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VOL. n. 

3 0-0 H 



O F 





By the Rev. HENRY BOYD, A.M. 





Printed by A. Strahan, New-Street Square; 









O F 




Vol. II. B 




N. B. This EfTay is an Abridgment of a larger Difcourfe, which 
the Tranflator intends, at fome future time, to publifh in a fcpa- 
rate form. 

With regard to the firft part of this Poem, where 
Sinners are reprefented to us as fubjeSed to the inevi- 
table confequences of their corrupt habits, and reaping 
the fruits ef their confirmed vices, it is not very ma- 
terial whether we fuppofe the defcriptions of their 
punilhments to be allegorical pictures of different fpe- 
cies of confirmed depravity in this life, or exhibitions 
of their allotments in a ftate of retribution in the world 
to come. 

To all who believe that the duration of future 
punifhments arc eternal, the difference of habitual tur- 
pitude in this life, and its confequences in the next, 
will probably be confidered as having the fame moral 
effect The reafons which induce them to believe that 

B 2 thefc 

I 4 ] 

thefe punifliments are unlimited in their duration, have 
been detailed at fome length in the Preliminary Effay 
to the Tranflation of the Infernq. The Commenta-» 
tors on Dante, who belonged, I believe, in general 
to the church of Rom?, have defcanted on the proba- 
tionary fcenes in the. Purgatorio, under the idea of 
their being real reprefentations of thofe fufferings, which 
Spirits, not entirely depraved, muft undergo in fome inter- 
mediate (late, between their departure from this world 
and their admittance to the beatific vifion. Whatever 
might have been their real opinion, to this tenet, I fup- 
pofe, they looked upon themfelves as obliged to ad- 
liere, as it is one article of their profefled faith. A 
perfon, however, not under fuch reftriftipns, may, I 
hope, be allowed to differ from thefe authorities fome- 
times, however refpedtable they may appear to him in 
general. This may be more excufable, when it is con- 
fidered that their explanations are not always ftriftly 
confiflent with themfelves, for they often reprefent the 
fcenes in the Inferno as allegorical. It will there- 
fore, I hope, not be thought too great a liberty, if I 
venture, ht the Jirjl flace^ to adduce a few reafons 
which incline me to believe that the Poet has only in- 
tended to give in liis Purgatorio an allegorical re- 
prefentation of the means ufed by Providence in this 
life to purify the mind by a variety of trials. Under 
ihefecond headj I Ihall endeavour to Ihew, that his re- 
prefentations accord with the ufual means employed by 
Providence for our reformation; not indeed the only 
means, but a fort of preparatory difcipline, which, 
when fuffered to have its due effeft, opens the way fwr 

[ 5 ] 

the operation of fuperior motives^ It will appear in 
the third place ^ that this opinion may be illuftrated by 
the moral (late even of fome of the moft barbarous na- 
tions. This will ftill appear more evident when we 
come, in the fourth divifion^ to enumerate the dogmas 
of the moft eminent fefts of philofophers j for they, 
however bppofite to each other in many refpefts, yet 
will be found to agree m one remarkable point, tn 
this particular, it will be feen that they have a great 
conformity in their tendency with the fpirit of Chrifti- 
anity, which, in iht Jifth feilion^ with a few inference^, 
will conclude the fubjeft. 


To begin with the reafom which induce ihe io 
think that the reprefentations in the Purgatorio are 
allegorical. In the firft feven Cantos, the Poet gives 
various reprefentations of the ftate of the Negligent. 
He defcribes them ils confined in a region of the 
mountain, which may be confidered as the fuburb^ of 
Purgatory. The captives here are fentenced to re- 
main for a certain divifion of time, proportioned to 
that which they mifpent, before they liftened to the 
call of Grace. I will not here infift upon the impor- 
tant leflbn given in thefe inftances, as fuch obferva- 
tions, if neceffary, will appear in a more proper place 
in the Notes. In the eighth Canto, a Angular phenome- 
non is introduced, which is not ealily accounted for, on 

B 3 the 

E 6 ] 

the idea that this is meant as a probationary fcene of 
SEPARATE Spirits. After a choir of Ghofts had fung 
their midnight hymn, a Tempter appears among them 
in the form of a Serpent, but is foon deteftcd and 
banifhed by their angelic guard *. This is fo natural a 
rcprefentation of the devotions of an evening, and the 
vigilance of Providence, which we implore to repel the 
phantafms of the night, which might allure to fin, or 
overwhelm with terror, that it appears fomewhat like a 
prefumptive evidence of the allegorical hypothefisf. It 
is true, that in this and the fubfequent parts of the Poem, 
we often meet with Spirits who addrefs Dante, with a 
requcfl that he would prevail on fome of their relations 
on earth, or fome perfons eminent for piety, to pray 
for them. This, we allow, is not only confonant to 
the pcrfuafion of the Romifh church now, but is ac- 
knowledged to be an opinion held by fome even in the 
three firll ages of Chriftianity, who maintained that 
fuch.interceiEons were allowed for departed fouls {. It 
is not my intention to enter into the merits of this 
queftion, but to endeavour to fliew, that even this un- 
toward-looking circumftance is no proof that Dante 

♦ Milt ox feems to have had this pafTagc in view in the fourth 
Book, where Satan is rcprcfented as couching at the ear of Eve 
in the (hape of a toad, till he is detefted by Ithuriel. 

f This is further confirmed by the words of the Hymn, the firft 
line of which is here introduced, c. viii. 2 1 . 

Procul reccdant fomnb, 
£t no6lium phantafmata, 
Hoftemque noilram comprime, 3cc. 
X Sec Middlcton's Free Inquir)-, c. ii. 


■ Ill 

meant any thing here but an allegoricial reprefentation 
of our prefent ftate of moral improvement. This ap- 
plication for int^rceffion will be, it is true, but coolly 
enjoyed by a proteftant reader, who conceives it at 
firft introduced as a lucrative branch of commerce by 
defigning ecclefiaftics. But even in this life, this 
eameji application by prayer, is juftly confidered as a 
f)Tnptom of commeftcing amendment; an afpiration 
after the Divine favour, which we are mfured will not 
be in vain, and that an anfwer to fuch prayers will 
either be given mediately or immediately. It is at leaft 
a fymptom of reformation, and more confonant to the 
Chriftian fpirit, as it arlfes from a fenfe of the unwor- 
thinefs of the fuppliant, and the neceflity he feels, for 
the Great Mediator. It appears, therefore, at leaft to 
me, that this oft-repeated application may as well ac*» 
cord with one hypothefis as the olher. 

Another argument for this opinion feems to arife 
from a circumftance mentioned in the twenty-fifth 
Canto of the Purgatorio and feventeenth ftanza. 
Dante defcribes there, all the Spirits, on their fepara- 
tion from the body, as conducted either to the banks 
of the Styx, and confequently to eternal condemna- 
tion, or to a vifionary harbour on the Tuscan fliore, 
Xx^hither the fouls of thofe are conduced who are de- 
figned for eternal happinefs ; who are all landed on 
another haven, near the bafe of the mountain of Pur- 
oatory. Yet he no- where aflerts, in any part of his 
Poem, that the glorious affembly whioh he fees in 
Paradise, had pafled through ih^ feven lujirations ; 

B 4 but 

C 8 3 

hilt they had all paffed through the probations of this 
life, which I therefore fuppofe is all he meant by thefe 
expiatory fcenes that he defcribes fo much at length 
in the courfe of the fucceeding work ; at leaft it ap- 
pears from him, that the probation of the Saints is en- 
tirely confined to this j,ife. 


The ftrong analogy which appears between the 
real phenomena of this life, and Dante's exhibitions 
in this diviiion of his Poem, appears ^the moft con- 
vincing argument, that he means no more than an al- 
legorical reprefentation of that difcipline which we un- 
dergo here. His penal inflidions, whether they arc 
of the acute or chronical kind, (if we be allowed the 
^xpreffion,) whether they bind the Spirit down in a 
ftate of dead uniformity, or ftimulate it to preternatural 
aftion, have all a natural tendency to produce mental 
exertion; in the former cafe indiredly^ by making the 
patients feel, the fad reverfe of its natural ftate j in the 
fecond, by bringing to its natural ftate of afti^^ty by 
<lire^ incitements. This will be better underftood 
when we confider in what the adivity of the mind con- 
fifts, and what are its real advantages in a moral view. 
The mind of man is always excited to aftion by fomc 
X^ or feeming good : this gives the general impuUe ; 
this defife of good feems the means ^ and mental adivity 
the end* In other words^ ia our adivity our happinefs 


C 9 3 

feems to confift, at leaft when this exertion is fubjeded 
to due regulations ; for the affertion of fome philofo* 
phers, that this adivity fliall have an end, when we * 
(hall be ^bforbed and lojl in the enjoyment of the chief 
good, feems, in our prefent condition, inconceivable. 
The mind may then be faid to be in its natural ftate, 
or in the condition for which it was originally defign- 
ed, when its faculties are called into a£lion, in fubor- 
dination to the leading power of Reafon. By this the 
defire of happinefs is exalted and refined from a brute 
impulfe to a rational motive ; by this we are enabled to 
judge and to compare, to balance future advantage 
againfl prefent pleafure. 

Inflances, indeed, of unnatural a£tivity often occur, 
when the Paflions obtain an imdue energy, and when 
fympathy, the fpring of benevolence, is affefted by dif- 
ferent degrees of torpor. It is plain that the happinefs of 
the mind mufl confift in, or depend on this fpedes of 
a£tivity, when the PaHions are employed in due fub- 
jedion to Reafon ; for if any of the faculties are inadive. 
It fo far fubtrads from our happinefs ; if they are mif- 
employed, or ad contrary to Reafon, the cafe becomes 
more deplorable ; it gives that fort of fenfation to the 
mind that arifes from a confcioufhefs of ading contrary 
to its deflination, or the laws of its being. To the im- 
due or ill-direded exertions of the lower faculties of 
the mind, the moft acute miferies to which we are fub« 
jeded, owe their origin. If, indeed, we could conceive 
happinefs not to depend on this adivity of the mind 
properly direded, it muft owe its exiftence to what 
Epictetus juflly calls, " things not in our own 


POWER," contrary to the opinioR of all the moft emi^ 
nent moralifts. Confidering our nature in this view, 
the dependence of morality on mental energy poifefle^ 
this double advantage ; when the reafoning pbwers and 
fympathetic aflfeftions preferve their due energy, the 
mind obtains an inftantaneous and unclouded view of 
the confequences of moral adions both to itfelf and 
others. It muft not only on this, but on all occaiions^ 
while in this defirable ftate, be able to perceive by in- 
tuition, or to calculate in a moment, whether it be 
progreffive, ftationary, or retrograde, in its purfuit of 
happinefs, by Virtue; for it cannot but know in a mo- 
ment, whether its mental faculties be a^ve or not, 
whether they are employed in due fubordination, 
whether any paflion be out of its bounds, whether the 
feljijh or fockil predominate, or whether its fympathetic 
powers be torpid, or in a ftate of vigilance, 

A further proof that happinefs confifts in the aSivity 
of the mind under proper direftion, is this, that when 
it is fixed on one obje£t for too great length of time, 
it is always in a painful fituation ; which fhews that it 
is employed contrary to its nature. Not to mention 
that the means whereby we expand our benevolence, 
neceffarily improves our intelleftual powers, and what 
contrafts the one, degrades the other. For that habi- 
tual exercife of our mental powers, by which we judge 
of the wants and claims of others, muft, in this view, 
be a very beneficial employment. 

Befides, in every diftrefs of mind we experience an 
inftant relief by any avocation which is not attended 


C 10 ] 

with guilt, any engagement which excites the mind, 
without injuring any of its faculties, or deranging any 
of its movements. It is alfo worth obfervation, that 
by making happiness confift in well-regulated mental 
a£Uvity, it is fo clofely c^nefted with virtue, and 
in a manner confubftantiatfed with it, that in fuch an 
improved ftate of the mind our reigning inclinations 
and true interefts are made to coincide. 

This hypothefis in fome degree accounts for the 
permiflion of phyftcal evil, at leaft. It is well known 
that a courfe of unruffled profperity often renders the 
faculties torpid and inadive. Difappointments and 
difficulties are, in this light, highly confonant to the 
divine attributes of goodnefs and juftice, as far j^ they 
tend to renovate the dormant powers of the foul. 
Thus fenfual purfuits frequently lead their votaries into 
embarraffing fituations. But this very circumftance often 
awakens refleftion, and was certainly meant to produce 
a RECOVERY of thofc mental energies which had been 
fuffered to degenerate. Worldly purfuits end m dif- 
appointment and anxiety ; that gloom of mind which is 
the concomitant of both, is defigned by Providence to 
have the fame eflfeft. 

The vifitations of Adverfity; by the order of Pro- 
vidence, are often fevere and lafting. One great law of 
our nature feems to be, that we fliould learn wifdom, 
not fo conftantly by precept, as by experience ; precept 
only applies to the underftanding, but experience calls 
in and excites the fympathetic powers. By this means 
more of our mental faculties are called into play ; but 

6 they 

[ 12 J 

they are ftill more vigoroufly employed by thofe who 
exert them hyforejight. Their leffons are lefTons of 
anticipation, and they avoid thofe fevere rudiments, 
which others are taught by experience only; they have 
learned them, by the experience, and at the coft, of 
others. By this mode of being taught wifdom, our 
fympathy is ftrongly interefled, as every lefTon is en- 
forced by the confideration of the fuflferings of others : 
it puts the aftivity of our minds in a proper channel, 
and one bed adapted to our moral improvement. 

The more vicious a man is, the deeper generally is 
his mifery ; that is, the more incitements he feels to 
mental aftivity. Vice generally arifes from pride and 
felfiflmefs ; and as true aftivity of mind produces or 
implies fympathy, from the comprehenfive view it 
gives of the wants and claims of others, it has a ten* 
dency to produce general benevolence, which is the 
beft remedy to felfiflmefs and pride, as the latter are 
the fources of the mod pernicious evils under which, 
fociety groans. 

The ftrength of thofe inftinfts and paflions which 
are implanted in our nature, tends to illuftrate this 
ceconomy of Providence ; for, by this very means, it 
gives the mind a greater degree of adlivity : that vigi- 
lance which reafon mufl exert in attending to, and 
that energy which it mufl employ in combating, thefe 
paflions and propenfities that this difpenfation of Pro- 
vidence was intended to produce, muft contribute very 
largely to this noble and beneficial purpofe. 

In a fclfifli perfon, the ill-direftcd energy of the mind 
becomes a punifliment, till he learns (if he will learn) 


Z 13 ] 

to cure it by refleftion. All his fenfibility is centered 
in himfelf; whatever obflacle, or crofs accident, there- 
fore, he meets with, fells with double force upon his 
morbid (late of perception, and fets his faculties to 
work with double force, though it is often long before 
they attain a proper diredion, often they never do ob- 
tain it, but the defign of this oeconomy is no lefs con- 

Mental pains, like bodily fufferings, are ftrong in- 
centives to aftion ; but the former feem more operative 
than the latter in fome inftances, particularly in the con- 
dud of many of the ancient Philofophers. They being 
in the dark with refpeft to the fanftions of religion, 
and in the mean time in doubts about many of its 
moft important doftrines, were impelled, by the pain of 
doubt and ignorance, to moft vigorous efforts in fearch 
of truth, and to difcover the nature of their duty, 
even in the dark receffes of the mind, as they were not 
bleffed with the light of revelation. Hence their aftonilh-. 
ing efforts to find out the nature of the foul. The 
Gofpel-promifes render this fource of energy not fo 
ncceffary in the Chriftian religion ; but it poffeffes other 
and fuperior means to advance the aftivity of the mind, 
which will be mentioned when we come to compare its 
influence with that of the Pagan philofophy. 

How much the happinefs of the mind confifts in its 
afdvity, may be further perceived, by confidering what 
fort of metaphors and allufions afford us moft pleafure 
in works of imagination, particularly in poetry. It is 
(hefe which bring the moft remote images togethcir 


Without incongruity, /• c. thofe which give the greateft 
fcope to the mind in comparing them, and finding otit 
their various relations. The caufe alfo why fcenes of 
great turbulence or deep tranquillity have in poetry fuch 
an agreeable efFe£t upon the mind, feems to be this, each 
of them gives a great and fudden alteration to the com', 
mon flow of animal fpirits, and thence fumifli new 
complex ideas. 

If we obferve this mental propenfity as it is affefted 
by the various ftations of life, we fhall find, that thofe 
who fill the higher ranks of fociety, in order to balance 
the pernicious influence of pleafurable images, which 
of themfelves render the mind paflive, have an oppor- 
tunity of a larger range of ideas in the acquifition of 
knowledge, which tends, by a fort of equipoife, to pre- 
ferve their intelleftual energy. Thofe in the lower 
ftations have, in general, fewer opportunities of ac- 
quiring ideas ; but they are obliged, by, their fituation, 
to employ their minds upon the flock they poflefs, with 
more conftant exercife. To enquire whether the for- 
mer clafs always improve their opportunities to the 
higheft poflible degree, is not to my prefent purpofe. 

By a fort of inftinft, we avert our minds from what- 
ever would tend to dcllroy their aftivity : the idler has 
rccourfe to the fports of the field, the defponding lover 
haftens to riflv his life in the field of battle ♦. This fhews 
that nature intended the foul for an aftive ftate ; or, in 

♦ His pain is cafily accounted for, on the foregoing hypotheHs. 
It arifos from the mind being too intaifcly fixed upon one objedl ; 
^encc it lofcs its powers of balancing, coqnpanng, and judging. 


C '5 D 

olher words, that in a£lion confifts its happinefs, which 
dq>end8, befides, upon its being directed to right ob- 
jefts. They who have been improperly educated, and 
happen to have leifure on their hands, generally fly to 
aftive employments ; they who 'have been racked by 
turbulent pafSons, or are harafled by worldly employ- 
ments, where the fubordinate powers of the mind have 
been impelled to an undue a^vity, feek for tranquillity; 
that is, for a more equable and legitimate exercife of 
their mental powers. Both ar* driven, by a fort of in- 
(lind, to that medium where the foul can exercife its 
powers as nature defigned. 

That tafte for uniformity and regularity, of which 
every mind in its natural ftate is fenfible in fome degree, 
is neceflary to produce Habit ; but it is mixed, and 
made confident with that defire of variety which is fo 
neceflary to the acquifition of knowledge. It feems 
alfo given us for zn high moral purpofe, viz. that the 
mind may not feel itfelf completely happy till all its ac<t 
tive powers are put in full employment, and perform 
their ofEces in due fubordination to the governing 
PRINCIPLE. When the lower powers of the mind aft 
in oppofition to its general moral conviftion, it is in a 
neutral ftate, partly afnve, partly pafllve. This may be 
called a fort of mental palfy, than which nothing can 
be fuppofed more pppofite to its nature, or a deeper 
iburce of mifery. 

To conclude; the excefs of any of the Paflions, when 
they are exerted in the utmoft exacerbation, feems no- 
diing clfe but the natural a6Hvity of the mind, ftruggling 
foo late a^ainft a legion of invading foes, which, by its 


C i6 3 

own pq/Jivenefs and negleft, it had fuffered to enclofe 
it around. On the contrary, to a perfon who has al- 
ways aded under a convifdon that his happinefs de- 
pends upon his mental exertions, according to the laws 
of his nature, even death itfelf cannot appear with an 
afpeft fo formidable as he affumes to others ; for he 
coiifiders it a liberation of the mind from thofe clogs 
and obftacles which prevent it from obtaining either 
complete happinefs, or fiiU perfeftion, as an adive 
being, in its prefent ftate. How congruous the defcrip- 
tions and opinions of Dante are to this hypothefis, 
will appear in the courfe of the work. 


When we confider the hiflory of man, as col- 
lefted into large focieties, we may obferve feveral 
means employed by Providence to preferve fuch a por- 
tion of this energy as is highly ufeful to moral purpofes. 
This will appear, by comparing the ftate of fome of the 
moft poliflied nations, with fome of thofe whom we 
feem willing to degrade into the loweft rank of bar^ 
barians. One of the moft brilliant ages of antiquity, 
when what is called the Golden Times of Greece 
began with Cimon and ended with Ai>exander, 
confidered in this view is highly inftruftive: that 
period, and that country, abounded with the moft fla- 
grant crimes, and the moft aftoniihing exertion of intel- 
Ie& and fancy. It is not meant here to enter into po- 
litical difquifitions, nor to attribute the former, ex- 


[ ^7 ] 

tlufiveiy, to the forms of government which then pre- 
vailed. But this, at leaft, feems evident, that the con- 
tefts of faction in the more celebrated democratical 
States, and the fanguinary meafures purfued by each, 
in their turn, to remove their rivals, gave, as it has 
been often obferved, a large field for talents of various 
kinds ; nor were the moral difcoveries refulting from 
the difcuffion of the duties and claims of man, in this 
turbulent aera, the lead illuftrious confequence of this 
ftate of fociety. Even fcientific difcoveries, which had 
been imported into Greece from countries under a more 
fettled form of government, when they came within 
this vortex of intelleftual rivalry, were expanded by 
emulation to an extent which otherwife they never 
would have attained, Thefe falutary efforts, at leaft 
in the political and moral departments, would probably 
not have been produced by a lefs momentum of moral 
and phyfical evil (as far as the one depends upon the 
other), than that to which this polifhed and fanguinary 
age gave birth* This obfervation will extend to the 
poetry and eloquence of thofe times, no lefs than to 
the admirable compofitions on ethics, and the nature 
of government, which then originated; fyftems which, 
through a variety of channels, have operated for ages 
on the mind, and ftill continue their influence in va- 
rious degrees. 

But, left this fhould be underftood as in any degree 
an apology for moral evil, it may be necefTary to ob- 
ferve, that though Providence educes good out of 
evil, yet to fay that, for that reafon, we may commit 
evil for the fake of the good to arife from it, \s founded 

Vol. II. C on 


C i8 ] 

on this evidently falfe fuppofition, that ?roVidence hz§ 
but one method of producing the defired good ; that is^ 
by our criminal agency. 

We fhall, in the next place, make a few obfervations 
on the ftate of fome of the moft favage tribes of man-' 
kind^ and enquire what provifions have been made, to 
preferve the aftivity of their minds in their feemingly 
degraded (ituation. 

The Kamschatkadales haVe but little employ- 
ment; hence their wants are not numerous, and their 
wilhes are few. It is, however, from our wants and 
wifhes, that the principal part of our vice and mifery 
takes its origin. If we are rightly informed, they 
think theiiifelves the happieft people in the world ; we 
are inclined to look upon them as the moft miferable; 
they have few enjoyments, and few ideas. But, as waff 
obferved before, neither virtue nor happinefs confiftj 
in the variety of enjoyment, where we are merely paf- 
five, nor even in the number and variety of ideas, but 
in the proper management of thofe which we poflefs# 
Inhere ^e crimes among them, but fewer than amongft 
more polifhed tribes; and thefe, as ^ith us, teach, at 
leaft, fome degree of virtue, by informing the judg- 
ment experimentally of the confequences of vice ; that 
is, thefe vices, combined with their wants, give a de- 
gree of afUvity to the mind. This is ftill more evident^ 
when we defcend to particulars : we often fe6 a perfon 
who has only a few ideas, make a better ufe of them, 
than thofe who have acquired a much greater number ; 
and from a fort of motives formed between inftinft, or 
moral fenfe, and reafon, often aft better, than he who, 


t »9 ] 

from the luxury of acquired knowledge, and the 
want of good moral principles inftilled at firft, hats only, 
by the increafe of his ideas, increafed his rage for fen- 
fual enjoyment, and acquired a greater variety of means 
for its attainment. 

The Japanese, on the cohtrary, acquire aftivity of 
mind by a method better adapted to their temperament. 
They are a people of an high, independent fpirit, fub- 
jeft to ftfong pafSons, and uncommonly vindiftive and 
ferocious. But when paffions are thus lively, they are 
almoft always found to coilnteraft and reftrain each 
other : hence their more vivid emotions are balanced by 
fear. Terror of invifible Powers, is a ftrong fanftion to 
religion; and feVen, when in extreme, gives it a ftrong 
tinfture of fuperftition. Hence the Japanese are a 
very religious people; and this balance of the paffions, 
though in them it docs Hot produce fome of the nohleft 
efFefts of mental aftivity, yet in a moral view it fecures 
fome of its moft falutary advantages. 

That particle of religion which is found in fuperfti- 
tion, though much contaminated and perverted, is 
thus found to operate as a reftriftion on people of high 
paffions. Thofe in whom thefe emotions are more 
moderate, have lefs fuperftition ; hence, by fuperficial 
obfervers, they are often deemed to have lefs religion, 
though probably they poffefe a larger portion of th$ 
genuine fpedes. 

The fame caft of fuperftition feems to have travelled 
from eaft to weft. Profperity begets depravity; the 
latter, by giving a loofe to all the paffions, confequently 
gives a more unbounded agency to fear, and this pro- 

C 2 duces 

t 20 3 

duces fupcrftition, which ferves as a fort of clieck i<f 
the more dangerous propenfities, and keeps them in 
order. From this probably arifes the neceffity of st 
more rigorous government in the warmer climates ; 
nothing lefs feems to be fufficient to reftraia the fer- 
mentation of the paflions in thofe regions, Amongft 
us in Europe, ignorance has produced fupcrftition, 
and fuperftition has been the parent of irreligion. Be^ 
tween thefe extremes they will poffibly vibrate for fomc 
time, tiH at laft they fettle in a due medium, whea 
mankind (hall be taught by experience the confe- 
quences of irreligion ; for by experience the deepeft 
impreflions are always made, as it operates by means: 
of the paflions, which are excited by human mifery,r 
and thus the circulation of mental employment is pre-^ 

The Chinese are a people of very adtive minds: from? 
the advantages of their cKmate, they would be conftantly 
ia danger of falling into- the moft irremediable corrup- 
tion of manners ; but from this they are prefcrved, in 
a great meafure, by their feelufion from commerce, 
and the contamination of foreign manners. This in- 
duces a love of uniformity and regularity, which keeps 
them attached to their patriarchal inftitutions, pa- 
rental authority, and their ancient mode of govern- 
ment. This precludes much of their improvement in 
fcience, but impels them to the pradice of many 
political and moral virtues, and fecures that regulated 
energy of mind which is not often found among 
oriental nations, who may poilibly be fuperior to them 

in natural endowment^ 

IV. Whea 

C 21 ] 


When we examine the moral opinions of the 
moft eminent ancient philofophers, we Ihall find that 
all their precepts tended to preferve the a^vity of the 
mind. Among the maxims of Thales the Milesian, 
who firft introduced philofophy and fcience among the 
Greeks, the following are recorded. Health of body, 
a competent fortune, and a cultivated mind, are 
the chief fources of happinefs. Take more gare to 
corred the blemiflies of the mind, than thofe of the 
face. Stop the mouth of flander, by prudence. Be 
careful not to do that yourfelf, which you blame iii 
others. — ^A difcipline which required continual mental 
^exertions *. 

An AX AGO R AS t, his pupil, aflerted, in coutradi£Uoi> 
to the fatalifts of his time, the diftinftion of mind 
from matter; that mind pofleffes within itfelf the united 
powers of thought and motion, and is the caufe of 
whatever is fair or good. 

It is fcarcely neceflary to e?cpatiate on the philofophy 
of Socrates, his immediate fucceflbr. The firft* 
principles of virtuous conduft, which are common to 
all mankind, are, according to this excellent moralift, 
the laws of God; and the conclufive argument by which 
he fupports this opinion, is, that no man departs from 
thefe principles with impunity. " It is frequently pot 

* Diogen. Laert. in Thalcte, p. 23, 24, 25. Edit. Stephani* 
Enfield's Hift. of PhU. 
t Diog. Lscrt. p. 668. 

. C3 fib{e^ 

C " ] 

fible," fays he, " for men to fcreen themfelves from 
the penalty of human laws, but no man can be unjuft, 
or ungrateful, without fufFering for his crime. Hence 
I conclude, that thefe laws muft have proceeded from 
a more exalted lawgiver than man ♦." His opinion 
of happinefs was, that it could not be attained by ex- 
ternal poffeffion, but from wifdom, that confifts in the 
knowledge and practice of virtue : that the cultivation 
of virtuous manners is neceflarily attended with plea^ 
fure as well as with profit : that the honeft man alone 
is happy; and that it is abfurd to feparate things 
which are fo clofely united as virtue and intereft. 

Even AristippusI, the founder of the Cyrenaic 
feft, was author of fome maxims not unworthy of the 
Soc RATIO fchool; for inftance — ^^ If there were no 
laws, a wife man would be a law to himfelf, and live 
honeftly; the bufinefs of philofophy is to regulate the 
fenfes, fo as to produce the moft pleafure/* But thefe, 
it is true, were blended with fome others of a more 
dubious nature. 

Plato \ confiders the foul as united to a material 
vehicle, and this relation which it bears to matter, he 
looks upon as the fource of moral evil. Though he 
fpeaks obfcurely on this fubjeft, it may be collefted 
from his writings, that he conceives the power of 
moving bodies, which belongs to the human foul, to 
be the eflfeft of the material principle j and, confidently 

♦ Xenoph, Mem. lib. iv. 

f Diogen. Laert. in Ariftip. p. 131. Enfield's Hift. 

X Plato Phxd. Diog. Lacrt. p. i86. 


L ^3 3 

with this doftrine,* this philofopher frequently fpg aks of 
the foul of man as compofed of three parts : the firft, 
the feat of intelligence; the fecond, of paflion; and the 
third, of appetite: the firft is derived from heaven, 
the two others from matter. The firft is immortal, and 
returns to the Gods. It exifted before its immerfion 
into the body, and all its knowledge is only reminifcience 
of its ideas in a former ftate; a procefs of improvement, 
which implies a confiderable degree of mental aftivity. 
The higheft good confifts, according to him, in the 
contemplation and knowledge of the firft good ; which 
i$ Minjd, or God. All thofe things which are called 
good by man, are in reality fuch only fo far as they 
are derived from the firft and higheft good. The only 
power in nature which can acquire a refemblance to 
the fupreme good, is Reafon* The minds of philofo- 
phers are fraught with valuable treafures, and after the 
4eath of the body they fhall be admitted to divine en- 
tertainments ; fo that while with the Gods they are 
employed in furveying the fields of truth, they will 
look down with contempt on the folly of thofe who 
are contented with earthly fhadows. Goodnefs and 
beauty confift in the knowledge of the firft good, and 
of the firft fair. That only which is becoming, is 
good ; therefore virtue is to be purfued for its own 
fake. He alone who has obtained the knowledge of 
the firft good, is happy * ; the end of this knowledge is 
to render man as like God as the condition of human 
fiature will permit. This likenefs confifts in juftice^ 

♦ Plat. Sympofiuip. 

C 4 prudence,^ 

prudence, fandtity, temperance: In order to attain 
this ftate, it is neceffary to be convinced, that the body 
is a prifon, from which the foul muft be releafed, before 
it can arrive at the knowledge of thofe things which 
are real and immutable *. Virtue is the moft perfeft 
habit of the mind which adorns the man, and renders 
him firm, refolute, stnd confident in aftion and fpeechf, 
in folitude and fociety. The virtues are fo nearly allied 
that they cannot be feparated ; they are perfe^, and 
therefore neither capable of increafe nor of diminution. 
The paffions are motions of the foul, excited by fome 
apparent good or evil : they originate in the irrational 
parts of the foul, and muft be regulated and fubdued 
by reafon. Friendftiip is, ftriftly fpeaking, r^ciproca^ 
benevolence ; which inclines each party to be as foHcir 
tons for the other's intereft, as for his own. Thisj 
equality of afFeftion is created and preferved by a fimi- 
larity of difpofition and manners. It is clear, how 
much the philofophical opinions of Plato depended 
on, and inculcated, mental exertion, 

Carneades J, an eminent follower of Plato, of 
that fe£t called the New Academy, held, that natural 
appearances were a fufficient guide. Probabilities he 
divided into three claffes 2 fimple, uncontradifted, and 
thofe confirmed by accurate examination. The higheft 
degree of certainty, according to him, is produced, 
when, after an accurate examination of every circum- 
ftance which might be fuppofed to create uncertainty, 

• Plat, in Timaco. f Ibid* Ladliesi 

X Diog. Laert. p» 294. 


C *5 1 

ve are able to difcover no feUacy. It is unneceflaiy 
to make any obfervation on the tendency of this 

Moral felicity, according to Aristoti^e*, conlifts 
|iot in the contemplatipn of truth fimply, but in the 
virtuous exercife of the mind. Virtue is either theore- 
tical, or pra£ticaL Theoretical virtue confifts in the 
4ue exercife of the underftanding ; Practical, in the 
purfuit of what is right: and good. Pradical virtue is 
acquired by habit and exercife. Virtue, as far as it 
refpefts ourfelves and the government of our paflions, 
confifts in preferving that mjean in all things which 
reafon and prudence prefcribej it is the middle path 
between two extremes, the one is vicious through ex-* 
cefs, the other by defeft. Virtue is zjpontaneous aft, 
the effeft of defign and volition, ^d is completed by 
jiature, habit, and reafon. For inftance, fortitude is 
the mean between timidity and raftmefs, temperance 
J>etween exceflive purfuit and negleft of pleafure; 
gentlenefs is the due government of the irafcible pat 
fions, and prefervative of a due mean between anger 
and infenfibility : liberality is the mean between pro- 
digality and avarice ; modefty lies in the middle be- 
tween impudence and bafhfulnels. Pleafures are ct 
fentially diflferent in kind. Difgraceftil pleafures arc 
wholly unworthy of the name. The pureft and no- 
bleft pleafure is that which a good man derives from 
a virtuous a£Uon. Happinefs, which confifts in a con- 
4ud conformable to virtue, is either contemplative or 

^ Diog. Laert. p. 300. Arift. Ethic, ad Nicomachum. 


t 26 ] 

a<3ive. Contemplative happinefs, which confifts in the 
purfuit of knowledge and virtue, is fuperior to aftive 
happinefs ; becaufe the underftanding is the higheft 
part of human nature, and the objeds on which it is 
employed, are of the nobleft kind. 

It is well known, that the fole objeft of the Stoic 
philofophers was to fubdue the paffions, and to produce 
fimplicity of manners. The rigours of their difcipline, 
which was praftifed by the firft of this fefl:, and which 
afterwards degenerated into fuch abfurd feverity, was 
at firft adopted for the laudable purpofe of exhibiting 
an example of moderation and felf-command. Virtue 
of mind, and fbrength of body, fays Diogenes *, are 
chiefly to be acquired by exercife and habit» No- 
thing can be accompliftied without labour, mental or 
bodily; and every thing may be accompliftied with it^ 
Even the contempt of pleafure may by it become 
pleafant. The end of philofophy is to fubdue the 
paflions, and prepare men for every condition of 

According to the Stoics, the firft impreflions on 
the mind produce an involuntary emotion ; but a wife 
man afterwards deliberately examines them, that he 
may know whether they be true or falfe, and rejefts 
or admits them, as the evidence which oflFers to his un- 
derftanding appears fuffident or infufficient. This af- 
fent, or approbation, will indeed be neceflarily given or 
withheld, according to the ultimate ftate of proofs 
that are adduced ; as the fcales of a balance will fink, 

• Diog. Lacrt« p. 277. 


C 27 3 

w rife, according to the weights that are placed upon 
them. But while the vulgar give immediate credit to 
the evidence of their fenfes, wife men fufpend their 
judgment, till they have carefully examined the na- 
ture of things, and deliberately examined the weight 
of evidence. This procefs was accompliflied by the 
fubjugation of the inferior faculties of the foul to the 
ruling part, called by the Stoics to tiyf/uovixov. This 
they accounted a portion of the divinity — divina par^ 
ticulam aura* In human life, they held that one ulti- 
mate end ought to be purfued, and that this is to live 
agreeably to nature and reafon. Since man himfelf is 
a microcofm, compofed, like the world, of matter and 
a rational principle, it becomes him to live as a part 
of the great whole ; and to accommodate all his defires 
and purfuits to the general arrangement, conformably 
to nature, is the law of all living beings. Every one 
who has a difcermnent of what is good, will be chiefly 
f oncerned to conform to nature in all his purfuits. 
This is the origin of moral obligation. Falfe concep- 
tions of good, produce violent emotions of the mind ; 
and thefe are paflions, which it is the office of reafoa 
io prevent, or cure. Wisdom fubjeds the mind to the 
control of reafon, and this produces a conformity to 
nature and virtue. 

We come now to the doftrine of Epicurus, whofe 
maxims, according to the vulgar opinion, fupported 
by the writings of Athen^us, were ill^ralculated for 
preferving the mind in a ftate of adHvity. Yet when 
impartially examined, even in this fliort fketch, it may 
)be difcovered that much of that relaxing charadler 


[ 28 3 

\ras unfounded *. ^* The end of living, according t« 
him, or ultimate good, which is to be fought for its 
own fake, according to the univerfal opinion of man^ 
kind, is happinefs. Yet men, for the moft part, fail in 
the purfuit of this end ; either becaufe they do not 
make a right ufe of this happinefs, or becaufe they do 
not make ufe of proper means to acquire it* Since it is 
the intereft of every perfon to be happy for the whole 
of life, it is the wifdom of every one to employ phi- 
lofophy in the purfuit of happinefs without delay; and 
there can be no greater folly, than to be always be. 
ginning to live. Of virtues, fome are contemplative 
and fome praftical. They are all united together, and 
depend upon each other ; virtue being a conformity 
to nature in itfelf : therefore virtue ought to be purfued 
for its own fake.'* 

According to Pythagoras ||, the great founder of 
the Italic fchool, the dependencies and ramefaftions of 
which feft were probably the moft numerous of all, 
there are two branches of virtue, private and public. 
Private refpefts education, fortitude, prudence, and 
abftinence. The powers of the mind, are reafon and 
paffion. When the latter is preferved in fubjeftion to 
the former, virtue is prevalent. Wifdom and virtue 
are our beft defence. Sobriety is the ftrength of the 
foul, for it preferves its reafon unclouded by paflion. 
No man ftiould be accounted free, who has not the 
perfeft command of himfelf. That which is good and 
becoming, ought to be purfued, rather than that which 

♦ Diog. Lacrt. p. 706. Gaffcndus PhiL Epicur. 
II Diog. Lacrt. p. 567. 


L 29 3 

is pkafant. It requires much wifdom to give right 
names to things, 

Reafon, according to HeracliTus, is the teft of 

The happinefs which belongs to man, is that ftate in 
which he enjoys ^s many of the good things, and fuf- 
fers as few of the evils incident to human nature, as 
poflible, pafling his days in a ftate of permanent tran- 
quillity. A wife man, though deprived of fight and 
hearing, may experience the enjoyment of the good 
things which yet remain ; and when fufFering torture, 
or labouring under fome painful difeafe, can mitigate 
the anguifh by patience, and can enjoy in his afilidions 
the confcioufnefs of his own conftancy. But it is im- 
poffible that perfed happinefs can be enjoyed without 
freedom from pain, and the enjoyment of the good 
things of life. Pleafure is in its nature good, as pain 
is in its nature evil ; and the one is therefore to be 
purfued, as the other is to be avoided, for its own 
lake. Pleafure or pain is not only good or evil in 
itfelf, but the meafure of whatever is good or evil in 
every objeft of defire or averfion : for the ultimate 
reafon why we purfue one thing, and avoid another, 
is, becaofe we expeft pleafure from the former, and 
apprehend pain from the latter. If fometimes we de- 
cline a pleafure, it is not becaufe we are averfe to plea- 
fure, but becaufe, in the prefent inftance, we apprehend 
it will be neceflarily connected with a greater pain. In 
like manner, if we fometimes voluntarily fubmit to a 
prefent pain, it is becaufe we judge that it is necefTa- 


C 30 1 

rily cohneded with a greater pleafure. Although all 
pleafure is effentially good, and all p^in eflentially evil j 
It doth not thence neceffarily follow, thatj in every 
fingle inftance, the one ought to be purfued, and the 
other to be avoided : but reafon is to be employed in 
diflkiguifhing and comparing the different degrees of 
each, that the refult may be, a wife choice of that 
which (hall, upon the whole, appear to be good. That 
pleafure is the chief good, appears from the inclina^ 
tion which every animal from its firft birth difcovers, 
to purfue pleafure and to avoid pain, and is confirmed 
by the univerfal experience of mankind, who are in- 
cited to aftion by no other principle than the defire of 
avoiding pain, or obtaining pleafure* 

There are two forts of pleafure : one confiding in 
a ftate of reft, in which both body and mind are im- 
difturbed by any kind of pain ; the other, arifing from 
an agreeable agitation of the fenfes, producing a cor- 
■ refpondent emotion in the foul. It is upon the for- 
mer of thefe that the happinefs of life may be faid 
chiefly to depend. Happinefs, therrfore, confifts in bo- 
dily eafe and mental tranquillity. When pleafure is 
afferted to be the end of living, we are not then to 
underftand that violent kind of delight, or joy, which 
arifes from the gratification of the lenfes and pafEons ; 
but merely that tranquil ftate of- mind, which re- 
fults from the abfence of every caufe of pain or un« 

Thofe pleafures which arife from agitation, are not 
to be purfued as in themfelves the end of living, but 


as th^ means of arriving at that ftate of tranquillity iri 
Which true happinefs confifts. It is the office of reafort 
to confine the purfuit of pleafure within the limit of 
nature, in order to the attainment of that happy ftate 
of body, wherein it is free from eVery kind of pain^ 
and the mind from all perturbation. This ftate, how-^ 
ever, miift riot be conceived to be perfect in propor- 
tion as it is inaftive and torpid, but in proportion ai^ 
all the funftions of life are quietly and pleafantly per-* 
formed. A happy life neithef refembles a rapid tor- 
rent, nor a ftagnant pool ; but is like a gentle ftreara 
which glides fmbothly and (ilently along. This happy 
ftate can only be attained by a prudent management 
of the body, and a fteady government of the foul. 
The difeafes of the body are to be prevented by tem- 
perance, to be cured by medicine, or rendered tole- 
rable by patience. Againft the difeafes of the mind, 
philofophy provides fufficient antidotes. The inftru- 
ments which it employs for this purpofe, are the vir- 
tues, the root of which, whence all proceed, is prudence. 
This virtue comprehends the whole art of living dif- 
creetly, juftly, honourably, and is in hSt the fame 
thing with wifdom. It inftrufts men to free their un- 
derftanding fix)m the clouds of prejudice, to exercifc 
temperance and fortitude in the government of them- 
felves, and to pradife juftice towards others. Although 
pleafure or happinefs, which is the end of living, be 
fiiperior to virtue, which is only the means, it is the 
intereft of every one to praftife all the virtues ; for, in 
a happy life, pleafure can never be feparated from vir- 

t 3* 1 

tue. A prudent man, in order to fecure his trtmquiti 
lity, will confult his natural difpofition in the choice 
of his plan of life. If, for example, he be perfuaded 
that he fliould be happier in a ftate of marriage than 
in celibacy, he ought to marry ; but if he be con- 
vinced that marriage would be an impediment to his 
happinefs, he ought to remain (ingle. In like man- 
ner, fuch perfons as are adUve, enterprifing, and am- 
bitious, or fuch as by the condition of their birth are 
placed in the way of civil offices, fhould accommo- 
date themfelves to their nature and (ituation, by en- 
gaging in public aflFairs ; while fuch as are from na- 
tural temper fond of leifure and retirement, or from 
experience or obfervation convinced that a life of 
public bufinefs would be inconfiftent with their hap- 
pinefs, are unqucftionably at liberty, unlefs where par- 
ticular drcumftances call them to the fervice of their 
country, to pafs their lives in obfcure repofe* Tem- 
perance is that difcreet regulation of the defires and 
paflions, by which we are enabled to enjoy pleafures^ 
without fuflfering any confequent inconvenience. They 
who maintain fuch a perfect felf-command, as never 
to be incited by any profpeft of felf-indulgence, to do 
that which may be produdlive of evil, obtain the trueft 
pleafure by denying pleafure. Since of defires fome 
are natural and neceflary, others natural but not ne- 
ceflfary, and others neither natural nor neceflary, but 
the offspring of falfe judgment, it muft be the office 
of temperance to gratify the firft clafs as far as nature 
requires } to reftraiix the fecond, withia the bounds of 

3 moderation ; 

C 33 3 

moderation ; and, as to the third, refolutely oppofe, If 
not totally reprefs them. Sobriety, as oppofed to Ine« 
briety and gluttony, is of admirable ufe In teaching 
men that nature is fatisfied with a little, and enabling 
them to be content with fimple and frugal fare. Such 
a manner of living is conducive to the prefervation of 
health, renders a man alert and a£tive in all the of- . 
fices of life, affords him an excellent relifh of the oc- 
cafional varieties of a plentiful board, and prepares 
him to meet every reverfe of fortune vidthout the fear 
of want* 

Continence is a branch of temperance, which pre- 
vents the difeafes, infamy, remorfe, and punlfhment, 
to which thofe are expofed who indulge themfelves In 
unlawful amours. Mufic and poetry, which are oftea 
employed as incentives to licentious pleafures^ are to be 
<:autioufly and fparingly ufed. 

Gentlenefs, as oppofed to an irafcible temper, greatly 
contributes to the tranquillity and happinefs of human 
life, by preferving the mind from perturbation^ and 
arming it againfl the aflfaults of calumny and malice* 
A wife man, who puts himfelf under the government 
of reafon, will be able to receive an injury with calm- 
nefs, and to treat the perfon who committed it with 
lenity ; for he will rank injuries among the cafual events 
of life^ and will prudently refled, that he can no more 
ftop the natural current of human paflions, than he 
can curb the ftormy winds. Refraftory fervants in a 
family ftiould be punifhed, and diforderly members of 
a ftate (hould be chaftifed, without wrath* 

Vol. II. D Mode- 

t 34 1 

Moderation, in the purfuit of honours or riches, ii 
the only fecurity agamft dUappointment and vexation. 
A wife man, therefore, will prefer the fimplidty of ^ 
hiftic life to the magnificence of courts* Future events^ 
a wife man will confider as uncertain ; and will there- 
fore neither ftiffer himfelf to be elated with confident ' 
expeftation, nor to be depreffed by doubt and defpair^ 
for both are equally deftruftive of tranquillity. It will 
contribute to the enjoyment of life, to confider death 
ias the perfeft termination of a happy life, which it be- 
comes us to clofe, like fatisfied guefls^ neither regret- 
ting the paft, nor anxious for the future^ 
• Fortitude, the virtue which enables lis to endure 
pain, and to banifh fear, is of great ufe in producing 
tranquillity. Philofophy inftrufts us to pay homage to 
the Gods, not through hopfe or fear, but from venera- 
tion of their fuperior nature. It, moreover, teaches us 
to conquer the fear of death, by (hewing us that it is 
no proper objed of terror ; fince, whilft we are', death 
is not ; and when death arrives, we are not ; fo that 
death concerns neither the living nor the dead. The 
only evils to be apprehended, are bodily pain and dif-* 
-trefs of mind. Bodily pain, it becomes a wife man to 
endure with patience and firmnefs, becaufe if it bo 
-flight, it may be eafily borne ; if intenfe, it cannot laft 
long. Mental diftrefs arifes not from nature, but from 
opinion. A wife man, therefore, will arm himfelf 
againft this kind of fufFering, by refleding that the 
-gifts of fortune, the lofs of which he may be inclined 
to deplore, were never his own, but depended upott 
'• V • circum- 

I 35 1 

circutrilances which he could not command. If, there- 
fore, they happen to leave him, he will endeavour, 
as foon as poflible, to obliterate the remembrance of 
them, by occupying his mind in pleafant contempla- 
tion, and in agreeable avocations. 

Juftice refpefts man as living in fociety, and is the 
common bond without which no fociety can exift. 
This virtue, like the reft, derives its value from its ten- 
dency to promote the happinefs of life. Not only is 
it never injurious to the man who pra£tifes it, but 
nourifhes in his mind calm refleftions and pleafant 
hopes ; whereas, it is impoffible that the mind in 
which injuftice dwells^ fhould not be full of dUqui- 
ctude ; (ince it is impoffible that iniquitous adtions 
ihould promote the enjoyment of life, as much as re- 
morfe of confcience, legal penalties, and public difgrace 
muft increafe its troubles. Every one who follows the 
diftates of found reafon, will praftife the virtues of 
juftice, equity, and fidelity. In society, the necef- 
fity of the mutual exercife of juftice, in order to the 
common enjoyment of the gifts of nature, is the 
ground of thofe laws by which it is prcfcribed. It is 
the intereft of every individual in a ftatc to conform to 
' the laws of juftice ; for by injuring no one, and ren- 
dering to every man his due, he contributes his part 
to the prefervation of that fociety, upon the preferva^ 
tion of which his own fafety depends. Nor ought any 
one to think that he is at liberty to violate the rights 
of his fellow-citizens, provided he can do it fecurely ; 
for he who has committed an unjuft action, can never 
be certain it 'will not be . discovered ; and however 
* ^ Da fuccefs. 

t 36 2 

fuccefsfuUy he may conceal it from others, this ^1 
avail him little, (ince he camiot conceal it from 

In different communities different laws may be in- 
(tituted, according to the circumftances of the people 
who compofe them. Whatever is thus prefcribed, may 
be confidered as a rule of juitice, fo long as the fo-> 
ciety fhall judge the obfervance of it to be for the be* 
nefit of the whole. But whenever any rule of con- 
dud is found upon experience not to be conducive to 
the public good, being no longer ufeful, it Ihould be 
no longer prefcribed. 

