 
thing for Italian, perhaps for European literature, if 
the siren tales of the Decmneron had been the first to 
occupy the ear with the charms of a new language. 

Dante has had hard measure, and from some who 
are most beholden to him. No one in his day served 
the Church more highly, than he whose faith and 
genius secured on her side the first great burst of 
imagination and feeling, the first perfect accents of 
modern speech. The first-fruits of the new literature 
were consecrated, and offered up. There was no 
necessity, or even probability in Italy in the fourteenth 
century that it should be so, as there might perhaps 
have been earlier. It was the poet's free act — free in 
one, for whom nature and heathen learning had 
strong temptations — that religion was the lesson and 

DANTE. 121 

influence of the great popular work of the time. 
That which he held up before men's awakened and 
captivated minds, was the verity of God's moral 
government. To rouse them to a sense of the 
mystery of their state ; to startle their commonplace 
notions of sin into an imagination of its variety, its 
magnitude, and its infinite shapes and degrees ; to 
open their eyes to the beauty of the Christian temper, 
both as suffering and as consummated ; to teach them 
at once the faithfulness and awful freeness of God's 
grace ; to help the dull and lagging soul to conceive 
the possibility, in its own case, of rising step by step 
in joy without an end— of a felicity not unimaginable 
by man, though of another order from the highest 
perfection of earth ; — this is the poet's end. Nor was 
it only vague religious feelings which he wished to 
excite. He brought within the circle of common 
thought, and translated into the language of the 
multitude, what the Schools had done to throw light 
on the deep questions of human existence, which all 
are fain to muse upon, though none can solve. He 
who had opened so much of men's hearts to them- 
selves, opened to them also that secret sympathy 
which exists between them and the great mysteries 
of the Christian doctrine. * He did the work, in 

* Vide Ozanam. 

122 DANTE. 

his day, of a great preacher. Yet he has been both 
claimed and condemned, as a disturber of the Church's 

He certainly did not spare the Church's rulers. 
He thought they were betraying the most sacred of all 
trusts ; and if history is at all to be relied on, he had 
some grounds for thinking so. But it is confusing 
the feelings of the middle ages with our own, to 
convert every fierce attack on the Popes into an 
anticipation of Luther. Strong language of this sort 
was far too commonplace to be so significant. No 
age is blind to practical abuses, or silent on them ; 
and when the middle ages complained, they did so 
with a full-voiced and clamorous rhetoric, which 
greedily seized on every topic of vilification within its 
reach. It was far less singular, and far less bold, to 
criticise ecclesiastical authorities, than is often sup- 
posed ; but it by no means implied unsettled faith, or 
a revolutionary design. In Dante's case, if words 
have any meaning — not words of deliberate qualifica- 
tion, but his unpremeditated and incidental expres- 
sions — his faith in the Divine mission and spiritual 
powers of the Popes was as strong as his abhorrence 
of their degeneracy, and desire to see it corrected by 
a power which they would respect — that of the 
temporal sword. It would be to mistake altogether^ 
his character, to imagine of him, either as a fault or 

DANTE. 123 

as an excellence, that he was a doubter. It might as 
well be supposed of Aquinas. 

No one ever acknowledged with greater serious- 
ness, as a fact in his position in the world, the agree- 
ment in faith among those with whom he was born. 
No one ever inclined with more simplicity and 
reverence before that long communion and consent in 
feeling and purpose, the '^ publicus sensus " of the 
Christian Church. He did feel difficulties ; but the 
excitement of lingering on them was not among his 
enjoyments. That was the lot of the heathen ; Virgil, 
made wise by death, counsels him not to desire it : 

" Matto e chi spera, che nostra ragione 
Possa trascorrer la 'nfinita via 
Che tiene una sustanzia in tre Persone. 

State contenti, umana gente, al quia ; 
Che se potuto aveste veder tutto, 
Mestier non era partorir Maria : 

E disiar vedeste senza frutto 
Tai, che sarebbe lor disio quetato, 
Ch' eternamente e dato lor per lutto ; 

F dice d' Aristotile e di Plato, 
E di molti altri : " — e qui chino la fronte, 
Yf piu non disse, e rimase turbato. — Picrg. c. 3.* 

"Insensate he, who thinks with mortal ken 
To pierce Infinitude, which doth enfold 
Three Persons in one Substance. Seek not then, 

O mortal race, for reasons— but believe, 
And be contented ; for had all been seen. 
No need there was for Mary to conceive. 

124 DANTE. 

The Christian poet felt that it was greater to 
believe and to act. In the darkness of the world 
one bright light appeared, and he followed it. Pro- 
vidence had assigned him his portion of truth, his 
portion of daily bread ; if to us it appears blended 
with human elements, it is perfectly clear that he was 
in no position to sift them. To choose was no trial 
of his. To examine and seek, where it was im- 
possible to find, would have been folly. The authority 
from which he started had not yet been seriously 
questioned ; there were no palpable signs of doubtful- 
ness on the system which was to him the represen- 
tative of God's will ; and he sought for none. It 
came to him claiming his allegiance by custom, by 
universality, by its completeness as a whole, and 
satisfying his intellect and his sympathies in detail. 
And he gave his allegiance — reasonably, because 
there was nothing to hope for in doubting — wisely, 
because he gave it loyally and from his heart. 

And he ha d his rewa rd — tlie reward ^ him who 
throws himself with frankness and earnestness into a 
s ystem ; who is not afraid or suspicious of it ; who is 

Men have ye known, who thus desired in vain ; 

And whose desires, that might at rest have been, 

Now constitute a source of endless pain ; 
Plato, the Stagirite ; and many more, 

I here allude to ; " — then his head he bent, 

Was silent, and o. troubled aspect wore. — Wright. 

DANTE. 125 

not unfaithful to it. He gained not merely pow er — 
he_gained_thatJreedom ami_Jargeness of mind_which 
tjie_sus^ic]flais QT^tho^infaithful miss. His loyalty to 
the Church was no cramping or blinding service ; it 
left to its full play that fresh and original mind, left 
it to range at will in all history and all nature for the 
traces of Eternal wisdom, left it to please itself with 
all beauty, and pay its homage to all excellence. 
For upon all wisdom, beauty, and excellence, the 
Church had taught him to see, in various and duly 
distinguished degrees, the seal of the one Creator. 
She imparts to the poem, to its form and progressive 
development, her own solemnity, her awe, her calm, 
her serenity and joy ; it follows her sacred seasons 
and hours; repeats her appointed words of benediction 
and praise ; moulds itself on her belief, her expecta- 
tions, and forecastings.* Her intimations, more or 
less distinct, dogma or tradition or vague hint, guide 
the poet's imagination through the land where all 
eyes are open. The journey begins under the Easter 
moon of the year of jubilee, on the evening of Good 
Friday ; the days of her mourning he spends in the 
regions of woe, where none dares to pronounce the 
name of the Redeemer, and he issues forth to " behold 
again the stars," to learn how to die to sin and rise to 

* See an article in the Brit. Critic, No. 65, p. 120. 

126 DANTE. 

righteousness, very early in the morning, as it begins 
to dawn, on the day of the Resurrection. The whole 
arrangement of the Purgatorio is drawn from Ch urch 
usages. It is a picture of meji_suffering in calm 
and_Jioly hope the sharp discipline of repentance, 
amid the prayers, the melodies, the consoling images 
and thoughts, the orderly ritual, the hours of devotion, 
the sacraments of the Church militant. When he 
ascends in his hardiest flight, and imagines the joys 
of the perfect and the vision of God, his abundant 
fancy confines itself strictly to the limits sanctioned 
by her famous teachers — ventures into no new sphere, 
hazards no anticipations in which they have not pre- 
ceded it, and is content with adding to the poetry 
which it elicits from their ideas, a beauty which it is 
able to conceive apart altogether from bodily form — 
the beauty, infinite in its variety, of the expression of 
the human eye and smile— the beauty of light, of 
sound, of motion. And when his song mounts to 
its last strain of triumph, and the poet's thought, 
imagination, and feeling of beauty, tasked to the 
utmost, nor failing under the weight of glory which 
they have to express, breathe themselves forth in 
words, higher than which no poetry has ever risen, 
and represent, in images transcending sense, and 
baffling it, yet missing not one of those deep and 
transporting sympathies which they were to touch, 

DANTE. 127 

the sight, eye to eye, of the Creator by the creature — 

he beholds the gathering together, in the presence of 

God, of "all that from our earth has to the skies 

returned," and of the countless orders of their thrones 

mirrored in His light — 

Quanto e '1 convento delle bianche stole — 

under a figure already taken into the ceremonial of 
the Church — the mystic Rose, whose expanding 
leaves image forth the joy of the heavenly Jerusalem, 
both triumphant and militant.* 

* See the form of benediction of the "Rosa d' oro." Rituum 

Ecclesia Rom. Libri Tres. fol. xxxv. Venet 15 16. Form of giving: 

"Accipe rosam de manibus nostris. . . . per quam designatus gaudium 

iitriusque Hierusalem trimnphantis scilicet et militantis ecclesise per 

quam omnibus Christi fidelibus manifestatur flos ipse pretiosissimus qui 

est gaudium et corona sanctorum omnium." He alludes to it in the 

Convito, iv. 29. 

O i splendor di Dio, per cu' io yidi 

L' alto trionfo del regno verace, 

Dammi virtu a dir com' io lo vidi. 

Lume e lassii, che visibile face 
Lo creatore a quella creatura, 
Che solo in lui vedere ha la sua pace > 

E si distende in circular figura 
In tanto, che la sua circonferenza 
Sarebbe al Sol troppo larga cintura. 
* * * » 

E come clivo in acqua di suo imo 
Si specchia quasi per vedersi adorno, 
Quanto e nel verde e ne' fioretti opinio j 

SI soprastando al lume intorno intorno 
Vidi specchiarsi in piu di mille soglie, 
Quanto di noi lassu fatto ha ritorno. 

128 DANTE. 

But this universal reference to the religious ideas 
of the Church is so natural, so unaffected, that it 
leaves him at full liberty in other orders of thought. 
He can afford not to be conventional — he can afford 
to be comprehensive and genuine. It has been re- 
marked how, in a poem where there would seem to 
be a fitting place for them, the eccles iastica l ]egends 
of the mid dl e ages a re, almost entirel y absent. The 
sainted spirits ofljt he Para diso are not exclusively or 
chiefly the Saints of popular devotion. After the 
Saints of the Bible, the holy women, the three great 
Apostles, the Virgin mother, they are either names 
p ersonally dearjo the poet himself, friends whom he 
had loved, and teachers to whom he owed wisdom — 

E se r infimo grado in se raccoglie 

Si grande lume, quant' e la larghezza 

Di questa rosa nell' estreme foglie ? 
* * * * 

Nel giallo della rosa sempiterna, 

Che si dilata, rigrada, e redole 

Odor di lode al Sol, che sempre vema, 
Qual' e colui, che tace e dicer vuole, 

Mi trasse Beatrice, e disse ; mira 
Quanto e '1 convento delle bianche stole 1 

Vedi nostra Citta quanto ella gira ! 

Vedi li nostri scanni si ripieni, 

Che poca gente omai ci si dislra. 
» * * * 

In forma dunque di Candida rosa 

Mi si mostrava la milizia santa, 

Che nel sue sangue Cristo fece sposa. — Farad. 30, 31. 



or great men of masculine energy in thought or 
action, in their various lines "compensations and 
antagonists of the world's evils" — Justinian and 
Constantine, and Charlemagne — the founders of the 
Orders, Augustine, Benedict, and Bernard, Francis 
and Dominic — the great doctors of the Schools, 
Thomas Aquiiias^and Bona ven tura, whom the Church 
had not yet canonized. And with them are joined — 
and that with a full consciousness of the line which 
theology draws between the dispensations of nature 
and grace — some rare types of virtue among the 
heathen. Cato is admitted to the outskirts of 
Purgatory ; Trajan, and the righteous king of Virgirs 
poem, to the heaven of the just.* 

Without confusion or disturbance to the religious 
character of his train of thought, he is able freely to 
subordinate to it the lessons and the great recollec- 
tions of the Gentile times. He contemplates them 
with the veil drawn off from them ; as now known to 

* Chi crederebbe giu nel mondo errante, 
Che Rifeo Trojano' m questo tondo 
Fosse la quinta delle luci sante ? 

Ora conosce assai di quel, che '1 mondo 
Veder non puo della divina grazia ; 
Benche sua vista non discerna il fondo. — Parad. c, 20. 

' Rhipeus justissimus unus 
Qui fuit in Teucris, et servantissimus aequi. — A^n. ii. 


form but one whole with the history of the Bible and 
the Church, in the design of Providence. He presents 
them in their own colours, as drawn by their own 
writers — he only adds what Christianity seems to 
show to be their event. Under the conviction, that 
the light of the Heathen was a real guide from above, 
calling for vengeance in proportion to unfaithfulness, 
or outrage done to it — " He that nurtureth the 
heathen, it is He that teacheth man knowledge — shall 
not He punish V — the great criminals of profane 
history are mingled with sinners against God's 
revealed will — and that, with equal dralnatic power, 
with equal feeling of the greatness of their loss. The 
story of the voyage of Ulysses is told with as much 
vivid power and pathetic interest as the tales of the 
day.* He honours unfeignedly the old heathen's 
brave disdain of ease ; that spirit, even to old age, 
eager, fresh, adventurous, and inquisitive. His faith 
allowed him to admire all that was beautiful and 
excellent among the heathen, without forgetting that 
it fell short of what the new gift of the Gospel can 
alone impart. He saw in it proof that God had never 
left His will and law without their witness among 
men. Virtue was virtue still, though imperfect, and 
unconsecrated — generosity, largeness of soul, truth, 

* Inf. c. 26. 

DANTE. 131 

condescension, justice, were never unworthy of the 
reverence of Christians. Hence he uses without fear 
or scruple the classic element. The examples which 
recall to the minds of the penitents, by sounds and 
sights, in the different terraces of Purgatory, their sin 
and the grace they have to attain to, come indis- 
criminately from poetry and Scripture. The sculptured 
pavement, to which the proud are obliged ever to 
bow down their eyes, shows at once the humility of 
S. Mary and of the Psalmist, and the condescension 
of Trajan ; and elsewhere the pride of Nimrod and 
Sennacherib, of Niobe, and Cyrus. The envious hear 
the passing voices of courtesy from saints and heroes, 
and the bursting cry, like crashing thunder, of repen- 
tant jealousy from Cain and Aglaurus ; the avaricious, 
to keep up the memory of their fault, celebrate by 
day the poverty of Fabricius and the liberality of 
S. Nicolas, and execrate by night the greediness of 
Pygmalion and Midas, of Achan, Heliodorus, and 

Dante's all-surveying, all-embracing mind, was 
worthy to open the grand procession of modern 
poets. He had chosen his subject in a region remote 
from popular thought — too awful for it, too abstruse. 
He had^accepted frankl y the dogmatic li mits o f the 
Church, and thrown himself with even enthusiastic 
faith into her reasonings, at once so bold and so 

K 2 

132 DANTE. 

undoubting — her spirit of certainty, and her deep 
contemplations on the unseen and infinite. And in 
hterature, he had taken as guides and models, above 
all criticism and all appeal, the classical writers. Yet 
with his mind full of the deep and intricate questions 
of metaphysics and theology, and his poetical taste 
always owning allegiance to Virgil, Ovid, and Statius 
• — keen and subtle as a Schoolman — as much an 
idolator of old heathen art and grandeur as the men of 
the Renaissance — his eye is as open to the delicacies of 
character, to the variety of external nature, to the 
wonders of the physical world — his interest in them 
as diversified and fresh, his impressions as sharp 
and distinct, his rendering of them as free and true 
and forcible, as little weakened or confused by imita- 
tion or by conventional words, his language as elastic, 
and as completely under his command, his choice of 
poetic materials as unrestricted and original, as if he 
had been born in days which claim as their own such 
freedom, and such keen discriminative sense of what 
is real, in feeling and image ; — as if he had never felt 
the attractions of a crabbed problem of scholastic 
logic, or bowed before the mellow grace of the Latins. 
It may be said, indeed, that the time was not yet 
come when the classi cs c ould be really understood 
and appreciated ; and this is true, perhaps fortunate. 
But admiring them with a kind of devotion, and 

DANTE. 133 

showing not seldom that he had caught their spirit, 
he never attempts to copy them. His poetry in form 
and material is all his own. He asserted the poet's 
claim to _ borrow from all science, and from every 
phase of nature, the associations and images which he 
wants ; and he showed that those images and associa- 
tions did not lose their poetry by being expressed 
with the most literal reality. 

But let no reader of fastidious taste disturb his 
temper by the study of Dante. Dante certainly 
opened that path of freedom and poetic conquest, in 
which the greatest efforts of modern poetry have 
followed him — opened it with a magnificence and 
power which have never been surpassed. But the 
greatest are but pioneers ; they must be content to 
leave to a posterity, which knows more, if it cannot 
do as much, a keen and even growing sense of their 
defects. The Coinnicdia is open to all the attacks 
that can be made on grotesqueness and extravagance. 
This is partly owing, doubtless, to the time, in itself 
quaint, quainter to us, by being remote and ill- 
understood ; but even then, weaker and less daring 
writers than Dante do not equally offend or astonish 
us. So that an image or an expression Avill render 
forcibly a thought, there is no strangeness which 
checks him. Barbarous words are introduced, to 
express the cries of the demons or the confusion of 

134 DANTE. 

Babel — even to represent the incomprehensible song 
of the blessed ;* inarticulate syllables, to convey 
the impression of some natural sound — the cry of 
sorrowful surprise : 

Alto sospir, che duolo strinse in hui; — Ptirg. i6. 

or the noise of the cracking ice : 

Se Tabernicch 

Vi fosse su caduto, o Pietra-pana 

Non avria pur del orlo fatto cricch \ — Inf. 32. 

even separate letters — to express an image, to spell a 
name, or as used in some popular proverb.t He 
employs without scruple, and often with marvellous 
force of description, any recollection that occurs to 
him, h owever Jiomely, o f every day life ; — the old 
tailor threading his needle with trouble {Inf. 15); — 
the cook's assistant watching over the boiling broth 
{Inf. 21) ; — the hurried or impatient horse-groom 

* Farad. 7, I -3. 
+ To describe the pinched face of famine ; — 

Parean 1' occhiaje annella senza gemme, 

Chi nel viso degli uomini legge 0?iIO 

Ben avria quivi conosciuto 1' ernme (J\I). — Purg. 23. 


Quella reverenza che s' indonna 

Di tutto me, pur per B e per ICE. — Par ad. 7. 

Ne O si tosto mai, ne I si scrisse, 
Com' ei s' accese ed arse. — Inf. 24. 

DANTE. 135 

using his curry-comb {Inf. 29) ; — or the coiTimon 
sights of the street or the chamber — the wet wood 
sputtering on the hearth : 

Come d' un stizzo verde che arso sia 
Dall' un de' capi, che dalF altro geme 
E cigola per vento che va via ; — htf. 13.* 

the paper changing colour when about to catch fire : 

Come procede innanzi dah' ardore 

Per lo papiro suso un color bruno 
Che non e nero ancora, e '1 bianco muore : — Iiif. 25. f 

the steaming of the hand when bathed, in winter : 

Fuman come man bagnata il verno : — 
or the ways and appearances of animals — ants meeting 
on their path : 

Li veggio d' ogni parte farsi presta 
Ciascun' ombra, e baciarsi una con una 
Senza restar, contente a breve festa : 

Cosi per entro loro schiera bruna 
•S"' animus a V una con V altra fornica, 
Forse a spiar lor via e lor fortuna ; — Purg. 26. X 

* Like to a sapling, lighted at one end, 

Which at the other hisses with the wind. 
And drops of sap doth from the outlet send : 
So from the broken twig, both words and blood flow'd forth. 


t Like burning paper, when there glides before 

The advancing flame a brown and dingy shade, 
Which is not black, and yet is white no more. — Ibid. 

X On either hand I saw them haste their meeting, 
And kiss each one the other — pausing not — 
Contented to enjoy so short a greeting. 

136 DANTE. 

the snail drawing in its horns {Inf. 25) ; — the hog 
shut out of its sty, and trying to gore with its tusks 
(/;// 30) ; — the dogs' misery in summer {Inf. 17) ; — 
the frogs jumping on to the bank before the water- 
snake {Inf. 9) ; — or showing their heads above water: 

Come al orlo dell' acqua d' un fosso 

Stan gli ranocchi pur col vniso fuori, 

Si che celano i piedi, e 1' altro grosso. — Inf. 22.* 

It must be said, that most of these images, though 
by no means all, occur in the Inferno ; and that the 
poet means to paint sin not merely in the greatness 
of its ruin and misery, but in characters which all 
understand, of strangeness, of vileness, of despicable- 
ness, blended with diversified and monstrous horror. 
Even he seems to despair of his power at times : 

S' io avessi le rime e aspre, e chiocce, 
Come si converrebbe al tristo buco, 
Sovra '1 qual pontan tutte 1' altre rocce ; 

Thus do the ants among their cUngy band, 
Face one another — each their neighbour's lot 
Haply to scan, and how their fortunes stand. — Wright. 

* As in a trench, frogs at the water side 

Sit squatting, with their noses raised on high. 
The while their feet, and all their bulk they hide — 

Thus upon either hand the sinners stood. 
But Barbariccia now approaching nigh, 

Quick they withdrew beneath the boiling flood. 

I saw — and still my heart is thrill'd with fear — 
One spirit linger ; as beside a ditch. 
One frog remains, the others disappear. — Tbid. 

DANTE. 137 

lo premeirei di mio concetto il suco 

Piu pienamente ; ma perch' io non 1' abbo, 

Non senza tema a dicer mi conduco : 
Che non e 'mpresa da pigHare a gabbo 

Descriver fondo a tutto 1' universo, 

Ne da hngua, che chiami mamma, o babbo. — Inf. yz* 

Feelinof the difrerence between sins, in their ele- 
ments and, as far as we see them, their baseness, he 
treats them variously. His ridicule is apportioned 
with a purpose. He passes on from the doom of the 
sins of incontinence — the storm, the frost and hail, the 
crushing- weights — from the flaming minarets of the 
city of Dis, of the Furies and Proserpine, " Donna 
deir eterno pianto," where the unbelievers lie, each in 
his burning tomb — from the river of boiling blood — 
the wood with the Harpies — the waste of barren sand 
with fiery snow, where the violent are punished — to 
the Malebolge, the manifold circles of Falsehood. 
And here scorn and ridicule in various degrees, 
according to the vileness of the fraud, begin to pre- 
dominate, till they culminate in that grim comedy, 

* Had I a rhyme so rugged, rough, and hoarse 

As would become the sorrowful abyss, 

O'er which the rocky circles wind their course, 
Then with a more appropriate form I might 

Endow my vast conceptions ; wanting this, 

Not without fear I bring myself to write. 
For no light enterprise it is, I deem, 

To represent the lowest depth of all ; 

Nor should a childish tongue attempt the theme. — WRIGHT, 

138 DANTE. 

with its dramatis pn'sonce and battle of devils, 
Draghignazzo, and Graffiacane, and Malacoda, where 
the peculators and sellers of justice are fished up by 
the demons from the boiling pitch, but even there 
overreach and cheat their tormentors, and make them 
turn their fangs on each other. The diversified 
forms of falsehood seem to tempt the poet's imagina- 
tion to cope \yith its changefulness and inventions, as 
well as its audacity. The transformations of the 
wildest dream do not daunt him. His power over 
language is nowhere more forcibly displayed than in 
those cantos, which describe the punishments of theft 
— men passing gradually into serpents, and serpents 
into men : 

Due e nessun 1' imagine perversa 
Parea. — Inf. 25. 

And when the traitor, who murdered his own kins- 
man, was still alive, and seemed safe from the infamy 
which it was the poet's rule to bestow only on the 
dead, Dante found a way to inflict his vengeance 
without an anachronism : — Branca D'Oria's body, 
though on earth, is only animated by a fiend, and his 
spirit has long since fled to the icy prison.* 

* Ed egli a me : Come '1 mio corpo stea 
Nel mondo su, nulla scienzia porto. 
Cotal vantaggio ha questa Tolommea, 
Che spesse volte 1' anima ci cade 
Innanzi, ch' Atropos mossa le dea. 

DANTE. 139 

These are strange experiments in poetry ; their 
strangeness is exaggerated as detached passages ; but 
they are strange enough when they meet us in their 
place in the context, as parts of a scene, where the 
mind is strung and overawed by the sustained power, 
with which dreariness, horror, hideous absence of 
every form of good, is kept before the imagination 
and feehngs, in the fearful picture of human sin. But 
they belong to the poet's system of direct and forcible 
representation. What his inward eye sees, what he 
feels, that he means us to see and feel as he does ; to 
make us see and feel is his art. Afterwards we may 

E perche tu piii volontier mi lade 
Le 'nvetriate lagiime dal volto, 
Sappi, die tosto che 1' anima trade, 

Come fee' io, il corpo suo 1' e tolto 
Da un Dimonio, che poscia il governa, 
Mentre che '1 tempo suo tutto sia volto. 

Ella ruina in si fatta cisterna ; 
E forse pare ancor lo corpo suso 
Deir ombra, che di qua dietro mi verna. 

Tu '1 dei saper, se tu vien pur mo giuso : 
Egli e ser Branca d' Oria, e son piii anni 
Poscia passati, ch' ei fii si racchiuso. 

Io credo, diss' io lui, che tu m' inganni, 
Che Branca d' Oria non moii unquanche, 
E mangia, e bee, e donne, e veste panni. 

Nel fosso su, diss' ei, di Malebranche, 
La dove bolle la tenace pece, 
Non era giunto ancora Michel Zanche ; 

Che questi lascio '1 diavolo in sua vece 
Nel corpo suo, e d' un suo prossimano, 
Che '1 tradimeiito insieme con lui fece. — Inf. 33. 


reflect and meditate ; but first we must see — must see 
what he saw. Evil and deformity are in the world, as 
well as good and beauty ; the eye cannot escape them, 
they are about our path, in our heart and memory. 
He has faced them without shrinking or dissembling, 
and extorted from them a voice of warning. In all 
poetry that is written for mere delight, in all poetry 
which regards but a part or an aspect of nature, they 
have no place — they disturb and mar ; but he had 
conceived a poetry of the whole, which would be 
weak or false without them. Yet they stand in his 
poem as they stand in nature — subordinate and 
relieved. If the grotesque is allowed to intrude itself 
— if the horrible and the foul, undisguised and un- 
softened, make us shudder and shrink, they are kept 
in strong check and in due subjection by otlier 
poetical influences ; and the same power which 
exhibits them in their naked strength, renders its full 
grace and glory to beauty ; its full force and delicacy 
to the most evanescent feeling. 

Dante's eye wa s free_ and_ open to external nature 
in a degree new among poets ; certainly in a far 
greater degree than among the Latins, even including 
Lucretius, whom he probably had never read. We 
have already spoken of his minute notice of the 
appearance of living creatures ; but his eye was 
caught by the beautiful as well as by the grotesque. 

DANTE. 141 

Take the following beautiful picture of the bird 
looking out for dawn : 

Come I'augello intra I'amate fronde, 

Posato al nido de'suoi dolci nati, 

La notte, che le cose ci nasconde, 
Che per veder gli aspetti desiati, 

E per trovar lo cibo, onde li pasca, 

In che i gravi labor gli sono aggrati, 
Previene '1 tempo in su 1' aperta frasca, 

E con ardente affetto il sole aspetta, 

Fiso' guardando, pur che I'alba nasca. — Parad. 23.* 

Nothing indeed can be more true and original than 
his images of birds ; they are varied and very 
numerous. We have the water-birds rising in 
clamorous and changing flocks : 

Come augelli surti di riviera 
Quasi congratiilajido a lor pasture^ 
Fanno di se or tonda or lunga schiera ; — Parad. iS.f 

* E'en as the bird that resting in the nest 

Of her sweet brood, the shelt'ring boughs among 
While all things are enwrapt in night's dark vest — 

Now eager to beliold the looks she loves, 
And to find food for her impatient young 
(\Mience labour grateful to a mother proves). 

Forestalls the time, high perch'd upon the spray, 
And with impassion'd zeal the sun expecting, 

Anxiously waiteth the first break of day. — Wright. 
+ And as birds rising from a stream, whence they 

Their pastures view, as though their joy confessing. 
Now form a round, and now a long array. — Ibid. 

142 DANTE. 

the rooks^ beginning to move about at daybreak : 

E come per lo natural costume, 
Le pole insieme, al cominciar del giorno 
Si muovono a scaldar le fredde piume, 

Poi altre vanno via senza ritorno, 
Altre rivolgon se onde son mosse 
Ed altre roteando fan soggiorno ; — Parad. 21.' 

the morninp; sounds of the swallow : 

Nell' ora che comincia i tristi lai 
La rondinella presso alia mattina, 
Forse a memoria de' suoi primi guai ; — Pio'g. 9. + 

the joy and delight of the nightingale's song iPurg. 
17) ; the lark, silent at last, filled with its own sweet- 
ness : 

Oual lodoletta, che 'n aere si spazia, 
Prima cantando, e poi tace contenta 
Dell' 7iltlina dolcezza che la sazia ; — Parad. 20.$ 

the flight of the starlings and storks {Inf. 5, Purg. 
24) ; the mournful cry and long line of the cranes 

* And as with one accord, at break of day, 

The rooks bestir themselves, by nature taught 
To chase the dew-drops from their wings away ; 
Some flying off, to reappear no more — 
Others repairing to their nests again — 
Some whirling round — then settling as before. — Wright. 

+ What time the swallow pours her plaintive strain, 
Saluting the approach of morning gray, 
Thus haply mindful of her former pain. — Ibid. 

:J: E'en as the lark high soaring pours its throat 
Awhile, then rests in silence, as though still 
It dwelt enamour'd of its last sweet note. — Ibid. 

DANTE. 143 

{Inf. 5, Piirg. 26) ; the young birds trying to escape 
from the nest {Purg. 25) ; the eagle hanging in the 
sky : 

Con r ale aperte, e a calare intesa ;— 

the dove, standing close to its mate, or wheeling 

round it : 

Si come quando '1 Colombo si pone 
Presso al compagtio, 1' uno e 1' altro panda 
Girando e mormorando I'affezione ; — Parad. 25.* 

or the flock of pigeons, feeding : 

Adunati alia pastura, 
Oueti, se7iza vwstrar P iisato orgoglio. — Purg. 2. 

Hawking supplies its images : the falcon coming 
for its food : 

II falcon die prima a pie si mira, 
Indi si volge al grido, e si protende, 
Per lo disio del pasto, che Ik il tira ; — Purg. ig.f 

* As v>hen unto his partner's side, the dove 

Approaches near — both fondly circling round, 
And cooing, show the fervour of their love ; 
So these great heirs of immortality 

Receive each other ; while they joyful sound 

The praises of the food they share on high. — Wright. 

+ And, as a falcon, which first scans its feet, 

Then turns him to the call, and forward flies, 
In eagerness to catch the tempting meat. — IBIH 

144 DANTE. 

or just unhooded, pluming itself for its flight : 

Quasi falcon, ch' esce del cappello, 
Muove la testa, e con 1' ale s' applaude, 
Voglia mosiraiido, e facendosi bello ; — Parad. i g.* 

or returning without success, sullen and loath : 

Come '1 falcon ch' e stato assai su \ ali, 
Che senza veder logoro, o uccello, 
Fa dire al falconiere : Oimfe tu cali ! 
Discende lasso onde si muove snello 
Per cento ruote, e da lungi si potie 
Dal suo maestro, disdeg/ioso e fello. — Inf. 17. f 

It is curious to observe him taking Virgil's similes, 
and altering them. When Virgil describes the throng 
of souls, he compares them to falling leaves, or 
gathering birds in autumn : 

Quam multa in silvis auctumni frigore primo 
Lapsa cadunt foliaj, aut ad terram gurgite ab alto 
Quam mult£e glomerantur aves, ubi frigidus annus 
Trans pontum fugat, et terris immittit apricis — 

Dante uses the same images, but without copying : 

Come d' Autunno si levan le foglie, 
L' una appresso dell' altra, infin che '1 ramo 

* Lo, as a falcon, from the hood released, 

Uplifts his head, and joyous flaps his ^vings, 

His beauty and his eagerness increased. — Wright. 

t E'en a? a falcon, long upheld in air, 

Not seeing lure or bird upon the wing, 
So that the falconer utters in despair 
" Alas, thou stoop'st ! " fatigued descends from high ; 
And whirling quickly round in many a ring, 
Far from his master sits — disdainfully. — Ii id. 

DANTE. 145 

Rende alia terra tutte le sue spoglie ; 

Similemente il mal seme d' Adaino : 
Gittansi di quel lito ad una ad una 
Per cenni, com' augel per suo richiamo. 

Cosi sen vanno su per 1' onda bruna, 
Ed avanti che sien di la discese, 
Anche di qua nuova schiera s' aduna. — Inf. 3.* 

Again — compared with one of Virgil's most highly- 
finished and perfect pictures, the flight of the pigeon, 
disturbed at first, and then becoming swift and 
smooth : 

Qualis spelunca subito commota columba, 
Cui domus et dulces latebroso in pumice nidi, 
Fertur in arva volans, plausumque exterrita pennis 
Dat tecto ingentem, mox aere lapsa quieto 
Radit iter liquidum, celeres neque commovet alas — 

the Italian's simplicity and strength may balance the 
" ornata parola " of Virgil : 

Quali colombe dal disio chiamate, 
Con /' ali aperte e ferme al dolce nido 
Volan per 1' aer dal voler portate. — Lif. 5.t 

* As leaves in autumn, borne before the wind, 
Drop one by one, until the branch laid bare, 
Sees all its honours to the earth consign'd : 
So cast them downward at his summons all 
The guilty race of Adam from that strand — 
Each as a falcon answering to the call. — Wright. 

t As doves, by strong affection urged, repair 

With firm expanded wings to their sweet nest. 

Borne by the impulse of their will through air. — Ibid. 

it is impossible not to be reminded at every step, in spite of the 
I:r.owledge and taste which Mr. Cary and Mr. W^right have brought to 


146 DANTE. 

Take, again, the times of the day, with what is 
characteristic of them — appearances, hghts, feehngs — 
seldom dwelt on at length, but carried at once to the 
mind, and stamped upon it sometimes by a single 
word. The sense of morning, its inspiring and 
cheering strength, softens the opening of the Inferno ; 
breathes its refreshing calm, in the interval of repose 
after the last horrors of hell, in the first canto of the 
Purgatorio ; and prepares for the entrance into the 
earthly Paradise at its close. In the waning light 
of evening, and its chilling sense of loneliness, he 
prepared himself for his dread pilgrimage : 

Lo giorno se n' andava, e 1' aer bruno 
Toglieva gli animai che sono 'n terra 
Dalle fatiche loro ; ed io sol uno 

M' apparechiava a sostener la guerra 
Si del cammino, e si della pietate.— /;z/ 2. 

their most difficult task, of the truth which Dante has expressed with 
his ordinary positiveness. 

He is saying that he does not wish his Canzoni to be explained in 
Latin to those who could not read them in Italian: "Che sarebbe 
sposta la loro sentenzia cola dove elle non la potessono colla loro bdlezza 
portare. E pero sappia ciascuno che nulla cosa per legame musaico 
{i.e. poetico) armonizzata, si puo della sua loquela in altra trasmutare 
senza rompere tutta la sua dolcezza e armonia. E questa e la ragione 
per che Omero non si muto mai di Greco in Latino, come 1' altre 
scritture che avemo da loro. — Convito, i. c. 8, p. 49. 

Dr. Carlyle has given up the idea of attempting to represent Dante's 
verse by English verse, and has confined himself to assisting English- 
men to read him in his own language. His prose translation is accurate 
and forcible. And he has added sensible and useful notes. 

DANTE. 147 

Indeed there is scarcely an hour of day or night, 
which has not left its own recollection with him ; — of 
which we cannot find some memorial in his poem. 
Evening and night have many. ' Evening, with its 
softness and melancholy — its exhaustion and languor, 
after the work, perhaps unfulfilled, of day — its regrets 
and yearnings — its sounds and doubtful lights — the 
distant bell, the closing chants of Compline, the 
Salve Regiiia, the Tc htcis ante termimtin — with its 
insecurity, and its sense of protection from above 
■ — broods over the poet's first resting-place on his 
heavenly road — that still, solemn, dreamy scene — the 
Valley of Flowers in the mountain side, where those 
who have been negligent about their salvation, but 
not altogether faithless and fruitless, the assembled 
shades of great kings and of poets, wait, looking 
upwards, " pale and humble," for the hour when they 
may begin in earnest their penance. {Piirg. 7 and 8.) 
The level, blinding evening beams {Purg. 15) ; the 
contrast of gathering darkness in the valley or on the 
shore with the lingering lights on the mountain {Pm-g. 
17) ; the rapid sinking of the sun, and approach of 
night in the south [Purg. 27 ) ; the fliaming sunset 
clouds of August ; the sheet-lightning of summer 
[Piirg. 5) ; have left pictures in his mind, which an 
incidental touch reawakens, and a few strong words 

are sufficient to express. Other appearances he 

L 2 

148 DANTE. 

describes with more fulness. The stars coming out 
one by one, baffling at first the eye : 

Ed ecco intorno di chiarezza pari 
Nascer un lustro sopra quel chc v'era, 
A guisa d' orizzonte, che rischiari. 

E SI come al salir di prima sera 
Comincian per lo del nuove parvenze, 
SI che la cosa pare e non par vera ; — Parad. 14.* 

or else, bursting out suddenly over the heavens : 

Quando colui che tutto 11 mondo allume, 
Del' emisperio nostro si discende, 
E '1 giorno d' ogni parte si consuma ; 

Lo ciel che sol di lui prima s' accende, 
Subitamente si rifa parv^ente 
Per molte luci in che una risplende ;— Parad. 20.f 

or the effect of shooting-stars : 

Quale per li seren tranquilli e puri 
Discorre ad ora ad or subito fuoco 
Movendo gli occhi che stavan sicuri, 

E pare Stella che tramuti loco, 

* And lo, on high, and lurid as the one 
Now there, encircling it, a light arose, 
Like heaven when re-illumined by the sun : 
And as at the first lighting up of eve 
The sky doth new appearances disclose, 
That now seem real, now the sight deceive. — Weight. 

t When he, who with his universal ray 

The world illumines, quits our hemisphere, 
And, from each quarter, daylight wears away ; 
The heaven, erst kindled by his beam alone, 
Sudden its lost effulgence doth repair 
By many lights illumined but by one. — Ibid. 



Se non che dalla parte onde s' accende 

Nulla sen perde, ed esso dura poco ;— Parad. 15.* 

or, again, that characteristic sight of the ItaHan 
summer night — the fire-flies : 

Ouante il villan che al poggio si riposa, 
Nel tempo che colui che '1 mondo schiara 
La faccia sua a noi tien men ascosa, 

Come la mosca cede alia zenzara, 
Vede lucciole giu per la vallea 
Forse colh, dove vendemmia ed ara. — I/if. 26.t 

Noon, too, does not want its characteristic touches 
— the h'ghtning-hke glancing of the lizard's rapid 
motion : 

Come il ramarro sotto la gran fersa 
Ne' di canicular cangiando siepe 
Folgore par, se la via attraversa ; — Inf. 2^,.% 

the motes in the sunbeam at noontide {Par. 14) ; its. 

'* As oft along the pure and tranquil sky 
A sudden lire l^y night is seen to dart, 
Attracting forcibly the heedless eye ; 
And seems to be a star that changes place, 
Save that no star is lost from out the part 
It quits, and that it lasts a moment's space. — Wright. 
f As in that season when the sun least veils 
His face that lightens all, what time the fly 
Gives place 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-labour lies. — Cary. 
X As underneath the dog-star's scorching ray 

The lizard, darting swift from fence to fence. 

Appears like lightning, if he cross the way. — Wright. 


clear, diffused, insupportable brightness, filling all 

things : 

E tutti eran gih, pieni 

Dell' alto di i giron del sacro monte. — Picrg, 19. 

and veiling the sun in his own light : 

lo veggio ben si come tic f attnidi 
Nel propria bwie. 