Nearly allied to juftice, are the virtues of benefi- 
cence, compaffion, gratitude, piety, and friendffiip. 
He who confers benefits upon others, procures to him- 
felf the fatisfadlion of feeing the dream of plenty 
fpreading around him from the fountain of benefi- 
cence, at the fame time he enjoys the pleafure of be- 
ing efteemed by others. The exercife of gratitude, 
filial affe£Uon, and reverence for the Gods, is necef- 
fary, in order to avoid the hatred and contempt of all 
good men. Friendftiips are contrafted for the fake of 
mutual benefit ; but by degrees they ripen into fuch 
difmterefled attachtnent, that they continue without 
any profpeft of advantage. Between friends, there is 
a kind of mutual league, that each will love the other 
as himfelf. A true friend will partake of the wants 
and forrows of his friend, as if they were his own ; if 
he be in want, he will relieve him ; if he be in pri- 
fon, he will vifit him ; if he be fick, he will come to 
him ; nay, fituations may occur in which he would 


C 37 J 

not (crupie to die for him. It cannot then be doubted^ 
that friendfliip is one of the beft means of procuring ^ 
^ure, tranquil, and happy life. 


In the method purfued in thofe feveral fyftems 
and colleftions for preferving the adtivity of the mind, 
according to the fubordination of its powers, they 
have a furprifing conformity to chriftianity. But in 
the motives which revelation fupplies for this falutary 
purpofe, the advantage is on the fide of religion, to a 
degree which cannot be calculated. Immortality is 
pledged to us, and propofed as the prize of felf-de- 
nial. TTie grafting of the chriftian graces of benevo- 
lence, meeknefs, and humility, are propofed as the 
qualifications for this happy flate, in oppofition to that 
gratification of the paeons which uncultivated nature 
fo much defires. For which purpofe, we are direS:ed 
to oppofe our fpiritual enemies by the aid of the Holy 
Spirit, which is promifed to the fmcere fuppliant, and 
"which has even been admitted to dwell with him. The 
fringing fuch motives to bear upon our animal pro- 
peniities ; the conftant labour in cultivating fuch vir- 
t^es as are mofl oppofite to our natural bias ; the la- 
borious employment of bringing remote things which 
only have influence on our refiedtion into the balance, 
a^d making them preponderate againfl interefls which 
Jiaye the advantage of a fenfible and vifible operation; 

P 3 th€f« 

C 3« 3 

Acfe objcfts give the mental cna-gies fiill play, and 
jk^ them (if we may be allowed the expreffion) on 
the perpetual ftretch, in. full epiployment, and due 
fubordination to the laws of nature. 

This is not all — ^but it refines the paffions, engages 
them on its fide, and converts them to the caufe 
of virtue. Our hopes and our fears, our fympathies 
and our averfions, are all direded to proper objeAs ; 
while the common courfe of Providence, below the 
^arp leffons of adverfity, and the fhadowy enjoyments 
of profperity, add their momentum to the progrefs of 
die mind, and give no fmall aififtance both to inteU 
ledual and moral improvement. But here we are op« 
pofed by modem philofophers, who arrogate to them* 
felves the privilege of didating the means of moral 
improvement to all ages and conditions, to parents as 
^ell as to children. Contrary to the experience of all 
ages, they affprt, that no degree of feverity is neceffiiry 
la educating the latter; and that, in general, honour 2nd 
Jbame are the only legitimate fan£tions of human ac- 
tions. They allege, that thefe principles are to bo 
found in all, in various degrees indeed ; probably in 
fome fo fdint as hardly to be diflinguiflied ; but in all, 
Qi fufficiently developed) fully adequate to the pro- 
dudion of every energy of charafter : that they are, 
especially in younger minds, the only motives which, 
tgf way of fanfkion, ought to be cultivated ; and that 
due care will make them fufliciently vigorous to 
fulfil every exigence. And for an example of this, 
ihef allege devotion^ which in every mind almoft is ^ 


c 39 i 

languid at firft, till by cultivation and conft^t habitP 
it may be brought not only to a fufficient degree of 
ftrength, but even to a dangerous pitch of aftivity. 

This opinion is plaufible, and might be true, if man' 
were a creature of greater perfeflion than he "is, and 
if he did not require motives for aftion, not only pow- 
erful in their operation, but various in their kinds,- 
That love for variety within certain bounds is com-* 
ihon to all mankind, has been obferved before. Its 
final caufe has alfo been mentioned, and its utility, in 
giving a perpetual incitement to the purfuit of know» 
ledge, and of every advantage belonging to our fpe* 
cies, if properly direfted. It is to be confidered as a 
very kind provifion of the Author of our nature to 
vary the motives to a£Uon, according to the variety of 
the tafles and charafters which he has given us. The 
fame kind of motives, if uniformly applied, would 
lofe their efFefl:, which mufl be always the confequence 
when the preceptive fyflems counterafl: the comp& 
cated fcheme, by the operation of which it was de« 
iigned, that we (hould arrive at the perfeftion of our 
nature, as far as it is neceflary, in this fbte. The pro- 
portions in which thefe motives are blended, we muft 
learn, not from fome of our modern fyflems of edu- 
cation, but from the writings of the ancients, and the 
Great Exampler of life and Manners, from which 
they drew their documents. 

Man, we find by fome of the ancient philofophefs^ 
i^ere divided into the adive and contemplative^ TKs 
diflinftion, though fufHciently accurate for the com-* 
mon purpofes of life, is by no means a flriftly lo^cal 

D 4 divifion } 

C 40 3 

4iviiion ; fer thence it would follow, that one part of - 
cur fpedes was defigned for the cloifteri and another 
for buiinefs. But thefi? two chara&ers are, in hOt^ 
combined in various proportions in all mankind ; and 
the neceifity for it, is obvious^ Without fomething to . 
excite his a£tivity, the contemplatift would foon dege«t 
nerate into a vifionary, or a fanatic Th^ man of bu^ 
finefs, for want of moral principles, imprefled by me*r 
ditation, would foon, by a very fhort procefs, be me* 
tamorphofed into a defigning knave. In fa£k, we often 
fee the mere literary man grow languid in his exer- 
dons, and faftidious in his judgment ; particularly if 
the necef&ty for exertion has ceafed to operate. In 
fuch characters a morbid delicacy of tafte is often ob^ 
lervable, which deprives him of aU r^lifh for new com-^ 
pofidons, even of genuine merit. He feels fo^iething 
analogous to that fpecies of fenfibility \yhich render& 
the profperous man tremblingly alive all ifer ; to the; 
moft diftant approach of any thing difagreeabl^ to his 
feelings, which are exafperated by the effed of what 
is commonly called worldly blejftngs* This is the cafe 
of the mere literary man. He too often ceafes in 
thofe drcumftances to be an a£tive, and even a 
contemplative being. The mere man of bufmefs, on 
th$ other h^d, who has not given himf<^lf either 
}eifure or opportunity to profit by refleftion, or the 
moral diftinfUons of things, and by whom the ideas of 
honour and Jhame ^re confequently annexed, not to 
virtue and vice^ but to riches and poverty, is led, for 
that reafon^ by too great hurry to obtain opulence, 
to take every poffible means for that purpofe. If hp 


C 41 3 

bas leifure, it is not fiUecJ up by rational purfults, but 
by fenfual enjoymentSi Thefe encroaching on the time 
allotted for his more ferious occupations, he becomes, 
by degrees, a bankrupt, and a prodigal. If we com- 
pare an indolent and innocent Gentoo, vho has, per- 
haps, all the moral feelings in fuffident vigour, but 
whofe mental powers are almoft annihilated by habi- 
tual languor, with an adive and enterprifing European, 
ifq yn\\ more clearly perceive the contraft ; we fhall 
^d, that a mixture of contemplation and adUvity are 
xieceflfary to bring our fpecies to its full perfeftion: 
thefe energies are, therefore, beft brought out by a va^ 
rietjr of mptivps, rpfembling fuch as are met with in 
common life, and yeprefented by our Po^t in his Pur, 
OATORio, by many allegoHcal exhibition?. Conform- 
^ly to ^s account, we find this combination of ac- 
doq, and contemplation provided for in different p&f 
riods of life. In youth, the mind is afiive ; but t^e 
BecelTary difcipline of educatipn renders it in fome de- 
gree contemplative. In the latter part of life, the mind 
is inclined to be contemplative ; but the affairs of the 
world, in which it is neceflarily involved, keep its aftir 
yity from any danger of ftagnation. 

Where honour and fhame are ^he only motives, 
they are not fufEcient to overcome the native indo- 
lence of the hunian <:hara^er. They, confequently, 
who feldom fee} the 4rcad of pain, or of any inflic- 
tion, generally fink into languor. This debilitated ftate 
of their faculties is increafed by the circumftance, that 
^11 their wifhes are within their reach, and therefore 
fp^edily gratified. The ardour for enjoyment remains, 


C 42 3 

though the relifh be gone, and the means exhaufteJ^ 
The mind then becomes a monftrous mixture of Ian* 
guid fatiety and reftlefs craving. When fear is the 
only motive, its efFefts are fimilar ; its preponderating 
weight deflroys that balance of the paflions, which 
produces vigour of aftion, and gradually debilitates the 
rational powers, reducing man to a machine, if a be-- 
ing aftuated by a Jingle motive deferve that name. 
This is the cafe in defpotic governmejits, and confirm* 
that obfervation of the Poet, — 

For Heav'n ordains, that whatfocver day 
Makes man a flave, takes half his worth away. 

Whereas, in mixed governments, where honour and* 
fhame preferve their influence, as well as hope ancj' 
fear, the law of opinion preferves its weight, as well asr 
the law of neceflity ; and all together, they preferve^ 
that aftivity, which is needful to give the human cha-i 
rafter its proper ftamp of worth. On the contrary, 
when honour and fhame are the only motive, they be* 
come too languid in their effeft, fomewhat like the 
faint operation of the fame medicines too often re* 
peated. The difciplinary part of life ought to be care-* 
fully modelled, as preparatory to that variety of mo^ 
tives that muft give the impulfe to it during the courfe 
of life. To every paflion of our nature there ought 
to be proper application ; for in the events of common 
life, all our paflions are aftuated in turns ; our hopes, 
as well as our fears, our intereft, no lefs than our ho- 
nour ; and as one often counterafts the other, thus at 
proper flages of education fome of them ought to be 
ftrengthened, and others kept within due limits, ae- 


C 43 1 

icordihg to the variety of the human charafter, and 
,the exigence of the cafe. 

If we enquire why there are fo many inftances of 
eminent and refpeftable charafters to be found in the 
^middle ranks of life, and why their proportion ex- 
ceeds that of the other ftations, it will probably ap- 
^ar, that it is becaufe they are not raifed fo high above 
the common mafs of the people, as to leave them no 
motive of aftion, but honour and fhame. They are, 


in a certain degree, under the falutary influence of ne- 
ceflity, fo that the aQivity of their minds will not readily 
Tall into a ftate of languor ; and with them, the higher 
motives in which reputation is concerned have their 
due weight. Thus they are fo far blefled with leifure 
for refleftion, that the nobler faculties are in no dan- 
ger of lofing their energy for want of employment. 
in fhort, their moral and intelleftual advantages arifc 
ifrom their happy central pofition, where all the mo- 
tives that ufually influence mankind meet, as it were, 
in a natural point of confluence ; where they all have 
their happy eflfeft by due complication; and where, 
confequently, none of them can preponderate. In 
their moral difcipline, pain and pleafure are duly 
mixed by the wife hand of Providence ; and we know 
that pain is a more vigorous motive to aftion, than 
pleafure. But when, by due culture, the mind comes 
to be properly invigorated, the influence of pain ope- 
rates more (as the Schoolmen fay) in Poje, than in 
Effe ; more by its expeftation, than its real inflidtion. 
In the former cafe, it is in lefs danger of lofing its ef. 
fe£t, as it operates rath»er on the fancy than the feeU 


I 44 3 

ings, and produces effefts analogous to thofe which arife 
from the falutary apprehenfion of diflant dangers^ 
cither in this life, or that which is to come. 

I fhall clofe this fubject with a few obfervations, 
which have a double relation both to the Inferno 
and PuRGATORio, as they will fhew how clofely the 
two Parts of the Poem are connedted, and render the 
one hi fome degree an illuftration of the othen For 
this purpofe, it will be neceffary tq advert to the opi- 
nions of fome modem philofophers, who, under th§ 
idea that Virtue is its own Reward^ hav^ given a par- 
tial view of human nature, sgid deprived morality of 
many of its ftrongeft fanftions. 

Lord Shaftesbury, about the beginning of thf 
laft century, gave no fmall degree of celebrity to xhq, 
idea, that rewards were derogatory to the notion of 
genuine goodnefs. He was a man of delicate feelings, 
and one on whom the fentiments of honour and fhamQ 
made the deepeft impreffions. For this reafon, judg« 
mg of others by himfelf, he thought thofe motive^ 
^uite fufEcient for all the purpofes of morality an4 
virtue J and, without taking a general view of humai^ 
nature, extended his reafoning from particulars to k/m* 
verfalsy without much regard either to logic or expe^ 
rience. " I have known a building," fays he, 
** which, through the officioufiiefs of the workmen, 
had been fo fhored and ikrewed up on the fide where 
they pretended that it had a leaningi that it has at laft 

[45 3 

been turned to the contrary fide and overthrown* 
♦There has fomething, perhaps, of this kind happened 
in morals. Men have not been content to fhew the 
natural advantages of honefty and virtue ; they have 
rather leffened thofe, the better, they think, to ad- 
vance another foundation, viz. an orthodox Faith, on 
pain of Damnation. They have made virtue fo mer- 
cenary a thing, and have talked fo much of its re- 
wards^ that one cannot tell what there is in it, after 
all, which can be worth rewarding ; for to be bribed 
only , or terrified into an honeft pradtice, befpeaks lit- 
tle of real honefty or worth. We may make, it is true, 
•whatever bargain we think fit, and may beftow our 
favours ; but there is no excellence, or wifdom, in vo- 
luntarily rewarding what is neither eflimable nor de- 
ferving j and if virtue be not truly eflimable in itfelf, 
I can fee nothing eflimable in following it for the fake 
of a bargain. 

*' If the love of doing good be not in itfelf a right 
and good inclination, I know not how there pofTibly 
can be any fuch thing as goodnefs or virtue. If the 
inclination be right, it is a perverting of it to apply it 
folely to the reward, and make us conceive fuch won* 
ders of the grace and favour which is to attend on 
virtue, when there is fo little fhewn of the intrinfic 
worth or value of the thing itfelf.*' 

Tlie fame fentiments are rather more forcibly te- 
prefTed by an Eleve * of the fame fchool, in thefe 
words :— • 

♦ Mr. Datid Williams, fecc his Difcourfes^ vfll. a. 

♦^ Moral 


C 46 3 

** Moral happinefs, the higheft objeS of the hv^ 
inan wifh,. which not only renders our a6i:ual exift- 
race worth having, but infpires us with poetic frenzy, 
makes us create imaginary worlds, and extend our ex- 
iftenqe into Paradife^ Elyfium, or Heaven, to perpe- 
tuate our enjoyment. This univerfal idol, and univerlal 
motive to purfuit and aflion, wants only to be undef- 
ftood to be enjoyed. We do worfe than lofe our time^ 
if we feek it at a diftance, or in imaginary regions ; for 
it is with us, and every moment is facred to its plea* 
fures. It is the eflfe£l of Order, Vigour, Activity, 
in the principles of our minds, which conftitutes our 
virtue. It is the refult of juftand natural difpofitions ia 
men, and of principles in fociety (wonderful difcovery !), 
which conftitutes public virtue ; and this refult is the 
effeO: of caufes, as regular, as certain, as necejfary^ at 
thofe which produce day and night, fummer and win- 
ter. If all men were capable of comprehending the 
order of nature in the moral world, all men would 
'be virtuous. Rewards and punifhments are the expe- 
^ents of ignorance and vice, and they will as foon 
produce day and night, fummer and winter, as they 
^11, true and genuine moral happinefs, in any one in- 
ftance. You will not wonder, when I tell you, that 
temperance and moderation are neceflfary to the right 
arrangement of all your affeftions ; to that natural or- 
der of your principles, which makes you virtuous ; to 
-fit you for your proper ftation in fociety, where all 
the principles that unite \o\xjhould be fo reftrained and 
tempered, as to harmonize, coalefce, and produce an 


X 47 3 

tffefl:, wtiich alone is real happinefs. You are not <:6 
be furprifed, when I fay this, that I.fhould fuppofc 
myfelf to be entitled to your attention ; for I hold be- 
fore you the utmoft attainment of man, in its proper 
and only place, where alone it is poflible ffor him J 
to attain it. Nay, I hold it before you, when your 
minds are calm ; when reafon, unmolefted by hopes 
and fears, can mod freely fee and judge, and whai 
alone the mind fhould chufe and determine. The de- 
lirium of the paflions, like intoxication from liquor, 
is unfriendly to the judgment ; and thofe, who can- 
vafs for Heaven, merely by the hopes and fears of men 
worked into frenzies, are juft fuch moralifts, juft fuch 
honeft men, as thofe who intoxicate their followers, to 
enable them to make a right and proper choice of fe* 
nators and legiflators/' 

Whoever were the theologians alluded to in thefe 
two paffages, their ignorance, or want of feeling, is to 
be pitied, if they contented themfelves with difplaying 
only /ome of the fanftions of virtue, without giving 
any idea of its intrinfic beauty. I perfeftly agree with 
the Authors cited above, that virtue only wants to be 
/een^ in order to command our affeftionate regard. 
The moft abandoned of mankind often pay it this re* 
fpeft in the charafter of others, that it has loft its in- 
fluence over their own. But, fo far from inculcating 
virtue by mercenary confiderations, our beft divines 
join iffue with the Deift, in allowing that virtue is its 
T)wn reward — ^that our converfation here muft qualify 
us for that blefled fociety which we expeft to join 
n 5 hereafter. 

r 48 1 

hereaften That piirity of heart and life, and the folv 
lime duties of a Chriftian, are neceflary ingredients in 
our charafter, without which we would be utterly ia- 
difpofed for the enjoyment of that blifs which chiefly 
confifts in the love of order, in the exercife of the 
fublimer and more amiable faculties of the foul, and 
of the focial virtues in their higheft perfeftion, far be^ 
yond any thing we can at prefent imagine. They did 
not learn this fublime truth from the Deift — ^they and 
the Deifl both learned it from him who aflures us^ 
that without holinefs no one can fee God : a truth, in* 
culcated by our Poet in every page, and fliadowed 
forth under all the various imagery of his vifions. 

With regard to the idea of future punifhments, I 
believe no perfon acquainted with human nature wiU 
fuppofe, that the fear of punifhment is a fufHcient bafis. 
for the praOice of genuine virtue. The principal ef» 
feet it can have is, to reftrain from vice ; that, how* 
ever, is, in our prefent flate, a neceffary reftraint. But 
the idea of it did not originate with thofe wretched 
theologians alluded to above. It arofc from no fordidl 
or felfifli idea, even when we confine ourfelves to its 
proofs from reafon. On the contrary, it can be traced 
to a much fublimer motive, to that moral fenfe of 
right and wrong *, that idea of juftice which is almoft 
inflantaneoufly impreffed upon us by our connexions 
with mankind. It is of the fame date with our no- 
tion of the diflference of good and evil, and our con- 
Xcioufnefs that we are accountable creatures. This has 

♦ Sec Prdiminary Effay to the Inferso. 


i: 49 3 

been touched on before; and it ih^ obferved^ that 
as this account is not regularly taken here, we there- 
fore conclude, or rather we feel^ from the fug- 
geftions of reafon and cohfcience, that it muft be 
given hereafter; but I was obliged, in the courfe of 
the enquiry, and to conned the plan of the diflferent 
parts of the Poem, to revert td it again m this place. 
Such an imemal argument as this, which fprings up in 
the heart of every man, has a greater weight with it, 
than all the reafonings of philofdphy put together; 
and is very improperly bbjeSed to, by thofe who rea- 
fon, and often reafon juftly, from their internal feelings. 
Neceflity, and the natural equity of man, induce him 
to ftrive to correft vice. By the interference of pain 
and the fandUon of punifliment, and when we defpair 
of finding on earth any means fufficiently forcible to 
check the triumphs of injuftice, we naturally appeal 
to Heaveii, 

From this natural notion of juftice, we account for 
the univerlality of this idea of future rewards and 
punilhments, and not from any fuppofed influence of 
prieflcraft. We nowhere can trace the notion of the 
fouFs immortality, but we find evidence for the dif- 
ferent conditions of men in another life. Thefe two 
opinions being thus infeparably connefted, it is eafy to 
judge which is the natural and primary opinion, and 
^hich is the confequence deduced from it : it is not the 
expedation of living, that makes us infer a judgment 
to come ; but the love of right, one of the nobleft 
principles of our nature. The abhorrence of vice and 
injuflice makes us fee the neceflity of pofthumous re* 

Vol. IL ^ tribution. 

L 50 3 

tribution, and thence we infer a (late of pofthumous 
confdoufnefs, and fee the neceffity of a prq>aratory 
difcipline in this life ; which, if we fuffer to have its 
due effed, will prevent our punifhment in another. 

But, to come clofer to the point, we fliall firfl en- 
quire, how far fentiment alone would fupport the caufc 
of morality and virtue, without any regard to the 
common fan6tions, and on the fuppoiition that no fuch 
confiderations as rewards and puniihments exifted even 
in idea ; taking at the fame time the virtues and vices 
of mankind on an average, as we find them in the 
world, without reprefenting them in a better or worfe 
flate than they really are ? And next, we (hall enquire 
how hr the idea of rewards and punifhments tends to 
leifen the moral dignity of human nature ? We fhaU 
fuppofe a fociety of mankind, innocent at leafl from 
adual vice, thrown upon fome defert ifland, under the 
neceffity of forming fome fociety together; with the 
feeds of all their natural paffions and defires yet lying 
dormant, and what is commonly called the moral 
fenfe, or natural confcience, fublimated to that exalted 
degree in which it is generally found, or fuppofed, in 
the beft characters; we mufl fuppofe them without 
the idea of a moral governor, that is without natural 
religion. The idea of a moral governor involves the 
notion of poflhumous retribution, at leafl of fandions ; 
and we want to fee what is the genuine momentum of 
moral fentiment, without any bias, or fuperadded force, 
from extraneous confiderations. There are, we know, 
many propenfities in human nature, innocent in them- 
felvcs, and in a certain degree, but criminal and pemi- 


C 51 "J 

doiis when they pafs it. Eveii what are called the fo 
fcial paffions, come under this defcription. Why need 
we inflance the natural defire between the fexes ? What 
tragedies has it occafioned, when it has paflfed the 
bounds oif reafon and juftice? Benevolence, in this 
(ituadon, becomes prodigality ; and a due fenfe of our 
bwn dignity becomes intolerable pride, the fource of 
iall the diffocial paflions. Self-prefervation, the firfi: 
bw of nature, foon degenerates into felfifhnefs, and 
{mothers all the virtues in their cradle. In this cata* 
logue we do not know where to (lop ; and will fenti* 
ment alone (hew us that nice point in which our na* 
tural and original delires, implanted by the hand of 
our Creator, degenerate into vice ? Is the eye of the 
mind fo accurately fteady, and fo nicely difcriminating, 
as to perceive, in every inflance, where the different 
fhades and lights melt into each other i Were we al- 
ways fubjed to the unbiafled guidance of reafon, fome- 
thing like this might be expeded; but we are expofed 
to fedudion by two very powerful condudors, par« 
tiality to ourfelves, and the temptation arifing from ex- 
ternal objeds. The dread of confequences to our^ 
felves, and the exigences of fociety, you will fay^ will 
be fuffident reftraints ; but what fhall reftrain us from 
fecret and fuccefsfiil crimes, when we fhall be tempted 
to think the interefts of fociety uninjured by us ? Are 
the interefts of fociety the only confideration ? Does 
aot the confdoulhefs of our being accountable, point 
out a moral governor ? Dread of confequences, in any 
refped, if admitted as a motive, fhows the neceility of 
iome other fandion befides our own moral fendments. 

£ a and 

C 5^ ] 

and is in reality giving up the queftion ; for the necef- 
fity of fanftions being admitted in any ftage of fociety, 
eftabiifhes the principle efl'edually. Befides, we muft 
iTptat an obfervation made before, that this moral 
fenfe is very weak in fome flages of fociet)' ; this is a 
faft known by experience, it improves in a direft pro- 
portion with the advancement of fociety. It is well 
known to have the greateft influence there, where the 
idea of penal fandtions have been the longeft eftablifh- 
ed. It is known to be pofterior every where, in its 
progrefs, to the confideration of penal fanftions. Arc 
we not to conclude from this, that the former is 
founded upon the latter ? If not, we give up plain ex- 
periment for theory; the proofs from indudtion we 
poftpone to the argument a priori^ and pervert every 
rule of found logic and found reafoning. 

Upon the whole we may obferve, that to make fenti- 
ment the judge of fentiment, is to make the fame facuU 
ties both party and judge ; it renders us liable, where any 
pailion is concerned, to overlook the mental extreme 
for the middle point, to forget the mental parallax. Our 
inftinfts are natural ; that is, they are defigned by na- 
ture to produce certain ends compatible with the dic- 
tates of reafon and the calls of fociety. When they 
get beyond thefe bounds — liften how fophiftically they 
plead for themfelves. That they are parts of our nature, 
and only aft according to her di&ates ! They will ap- 
peal, indeed, to their reafon ; and what is this when 
analyfed ? It is not (according to them) the confident- 
tion of our relations to fociety, or to a moral gover- 
nor, according to Clarke } it is not utility, according 


C Si 3 

to Hume ; but it is to make our natural impulfes the 
judges of our natural impulfes. Thus they argue in a 
circle ; and what the tendency of their arguments is, let 
the impartial reader judge from modem works of fen- 
timent, where other fandions are excluded. 

Let it be obferved once for all, that it is not meant 
to deny the efficacy of th^ moral fenfe; its diftates con- 
firm with effeft the leffons we learn from reafon in 
fociety, nor does its impreflions lefs inculcate on us 
the neceflity of that retribution in future, which we 
fee does not take place here. 

We are next to examine the inflvience of the idea of 
poflhumous compenfation, exclufively confidered, on 
our charaders as rational agents. And here we fhall 
'previoufly obferve, that if the moral fenfe were not li- 
able to deviation from the infufions of paffion and 
other extraneous caufes ; if its didates were always in- 
fallible, always as powerful as it generally is found in the 
mod exalted chara£ters ; would any one take upon him 
to fay, that this folitary principle would be fufficient to 
overcome the habitual indolence of mankind in moral 
purfuits ? Would it alone give him that vigorous afti- 
vity which certainly was defigned to be his character ? 
Suppofing he were poffeffed of this activity, would its 
diftates be fufficiently ftrong to keep his paflions always 
within proper bounds, to fay, " Hitherto thou Ihalt 
go, and no fiairther ?*' I fear not — ^at leaft it cannot be 
fuppofed, until we can afluredly fay that the moral 
fenfe was the fole and (ingle motive which always 
raifed the fage, the faint, and the hero, to the exalted 
pitch of chfirader wjiich they attained. That the con- 

E 3 fideration 

f 54 3 

fideradpn of rewards and punishments is a motive left 
exalted than the moral fenfe, is not denied ; at the fame 
time, all the arguments urged by Shaftefbury and others,, 
in favour of its exclufive title, would prove too inuch} 
for had it that imperial foverdgnty which their argOf 
^ents prefume, we would no longer be voluntary but 
neceiTary agents; and as the law of £;i^i^;f^ fuppofes pf 
the king, we could do no wrong. 

With a view to the influence on our intelle£hial h^ 
culties, the idea of poithumous retribution has an eflfe£b 
undeniably falutary. It preieryes the piind in the har 
bitual pradice of (tudying relations, of comparing mo«> 
tives, of deducing (ronfequences, and examining the 
alternate preponderancy of things prefent and of things 
to come; in weighing the different momenta of impulfe 
and reafon, an4 of judging according to their refpec- 
tive merits. Is not this the very mode of education 
which Providence feems to have adopted for our 
moral and intelledual improvement^ with regard to the 
affairs of this world ? Is there any of our intelledual 
fiaculties which is not improved and ameliorated by 
this procedure, to an high degree ? If forelight be 
the fovereign ingredient in prydeiice, if prudence be the 
bafis of all our virtues, nothing can be of more import- 
ance than the operation of diftant obje£ks on the hur 
man mind^ In a moral view, thefe motives have this^ 
important effe&, that they ferve as a falutary check 
ypon the wild excurfions of that double-faced genius, 
known tp modems by the name of Sentiment, whofe 
didates are almoft (fuch is the effeft of uniting diffe- 
rent ideas under the lame terms) as ambiguous as the 

X oraclea 

C 55 ] 

oracles of old. In another view, the circumftance of 
thofe cbmpenfations being in that particular point of 
diftance, has an effeft of fovereign ufe. Were they 
nearer to us, and more fubjeft to our contemplation, 
they would encroach upon our free agency ; and even 
upon our province as free aftors, in this fublunary 
world, the motives would overpower all others; were 
they at a greater diflance than the general term of hu- 
man life, they would probably have little or no in- 
fluence on the general condud. As it is, their effeds 
are fufEciently moderate to leave us the confcioufnefs 
of free agency, in weighing remote confequences againft 
prefent impulfes. Thefe matters (land in the fame 
pofition with refped to us, as the fun is obferved to 
hold with regard to this planet : were it nearer to us, 
we fhould perifh from the extreme of heat ; a more 
diftant fituation would have a fimilar effed, from the 
rigours of extreme cold: his precife pofition is the 
fource of life and vigour, as the diftant views of future 
profpeds are the nobleft improvements of human rea- 
fon, and the beft fecurity for the freedom of the will. 




• F 


E ti 3 



Thf Poets re-afcendat the FoQtof the Mountain of ProbatiOii, 
where they meet the Spirit of Cato of Utica, who informs 
them of the previous Ceremonies. They take their Journey to 
the Sea-(horey and prepare for their Entrance into the Regioat 
pf Lustration. 

15 UT now the barque, that wafts the Mufe and me, 
Difplays her canvaCi on the fmoather fea. 

And leaves the horrible expanfe behind : 
Scourg'd by the temped of eternal wrath, 
Jt now is giv'n to other climes to breathe. 

Where the pure Spirit foars, from fin refin'df 


Purge off the Stygian gloom, forfake the dead^^ 
^d o'er a milder Zone your pinions fpread ; 

Queen of immortal fong ! thy help I claim : 
That harmony infpire, whofe powerful ftrain 
3truck mute the clamours of the hoftile train, 

Whofe overthrow enhancM the Muse's fame. 

Stmnta ii. Roe S.^^Tbe Muse's fameJ^ 
Dt em U Puhe mferi fenilro^ &c. 
The Conteft of the Mufes with die Daughters of PiERivt of 
Pella^ i» MacedoniAi (vide Ovid. Met* lib. ▼•) may be • 


C 58 i 


The Orient fapphire of the deep ferene, 
Spread her young glories o'er the opening fcen^ 
Thro' all the vail fublunar vault afau- : 


How foft was then the Zephyrean plume 
Of mom! to me efcapM the Stygian gloom. 
And damp'd with many a fcene of deep defpair. 


Now, twinkling clear, the harbinger of day 
Looked from his Ihrine, and all the Eaft was gay ; 

mythological account of the CiTilization of that Northern Tra^ 
by a Colony from the Sooth of Greece> which gradually intro- 
duced the Religion, the Sciences, and the Arts, which they had 
acquired from more polifhed G>untrie8. The remote confequencea 
of that event prepared the enhghtened part of the Globe for the 
moft important Political Changes, firft under the aufpices of the 
MACEDX>NiiiN Hero, and then under the Romans, who availed 
themfelves of his Conquefb. The* mental Revolutions to which it 
gave occadon, were no lefs remarkable. By this means, Literature 
was difTeminated to a greater extent than could have otherwife 
been expeded. The tranfmiflion of Science was facilitated by the 
ready means of Communication through a great Empire, by a Lan- 
guid almoil univerlal — and this conftituted the great medium by 
which the Chriftian Rehgion was afterwards propagated* 

It is remarkable, that the Conqueft of this and the adjacent 
Countries, by a race of Scythians, in the 15th Century, fhould 
have diffufed a tafte for Literature and the Sciences over the Weft 
of Europe.— -Such are the advantages of Geographical Situation, 
which often has a confiderable (hare in forming the Human Cha- 


C 59 3 


Herrifing beam the wat'ry fign conceard : 
(Hid, by excefs of light,) I look'd around. 
And fpy'd, within the pale nofturnal bounds 

Four ftars in Paradife alone beheld. 


Alas ! how faintly gleams our Northern Pole, 
Compared with thefe celeftial orbs that roll 

Their endlefs journey round the Southern iky ! 
Half dazzPd with their beams, I tum'd again 
To fpy the Northern Charioteer in vain. 

The Pole, and flaming guards efcap'd mine eye* 


When, lo ! before my wond'ring eyes appears. 
In hoary majefty, a man of years. 

On the world's verge; with holy rev'rence thrill'd: 
I lookM ; his locks were fprinkl'd o'er with gray. 
His iilver beard upon his bofom lay. 

His mien auguft with awe my bofom fill'd. 


Th' Antarftic light, wide hov'ring, feem'd to blend 
Its living rays, 2iid round his temples bend 

St. iv. /. 6. — Four Start.2 Said by the Commentators to dc- 
note the four Cardinal Virtues — ^Prudence> JusricSy TEMrs- 
RAMCCy and Fortitude r^-diftindUy feenybut at a Jifiancej on the 
6t& entrance into a courfe of Reformation. /. 2.—-^ Man of Tears.'] Cato, of Utica, the great 
example of Self-denial ; thence fuppofed to be a proper GuKir* 
^ian of the entrance to the Regions of Luftration* 

A fiery d?adein of vanous lights . 
As half amazM, I met his fcorching beam J 
« Mortal !" he cryM, " how did you ftem the ftreani^ 

That rolls in thunder down the gulph of nigh4 ? 


" What guiding lamp, your direful progrefs led, 
Thro* the pale manfions of the fentenc'd dead. 

When darknefs hides the vale with dragon plume ? 
Who dare infringe our everlafting laws ? 
What venturous hand, the fentenc'd finner draws 

To my dread lodge, from Hell's eternal gloom ?*^ 

Awe-ftruck, I flood ; till many a fignal, giv'n 
By the harmonious meflenger of Heav*n, 

Taught me due homage to the hoary Sage. 
Then anfwer*d he, " Not of myfelf I came ; 
A Saint, infpir'd by love's eternal flame. 

This wand'rer gave in charge — a facred pledge t 


** But fince I now perceive a fbrong defire 
In thee, his former fortimes to enquire. 

No wilh of thine, by me fliall e'er be crofs'd : 
This mortal never took a lafl furvey 
Of the glad precinds of the cheerful day, 

Tho' Frenzy drove him near to Charon's coafL 

•• A ficw fhort joumies of the circling Sua 
Had nearly ieen his race of folly run } 

C 6i J 

The mandate from above a Cherub gave : 
I came, commiflion'd thro* the S.tygian reign 
To guide his fteps, and (hew the fentenc*d train. 

No (lighter means the wayward wretch could lave. 


** I Ihew'd the penal Bands in fad review. 
And now muft lead him to the nobler crew ; 

Who thrid the painful pafs to life and light : 
And (hew between the living and the dead. 
The toiling candidates of Heav'n, that tread 

The fteep afcent, thro* many a fearful rite. 


•* Long were the labour, all his 'fcapes to tell. 
His dire encounters in the gulph of Hell ; ' 

But thro* the (hadowy world, a mighty arm, 
With giant wafture, bore deep to deep 
His mortal weight, and up the thundering fteep. 

Thro' many a dreadful gloom, and fiery ftorm. 

** He came by inftinA to this lonely fhore. 
Verging on Heav*n, to learn the genuine lore 

Of Liberty, fiom him, who pour*d his blood 
To ranfom Rome from C-^sar's regal yoke. 
For Her, from life's ignoble bonds you broke. 

And to her fons the price of freedom (hew'd. 

St. xiv. /. 3. — 0/ Liberty. "] The Liberty mentioned here if 
Moral, or rather Chriftian Liberty. But why Dante puts this 
apology for Suicide in the mouth of Virgil, is not eafy to diviQei 
unlefs he makes him fpeak according to the ideas that prevailed to# 
much in fome ages of Ro m e* 

C 6* 1 


*' The mangPd form, which then ydu flung awajT, 
Shall brave the thunder of the doomful day j 

All radiant rifing from the yawning tomb : 
Lover of Juftice ! know that Heav'n's decree 
Was never yet infringed by him or me ; 

Still cloth'd in dull, he waits the final doom. 


" I am a tenant of that lower Zone, 

Where Marcia dwells, who claim'd thee for her oWii j 

With thee content the fad reverie to fliare : 
When Rome and Freedom totter*d to their fell, 
O think from us you hear her feinted call. 

And tend in gentler mood a fuppliant pray'n 


•* Permit us to explore our toilfome way. 
Thro' the feven penal climes that own thy fway ; 

Then I, retiring to my dark fojoum. 
Will fliew your Marcia in the fields of Fate, 
The wonders of your Heav'n-appginted ftate, 

If Fame you feek beyond the Stygian bourne^ 


•* Light of my eyes ! while yet (he liv*d," he cry'd> 
" No boon fhe crav'd in life, was e'er deny'd : 

But other laws departed Spirits know ; 
Nor muft I liften to the fervent prayV 
Of thofe, for ever fentencM to ddpaii , 

Whom Acheron's dull current keeps below. 


C 65 3 


But fhould a meffenger of ^ther deign 
To lead you, thro* the tenements of pain. 

As you pretend ; let no infidious note 
By adulation breath'd, your accents tune. 
Suffice it, Heaven command ; I grant the boon— 

And hail the favoured Mortal's happy lot ! 


** Go then, and where yon* bank repels the wave, 
A rufhy girdle cull, and gently lave 

His vifage, with a wan eclipfe o'ercaft ; 
Then cleanfe him from thefe deep Cimmerian ftains, 
ContraSed in thofe Heav'n-abandon'd plains. 

Left Heav*n*s bright Minifter his courfe arrefL 

^ No vapour from the Stygian pool below 
Muft flain the purenefs of that favoured brow. 

That hopes to pafs his fcrutinizing eye : 
That foftenM foil beneath is known to feed. 
With genial fap, the low and flexile reed. 

That cin£tur6S flill, for fouls contrite, fupply. 


** No fhadowy forefls here allure the fight, 
l^q long, green alleys promife cool delight ; 

&, xix.] A very proper Rq)roof to Virgil, (fee Stanza xiv.) 
intimating, that Cato knew he fpoke like a Poet in that extraor- 
dinary compliment-—'' the Charader of Ancient Republican, is well 
prcferved throughout.*' 

St. xxii.] The ncccffity of Humility, and our reiignation to 
the Divine WiU, as the firft flep to Penitence, is here allego- 
ricaQy defcribed. 

YoLi n. F Nor 

[ 66 2 

Nor plant nor ftem is here : of ftubbom grain 
The reed alone, that loves the wat'ry dale. 
And bends with ev'ry motion of the gale, 

Vefts the low borders of the myftic plain. 


** To this low ftrand, your footfteps turn no more j 
The riling Sun, that foon will gild the fhore. 

Your paffage up yon' e^y flope will guide." 
Thus fpoke the Sage, and inftant difappear'd ; 
Slow rifing from my knees, my looks I rear'd 

To Mantua's Pard, for words were yet deny'd, 

** Follow my fteps,*' he cryM, with mild command^ 
** Whirl'd the water fhelves the lowly ftrand. 

With gentle flope defcending tp the main." 
He ceas'd, and pomted to the eaftem Iky ; 
The pale wave tremblM, in the morning eye. 

Shedding her long beams o*er the wat'ry plain. 


Silent, we meafur'd down the deep defcent. 
Like men on fome ambiguous miflion bent ; 

That ufelpfs feems, till time its end difplay : 
Now Sol's afcending beams the dews exhale i 
I faw them mount upon the morning gale. 

As if afpiring to eclipfe the day. 


^* Cojne ! ere the moment of luftration part. 
Condemn our floth," he cry'd, with pious hafte ; 


C 67 ] 

And ftoopM, to fweep away the morning dew. 
I guefs*d his purpofe foon, and bending low. 
My pallid face fuffus'd with drops of woe, 

I felt him cleanfe the deep Cimmerian hue. 

RefrefhM, at length we reach the fetal ftrand. 
No vent'rous failor e*er retum'd to land. 

That in this water dipM the parting oar : 
The ready cindure there, my limbs embraced ; 
Yet when the defolating hand had pafs'd. 

Embattled foon they rofe, and clad the fhore. 

St. xxvii. /. 6. — Embattled foon they rofe,'] Intended to illuflratc 
the produdrve nature of the Chriflian virtues, when duly culti* 
▼ated— 7I9 htm tlx^ hath^ Jbdll he given. 



C 69 3 



The Poets, arriving at the Shore, fpy a VeiTel fleermg to the Land; 
its manner of (ailing, and its Paflengers, defcnbed. Among thefe, 
Dante meets with the departed Spirit of Case l la, an ancient 
friend of his, with whom he enters into converfation, till they' are 
utemipted by the Guardian of the Place. 

JN OW on Heav'n^s verge arrivM, the jocimd Sun^ 
Who on old Ziok's hallowed hills at noon 

Had look'd direft, and gilt her glitt'ring fmes} 
Slow-handed Night reversed his ebon car 
O'er India, in her van appeared the Star, 

Whofe radiant balance ne'er at reft remains'* 


Aurora late had ris'n from Tithon's bed. 
Her wan cheek tum'd at length to rofy red^ 

While far along the chiding beach we ftra/d ; 
Slowly we march'd, but Fancy fped before. 
And view'd our coming perils o'er and o'er^ 

Full on the tablet, of the mind difplay'd. 


C 70 ]. 

Soon, as the fiery eye of Mars afar. 

Thro* the dim evening looks revenge and war, 

0*er Ocean's brim, retiring to the weft. 
Seaward, a red wing'd meteor feem'd to fweep } 
No waving plume, that fkims the toiling deep. 

Sped o'er the fwelling flood with equal hafte. 


I tumM to Maro, with an anxious eye. 
And looked again, along the morning (ky ; 

The coming fplendour feem'd to gild the flood 
Wit;h brighter glance, and more diverging rays ; 
And now, difcernM amid the funny blaze. 

Its new-bom beam a fecond glory fliow'd. 


Silent, my Guide obfervM the meteor wave ; 
But when th* expanding wing the fignal gave. 

The Pilot and the pinnace both, he knew ; 
** This inftant bend the fuppliant knee," he cry'd; 
** With lifted hands falute the Heavenly Guide ; 

Soon other forms like his, fliall meet your view. 


** See, what the reasoning pride of man confounds ! 
No laboring oar divides thofe liquid bounds. 

No Ihifting canvafs courts the hallow'd gale ; 
Yon' heav'nward-pointed plumes, from fhore to fliore,- 
The veflel urge, contemning fail and oar ; 

Sky-tinftuT'd plumes, that never change, or fail." 

[71 3 


The dazzling Vifion now approached the coaftj 
My vifual powers, that feem'd in glory loft. 

Sunk at the fplendour of the Seraph's look j 
While the fwift veffel, fteer'd by art divine. 
Scarce dip*d, but feem'd to fkim, the level brine } 

No billow on hef fldes, infulting, broke. 

The heavenly Pilot at the helm was feeh^ 
A gUmpfe of glory lightened in his mien : 

A ghoftly fquadfon j rank'd in dim array, 
Fill'd the long deck, twice fifty in a throng ; 
From ftem to ftem they raised a general fong. 

Of Israel's triumph, and the foc^s difmay. 


Soon as the facred Pfalmody had CeasM, 
"Jhe welcome fign the ranfomM crew releasM j 

Si, viii. /. 6.] The firft line of the 1 14th Pfalm is given here in the 
original ; and the whole is fuppofed to be fung by thefe Spirits 2 
•* When Israel came out of Egypt — ^thc Sea faw it, and flc^." 
It is explained by all Commentators, as defcribing prophetically the 
redemption of our nature from fin and mifery, by the mediation of 
our Saviour. " If the divine prcfence had fuch an effeft upon 
inanimate matter, how ought it to operate upon rational ac* 
countable beings ? Let us be ftruck with a fuitable awe at the pr&- 
fence of God in the world ; by his providence, and by his Spirit in 
our confciences, that fo we may have hope and courage in the day 
when he arifes to (hake terribly th^ earth ; when every ifland fhall 
fly away, and the mountains fhall be no more found." Home on 
tbe 114th Pialm. 

F 4 While 

C 7* I 

WhUe on the fhore, the difembodied band^ 
New to their ftate, and wondering at the view. 
Stood gazing, as the facred barge withdrew. 

With light wing (leering from the level ftrand^ 

O'er all the plain, the glittering fiiafts of day 
Fell thick, as verging from his lofty fway 

Pale Capricorn forfook the point of prime: 
The Bard, and me, at laft the Phantoms fpy'd. 
And in a general peal of prayer apply^d. 

To learn the paifage to the hill fublime. 


^' You think, perhaps," retum'd theMANTUAN Guide, 
*' Strangers in our experience may confide ; 

But we are ftrangers too : this hour beheld 
Our painfril journey from the Gulph below ; 
No fportive voyage, but protraded woe, 

Whofe varied plagues almoft our manhood quell'd* 


'' Thofe Spirits, by my grofs material breath. 
Soon found, I ne'er had pafs'd the gates of death. 

And gathered all around, with pale amaze; 
As him whofe hand the peacefril olive brings. 
The thronging multitude furround in rings. 

And on each other tread, and juftling, gaze/' 


So gazM thofe wand'ring Shades, abforpt in thought^ 
In fhort oblivion of their dreadfril lot, 

6 And 

C 73 ] 

And the feared fcrutiny fo foon to come^j 
When they were doom'd to rife, by pam refined. 
From grofs fublunar dregs, to perfed: mind. 

And wing their voyage to th' empyreal dome^ 

But one I foon efpy'd, with eager hafte. 
Flinging his fliadowy arms around my waift; 

I try*d to clafp him trice, but ftrove in vain* 
Features of air ! how did you mock my fight! 
My empty hands I viewed with pale affright. 

As thro' his fides they pafs'd, tho' feen fo plain. 


The Phantom fmil'd, to fee my pale furprize; 
Gliding away, while with infadate eyes 

I followed, ftill reiblv'd to clafp a Shade, 
Till gently he advisM me to forbear : 
The voice I knew, once mufic to my ear. 

And for a moment's converfation pray'd. 


•* Ah, friend!" he cry'dj " that love, by Arno bred. 
Still haunts this breaft, and bums among the dead } 

Nor time, nor fate, can damp that veftal flame: 
That foul-conne£ting tie commands my flay. 
But who conduds you up this lonely way. 

When no embodied foul before you came ? 


*^ Ah, my Casella ! tho' this myflic bomne 
I reach again, I muft to earth return : 

St, xm /• i.—ffTf Casella] Casella was an eminent Muficiaa 
of Florsmcb, as much beloved by our Poet, as the famous Henrt 

C 74 I 

But tell me, why you pals'd the Gulph fo hte ? 
Where have you lingered, fmce you breathed your laft ?** 
«* O blame not A/'/w," the Shade retumM m hafte, 

•* Whofe mandate caus'd me long behind to wait i 


^ Full three revolving moons their crefcents closM, 
Since that great barrier, which our flight oppos'd, 

Acrofs the midland Gulph, was fwept away: 
Now frighted Ghofts, in a feftive fhoal. 
Are borne in triumph to the nether Pole, 

Till the great Jubilee's concluding day. 


^ In that bleft time, from earthly cares releasM, 
1 ftray'd, where Tvber fleeps on Neptune's breaft; 

The heavenly Pilot faw, and calPd aboard : 
There ftill he moors, and waits with lingering fail. 
For all, but thofe who to the darkfome vale 

Of Acheron are doom'd, a race abhorr'd! 

Dawet was by Millen, who, in his Sonnet to his Mufical Friend, 
mentions this interview of Dante with Casella : 
— " whom he woo'd to fing. 
Met in the milder Shades of Purgatory." 
St. xviii. L 6» '^great Jubilee's] The Jubilee at Romr wat 
fuppofed to be a time when a certain degree of favour was granted 
to departed Souls, as to the term of their probation. ** At other 
times,' ' (ays Vellutello, ** the difembodied Souls, defigned 
for Purgatory, are obliged to wait the allotted hour of embarkation | 
but in the year of Jubilee, all who are feledled for probation^ 
taken in promifcuouflyi and without delay." 

C IS ] 


** If the dread laws of this myfterious reign 
Permit you, ftill to fwell the lofty ftrain j 

Let that foft modulated voice once more 
Relieve my foul beneath its mortal weight : 
Half funk, and ftruggling in the toils of Fate, 

Ere yet allDwM to reach the happy fhore." 


Thus pray'd I, and with defcant foft and clear, 
(Even yet it feems to vibrate on my ear !) 

Of heavenly love he fung, in fuch a ftrain. 
That in rapt bands the fquadrons of the dead 
Attentive throng'd around the timefiil Shade, 

And quite forgot their peril, and their pain. 


Even Maro's mighty mind confefs'd the fpell, 
Far lefs could I the foft infedion quell ; 

But foon a ftemer found the mufic broke : 
The trembling Shades recoilM, when Cato came. 
And foon difpelPd the charm with eyes of flame. 

While his harfh mandate all th' aflembly fhook. 


** Hence ! hence, ye negligent ! your toils begin ! 
How dare ye linger on the verge of Sin ? 

St. xxiii. /• I.] The danger of relaxation, and being drawn afide 
by alluring objeds in the commencement of a religious courfe, is 
here pointed out. Nothing fo relaxes the vigour of the mind, necef- 
brf on this occa£on, as pleafure. The intervention of Cato is 


C 76 3 

Go ! climb yon' sdry fteq), and purge away 
That Stygian film, that clouds your mental fight^ 
And hides from yauj in deep Cimmerian night. 

The glorious profped of eternal day !'' 


As when a flock of doves along the plain 
Colled, with bufy bills, the golden grain. 

And leave their quarrek, and their loves, at reft ; 
If any foe the timorous flock furprife. 
They leave, th' unfinifli'd feaft, to feek the ikies. 

And find their appetite by fear fupprels'd. 


Thus Cato's voice his airy band controls. 
New to the habitudes of parted fouls ; 

VSHth whirlwind fpeed they leave th' unfinifliM fong. 
And to the hill in fcatter'd bands repair. 
As men at random run, unknowing where ; 

Nor on the fea-beat verge we linger'd long« 

finely cliani6teriftic ; w^ think we fee the man who ufed iicuuna 
«ro cvfiet yv/AMTMOK iff pyMf • iur%X» ** It wat his cuftom to render hit 
conftitution hardy by the nioft ferere cxerdfey and to bear the 
extremes of heat^ and the moft rigoroHS ftorms of winter, with un* 
covered head ; in all feafons, he performed his journey on fi^oCf 
fcoming the ufe of any vehicle." Flut. in Catons. 


C 77 3 



The Travellers prepare to afcend the Mountain, which they find 
more difficult to dimb than they had imagined. They ftand awlule 
m fufpenfe, till fome Spirits whom they meet, direfi them to find 
the dellined Path. Among thefe, they meet the Soul of Mas** 
FRBDy who was killed in the battle of Ceperamo. 

In vide difperfion o^er the facred field. 
The crowd, by reafon or remorfe impelled. 

Fled to the Mount ; while I remain'd bdow, 
Clofe to my faithful Guide : without his aid 
How could my feet the dang'rous pafs invade. 

Or how furmount the hilFs majeftic brow ? 


Like one that waver'd on the verge of Fate, 
I iaw him fland, as if in deep debate. 

Or to renounce the labour, or begin : 
All penitent, he feem'd to mourn his £siult.— < 
O matchlefs dignity of ftainlefs thought ! 

Thus bitter feems to jfwi the tafte of Sin ! 

[ 78 3 


While fenfe of deep decorum checked his hade, 
I found the moment of illufion pad ; 

My rapt foul, kindling at the awful call 
Of our great miiEon, dar*d a bolder flight : 
Anticipating that ftupendous height, 

Whofe fummit feem'd to prop the heav'niy hall. 


The Sun before me caft a flanting ray. 

My lengthening (hadow feem'd to lead the way ; 

No fecond Shade was feen : I tumM with dread 
The Mantuan Guide to find ; I deem'd him loft : 
Turning with mild regard, the gentle Ghoft 

ReproY*d my caufelefs fears, by fimcy bred^ 


•* Could you fuppofe me gone ? What weak diftruft ! 
Behold yon' Sun, this moment fees my duft 

By Naples reft, impearl'd by evening dew! 
Which, while I liv'd, with its attendant Shade, 
A breathing fubftance o'er Hesperia ftray'd. 

By HIS bright fplendours doubl'd to the view. 


** But wonder not, if now expos'd to day. 
My fme-fpun fabric thus admits the ray ; 

Like yon' sethereal vault, that bends around. 
Where blending lights, with lights innumerous crofs'd. 
Meet unopposed, and not a beam is loft. 

For ever mingling in the blue profound. 

Si. V. /. 6,— HIS higbij^bmhun'} The Strv's. 

[ 79 ] 


*' Why thefe flcy-woven forms, that feem to fly 
All mortal fenfe, can fuffer and enjoy 

Heav'n's blifs, and all th' extremes of fire and firoft,. 
That Power that fo decrees, can beft explain: 
Created plummet founds that depth in vain. 

In that J as in the Trinal Union, lofL 


*^ Too anxious mortals ! learn to be relignM ; 
Could the deep fecrets of th* Almighty mind 

Be feen, nor Sin nor Saviour had been. known: 
Defire to know, without the means, is giv'n 
To fome, by the myfterious will of Heav'n, 

Among the tortures of the nether zone. 


*' Great Stagirite ! and there, Athenian Sage, 
For this your forrows flow from age to age. 

Nor do you weep alone/* He hung his head; 
Alann'd to fee his fad dejefled air, 
I look'd, and faw the trace of wan defpair 

O'er his aerial lineaments difplay'd. 

St, yiii. /• 6« r — nor Sin nor Saviour had heenlnown^ i. e* *' If man 
had knowB the real reafon of the firft prohibitiony he would have 
known that the Tempter deceived himy when he told him, that, by 
eating the forbidden fruit, he fhould be as a God» knowing good 
and evil ; confequently, he would not have finned, and the neceflity 
i)f a Saviour would have been fuperfeded," Landing Vellutel* 


C 80 ] 


On, by the mountain's hallowed foot, we paft. 
And to a frowning ridge we reach'd at laft ; 

Far, far too fteep for human foot to climb : 
Thofe cloud<ap*d rocks, that feem to threat the ikies. 
Where Lerici's proud coaft to Tarbia pfies, 

Seem'd humble mole-hills, to this rock fublime* 


«* Who knows,^ exclaim'd my Guide, confiisM and 
•* Where Fate allows a pafs the hill to fcale ?^* [pale. 

Then, pondering, on the proud empalement gaz*d, 
** To mount yon* cKflfs an eagle's wing requires !" 
Thus he, while measuring thefe tremendous fpires. 

On their dark mifiy brows I kx>k'd amazM* 


Scanning thdr mighty round, I fpy'd below 
A caravan of fouls, advancing flow, 

.With foft pace, like the dial's moving (hade : 
By the tall rock they feem'd to flit along ; 
The Mantuan foon obferv'd the fhadowy throng, 

Whofe welcome prefence all his doubts allay'd* 


^ Defpond no more !'* the friendly Spirit cry'd ; 
^ Thofe Phantoms, if we fail, our fteps will guide ; 

We'll intercept them foon, they march fo flow.** 
I bow'd obedience: foon, with flying pace. 
The third part of a league, or more, we O^ace, 

And now could reach them with a bended bow* 

C 8i ]• 


To the rude cliff, that, like the brow of night, 
O'erlook'd the pafs, they clung with wild affright, 

Perufing my ftrange form, with haggard eyes, 
Confefling doubt and fear : but foon the Bard, 
Hailing the dark brigade with mild regard 

And friendly words, difpeird their new furprife. 


^* Selefted Tenants of the opening tomb. 
Who here appointed to an happier doom. 

Calmly await the formidable hand 
That moulds your hearts anew, our fuit befriend ; 
Shew, where with eafier flope thefe moimtains bend. 

The MENTAL PROGRESS ill cau bear a ftand.*' 


As Tenants of the fold in groupes advance. 
And fome flrange form perufe with timid glance. 

Each with uplifted head, and ftartled eye; 
tThro' each the fympathy of wild amaze 
Contagious runs, till all, attentive, gaze 

On the new prodigy, they know not why. 


As they, obfequious to their trembling Guide, 
Move, rally, flop, and (hift from fide and fide ; 

So, in flow countermarch, from rear to van. 
The ghofUy files advance, with meafur'd pace ; 
A deep compofure, and a manly grace. 

Touched with aethereal charm, their fisatures wan. 
Vol. IL G 

[ 8a 3 


But, when they fpy*d the intercepted Light, 
Where my long fhadow mark'd the rocky height 

All to Its bafe, with figns of dread, retired ; 
From rank to rank the pale infeflion flew. 
And each advancing line as foon withdrew. 

Till my fage Guide new confidence infpirM^ 


** Before your queftion comes, I freely own 
This Spirit bears a weight of blood and bone; 

And hence his moving fhadow parts the day : 
But think not ye, that no fupemal call 
Invites him here to climb the mundane wall. 

And find to other worlds his uncouth way.'* 


Thus fpoke the Bard, and thus the (hadowy tndn 
Reply M, ** Your footfteps you muft trace again j 

Turn back with us, arid try the right-hand path." 
They ceas'd. A Spirit from the crowd began : 
** Whoe'er thou art, high-favour*d Son of Man, 

Try, if you know your friend, difguisM by death. 


I tum'd me round, and mark'd his noble air. 
The gentle Vifion wav'd his golden hair. 

And inborn dignity his features fliow'd. 
As when the honours of the world he wore ; 
But half his manly face was fteep'd in gore. 

Which from his wounded brow inceflant flowed. 

[ 83 J 


I try*d my recolle£Uve powers in vain ; 
Still memory feemM no veftige to retain 

Of fuch a form : at length his bofom, gor'd 
By mortal fteel, the mighty Phantom bar'd ; 
" See Manfred here ! Sicilians King declared, 

Constantia's heir, difpatch'd by Anjou's fword ! 


** Go, tell my Daughter, (if you find the way 
Where yet (he lingers in the light of Day,) 

The tragic ftory of her Father's fate : 
Kerc'd by two mortal wounds, I fell in fight j 
But, to th' eternal Source of Life and Light, 

Falling, I raised my foul, nor pray'd too late, 


^^ Tho' deep in crimes, that all-embracing arm. 
That faves the weeping penitent from harm. 

If e'er, renewed by grace, he turns to God, 
Sav'd me : if proud Cozenza's lord had own'd 
That trut«, he had not caft^ froin h^llow'd groimd. 

My bones, to blanch by Verdes' fetal flood. 


•* Nor this fulBc'd the malice of die Prieft| 
He curs'd me ; but eterpal lov^ reles^'d 

The ranfomM foul ; that hope but rarely dies 
While the pulf^ plays : but he that holds in fconi 
The gofpel rites, muil linger here forlorn. 

Thrive ten, for every year he Heav'n defies." 


C 84 ] 

" This ftern decree, for ever fixM, remjuns, 
Unlefs prevailing prayers abridge his pains. 

O bid my Daughter's vows improve my lotl 
So may my wounded bofom know delight. 
When I, with others, take my timely flight. 

To purge my fin j for Time by pray'rs is bought; 

f^ From the tenor of the Poet's dodrmey from his rigid mora* 
lityy and the reafons mentioned in the Preliminary Difcourfey I can 
fcarcely bring myfelf to fuppofe, that Dante, in this and other 
inftancesy meant to encourage hopes frx>m a death-bed repentance, 
or a few pious thoughts on the article of death : but, if we tak^ 
the allegorical fenfe, what he fays of fudden repentance, before ad- 
miflion to the rules of luftration or penance, will apply to fudden 
converfion: inilances of which, no doubt, have ocQurred in all ages} 
more rarely, however, among profefled Chriftians. Even that expref- 
fion, " There is joy in Heaven over Mejiuner that repenteth," &c* 
denotes how fddom we may expefk the occurrence of fuch examples^ 
For the Story of Manfred, fee the Hiftoncal EiFay prefixed to 
the Infe&mo. 


C 85 1 



Virgil and Dante leave the Society of Spirit Sy among whom 
they had met with Manfred; and afcending by a narrow pafs 
up the Mountain, perceive a number of Souls who had delayed 
their Penitence ; among whom they find the Spirit of Bel a cq^ A* 

When whelming forrows plunge the foul in night. 
Or joy diffufes round a golden light ; 

The mighty image all its power employs : 
All other forms, by Paffion 'S tyrant fway. 
On the fine tablet of the Mind decay. 

By anguifh blotted, or exhaled by joys, 


Nojecond foul (as fome too fondly deem) 
In tht/ame bofom feels the fierce extreme 

Of blefs or torture, while its fellow ftrays ; 
And on the plume of Fancy rides fublime, 
0*er many a moon-light fcene and magic clime. 

And no rude impulfe from witboutj obeys. 

St. i. /. 2.] The ancients divided the foul into the animal^ theyJ«- 

Jitivey and the rational. On the cultivation of the latter, they held that 

our moral improvement depended. Sec Preliminary Effayi fcft. iv. 


[ 86 ] 


This truth my Spirit feiz^d without control, 
While fix'd on Manfred, my abftrafted foul 

Perceiv'd not, how the Day's afcending King, 
Two fhining decades of degrees had pafs'd. 
And more, fince firft above the wat'ry wafte 

He woke the hours, to dance their daily ring. 


But foon my Fancy drop'd her vagrant plume. 
When, clofe at hand, the Tenants of the tomb 

Exclaim'd, *' Behold the narrow pafs you fought I** 
But, fuch a pafs ! a peafant, with his prong. 
That guards his viny colonnades from wrong. 

Could, with a fingle faggot, clofe the grot. 


No gentle flope the mounting pathway (howM, 
Leo's aerial ridge, that fronts the flood ; 

NoLi's afcent, Bismantua's cloudy height. 
By human feet have oft been crofs'd of yore : 
But wings alone, methought, could waft us o'er 

Thofe rocks, that feem'd to tower above the fight* 


But {brong defire to pierce the dark retreat, 
Gave ready pinions to our flying feet. 

St. V. /. 2.L£0— ] Sanleo> a city in the Duchy of Urbino. 
/. 3. Noli— 3 ^ ^^^Y hctween Finale and Satona in 

the territory of Genoa. 
BiSMAHTUA— ] A hill in Lomba&dy. 


C 87 3 

And Maro feem'd a walking lamp before : 
A gloomy arch beneath the rock we paft, 
Whofe low-depending concave checked our hafte. 

As low we crept along the ftony floor. 


We pafs'd the cavern, and the ridge we climb ; 
With fwimming eyes I viewed the height fublime, 

And caird in hafle, " Ah ! whither muft we move?" 
** Plant well your foot," the cautious Bard reply'd : 
*' Deftru£Uon yawns below, if once you Aide ; 

Another Guide will meet you foon above/* 


I look'd aloft, and fpy'd a rocky mound, 

Whofe fummit feem'd to pierce the blue profound : 

From this ftupendous wall the fight recoil'd* 
Above th' aerial Gulph, fuperb, and fteep. 
The barrier flood, and feem'd afar to keep. 

All lefs than Angels, from its bar exil'd. 


" O Father, flop !'* I cryM ; " or here below 
I muft remain, a fpefhtcle of woe V 

*' Yet one exertion more," the Poet cry'd. 
And fhow*d a rocky ledge, abrupt and high. 
That feem'd fufpended in the middle fky. 

Bordering all round the rocky circuit wide. 


Spurr'd by the high conunand, aloft I fpning. 
And to the beetling rock, injlin£tive, clung -, 

G4 TUl 

C 88 ] 

Till that aereal round I reachM at laft : 
Beneath its folemn brow, in profpeft, lay 
The various world ! above, the Lord of Day, 

O'er land, and fea, a finile of radiance caft. 


Eaftward I lookM, and faw the Sun, difmayM; 
How to the right he caft my following Shade, 

Kindling the northern fky with wheels of flame. 
The Poet faw my doubts, and thus began : 
•* If now, between the Twins, yon* chariot ran. 

His beams would gild the Bear's unwieldy frame. 


^ Such 18 his rule, unlefs th' Almighty causjz. 
Would deign to change his long-eftabliih'd laws : 

This truth is clear, if you recal to mind. 
That holy Zion's fpires, on Asia's coaft, 
Down to the Nadir point, while here oppos'd^ 

We leave her fummit, half the world behind. 


** When morning on the verge of Heaven appears 
To usy revolving on di' eternal fpheres. 

Fair Cynthia, with her ftars, illumes their Pole; 
That car, which Phaeton could ill command. 
Thus runs, difpenfing light from land to land, 

Crofles the line, and turns from goal to goal : 

St. %i, xii, ziii.] By this periphraiis, the Poet means, that die 
Sun's courfe» to thofe in the Southern hemifphere, (where he now 
wa6>) feemcd to be dircfted through the Northern coaficOationSiF— 

3 The 

C 89 ] 



ITiat Line, which Winter's rigid reign divides. 
And that bleft clime where Summer ftill prefides. 

Southward is feen from Palestine to run : 
With us, it feems the Northern clime to bound ; 
Where Phoebus' wheels defcribe their flaming roimd. 

And cold Arcturus darkens in the Sun." 


AlarmM, I cryM, « O tell, diftinguifliM friend ! 

How iar we ftill are deftinM to afcend ; 

For ftill this mighty mound exceeds my fight !*' 
Mild he reply'd, " The nature of this hill 
Is fuch, it feems to grow more eafy flill, 

As upward we afcend its dizzy height. 

^* Soon will you move along with equal eafe. 

As the Hght Brigantine before the breeze ; 

Then fhall you foon forget your tranfient care : 
Let this enliven hope— I dare no more/* 
•* Tet here you may repofe^^ a Voice before 

Reply'd, foft whifp'ring thro' the ftilly air. 

The Sun was now in Aries ; but had he been in GEMmi, he 
would have appeared ftill nearer to the North Pole. 

The Mountain of Probation (where they now were) is fuppofed 
to be in the Southern hemifphere, dire6lly oppoiite tojERusALEM, 
in the North. 

St^ xiv. /. 1 • Thai Line — ] the Equator and Ecliptic $ ^hich paiTeg 
through the torrid Zone and divides the temperate and frigid Zones ; 
£eeiii8 to thofe in the Northern henufphere to run South, and to 
diole in the Southern honifphere it appears to the North. This is tp 
be underftood of thofe under an oblique fpheret in both fituations. 

4$*/. XV. /. 5. Isjiichf itfeenu to grow more eafyJUtUi^ Denoting 
l3ie growing facility of virtuous habits. 

C 90 j 

Quick turning round, at this myfterious call. 
We faw a rock, projeSing from the wall, . 

Which neither he nor I before had fpy'd : 
Beneath, a cohort of the dead were feen. 
Sunk in its fhade, as indolent of mien 

As if no future cares their minds employ'd. 


There One, that feem'd quite weary of his ftate. 
With arms around his knees defponding fat. 

And 'twixt his hands, his languid face reciin'd: 
** O Maro ! view that haplefs man," I faid,' 
♦* Too indolent he feems, to feek for aid j 

Sloth is his fifter, or in wedlock join'dj 



He had not power to lift his lumpifh head. 
But upward lookM afkance, with eye of lead. 

And viewed me, with a dull, malignant glare : 
1 knew him then; and, tho' with labour fpent^ 
Clofe to this Slave of Negligence I went. 

While thus he fpoke, with keen, ironic air : 


** You traveled far, to fee the Lord of Day 
Thus to the left purfue his wond'rous way." 

St» XX. /. I.] The Poet proceeded wcftwardy with the Mountik 
on the right, confequently the Sun (in the North) appeared on the 


C 91 ] 

His fpeech laconiCj and his lither look^ 
Provoked my fmile. " To meet you here/' I cry'd, 
** Aflfords me joy; but why thus unemployed? 

How can Belacqua lurk beneath this rock V 


«* Why fliould I mount ?'* the languid Shade retumM, 
•* When from yon' entrance of the cliflF I'm fpum'd, 

By the ft em Marfhal, who attends the gate : 
The Sun as oft muft run its annual round. 
As erft I liv'd in Folly's fetters bound. 

Ere to the welcome fcourge I pafs the Strait. 


** If interceding pray'rs avail me nought. 

Sent from a foul, with heav'nly fervour fraught. 

So long I here muft watch the wheel of Time : 
But vain and ufelefs are the vows that life ; 
(The* fent inceffant to th' offended Skies, 

From hearts polluted by the taint of crime)." 

Si* xxL L 3.3 The confinement of tHe Negligent in the veftibule 
of Purgatory, for a fpace proportioned to that which they had 
abufedy by delaying their penitence* f . e, Jince they had heard the 
call of grace; points out the growing difficulties of the ta(k, and 
the danger of delay : as habits are daily acquiring ftrength, the in* 
fluence of things prefent over things future, hourly extending, and 
even the hope of future penitence contributing to continue the pemi* 
dous fallacy. That the Poet means here the probations of this 
life, may be prefumed, from what occurs in the Ninth Canto, where 
thofe who look hacl^ as they pafs the gate^ are mentioned as liable to 
iolUnt cxclufion. 

C 9^ 3 

But now, the Poet brook'd no more delay : 

** Come on," he cryM : " behold the car of Day, 

Marks the meridian line, with burning wheel : 
While dim Night, moving from her eaftem pale. 
With moony diadem, and cloudy veil. 

On Mauritania plants her fliadowy heel/* 


I 93 3 


The Travellers, in their Progrefs among the Tribes of the Negli- 
gent, meet with the Spirits of thofe who had been furprifed by 
violent Death, before their Repentance was completed. Some xrf 
their Names, and Stories, are mentioned. 

JN OWy onward, parting from this Shade, I pafsM 
After the Bard, with renovated hafte ; 

When near, a ftartling Voice was heard to cry : 
** Seie, how that Spedtre intercepts the light ! 
From him no fliadow falls from left to right : 

In earthly fhape he feems the Pais to try." 


I tumM me at the fomid, and faw, amazM, 
Where on the darkened wall more Spedres gazM : 

** Why do you march fo flow," exclaim'd my Guide ; 
^* Can murmurs move you ? Let them whifper on. 
And bid your Reafon firmly keep its throne. 

And o'er the fortre& of the Mind prefide. 

[ 94 ] 


" He, that permits his Fancy thus to flray. 
With ev'ry lure, will rarely find his way 

To that great end, to which his foul is bent : 
For gathering fancies warp the fleady light 
Of Reafon's beam, and leave her whelm'd in nighty 

For ever baffled of her firft intent." 


" Inftant, I follow ;*' was my fole return, 

With Shame's warm tint my cheek began to bum ; 

Claiming forgivenefs, with a filent plea : 
When, from the Coaft averfe, a plaintive ftrain 
Was heard, harmonious, from a viewlefs train ; 

Who fung, ** In Mercy ^ Heaven ! remember me. 


5"/. iii. /. I. He^ that permits — ] " Reason, here peifopi^ed by 
Virgil, (hews the danger of loitering among the Neg^gent,^ (f/ 
the Commentators. But the particular danger guarded againft 
here, feems to be a deiire of attrading particular notice in the be* 
ginning of Reformation ; and a too minute and pragmatical at* 
tention to the moral ilate of others, inftead of employing all our 
diligence upon our own concerns : both particulariy noticed by 
our Saviour in his Sermon on the Mount, and cenfured on feveral 
occafions in the condu6l of the Pharisees. 

St. iv. A 6.] Another prcfumption occurs here, that the 
probation of this life is only meant by the Poet. The Pfalm 
which thefe Spirits are defcribed as finging, is the 51ft, or 
ilrii Penitential P(alm, where the Sinner prays for the mercy of 
God, by offering feveral pleas. His own mifery, and the Di- 
vine compaflion, which delights to relieve that mifery ; the fenfe 
of guilt, which can only be removed by the great propitiatory 
facrifice, and the ftain that it leaves, which only can be detnfed 
by the operation of the Holy Spint. He does not palliate hi« 


r 9s ] 


But vrhen they faw my Shadow paint the ground. 
They changM their Pfalm to a difcordant found ; 

And two fleet Couriers, iffuing from the van. 
With eager looks approached the Mantuan Guide ; 
•* O clear this doubt !'* afar the Speftres cry*d j 

" Is this a Phantom, or an earthly Man ?*' 


The Bard reply'd, " Return from whence ye came ; 
Tell them, this foul infpires a mortal fi^me ; 

Whofe walking Shadow caus'd their panic fear : 
Let this fuffice them, (if my words they truft,) 
And welcome to your fhores this breathing buft j 

Hi? Mufe may much avail you, hence or here." 

fyaltf (wfaidi h his fecond plea,) but acknowledgers it in all its 
enormity, with the aggravation of Ingratitude to a good and gra- 
pous Father ; and becaufe God alone knows the fins of men, and 
lie alone can dry up the fource of corruption, which he laments 
as their caufe, but does not plead as their excufe, his corredlion 
makes him perceive, in the mofl impreffive manner, that God, not 
contented with fuperficial goodnefs, requires truth in the inward 
parts ; and prays fervently for purification by the Holy Ghofl, 
through the great propitiatory facrifice. All this imphes a flate 
of improvement, yet in progrefiQon, and liable to lapfe ; otherwife 
this Iblemn Hymn, confiding of fuch eameft Petitions, would be 
inconiiftent with the Hate of thofe who were certified of their 
final allotment. It is to be obferved too, that they fing the Pfalm 
throughout, a verfo^ a verfo ; though only the firft hne be given in 
the original : thefe, it is true, are defcribed as having fallen in bat« 
Cti but I am inclined to thinks that the warfare meant here, it 


C 9^ 3 

In Autumn's windy clofe, a (hooting Star, 
Glancing acrofs pale Ev'ning's umberM car. 

Or the fhort glimpfes of a Summer's Sun, 
When 'gainft the driving rack he feems to ride. 
Are dull and tardy to the living tide. 

That round in gloomy bands were feen to run. 


BefiegM we flood, by many a wondering foul j 
Too eager far, they feem'd to bear control : 
Reprefs your fears," the gentle Poet faid ; 

They're ftippliants all, nor mean you any harm r 
Liften to what they fay, without alarm ; 

Nor let your arduous journey be delay'd.'* 


" O THOU ! that bear'ft thy high-diftinguifliM clay 
(A gueft ftupendous) to the realms of day, 

A moment check thy hafte," they cry'd aloud : 
** Mortal ! contemplate thofe wan files, and try. 
If any known refemblance meet thine eye. 

Oh ! flay, and gratify a fuppliant crowd ! 


^ Behold thofe wounds ! we all in battle fell ; 
In Sin we liv'd, and feem'd the heirs of Hell ; 

only fpiritual, and that their cafe was like Datid's, who, by an 
heavy judgment, was recalled to a fenfe of his guilt, and the ne- 
ccflBty of repentance. See Horn e and Mu dg e on the 5 i ft P£dm. 

The Spirit who is introduced here, is Jacopo ds Cassera, 
« Nobleman of Famo, who was aflai&nated by order of Azzo 
the Third, Duke of Ferrara, for having given his chaxa&er too 


[ 97 ] 

But Mercy found us in the lateft hour : 
At once Repentance all its tafk perform'd, 
High Heav'n, with loud invading prayers, we ftormM, 

And foon the Source of Love became our dower.** 

• • 

** I trace your looks/* I cry*d, " with ftudious eye ; 
Yet no analogy I there can fpy. 

That fpeaks you known to me in former times ; 
And yet a noble 'femblance all difplay : 
Explain your wifh ! FU help you as I may ; 

So may I reft at length in heav'nly climes.'* 


** No folemn oath we claim ! your words fufEce,** 
A Shade returned, " if Heav'n the power fupplies: 

Lift then to me, if e'er you tread the wafte. 
That, 'twixt Romagna and th' Apulian coaft. 
Extended lies ; bid them who mourn me loft. 

Pray for my paffage to the Realms of Reft. 


** From Fano's diftant land I drew my blood. 
But met my fate, by Po's refounding flood j 

And pour'd, thro* many a wound, my life away : 
I thought to 'fcape, and to the marfhes fled ; 
The cruel hunt Ferrara's rufiians led. 

And made my death a flight offence repay. 


** Had MiRA hid me in her friendly (hade. 
When toward Oriaco by Fate conveyM, 
Vol. n. H The 


C 98 ] 

The tide of life had ftill fupply'd my veins : 
I fought the fens, nor there a refuge found. 
Entangled in the reeds, they hemm*d me round. 

And life's warm current dy*d thofe fatal plains. 

Another Ghofl began : " If ftrong defire 
Of Heav'n, has led you up yon' rocky fpire, 

O let your piety remember me ! 
I boaft the blood of Montefeltro's line, 
My fpoufe, my kindred, (ah ! no longer mine,) 

For me refufe to bend the fuppliant knee. 


** For this, and my negleft, I wander ftill. 
With down-caft eyes around this fteepy Hill.^ 

" What chance,** I cry*d, ** from Campaldino bore 
Your corfe, amid the flaughter fought in vain ; 
Fame told your fell on that enfanguin*d plain ; 

In vain your kindred fearch*d it o*er and o*er.^ 



5"/. xvi. /. 4, Tour corf c — ] Buoncentf. Di Mentefeltr* 
was killed in battle againft the Guclfs at Casentino. HU 
body not being found on the field of battle, and a great tem- 
ped arifmg immediately after, gave occafion to the following fic- 
tion. The treatment of his body by the Demon may denote, ac- 
cording to the allegorical hypothefis, the fligmatic marks often 
left upon the bodies of finners, for a warning to others, even when 
their minds are reformed. Sec Villani, lib. vii. cap. 130. 

St. Augustine's opinion of the power of Demons over natural 
bodies, is thus cxprefFed : ** Ommt mutaiio corforalium rerum qust 
Jiai poiejifer oKjuem vuiwUm nahmkmper Dammem^pm fotefi^* 

C 99 ] 


** From Appenine/* he faid^ " a dream defcends, 
By Camai^doi.i*s walls its current bends. 

Till in proud Arno's wave its name is loft : 
There, o*er the bloody foil by terror chas'd, 
I bore a (haft, that thro* my neck had pafs*d. 

And, *reft of fight and fpeech, my limbs repos'd. 


** In Mary's name, I breathed my lateft pray*r ; 
Released, my foaring Spirit wing'd the air ; 

Aloft, an heav'nly Purfviivant was feen, 
CommiffionM from the Iky : but foon below, 
A fwarthy Claimant, from the world of woe, 

Rofe, with funereal yell, and rufli'd between.* , 


** How dare you feize my right ?" aloud he cry'd ; 
** Is it becaufe a tear was feen to glide 

Down his wan cheek, before he breath'd his laft ? 
Muft that an endlefs fount of blifs fupply ? — 
f— Yet not in peace the Caitiff's corfe fhall lie. 

If yet I rule the rude aerial blaft. 


** Thofe vapours that ufurp the ambient ikies. 
Till to the frigid element they rife ; 

That checks their pride, and fends their liquid ftored 
In rainy deluges ; the Demon caught, 
And in long range his gloomy fquadrons brought. 

To pour their ftormy rage on Arno's ihore. 


** From Appenine the cloudy veil he drew. 
Till Pratomagro's plains were loft to view ; 

While fuUen Eve was feen, with dufky hand. 
To add the texture of her Stygian loom ; 
The fky put on a formidable gloom. 

And ruffling winds obey'd his ftem command. 


** Down came the floods, with aggravated roar. 
Each fwimming foffe was fiird from fhore to fhore. 

And eager all to join tji' imperial flood : 
Proud, and majeftic, like himfelf, they (hew ; 
And, fweeping down the floated vallies, go. 

Neither by dyke, nor fhelving mound, withftood. 


** Proud Archiano, rifmg in his wrath, 
Bore my pale body from the field of Death ; 

Loofmg the facred knot my arms had made 
Acrofs my breaft ; there, long at random tofs'd. 
Now on the bank, and now in Arno loft ; 

Till on my limbs a mount of fand he laid." 

Another Voice, in gentler tones, began : 
•* When you revifit earth, diftinguifh'd Man, 

St. xxiii. /. I. Proud Akchiaso — ] Archiano, a river thit 
runs bto the Arno^ near Cascntino. 

4 Remember 

C loi ] 

Remember me. Siena gave me birth. 
PiA my name. Maremma faw my doom. 
My hufband marked me for th* untimely tomb, 

Far from my kindred ftem, and native earth.'' 

St, xxiv. /. 4. Pi A — "I Pi A, the wife of Signorc Nello de la 
PiETRA, of Siena, who, being jealous of his fpoufe, had her 
aiTaflinated at Makemma. Landing Vellutello, Volpi^ 



C 103 3 



Continuing ftill their Journey through the Region of the Negli* 
gent, they meet with the Spirit of Bordello, a Mantuan^ 
who condoles with Vircil, oa the Corruption of Manners ia 
their native Country. 

When conquerM in the long-revolving game. 
The mournful Lofer (its abforb'd in fhame. 

And fadly ponders on each doubtful cafl : 
The Vidlor, 'midft the crowd, triumphant goes. 
Congratulating friends his paflage clofe. 

And high he feems, on Fortune's fummit plac'd* 


To each in turn, a lift'ning ear he lends. 
And each in turn, a ready hand extends. 

To fhare his fpoils, and with the gift retires^: 
So I, bell eg'd by this unbody'd crowd. 
To each in turn, fome future fervice vow'd. 

And won my palTage thro' the fhadowy choirs. 


C 104 ] 

There the fad Ghoft of Benincasa ftood. 
Whom Ghino's deadly hand baptized in blood ; 

^/. ill. /. I. — Ghoft o/* Benincasa] Benincasa of AREZZO^a 
Magiftrate of Siena, he having, in the courfe of his office, taken 
prifoner, and put to death, the Brother of Ghino de Tacco, a 
noted robber, in his way to Rome was intercepted and murdered 
by Ghino and his Gang. A remarkable Story is told of this 
Freebooter, in the De came rone of BoccACio (Gcor. x. 
Nov. 2.), 

Having been driven from his country, he long infefted the roads 
between Radicofani and Rom£. An Abbot of Cligni, then 
refident at Rome, who had been long aiRi£led with a malady in 
his ftomach, refolved to try the Waters of Radicofani, for his 
recovery. He accordingly repaired thither with a large retinue ; 
but on the way he fell into an ambufcade prepared for him by 
Ghino, who had him and his train conduced into a ftrong CafUe 
which he pofTefTed, where he made his appearance to the Abbot, 
and, with great fecming humility, enquired the rcafon of his Jour- 
ney. The Abbot was long (ilent ; but when his indignation had a 
little fubfided, he condefcendcd to tell him, that the (late of his 
kealth had occafioned this excurfion. The robber took his leave, 
and gave orders that he (hould be confined in a room in which a 
large fire was lighted. There he was kept falling for four and 
twenty hours, at the end of which he was very fparingly regaled 
with fome dry toad and wine. This regimen was repeated once or 
ti»nce, till the appetite of the Patient was fo completely recovered, 
that he devoured fome dry honeycomb, which he found in his room. 
Ghino then appeared to him, and apologized for his meagre fare ; 
but afTured him that he had proceeded in his cure entirely by me- 
dical rules which he had ftudied in his youth. He accounted for 
his way of life, by the peifecution of his enemies ; invited the Ab- 
bot to a fplendid entertainment ; and, in fine, reflorcd his retinue, 
his horfes, and every thing of which he had deprived him. The 
Abbot was fo grateful for his double dcliverancci that he, on his 


And HE, whom erft his madding courier bore. 
And plung'd in Arno, while he chac'd his foes : 
Here, with lopped arms. Novella wail'd his woes. 

With Farinata, fam'd on Pisa's Ihore. 

return, obtained not only his pardon from the Pope, but the grant 
of a large and well-endowed Priory, where this Ruffian ended hi» 
days in peace and affluence. This Pope was the famous Boniface 
the eighth, 

St, iii. /. 3. jind he — ] Cione de Tarlati, in an en« 
gagement with a tribe of the Bostoli, purfuing his enemies too 
far, his horfe took fright, and plunged with him into the Arno. 

St. iii. /. 5. — Novella] Killed ia battle with the Bostoli. 

5/. iii. /. 6. — Farinata] Farinata de Pisa, alfo flain by 
one of the Bostoli. His father. Mar zu ceo, was a Noblemaa 
of Pisa. A fmgular Story is told, of his entrance into one of the 
Religious Orders. On his journey through a folitary place, he wag 
met by a Snake of an enormous fize, by which he was fo terrifiedy 
that he made a vow on the fpot, that, if he (hould efcape, he 
would renounce the world, and enter into a Monaftery. His prayer 
was heard, and the vow was pundlually fulfilled. He became a 
Friar Minor, and lived a mod exemplary hfe. On hearing of 
the death of his fon, he bore it not only like a Philofopher^ but like 
a Chriflian. Not content, however, with pailive fortitude, he took 
an a6live part in reconciling his Family with that of the Bostoli, 
by one of whom his Son had been killed. He prevailed upon the 
two Families to confent to a public meeting, to which he repaired ; 
and after a pathetic harangue upon the evils of Difcord, he (b- 
lemnly approached the AfTailin of his Son, and kifled his hand be- 
fore the whole Aflembly. This had the defired efife^i ; and there 
was an end put to a bloody and inveterate feud, by a ftrange con- 
currence of circumftances. 

The Serpent who, by a fate very unufual in his fpecies, had been 
anftrumental in propagating peace and harmony, did not (they (ay) 
profit by tke example ; but, following his old courfa of depreda- 

C io6 3 


Thro* him, his Father's fame will ftill furvive, 
Leffon'd by Chriflian patience, to forgive 

The bloody hand that laid his offspring low r 
Pale Orso, with Another, flood behind, 
Whofe vital thread calumnious art imtwinM ; 

A flighted Queen procurM his overthrow. 

But, penitent at laft, fhe told her crime, 
Elfe Heav'n had doomed her to a lower clime. 

In the black bands of perfidy enrolled : 
All thefe I pafs'd ; and all, with fuppliant air, 
Befought, with tears, an interceding pray*r. 

To fpeed their paffage to Emmanuel's fold. 

tion^ fell at laft in unequal combat, and by ignoble foes. His chief 
hodilities had been dirc6led againft the hog-fties, and the fle(h of 
young pigs was his favourite regale* The Peafants being much 
annoyed by this formidable Plunderer, and not venturing to aflail 
him in pcrfon, contrived (as it is faid) to coUeA the Mothers of the 
Vidims around his principal haunt, with fome of their young. The 
Serpent, who, hke Camilla in Virgil, 

— Prsedae, et fpoHorum ardebat amore, 
was allured from his hiding-place, and too inconfiderately attacked 
the troop, who afTailed him in front and rear, and foon difpatched 
him. Landino Vellutello. 

^/•iv. /. 4. Ptf/r Orso— ] Orso, fon to Count Napoleons 
Di Cerbaia, killed by his Uncle ; the caufe unknown. 

^—<witb Another] Pier de Broccia, or de Brus, fa- 
vourite of Philip le Bel, King of France. The Nobles, it is 
faid, being jealous of his power with the King, incited the Queen 
a^ainft him, who accufed lum of an attempt upon her chaiUty. 


[ 107 3 

Pcrplex'd with doubts, I thus the Bard addrefsM : 
** A difF'rent tenet erft your Mufe profefs'd ; [cree : 

That pray'rs were rendered vain, by Heay'n's de- 
Yet thofe inceflant pray to change their doom ; 
Can they prevail ? Or, does the clofing tomb 

For ever interdid their fervent plea ?** 


^^ Have I mifunderftood your ancient ftrain ?*' 

T^e Mantuan quick reply'd : " My text is plain; 

Yet on a folid bafe their hopes rely : 
Eternal Juflice ftill demands its due, 
Tho' melting Mercy o'er the fuppliant crew 

Spreads her foft plumage, and unlocks the (ky. 


** Love's interceffion wipes the guilt away ; 
He brought a beam of everlafting day. 

Long ere the promised dawn, to gild their gloom : 
Thofe prayers I mentioned in my Epic ftrain. 
To the bright throne of Mercy rofe in vain. 

When Juftice had announced the Sinner's doonu 

He was condemned, and put to death, without trial ; but the King 
finding out his innocence too late, fentenced his accufer to the 
flames, although her remorfe made her difclofe the fatal fecret^— 
Landing Vellutello. 
St. vii. /.I.] The line of Virgil he alludes to here, is this : 
Define fata Deum fle6ti fperare precando. 
But this is faid by Virgil, in regard to eternal rewards and punKh- 
ments. In this life, at leall, our own prayers, and if not, the prayers 
of others, the intercefiion of a Mediator may prevail for us. Our 
o«m certainly will, if accompaaied with true peoitencCy while we 
axe 10 a flate of probation. 

[ io8 ] 


*' But tangle not yourfelf in doubts profound. 

In time, they fliall be cleared, on heav'nly ground ; 

When Heav'n's fair Delegate (hall pour the day 
Of wifdom on your foul. Yon* lofty cone • 
She vifits oft, and cheers the nether zone 

With fmiles, reflefting Heaven's unclouded ray.*' 


" O gentle Mantuan ! hafte we hence,'* I cry*d ; 


A moment's reft my members has fupply*d 
With vigour new, and fouthward fiiUs the Shade, 
Slow verging from the fteady point of noon.** 
" Hafte !** cry*d the Poet, " we'll o'ertake the Sun ; 
But long exertion ftill muft firft be made. 


" Before your winding journey fees an end. 
Yon* lamp, that now declines, muft re-afccnd j 

And in the vaward of the Welkin glow : 
As now he feems to quit his lofty poft. 
And leaves your Shade in deeper umbrage loft. 

Where the tall Mountain bends its folemn brow.** 

" But who is he,** I alk'd, « whofe ftedfaft look 
Obferves our progrefs, from that craggy nook ? 

Si. ix. /, 2. In ttmt — ] Denotes the time taken to form good hi» 
bits, and the introdudlion to Sordello the Mantuan, (a Poet 
and Biographical Compiler of the Lives of illufbious Men,) ihewt 
the neceflity of having recourfe to great cxamplet, to fonn good 
habits. Vellutello. 


Perhaps he'll deign to point th* afcending path. 
In ftem folemnity the Spirit flood. 
An inborn dignity of foul he fliew*d, 

Yet imextinguifh^d by the hand of Death. 


Afkance ; and, as a couchant lion eyes 

His thoughtlefs viftim, when he means furprife ; 

The Shade perus'd us : when, approaching near. 
The gentle Bard enquired the ready way : 
The Ghoft demurred, but bade us firft difplay. 

What caufe had led us from the nether Sphere. . 

But when the name of Mantua firft he heard. 
The melancholy Shade his vifage cleared ; 

And, to the Bard, defcending from his poft. 
With a faint gleam of nafcent joy, he came. 
And cry'd, " Our native country is the fame ; 

I was SoRDELLo once, on Mincio^s coaft.** 


Then, ah ! how clofe thefe loving fouls embraced j 
Hear it, proud Latium ! by thy Sons difgrac'd ; 

Unaided barque ! the fport of ev'ry gale ! 
Sink of pollution from each neighboring clime ! 
0*er which thine ancient Sceptre wav*d fublime ! 

Mark what I faw, and blufh to hear the tale ! 

Si. XV. /. I.] From this Milton fecms to have taken the hint 
af thofe lines in the Second Book of Paradife Loft : 
O ihame to Men ! devil with devil damn'd, 
Finn concord holds* Men only dilagree 


C "o 3 


In thofe foul-harrowmg climes, the very name 
Of Italy awoke a fudden flame 

Of concord, and of love ; while all around 
Wild Faffion fcours your plains from fea to fea; 
And Civil Rage, that fcoms Religion's plea. 

Rings round your fhores, by lading feuds renownM I 

Search from thy midland hills to either main. 
For them that fofter Peace : you fearch in vain i 

— ^Ah ! what avails that pure and equal law 
Justinian gave, if now the lineal Throne 
No more its old imperial Lord will own. 

To fandion right, and hold your foes in awe ? 


His noble code is thy eternal fhame : — 

Some fmall indulgence yet thy Sins might claim. 

Of creatures rational, tho' under hope 
Of heav'nly grace, and God prodainuag Peace j^ 
Yet live in battle, enmity, and ftrife, 
Among themfclves, and levy cruel wars ; 
Wafting the earth, each other to deftroy ; 
As if (which might induce us to accord) 
Man had not hellifli foes enew befide^ 
That day and night for his deftru£tion wait ! 

St. xvii. /. 4. — the Ftneal tbroncy &c.] That Dante was at- 
tached to the Imperial Faction, appears from many parts of hit 
writings.^For the reafons, fee the Hiftory prefixed to the Iw- 
FE&No« — See alfo Giannone's Hiftory of Naples, for the 12th 
and 13th centurieiy pailim; and Fvlleil's Hiftory of the Holy 
War, Books I. and IL 

Hadft thou to C-ffis ar giv'n the reins to hold ; 
And ownM the laws of Heav'n, or underftooi— 
Oh ! royal German ! fee how wild and rude. 

Your proud Steed fcours the champain uncontroi*d ! 


He has not felt the fpur for many a Moon ; 
A little difcipline would tame him foon. 

When once his wanton back fuftains the load : 
Oh ! may the curfe, the negligent deferve. 
Follow all thofe, who thus fupinely fwerve 

From duty's honeft call, and fhame their blood I 


What have you fufferM, and your Father's Ghoft, 
For having left your old and facred poft. 

The Paradife of Empire, thus forlorn ; 
O'er bleak Germania's Hills to fpread your fway^ 
And leave your fweet Hesperian Vales a prey 

To fierce domeftic rage, and hoftile fcom ?— 


O, carelefs King ! behold what ruthlefs rage, 
MoNTECCHi's line, and Capelet engage ; 

Si. xviii. /. 5. Ob I royal German ! — ] Albert of Aus'mfjt^ 
who fucceeded his father, Rodolph, in the Empire, anno 1298. 


St, xxi. /. 2. — MoNTECCHi, Capeletti.] The Mohtagvss 
and Capulets of Shakespeare, in all probability; and their 
feuds might have produced fome fuch tragical event as that men- 
tioned in the Drama. If this be fo, it will confirm the obfervatioa 
of WARTONy ** that genuine events are the foundation of all our 


C "2 3 

And Philippeschi, with Monaldi's race; 
Thefe driven to exile, thofe in deadly fear : 
Behold, what dire extremes thy friends muft bear I 

See ! what vile deeds thy Santafier. difgrace I 

Hark, to the wailings of deferted Rome ! 
How, day and night, flie mourns her haplefs doom ! 

" Return, my C^sar !" is her conftant cry : 
*' Come, and behold our loyalty and love ! 
Or, if compaffion fail thy heart to move. 

Let love of Fame at leaft its place fupply ! 


*' O, THOU ! that gav'ft thy blood for human crimes j 
If we can venture, in thofe haplefs times. 

To afk thee, why thine eyes are tum'd away ? — 
Why, in th* abyfs of thine eternal mind. 
Do thefe prime benefits, for us defign'd. 

Such ftrange appearance fhew to man's furvey ? 


** Why fees thy realm, in each enchanting vale. 
Some tyrant Lord, with bloody hand, aflail 

The Shrine of Peace ; and, with his rufHan band. 
Of Roman virtue make his impious boaft, 
Whenever his legions defolate the coaft. 

And fend his name in curfes round the land ?^ 

bed Tragedies, and produce deeper impreffions in general, than 
fi£Utiou8 fcenes of woe:" yet King Lear, Clarissa, andCLE« 
MENTiNA, are illuftrious exceptions. Sec Warton's Essay on 

C ^'3 ] 


Hail, happy n?ttive land ! behold how bright 
My Florence fhines, amid this moral Night ! 

Sages and Heroes, hail ! Valdarno's pride ! 
Tongue-deep in Virtue, ftill you chant her name j 
Upon your lips refides her hallowed flame : 

That flame, which others in their bofoms hide ! 


When other daftard Souls refufe the weight 
Of public Funftions, and the cares of State ; 

Your Sons with emulative ardour hade. 
The glory and the danger both to fliare : 
Hence your fair fields efcape the fcourge of war. 

And hence your wealth, which Time can never wafte. 


Hence, 'mongft the wife, in wifdom you excel, 
(My truth, or fidion, foon th' effedl will tell ;) 

Athens, and Lacedemon, long renown'd 
For firm, well-fanflionM laws, and arts of rule. 
Might draw new light from thy egregious fchool. 

For fapient maxims fam'd, and laws profoxmd ! 

St, xxvii. /. I. ffnue^ ^mongjl the wtfe^ 5cc.] The farcafm of Dante 
againil his native State, may be fuppofed not at all alleviated 
by the remembrance of his Exile ; but the Hiflorians of the Times 
give fuiEcient evidence that they were well-founded. They arCf 
however, not to be attributed to any depravation of Morals bom 
a general caufe, but to the nature of their Government, which 
was continually vibrating between the extremes of Atiftocracy and 
Democracy, which occaiioned a correfponding rigour and rdaxa* 
tion in the Penal Laws, and the Authority of the Magiftrate, If 
the Hiftory of Athens and Rome had been as familiar to Dahts 

Vol. U. I ti 

C ii4 ] 


Thy ftatutes, wifely framed, when Cynthia's light. 
With her coy crefcent decks the brow of Night, 

Oft, like a fairy fabric, melt away. 
Before flie wanes. Your Offices and Coin 
You ftamp, and new-create, and then refign 

To blank Oblivion, ere the Moon's decay I 

If yet your wild delirium (hould retire. 
Then keenly would you feel the fever's fire. 

That bums your blood, and bids you fhift your fide 
For momentary eafe ; but flill in vain 
Your pofture alters : ilill your plagues remain. 

By ev'ry change with vigour new fupply'd. 

as their Names, he could better have accounted for the political 
and moral date of his native Country. Such wbimfical Revolu- 
tions as are mentioned here, were not uncommon in ancient Re- 
publics (fee Thucyd. lib. viii. Dion. Halicam. and Livy, paflim) ; 
but they did not occur with fo much frequency. For a Specimen 
of the favage manners of the Peafants about Florence in the be- 
ginning of the 15th century, fee a curious Fafloral Poem, pub- 
lifhed by Mr. Roscoe, at the end of his excellent Life of Lo- 
renzo DE Medici ; of which, and fome other curious poetical 
Pieces, charadleriftic of that age, we are in hopes of being fa- 
voured with a TranHation by him. 


C ^^5 ] 



The Po€t dcTcribes the Situation of fuch as had deferred their Re- 
pentance on account of their great Political Occupations^ and 
recounts many of their Names and Charadlers. 

X HE friendly Shades their welcome oft renewed, 
With kind falute. Sordello thus purfu'd 

His firft enquiry. " Tell, if free to tell. 
Your name." The gentle Mantuan thus reply*d : 
" Ere this tall Hill th' afcent to Heav'n fupply'd 

To ranfom'd Souls, in Latian bounds I fell. 


" OcTAViAN gave my duft to endlefs fame; 
Eneas' wand'rings and his wars proclaim 

My long renown at large, yet Heav*n I loft 
For want of Faith :" involvM in deep amaze. 
As on fome objeft fix'd with dubious gaze. 

Doubtful, if feen, fo look'd the wondering Ghoft. 

I 2 

C 116 3. 

Then, with deep veneration, bending low. 
He thus began : " How blefs*d am I, to kno^ 

Maro, the pride q( Mantua's happy fliore : 
Hail ! great Refiner of the Latian tongue !-»- 
What high prerogatives to me belong. 