* * » * 

Si come '1 sol che si cela egli stessi 
Per troppa luce, quando '1 caldo ha rose 
Le temperanze de' vapori spessi. — Parad. 5. 

But the sights and feelings of morning are what 
he touches on most frequently ; and he does so with 
the precision of one who had watched them with 
often-repeated delight : the scented freshness of the 
breeze that stirs before daybreak : 

E quale annunziatrice degli albori 
Aura di maggio muovesi ed olezza 
Tutta impregnata dall' erba e da' fiori ; 

Tal mi senti' un vento dar per mezza 
La fronte ; — Purg. 24.* 

the chill of early morning (Purg. 19) ; the dawn 
stealing on, and the stars, one by one, fading " infino 

* As when, announcing the approach of day, 

Impregnated with herbs and flowers of Spring, 
Breathes fresh and redolent the air of May — 
Such was the breeze that gently fann'd my head ; 
And I perceived the waving of a wing 
Which all around ambrosial odours shed. — Wright. 

DANTE. 151 

alia piu bella " {Parad. 30) ; the brightness of the 
" trembling morning star " — 

Par tremolando mattutina Stella ; — 
the serenity of the dawn, the blue gradually gathering 
in the east, spreading over the brightening sky 
[Parad. i) ; then succeeded by the orange tints — 
and Mars setting red, through the mist over the sea : 

Ed ecco, qual sul presso del mattino 
Per li gross! vapor INIarte rosseggia 
Giu nel ponente, sopra '1 suol marino, 

"Cotal m' apparve, s' io ancor lo veggia, 
Un lunie per lo mar venir si ratto 
Che '1 muover suo nessun volar pareggia •,-—Ptirg. 2* 

the distant sea-beach quivering in the early light : 

L' alba vinceva 1' ora mattutina 
Che fuggia innanzi, si die di lontano 
Conobbi il tremolar della marma ; — Purg i.t 

the contrast of east and west at the moment cf sun- 
rise, and the sun appearing, clothed in mist : 

lo vidi gia nel cominciar del giorno 
La parte oriental tutta rosata 

* ^Yhen lo ! like Mars, in aspect iiery red 

Seen through the vapour, when the morn is nigh 
Far in the west above the briny bed, 
So (might I once more see it) o'er the sea 
A light approach'd with such rapidity, 
Flies not the bird that might its equal be.— Wright. 

+ Now 'gan the vanquish'd matin hour to flee ; 
And seen from far, as onward came the day, 
I recognised the trembling of the sea. — Ibid. 

152 DANTE. 

E r altro ciel di bel sereno adorno ; 

E la faccia del sol nascere ombrata 
Si die per temperanza di vapori 
L' occhio lo sostenea lungo fiato \—Piirg. 3.* 

or breaking through it, and shooting his beams over 

the sky : 

Di tutte parti saettava il giorno 
Lo sol ch' avea con le saette conte 
Di mezzo '1 ciel cacciato '1 Capricorno. — Purg. 2.f 

But light in general is his special and chosen 
source of poetic beauty. No poet that we know has 
shown such singular sensibility to its varied appear- 
ances — has shown that he felt it in itself the cause of 
a distinct and peculiar pleasure, delighting the eye 
apart from form, as music delights the ear apart from 
words, and capable, like music, of definite character, 
of endless variety, and infinite meanings. He must 
have studied and dwelt upon it like music. His mind 
is charged with its effects and combinations, and they 
are rendered with a force, a brevity, a precision, a 

* Erewhile the eastern regions have I seen 

At daybreak glow with roseate colours, and 
The expanse beside all beauteous and serene : 
And the sun's face so shrouded at its rise. 
And temper'd by the mists which overhung, 
That I could gaze on it with stedfast eyes. — Wright. 

+ On every side the sun shot forth the day, 
And had already with his arrows bright 
From the mid-heaven chased Capricorn away. — Ibid. 



heedlessness and unconsciousness of ornament, an 
indifference to circumstance and detail ; they flash 
out with a spontaneous readiness, a suitableness and 
felicity, which show the familiarity and grasp given 
only by daily observation, daily thought, daily 
pleasure. Light everywhere — in the sky and earth 
and sea — in the star, the flame, the lamp, the gem — 
broken in the water, reflected from the mirror, trans- 
mitted pure through the glass, or coloured through 
the edge of the fractured emerald— dimmed in the 
mist, the halo, the deep water — streaming through 
the rent cloud, glowing in the coal, quivering in the 
lightning, flashing in the topaz and the rub}', veiled 
behind the pure alabaster, mellowed and clouding 
itself in the pearl — light contrasted with shadow — 
shading off and copying itself in the double rainbow, 
like voice and echo — light seen within light, as voice 
discerned within voice, " qitando una c fcnna, e V altra 
va e riedc " — the brighter " nestling " itself in the 
fainter — the purer set off on the less clear, ^^ come 
per la in bianca f route" — light in the human eye and 
face, displaying, figuring, and confounded with its 
expressions — light blended with joy in the eye : 

Come letizia in pupilla viva ; 

and in the smile : 

^'incendo me col lume d' un sorriso ; 

154 DANTE. 

joy lending its expression to light : 

Quivi la donna mia vidi si lieta — 
Che pill lucente se ne fe il pianeta. 

E se la Stella si cambio, e rise, 
Oual mi fee' io ; — Parad. 5. 

light from every source, and in all its shapes, illu- 
minates, irradiates, gives its glory to the Covimedia. 
The remembrance of our " serene life " beneath the 
" fair stars " keeps up continually the gloom of the 
Inferno. Light, such as we see it and recognise it, 
the light of morning and evening growing and fading, 
takes off from the unearthliness of the Purgatorio ; 
peopled, as it is, by the undying, who, though suffering 
for sin, can sin no more, it is thus made like our 
familiar world, made to touch our sympathies as an 
image of our own purification in the flesh. And when 
he rises beyond the regions of earthly day, light, 
simple, unalloyed, unshadowed, eternal, lifts the cre- 
ations of his thought above all affinity to time and 
matter ; light never fails him, as the expression of the 
gradations of bliss ; never reappears the same, never 
refuses the new shapes of his invention, never becomes 
confused or dim, though it is seldom thrown into 
distinct figure, and still more seldom coloured. Only 
once, that we remember, is the thought of colour 
forced on us ; when the bright joy of heaven suffers 

DANTE. 155 

change and eclipse, and deepens into red at the 
sacrilege of men.* 

Yet his eye is everywhere, not confined to the 
beauty or character of the sky and its lights. His 
range of observation and largeness of interest prevent 
that line of imagery, which is his peculiar instrument 
and predilection, from becoming, in spite of its bright- 
ness and variety, dreamy and monotonous ; prevent 
it from arming against itself sympathies which it does 
not touch. He has watched with equal attention, 
and dravv^s with not less power, the occurrences and 
sights of Italian country life ; the summer whirl- 
wind sweeping over the plain — " dinanzi polveroso va 
siiperbo " {Inf. 9) ; the rain-storm of the Apennines 
{Purg. 5) ; the peasant's alternations of feeling in 
spring : 

In quella parte del giovinetto anno 
Che '1 sole i crin sotto 1' Aquario tempra, 
E gia le notti al mezzo di sen vanno ; 

Ouando la brina in su la terra assempra 
L' imagine di sua sorella bianca, 
Ma poco dura alia sua penna tempra, 

Lo villanello a cui la roba manca 
Si leva e guarda, e vede la campagna 
Biancheggiar tutta ; ond ei si batte 1' anca ; 

Ritorna a casa, e qua e la si lagna 
Come '1 tapin che non sa che si faccia : 
Poi riede e la speranza ringavagna 

* Par ad. 27. 

156 DANTE. 

Veggendo '1 mondo aver cangiata faccia 
In poco d' ora, e prende il suo vincastro 
E fuor le pecorelle a pascer caccia : — Inf. 24.* 

the manner in which sheep come out from the fold : 

Come le pecorelle escon del chiuso 
A ima a due a tre, e V allre siajuio, 
Timidette atterrando /' occJiio e'' I niiiso ; 

E cib che fa la prima., e /' altre fantto, 
Addossandosi a lei s^ el la j' arrest a 
Semplici e quete, e lo 'mperche non sanno : 

Si vid' io muover a venir la testa 
Di quella mandria fortunata allotta, 
Pudica in faccia e nell' andare onesta. 

Come color dinanzi vider rotta 
La luce 

Ristaro, e trasser se indietro alquanto, 
E tutti gli altri che veniano appresso, 
Non sappiendo il perche, fero altrettanto. — Piirg. 3. 

So witli the beautiful picture of the goats upon 
the mountain, chewing the cud in the noontide heat 

* In the new year, when Sol his tresses gay 
Dips in Aquarius, and the tai'dy night 
Divides her empire with the lengthening day — 

When o'er the earth the hoar-frost pure and bright 
Assumes the image of her sister white, 
Then quickly melts before the genial light — 

The rustic, now exhausted his supply. 

Rises betimes — looks out — and sees the land 
All white around, whereat he strikes his thigh — ■ 

Turns back — and grieving — wanders here and there, 
Like one disconsolate and at a stand ; 
Then issues forth, forgetting his despair, 

For lo ! the face of nature he beholds 

Changed on a sudden — takes his crook again, 

And drives his flock to pasture from the folds. — Wright. 

DANTE. 157 

and stillness, and the goatherd, resting on his staff 
and watching them — a picture which no traveller 
among the mountains of Italy or Greece can have 
missed, or have forgotten : 

(2uali si fanno ruminando manse 
Le capre, state rapide e protcrvc 
Sopra le ciiiie avanti che sien pranse, 

Tacite al oinbra inoitre che V solferve, 
Giiardate dal pasto?' che 'n su la verga 
Poggiato s' e, e lor poggiato serve. — Purg. 27.* 

So again, with his recollections of cities : the crowd^ 
running together to hear news {Purg. 2), or pressing 
after the winner of the game {Purg. 6) ; the blind 
men at the church doors, or following their guide 
through the throng {Purg. 13, 16) ; the friars walking 
along in silence, one behind another : 

Taciti, soli, e senza compagnia 
N' andavam, /' nn dinatizi, e /' altro dopo 
Come ifrati 7ninor v anno per via. — hif. 23. 

He turns to account in his poem, the pomp and 
clamour of the host taking the field (/;// 22) ; the 
devices of heraldry ; the answering chimes of morning 

Like goats that having over the crags pursued 
Their wanton sports, now, quiet pass the time 
In ruminating — sated with their food, 

Beneatli the shade, while glows the sun on Iiigh — 
Watched by the goatherd with unceasing care, 
As on his staff lie leans, with watchful eye. — Ibid. 

158 DANTE. 

bells over the city;* the inventions and appHances of 

art, the wheels within wheels of clocks {Par. 24), the 

many-coloured carpets of the East {Inf. 17) ; music 

and dancing — the organ and voice in church : 

— Voce mista al dolce suono 

Che or si or no s' intendon le parole, — Purg. 9. 

the lute and voice in the chamber {Par. 20) ; the 
dancers preparing to begin,t or waiting to catch a 
new strain. J Or, again, the images of domestic life, 
the mother's ways to her child, reserved and reproving 
— "che al figlio par superba " — or cheering him with 
her voice, or watching him compassionately in the 
wandering of fever : 

Ond' ella, appresso d' un pio sospiro 
Gli occhi drizzo ver me, con quel sembiante 
Che madre fa sopra figliuol deliro. — Pa)\id. i. 

* Indi come orologio che ne chiami 
Neir ora che la sposa di Dio surge 
A mattinar lo sposo perche 1' ami, 

Che 1' una parte e 1' altra tira ed urge 
Tin tin sonando con si dolce nota 
Che '1 ben disposto spirto d' amor turge ; 

Cosl vid' io la gloriosa ruota 
Muoversi e render voce a voce, in tempra 
Ed in dolcezza ch' esser non puo nota 

Se non cola dove '1 gioir s' insempra. — Farad. lO, 

t E come surge, e va, ed entra in hallo 
Vergine lieta, sol per fame onore 
Alia novizia, e non per alcun fallo. — Ibid. 25. 

X Donne mi parver, non da hallo sciolte, 
Ma che s' arrestin tacite ascoltando 
Fin che le nuove note hanno ricolte. — Ibid. 10. 



Nor is he less observant of the more dehcate pheno- 
mena of mind, in its inward workings, and its con- 
nexion with the body. The play of features, the 
involuntary gestures and attitudes of the passions, 
the power of eye over eye, of hand upon hand, the 
charm of voice and expression, of musical sounds 
even when not understood — feelings, sensations, and 
states of mind which have a name, and others, equall}' 
numerous and equally common, which have none — 
these, often so fugitive, so shifting, so baffling and 
intangible, are expressed with a directness, a sim- 
plicity, a sense of truth at once broad and refined, 
which seized at once on the congenial mind of his 
countrymen, and pointed out to them the road which 
they have followed in art, unapproached as yet by 
any competitors.* 

* For instance : — thoughts upon thoughts, ending in sleep and dreams : 
iS'uovo pensier dentro de me si mise, 

Dal qual piii altri nacquero e diversi : 
-£" tanto d' uno in altro vaneggiai 
Che gli occhi per vaghezza 7'icopersi, 

E ' I pensamento in sogno trasmutai. — Purg. iS. 

sleep stealing off when broken by light : 

Come si frange il sonno, ova di butto 
Nuova luce percuote '1 viso chiuso, 
Che fratto guizza pria che viuoja tutto. — Ibid. 17 
the shoek of suddeji avoakening : 

Come al lume acuto si disonna, 

* * * * 

E lo svegliato cid che vede abhorre, 

i6o DANTE. 

And he has anticipated the latest schools of 
modern poetry, by making not merely nature, but 

Si nescia e la subita vigilia, 
Finche la sti-mativa nol soccorre. — Farad. 26. 
umasy feelings produced by sight or 7-ep7-esentatio>i of sonidJiing unnatural- : 

Come per sostentar solajo o tetto . 
Per mensola talvolta una figura 
Si vede glunger le ginocchia al petto, 

La qual fa del 7ion ver vera rancura 
Nascer a chi l.i vede ; cosi fatti 
Vid' io color. — Purg. 10. 
blushing in innocent sympathy fjr others . 

E come domia onesta che permane 
Di se sicura, e per I' altfui fallcnza 
Pure ascoltando timida si fane: 

Cosi Beatrice trasmuto sembianza. — Ibid. 27. 
asking and answering by looks only : 

Volsi gli occhi agli occhi al signor mio ; 
Ond' elli m' assenli con lieto cenno 
Cio che chiedea la vista del disio. — Purg. 19. 
2iatching the effect of words : 

Posto avea fine al sue ragionamento 
L' alto dottore, ad attento guardava 
Nella niia vista s' io parea contento. 

Ed io, cui nuova sete ancor frugava, 
Di fuor taceva e dentro dicea : forse 
Lo troppo dimandar ch' io fo, li grava. 

Ma quel padre verace, che s' accorse 
Del timido voler che non s' apriva, 
Parlando, di parlare ardir mi porse. — Ibid. 18. 
Dante betrajing Virgits presence to Statins, by his involuntary smile: 

Volser Virgilio a me queste parole 
Con viso che tacendo dicea : " taci ;" 
Ma non puo tutto la virtu che vuole ; 

Che riso e pianto son tanto seguaci 
Alia passion da che ciascun si spicca, 
Che mm segnon voler ne' piii veraci. 

DANTE. i6r 

science tributary to a poetry with whose general aim 
and spirit it has little in common — tributary in its 

lo pur sorrisi, come V uotn cJi ainmicca : 
Perchc V ombra si iacqiie, e riginrdommi 
Ncgli occhi ove V sembi ante pin si Jicca. 

E se tanto lavoro in bene assommi, 

Disse, perche la faccia tua testeso 

Un lampeggiar d un riso dimostrommi ? — Purg. 21. 

smiles and words together : 

Per le sorrise parolette hrevi. — Farad, I. 

eye meeting eye : 

Gli occhi ritorsi avanti 
Dritti nel lume della dolce guida 
Che sorridendo ardea negli occhi santi. — Ibid. 3, 

Come si vede qui alcuna volta 
L' affetto nella vista, s' ello e tanto 
Che da lui sia tutta 1' anima tolta : 

Cos! nel fiammeggiar del fulgor santo 
A cui mi volsi, conobbi la voglia 
In lui di ragionarmi ancore alquanto. — Ibid. 18. 

^gentleness of voice : 

E cominciommi a dir soave e piana 

Con angelica voce in sua favella. — Inf. 2. 

E come agli occhi miei si fe' pili bella, 
Cos! con voce piii dolce e soave, 
Ma non con questa moderna favella, 
Dissemi ; — Farad, 16. 


Te hicis ante si divotamente 
Le usci di bocca e con si dolce note, 
Che fece me a me uscir di mente. 

E 1' altre poi dolcemente e divote 
Scguitar lei per tutto 1' inno intero, 
Avendo gli occhi alle superne ruote. — Fiirg, 8. 


i62 DANTE. 

exact forms, even in its technicalities. He speaks of 
the Mediterranean Sea, not merely as a historian, or 

chanting blended 7vith the sound of the ofgan : 

lo mi rivolsi attento al primo tuono, 
E Te Deum laudamus mi parea 
Udire in voce mista al dolce suono. 
Tale imagine appunto mi rendea 
Cio ch' io udiva, qual prender si suole 
Quando a cantar con organi si stea ; 

Ch'' or si, or no, i intcndon le parole, — Piirg. 9. 

voices in concert: 

E come in voce voce si discerne 
Quando una efenna, e V altra va e riede. — Farad. S. 

attitudes and gestures : e.g. Beatrice addressing him, 

Con atto e voce di spedito duce. — Ibid. 30. 

Sordello eyeing the travellers : 

Venimmo a lei : o anima Lombarda, 
Come ti stavi altera e disdegnosa, 
E nel muover degli occhi onesta e tarda. 

Ella non ci diceva alcuna cosa, 
Ma lasciavane gir, solo guardando, 
A guisa di leon quando si posa. — Purg. 6. 

the angel moving " dry-shod" aver the Stygian pool : 

Dal volto nmovea quell' aer grasso 
3Ienando la siftistra innanzi spesso, 
E sol di quell' angoscia parea lasso. 

Ben m' accorsi ch' egli era del ciel messo, 
E volsimi al maestro ; e quel fe' segno 
Ch' io stessi cheto ed inchinassi ed esso. 

Ahi quanto mi parea pien di disdegno. 
* * * * 

Poi si rivolse per la strada lorda, 

E non fe' motto a noi, ma fe, sembiante 
D' uomo cui altra cura stringa e morde 
Che quella di colui che gli e davante. — Inf. 9. 

DANTE. 163 

an observer of its storms or its smiles, but as a 
geologist ;* of light, not merely in its beautiful 
appearances, but in its natural laws.f There is a 
charm, an imaginative charm to him, not merely in 
the sensible magnificence of the heavens, " in their 
silence, and light, and watchfulness," but in the 
system of Ptolemy and the theories of astrology ; and 
he delights to interweave the poetry of feeling and of 
the outward sense with the grandeur — so far as he 
knew it — of order, proportion, measured magnitudes, 
the relations of abstract forces, displayed on such a 
scene as the material universe, as if he wished to show 
that imagination in its boldest flight was not afraid of 
the company of the clear and subtle intellect. 

Indeed the real never daunts him. It is his 
leading principle of poetic composition, to draw out 
of things the poetry which is latent in them, either 
essentially, or as they are portions, images, or reflexes 
of something greater — not to invest them with a 
poetical semblance, by means of words which bring 
with them poetical associations, and have received a 
general poetical stamp. Dante has few of those 
indirect charms which flow from the subtle structure 
and refined graces of language — none of that ex- 
quisitely-fitted and self-sustained mechanism of choice 

* La magglor valle, in che 1' acqua si spandi. — Farad. 9. 
+ E.g. Purg. 15. 

M 2 

1 64 DANTE. 

words of the Greeks — none of that tempered and 
majestic amphtudc of diction, which clothes, hke the 
folds of a royal robe, the thoughts of the Latins — none 
of that abundant play of fancy and sentiment, soft or 
grand, in which the later Italian poets delighted. 
Words with him are used sparingly, never in play — 
never because they carry with them poetical recollec- 
tions — never for their own sake ; but because they 
are instruments which will give the deepest, clearest, 
sharpest stamp of that image which the poet's mind, 
piercing to the very heart of his subject, or seizing 
the characteristic feature which to other men's eyes 
is confused and lost among others accidental and 
common, draws forth in severe and living truth. 
Words will not always bend themselves to his 
demands on them ; they make him often uncouth, 
abrupt, obscure. But he is too much in earnest to 
heed uncouthness ; and his power over language is 
too great to allow uncertainty as to what he means, 
to be other than occasional. Nor is he a stranger to 
the utmost sweetness and melody of language. But 
it appears, unsought for and unlaboured, the spon- 
taneous and inevitable obedience of the tongue and 
pen to the impressions of the mind ; as grace and 
beauty, of themselves, " command and guide the eye" 
of the painter, who thinks not of his hand but oi 
them. All is in character with the absorbed and 

DANTE. 165 

serious earnestness which pervades the poem ; there 
is no toying, no ornament, that a man in earnest 
might not throw into his words ; — whether in single 
images, or in pictures, hke that of the Meadow of the 
Heroes (////. 4), or the angel appearing in hell to 
guide the poet through the burning city {Inf. 9) — or 
in histories, like those of Count Ugolino, or the life of 
S. Francis {Parad. 11) — or in the dramatic scenes 
like the meeting of the poets Sordello and Virgil 
[Piirgat. 6), or that one, unequalled in beauty, v/here 
Dante himself, after years of forgetfulness and sin, 
sees Beatrice in glory, and hears his name, never but 
once pronounced during the vision, from her lips.* 

* lo vidi gia nel cominciar del giorno 

La parte oriental tutta rosata, 
E r altro ciel di bel sereno adorno, 

E la faccia del sol nascere ombrata, 
Si che per temperanza di vapori 
L' occhio lo sostenea lunga fiata ; 

Cosi dentro una nuvola di fieri, 
Che dalle mani angeliche saliva, 
E ricadeva giu dentro e di fuori, 

Sovra candido vel cinta d' oliva 

Donna m' apparve sotto verde manto 
Vestita di color di fiamma viva. 

E lo spirito mio, che gia cotanto 

Tempo era stato che alia sua presenza 
Non era di stupor, tremando, affranto. 

Se'Hza degli occhi aver piii conoscenza. 
Per occulta virtu, che da lei mosse, 
D' antico amor senti' la gran potenza. 

1 66 DANTE. 

But this, or any other array of scenes and images, 
might be matched from poets of a far lower order 
than Dante : and to specimens which might be 
brought together of his audacity and extravagance, 
no parallel could be found except among the lowest. 
We cannot, honestly, plead the barbarism of the time 
as his excuse. That, doubtless, contributed largely 
to them ; but they were the faults of the man. In 
another age, their form might have been different ; 
yet we cannot believe so much of time, that it would 
have tamed Dante. Nor can we wish it. It might 
have made him less great : and his greatness can well 

Volsimi alia sinistra col rispitto, 

Col quale il fantolin corre alia mamma, 
Quando ha paura, o quando egli e afflitto, 

Per dicere a Virgilio : Men che dramma 
Di sangue m' e rimasa, che non tremi : 
Conosco i segni dell' antica fiamma. 

Ma Virgilio n' avea lasciati scemi 

Di se, Virgilio dolcissimo padre, 

Virgilio, a cui per mia salute diemi : 
» * * * ♦ 

Dante, perche Virgilio se ne vada, 

Non piangere anche, non piangere ancora 

Che pianger ti convien per altra spada. 

Regalmente nell' atto ancor proterva 

Continue, come colui che dice, 

E il piu caldo parlar diretro serva, 

Guardami ben : ben son, ben son Beatrice : 

Come degnasti d' accedere al monte ? 

Non sapei tu, che qui e 1' uom felice? — Piirg. 30. 

But extracts can give but an imperfect notion of this grand and 
touching canto. 

DANTE. 167 

bear its own blemishes, and will not less meet its due 
honour among men, because they can detect its 
kindred to themselves. 

The greatness of his work is not in its details — to 
be m.ade or marred by them. It is the greatness of a 
comprehensive and vast conception, sustaining with- 
out failure the trial of its long and hazardous 
execution, and fulfilling at its close the hope and 
promise of its beginning ; like the greatness — which 
v/e watch in its course with anxious suspense, and look 
back upon when it is secured by death, with deep 
admiration — of a perfect life. Many a surprise, many 
a difficulty, many a disappointment, many a strange 
reverse and alternation of feelings, attend the progress 
of the most patient and admiring reader of the Covi- 
inedia ; as many as attend on one who follows the 
unfolding of a strong character in life. We are often 
shocked when we were prepared to admire — repelled, 
when we came with sympathy ; the accustomed key 
fails at a critical moment — depths are revealed which 
we cannot sound, mysteries which baffle and confound 
us. But the check is for a time — the gap and chasm 
does not dissever. Haste is even an evidence of life 
— the brief word, the obscure hint, the unexplained, 
the unfinished, or even the unachieved, are the marks 
of human feebleness, but are also amiong those of 
human truth. The unity of the Avhole is unimpaired. 

1 68 DANTE. 

The strength which is working it out, though it may 
have at times disappointed us, shows no hollowness 
or exhaustion. The surprise of disappointment is 
balanced — there is the surprise of unimagined ex- 
cellence. Powers do more than they promised ; and 
that spontaneous and living energy, without which 
neither man nor poet can be trusted, and which 
showed its strength even in its failures, shows it more 
abundantly in the novelties of success — by touching 
sympathies which have never been touched before, by 
the unconstrained freshness with which it meets the 
proverbial and familiar, by the freedom with which 
it adjusts itself to a new position or an altered task — 
by the completeness, unstudied and instinctive, with 
which it holds together dissimilar and uncongenial 
materials, and forces the most intractable, the most 
unaccustomed to submission, to receive the colour of 
the whole — by its orderly and unmistakable onward 
march, and its progress, as in height, so in what 
corresponds to height. It was one and the same 
man, who rose from the despair, the agony, the vivid 
and vulgar horrors of the Inferno, to the sense and 
imagination of certainty, sinlessness, and joy ineffable 
— the same man whose power and whose sym- 
pathies failed him not, whether discriminating and 
enumerating, as if he had gone through them all, the 
various forms of human sufiferincr, from the dull. 

DANTE. 169 

gnawing sense of the loss of happiness, to the infinite 
woes of the wrecked and ruined spirit, and the coarser 
pangs of the material flesh ; or dwelling on the 
changeful lights and shades of earnest repentance, 
in its hard, but not unaided or ungladdened struggle, 
and on that restoration to liberty and peace, which 
can change even this life into paradise, and reverse 
the doom which made sorrow our condition, and 
laughter and joy unnatural and dangerous — the 
penalty of that first fault, which 

In pianto ed in affanno 
Cambio onesto riso e dolce giuoco : 

or rising finally above mortal experience, to imagine 
the freedom of the saints and the peace of eternity. 
In this consists the greatness of his power. It is not 
necessary to read through the Comnicdia to see it — 
open it where we please, we see that he is on his way, 
and whither he is going ; episode and digression share 
in the solemnity of the general order. 

And his greatness was more than that of power. 
That reach and play of sympathy ministered to a 
noble wisdom, which used it tlioughtfully and con- 
sciously for a purpose to which great poetry had 
never yet been applied, except in the mouth of 
prophets. Dante was a stern man, and more than 
stern, among his fellows. But he has left to those 


who never saw his face an niheritance the most 
precious ; he has left them that which, reflecting and 
interpreting- their minds, does so, not to amuse, not to 
bewilder, not to warp, not to turn them in upon 
themselves in distress or gloom or selfishness ; not 
merely to hold up a mirror to nature ; but to make 
them true and make them hopeful. Dark as are his 
words of individuals, his thoughts are not dark or 
one-sided about mankind ; his is no cherished and 
perverse severity — his faith is too large, too real, for 
such a fault. He did not write only the Inferno. 
And the Piirgatorio and the Paradiso are not an 
afterthought, a feebler appendix and compensation, 
conceived when too late, to a finished whole, which 
has taken up into itself the poet's real mind. No- 
where else in poetry of equal power is there the sarne 
balanced view of what man is, and may be ; nowhere 
so wide a grasp shown of his various capacities, so 
strong a desire to find a due place and function for 
all his various dispositions. Where he stands con- 
trasted in his idea of human life with other poets, 
who have been more powerful exponents of its 
separate sides, is in his large and truthful compre- 
hensiveness. Fresh from the thought of man's 
condition as a whole, fresh from the thought of his 
goodness, his greatness, his power, as well as of his 

DANTE. 171 

evil, his mind is equally in tune when rejoicing 
over his restoration, as when contemplating the ruins 
of his fall. He never lets go the recollection that 
human life, if it grovels at one end in corruption 
and sin, and has to pass through the sweat and dust 
and disfigurement of earthly toil, has throughout, 
compensations, remedies, functions, spheres innumer- 
able of profitable activity, sources inexhaustible of 
delight and consolation — and at the other end a 
perfection which cannot be named. No one ever 
measured the greatness of man in all its forms with 
so true and yet with so admiring an eye, and with 
such glowing hope, as he who has also portrayed so 
awfully man's littleness and vileness. And he went 
farther — no one who could understand and do homage 
to greatness in man, ever drew the line so strongly 
between greatness and goodness, and so unhesitatingly 
placed the hero of this world only — placed him in all 
his magnificence, honoured with no timid or dissem- 
bling reverence — at the distance of worlds, below the 
place of the lowest saint. 

Those who know the Divina Cominedia best, 
will best know how hard it is to be the interpreter 
of such a mind ; but they will sympathise with the 
wish to call attention to it. They know, and would 
wish others aiso to know, not by hearsay, but by 

172 DANTE. 

experience, the power of that wonderful poem. They 
know its austere, yet subduing beauty ; they know 
what force there is, in its free and earnest and solemn 
verse, to strengthen, to tranquillisc, to console. It 
is a small thing that it has the secret of Nature and 
Man ; that a few keen words have opened their eyes 
to new sights in earth, and sea, and sky ; have taught 
them new mysteries of sound ; have made them re- 
cognise, in distinct image or thouglit, fugitive feelings, 
or their unheeded expression, by look, or gesture, or 
motion ; that it has enriched the public and collective 
memory of society with new instances, never to be 
lost, of human feeling and fortune ; has charmed 
ear and mind by the music of its stately march, and 
the variety and completeness of its plan. But, besides 
this, they know how often its seriousness has put to 
shame their trifling, its magnanimity their faint- 
heartedness, its living energy their indolence, its 
stern and sad grandeur rebuked low thoughts, its 
thrilling tenderness overcome sullcnness and as- 
suaged distress, its strong faith quelled despair and 
soothed perplexity, its vast grasp imparted the 
sense of harmony to the view of clashing truths. 
They know how often they have found, in times 
of trouble, if not light, at least that deep sense of 
reality, permanent, though unseen, which is more 

DANTE. 173 

than light can always give — in the view which it 
has suggested to them of the judgments and the 
love of God * 

* It is necessary to state, that these remarks were written before 
we had seen the chapter on Dante in " Italy, past and present, by 
L. Ivlariotti." Had we become acquainted with it earlier, we should 
have had to refer to it often, in the way of acknowledgment, and as 
often in the way of strong protest. 




I. — It veiy greatly concerns all men on whom a 
higher nature has impressed*^ the love of truth, that, 
as they have been enriched by the labour of those 
before them, so they also should labour for those 
that are to come after them, to the end that posterity 
may receive from them an addition to its wealth. 
For he is far astray from his duty — let him not 
doubt it — who, having been trained in the lessons 
of public business, cares not himself to contribute 
aught to the public good. He is no "tree planted 
by the water-side, that bringeth forth his fruit in 
due season." He is rather the devouring whirlpool, 
ever engulfing, but restoring nothing. Pondering, 
therefore, often on these things, lest some day I 

* ii 

'/« gtios va-itatis amorem natura stipe7'ior impressifj' On the 
ancient idea (Aug. De Trin. iii. 4; Aquin. Si/mm. i, 66, 3) of the 
influence or impression of higlier natures on lower, cf. Farad, i. 103, 
X. 29. 



should have to answer the charge of the talent 
buried in the earth, I desire not only to show the 
budding promise, but also to bear fruit for the 
general good, and to set forth truths by others 
unattempted. For what fruit can he be said to 
bear who should go about to demonstrate again 
some theorem of Euclid ? or when Aristotle has 
shown us what happiness is, should show it to us 
once more ? or when Cicero has been the apologist 
of old age, should a second time undertake its 
defence ? Such squandering of labour would only 
engender weariness and not profit. 

But seeing that among other truths, ill-understood 
yet profitable, the knowledge touching temporal 
monarchy is at once most profitable and most 
obscure, and that because it has no immediate 
reference to worldly gain it is left unexplored by 
all, therefore it is my purpose to draw it forth from 
its hiding-places, as well that I may spend my toil 
for the benefit of the world, as that I may be the 
first to win the prize of so great an achievement 
to my own glory. The work indeed is difficult, and 
I am attempting what is beyond my strength ; but I 
trust not in my own powers, but in the light of that 
Bountiful Giver, " Who giveth to all men liberally, 
and upbraideth not." 

n. — First, therefore, we must see what is it 


that is called Temporal Monarchy, in its idea, so 
to speak, and according to its purpose. Temporal 
Monarchy, then, or, as men call it, the Empire, is 
the government of one prince above all men in time, 
or in those things and over those things which are 
measured by time. Three great questions are asked 
concerning it. First, there is the doubt and the ques- 
tion, is it necessary for the welfare of the w^orld .'* 
Secondly, did the Roman people take to itself by 
right the office of Monarchy ? And thirdly, does 
the authority of Monarchy come from God directly, 
or only from some other minister or vicar of God } 

Now, since every truth, which is not itself a first 
principle, becomes manifest from the truth of some 
first principle, it is therefore necessary in every inquiry 
to have a knowledge of the first principle involved, 
to which by analysis we may go back for the certaint}' 
of all the propositions which are afterwards accepted. 
And since this treatise is an inquiry, we must begin 
by examining the first principle on the strength of 
which deductions are to rest. It must be understood 
then that there are certain things which, since they 
are not subject to our power, are matters of specu- 
lation, but not of action : such are Mathematics and 
Physics, and things divine. But there are some things 
which, since they are subject to our power, are matters 
of action as well as of speculation, and in them, we 


do not act for the sake of speculation, but contrari- 
wise : for in such things action is the end. Now, 
since the matter which we have in hand has to do 
with states, nay, with the very origin and principle 
of good forms of government, and since all that 
concerns states is subject to our power, it is manifest 
that our subject is not in the first place speculation, 
but action. And again, since in matters of action 
the end sought is the first principle and cause of all 
(for that it is which first moves the agent to act), it 
follows that all our method concerning the means 
which are set to gain the end must be taken from 
the end. For there will be one way of cutting wood 
to build a house, and another to build a ship. That 
therefore, if it exists, which is the ultimate end for 
the universal civil order of mankind, will be the first 
principle from which all the truth of our future de- 
ductions will be sufficiently manifest. But it is folly 
to think that there is an end for this and for that 
particular civil order, and yet not one end for all. 

III. — Now, therefore, we must see what is the 
end of the whole civil order of men ; and when 
we have found this, then, as the Philosopher* says 
in his book to Nicomachus,t the half of our 

* The common title for Aristotle from the first half of the thirteenth 
century. FzVi? Jourdain, Rechenhes siir Ics traductions d^ Aristote, p. 212^ 

t Arist. Ethics^ i. 7. 


labour will have been accomplished. And to render 
the question clearer, we must observe that as there 
is a certain end for which nature makes the thumb, 
and another, different from this, for which she makes 
the whole hand, and again another for which she 
makes the arm, and another different from all for 
which she makes the whole man ; so there is one 
end for which she orders the individual man, and 
another for which she orders the family, and another 
end for the city, and another for the kingdom, and 
finally an ultimate one for which the Everlasting 
God, by His art which is nature, brings into being 
the whole human race. And this is what we seek 
as a first principle to guide our Vv'hole inquiry. 

Let it then be understood that God and nature 
make nothing to be idle. Whatever comes into 
being, exists for some operation or working. For no 
created essence is an ultimate end in the creator's 
purpose, so far as he is a creator, but rather the 
proper operation of that essence. Therefore it follows 
that the operation does not exist for the sake of the 
essence, but the essence for the sake of the operation. 

There is therefore a certain proper operation 
of the whole body of human kind, for which this 
whole body of men in all its multitudes is ordered 
and constituted, but to which no one man, nor single 
family, nor single neighbourhood, nor single city, nor 


particular kingdom can attain. What this is will 
be manifest, if we can find what is the final and 
characteristic capacity of humanity as a whole. I 
say then that no quality vvhich is shared by different 
species of things is the distinguishing capacity of 
any one of them. For were it so, since this capacity 
is that which makes each species what it is, it 
would folloAv that one essence would be specifically 
distributed to many species, which is impossible. 
Therefore the ultimate quality of men is not exist- 
ence, taken simply ; for the elements share therein. 
Nor is it existence under certain conditions ;* for 
we find this in minerals too. Nor is it existence 
with life ; for plants too have life. Nor is it per- 
cipient existence ; for brutes share in this power- 
It is to be percipientf with the possibility of under- 
standing, for this quality falls to the lot of none 
but man, either above or below him. For though 
there are other beings which with him have under- 
standing, yet this understanding is not, as man's, 
capable of development. For such beings are only 
certain intellectual natures, and not anything besides, 
and their being is nothing other than to understand ; 
v/hich is without interruption, otherwise they would 
not be eternal. It is plain, therefore, that the dis- 

* " Esse compkxionatum." 
•f* ^^ Apprehensivuin per intellechim possibilem" V. Aqiihi. I. 79. i, 2, 10. 


tinguishing quality of humanity is the faculty or the 
power of understanding. 

And because this faculty cannot be realised in act 
in its entirety at one time by a single man, nor by any 
of the individual societies which we have marked, 
therefore there must be multitude in the human 
race, in order to realise it : just as it is necessary 
that there should be a multitude of things which 
can be brought into being * so that the capacity of the 
primal matter for being acted on may be ever open 
to what acts on it. For if this were not so, we could 
speak of a capacity apart from its substance, which 
is impossible. And with this opinion Averroes, in 
his comment on [Aristotle's] treatise on the Soul, 
agrees. For the capacity for understanding, of 
which I speak, is concerned not only with universal 
forms or species, but also, by a kind of exten- 
sion, with particular ones. Therefore it is com- 
monly said that the speculative understanding 
becomes practical by extension ; and then its end 
is to do and to make. This I say in reference to 
things which may be done, which are regulated by 
political wisdom, and in reference to things which 
may be viade, which are regulated by art ; all which 
things wait as handmaidens on the speculative in- 

* " Generabilium.^ 

1 84 DE MONARCH! A. 

tellect, as on that best good, for which the Primal 
Goodness created the human race. Hence the saying 
of the Pohtics* that those who are strong in under- 
standing are the natural rulers of others. 

IV. — It has thus been sufficiently set forth that 
the proper work of the human race, taken as a 
whole, is to set in action the whole capacity of that 
understanding which is capable of development : 
first in the way of speculation, and then, by its exten- 
sion, in the way of action. And seeing that what is 
true of a part is true also of the whole, and that it is by 
rest and quiet that the individual man becomes perfect 
in wisdom and prudence ; so the human race, by living 
in the calm and tranquillity of peace, applies itself 
most freely and easily to its proper work ; a work 
which, according to the saying; " Thou hast made him 
a little lower than the angels," is almost divine. Whence 
it is manifest that of all things that are ordered to 
secure blessings to men, peace is the best. And hence 
the word which sounded to the shepherds from above 
was not riches, nor pleasure, nor honour, nor length 
of life, nor health, nor strength, nor beauty ; but peace. 
For the heavenly host said : " Glory to God in the 
highest, and on earth, peace to men of goodAvill." 
Therefore also, " Peace be with you," was the saluta- 

• Arist. Folit. i. 5, 6.— (W.) 


tion of the Saviour of mankind. F'or it behoved 
Him, who was the greatest of saviours, to utter in 
His greeting the greatest of saving blessings. And 
this custom His disciples too chose to preserve ; and 
Paul also did the same in his greetings, as may appear 
manifest to all. 