To meet my country's boaft in days of yore ! 

*' But tell, nor let it grieve your foul to tell^ 
If you are prifon'd in the bounds of Hell, 

What lot of all the Ihadowy realms below 
Is witnefs to your doom ?" The Bard rcjoin'd : 
" Fate fix'd me there, but Heav'n the tafk affign'd^ 

To lead this Stranger thro* the World of Woe. 


** For my omiffions, not my flagrant crinv?s, 
Am I condemned to view the nether climes. 

And the fair vifion of the blefs'd forego : 
Too late the beams of knowledge ftruck my foul> 
Already fentencM to th* Eternal Goal, 

And ne'er allowed Redemption's blifs to know. 

" Tho' darknefs broods o'er all the nether Zone, 
A place there is below, to pain unknown : 

There ho laments are heard, but frequent fighs 
Around, like whifp'ring winds inceflfant fleet : 
There, with the guiltlefs throng, I find my feat. 

Who died before a Saviour left the fldes. 

St. V. /.I. For my omiffions — ] The Puniftiment (if it may be 
calltd fo) of tlie virtuous Pagans, according to Dante, confided 
in their being deprived of the Beatific Vision. 

c u7 : 


*' With fuch as truft alone to Pagan worth. 
In whom the Gofpel graces ne'er had birth ; 

By Heav'n's award I range the World beneath :— 
But tell us, if you know, th' afcending Strait, 
That leads, where Heav'n's new Candidates await 

The pangs, that fave them from eternal wrath.** 

He anfwer'd, " Leave is giv*n to range around. 
Thro* all the wide probationary ground ; 

And gladly will I (hew the winding way : 
Jut yonder (fee !) the Orb of Light declines ! 
No toils to Night's lone hours, kind Heav*n afligns : 

Here you may reft, and ^yait tl^e coming Day. 


♦• A Choir of focial Spirits watch at hand j 
If you confent, we'll join the facred Band :— 

—Their names, their fates, and charafters, to know. 
Will this long darkfome interval employ. 
With grateful change, till o'er yon' eaftem fky 

Aurora's amber wheels are feen to glow." 

St. viii. /. 5. No tolls to Night's lone hours^ &c. — ] The too fer- 
vent defire of a rapid Spiritual Progrefs (often incited by a hidden 
vanity, and the hope of fome peculiar influx of the Holy Spiritf 
not unufual in certain ReligioniUs of a fanguine complexion,) has 
often, when denied, been the occafion of much dangerous Defpond* 
ency ; and, when fuppofed to be g^nted, of no lefs dangerous En* 
thuilafm. Our Saviour gives a much eaiier and (afer Criterion of 
our Spiritual State, viz. Doing unto others^ us tve would they Jbould 
do unto us. If this be attained, we need not be anxious about 
9thcr more dubious fymptoms of Regeneration. 


[ ii8 3 


" But, what impedes ?'' rctumM the Mantuan Ghoftj 
" Does Heaven's dread interdict, when light is loft, 

Forbid to climb ? or, is it want of might ?" 
The Spirit in the duft defcrib'd a line : 
*' Even THIS would check you after Day's decline^ 

Both impotent of limb, and fhort of fight. 


^^ You yet may ftray around the lofty brim. 
Alike in deepeft gloom, or twilight dim ; 

But not a foot advance the liill to fcalc/' 
*^ Then, fince our progrefs is awhile deny'd, 
Let us obey the Night,** the Bard replyM ; 

•* And reft our limbs beneath the rocky pale," 

By the laft glimmering of retiring Day 
Far feen, the Mountain feem*d to flope away. 
Where a deep-bofom'd Vale its fides concealed : 
Down thither lies our way," the Speftre faid ; 
Where yon* deep glen is hid in double ftiade. 
Till Phosphoji lifts his lamp, in Heav'n revealed, 

A path between the Hill and Valley ran, 
By the majeftic verge, that here began 

^/.x. /. 2. — nvhen light Is lofl"] " The light without which they 
could not find their way, is (according toVELLuxELLo) the light 
of Divine Grace, without which we can do nothing ;'' and which, 
we may add, is fometimes, in our (late of probation, withdrawn, not 
that we may work without it, but that we may feel the want pf it| 
iind fnake better ufe of it when it returns. 

[ 119 ] 

With foft declivity to round away : 
But, oh ! what mingled charms aflaird our fight. 
Thro* the thin curtain of approaching Night, 

Matchlefs among the fplendid births of Day ! 


The funny glare of gold, the fofter gleam 
Of filver ; purple mix*d with fcarlet's beam. 

And the rich emerald's deep internal green j 
All fade before thofe amaranthine flowers. 
Which here emparadis'd thofe blifsful bowers, 

That gaily fmil'd thefe folemn Hills between. 


Nor did the fcene alone delight the view. 
But wafted on the breeze, that gently blew ; 

Greeting our fenfe, a flagrant odour came, 
A namelefs eflence of abflxafted joy ; 
While, like fweet incenfe in an ev'ning iky. 

Soft Vefper fongs the Virgin's praife proclaim. 


There many a gentle Ghoft, on flowers reclined, 
In full aereal melody combined. 

Beneath the long fhade of the Hills, unfeen : 
" Come on," the Mantuan faid, ** ere Light redres. 
Your eyes may yet furvey thefe happy Choirs, 

Ranged in long profpeft o'er the fhadowy green. 

Si. XV. /. 6. '^Fe^tri'] The Ave-Maria. 

C I20 3 

** From this declivity, you mark the fliow 
With clearer ken, than in the Vale below :— 

— Obferve that Shade that firft falutes the eye. 
Placed on an eminence ; he looks beneath. 
Too negligent to lend his tuneful breath. 

To fweU the folemn Hymn that mounts the {ky. 


** This was Rodolpho, who refusM his aid 
To cure the wounds of many a ruthlefs blade. 

By Latium felt, which caus'd her long decay : 
Tho' many a leach in vain his fldll employs. 
Yon* Shade befide him, with confoling voice. 

Strives his imperial forrows to allay. 

*' Where Moldaw's mingling wave in Elbe is loft. 
And feeks with her the diftant Baltic Coaft, 

He rul'd the realm, and found a £urer fame 
Than his degenerate Son, for floth renownM ; 
In Luxury's deep Gulph ignobly drownM, 

The blot and fcandal of his Father's name, 


^ See that majeftic Form, that ftands behind. 
With one, whofe mien befpeaks a gentler mind : 

Si. xviii. /. I. This was Rodolpho—] The Emperor Ro- 
DOLPHy Father to Albert^ mentioned in the lad Canto. See 
Hist. Flor. 

^/. xviii. /. 5. — Ton* Shade hefidi imif^ Ottachero, Father 
to the Emperor WiMCESLAvs* 


C 121 3 

The firft beheld his lilies droop forlorn ; 
By Aragon defpoil*d, and breath'd his laft 
In Perpionan, from Catalonia chacM, 

Yet both their kindred's crimes more deeply mourn. 


•* A vile degenerate Son, they both deplore. 
The royal Scourge of Gallia's wafted Ihore; 

Wafted from climes remote, his countlefs crimes, 
Succeflive darken on each Parent's foul : 
For this their pious tears inceflant roll 

O'er the fad profpeft of fucceeding times-- 


** See ! where yon' royal Father beats his breaft. 
The milder Monarch, by his woes opprefs'd ; 

Reclines his wan cheek on his fliadowy palm :— 
There ! mark the Shade of Aragon the bold ! 
Proud of his port, and limbs of giant mould, 

Chanting in manly tones, the choral Pfalm ! 

St. XX. /. 4. jGty Aragon def^Wd — ] Philip the Third, King of 
France, Father of Philip le Bel, in an expedition againft the 
King of Aragon, loft his Fleet by the bravery of Doria, the 
Commander of the Aragon ese Squadron, and his Army by Fa- 
mine. He died in Perpignan. He, and Henry King of 
Navarre, Father-in-Law to Philip le Bel, are here intro- 
duced as lamenting his degeneracy, whom the Poet emphatically 

names the Scourge of France. See Mazeray, ViLLANif 

lib. vi. 

St. xxii. /. 4. — ^Aragon the hold,"] Peter, King of Ara- 
gon, the Conqueror of Sicily, as right Heir of the Suabiam 
Family.— —See Hift« Florent. Landing. 

C 122 3 


*' Yon' eagle afpeft, feen amid the crowd, 
Sicilians Monarch marks, who carols loud 

In unifon with him, the Anthem clear : 
Yon* Shade that with the Spaniard (its below, 
Plac'd near his Sire, with melancholy brow. 

If call'd to rule, had fiird a nobler fphere. 


** His elder Brother both the Sceptres fway'd. 
But fcarce one fpark of lineal worth difplayM ; 

For rarely from the parent ftem arife 
The facred bloflbms of primeval worth ; 
Celeftial wifdom interdicts the birth. 

Left we forget, that Heav'n the boon fupplies. 


" Both Aragon and France this truth proclaim. 
There, either Monarch blots his Father's name ; 

So much the parent ftem excels the boughs : 
Tho* fair Constantia of her Spoufe may boaft, 
Beatrice, and fweet Margaret, to their coft. 

Gave to degenerate Thrones their nuptial vows. 

^/. xxlii. /. 2. Sicilians Monarch — ] Charles the Firft, King 
of Apulia, and Count of Provence. Landino. 

.S/. xxiii. 7.4. — Ton* Shade"] The fourth Son of Pedro of A- 
RAGON, (mentioned above,) who died without attaining any Prin- 
cipality. I^ANDINO. 

St, XXV. /. I. B'jth Aragon and France — ] Philip le Bel, 
and Charles the Second of Sicily. 
St. XXV. /. 44— Constantia] Daughter of Manfred, of 


E 1^3 ] 

*' See there, Plantagenet, an hallowed Shade, 
With all a Chriftian's ornaments array'd ; 

From ftem Bellona^s tribe fequefler'd far: 
There, like an Anchoret, he fits alone, 
Pacific Father of a warlike Son, 

To glory marflial'd by a fanguine Star ! 

*' Near, mighty Montserrat, with head declined. 
Murmurs his anguifh to the pafling wind ; 

In Dungeon doomed to breathe his foul away ■ 
Yet fated in another world to hear. 
What bloody ranfom round his fun'ral bier. 

His Alessandriaj^ foes are forcM to payJ 


Apulia, (fee Canto TIL Purgatorio,) and Confort to Pedro 
of Aragon. Hence his title to the Throne of Sicily. 

^/. XXV. 7.5. BEATKiCRf ami/weeiMAKGAKET — ] Marga- 
ret and Beatrice ; the firft the Wife of Frederic, King of 
Sicily; and the other of James, King of Aragon. — Landing. 

^y. xxvi. /. I. — Plantagenet] Henry the Third, King of 
£NGLAND,*Father to Edward the Firft. Un femplice uomoedi 
buonfede. Villani, lib. v. 4. 

St. xxvii. /. I. — Montserrat] Giulelmo, Marquis of 
Montserrat, was taken and imprifoned by the People of Ale s- 
SANDRiAy and died in captivity. A cruel v^rar enfued between 
his Sons aad the Ale ssandrians. Villani, lib. vii. 135. 



C ^^5 3 



^c Vwo Poets enter the Valley, which is guarded by two An- 
gels ; who, in their Nod^umal Watch, perceiving the approach 
of an Enemy, chace him away. In their Retreat, the Poet 
meets the Shade of Nino di Gjillvra, and Curraoo or 

IN O W Evening brought the folemn hour along. 
When o'er the gliding prow, in anguifh hung, 

The Sailor calls to mmd his laft farewell : 
And the lone Pilgrim, touched with tender woe, 
Mears^ o'er the long vale, chiming foft and flow. 

The mournful tones of twilight's pai&ng bell. 


And now the holy Anthem feem'd to reft. 
In my charm'd ear the long vibration ceas'd ; 

When, lo ! a beckoning Shadow, feen afar, 
I mark'd, flow turning to the coaft of Day ; 
With palms devoutly fpread, he feem'd to fay, 

<< Vain world, farewell ! all hail, thou Morning Star!'* 

C 126 ] 


Then in a ftrain, that feem'd my foul to thrill. 
The Hymn of Dawn he rais'd with heav'nly fkill ; 

Th' attentive audience fwell'd the hallow'd found : 
In general chorus, as with eyes upraised. 
On Heaven's eternal fires intent they gaz'd. 

Circling in myftic dance, the blue profound. 


Now ye, that 'tend my fong, with fliarpen'd fight. 
Catch the quick beam of intelleftual light ; 

Behind the myftic curtain half concealed ! 
Scarce had the Anthem ceas'd, whea figns of fear 
Pervaded the long files from van to rear. 

Viewing, with eyes uptum'd, the heav'nly field. 


Soon tM^o angelic Forms, on wings of flame. 
Gliding along the dulk, like Meteors, came. 

An half-extinguifliM beam of fanguine light : 
In the right hand of each, was feen to burn. 
And clad in emerald arms, the Sons of Mom 

Parted with emerald plumes the robe of Night. 

Sf. iv.] For feme Obfcnations on this Canto, fee the Prr- 
limli\ar)' Efiay to the Purgatorio, (Sccl. 1.) which need not 
be repeated here. 

Another Argument of the allegorical Interpretation is fuggefted 
by Landing; who fays, that by the beauteous but fading Onia- 
mcnts of this Valley, in meant the " pride, pomp, and circum- 
** ftance," of the regal State and Imperial Employments: which 
mull aU vanifh, " lile the hafcleft Fabric of a J'lfwn.^^ 

E "7 ] 


One overhead his radiant pinions {hodk, 
One, on the Hill opposed, his ftation took ; 

The middle Vale the ghoftly fquadrons fill : 
I faw their treffes wave a golden gleatn^ 
But mortal eye could ill fuftain the beam. 

Sent in each glorious glance from Hill to HilL 


*' Sent from the bowers of Blifs," Sordello cry'd: 
** Thofe holy Guardians o'er the Vale prefide. 

To keep the infidious worm of Sin away. 
That nightly fteals along the tainted dew. 
To fpread pollution 'mongft the fhadowy crew. 

And damp their hopes of everlafling Day.** 


Not knowing where the wily Snake might wind, 
I tow'rd the Mantuan drew, and flunk behind : 
Let us defcend,'* the fecond Mantuan faid. 

To hail thofe other Shades of old renown j 
The condefcenfion ev'ry Ghofl: will own. 

And thanks, by many a Voice, will foon be paid/' 


Three fcarce we pafs'd, an airy Form below, 
Seem'd to perufe me with a ftudious brow. 

As if fome ancient friend he met beneath : 
The dufky medium of the evening Iky, 
Yet gave permiffion to the heedful eye 

To recognize them, tho' transformed by Death. 



Approaching foon, we met ; what glad furprifev 
To find Gallura here, the leam'd, the wife ; 

Efcap'd the terrors of the Stygian clime ! 
With oft repeated, kind falute, we greet : 
Then He, " What led you to this dark retreat. 

O'er the wide feas that lave yon* Hill fublime ?** 


I anfwerM foon : " Not o*er the limpid wave. 
But thro* the horrors of the central cave 

Laft night I came, encumber'd yet with clay : 
Hence, thro' Probation's various pains impell'd, 
I climb that Aimmit, where to fight reveal'd. 

Beams the long radiance of Eternal Day." 


When this the Mantuan and Sardinian heard. 
Signs of mute awe in either face appeared. 

And back the Ghofts recoil, with deep amaze: 
One tum'd to Maro ; one a Shade addreis'd, 
, That ftood befide. *' O, Malespina ! hafte, 
' And fee the wonders of Eternal Grace l" 


Turning to me—** By all your hopes," he cries ; 
** By Him, that leads you to the op'ning Ikies ; 

St. X. /. 2. — Tojind Gallura] Nino di Gallura» Chief Ma* 
giftrate of Sardinia, Nephew to Ugolino, Count of Pisa. 

St, xii. Uu^^Tbc Mantuan and Sardinian.] Sordello 
and Nino. 



t 1^9 3 

Great Caufe of ev'ry caufe, to all unknown : 
Whai Heav'n allows to crofs the myftic Mauii 
And vifit fublunary Life again, 

Bid my Joanna's prayers for me atone I 

•* From HER untainted lips orifons rifc^ 
That find an eafy paffage to the Skies ; 

No other voice will pour the fervent plea : 
Her Mother, fince fhe flung her weeds afide, 
Forgets her former love : unhappy Bride ! 

Her wrongs will teach her to remember me. 

" Hence you may judge, what fuel feeds the flame 
Of Woman's love ! But, oh ! injurious Dame ! 

My crefted bird would ftamp a nobler fign 
Than that foul Form that Milan's enfigns wave, 
Whofe bafe viperious folds fliall grace your grave, 

Vile fev'rite of an heart that oAce was mine !" 

Thus, while he fpoke, his features feem'd to fliew 
Difpleafure, tempered with Compaflion's glow : 

He turn'd away, while to the world above 
I look'd, and faw the lucid orbs on high. 
That feem'd around the axle of the Sky, 

With folenm and delib'rate march, to move. 

Si. xiv. /• 4. Her Mother — ] BfiATRicCy the Widow» of 
Nino, had married another Hufband, whofe Armorial Creft wai 
a Viper, whereas Gallura'b had been a Cock. Some misfor- 
tunes that happened 'to Galeazzo, the fecond Hu{band» are 
thought to have occafioned this Poetical Prophecy. 

Vol- IL K 

C ^30 J 

" What fee^ft thou there ?*' enquired the Mantuak 

' Yon* three confpicuous lamps of Light/* I cry*d, 
" Unmark*d before :** " Thofe Lights,** the Bard 
" That circPd Heav*n in bright quaternion round, 
Have funk beneath the horizontal bound. 
And to yon* nobler fires their place refign*d.** 

Juft then SoRDELLO, with a look of dread, 
•* Behold the Foe of Man,** to Maro faid ; 

And pointed, where we fpy*d, with deep difmay, 
A Serpent roll along with eyes of flame ; 
That pert,, it feem*d, that caus*d our Mother's fliame. 

When Sin and Death to Eden found their way* 


Thro* ruftling beds of amaranth it roll'd, 
And rear*d with decent pride its creft of gold ; 

While ftill it fmooth*d each undulating fpire. 
With the fine polifh of its pliant tongue : 
With gentle guife, to footh the fhadowy throng. 

Soon led his fpecklcd beauty to admire. 


How the alarm was fpread from Hill to Hill, 
I mark'd not then ; but thro* the ev'ning flill 

" Aloft, incumbent on the duflcy air,'* 
The Heav'nly Guard arofe on emerald plume. 
The Serpent flunk away, and fought the gloom. 

And foon the Cherubs to their pod repair.. 

t 131 ] 


The wondering Shade that nigh Gallitra ftood. 
Still kept his eye on me, in mufing mood. 

And fpoke at length : *' O may the lamp of Lovd 
An holy undion in your bofom find. 
To feed its flame, as round thefe Rocks you wind, 

Till in the bowers of blifs you reft above ! 


*' Tell,-"— fo may glorious crowns your labour pay,— 
Is Valdimagra, once beneath my fway. 

Calm, or by civil or by foreign arms 
Difturb'd ? — ^I boaft the Malespinian name. 
The lateft branch ; not he, of ancient fame : 

H6re Love, refinM by Pain, my bofom warms/* 


" I never in thofe happy valleys ftrayM, 
Where your great anceftors the fceptre fway*d ;" 

Prompt, I reply'd : " But this may footh your care $ 
Your nobly-eam'd renown thro' Europe rings. 
Of that the Sage harangues, the Poet fings, 

And high and low the theme in common fhare. 

St. xxii. /. 2. // Valdimagra—] Of thisdiftri£i, the Family of 
Male SPIN I were Marquiffes. The Poet had received an hofpi-' 
table welcome from Manuel Malespini, his Son, and thus re-* 
paid him in the lading coin of Parkassus. 

Valdimagra is a Valley through which the river Macra itin% 
and falls into the Sea near the Gulph of Spezzia* 


C 13^ 3 


" Where your great actions never met the fight. 
By fame diffusM ; their ftrong reflefted Kght 

Illumes the world, and warms it as it rolls : 
So may I reach yon' Point that props the Skies ; 
As Malespina's vigour ftill fupplies, 

A noble Line of Heav'n-afpiring Souls. 


" Heav'n^s Delegates, their hands difperfe afar 
The fhower of Plenty, and the ftorm of War ; 

And fteady on their track, they keep their way : 
Still onward, up the long laborious Path, 
Where Honour leads, contenming Toil and Death, 

Nor Joy, nor Pain, can turn their fteps aftray." 

Joyful, he cryM, " Before the Solar Car 
Meets, in its annual road, the fleecy Star 

Seven times, wide circling yon' ethereal round. 
The merits of my Line thy foul (hall feel ; 
Starpp'd on thy mind, with more impreffive feal, 

If aught I fpy beyond this gloomy bound." 


C '33 3 



Under the Imagery of a Dream, the Pjoet defcribes his Afcentto 
the Gate of Purgatoryi and relates the Means by which he 
obtained Admittance. 

Aurora, fteallng from her Confort's arms. 
Shewed in the glimm'ring Eaft her rifing charms ; 

The Stars, that form'd the Scorpion's radiant train^ 
Gemm'd her pale brow ; while Night's retiring (hade, 
Yet o'er the Weft a partial gloom difplay'd, 

Meafuring the downward Sky with tardy wane, 


Then Adam's gift, my tenement of clay. 
To my protrafted toils at laft gave way 

In Morpheus* arms, on graffy couch reclin'd. 
Amid my ghoftly guard. The hour was come. 
When gentle Progne mourns her ancient doom. 

Her flaughter'd Infant, and her Spoufe unkind. 

Sl ii. /. 5. — Progne] The Swallow. Sec Ovid. Met. lib. ri. 


[ 134 3 


But now, from Earth unmoor'd, the mounting Soul 
Gave forrow to the winds, and wing'd the Pole, 

On things immortal, with immortal fight. 
Gazing at will. Amid the ample Sky, 
Methought an Eagle feem'd his wings to ply. 

With golden gleam, acrofs the fields of Light, 


I feem*d to (land upon the Phrygian Plain, 
Where Ganymede forfook his wondering train. 

Wafted to Heaven's Divan with whirlwind fpeed : 
" Fate hovers here,*' I cry'd ; 'tis hence alone. 
The plumy Ranger of th' Olympian throne. 

Bears off his favpur'd prey of mortal br^ed. 


Not long he linger M in his ftatlon high. 
But, like the bolt that fires the angry Sky, 

Sweeping along, he feiz'd me as I flood 2 
Thenee, mounting, to the burning fpheres we paft, 
Whofe flames began our blended forms to wafte. 

And lap, with iicry tongues, our feething blood. 

Starting in terror from my trance profound 
I woke ; fuch fright the young Achilles found, 

St. iii. /. 5. Methought an Eagle—] By the Divine Eagl^, fay 
the Commentators, is meant the Illumination, or Impulfe, of Divine 
Grace, neceflary to raife us above Terrcflrial Views. 

Landing, Vellutello, &c. 

C ^35 3 

When firft; he woke upon the Syrian coafl: : 
When, from the Centaur's guard, his Mother bore 
Her threatened Son, to that fequefter'd fliore. 

Where foon the Greeks her expedtation crofs'd. 


4:8 the young Warrior woke with fudden ftart. 
Thus fled my flumbei's, while, with beating heart 

And icy veins, I gaz*d, diftraded round : 
At length, I fpy'd the faithful Mantuan near. 
And now the burning Sun had climb'd the Sphere 

Thrice ten degrees above the wat'ry bound, 


** Fear not," he cry*d, *' the Point is gain'd at length ; 
Now, let your Spirit put forth all its ftrength, 

Fir'd, and expanding to the moment's claim ; 
Probation's Porch is nigh. — Yon' breach behold, 
That parts, the mural Mound, in ruin roU'd, 

Thither you mounted like afcending Flame. 


*' Juft as the grey dawn uflier'd in the Day, 
When ftretch'd on flow'ry couch, below you lay. 

On fleet wing failing thro' the breaking gloom. 
Onward, a Viiion came ; with fervent plea. 
It cry'd, " Refign that flumb'ring Man to me, 

ril teach ]iis weight to mount on Eagle Plume.** 


" We left the wond'ring Spedres far below. 
And as the ruddy Eaft began to glow 


C 136 3 

With Orient beams, you rofe upon the ray 2 
The Pageant up the Sky, with eafy flight, 
InftinOive I purfu'd, and faw you light 

Where yon' falFn rampires fhew the rifled way, 

*' She pointed to the pafs, and upward foar*d ; 
The dream departed, and to light reftor*d, 

Inftant you woke at this important poft ;** 
Like one I flood, in Truth's uncertain light 
And doubts involved, as Day contends with Night, 

Till ev'ry fear in rifing Hope was loft, 


This change I felt ; and, when I faw the Bard, 
With cheerful look and angel-ftep prepared 

The battlements to pafs, I foon purfu'd : 
Attend, ye Mortals, to the myftic lay. 
The Song, afcending to the Source of Day, 

Claims, from the daring Mufe, a loftier mood, 


To the difparted Mound we came at laft^ 
No ruin now it feemM, but proudly graced 

With a bright portal, and afcending ftair : 
A Guardian of the Pafs was feen above. 
With lips faft clos'd, that never feem'd to move ) 

Admittance we implor'd with rcv'rent air. 

An heav'nly Minifter appear d within. 
Too bright for mortal eye fufius'd with Sin 

C J37 3 

Undazel'd to behold, a glancing blade. 
Far waving in his dexter hand around. 
With keen refledUon feem'd my fenfe to wound. 

By this ethereal Habitant difmay'd. 


Keep thy due diftance, and declare," he cry'd j 
What heavenly Delegate vouchfaf 'd to guide 
Your fteps ? be cautious, left you meet with harm !" 
^' A Denizen of Heaven," the Mantuan faid, 
*' Told, where the Gate its (hining valves difplay'd ; 
Soon the bright Sentry own'd the powerful fign." 

** Mount," he repl/d ; " then, high diftinguifh'd foul ! 
May Saints conduft thee, to that higher goal. 

Where thofe that pafs the teft, may claim the Sky : 
Fear not to fcale the ftairs.'* We venture on ; 
The loweft ftep, like Parian marble fhone. 

And gave my Form reflefted to the eye. 


The fecond feem'd of dark and fullen hue, 
As if from MoNZiBEL its birth it drew ; 

Its time-worn face was mark'd with many a fear : 
Deep fiflures ran along its inmoft grain, 
Crofling the mafs in many a winding vdn. 

Like the deep marks of elemental war. 


The third, a purple radiance flung around. 
Like blood, faft fpouting from a recent wound. 

Si. xvi, xviiy xviii.] This is an allegorical defcription of the 
Mt ftep of P^nitencei and the aft of Confeffion. The firft ^ep of 


c 138 : 

The Seraph's feet upon the fanguine floor 
Appear'd : upon a throne he fate fublime. 
Of chifel'd adamant, defying Time, 

Full in the midft before the mafly Door. 


*' Your humble hands in fupplication rear," 
Maro advis'd ; " that, by your potent pray'r 

Subdu'd, the Guardian may unlock the Gate. 
Beating my bread, my pliant knees I bent. 
The favouring Spirit gave a kind confent. 

But firft prepared me for my myfUc fate. 


Seven deep diflinguifh'd marks his trenchant blade. 
Upon my gore-dilUlling front pourtray'd ; 

" Enter !" he cry*d ; " within the waters flow 
That lave fuch woimds." My trembling eyes beheld 
The fober Veftment which his limbs concealed. 

Of earthy hue, fad fign of guilt and woe ! 


Then from beneath his Hermit Garb, he drew 
A golden Key, and one of filver hue, 

the probationary ftairs means Reflealon^ or Self-knowledge ; the fc- 
cond, CompunAion, or Contrition ; the third, Charity, or Love. 
The Jihtr Key, fignifies the judicial power in the Pried ; and the 
goldefif the power of Abfolution. 

Landing, Vellut£li.o, Augelucci> Dell^ Ckvsca^ 

• • . . • • 

C 139 ] 

And turned them both. " If one of thefe," he cryM, 
*' In this laborious operation fail. 
In vain the fecond wards the Gate aflail, 

Altho* by Man, or Angel's hand, apply'd. 

** The one appears of richer metal made. 
More fldll is in its fellow's frame difplay'd ; 

To thefe viftorious wards the valves unclofe : 
From Peter's hands they came, a charge divine. 
Who bade me ne'er to Pity's fcale incline, 

Unlefs her genuine fruit. Repentance (hews." 

With mighty impulfe then, he pufli'd the Door ; 
* Enter," he faid ; " you fee the Path before : 

But, if you look behind, 'tis inftant clos'd. 
And entrance is deny'd." With fudden jar 
The valves unclofe, loud Echo fent afar 

The doubling din, around the rugged Coaft. 


Such angry founds the great Diftator heard : 
So thunder'd the difparting valves, that clear'd 

The hallow'd paflage to his feet profane ; 
Where Rome her treafures (hew'd, in rich difplay ; 
When daring hands the Tribune forc'd away. 

Who ftrove his impious fury to reftrain. 

St. xxiv.] From Lucan : 

Protinus abdufto patuerunt templa Metcllo. 

Tunc rapes Tarpeia fonat, magnoque reclufas 

Teilatur ftridore fores. 

Pharsal. lib. iii. 153. 

C 140 ] 


But thefe difcordant drains were mingled foon 
With Hallelujahs, whofe harmonious tune 

Mellow'd the movements of the harfher foun4 
Confiifion fweet ! as when the Organ blows. 
And choral warblings fwell the folemn dofe. 

The Poet's Art in Melody is drown'd. 


C 141 ] 



SCULPTURES defcrihed in the following CANTOS, 
compared with the other Means of Probation^ with 
which they are combined* 

THE following Exhibitions are a £dthful repre- 
fentation of what is experienced by the generality of 
Men in Life. Our difcipline confifts of a combination 
of Precepts and Examples, addreffed to theUnder- 
ftanding, and of Impressions upon theSenfes, of va- 
rious kinds. When we will not improve by the for- 
mer, we are fubjeded to the ftemer leflbns of a more 
rigid tutor ; and the medium of Pain is employed as 
a more powerful incentive, to reftore the aftivity of 
the mental Powers, and diredk them aright. For this 
purpofe it is neceflfary that both the Body and the 
Mind fliould fuflfer, as fuch ImpreJJiom give the con- 
comitant Precepts their due weight. Much has been 
written on the Benefits of Pain, and the if^iilofophi- 
cal Confiderations which render it tolerable ; but, as 
far as I can find, due attention has not been paid to 
its PHYSICAL Eflfedb, which give direfk efEcacy to its 
moral Influence. As we are pallive in receiving ideas 

C 142 ] 

from external objedls ; as thefe form aflbciations, fuch 
as happinefs with riches, &c. and as habits fpring yro/w 
aflbciations, the immediate effeft of Pain, either bo- 
dily or mental, feems to be, that it decompofes, for 
a time, and deranges thefe pernicious combinations ; 
particularly, when it becomes extreme : then, by di- 
verting the Mind of its former ideas, and breaking 
the ligatures of habit, it leaves, as we may fay, a void 
fpace in the Mind ; it caufes an interval of thought ; 
it gives a liberty to the foul to recover its priftine and 
natural activity, which had been impaired by fuch af- 
fociations, and to form new aflbciations and new ha- 
bits; a power which, if properly employed, leads to 
the higheft moral Improvement. Then the Precepts 
of the wife, and the Examples of the good, once more 
have their due efieO:. 

There are two forts of Moralifl^, whofe works have 
fome analogy to the two fpecies of Infl:ru£tion exhi- 
bited here by Dante. The works of Juvenal and 
Swift are cauflic, and give more pain ,to the guilty, 
than pleafure to the virtuous. They fliew Vice in its 
moft odious form. — ^The writings of Addison and 
Richardson exhibit virtue under its moft amiable 
afped, and fill the uncorrupted Mind with the warmeft 
glow of omulation. 

C H3 3 



The Gate of Purgatory is here defcribed, and the Afcent to the 
firft Stage, deftined for the Purgation of Pride. Then the Sub- 
jc6l of fome Sculptvires on the Face of the Rock are men- 

JN OW paft the facred valves, we found the place, 
Where, purg'd from dregs terrene by heav'nly grace. 

The dark affeftions, with fublunar flight. 
No more in circles play, but upward fear : 
Behind^ the thunders of the clofing Door 

Were heard, and fiird our inmoft fouls with fright. 


Had I then tum'd my eye, what guilt were mine ! — 
But onward, I purfu'd my Guide divine 

Under a channeled Rock, whofe fides recede 
And come, alternate, like the rolling wave. [Cave 
*' Obferve," the Mantuan cry'd, " and thrid the 

With care, where'er the doubtfiil windings lead." 


Si. ii. /.I.] Difficulties of the firfl fteps of amendment. The 
idea is taken from the Son of Sirach : 

** Wifdom will firft lead you through crooked ways, and bring 
fear and dread upon him — ^but, when (he has tried your foul, tbep 
ihe will turn the right way unto you." Eccles. iv. x6. 


r '44 J 


Thrc* the long labyrinth, with toiling feet. 

Our march wc meafure ; while the rampires meet 

And crofs, at each advance, our tardy way : 
Thrice ten degrees the pale nodumal Car 
Of CvKTHiA traveird to the weftem bar, 

l>c the dark maze, expanding, fliow*d the Day* 


Through the dolorous dell at laft we wind. 
Arriving where the rude Cliffs met behind, 

Fatigu'd, and each uncertain of his path; 
The verge, on which we flood, above the Mound, 
Lean'd in mid air, an horrible profound ! — 

No mortal eye would dare to look beneath. 


And from the tall Rock's formidable van. 
The platform fpread, three meafures of a man, 

Skirting the adamantine cliffs around. 
Which (hcwM their lofty pitch, fuperb and tall. 
No human art could fcale the lofty wall. 

While on the lower verge, Deftruftion frown'd. 


But neither Granite umK's, nor Parian ftone. 
Could nuteh the b^MUties of that marble zone ; 

Nor huuuui art, uot nature, here below, 
With tiKie hi^^h animaieU leenet^ ei>uld vie, 
y^Skcich*U l>> iouic Mbiu^cU ;u^ult of the Sky,) 
• W lu<h Jc<i^*U itK |K>tilh'd CIilf» a fplcndid ihow. 

C H5 3 


With that pacific pledge, fo oft with pain 
And forrow fought around the world in vain. 

An Angel flioots acrofs the rolling fpheres. 
While Heav*n above recaird its martial guard. 
And all at once, with gracious fmile, unbarr'd 

Its rigid portal, fliut for many years. 


His gentle afpefl: woke the Virgin's faith. 
The Marble feem'd infpir'd wi^h magic breathy 

Sweet on his lips the Ave feem'd to found : 
Humility and joy were feen to fhine 
In the meek afpe£t of the Maid divine ; 

Her lifted eyes her deep devotion own'd. 


The beauteous Form, with fuch confummate art 
Anfwer'd the heavenly Type, it thrillM my heart. 

** More fcenes are yet to view,'* the Mantuan faid. 
As on my left he ftood : my feet and eyes 
At once I movM ; and faw, with frefh furprife. 

New pi£kur*d wonders on the rock difplay'd« 


Attentive, near my ghoftly Guide I prefs'd, 
And faw the tardy team, the facred cheft 

St, vii, viii.] The Salutation of the Virgin Maty. Luke u 
HerHvMiLiTY is the Example propofed, and probablj theHumi- 
lialion of her Son is alfo implied. 

Vol. n. L That 

[ u6 ] 

That would not bear the touch of hands profane : 
The choral families, that fung before, 
111 feven fair fquadrons walk'd the facred floor, 

And caught, from rank to rank, the hallow'd (train* 


M'he pealing Anthem feem'd fo loud and clear. 
That Fancy's eye almoft deceived my ear ; 

The fumes of incenfe that appeared to rife. 
And in a fragrant cloud were feen to fail 
Along the welkin, feemM to fcent the gale. 

And fill the cheered fenfe with new furprife. 


The royal Pfalmift led the dance and fong, 
Confpicuous by his joy amid the throng ; 

Lefs than a Monarch now he feem*d, yet more : 
Forth from her cafement lookM the haughty Queen, 
Deep fcom and indignation mark'd her mien, 

As her eyes mov'd the holy triumph o'er. 


Still on I pafs'd, along the pidurM ^^1, 
Where now another Pageant feem'd to call, 

From Israel's hallow'd fcenes, my roving eye ; 
There Trajan rode, in all the pomp of war : 
A wailing Widow (top'd his trophied car. 

And claim'd his mercy with a fuppliant cry. 

A. zii. /L 5. — the haughty ^ueen} Example of the Pride of Ml* 
Chal, the Daughter of Savlj and her fcom of David's holy 
2caL t Sam. vi* 


C 147 ] 

Heedlefs of trampling hoofs, and clamours loud, 
The rufhmg onfet of the coming crowd, 

The waving banner, and the golden wing 
Of Rome's imperial bird, that gleam'd above. 
She flood, and feem*d with melting words to move 

The lift'ning Captains, and their martial King. 


** Avenge me, for my Son !" fhe feem'd to fay, 
" By ruffians gor*d, he breathed his foul away." 

" Wait my return,** the haughty Monarch faid, 
"With pungent grief, that feem*d refpeft to wave. 
She cry*d, " If you fhould fill th* untimely grave. 

Then how fhall mighty Trajan *venge the dead?*' 


Mild he reply*d, " Whoever fills my room. 
Shall on the Murderer pafs a righteous doom.*' 

" Tell me,** fhe anfwer*d, " do your hopes depend 
On OTHERS merit, when your own you flight ?** 
" Be pacify*d,** he faid, " you claim your right ! 

Juflice and Mercy both our hafle fufpend.** 

St. xvi. /. i.-^mfhoeverJiUs my room^ On what ancient authority 
this is attributed to Trajan is not very clear; fome authors afcribe 
it to Adrian. Landino records the legend of St. GaBGORYy who 
fo much admired the inftance of royal condefcenfion and hmnilxty, 
' that by his prayers he procured a rdeafe for the Emperor from the 
LiMBus Patrum, and a tranflation into Paradife. Landino. 

We learn from Landing, that the celebrated Giotto, the rC» 
ftorer of Painting in Italy, had treated thefe very fubjefts. 


C 148 ] 

That Potentate, to whofe unbounded view 
All things at once are prefent, old and* new. 

Thus, made the animated Stone declaim. 
With wond'rous organ, to the ravifh'd ear, 
Of things in this inferior Hemifphere, 

By means unthought by Man, untold by Fame- 


While on thefe Miracles of Skill I gaz'd 
At the materials, and the hand, amaz'd, 

Whofe energy infpir'd the filent Stone, 
The Mantuan cry'd, " Obferve the coming Show! 
— Yonder the Pageant moves, fedate and flow^ 

Ordain'd to guide you to a lofder Zone." 


My eyes, to novelty attentive, ftill 
On the deep bafis of the rifmg Hill 
. Were fix'd. Now ye, that liften to the flrain, 
Let not the Sinner's doom your mind difmay. 
Think on their Crown, and not what price they pay. 
To buy admittance to the heav'nly Train. 


Time to aa end the fliarp inflidtion draws. 
Hell gapes for them in vain ; by milder laws 

Bound here below to fuffer, and to weep ; 
Till all fublunar things (hall pafs away. 
And at the dawn of that dedfive day 

The Hierarch's trump (hall thunder thro' the deep* 

C ^49 ] 


With ftudlous eye I watch'd the Mountain's vaii, 
And to the gentle Roman thus began : 

" Thofe are not human Forms, that move along 
Like morning clouds, or dreams delude my fight :" 
The Bard reply'd, " Their lamentable plight 

Bend to the ftony foil the fentenc'd throng. 


** Even me, the hideous Penance long deceived ; 
Like you, I lopk'd, and fcarce at length believ'd ; 

But turn your eyes with fharpen'd fight below : 
See ! how they wind around that rocky bafe. 
Each bent in different poftures of difgrace, 

And funk in fad variety of woe." 

St. xxii../. I.] The real didreffes occafioned by Pride in this 
life, are aptly (hadowed forth by the bearing of burdens, adapted 
to the different degrees of this odious and unchrifUan vice. For 
fiich fardels are, in reality, borne by every haughty man, accord- 
ing to his degree of arrogance. His fenfibility is increafed to a 
morbid degree ; and in proportion to this, every crofs or obflacle, 
every real or imaginary affront, increafes his pain, and his irrita- 

** As Pride makes a man lift the head high," fays Landino^ 
*^ it is but jufl that it (hould be bent proportionably low; for 
Aristotle obferves, that to make a tree ilraight which had been 
bent, we mufl bend it as far the contrary way." 

Irritation from Pride, the proud man always feels ; but when he 
begins to be fenfible of its inconvenience, when he feels it an in- 
tolerable loady it begins to lead him to fome degree of amendment; 
particularly when it gives rife to fuch refledUonSy on his defcrts 
and his deftiny, as are fuggefted by the Poet. 


[ ISO 3 

O, miferable Pride ! of Blindnefs bom ! 
Vile retrograde Ambition ! theme of Scorn ! 

Can Reptiles in the duft, of duft be proud ? — 
Boaft of their meaimels, falfify their end ; 
From their immortal hopes at once defcend. 

And let a dowerlefs. Vice their profpefts cloud ? — 


As Reptiles, who their painted plumes difplay, 
(Tho* crawling once in duft,) and wing their way 

On Summer-buxom gales, and claim the Sky : 
Thus were ye bom, and thus you claim your flight 
To the pure Precincts of celeftial Light, 

If on no fpurious Pride your hopes rely. 


In Imperfeftion formed, fuftain'd by Shame, 
How can fuch Embryons of Creation claim 

Praife for externals to vile duft ally'd? — 
O had you feen them how they licked the duft, 
Prefs'd down, and doubled, like fome bending buft 

That props the feftal board, or colunm's pride ! 


If ev'n thofe breathlefs Forms can touch the heart 
With fancy'd pain, the fine effeft of art. 

How were we pain'd for ev'ry tortur'd fpine. 
That here with genuine prcffure loaded deep, 
Pic*d with laborious march around the fteep ; 

Mute and obfequious to the awfiil fign ? 

[ 151 ] 


Stooping, or lowly bending down, or prone 
With tardy limbs, long drawn, and many a groan, 

As that o'er-weening Peft had fiird their brain 
With higher thoughts of self, they crawFd along, 
Whilft the mod patient of the fuffering Throng 

Shewed, by their art, they could no more fuftain, 




t »53 3 





This Canto begins with a general Prayer, offered up by the Vi^mt 
of Pride : then, as they pafs, Dante recognizes the Spirit of 
Oder I SI Acobbio, a celebrated Painter, with whom he eaters 
into Converfation. 

VjtREAT Father ! whom the Univerfe obeys ! 
Who, by thy boundlefs Love's tranfcendent rays. 

In pureft light, the brighteft virtue (hows : 
Let all the orders of creation join 
In one deep plaudit to that love divine. 

Which thro' the countlefs tribes of being glows. 

Let thy celeftial Grace, with heavenly plume, 
Defcend, where, plung'd in this terreftrial gloom, 

We ply our powers in vain, to feize the boon ; 
And as the Powers above, that own thy fway. 
With joy the di&ates of thy will obey. 

So mav th' example fpread beneath the Moon. 

C 154 ] 

" May thy unfparing hand, with daily food. 
Supply our frailty ; elfe, by Time fubdu'd, 

Our fteps muft falter in this vale of woe : 
As other's faults we pafs, do thou forgive I— 
Let not our deep defefts our fouls deprive 

Of thy fupemal favours, bounteous flow ! 


" With thy protefting hand, O Saviour 1 fliield 
Our ftagg'ring virtue, in the dangerous field ! 

And keep at bay the fin-provoking Foe. 
We pray not for ourfelves, but thofe behind, 
That, breathing ftill, their painful journey wind 

Thro' the fublunar vale of crimes and woe/' 


Thus, for themfelves and us, each doleful Shade 
Jn the deep horrors of luftratk)n pray'd — 

Such load they bore, as when in direful dreams 
3ome Fiend's oppreffive weight we feem to feel. 
Thus round the Rock they toil, with tardy wheel, 

Rifing from Earth's Eclipfe, thro' fierce extremes, 


If their orifons thus afcend above 

For us, what breaft that feels paternal love 

Could, for their fufPring fouls, refiife a pray'r ? — 
To wear the dark terreftrial gkx)m zw^Wj 
To fledge their wings to nK)unt the realms of Day, 

And aid their paflage thro' the vale of Care ? — 


** So may your painful talk be ended foon. 
And Mercy wing your flight beyond the Moon : 

Spontaneous, as your thoughts, to Heav*n afcend. 
As you dired me, where my feet may fcale 
The ihortefl pailage from this irkfome vale. 

If different paths to yonder Summit tend. 


^* Behold ! my Comrade feels his load of clay 
Retard his will, with earthy, dull delay. 

And with a fleepy charm his fpirits load/* 
Soon, in fad accents, from the ghoftly ring, 
The trembling Air an anfwer feem'd to bring ; 

Now know we whence the mournful Mufic flow'd* 


^^ Hade ! come with us along ! you'll find a path. 
That, up the Mountain, from the Vale beneath, 

A paiTage to a living man a£Fords: 
But for this weight that bends me to the earth. 
Soon would I know what thing of mortal birth 

Here walks ;along, fo fparing of his words. 

** O, could I but one moment view the Skies j 
Could I but lift aloft my ftraining eyes, 

(Altho' his name he deigns not to difclofe,) 
rd know, if e'er we met beyond the tomb, 
Fd know, if Kty for my direftil doom 

One prayer could gain, to foothe my countlefi woet. 

i: 156 ] 


** Fair Latium claim'd my birth, of Tuscan line; 
Aldobrandesco's honours erft were mine, 

(If e'er you heard that celebrated name). 
My Sire's atchievements, and their long renown. 
So fwell'd my Pride, I feem'd to live alone. 

And more than mortal rights prefum'd to claim. 

^ I held my Brethren of the Dull fo low. 
That whomfoe'er I met, I made a foe. — 

The bloody fequel, let Campacna tell; 
Where, for my arrogance, I paid with blood : 
Nor is MY Pride alone by Plagues purfuM, 

But numbers more the dire proceffion fwell. 

*' I fcom'd to lay a flioulder to the weight 
Of human woes on earth. Impartial Fate, 

An heavier load upon my loins beneath 
Has laid ; and doom'd me round the Rock to wind. 
Till Ileav'n, at laft, pronounce my foul refin'd 

From her deep fcurf, amid the walks of Death." 

St* xi, /. 2. Aldobrandf.sco — ] Count of Santa Fiork in 
Siena. His arrogance was fo unfufFerable, and his felfifhnefs and 
oppreflions rendered him fo odious, that the People of Siena rofc 
againft him in a body, and killed him. Similar inilanccs often oc- 
curred in Ireland, fome time before the late rebellion. 

Aristotle juftly obferves, " That the contempt implied by 
Pride, is lefs readily forgiven, than even a real injury ; as it implies 
a derogatory opinion of our underdanding, and even our power to 
revenge ; aggra\*ated by the circumflance, that the proud man pub- 
licly (hows that fuch is his opinion of us. — Contempt is hatred 
mixed with pride, and implies a defign to offend without any caufe 
but a wi(h to give offence." Arist. Rhct. lib. i. cap. 2. fed. 4. 

c 157 ] 

I ftoop'd my ear to this degraded Man, 
When one, that feem'd to lead the groaning van. 

Suddenly tum'd, with his enormous load ; 
With keen diftorted look, and upward eyes : 
He knew me foon, and mark'd with deep furprifc. 

How bent I march'd along the peopled road* 


I knew him, tho* his lines I fcarce could trace : 
" O, telir* I cryM; " did that disfigur'd face 

To Oderisi, once on earth, belong? 
Let him declare, if I may truft my eyes: 
Second to none beneath Etrurian Ikies, 

His magic pencil charmed the wondering Throng." 

" I thought fo once," he laid ; " but now I know. 
With richer tints my Franco's tablets glow; 

My Pupil erft, he more than (hares my feme j 
That truth, above, my felfifli heart deny'd, 
A rival in my Art, my wounded pride 

Scom'd to acknowledge, and fupprefs'd his claim. 


** But now my want of candour pays the fine, 
A lot of deeper horror had been mine : 

But to th' atoning God, with timely hafle, 
I tumM, and for afliftance humbly prayM, 
While yet, my a6tive thoughts the will obey'd. 

Nor let th' accepted moments run to wafte. 

St. xn^ A 2. — my Franco] Franco Bolocnssb, ^ Painter, 
pupil of. OosRtsi. 

[ 158 1 


" The glory of a rifing Art, how vain ! 
How foon eclipsM by the fucceeding train ! 

O'erlook'd, unlefs an age of mental Night 
Succeeds the fplendours of the new-bom Day^ 
Whofe darknefs gives the faint and dubious ray. 

By her contrafted (hades, the name of Light I 


" Thus Cimabue's glories find a wane. 
And now Ghiotto fhines without a (lain. 

While Cavalcante's hands the crown refig»^ 
To deck another Guido's brow with bays : 
A few revolving Moons, perhaps, may raife 

A third, afcendant, as tbdr Stars decline. 



The breath of Fame is but a fickle gale, 
Whofe veering blafls from every point prevail^ 

And every change beftows a different name : 
Ah ! whcre's your 'vantage, if you caft away. 
In years, the muddy vefture of decay. 

As when the fwathe involves your tender frame ? 

^/.xix. /. I. — Thus Cimabue] A famous Florbntine Paintov 
taught by fome Greek Exiles ; the Tutor of Ghiotto^ who &r 
excelled him, being the firft that forlbok the HdS mamier of the 
Greeks.— Gray's Chronoiogicai T^Ues^ fMJhedhy Mason. 

Ghiotto was bred a Shepherd. His genius was found out by 
CiMABUEy by feeing a Sketch he had made of a Flock of Sheq;>% 
From Vasari, in Mem. of the Houfe of Medici, tranflated bf 
Sir Richard Clayton. 