Now that we have declared these matters. It is 
plain what is the better, nay the best, way in which 
mankind may attain to do its proper w^ork. And 
consequently we have seen the readiest means by 
which to arrive at the point, for which all our works 
are ordered, as their ultimate end ; namely, the^ 
universal peace, which is to be assumed as the first 
principle for our deductions. As we said, this assump- 
tion was necessary, for it is as a sign-post to us, that 
into it we may resolve all that has to be proved, as 
into a most manifest truth. 

V. — As therefore we have already said, there are 
three doubts, and these doubts suggest three questions, 
concerning Temporal Monarchy, which in more 
common speech is called the Empire ; and our purpose 
is, as we explained, to inquire concerning these ques- 
tions in their given order, and starting from the first 
principle which we have just laid down. The first 
question, then, is whether Temporal Monarchy is neces- 
sary for the welfare of the world ; and that it is neces- 
sary can, I think, be shown by the strongest and most 


manifest arguments ; for nothing, either of reason or 
of authority, opposes me. Let us first take the autho- 
rity of the Philosopher in his Politics.* There, on his 
venerable authority, it is said that Avhere a number of 
things are arranged to attain an end, it behoves one 
of them to regulate or govern the others, and the 
others to submit. And it is not only the authority of 
his illustrious name which makes this worthy of belief, 
but also reason, instancing particulars. 

If we take the case of a single man, we shall see 
the same rule manifested in him : all his powers are 
ordered to gain happiness ; but his understanding is 
what regulates and governs all the others ; and other- 
wise he would never attain to happiness. Again, take 
a single household : its end is to fit the members 
thereof to live well ; but there must be one to regulate 
and rule it, who is called the father of the family, or, 
it may be, one who holds his office. As the Philosopher 
says : " Every house is ruled by the oldest."t And, as 
Homer says, it is his duty to make rules and laws for 
the rest. Hence the proverbial curse: "Maystthou 
have an equal at home."J Take a single village : its 
end is suitable assistance as regards persons and 

* Arist. Polit. i. 5. 

t Ibid. i. 2, 6, quoting Horn. Od. ix. 114. — (W.) 
J Ficinus translates : " Uno proverbio che quasi bestemmiando dice, 
Abbi pari in casa." 


goods, but one in it must be the ruler of the rest, 
either set over them by another, or with their consent, 
the head man amongst them. If it be not so, not only 
do its inhabitants fail of this mutual assistance, but 
the whole neighbourhood is sometimes wholly ruined 
by the ambition of many, who each of them wish to 
rule. If, again, we take a single city : its end is to 
secure a good and sufficient life to the citizens ; but 
one man must be ruler in imperfect* as well as in 
good forms of the state. If it is otherwise, not only 
is the end of civil life lost, but the city too ceases to 
be what it was. Lastly, if v^^e take any one kingdom, 
of which the end is the same as that of a city, only 
with greater security for its tranquillit}^, there must 
be one king to rule and govern. For if this is not 
so, not only do his subjects miss their end, but the 
kingdom itself falls to destruction, according to that 
word of the infallible truth : " Every kingdom divided 
against itself shall be brought to desolation." If then 
this holds good in these cases, and in each individual 
thing which is ordered to one certain end, what we 
have laid down is true. 

Nov/ it is plain that the whole human race is 
ordered to gain some end, as has been before shovvn. 
There must, therefore, be one to guide and govern, 

* " Oi/u/zia" =7rapfK^d(7eis. V. Arist. Eih. viii. 10; Pol. iii. 7.— (W.) 


and the proper title for this office is Monarch or 
Emperor, And so it is plain that Monarchy or the 
Empire is necessar}^ for the welfare of the world. 

VI. — And as the part is to the whole, so is the 
order of parts to the order of the whole. The part is 
to the whole, as to an end and highest good which is 
aimed at ; and, therefore, the order in the-parts is to 
the order in the whole, as it is to the end and highest 
good aimed at. Hence we have it that the goodness 
of the order of parts docs not exceed the goodness 
of the order of the whole, but that the converse of this 
is true. Therefore we find a double order in the 
world, namely, the order of parts in relation to each 
other, and their order in relation to some one thing 
which is not a' part (as there is in the order of the 
parts of an army in relation to each other, and then in 
relation to the general) ; and the order of the parts in 
relation to the one thing which is not a part is the 
higher, for it is the end of the other order, and the 
other exists for the sake of it. Therefore, if the 
form of this order is found in the units of the mass of 
mankind, much more may we argue by our syllogism 
that it is found in mankind considered as a whole ; 
for this latter order, or its form, is better. But as was 
said in the preceding chapter, and it is sufficiently 
plain, this order is found in all the units of the mass 
of mankind. Therefore it is, or should be, found in 


the mass considered as a whole. And therefore all 
the parts that we have mentioned, which are com- 
prised in kingdoms, and the kingdoms themselves 
ought to be ordered with reference to one Prince or 
Princedom, that is, with reference to a Monarch or 

VII^ — Further, the whole human race is a whole 
with reference to certain parts, and, with reference 
to another whole, it is a part. For it is a whole with 
reference to particular kingdoms and nations, as we 
have shown; and it is a part with reference to the 
whole universe, as is manifest without argument 
Therefore, as the lower portions of the whole system 
of humanity are well adapted to that whole, so that 
whole is said to be well adapted to the whole which is 
above it. It is only under the rule of one prince that 
the parts of humanity are well adapted to their whole, 
as may easily be collected from what we have said ; 
therefore it is only by being "under one Princedom, or 
the rule of a single Prince, that humanity as a whole 
is well adapted to the Universe, or its Prince, who is 
the One God. And it therefore follows that Monarchy- 
is necessary for the Avelfare of the world. 

"^H. — And all is well and at its best which 
exists according to the will of the first agent, who is 
God. This is self-evident, except to those who deny 
that the divine goodness attains to absolute perfection. 


Now, it is the intention of God that all created things 
should represent the likeness of God, so far as their 
proper nature will admit. Therefore was it said : " Let 
us make man in our image, after our likeness." And 
though it could not be said that the lower part of 
creation was made in the image of God, yet all things 
may be said to be after His likeness, for what is the 
Avhole universe but the footprint of the divine good- 
ness .'' The human race, therefore, is well, nay at its best 
state, Vv'^hen, so far as can be, it is made like unto God. 
But the human race is then most made like unto God 
when most it is one ; for the true principle of oneness 
is in Him alone. Wherefore it is written : " Hear, O 
Israel; the Lord thy God is one God." But the 
race of man is most one when it is united wholly 
in one body, and it is evident that this cannot be, 
except when it is subject to one prince. Therefore 
in this subjection mankind is most made like unto 
God, and, in consequence, such a subjection is in 
accordance with the divine intention, and it is indeed 
well and best for man when this is so, as we showed 
at the beginning of this chapter. 

IX. — Again, things are well and at their best with 
every son when he follows, so far as by his proper nature 
he can, the footsteps of a perfect father. Mankind is the 
son of heaven, which is most perfect in all its works; 
for it is "man and the sun which produce man," accord- 


ing to the second book on Natural Learning* The 
human race, therefore, is at its best when it imitates the 
movements of heaven, so far as human nature allows. 
Andsincethewholeheavenis regulated with one motion, 
to wit, that of the primum mobile, and by one mover, 
who is God, in all its parts, movements, and movers 
(and this human reason readily seizes from science) ; 
therefore, if our argument be correct, the human race 
is at its best state when, both in its movements, and 
in regard to those who move it, it is regulated by a 
single Prince, as by the single movement of heaven, 
and by_one law, as by the single motion. Therefore 
it is evidently necessary for the welfare of the world 
for there to be a Monarchy, or single Princedom, 
which men call the Empire. And this thought did 
Boethius breathe when he said : " Oh happy race of 
men, if your hearts are ruled by the love which rules 
the heaven. "-f- 

X. — Wherever there is controversy, there ought 
to be judgment, otherwise there would be imper- 
fection without its proper remedy,^ which is im- 
possible ; for God and Nature, in things necessary, do 
not fail in their provisions. But it is manifest that there 
may be controversy between any two princes, where the 

* Arist. Phys. Ansc. ii. 2.— (W.) t De Consol. Phil. ii. met. 8.— (W.) 
X ' ' Sine propno pe7-fectivo. ' ' 


one Is not subject to the other, either from the fault of 
themselves, or even of their subjects. Therefore between 
them there should be means of judgment. And since, 
when one is not subject to the other, he cannot be 
judged by the other (for there is no rule of equals 
over equals), there must be a third prince of wider 
jurisdiction, within the circle of whose laws both may- 
come. Either he will or he will not be a Monarch. 
If he is, we have what we sought ; if not, then this one 
again will have an equal, who is not subject to his 
jurisdiction, and then again we have need of a third. 
And so we must either go on to infinity, which is im- 
possible, or we must come to that judge who is first 
and highest ; by whose judgment all controversies 
shall be either directly or indirectly decided ; and he 
will be Monarch or Emperor. ]\Ionarchy is therefore 
necessary to the world, and this the Philosopher sav; 
when he said : " The world is not intended to be dis- 
posed in evil order ; ' in a multitude of rulers there 
is evil, therefore let there be one prince.' "* 

XL — Further, the world is ordered best when 
justice is most paramount therein : whence Virgil, 
washing to celebrate that age, which in his own 
time seemed to be arising, sang in Mvs, Bucolics :-\ "Now 

Arist. Metaphys. xii. lO, who quotes from Horn, //. ii. 204.— (W.) 
t Ed. iv. 6. 


doth the Virgin return, and the kingdom of Saturn." 
For Justice was named " the Virgin," and also Astraea. 
The kingdom of Saturn was the good time, which 
they also called the Golden Age. But Justice is 
paramount only in a Monarchy, and therefore a 
?\Ionarchy, that is, the Empire, is needed if the 
world is to be ordered for the best. For better 
proof of this assum.ption it must be recognised that 
Justice, considered in itself, and in its proper nature, 
is a certain rightness or rule of conduct, which re- 
jects on either side all that deviates from it. It is 
like whiteness considered as an abstraction, not 
admitting of degrees. For there are certain forms of 
this sort which belong to things compounded, and 
exist themselves in a simple and unchanging essence, 
as * the Master of the Six Principles rightly says. Yet 
qualities of this sort admit of degrees on the part of 
their subjects with which they arc connected, accord- 
ing as in their subjects more or less of their contraries 
is mingled. Justice, therefore, is strongest in man, 
both as a state of mind and in practice, where there is 
least admixture of its opposite ; and then we may say 
of it, in the words of the Philosopher, that " neither the 

* Gilbert de la Porree, tiiS4. The "Six Principles" were the last 
six of the Ten Categories of Aristotle, and the book became one of the 
chief elementary logic-books of the Middle Ages. Vide Haureau, 
Philosophie Scolasdque, i^ Partie, p. 452. 



star of morning nor of evening is so admirable."* 
For then is it like Phoebe, when she looks across 
the heavens at her brother from the purple of the 
morning calm. 

Now Justice, as a state of mind,t has a force which 
opposes it in the will ; for where the will of a man is 
not pure from all desire, then, though there be Justice, 
yet there is not Justice in all its ideal brightness ; for 
there is in that man, however little, yet in some 
degree, an opposing force ; and therefore they, who 
would work on the feelingsj of a judge, are rightly 
repelled. But, in practice, § Justice finds an opposing 
force in what men are able to do. For, seeing that it 
is a virtue regulating our conduct towards other men, 
how shall any act according to Justice if he has not 
the power of rendering to all their due .'' Therefore it 
is plain that the operation of Justice will be wide in 
proportion to the power of the just man. 

From this let us argue : Justice is strongest in the 
world when it is in one who is most willing and most 
powerful ; only the Monarch is this ; therefore, only 
when Justice is in the Monarch is it strongest in the 
world. This pro-syllogism goes on through the 
second figure, with an involved negative, and is like 

* From Arist. Ethics, v. I. — (W.) + ^^ Quantum ad hahihim. 
X '^ Fassionare." § " Quantum ad operatiottem." 


this : All B is A ; only C is A ; therefore only C is B : 
or all B is A ; nothing but C is A ; therefore nothing 
but C is B. 

Our previous explanation makes the first pro- 
position apparent : the second is proved thus, first in 
regard to will, and secondly in regard to power. 
First it must be observed that the strongest opponent 
of Justice is Appetite, as Aristotle intimates in the 
fifth book to Nicomachus.* Remove Appetite alto- 
gether, and there remains nothing adverse to Justice ; 
and therefore it is the opinion of the Philosopher 
that nothing should be left to the judge, if it can be 
decided by law ;t and this ought to be done for fear 
of Appetite, which easily perverts men's minds. Where, 
then, there is nothing to be wished for, there can be 
no Appetite, for the passions cannot exist if their 
objects are destroyed. But the Monarch has nothing 
to desire, for his jurisdiction is bounded only by the 
ocean ; and this is not the case with other princes, 
whose kingdoms are bounded by those of their neigh- 
bours ; as, for instance, the kingdom of Castile is 
bounded by the kingdom of Aragon. From which 
it follows that the Monarch is able to be the purest 
embodiment of Justice among men. 

Further, as Appetite in some degree, however 

* Eth. V. 2.— (W.) + Rhdoric, i. i.— (Vv'.) 

O 2 


small, clouds the habit of Justice, so does Charity, or 
rightly-directed affection, sharpen and enlighten it. 
In whomsoever, therefore, rightly-directed affection 
may chiefly dwell, in him may Justice best have 
place : and of this sort is the Monarch, Therefore 
where a Monarch reigns Justice is, or at least may 
be, strongest. That rightly-directed affections work- 
as we have said, we may see thus : Appetite, scorn- 
ing* what in itself belongs to man, seeks for other 
things outside him ; but Charity sets aside all else, 
and seeks God and man, and consequently the good 
of man. And since of all the good things that men 
can have the greatest is to live in peace (as we have 
already said), and as it is Justice which most chiefly 
brings peace, therefore Charity will chiefly make 
Justice strong, and the more so in proportion to its 
own strength. 

And it is clear that right affections ought to exist 
in a Monarch more than in any other man for this 
reason : the object of love is the more loved the 
nearer it is to himi that loves ; but men are nearer 
to a Monarch than they are to other princes ; there- 
fore it is by a Monarch that they are, or ought to be, 
most loved. The first proposition is manifest if the 
nature of activity and passivity are considered. The 

* ' 'Fefseitas hoininum " = ' 'facultas per se subsistmdi. " — Ducange. 


second is manifest because men are brought near to a 
Monarch in their totality,* but to other princes only 
partially ; and it is only by means of the ]\Ionarch 
that men are brought near other princes at all. Thus 
the ]\Ionarch cares for all primarily and directly, 
whereas other princes only care for their subjects 
through the jMonarch, and because their care for 
their subjects descends from the supreme care of the 

Again, a cause has the nature of a cause in pro- 
portion as it is more universal ; for the lower cause is 
such only on account of the higher one, as appears 
from the Treatise on Causes.f And, in proportion as 
a cause is really a cause, it loves Avhat it effects ; for 
such love follows the cause by itself. Now IMonarchy 
is the most universal cause of men living well, for 
other princes work only through the Monarch, as 
we have said ; and it therefore follows that it is the 
Monarch who will most chiefly love the good of men. 
But that in practice the Monarch is most disposed to 
work Justice, who can doubt, except indeed a man 

* ^' Seaindum totum." 

+ A compilation from the Arabians, or perhaps Aristotle or Proclus, 
which, under various names, passed for a work of Aristotle, and is 
ascribed by Albert the Great to a certain David the Jew. It is quoted 
in the twelfth century, and was commented on by Albert and Thomas 
Aquinas. Vide Jourdain, Recherches siir les traductions d'Aristote (1842), 
pp. 114, 184, 193, 195, 445 ; Philosophie de S. Thomas (185S), i. 94. 


who understands not the meaning of the word ? for if 
he be really a Monarch he cannot have enemies. 

The principle assumed being therefore sufficiently- 
explained^ the conclusion is certain, to wit, that a 
Monarch is necessary that the world may be ordered 
for the best, 

XIL— Again, the human race is ordered best when 
it is most free. This will be manifest if we see what 
is the principle of freedom. It must be understood 
that the first principle of our freedom is freedom 
of \vill, which many have in their mouth, but few 
indeed understand. For they come so far as to say 
that the freedom of the will means a free judgment 
concerning will. And this is true. But what is 
meant by the words is far from them : and they do 
just as our logicians do all day long with certain 
propositions which are set as examples in the books 
of logic^ as that, "the three angles of a triangle are 
equal to two right angles."* 

Therefore I say that Judgment is between Appre- 
hension and Appetite. First, a man apprehends a 
thing ; then he judges it to be good or bad ; then he 
pursues or avoids it accordingly. If therefore the 
Judgment guides the Appetite wholly, and in no way 

* Cf. Arist. Magna Jlloral, i. i : "It would be absurd if a man, 
wishing to prove that the angles of a triangle were equal to two right 
angles, assumed as his principle that the soul is immortal." — WiTTE. 


is forestalled by the Appetite, then is the Judgment 
free. But if the Appetite in any way at all forestalls 
the Judgment and guides it, then the Judgment cannot 
be free : it is not its own : it is captive to another 
power. Therefore the brute beasts cannot have 
freedom of Judgment ; for in them the Appetite 
always forestalls the Judgment. Therefore, too, it is 
that intellectual beings whose wills are unchangeable, 
and souls wdiich are separate from the body, which 
have gone hence in peace, do not lose the freedom 
of their wills, because their wishes cannot change ; 
nay, it is in full strength and completeness that their 
wills are free.* 

It is therefore again manifest that this liberty, or 
this principle of all our liberty, is the greatest gift 
bestowed by God on mankind : by it alone we gain 
happinessf as men : by it alone we gain happiness 
elsewhere as gods. J But if this is so, who will say that 
human kind is not in its best state, when it can most 
use this principle .'' But he who lives under a Monarchy 
is most free. Therefore let it be understood that he is 
free who exists not for another's sake but for his own, 
as the Philosopher, in his Treatise of simple Being, 
thought.§ For everything which exists for the sake 

* Cf. Purgatorio, xviii. 22. — "Witte. + '■^ Feliciiamur.'' 

X "■UtDii-" cf. Paradise, v. 19. — WiTTE. 
§ I.e. Metaphys. i, 2.— (W.) 


of some other thing, is necessitated by that other 
thing-, as a road has to run to its ordained end. Men 
exist for themselves, and not at the pleasure of 
others, only if a Monarch rules ; for then only are 
the perverted forms of government set right, while 
democracies, oligarchies, and tyrannies, drive man- 
kind into slavery, as is obvious to any who goes 
about among them all ; and public power* is in the 
hands of kings and aristocracies, which they call the 
rule of the best, and champions of popular liberty. 
And because the Monarch loves his subjects much, 
as we have seen, he wishes all men to be good, which 
cannot be the case in perverted forms of govern - 
ment:t therefore the Philosopher says, in his Politics \% 
" In the bad state the good man is a bad citizen, but 
in a good state the two coincide." Good states in 
this way aim at liberty, that in them men may live 
for themselves. The citizens exist not for the good 
of consuls, nor the nation for the good of its king ; 
but the consuls for the good of the citizens, and the 
king for the good of his nation. For as the laws 
are made to suit the state, and not the state to suit 
the laws, so those who live under the laws are not 
ordered for the legislator, but he for them ;§ as also 

^'' Politizant reges." + " Oblique politisantes." 

X Polit. iii. 4. § Ibid. iii. 16, 17.— (W.) 


the Philosopher holds, in what he has left us on the 
present subject. Hence, too, it is clear that although 
the king or the consul rule over the other citizens in 
respect of the means ^ of government, yet in respect 
of the end of government they are the servants of 
the citizens, and especially the Monarch, who, without 
doubt, must be held the servant of all. Thus it 
becomes clear that the Monarch is bound by the end 
appointed to himself in making his laws. Therefore 
mankin d- is best off under a Monarchy, and hence it 
follows that Monarchy is necessary for the welfare of 
the world. 

Xm. — Further, he who can be best fitted to rule 
can best fit others. For in every action the main end 
of the agent, whether acting by necessity of nature or 
voluntarily, is to unfold his own likeness ; and there- 
fore every agent, so far as he is of this sort, delights in 
action. For since all that is desires its own existence, 
and since the agent in acting enlarges his own existence 
in some way, delight follows action of necessity ; for 
delight is inseparable from gaining what is desired. 
Nothing therefore acts unless it is of such sort as that 
which is acted on ought to be ; therefore the Philosopher 
said in his Metaphysics,"^ " Everything which becomes 

* " Resfecfu via; . . . respcctu tomini" 
t Meiaphys. ix. 8.— (W.) 


actual from being potential, becomes so by means of 
something actual of the same kind," and were any- 
thing to try to act in any other way it would fail. 
Hence we may overthrow the error of those who 
think to form the moral character of others by speak- 
ing well and doing ill ; forgetting that the hands of 
Jacob were more persuasive with his father than his 
v/ords, though his hands deceived and his voice spake 
truth. Hence the Philosopher, to Nicomachus : " In 
matters of feeling and action, words are less to be 
trusted than deeds."* And therefore God said to 
David in his sin, " What hast thou to do to declare my 
statutes?" as though He would say, "Thou speakest 
in vain, for thou art different from what thou speakest." 
Hence it may be gathered that he needs to be fitted 
for his work in the best way who wishes to fit others. 
But the Monarch is the only one who can be 
fitted in the best possible way to govern. Which is 
thus proved : Each thing is the more easily and 
perfectly qualified for any habit, or actual work, 
the less there is in it of what is contrary to such 
a disposition. Therefore, they who have never even 
heard of philosophy, arrive at a habit of truth in 
philosophy more easily and completely than those 
who have listened to it at odd times, and are filled with 

Ai-ist. Eth. X. I.— (W.) 


false opinions. For Vv'liich reason Galen well says : 
" Such as these require double time to acquire 
knowledge."* A Monarch then has nothing to tempt 
appetite, or, at least, less than any other man, as 
we have shown before ; vrhereas other princes have 
much ; and appetite is the only corrupter of righteous- 
ness, and the only impediment to justice. A Monarch 
therefore is wholly, or at least more than any other 
prince, disposed to govern well : for in him there may be 
judgment and justice more strongly than in any other. 
But these two things are the pre-eminent attributes 
of a maker of law, and of an executor of law, as that 
most holy king David testified when he asked of God 
the things wl'iich were befitting the king, and the 
king's son, saying : " Give the king thy judgment, O 
God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son."t 

We were right then when we assumed that only 
the Monarch can be best fitted to rule. Therefore 
only the Monarch can in the best way fit other men. 
Therefore it follows that Monarchy is necessary for 
the best ordering of the world, 

XIY.— And where a thing can be done by one agent, 
it is better to do it by one than by several, for this 
reason : Let it be possible to do a certain thing by 

* De cog7iosc. animi moy-bis, c, lo. — ^YITTE. 

* Cf. Farad, xiii. 95.— (^Y.) 


means of A, and also by means of A and B. If 
therefore what is done by A and B can be done by A 
alone, it is useless to add B ; for nothing follows from 
the addition ; for the same end which A and B pro- 
duced is produced also by A. All additions of this 
kind are useless and superfluous : all that is super- 
fluous is displeasing to God and Nature : and all that 
is displeasing to God and Nature is bad, as is 
manifest. It therefore follows not only that it is 
better that a thing should be done by one than by 
many agents, if it is possible to produce the effect by 
one ; but also that to produce the effect by one is 
good, and to produce it by many is simply bad. 
Again, a thing is said to be better by being nearer to 
the best, and the end has the nature of the best. But 
for a thing to be done by one agent is better, for so 
it comes nearer to the end. And that so it comes 
nearer is manifest ; for let C be the end which may be 
reached by A, or by A and B together : plainly it is 
longer to reach C by A and B together than by B 
alone. But mankind may be governed by one 
supreme prince, who is, the Monarch. 

But it must be carefully observed that when we 
say that mankind may be ruled by one supreme 
prince, we do not mean that the most trifling judg- 
ments for each particular town are to proceed imme- 
diately from him. For municipal laws sometimes fail, 


and need guidance, as the Philosopher shows in his 
fifth book to Nicomachus, when he praises equity.* 
For nations and kingdoms and states have, each of 
them, certain pecuharities which must be regulated by 
different laws. For law is the rule which directs life. 
Thus the Scythians need one rule, for they live beyond 
the seventh climate.t and suffer cold which is almost 
unbearable, from the great inequality of their days and 
nights. But the Garamantes need a diftcrent law, for 
their country is equinoctial, and they cannot wear 
many clothes, from the excessive heat of the air, 
because the day is as long as the darkness of the 
night. But our meaning is that it is in those 
matters which are common to all men, that men 
should be ruled by one Monarch, and be governed 
by a rule common to them all, with a v'iqw to 
their peace. And the individual princes must receive 
this rule of life or law from him, just as the prac- 
tical intellect receives its major premiss from the 
speculative intellect, under which it places its own 
particular premiss, and then draws its particular 

* Eth. V. 14.— (W.) 

+ Ptolemy, the mediaeval authority on geography, divided the known 
world into Kkifiara, zones of slope toward^ the pole, or belts of latitude, 
eight of which from the equinoctial to the mouths of the Tanais and the 
Ripha;an mountains. The seventh "clima" passed over the mouths 
of the Borysthenes. See Mercator's map in Bertius' Theatrmn Geo- 
graphics Veteris (1618), art. "Ptolemy" in Smith's Dictionary of 
Biography, p. 577. Dictionary of Antiquities, art. " Clima." 


conclusion, with a view to action. And it is not only- 
possible for one man to act as we have described ; it 
is necessary that it should proceed from one man only 
to avoid confusion in our first principles. Moses 
him.self wrote in his law that he had acted thus. For 
he took the elders of the tribes of the children of Israel, 
and left to them the lesser judgments, reserving to 
himself such as were more important, and wider in 
their scope ; and the elders carried these wider ones 
to their tribes, according as they were applicable to 
each separate tribe. 

Therefore it is better for the human race to be 
ruled by one than by many, and therefore there 
should be a Monarch, vvho is a single prince ; and 
if it is better, it is more acceptable to God, since 
God always wills what is best. And since of these 
two ways of government the one is not only the 
better, but the best of all, it follows not only that 
this one is more acceptable to God as between one 
and many, but that it is the most acceptable. There- 
fore it is best for the human race to be governed by- 
one man ; and Monarchy is necessary for the welfare 
of the world. 

XV. — I say also that Being, and Unity, and the 
Good come in order after the fifth mode of priority.* 

* Arist. Categ., e.g.: Priority is said in five ways — I. First in i'/w^'. 
2. First in presupposition. 3. First in order. 4. First in excellence. 
5. First in logical sequence. 


For Being comes by nature before Unity, and Unity 
before Good. Where Being is most, there Unity is 
greatest ; and where Unity is greatest, there Good is 
also greatest ; and in proportion as anything is far 
from Being in its highest form, is it far from Unity, 
and therefore from Good. Therefore in every kind of 
thmgs, that which is most one is best, as the Philo- 
sopher holds in the treatise about simple Being. There- 
fore it appears that to be one is the root of Good, and 
to be many the root of Evil. Therefore, Pythagoras in 
his parallel tables placed the one, or Unity, under the 
line of good, and the many under the line of Evil ; as 
appears from the first book of the Metap/iysics.'^- 
Hence we may see that to sin is nothing else than to 
pass on from the one which we despise and to seek 
many things, as the Psalmist saw when he said : 
" By the fruit of their corn and Avine and oil, are they 

Hence it is plain that whatever is good, is good for 
this reason, that it consists in unity. And because 
concord is a good thing in so far as it is concord, it 
is manifest that it consists in a certain unity, as its 
proper root, the nature of which will appear if we find 
the real nature of concord. Concord then is the 
uniform motion of many wills ; and hence it appears 

* V. Arist. Mdapk. i, 5 ; Et/iics i. 4 ; cf. Ritter and Preller, 
Hist. Philos. sec. 105 f Ps. iv, 8 (vulg.). 


that a unity of wills, by which is meant their uniform 
motion, is the root of concord, nay, concord itself 
For as we should say that many clods of earth are 
concordant, because that they all gravitate together 
towards the centre ; and that many flames are con- 
cordant because that they all ascend together towards 
thecircumference,If they did this of their own free will, 
so we say that many men are in concord because that 
they are all moved together, as regards their willing, 
to one thing, which one thing is formally in their 
wills just as there is one quality formally in the clods 
of earth, that is gravity, and one in the flame of fire, 
that is lightness. For the force of willing is a certain 
power ; but the quality of good which it apprehends 
is its form ; which form, like as others, being one is 
multiplied in itself, according to the multiplication 
of the matters which receive it, as the soul, and 
numbers, and other forms which belong to what is 

To explain our assumption as we proposed, let us 
argue thus : All concord depends on unity which is in 
wills ; the human race, when it is at its best, is a 
kind of concord ; for as one man at his best is a kind 
of concord, and as the like is true of the family, the 
city, and the kingdom ; so is it of the whole human 

* On the scholastic doctrine of forms, v. Thorn, Aquin, Summ. 
I. 105, art. 4. 


race. Therefore the human race at its best depends 
on the unity which is in will. But this cannot be 
. unless there be one will to be the single mistress and 
regulating influence of all the rest. For the wills of 
men, on account of the blandishments of youth, 
require one to direct them, as Aristotle shows in the 
tenth book of his Ethics.^ And this cannot be unless 
there is one prince o^'-er all, whose will shall be the 
mistress and regulating influence of all the others. 
But if all these conclusions be true, as they are, it is 
necessary f or t he highest welfare of the human race 
t hat there should be a Monarch in the world; and 
therefore Monarchy is necessary for the good of the 

XVI. — To all these reasons alleged above a 
memorable experience adds its confirmation. I mean 
that condition of mankind which the Son of God, 
when, for the salvation of man. He was about to 
put on man, either waited for, or, at the moment 
when He willed, Himself so ordered. For if, from 
the fall of our first parents, which was the turning 
point at which all our going astray began, we carry 
our thoughts over the distribution of the human race 
and the order of its times, we shall find that never but 
under the divine Augustus, who was sole ruler, and 

♦ Arist. Eth. x. 5.— (W.) 


under whom a perfect Monarchy existed, was the 
world everywhere quiet. And that then the human 
race v;as happy in the tranquilhty of universal peace, 
this is the witness of all writers of history ; this is the 
witness of famous poets ; this, too, he who wrote the 
story of the "meekness and gentleness of Christ" has 
thought fit to attest. And last of all, Paul has called 
that most blessed condition "the fulness of the times," 
For then, indeed, time was full, and all the things of 
time ; because no office belonging to our felicity 
wanted its minister. But how the world has fared 
since that '' seamless robe " has suffered rending by 
the talons of ambition, we may read in books ; would 
that we might not see it with our eyes. Oh, race of 
mankind ! what storms must toss thee, v.-hat losses 
must thou endure, Avhat shipwrecks must buffet thee, 
as long as thou, a beast of many heads, strivest after 
contrary things. Thou art sick in both thy faculties 
of understanding ; thou art sick in thine affections. 
Unanswerable reasons fail to heal thy higher under- 
standing ; the very sight of experience convinces not 
thy lower understanding ; not even the sweetness of 
divine persuasion charms thy affections, when it 
breathes into thee through the music of the Holy 
Ghost : " Behold, how good and how pleasant a thing 
it is, brethren, to dwell together in unitv."* 

Ps. cxxxii. I.— (W.) 


I. — " Why do the heathen rage, and the people 
imagine a vain thing ? The kings of the earth stand up, 
and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord 
and against His anointed, saying : * Let us break their 
bonds asunder, and cast away their cords from us.' " -" 
As we commonly wonder at a new effect, when we have 
never been face to face with its cause ; so, as soon as 
we understand the cause, we look down Avith a kind of 
scorn on those who remain in wonder. I, myself, was 
once filled with wonder that the Roman people had 
become paramount throughout all the earth, with- 
out any to Avithstand them ; for when I looked at 
the thing superficially I thought that this supremacy 
had been obtained, not by any right, but only by 
arms and violence. But after that I had carcfull}- 
and thoroughly examined the matter, when I had 

*P3. ii. i-3.-(W.) 

P 2 


recognised by the most effectual signs that it was 
divine providence that had wrought this, my wonder 
ceased, and a certain scornful contempt has taken its 
place, when I perceive the nations raging against the 
pre-eminence of the Roman people ; when I see the 
people imagining a vain thing, as I of old imagined ; 
when, above all, I grieve that kings and princes 
agree in this one matter only, iji_opposing their 
Lord, a nd_ His one only_Roman Emperor. Wherefore 
in derision, yet not without a touch of sorrow, I can 
cry on behalf of the glorious people and for Caesar, 
together with him who cried on behalf of the Prince 
of heaven : " Why do the heathen rage, and the people 
imagine a vain thing ? The kings of the earth stand 
up, and the rulers take counsel together against the 
Lord and against His anointed." But the love which 
nature implants in us allows not scorn to last for long ; 
but, like the summer sun that when it has dispersed the 
morning clouds shines with full brightness, this love 
prefers to put scorn aside, and to pour forth the 
light which shall set men right. So, then, to break 
the bonds of the ignorance of those kings and princes, 
and to show that mankind is free from their yoke, I 
will comfort myself in company with that most holy 
prophet, whom I follow, taking the words which come 
after : " Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast 
away their yoke from us." 


These two things will be sufficiently performed, if 
I address myself to the second part of the argument, 
and manifest the truth of the question before us. 
For thus, if we show that the Roman Empire is by 
right, not only shall we disperse the clouds of ignor- 
ance from the eyes of those princes who have •\vrongl}- 
seized the helm of public government, falsely imput- 
ing this thing to the Roman people ; but all men 
shall understand that they are free from the yoke 
of these u siurpers. The truth of the question can be 
made clear not only by the light of human reason, 
but also_J)y the ray of God's authority ; and when 
these two coincide, then heaven and earth must agree 
together. Supported, therefore, by this conviction, 
and trusting in the testimony both of reason and of 
authority, I proceed to settle the second question. 

II. — Inquiry concerning the truth of the first 
doubt has been made as accurately as the nature 
of the subject permitted ; we have now to inquire 
concerning the second, which is : Whether the Roman 
people assumed to itself of right the dignity of the 
Empire } And the first thing in this question is to 
find the truth, to which the reasonings concerning it 
may be referred as to their proper first principle. 

It must be recognised, then, that as there are 
three degrees in every art, the mind of the artist, his 
instrument, and the material on v;hich he works, so 


wc may look upon nature in three degrees. For 
nature exists, first, in the mind of the First Agent, who 
is God ; then in heaven ; as in an instrument, by means 
of which the likeness of the Eternal Goodness unfolds 
itself on shapeless* matter. If an artist is perfect 
in his art, and his instrument is perfect, any fault in 
the form of his art must be laid to the badness of 
the material ; and so, since God holds the summit of 
perfection, and since His instrument, which is heaven, 
admits of no failure of its due perfection (which is 
manifest from our philosophy touching heaven), it 
follovv's that whatever fault is to be found in the lower 
world is a fault on the part of the subject matter, and 
is contrary to the intention of God who makes 
nature,t and of heaven ; and if in this lower world 
there is aught that is good, it must be ascribed first to 
the artist, who is God, and then to heaven, the instru- 
ment of God's art, which men call nature; for the 
material, being merely a possibility, can do nothing of 
itself. + 

Hence it is apparent that, since all Right § is good, 
it therefore exists first in the mind of God ; and since 
all that is in the mind of God is God, according to the 

* " Fhiitaji/cm." f "Dei tiattiraufis." 

X Witte refers to Parad. xiii. 67, xxix. 32, i, 127-130. Cf. 
Thom. Aquin. StimiJi. I., q. 66, art. 1-3; q. 1 10, art. 2 ; q. 115, 
art. 3-6. This view satisfied thinkers to the time of Hooker (E. P. 

I. iii. ), but was criticised by Bacon, A'oz'. Org. i. 66. § "Jits." 


saying, "What was made, in Him was life ;"* and as 
God chiefly wishes for what is Himself, it follows that 
Right is the wish of God, so far as it is in Him. And 
since in God the will and the wish are the same, it 
further follows that this Right is the will of God. 
Again it follows that Right in the world is nothing 
elsejhaiijhejikeness of the will of God, and therefore 
whatever does not agree with the divine will cannot 
be Right, and whatever does agree with the divine 
will is Right itself Therefore to ask if a thing be bv 
Right is only to ask in other words if it is what God 
wills. It may therefore be assumed that what God 
wills to see in mankind is to be held as real and true 

Besides we must remember Aristotle's teaching in 
the first book of his Ethics, where he says : " We must 
not seek for certitude in every matter, but only as far 
as the nature of the subject admits." f Therefore our 
arguments from the first principle already found will 
be sufficient, if from manifest evidence and from the 
authority of the wise, we seek for the right of that 
glorious people. The will of God is an invisible 
thing, but " the invisible things of God are seen, being 
understood by the things Vv-hich are made." For 
when the seal is out of sight, the wax, which has its 

*St. Jchni. 3.— (W.) 

\ Eth. i. 7, from Thorn. Aq. Lcct. XI. — (W.) 


impression, gives manifest evidence of it, though it be 
unseen ; nor is it strange that the will of God must 
be sought by signs ; for the human will, except to the 
person himself who wills, is only discerned by signs.* 
III. — My answer then to the question is, that it was 
by right, and not by usurpation, that the Roman people 
assumed to itself the office of Monarchy, or, as men 
call it, the Empire, over all mankind. For in the 
first place it is fitting that the noblest people should 
be preferred to all others ; the Roman people was the 
noblest ; therefore it is fitting that it should be pre- 
ferred to all others. By this reasoning I make my 
proof; for since honour is the reward of goodness, 
and since to be preferred is always honour, therefore 
to be preferred is always the reward of goodness. It 
is plain that men are ennobled for their virtues ; that 
is, for their own virtues or for those of their ancestors ; 
for nobleness is virtue and ancestral wealth, according 
to Aristotle in his Politics ; and according to Juvenal, 
"There is no nobleness of soul but virtue,"t which two 
statements refer to two sorts of nobleness, our own 
and that of our ancestors.^ 

* The image of the wax and seal was a favourite one. V. Parad. 
vii. 68, viii. 127, xiii. 67-75, quoted by Witte, who also refers to the 
Epist. ad lieges, § 8, p. 444, ed. Fraticelli. 

+ Arist. Pol. iii. 12; Juv. viii. 20. — (W.) 

X Witte refers to Dante's commentary on his own Canzone in the 
Convito iv. 3, and the Parad. xvi. i. 


To be preferred, therefore, is, according to reason, 
the fitting reward of the noble. And since rewards 
must be measured by desert, according to that saying 
of the Gospel, "with what measure ye mete, it shall 
be measured to you again ; " therefore to the most 
noble the highest place should be given. The testi- 
monies of the ancients confirm our opinion ; for 
Virgil, our divine poet, testifies throughout his ySneid, 
that men may ever remember it, that the glorious 
king, ^neas, was the father of the Roman people. 
And this Titus Livius, the famous chronicler of the 
deeds of the Romans, confirms in the first part of his 
work, which takes its beginning from the capture of 
Troy. The nobleness of this most unconquerable 
and most pious ancestor not only in regard to his 
own great virtue, but also to that of his forefathers 
and of his wives, the nobleness of whom was combined 
in their descendant by the rightful law of descent, I 
cannot unfold at length ; " I can but touch lightly on 
the outlines of the truth." * 

For the virtue then of /Eneas himself, hear what 
our poet tells us when he introduces Ilioneus in the 
first yEneid, pra}ang thus : "^neas was our king ; in 
justice and piety he has not left a peer, nor any to 
equal him in war." Hear Virgil in the sixth yEncid, 

* " Sed summa sequar vestigia rerum." Virg. ^n. 1. 343 

("fastigia" in all good MSS. and edd.). 


when he speaks of the death of Misenus, who had 
been Hector's attendant in war, and, after Hector's 
death, had attached himself to ^neas ; for there 
Virgil says that Misenus " followed as good a man ; " 
thus comparing yEneas to Hector, whom* Homer ever 
praises above all men, as the Philosopher witnesses in 
his Ethics, in vvhat he vv^ites to Nicomachus on habits 
to be avoided. 

But, as for hereditary virtue, he was ennobled 
from all three continents both by his forefathers and 
his wives. From Asia came his immediate ancestor, 
Assaracus, and others who reigned in Phrygia, which 
is a part of Asia. Therefore Virgil writes in the third 
jEneid: "After that it had seemed good to Heaven 
to overthrow the power of Asia, and the guiltless race 
of Priam." From Europe came the male founder of 
his race, Vv'ho was Dardanus ; from Africa his grand- 
mother Electra, daughter of the great king Atlas, to 
both which things the poet testifies in the eighth 
^neid, where ^neas says to Evander : " Dardanus, 
the father of our city, and its founder, whom the 
Greeks call the son of Atlas and Electra, came to the 
race of Teucer — Electra, whose sire was great Atlas, 
on whose shoulders rests the circle of heaven." But 
in the third yEneid Virgil says that Dardanus drew his 

^n. i. 544, vi. 170. //. xxiv. 258, quoted in Aristotle, Ethics, 


origin from Europe. " There is a land which the 
Greeks have named Hesperia, an ancient land, strong 
and wealthy, where the ^Enotrians dwell ; it is said 
that now their descendants have named the country 
Italy, from the name of their king. There is our 
rightful home ; from that land did Dardanus come." 
That Atlas came from Africa, the mountain called by 
his name, which stands in that continent, bears 
witness ; and Orosius says that it is in Africa in his 
description of the world, where he writes : " Its 
boundary is Mount Atlas, and the islands which are 
called ' the happy isles.' " " Its "—that is, " of Africa," 
of which he was speaking.* 

Likewise I find that by marriage also ^neas was 
ennobled ; his first wife, Creusa, the daughter of king 
Priam, was from Asia, as may be gathered from our 
previous quotations ; and that she was his wife cur 
poet testifies in the third yEneid, where Andromache 
asks ^neas: "What of the boy Ascanius, whom 
Creusa bore to thee, while the ruins of Troy were yet 
smoking } Lives he yet to breathe this air } " t The 
second wife was Dido, the queen and foundress 
of Carthage in Africa. That she was the wife of 
^neas our poet sings in his fourth ySneid, where he 

* ^jz. iii. I, viii. 134, iii. 163 ; Oros. i. 2. — (W.) 
tin. 339. The best MSS. of Virgil omit "peperit fumante 


says of Dido : "No more docs Dido think of love in 
secret. She calls it marriage, and with this name she 
covers her sin." The third wife was Lavinia, the 
mother of Albans and Romans alike, the daughter of 
king Latinus and his heir, if we may trust the testi- 
mony of our poet in his last Aincid, where he intro- 
duces Turnus conquered, praying to ^neas thus : 
" Thou hast conquered, and the Ausonians have seen 
me lift my hands in prayer for mercy ; Lavinia is 
thine."* This last wife was from Italy, the noblest 
region of Europe. 

And now that we have marked these things for 
evidence of our assertion, who will not rest persuaded 
that the father of the Romans, and therefore the 
Romans themselves, were the noblest people under 
heaven .'' Who can fail to see the divine predestina- 
tion shown forth by the double meeting of blood 
from every part of the world in the veins of one 
man } 

IV.— Again, that which is helped to its perfection 
by miracles is willed by God, and therefore it is of 
right. This is manifestly true, for as Thomas says in 
his third book against the Gentiles, "a miracle is 
something done by God beyond the commonly 
established order of things." f And so he proves that 

* ^n. xii. 936. — (W.) t Contra Gait. iii. loi.— (W.) 


God alone can work miracles ; and his proof is 
strengthened by the authority of Moses ; for on the 
occasion of the plague of lice, when the magicians of 
Pharaoh used natural principles artfully, and then 
failed, they said: "This is the finger of God."* A 
miracle therefore being the immediate working of the 
first agent, without the co-operation of any secondary 
agents, as Thomas himself sufficiently proves in the 
book which we have mentioned, it is impious to say 
where a miracle is worked in aid of anything, that 
that thing is not of God, as something well pleasing 
to him, which he foresaw. Therefore it is religious 
to accept the contradictory of this. The Roman 
Empire has been helped to its perfection by miracles ; 
therefore it was willed by God, and consequently was 
and is by right.f 

It is proved by the testimony of illustrious authors 
that God stretched forth His hand to work miracles 
on behalf of the Roman Empire. For Livy, in the 
first part of his work, testifies that a shield fell from 
heaven into the city chosen of God in the time of 
Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, whilst he 
was sacrificing after the manner of the Gentiles. 
Lucan mentions this miracle in the ninth book of his 
Pharsalia, when he is describing the incredible force 

* Exod. vii. 12-15. — (W.) 

+ Witte refers to the Ep. ad Rcgcs, % 8, for the same thought. 


of the South wind. He says : "Surely it was thus, 
while Numa was offering sacrifices, that the shield fell 
with which the chosen patrician youth moves along. 
The South wind, or the North wind, had spoiled the 
people that bore our shields."* And when the Gauls 
had taken all the city, and, under cover of the dark- 
ness, were stealing on to attack the Capitol itself, the 
capture of which was all that remained to destroy 
the very name of Rome, then as Livy, and many 
other illustrious Avriters agree in testifying, a goose, 
which none had seen before, gave a warning note of 
the approach of the Gauls, and aroused the guards to 
defend the Capitol.t And our poet commemorates 
the event in his description of the shield of ^neas in 
the eighth book. " Higher, and in front of the temple 
stood Manlius, the watchman of the Tarpeian keep, 
guarding the rock of the Capitol. The palace stood 
out clear, rough with the thatch which Romulus had 
laid ; here the goose, inlaid in silver, fluttered on the 
portico of gold, as it warned the Romans that the 
Gauls were even now on the threshold.''^ 

And when the nobility of Rome had so fallen 
under the onset of Hannibal, that nothing remained for 
the final destruction of the Roman commonwealth, 
but the Carthaginian assault on the city, Livy tells us 

* Luc. ix. 477.— (W.) + V. Liv. v. 47, and the Conviio, iv. 5-— (^Y.) 
X^En. viii. 652. — (W.) 


in the course of his history of the Punic war, that a 
sudden dreadful storm of hail fell upon them, so that 
the victors could not follow up their victory. =i^ 

"Was not the escape of Cloelia wonderful, a Vv-oman, 
and captive in the power of Porsenna, when she burst 
her bonds, and, by the marvellous help of God, swam 
across the Tiber, as almost all the historians of Rome 
tell us, to the glory of that city ? f 

Thus was it fitting that He should work Avho 
foresaw all things from the beginning, and ordained 
them in the beauty of His order ; so that He, who 
when made visible was to show forth miracles for the 
sake of things invisible, should, whilst invisible, also 
show forth miracles for the sake of things visible. 

V. — Further, whoever works for the good of the 
state, works with Right as his end. This may be 
shown as follows. Right is that proportion of man 
to man as to things, and as to persons, which, v/hen it 
is preserved, preserves society, and when it is destroyed, 
destroys society. J The description of Right in the 
Digest does not give the essence of right, but only 
describes it for practical purposes.§ If therefore our 
definition comprehends well the essence and reason of 

* Liv. xxvi. II ; Oros. iv. 17.— (W.) 

t Liv. ii. 13; Oros. ii. 5.— (W.) % Cf. Aristotle, ^//i:Vj, v. 6. 
§ ''Jus est ars boni et Kqui." L. i, fr. Dig. Dejiistitia et lure, 
i. i.-(W.) 


Right, and if the end of any society is the common 
good of its members, it is necessary that the end of all 
Right is the common good, and it is impossible that 
that can be Right, Avhich does not aim at the common 
good. Therefore Cicero says well in the first book of 
his Rhetoric : " Laws must always be interpreted for 
the good of the state."* If laws do not aim at the good 
of those who live under them, they are laws only in 
name ; in reality they cannot be laws. For it behoves 
them to bind men together for the common good ; 
and Seneca therefore says well in his book " on the four 
virtues : " " Law is the bond of human society."t It is 
therefore plain that whoever aims at the good of the 
state, aims at the end of Right ; and therefore, if the 
Romans aimed at the good of the state, we shall say 
truly that they aimed at the end of Right. 

That in bringing the whole world into subjection, 
they aimed at this good, their deeds declare. They 
renounced all selfishness, a thing always contrary to 
the public weal ; they cherished universal peace 
and liberty ; and that sacred, pious, and glorious 
people are seen to have neglected their own private 
interests that they might follow public objects 
for the good of all mankind. Therefore was it well 

* De Invent, i. 38.— (W.) 

t Not Seneca, but Martin, Bp. of Braga, fsSo,— (W.) V. Biog. 


= 25 

\vrittcn : " The Roman Empire springs from the 
fountain of piety." "i^ 

But seeing that nothing is known of the intention 
of an agent Avho acts by free choice to any but the 
agent himself, save only by external signs, and since 
reasonings must be examined according to the subject 
matter (as has already been said), it will be sufficient 
on this point if we set forth proofs which none can 
doubt, of the intention of the Roman people, both in 
their public bodies and individually. 

Concerning those public bodies by which men 
seem in a way to be bound to the state, the 
authority of Cicero alone, in the second book of the 
De Ojjiciis, will suffice. " So long," he says, " as the 
Em.pire of the republic was maintained not by in- 
justice, but by the benefits which it conferred, we 
fought either for our allies or for the Empire. Our 
wars brought with them an ending which was either 
indulgent, or else was absolutely necessary. All 
kings, peoples, and nations found a port of refuge 
in the Senate. Our magistrates and generals alike 
sought renown by defending our provinces and our 
allies with good faith and with justice. Our govern- 
ment might have been called not so much Empire, as 
a Protectorate of the whole world." So wrote Cicero.f 

* '■^ Romanum imperium defonte nascilur pietatis." — (Witte.) He 
has not been able to trace the saying. t De Off', ii. 8. — (W.) 



Of individuals I will speak shortly. Shall we not 
say that they intended the common good, who by 
hard toil, by poverty, by exile, by bereavement of 
their children, by loss of limb, by sacrifice of their 
lives, endeavoured to build up the public weal ? Did 
not great Cincinnatus leave us a sacred example of 
freely laying down his office at its appointed end, 
when, as Livy tells us, he was taken from the plough 
and made dictator ? And after his victory, after his 
triumph, he gave back his Imperator's sceptre to the 
consuls, and returned to the ploughshare to toil after 
his oxen.* Well did Cicero, arguing against Epicurus, 
in the volume De Finibiis, speak in praise of him, 
mindful of this good deed.f "And so," he says, "our 
ancestors took Cincinnatus from the plough, and 
made him dictator." 

Has not Fabricius left us a lofty example of 
resisting avarice, when, poor man as he v/as, for the 
faith by which he was bound to the republic, he 
laughed to scorn the great weight of gold v/hich was 
offered him, and refused it, scorning it v.-ith words 
which became him well. His story too is confirmed 
by our poet in the sixth yEneid,X v/here he speaks of 
" Fabricius strong in his poverty." 

Has not Camillus left us a memorable example of 

* Liv. vi. 28, 29; Oros. ii. 12.— (W.) 
t II. 4--(^V.) X VI. S44.-(W.) 


obeying the laws instead of seeking our private 
advantage ? For according to Livy he was condemned 
to exile, and then, after that he had delivered his 
country from the invaders, and had restored to Rome 
her own Roman spoils, he yet turned to leave the 
sacred city, though the whole people bade him stay ; 
nor did he return till leave was given him to come 
back by the authority of the Senate. This high- 
souled hero also is commended in the sixth y^neid, 
where our poet speaks of " Camillus, that restored to 
us our standards."* 

Was not Brutus the first to teach that our sons, 
that all others, are second in importance to the liberty 
of our country ? For Livy tells us how, when he was 
consul, he condemned his own sons to death, for that 
they had conspired with the enemy. His glory is 
made new in our poet's sixth book, where he sings 
how "The father shall summon the sons to die for 
the sake of fair liberty, when they seek to stir fresh 


Has not Mucius encouraged us to dare everything 
for our country's sake, when after attacking Porsenna 
unawares, he watched the hand which had missed its 
stroke being burnt, though it was his own, as if he 
were beholding the torment of a foe ? This also Livy 
witnesses to with astonishment. 

» Liv. V. 46; Mn. vi. 826.— (W.) + jEn. vi. S21.— ^W.) 

Q 2 


Add to these those sacred victims the Decii, 

who laid down their Hves by an act of devotion 

for the pubHc safety, whom Livy glorifies in his 

narrative, not as they deserve, but as he v;as able. 

Add to these the self-sacrifice, which words cannot 

express, of Marcus Cato, that staunchest champion of 

true liberty. These were men of whom the one, 

that he might save his country, did not fear the 

shadow of death ; while the other, that he might 

kindle in the world the passionate love of liberty, 

shovv^ed hovv^ dear was liberty, choosing to pass out 

of life a free man, rather than without liberty to 

abide in life.* The glory of all these heroes glows 

afresh in the words of Cicero in his book Dc Finihus ; 

of the Decii he speaks thus : " Publius Decius, the 

head of the Decii, a consul, when he devoted himself 

for the state, and charged straight into the Latin 

host, was he thinking aught of his pleasure, where 

and when he should take it ; — when he knew that he 

had to die at once, and sought that death with more 

eager desire than, according to Epicurus, we should 

seek pleasure } And were it not that his deed had 

justly received its praise, his son would not have done 

* Witte quotes the Conviio, iv. 5, where all these examples are 
recounted, almost in the same language. He compares Parad. vi. 46 
(Cincinnatus), Purgat. xx. 25 (P'ahricms), Parad. vi. 47 (Decii), Purg. i. 
■where Cato guards the approach to Purgatorj'. 


the like in his fourth consulship; nor would his grand- 
son, again, in the war with Pyrrhus, have fallen, a 
consul, in battle ; and, a third time in continuous 
succession in that family, have offered himself a 
victim for the commonwealth." But in the De 
O'fficiis,'^- Cicero says of Cato : " Marcus Cato was 
in no different position from his comrades v>'ho in 
Africa surrendered to Csesar. The others, had they 
slain themselves, would perhaps have been blamed 
for the act, for their life was of less consequence,t 
and their principles were not so strict. But for Cato, 
to whom nature had given incredible firmness and 
who had strengthened this severity by his un- 
remitting constancy to his principles, and who never 
formed a resolution by which he did not abide, he was 
indeed bound to die rather than to look on the face of 
a tyrant." 

VI.— Two things therefore have been made clear: 
first, that whoever aims at the good of the state aims 
at right; J and secondly, that the Roman people in 
bringing the world into subjection, aimed at the 
public weal. Therefore let us argue thus : Whoever 
aims at right, walks according to right ; the Roman 
people in bringing the world into subjection aimed at 

I. 31 (W.), carelessly quoted. + " Levior" si. ^' lenior." 

X ''' Fiiiem juris intcndit." 


right, as vre have made manifest in the preceding 
chapter. Therefore in bringing the world into sub- 
jection the Roman people acted according to right, 
consequently it was by right that they assumed the 
dignity of Empire. 

We reach this conclusion on grounds which are 
manifest to all. It is manifest from this, that who- 
soever aims at right, walks according to right. To 
make this clear, we must mark that everything is 
made to gain a certain end, otherwise it Avould be in 
vain, and as we said before this cannot be. And as 
everything has its proper end, so every end has some 
distinct thing of which it is the end. And there- 
fore it is impossible that any two things, spoken of 
as separate things,* and in so far as they are two, 
should have the same end as their aim, for so the 
same absurdity f would follow, that one of them 
would exist in vain. Since, then, there is a certain 
end of right, as we have explained, it necessarily 
follows that when we have decided what that end 
is, we have also decided what right is ; for it is the 
natural and proper effect of right. And since in 
any sequence it is impossible to have an antecedent 
without its consequent, for instance, to have " man " 
without "animal," as is evident by putting together and 

* " Per sc loquendo." + '^ Ittcojivenicns." 


taking to pieces the idea,* so also it is impossible to 
seek for the end of right without right, for each thing 
stands in the same relation to its proper end, as the 
consequent does to its antecedent ; as without health 
it is impossible to attain to a good condition of the 
body. Wherefore, it is most evidently clear that he 
who aims at the end of right must aim in accordance 
with right ; nor does the contradictory instance 
which is commonly drav/n from Aristotle's treatment 
of "good counsel" avail anything.-j- He there says : 
" It is possible to obtain what is the right result from 
a syllogism, which is incorrect, but not by an argu- 
ment which is right, for the middle term is wrong." 
For if sometimes a right conclusion is obtained from 
false principles, this is only by accident, and happens 
only in so far as the true conclusion is imported in 
the words of the inference. Truth never really follows 
from falsehood ; but the signs of truth may easily 
follow from the, signs of falsehood. So also it is 
in matters of conduct. If a thief helps a poor man 
out of the spoils of his thieving, we must not call that 
charity; but it is an action which would have the form 
of charity, if it had been done out of the man's own 
substance. And so of the end of right. If anything, 

* " Construendo et desiniendo." Technical terms of the conditional 
iyllogism, constructive and destructive. 
+ TLv^ovXia. Ethics, vi. lo. 


such as the end of right, were gained without right, it 
would only be the end of right, that is, the common 
good, in the same sense that the gift, made from evil 
gains, is charity. And so the example proves nothing, 
for in our proposition we speak, not of the apparent 
but of the real end of right. What was sought, 
therefore, is clear. 

VII. — What nature has ordained is maintained of 
right. For nature in its providence does not come 
short of men's providence ; for if it were to come short, 
the effect would excel the cause in goodness, which is 
impossible. But we see that when public bodies are 
founded, not only are the relations of the members to 
each other considered, but also their capacities for 
exercising offices ; and this is to consider the end 
of right in the society or order which is founded, 
for right is not extended beyond what is possible. 
Nature then, in her ordinances, does not come short 
in this foresight. Therefore it is clear that nature, 
in ordaining a thing, has regard to its capacities ; 
and this regard is the fundamental principle of right 
which nature lays down. From this it follows that 
the natural order of things cannot be maintained 
without right ; for this fundamental principle of 
right is inseparably joined to the natural order of 
things. It is necessary, therefore, that it is of right 
that this order is preserved. 


The Roman people v/as ordained for empire, by 
nature, and this may be shown as follows : The man 
would come short of perfection in his art, who aimed 
only to produce his ultimate form, and neglected the 
means of reaching it ; in the same way, if nature only 
aimed at reproducing in the world the universal form 
of the divine likeness, and neglected the means of 
doing so, she vrould be imperfect. But nature, which 
is the work of the divine intelligence, is wholly 
perfect ; she therefore aims at all the means by which 
her final end is arrived at. 

Since then mankind has a certain end, and since 
there is a certain means necessary for the universal 
end of nature, it necessarily follows that nature aims 
at obtaining that means. And therefore the Philo- 
sopher, in the second book of Natural Learning,'^ 
well shows that nature always acts for the end. And 
since nature cannot reach this end through one man, 
because that there are many actions necessary to it, 
which need many to act, therefore nature must pro- 
duce many men and set them to act. And besides 
the higher influcnce,t the powers and properties 
of inferior spheres contribute much to this. And 
therefore we see not only that individual men, but 

* Arist. Phys. Aicsc. ii. i. — (W.) 

t I.e. of the heavens. Witte quotes Farad, viii. 97, Fiirg: xiv. 3S. 


also that certain races are born to govern, and certain 
others to be governed and to serve, as the Philosopher 
argues in the Politics -j"^^ and for the latter, as he him- 
self says, subjection is not only expedient, but just, 
even though they be forced into subjection. 

And if this is so, it cannot be doubted that nature 
ordained in the world a country and a nation for 
universal sovereignty ; if this were not so, she would 
have been untrue to herself, which is impossible. But 
as to where that country is, and which is that nation, 
it is sulhciently manifest, both from what we have 
said and from what we shall say, that it was Rome 
and her citizens or people; and this our poet very skil- 
fully touches on in the sixth yE7icid, where he intro- 
duces Anchises prophesying to yEneas, the ancestor of 
the Romans : "Others may mould the breathing bronze 
more delicately — I doubt jt not ; they may chisel from 
marble the living countenance ; they may surpass 
thee in pleading causes ; they may track the course 
of the heavens with the rod, and tell when the stars 
will rise ; but thou, Roman, remember to rule the 
nations with thy sway. These shall be thy endow- 
ments — to make peace to be the custom of the world ; 
to spare thy foes when they submit, and to crush 
the proud." t And again, Virgil skilfully notes the 

* I. 5, II ; 6, 9.— (W.) + yEn. vi. 848, iv. 227.— (W.) 


appointment of the place, in the fourth JSiieid, when 
he brings in Jupiter speaking to Mercury concerning 
JEnediS : " His fair mother did not promise him to us 
to be such as this : it was not for this that twice she 
rescues him from Grecian arms ; but that there should 
be one to rule over Italy, teeming with empires, tem- 
pestuous with wars." It has, therefore, sufficiently 
been shown that the Roman people was by nature 
ordained to empire. Therefore it was of right that 
thqy gained empire, by subduing to themselves the 

Vm. — But in order properly to discover the truth 
in our inquiry, we must recognise that the judgment 
of God is sometimes made manifest to men, and 
sometimes hidden from them. 

It may be made manifest in two ways, namely, by 
reason and by faith. 

There are some judgments of God to wdiich the 
human reason, by its own paths, can arrive ; as, that 
a man should risk death to save his country. For a 
part should always risk itself to save its whole, and 
each man is a part of his State, as is clear from the 
Philosopher in his Politics.* Therefore every man 
ought to risk himself for his country, as the less 
good for the better ; whence the Philosopher says to 

♦ Arist. Po/. i. 2, 12.— (W.) 


Nicomachus : " The end is desirable, indeed, even for 
an individual, but it is better and more divine for a 
nation and State."* And this is the judgment of God, 
for if it were not so, right reason in men would miss 
the intention of nature, which is impossible. 

There are also some judgments of God to which, 
though human reason cannot reach them by its own 
powers, yet, by the aid of faith in those things which 
are told us in Holy Scripture it can be lifted up : as, 
for instance, that no one, however perfect he may be 
in moral and intellectual virtues, both in habit and in 
action, can be saved without faith ; it being supposed 
that he never heard aught of Christ. For human 
reason cannot of itself see this to be just, yet by faith 
it can. For in the Epistle to the Hebrews it is 
written, "without faith it is impossible to please 
God ;"t ^i^cl in Leviticus, "what man soever there 
be of the House of Israel that killeth an ox, or 
lamb, or goat in the camp, or that killeth it out 
of the camp, and bringeth it not to the door of the 
tabernacle to offer an offering unto the Lord, blood 
shall be imputed to that man." J The door of the 
tabernacle stands for Christ, who is the door of the 
kingdom of heaven, as may be proved from the 

* Ethics, i. I. + Cf. Farad, xix. 70.— (W.) 

X Heb. ii. 6; Levit. xvii. 3, 4.— (W.). 


Gospel : the killing of animals represents men's 

But the judfjment of God is a hidden one, when 
man cannot arrive at the knowledge of it either by 
the law of nature or by the written law, but only 
occasionally by a special grace. This grace comes in 
several ways : sometimes by simple revelation, some- 
times by revelation assisted by a certain kind of trial 
or debate. Simple revelation, too, is of two kinds : 
either God gives it of his ov^ai accord, or it is gained 
by prayer. God gives it of his own accord in two 
ways, either plainly, or by a sign. His judgment 
against Saul v;as revealed to Samuel plainly ; but it 
was by a sign that it was revealed to Pharaoh what 
God had judged touching the setting free of the 
children of Israel. The judgment of God is also given 
in answer to prayer, as he knew who spoke in the 
second book of Chronicles :t "When we know not 
what we ought to do, this only have we left, to direct 
our eyes to Thee." 

* Witte quotes from Isidore of Seville, a writer much used in the 
middle ages, the following : "In a moral sense, we offer a calf when 
we conquer the pride of the flesh ; a lamb, when we correct our irra- 
tional impulses ; a kid, when we master impurity ; a dove, when we 
are simple ; a turtle-dove, when we observe chastity ; unleavened 
bread, * when we keep the feast not in the leaven of malice, but in the 
unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.' " 

+ 2 Chron. xx. 12 (Vulg.). 


Revelation by means of trial is also of two kinds. 
It is given either by casting lots, or by combat ; for 
"to strive" {ccrtarc), is derived from a phrase which 
means " to make certain " {cerium facere). It is clear 
that the judgment of God is sometimes revealed to 
men by casting lots, as in the substitution of Matthias 
in the Acts of the Apostles. 

Again the judgment of God is revealed to men by 
combat in two ways : either it is by a trial of strength, 
as in the duels of champions who are called "duellioncs," 
or it is by the contention of many men, each striving 
to reach a certain mark first, as happens in the con- 
tests of athletes who run for a prize. The first of 
these methods was prefigured among the Gentiles 
by the contests between Hercules and Antaeus, which 
Lucan mentions in the fourth book of his Pharsalia, 
and Ovid in the ninth book of his Metamorphoses. 
The second is prefigured by the contest between 
Atalanta and Hippomenes, described in the tenth 
book of Ovid's Aletamorphoses.^ 

Moreover, it ought not to pass unnoticed concern- 
ing these two kinds of strife, that while in the first 
each champion may fairly hinder his antagonist, \\\ 
the second this is not so ; for athletes must not hinder 
one another in their strife, though our poet seems to 

* Phars. iv. 593; Metam. ix. 183, x. 569.— (W.). 


have thought differently in the fifth ^neid where 
Euryahis so receives the prize.* But Cicero has done 
better in forbidding this practice in the third book of 
the De Officiis, following the opinion of Chrysippus.f 
He there says : " Chrysippus is right here, as he often 
is, for he says that he who runs in a race should strive 
with all his might to win, but in no way should he try 
to trip up his competitor." 

With these distinctions, then, we may assume 
that there are two ways in which men may learn the 
judgment of God, as we have on this point stated ; 
first by the contests of athletes, and secondly by the 
contests of champions. These ways of discovering 
the judgment of God I will treat of in the chapter 

IX. — That people then, v/hich conquered when all 
were striving hard for the Empire of the world, con- 
quered by the will of God. For God cares more to 
settle a universal strife than a particular one ; and 
even in particular contests the athletes sometimes 
throw themselves on the judgment of God, according 
to the common proverb : " To whom God makes the 
grant, him let Peter also bless."J It cannot, then, be 

* V. 335--(W.) t III. io.-(W.) 

X Witte only gives a query (?). The sapng expresses the Ghibelline 

view of the relation of the Empire to the Pope ; it may have originated 

with the coronation of Charles the Great. 


doubted that the victory in the strife for the Empire 
of the world followed the judgment of God. The 
Roman people, when all were striving for the Empire 
of the world, conquered ; it will be plain that so it 
was, if we consider the prize or goal, and those who 
strove for it. The prize or goal was the supremacy 
over all men ; for it is this that we call the Empire. 
None reached this but the Roman people. Not only 
were they the first, they were the only ones to reach 
the goal, as we shall shortly see. 

The first man who panted for the prize was Ninus, 
King of the Assyrians ; but although for more than 
ninety years (as Orosius tells*) he, with his royal 
consort Semiramis, strove for the Empire of the 
world and made all Asia subject to himself, neverthe- 
less he never subdued the West. Ovid mentions both 
him and his queen in the fourth book of the Meta- 
:norpJioscs, when he says, in the story of Pyramus:-}- 
" Semiramis girdled the round space with brick-built 
walls;" and, "let them come to Ninus' tomb and 
hide beneath in its shade." 

Secondly, Vesoges, King of Egypt, aspired to this 
prize ; but though he vexed the North and South 
of Asia, as Orosius relates,! yet he never gained for 
himself one-half of the world ; nay, when, as it were, 

* I. 4.— (W.) t Mdanu iv. 5S, 8S.— (W.) % Oros. i. 14.— (W.) 


between the judges* and the goal, the Scythians 
drov^e him back from his rash enterprise. 

Then Cyrus, King of the Persians, made the same 
attempt ; but after the destruction of Babylon, and 
the transference of its Empire to Persia, he did not 
even reach the regions of the West, but lost his life 
and his object in one day at the hands of Tamiris, 
Queen of the Scythians.f 

But after that these had failed, Xerxes, the son of 
Darius and king among the Persians, assailed the 
world with so great a multitude of nations, with so 
great a power, that he bridged the channel of the sea 
which separates Asia from Europe, between Sestos 
and Abydos. And of this wonderful work Lucan 
makes mention in the second book of his Pharsalia : J 
" Such paths across the seas, made by Xerxes in his 
pride, fame tells of" But finally he was miserably 
repulsed from his enterprise, and could not attain the 

Besides these kings, and after their times, Alex- 
ander, King of Macedon, came nearest of all to 
the prize of monarchy; he sent ambassadors to the 
Romans to demand their submission, but before the 

* (< 

' AthlothetDs. " The judges or umpires in the Greek games, 
whose seats were opposite to the goal at the side of the stadium. Fide 
Smith's Dictionary 0/ Anii^uides, s. v. "stadium." 

t Oros. ii. 7.— (W.) J F/tars. ii. 692.— (W.) 



Roman answer came, he fell in Egypt, as Livy* tells 
us, as it were in the middle of the course. Of his 
burial there, Lucan speaks in the eighth book of his 
Pharsalia,^ v/here he is inveighing against Ptolemy, 
King of Egypt : " Thou last of the Lagasan race, soon 
to perish in thy degeneracy, and to yield thy kingdom 
to an incestuous sister ; while for thee the Macedonian 
is kept in the sacred cave " 

" Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom 
and knowledge of God !" Who will not marvel at 
thee here ? For when Alexander was trying to hinder 
his Roman competitor in the race, thou didst suddenly 
snatch him away from the contest that his rashness 
might proceed no further. 

But that Rome has won the crown of so great a 
victory is proved on the testimony of many. Our 
poet in his first u^neidsdiys-.X "Hence, surely, shall 
one day the Romans come, as the years roll on, to be 
the leaders of the world, from the blood of Teucer 

* Not Livy. Cf. ix. i8, 3, where, speaking of Alexander and the 
Romans, he says : " Quern ne fama quidem ilHs notum arbitror fuisse." 
The story is Greek in origin, coming from Cleitarchus (according to 
Pliny, Hist. Nat. iii. 9), who accompanied Alexander on his Asiatic 
expedition. Cf. Niebuhr, Lectures on the History of Rojne, lect. 52, 
Grote, History of Greece, vol. xii. p. 70, note, who argue for its 
truth, and Mommsen, History of Rome, vol. i. p. 394, who argues 
against it. Dante, says Witte, used legends about Alexander now 
lost. Cf. Inf. xiv. 31. 

t VIII. 692. X I. 234.— (W.> 


renewed ; over the sea and over the land they shall 
hold full sway."* And Lucan, in his first book, 
writes : " The sword assigns the kingdom ; and the 
fortune of that mighty people that rules o'er sea and 
land and the whole earth, admitted not two to rule." 
And Boethius, in his second book,t speaking of the 
Roman prince says: "With his sceptre he ruled the 
nations, those whom Phcebus beholds, from his rising 
afar to where he sinks his beams beneath the waves ; 
those who are benumbed by the frosty Seven Stars of 
the north, those whom the fierce south wind scorches 
with his heat, parching the burning sands." And Luke, 
the Scribe of Christ, bears the same testimony, whose 
every word is true, where he says : " There went out 
a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world 
should be taxed ;" from which words we must plainly 
understand that the Romans had jurisdiction over the 
whole world. 

From all this evidence it is manifest that the 
Roman people prevailed when all were striving to 
gain the Empire of the world. Therefore it was by 
the judgment of God that it prevailed ; consequently 
its Empire was gained by the judgment of God, which 
is to say, that it was gained by right. 

X. — And what is gained as the result of single 

I. 109.— (W.) t De Consol. Phil. ii. 6.— (W.) 

R 2 


combat or duel is gained of right. For whenever 
human judgment fails, either because it is involved in 
the clouds of ignorance, or because it has not the 
assistance of a judge, then, lest justice should be left 
deserted, we must have recourse to Him who loved 
justice so much that He died to fulfil what it required 
by shedding His own blood. Therefore the Psalmist 
wrote : " The righteous Lord loveth righteousness." 
This result is gained when, by the free consent of the 
parties, not from hatred but from love of justice, men 
inquire of the judgment of God by a trial of strength 
as well of soul as of body. And this trial of strength 
is called a duel, because in the first instance it was 
between two combatants, man to man. 

But when two nations quarrel they are bound to 
try in every possible way to arrange the quarrel by 
means of discussion ; it is only when this is hopeless 
that they may declare war. Cicero and Vegetius 
agree on this point, the former in his De Officiis,^ 
the latter in his book on war. In the practice of 
medicine recourse may only be had to amputation 
and cauterising when every other means of cure have 
been tried. So in the same Avay, it is only when we 
have sought in vain for all other modes of deciding 
a quarrel that we may resort to the remedy of 

* Dc Off. i. 12 J De Re Milit. iii. pvl.—iy^.) 


a single combat, forced thereto by a necessity of 

Two formal rules, then, of the single combat are 
clear, one which we have just mentioned, the other, 
which we touched on before, that the combatants or 
champions must enter the lists by common consent, 
not animated by private hatred or love, but simply 
by an eager desire for justice. Therefore Cicero, in 
touching on this matter, spoke well when he said : 
"Wars, which are waged for the crown of empire, 
must be waged without bitterness."* 

But, if the rules of single combat be kept when 
men are driven by justice to meet together by com- 
mon consent, in their zeal for justice (and if they are 
not, the contest ceases to be a single combat), do not 
they meet together in the name of God t And if it 
is so, is not God in the midst of them, for He Himself 
promises us this in the Gospel } And if God is there, 
is it not impious to suppose that justice can fail .^ 
— that justice which He loved so much, as we have 
just seen. And if single combat cannot fail to secure 
justice, is not what is gained in single combat gained 
as of right .'' 

This truth the Gentiles, too, recognised before the 
trumpet of the Gospel was sounded, vrhen the}' sought 

* " Imperii ^vVic7," not "corona," in Ck. de Ojff. i. 12. — (W.) 


for a judgment in the fortune of single combat. So 
Pyrrhus, noble both in the manners and in the blood 
of yEacidae, gave a worthy ans\yer when the Roman 
envoys were sent to him to treat for the ransom of 
prisoners. " I ask not for gold ; ye shall pay me no 
price, being not war-mongers, but true men of war. 
Let each decide his fate with steel, and not with gold. 
Whether it be you or I that our mistress wills to 
reign, or what chance she may bring to each, let us 
try by valour. Hear ye also this word : those whose 
valour the fortune of war has spared, their liberty 
will I too spare. Take ye them as my gift."* So 
spoke Pyrrhus. By "mistress" he meant Fortune, 
which we better and more rightly call the Providence 
of God. Therefore, let the combatants beware that 
they fight not for money ; then it would be no true 
single combat in which they fought, for they would 
strive in a court of blood and injustice ; and let it not 
be thought that God would then be present to judge ; 
nay, for it would be that ancient enemy who had 
been the instigator of the strife. If they wish to be 
true combatants, and not dealers in blood and injustice, 
let them keep Pyrrhus before their eyes when they 
enter the arena, the man who, when he was striving 
for empire, so scorned gold, as we have said. 

* Ennius in Cic. de Off. i. I2 (W.) "War-monger" is Spenser's 
word. F. Q. 3, lo, 29. 


But, if men will not receive the truth which v/e 
have proved, and object, as they are wont, that all 
men are not equal in strength, v/e will refute them 
with the instance of the victory of David over 
Goliath ; and if the Gentiles seek for aught more, 
let them repel the objection by the victory of 
Hercules over Antaeus. For it is mere folly to fear 
that the strength which God makes strong should be 
weaker than a human champion. It is, therefore, 
now sufficiently clear that what is acquired by single 
combat is acquired by right. 

XI. — But the Roman people gained their empire 
by duel betvv-een man and man ; and this is proved 
by testimonies that are worthy of all credence ; and 
in proving this, we shall also show that where 
any question had to be decided from the beginning 
of the Roman Empire, it was tried by single 

For first of all, v/hen a quarrel arose about the 
settling in Italy of Father ^Eneas, the earliest ancestor 
of this people, and when Turnus, King of the Rutuli, 
withstood ^neas, it was at last agreed between the two 
kings to discover the good pleasure of God by a single 
combat, which" is sung in the last book of the jEneid. 
And in this combat ^Eneas was so merciful in his 
victory, that he v/ould have granted life and peace 
to the conquered foe, had he not seen the belt which 


Turnus had taken on slaying Pallas, as the last verses 
of our poet describe. 

Again, when two peoples had grown up in Italy,, 
both sprung from the Trojan stem, namely, the 
Romans and the Albans, and they had long striven 
whose should be the sign of the eagle,* and the 
Penates of Troy, and the honours of empire ; at last 
by mutual consent, in order to have certain knowledge 
of the case in hand, the three Horatii, who were 
brethren, and the three Curatii, who were also 
brethren, fought together before the kings and all the 
people anxiously waiting on either side ; and since 
the three Alban champions were killed, while one 
Roman survived, the palm of victory fell to the 
Romans, in the reign of Hostilius the king. This 
story has been diligently put together by Livy, in 
the first part of his history, and Orosius also gives 
similar testimony.-|- 

Next they fought for empire with their neighbours 
the Sabines and Samnites, as Livy tells us ; all the laws 
of war were kept ; and though those who fought were 
very many in number, the w-ar was in the form of a 
combat between man and man. In the contest with 
the Samnites, Fortune nearly repented her of what she 
had begun, as Lucan instances in the second book of 

* ^^ II sacrosanio sesnoy V. Farad, vi. 32. t Liv. i. 24; Oros. ii. 4. 


his Pharsalia-.'''' "How many companies lay dead by 
the Colh'ne gate then, when the headship of the world 
and universal empire well-nigh were transferred to 
other seatSj and the Samnite heaped the corpses of 
Rome beyond the numbers t of the Caudine Forks." 

But after that the intestine quarrels of Italy had 
ceased, and while the issue of the strife with Greece 
and Carthage was not yet made certain by the judg- 
ment of God — for both Greece and Carthage aimed at 
empire — then Fabricius for Rome, and Pyrrhus for 
Greece, fought with vast hosts for the glory of empire, 
and Rome gained the day. And when Scipio for 
Rome, and Hannibal for Carthage, fought man to 
man, the Africans fell before the Italians, as Livy and 
all the other Roman historians strive to tell 

Who then is so dull of understanding as not to 
see that this glorious people has won the crown of 
all the world, by the decision of combat } Surely the 
Roman may repeat Paul's words to Timothy : " There 
is laid up for me a crown of righteousness," laid up, 
that is, in the eternal providence of God. Let, then, 
the presumptuous Jurists see how far they stand 
below that watch-tower of reason whence the mind 

* n. 135. 
+ " Romanaque Samnis 
Ultra Caudinas superavit vulnera furcas." 
Another reading is "speravit." 


of man regards these principles : and let them be 
silent, content to show forth counsel and judgment 
according to the meaning of the lav/. 

It has now become manifest that it was by combat 
of man against man that the Romans gained their 
empire : therefore it was by right that they gained 
it, and this is the principal thesis of the present book. 
Up to this point we have proved our thesis by argu- 
m.ents which mostly rest on principles of reason ; we 
must now make our point clear by arguments based 
on the principles of the Christian faith. 

XTT- — For it is they Vv'ho profess to be zealous for the 
faith of Christ who have chiefly " raged together," and 
" imagined a vain thing " against the Roman empire ; 
men who have no compassion on the poor of Christ, 
whom they not only defraud as to the revenues of the 
Church ; but the very patrimonies of the Church 
are daily seized upon ; and the Church is made poor, 
while making a show of justice they yet refuse to 
allov/ the minister of justice to fulfil his office. 

Nor does this impoverishment happen vvithout 
the judgment of God. For their possessions do not 
afford help to the poor, to whom belongs as their 
patrimony the Vvealth of the Church ; and these 
possessions are held without gratitude to the empire 
which gives them. Let these possessions go back to 
whence they came. They came well ; their return is 


evil : for they were well given, and they are mis- 
chievously held. What shall we say to shepherds like 
these ? What shall we say when the substance of 
the Church is wasted, while the private estates of 
their own kindred are enlarged ? But perchance it is 
better to proceed with what is set before us ; and in 
religious silence to wait for our Saviour's help. 