C '59 D 

Can you fuppofg; her long, fonorous blaft. 

Thro* twice fix thoufand changing Moons, will laft ? 

Yet, what is that to Heav*n*s eternal year ?— 
Lefs, than the quick glance of human eye, 
To that flow movement of the ample Sky, 

That turns around the univerfal Sphere ! 


*' Fame fung aloud of yonder haplefs Man, 
Slow moving with his burden in the van : 

Now fcarce Siena hears his whifper'd name. 
Yet there he rul'd with undifputed fway. 
When Florence bled in Montaperti's day; 
Then, fwoln with Pride ; but now, fuffus*d with Shame. 

St. xxiL /. I. Fame fung aloud — ] Provenzan Salvani, Prae- 
tor of Florence, at the time of their misfortune at Monteape&ti. 
He exercifed great tyranny over the Sienese, then allies of the 
Florentines; and, having delayed his Penitence too long, the 
Poet fays, would have been condemned longer to the AntnPvr- 
catorio, but for an ziBt of extreme humSty and benevolence ; hf- 
vhich he procured a ranfom for his Friend, who had been taken Pri« 
foner at the Battle of St. Valentine, by Charles of Anjou. 
The vi£tor ref ufed to releafe him, without an immoderate ranfom — 
to levy which, he allotted only a cerUiin fiiort period; the forfeit 
was to be his Prifoner's life. Sal van i repaired to the Market-place 
of Siena, and caufed a carpet to be fpread in the ftreet, to receive 
the contributions of the citizens; for which he fupplicated with alt 
the humility of ^ mendicant, and fuccecded beyond his expe^tion ; 
a circimiflance, at lead, equally honourable to the people of Siena. 

Dante takes care to mention his own cure of the mortal fin of 
Pride ; elfe, according to the bws of Lnfbationi he muft have rc» 
mained there till it vtras purged away by P^. 

t i6o •} 


•* What's Fame ? — ^the tender bud, that fprings in May, 
Nurs'd by the beam that haftens its decay ; 

To fickly yellow changed, from vernal green !** 
♦* O !" I reply'd ; " I feel thy words expel 
That Pride, that us*d my haughty heart to fwell ; 

And Meeknefs fpreads her funfhine o'er the fcen^ 


«* But tell hi» Title, tho' his Fame be loft." 
*' Salvaoni," — ^he retum'd j *' his Wde impos'd 
■ On doom'd Siena's Tribes, an heavier load. 
Than e'er of old that free-bom people bore ; 
But now, his haughty Spirit, o'er and o'er, 
The purchafe pays below, in tears and blood. 


•* But if the Moon as many circles fills. 
As Sinners pafs, ere Penitence difUlls 

On their laps'd hearts the renovating tear ; 
(If to Life's lateft ebb their grief delays,) 
Ere they're allow'd thefe hallow'd bounds to trace j 

What mighty Privilege has fix'd him here ? 


* Ev'nthen, when Glory crown'd his haughty brow,'* 
He faid, " his human feelings brought him low, 

A ranfom for his fuffering Friend to pay ; 
An humble Suppliant to the abjeft Crowd, 
Before his.Slaves he trembled, and he bow'd. 

From the fall'n Man to ward the fetal Day,. 

[ i6i ] 


** A ftemer Tutor foon Ihall make thee know 
The fad complexion of a fuppliant's woe. 

When Florence (hall difmifs thee from her Coaft, 
And fend thee far m diftant Climes to roam/'—- 
Thus ONE benignant deed reversed his doom. 

And gave a pafTage to Luflration's poft. 


Vol. n. M 

t 163 1 



TThc Poets proceed, and find many moi*e Examples of Pride fculp- 
tured upon the Rock; which are defcribed at length. They 
depart at laft, and are diredled to the fecond Stage. 

-LiIKE patient Steers together thus we go, 
While groaning underneath a weight of woe. 

The Artift, thus purfu'd his mournful theme. 
While Maro*s hafte allow'd ; at laft he cry'd, 
** Defift ; for fail and oar muft now be ply'd 

To ftem the current of no gentle ftreara." 


Rifmg, I flood ereft ; but funk and ftill 

Each high prefumptuous thought, that us'd to fill 

My foul with tumult, and my heart with Pride, 
tn calm ftagnation flept, by Wifdom laid ; 
Humbly I followed the conducing Shade, 

And circled with quick ftep the Mountain's fide. 


When thus began the Mantuan : " Bend your eye 
Downward, and mark what fcenes beneath you lie." 

M 2 I look'd, 

t 164 3 

I looked, and faw, where'er my footfleps pafsM, 
Mosaic Images adorn the floor, 
Superior far to thofe that keep fecure 

High names of old from Time's continual xyafte, 


If lofty fcenes of fublunary fkill 

The melting heart with Sympathy can fillj 

Or bid the fires of Emulation glow 
In earthly bofoms, what celeftial fire 
Muft thefe ennobling Images infpire, 

Rang'd on the Zone of adamant below ?— 5 


ITicre, I beheld the heav'niy rebel hurl'd. 

Like flaming thunder-bolt, from world to world ; 

St» ill. /. 4. Mosaic rm^^.'j — } I have taken the liberty of altermg- 
the Bas-reliefs of this flage to Mosa 1 c ; for though the word tntaglua% 
be certainly ufcd, the defcriptions are more confonant to the lattcf 
than the former, for inilance, in thcfe lines : 

Qual di penncl fu MaeHro, e di flile 

Che ritraefle Tombre, e tratte ; ch'ivi 

Mirar face\'a im* ngcgno fpltile ? C. 1 2. 64^ 

Mosaic was certainly known in Italy btfcure the time of Dante [^ 
as fome ancient monuments of it, executed as early as the twelfth 
century, are mentioned in fc\ci'al publications; particularly fome 
at Pisa, fronii which tlic Moderns copied. See Encyclop. 
Britann. under t!ie word Mosaic. From the dcfcription given 
there of the manner of its execution, it appears that the term m- 
tagltato is not mifapplied. 

St. V. /. I.] This image Milton fccms to have borrowed: 
Him the Almighty Power 

Hurl'd headlong, flaming from th' ethereal height, 

With hideous ruin and coiibullion, down 

To bottonilefs perdition. 


C i65 3 

Briareus there, in iron flumbers lay, 
t4erc*d by celeftial fires. Apollo nigh. 
And Mars, and Pallas, in their Father's eye^ 

Difmember their huge Foes in mortal fray; 

iBeneath the umbrage of his lofty Tower, 
Nimrod, with indignation, feem'd to lour 

On his long labours, and {lis baffled hod : 
O NioBE ! what anguifh fill'd my bread:, 
When I beheld thee fit, with grief oppreft. 

O'er thy dead children, once thy pride and boaft !— ^ 

High-minded Saul !— Alas ! how pale and Mran 
You feem'd to lie on Gilboa's lonely van, 

(Unvifited by rain, or kindly dew. 
E'er fince, as Rumour fays,) Arachne nighj 
Half-womali, half a fpider, feem'd to ply 

His flimfy taflc, and Pallas' rage to rue. 


Roboam thefe, above the flying wheel 

That bore hitn from deftruftioti, feem'd to feel 

&.▼•/• 3. Briareus — ] See Clauoian Gigantomachia, 
and Statius Theb. v. 593^ A 2. NiMROD— ] Genelis, xi. 

/. 4. NiOBE — ] See in Ovid. lib. vi. her defiance and 
tontempt of Apollo and Diana; and their deftrudUon of her 
fourteen children. 

St, vii. /. I. Saul— 3 i Samuel, xxx. xxxi. and 2 Samuel, i; 
Elegry on Saul and Jonathan. 

St. vii. /. 4. Arachne — ] Her donteft with Minerva is dc- 
fcribed, Ovid. Met. lib. vi. and punifhment. 

St. viiL /• I. RoBOAM — ] RehoboaM) or Roboam, (as he u 
cfflcd. Mat. i.) See I Kings, xiv. 

C i65 J 

His haughty Spirit fink, and, pale with dread. 
The tempefl of Sedition left behind : 
Near, to Alcm^eon's bloody hand refign'd. 

His Mother for the fetal Necklace paid. 


There, ftruggling with his Sons, the royal Sire 

We faw before his fculptur*d God expire. 

And the twin Parricides, with rival rage, 
Inflifting wound on wound ; Thomyris near. 
Taunting the ghaftly head with jeft fevere, 

" Now Cyrus! now thy third of blood affuage!*^ 


Then fled Assyria thro' the driving duft. 

Leaving behind their Gen'rars bleeding buft. 
While glad Bethulia urg'd their overthrow : 

There lay proud Troy, a monument of wrath. 

Under the fhadow of vidorious Death, 
Victim of Pride, and Speftacle of Woe ! 

Si.vmJ. ^. Near to Alcmjeo}^ — ] ALCMicoNyfonofAMPHiARAVS. 
and Eriph YLE. His mother had betrayed his father (who had fore<' 
feen his de{lru6lion if he went to the fiege of Thebes), for a pre* 
fent of a Necklace. He fell there, and his fon Alcm;eon revenged 
his fate, by putting his mother to death. See Ovid. Met. lib. ix. 

Dante, like moft of the writers of his time, is fond of coilled- 
ing examples, without much care in the fcledtion, from the Sacred 
Records, and Profane or Mythological Hiftor)-, as they happen ta 
occur to his memory; if he had confined himfclf to Scripture and 
authentic Profane Hiftor}-, it might be faid in his defence, that hit 
fabjc6l required Examples of both kinds, as Rcafon and Revelation 
mutually fupport each other; and not only Precepts, but Examplet, 
drawn from cither, may be fuccefsfully employed in a popular 
work. St. Paul foems to have availed himfelf of this mode of ad<» 
drefs, in more inftances than one. 

St. ix. /. I. — the royal Sire'] SEKNACHEaiB. 3 Kings, xix. 

^/. X. /. I. Then fed AssvaiA— ] Death of HoLOFsaNKr.. 
Judith, c. iv. &c. 

C 167 3 


What high conception formM the great defign^ 
The deep perfpe£tive, and the groupes divine, 

Deck 'd in the magic pomp of Light and Shade ? 
Inftinft, with facred fire, the living caught 
Life's holy flame, and energy of thought, 

And Fate'a Gougokian rigour froze the Dead# 


Ev'n they, who faw thefe fcenes of living flrtfe^ 
Scarce viewed more genuine marks of Death and Life, 

Thaii from thefe magic mirrors met my fight. 
In dread reflexion from the pidur'd floor. 
As my tranfported Fancy wandered o'er 

The figured Zone, and girt the Mountain's height. 


Now look aloft, ye haughty Sons of Eye ! 
And airy textures of Prefumption weave. 

Where'er your glances roam around the Sky ; 
^But never call your humble eyes below. 
Nor dwell upon the dark degrading flK>w, 

Left Fancy learn an humbler pitch to fly ! 


Thus, with the Sun, we meafur'd round the Hill 
Much further than we thought : Attentive ftill 

To that ftrange Zodiac which beneath us lay ) 
When Maro, heedful of our great defign, 
Exclaim'd : " No longer let your head decUne, 

Superior objeds claim your firft furvey. 


C i68 3 


** Cherubic pinions ruftle in the gale ; 
See, where an Angel comes, on eafy fail ! 

And now, (ince Phosphor clos'd the gate of Night, 
The fixth fair Handmaid of the Mom has fpun 
Her hourly talk, her Sifter has begun. 

And catches from her hand the web bf Light.** 


AccuftomM to his monitory voice 

By far too well, to need a warning twice, 

I rais'd my head ; when, lo ! in heav'nly veft, 
A Ihape was feen, with more than mortal charms. 
And face like Phosphor, when from Thetis* arms 

His twinkling Glory crowns the dawning Eaft. 


With arms fublime, that floated on the air. 
Wafted on level plume, the Vifion fair 

Came failing, and alighted where we ftood : 
** This is your way,** he cry*d ; ** afcend this height ! 
It much will eafe you, in your upward flight, 

To leave your Pridb behind, an hateful load. 


^* How few, alas ! can find th* afcending way !— 
Ye Souls for Heav*n defign*d! ye Sons of Day I 

Why fhould a random breeze o*erfet your fail 
When heav*n-ward bound?** He fpoke, and onward led. 
Where a rude op*ning in the rock difplay*d 

Defcending ftairs^ for favour*d feet to fcale. 

C t69 3 


Ere I had time to touch the high Degrees, 
0*er my face, like Evening's gentle breeze, 

Ks fpangl'd pinion pafs'd, and fwept away 
One fignature of Sin ; then gave the fign 
Of our admittance thro* the Pafs divine. 

Shewed us the Path, and mingled with the Day. 


Where Mericato's holy fpire commands 
That City, which by patriot Wifdom ftands 

And love of right, a Mountain Path afcends 
With eafy flope, where Rubaconti ftrides 
Acrofs the tumult of the Tuscan tides. 

And o'er the flood his giant arch fufpends. 


Like this, (no lonely path, in times of gold. 

Ere right, in Florence, yet was bought and fold. 

And meafures, weights, and records were fecure ;) 
Seem'd that a^'rial Path to wind on high ; 
But gloomy rocks, that fhaded half the Sky, 

On either hand the funlefs road immure. 


Yet, wafted on the dulky air, we heard 
Celeftial voices, tho* no Form appeared : 

The happinefs they fung of humble fouls. 
With hymns : we enter here. Ah ! different far 
From that fell concert, that ferocious jar 

Still raging, where, the Stygian current rolls ! 

C ^7<^ 3 

Up the afcending fteps I feem'd to ikim. 
And found a pinion* lifting ev*ry limb j 

More lightly pois'd, than when I trod the plants 
*' What load," I cryM, " is lightened from my breaft^ 
(Sage Mafter ! tell,) that, negligent of reft. 

Upward no more we feem with toil to ftrain ? 


" When thofe deep marks/* he faid, " that ftill remain. 
Have left your face, like that enfanguin'd ftain 

Which late the pinions of the Saint difpell'd. 
You'll feel a ftrong, regenerative fpring 
Buoy up your Soul, and all your Members wing. 

That it will feem a pain to be withhdki/' 

As one, that fome portentous ftigma bears, 
Tho* witnefs'd neither by his eyes nor ears. 

Till in his Neighbour's eye he reads the jeft. 
And by his hand the fcandal is explor'd 
That *fcap'd the fight : thus, by the Angel's fword^ • 

I found the letters on my face impreft. 


C 171 ] 



The Pocta arriyc at the Stage of Envy. — Its Inhabitants. — ^Thcir 
Appearance and Mode of Penance defcribed. — ^A Converfatioa 
with the Spirit Sapia, a noble Sibnese Lady. 

And now, we climb'd, with renovated powers. 
Where, with contrafted bounds, the Mountain tow'rs. 

And other Tribes refine in fiercer pains ; 
A lofty range of battlements furrounds. 
With ftony circle, thefe eternal bounds. 

And other fcenes of Penitence contains. 


Silence, and cheerlefs Solitude, alone 
Reign'd o*er the furface of this rocky Zone j 

No fliadow hover*d, nor a trace appeared 
Of living foul ; a deep Cimmerian hue 
Ting'd the rude floor, as far as eye could view ; 

Where no fine fculptur'd forms the Klgrim cheered* 


** If here you wait for words,'* the Mantu an £ud ; 
^^ I fear, the foiemn filence of the Desuji 


[ 172 2 

Will rire your patience.'* Then, he tum'd away^ 
Quick wheeling to the left ; and raisM his eye. 
In fudden rapture, to the vaulted Sky, 

And thus began, in humble tone, to pray : 

** O Thou ! whofe guiding lamp my feet has led 
To this aerial Prifon of the Dead, 

On me your kind proteftion ftill beftow ! 
Inftruft me how to pafs this rocky roxmd, 
And gather Wifdom from the fcenes around. 

In this eternal tenement of woe« 


•* Your plaftic power the Univerfe informs. 
And the wide bofom of Exiftence warms. 

And ftill would lead to life the wand'ring Soul ; 
If Sin*s eclipfe would fuffer thee to fliine 
* On the benighted Man, with beams divine. 

And the deep gloom of Hades to control 



A thoufand paces now our flying feet 

Had meafur'd foon, when on our march we meet 

Thin pafling Sounds, and airy Tongues above. 
That feem'd, with foul-fubduing voice, to call 
Our charmed (leps to fome ideal Hall, 

To Ihare with them the genial feafl of Love. 

St. y\. L 3. Thmpqffing Sounds — ] The Poet judicioufly varies hit 
Examples from the Sight to the Hearing, by fubftituting thofe (hort 
and impreffivt admonitions miraculoufly conveyed to the Ear, inftead 
^tbe Sculptures reprefentcd above. 



Krfl:, gliding by, we heard, in filver tone, 

Thefe words, " They have no wine ;" and paillng on. 

Its gentle echo feemM to haunt us ftill : 
JBut, ere it paus'd, another Voice began : 
** I am the Shade of Agamemnon's Son, 

Who drank fo deep of Friendfliip's purefl rill.'* 


Still feem'd the Sound to vibrate in my ear : 

** Glory of Rome," I cry'd; " thefe wonders clear* 

But, ere he fpoke, a third melodious chime 
Floated in mufic by, and fweetly fung, 
♦* Learn to love thofe, by whom you fuffer wrong. 

ppnd Echo ftill renewed the hallow'd rhyme. 


^^ Here Envy learns to moult his Stygian wing,** 
My Guide reply'd ; " here Love applies the fting 

To her dull feelings, in thofe heav'nly ftrains ; 
The hand of Charity the reins obey. 
That turns her tardy feet the heav'n-ward way. 

Where Sympathy's fweet balm allays her pain. 


'* More you (hall learn, before you gain the Pafe 
Where Pain retires, and Mercy takes hdr place ; 

But now, with piercing eyes, yon* gloom explore. 
See ! yon* dark fquadron by the umber*d wall. 
In anguifh lift*ning to the fainted call ! 

How fad they fit upon the du(ky floor !'* 


C 174 3 


I look'd, and faw below, a fuUen crew. 
Dimly perceiv'd, but terrible to view. 

Half in the dark furrounding fcenery loft; 
A robe, like that the Queen of Hades wore, 
Deep-colour'd like the rock, and lurid floor. 

Involved in gloom each melancholy Ghoft. 


A little further ftill, we pafsM along : [Tongue 

^ Pray for us, spotless Maid!** from many a 

St, xi.] Envy arifes from Pride, as Pride takes its origin 
from Selfiihnefs. From this appears the propriety of expelling the 
parent Vice, before its ftill more odious progeny be deftroyed. 
The rites of Luftration arc well adapted for this purpofe ; for as 
the eye is the inftrument of Envy that is clofed, and as Selfifhnefs 
was the root of the evil, the attention of the envious perfon is for- 
cibly retorted upon him/elf^ and his idol is (hewn in its proper de- 
formity. Something analogous to this may occur in his progrefs 
through life. The envious perfon is diffatisHed with all around him, 
he fees every thing through a gloomy medium. This humour propa- 
gating itfelf, and his active powers improperly dire6led preying upon 
the Mind, this tormenting habitude grows, and he at laft becomes 
diffatisfied with himfelf. By this fpecies of mental prefFure, his 
mental powers acquire new energy, and as (according to fome Ethic 
Writers) the ruling paflion only wants to be properly diredlcd to 
become pernicious or falutary, his Envy, by a fortunate concur- 
rence of circumftances, may become Emulation. — See in Charles 
Grandison, a mafterly application to the ruling paflion, in his 
converfation with Lady Beaumont. 

A fmgular inftancc of Envy is mentioned by Quintilian, of a 
man who poifoned the flowers in his Garden, left his Neighbour's 
Bees ftiould extradi honey from them. Declam. 13. 

C m 3 

Was heard. ** O Captain of the Hofis ab&vi^ 
And all ye Saints ! for us^ voucbfafe a Prafr! 
O may oflfended Juftice learn to Iparc !-^ 

Pray fcwr u«, all, ye Families of JLove V^ 


No fympathetic pulfe was ever known 
To vibrate in that fuUen heart of ftone. 

Which would not feel for thofe, whom now I viewed 
In order as I pals'd : appn)aching nigh. 
Grief fmotc my heart, and tears fuffus'd my eye. 

When by the fuffering Penitents I ftood« 

With hair-cloth on their limbs, in vile array. 
Near the dark bafis of the rock they lay 

In order clofe, together rudely prefsM, 
Propped by the formidable ridge behind. 
As in the holy porch, the vagrant Blind 

Begging a fcanty dofe, in tatter'd veft, 


There lay thefe Souls, in miferable plight. 
Equal annoyance to our ears and fight. 

Lamenting deep their complicated woes ; 
And as the golden Sun to thefe is loft. 
So thofe faft ftationM at their gloomy poft 

Ar^ doom'd on Day's fair beam their eyes to clofe. 


Of each, the ghaftly orbs of fight were lac*d 
With burning wires, that thro' each eye-lid pafs'd ; 

C »76 1 

(The fiery &Icon thus is tam'd below :) 
I deem'd it harfh to look upon their fhame. 
And tumM, the counfd of the Bard to claim. 

But, ere I fpoke, he feem'd my wifli to know. 


He waited not to hear my warm requeft. 

" Enquire," he cry'd; " but think, few words are beft." 

On the fteep verge he flood ; the Ghofts within. 
And I, the fhadowy Bands and him between. 
Where the deep rock overhung the folemn fcene. 

Surveyed thefe fentencM Tribes that moum'd their Sin. 


Darkling they fat, and from each gory feam 
That crofs*d the vifual orb, diftillM a flream 

Of blood and tears, that bath'd each ghafUy face. 
*' Bleft fouls,** I cry*d ; " you cheer your inward fight 
With the pure image of that facred Light, 

Soon to revifit you with heav*nly rays. 


" So may you clear away the taint of Sin, 
Till pure Contrition*s fountain fpring within. 

And, free from (lain, with limpid current flow : 
Tell me, if any Soul of Latian race 
*Mongfl your benighted fquadrons finds a place. 

Both might be pleas*d each other here to know.** 


** Brother !** a voice reply*d ; ** your queflion means. 
Here, (where no fabling colour intervenes 

[ ^n ] 

To hide the truth,) what Soul of Latian race. 
From his dark pilgrimage beneath the Moon, 
Here, bent on home, expefts the heavenly boon ; 

Our general ftate a general Lord obeys." 


Thofe accents, where I flood, methought I heard : 
Nearer I mov'd ; the Speaker foon appeared. 

A Ghoft, whofe beamlefs vifage feem'd to fhow 
An eager hope to hear ; for raifing high 
(As blind men ufe) a face, and ftarlefs eye. 

And lift'ning ear, it fate, intent to know. 


" Spirit !*' I cry'd ; " who on this favoured fhore 
Moult your old plumes, ere higher flight to foar. 

If from your lips the folemn anfwer came, 
Difclofe your former name, your native clime !*' 
'' While Day's fair Sifter meafurM out my time,'* 

It cry'd, " I liv'd on earth, a Tuscan dame ; 

5/. xxii. /. 6- — a Tuscan dame\ Sapia, or Sophia, a Lady of 
Siena, who had, for fome unknown crime, been banifhed and impri- 
foned in the caftle of Coll e. At that time, as often was the cafe, 
** The Florentines and Senois were by th' ears ;'* 

Shake/pear's AlVs Well that Ends Well. 
two hoftile parties happened to meet near the caftle ot Colle, 
and when fhe faw them engaged, fhe prayed fervently for the de- 
feat of her countrymen, which enfued with great flaughter. She was 
fo elated with the fuccefs of her prayer, that (he was heard (it is faid) 
to utter that impious bravado in the text ; or, according to Lan- 
DiNO, fhe challenged the Almighty to do hh ivorft;Jhe dcfcd him^ 
as Jbe had acquired the utmojl of her luijhes. Landing Daniello 


Vol. n. N 

C 178 ] 

** Siena claimM my birth in happier years, 
Tho' now I count my gloomy hours by tears. 

And pray'rs to Him, whofe mighty hand can raife 
The cloudy veil that hides his burning throne ; 
My name was Sophia, but the Power unknown 

Whofe image to the mind that name conveys. 

** That you may know what madnefs once was mine. 
When Prudence (hould have marked my year's decline^ 

Liften, and if my bladed name I fpare. 
Believe me not ; — ^but freely will I tell. — 
Not fmall appears the comfort to reveal 

My folly, fince 1 'fcapM the fatal fnare* 


" In durance as I lay in Colle's towers. 
With Arno's bands engaged Siena*s powers. 

And mutual flaughter dyM the fields with gore ; 
Devoting to the Fiends my kindred bands. 
To Heav'n I raised my fupplicating hands : 

** O, mark them for the tomb ! I a(k no more !** 

" Heav'n heard my pray'r; Siena dy'd the ground 
With dreaming gore; Valdarno's woods refound 

With cries of conqueft : fuch was Heav'n's decree. 
On the thick-falling files, with favage joy 
I gaz'd ; a banquet to my tearlefs eye : 

Their overthrow was Victory to me. 

^/•xxiiL /• 5* —Sophia^ t. e. Wisdom ; the meaning of the 
Greek word Sophia $ and the barbarous Latin, Sapia. 

C 179 ] 

** Now I renounce you all, ye Powers above ! 
** And fcom alike your terror and your love !'* 

Like a blafpheming Bacchanal, I faid. 
Quite brain-fick with a fingle beam of joy. 
Like that fond bird that trufts the vernal fky. 

By one fliort gleam to wintry blafts betray'd. 


** But my wak*d foul, before 1 breath'd my laft> 
A look imploring to my Saviour caft. 

And pardon crav*d ! an imavailing prayer, 
Unlefs fage Pettignano*s holy breath 
Had tum'd away the flaming fhaft of wrath ; 

He pitied me, and Heaven repaid his care. 


" But who permits thee thro* our ranks to run, 
With eyes that ftill furvey the golden Sun ? 

And ftill, it feems, with modulated breath, 
From mortal lungs you hail our darkened ho(t. 
Contemplating our ftate, from coaft to coaft— 

Who leads your wanderings thro' the walks of Death?'* 

•* I too, like you,** I anfwer*d, *^ ought to feel 
The penal points my orbs of vifion feal ; 

But Envy's ftain will quit my bofom foon : 
A deeper lot than yours I dreaded more. 
Where Pride's fallen bands, around the groaning fhore, 

Meafure the circles of the waning Moon/' 

C i8o j 

" But who can lead you thro' Luftration's gate. 
If your return to Life be fix'd by Fate ?" 

ITius fpoke the fightlefs Shade ; and I reply'd, 
** Tho' mute, my fage Conduftor here attends. 
An helping hand the friendly Phantom lends. 

To Heav'n my faltering fteps again to guide. 


** And if, when next I fee your native plain, 
You need my help, you fliall not afk in vain ; 

If aught my voluntary toils can aid [fhe cryM, 

Your caufe, command me." — " Strange, it feems,'* 
** That Heav'n a breathing Man fliould hither guide : 

Heav'n favours you; your pray'rs may help the Dead. 


" But, if thro* Tuscan Vales you chance to ftray. 
To my fad Friends my better hopes difplay ; 

Among thofe vain expenfive Tribes they dwell. 
Who delve the foil, to lead the dubious tide. 
And by their Haven hope at length to guide 

Italians Trade, — ^its fortune. Time will tell." 

Sl xxxi, xxxii, xxxiii.] Moft of the fpeeches of the fcvcral Cha- 
rafters exhibit fome tindures of the Paffion or Vice for which 
they arc afflidled. Thus in Sophia, we find the traces of Envy; 
as in Aldobrandesco's account of himfelf, there appeared ftrong 
fymptoms of Pride, 


C i8i 3 



The fame Subjed continued. — ^A Converfation with GuiDO Bi 
Brettinoro, and Rinieri di Calboli. 

JljUT who is he, that cu-cles round the height. 
Ere Fate has wing'd his difembodied flight. 

And, at his pleafure, fees, or fhuts his eyes ?*'— 
" I know him not ; but other Phantoms here 
Attend his fleps. As you are ftation'd near. 

Enquire ; but queftion with a gentle voice.*' 


From two pale Spedres, which at hand appeared. 
Reclining fad, thefe hafty words I heard. 

As tow'rd me they tumM their darkened eyes. 
In lift'ning pofture. Thus the firft began : 
*' In pity tell, high-favour'd Son of Man ! 

Why thus, in duft enfhrin'd, to Heav'n you hafte ? 

St, ii. /. 2. "^afiy words'^ This Converfation is fuppofed to 
pafs between the Spirits of two noble Florentines^ Guido di 
Brettinoro and Rinieri di Calboli, who had heard the con- 
ference with Sophia. 


[ l82 ] 


** We feel fuch wonder at your upward flight. 
As at a prodig)', by human fight 

Unfeen before : — O tell your name, and race I" 
Then I — " My parents quaff'd an humble rill, 
That winding flows by Falterona's Hill; 

Thence thirty leagues it guides its liquid maze. 


** From that dire foil I drew my veft of clay : 

To tell my name, your labour fcarce would pay ; 

Alike unknown to Fortune and to Fame." 
** Sure, if I guefs aright/* the firft rejoin'd ; 
** Thence Arno's waters rife, and thus they wind." 

** Why," cry'd his neighbour; ^' why conceal its name? 

^' Say, have its fyllables a magic found. 

That fl:rikes the human ear with mortal wound ?"— 

The firfl: reply'd : " Its good or evil fame 

This is no place to weigh ; but well I know^ 

The flood of Lethe o'er its bounds fhall go. 

And Defolation hide the Valley's fhame. 


*' From that paternal Hill, whofe cloudy creft. 

High fwelling to the Moon, furmounts the reft 

Of that long range from which Pelorus fell. 
To that low point where Arno meets the main. 
And, what the Sun exhales, reftores again, 
No place is giv'n for Truth or Worth* to dwell. 

St, VI. L ^, Of that long range — ] The A p p E n i n E s , which run the 
whole lenj^h of Italy to the fouthcm extremity, and exhibit an 
appearance as if they had been feparatcd from Pelorus io Sicily 
by fome convulfion of Nature. 


" Virtue is hunted, like a noxious peft. 

Thro' all the Tuscan bounds, from Eaft to Weft ; 

Whether long-fofter'd habitudes of ill. 
Or Heav Vs judicial doom their hate inflame. 
Each monftrous vice, of every form and name. 

The Fugitive purfues from Hill to Hill. 


" One horrible refemblance covers all. 
Where Arno fprings : like tenants of the ftall. 

Prone be your forms (your minds were prone before). 
Go, turn the foil, and glean along the wood 
Acorns, and mail, a more congenial food 

Than Pales* or Pomona's fragrant ftore. 


** Next thro' a race of carping curs he flows. 
Malignity in ev'ry eye-ball glows. 

But Impotence and Fear confine their fpite. 
Down thence with foaming wave, and thund'ring fway. 
The fwelling flood indignant darts away. 

Till ancient F^sula appears in fight. 


'^ There dogged fpleen ferments to wolviih rage> 
In fell rapacious feuds her tribes engage. 

He leaves them, and another clan furveys. 
Kin to the wily fox, with fraud replete. 
Who fear not deepeft guile with guile to meet. 

Long us'd to wind thro' many a fubtle maze* 


C 184 ] 


'* No truth will I conceal from Tuscan car. 
To none fo needful, if he deigns to hear 

This mefl'age, from an heav'n-illumin'd foul : 
The p-lories cf your Grandfon rUe to view. 
On thefe dire wolves he lakes the vengeance due. 

Till red with gore the waves of Arno roll. 

" I fee him barter their bafe lives for gold, 
I fee the living (hambles bought and fold, 

Juft like their branded fellows of the ftall. 
By human groans, his coffers thus he fills ; 
But Fame's dark urn upon his name diftills 

Her venom, and the Fates ordain his fall. 

** I fee him, from the defolated wood. 
With gory fpoils return, begrim'd with blood : 

Si. xii. /. I. I/cr htm barter — ] Fulcieri di Calboli, grand- 
fon of RiNiERi ; he was Podrflay or chief executive Magiftrate in 
Florence, in the year 1302 ; and perfecuted the White Fac- 
tion with great rigour. He feized many of thofe in the city; and, 
accufing them of correfponding with the White Emigrants, he 
caufed them to be put to the torture : many of them, in the extre- 
mity of pair., confefled the fa6l, and were executed. The Poet 
infinuates, that he \\*as bribed to this procedure by the Black 
Faction. Such was the (late of RepubHcs \\\ former ages, always 
(at the bcft of times, and in their moft profperous ib.te) expofed to 
foreign influence, by means of domcilic fad ion ; to guard againfl 
which, the governing party had often reeourfc to the dreadful mea- 
fures recorded above. Compare the ftate of Ath fns, as defcribcd 
by Thucydides, with the hiftory of Florfnce at this period, 
and apply both to more recent occurrences. 

O ne'er 

E 185 ] 

O ne'er again may fuch a brood be found 
On Arno's banks ! — at leaft till yonder Sun 
Twelve hundred joumies thro' the Sky has run. 

From Capricorn to Cancer's flaming bound.' 

As when fome Prophet lifts the myftic veil 
That hides the coming plague, the face grows pale; 

And, on the coming ill, with ghaftly glare. 
The trembling eye-ball turns ; the lift'ning Shade, 
O'er his aerial lineaments, difplay'd 

The baleful marks of anguifh and defpair, 


One Speftre's prophecy, his neighbour's woe. 
Awoke a ftrong defire their names to know. 

And with intreaties join'd my eameft plea : 
Humbly I urg'd : then foon the firft that fpoke. 
At my requeft, the awful filence broke : 

*' You afk," he faid, " what you deny'd to me. 


*' But, fince the radiant beams of Grace divine. 
On thee, as on a moving mirror, fhine, 

Reflefted full, and lift thee to the Sky; 
I grant thy boon: thou talk'ft to Guido's GhofI:, 
ViThofe eye no fmiling image ever croft ; 

But Envy feem'd my fevered blood to fiy. 


** Her canker'd hue my fcowling vifage IhowM j 
But the full ranfom, in this dark abode. 

C i86 3 

By long and painful penitence I pay : 
But tell me, why, deluded Mortals ! tell^ 
Such evanefcent things yoxu: paf&ons fwell. 

Where fome muft (hare, and fome refign the prey ? 


" Here Calboli's proud boaft, Rinieri pays. 
In tears, the forfeit of his tainted race : 

Nor need he mourn a folitary fall ; 
For, from the bounds of cloudy Appenine, 
Round by the Tuscan fea, the Po, and Rhine, 

One race of pois'nous plants o'erihadows all. 


" Late times (if ever), with inceflant toil. 
Shall fee them blefs the cultivated foil 

With richer ftems, and fruits of nobler guft !— 
But where is Guido? where Carpigna's fame? 
And where the influence of Manardi's name. 

And ancient Traversaro ? — Sunk to dufl !— 


" O fpurious brood ! Romagna's lafling fhame ; 
Mechanic hands have feiz'd the wreath of Fame 

In fad Bologna, while Faenza's walls 
Ring with the name of Bernardin the bold. 
Who fprings aloft, with vigour uncontrolM, 

From a bafe root, and haughty thrones appalls. 

St. XX. /. 4. — Bernardin the hnU^"] Lambertiarcio, from 
a mean origin, acquired fuch great influence in Bologna, that he 
almoil commanded the (late. Bernardin di Fosco arofc from 
a iimilar condition to the fovereignty of Faekza. 

C 187 3 


*« Wonder not, Tuscan, to behold me mourn. 
For GuiDo's times; ah! never to return! 

And Ugolin of Azzo's golden days. 
Which fhed Elysium o'er fweet Arno's Vale. 
Alas 1 the Sons of Traversaro fail. 

And Anastagio pants no more for pndfe. 


*' Their deeds of Arms, their feftal pomp is o^er. 
Vice fills the feats, where Honour fat before ; 

The Kaiights and lovely Dames in duft repofe. 
Who rulM the tourney, or who led the dance. 
Where val'rous afts, or love's refiftlefs glance. 

Alternate trophies won from friends and foes. 


*' Why do the towers of Brettinoro ftand. 
Where lawlefs rage expell'd her gallant band, 

Becaufe the vicious taint they held in fcom ? 
Happy the times for Bagnacaval^s bowers. 
That Fate has palfy'd Nat\u-e*s genial powers. 

And there no infismt defpot now is torn ! 

I have not an opportunity here of confulting the Genealogies of 
Bologna and Faenza ; but I fufpedl, that from thefe two Ad- 
venturers, fprung the Hero and Heroine of a very tragical ftory, 
which may be found in Mr. Roscoe's Life of Lorenzo de Mediciy 
vol. ii. p. 168. firft edition. See Landing. 

St. xxi. /. 5. Traversaro— J of Ravenna. A Stephen^ 
King of Hungary, is faid to have taken a fpoufe from this fonily. 

C i88 3 


" Shame to the Cenian race ! and Ihame to thee. 
Vile Gastrocaro ! what infidious plea 

Canft thou invent, thy black renown to hide ? 
Thy ancient rulers, with a noxious brood. 
Pollute the land, infefting field and flood. 

And Vice inglorious reigns, where Virtue dyM. 


*' Faenza's mafters now contrafted (land 

With him, who feem'd, from fome Demonian band» 

A delegate on Latian plains ; but foon 
Fate fhall difmifs him to the world below. 
And Hell's deep charafters fhall mark the brow 

Of his remaining Kin, for many a Moon. 


" But Ugoline of Fantolin alone. 
Shall for the crimes of all his race atone ; 

His genial hopes are blafted in the birth. 
No Son (hall rife to taint his Father's name. 
No Daughter tinge his cheek with glowing fhame ; 

Still unobfcur'd fhall live his taintlefs worth. 

5/. xxiv. /. 1,2. Cenio, Castrocaro — ] Ancient families of 
the RoMAGNA ; of whom the Commentators record nothing re- 

S/. XXV. /. 2. JV'tth htm — ] Manardo Pagani (of Faenza) 
was furnamed the Devil; but why, is not known. Poflibly for 
withftanding ecclefiailical oppreflion. 

5/. xxvi. /. I. Ugoline of Fantolin — ] Alfo of Faenza; 
celebrated here for not having it in his power to continue the Family. 
Of the other Families mentioned here, nothing very remarkable it 

C i89 ] 

" But go, fad Florentine ! around the fteep 
Purfue thy way, and leave me here to weep ; 

Thofe fcenes thy prefence to my mind recalls." 
And now the Ghofls, admonifh'd by the ear. 
In filence marked our fteps ; we ceas'd to fear 

That we had mifs'd our way amid thofe walls. 


Still as we coafted round thefe feats of woe, 
A folemn found, like thunder, muttering low, 

Glanc'd on our ears, and fhot along the gloom : 
*' Whoever meets me^ as I Jlray forlorn^ 
Heirs Stigmaticy and marked with Jhame andfcorn,^ 

Shall injlant feize^ and mark me for the Tomb J* 

Thofe awful murmurs ran upon the blaft. 
And, fer away, in hollow whirlwinds part ; 

As when dark clouds decamp before the light : 
But foon again was heard a fecond peal. 
As when the red bolt, thro' the dufky veil. 

Gleams horrible, and feems to blaft the fight. 

*M am Aglauros, now transformed to ftone :*' 
Thefe accents, in a loud tremendous groan, 

St. xxviii. /. 5. HeWsJilgmatic^'] Cain, the firft Viaim of 

iS*/. XXX. /. I. Aglauros — ] Daughter of Cecrops, King of 
Athens, according to fabulous hiftory. See her Transformation 
by Envy, Ovid Metam. L ii. adfn. 

I heard 

C '90 ] 

I heard, and trembling, to the Mantuan fled, 
Refolv'd to venture from his fide no more : 
Again, deep Silence reign'd along the fliore. 

And Maro foon thofe my flic figns difplay'd. 

*^ Thefe monitory founds, that ever fleet. 
In awful warning, round this dark retreat. 

Are the celeflial (leerage of the Soul, 
That ever in the track of Safety keep 
Her voyage, thro' the dark, tempeftuous deep. 

Till her arrival, where no ftonns control. 


*' But ye, infenfate minds ! immers'd in clay, 
Altho' you fee the fubtle Demon play 

His baits before you, gorge with heedlefs hafl:e 
The Soul's fwift poifon, nor attend the check 
Of Confcience, nor the Voice that calls you back. 

Yet ere the feafon of your cure be pafs'd. 


*' Heav'n fpreads her gorgeous canopy on high. 
Her glories lighten all the vaulted Sky, 

To lure the heart of man to heav'nly charms j 
But your benighted eyes furvey the clod. 
With reverence prone, and foon forget your God, 

Till Heav'n with penal bolts his right hand arms* 


CC^ Aristotle remarks, that thofe who are moft fubjed to 
En VY, are prccifcly thofe whom we would leall fufpcdl of fuch malig- 
nant paflions; viz. Friends and £quals> people of the lame family and 


profeifiony where one would expe6k more amity and cordiality. This 
may be deiigned by Providence to prefenre the afkivity of the miadt 
whichy even in its lowed ftage, and lead commendable exertion, 
produces a certain degree of ufeful emulation ; and may even foe 
beneficial to mental exertion in another view, as it is often neceflary 
for this purpofcy that there fhould be fome inordinate paffion, againft 
which our vigilance is to be kept in conflant employ, as the beft 
means of acquiring an habit of felf-govemment« 

Among other perfons who are mod expofed to this pallion, the 
great Philofopher mentions thofe who have undertaken and fucceed- 
ed in fome great enterpnze ; and having arrived at high ftations, 
imagine that they are entitled to ftill higher. This is fo exadly 
what Shakespear has delineated in the charadter of Macbeth, 
that, as it is certain Shakespeare never read Aristotle's 
Rhetoric, we might almod fuppofe them both to have read this 
charafier in that all-reprefenting Mirror defcribed in the Par adiso* 
It appears to me, that Aristotle has here exa6Uy drawn the cha* 
ra&er of the Caledonian Tyrant; for his firft enmity againd 
Duncan feems to be exafperated, if not conceived, by the King's 
declaration, that he would make his Son, Prince of Cumberland; 
a rank which Macbeth deemed his due. In the fame Chapter 
may be found the caufes of the variance between Beaufort and 
Humphrey, Hotspur and Henry, and fome other of Shake- 
spear's heroes. Tl^ofe, alfo, who affed to excel in any thing, are 
envious of thofe who have fimilar pretences, and all thofe who are 
of a bafe and low mind, as to them things really little and of fmall 
edeem feem great. — Arid. Rhet. L ii. cap. lo. p. 669. Edit. 

It is the mod deformed and detedable of all paffions. A good 
man may be angry or aftiamed, may love or fear ; but a good man 
cannot envy : for all other padions feek good, but Envy eviL 
All other paflions propofe advantages to themfelves ; Envy feeks 
the detriment of others. They therefore are human. This is dia- 
bolical. Anger feeks vengeance for an injury ; an injury in fortune, 
or perfon, or honour: but Envy pretends no injuries ; and yet has 
an appetite for vengeance. Love feeks the pofleifion of good. Fear 
the flight of evil^ but Envy neither ; all her good ig the difadvan- 

I tagc 

[ 192 ] 

tage of another. Hence it is moft deteftable ; and becaufe moft 
deui'table, therefore, fecondly, 

Mofi deformed. For it is the moft deteftable, becaufe the leaft 
natural; or what is leaft natural, works in us the moft difad- 
Tantageous and deforming effects. We muft fometimes be angry, 
we muft fometimes love and fear and be afhamed, by the necef- 
fity of our nature; and there are juft occaftons for them all. 
But no neceflity of our nature obliges us to envy, nor is there 
any juft occafion for it. For all men are unhappy ; only we know 
where their uneafinefs lies : therefore, there is no natural occafion 
for En>y ; and, that there fhould be a moral one, is a contradidion ; 
for the happier others are, the more we fhould rejoice. 

As, therefore, neither our nature, nor reafon, requires Envy, it is 
properly unnatural ; and becaufe unnatural, it works fuch terrible 
effe£ls in us. How pale, keen, inhuman, and emaciated are its looks, 
if the undcferved indulgence of conftitution gets not the better of thefe 
cffefis ? Now all thefe are demonftrations of its extreme pain. 

Young's EfUmate of Human Life, Works, voL v. p. 37* 
Dublin edit. 


C 193 3 



The Poets, being dircf^ed by an Angel to the afcent which leadt 
to the Stage of Anger, on their arrival there arc involved 
in a thick Vapour, which prevents them, at firft, from feeing the 
Objeds around them* 

Such fpace the Wheels of Day had now to run. 
As from the Point, where Night's defcending cone 

Three hours from midnight marks, to Morning's 
Children of Time, that pace, with flying heel, [bound. 
The circle of the mighty Mundane wheel. 

And, hand in hand, for ever dance around. 


Now Eve's pale Harbinger, in penfive mood. 
On the horizon, like an Hermit, flood ; 

While, o'er Valdarno's woods, the Queen of Night 
Climb'd, in her filver car, the Point of Noon; 
And weftward as he pafs'd, the parting Sun, 

In faded glory, fhot a fanguine light. 

St. i. A 4. Children ofTtme^^^l viz. the Hours. 

Vol. n. O 

C 194 3 

But now, a more oppreffive fplendour came. 
Than ever iffu'd from the folar flame : 

With whelming light my brain began to fwim, 
And many a floating form was feen to glide 
Before my eyes, till, with my hand, I try'd 

To ward the flafli, that made my optiqs dim. 


As the flant fmi-beam, from the waters clear 
Reflex, or from a mirror's fplendid fphere. 

With equal flope, as from the orb of Day 
It comes, falutes the eye : an objeft bright. 
Fronting my path, fent back the fhaft of Light, 

And tum*d the vifual organ dark away. 


** Son of the Song," I cry'd ; " what glorious flream 
Of light falutes me, with oppreflive beam ? 

Nearer it feems to come !" The Bard replyM : 
*' Be not afraid ! refin'd by habit, foon 
Your eagle-eye fliall meet Empyreal Noon ; 

Nor from the radiant image turn afide. 


*' You fee an Envoy from the fields of Light j 
Soon fhall you kindle at the glorious fight. 

Whene'er the Sons of iEther crofs your view } 
When habitude your nature (hall fublime. 
To the dread Pageants of the heav'nly clime. 

And open inlets to perceptions new." 


Onward, by heav'nly inftina movM, we prefsM, 
When, in the cheerful accents of the blefs'd, 

The Angel cry'd : " The pafs you foon fhall find. 
More gently floping than the former fcale." — 
With flying fteps we pafs'd the rocky pale. 

And leave pale Envy's darkfome bounds behind# 


Soon a fweet fymphony was heard beneath. 
And thefe foft accents rofe on magic breath : 
happy ye^ whom Pity warms below /'*— • 

Rejoice J thou heavenly Militant / rejoice /'* 
Refponfive echoed thro* the bending (kies. 

And round the verge the gentle accents flow, 


We climb'd the fteep ; our heavenly Guide was gone ; 
The Bard of Mantua now was left alone 

To guide my fteps : I meant, on themes profound 
Converfing, much to learn ; and alk'd my Guide, 
** What that myfterious lofs and gain imply'd. 

Foretold fo late by Guido's Ghoft renown'd f" 


♦* That plague, beneath whofe fcourge he pin'd before, 
Long muft his foul in darknefs now deplore." 

My Guide reply'd : " 'Tis hence, amid the gloom. 
His folemn voice is heard fo loud to found 
In felf-reproach, along the rocky mpund, 

Thefe willing toils afliiage his woes to come. 

^/. ix. /. 6. Foretold by GuiDo'/ Ghojl^'] Sec Canto xi?, 19. 



C 196 3 


Low Paffion fixes oft on things terrene. 

Where oft contending Claimants rufh between 

And fnatch a portion, or ufurp the whole. 
Pale Envy thence fublimes her raging fires, 
Man's tainted breath in burning fighs expires. 
Thick fuming from the deep fermenting foul, 


" But, if our Love can turn its eagle-flight 
To the primaeval Source of Life and Light, 

Abovt the reach of this contagious peft. 
In the pure fields of Sympathy on high ; 
Your neighbour's tranfport will augment your joy-j^ 

By the reflex of focial blifs increas'd/* 


« Oft, as I drink of that celeftial rill,'* 
I cry'd, " I find my thirft increafing ftill ; 

Its copious draughts but more inflame my foul 
In fearch of heav'nly truth. One doubt remains :- 
Muft not that good, a multitude obtains. 

Be lefs, than if a few poflefs'd the whole ?" 


Then he, — " Bccnufe you bend vour eyes below. 
On the dark theatre of human woe, 

Its dimnefs hovers o'er your mental fight ; 
But that in-boundcd fource of blifs above. 
Salutes the foul, that burns with hca.'nly love. 

Like fun-beams falling on a mirror bright. 

C 197 ] 

•* Thus, glancing on the heart, the ray divine 
Bids the rapt foul with double glory fhine. 

Where'er it finds the feeds of heav'nly fire. 
Hence, multiply'd, they fend, with keener glance. 
Their corufcations thro' the vafl expanfe ; 

Love kindling love around the general choir* 


** From circling mirrors, thus, with brifk rebound, 
Quick thwarting glories fire the vaft profound. 

Till, in a flood of Light, the fcene is loft. 
If more you want to know, the heav'nly Maid 
Shall clear away each dim remaining fhade. 

When you arrive on Eden's happy coaft* 


*' But, hafte we hence ; for, of your fevenfold fear. 
Five yet remain of long Satanic war. 

To laft, till deep Contrition cures the wound.^ 
I was prepared to fay : *^ My doubts are clear j^ 
When landing fudden on a loftier fphere, 

I gaz'd in mute aftonifhment around. 

St* XV, xvi.] In anfwer to the Poet's queftion, Whether good 
fojfejfed by a fewj he not greater than the fame quantity pojfejfed by a 
greater number ? Virgil (hews, by a fplendid image, that, in the 
efUmation of right reafon, good communicated refleds itfelf upon 
the communicator ; and thence, the. more it is diffufed, the more it 
is increafed ; and that general benevolence and general happineft 
jnutually produce each other. 

This quefUon we may fuppofe to arife from fome fmall refidue 
of Envy lurking in the Poet's mind, which, by the anfwer of Vir- 
Cil, is underllood to be completely ciuvd. 



C 198 ] 


Thence, in a fudden Vifion, wrapt away^ 
I faw a Temple its huge dome difplay 

Above, flow rifing thro* the fhades of Night i 
The crowded Courts a mingled throng difplay'd $ 
A lovely Matron there was feen to flied. 

The mingled dew of anguifli and delight. 

^ XIX. 

In tranfport, as (he clafp'd a blooming Boy, 
Smiling thro' tears, flie cr)''d ; " tell me, why 

Tou cans* d fuch f arrow to your Sire and me?^^ 
Infearch of you, we traced a length of way P^ 
That inftant, like a dream at op'ning day. 

The Temple vanifliM, ere I heard his plea. 


Another Form, with features difcompos'd. 
But lovely ftill, my fphere of Vifion crofs'd ; 

A trace of falling tears her face confelsM ; 
But indignation fparkled in her eye. 
Which quickly feemM the briny dew to dry ; 

And thus flie feem'd to eafe her fwelling breafl : 

St. xvii, xviiiy xix.] Examples of forbearance and modeFation are 
here given in a feries of vifion s, which form a beautiful contrail to the 
fculptures and other rcprefentations mentioned in the foregoing 
Cantos. The firfl is the addrefs of the Virgin Mary to her Son in 
the Tempky after the alarm and anxiety his abfence had occafioncd* 
See Luke, ii. 43. 

St,\x.L I. jinoiker Form — ] The wife of Pi si stratus of 
Athens. The provocation given was, that a ftranger embnced 
her daughter iu the llreet. See Valehius Maximum lib. y. i. 



[ 199 ] 


Are you the Sovereign of this mighty State j 
Thofe facred towers^ whofe title caused debate 

Among the Gods / luhence Science boajls her rife f — 
Vengeance 6n him ! who dar^d^ before myface^ 
To clafp my Daughter in his rude embrace^ 

And Jill her heart with anger andfurprize /" 


The Reverend Sire, with anfwer foft and flow. 
Cleared the dark tempefl on the Matron's brow. 
As with a drop from Mercy's holy fpring : 
What mujl our Enemies expe^,^* he cry'd ^ 
If pity to our Friends be thus deny^d /" — 
His words the Vifion feem'd away to wing. 


Another profpeft fliew'd a furious throng. 
Haling the vidlim of their rage along : 

" Kill, kill ! difpatch !" the ftem aflaflins cry : 
Supine he lay in blood, expiring, pale 
Yet ftill his eyes, thro* Death's furrounding vale, 

Seem'd, with keen glance, to pierce the ambient iky. 


^Midfl: the dire tempeft of defcending blows. 
His deprecations for the ruffians rofe j 

And on his dying vifage yet was feen 
That lambent glory, which compaffion wears. 
Thro' a foul-moving maflc of blood and tears. 

Clouding, with deep difguife, his angel mien. 

5/. xxiv. /. 2. His deprecations for the rufftans'^'} Stephen's 
forgivencfs of his enemies. A^ls, vii. 60. 


[ 200 ] 


Wafted to vifionary worlds no more. 
Fancy retum'd to Reafon's fober fliore. 

And the furrounding fcenery now imprefs'd 
Its image on my eye ; the Mantuan Ghoft 
Saw my *mazM faculties in ftupor loft. 

And frighted, wake, as by a dream diftrefs'd. 


** Where have you left behind your fclf-command ?** 
Ciy'd Maro : " Half a league, along the fand. 

With random ftep, and fix'd, unconfcious glare j 
Onward you came, as one by Frenzy caught. 
Or deeply drenched by Circe's magic draught. 

Intent on fleeting images of air.** 


I anfwerM : " What I faw, I mean to tell. 
When firft my fenfes bade the world farewell. 

And my lax nerv^es their wonted help withdrew.** 
*' Altho* an hundred mafks your ftice conceaFd, 
To me,** he faid, '' each image is reveal*d. 

That thro* your Fancy moves in dark review. 


" Thofe fcenes were fent, that you might learn the art. 
Which, when the wrathful Demon fires the heart, 

Freely admits the cooling, heav*nly rill. 
That from th* unfailing fpring, in quiet flow. 
Laves, with Elysian ftreams, the world below, 

And bids the tempcil of the mind be ilill. 


** I queftion'd not, as one, whofe vifual ray 
Draws the dim portion of its fcanty Day, 

From rifmg Sol, or Cynthia's filver Light, 
Expiring when the mortal organs fail. 
I look within, and pierce the carnal veil. 

With the keen radiance of refiftlefs Light. 


*' This laft demand was meant, your mind to goad. 
Left it (hould flumber on the heav'nly road, 

And lofe the meaning of the myftic (how : 
For foon Oblivion on the foul returns, 
Unlefs the lamp of Meditation bums. 

To light your paffage thro* the Vale of Woe.'* 


Now, at the bound of Light, the (inking Sun, 
His utmoft journey to the Weft had run ; 

Still hafting on, we ey'd his parting light : 
But foon we faw a fhadowy Vapour come. 
On dragon wing, its deep nodumal gloom 

SaiPd round the vanilh'd Hill, and *reft our fight. 

CjT " It is a truth as clear and evident as poflible to Phyfiologifts 
and the Enquirers into Nature, that in Love, Defire, Hope, Joy, 
(but more efpecially when thefe Pailions are exercifed about a great 
good,) that the motion of the blood and heart, fo neceflary to ani- 
mal life, is greatly helped and promoted ; infomuch that the 
arteries and veins are fumifhed with a much more complacent, and 
yet with a much quicker flow of blood : the animal fpirits are e^^ 


[ 202 ] 

Evened, the whole circulations of the feveral juices alfo, (and, of con-' 
fequence, of the offices in the animal economy,) mufl be mucb 
more readily performed. 

" The cultivation of the focial affedions, therefore, (when kept 
under the government of Reafon, ) are remarkably ferviceable to tho 
grand article of rclf-prcrer\'ation ; and then, the natural confequcnce 
18, the reward that is by Nature annexed to thefe Affedlions. 

" On the contrary, in Hatred, Env)', Fear, Sorrow, the motion' of 
the blood is obftruded, the heart is fo contra6^ed and preffcd, that 
the fyflole of it, with great difficulty, drives the blood forward ; 
from whence the human countenance turns not only pale, but in- 
numerable other diforders alfo follow ; particularly in the offices of 
the brain, nerves, and animal fpirits. Such diforders as are com- 
mon to fplenetic and melancholy perfons." Cumberland de legi- 
bus Naturae, part i. chap. ii. fe6l. 19. 

The Author proceeds to give an account from Harvey's Ana" 
tomical Exercitations, which illuftratcs the do^^rine he has laid 
down. I fhall infert the account in the words of the Tranflator^ 
Dr. Zachary Wood: " I knew a ftout man, who did fo boil 
with rage, becaufe he had fufFered an injury, and received an aifront 
from one much more powerful than himfelf, that his anger and ha- 
tred being increafed every day, (by reafon he could not be revenged,) 
and difcovering the paffion of his mind to nobody, which was fo 
cxulcerated within him, he at lafl fell into a (Irange fort of difcafe, 
and was tortured and miferably tormented with great oppreffion and 
pain in his heart and brcafl; fo that the mod ikilful Phyficians* 
prefcriptions doing him no good, he became a vi^m to a fcorbutic 
difeafe, pined away, and died. He only found eafe as often as his 
bread was preflcd and beaten down by a ftrong man ; as they do 
when they mould bread. His friends thought he was bewitched, or 
poiTeffed by the DeviL He likewife had his jugular arteries dif* 
tended about the thicknefs of a man's thumb, as if either of them 
had been the aorta itfclf, or the arteria magna in its defeent; 
and were to the view like two long aneurifms, or preternatural tu- 
mours, or diilenfions of the arteiial vefTels. Upon opening the body, 
the heart and great artery were fo diftended and crammed with 
bloody that the la^of the hearti and the cxpanfion of the ventricles^ 


C 203 3 

equalled th6fe of an ox. This extraordinary phenomenon was ow- 
ing to the frequent fucceflion of two mifchievous paifions. Anger 
and Grief. Anger, on account of the injury done him 5 and Grief, 
for his inability to redrefs it. 

" In Anger, the motion of the heart is hurried ; the blood boils ; 
the brain is crowded ; thoughts, words, and adions, are confufed\ 
and if any noxious thing lurk in the body or mind, it is fet to 
work." — This confujion of the perceptions and aftions, poflibly the 
Poet meant to reprefent by the darhnefs which he defcribes as pre- 
vailing in this Region. 

** Grief produces the reverie in every refpeA ; the fyftole of the 
heart is impeded, the outlets from it are contra6led, and the motion 
of the blood languifhes ; the vifage drops, the voice trembles, and the 
limbs fail. As the changes were made from the one extreme to the 
other, and each violent and often returning, either fome of the Vef* 
fels muft have burft, or an accumulation of blood, and an aneurifm, 
muft have fucceeded.'' 

Notes to To w E Rs's Tranflation of Cum- 
berland's Laws of Nature, ubifupra. 



C aos 3 



The Punifhment of the Wrathful defcribed at large. In thli 
Stage the Poets meet the Spirit of Marco L0MBAROO9 who 
confutes the Opinion of thofe who deem our Actions are di- 
reded by the Influence of the Heavenly Bodies. 

JN QR Stygian gloom, nor driving fogs that fly 
Acrofs the concave of a midnight flcy, 

Unvifited by moon-beam, or by ftar, 
Draws o'er the face of things fo denfe a veil. 
As that dun fmoke, that roimd the rocky pale. 

Came failing on, and filled the Imid air. 


Wounding the nerves of Sight, the pungent fume 
My eye-lids closM, and wrapt in double gloom j 

The Poet lent his hand, to guide me on : 
And, as a Man, bereft of fight, proceeds. 
Cautious of harm, I went : the Phantom leads. 

With careful fteps, along the gloomy Zone, 


Thus, ftemming the dark tide, we pafsM along ] 
The Bard advis'd, as on his hand I hung, 

To hold my Pilot, left my feet fhould ftray : 
When many a fupplicating Voice around, 
Hymning the Lamb of God, with various found. 

For Mercy and for Peace, was heard to pray, 


Stan%a iii.] To the concluding Note on the fifteenth CantOt 
fome Obfervations may be added on the properties peculiar to Hui 
man Bodies, which feem more nearly to concern the regulation and 
management of the Affe£kion8 and Paffions, and the wonderful 
contrivances for the purpofe in the Strudure of the Human Body, 
One of thefe is what Anatomifts call the plexus nervonmf or Pli^ 
cature of the Nerves, delineated in Willis's Anatomy of the Hu- 
man Brain, ch. xxvi. — '* It is (ituated in the middle of the neck, at 
the bafe of the intercoilal nerve, tranfmits fibres into the vafa (angui* 
fera and ocfophagus, and furculi into the trunk of the diaphragma- 
tic neiTC, and the par vagum. It tranfmits thefe furquli alfo into 
the recurrent nerve ; and this plexus docs moreover fend out two 
branches towards the heart : the one of thefe branches taking ita 
rife a little lower down, purfues thefe nerves clofe, and then thefe 
nerves altogether, in conjunction with feveral blood-veflela on the 
oppofite fide, at laft form the plexus cardiacus. From hcnoe arife 
the nerves fpread over the region of the heart, and thofe nervous 
loops that furround both the pneumonic vein and pneumonic ar- 
tery, which vein and artery are the principal channels of that blood 
from whence thefe fpirits, which are the animal principles of the 
AfFcdions, grow warm, efFervcfce, and boil. This intercoftal nerve 
alfo braces the fubclavian artery in its next courfe, even before the 
vertebral arteries, leading to the brain, fpring and take their 

"The intercoftal nerve,** fays Dr. Willis, "through thefe 
fmaller branches, performs the office of an efpecial corrcfponding 
mcITcngcri movingi a) ii were, backv^iirds and fonvardS) on pur- 


r 207 3 


All, with the fpotljfs Viftim's name began j 
Then fweetly to the Diapason ran 

The meafur'd Anthem, in accordant praiTe : 
" Is this a ghoftly Choir ?*' I afkM my Guide, 
*^ Here, from the Bonds of Wrath," the Bard re- 

*' Eternal Juftice frees the fentenc'd train." 

jpofe to keep up a perpetual intercourfe between the fcnfations of 
the brain and the heart, anjd to regulate the latter by the 

** From hence the conceptions of the brain affeft the heart. The 
motions of the fyilole and diaftole may he altered and changed. 
The (late and condition of the animal fpirits, which are generated 
from the blood, fulFer new impulfes, or are retrained from time to 
time. The thoughts employed about the a£ls of appetite and 
judgment, have due fcope and room for employment ; in which 
thoughts the efficacies and workings of wifdom, and the virtues^ 
are plainly difcerned. The flowings of the blood in the chefl are 
hereby reftrained. The irregular throbbings of the heart itfelf are 
moderated, as it were, by bit and bridle ; and from hence it mufl 
happen that thofe irregular throbbings are eafily compofed and fet- 
tled into reg^ar motions." — I may add, if thefe irregular motions 
have not been habitually indulged ; and thence the mufcles that are 
fubfervient to them are more eafily excited, while thofe employed 
for the purpofes of reftraint become lefs adlive from difufe, this 
mufl render felf-govemment much more difficult. 

♦* There are two or three nerves," fays Dr. Willis, " dif- 
patched from this plexut neroofus into the nerve of the diaphragm ; 
from which, and the foregoing obfervation, it follows, that (thefe 
particular phenomena not being obfervable in the brute fpecies) 
fuch affe6Uons as with more than ordinary vehemence increafe 
or retard the heart's motion^ a£fed the heart more vehemently in 


[ 208 ] 


•* But who IS he that wades along the Gloom V^ 
A Voice began, as from an hollow tomb : 

" He feems, as if he meafur'd by the Moon, 
In other Worlds, the dealing ftep of Time." — 
** Tell what he alks,'* returned the Bard, fublime ; 

^ And then, enquire the Pafs." I anfwer'd foon, 


** Favorite of Heav*n ! who try'ft to purge away 
That drofs terrene that dims the heavenly Ray, 

Soon to rekindle in the Walks of Light ; 
Tho* hafting to Elysian Climes ye go. 
Yet liften to my words, ye foon {hall know 

Wonders unheard, amid this noifome Night.*' 

man' than in brutes ; and fuch Affe6kion8 are more fenfibly and 
weiglitily felt by man, than they pofiibly can be by the inferior 
fpeciesy whofe hearts do not correfpond by fo many communica« 
tions with their bowels and inward parts. Of what weighty con- 
fequence, therefore, it mud be to our prefent well-being, to ob- 
ferve thofe admonitions arifing from our very frame and make, 
concerning that indifpcnfible neceility we are always under of re- 
gulating, with all poflible care, our Appetites and Paflions, as they 
are in fo many ways the fources not only of mental but of bodily 
difordcrs ; a leffon which they can befl underfland, who will feri- 
oufly weigh this important confideration, that the whole fub- 
ftantial efTence of all virtue, of that whole obedience which is con- 
fequently due to the Laws of Nature, is comprehended under the re- 
gulation of thofe AfFcdlions and Paflions, which are ufually em- 
ployed either in fettling, or preferving, when once fetded, diilin6i 
properties and feparate poffeffionsy diftributed and divided amon^^ 
all." — CuMBERLiKD, dc Leg. Nat. Part i. ch.ii. fed. 27. 


C 209 ] 

" ril follow, as I can," the Gboft reply'd j 
*' And, if the confolation be deny*d 

To fee you, yet your Words can reach my Ear/* 
I thus renewed the theme : ** A Veft of Clay 
I wear, tho' doomed to view the Empyreal Day, 

And in my way I pafs'd the Stygian Sphere. 


" If gracious Heav'n, by this unufual boon, 
Diftinguifh'd me, to climb beyond the Moon, 

And reach the Courts of Heav'n, an earthly iky ; 
Difdain not then, thy former Name to (hew. 
Ere thou waft deftin'd to this fcene of woe. 

And tell us, if th* afcending Path be nigh.** 


" I was a Lombard, Marco was my Name, 
To earthly fcenes attached, I toil'd for Fame ; 

A candidate for what the World admires. 
Your way to Light direftly onward lies ;— 
And, oh ! if e'er you fee the Latian fldes, 

Pray for my Freedom from thofe doleful Choirs. 


Si, ix. /. I. /tc/oj J Lombard — ] Marco LombardOi a 
noble VenetiaQy and friend of the Author. 

With regard to the caftigation to which the irafcible Tribe are 
here fubjeded, the idea of the Poet feems to be, that, whereas he 
had reprefented the confequences of univerfal Benevolence under the 
Image of Light, increafed by DifFufion, the integrity of meta- 
phor required that he (hould reprefent the effects of Choler by the 

Vol. II. P (imilitudc 

C 2IO ] 


Inftant I faid, " Rly folemn Faith I pledge ; 
But ftill fome doubts my anxious Mind engage ; 

Slender at firft, but by your words increased : 
One mournful truth too manifeft appears, 
Oi'R World no n.iorc the Voice of Confeience hear?. 

Nor Virtue there can find a place of reft. 

*' Inform me, whence the tide of Sin below. 
That I to erring Man the Truth may fliew ; 

llmilitude of Darkncfs. It is in fadl a daflical id«a; forHoMt'ib 
fays of the anger of A c a m f m n o n , 

it mcrfafed Fthe fmokc — ^fpreadiiig over the Mind from a trifling caufe, 
like fmoke or vapour, from a fmall beginning, over the face of the 
country. But confidering the Darkncfs here, ace -.ling to our 
Poet's idea, it mull be undcrftood as the means i - Reformation ; 
and in that light, I am indined to think it menus the melancholy 
flate the choleric man fmds himfelf in, when \\c perceives tl;at bit 
turbulent paflions have left him in frlitudc ; that by thofe with whom 
he has any connexion, the focial aiTeclions (the JJ^ht o^ the Mind) 
are withdnrwu; that dmuh and darkncfs attend his progrefs, which^ 
wherever he turns his eye, fpread over the cour. .. aces of all with, 
whom he to hold communication ; and are not only vidble^ 
but palpable to his feeling, in the figns of general averfion, which 
he fees in the afpedls of all who are not afraid to fllO^^ it ; fo that 
fear or abhorrence communicate their fombrous fliades to the uni- 
Tcrfal pidure of focial nature, as it appears to him. In tlie meao 
time, he is flung by his own refleflions, or kept in a Hate of con* 
tinual irritation by real or imagined aAs of hollility. This un- 
eafmefs is the firft ftep to a cure, which may be completed by the 
Mind's recovering its afl/v//)' ; of which this reflection is a promifmjf 
fymptom, and the afiiftance of Divine gracci expreiTed here by the 
examples reprcfcQted in ViiloQS. 


C 211 3 

For fome the influence of their guiding Star 
Accufe, and fome from wayward Will derive 
That ftrong propenfity, that feems to drive 

The Sons of Eve to the deftrudive Snare/' 


The Phantom feem'd to heave a long-drawn figh, 
And thus, in accents, to a wailful cry 

AttvmM, he faid : " O blind, among the blind ! 
What World you came from, by your words you fhew; 
All means you try, the blame on Heav'n to throw. 

And lay on Fate the bias of the Mind ! 


*' If that were true, fay, would you feel within. 
The Power to follow, or efcape from Sin ? 

Say, would your Hearts your virtuous Deeds repay. 
With the deep-fwelling Tide of confcious Joy ? 
Or Guilt the funfhine of the Soul deftroy. 

Whene'er your Feet forfake the heav'nly way ? 

*' All Images that play before the fenfe, 
Their motions from the fount of Light commence. 

Which all that energy we feel, infpires : 
From Heav*n, the motive and the movements flow : 
Not all, — tho', that fuppos'd, we find below 

Reafon*s bright Lamp, the Guide of wild Defire. 


** This fliews the light and ihade of Right and Wrong, 
And free-bom Will, if, to the deadly throng 


[ 212 ] 

Of Yiccsj ftill an hoftile front fhe Ihews, 
And Rrikes them to the ground, without remorfe 
ExLRTioN gives her more than mortal force; 

And Conqueil follows her refiillefs blovs ! 

^' Would you be free: ? — with firm refolve, obey 
Vour nobler Nature, where it points the way. 

Celeftial Guide ! it warms the active foul : 
Not, like the grofs material fires above. 
That thro* the boundlefs realms of iEther move. 

Still navigating round th* eternal goal. 

'^ If, by the Syren world allur'd, you run 
Aftray, and follow what you ought to fliun ; 

The Mirr \" of the Mmd the caufe will fliew : 
That iVIind, whicii, iffuing from the plaftic hand. 
The great Creator viewed, with afped bland, 

And fent, an Image of himfelf below. 

'' With rapture, like a fimple Cliild, it views 
Each gaudy Form ; and what it fees, purfues, 

(By each fine Pageant, in its turn, beguil'd,) 
With unreflefting fpecd ; and learns, at liift. 
The need of mental curbs to check its halte ; 

WandVing at large thro* this tcrrcllrial wild. 

*' But Laws, without a ftrong conducing hand 
To give them fanction, and a due coiiimand:, 

I =13 ] 

From One, that points a keen and ftedfaft eye. 
On the clear Mirror of eternal Right, 
Are, like the Cobweb's texture, far too flight 

To check the progrefs of the roving Fly. 

^ But, what are Laws, when He, whofe ftrong control 
Ought, with that wholefome tie, to bind the Soul, 

Withdraws his Rule, and from the tafk retires ? — 
While He, whofe Hand fliould only point the way. 
No more contented with the Crozier's fway. 

To feize the ftrong Imperial rod, afpires ! 

** The People, when they fee their facred Guide 
Renouncing Heav'n, a Slave to worldly Pride ! 

To worldly things, by his example taught. 
Point their purfuit. From this your ills arife, 
More than from Deftiny'^ eternal ties, 

Or Adam's crime at Sin's primaeval blot. 

** Two radiant Suns adom'd the Latian iky. 
While Man obey'd Religion's holy tie ; 

One fliew'd the heav'nly Path : his Partner's ray 
Direfted thro' the mundane Maze below : 
Now ONE is funk ; the other feems to glow 

With noxious light, and fires the fervid Day. 

St. xxii. /. I. Two roMant Suns — 1 The contef^ between the 
Papal and Imperial interefts, and its confequence to, religion and 
morality, are here allegorically deTcribed. Sec Flor. I^ist* 


C 214 3 



Such ills, the Sceptre with the Crozier join'd, 
Inflid on earth, and warp the public mind : 

Now Force muft gain, what filial Love before 
Gave with good-will. But now their union dire 
Engenders civil hate, and fcatters fire. — 

To know the feed, obferve the ripen'd ftorc ! 


" In Frederick's days, the roving Mufe could find 
The ripen'd treafures of the cultur'd Mind, 

^Twixt Athesis, and Po's romantic bound : 
Biu now, the Ribald's eye, that turns afide 
From worth, may roam o*er hill and champaign wide. 

And never meet a fight his fhame to wound. 


" Three Veterans flill, in that devoted Plain, 
Like monuments of better times, remain ; 

Conrad, Gerardo, and that reverend Sage 
GuiDo, whofe name refounds to Gallia's coail, 
TLc lirttwus Lombard call'd, the pride and boaft 

Of liis fall'n Country, and degenerate Age, 


*' Judge, when that mifcrcatcd Monfter foars 
Above your champaign, with difcordant powers, 
If fuch unequal plumes his weight will bear : 
Time fees, or foon will fee, his ponderous fall 
Like a difabled Tenant of the Stall, 

Roird ignominious in his fordid Lair 


[ ^15 J 

•* Ah ! now I fee, with pleafure,** I replyM ; 
** Why Levi's Sons were fentenc'd to proyide 

For Heav*n alone, exempt from worldly cares.- 
But, who is He, whofe celebrated name 
You lately told, his country's pride and fliame, 

Gerard the Sage, his rank and name declare. 


•* Is Gerard's name to Tuscan ears unknown ? — 
You mock me, fure ; he wears that name alone : 

His Daughter's fame, perhaps, may caft a light 
On this diftinguifli'd Man. — He's Caia's Sire. — 
But now, farewell ! — the parting Shades retire : 

A ruddy luftrc paints the gloom of Night. 

*' An hcav'nly Envoy fends the welcome ray ; • 
It feemo an earned of celeftial Day, 

Tho* fcarce the woven gloom admits the beam :" 
Thus fpoke the penfive Lombard, as in hafte. 
And thro' the parting Shadow look'd his laft, 

Then plung'd his pale head in the milly dream. 



L ai7 ] 



The Poets emerge from the Darknefs into open Day. — Examples of 
the cffcfts of Anger, (hewn to Dante in aVifion.^ — He is con- 
dufted to the fourth Stage, where Selfifhnefs is correded. 

If thou that hear'ft my Song haft ever ftray'd 
Where Alpine heights extend their giant (hade 

O'er many a Realm ; where fogs obfcure the (ky. 
Which, like the Mole's dim curtain, blots the fight ; 
Thou faw'ft, how, thro* the gloom, the Orb of Light 

With faded fplendour meets the Pilgrim's eye 


So let Imagination paint with me, 

How, in flow motion, like an ebbing fea. 

Gradual, the dark Eclipfe from Phoebus drew. 
As Maro I purfu'd, with hafty pace. 
When, at the clofe of his diurnal Race, 

His flant beam on the rock Hyperion threw. 


Now twilight hover'd o'er the duflcy plain — 

What Power, O Fancy ! rules the feething brain, 


i: 2i8 ] 

And flings the whrle material world in fhades ? 
What hand the auditory porch can bar, 
Againft the ftem, fonorous bkft of war. 

When thy all-conq'ring fpell the Mind invades ? 


What leads thy wanderings thro* the vafty deep^ 
When all the organs of Scnfation fleep ? — 

Hail, holy Light ! that vifits from above, 
(Spontaneous, or by fome celellial brought,) 
And peoples all the fpacious realms of thought. 

With various ihapes of enmity or love I 

Quick thro* my fancy came, with meteor fpeed. 
The bloody image of the ruthlefs deed 

Of Her, whofe hands the fcreaming Infant tore i 
Now, dad in plumes, ihe foothes her lading woe 
All night, with mufic's melancholy flow. 

And fmgs her lonely vefpers Q*er and o*er» 


Again I loft the prefent, and the paft ; 
A dread vacuity ! but not to laft j 

For, like th' explofion of a fummer cloud, 
Down came a bloody Crofs, and ghaftly Man^ 
Defpite and rage poflefs'd his features wan. 

Writhing in torture, round the fatal wood. 

5/. V. /. 3. Of HcTy &c. — ] Progs E, who maflacrcd heriiv 

fant Son, to revenge hcrfdf of her Hufband*3 infidelity. See 

Ovid. Metam. lib. vi. 

St, vi. /. 4 — bloody Crofs ^ and gba/lly Mani\ Story of Ham am. 
and MoRDECAi.—- See Eilhcr, v, vij^vii. 



A King, his Confort, and a Rev'rend Sage, 
Watch'd from below the dying Felon's rage ; 

Then^ as a bubble on the rolling wave. 
Swells to a lucid orb, and burfts away ^ 
So fled at once the horrible dilplay 

Of Haman's doom, to dark Oblivion's Cave# 


And, as a fecond, when the firft fubfides. 
In fparkling (late along the current glides. 

Another fcene of horrour fwell'd within : 
Frantic with woe, I faw a Virgin fair. 
Wringing her hands, with wild diftrafted air ; 

And loud ihe feem'd to mourn a murder'd Queen. 

Dr. BLAIR9 in his Oblervations on the inveterate Malice 
of Ham AN againft Mordecai, makes the following appofite 
Reflexions upon the Mifery of indulging this or any other 
Paflion; " Aflcmble all the Evils which Poverty, Pifeafe, or 
Malice can inflidt, and their dings will be found by far left 
pungent than thofe which fuch guilty Pafljons dart into the heart* 
Amidft the ordinary cakunities of the world, the Mind can exert 
its powers, and fuggefl relief, and the Mind is properly the Man. 
The fufferer and his fufferings can be diftinguifhed* But thefe dif- 
orders of Paffions, by feizing direflly on the Mind, attack human 
nature in its ftrong hold, and cut off its laft refource. They Qe« 
netrate to the very feat of Senfation, and convert all the powers of 
the Mind into inflruments of Torture.*' 

See Blair's Sermons, Vol. I. Ser. vii. 

Si. yiu. U (f. — mourn a murdaJd ^tfeem,^ Death of Amata» 
the Queen of Latin us, whofe rclentlcdi rage againii JEnzAt is 
reprcfented as the caufe of the War, dcfcribed in the laft Six Books 
of the iEN£iD« 


[ «20 ] 

" Ah ! why^ for ever loft ; for ever dear. 
Would you refign your Life, to keep me here ? 

Tet I am caJiJ^ cruel Fate away ! 
And only live to wail another* s doom ! 
Soon J foon like thee, to fill the yawning tomby 

Tour fall, and his, your Daughter's hopes betray^ 


As from the Mind the parting Vifion flies. 
When firft the dawn of Morning llrikes th^ eyes ; 

Yet, ere the Pageant flits away entire. 
It finks in wide mifrule ; each Image reels, 
While Light, with gradual beam, the eye unfeals. 

And the lax nerves their former tone acquire., 

ITius fled the vifionary fcenes away. 
When, brighter than the gleam of rifing Day, 

A level line of light falutes my eye : 
Around I turuM, and heard, with new furprife, 
Juft at my hand, a gentle warning voice. 

Which faid, " Obferve, and flop, the Pafs is nigh. 

And now my bofom felt no other care, 
Than, with rapt gaze, to view that Vifion fair ; 

Wncn we coiifidcr, t^ial generally they who commit an injury,, 
do not pofilivtly intend by it evil to othrs^ but are fol^ly impelled 
by the tlefire of fomc in);\^T;nary good to thcmfclves, it will, when 
ni.ide ihc fubjeft of calm meditation, have pofllbly fome effect in 
taking off the edge of oit rcTcntment, and affift to enter into the 
fpirit of that fublimc Prayer of our Saviour : — " Father ! for- 
civK thkm; for thly know not what they do.'* 

C "I 3 

But, when It met me, like the eye of Noon, 
It drown'd, with heav'nly gleam, my mortal pow'rs ; 
** Behold the Guide to yon* celeftial BoVrs/* 

The Bard exclaimed : " he opes the Portal foon. 


♦' Wrapt in a veil of Light, he fits fublime. 
Nor lets the fervent Suppliant wafte his time 

In tardy prayer ; but, as the winged Will 
Spontaneous moves the mortal frame beneath. 
So he, fpontaneous to the wifh of Faith, 

Guides our Migrations up the holy Hill. 

*' He is not one, who waits till pray'rs arife, 
Whofe dull delay, whatever he gives, denies ; 

Let us obey his fummons, ere the Night 
Overtake us, with its (hade ; for, elfe below 
We here muft wait, till, round yon* Eaftem brow, 

Afcending Phoebus points his circling Light/* 


Thus fpoke the Mantu an, as our fteps we tum'd 
To a fteep Pafs, with rifing ftairs adom'd ; 

When a foft breeze, as from an heavenly wing. 
Sudden upon my Vifage feemM to play. 
Attended by a fweet, and gentle lay. 

That warbled foftly to the trembling firing. 

*' Blejl is the Man^ in whofe pacific Breaji^ 
No an^ PaJJion lurksy a Demon Cueft j" 

[ 222 3 

So chimM the viewlefs Choirs, while now the Sua 
FleckerM the weftem clouds with fainter ray. 
And the pale rear of the declining Day 

Retreated flowly, as the Night came on. 


And now, Heav Vs everlafUng Lamps we fpy^ 
SuccelEve kindling o'er the vaulted Sky ; 

I felt my powers relaxed, and inly moum'd 
To feel the ftem arreft, that fixM my feet. 
The topmoil fcale allow'd a lofty feat. 

Commanding Heav'n's wide Dome, with fight 


MoorM, like a tempeft-beaten barque, within 
The Haven's Mound, I view'd the glorious fcene 

At eafe, ftill lift'ning, if a cafual found 
The Tenants of this upper Zone betray'd ; 
Then, turning round, the Mantuan Bard I pray'd 

To tell, what Souls poffefs this rocky Mound. 

** Altho' our feet are fix'd, to move no more 
Till Day-light fprings, yet Reafon flill may foar. 

And Fancy wing thro' worlds her devious way : 
Say, what Offence, beneath the penal rod. 
Here feels the dread, correding hand of God.** 

Thus I, and thus the Mafter of the Lay : 

** Here, when the glow of Charity decays, 
JNor to laps'd Souls Philanthropy cpnveya 

Her mental Beam, a new fupply they find. 
Within the verge of this tremendous Mound ; 
And hence, with fails new-bent, the vafl; profound 

They fweep along, till Self is left behind. 

** Now liften, while the Heav'n^evoted crew, 
With fteady pace, their hallow'd Guide purfiie. 

And reap fome profit from our fliort delay : 
O'er ev*ry being in the general fcale. 
The potent energies of Love prevail. 

Selfish, or Social, vnth defpotic fway. 


** Self-Love, without miilake, inftin^Hve wamft : 
The other wanders, lur'd by Syren charms 

Sedudive, from the general fource of good; 
It courts its objeft with too fierce a fiame. 
Or lets cold apathy its vigoinr tame. 

Still varying with inconftant ebb and flood. 


" Whilfl: upward to the primal good it foarj 
On fteady wing, and by their bounded pow'rs 

And genuine worth, material objeds weighs : 
Or by the claims of Sympathy decides 
On OTHERS* wants, and for their need provides. 

The Mind on no forbidden charm delays. 

St. xxiii. /. I. fVhi^ upward-^'] u e. Whflc the Mind rctams 
tu due aftivity, with its powers ftdly opploycd, add in that fub- 
ordination to Rcafon for which they were defigned» and ^*Mch all the 
precepts of Religion and all the kfioos of Ezperieace air calcu^ 
Jdted to dired or reftore. 

** But, when Temptation leads its devious flight. 
Or, when its fiiry leaps the bounds of Right, 

Or falls ignobly fhort, the Soul rebels 
'Gainft the primaeval Law, by Heav'n imposed ; 
By Love the Crown is gain'd, by Love 'tis loft. 

As &lfe, or genuine Good the Soul impels. 


•* That Love, for want of fuel, ne'er may fell. 
But mount for ever on th' afcending fcale 

Of Beings, as they rife, kind Heav'n ordains. 
That, on the point of Self, with central poife. 
Its pow'rs fhould reft, and reach the ambient Skies, 

Tho* bound below by Fate's refiftlefs chain. 

^^ None on themfelves depend, and all muft know,, 
That all their feelings and perceptions flow 

From one fupemal, all-fupporting Hand : 
None can deteft the caufe by which they breathe. 
Nor by Self-hatred fink fo fer beneath 

A due regard to Nature's prime conunand* 


*^ If Reafon right purfues the arduous road. 
Not that Affefltion which we fed for God, . 

Si. xxvii. /.I. 1/ Reafon right pwrfuet — ] i. c. If wc reafon 
right, we will perceive that the social AfFedioos are the principal 
means of corruption ; that is, from their excess or defect, aa 
appears from the following Detail, and alfo from Canto XTiii. 

C 225 ] 

Nor for ourfelves, but focial Love alone, 
Admits the taint from which mod evil fprings ; 
In the Tartarean Pool flie dips her wings, 

And flings th' infeftion round from Zone to Zone. 


" Those firft (he taints, that to their Neighbours' fall 
Truft for diftinftion on this Earthly Ball, 

In talents, wealth, or fame, and feed their pride 
By the fad fight of others' hopes deprefsM, 
And o*er their ruin lift a lofty creft. 

With Venom from the fount of Good fupply'd. 


*' The next that feel this fullen Stygian flame. 
Are thofe, that fear to lofe their wealth or fame. 

Or any gift, by bounteous Heav'n aflign'd ; 
And long poflefsM of Fortune's turning wheel. 
In its afcent another name reveal. 

That threats to leave them, and their hopes behind. 


Another evil thus becomes their good. 

And feeds their black defires with Demon food.— 

The third are they, who, with the fenfe of 
Bum inward, or with fell, vindidtive Wrath 
Purfue their brethren to the Cave of Death, 

By love of Pelf, or fiend-like Frenzy fl:ung. 


" This triple fury of the madding Mind, 
Ranges the triple Zone we left behind. 
Vol. II. C^ 

[ 226 ] 

Till iharp Affliction brews the iamdy tear.— • 
But now, another Squadron vi^ts your view, 
Who, in a lawlefs track, their good purfue. 

Our feet already touch their lofty Sphere. 

*' All follow good ; but with uncertain aim. 
At once it kindles, and it foothes their flame ; 

But if dull Apathy fhould quench her fire, 
Thofe penal rites its energy renew ; 
For oft, what Men, with headlong hafte, purfuc 

For Happinefs, deceives their warm defire. 


*' A Syren Form is (he, in tinfel drefs'd. 
Like Happinels, in (lature, fhape, and veil ; 

A Phantom, for the Life within is loft : 
Here, her three Choirs of Votaries above 
Bewail the wanderings of perverted Love, 

In gradual ftages round the lofty Coaft." 


i: 4^7 3 




The Nature of Social Love, or Sympathy, further explained.'^* 
Defcription of the Means by which the contrary Vice, of Apa- 
thy, or Selfishness, is corre6led, which gives rife to another 

1 HE Poet paus'd, and with attentive eye 
My looks perused, if there he could efpy 

My doubts diffolv'd ; but ftill my eager Mind 
For deeper draughts of Knowledge feem'd to long^ 
Tho* reverential Silence bound my tongue. 
And filent ftill I flood, but not refign'd^ 


" My words may caufe difgufl,*' within I faid $ 
But He the motions of my Mind furveyM, 

And foon he gave the confidential Sign : 
With Hope renewed, « Celeftial Guide !" I cryM j 
^* Your hand the heav'niy Profpedk opens wide. 

And clears the mental View with ikill divine. 

C "8 ] 


" But the Defirc remains unfated ftill, 

To know the Source of Love ; from whence the will 

Draws wholefome draughts, or drugs the magic 
With bitter juice.*' " Your reafon/' he reply'd, 
*' With keeneft beam, muft now purfue its Guide, 

To learn how Error's fogs obfcure the Soul. 

'* The Soul of Man, inftinft with warm Defirc 
Of general good, purfues with vagrant fire, 

AH pleafing objefts as before his eyes ; 
They rife in turn, and wave the gaudy wing, 
While kindling Fancy, with elaftic fpring. 

The aftive powers with energy fupplies. 


" The Apprehension firft fur\'eys the form. 
The Semblance fires the Will with potent charm, 

InfpirM by genuine or apparent good : 
Inftant, the Spell pofleffes all the Soul, 
And turns, as to an Heav'n-appointed goal. 

The captivated Mind, by Love fubduM. 


*' Love, in this golden Zodiac, likes to run. 
With courfc as conflant as the circling Sun ; 

5*/. vi. /. I. Love, i*/i this gohlen Zodiac ^ — ] Love, which 
may be called the operation of God on us, always carries us to- 
wards univerfal good. It is not the intention of our Creator, that 


[ 229 ] 

To Pleasure link'd, it holds, in conftant chace. 
The rifing forms of Joy ; while young Defire 
Points to one objeft, like afcending Fire, 

That mounts inftinftive, thro' unbounded Space. 


*' And, as the fpreading flame purfues its food 
Till feafted full, fo, fir'd by forms of good. 

The kindling Mind by fatal impulfe glows 
Till by Enjoyment checkM. You hence may learn 
Their haplefs lot, who wait not to difccm 

Love's genuine objeds, from unreal (hows, 

" Love's veftal Fire, and fpurious Flame, they praife 
Alike, and hail its name with lafling Lays ; 

For tho' all objefts, made by Heav'n, difplay 
The univerfal (lamp of Good and Fair j 
Paflion may fire, or Apathy impair 

Our Love, and lead it far from Nature's way." 

we fhould flop at particular things, but make them fteps or degrees 
to raife our Affedions to that which may be ca]led the means of 
giving us fuch enjoyment as is fitted to fill all the capacities of the 
Mind. Reason is given us, to enable us to balance one good with 
another ; to deliberate on our choice, ^nd to make the future pre- 
dominate over the prefent. If we abufe this faculty, if we fall fliort 
of the fupreme good to which we are impelled by a fort of in- 
ftin6l, or go aftray after other objeAs, we are guilty of oppofing 
the defign of Him, who has given us this iniUndt to impel, and 

reafon to give its impulfes due dirediion. See Preliminary EfTay. 

See alfo Platonis Symposium, Oratio Socratis. 


t «3^ 3 

** Your words, immortal Bard," I ftraight rq)ly'd, 
" Illume my Soul, which elfe had wander'd wide ; 

Blind to Love's nature, yet fome doubts remain. «-« 
If ftill external objefts wake the flame. 
Can wandering Fancy merit ptaife or blame. 

Following each Image, as it fires the Brain ?*• 


Thus he retumM : ^^ What Reafon can defcry. 
That I can tell. But, in the realms of Joy, 

Beatrice will difpel, by purer light. 
Your doubts, overcome by Faith's celeftial aid ; 
To us, confined in Death's eternal (hade. 

Few beams of Truth difpart the gloom of Night. 


** All forms below, even of material mould. 
Within a ftimulative Power enfold. 

Which on the organs of Senfation plays. 
And ftamps its Image on th' awaken'd Mind ; 
Th' eflPefl: we know, but to the caufe are blind. 

Of what the Ear admits, or Eye furveys. 

** Hence, Fxora courts the fmell, and breathes pcr^ 

We fee the Flowerets clothed in vernal bloom j 

But that fine Spirit, which refides within. 
That breathes Elyfium, or inverts the Grove 
With the green Livery of Delight and Love, 
To us, in its effeds, is only feen. 




** But whence, or how, thefe mingling Forms unite. 
And the firft movements of the Will excite. 

We know no more, than how the frugal Bee, 
By inftinft urg*d, the flow'ry fields explores. 
And from the meads coUefts her golden ftores. 

The impulfe giv'n, from Praife or Blame is free. 

" But, paramount above the bufy train 
Of various Forms, ftill fleeting in the brain. 

Reason furveys the Vifionary Band, 
Selefts, rejects, deliberates, decides. 
And Praife and Blame with equal poife divides. 

As Love's excefs or want requires his hand. 


** Our Freedom here the ancient Sages place. 
And hence they build upon a moral bafe 

The commonwealth of Man ; for Nature ftill, 
TTio' the perceptions at her bidding move. 
And the firft impulfe feel of Hate or Love, 

To her afligns the freedom of the Will. 

** Hence, Love from ftrong Neceflity derives 
Her being, and within the bofom lives j 

St, xiii. /. 6. T/jf impulfe gtv^n-^'} We are paflive in receiving the 
ideas of external things ; but when we have received them, the ope- 
ration of Reafon commences (Stanza xiv«)> or ought to com* 


C 23^ 3 

*Tis yours to fan her never-dying blaze : 
That Virtue, which Beatrice hymns above. 
Is Freedom of the Will, fublim'd by Love : 

Learn then the fong, with heart and voice to raifct 

*' And now, below, the Moon in crimfon dy*d. 
Lifted her waning brow with fullen pride ; 

ITie twinkling Stars appeared around her throne 
In dim and fcatter*d files, with fplendour wan, 
Againft the current of the Skies fhe 'ran. 

Where Sol in Scorpio mark'd the radiant goal. 

" Now, 'twixt Old Cyrnus and Sardinia's brim, 
Where Roman eye beholds her chariot fwim 

In Ocean, ere (he fets, her Hoping team 
Diana drew ; while o*er the theme profound. 
By Maro partly clearM, in torpor bound, 

I mys'd, as waken'd from a painful dream, 


*' But foon the mufeful Mood was fwept away, 
By flying crowds that came in long array. 

And, like a whirling wind, my ftation pafs*d ; 
No madding Females, by Ismenos' flood. 
When fir'd to Frenzy by the coming God, 

Circled the holy Hill with equal hafte. 


iinrlrnns nnnr'rl alnr; 

" Thus, thick and faft the Squadrons pour'd along. 

Circling the ftony Steep, an eager throng. 

t «33 ] 

By all the aftive energies inhal'd 
That true Devotion breeds, or Love to Man.— 
Like flying Vapoure, ftretching.from the Van, 

Two herald Ghofts their ancient floth bewail'd. 

^' O, Mary ! to that facred Hill," they cry'd ; 
*' How faft your eager feet the journey ply'd. 

To hail your pregnant Friend, and Caesar flew. 
To fcourge the Pride of Spain ; and, as he pafsM, 
Marsilia felt him, like the thunder-blaft. 

Yet fcarce had time the flying War to view/* 

St, xxi. /.I. 0, Mary — ] The vifit of the Virgin Mary to 
Elizabeth, Luke, i. The avidity of Caefar to complete the ob- 
je6l of his ambition, is here contrafted with the languor which ob- 
ftrudls the eourfe of moral improvement in thofe who are under 
the influence of the felfifh Paflions. The appearance of thofe who 
;are reprcfented here, as being cured of apathy, and reftored to their 
moral feelings, has a good poetical efFedl ; but, at firft fight, no 
adequate caufe for their converfion is given, either exprefsly or alle- 
gorically, as in the other inftances of calligation and converfion : 
but we fhall be able, in fome meafure, to folve this difficulty, by at- 
tending to the previous converfations of the two Poets. The ar- 
guments for Philanthropy, there introduced, from confidering the 
nature of the chief good, and the caufes of the right diredliqn and 
deviation of the felfifh and focial Paflions, mull be fuppofed to be 
by fome means ftill more forcibly impreffed upon the Minds of thofe 
who are here introduced as under difcipHne. It muft likewife be re- 
membered, that the great obllacle to the adlivity of the Mind, and 
the exertion of Reafon and the focial Affeftions, is its long paflive 
habits, an4 the dangerous aflbciation of ideas it has formed during 
thefe habits. As thefe Spirits are fuppofed to be liberated from the 
dominion of Pride, and all the Vices which proceed from it, in 
the lower regions of caftigation, its effedls may be eafily fuppofed 



Urgent, and loud behind, " Away», away !'* 
The Squadron cry'd, ** the coming Lamp of Day 

Upbraids the Lamp of Love, that bums fo dim : 
Aftive Benevolence alone renews 
The growth of Grace, like HeavVs defcending^ 
dews." — 

The diftant Rear returned the folenm Hymn : 


** O ye ! that for your lukewarm Life atone. 
And feel eternal Love impel you on ; 

to be remoTcd of coarfe. The principal of thefe, isSeLFisHNEss, 
and ungovernable Rage. The latter is defcribed as alreadj fub** 
dued ; the former we may fuppofe to expire, in a great meafurt> 
with its caufe. Reafon is then allowed to exert its native enei^gy, 
by the affiftance of Divine grace. The fympathetic or focial Af» 
fedions of courfe revive, and, by proper cultivation, are directed 
to their proper objeds ; but as in them further deviations may en^ 
fue, there is a neceility for dill new improvements, and new excr* 
tions, as defcribed in the following Caqtos. 

A general means of moral improvement to all the candidates in 
the feveral regions, feems to be fignified by the concuffon of the 
Mountain, mentioned in the 2oth Canto. This feems to mean the 
powerful operation of Divine grace on thofe who have made a con* 
fcientious ufe of the a6Uve powers of their Minds. This concuf* 
fion is defcribed as caufed by the afcent of a Spirit to Paradife, 
from the regions of Purification, to denote the ftrong effe6i which 
the profpeft of heavenly blifs may be fuppofed to have on them, 
whofe efforts have been ftrenuous in the progrefs of moral ipoprove* 

This mortal Man, (nor think I cheat your Eyes J 
A palTage to the next Afcent implores ; 
O tell, where he may find the op'ning Doors, 

And teach him, with the coming Smi, to rife P* 


So prayM the Mantuan Bard. A gentle Voice 
Reply'd, " The ready Pafe not diftant lies. 

Follow ; but if ye loiter, we are gone !— 
So keen the fpur of Love impels our flight. 
We bum, we bum, to match the race of Light, 

3y Juftice hurried round the circling Zone# 


** You fee the Abbot of Saint Zeno's Towers,— 
When Barbarossa rulM the German Powers } 

Whofe rigour long Milan is doom'd to mourn: 
Juft plunging in the Grave a foot, I fee. 
Of one, that o'er the holy Family 

Dar'd to advance his Son, in Scandal bom. 


*' Condemned to join a dark Demonian crew. 
That Prince his arrogance fliall quickly rue, 

St. XXV. /. I. jihhot of Saint Zeno — ] His name was Al- 
B£RTO> noted for his apathy and negledl of duty. — Landing. 

St. XXV. A 4. yvjl plunging in the Grave — ] By the perfon foon 
deilined to fill the grave, he means Alberto della Scala, 
Lord of Verona, who made his fpurious and profligate Son Ab* 
J)ot of Saint Zeno. 

C 236 ] 

Who rais*d a Sdgmatic, of fpurious birth : 
MarkM for the Fiends, in body and in foul. 
To rule the rev'rend Choir, with proud control. 

When their more worthy Paftor left the Earth.'* 


I know not, if he ftill purfuM the theme. 
So quick he vanifh'd like a Morning Dream, 

And, with the kindling Van, before us flew : 
But thofe fad accents I remember well. 
Accents, that on my Mem'ry long fhall dwell. 