I say, then, that if the Roman empire did not 
exist by right, Christ in being born presupposed 
and sanctioned an unjust thing. But the consequent 
is false ; therefore the contradictory of the antecedent 
is true ; for it is always true of contradictory pro- 
positions, that if one is false the other is true. It 
is not needful to prove the falsity of the consequent 
to a true behever : for, if he be faithful, he will grant 
it to be false ; and if he be not faithful, then this 
reasoning is not for him. 

I prove the consequence thus : wherever a 
of his own free choice carries out a public order, he 
countenances and persuades by his act the justice 
of that order ; and seeing that acts are more forcible 
to persuade than words (as Aristotle holds in the 
tenth book of his EtJiics),^' therefore by this he per- 
suades us more than if it were merely an approval 
in words. But Christ, as Luke who writes His story, 

* EtJu X. I. 


says, willed to be born of the Virgin Mary under 
an edict of Roman authority, so that in that un- 
exampled census of mankind, the Son of God, made 
man, might be counted as man : and this was to carry 
out that edict. Perhaps it is even more religious to 
suppose that it was of God that the decree issued 
through Caesar, so that He who had been such long 
years expected among men should Himself enroll 
himself with mortal man. 

Therefore Christ, by His action, enforced the 
justice of the edict of Augustus, who then wielded 
the Roman power. And since to issue a just edict 
implies jurisdiction, it necessarily follows that He 
who showed that He thought an edict just, must also 
have showed that He thought the jurisdiction under 
which it was issued just ; but unless it existed by right 
it were unjust. 

And it must be noted that the force of the argu- 
ment taken to' destroy the consequent, though the 
argument partly holds from its form, shows its force 
in the second figure, if it be reduced as a syllogism, 
just as the argument based on the assumption of the 
antecedent is in the first figure. The reduction is 
made thus : all that is unjust is persuaded to men un- 
justly ; Christ did not persuade us unjustly ; therefore 
He did not persuade us to do unjust things. From 
the assumption of the antecedent thus : all injustice 


is persuaded to men unjustly : Christ persuaded a 
certain injustice to man, therefore He persuaded 

XIII. — And if the Roman empire did not exist by 
right, the sin of Adam was not punished in Christ. 
This is false, therefore its contradictory is true. The 
falsehood of the consequent is seen thus. Since by 
the sin of Adam we were all sinners, as the Apostle 
says : — " Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the 
world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon 
all men, for that all have sinned," — then, if Christ had 
not made satisfaction for Adam's sin by his death, we 
should still by our depraved nature be the children of 
wrath. But this is not so, for Paul, speaking of the 
Father in his Epistle to the Ephesians, says : " Having 
predestinated us unto the adoption of children by 
Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good plea- 
sure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His 
grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the 
beloved, in whom we have redemption by His blood, 
the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His 
grace, wherein He has abounded towards us." And 
Christ Himself, suffering in Himself the punishment, 
says in St. John : " It is finished;" for where a thing 
is finished, naught remains to be done. 

It is convenient that it should be understood 
that punishment is not merely penalty inflicted on 


him who has done wrong, but that penalty inflicted 
by one who has penal jurisdiction. And therefore a 
penalty should not be called punishment, but rather 
injury, except where it is inflicted by the sentence of 
a regular judge.* Therefore the Israelites said unto 
Moses : " Who made thee a judge over us .?" 

If, therefore, Christ had not suffered by the sentence 
of a regular judge, the penalty would not properly ■ 
have been punishment ; and none_could_be a regular 
judge who had not jurisdiction over all mankind ; for 
all mankind was punished in the flesh of Christ, who 
" hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows," as 
saith the Prophet Isaiah. And if the Roman empire 
had not existed by right, Tiberius Csesar, whose 
vicar was Pontius Pilate, would not have had juris- 
diction over all mankind. It was for this reason that 
Herod, not knowing what he did, like Caiaphas, when 
he spoke truly of the decree of heaven, sent Christ 
to Pilate to be judged, as Luke relates in his 
gospel. For Herod was not the vicegerent of 
Tiberius, under the standard of the eagle, or the 
standard of the Senate ; but only a king, with 
one particular kingdom given him by Tiberius, and 
ruling the kingdom committed to his charge under 

* ^^Ab ordinario jiidice." 



Let them cease, then, to insult the Roman empire, 
who pretend that they are the sons of the Church ; 
when they see that Christ, the bridegroom of the 
Church, sanctioned the Roman empire at the be- 
ginning and at the end of His Avarfare on earth. 
And now I think that I have made it sufficiently clear 
that it was by right that the Romans acquired to 
themselves the empire of the world. 

Oh happy people, oh Ausonia, how glorious hadst 
thou been, if either he, that v/eakener of thine empire, 
had never been born, or if his own pious intention had 
never deceived him .^* 

* Constantine the Great. — ^W.) 


I.—" He hath shut the Hons' mouths and they 
have not hurt me, forasmuch as before Him justice 
was found in me."* At the beginning of this work 
I proposed to examine into three questions, ac- 
cording as the subject-matter would permit me. 
Concerning the two first questions our inquiry, as 
I think, has been sufficiently accomplished in the 
preceding books. It remains to treat of the third 
question ; and, perchance, it may arouse a certain 
amount of indignation against me, for the truth of 
it cannot appear without causing shame to certain 
men. But seeing that truth from its changeless 
throne appeals to me — that Solomon too, entering on 
the forest of his proverbs, teaches me in his own person 
"to meditate on truth, to hate the wicked ;" f seeing that 
the Philosopher, my instructor in morals, bids me, for 
the sake of truth, to put aside what is dearest ; J I will, 
therefore, take confidence from the words of Daniel 
in which the power of God, the shield of the 
defenders of truth, is set forth, and, according to 

* Dan. vi. 22, Vulg.— (W.) t Piov. vii. 7. Vulg.— (W.) 

t Arist. £i/i. i. 4.— (W.) 



the exhortation of St. Paul, " putting on the breast- 
plate of faith," and in the heat of that coal which one 
of the seraphim had taken from off the altar, and 
laid on the lips of Isaiah, I will enter on the present 
contest, and, by the arm of Him who delivered us 
by His blood from the powers of darkness, drive out 
from the lisLs the wicked and the liar, in the sight of 
all the world. Why should I fear, when the Spirit, 
which is co-eternal v/ith the Father and the Son, 
saith by the mouth of David : " The righteous shall be 
had in everlasting remembrance, he shall not be afraid 
of evil tidings".''* 

The present question, then, concerning which we 
have to inquire, is between two great luminaries, the 
Roman Pontiff and the Roman Prince : and the 
question is, does the authority of the Roman Monarch, 
who, as we have proved in the second book, is the 
monarch of the world, depend immediately on God, or 
on some minister or vicar of God ; by whom I under- 
stand the successor of Peter, who truly has the keys 
of the kingdom of heaven ? 

II. — For this, as for the former questions, we must 
take some principle, on the strength of which we may 
fashion the arguments of the truth which is to be 
expounded. For what does it profit to labour, even 

Ps. cxii. 7.— (W.) 


in speaking truth, unless we start from a principle ? 
For the principle alone is the root of all the proposi- 
tions which are the means of proof. 

Let us, therefore, start from the irrefragable truth 
that that__wliich is repugnant to the intention of 
nature, is against the will of God. For if this were 
not true its contradictory would not be false ; namely, 
that what is repugnant to the intention of nature is 
not against God's will, and if this be not false neither 
are the consequences thereof false. For it is impos- 
sible in consequences which are necessary, that the 
consequent should be false, unless the antecedent 
were false also. 

But if a thing is not '^against the wiW^ it must 
either be willed or simply "not willed," just as "not to 
hate " means " to love," or " not to love ;" for " not to 
love " does not mean " to hate," and " not to will " 
does not mean " to will not," as is self-evident. But 
if this is not false, neither will this proposition be 
false ; " God wills what He does not will," than which 
a greater contradiction does not exist. 

I prove that what I say is true as follows : It is 
manifest that God wills the end of nature ; otherwise 
the motions of heaven would be of none effect, and 
this we may not say. If God willed that the end 
should be hindered. He would will also that the 
hindering power should gain its end, otherwise His 


will would be of none effect. And since the end of 
the hindering power is the non-existence of what it 
hinders, it would follow that God wills the non- 
existence of the end of nature which He is said 
to will. 

For if God did not will that the end should be 
hindered, in so far as He did not will it, it would 
follow as a consequence to His not willing it, that 
He cared nought about the hindering power, neither 
whether it existed, nor whether it did not But he 
who cares not for the hindering power, cares not for 
the thing which can be hindered, and consequently 
has no wish for it ; and when a man has no wish for 
a thing he wills it not. Therefore, if the end of 
nature can be hindered, as it can, it follows of 
necessity that God wills not the end of nature, and 
we reach our previous conclusion, that God wills 
what He does not will. Our principle is therefore 
most true, seeing that from its contradictions such 
absurd results follow. 

Ill— At the outset we must note in reference to 
this third question, that the truth of the first question 
had to be made manifest rather to remove ignorance 
than to end a dispute. In the second question we 
sought equally to remove ignorance and to end a 
dispute. For there are many things of which we 
are ignorant, but concerning which we do not quarrel. 

s 2 


In g-eometiy we know not how to square the circle, 
but we do not quarrel on that point. The theologian 
does not know the number of the angels, but he does 
not quarrel about the number. The Egyptian is 
ignorant of the political system of the Scythians, but 
he does not therefore quarrel concerning \\..^ But 
the truth in this third question provokes so much 
quarrelling that, whereas in other matters ignorance 
is commonly the cause of quarrelling, here quarrelling 
is the cause of ignorance. For this always happens 
where men are hurried by their wishes past what they 
see by their reason ; in this evil bias they lay aside 
the light of reason, and being dragged on blindly by 
their desires, they obstinately deny that they are blind. 
And, therefore, it often follows not only that falsehood 
has its own inheritance, but that many men issue 
forth from their own bounds and stray through the 
foreign camp, where they understand nothing, and no 
man understands them ; and so they provoke some to 
anger, and some to scorn, and not a few to laughter. 

Now three classes of rnen chiefly strive against the 
truth which we are trying to prove. 

First, the Chief Pontiff, Vicar of our Lord Jesus 
Christ and the successor of Peter, to whom we owe, 

* " Scythamm Civilitatcin." Cf. Arist. Ethics, iii. 5, where 
TO ^ovXevTov is discussed, and thence come the first and the third 
example, a little altered, the Egyptian being substituted for the Spartan-. 


not indeed all that we owe to Christ, but all that we 
owe to Peter, contradicts this truth, urged it may be 
by zeal for the keys ; and also other pastors of the 
Christian sheepfolds, and others whom I believe to 
be only led by zeal for our mother, the Church. These 
all, perchance from zeal and not from, pride, withstand 
the truth which I am about to prove. 

But there are certain others in whom obstinate 
greed has extinguished the light of reason, who are of 
their father the devil, and yet pretend to be sons of 
the Church. They not only stir up quarrels in this 
question, but they hate the name of the most sacred 
office of Prince, and would shamelessly deny the 
principles which we have laid down for this and the 
previous questions. 

There is also a third class called Decretalists,* 
utterly without knowledge or skill in philosophy or 
theology, who, relying entirely on their Decretals 
(which doubtless, I think, should be venerated), 
and hoping, I believe, that these Decretals will pre- 
vail, disparage the power of the Empire. And no 
Avonder, for I have heard one of them, speaking of 
these Decretals, assert shamelessly that the traditions 
of the Church are the foundation of the faith. ^lay 
this wickedness be taken away from the thoughts 

* Farad, ix. 133.— (W.) 


of men by those who, antecedently to the traditions 
of the Church, have beheved in Christ the Son of 
God, whether to come, or present, or as having 
ah-eady suffered ; and who from their faith have 
hoped, and from their hope have kindled into love, 
and who, burning with love, will, the world doubts 
not, be made co-heirs with Him. 

And that such arguers may be excluded once for all 
from the present debate, it must be noted that part of 
Scripture was before the Church, that part of it came 
zvith the Church, and part after the Church. 

Before the Church were the Old and the New 
Testament — the covenant which the Psalmist says 
was "commanded for ever," of which the Church 
speaks to her Bridegroom, saying : " Draw me after 

WitJi the Church came those venerable chief 
Councils, with which no faithful Christian doubts 
but that Christ was present. For we have His own 
words to His disciples when He was about to ascend 
into heaven : " Lo, I am with you always, even unto 
the end of the world," to which Matthew testifies 
There are also the writings f of the doctors, Augustine 
and others, of whom, if any doubt that they were aided 
by the Holy Spirit, either he has never beheld their 

* Ps. cxi. 9. Cant. i. 3.— (W.) \ '' Scriptiira:.'" 


fruit, or if he has beheld, he has never tasted 

After the Church are the traditions which they 
call Decretals, Avhich, although they are to be vene- 
rated for their apostolical authority, yet we must not 
doubt that they are to be held inferior to fundamental 
Scripture, seeing that Christ rebuked the Pharisees for 
this very thing ; for when they had asked : "Why do thy 
disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?" (for 
they neglected the washing of hands). He answered 
them, as Matthew testifies : " Why do ye also trans- 
gress the commandment of God by your tradition?" 
Thus He intimates plainly that tradition was to have 
a lower place. 

But if the traditions of the Church are after the 
Church, it follows that the Church had not its authority 
from traditions, but rather traditions from the Church ; 
and, therefore, the men of whom we speak, seeing that 
they have nought but traditions, must be excluded 
from the debate. For those who seek after this truth 
must proceed in their inquiry from those things from 
which flows the authority of the Church. 

Further, we must exclude others who boast them- 
selves to be white sheep in the flock of the Lord, 
when they have the plumage of crows. These are the 
children of wickedness, who, that they may be able to 
follow their evil ways, put shame on their mother, 


drive out their brethren, and when they have done all 
will allow none to judge them. Why should we seek 
to reason with these, when they are led astray by 
their evil desires, and so cannot see even our first 
principle ? 

Therefore there remains the controversy only with 
the other sort of men who are influenced by a certain 
kind of zeal for their mother the Church, and yet 
know not the truth which is sought for. With these 
men, therefore — strong in the reverence which a 
dutiful son owes to his father, which a dutiful son 
owes to his mother, dutiful to Christ, dutiful to the 
Church, dutiful to the Chief Shepherd, dutiful to all 
who profess the religion of Christ — I begin in this 
book the contest for the maintenance of the truth. 

IV.— Those men to whom all our subsequent 
reasoning is addressed, when they assert that the 
authority of the Empire depends on the authority of 
the Church, as the inferior workman depends on the 
architect, are moved to take this view by many argu- 
ments, some of which they draw from Holy Scripture, 
and some also from the acts of the Supreme Pontiff 
and of the Emperor himself. Moreover, they strive 
to have some proof of reason. 

For in the first place they say that God, according 
to the book of Genesis, made two great lights, the 
greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to 


rule the night; this they understand to be an allegory, 
for that the lights are the two povvers/i^ the spiritual 
and the temporal. And then they maintain that as 
the moon, which is the lesser light, only has light 
so far as she receives it from the sun, so the temporal 
power only has authority as it receives authority from 
the spiritual power. 

For the disposing of these, and of other like argu- 
ments, we must remember the Philosopher's words 
in his book on Sophistry, "the overthrow of an 
argument is the pointing out of the mistake."t 

Error may arise in two ways, either in the matter, 
or in the form of an argument ; cither, that is, by 
assuming to be true what is false, or by transgressing 
the laws of the syllogism. The Philosopher raised ob- 
jections to the arguments of Parmenides and Melissus 
on both of these grounds, saying that they accepted 
what was false, and that they did not argue correctly. J 
I use " false " in a large sense, as including the incon- 
ceivable,§ that which in matters admitting only of 
probability has the nature of falseness. If the error 
is in the form of an argument, he who wishes to 
destroy the error must do so by showing that the 
laws of the syllogism have been transgressed. If the 
error is in the matter, it is because something has 

* "JKCgiiniiia." \ SoJ^h. El. ii. 3. — (W.) 

X Aristotle, F/'.ys. i. 2.— (W.) § "InoJiinabiU." 


been assumed which is either false in itself, or false in 
relation to that particular instance. If the assump- 
tion is false in itself, the argument must be destroyed 
by destroying the assumption ; if it is false only in 
that particular instance, we must draw a distinction 
between the falseness in that particular instance and 
its general truth. 

Having noted these things, to make it more clear 
how we destroy this and the further fallacies of our 
adversaries, we must remark that there are two ways 
in which error may arise concerning the mystical 
sense, either by seeking it where it is not, or by 
accepting it in a sense other than its real sense. 

On account of the first of these ways, Augustine 
says, in his work Of the City of God;-^ that we must 
not think that all things, of vv^hich we are told, have 
a special meaning ; for it is on account of that which 
means something, that that also which means nothing 
is woven into a story. It is only with the plough- 
share that we turn up the earth ; but the other 
parts of the plough are also necessary. 

On account of the second way in which error 
touching the interpretation of mysteries may arise, 
Augustine, in his book 'U-oncci'iiing Christia?t doctrme" 
speaking of those who wish to find in Scripture some- 

* Dante does not quote St. Augustine's words, but gives his 
meaning, xvii. 2. — (W.) 


thing other than he who wrote the Scripture meant * 
says, that such "are misled in the same way as a 
man who leaves the straight path, and then arrives 
at the end of the path by a long circuit." And he 
adds : " It ought to be shov/n that this is a mistake, 
lest through the habit of going out of the way, the 
man be driven to going into cross or wrong ways." 
And then he intimates why such precautions must be 
taken in interpreting Scripture. " Faith will falter, if 
the authority of Scripture be not sure." But I say 
that if these things happen from ignorance, we must 
pardon those who do them, when we have carefully 
reproved them, as we pardon those Avho imagine a lion 
in the clouds, and are afraid. But if they are done 
purposely, we must deal with those who err thus, 
as we do with tyrants, who instead of following the 
laws of the state for the public good, try to pervert 
them for their own advantage. 

Oh worst of crimes, even though a man commit it in 
his dreams, to turn to ill use the purpose of the Eternal 
Spirit. Such an one does not sin against Moses, or 
David, or Job, or Matthew, or Paul, but against the 
Eternal Spirit that speaketh in them. For though 
the reporters of the words of God are many, yet there 
is one only that tells them what to write, even God, 

* I- 36, 37. Dante writes: "per gjTum." The Benedictine text 
has : "per agrum." 


who lias deigned to unfold to us His will through the 
pens of many writers. 

Having thus first noted these things, I will pro- 
ceed, as I said above, to destroy the argument of 
those who say that the two great lights are typical of 
the two great powers on earth : for on this type rests 
the whole strength of their argument. It can be 
shown in two vrays that this interpretation cannot be 
upheld. First, seeing that these two kinds of power 
are, in a sense, accidents of men, God would thus 
appear to have used a perverted order, by producing 
the accidents, before the essence to which they belong 
existed ; and it is ridiculous to say this of God. For 
the two great lights were created on the fourth day, 
while man was not created till the sixth day, as is 
evident in the text of Scripture. 

Secondly, seeing that these two kinds of rule are 
to guide men to certain ends, as we shall see, it 
follows that if man had remained in the state of 
innocence in v/hich God created him, he would not 
have needed such means of guidance. These kinds 
of rule, then, are remedies against the weakness of 
sin. Since, then, man was not a sinner on the fourth 
day, for he did not then even exist, it would have 
been idle to make remedies for his sin, and this would 
be contrary to the goodness of God. For he would 
be a sorry physician who would make a plaster for 


an abscess which was to be, before the man was born. 
It cannot, therefore, be said that God made these two 
kinds of rule on the fourth day, and therefore the 
meaning of Moses cannot have been what these men 

We may also be more tolerant, and overthrow this 
falsehood by drawing a distinction. This way of 
distinction is a gentler way of treating an adversary, 
for so his arguments are not made to appear con- 
sciously false, as is the case when we utterly over- 
throw him. I say then that, although the moon has 
not light of its own abundantly, unless it receives 
it from the sun, yet it does not therefore follow that 
the moon is from the sun. Therefore be it known 
that the being, and the power, and the working of 
the moon are all different things. For its being, the 
moon in no way depends on the sun, nor for its 
power, nor for its working, considered in itself. Its 
motion comes from its proper mover, its influence is 
from its own rays. For it has a certain light of its 
own, which is manifest at the time of an eclipse ; 
though for its better and more powerful working it 
receives from the sun an abundant light, which 
enables it to work more powerfully. 

Therefore I say that the temporal power does 
not receive its being from the spiritual power, nor 
its power which is its authority, nor its working 


considered in itself. Yet it is good that the temporal 
power should receive from the spiritual the means of 
working more effectively by the light of the grace 
which the benediction of the Supreme Pontiff bestows 
on it both in heaven and on earth. Therefore we 
may see that the argument of these men erred in 
its form, because the predicate of the conclusion is 
not the predicate of the major premiss. The argu- 
ment runs thus : The moon receives her light from 
the sun, which is the spiritual power. The temporal 
power is the moon. Therefore the temporal power 
receives authority from the spiritual power. " Light " 
is the predicate of the major premiss, "authority" 
the predicate of the conclusion ; which two things 
we have seen to be very different in their subject and 
in their idea. 

V. — They draw another argument from the text 
of Moses, saying that the types of these two powers 
sprang from the loins of Jacob, for that they are 
prefigured in Levi and Judah, whereof one was 
founder of the spiritual power, and the other of the 
temporal. From this they argue : the Church has 
the same relation to the Empire that Levi had to 
Judah. Levi preceded Judah in his birth, therefore 
the Church precedes the Empire in authority. 

This error is easily overthrown. For when they 
say that Levi and Judah, the sons of Jacob, are the 


types of spiritual and temporal power, I could show 
this argument, too, to be wholly false ; but I will 
grant it to be true. Then they infer, as Levi came 
first in birth, so does the Church come first in 
authority. But, as in the previous argument, the 
predicates of the conclusion and of the major premiss 
are different : authority and birth are different things, 
both in their subject and in tlieir idea ; and therefore 
there is an error in the form of the argument. The 
argument is as follows : A precedes B in C ; D and 
E stand in the same relation as A and B ; therefore 
D precedes E in F. But then F and C are different 
things. And if it is objected that F follows from C, 
that is, authority from priority of birth, and that the 
efiect is properly substituted for the cause, as if 
" animal " were used in an argument for men, the 
objection is bad. For there are many men, who 
were born before others, who not only do not precede 
those others in authority, but even come after them : 
as is plain where we find a bishop younger than his 
archpresbyters. Therefore their objection appears 
to err in that it assumes as a cause that which is 

YI. — Again, from the first book of Kings they 
take the election and the deposition of Saul ; and 
they say that Saul, an enthroned king, was deposed 
by Samuel, who, by God's com.mand, acted in the 


stead of God, as appears from the text of Scripture. 
From this they argue that, as that Vicar of God 
had authority to give temporal power, and to take 
it away and bestow it on another, so now the Vicar 
of God, the bishop of the universal Church, has 
authority to give the sceptre of temporal power, and 
to take it away, and even to give it to another. And 
if this were so, it Avould follow without doubt that 
the authority of the Empire is dependent on the 
Church, as they say. 

But we may answ^er and destroy this argument, 
by which they say that Samuel was the Vicar of 
God : for it was not as Vicar of God that he acted, 
but as a special delegate for this purpose, or as a 
messenger bearing the express command of his Lord. 
For it is clear that what God commanded him, that 
only he did, and that only he said. 

Therefore we must recognise that it is one thing 
to be another's vicar, and that it is another to be his 
messenger or minister, just as it is one thing to be a 
doctor, and another to be an interpreter. For a 
vicar is one to whom is committed jurisdiction with 
law or with arbitrary power, and therefore w^ithin the 
bounds of the jurisdiction which is committed to 
him, he may act by law or by his arbitrary power 
without the knowledge of his lord. It is not so with a 
mere messenger, in so far as he is a messenger ; but 


as the mallet acts only by the strength of the smith, 
so the messenger acts only by the authority of him^ 
that sent him. Although, then, God did this by 
His messenger Samuel, it does not follow that the 
Vicar of God may do the same. For there are many- 
things which God has done and still does, and yet 
will do through angels, which the Vicar of God, the 
successor of Peter, might not do. 

Therefore we may see that they argue from the 
whole to a part, thus : Men can hear and see, there- 
fore the eye can hear and see : which does not hold. 
Were the argument negative, it would be good : for 
instance, man cannot fly, therefore man's arm cannot 
fly. And, in the same way, God cannot, by his 
messenger, cause what is not to have been,^!- as 
Agathon says ; therefore neither can his Vicar. 

Vn.— Further, they use the offering of the wise 
men from the text of Matthew, saying that Christ 
accepted from them both frankincense and gold, to 
signify that He was lord and ruler both of things 
temporal and of things spiritual ; and from this they 
infer that the Vicar of Christ is also lord and ruler 
both of things temporal and of things spiritual ; and 
that consequently he has authority over both. 

To this I answer, that I acknowledge that Matthew's 

* As quoted by Aristotle, Ethics, vi. 3.— (W.) 


words and meaning are both as they say, but that the 
inference which they attempt to draw therefrom fails, 
because it fails in the terms of the argument. Their 
syllogism runs thus : God is the lord both of things 
temporal and of things spiritual, the holy Pontiff is 
the Vicar of God ; therefore he is lord both of things 
temporal and of things spiritual. Both of these pro- 
positions are true, but the middle term in them is 
different, and/b/zr terms are introduced, by which the 
form of the syllogism is not kept, as is plain from 
what is said of " the syllogism simply." * For " God " 
is the subject of the major premiss, and "the Vicar 
of God" is the predicate of the minor ; and these are 
not the same. 

And if anyone raises the objection that the Vicar 
of God is equal in power to God, his objection is 
idle ; for no vicar, whether human or divine, can be 
equal in power to the master whose vicar he is, which 
is at once obvious. We know that the successor of 
Peter had not equal authority with God, at least in 
the works of nature ; he could not make a clod of 
earth fall upwards, nor fire to burn in a downward 
direction, by virtue of the office committed to him.. 
Nor could all things be committed to him by God ; 
for God could not commit to any the power of 

* Arist. Anal. Prior., or rather, the Siwwuilts Logiccc, 1. iv., of 
Petrus Hispanus. — (W.) 


creation, and of baptism, as is clearly proved, not- 
withstanding what* the Master says in his fourth 

We know also that the vicar of a mortal man is 
not equal In authority to the man whose vicar he is, 
so far as he is his vicar ; for none can give away what 
is not his. The authority of a prince does not belong 
to a prince, except for him to use it ; for no prince 
can give to himself authority. He can indeed receive 
authority, and give it up, but he cannot create it in 
another man, for it does not belong to a prince to 
create another prince. And if this is so, it is manifest 
that no prince can substitute for himself a vicar equal 
to himself in authority respecting all things, and 
therefore the objection to our argument has no 

VIII.— They also bring forward that saying in 
Matthew of Christ to Peter : " Whatsoever thou shalt 
bind on earth shall be bound in heaven ; and what- 
soever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in 
heaven;" which also, from the text of Matthew and 
John, they allow to have been in like manner said 
to all the Apostles. From this they argue that it 
has been granted by God to the successor of_Peter 
to be able to bind and to loose all things ; hence 

* Peter Lombard, "magister sententiarum," iv. dist. 5, f. 2.— (W.) 

T 2 


they infer that he can loose the laws and decrees of 
the Empire, and also bind laws and decrees for the 
temporal power ; and, if this were so, this conclusion 
would rightly follow. 

But we must draw a distinction touching their 
major premiss. Their syllogism is in this form. Peter 
could loose and bind all things ; the successor of Peter 
can do whatever Peter could do ; therefore the suc- 
cessor of Peter can bind and can loose all things : 
whence they conclude that he can bind and can loose 
the decrees and the authority of the Empire. 

Now I admit the minor premiss ; but touching 
the major premiss I draw a distinction. The universal 
"everything" which is included in "whatever" is not 
distributed beyond the extent of the distributed term. 
If I say "all animals run," "all" is distributed so as 
to include everything which comes under the class 
"animal." But if I say "all men run," then "all" is 
only distributed so as to include every individual in 
the class "man ;" and when I say "every grammarian 
runs," then is the distribution even more limited. 

Therefore we r nust alw ays look to see what it is 
that is to be included in the word "all," and when 
we know the nature and extent of the distributed 
term, it will easily be seen how far the distribution 
extends. Therefore, when it is said "whatsoever 
thou shalt bind," if " whatsoever " bore an unlimited 


sense, they would speak truly, and the power of the 
Pope would extend even beyond what they say ; for 
he might then divorce a wife from her husband, and 
marry her to another while her first husband was yet 
alive, which he can in no wise do. He might even 
absolve me when impenitent, which God Himself 
cannot do. 

Therefore it is manifest that th e distributipn of the 
termjn^^uestion is not absolute, but in reference to 
something. What this is will be sufficiently clear if 
we consider what power was granted to Peter. Christ 
said to Peter : " To thee will I give the keys of the 
kingdom of heaven " — that is, " I will make thee the 
doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven." And then 
He adds : " Whatsoever," which is to say " all that " — 
to wit, all that has reference to this duty — "thou shalt 
have power to bind and to loose." And thus the 
universal which is implied in " v/hatsoever " has onh- 
a limited distribution, referring to the office of the 
keys of the kingdom of heaven. And in this sense 
the proposition of our opponents is true, but, taken 
absolutely, it is manifestly false. I say, then, that 
although the successor of Peter has power to bind 
and to loose, as belongs to him to whom the ofiice of 
Peter was committed, yet it does not therefore follow 
that he has power to bind and to loose the decrees of 
the Empire, as our opponents say, unless they further 


prove that to do so belongs to the office of the keys, 
which we shall shortly show is not the case. 

IX. — They further take the words in Luke which 
Peter spake to Christ, saying : " Behold, here are two 
swords ;" and they understood that by these two 
swords the two kinds of rule were foretold. And 
since Peter said " here," where he was, which is to say, 
" with him," they argue that the authority of the two 
kinds of rule rests with the successor of Peter. 

We must answer by showing that the interpreta- 
tion, on which the argument rests, is wrong. They 
say that the two swords of which Peter spake mean 
the two kinds of rule which we have spoken of; but 
this we wholly deny, for then Peter's answer would 
not be according to the meaning of the words of 
Christ ; and also we say that Peter made, as was his 
wont, a hasty answer, touching only the outside of 

It will be manifest that such an answer as our 
opponents allege would not be according to the mean- 
ing of the words of Christ, if the preceding words, 
and the reason of them, be considered. Observe, 
then, that these words were spoken on the day of the 
feast, for a little before Luke writes thus : " Then 
came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover 
must be killed ;" and at this feast Christ had spoken 
of His Passion, which was at hand, in which it was 


necessary for Him to be separated from His disciples. 
Observe, too, that when these words were spoken the 
twelve were assembled together , and therefore, shortly- 
after the words which we have just quoted, Luke says : 
" And when the hour was come He sat down, and the 
twelve Apostles with Him." And continuing His 
discourse with them. He came to this : " When I sent 
you, without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye 
anything ? And they said. Nothing. Then said 
He unto them : But now, he that hath a purse, let 
him take it, and likewise his scrip ; and he that hath 
no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." 
From these words the purpose of Christ is suffi- 
ciently manifest ; for He did not say : " Buy, or 
get for yourselves, two swords," but rather " twelve 
swords," seeing that He spake unto twelve dis- 
ciples : " He that hath not, let him buy," so 
that each should have one. And He said this to 
admonish them of the persecution and scorn that they 
should suffer, as though He would say : " As long as 
I was with you men received you gladly, but now you 
will be driven away ; therefore of necessity ye must 
prepare for yourselves those things which formerly I 
forbade you to have." And therefore if the answer 
of Peter bore the meaning which our opponents assign 
to it, it would have been no answer to the words of 
Christ ; and Christ would have rebuked him for 


answering foolishly, as He often did rebuke him. But 
Christ did not rebuke him, but was satisfied, saying 
unto him : "It is enough," as though He would say: 
" I speak because of the necessity ; but if each one of 
you cannot possess a sword, two are enough." 

And that it was Peter's wont to speak in a 
shallow manner is proved by his hasty and thought- 
less forwardness, to which he was led not only by the 
sincerity of his faith, but also, I believe, by the natural 
purity and simplicity of his character. All the Evan- 
gelists bear testimony to this forwardness. 

Matthew writes that when Jesus had asked His 
disciples: "Whom say ye that I am.?" Peter answered 
before them all and said: "Thou art Christ, the Son of 
the living God." He writes also that when Christ 
was saying to His disciples that he must go up to 
Jen.isalem and suffer many things, Peter took Him 
and began to rebuke Him, saying: "Be it far from 
Thee, Lord ; this shall not be unto Thee." But Christ 
turned and rebuked him, and said: "Get thee behind 
me, Satan." Matthew also writes that in the Mount 
of Transfiguration, on the sight of Christ, and of 
IMoses and Elias, and of the two sons of Zebedee, 
Peter said: "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if 
Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for 
Thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias," He also 
writes that wdien the disciples were in a ship, in the 


night, and Christ went unto them walking on the 
sea, then Peter said unto Him : " Lord, if it be 
Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water." And 
when Christ foretold that all His disciples should be 
offended because of Him, Peter answered and said : 
" Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, 
yet will I never be offended;" and then: "Though I 
should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee." 
And to this saying Mark bears witness also. And 
Luke writes that Peter had said to Christ, a little 
before the words touching the swords which we have 
quoted: "Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into 
prison and to death." And John says of him, that, 
when Christ wished to wash his feet, Peter answered 
and said: "Lord, dost Thou wash my feet.^" and 
then : " Thou shalt never wash my feet." The same 
Evangelist tells us that it was Peter who smote the 
High Priest's servant with a sword, and the other 
Evangelists also bear witness to this thing. He tells 
us also how Peter entered the sepulchre at once, when 
he saw the other disciple waiting outside, and how, 
when Christ was on the shore after the resurrection, 
w^hen Peter had heard that it was the Lord, he girt 
his fisher's coat unto him (for he was naked) and did 
cast himself into the sea. Lastly, John tells that 
when Peter saw John, he said unto Jesus: "Lord, and 
what shall this man do ? " 


It is a pleasure to have pursued this point about 
our Chief Shepherd,* in praise of his purity of spirit; 
but from what I have said it is plain that when he 
spake of the two swords, he answered the words of 
Christ with no second meaning. 

But if we are to receive these words of Christ and 
of Peter typically, they must not be explained as 
our adversaries explain them ; but they must be 
referred to that sword of which Matthew writes : 
" Think not that I am come to send peace on the 
earth ; I come not to send peace, but a sword. For 
I am come to set a man at variance against his 
father," &c. And this comes to pass not only in 
words, but also in fact. And therefore Luke speaks 
to Theophilus of all "that Jesus began both to do 
and to teach." It was a sword of that kind that 
Christ commanded them to buy ; and Peter said that 
it was already doubly there. For they w'ere ready 
both for words and for deeds, by which they should 
accomplish what Christ said that He had come to do 
by the sword. 

X.— Certain persons say further that the Emperor 
Constantine, having been cleansed from leprosy by 
the intercession of Sylvester, then the Supreme Pontiff, 
gave unto the Church the seat of Empire v/hich was 

* "Arcliimandrita nostro." Cf. Parad. xi. 09, of St. Francis. — (W.) 


Rome, together with many other dignities belonging 
to the Empire.* Hence the3L.aj:g.u.e that no man can 
take unto himself these dignities unless he receive 
them from the Church, whose they are said to be. 
From this it would rightly follow, that one authority 
depends on the other, as they maintain. 

The arguments which seemed to have their roots 
in the Divine words, have been stated and disproved. 
It remains to state and disprove those which are 
grounded on Roman history and in the reason of 
mankind. The first of these is the one which we have 
mentioned, in which the syllogism runs as follows : 
No one has a right to those things which belong to 
the Church, unless he has them from the Church ; 
and this we grant. The government of Rome belongs 
to the Church ; therefore no one has a right to it 
unless it be given him by the Church. The minor 
premiss is proved by the facts concerning Constantine, 
which we have touched on. 

This minor premiss then will I destroy ; and as 
for their proof, I say that it proves nothing. For the 
dimity of the Empire was what Constantine could 
not alienate, nor the Church receive. And v/hen they 
insist, I prove my words as follows : No man on the 
strength of the office which is committed to him, may 

* On the Donation of Constantine, Witte refers to Inf. xxxviii. 94 ; 
xix. 115 ; Purg. xxxii, 124; Farad, xx. 35 ; sitp-a ii. 12. 


do_aughl__Lliat is contrary to that office ; for so one 
and the same man, viewed as one man, would be 
contrary to himseh'', which is impossible. But to 
divide the Empire is contrary to the office committed 
to the Emperor ; for his office is to hold mankind in 
all things subject to one will : as may be easily seen 
from the first book of this treatise. Therefore it is 
not permitted to the Emperor to divide the Empire. 
If, therefore, as they say, any dignities had been 
alienated by Constantine, and had passed to the 
Church, the " coat without seam " — which even they, 
who pierced Christ, the true God, with a spear, dared 
not rend — would have been rent.* 

Further, just as the Church has its foundation, so 
has the Empire its foundation. The foundation of 
the Church is Christ, as Paul says in his first Epistle 
to the Corinthians : " For other foundation can no 
man hxy than that which is laid, which is Jesus 
Christ."t He is the rock on which the Church is 
built ; but the foundation of the Empire is human 
right. Xow I say that, as the Church may not go con- 
trary to its foundation — but must always rest on its 
foundation, as the words of the Canticles say : "Who 

* Each side in the controversy used the type of the "seamless robe," 
one of the Empire {siip?-a i. 16), the other of the Church ; e.g., in the 
Bull of Boniface YIII., 'Tnam Sanctam''- 

t I Cor. iii. 11.— (W.) 


is she that cometh up from the desert, abounding 
in dehghts, leaning on her beloved ?"* — in the same 
way I say that the Empire may not do aught that 
transgresses human right. But were the Empire to 
destroy itself, it would so transgress human right. 
Therefore the Empire may not destroy itself Since 
then to divide the Empire would be to destroy it, 
because the Empire consists in one single universal 
Monarchy, it is manifest that he who exercises the 
authority of the Empire may not destroy it, and 
from what we have said before, it is manifest that 
to destroy the Empire is contrary to human right. 

Moreover, all jurisdiction is prior in time to the 
judge who has it ; for it is the judge who is ordained 
for the jurisdiction, not the jurisdiction for the judge. 
But the Empire is a jurisdiction, comprehending 
within itself all temporal jurisdiction : therefore it 
is prior to the judge who has it, who is the Emperor. 
For it is the Emperor who is ordained for the Empire, 
and not contrariwise. Therefore it is clear that the 
Emperor, in so far as he is Emperor, cannot alter 
the Empire ; for it is to the Empire that he owes 
his being. I say then that he who is said to have 
conferred on the Church the authority in question 
either was Emperor, or he was not. If he was not, 

• Cant. viii. 5.— (W.) 


it is plain that he had no power to give away 
any part of the Empire. Nor could he, if he was 
Emperor, in so far as he was Emperor, for such a 
gift would be a diminishing of his jurisdiction. 

Further, if one Emperor were able to cut off a 
certain portion of the jurisdiction of the Empire, so 
could another ; and since temporal jurisdiction is 
finite, and since all that is finite is taken away by 
finite diminutions, it would follow that it is possible 
for the first of all jurisdictions to be annihilated, 
which is absurd. 