When, lo ! another Voice my notice drew, 


" Attend,** the Mantuan cry'd ; " thofe founds that 

So deep and hollow thro' the midnight gloom, 

Convey a charm to brace the nervelefs hand 
Of Negligence/* ^' O bafe, ignoble Crowd !*' 
The foremoft cry*d ; " you pafs*d the parting flood, 

Yet to your Heirs refign*d old Jordan's Strand !** 


'' O, loft to endlefs Fame !** another cr)'*d ; 
Who, with JEneas, plough'd the ftormy tide ; 


St. xxvili. /. 6. JoRDAs^sJlranJ — ] The degeneracy of the 
Rfubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, who, 
not choofing to pafs Jordan, had their inheritance allotted to them 
on the other fide of the river. Numb, xxxii. 

St. xxix. /. 2. li^lfo 'With -^NEAs — ] The Multitude of tlic 
Trojans wlio Wc-re left by ^Eneas in Sicily, when he (ailed t» 
Italy. Virg. iEn. v. ad fin. 

C 237 3 

Yet, recreant to the caufe, your Guide forfook.'* 
Thefe awful Syllables that pafs'd along, 
(The modulations of an airy tongue,) 

Upon my ftartled Ear alternate broke. 


Thick-coming Fancies, in an endlefs train. 

And thoughts, engendering thoughts around my brain. 

Ran in a maze of Meditation deep : 
.My Lids I clos'd, to aid my mental View, 
And MoRPftEus foon his Veil Cimmerian drew. 

O'er my drown'd Senfe, and whelm*d my Eyes in 


C 239 ] 



Dante is conveyed in a Vifion to the Fourth Stage, or the Region 
of Avarice, where he meets the Spirit of Pope Adrian the 
Fourth ♦. 

Now came the chilling Hours before the Dawn, 
When all the Day's precedent heat withdrawn 

Forfook the air, and Saturn's fuUen fway. 
Augmented by the Earth's projeding fliade 
Above, a leaden league with Cynthia made, 

And every genial influence chac'd away. 


Now draws the Geomant his magic ring 

On the dark ground, and, ere the tardy Sgring 

♦ " Hitherto," the Commentators fay, ** the more fpiritual or 
diabolical Vices have been expofed ; viz. Malice, and its offspring. 
Pride, Envy, and Selfilhnefs. The Poet now proceeds to thofe 
Vices, which arife from the indulgence of the Senfes; and which 
maybe called, more properly. Corporeal; viz. Avarice, Im- 


St. ii. /. I. tke Geomant — ] Geomancy is a fpecies of divina- 
tion, derived from certain figures drawn on the earth, at a certaia 
hour before the dawn. 


[ 240 ] 

Of Day, faint glimmering, breaks the fallen gloom ; 
In the receding Stars his fortune views. 
When Sleep, defcending, with the Morning dews. 

My languid Senfe obfcur'd with drowfy fiime* 


Nor pafsM in folitude my torpid trance, 
For foon a Female, with diftorted glance. 

Short of her hands, with members out of place^ 
With pale, fepulchral hue, before me ftood ; 
And as the bright Sun warms the frozen blood. 

She feem*d to feel my eyes* enlivening rays. 


Speech was permitted firft, and foon began 
Love's purple hue to tinge his vifage wan : 

Before my eyes an Angel feem'd to fwim. 
Then, with a melody fo fweet and clear, 
The lovely Stranger charmed my ravifli'd ear. 

My Spirit* danced refpondent to the hymn. 


*' I am that Syren Form, that led away 
The vent'rous Greeks to my pacific Bay, 

In Pleafure's track, the Path that Man purfues j 
Even fage Ulysses, captive to my fong, 
Obey'd my call, the foremoft of the throng ; 

A call, my happy Vaffals ne'er refufe." 

Si. iii. /. 2. — For foon a Female^ Viiion of Worldly PirSA* 
SURB, whofe falfc pretences arcdctcded by the Genius of true En- 
joyment, previous to the contemplation of the fenfual Vices, and 
their correclivcs, given in the cnfuing Cantos. 

t 241 3 


Hie warbling fcarce was o*er ; a faintly Dame 
Came on, with flying feet, and eyes of flame : 

** O, holy Mantuan ! who is this ?" flie faid : 
Abaih'd, he feem'd to hear, and rent away 
From that deluding Fair ; her rich array. 

And all, the foulhefs of the Fiend difplay'd. 


My fenfe^ oflfended by the foul perfume, 
Ifluing from that deteded Monfter's womb. 

Soon rousM, and fwept the fleeting dream away. 
To gentle Maro, then, I tum'd my eyes : 
" Thrice have I caird," he cryM ; " at length arife. 

And gain the Pafles with the opening Day !*' 


0*er Ocean's brim the Wheels of JPhoebus rollM, 
And touch'd the fhadowy Mound with fluid gold. 

That girt the Mountain with a fpiral Zoile ; 
Weftward we joumey'd, with the Sun behind. 
My bending body fhewM a laboring mind. 

When foon a Voice was heard, that call'd us on. 


Near was the found ; and, more thaii mortal fweet, 
Aloft, incumbent o*er the dark retreat. 

The Speaker we beheld } his fnowy wing 
My vifage fanned, with ventilation foft. 
" Happy are they that mourn /** aloud, and oft, 

A viewlefs Choir above, were heard to fing* 
Vol. n. R 

L U2 1 


" H(7/>py arc lh:y that jnourn the bonds of Sin ; 
Cclcjiial Freedom foon Jljall break the ghiy 

Ayid o*cr their fouls unifual eonfort JhedJ*^ 
Quick were the founds I heard ; but ftill my Mind 
I felt to Darknefs and to Doubt refign^d. 

** Why art thou thus deprefsM ?*' the Mantuan faid. 


" That Vifion of the Morn," I quick replyM, 
*' From each furrounding objeft turns afide 

My thoughts, ftill harafs'd with that uncouth Sight/' 
" That Beldam was the Witch of Worldly Joy," 
The Bard retum'd ; " her mourning Tribes on high 

Poffefs three Stages of the Mountain's height. 


" You faw how Reason tore, with eagle-grafp. 
The fine difguife of that envemonM Afp ; 

Let that fuffice : and now purfue your way, 
Till her great Viftrefs you behold above. 
Waving the Banner of eternal Love 

Round the wide circuit of empyreal Day." 


As the tir'd Falcon, ere on Earth fhe light. 

Turns to the well-known lure, and fpeeds her flight 

Where her glad Lord prepares the favoury fcaft ; 
Thus eagerly 1 pafsM the rocky ftrait. 
So ply'd my feet to find the opening Gate, 

Till on the rocky verge, at laft we reft. 

C H3 ] 


There, all extended on the rugged ftones, 
Viftims I faw, that, with repeated groans. 

Made the long vallies of Luftration ring : 
" cruel Bondage of the foaring Soul^* 
They fung ; " our Spirits^ winged to mount the Pole^ 

To this dire Adamant in torture cling** 


The interrupting fob, with frequent fwell, 

Scarcely allowed their deep diftrefs to tell : [chains 

" Chofen of Heav'n !" I cry*d ; " whofe ponderous 
Confcience, and rifing Hope, n^ay render light j 
Tell, where we may afcend the rocky Height, 

To view the Regions of fuperior Pains." 


" If you along the verge, unfhackled go. 
And wifh to climb the Hiirs projedting Brow, 

Turn to the left;" a Voice, in plaintive ftrain, 
Reply'd. I knew, that an unbodied Shade 
I feem*d to him, and to the Bard conveyed 

My meaning in a glance, nor a{k*d in vain. 


The gentle Poet foon my fearch allowed. 
To find the Speaker in the proftrate crowd ; 

And, bending o'er him, as entranced he lay, 
I cryM, " Oh, Spirit ! whom your woes prepare, 
An earthly gueft, to breath empyreal air } 

One moment, at my fuit, your taik delay. 


C 244 J 

" Tell, who you are, and why thus prone you fiey 
Forbid to view the Glories of the Sky ; 

And fay, if aught, my cafe in other climes 
Can fhorten your diftrefs ; when I return 
To that bafe world, where yet Fm doomed to moum^ 

On that difaft'rous Stage of woes and crimes." 


Soon ftiall you know," the Spirit made reply ; 
Why darkling here, like Aliens of the Sky, 

St. xviii. 7c//, ivho you ///v, 5cc."j The corrcdlion of Avarice is dc- 
fcribed with a due attention to the manner in which that vice acquires 
its dominion over the Mind. As the eye, wlicn too often fixed upon 
the Sun, retains a dufky image of that luminan-, which it refledls, fer 
a time, upon all external obje<^s on which it happens to turn its atten- 
tion ; fo the eye of the Mind, by being too intenfely direAed upon the 
means of worldly profperity as the chief good, contrails a fimilar dif- 
Order, which tinges all Its moral viewo, and profents all other objefts to 
it in colours derived from this attiTiftlve idol. This diforder incrcafes, 
till, like the jaundiced eye, it fees c\€ty thing through this medium^ 
and weighs the refpcftive \*aliie of every purfuit by this balance : 
then the deception is gradually commimicated to all the feelings, 
till, as in the cafe with Midas, not only every thing feen, but the 
objedlsof all the fenfes, arc aflbciatcd with this predominant impref- 
(ion, and all the aftive powers of the Mind operate under this de- 
termination. This is figured here, by the Alan being gradually 
bent down to the earth, excluded from all communication with ex- 
ternal obje6ls, and confined to that alone in which he placed hit 
chief felicity. This being a ftate fo contrary to Man's original dcf- 
tination, and to the natural habitudes of the mental powers, mud 
be attended with that degree of mental anxiety mentioned here, 
^hich is meant by Providence as the fu^l flep to moral conva- 
Icfcence, afliftcd by the operations of Grace, reprefented here br 
the concuiIioQS of the nwuntain, as obferaed abore. 

C 245 3 

We thus falute the foil; but, if my Name 
You chufe to learn, and to repeat on Earth, 
I fiird Saint Peter's Chair, and drew my birth 

From an old Lineage not unknown to Fame. 


" Between Siestra and Chaviera flows 
A gentle river, which its name beftows 

(Far famM Lavagna) on my lineal Sires : 
One Moon I bore the Pontiff" 's Robe of State, 
Ah ! light as down, is every other weight 

To him, who, ftill to keep it dean, afpires. 


" Till then, I liv*d a fordid flave to gain. 
My Name was ever firft in Mammon's train ; 

But, feated now aloft, I faw my Sin : 
Raised to my wifh, no more my foul could crave, 
Sufpended now betwixt the Throne and Grave, 

I found a dread vacuity within. 


" Startled to feel my unallay'd defire, 
I bade the fublunary World retire, 

A jufter end of Love refolv*d to find : 
My foul, that labourM in the mines below 
Till then, was fentenc'd here to penal woe, 

TUl from the Duft I rife, by Pain refm'd. 


^^ Here, lull of gold deplores the dreadful doom i 
Here, chained a feafon to its marble tomb, 


C 246 3 

Each Spirit learns the price of things above : 
No pain, in all Probation's hideous round, 
Can equal their's, who here, in durance bound, 

Pay the long penance of their fordid Love. 


** As on the Soil, like brethren of the Sty^ 
We tumM our eyes, and fcom'd the ample Sky } 

An Angel bends us down with giant-hand, 
And bids us bite the Duft, we lov'd fo well : 
Bound to the rugged pavement, here we dwell, 

And bathe with gufhing tears the rocky Strand, 


*' As pure Benevolence, by love of gold 
Chiird to the hearts, no longer could unfold 

Its genial powers, but lay, congealed in Froft ; 
So fetter'd hand and foot, unmovM, and prone. 
We cover, many a league, this lofty Zone, 

Till Heav'n difmifs us from this fearful Poll/* 


Inftant I bent my knee, with flrong defure 
To pay obeifance to the papal Sire, 

And had begun ; but, when he heard the found, 
*' Brother, why bend you thus to Earth ?*' he cryM j 
^* Your dignity," with reverence I replyM, 

*' I feel my fciult, and be it thus aton'd.*' 


** Ah, quit that humble pofture," he rejoin'd, 
^^ I am your fellow-ilave ; the tafk aifiga'd 

C 247 ] 

To all Emmanuel's Servants is the fame. 
Farewell, ye Pageants of this earthly Ball ; 
One rank beyond the Grave has levell'd all, 

Unlcfs fuperior worth didincbion claim. 


" If right you underftood what Heav*n declares, 
That no connubial rite the Race repairs, 

No human compaft in the Skies are known, 
You had not vcx'd my ears with titles vain; 
Purfue your way nor longer here remain, 

Your prefence checks the penitential groan. 


*' No longer thus diRurb my holy talk. 
But, if a favour fuch as I may a(k, 

I have one nephew, (if Lavaqna's Line 
Have fpread no taint thro' his degenerate blood,) 
He well may yet deferve the name of Good, 

Bid him remember me* — All joy be thine!" 




C ^49 ] 



The Poets meet with the Spirit of Hugh Capet, who recite* 
many Examples of Poverty, Liberality, and Avarice. — ^An 
Earthquake enfues, which is fucceeded by a general Adi of 

Against the Prelate's high refolves, in vain 
My xviihes ftrove, a (hort delay to gain. 

And thirfting, from the pure inftru6Kve rill 
I was compeird to part : the Mantuan Sage 
Led me, reluftant, to the rocky ledge, 

Whofe double cinfture bound the lofty HilL 


With cautious feet the outmoft verge we trace ; 
The proftrate Sinners fiird the inward fpace. 

Who, on the rugged pavement, wept away, 
The captive Mind's eclipfe, that journeys on 
After Hyperion's wheels from Zone to Zone, 

And rules the World with univerfal fway. 


Curfe on this wolviih Fiend's infatiate maw. 
More vi^ms feel thy unrefifted paw. 

C 250 ] 

Than any other bead of prey devours : 
All powerful breath ! whofe Spirit can refine 
To pureft gold the Soul's degenerate mine, 

When wilt thou vifit thofe devoted Towers ? 


With flow, deliberate feet we tracM the Path, 
And heard the captive Crew lament beneath ; 

Whence foon thefe mournful accents caught my ear. 
As of a Soul by fliarpeft pains opprefsM : 
** O Poverty ! you were a welcome gucft 

To fainted Mary, while fhe fojoum*d here. 


" Witnefs the manger, where her pious care 
Shielded her Infant from the wint'ry air." 

" Pride of the Roman World !'* another cry*d ; 
" In honourable want your days you pafl:. 
And deemM the Man by opulence difgrac*d. 

Who by diflioneft means his ftores fupply*d !'* 


More welcome than the Paean's lofty found. 
My foul, with full accord, thefe accents own'd. 

And much I long'd, amid the proftratc Dead, 
To find this humble Minftrel of the Poor : 
Long, long I fearch*d around the rugged Ihore, 

And fcrutiniz'd their files with cautious tread. 

St. V. /. 3. r.iiic vj the Roman World — ] Fabricivs, wim 
icfufcd the briliLki uf Pvrrhus, King of EriRvSy to betray hi* 
country. Sec Plut. iu Vit. Pyrrhi. 

C ^51 ] 


Sage NicoLAUS next he gave to Fame, 
Who favM the gentle Sifterhood from fhame, 

When their frefh blooming charms their Father fold 
For profFer'd coin ; a portion he fupply'd : 
Taught them in Heaven's prote£Uon to confide, 

And brought from Satan to Emmanuel's fold. 


" Sweet Minflrel ! tell thy former Name,'' I faid ; 
Who, warm'd by Virtue, in this chilling fhade, 

Extoirft the Dead, with folitary fong. 
And not in vain ; when to the nether clime 
I go, to meafure out my term with Time." — 

Thus foon he anfwer'd from the proftrate throng : 


*' No pois'nous ftem, with more malignant dew, 
Infefts the Chriftian world, than that which drew 

From me, the vemon of its fpreading boughs : 
Bruges and Douay, Ghent and Lisle, could Ihcw 
(Had they but power) what gratitude they owe 

To us ; and to their doom I join my vows. 


** Hugh Capet was I call'd j the double Name, 
Lquis and Philip (both confign'd to fhame), 

St. X. /.I. Hugh Capet — ] Was not the fon oft butcher of 
Far IS, according to the vulgar ftory here adopted by the Poet, whofe 
animofity was inflamed againft the whole Capetine family, on ac- 
count of the part taken bv Charles of Anjou, and De Valois, 


[ 25^ ] 

From me deriv'd, the Gallic fceptrc fway*d ; 
ITie fliamblcs of Lute ti a gave me birth, 
When Charlemagne's proud Line was funk to Earthy 

Except pne youth, in holy weeds arrayM. 


*' For him I held the reins, and found my pow'r 
In vafTals, and in wealth, from hour to hour 

Increased ; till, to the Crown, with eafy hand, 
My Son I led ; from him the royal Cre^y, 
From age to ag^ their humble lineage drew, 

Who ftretch'd their fceptre o'er the Celtic Strand, 


** While to the Southern diftrift yet confined. 
Their low condition curbM their mounting Mind ; 

But when the Norman plains, and Ponthieu fell. 
With Guienne's vineyards, to their lucky lot. 
By fraud and force of gold ; our Race forgot 

Their fource, and foon began with pride to fwelL 

in the affairs of Italy. He was the fon of Hugh Count of Paris, 
grandfon of Robert Duke of Aquitain, and having been made 
Mayor of the Palace to Louis the Fourth, of the Car lov in gi AH 
Line, fucceeded that King, who died cliildlefs. But he himfclf had 
a fort of title to the Crown, being dcfcended, by the female line, 
from Charlemagne. The ninth Stanza alludes to the In vafion of 
Flanders by Philip le Bel, one of his defcendants. He con* 
quered the whole countr)-, and dcpofed its rightful Sovereign ; but 
was deprived of his ill-gotten fpoil, by an infurredion of the inhabi- 
tants. For an account of his difputes with Boniface the Eighths 
alluded to here, fee Flor. Hid. His perfecution of the Knights 
Templars, is well known. See Me z era v. See alfo Villani^ 
lib. viii. c. Si* 

L 253 J 

** Like a foul Demon, on the tainted gales, 
Palermo's tyrant, o*er the Latian vales 

Malignant hung, and quafFM Imperial gore ; 
When CoNRADE fell : but more infernal joy 
He felt, when fage Aquinas fought the Sky, 

Difmifs'd by poifon from his native Shore. 


*' Another carnal Fiend, that wears his Name, 
(Alike in birth, in fortune, and in fame,) 

The pregnant round of fated Time fhall bring, 
In peaceful garb. I fee him ftem the tide ! — 
I fee him thro' the Tuscan fquadrons ride, 

And, with Iscariot's weapon, clear the ring. 

*' No fceptre fhall he gain j but black renown. 
With all her fnakes, his Gorgon head fhall crown : 

Far, far in Hades, fhall the Mifcreant weep, 
And heavy fhall ^le feel the hand of God ! — 
He laughM at Tuscan woes, and drank their blood. 

Till Juflice waken'd from her iron fleep. 

** Another yet I fee, with recreant breath, 
(From his difmafled Pinnace drag'd to Death,) 

St. xiv, /. I, jfnother carnal Fternt--^'] Charles de Valois. 
See Flor. Hift. 

Si, xvi. /. I, jinother yet I fet*-^'\ Charlks de Valois, Son to 
Charles I. of Anjou, King of Naples, and Commander of the 
Angevin fleet in the bay of Naples. He wa» challenged by 


C 25+ 3 

For his iirnoblc rrnft^in fjl! his child, 
liis Daughter, bartei'd for a grafp of ore ! — 
Pale Av'rice boaft your old renown no more ! — 

A Father's love is by your arts cxil'd. 


" But, to ecHpfe all otlicr crimes, behoIJ 
Where fell Sciarra florms Anagnia's hold. 

And drags the Vicar of his Lord away : 
Behold the revVend Sire exposed to fcom. 
And captive by the Tribe of Valois borne, 

Till from their bondage Death redeems their prcy^ 


*- I fee the Templi:, by that Judge profane, 
Raz'd to the ground ; and to th' ignoble chain 

Its Guardian doomed. O Ruler of the Skies ! 
When fhall I fee his deadly deeds recoil . 
On his own head, and w hen refund his fpoil ? 

Tardy thy Judgments feem ; but thou are wife ! 


" Accept this anfwer to your firfl: demand ; 
This to your next : when at your facred ftand 

DoRiA» the famous Admiral of A rag on ; whofc invitation to an 
engagement he raflily accepted. Doria having given previous 
orders to fomc of his Captains, to bend all their attacks againft the 
Imperial galley where Valois commanded, he was quickly over- 
powered and taken prifuner ; nor would his life have been fpared^ 
but for the interceflion of Constantia, wife to Peter of Ara- 
GON. By this Con ST AX Ti A, came liis title to Naples and Sicily » 
See Flor. HiR. 


[ ^55 ] 

The Hymn to Mary's Name you heard us raife: 
Know, fcorn of worldly things our fong fupplies 
With daily themes : when Night invefts the Skies, 

Then felfifli deeds we mourn in hoarfer lays. 


*' Then dark Pygmalion's bloody hand w^ fmg. 
Who fheath'd his blade (impelled by Mammon's fting). 

By night, in mild SiCHiEus' holy fide; 
And Midas, by his luft of gold diftrefsM, 
For ever hungry at a fplendid feaft, 

A theme of fcorn for difappointcd Pride.'' 


" Then Achan*s deed the changing Choirs proclaim, 
Who ftole the fpoil, and fullied Jitdah's name ; 

And Joshua's juft award concludes the ftrain. 
Then loud we chant Sapphira, with her Spoufe ; 
To Heliodorus next, the meafure flows, 

Spum'd by a ftiadowy fteed in Salem's fane. 


** The Name of him, who flaughter'd Polydore, 
The general chorus fends around the fliore ; 

And Crassus, who the tafte of gold was taught. 
Thus in loud notes the paufing numbers fwell ; 
Then in low murmurs run along the vale. 

As Paffion's varied tones infpire the thought. 


" Not I alone, recumbent in the Duft, 
Extol the bright examples of the Juft j 

[ 256 J 

But, in a paufe of mufic, chanc'd to raife 
A folitary note." He fpoke no more; 
We journey on along the ftony floor, 

And to the portal prefs, with hafty pace. 

When, lo ! at once the Mountain feem'd to mote 
With all its nodding battlements above^ 

High over head the reeling fabric frowned, 
A death-like cold pervaded every nerve : 
iEoEAN Dei.os thus was found to fwerve. 

Ere an Afylum there Latona found- 


Thus ere the radiant Twins that rule the Sky, 
And Earth's revolving Zones alternate eye, 

Were bom, it tottered oft, tho* now fecure j 
But foon loud anthems, with refpondent lay, 
Fn^m (Hir tranfported Fancies charmed away 

The billowy heavings of the rocking floor. 

" Fear not," the Mantuan cry*d, and held me &ft; 
'* Till this explofion of their Zeal be part. 

My hand fliall guide you." Soon a fecond peal 
Of full IIosAKNAS, from the general Hoft, 
Sounded fo loud, the words almoft were loft, 

Or on my ears but indiftinftly fell. 


Not the JuDiEAN Shepherds on the lawn, 
That heard it firft before the fpringing dawn, 

SlxiIv. /. 5. JEgiak Delos — } Sec Otid. Metam. lib. vi. 

C ^57 ] 

With fuch amazemem liften'd to the fong : 
At once the penitential ftrain was ftill ; 
The deep vibrations of the holy Hill 

Came to a paufe^ and quick we fped along, 


Still thro' the fetterM Squadrons we purfu'd 
Our way ; the proftrate files their plaints renewed : 

Soon were their momentary raptures paft. 
Its caufe, with fervour, never known before, 
I long to learn ; but round the rocky fliore 

The Mantuan urg'd me with angelic hafle. 


Vol. n. 

C ^59 3 



Dante meets with the Spirit of Statius the Poet, on hw Pro* 
grefs to Paradife, after having undergone due LuftratioOt-^He 
explains to him the Caufe of the Earthquakct 

That intelleftual thirft, (by nought allay'd 
But that ftill ftream from Paradife conveyed,) 

Felt by Samaria's Dame, my heart affailMj 
But toil and hafte, along th' encumber'd road. 
No leifure then to quench my flame beftow'd. 

And much my fellow Sinners I bewailed* 

Then, as the mournful Pah* our Saviour crofs'd. 
When fent again from Hades' gloomy coaft. 

To viiit Earth ; vidorious from this tomb : 
Thus, clofe behind, 3, difembodied Soul, 
Thro' the long files, e(itranc'd> in filence dole. 

Viewing, with pitying eye, the Sinners' doom« . 

St. i. /. 3. Feb by Sama&ia's Dame — ] See Gofpel of JoHir, 
chap. iv. 

St. ii, L I. ^-jmwmful Pair^^'} See Lukb, chap, xxit, 


[ 26o 3 


Sudden, the gentle Shade the Bard addrefsM : 
** May Heav*n aflFord the boon of endlefs reft/' 

Soon Maro turned, and gave the friendly fign : 
** May you the tranfports of the bleft enjoy. 
Within th' eternal Palace of the Sky, 

Tho' I muft never fliare the Gift divine ! 


** Who then, to this dread Stage of Penance led 
Your daring feet, if Heav'n forbids to tread 

The fliining Scale that lifts you f o the Skies ?•* 
Thus he. The Bard retum'd, " If right you view 
Thofe marks, that on his face an Angel drew, 

You'U know what pow'r our confidence fuppUes* 


** But fince the thread that Lachesis begins 
At birth, and Night and Day inceffant fpins ; 

Still on THIS Mortals favourM fpindle play$ : 
His foul, enclosed in tenement of Earth, 
(Altho*, like our*s, it boafts an heav'nly birth,) 

Unguided, ne^er would pais this ^ond'rpus M^e« 


** Far other Images, than we behold. 
To HIS benighted eyes thofe fcenes unfold : 

Hence, thro* thefe vifionary walks to lead 
His foul, was I commiffionM fix)m below. 
From the firft fquadrons of the Sons of Woe, 

His tendant, to a certain point, decreed. 


C ^6i 1 

•* But tell, (if ycni can tell,) what mighty caufc 
Sufpended Gravity's eternal laws. 

And made the Mountain from its fummit nod. 
And tremble downward to its folid bafe ; 
Whereon the founding Strand, inceffant, plays. 

The ftormy onfet of the briny flood ?*' 


Benign, with fapient words, the gentle Shade 
My intelledual thirft at once allayM : 

" This myftic Mount, by Heaven's eternal Will, 
Thus quakes : no prifon'd wind its bowels rends. 
No fubterranean influence here extends ; 

But Heav'n's own Laws their ftated round fulflL 


" Heav*n fent the caui'e, and Heav'n reforbs again 
That Power, which moves, thro* all their wide domain. 

The Tribes of Penitence ; for here above 
No falling fhower is brewM, no vapours fldm. 
No drifted fnows the wide horizon dim. 

Nor rattling hail aflaults the wint'ry grove* 


*' To the tall Point, thro' three degrees of pain. 
The blended Elements in concord reign ; 

No clouds obfcure the welkin, denfe or rare j 
No winged light'nings fire the vaulted Sky ; 
No bending Iris, with her gorgeous dye. 

Faints the thin curtain of the humid ain 


t a54 ] 


** Embowd'd winds, below the pafs of Fain, 
May rage, and revel thro' their dark domain ; 

Tet, thefe fupemal feats they ne'er invade. 
But, when fome ranfom'd Ghoft afcends the Sky, 
Trembling in air, thefe Rocks attefl their joy. 

And general anthems hail the parting Shade. 


** A fiery inftind marks the time to foar. 
Not like that groveling will, that, long before, 

Againft the fcourge rebels, till Heav'n's contrdi 
The eddy current bends, with mighty fway. 
And bears the Soul on wings of Love away 

(Improved by Pain) to Heav'n's eternal GoaL 


•* I in the furnace of Aiflifkion lay, 
Till five long centuries had rolPd away. 

Ere my long wand'riug will the bias found 
That Heav'n approves ; before it wing'd its flight 
To the pure regions of Elysian Light, 

From thofe high battlements' eternal Mound. 

. XIV. 

** To me, with dumb falute, the Mountain bowM j 
To me, the general P-can, long and loud, 

Arofe ; when from my foul the viewlefs chain, 
Tho' ftrong as adamant, fpontaneous fell." 
Thus the new ranfom'd Ghoft was heard to tell 

The fteps that led him thro' this dark domain* 



His accents fweet, the mental thirfl afTuag'd, 

That deep, before, within my vitals rag'd ; 

Then Maro thus : *' The bondage and releafe 
Which Spirits feel in this myfterious maze. 
In fuch clear view your lofty fpeech difplays. 

That every ftep Imagination fees. 

*' Now tell me, who thou art, and why fo long 

Thou lay*ft in duft among the mournful throng ?'* 
Thus Maro fpoke, and thus the gentle Ghoft : 

*' When Titus, for Emmanuel's facred blood 

Sold by IscARioT, feiz'd the penal rod. 
By Heav'n's command; I liv'd on Latium's coaft: 


'' I was a Poet, not unknown to Fame, 
Tho* aKen to the GofpePs holy claim : 

Rome called me from Tolosa's lov'd retreat. 
And bound my temples with immortal bays ; 
Thebes* and Achilles' deeds infpir'd my lays. 

But Clotho left my labours incomplete. 


*' The kindred feeds of fire my bofom warm*d. 
Which twice five hundred Sons of Song have charmM^ 

Scattered around by Maro*s tuneful breath: 
The Mufe from him her infpiration drew, 
Fofter'd by him the hopeful infant grew, 

Elfe doomed to linger in the Shades of Death. 

St> xvi. /. 4. H^ben Titus — ] Statius lived in the reigns of 
Titus and Domitian. His Thebaid he wrote exprefsly on the 
model of the -£neid. Of his Achilleis, only the two firft 
Books were finiihed. 

S4 ■ ' 

C a«4 1 


** Once to have feen him, ere my eyes were cIoB^dly 
I would have borne whatever the Fates impos'd j 

Another journey of the rolling year/* 
A fign of fecrecy, the Mantu an gave 
To me, and flood as filcnt as the Grave ; 

The injunction fcarce my eager mind could bear# 


As each alternate Paflion leaves a trace 
On the ftill-varying mufcles of the face. 

Fictitious oft ; but, by the candid mind^ 
Concealed with pain, the dawn of dubious joy 
My features wore ; to his enquiring eye 

Gave v(ronder new ^ and thus the Gboft rqoin^d r 


** If Heaven approve your perfcvering toil. 
Why wear your features that ambiguous fmilc ?*' 

PerplexM I flood, while Silence one imposed. 
And one an anfwer crav'd. With heaving lighs 
Awhile I bore their contradifling eyes. 

Till gently thus began the Mantuan Ghofl : 


** Relieve his doubts at once, and frankly tell 
That myflery, that feems thy breafl to fwell :'* 

I heard, and thus addrefs'd his brother Shade 3 
** You wondered at my fmile ; but new furprife 
Will warm your breafl, and kindle in your eyes. 

When they perceive the mighty truth difpla/de 


C ^6s 3 


That Spirit viho dire& my eyes above 
To the bright beam of fempitemal Love, 

Is that prime Poet, from whofe lofty lays 
You leam'd to climb the high celeflial Road } 
And many an Hero, and defcehding God, 

Fix'd in the Fjme of everlafting Praife* 


** If any other caufe you deem, but this, 
Provok'd me late to fmile, you think amifs ; 

Your grateful homage to the Bard unknown. 
In fuch deep reverential words exprefs'd. 
With new fenfations fiird my throbbing bread, 

Tho' fcarce permitted yet the truth to own.'* 


Already had he bent at Maro's feet. 

When thus the Mantuan : " Think not hereto meet 

Aught, but a pidure of impaiEve air; 
A Shade no reverence to a Shade can pay.'* 
*' O ftrange effeft of Love's unbounded fway,*' 
He cry'd j " to think that you th* embrace could bear?* 


C a67 3 



T2ie three Poets arrive at the Stage qFIntemperance; where they 
fee a miraculous Tree, the Counter-part of the Tree of Know- 
ledge ; from whence they hear certain monitory Sounds, adapted 
to the Place and Audience. 

l^IKE light, receding from th' incumbent, gloomy 
Heav'n's Envoy pals'd behind, whofe waving plume 

Had wafted from my unbenighted face 
One mark of Sin : when, rifing on the breeze, 
A gentle concert fwell'd by foft degrees. 

And thus, refponfive rofe the dulcet lays : 


^* Happy are they that hunger for the food 
Of Righteoufnefsj and thirjlfor Y.n^'isC s flood.^* 

Another Voice reply'd, accordant foon : 
** When will its Jir earns my fervent heat allay V^ 
Then the foft accents feem'd to die away, 

ThQ* Echo ftiil returned the heavenly tune. 


Srill fomething of my mortal load behind 
1 left, where'er the circling bound disjoined 

Gave a new paflage to another .Sphere. 
Light, up the nigged fcale I trip'd along^ 
With the two Mafters of the Roman fong ; 

Nor feem'd my limbs their ufual weight to bear# 


*' Where Love is kindled by congenial fire,** 
My fapient Guide obfervM, " the ftrong delire 

By its external figns is quickly known. 
Since Juvenal in Limbo's chains was bound; 
By his difcourfe your love to me I fbundy 

-Which warm'd my .bread in that imgenial Zk)ne# 


^ How eafy feems my toil with fuch a Friend, 
Up thofe eternal rampires to afcend. 

With gentle flope, they ieem to court our feet : 
But tell (if Amity's ftrid laws allow 
Me to enquire, and you the caufe to fliow) 

How Avarice in that breaft could find a feat! 


^ Could fordid Love of Gold a lodging find 
Within the limits of that mighty Mind, 

That o'er the fields of Nature lov'd to ftray. 
And knew to touch the fprings of Grief and Joy.** 
He fpoke ; and thus I heard his Friend's reply, 

** Your fiiendihip glows in ?v*ry word you fay. 

C ^^9 ] 


^ By its effeft, the Fancy feems to find 
The caufe, that often lies in (hades behind ; 

You thought me* bound beneath, in Mammon's 
Far difPrent was the crime I wafliM away [chain : 
With briny tears, while Cynthia's gentle ray 

A thoufand times was feen to wax and wane« 


" In that dire conflid, on the Stygian fhore 
I had been doom'd to toil for evermore. 

But that a gleam of hcav'nly Grace imprcfs'd 
The meaning of your lofty fong fo clear. 
When Luft of Gold you blame, with tone fevere. 

It quickly chac'd away the latent pe(L 


** Jfigh one extreme, the odier foon appeared. 
Still changing as th* opponent Paifion veer'd. 

And tumfd the fickle Mind's alternate fcak : 
With cautious care to fquander or to hoard, 
I fhun'd alike, and thus my foul reftor'd ; 

£lfe I had funk to the Tartarian Vale. 


** Alas ! how many, in the Day of Doom, 
With horrent hair, fhall quit the yawning Tomb, 

Condemned for want of thought! What countlels 
Profufion breeds ; and how it lures along, (^harms 
With foft afluaiive voice, the willing throng : 

A fubtle Demon, deck'd in Angel charms ! 

Si* X. A !• jflajl bow manyf — j See Imfsuio, Canto fiL 


C 270 1 


But crimes oppos'd, a like degree of pain 
Are doom'd to fu£fer in Luftption's Reign. 

Thus I, a Prodigal among the Inrood 
Of Mifers, mingled in the duft, bewail'd 
Qur common crimes, in that vile durance held^ 

Till Time and Penitence the Soul renew'd.'* 


Then thus to Urn ihzx fung Jocasta's pani> 
Began the Mailer of the rural drain : 

^ Still fome remaining doubts my foul aflaU; 
Tour fong no veftige of Emmanuel (hows, 
No fudden fpark of pure devotion glows. 

Nor iaithy by which our deeds alone availt 

** What beam of Noon, or Spirit of the Ni^t^ 
Illum'd your darknefs with celeftial Light, 

What Lamp aetherial led your favoured prow 
Crofs the pure waters by the Fiflier ploughed ?**-f— 
The Bard reply'd, *^ You both the gifts beftow*d, 

^^lid with the palm and laurel deck'd my brow^ 

^^ Like one, that bears a Ihaded lamp, you threw 
A be^my light behind, unfeen by you^ 

^/. xii. /. !• -^hlm that fung }ocii%Tk^s patni\ Stativs. Sec 
his Thsbaid. 

St. xiv. /. I. L'tle one that heart ajbaded lamp — ] Tkis fimfle of 
Virgil, bearing a light of what; he himfelf was unconfciousi ap« 
plied to the Lines in his Poll 10 {yppofed to be prophetiod of 
the Messiahi is well conceived* 

And ^th benighted feet your Pupil led. 
By the long radiance dreaming from your hand. 
To the bleft entrance of the promised Land, 

And to its blooming boimds my journey fped. 


*' When firft you fung the Golden Times' return. 
And a new Progeny from -ffither bom. 

To blefs the world, with Juftice by his fide j 
I caught at once, from your immortal lyre^ 
The flame of Salem, and the Poet's fire. 

And feiz'd the deathlefs boon, to you deny'd* 

•* But if you wifh my words fhould paint at large 
1'he means that led to Eden*s happy verge. 

Attend, and hear the procefs of my fate : 
The world, now pregnant with celeflial feed, 
Scattered from Zone to Zone, with Angel's fpeed 

Delivered to the Sun her heav'nly freight*'* 


^* This Miracle, with the refpondent Sign, 
Of old, delivered in thy (train divine, 

I pondered in the balance of the Mind, 
And found the Gofpel Proclamation chime 
In fuch full concert with thy i^ote fublime. 

That fcarce a trace of doubt was left behind* 


" In holy converfe with the Saints I pafs'd 

My hours } but, when the wolviih Tyrant chac'd 

C 272 ] 

Thefe Lasnbi to death, yet ftill aloof I ftood. 
Till, with all other fefls, their lives compared. 
Made me all other dodrines difregard. 

And ev'ry fcruple of the heart fubdu'd. 

^^ Long ere my Mufe had led the Gr£CIAk Band 
To the dire conflifl on Ismeno's Strand, 

In other ftreams the pure baptifmal rite 
I fhar*d ; but ftill concealed my nafcent faith. 
Heav'n I provok'd, to fliun a Mortal's wrath. 

And worfliipM Hades, and eternal Night« 


** For this, while Phoebus joumey'd round the Year 
Four hundred times, I cours'd, in full career. 

Round yon' low rampires, with the frigid train ; 
Who, dead to Charity's celeftial glow. 
Run at full fpeed, and kindle as they go. 

Till Love has wing'd them for the blefs'd domain* 


" But, oh ! blefs'd Poet ! whofe propitious hand 
Drew the dark veil, and bade my views expand. 

Till earthly Dread in heav'nly Hope was loft. 
Tell, where is Terence ? in what diftant boimd 
C-fficiLius lives, or Plautus' Shade renown'd? 

Is Heav'n their lot, or Hades' gloomy coaft ? 

St* XX. /. 2. Four hundred times'] This accounts for mod of the 
time of the Luflration of Statius, till the time of Dante ; vis, 
four hundred years in the Regions of Apathy, and £ve hundred 
in the Stage of Prodigality and Avarice. 

St. xxi. 7. 4, 5. Terence, CicciLius^ Plautus^ Cdebrited 
Roman Poets. 

C 273 ] 

** Say, in what limits do they dwell below ? 
Are they ordain'd to blifs, or endlefs woe V 

" With Persius/* I reply*d; " and many more, 
Led by that Greek who fung the toils of war j 
Nurs'4 by the Mufes with peculiar care. 

In lighter Bands they range the nether Shore. 


*' There oft we celebrate the Mufes* Hill, 
Where led, in turn, we quaflf'd th* infpiring rill, 

With Pella's graver tones ; the lighter key 
Of blythe Anacreon there in concert joins j 
With Agathon, Simonides combines. 

And all the Tribes of Attic Harmony, 


" Antigone, Deiphile, is there. 
And fad Ismone, with difheverd hair. 

As when her brother fell} Argia too, 
Hypsipyle, and Manto, join the throng. 
And Deidamia, with her Sifters young. 

All fam'd in ancient times, and fung by you. 



Now either Poet, wrapt in thought profound. 
In filence flood, to view the profpeft round. 

Si, xxiii. A 3, PH/h F ell A^ iraver totui — ] Euripides. 

5, H^ttb AoATHON — ] A Poet, mentioned by 
Aristotle, in his Poetics, as the Author of a Poem called 
Anthos, or The Flowe*. 

Vol. n, T 

Z V4 1 

Now landed near the firft afcending flair; 
Four Handmaids of the Sun their tafk had clos'd ; 
The fifth was ready at her radiant poft. 

And took her turn to guide the glowing Car. 


Then thus the gentle Guide : " If right I deem. 
Still to the right hand, round the Hll's extreme. 

Our way conduds us, if we ftill purfue 
Our former cuftom in the climes of Death**' 
His brother Bard, that wore the Theban wreath. 

With his kind vote confirmed our hopes anew« 

XX vn. 

The Phantoms fped before, while I, behind. 
Gleaned from their talk the treafures of the Mind, 

And leam'd new leifons of poetic {kill : 
But a ftrange Sight the converfation clos'd ; 
A tree, with fruitage hung, our way opposed, 

Full in the Pafs that led us up the Hill. 


And as the Pine-tree points her boughs on high. 
So this, direfted to the nether Sky, 

That none may climb the dole, fufpends its fprays ; 
Thus fpreading far, it feem'd to guard the Hill, 
And ftreaming from its leaves, a Umpid rill 

Down the rude barrier fpread a liquid maze« . 


The brother Bards, approaching to the bough. 
Heard a deep Voice within, in murmurs low : 

[ ^1S ] 

** Touch not the fruit ! be Appetite fupprefs* d ! 
^Twas not the fragrant fume ofrofy wine 
That Mary longed for j when the Maid divine 

Sought afupply for Cana'j nuptial feaji. 


^' The tafte of wine, no Roman Matron knew; 
Young Daniel from th' inviting feaft withdrew. 

And dreams divine his continence repaid : 
To acorns hunger gave a favoury tafte. 
And limpid rills the thirfty fervour chac'd, 

When its glad fcenes the Golden Age difplay'd. 


" The Locuft, and the wandering Bee, fupply'd 
The holy Baptist, in the defart wide, 

With food ; and hence his glory fpreads around 
The peopled world, where'er the truth is known. 
Where'er Emmanuel's fway the Nations own. 

And ftjll fliall fpread, to future times renown'd/' 



C ^n 3 



The Poets, among other Inhabitants of this Region, meet with 
the Spirit of Fores s, a noble Florentine ; who takes an op- 
portunity of uttering a long and fevere Invedlive againft the 
Luxury of the Florentine Women. 

While on the waving boughs with ftedfaft gaze 
I lookM, like one that fpends his barren days 

Some plumy warbler of the woods to find. 
With more than father's care, the Bard began : 
** We better muft employ this narrow fpan. 

For nobler tafks by Providence affign*d.** 


My willing eyes and feet his word obey'd ; 
Then, clofe behind, I followed either Shade, 

And new inftrudion firom their converfe caught : 
When, rifmg from below, a plaintive Pfalm, 
With holy chanting, broke th' Elysian calm, 

Infpiring joy by turns, and painful thought. 


^' Open our lipSj Lord! thy name tojin^y 
And lift our fancies on celeftial wing.** 


t ^78 ] 

Thus they their proem tun'd. " O, Father! tcU, 
What means this heav'nly melody ?" I faid. 
He anfwer'd mild, " A Squadron of the Dead 

Thus the long doleful drain of Penance fwelL" 


As holy Pilgrims, palling on their way, 
Obferve whatever they meet, but fhun delay. 

And turn their eyes, but ftill their track purfue : 
Devout, and filent, thus a numerous Band 
Of Speftres ey'd me, as they pafs'd our (land. 

But feem'd content to take a tranfient view. 


What a foul-moving Pageant met our fight !— 
Their wafted eyes, with fcant and difmal light, 

Far, far within each gloomy focket roU'd ; 
With hollow cheek, and ghaftly features wan. 
Each fhew'd the femblance of a famifh'd Man, 

Where every bone its place diftindly told. 


Not Erisichthon fliew'd fuch hideous grace. 
As feem'd reflefted from each Gorgon face. 

When Fear and Famine both his features wrung. 
*' Thofe muft be they, whom raging Hunger fpent,** 
I cry'd ; ^* when Heaven its wrath on Salem bent. 

And Dames tum'd cannibals, by Fury ftung.'* 

St. vi. /. I. Erisichthon] See Ovid. Metam4 Ub. viii. 

5. On Salem ient^ The famous fiege of Jerusalem 
by TiTU s ; where a tragical incident is told» of the unnatural means 
by which a woman fupported herfelf for fome time. See Joseph*. 
Ds BfiLLO JuDAicOy lib. m See alfo Dbut. zxviii. 

C . 279 ] 


•' Ah ! who would think Pomona could infpirc 
The longing Soul with fuch intenfe defire ; 

Or, that a purling rill could raife a flame. 
That all the bowels fcorchM, and like a blaft. 
O'er the fhrunk (kin, and withering features, paft. 

Leaving a faded Form, without a name ?— ** 


Then, deep within a bald and hollow fcuU, 
Two beamlefs Orbs on me direded full, 

Gleam'd horrible ; and, with a difmal groan. 
The Ghoft began : " What unexpe£ted Grace 1** 
Familiar was his voice ; his altered face 

Still kept the fhadowy Skeleton unknown. 


But when he fpoke, my Fancy foon began 
To trace the femblance of the altered Man, 

And foon Foresf/s features were confefsM. 
Ah, how unlike to him ! " No more !" he faid ; 
*^ Let this Gorgonian maik a Spirit Shade, 

Erft, at the feftive board a welcome gueft, 

St, ix. /. 3. Forese] A noble Florentine, Companion of 
Dante, in their youth. 

Very little need be faid, to illuftrate that fpecies of pro* 
bation which is infli6ied on the delinquents here. According to 
the Allegorical Theory, the confumptive appearance of their aerial 
Bodies, denotes the fubjugation of Appetite by Reafon and Grace, 
and the fubjedion of the Senfual to the Spiritual Principle. 

An argument drawn from medical experimeat may poffibly have 
{bmc weight with thofe who are inclined to indulge ib the pleafuret 

T4 of 


[ a8o ] 


** Tell, why you wander here, and who are fhofc 
Who thus conduft you thro* the World of Woes ? 

Delay not long my mental third to fuage/' 
« With tears that halloVd Corfc I bath*d below,** 
I cry*d ; " but here I fpy, with deeper woe, 

Your features chang'd by fome Demonian ragew 


*' In Hejiv^n's blefsM Name, difclofe, what direful charm 
Has fpent you thus, and only left the Form 

Of what FoRESE was: nor let my Mind 
From vain conjefture feek a poor relief; 
For me to guefs, would but augment my grief. 

To the deep fecrets of Inunortals blind.'* 


Then he, " The plaftic Powers above inftil 
Such virtue in this fruit and purling rill. 

That their attraftive force my limbs confume : 
A tempeft of Defire, which nought can lay. 
For ever rifes from that cooling fpray. 

And thofe delicious apples' fweet perfume. 

of the Table. Such exceiTe^ are known to impairy not only the ac«' 
tion of the larger vefTels, but much more thofe minute and delicate 
organs of conveyance, by which the nervous fluid is propelled to 
the brain. Hence proceeds the whole train of nervous difordera ^ 
fpafms, vertigoes, numbnefs in the extremities^ the fymptom of 
nervous obilrudions in the head, paralytic a£FedioAS| axid apoplexies* 
—See Cullem's Prafticc of Phyfic. 

t a8i ] 


** The Squadrons, hence, that fing with plaintive cry. 
Still on the fruitage bend a burning eye. 

Till Third and Hunger's fcourge their Souls refine ; 
One difmal circle of corroding woe 
Suffices not, but round and round we go. 

Till our warp'd Paffions gain a bent divine. 


** At length, that Love, which to the fatal wood 
Emmanuel led, to this ideal food 

Wakes our devotion ; as we march around. 
We hail it, as it wings our flrong Defire 
(Even in our Prifon) with celeftial fire, 

Upward to mount, and fpum the fordid ground. 



Soon I retumM: ** Forese! from the day 
That you forfook your tenement of clay, 

Hyperion fcarce his annual round has run 
Five times complete ; if Sin in you expired 
Ere Heav'n the gufl of Penitence infpir'd. 

Why is the healing courfe fo foon begun ? 


** I thought to find you in the Bounds below. 
Where throngs befiege the Gate that opens flow 

To thofe who late their Penitence delay ; 
And lingering Years for ev'ry wafted Hour 
Mufl pafs, before they feel the blefled Pow'r, 

Whofe fcourge prepares them for the Walks ofDay •'• 



FoRESB thus : ** My Confort's pious pray V 
Brought me thus foon the bitter bowl to fhare^ 

That gives a longing for celeftial food : 
Her meek oraifons, and her falling tears. 
Have fped my paiTage thro* the nether Spheres, 

And open'd the portal, which my hopes withftopd. 


** Such gracious boon, fuch unexpefted gains. 
From Heav'n, my Nella's matchlefs worth obtains j 

So much the more, as, 'midft the female crew. 
Her folitary Virtue Ihines afar ; 
As, in a night of clouds, a fingle Star; 

Its radiance gives the gloom a deeper hue. 


^ Sardinia's frontlefs Matrons far excel 
in modefty , the Maids of Arno's Vale ! — 

O, Brother ! fhaU I tell, or hide my thought ? 
The horrible difplay that Fancy views. 
Which foon the pregnant moments will produce, 

^d Impudence and Pride's difgraceful lot. 


** Soon a flem Voice will teach the fhamelefs kind 
A decent covering, as they may, to find. 

Their naked fhoulders from the Sun to hide ! 
Was it amongft Barbarians ever known. 
That nought but threats can bind the modeft Zone, 

On the young Virgin and the plighted Bride ? 

C ^83 ] 


•* But if thcfe cbdnty Dames could read the Skies, 
And fpy the flumb'ring tempeft foon to rife, 

13lofe lips that whifper Love, would fhriek Defpair : 
If aught of future times to me is known. 
The winged Fury comes in horror down. 

Before the Infant's cheek is clothed with hair. 