Further, since he that gives is in the position of 
an agent, and he to whom a thing is given in that 
of a patient, as the Philosopher holds in the fourth 
book to Nicomachus,* therefore, that a gift may be 
given, we require not only the fit qualification of the 
giver, but also of the receiver ; for the acts of the 
agent are completed in a patient who is qualified. f 
But the Church was altogether unqualified to receive 
temporal things ; for there is an express command, 
forbidding her so to do, which Matthew gives thus : 
" Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your 
purses." For though we find in Luke a relaxation of 
the command in regard to certain matters, yet I have 
not anywhere been able to find that the Church after 

* Eth. iv. I. — (W.) + "Dispositio ; dispositiis ; indisposiia." 


that prohibition had hcence given her to possess gold 
and silver. If therefore the Church was unable to 
receive temporal power, even granting that Constantine 
was able to give it, yet the gift was impossible ; for 
the receiver was disqualified. It is therefore plain 
that neither could the Church receive in the way of 
possession, nor could Constantine give in the way of 
alienation ; though it is true that the Emperor, as 
protector of the Church, could allot to the Church a 
patrimony and other things, if he did not impair his 
supreme lordship, the unity of which does not allow 
division. And the Vicar of God could receive such 
things, not to possess them, but as a steward to dis- 
pense the fruits of them to the poor of Christ, on 
behalf of the Church, as we know the Apostles did. 

XI. — Our adversaries further say that the Pope 
Hadrian* summoned Charles the Great to his own 
assistance t and to that of the Church, on account of 
the wrongs suffered from the Lombards in the time 
of their king Desiderius, and that Charles received 
from that Pope the imperial dignity, notwithstanding 
that Michael was emperor at Constantinople. And 
therefore they say that all the Roman emperors who 
succeeded Charles were themselves the " advocates " 
of the Church, and ought by the Church to be 

* A.D. 773.— (W.) t ''Advocavit:' 


called to their office. From which would follow that 
dependence of the Empire on the Church which they 
wish to prove. 

But to overset their argument, I reply that what 
they say is nought ; for a_usyr^tion of right does 
not make right ; and if it were so, it might be proved 
in the same way that the Church is dependent on the 
Empire ; for the Emperor Otto restored the Pope 
Leo, and deposed Benedict, leading him into exile to 

XII. — But from reason they thus argue : they take 
the principle laid down in the tenth book of ''PJiilo- 
sopliia Prima',' ■\ saying that all things which belong to 
one genus are to be brought under one head, which 
is the standard and measure of all that come under 
that genus. But all men belong to one genus : there- 
fore they are to be brought under one head, as the 
standard and measure of them all. But the Supreme 
Pontiff and the Emperor are men ; therefore if the 
preceding reasoning be true, they must be brought 
under one head. And since the Pope cannot come 
under any other man, the result is that the Emperor, 
together with all other men, must be brought under 
the Pope, as the measure and rule of all ; and then, 
what those who argue thus desire follows. 

* Otto I. (964) deposed Benedict V. and restored Leo VIII. 
t Arist. Mctaph. x. i.— (W.) 


To overset this argument, I answer that they are 
right when they say that all the individuals of one 
genus ought to be brought under one head, as their 
measure ; and that they are again right when they 
say that all men belong to one genus, and that they 
are also right when they argue from these truths 
that all men should be brought under one head, taken 
from the genus man, as their measure and type. But 
when they obtain the further conclusion concerning 
the Pope and the Emperor, they fall into a fallacy 
touching accidental attributes. 

That this thing may be understood, it must be 
clearly known that to be a man is one thing, and to 
be a pope or an emperor is another ; just as to be 
a man is different from being a father or a ruler. 
A man is that which exists by its essential form, 
which gives it its genus and species, and by which 
it comes under the category of substance. But a 
■father is that which exists by an accidental form, 
that is, one which stands in a certain relation which 
gives it a certain genus and species, and through 
which it comes under the category of relation. If 
this were not so, all things would come under the 
category of substance, seeing that no accidental form 
can exist by itself, without the support of an existing 
substance ; and this is not so. Seeing, therefore, 
that the Pope and the Emperor are what they are 


by virtue of certain relations : for they owe their 
existence to the Papacy and the Empire, which are 
both relations, one coming within the sphere of father- 
hood, and the other within that of rule ; it manifestly 
follows that both the Pope and the Emperor, in so 
far as they are Pope and Emperor, must come under 
the category of relation ; and therefore that they 
must be brought under some head of that genus. 

I say then that there is one standard under which 
they are to be brought, as men ; and another under 
which they come, as Pope and Emperor. For in so 
far as they are men, they have to be brought under 
the best man, whoever he be, who is the measure and 
the ideal of all mankind ; under him, that is, who is 
most one in his kind,* as may be gathered from 
the last book to Nicomachus.f When, however, two 
things are relative, it is evident that they must 
either be reciprocally brought under each other, if 
they are alternately superior, or if by the nature of 
their relation they belong to connected species ; or 
else they must be brought under some third thing, 
as their common unity. But the first of these sup- 
positions is impossible : for then both would be 
predicable of both, which cannot be. We cannot 
say that the Emperor is the Pope, or the Pope the 

* "Ad existentem maxime tinum in gcitcrc stco." 
t Etk. X. 5, 7.-(W.) 


Emperor. Nor again can it be said that they are 
connected in species, for the idea of the Pope is quite 
other than the idea of the Emperor, in so far as they 
are Pope and Emperor. Therefore they must be 
reduced to some single thing above them. 

Now it must be understood that the relative is to 
the relative as the relation to the relation. If, there- 
fore, the Papacy and the Empire, seeing that they are 
relations of paramount superiority, have to be carried 
back to some higher point of superiority from which 
they, with the features which make them different,* 
branch off, the Pope and Emperor, being relative to 
one another, must be brought back to some one unity 
in which the higher point of superiority, without this 
characteristic difference, is found. And this will be 
either God, to Avhom all things unite in looking up, 
or something below God, which is higher in the scale 
of superiority, while differing from the simple and 
absolute superiority of God. Thus it is evident that 
the Pope and the Emperor, in so far as they are men, 
have to be brought under some one head ; while, in 
so far as they are Pope and Emperor, they have to be 
brought under another head, and so far is clear, as 
regards the argument from reason. 

Xm.— We have now stated and put on one side 

" Cum differentialibus suis." 

U 2 


those erroneous reasonings on which they, who assert 
that the authority of the Roman Emperor depends 
on the Pope of Rome, do most chiefly rely. We have 
now to go back and show forth the truth in this third 
question, v/hich we proposed in the beginning to 
examine. The truth will appear plainly enough if I 
start in my inquiry from the principle which I laid 
down, and then show that the ajathority of the Empire 
springs. immediately from the head of all being, who 
is God. This truth will be made manifest, either if it 
be shown that the authority of the Empire does not 
spring from the authority of the Church ; for there 
is no argument concerning any other authority. Or 
again, if it be shown by direct proof that the authority 
of the Empire springs immediately from God. 

We prove that the authority of the Church is not 
the cause of the authority of the Empire in the fol- 
lowing manner. Nothing can be the cause of power 
in another thing when that other thing has all its 
power, while the first either does not exist, or else 
has no power of action.* But the Empire had its 
power while the Church was either not existing at all, 
or else had no power of acting. Therefore the 
Church is not the cause of the power of the Empire,, 
and therefore not of its authority either, for power 

* '■^No7t virtiiantc." 


and authority mean the same thhig. Let A be the 
Church, B the Empire, C the authority or power of 
the Empire. If C is in B while A does not exist, A 
cannot be the cause of C being in B, for it is impos- 
sible for an effect to exist before its cause. Further, 
if C is in B while A does not act, it cannot be that 
A is the cause of C being in B ; for, to produce an 
effect, it is necessary that the cause, especially the 
efficient cause of which we are speaking, should have 
been at work first. The major premiss of this argu- 
ment is self-evident, and the minor premiss is con- 
firmed by Christ and the Church. Christ confirms it by 
His birth and His death, as we have said; the Church 
confirms it in the words which Paul spake to Festus 
in the Acts of the Apostles : " I stand at Czesar's 
judgment-seat, where I ought to be judged," and by 
the words which an angel of God spake to Paul a 
little afterwards : " Fear not, Paul ; thou must be 
brought before Caesar ; " and again by Paul's words 
to the Jews of Italy : " But when the Jews spake 
against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Czesar ; 
not that I had aught to accuse my nation of," but "to 
deliver my soul from death." But if Caesar had not 
at that time had the authority to judge in temporal 
matters, Christ would not have argued thus ; nor 
would the angel have brought these words; nor would 
he, who spake of himself as " having a desire to depart 


and to be with Christ," have made an appeal to a 
judge not having authority.* 

And if Constantine had not had the authority 
over the patronage of the Church, those things which 
he allotted from the Empire he could not have had 
the right to allot ; and so the Church would be using 
this gift against right ; whereas God wills that offer- 
ings should be pure, as is commanded in Leviticus : 
" No meat offering that ye shall bring unto the Lord 
shall be made with leaven." And though this com- 
mand appears to regard those who offer, nevertheless 
it also regards those who receive an offering. For it is 
folly to suppose that God wishes to be received that 
which He forbids to be offered, for in the same book 
there is a command to the Levites: "Ye shall not 
make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing 
that creepeth ; neither shall ye make yourselves un- 
clean with them, that ye shall be defiled thereby." f 
But to say that the Church so misuses the patrimony 
assigned to her is very unseemly ; therefore the 
premiss from which this conclusion followed is 

XIV. — Again, if the Church had power to bestow 
authority on the Roman Prince, she would have it 

* ^'Incompetentem." Acts xxv. lo ; xxvii, 24; xxviii. 19. Phil. 
i. 23. -(W.) 

t Levit. ii. 11 ; xi. 43. — (W.) 


either- from God, or from herself, or from some 
Emperor, or from the universal consent of mankind, 
or at least of the majority of mankind. There is no 
other crevice by which this power could flow down 
to the Church. But she has it not from any of these 
sources ; therefore she has it not at all. 

It is manifest that she has it from none of these 
sources ; for if she had received it from God, she 
would have received it either by the divine or by the 
natural law : because what is received from nature is 
received from God ; though the converse of this is not 
true. But this power is not received by the natural 
law ; for nature lays down no law, save for the effects of 
nature, for God cannot fail in power, Avhere he brings 
anything into being without the aid of secondary 
agents. Since therefore the Church is not an effect 
of nature, but of God who said : " Upon this rock 
I will build my Church," and elsewhere : " I have 
finished the work which Thou gavest me to do," it 
is manifest that nature did not give the Church this 

Nor was this power bestowed by the divine law ; 
for the whole of the divine law is contained in the 
bosom of the Old or of the New Testament, and I 
cannot find therein that any thought or care for 
worldly matters was commanded, either to the early 
or to the latter priesthood. Nay, I find rather 


such care taken away from the priests of the Old 
Testament by the express command of God to 
Moses,* and from the priests of the New Testament 
by the express command of Christ to His disciples.f 
But it could not be that this care was taken away 
from them, if the authority of the temporal power 
flowed from the priesthood ; for at least in giving 
the authority there would be an anxious watchful- 
ness of forethought, and afterwards continued pre- 
caution, lest he to whom authority had been given 
should leave the straight w-ay. 

Then it is quite plain that the Church did not 
receive this power from herself; for nothing can give 
what it has not. Therefore all that does anything, 
must be such in its doing, as that which it intends to 
do, as is stated in the book " of Simple Being." J But 
it is plain that if the Church gave to herself this 
power, she had it not before she gave it. Thus she 
would have given what she had not, which is im- 

But it is sufficiently manifest from what we have 
previously made evident that the Church has received 
not this power from any Emperor. 

And further, that she had it not from the consent 
of all, or even of the greater part of mankind, who 

* Numbers xviii. 20. Cf. Purg. xvi. 131. — (W.) 
t Matt. X. 9.— (W.) X Arist Metaph, ix. 8.— (W.) 



can doubt ? seeing that not only all the inhabitants 
of Asia and Africa, but even the greater number of 
Europeans, liold the thought in abhorrence. It is 
mere weariness to adduce proofs in matters which 
are so plain. 

XY. — Again, that which is contrary to the nature 
of a thing cannot be counted as one of its essential 
powers ; for the essential powers of each individual 
follow on its nature, in order to gain its end. But the 
power to grant authority in that which is the realm 
of our mortal state is contrary to the nature of the 
Church.* Therefore it is not in the number of its 
essential powers. For the proof of the minor premiss 
Ave must know that the nature of the Church means 
the form [or essence] t of the Church. For although 
men use the word nature not only of the form of a 
thing, but also of its matter, nevertheless, it is of the 
form that they use it more properly, as is proved in 
the book " of Natural Learning." % But the [essence 
or] form of the Church is nothing else than the life of 
Christ, as it is contained both in His sayings and in 
His deeds. For His life was the example and ideal 
of the militant Church, especially of its pastors, and 
above all of its chief pastor, to whom it belongs to 

* " Vi>-tus auctorizandi regnum nostra: moftalitafis est contra 
ziaturani Ecclcsicc.^' 

t ''Forma." % Arist. Phys. Attsc. ii. i.— (W.) 


feed the sheep and the lambs of Christ. And there- 
fore when Christ left His life unto men for an example 
He said in John's Gospel : " I have given you an 
example that ye should do as I have done to you." 
And He said unto Peter specially, after that He had 
committed unto him the office of shepherd, the words 
which John also reports: "Peter, follow me." But 
Christ denied before Pilate that His rule was of this 
sort, saying : " My kingdom is not of this world : if 
my kingdom were of this world, then would my 
servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the 
Jews ; but now is my kingdom not from hence."* 

But this saying must not be understood to mean 
that Christ, who is God, is not the lord of this kingdom, 
for the Psalmist says : " The sea is His, and He made 
it, and His hands formed the dry land."t We must 
understand it to mean that, as the pattern of the Omrch, 
He had not the care of this kingdom. It is as if a 
golden seal were to speak of itself, and say : " I am 
not the standard for such and such a class of things;" 
for in so far as it is gold, this saying is untrue, seeing 
that gold is the standard of all metals ; but it is true 
in so far as it is a sign capable of being received by 

It belongs, then, to the very form of the Church 

Johnxiii. 15 ; xxi. 22; xviii. 36.— (W.) f Ps. xcv. 5.— (W.) 


always to speak the same, always to think the same ; 
and to do the opposite of this is evidently contrary to 
its essential form — that is to say, to its nature. And 
from this it may be collected that the power of 
bestowing authority on this kingdom is contrary to the 
nature of the Church ; for contrariety which is in 
thought or word follows from contrariety which is 
in the thing thought and the thing said ; just as 
truth and falsehood in speech come from the being or 
the not-being of the thing, as we learn from the doc- 
trine of the Categories. It has then become manifest 
enough by means of the preceding arguments, by 
which the contention of our opponents has been 
shown to lead to an absurd result, that the authority 
of the Empire is not in any way dependent on the 
authority of the Church. 

XVI.— Although it has been proved in the pre- 
ceding chapter that the authority of the Empire 
has not its cause in the authority of the Supreme 
Pontiff; for we have shown that this argument led to 
absurd results ; yet it has not been entirely shown 
that the authority of the Empire depends directly 
upon God, except as a result from our argument. For 
it is a consequence that, if the authority comes not 
from the vicar of God, it must come from God 
Himself And therefore, for the complete determi- 
nation of the question proposed, Ave have to prove 


directly that the emperor or monarch of the world 
stands in an immediate relation to the King of the 
universe, who is God. 

For the better comprehending of this, it must be 
recognised that man alone, of all created things, holds 
a position midway betv/een things corruptible and 
things incorruptible ; and therefore* philosophers 
rightly liken him to a dividing line between two 
hemispheres. For man consists of two essential 
parts, namely, the soul and the body. If he be 
considered in relation to his body only, he is cor- 
ruptible; but if he be considered in relation to his 
soul only, he is incorruptible. And therefore the 
Philosopher spoke well concerning the incorruptible 
soul when he said in the second book "of the Soul :" 
" It is this alone which may be separated, as being 
eternal, from the corruptible." t 

If, therefore, man holds this position midway 
between the corruptible and the incorruptible, since 
every middle nature partakes of both extremes, man 
must share something of each nature. And since 
every nature is ordained to gain some final end, it 
follows that for man there is a double end. For as 

* In the De Cans is [v. above, i. Ii), Propos. 9: " Intelligentia 
comprehendit generata et naturam, et horizontem naturae, scilicet 
animam ; nam ipsa est supra naturam." — (W.) 

+ Arist. Dc Anim. ii. 2. — (W.) 


he alone of all beings participates both in the cor- 
ruptible and the incorruptible, so he alone of all beings, 
is ordained to gain two ends, whereby one is his end 
in so far as he is corruptible, and the other in so far 
as he is incorruptible. 

Two ends, therefore, have been laid down by the 
ineffable providence of God for man to aim at: 
the blessedness of this life, which consists m the 
exercise of his natural powers, and which is prefigured 
in* the earthly Paradise; and next, the blessedness 
of the life eternal, which consists in the fruition of the 
sicht of God's countenance, and to which man by his 
oCn natural powers cannot rise, if he be not aided by 
the divine hght ; and this blessedness is understood 
by the heavenly Paradise. 

But to these different kinds of blessedness, as to 
different conclusions, we must come by different 
means For at the first we may arrive by the lessons 
of philosophy, if only we will follow them, by acting m 
accordance with the moral and intellectual virtues 
But at the second we can only arrive by spiritual 
lessons, transcending human reason, so that we follow 
them in accordance with the theological virtues faitn, 
hope, and charity. The truth of the first of these 
conclusions and of these means is made manifest by 

See Purg. xxviil. : and Mr. Longfellow's note ad loc. 


human reason, which by the philosophers has been 
all laid open to us. The other conclusions and 
means are made manifest by the Holy Spirit, who 
by the mouth of the Prophets and holy writers, and 
by Jesus Christ, the co-eternal Son of God, and His 
disciples, has revealed to us supernatural truth of 
which we have great need. Nevertheless human 
passion would cast them all behind its back, if it were 
not that men, going astray like the beasts that perish,* 
were restrained in their course by bit and bridle, like 
horses and mules. 

Therefore man had need of two guides for his 
life, as he had a twofold end in life ; vvhereof one 
is the Supreme Pontiff, to lead mankind to eternal 
life, according to the things revealed to us ; and the 
other is the Emperor, to guide mankind to happiness 
in this world, in accordance Avith the teaching of 
philosophy. And since none, or but a few only, and 
even they with sore difficulty, could arrive at this 
harbour of happiness, unless the waves and blandish- 
ments of human desires were set at rest, and the 
human race were free to live in peace and quiet, this 
therefore is the mark at which he who is to care for 
the world, and whom we call the Roman Prince, must 
most chiefly aim at : I mean, that in this little plot of 

^Siia bcsdalitate vagantesy V. Ps. xxxii. lo. 


earth* belonging to mortal men, life may pass in 
freedom and with peace. And since the order of this 
world follows the order of the heavens, as they run 
their course, it is necessary, to the end that the learning 
which brings liberty and peace may be duly applied 
by this guardian of the world in fitting season and 
place, that this power should be dispensed by Him 
who is ever present to behold the whole order of the 
heavens. And this is He vv^ho alone has preordained 
this, that by it in His providence He might bind all 
things together, each in their own order. 

But if this is so, God alone elects, God alone con- 
firms : for there is none higher than God. And hence 
there is the further conclusion, that neither those who 
now are, nor any others who may, in whatsoev^er way, 
have been called "Electors," ought to have that name ; 
rather they are to be held as declarers and announcers 
of the providence of God. And, therefore, it is that 
they to whom is granted the privilege of announcing 
God's will sometimes fall into disagreement ; because 
that, all of them or some of them have been blinded 
by their evil desires, and have not discerned the face 
of God's appointment.t 

It is therefore clear that the authority of temporal 

* Cf. Parad. xxii. 151, "L'ajiiola che si fa tayito fcroci.'" 
t V- Hallam, Middle Ages, c. v. Bryce, Roman Empire, c. xiv. 
Witte, Prcef. p. xxxiv, xlv. 


Monarchy comes down, with no intermediate. wilUfrom 
the fountain of universal authority; and this fountain, 
one in its unity, flows through many channels out 
of the abundance of the goodness of God. 

And now, methinks, I have reached the goal 
which I set before me. I have unravelled the truth 
of the questions which I asked : whether the office 
of Monarchy was necessary to the welfare of the 
world ; whether it was by right that the Roman people 
assumed to themselves the office of Monarchy ; and, 
further, that last question, vv^hether the authority of the 
Monarch springs immediately from God, or from some 
other. Yet the truth of this latter question must not 
be received so narrowly as to deny that in certain 
matters the Roman Prince is subject to the Roman 
Pontiff. For that happiness, which is subject to 
mortality, in a sense is ordered with a view to the 
happiness which shall not taste of death. Let, there- 
fore, Caesar be reverent to Peter, as the first-born son 
should be reverent to his father, that he may be 
illuminated with the light of his father's grace, and so 
may be stronger to lighten the world over which he 
has been placed by Him alone, who is the ruler of all 
things spiritual as well as temporal. 


1 ? 7 f-f- 





CHAP. I'Af'P- 

I.— Introduction. ,.....•• ^11 

II. — What is the end of the civil order of mankind ? . . 17S 

III. — It is to cause the whole power of the human intellect to 

act in speculation and operation . . . . iSo 

IV. — To attain this end, mankind needs tmiversal peace . 1S4 

V, — When several means are ordained to gain an end, one 

of them must be supreme over the others . - . 1S5 

VI.— The order which is found in the parts of mankind ought 

to be found in mankind as a whole . . . . iSS 

VII.— Kingdoms and nations ought to stand in the same re- 
lation to the monarch as mankind to God . . . 1S9 

VIII. — Men were made in the image of God ; but God is one . ib. 

IX. — Men are the children of Heaven, and they ought to 

imitate the footprints of Heaven .... 190 

X. — There is need of a Supreme Judge for the dcciaion of all 

quarrels .■••••••• 19^ 




XI. — The world is best ordered when justice is strongest 

therein 192 

XI T. — r\Ien are at their best in freedom 198 

XIII. — He who is best qualified to rule can best order others . 201 

XIV. — When it is possible, it is better to gain an end by one 

agent than by many 203 

XV. — That which is most one is everywhere best . . . 206 

XVI. — Christ willed to be born in the fulness of time, when 

Augustus was monarch ..••!■ 209 



CHAP. ^'"'^^ 

I. — Introduction 211 

II. — That which God wills in human society is to be held as 

Right 213 

III.— It was fitting for the Romans, as being the noblest 

nation, to be preferred before all others . . .216 

IV.— The Roman Empire was helped by miracles, and there- 
fore was willed by God 220 

V. — The Romans, in bringing the world into subjection, 
aimed at the good of the state, and therefore at the 
end of Right 223 

VI.— All men, who aim at Right, walk according to Right . 229 

VII.— The Romans were ordained for empire by Nature . . 232 

VIII.— The judgment of God showed that empire fell to the 

lot of the Romans 235 



IX. — The Romans prevailed when all nations were striving 

for empire . 239 

X. — What is acquired by single combat is acquired as of 

Right 243 

XI. — The single combats of Rome ..... 247 

XII. — Christ, by being born, proves to us that the authority of 

the Roman Empire was just . . . . .230 

XIII. — Christ, by dying, confirmed the jurisdiction of the Roman 

Empire over all mankind . . . . . .253 




I. — Introduction . . . . . . . .256 

11, — God wills not that which is repugnant to the intention 

of Nature 257 

III. — Of the three classes of our opponents, and of tlie too 

great authority which many ascribe to tradition . . 259 

IV. — The argument drawn by our opponents from the sun 

and the moon ........ 264 

V. — The argument drawn from the precedence of Levi over 

Judah . , , . , , , . .270 

VI. — The argument drawn from the crowning and deposition 

of Saul by Samuel , . , , . . .271 

VII. — The argument drawn from the oblation of the Magi . 273 

VIII, — The argument drawn from the power of the keys given 

to Peter 275 



IX. — ^The argument drawn from the two swords . . . 27S 

X. — The argument drawn from the donation of Constantine . 2S2 

XI. — The argument drawn from the summoning of Charles 

the Great by Pope Hadrian ..... 287 

XII. — The argument drawn from reason 2SS 

XIII. — The authority of the Church is not the cause of the 

authority of the Empire 291 

XIV. — The Church lias power to bestow such authority neither 

from God, nor from itself, nor from any emperor . 294 

XV. — The power of giving authority to the Empire is against 

the nature of the Church 297 

XVI. — The authority of the Empire comes directly from God . 299 


Dedford Street, Strand, London, W.C. 
]\Iay, 1885. 

Mac MILL AN &= Co.'s Catalogue of Works in the Depart^ 
merits of History, BiograpJiy, Travels, Critical and 
Literary Essays, Politics, Political and Social Economy, 
Law, etc. ; and Works connected -with Langtiage. 


ADDISON.— ESSAYS OF JOSEPH ADDISON. Chosen and edited by John 
Richard Green, M.A., LL.D., Lite Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. 
iSmo. ^s. 6d. (Golden Treasury Series.) 

Earl of Albemarle. With Steel Portrait of the First Earl of Albemarle, engraved 
by Jeens. Third and Cheaper Edition. Crov/n 8vo. ts. 6d. 

ALFRED THE GREAT.— By Thomas Hughes, Q.C. Crown 8 vo. 6s. 
(Biograijhical Series.) 

APPLETON.— A NILE JOURNAL. By T. G. Appleton. Illustrated by 
Eugene Benson. Crown 8vo. 6.f. 

ARNOLD (MATTHEW.)— Works by Matthew Arnold, D.C.L. 
ESSAYS IN CRITICISM. New Edition, Revised and Enlarged. Crown 8vo. 


Edition. Crown 8vo. Cs. 

Holland and Switzerland. Demy 8vo. 10s. dd. 


GREAT. Being the Arnold Prize Essay for 1879. By W. T. Arnold, B.A. 
Crown 8vo. 6.9. 
ART. — THE YEAR'S ART: A concise Epitome of all Matters relating to the 
Arts of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, which have occurred during the 
Year 1S80, together with Information respecting the Events of the Yea 1881. 
Compiled by SIarcus B. Huish. Crown 8vo. 2^. 6d. 
THE SAME, 1.879—1880. Crown 8vo. 2^. 6d. 

Ashley, B.A., late Scholar of Balliol College, O.xford. Being the Lothian Prize 
Essay for 1882. Crown 8vo. 6^. 

EUROPE, including Descriptions of the Towns, the Museums, and other Art 
Treasures of Copenhagen, Christiana, Stockholm, Abo, Helsingfors, Wiborg, St. 
Petersburg, Moscow, and Kief By J. Beavington Atkinson. 8vo. 12^. 

torica! Sketch. By A. Bailey, M.A., Barrister-at-Law. Crown 8vo. ^s. M. 
5.85, 10,000. '' 


BAKER (SIR SAMUEL W.)-Works by Sir Samuel Baker, Pacha, 

M.A., F.K.S., F.R.GS. :— 
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1870. With Frontispiece. 8vo. z2s. td. 
ISMAILIA : A Narrative of the Expedition to Central Africa for the Suppression 

of the Slave Trade, organised by Ismail. Khedive of Eg^'pt. With Ifortraits, 

Map, and numerous Illustrations. New Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
THE ALBERT N'YANZA, Great Basin of the Nile, and Exploration of the Nile 

Sources. With Maps and Illustrations. Fifth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
T?IE NILE TRIBUTARIES OF ABYSSINIA, and the Sword Hunters of the 

Hamran Arabs. With ISIaps and Illustrations. Sixth Edition. Crown Svo. 6s. 
THE EGYPTIAN QUESTION. Being Letters to the Ti/nes and the Pall 

Mall Gazette. With Map. Demy Svo. 2S. 

George B.-vncroft. New and thoroughly Revised Edition. Six Vols. Crown 
Svo. 54.r. 
BARKER (LADY).— Works by Lady B.\rker. 

With Illustrations. New and Cheaper Edition. Crown Svo. -^s. oil. 
STATION LIFE IN NEW ZEALAND. New Edition. Crown Svo. 3^. 6cl. 
LETTERS TO GUY. Crown Svo. 5s. 

quis OF Bath. Crown Svo. 3^. 6d. 

Beesly. Extra fcap. Bvo. 2s. 6d. 

BECKER.— DISTURBED IRELAND, being the Letters Written during the 
Winter of 18S0 — iSSi. By Bernard H. Becker, Special Commissioner of T/ie 
Daily News. With Route Maps. Crown Svo. 6^-. 

Institute of France from 1S03-1S65 ; comprising his Travels in Italy, Germany, 
Russia, and England. Translated entire from the second Paris Edition by 
Rachel (Scott Russell) Holmes and Eleanor Hol.-mes. 2 vols. Crown Svo. 

Abbot of Clairvaux. By J. C. MoRiSON, M.A. New Edition. Crown Svo. 6s. 
(Biographical Series.) 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES, 1852— 1875. By Harriet Mar- 

TiNEAU. With four Additional Sketches, and Autobiographical Sketch. Fifth 
Edition. Crown Svo. 6.?. (Biographical Series.) 

lation from the German of Dr. Moritz Busch. Two Vols. Crown Svo. iSf. 

BISMARCK —OUR CHANCELLOR. Sketches fur a Historical Picture 
by Dr. Moritz Busch. Translated from the German by William Beatty- 
KtNGSTON, Author of " William I., German Emperor," " The Cattle of Berlin," 
&c. 2 vols. Crown Svo. iSj. 

BLACKBURNE, Late Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Chiefly in connection with 
his Public and Political Career. By his Son, Edward Blackburne, Q.C. 
With Portrait engraved by Jeens. Svo. \is. 

BLAKE. — LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE. With Selections from his Poems 
and other Writings. Illustrated from Blake's own Works. By Alexander 
Gilchrist. A new and Enlarged Edition, with additional Letters, and a 
]\Iemoir of the Author. Printed on hand-made paper, the Illustrations on India 
paper, and mounted in the text. 2 vols. _ Cloth elegant, gilt, with Designs after 
Blake by Fkeueiuck J. Shiislds. Medium Svo. ^2 2s. 


SINIA. By W. T. Blandford. 8vo. 21s. 

BOLEYN, ANNE : a Chapter of English History, 1527-1536. By Paul 

Fkied.mann. 2 vols. Demy Svo. 28^. 

By G. H. BouGHTON, A.R.A., and E. A. Ai;bev. With numerous Illustrations. 
Fcap. 4to. 21S. 

BRIMLEY. — ESSAYS. By the late George Brimley, U.A., Librarian of 
'I'rinity College, Cambridge. Edited by \V. G. Clark, RI.A., Fellow and 
Tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge. New Edition. Globe Svo. $s. _ _ 
Contents. — Tennyson's Poems — Wordsworth's Poems — Poetry and Criticism — 
Carlyle's Life of Sterling—" Esmond "— " Westward Ho 1 "—Wilson's " Noctes 
Ambrosianae" — Comte's " Positive Philosophy," &c. 

BRONTE. — CHARLOTTE BRONT^. A Monograph. By T. Wemyss Reid. 
V/ith Illustrations. Third Edition. Crown Svo. 6s. (Biographical Series.) 


Brook. With Coloured Maps. Crown Svo. 6s. 
BROOKE. — THE RAJA OF SARAWAK: an Account of Sir James Brooke, 

K.C.B., LL.D. Given chiedy through Letters or Journals. By Gertki'de L. 

J.\C0B. With Portrait and Maps. Two Vols. Svo. 25^. 

BRYCE. — Works by Ja.mes Bryce, M.P., D.C.L., Regius Professor of Civil 

Law, O.xford : — 
THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE. Seventh Edition, Revised and Enlarged. 

Crown Svo. ys. 6d. 
TRANSCAUCASIA AND ARARAT: being notes of a Vacation Tour in the 

Autumn of 1876. With an Illustration and Map. Third Edition. Crown 

Svo. 9^. 

Life and Correspondence of the Right Hon. J. Burgoyne, Lieut.-General in his 
Majesty's Army, and M.P. for Preston. By E. B. DE Fonblanque. With 
Portrait, Heliotype Plate, and Maps. Svo. i6j. 

AFFAIRS. By Edmund Burke. Arranged and Edited by Matthew 
Ar:;old. With a Preface. Crown Svo. 6s. 

Authorised Translation from the German of Dr. Moritz Busch. 2 vols. Crown 
Svo. iSj. 
OUR CHANCELLOR. Sketches for a Historical Picture. By Moritz 
Busch. Tran-laied from the Gtrnian by William Be.\tty-Kingston, Author 
of "William I., German Emperor,' "The Battle cf Beiliu," &c. 2 vols. 
Crown Svo. 10^. 

partly Rewritten (1S51— 66). By Charles Henry Cooper, F.S.A. With 
Seventy-four Views of the Colleges, Churches, and other Public Buildings of the 
University and Town, engraved on steel by J. Le Keux, together with about 
Forty-five of those engraved on Copper by Storer, and a few Lithographs, with 
Twenty additional Etchings on Copper by Rop.eut Farren. Svo. 3 vols. £3 3^. 
Also a Large Paper Edition. The Engravings and Etchings. Proofs on India 
Paper. 3 vols. 4to. half-morocco, iiio icr. Fifty copies of the Etchings, by 
R. Farren, from the "Memorials of Cambridge," proofs signed in portfolio. 
Iz 3-f- 

C.B., CommauJer, R.N. With Illustrations. 2 vols. Crown Svo. 21s. 

a 2 


Lord George Campbell. Wiih Map. Fifth and Cheaper Edition. Crown 
8vo. 6s. 

CAMPBELL.— MY CIRCULAR NOTES; Extracts from Journals ; Letters 
sent Home ; Geological and other Notes, written while Travelling Westwards 
round the World, from July 6th, 1874, to July 6th, 1875. By J. F. Campbell, 
Author of " Frost and Fire." Cheaper Issue. Crown Svo. 6s. 

CAMPBELL,— TURKS AND GREEKS. Notes of a recent Excursion. 
By the Hon. Dudley Campbell, M.A. With Coloured Map. Crown Svo. 
is. td. 


By J. EsTiiN Carpenter, M.A. With Steel Portrait. Crown Svo. ts. 
■ (Biographical Series.) 

Carr. Extra Crown Svo. 2^. 6"'- 

CARSTARES.— WILLIAM CARSTARES: a Character and Career of the 
Revolutionary Epoch (1649-1715)- By Robert Story, iSIinister of Rosneath. 

Svo. 12J. 


preceded hy a Brief Summary of Bible History, by Dr. D. Cassel. Translated 

by Mrs. Henry Lucas. Fcap. Svo. 2^. 6rf. 

CAUCASUS, NOTES ON THE. By Wanderer. Svo. 9*. 

1873-76. Under the command of Sir George Nares, R.N., F.R.S., 
and Captain Frank Turle Thomson, R.N. Prepared under the Superin- 
tendence of Sir C. WvviLLE Thomson, Knt, F.R.S., S:c., and no v of John 
Murray, F.R.S. E., oneof the Naturalists of the Expedition. With Illustrations. 
Published by order of Her Majesty's Goveriniuiit. 

Volume I. Zoology. Royal, 37^. dd. Or 
Part I. Report on the Erachiopoda, is. id. 
II. Report on the Pennatulida, 4^. 
III. Report on the Ostracoda, 15J. 
I\^ Report on the Bones of Cetacta, 2.r. 
V. The Development of the Green Turtle, i,!:. dd. 
VI. Report on the Shore Fishes, los. 
Volume II. Zo::log5'. 50J?. Or 
Part VII. Report on the Corals. 15^. 
VIII. Report on the Birds, 35^. 
Volume III. Zoology. 50^- Or 
Part IX. Report on the Echinoidea, 36^. 
X. Report on the Pycnogonida, 14?. 
Volume IV. Zoology. 50J. Or 
Part XI. Report on the Anatomy of the Tubin.-ires, bs. 
XII. Report on the Deep-sea Medusa:, los. 
XIII. Report on the Holdthurioidea ( !.)■ 241. 
Volume V. Zoology'. 50.?. Or 
Part XIV. Report on the Ophiuroidea. ,,.,-, . t>i 1 

XV. Some points in the Anatomy of the Thylasine, Cuscus, and Phascogale, 
with an account of the Comparative Anatomy of tlie Intrinsic Muscles 
and Nerves of the Mammalian Pes. 
Volume VI. Zojlogj'. 305. 
Part XVI. Report on the A.ctiniaria, 12^. 
XVII. Report on iheTunicata, 30J. 


CHALLENGER— cv«/.viA'a/. 

Volume VII. Zoology. 30^. Or 
Part XVII I. Report on the Anatt my of the SpheniscIdcC, 13.^. dd. 
XIX. Report on the Pelagic Hemiptera, 3J. 6rf. 

XX. Report on the Hydroida (first part). I'lumularidae, gj. 
XXI. Report on the Spec.mens of the Genus Orbitolites, 4^. 
Volume VIII. Zoology. 40.?. Or 
Part XXIII. Report on the Copepoda, 24^. 
XXIV. Reports on the Calcarea, 6s. 
XXV. Report en the Cerripcdia, Systematic Part, \os, 
Part 1. Report en Composition of Ocean Water, qs. 6d. 
II. Report on Specific Gravity of Ocean Water, 35. 6d. 
HI. Report on the Temperature of Ocean Water, Sj. 6d. 
NARRATIVE. Volume II. Royal. 30^. _ Or 
Magnetical and Meteorological Observations. 25^. 
Appendix A. Report en the Pressure Errors of the " Challenger " Thermometers, 

2s. 6d. 
Appendix B. Report en the Petrology of St. Paul's Rocks. 2S. 6d. 

LL.D., Professor of History and Enghsh Literature in University College, 
Toronto Crown Svo. 6s. 6./. 

CHATTERTON : a .STORY OF THE YEAR 1770. By Professor Masson, 
LL.D. Crown Svo. 5s. 

CICERO: being a New Translation of the Letters included in Mr. Watson's 
Selection. With Historical and Critical Notes, by Rev. G. E. Jeans, M.A., 
Fellow of Hertford College, 0.\ford, Assistant-Master in Haileybury College, 
Svo. 10^. 6d. 

SAMUEL CLARK, M.A., formerly Principal of the National Society's Train- 
ing College, Eattersea. Edited with Introduction by his Wife. With Portrait. 
Crown Svo. 7.?. 6d. 

CLASSICAL WRITERS.— Edited by John Richard Green. Fc.ap. 
Svo. Price IS. 6d. each. 
EURIPIDES. By Professor Mah.'Vffy. 
MILTON. By the Rev. Stopford A. Brooke. 
LIVV. By the Rev. W. W. Capes, M.A. 
VERGIL. By Pr, fessor Nettleship, M.A. 
SOPHOCLES. By Professor L. Campbell, M.A. 
DEMOSTHENES. By Professor S. H. Butcher, M.A. 
TACITUS. By Rev. A. J. Church, MA., and W. J. Brodricb, M.A. 
Other Volumes to follow. 

Stephen and Frederick Pollock, with Introduction by F. Pollock. Two 
Portraits. 2 vols. Svo. 25^. 

COMBE. — THE LIFE OF GEORGE COMBE, Author of "The Constitution 
of Man." By Charles Gibbon. With Three Portraits engraved by Jeens. 
Two Vols. Svo. 32i. 

Cooper, F.S.A., and Thompson Cooper, F.S.A. Vol. I. Svo., 1500—1585, iSf.; 
Vol. II., 15S6— 1609, i8j. 



THROUGH. By the Author of "John Halifax, Gentleman." With numerous 
Illustrations by C. Napier Hemy. Medium 4to. i2.r. (>d. 

CO UES.— NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS, KEY TO. Containing a Concise 
Account of every Species of Living and Fossil Bird at present known from the 
Continent north of the Mexican and United States Iloundary, inclusive of 
Greenland. Second Edition, revised to date, and entirely rewritten. With 
which are incorporated General Ornithology, an Outline of the Structure 
and Classification of Birds; and Field Ornithology, a Manual of Collecting, 
Preparing, and Preserving Birds. By Elliott Coues, M.A., M.D., Ph.D., 
Member of the National Academy of Science, &c. &c. Profusely Illustrated. 
Demy Svo. £2 2j. 

New College, late Esquire Bedel and Coroner in the University of O.xford. 
Cheaper Edition. Crown Svo. 6^. 

AFRICA, 1S74 — 1S7S. Comprising Experiences of Tr.ivel in the Colonies of 
South Africa and the Independent States. By Sir Arthur Thurlow Cunyng- 
HAME. G.C.B., then Lieutenant-Governor and Commander of the Forces in South 
Africa. Third Edition. Svo. i.7.s. 6d. 

War between Russia and Turkey, to the fall of Kars. Including the letters of 
Mr. Archibald Forbes, Mr. J. E. McGahau, and other Special Correspondents 
in Europe and Asia. Second Edition, Enlarged. Cheaper Edition. Crown 
Svo. 6.?. 

Cheaper Edition. Crown Svo. 6s. 

PRINTED FROM "NATURK." By Professor Huxley, F.R.S. ; G. J. 
Ro.MANEs, F.R.S. ; Archibald Geikie, F.R.S ; and W. T. Thiselton Dyer, 
F.R.S. With a Portrait engraved by C. H. Jeens. Crown Svo. ar. 6d. 
Nature Scries. 

Memoir of D.avidsou, with his Poems and Letters. By James Brown, 
Minister of St. James's Street Church, Paisley. Second Edition, revised and 
enlarged, with Portrait. Crown Svo. 7J. 6d. 


of Several Tribes of Aborigines in the Western District of Victoria, Australia. 
By James Dawson. Small 4to. 14^'. 

With a Preface, by the Right Hon. I\I. E. Grant Duff, M.P. With Por. 
trait. Svo. i2.r. dd. 

DEAS.— THE RIVER CLYDE. An Historical Description of the Rise and 
Progress of the Harbour of Glasgow, and of the Improvement of the River 
from Glasgow to Po.-t Glasgow. By J. Deas, M. Inst. C.E. Svo. lojr. 6rf. 

of the Times. By Sir George W. Dasent, D.C.L. Svo. [/« the Press. 


TIMES With Lessons for the Future. By Lieut. -Colonel George Denison, 
Commanding the Governor-General's Body Guard, Canada, Author of " Modern 
Cavalry." With T/Iaps and Plans. Svo. iS.?. 


Unconventi.'nal Handbook. With Maps, Plans. &c. iSmo. Paper Cover, is. 
Cloth, \s. 6d. 



Year.) An Unconventional Handbook. With Maps, Plans, &c. iSrao. Paper 
Cover, i^. Cloth, is. 6d. 


Unconventional Handbook. With ^laps. Plans, &c. Paper Cover, is. Cloth, 
IS. 6d. 


OF OXFORD. iS.-no. paper cover, i^. 


OF CAMBRIDGE. iGmo paper cover, is. 


OF OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE. iSmo. cloth. 2s. 61I 


Published on the ist of each Month. i8mo. is. 

DILKE.— GREATER BRITAIN. A Record of Travel in EngUfh-speaking 
Countries during iS65 — 67. (America, Australia, India.) By the Right Hon. 
Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke. M.P. Si.xth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

QUITIES OF. Vols. I. II. and III. £2 2s. e.ach, or^ssi-. the set. 

NIAN ARCHITECTURE; or, The Results of a recent Survey conducted 
chiefly with reference to the Optical refinements e.xhibitedin the construction of 
the Ancient Buildings at Athens. By Francis Ce.\nmer Penrose, Archt., 
M.A., &c. Illustrated by numerous Engravings. £y ys. 

SPECIMENS OF ANCIENT SCULPTURE; Egyptian, Etru.scan, Greek, 
and Roman. .Selected from different Ccllecticns in Great Britain by the 
Society of Dilettanti. Vol. II. £=; 5s. 

ANTIQUITIES (jF IONIA. Part IV. Folio, half-morocco. ^3 13^. 6d. 

DOLET. — ETIENNE DOLET: the Martyr of the Renaissance. A Biography. 
With a Biogr.-iphical Appendix, containing a Descriptive Catal jgue of the Botks 
written, printed, or edited by Dolet. By Richard Copley Christie, Lincoln 
College, Oxford, Chancellor of the Diocese of ISIanchester. With Illustrations. 
8vo. iSs. 

DOYLE. — HISTORY OF AMERICA. By J. A. Doyle. Wiih Maps. iSmo. 
.fs. 6d. \Histo7-kal Course. 


LIFE AND WRITINGS. By Professor Masson. With Portrait and Visnelte 
engraved by C. H. Jeens. Crown 8vo. lo^. (>d. 

DUFF.— Works by the Right Hon. M. E. Grant Duff. 
NOTESOF AN INDIAN JOURNEY. V/ith Map. Svo. \os. (>d. 

EADIE. — LIFE OF JOHN EADIE, D.D., LL.D. By James Brown, D.D., 
Author of " The Life of a Scottish Probationer." With Portrait. Second Edi- 
tion. Crown Svo. 7^. (td. 


Akhar 1299. 3 Mai, 1882. Direction du Recensement ministere de ITnterieur. 

Tome premier. Royal 4to. £1 is. 

JosiAH Bateman, M.A. With Portrait, engraved by Jeens. Third and 

Cheaper Edition. Extra fcap. Svo. 6.j. 
ELZE.— ESSAYS ON SHAKESPEARE. By Dr. Karl El^e. Translated 

with the Author's sanction by L. Dora Schmitz. Svo. 12.?. 



EMERSON. (Uniform with the Eversley Edition of Charles Kingsley's 
Novels.) Globe 8vo. Price s^. each volume. 

1. MISCELLANIES. With an In- 

ductory Essay by John Morley^ 


3. POEMS. 








Illustrated. Published Monthly. Number I., October 1883. Price Sixpence. 
Ye.nrlv Volume, 1883-1884, consisting of 792 closely-printed pages, and cont.iining 
428 Woodcut Illustration? of various sizes. Bound in e.xtra cloth, coloured 
edges. Royal 8vo. 7^. 6d. Cloth Covers for binding Volumes, is. 6d. each. 

4to. 21s. 

ENGLISH MEN OF LETTERS.— Edited by John Mori.ev. 

A Series of Short Books to tell people vvliat is best worth knowing as to the Life, 
Character, and Works of some of the great English Writers. In Crown 8vo. 
price 2,f. 6d. each. 

I. DR. JOHNSON. By Leslie Stephen. 


III. GIBBON. By J. Cotter Morisqn. 

IV. SHELLEY. By J. A. Svmonds. 

V. HUME. By Professor Hu.\lev, P.R S. 

VI. GOLDSMITH. By Wii.lia.m Black. 

VII. DEFOE. By W. Minto. 

VIII. BURNS. By Principal Shairp. 

IX. SPENSER. By the Very Rev. the Dean of St. Paul's. 

X. THACKERAY. By Anthony Trolloi'e. 

XI. BURKE. By John Morley. 

XII. MILTON. By Mark Pattison. 

XIII. HAWTHORNE. By Henry James. 

XIV. S )UTHEY. By Professor Dowden. 

XV. BUNYAN. By J. A. Froude. 

XVI. CHAUCER. By Professor A. W. Ward. 

XVII. COWPER. By Goldwin Smith. 

XVIII. POPE. By Leslie Stephen. 

XIX. BYRON. By Professor NiCKOL. 

XX. LOCKE. By Professor Fowler. 

XXI. WORDSWORTH. By F. W. H. Myers. 

XXII. DRYDEN. By G. Saintsbury. 

XXIII. LANDOR. By Professor Sidney Colvin. 

XXIV. DE QUINCEY. By Professor Masson. 

XXV. CHARLES LAMB. By Rev. Alfred Ainger. 

XXVI. BENTLEY. By Professor R. C. Jebb. 

XXVII. DICKENS. By Professor A. W. Ward. 

XXVIII. GRAY, By Ed.mund Gosse. 

XXIX. SWIFT. By Leslie Stephen 

XXX. SI ERNE. By H. D. Traill. 

XXXI. MACAULAY. By J. Cotter Morison. 

XXXII. FIELDING. By Austin Dobson. 

XXXIII. SHERIDAN. By Mrs. Oliphant. 




XXXV. BAG. )N. By the Very Rev. the Dean OF St. Paul's. 

XXXVI. C )LERIDG£. By H. D. Tr.^ill. 

/« Preparation : — 
ADAM SMITH. By Leonard H. Courtney, M.P. 
BERKELEY. By Professor Hu.xlev. 

Other Voliuius to/olloiv. 

ENGLISH POETS: SELECTIONS, with Criticd Introductions by various 
Writers, nnJ a General Introduction by Matthew Arnold, Edited by T. H. 
Ward, MA. , late Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. 4 vols. Crown 8vo. 
•]S. 6d. each. 





ENGLISH STATESMEN.— Under the above title Messrs. Macmillan 
and Co. beg to announce a series of short biographies, nut designed to be a 
complete roll of famous statesmen, but to present in historic order the lives an t 
work of those leading actors in our affairs who by their direct influence have left 
an abiding mark on the policy, the institutions, and the position of Great Britain 
among states. 
The following list of subjects is the result of careful selection. The great move- 
ments of national history are made to f jUow one another in a connected course, 
and the series is intended to form a continuous narrative of English freedom, 
order, and power. 







Among the writers will be: — 

MR. H. 1). TRAILL, 



M.A. With numerous Illustrati jus by Professor Delamotte, Coloured Plates, 
and a Steel Portrait of the Founder, engraved by C. H. Jeens. New and 
Cheaper Issue, with Corrections. Medium 8vo. Cloth elegant. 2is. 

EUROPEAN HISTORY, Narrated in a Series of Historical Selections 
from the best Authorities. Edited and arranged by E. M. Sewell. and C. M. 
YoNGE. First Series, Crown 8vo. 6s. ; Second Series, 1088-1228. Third Editijn. 
Crown 8vo. 6.j. 

FARADAY. — MICHAEL FARADAY. By J. H. Gladstone. Ph.D., 
F.R.S. New Edition, with Portrait engraved by Jeens from a photograph by 
J. Watkins. Crown 8vo. 4^. ()d. 
PORTRAIT. Artist's Proof, s^- 

FENTON. — A HISTORY OF TASMANIA. From its Discovery in 1642 to 
the Present Time. By James Fenton. With Map of the Island, and 
Portraits of Aborigines in Chromo-lithography. 8vo. i6j. 


M.A., LL. B., formerly Lecturer on Philosophy at Harvard University. Crown 
8vo. 7^. 6^!?. 

Marriage and Relationship, and Marriage by Elopement, drawn chiefly from 
the usage of the Australian Aborigines. Also THE KURNAI TRIBE, their 
Customs in Peace and War. By Lori.-mer Fison, M.A., and A. W. Howitt, 
F.G.S., an Introduction by Lewis H. Morgan, LL.D., Author of " System 
of Consanguinity," " Ancient Society," &c. Demy 8vo. i$s. 

late Principal of the United College in the University of St. Andrews. By 
J. C. Sh.\irp, LL.D., Principal of the United College in the University of St. 
Andrews ; P. G. Tait, M.A., Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University 
of Edinburgh ; and A. Adams-Reilly, F.R.G.S. With Portraits, Map, and 
Illustrations. 8vo. i6s. 

FRAMJ I.— HISTORY OF THE PARSIS: Inchiding their Manners, 
Customs, Religion, and Present Position. By Dosaishai Framji K.iraka, 
Presidency Magistrate and Chairman of Her Majesty's Bench of Justices, 
Bomb.ay, Fellow of the Bombay University, Member Bombay Branch of the 
Royal Asiatic Society, &c. 2 vols. Medium 8vo. With Illustrations. 36s. 

FRANCIS OF ASSISI. By Mrs. Ouphant. New Edition. Crown 8 vo. 
6^. (Biographical Series.) 

FREEMAN.— Works by Edward A. Freeman, D.C.L., LL.D., Regius 
Professor of Modern History in the University of O.xford : — 

Lecture, read in the Museum at ' ).xford, October 15, 1S84. Crown 8vo. 2s. 

EARLIEST TIMES. Fourth Edition. Crown 8 vo 5^. 

HISTORICAL ESSAYS. Third Edition. 8vo. 10s. 6d. 

Contents: — I. "The Mythical and Romantic Elements in Early English 
History;" II. " The Continuity of English History ; " III. " The Relations between 
the Crowns of England and Scotl.and ;" IV. "St. Thomas of Canterbury and his 
Biographers; " V. "The Reign of Edward the Third;" VI. "The Holy Roman 
Empire;" VII. "The Franks and the Gauls;" VIII. '"The Early Siegesof 
Paris;" IX. " Frederick the First. King of Italy:" X. "The Emperor Frederick 
the Second ;" XI. "Charles the Bold; " XII. "Presidential Government." 

HISTORICAL ESSAYS. Second Series. Second Edition, Enlarged. 8vo. 

lOS. 6d. 

The principal Essays are: — "Ancient Greece and Mediaeval Italy:" "Mr. 
Gladstone's Homer and the Homeric Ages : " "The Historians of Athens: " " The 
Athenian Democracy : " " Ale.xander the Great : " " Greece during the Macedonian 
Period:" " Mommsen's History of Rome:" "Lucius Cornelius Sulla:" "The 
Flavian Csesars." 
HISTORICAL ESSAYS. Third Series. 8vo. 12:?. 

Contents: — " First Impressions of Rome." "The Illyrian Emperors and their 
Land." " Augusta Trevenrum" "The Goths of Ravenna." " Race and _Lan. 
guage." "The Byzantine Empire." " First Impressions of Athens." "Mediaeval 
and Mcdern Greece." "The Southern Slaves." "Sicilian Cycles." "The Nor- 
mans at Palermo." 

COMPARATIVE POLITICS.— Lectures at the Royal Institution. To which is 

added the " Unity of History," the Rede Lecture at Cambridge, 1872. 8vo. 14* 


Third Edition, with New Preface. Crown 8vo. 3^-. 6d. 

With Illustrations by the Author. Crown 8vo. laf. td. 
Volume to " Historical and Architectural Sketches." With Illustrations. Crown 
Bvo. loj. dd. 


FREE yiA.1^—Coni{nued. 
ENGLISH TOWNS AND DISTRICTS. A Series of Addresses and Essays. 

With Illustrations and Map. 8vo. ii,s. 

OLD ENGLISH HISTORY. With Five Coloured Maps. New Edition. 
Extra fcap. Svo. 6s. 

the History of the Cathedral Churches of the Old Foundation Crown Svo. 
3J. 6d. 

Historical Course for Schools, edited by E. A. Fkeeman. New Edition, en- 
larged with Maps, Chronological Table, Inde.t, &c. i8mo. 3^. 6d. 


Second Edition. Croun Svo. zs. 

Archibald Geikie, LL.D., F.R.S., Director General of the Geological Surveys 
of the United Kingdom. With illustrations. Svo. lo^. 6d. 

G ALTON.— Works by Franci<; Galton, F.R.S. : 

METEOROGRAPHICA; or. Methods of Mapping the Weather. Illustrated 
by upwards of 600 Printed and Lithographed Diagrams. 410. gs, 

HEREDITARY GENIUS: An Inquiry into its Laws and Consequences. Svo. 

ENGLISH MEN OF SCIENCE : Their Nature and Nurture. Svo. 8.?. (d. 

With Ilhistration'; and Coloured and Plain Plates. Demy Svo. z6s. 

RECORD OF FAMILY FACULIIES. Consisting of Tabular Forms and 
Directions for Entering Data, with an Exp'anatory Preface. 4to. 2S. 6d 

LIFE HISTORY ALBUM ; Being a Personal Note-book, combining the chief 
advantages of a Diary, Phrtograiih Album, a Register of Height, Weight, and 
other Anthropometrical Observations, and a Rec^'rd of Illnesses. Containing 
Tabular Forms, Charts, and especially designed for popular use. 
Prepared by the direction of the Collective Investigation Committee of the 
British IMedical Association, and Edited by Francis Gai.ton, F. R. S., Chair- 
man of the Life History Sub-Committee. 4to. 3^. 6d. Or, with Cards of 
Wools for Testing Colour Vision. 4^. 6d. 

F.S.A. British Museum, Disnay Prjfcssor of Archa;oIogy in the University of 
Cambridge, and Hon. Foreign Secretary of the Numismatic Society. Demy 
8'. 0. "js. 6d. 

Geddes, LL.D., Professor of Greek in the University of Aberdeen. Svo. 14J. 

GLADSTONE. — HOMERIC SYNCHRONISM. An inquiry into the Time 
and Place of Homer. By the Right Hon. W. E. GladstoiNe, ]\I.P. Crown 
Svo. 6s. 

GOETHE AND MENDELSSOHN (1821 — 1831). Translated from 
the German of Dr. Kari, Mexdelssohn, Son of the Composer, by M. E. Von 
Gleiin. From the Private Diaries and Home Letters of ?.Iendelssohn, with 
Poems and Letters of Goethe never before printed. Also with two New and 
Original Portraits, Fac-similes, and Appendix of Twenty Letters hitherto 
unpublished. Second Edition, enlarged. Crown Svo. SJ. 

GOETHE. — A LIFE OF GOETHE. By Heinrich Duntzer. Translated by 
T. W. Lyster, Assistant Librarian National Library of Ireland. With Illustra- 
tions. Two vols. Crown Svo. 21s. 

mation and Development of Telegraphic Communicatiim between England and 
India, under the orders of Her Rlajesty's Government, with incidental Notices 
of the Countries traversed by the Lines. By Colonel Sir Frederick Goldsmid, 
C.B., K.C.S.I., late Director of the Government Indo-European Telegraph. 
With numerous Illustrations and Maps. Svo. 21^-. 


GORDON.— LAST LETTERS FROM EGYPT, to which are added Letters 
from the Cape. By Lady Dukf Gordon. With a Memoir by her Daughter, 
Mrs. Ross, and Portrait engraved by Jcens. Second Edition. Crown 8vo. gs. 

H. Barnks, Vicar of Heavitree, and E. Brown, Rlajor R.A. With 
Facsiniile Letter. Crown Svo. is. 

George Gordon. Crown Svo. 3^-. 6d. 

CALVIN. By M. GuizoT, Member of the Institute of France. Crown 8 vo. 6s. 
(Biographical Series.) 

GREEN. — Works by John Richard Green, M.A., LL.D. : — 
THE MAKING OF ENGLAND. With Maps. Demy Svo. 16s. 
THE CONQUEST OF ENGLAND. With Map>. Demy Svo. iSs. 
HIST9RY OF THE ENGLISH PEi)PLE. Vol. I.— Early England- 
Foreign Kings — The Charter — '1 he Pai Lament. With 8 Coloured Maps. Svo. 

i6.y. Vol. II. — The Monarchy, 1461 — 1540: The Restoration. 1540 — 1603. Svo. 

j6s. Vol. III. — Puritan England, 1603 — 1660 ; The Revolution, i£6o — 16S8. 

With 4 Maps. Svo. i6.y. Vol. IV. — 'J he Revolution, 16S3 — 1760: Modern 

England, 1760 — 1815. With Maps and Index. Svo. z6s. 

Maps, Genealogical Tables, and Chronological Annals. Crown Svo. 8s. 6d. 

io8th Thousand. 

Containing : Lambeth and the Archbishops — The Florence of Dante — Venice and 

Rome — Early History of Oxford — The District Visitor — Capri — Hotels in tha 

Clouds — Sketches in Sunshine, &c. 
READINGS FROM ENGLISH HISTORY. Selected and Edited by John 

Richard Green. In Three Parts. Fcap. Svo. rs. 6d. each. Part I. — From 

Hengest to Cressy. Part. 11. — From Cressy to Cromwell. Part III. — From 

Cromwell to Ualaklava. 

to the Glaciers of the Antipodes, with an Ascent of Mount Cook. By Wili-IAM 
Spotswood Green, M.A., Member of the English Alpine Club. With Maps. 
Crown Svo. 7^. dd. 

1884). By Eminent Writers, English and Forei-n. With Illustrations and 
Woodcuts. Edited by Sir George Grove. D.C.L., Director of the Royal 
College of Muiic. Svo. Pa-ts I. to XIV., XIX. and XX. 3.?. 6(/. each. Parts 
XV. and XVI. 7^. Parts XVII. and XVIII. 7^. 

Vols. I., II., and III. Svo. zis. each. 

Vol. I. A to Impromptu.— Vol. II. Iraproperia to Plain Seng.— Vol. III. Planche 
to Sumer is Icumen In. 

Cloth cases for binding Vols. I., II., and III. i^. each. 

Guest. With Maps. Crown Svo. 6j. 

GUEST. — ORIGINES CELTICAE (a Fragment) and other Contributions to 
the History of Britain. By Edwin Guest, LL.D., D.C.L., F.R.S., late 
Ala.ner of Gonville and Cains College, Cambrid,ge. With Maps, Plans, and a 
Portrait engraved on Steel by G, J. Stodart. Two vols. Demy Svo. 32J. 

HAMERTON.— Worksby P. G. Hamerton:— 
ETCHINGS AND ETCHERS. Third Edition, revised, with Forty-eight new 

Plates. Columbier Svo. 
THE INTELLECTUAL LIFE With a Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, etched 

by Leoi'oi.d Flameng. Second Edition. Crown Svo. io.y, 6d. 
THOUGHTS ABOUT ART. New Edition, revised, with an Introducticn, 

Crown Svo. Zs. 6d, 


W. S. RoCKSTRO. Author of "A History of Music for Young Students." With 
an Introductory Notice by Sir George Giiove, D.C.L. With a Portrait. 
Crown Svo. los. 6d. 

Harper, (S.J.) (In 5 vols.) Vols. L and IL Svo. i8j. each.— Vol. III., 
Part I. i2.y. 

HEINE. — A TRIP TO THE BROCKEN. By Heinrich Heine. Translated 
by R. McLintock. Crown Svo. 3.J. 6d. 

HELLENIC STUDIES-JOURNAL OF. Svo. P.irts L and 1 1., con- 
stituting Vol. I. with 4to Atlas if Illustrations, 30J. Vol. II., with 4to. 
Atlas of Illustrations, 305-., or in Two Parts, 15.?. e.ich. Vol. III., Two Parts, with 
4to of Illustrations, 15J. each. Vol. IV., Two Parts, with 4to. Atlas of 
illustrations. 15.?. each. Vol. V., Two Parts, with Illu.^trations, 15J. each. 
The Journal will be sold at a reduced price to Libraries wishing to subscribe, but 
official applicati -n must in eacli case be made to the Council. Information on this 
point, and upon the conditions of Membership, may be obtained on application to the 
Hon. Secretary, Mr. George Macmillan, 29, Bedford Street, Covent Garden. 

THE EAST. Edited, with Notes, Introductions, and Appendices, ly A. H. 
Savce, M.A. O.xford, Hon. LL.D. Dublin ; Deputy-Professor of Comparative 
Philolog}'. Svo. 16s. 

HILL. — THE RECORDER OF BIR^^NGHAM. A Memoir of Matthew 
Davenport-Hill, with Selections from his Correspondence. By his daughters 
Rosamond and Florence Davenport-Hill. With Portrait engraved by C. 
H. Jeens. Svo. i&s. 

HILL. — WHAT WE SAW IN AUSTRALIA. By Rosamond and Florence 
Hill. Crown Svo. 10s. 6d. 

HILL (O.)— Works by Octavia Kill 
OUR COMMON LAND, and other Essays. Extra fcap. Svo. y. td. 
HOMES OF THE LONDON POOR. Sewed. Crown Svo. is. 

Poet, and Divine. By his son, the Rev. James T. Hodgson, M.A. Containing 
numerous Letters from Lord Byron and others. With Portrait engraved by 
Teens. Two vols. Crown Svo. iSi. 

AND FRANCE. By the Rev. C. Hole, M.A., Trinity College, Cambridge. 
On Sheet, i.r. 
the Rev. Charles Hole, M.A. Second Edition. iSmo. i,s. td. 

Journal of a Tour in. By Sir Joseph D. Hooker, K.C.S.I., C.B., F.R.S., 
&c., and John B.\ll, F.R.S. V/ith an Appendix, including a Sketch of the 
Geology of Morocco, by G. Maw, F.L.S., F.G.S. With Illustrations and Map. 
Svo. 21J. 

Reprinte-d from The Pall Mall Gazette. Crown Svo. 2J. 6,:/.— POPULAR 

HOZIER (H. M.) — Works by Captain Henry M. Hozier, late Assistant 

Military Secretary to Lord Napier of Magdala : — 
THE SEVEN WEEKS' WAR; Its Antecedents and Incidents. New and 

Cheaper Edition. With New Preface, Maps, and Plans. Crown Svo. 6.?. 
THE INVASIONS OF ENGLAND: a History of the Past, with Lessons for 

the Future. Two Vols. Svo. 2S.J. 


Baron Hubner, formerly Ambassador and Minister. Translated by Ladv 
Herbert. New and Cheaper Edition. With numerous lUastralions. Crown 
8vo. 6s. 
HUGHES. — Works by Thomas Hughes, Q.C., Author of "Tom Brown's 
School Days." 

MEMOIR OF A BROTHER. With Portrait of George Hughes, after Watts, 
Engraved by Jeeks. Sixth Edition. Crown 8vo. 5s. 

ALFRED THE GREAT. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

MEMOIR OF DANIEL MACMILLAN. With Portrait aftei Lowes Dickinson, 
Engraved by Jeens. Fifth Thousand. Crown 8vo. 4J. 6(/.— POPULAR 

RUGBY, TENNESSE. Being some account of the Settlement founded on the 
Cumberland Plateau by the Buard of Aid to Land Ownership. With a report 
on the Soils of the Plateau by the Hon. F. W. Killebrew, A.M., Ph.D., 
Commissioner for Agriculture for the State of Tenes.see. Crown 8vo. 4^. 6ti. 

GONE TO TEXAS: Letters from Our Boys. Edited by Thomas Hughes. 
Crown Svo. 4^. 6J. 

HUNT. — HISTORY OF ITALY. By the Rev. W. Hunt, M.A. Being the 
Fourth Vclume of the Historical Course for Schools. Edited by Edward A. 
Freeman, D.C.L. New Edition, with Coloured Maps. i8mo. 3.f. 6ii. 


HuTTON, M.A, Cheaper issue. 2 vols. Svo. iSs. 

Contents of Vol. I. : — The moral significance cf Atheism — The Atheistic Ex- 
planation of Religion — Science and Theism — Popular Pantheism — What is Revela- 
tion? — Christian Evidences, Popular and Critical — The Historical of the 
Fourth Gospel — The Incarnation and Principles of Evidence — M. Renan's "Christ" 
— M. Renan's "St. Paul" — The Hard Cliurch — Romanism, Protestantism, and 

Contents of Vol- II. : — Goethe and his Influence— Wordsworth and his Genius 
— Shelley's Poetical Mysticism — Mr. Browning — The Poetry of the Old Testament 
— Arthur Hugh Clough — The Poetry of Matthew Arnold — ^Tennyson — Nathaniel 

INGLIS (JAMES) (" MAORI ").-WorksbyjA.MEslNGLis(" Maori") :- 

Sporting Reminiscences of an Indigo Planter. By " Maori." With Illustra- 
tions. Svo. 14s. 

IONIA.— THE ANTIQUITIES OF IONIA, see under Dilettanti Society's 

IRVING.— THE ANNALS OF OUR TIME. A Diurnal of Events, Social 
and Political, Home and Foreign, from the Accession of Queen Victoria to the 
Peace of Versailles. By Joseph Irving. New Edition, revised. Svo. half- 
bound. 18s. 
ANNALS OF OUR TIME. Supplement. From Feb. 28, 1S71, to March 16, 
1874. Svo. 4S. 6.f. ANNALS OF OUR TIME. Second Supplement. From 
March, 1874, to the Occupation of Cyprus. Svo. 4s. 6d. 

JAMES (Sir W. M.).— THE BRITISH IN INDIA. By the Lite Right 
Hon. Sir William Mii.bourne James, Lord Justice of Appeal. Edited by 
his Daughter, Mary J. Salis Schwabe. Demy Svo. 12s. 6d. 

JAMES. — Works by Henry James : 

FRENCH POETS AND NOVELISTS. New Edition. Crown Svo. 4s. 6d. 

Conte.vts: — Alfred de Musset ; Theophile Gautier ; Baudelaire; Honore da 
Balzac ; George .Sand ; The Two Amperes ; Turgcnicff, &c. 

PORTRAITS OF PLACES. Crown Svo. 7^. 6d. 


JEBB.— MODERN GREECE. Two Lectures delivered before the Philo- 
sophical Institution of Edinburgh. With papers on " The Progress of Greece," 
and "Byron inGrcece." By R. C. Jebb, MA., LL.D. Edin. Professor of 
Greek in the University of Glasgow. Cro'.vn 8vo. 5^. 

^Milton, Dryden, Swift, Addison, Pope, Gray. With Macaulay's "Life of 
Johnson." Edited, with Preface, by Matthew Arnold. Crown 8vo. 6.?. 

TRIED To DO HIS DUTY. By W. Bence Jones, of Lisselan. Crown 
8vo. 6s. 

D.D., late Professor in Witlenburg College, Ohio. With Portrait. 8vo. i+j. 

IMMANUEL KANT. In commemoration of the Centenary of its first Publica- 
tion. Translated into English by F. Max Muller. With an Historical 
Introduction l)y Ludwig NoiRi). 2 vols. Demy 8vo. 32s. 

KEARY.— ANNIE KEARY: a Memoir. By Eliza Keary. With a Portrait. 
Third Thousand. New Edition. Crown 8vo. 4^-. 6d. 

Earliest Date to the Present Time. By W. D. Killen, D.D., President of 
Assembly's College, Belfast, and Professor of Ecclesiastical History. Two Vols. 
Svo. 25^. 

KINGSLEY (CHARLES). — Works by the Rev. Charles Kingslev, 
M.A., late Rector of Eversley and Canon of Westminster. (For other Works by 
the same Author, .ftv Theological and Belles Lettres Catalogues) 

AT LAST: A CHRISTMAS- in the WEST INDIES. With nearly Fifty 
Illustrations. New Edition. Crown Svo. 6s. 

THE ROiMAN AND THE TEUTON. A Series of Lectures delivered before 
the University of Cambridge. New and Cheaper Edition, with Preface by 
Professor Max MiJLLER. Crown Svo. 6.f. 

PLAYS AND PURITANS, and other Historical Essays. With Portrait of Sir 
Walter Raleigh. New Edition. Crown 8vo._ 6s. 

In addition to the Essay mentioned in the title, this volume contains other two — 
one on " Sir Walter Raleigh and his Time," and one on Froude's " History of 





Henry Kingsley, F.R.G.S. With Eight Illustrations by Huakd. Fifth 
Edition. Crown Svo. 5.?. 

LANG. — CYPRUS: lis History, its Present Resources and Future Prospects. 
By R. Hamilton Lang, late H.M. Consul for the Island of Cyprus. With Two 
Illustrations and Four Maps. Svo. 14J. 

LAOCOON. — Translated from the Text of Lessing, with Preface and Notes by 
the Right Hon. Sir Robert J. Philli.more, D.C.L. With Photographs. Svo. 


LECTURES ON ART. — Delivered in support of the Society for Protection 
of Ancient Buildings. By Rkgd. Stuart Poole. Professor W B. Rich.mond, 
E. J. Povntek, K.A., J. T. Micklethwaite, and Willia.m Mor:;is. Cro^vn 
Svo. 4S. 6J. 


INDIA, with an account of INDIA AS IT IS. The Soil, Climate, and Pro- 
ductions; the_ People— their Races. Religions, Public Works, and Industries; 
the Civil Services and System of Administration. By Roper Lethbridge, M.A., 
C.I.E., Press Commissii ner with the Government of India, late Scholar ofExeter 
College, &c. &c. With Maps. Crown 8vo. 5^. 

tenstein. With Five Steel Engravings by C. H. Jeens, after paintings by 
Watts and other celebrated Artists, and numerous Illustrations drawn by Pro. 
fessor P. H. Delamotte, and engraved on Wood by J. D. Cooper, W. Palmer. 
and_ Jewitt & Co., about 40 Illustrations by the Woodbury-type process, and 
India Proofs of the Steel Engravings. Two vols. Medium 4to., half morocco 
elegant. 4/. 4^. 

LLOYD.— THE AGE OF PERICLES. A History of the Arts and Politics of 
Greece from the Persian to the Peloponnesian War. By W. Watkiss Lloyd. 
Two Vols. 8vo. 21,?. 

with Notes on the Present State and Ancient History of the Nile Valley, and 
some account of the various ways of making the voyage out and home. By th"" 
Rev. W. J. LOFTIE. B.A. With Illustrations. Crown 8vo. los. 6ti. 

LUBBOCK, — Works by Sir John Lubbock, Bart., M.P., D.C.L F R S 
FIFTY YEARS OF SCIENCE. Being the address delivered at York to the 
British Association, August, 18S1. Svo. 2^. 6d. 

Macdonell. Edited with Preface by his Wife. Crown Svo. 6s. 

ARTHUR. Being the Third Volume of the Historical Course for Schools, Edited 
by Edward A. Freeman, D.C.L. Second Edition. i8mo. 2^. 

Mclennan.— THE patriarchal theory. Based on Papers of 
the late John Ferguson McLevnan. Edited and completed by Donald 
McLexnan, of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law, 8vo. 14.?. 

MACMILLAN (REV. HUGH).— For other Works by same Author. 
see Theological and Scientific Catalogues. 
HOLIDAYS ON HIGH LANDS; or. Rambles and Incidents in search of 
Alpine Plants. Second Edition, revised and enlarged. Globe Svo. 6.?. 

By Thomas Hughes, Q.C, Author of " Tom Brown's Schooldays," etc. With 
Portrait engraved on Steel by C. H. Jeens, from a Painting bv Lowes 
Dickinson. Fifth Thousand. Crown Svo. 4s. 6^'.— POPULAR EDITION, 
Paper Covers, is. 

FROM HIS DIARIES AND LETTERS. Edited by Sir F. Pollock, Bart., 
one of his Executors. With Four Portraits engraved by Jeens. New and 
Cheaper Edition. Crown Svo. -js. 6d. 

MAHAFFY. — Works by the Rev. J. P. Mahaffv, M.A., Fellow of Trinity 
College, Dublin :— 
Edition, revised and enl.arged, with a new chapter on Greek Art. Crown Svo. 

RAAIBLES AND STUDIES IN GREECE. With Illustrations. New and 
enlarged Edition, with Map and Illustrations. Crown Svo. lar. 6d. 

From his Journals and Letter?, with a brief Biogr.aphical Preface, a concluding 
chapter by Sir Rutherford Alcock, K.C.B., and a Steel Portrait engraved by 
Jeens, and Map. Svo. %os. Cd. 


MARTEL. — MILITARY ITALY. By Charles Martel. With Map. 
8vo. 12s. 6d. 

SURANCE IN GREAT BRITAIN. With an Appendix containing Statistics 
relating to Marine Insurance. By Fredericic Martin, Author of "The 
Statesman's Year Bo^k." 8vo. 14^. 
M\RTINEAU. With Four Additional Sketches, and Autobiographical Sketch. 
Fifth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. (Biographical Series.) 
MASSON (DAVID). — By David Masson, LL.D., Professor of Rhetoric 
and Enghsh Literature in the University of Edinburgh. For other Works by 
same Author, sec Philosophical and Belles Lettkes Catalogue. 
CHATTERTON : A Story of the Year 1770. Crown Svo. 5^. 
THE THREE DEVILS: Luther's, Goethe's, and Milton's; and other Essays. 

Crown Svo. 5.S. 
WORDSWORTH, SHELLEY, AND KEATS; and other Essays. Crown Svo. ss- 

graphical. With Selections from his Correspondence and Speeches. Edited by 
Charles Dickens. Two Vols. Svo. 25^. 

told in his own Letters. Edited by his Son, Frederick Maurice. With Two 
J'orlraits. Third Edition. 2 vols. Demy Svo. 36^. 

TURES. By the Rev. F. D. Maurice. Edited with Preface, by Tho.mas 
Hughes, Q.C. Crown £vo. 4^. 61I 

Selection from his Correspondence and Occasional Writings, and a Sketch of his 
Contributions to Science. By LEWIS CAMPBELL, M.A.. LL.D., Professor c^ 
Greek in the University of St. Andrews, and Professor WILLIAM GARNETT, 
IM.A., Principal of Durham College of Science, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. New 
Edition, Abridged and Revised. Crown Svo. js. 6d. 

MAYOR (J. E. B.)— Works edited by John E. B. Mayor, M.A., Kennedy 
Professor of Latin at Cambridge : — 
biography of Matthew Robinson. Fcap. Svo. 5^-. 6d. 
LIFE OF BISHOP BEDELL. By his Son. Fcap. Svo. 3^. 6ci. 
VISCOUNT MELBOURNE. By W. M. Torrens, M.P. With Portrait 
after Sir T. Lawrence. Second Edition. Two Vols. Svo. 52^. 
MIALL. — LIFE OF EDWARD MIALL, formerly M.P. for Rochdale and 

Bradford. By his Sou, Arthur Miall. With a Portrait. Svo. 10s. 6d. 
from the French of M. Michelet, and continued to the present time by M. C. M. 
Sl.MPSON. Globe Svo. 4J. dd. 
MILLET.— JEAN FRAN(;'OIS MILLET; Peasant and Painter. Trans- 
lated from the French of Alfred Sensier. With numerous Illustrations 
Globe 4to. i6j. 
MILTON. — LIFE OF JOHN MILTON. N.arrated in connection with the 
Politic?! Ecclesiastical, and Literary History of his Time. By David Masson, 
MA LLD Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature m the Univer.sity 
of Edinburgh.' With Portraits. Vol. I. 1608-1639. New .ind Revised Editior.. 
Bvo 21/ Vol. II. 163S-1643. 8vo. 16^. Vol. III. i643-'649- .8vo. iZs. 
Vols IV and V. 1649-1660. 32^. Vol. VI. 1660-1674- With Portrait. 21:?. 
vols. IV. ana V. iu4y i [Index Volume in preparation. 

This work is not only a Biography, but aho a continuous Political, Ecclesiastical, 
and Lit-raiy History of England through Milton s whole lime. 

ts macmitxan's catalogue of works in 

Secind Secretary to the British Legation in Japan. With upwards of 30 Illus- 
trations, drawn and cut on Wood by Japanese Artists. New and Cheaper 
Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

MURRAY.— ROUND ABOUT FRANCE. By E. C. Grenville Murray. 
Crown 8vo. 7^. 6ii. 

1885). By Eminent Writers, English and Foreig^n. Edited by Sir George 
Grove, D.C.L.. Director of the Royal College of Music. Three Vols. 8vo. 
With Illustrations and Woodcuts. Parts I. to XIV., XIX. and XX. y. 6d. 
each. Pans XV. and XVI., 7.?, Parts XVII. and XVIII. , js. Vols. I., II., 
and III. 8vo. 215-. each. 
Vol. I.— A to Impromptu. Vol. II. — Improperia to Plain Song. Vol. III. Pianche 

to Sumeris Icumen in. 

MYERS.— ESSAYS BY FREDERIC W. H. MYERS. 2 vols. 1. Classical. 
II. Modern. Crown 8vo. ^s. (>d. each. 

A Translation with the sanction nf the Author. Four Vols. 8vo. Vols. II. 
and III. price i2jr. each. Vol. IV. With Index. 6s. 

Thomas Newton, CB., Ph.D., D.C.L., LL.D., Keeper of Greek and Roman 
Antiquities at the British Museum, &c. 8vo. 12.?. 6d. 


a.d. 2CO— 1876. By J. NiCHOL, LL.D., Professor of English Language and 
Literature, Cjlaseow. 410. 6^. 6d. 
200. By the same Author. 410. ^s. 6d. 


Maps and nianerr us Illustrations. 8vo. 16s. 
VOYAGE OF THE F^fJ.-l. By Adolf Erik NordenskiSld. Translated by 
Alexander Leslie. With numerous Illustrations, Maps, &c. Popular and 
Cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

OLIPHANT (MRS.).— Works by Mrs. OLirHANT. 

THE MAKERS OF FLORENCE: D.inte, Giotto, Savonarola, and their City. 
With numerous Illustrations from drawings by Professor Delamotte, and 
portrait of .Savonarola, engraved by Jeens. New and Cheaper Edition. Crown 
8vo. los. 6d. 

TURY. New Issue, with a Preface. 3 vols. Demy Svo. 21s. 

By T. L. Kington Oliphant. Svo. ys. 6d. 

E.Ktra fcap. 8vo. 6^-. 

fessors and Lecturers of Owens College, Manchester. Published in 
Commemoration of the Opening of the New College Buildings, October 7th, 
1873. Svo. us. 

of its History and Practice. By Reginald F. D. Palgrave, Clerk Assistant 
of the House of Commons. New and Revised Edition. Crown Svo. is. 6d. 

ENGLAND. By Sir Francis Palgrave, Deputy Keeper of Her Majesty's 
Public Records. Completing the History to the Death of William Rufus. 
4 Vols. Svo. 4/. 4s. 


GiFFORD Pai.grave, late of the Eighth Regiment Bombay N.I. Sixth Edition. 
With Maps, Plans, and Portrait of Author, engraved on steel by Jeens. Crown 
8vo. 6s. 

ESSAYS ON EASTERN QUESTIONS. By \V. Giffokd Palgrave. 8vo. 
los. 6d. 

DUTCH GUIANA. ^V^th Maps and Plans. 8vo. 9^. 

With Portraits and Maps. 2 vols. 8vo. 12^. 6d. each, 

TESON, D.D., Missionary Bishop of the Melane5:an Islands. By Ch;>ri.otte 
M. YoxGE, Author of "The Heir of Redclyffe." With Portraits after 
RiCHiioND and from Photcgraph, engraved by Jeens. With Map. Fifth 
Edition. Two Vols. Crown 8vo. I2i-. 

PATTISON. — MEMOIRS. By Mark Pattison, late Rectcr of Lincoln 
O.llege, Oxford. Crown £vo. Ss. dd. 


JNI.A. With Maps. i8mo. i,s.6d. {^Historical Course for Schools. 

PERSIA. — EASTERN PERSIA. An Account cf the Journeys of the Persian 
Bjtindar5' Commission, 1870-1-2. — Vol. I. The Geography, with Narrativesliy 
Majors St. John, Lovett, and Euan Smith, and an Introduction by Major- 
General Sir Frederic Goldsmid, C.B., K.C.S.I., Briti-h Commissioner and 
Arbitrator. With Maps and Illustrations.— Vol. II. The Zoology and Geology. 
By W. T. Blaxdford, A.R.S.M., F R.S. With Coloured Illustrations. Two 
Vols. 8vo. ifis. 

John B. Phear. Crown 8vo. -js. 6d. 

L.\NE Pooi.E. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

1S68. The First Ten Years of Administration under the Crown. By I. T. 
Prichard, Barrister-at-Law. Two Vols. Demy 8vo. With Map. 21J. 

REED (SIR CHAS.).— SIR CHARLES REED. A Memoir by Charles 
E. B. Reed, ^LA. Crown 8vo. 4.?. (>d. 

MONOGRAPH. By Francis Sey.mour Haden. With three Plates. Svo. 
■js. 6d. 

INGS:— A Series of Sketches. Montague, Walpole. Adam Smith, Cobbett. 
By Prof. Rogers, ISI.P. Crcv.n Svo. 4^.6;^. Second Series. Wiklif, Laud, 
W'ilkes, ana Korne Tooke. Crown Svo. 6s. 

William Sharp. Viith an Illuitration after Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Crown 
Svo. loj. 6d. 

PROGRE.'-'.S IN ENGLAND, chiefly in Relat:on to the Freedom of ths 
Press and Trial by Jury, 1660— 1S20. With application to later years. By J. 

ROUTLEDGE. 8vO. t6s. 

Memoir, .and Notices of his Daughter. By George Ellis. Five Vols. 8vo.. 

i.1. 14^. 6d, , 

^ b 2 



Ihird Edition. Crown 8vo. 2S. dd. 

Deputy-Professor of Comparative Pnilology, Oxford; Hon. LL.D. Dublin. 
Cruwn Svo. 6s. 

lateJ by Percy E. Pinkerton. With Illustrations. Crown Svo. loj. M. 

SEELEY. — Works by J. R. Seeley, M.A., Regius Professor of Modern History 

in the University of Caiubridje, FelUv/ of Conville and Caius College, Fellow 

of the Royal Historical Sjciety, and Honorary Member of the Historical Society 

of Massachusetts: — 

THE EXPANSION OF ENGLAND. Tv.o Courses of Lectures. Crown Svo. 

4?. 6</. 

Contends: — Roman Imperialism: i. The Great Roman Revolution; z. The 
Proximate Cause of the Fall of the Roman Empire; The Later Empire. — Milton's 
Political Opinions — !Mikon's Poetry — Elementary Principles in Art — Liberal Educa- 
tion in Universities — English in Schools — The Church as a Teacher of Morality — The 
Teaching of Politics : an Inaugural Lecture delivered at Cambridge. 

from his Papers and CorreBp>ondence. By Lord Ed.mond Fitz.maurice. In 
Three Vols. Svo. Vol. I. 1737 — 1766, \2s. ; Vol. II. 1766 — 1776, i2j. ; Vol. 
III. 1776 — 1S05. ^i■s. 

Fellow of the Royal Society, Honor.ary M.D. Trinity College, Dublin, and 
D.C.L. Durham. Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, 6cc. Edited by 
William M. Ord, M.D. With Illustrations. Four Volumes. Svo. 3/. 3^. 

SIME. — HISTORY OF GERMANY. By Ja.mes, M.A. iSmo. 3^. 

Being Vol. V. of the Historical Course for Schools. Edited by Ebward A., D.C.L. 

of Lectures on the Political History of England. By Goldwin S.mith, M.A., 

D.C.L. Nev/ Edition. Crown Svo. ^s. 

SPINOZA. — SPINOZA : a Study of. By James Martineau, LL.D,, D.D. 

Fellow of Manchester New College, London. With Portrait. Second Edition. 

Crown Svo. 6^-. 
ST, ANSELM.— By the Very Rev. R. W. CliURCU, M. A., Dean of St. Paul's. 

New Edition. Crown Svo. 6i. (Biographical Series.) 

STATESMAN'S YEAR-BOOK, THE.— a Statistical and Histo 

rical Annual of the States of the Civilised World for the Year i8S5._ Twenty- 
second Annual Publication. Revised after Official Returns. Edited by J. 
Scott Keltie. Crown Svo. los bd. 

Problem. By F. R. Statha.m. Crown Svo. 6^-. 

Fellow of the Institution of British Architects. With numerous Illustra- 
tions. Royal Svo. 2 Vols. iS.r. each. Vol. I. Architecture. Vol. II. House 

St. Johnston. Crown Svo. 45. dd. 

CHRES, including a Visit to Palmyra. By E.mii.y A. Beaufort (Viscountess 
StrangforJ), Author of " The Eastern Shores of the Adriatic-" New Ediuon. 
Crowu Svo. "js. (id. 


'• Short History of the English People." By C. W. A. Tait, ISI. A., Assistant 
Master, Clifton College. Crown Svo. 35. 6a. 


Memoir, Edited, at the request of the Archbishop, by the Rev. \V. Benham, 
B.D., Rector of St. Edmund-the-King .ind St. Nicholas Aeons, One of the Si.\ 
Preachers of Can'erbury Cathedral. With Two Portraits engraved by Jeens. 
New and Cheaper Edition. Crown Svo. 6s. (Biographical Series.) 
Abridged Edition. Crown Svo. zs. 6d. 

TERESA.— THE LIFE OF ST. TERESA. By Maria Trench. With 
Portrait engraved by Jeens. Crown Svo, cloth extra. 8.J. dd. 

Being Vol. II. of the Historical Course for Schools, Edited by Edward A. 
Freeman, D.C.L. New Edition, revised and enlarged, with Coloured Maps. 
i8mo. zs. 6d. 


and Popular Edition. Crown Svo. is. 6d. 

Todhunter, ma., F.R.S., late Fellow and Principal Mathematical Lecturer 
of St. John's College, Cambridge. Svo. los. 6d. 

TRENCH (R. CHENEVIX).— For other Works by the same Author, 

see Theological and Belles Lettres Catalogues, and page 2S of tiiis 

GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS IN GERMANY, and other Lectures on the Thirty 

Years' War. Second Edition, revised and enlarged. Fcap. Svo. 4^. 

tures. Second Edition, cnlarcjed. Fcap. Svo. 3^. 6d. 

of Lectures delivered in Queen's College, London. Second Edition, revised. 

Svo. 12.J. 

Translations from his "Life's a Dream" and "Great Theatre of the V/crld." 

Second Edition, revised and improved. Fcap. Svo. $s. 

TRENCH. Being Selections from her Journals, Letters, and other Papers. 
Edited by R. Che.nevix Trench, D.D. New and Cheaper Issue. Svo. 6s 

TREVELYAN.— THE IRISH CRISIS. Being a Narrative of the Measures 
for the Relief of the Distress caused by the Great Irish Famine of J 846-7. By 
Sir Charles Trevelvan, Bart., K.C.B. Svo. 2j. 6d. 

Adolthus Trollope. 4 Vols. Svo. Cloth, z-is. 

TURNER. — SA?iIOA. A Hundred Years ago and long bef re. together with 
Notes on the Cults and Customs of Twenty-three other Islands in the Pacific. By 
George Turner, LL.D., c f the London Misiionary Society. With a Preface 
by E. B. TvLOR, F.R.S. With Maps. Crown Svo. gj. 

TYLOR.— ANTHROPOLOGY: an Introduction to the Study of Man and 
Civilisation. By E. B. Tylor, D.C.L., F.R.S. With Illustrations. Crown 
Svo. 7^. 6d. 

AT BORTH. By J. H. S. Cro\v;i 'vo. 3J. 6d. 



I3y G. S. GoDKiN. New Edition. Crown 8vo. 6^. (Biograpliical Series.) 

Utan and the Bird of Paradi';e. By Alfred Rus.'^ei. \yALLACE. A Narra- 
tive of Travel with Studies of Man and Nature. With Maps and numerous 
llhistrations. Sixth Edition. Crown Svo. 7^-. dd. 

WALLACE (D. M.)— EGYPT : and the Egyptian Question. By D. Mac- 
KE.\'ZiE Wallace, ^LA., Author of "Russia: a Si.K Years' Residence," &c. 
Svo. 14^. 

THE DEATH OF QUEEN ANNE. By A. W. V/ard, M.A., Professor of 
History and English Literature in Owens College, Manchester. Two Vols. 
Svo. 32^. 

of Germany fjunded on Diaries kept during the years 18.^0 — ^1870. By John 
Ward, C.B., late H.]M. Minister-Resident to the Hanse Towns. Svo. 10^. 6.V 

WARD.— ENGLISH POETS. Selections, with Critical Introductions by 
v.arious writers, and a General Introduction by Matthew Arnold. Edited 
by T. H. Ward, M.A. 4 vuls. New Edition. Crown Svo. 7.J. td. e.ach. 





IN iSr2, 1S16, 1S20, and 1824. With Original Instructions for the perfect Preser- 
vation of Birds, etc., f.-r Cabinets of Natural Hi^tor);. By Charles VVaterton. 
New Edition, edited with Biographical Introduction and Explanatory Inde.x 
by the Rev. J. G. Wood. M.A. With 100 Illustrations. Cheaper Edition. 
Crown Svo. 6j. 
Fejple's Illustrated Edition. Demy 410. 6d. 


By Robert Spence V/atson. With Illustrations. Svo. icf. 6./. 

and Edited by Anna BuCKLAND. With Portrait. Crov/.i Svo. ts. 


of t!ie Eighteenth Century. By Julia Wedgwood. Crown Svo. Zs. 6d. 

By J. Talbovs Wheeler, late Assistant-Secretary to the Government cf 
India, Foreign Department, and late Secretary to the Government of British 
Burma. With Maps and Tables. Crown Svo. i2s. 

V7HEWELL. — WILLIAM WHEWELL, D.D., late Master of Trinity 
College, Cambridge. An .account of his Writings, with Selections from his 
Literary and Scientific correspondence. By I. Todhunter, M.A., F.R.S. 
Two Vols. Svo. 25i. 

BORNE. By Gilbert White. Edited, with Memoir and Notes, by Frank 
Buckland. a Chapter on Antiquities by Lord Selbcrne, and numerous Il- 
lustrations by P. H. Delamotte. New and Cheaper Edition. Crown Svo. 6;;. 
Also a Large Paper Edition, cont.aining, in addition to the above, upwards of 
Thirty Woodhurytype Illustrations from Dr.awings by Prof. Delamotte. Two 
Vols. 4to. Half morocco, elegant. 4/. J,s. 

Professor of Technology in the University of Edinburgh. By his Sister. JNeiv 
Edition. Crown Svo. Gs. 


WILSON (DANIEL, LL.D.)— Works by Daniel Wilson, LL.D., 
Professor of History and English Literature in University Collage, Toronto ; — 

PREHISTORIC ANNALS OF SCOTLAND. New Edition, with numerous 
Illustrati')ns. Tw > Vols. Demy Svo. ^Os. 

PREHISTORIC MAN : Researches into the Origin of Civilization in the Old 
and New World. New Edition, revised and enlarged throughout, with numerous 
Illustrations and Two Coloured Plates. Two Vols. Svo. 36J. 

CHATTERTON : A Biographical Study. Crown Svo. 6s. td. 

YOE.— THE BURIMAN: His Life and Notions. By Shway YoE. Two Vols. 
Crown Sv3. c.s. 

YONGE (CHARLOTTE M.)— Works by Ch.^rlotte M., 

Author of the " Heir of Redclyffe," &c. &c. :— 

Fcap. Svo. Third Edition. 5.?. 
Second Series, THE WARS IN FRANCE. Extra fcap. Svo. Third 

Edition. 55. 
Third Series, THE v;aRS OF THE ROSES. Extra fcap. Svo. y. 
Fourth Series, REFOR?.IATION TIMES. Ext!-a fcap. Svo. is. 
Fifth Series, ENGLAND AND SPAIN. Extra fcap. Svo. 5^-. 
HISTORY OF FRANCE. Maps. iCmo. 3^. ed. 

\ Historical Com se for Schools. 
HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN NAMES. New Edition, Revised. Crown Svo. 

^s. 6d. 


ANGLO-SAXON LAW.— ESSAYS IN. Contents : Law Courts-Land 
and Family Laws and Legal Procedure generally. With Select cases. 
Medium Svo. iSj. 

Being the Arnold Prize Essay for 1879. By W. T. Arnold, B.A. Crown 
Svo. 6 J. 

DIPLOMACY. By Mont.^gue Eern.-^rd, "M. A, Chichele Professor of 
International Law and Diplomacy, Oxford. Svo. 9^. 


THE NORMAN CONQUEST. The Norman Period, 1066-1204. By 
Melville M.vdison Bigelovv', Ph.D., Harvard University. Svo. 16s. 

BRIGHT (JOHN, M. P.).— Works by the Right Hon. John Bright, 


Tkorold Rogers, M.P. Author's Popular Edition. Globe Svo. 3.J. 6d. 
LIBRARY EDITL )N. Two Vols. Svo. With Portrait. 25:?. 
PUBLIC ADDRESSES. Edited by J. Thorold Rogers, M.P. Svo. 14.?. 

CONTROL. By J. C. Bucknill, M.D., F.R.S., late Lord Chancellor's Visitor 

of L'lnatics. Crown Svo. 3^. 6d. 

CAIRNES.— Works by J. E. Cairnes, M.A., sometime Professor of Political 
Economy in University College, London : — ■ 

POLITICAL ESS.A.YS. Svo. io.f (d. 

NOMY. New Edition, enlarged. Svo. 7^. 6d. 


POLICY. By Richard Cocden. Edited by the Right Hon. John Bright, 
M.P., and J. E. Thorold Rogers, M.P. Popular Edition. Svo. 3^.6^. 

Dr. LuiGi CossA, Professor of Political Economy in the University of Pavia. 
Translated from the Second Italian Edition. With a Preface by W. Stanley 
Jevons, F.R.S. Crown Svo. 4^-. dd. 

FAWCETT. — Works by Right Hon. Henry, M.A , M.P.. F.R.S. 

late Fellow of Trinity Hall, and Professor of Political Economj' in the University 

of Cambridge: — 

fcap. Svo. 5^. 
MANUAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY._ Sixth Edition, revised, with a 

Chapter on State Socialism and the Nationalisation of the Land, and an Index, 

etc. Crown Svo. 12.? 

ZOS. (jd. 

FREE TRADE AND PROTECTION: an Inquiry into the Causes which have 

retarded the adoption of Free Trade since its introduction into England. 

Sixth and Cheaper Edition. Crown Svo. 3^. dd. 
INDIAN FINANCE. Three Essays, with Introduction and Appendix. Svo 

•]s. (sd. 

Hexry Fawcett. M.P., and Millicent Garrett Fawcett. Svo. lar. td. 

FAWCETT (MRS.) — Works by Millicent Garrett Fawcett: — 

Edition. iSmo. ■2s 6d. 

at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. By John Fiske, Author of 
"Darwinism: and other Essays," "Excursions of an Evolutionist," &c. 
Crown Svo. ^s. 

By George J. Goschen, M.P. Royal Svo. 5^. 

GUIDE TO THE UNPROTECTED, in Eveiy Day Matters Relating 
to Property and Income. By a Banker's Daughter. Fifth Edition, Revised. 
Extra fcap. Svo. 3^. (>d. 

HAMILTON. — MONEY AND VALUE: an Inquiry into the Means and 
Ends of Economic Production, with an Appendix on the Depreciation of Silver 
and Indian Currency. By Rowland Ha.milto.n. Svo. 12.S. 

HARWOOD. — Works by George Harwood, M.A. 
DISESTABLISHMENT : a Defence of the Principle of a National Church. 

Svo. i2.r. 

HILL. — Works by Oct avia Hill :— 

OUR COMMON L.\ND ; and other Short Essays. Extra fcap. Svo. ^s. Cd. 

Contents :— Our Common Land. District Visiting. A more Excellent Way of 
Charity. A Word on Good Citizenship. Open Spaces. Effectual Charity. The 
Future of our Commons. 

HOMES OF THE LONDON POOR. Popular Edition. Cr. Svo. Sewed, zs 


FROM 1774 TO 1853. A Lecture delivered at O.xford, April 1877. By T. E. 

■ Holland. D.C.L., Professor of International Law and Diplomacy, Oxford. 
Grown Svo. 2f. 


JEVONS.— Works by W. Stanlev Jevons, LL.D., M.A., F.R.S. (For other 
Works by the same Author, see Educational and Philosophical Cata- 
logues.): — 

THE THEORY OF POLITICAL ECONOMY. Second Edition, revised, with 
new Preface and Appendices. 8vo. lo^. 6d. 


METHi)DS OF SOCIAL REFORM, and other Papers. Demy 8vo. los. 6ci. 

Introduction, by H. S. Foxwell, M.A.. Fe!bw and Lecturer of St. John's 
College, Cambridge, and Professor of Political Economy at University College, 
London. Illustrated by 20 Diagrams. Demy 8vo. 21s. 

LAVELEYE.— PRIMITIVE property. By Emile de Laveleve. 
Translated by G. R. L. Marriott, LL.B., with an Introduction by T. E. 
Cliffe Leslie. LL.B. Svo. i2j. 

LiGHTWooD, M.A., of Lincoln's Inn, Barrister-at-Law, Fellow of Trinity Hall, 
Cambridge. Demy Svo. 12s. 6d. 


Sir John Lubbock, Bart., M.P., &c., &c. Svo. 8j. 6d: 

Barrister-at-Law. 8vo. zos. 6ii. 

GRACE, 1221. Edited by F. W. Maitland. Svo. -js. 6d. 

M.A., Professor of P>jlitical Economy in the University of Cambridge, late 
Principal of University College Bristol, and Mary Paley Marshall, late 
Lecturer at Newnham Hall, Cambridge. Extra fcap. Svo. 2.r. 6d. 

MONAHAN. — THE METHOD OF LAW: an Essay on the Statement and 
Arrangement of the Legal Standard of Conduct. By J. H. Monahan, Q.C. 
Crown Svo. 6s. 

PATERSON. — Works by J.\MES Paterson, M.A., Barrister-at-Law, sometime 
Commissioner for English and Irish Fisheries, &c. 
Cheaper issue. Crown Svo. its. 
SHIP. Being Commentaries on the Liberty of the Subject and the Laws of 
England. Crown Svo. i2.r. 

TWEEN EXPORTS AND IMPORTS. A Paper read before the E-xmouth 
LiberalAssociation,on July 22, 1881. By Sir John B. Phear. CrownSvo. ■2S.(:d. 

Pandects. By John George Philli.more, Q.C. Svo. 16.9. 

Frederick Pollock, M.A., LL.D., Corpus Chnsti Professor of Jurisprudence 
in the University of 0.\furd ; late Fellow of Trinity College, Camb. Svo. tcs. 6d. 

FEDERATION. Complete in one volume. Svo. 6s. Or :— 
L THE TENANT FARMER: Land Laws and Landlords. By Ja.mes Howard. 

II FOREIGN POLICY. By Right Hon. M. E. Grant Duff, M.P. Svo. if. 

III FREEDoIVI OF LAND. By G. Shaw Lefevke, M.P. Svo. 2S. 6d. 

IV. BRITISH COLONIAL POLICY. By Sir David Wedderburn, Bart., 
M.P. Svo. \s. 


RICHEY.— THE IRISH LAND LAWS. By Alexander G. Rishev, Q.C, 
LL.D., Deputy Regius Professor of Feudal and English Law in- the University 
of Duh)in. Crown Svo. 3^. dd. 

SIDGWICK. — Works by Henry Sidgwick, M.A., LL.D., Kni-htbridge 
Professor of Moral Philosophy in the Un'.versity of Cambridge, &c. : 


THE METHODS OF ETHICS. Third Edition, Revised and Enlarged. 
Demy Svo. 14^. 

Important Additions and Alterations in the Third Edition. Demy Svo. ds. 

WORLD, FOR THE YEAR 18S5. Twenty-second Annual Publication. 
Revised after Official Returns. Edited by J. Scott Keltie. Crown Svo. \os. dd. 

into the Reasons for and against the E-tab!ishment of Religioiis Sister) o ids 
for Charitable PurjJoses. By Caroline Ej.iim.a. Stephen. Crown Svo. 6s. 6d. 

STEPHEN,— Works by Sir James Fitzjamss STEPHEt5, K.C.S.I., D.C.L. 

A Judge of the Lligh Court of Justice, Queen's Beach Division. 
A DIGEST OF THE LAW OF EVIDENCE. Fourth Edition, with new Preface. 

Crown Svo. 6^. 

Svo. 485-. 
A DIGEST OF THE CRIMINAL LAV/. (Crimes and Punishments.) Svo. 16s. 

ABLE OFFENCES. By Sir James F. Stephen, K.C.S.I., a Jud^je of the 

Hia:h Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, and Hekbsrt Stephen. 

IX"M , of the Middle 'J'emple, Barriiter-at -Law. Svo. lis. 6d. 
LETTERS ON THE ILBERT BILL. Reprinted from The Times. Svo. 2j. 

TIONAL RELATIONS : an Attempt to Ascertain the Best Method of 
Discussing the Topics of International Law. By J. K. Stephen, B.A., of the 
Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law. Crown Svo. 6s. 

STUBBS. — ^VILLAGE POLITICS. Addresses and Sermons on the Labour 
Question. By C. W. Stubbs, M.A., Vicar of Granborough, Bucks. Extra 
fcap. Svo. 3^. dd. 

THORNTON. — Works by W. T. Thornton, C.B., Secretary for Public 

Works in the India Office : — 
A PLEA FOR PEASANT PROPRIETORS: With the Outlines of a Pkn for 

their Establishment in Ireland. New Edition, revised. Crown Svo. -js. 6d. 

Map of Indian Railways. Crown Svo. Zs. 6d. 

WALKER. — Works by F. A. Walker, M. A., Ph.D., Professor of Political 
Economy and History, Yale College : — 
THE WAGES QUESTION. A Treatise on Wages and the Wages Class. Svo. 

MONEY. Svo. i6,f. 


7.J. 6d. 
LAND AND ITS RENT. Fcap. Svo. 3.?. 6d. 

REFORM. By A. J. V/ilson, Author of "The Resources of Modern 
Countries." Svo. ^s. 6J. 



ABBOTT. — A SHAKESPERIAN GRAMMAR: An Attempt to Lllustraie 
some of the Differences between Elizabethan and Modern English. By the 
Rev. E. A. AcBOTT, D.D., Head Master cf the City of London School. New 
and Enlarged Edition. E.\tra fcap. 8vo. 6s. 

PRINCIPLES. By Hermann Erey.iann. Ph.D., Professor of Prilology in 
the University' of ISIunich, late Lecturer en French Language and Literature in 
Owens College, Manchester. E.xtra fcap. 8vo. 4^. 6d. 

Extra fcap. Svo. ^s. 6d. 
FASNACHT. — Works by G. Eugene Fasnacht, Author of " Macmillan's 
Progressive French Course," Editor of "Macmillan's Foreign School 
Classics," &c. 

Crown Svo. y. dd. 
2S. Gd. 
M.A., Head Master cf Skipton Grammar School. Extra fcap. Svo. 45. td. 

GOODWIN. — Works byW. W. Goodv.i.n', Professor of Greek Literature in 
Harvard University: — 

Crown Svo. 6s. 6d. 
A SCHOOL GREEK GRAMMAR. Crown Svo. 3^. 6d. 
A GREEK GRAMMAR. Crown Svo. 6s. 
ORIGINAL GREE'v The Tex' revised by B. F. Westcott, D.D., Regius 
Profess:rof Div.nity,'and F. J. A.' Hort, D.D., Hulsean Professor of Divinity. 
Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge; late Fellows of Ir.nity College, 
Cambridge. Two Vols. Crown Svo- los. 6d. 

Vol 1. Text.— V. 1. II. Introduction an. -1 Appendix. 
l:.y Two Members of the New Testament Company. Svo. 2S. 6d. 
the Papers of Ja.mes Hadley, LL.D., Professor of Greek in Yale College, &c. 
Svo 16s. 
HALES. — LONGER ENGLISH POEMS. With Notes, Philological and 
Explanatory, and an Introduction on the Teaching of English. Chiefly for use 
in Srho.;l^. Edited by J. W. Kales, M.A., Professor of English Literature at 
King's College, Li-ndon, &c. &c. Fifth Edition. E.\tra fcap. Svo. 4s. 6d. 
THE TEUTONIC LANGUAGES: Being at the same ti:ne a Historical 
Grammar of the Enc'd^^h Language, and comprising G: tliic, Anglo-Sax^n, Early 
Enc^lish, Modern English, Icelandic ^Old Norse), Danish, Swedish, Old High 
German, Middle High German, Modern German, Old Saxon, Old Frisian, and 
Dutch. ' By Ja.mes Helfenstein, Ph.D. Svo. i&s. 

THE FRENCH LANGUAGE (French-English and English-French) Adapted 
from the Dictionaries of Prcfessor Alfred Ei.wall. Followed by a List of the 
Principal Diverging Derivations, and preceded by Chronological and Historical 
Tables. By Gustave Masson, Assistant-Master and Librarian, Harrow 
Schco!. Fourth Edition. Crown Svo. 6s. 


Edited after Dr. E. Hubner. With large Additions by John E. B. Mayor. 
M.A., Professor of Latin in the University of Cambridge. Crown 8vo. lo^. ()d. 

MORRIS. — Works by the Rev. Richard Morris. LL.D., President of tlie 
Philological Society, Editor of " Specimens of Early English," &c., &c. : — 
Chapters on the History and Development of the Language, and on Word- 
formation. New Edition. Fcap. 8vo. (>s. 
containing Accidence and Wood-formation. Third Edition. iSmo. 2J. 6d. 

Kington Oliphant, M.A., of Palliol College, O.xford. A New Edition, 
revised and greatly enlarged, if " The Sources of Standard English." E.xtra 
fcap. 8vo. gj. 

PHILOLOGY. FourV^oh. 8vo. iz.?. 6.-/. each. 
THE JOURNAL OF PHILOLOGY. New Series. Edited by John E. B. 

Mayor, M.A., and W. Aldis Wright, M.A. 4^. bd. (Half-ye.arly.) 
Gildersleeve. Professor of Greek in the John Hopkins University. 8vo. 
4.5-. (>d. (Quarterly.) 
The Ecloga of the Grammarian Phrynichiis. With Introductions and Commen- 
tary. By W. GuNiON Rutherford, M.A., LL.D. of Balliol College, Head 
Master of Westminster School. 8vo. iSj-. 
ROBY (H. J.) — Works by Henry John Roby, M.A., late Fellow of St. 
John's College, Cambridge. 
SUETONIUS. In Two P.arts. Second Edition. Part I. conuaining : - liook 
I. Sounds. Book II. Infle.xions. Book III. Word Formation. Appendices. 
Crown 8vo. 8:f. (>d. Part II.— Syntax. Prepositions. &c. Crown 8vo. \os. 6d. 

SION, A COMPANION TO. By Philip Schaff, D D., President of the 
American Commiltee of Revision. With Facsimile Illustrations of MSS. and 
Standard Editions of the New Testament. Crown 8vo. 12s. 

LANGUAGES. To which are added, the Lyric Parts of the "Medea" of 
Euripides and the "Antigone" of Sophocles; with Rhythmical Scheme and 
Commentary. By Dr. J. H. Sch.midt. Translated from the German by J. W. 
White, D.D. Svo. los. 6d. 

TAYLOR. — Works by the Rev. Isaac Taylor, M.A. :— 
ETRUSCAN RESEARCHES. With Woodcuts. Svo. us. ^ 
WORDS AND PLACES ; or. Etymological Illustrations of History, Ethnology 
and Geography. By the Rev. Isaac Taylor. Third Edition, revised and 
compressed. With Maps. Globe Svo. 6.r. 
GREEKS AND GOTHS : a Study on the Runes. Svo. Q.r. 
TRENCH. — Works by R. Chenevi.x Trench, D.D. (For other Works by the 
same Author, see Theological Catalogue.) 
SYNONYMS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. Ninth Edition, enlarged. Svo. 

ON THE STUDY OF WORDS. Lectures Addressed (originally) to the Pupils 
at the Diocesan Training School, Winchester. Eighteenth Edition, enlarged. 

ENGLISH PAST AND PRESENT. Eleventh Edition, revi.sed and improved. 

enlarged. Fcap. Svo. 5^. 


CIREEK. By Edgar Vincent. ]\I. A, and T. G. Dickson. Second Edition 
revised and enlarged. With an Appendix on the Relation of Modern Greek to 
Classical Greek. By Professor R. C. Jebb. Crown Svo. 6s. 

Whit.ney, Professor of Sanskrit and Instructor in Modern Languages in Yale 
College. Crov.n Svo. 6s. 

AND ENGLISH DICTIONARY, with Notation of Correspondences and 
Brief Etymolosies. By Professor W. D. Whitney, assisted by A. H. Edgken, 
Crown Svo. ys. 6if. 
The GERMAN-ENGLISH Part may be had separately. Price s^. 

Archaic Words and Phrases in the Authorised Version of the Bible and the Book 
rf Common Prayer. By W. Aldis Wright, M.A., Fellow and Bursar of 
Trinity College, Cambridge. Second Edition, revised and enlarged. Crown Svo. 
rs. 6.f. 

HEBREW AND LXX. With Excursus on Several Grammatical Subjects. 
By W. H. Lov.'E, M.A., Hebrew Lecturer at Christ's College, Cambridge, 
Demy Svo. los. 6ii. 


Unifor.mly printed in iSmo, with Vignette Titles by J. E. Millais, T. Woolner, 
W. HoLMAN Hunt. Sir Noel Baton, Arthur Hughes, &c. Engraved on Steel 
by Jeens. Bound in extra cloth, 4^. 6./. each volume. 

" Messrs. Macmillan have, in their Golden Treasury Series, especially provided 
editions of standard works, volumes of selected poetry, and original compo- 
sitions, which entitle this series to be called classical. Nothing can be better 
than the hterar>' e.xecution, nothing more elegant than the material workman- 
ship." — Bkitish Quarterly Review. 

GUAGE. Selected and arranged, with Notes, by Francis Turner 



POETS. Selected and arranged by Cove.N'TRY Pat.more. 
THE BOOK OF PRAISE. From the best English Hymn Writers. 
Selected .nnd arranged by the Right Hon. the Earl of Selborne. A Ne-iv 
and Enlarged Edition. 

THE FAIRY BOOK; the Best Popular Fairy Stories. Selected .and ren- 
dered anew by the Author of "John Halifax, Gentle.vian." 
" A delightful selection, in a delightful external form ; full of the physical splen- 
dour and vast opulence of proper fairy tales." — Spectator. 

THE BALLAD BOOK. A Selection of the Cho'cest British Ballads. 
Edited by William 

THE JEST BOOK. The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings. Selected and 
arranged by Mark Lemon. 
•'The fullest and best jest book that yet appeared."— Saturday Review. 



EVIL. With Notes and Glosjarial Index. Ly Vv^. Aldis Wright, M.A. 
"The beautiful little editi';n of Ilac.n's Essays, now before us, does credit to 
the taste and scholarship of Mr. Aldis Wright." — Spectator. 

THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS from this World to that which is to 
come. By John Bunyan. 
"A. beautiful and scholarly reprint." — Spectator. 

YOUNG. Selected and arranged by C. F. Alexander. 
" A vell-telected volume of sacred poetiy."— Spectator. 

A BOOK OF GOLDEN DEEDS of All Times and All Countries. 
Gathered and Narrated Anew. By the Author of " The Heir of Redclyffe." 
'■ . . . To the young, for whom it is especially intended, as a mtst interesiiiig 
collection of thrdiing tales well told ; and to their elders as auseful handbook 
of reference, and a pleasant one to take up wlien their wish is to while away 
a weary half-hour. We have seen no prettier gift-book for a Ijng time." — 


Edited, from the Original Edition, by J. W. Clark, M.A., Fell jw of Trinity 
College, Cambridge. 

THE REPUBLIC OF PLATO, Translated into English, with 
Notes by J. Ll. Davies, M.A., and D. J. Vaughan, M.A. 
" A dainty and cheap httle edition." — E.\aminer. 

THE SONG BOOK. Words and tunes from the best Poets and Musicians. 
Selected and arranged by John Hullah, late Professor of Vocal Music in 
King's College, London. 

" A choice collection of the sterling songs of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 
with the music of each prefixed to the words. How much true wholesome 
pleasure such a book can diffuse, and will diffuse, we trust, through many 
thousand families." — Examiner. 

LA LYRE FRANCAISE. _ Selected and arranged, with Notes, by 
GtTSTAVE Masson, French INTaster in Harrow School. 

" We doubt whether even in Fr.iiice itself so inti resting and complete a repcrtoiy 
of the best French Lyrics could be found.'' — Notes and Quemes. 


" A perfect gem of a book. The best and most healthy bcok about boys for 
boys tltat ever was written." — Illustrated Times. 

A BOOK OF WORTHIES. Gathered from the Old Histories and written 
anew by the Author of "The Heir of Redclyffe." 
"An admirable addition to an acmirabb series." — Westminster Review. 

GUESSES AT TRUTH. Cy Two Brothers. New Edition. 

THE CAVALIER AND HIS LADY. Selections from the Works of 
the First Duke and Duchess of Newcastle. With an Introductory Essay by 
Edw.\rd Jenkins, Autlior of " Ginx's Baby," &c. 
"A charming little volume." — Standard. 

SCOTCH SONG, a Selection of the Choicest Lyrics of Scotland Com- 
piled and arranged, with brief Notes, by Maky Carlyi.e Ai ikin. 
" The book is one that should find a place in every library, we had almost said in 
every pocket."— Spectator. 

DEUTSCHE LYRIK : The Golden Treasury of the best German Lyrical 
Poems. Selected and arranged, with Notes and Literary Introduction, by Dr. 
Buchhei.m. ... ,, ,,. 

••A book which all lovers of German poetry will welcome. — V/kstminster 


HERRICK : Selections from the Lyrical Poems. Arranged, with Notes, by 
F. T. Palgravf. 

" For the first time the ?weetest of F-nglish pastoral poets is placed within the 
range of the great world of readers." — Academy. 

POEMS OF PLACES. Edited by H. W. Lokgfellow. Engkndand 
Wales. Two Vols. 

" A very happy idea, thoroughly worked out by an editor who possesses every 
qualificatioa for the task." — Spectator. 


" A volume which is a tiling of beai:ty in itself." — Pall Mall Gazette. 

IN SPAIN. By C. M. YoxGE, Author of the " Heir of Redclyffe '" 

With Vignette by Holman- Hunt. 


Edited by the Rev. A. Ai.n'Ger, M.A., Reader at the Temple. 

POEMS OF WORDSWORTH. Chosen and Edited, with Preface 
by iMatthew Arnold. (.^!so a Large Paper Edition. Crown Svo. cs.) 
" A volume, every page of which is weighted with the golden fruit of poetrj'. ' 
— Pall Mall Gazette. 

SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS. Edited by F. T. P.^lgrave. 

POEMS FROM SHELLEY. Selected and arranged by Stopford 
A. Brooke, RLA. (Also a Large Paper Edition. Crown Svo. 12s. 6d.) 
" Full of power and true appreciation of Shelley." — Spectator. 

ESSAYS OF JOSEPH ADDISON. Chosen and Edited by John 
Richard Green. M.A., LL.D." _ ^^ 

" This is a most welcome addition to a most excellent series. — Examiner. 

POETRY OF BYRON. Chosen and arranged by M.^tthew Arnold. 
(Also a Large Paper Edition, Crown Svo.) qs. 

" It is written in Mr. Arnold's neatest vein, and in Mr. Arnold's most pellucid 
manner." — 


SAVAGE LAN DOR. — Arranged and Edited by Professor Sisnev 



to a Friend, &c., and Christian Morals. Edited by W. A. Greenhtll, M.D. 
" Dr. Greenhill's annotations display care and research to a degree rare among 

English editors. The bibliographical details furni«;hed leave nothing to be 

desired." — 


PROPHET MOHAMMAD.— Chosen and Translated, with an 
Introduction and Notes, by Stanley Lane-Poole. 

duction by Mrs. Qliphant. 

LETTERS OF WILLIAM COWPER. — Edited, with Introduction 
By the Rev. W. Benham, B.D., Editor of the "Globe Edition" of Cowper's 
Poetical Works. 


from the Original Editions, with Notes. By Francis Tu.jner Palgkave. 
LYRICAL POEMS. By Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Selected .and Anno- 
tated. By Francis Turner Palgkave. 

<t*» Ol/iey X'olumes to follozu. 


Noiu Publishing, in Cmvn %vo. Price 3s. 6d. each. 


Edited by HENRY CRAIK, M.A. (Oxon.); LL.D. (Glasgow). 

This series is intended to meet the demand fjr accessible information on the ordi- 
nary conditions, and the current terms, of our political life. Ignorance of these not 
only takes from the study of history the interest which comes from a contact with 
practical pohtics, but, still worse, it unfits men for their place as intelligent citizens. 
The series will deal with the details of the machinery whereby our Constitution 
works, and the broad lines upon which it has been constructed. 

The follonnng Volumes are ready : — 

CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. By H. D.Traill, D.C.L., late Fellow 
of St. John's College, Oxford. 


By Spenxer W.\lpole, Author of " The History of England from 1S15." 


TAXES AND RATES. By A. J. Wilson. 

THE POOR LAW. By Rev. T. W. Fowle, M.A. 


H. Farrer, Bart. 

Jevons, LL.D, F.R.S. 

THE STATE AND THE CHURCH. By the Hon. A. Arthur 

El.LTOT, M.P. 

FOREIGN RELATIONS. By Spenxer Walpole, Author of " The 
History of England from 1815." 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT. By M. D. Chalmers, M.A. 


By Henry Crahc, MA., LL.D. 

THE LAND LAWS. By Frederick Pollock, M.A., late Fellow of 
Trinity College, Cambridge, Corpus Christi Professor of Jurisprudence in the 
University of Oxford. 


Cotton- M.A., late Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford. II. THE COLONIES. 
By E. J. Payne, M.A., Fellow of University College, Oxford. 


Ik Preparation : — 

THE PENAL SYSTEM. By Sir Edmund Du Cane, K.C.B. 

THE NATIONAL DEFENCES. By Lieut.-Colonel Maurice, R.A. 




ciniiTucBi'oX®""^ °' California 
405 HHgard Avenue. Los Angeles, CA'SfJil^ss 

Return this material to the library 
^rom which it was borrowed. 


i - 

i^ UK c T QQ 


ol Caliloinia. Los Aiqeles 

L 005 962 518 6 


AA 000 431 396 i