*' Now, Brother, hide no longer who thou art. 
To eafe the doubts of thofe who (land apart. 

And wonder to behold thy ftretching Shade, 
With mimic motion every ftep purfue/* 
•' Paft times," I cry'd, *^ and Pleafures gone, renew, 

A Name far better in oblivion laid. 


*' What moments in the world we paft, and how. 
Your Confcience tells, I need not talk it now.— 

This friendly Spe£h:e led me up the Steep 
Laft Evening, when the Sifter of the Day, 
In full reflexion to the fetting ray. 

Her moving Mirror fhew*d above the deep. 


•* He from the dark profundity beneath 

Led me, thro' thofe that wail the fecond Death, 

And mann'd my mortal Pow'rs to mount the Iffll, 
And climb with painful ftep the fpiral way. 
Where Penance points to Heav*n with Sovereign fway. 

The fbrange diftortions of the wav'ring wilL 

C «84 3 



'^ I claim his guidance to the favoured Poft^ 
Where fair Beatrice (hall difmifs his Ghofl^ 

And light my footfteps with a purer flame. 
Behold the mighty Bard, Ausonia's pride !" 
Thus to the haggard Band that flood befide, 

Maro I fhew'd, and held him up to Fame. 


^ This Phantom," I rejoin'd, " whofe lofty lays 
Exalt his Name to fecondary praife. 

Is he, who lately broke the galling chain. 
And bent his footfteps to the realms of Grace ; 
When the tall Mountain, trembling to its bafc, 

Difmifs'd the Poet from his dark Domain.'^ 


C ^85 ] 



The Poets arrive at another Tree, furrounded by Spirits under 
Difcipline, where they hear many Examples of Intemperance 
recited. Thence they are conduded to the feventh and laft 
Stage, the Region of Concupifccnce. 

VyUR converfe nought delayed our fwift afcent. 
Nor feeiTiM our hafte our converfe to prevent ; 

The Body's progrefs, and the mountmg Mind, 
Together fcept their way, with equal pace; 
As a light Brigantine purfues its race, 

Driv'n onward by the fteady Gale behind. 


The vifionary Men, with pale furprife, 
Seem'd to behold our progrefs, without Eyes ; 

With beamlefs fockets o'er my breathing Fonn^ 
Looking intent ; while to my Friend I faid, 
" Obferve ! Papinius loiters in the Shade, 

Still lift'ning to the deep Maronian charm* 

£/• iL /• 5. Papinius*-] Stativs* 


I a86 ] 


*« But tell (if thou canft tell) thy Sifter's doom. 
And, if among thofe Tenants of the Tomb 

One macerated Form I knew of yore/* 
« My Sifter," he reply'd, " that matchlefe Fair, 
The triple Foe that led the Stygian War, 

Subdu'd, and triumphs now, where Sin's no more J 

He paus'd, and thus again his Speech began : ' 
" To name the famifli'd Squadrons, Man by Man, 

Is here allowed. Want has worn away. 
With long corrofion, ev'ry former trace. 
That gives diftindion 'midft the mortal Race, 

Ere Heav'n difrob'd them of their Vefts of Clay* 


" See BuoNAGiuNTA there, from Lucca's Plains, 
And yon' pale Skeleton, with wafted veins. 

By hollow Hunger wafted to a Shade, 
Sumam'd from Touas, the Papal Chair poflefsM ; 
Bolsona's Eels fupply'd his cruel feaft. 

For the Vile Glutton's board, like Martyrs, flay'(l» 


*• Then many a fpe£tral Form, in ghaftly file^ 
Each heard his ftory, with a meagre fmile, 

St.v. L I. See Buonagiunta — ] Buonagiunta del Or- 
BiCANi} a Poet and Companion of Dante« — Some of his Can* 
zoni are publiflied in moil of the Editions of Petrarch. 

Su V. /. 2. jindyon* pale Skeleton — ] Torso, Martin the IVth, 
Pope of that name. — Some Commentators aflert that he fuflfo^ 
cated his eels in fweet wine. 

C a87 2 

Ov^ning his name, and feem'd with joy to hear 
The flender breath of fublunary fame : 
No Spirit there, exemption feem'd to claim, 

Tho' wafted to a Shade, by want fevere. 


There, Ubaldin of Pisa, in defpair. 
Snatching, with eager jaws, the empty air. 

And gorging down his vifionary feaft. 
With Boniface the thin repaft enjoy M; 
Once filled with dainties, now an empty void. 

Their rich regales were fharM with many a gueft. 


*^ Marchese, too, of Bacchanalian fame, 
I faw, condemned to feel a fiercer flame. 

Than ere above in brimming bowls he drown'd : 
In FoRLi, when he lav*d his longing Soul 
With copious draughts from Circe's charmed bowl. 

But here feverer thirft the drunkard found* 


Like one, felefting from a mingled train. 
For convcrfe, him, whom others wifh in vain ; 

5*/. vii. /. I. Thcre^ Ubaldin-*] Ubaldino of PisAy a fa* 
mous Bon vivant of the Times, who was Father to Boniface, 
£i(hop of Ravenna. 

St. viii. /. I. Marchese, /m, — ] Marchese, a Native of 
FiRLE, near Florence, of Bacchanalian memory; who, be* 
ing told by his Butler, that his Neighbours faid " He was alwaya 
drinking :"— ," And ypu may tell them," {aid he, « that I am alwayt 


C 288 ] 

Nearer I drew to Buonagiunta's Ghoft : 
When one, that feem'd. my Form to recognize. 
And, gazing on my face, with hollow eyes. 

Spoke ; but his words in murmurs half were loft« 


At length, with care, Gentucca's Name I caught^ 
In torture, ifTuing from his laboring throat. 

That fcarcely Inreath'd. " O, who art thou/* I 
^* That feems fo anxious to converfe with me. 
With your intent your organs ill agree ; 

But fpeak, if fpeak you can ?'* The Ghoft obeyM% 

** A Maid is bom, whofe yet unripen'd charms 
Shall tnd a Poet glow with foft alarms ; 

Tho* to an hated Clime her birth ihe owes ; 
Giv'n in his Verfes to finifter fame. — «• 
—If ftiU you guefs, but with a fruitlefs aim. 

My clearer meaning. Time will foon difclofe« 


** But tell, if thou be he, fo £am*d above, 
Whofe Mufe difclos'd the Myjiery of Love^ 

In Tuscan Rhymes.** " You fee the Man,** I 
cry*d ; 
" What Love infpires, in Tuscan Rhymes I ling; 
Willing to foar, but with unborrow*d wing, 
' Nor deck my ruilic Mufe in Roman prideJ 


St. X. A I. Gentucca'b Name I caughtf^'] Gentvcca, ^ 
Friend of the Poet. 


" Brother,** he anfwer'd, ** now the caufe I find, 
iTiat left GuiTTONE, and inyfelf, behind 

So far, with Ala^^ten, tho' famM in fong : 
The flying Chords with mafter-hand you move. 
And trace, with eagle eye, the courfe of Love, 

Far, far beyond our antiquated throng* 

*' He that would hope in Poetry to rife 
By other methods, or affefis the Skies, 

When Love conceals his torch, attempts in vain 
To win the plaudit of the few refin*d ; 
Difcordant Maxims darken all the Mind, 

And breed confufion in the motley ftrain/' 

He ceasM, and feem'd content with fecond Fame; 
While the pale Squadron, which behind him came^ 

Advance, with fober pace ; then hurry on. 
Like Cranes, that firfl in gfofler phalanx fly. 
Then flecker, in long lines, the ample Sky, 

Winging their voyage to a warmer Zone« 


Thus, light as "Winnow'd chaff, by Famine worn. 
And urg'd by penal wrath, the Race forlorn 

St. xiii. A 3. So far, wUh Alanten, — ] Alakten znA 
GuiDo of Arrezzo, or Guittone, as called here, were cele- 
brated Poets of this age. Some Poems of the latter are printed io 
many Editions of Petrarch. 

Vol. IL U 

[ 290 D 

Skimm'd, like a fweeping mifl:, the Mountain's fide ; 
But, as a weary Racer, fallen behind. 
With palpitating lungs coUefting wind, 

FoREsi loitered with the Mantuan Guide. 


Behind the rear, the Spectre whifper'd low, 

*' O, when will you forfake that World of Woe ?" 

" I know not," I replyM, " what vital term 
Is granted me above ; — ^but this I feel. 
That flowly, flowly now, the mundane Wheel 

Will feem to move, before I break the charm. 


*' My foaring Spirit, on inftindtivc wing. 
Fancy, before my fall, (hall hither bring. 

Joined ^xith abhorrence of my native Clime : 
Still deeper plung'd in Sin's encroaching gloom. 
To ruin prone, and verging to the Tomb, 

By Vice more wafted than the Scythe of Time. 

'' But, oh, avenging Heav'n ! what fcenes fucceed ! 
I fee the Felon by his frighted Steed 

St. xix. /. 2. /// fLf Fchrif — ] The Death of Corso Do- 
NATi is here defcribcd. He was an inveterate enemy to Dante, 
and the chief inftigator of his exile. He loft life with thofc 
circumftances mentioned licrc, in an infiirreclion of the People, 
who fufpeCtcd him of a dcTign agulr.ft their liberties. He de- 
fended his houfe, with fomc adherents, a whole day, and, at laft, 
findJr.fT it untenable, he fought his way through his enemies on 
horfchack, and would probably have efcaped, liad not his horfc 
tr.ken fri/lit and thrown him. He was draj^^rcd a confiderable war 
wiih his foot in the ftirrup, v.hen he was overtaken by his enemies, 
who diipatchcd him with every iuftance of cruelty. Landing. 

C 291 ] 

(He that contriv'd her ruin) dragg'd along ; 
As by fome Demon fir*d, flie fpeeds away 
With his poor mangled Tenement of Clay, 

Purfu*d ftill onward by an hoftile Throng ! 


" Hell waits, Hcav'n dooms, and Man direfts the blow. 
That fends the Mifcreant to the depths below. 

Not many circles,'* (then he tum*d his eyes 
Aloft,) " yon burning Wheels fhall mark above. 
Around the Signs, till dreadful Deeds fhall prove 

That awful Truth, which now in Darknefs lies. 


" Stay you behind, nor intercept my hafte. 
Too precious are the moments now to wafte 

In converfe, while the doomful Scourge impends.'* 
Then, as a Steed his Fellows leaves behind. 
And o'er the champaign Ikims on feet of wind. 

So the light Spirit flew to join his Friends. 

When naught but Fancy now his flight purfu'd. 
By mem'ry only, like his words, renewed. 

As with the Lords of Helicon I ftay'd ; 
Another Image to my view arofe, 
A fair autumnal Tree, with loaded boughs. 

That o'er the Path-way hung, a tempting fhade. 


With lifted hands below, a mingled Crowd 
Sung round the ftem, an anthem long and loud ; 

V 2 

C 292 ] 

Like Infants, eager for the lufcious Prlze^ 
That offer fcnfelefs Pray'rs, without return ; 
Yet ftill they feel their rais'd aflfedtions bum. 

And view the Objed with infatiate eyes. 


Thus long they feem'd to breathe a fruitlefs Pray V, 
Then pafs'd away, with difappointed air. 

And we approached the tantalizing Wood : 
Thofe awful whifpers feem'd its boughs to move, 
*' Pafs on J and touch us not ; gOj /eek above j 

The li'UUng Plant that gave your Mother food. 


•' Tranfplanted hcre^ from that paternal Roctj 
This ivaving Tree difplays her golden Fruity 

And fans the kindling fpark of young De/ire.** 
Thus fung the Voice its Zephyrean Hymn, 
While, *twixt the bending Plant, and Mountain's brim. 

We pafs'd, attentive to the viewlefs Choir. 


Again the warning Voice rencw'd the Song : 

** Remember, Man, the cloud-engendcr'd Throng, 

Commixt of Man and Bead, whofe drunken rage 
Encountered Theseus, with infuriate brawl ; 
Till, drunk with flaughter, fwam the nuptial Hall, 

And floods of gore the flames of Lufl: afluagc ! 

St. xxvi. /. 2. R^mmlirj Man — ] Sec the Hillory of Gideom, 
Judges, vii. 

C 293 ] 

^' Remember them, who ran, with headlong hafte. 
To drink, while the decifive moments pafs'd, 

Confign'd to glory, and with conqueft crown'd : 
When Jerubaal againft Arabia's Hoft, 
With his thin Squadron kept the bloody Poft, 

And tinged, with Heathen gore, the blufliing 


Thus, as we pafsM the winding Rock along, 
A following Voice thofe dread examples fung. 

Of foul Intemperance, doom'd to end in fhame j 
Then fpread, with ampler verge, a lonely road : 
Silent, along we pafsM, in mournful mood. 

Watching whatever our notice bed might claim. 


^* How are your thoughts employ^ d?^* a Voice began; 
Sudden I ftarted back, with terror wan. 

Like tim'rous Doe, that fpies the moving fnare. 
And looked aloft, to fee what caused the found : 
Soon a fierce fplendour feem*d my eyes to wound, 

iiike molten glafs, or metal's fiery glare. 


" Behold !'• it feemM to fay, " the P^s is here 
That leads you upward to a loftier Sphere, 

St. xxvii. /. I. Remember tbem^ &c,] Battle of the Centaun 
amd Lapithacy at a Marriage-feafl. Oyio. Metam« lib. xii. 


C 294 ] 

To Peace eternal this condufts your feet.** 
Blind with the fudden blaze, I turn'd afide. 
And inftant flirunk behind my Mantuan Guide, 

Too weak the bright astherial Flafli to meet. 

As the foft Breeze, the harbinger of May, 
* Spreads her light Plumes before the rifing Day, 

And wakes the World with aromatic Gales ; 
So feemM a Wind along my face to move. 
Soft as the whifpers of inviting Love, 

As the bright Envoy wav*d his fplcndid fails, 


'' Thrice happy they," the Spirit fung again, 

'' Who, with a tempered bound, their guft reftrain ; 

Grace warms their breafts, and not the fiery fiimc 
That fevers all the blood, and leads aftray 
The ftagg'ring feet from Reafon's hallowed way j 

Obedient ftill, they own her rightful doom," 


C 295 ] 



The Poets afcend to the laft Stage, where the Vices of Concu- 
pifcence are under Corrt6lion, — In a Converfation with Sta- 
Tius, Dante is informed of fome Secrets of the intermediate 
State. — Some Examples of Chaftity ure afterwards given. 

IN OW was no time to linger ; for the Sun 
In Taurus had refign'd his noon-tide throne. 

And flaming Scorpio, to the World beneath 
Pointed his midnight beam. With eager hafte. 
Like thofe whom Sloth allures in vain to wafte 

The precious hours, we climbed the narrow Pith. 


The narrow Path a niggard entry fhow'd. 
Room for a fingle Man it fcarce allowed 

To pafs ; while, like a Falcon o'er her neft. 
That flies and fets by turns, a ftrong Defire 
To clear fome doubts, like intermitting fire, 

Inflam'd my heart, and funk by turns to refl. 



L 296 ] 

The Queftion, oft arifmg to my tongue. 
Upon my lips, in fhort fufpenfion, hung ; 

My Reafon falterM, but my feet purfu*d 
My journey on, wth unremitting fpeed. 
But Maro markM me with attentive heed. 

And thus began the Bard in gentleft mood : 


*' I fee your mental pow'rs upon the wing. 
The fhaft is drzvm ; relax the tardy firing. 

But let your Friends your fpeculations hear. 
Encouraged by his words, I thus began : 
*' How can this empty Hope confume the Man ? 

Can love of needlefs food be thus fevere ?'* 


" Recal to mind," retum'd the Mantuan Shade, 
*' How Meleaoer's vital Powers decay'd ; 

Confuming, as the brand amid the blaze : 
It foon will clear your doubts ; or, when you fpy 
Your Image in the Mirror's polifhM eye. 

That cv'ry motion, cv'ry look, obeys. 


^' The fruit of Knowledge, which appeared fo crude. 
Will feed your Reafon with ambrofial food j 

Sf, V. /. 5. 7'our Imj^ry &c.] i. e. Tlic atrial Body fym* 
patliizcs with the Spirit, as much as our gn)fs Bodies of terref* 
trial matter; or as the Image reflected in a Mirror, with the Siib- 
fiance which it reilLcIs, L^ndino* 

C ^97 ] 

Your Friend, Papinius, wtM the balm apply. 
To heal the wound/' *' Forgive jne," Statius 

** If I divulge the fecrets of the Dead, 

And fliew Heav'n's doom beneath my Mailer's eye/* 


Then thus to me : "If you receive, my Son, 
My words aright, like yonder beam of Noon 

The darknefs from your mind it foon fhall chace : 
The VITAL FLOOD, from ev'ry drofs refin'd, 
Ko longer nourifh'd by the veins that wind 

Back to the heart, the plaflic hand obeys. 


** From ev'ry Organ, all the a£Uve Pow'rs 
Affemble there ; by Time's maturing courfe. 

The infant Model of the Parent-form, 
A Tabernacle for the deathlefs Mind 
Becomes, tho* yet of Vegetable kind ; 

Like the dull Plant, by Nature fofter'd wamu 


" In a few Moons, the vegetative Soul, 
Jn ev'ry Plant, muft reach its final goal ; 

With that it grows, and, as it fades, decays : 
But here, progreffive, by the boon of Heav'n, 
Life's holy Flame, and piercing Senfe, is giv'n. 

Which, in the future birth, its pow'r difplays. 

St, vii. /• I. — If you recavCf &c.] Statius here enters 
into a phyiical account of the formation of Man, in which I have 
taken the liberty to difguife one or two very indelicate images. 

L 298 1 


•* Tho* Time its gen'ral faculties unfold, 

And with fine hand the future Members mould ; 

Yet this nice bound, where Reafon's heav'niy ray 
With animation blends, no mortal eye 
(Not yours with mine combined) can hope to fpy ; 

'Tis pad the power of language to difplay. 


" He, that fuppos'd an univerfal Mind, 
(Diftinct in thought, in energy combined,) 

The fecret guide of ev*ry human Soul ; 
Becaufe the viewlefs Prompter feemM to fway 
No fingle part of Man's organic clay ; 

Errs from the truth, as far as Pole from Pole* 

*' Open your brcaft my Leflbns to contain :— • 
Now, when the textile fabric of the brain. 

With each dark maze, and all its rooms complete. 
Is formM, th' admitted Mind, with glad furprife, 
Gazing around, the m:igic Palace eyes. 

And takes poirdliou of her regal Seat, 

" Thi*o' each fine Cell its energy infpires 
Progreliive Life, and warms with genial fires. 

Si, xi. /.I. iV , :'. i: /'yV^'*'' ^^0 Alludes to the opinion of 
fnvx* of the ar.c'.;it Philori^phcr'^ ; an J, among the modems, CuD« 
WORTH, whvo f r J V . I fed ail the a : u cli on s c f Nat 11 re to h e performed 
h\ an Ak i ma Mun di, or Plalllc Power ; fubordinate to the Dcitv, 
ULCoruiiig to fome ; but, according to others, ihc SqU Agcnf^ 

E 299 ] 

Communicated thro' the crefcent Frame, 
Which ev*ry impulfe of the Will obeys ; 
Flafli'd, inftantaneous, thro' the nervous maze, 

Quick, as the glance of Heav'n's defcending Flame, 


*' Nor wonder, Tuscan, at the art divine : 
See ! how the folar heat exalts the Vine, 

And gives its flavour to the magic Bowl, 
Where fparkling Pleafure dances o'er the brim ; 
With chemic art fublim'd ; thus ev'ry limb 

Harmonious moves to the commanding Soul, 


^' But, when the weary Fates no more can fpin. 
Its fliatter'd Tenement it leaves, unfeen. 

But carries ftill its plaftic powers along : 
Still Intclled maintains its ancient fway. 
Still Memory ranks her thoughts in long array. 

And Will remains, the fource of right and wrong. 


'* Yet dormant in the parted Soul they lie. 
Like lightning, flumb'ring in a lurid Iky, 

Without exertion, but by Heav'n refin'd : 
Above whatever Mortal felt below. 
And ready ftill, like fmother'd fire, to glow. 

When with material organs new combined, 

St,\v. L I. But^ when the iveary Fates y &c.] At the hour of 
Death, according to Dante, the Soul retains all its powers, but ex- 
erts none of them, till it be united with another vehicle. 

C 300 1 


«* Wing'd by the breath of Heav'n, the Spirit foars^ 
And lights, inftinctivc, where, with lifted oars. 

The bark of Charon, or the heav'nly Guide^ 
That to Probation's port his veflel (leers. 
Wait at their fev'ral pofts ; there firft it hears 

The Sovereign Judge its future doom decide* 


*' Her voyage done, the laft allotment giv'n. 
The future Dcnizai of Hell or Heav*n, 

At once, its ancient habitudes renews ; 
Its plaftic pow'rs, with quick diverging beams 
New organs form, as Soi/s productive gleams 

Ferment, in vernal Tribes, the genial juice* 


•^ And, as the Air, fuft'us'd with vapours damp,j 
Reflects, with varied hues, the moving Lamp 

Of Soi., when on its gloomy bofom fall 
Ilis flaming rays, and deck the dewy cloud ; 
yo here the Spirit v.cavcs its fubtile fliroud. 

And o'er its effencc draws an airy pall. 


•' With uru:ii!ii:Iii\: fiaiiiL-, the running blaze 
Furfues ir.c t ivii, \\!-erLVr the Bearer fl.raysj 

So the fine hodv of rr</a:iic air 
Clings U> the Splriu wliereloe'er It fleer?. 
Its thin diiiienrions to the light appears. 

Which every vital I'unalon fecms to fliare. 



^ Thdr air-fontiM orbs of fight the Spe£tres roll, 
That feem to fpeak the motions of the Soul, 

And hence they modulate that thrilling found 
That ftartles human ears ; and hence we trace 
Dark woe, or dawning joy, on ev'ry face 

Starting to fight in Hades' ample bound. 


*' Hence falling tears on fhadowy cheeks are feen. 
And dolorous groans, with many a paufe between, 

Thofe echoes double ; while intenfe Defire 
Yon meagre Speftres feem to wafte away. 
As waxen Forms, by magic fpells decay. — 

This folves your doubts,nor need you more enquire. 


And now the high concluding Stage we gain, 
Obfervant of the Profelytes of Pain j 

But other cares our contemplation quellM : 
From all the thundering Hill, Flames thick and faft 
O'er^rimfon'd Heav'n ; but ftill, the powerful blaft 

Back to the Hill the fpiry blaze repeird. 


Clofe to the Hill no longer could we go. 
Nor to the utmoft verge, for there below 

Inftant definition, from the cloudy fteep 
Wide yawning, feem*d to wait our giddy fall. 
But Maro thus behind was heard to call : 

" Watch ! or you plunge in Rum's boundlefs deep !*' 


Imploring Mercy In the bick'ring flame. 

We heard a captive Crew their pangs proclaim j 

Their piercing cries, with ftrong attra£)ion, drew 
To that VuLCANiAN fcene my trembling feet, 
Tho' kept at diftance by the fcorching heat^ 

Where, by fliort glimpfe, I fpy*d the fentenc'd Crew# 


In flaming Files I faw the carnal Race, 
(A dreadful Pageant !) in the ruddy blaze. 

Watching ^xith pain their footft:eps and my own : 
When to the end of their lamenting Song 
They came, I heard the univerfal Throng 

Chant Mary's words, with many a doleful groan. 


Again the Choir began, in murmurs low. 
Till the deep melody was heard to flow 

Thro' all the train ; while, with attentive heed. 
We caught thcfe words : " The huntrefs Queen expcU'd 
Sad Helicf,, when Time her fliamo rcveal'd. 

Unworthy now the ^''i:•^in clioi rs to lead," 

S/. xwi. /. 6. Ct.\wf Maiy's — j Sec Lukt, i. 34, 

r\ r: li. A 5. S...! 1.; i.wr — ] /'u;*.l..i- iicime for Calisto^ 
l- ft ■- Lsi 1-y Diana for her ii:con!.":.w:.v.\, and changed into a 
3i: a:- ; \v!::th Ji- n ihr i; f;'.id to havo tnir.nat<.d 10 the Skies, 
wp' v i: fi r.As the givat Northern Corllcllatioii of that uame. 
0\ ID. Mctain. lib. ii. 

C 30J 3 


Again I heard the holy Hymn begin, 

Loud chanting many a Name, unmark'd with Sin, 

Hufbands, and Dames, that holy fpoufals kept : 
This tenour, while the burning feem'd to laft. 
The Sinners kept, by fiery whirlwinds chac'd. 

Till every ftain was purgM, and Vengeance flept. 


t 305 j 



The fame Subjed continued. — Several Chai^en introduced, and 

Punifhments defcribed. 

VA'^HILE round the Borders, in a file, we pafs'd. 
The friendly Mantuan thus reftrain'd my hafte : 

" Obferve the Band ; and tread with cautious care/* 
Now Sol, upon the right, his radiance threw, 
Veiling, with fplendid veil, the welkin blue. 
And finote, wth level ray, the colourM ain 


My falling Shadow ting'd the rifing blaze : 
Emerging from the flame, with fixM amaze. 

The Ghofts, in throngs, this ftrange appearance 
This firft their notice drew : furpris'd they faid, 
'^ No air-form'd limbs invefts that wand'ring Shade )'^ 

Then nearer drew, and gaz'd in peniive mood« 

Vol. IL X 

[ 3o6 3 


Yet, tho' thq- wonderM, none, with heedlefs hafte. 
The limir> of the conflagration pafs'd, 

But {tooJ obdurate, in the fiery Zone ; 
Then one began : " O, you ! that march fo flow. 
Perhaps, in reverence to our penal woe, 

I'tll, whv vou wander thus thro' climes unknown ? 


*• Pity our anguifh, and with fpeed reply ; 
For, ah ! we bum to know, tho' doomed to fry 

In flames, and fer\'ent thirft, which not the flood 
Of IsTF.R, NiLK, and Ganges, could aflfuage : 
Tell, why your Shade obfcures this burning ftage ; 

As if the paths of Fate you ne*er had trod ?*' 


I would have anfwer'd ; but another Sight 
Rly notice drew, amid the fumy light, 

I'hat round the Hill, in fiery tempeft flew; 
A fwarthy Squadrcni came, with flying feet. 
Who feem*d the first, in counter-march, to meet. 

And all embrace, and all their fpeed renew. 


Thus, in the Dog-Srar's reign, I oft have feen 
Two Bands of Ants, encount'ring on the green. 

And, after fliort falutc, as if to hear, 
And tell, whatever concerned their puny ftate. 
Then onward pafs : fo thefe, along the Strait 

Ran diverfe, urg*d along by Doom feverc. 


C 307 3 


Old Sodom's fiery fall, the Foremoft fung ; 
Then, with Gomorrah's Name, the welkin rung 

In loud refponfe : With more difcordant ftrain 
The paffing Squadron chant the Cretan Queen ; 
Then crofsM, like finging Cranes, that leave the fcene 

Of Northern cold, or Libya's fcorching plain ? 


Parting, at lad the mufic dy'd away; 
Till, circling the tall Hill in long array, 

Again they meet, they mingle, and they fing 
Their baleful anthem, with convulfive cries 
Loud interchanged, that fhake the vaulted Skies, 

Still, as they courfe around the flaming Ring. 

St. vii. /. 5. Ukejtn^lng Cranes — ] 1. e. Like Cranes that meet 
in the air, as one party comes from the warm Latitudes, and the 
other from the Northern Regions. — See Note upon the Effefts of 
Pain, Canto X. 

The peculiar reftraints from the indulgence of this fpecies of 
fenfual indulgence, are here reprefented in an eafy Allegory, out- 
ward Ignominy, and inward Shame ; and the manifold fufferings 
annexed to it, in the wifdom of Providence, to counterafi and pre- 
vent its direful effedls on Society, and the perverfion of the facul. 
ties. By the afflidlions they are reprefented as fuffering here, i* 
probably meant, in part, the difficulties that attend the firft Stages 
of Self-government, in thofe who, without being compelled to it,' 
attend to the dictates of Reafon and the calls of Grace. It may, 
be fides, mean the perfonal chaflifements of Difeafe, which, fome- 
times, are found necelTary to operate upon the depraved feelings of 
the more hardened Criminal. -s 

t 5C58 3 


They, who addrefs'd me firft, remained behiiuf^ 
Still eager, as before, the caufe to find 

That led me here alone. Their wifh to know 
I fatisiy'd at large, and thus began : 
*' You fee not here the Shadow of a Man 

Whofe duft is mould'ring in the Tomb below ; 


" My Corfe I left not on the worldly ftage. 
In vernal bloom refignM, or ripen'd age ; 

But here I carry dill a load of clay. 
The life-warm blood ftill w^andcrs in my veins. 
Still ev*r)' joint its flexile pow'r retains j 

Eclipsed I journey, but with hopes of Day. 


** To me an elder Denizen of Heav'n, 

Gained by her prayers, this wond'rous Pow*r has giv'n. 

In mortal veft your myftic world to roam; 
But tell mc (fo may Heav'n her Gate unclofe 
Soon to your prayVs, and Mercy end your woes) 

Your Names, and why you feel this dreadful Doom» 


" And, if you wifh your Fame in after-times' 
Again to live, and vifit other climes. 

Tell, who are they, that, with a whirlwind fpeed^. 
Still crofs you thus, amid the bick'ring flame i 
Divulge their charafters, and tell their fliame. 

If time be giv*n my longing wifli to feed ?" 

C 309 3 

As from his native Hills, the rural Swain, 
When firft he views the City's polifti'd Train ; 

So on my form intent, with deep amaze. 
The Spedres ftood ; but foon their wonder ceas'd, 
(A fhort-liv*d Paffion in the noble Breaft,) 

And thus the firft renew'd his mournful bys : 


** O, happy Man ! allow'd our ftate to view. 
And fhun the crimes that led the fentenc'd Crew 

To various dungeons, fraught with various pain : 
Thefe meeting Squadrons, on each other fling 
The dire reproach ; and, with alternate fling. 

In keen Iambics chant th' opprobrious ftain. 


'^ Our brutal bias, and portentous fhame. 
As if, in mockery, the furrounding flame 

Paints on each hideous face, in crimfon glow ; 
But, from what pedigrees and climes we come. 
Our various fortunes^ and what causM our Doom, 

Stern Vengeance fuffers not at large to Ihow* 


" To fatisfy, in part, your keen Defire, 
Know, I am Guinicelli, dooniM in fire 

St. xvi. /. 2. GuiNicELLi— ] A cdebrated Poet of tluit age 
S^e fome of his Poems, publifhed at the end of Petrarch. 


[ 3»o ] 


To purge my Shame, before I mount aboveJ 
As when the Lemnian Twins their Mother founds 
When fad Lycurgus moum'd Ophelte's wound^ 

So ftrong I felt the bond of ancient Love, 


They clafp'd, with ftrenuous arms, the weeping Dame; 
But driv'n at diftancc, by the burfting flame, 

I kept at bay, and fliuri*d the dire embrace : 
With joy, the Father of the amorous lay 
I heard a catalogue of Names difplay. 

For Cyprian Ditties crown'd with lafting praife. 


In contemplation of that rev'rcnd Bard, 
Silent, I pafs'd along, with fix'd regard, 

Still dv.cllin'T on that Form, fo far reno\^TiM ; 
Tho* by the fier)' tempcft kept aloof, 
I long'd to give him fome fubftantial proof. 

What ties of deep refpeft his Pupil bound. 

5";. xvi. 7.4. I.' MNiAN Tii'inj — ] Sons .of HvpsiPYtF, by 
Jason. Tlic S!.t)iy here alludtd to, is tijlJ in the 4th and 5th 
Books of Stat ! us. Hypsipyle, after various misfortunes, 
brought on by hor unhaj?py creduhty with regard to Jason, was 
red-ictd to fldvery ; and bc« .g appointed to take care of a Child 
beh)nging to Lycurgl'5, Chief of a diftrict near Nemea in Pelo- 
ponnesus, by her inattention, it was dcflroyed by a Serpent, 
while flie was employed in cciuhxiing the Argive Leaders to a 
Spring, as their army was in danger of perifliing by ihiril. She was 
conden'.ncd to death, but faved, through the intervention of her two 
Son"^ by Jason, who had been loiig in fcarch of her, affifted by ihc 
mediation of Adrastus, the Argive commander. 

C 311 3 


" Your love to me has left a trace," he cryM, 
'' That not the lapfe of Time, nor Lethe's tide, 

Shall e*cr expel from my retentive Mind ; 
But why (if truth you tell) this deep regard 
To me, in Tuscan rhymes, a rival Bard ? 

Why is the laureat wreath to me refign'd ? '* 


♦' Your merit," I reply'd, " ordain'd to lafl: 
As long as Tuscan rhymes, and Tuscan tafte; 

So long your Madrigals fhall bear away 
The palm." — " Obferve that Shade," the Bard rejoined. 
And pointed to a Spedre far behind ; 

*^ He better knew to raife the lofty lay. 


*^ His fine romantic vein, in profe and rhyme, 
Far, far excels the Poets of his time : 

Blind are the Critics that pretend to raife 
The Minftrel of Limoges to his Throne; 
Rumour they follow, and each rule difown 

That Truth and Nature to the Mind difplays. 

St. XX. /• 4. Obferve that Shades— ^ Arnauld Daniel, a 
noted Troubadour of Provence. His Sonnets, like Petrarch's, 
were faid to be addrefled to the Wife of a Gascon Gendeman, but 
without any effed. They, however, obtained him the name of the 
tirit Poet of his tim^, 


C 312 ] 

^^ Our Father^ thus, when elder Guido fung. 
Were led by Fame to join the votive Throng ; 

But, at the dawn of Truth, the Phantom fled : 
Put, oh ! if fuch a privilege be thine. 
To enter Heav*n in this terreftrial fhrine. 

Let not my voice in vain fpr ^riendihip plead! 


^* If e'er you reach that Family of Love, 
Wher^ HE, who dy*d below, commands above. 

With one praifon flake the greedy flame : 
KTpr need you now againft temptation pray ; 
By fire expell'd thofe mental flames decay. 

And lead no longer to the paths of Shame/^ 




Then, as he meant to give another, place. 
He difappear'd, amid the mounting blaze, 

Juft as a fcaly tenant of the tide 
That plunges in the wave, and flioots away. 
Nor fl:ood his flaming Follower long at bay ; 

My pray'r he heard, nor was my fuit deny'd. 


Courteous, thp' wrapt in flames, the Ghoft began : 
*f So potent arp thy Pray'rs, Heav'n-favour*d Man^ 

Nor Will, nor Power, is left my Shame to veil j 
Arnauld you feCi of late renown'd in fong. 
Wading in fire, amid the fentenc'd Throng, 

^ith many a doleful dirge my fate I wail« 

U 3^3 ] 


*^ I hope at laft the glorious time will come 
Which (hall releafe me from this fiery Doom ; 

By that dread Pow'r, which guides you up the Steep, 
O, gentle Florentine! one Pray'r aflford 
7o eafe my pain !'* — ^With the concluding word 

The Minflrel plung'd amid the blazing Deep. 


C 315 ] 



Dante defcribcs a Vifion which he faw, and its Confequences.— » 
Virgil leaves him for the future to the diredlion of his own 
Reafon, now properly informed and fortified ; and gives him an 
intimation of a Guide of a fupcrior Order, to whom he is foon 
to render up his Charge. 

And now the rifing Sun on Cedron's flood 
Looked, where the great Redeemer fhed his blood. 

And Ebro's ftream with midnight murmurs ran: 
The eye of Noon on Ganges looked fublime, 
While parting from Probation's happy clime. 

His laft rays glimmer'd on the Mountain's van, 


But, as his chariot funk, another Light, 
Beyond the burning verge, appeared in fight ; 

A glorious Shape ! and thus the Seraph fung, 
" Blefs^d are the pure in heart /" fo foft and clear 
That ftill his accents vibrate in my ear ; 

But foon he checked our hafte with flemer tongue, 

St, i. /. I • jind now the fifing Suih &c.] /• fm It was Sun-rife at 
Jerusalem, Mid-day in India, Mid-night in Portugal, and 
Sun-{ct where the Poets now were. 


C 3^6 1 


This fiery blaft muft flirivel up your veing. 

Before you reach the blefs'd Elyfian plains ; 

Enter, and mark the Voice that deigns to guide « 
Your painful march around the burning Coaft.** 
Struck with his tone, I feem^d already loft. 

And Hades feem'd before me op'ning wide. 


To Ihjide my fight, my trembling hands I rais*d^ 
And on the ruddy gleam with horror gaz'd. 

In contemplation of the hideous pain. 
That fries the marrow, and confumes the blood ; 
In fancy now, amid the flames I ftood, 

\Vhen gently thus began the Mantuan Swain r 


•* The pain you dread, is but the pain of Sense j 
Confider, Son ! that Death is banifh*d hence : 

Let Memory tell, how, in the Gulph beneath, 
Cn Gerioneo's wing you rode fublime. 
And, by my guidance, crofs'd the Stygian clime; 

Then think who leads you up this heav'nly Path. 


*' Altho* you felt the fiery tempeft beat 

For twice twelve thoufand circling Moons complete^ 

Thefe flames could fcarcely finge a fingle hair : 
Believe not me, but, wth undaunted breaft. 
Hold to the blaze the border of your veft, 

Ev*n your fine robes the guiltlefs flame will fpare. 

C 3^7 ] 


** Refolve, my Friend ! and bid your fears fubfide S 
Come on ! plunge boldly in the fiery tide ; 

Soon will you reach, unharmed, the further Coaft. 
Obdurate ftiU I flood, by Terror bound : 
** O think," at lafl he cryM, " this flaming Mound 

Keeps HER you love, in its dread limit clos'd«" 


Then, as at Thisbe*s name, the trembling eyes 
Of her fallen Lover open'd to the Skies, 

And faw his Miftrefs, ere he funk to Night, 
Whofe blood with his the fatal berries dy'd : 
So, to that fovereign Name my heart repl/d. 

That Name, for ever heard with new delight. 


Then to my Guide I tumM. " How long,** he faid, 
*' Muft this important voyage be delayed ?*' 

And look'd benignant, as the Sire, who gains 
With gifts his angry Child. Without delay 
I plung'd ; and caird to Statius^ far away. 

With cheering voice to foothe my coining pains. 


Now deep I welter'd in the fiery wave.— 
O ! then the pangs that fiifing metal gave. 

Or molten glafs, would feem a cool relief, 
To 'fwage my dreadful pains. The Mantuan Sire, 
Still cry'd, " I fee, amid the heav'nly Choir, 

Thofe fparkling eyes, that foon will foothe your grief/' 

St. vii. /. 6. •— III its dread Omsi clos^d.^ i* ^« Yon will cerUmfy 
meet Beatrice on the other ildcy if you have the refolution to 

pafs the fiery trial. 

C 3^8 ] 


Sdll as we waded thro* the billowy blaze^ 
A Voice before me, fung in cheerful lays : 

*' come J ye blejfed of my Father ! come!^ 
At length, emerging from the fiery ftorm. 
The Songfter we beheld, an heav'nly Form, 

Whofe brightnefs closM my eyes in fudden gloom. 


" The Sun goes down, and Evening comes/* he faid} 
*' Let not your fpeed a moment be delayed. 

Soon Night her folemn (hade will caft around/* 
Eaftward, I climb'd the Steep ; the fetting Sun, 
Which now its utmoft longitude had run. 

My giant Shadow flretch'd along the ground. 


As we advancM, the long proje£Ung Shade 
In flow gradation feem'd away to fade. 

And to the eye was loft, when Phoebus fled ; 
And, ere the fldrts of Heav'n were coloured roimd 
With Night's deep pencil, on the rocky Mound 

Each for himfelf feleds a lofty bed, 


For now the fteep afcent, and darkfome hour, 
(Altho* the wifh remained) deny*d the pow*r 

To climb ; like wanton goats, that browfe at will. 
And fpring, from Rock to Rock, with pliant feet. 
While Mom afcends ; but feek a cool retreat 

When Sol's meridian glories fcorch the Hill. 

C 3^9 3 


Then, *till his orb declines, beneath the fhadc, 
At eafe, the Wanderers ruminate, furveyM 

By their kind Guardian, on his ftaflf reclin'd ; 
Or, as a flock, by Shepherds watchM at night, 
From wily fraud fecur^d, or lawlefs might. 

My weary limbs I thus to reft refign^d. 


Meanwhile, the facial Bards, on either Steep 
Their ftation took, the filent watch to keep ; 

And, where the grotto gave a bounded view, 
I mark'd the orbs that circled round the Sky, 
A flood of Glory feem'd to ftrike the eye 

As if Heav'n flU'd their urns with fplendour new* 


Thus as I lay, and viewM the lucid Plain, 
At laft I ,flumber*d ; when a fedry Train 

Of dreams before me pafs'd (of fcenes to come. 
The fliadowy type),* at that fweet hour of prime 
When fmiling Venus, from her Lamp fublime. 

With am'rous twinkle gilds the parting gloom. 


Methought I faw a Damfel, frefh and gay. 
As ever traced the genial dews of May, 

St, xviii. /. I. — a Dam/el, frejh and gay j"] The Genius of aftive 
Life, reprefented under the perfon of Leah, the wife of the Pa- 
triarch Jacob, as by Rachel is meant the Faculty of Contem- 
plation. Under this allegory, Man is defcribed as having now 
arrived at that dcfirable date, where his adUvc Pow^ ^e in fiiU 


[ 3«o ] 

Culling fweet flowers along a panfied plam i 
Softly her gentle accents feem'd to flow : 
•* If any wifli my Name and Taflt to know, 

Fm Leah^ thus employed my Love to gain* 

•* This wreath I gather for my flowing hairs. 
And from the Mirror catch thefe angel airs 

That pleafe my Lord ; but Rachel keeps her eyeg 
For ever fix*d on that majeftic Face, 
Smit with the beam of more than mortal grace. 

While care to deck my charms my time employs; 


^ For Contemplation in the filent fliade 

Her Powers were formM, but mink for action made.*' 

She feemM to ceafe ; for now the glimmering DawB 
Rofe in the Eaft, as when her welcome ray 
With more delight the Pilgrim's eyes furvey. 

As nearer home he treads the dewy Lawn. 


The viflonary fcene with darknefs fled. 
And Light around the wide horizon fpreacf 

▼igour, performing their f unions under the condu£i of enlightened 
Reafon, and ready to receive the afliilance of divine Grace, to nu& 
the thoughts hy Contemplation to the Supreme Good. 

The en^loyment of the adlive Genius is defcribed under a 
beautiful rural Image of a young Bride, gathering flowers to adorn 
herfelfy in order to grain the affedions cf her Spoufe. Thus, by 
confcientioudy performing the duties of an a6Uve Life, the ro* 
UgiouB man acquires thofe ChrifUan Graces that render him ac^ 
ceptable tc^Neavea. 


A vernal fmile, when on my feet I fprung : 
With joy the brother Bards beheld me rife, 
When thus, vrith meaning glance, and gentle voice. 

Began the Mafter of the Roman Song : 


** Thofe golden fruits, by mortals fought fo long, 
Are now within your reach, inviting, himg ; 

Their juice your mental hunger foon will Twage. 
No more he utterM ; but the heav'nly (train 
Pour'd new delight thro' every tingling vein, 

Tranfport unknown on this terreftrial Stage ! 


I long'd before, but now, a new defire 
Rais'd my firft in(lin£t on a wing of fire 

To mount the Hill, and gain the prize in view ; 
Quickly, the fhort remaining fcale we climb. 
And on the breezy fummit trod fublime. 

When Maro's words once more attention drew. 


^* ITiro* everlafting Flames you found your way. 
And thofe that on the Souls of Sinners prey. 

Till from the fiery teft they rife refin'd j 
But now your feet have reach -d th^ happy Shor^ , 
Where my benighted orbs pan {pe no more. 

And you, without my aid, your ^y muft find. 


*^ Hither, by Reafon 's Lamp, your ftepji were led ; 
Now follow your own Light, devoid of dread ) 
Vol. n. Y 

C 3" 3 

Th' embattled Mounds, and toilfome paths are paft : 
Here Phoebus fhines dired, with cloudlefs ray, 
Elysium fpreads beneath the Eye of Day, 

With woods and flowery lawns profulely grac'd. 


** Here you may reft fecure, or rove at will. 
Till SHE arrives upon the holy Hill, 

Whofe lamentation drew me from the Deep, 
Your lonely feet to guide i you need no more : 
Now range, fecure and free, the happy Shore, 

Due Care, with Grace conjoined, your iUps will 


C 3^3 3 



The Poet, arriyingat the Earthly Paradife, is ftopped. In his Pro* 
grefs through the Foreft, by a River ; on the Banks of which he 
fees a Nymph» with whom he enters into G)nveriation. 

lifAGER to plunge amid the Sylvan fcene^ 
Where boVry walks of amaranthine green 

Each deep Recefs in folenrn light difclosM : 
Thro* whifp'ring Arbours, where the tempered Ray, 
Shed o'er each winding P^th a chequered Day, 

I haded onward, from the fhelving GoafL 


Breathing, with foft falute, the coming Breeze, 
My Senfe regal'd, low whifp'ring thro' the trees j 

For, ever here, the foft aerial Tide 
Purfues the fetting Sun with even flow. 
That fcarcely rockM the Warblers on each bough. 

To whofe fweet Madrigals the Woods rtplfd^ 


With foft and folemn bafe, the Summer wind 
Its hollow murmur thro' the Shades coQbin'd|, 


[ 3^4 3 

With the loud DeTcant of the feathered Throng ^ 
Thus EuRUS, from the deep JEolian Caves 
Pifmils-dy the towering Shades of Chiessi waves. 

And pipes, at Evening fall, hu; mo\imful Song, 

While this fweet harmony my Senfes caught, 
I wander -d thro' the Wood, enwrapt in thought, 

Unconfcious of my Path ; but foon delayed 
By a tranflucent Stream, that ftole away. 
And, thro' the pendent Bowers, in gentle play, 

yfith mazy dance, and tuneful murmur, ftray'cU 


How feculent and foul our Springs below 
Seem'd to this gpntle Fount's chryftalline flow. 

That fped along, as clear as Summer Noon,^ 
And to the view difclos'd its pearly bed, 
Tho' with dim Canopy, the winding Shade 

The liquid Mirfor hid from Sun or Moon. 


Upon ttie Bank, with ravifli'd eyes, I flood. 
And fayr, d^p waving o'er the winding flood* 

The varied bloffoms of eternal May : 
When, like a Yifion darting to the fight, 
Th^t fudden puts all other thoughts to flight, 

A Nymph was feen to trace its borders gay^ 

St, vi. /. 6. jf Njmpb was feen — ] Called, a little be- 
U>w> Matilda ; but the Commentator^ are ^uch at a lofs ^' 
determine whom the Poet means by this ideal Perfonage. Some 
think it is the Genius of afUve Life, ae fomc of their attributes 


t 3^5 ] 


Culling the painted Flowers, (he pafs'd along^ 
And fweet and fimple wsls her rural Song j 
Fair Vot'refs of eternal Lore P' I cry*d : 

(As your fweet fparkling eyes and geftiires tell J 
Come nearer, and that heavenly Defcant fwell 

Acrofs that envious Space^ but half enjoyM. 


** Like Proserpine, you feem, in Enna's Bowers^ 
Gathering, frotn May's foft lap, ambrofial Flowers^ 

Ere Ceres, and the World, fhe left behind/' 
As fkilful Maidens in the feftive dance 
Swim fmoothly round, and turn, with qiiick advanciif 

Onward ihe eame, with modeft look declined* 

Ok bending as die canie, ihe cropM at larg^ 
Her vernal Treafures from fhe flowing Vcrgei 

And It the Bank renew'd her paufiiig Note^ 
So mufically fweet, it *reft my fenfe. 
My Bofom fe^m'd to fwell with joy iiitenfe^ 

Which wrapt my Soul in ecftacy of thought! 

Agree. Others think, it U the gitat CountcTs MatIldA 61 Erri, 
the great Patronefs of the Church. I rather fuppofe h foals' 
HiEROPHANTy or Priestess, raifed up by the nfagic Pen of thef 
Poet, merely to introduce and explain the following Spedadet I 
but that there might have been a Compliment intended to the Coiui-« 
tefd NfAfiLx5A» 18 ridt at all imjlrobable ; at Aie, ikfcordin^ to the 
ideas of the times, was a great Benefadrefs to Ecdefiafllics ; and it 
is probable this pait 'oj^ the Poem^ and t&c whole Paradifo^ wire 
written in a Monafterv* 


C 3^6 3 

But all thofe Joys were lofl in tranfport new^ 
When to the Riveras Brim (he nearer drew. 

And firil I felt the magic of her Eyes : 
Not Venus, when fhe fek the fliaft of Fire, 
Such raptures kindled thro' the heav'nly Choir^ 

As her bright Smile inflamM the kindling Skief i* 

Thus, from the further Bank, (he lookM ferene. 
And looping, oft defpoilM the velvet green 

Of various Flowers. Three paces fcarce 0ie ftood 
From the deep Stream, that, like the invidious Tide 
Which kept Leander from his Seftian Bride, 

With deep divorce my eager ftep withftood. 


*< You're ftrangcrs here,*' (he cry'd } " and think I 

imile "> 

To fee you try the Ford with fruitlefs toil 

That laves thele Bowers where Adam walk'd with 
But, quickly would ya» learn, that Joys above 
Have kindled in my hct thofe figns of Love, 
If you my facred Anthem underftood. 


^ And thou, that lead'fl the Van, whofe fbrven^ 

Frolottg'd the flrain, your further wiih declare. 

C 3«7 ] 

And loftier Hymns (hall foon your Ears regale/' 
** Th< Stream's deep Murmur, and the paffing Wind 
That fliakes thefe Groves," I cry'd, " perplex my 

Which thought that, here, eternal calms prevdl.'' 


Quick (he retum'd, ** When vers'd in Eden's laws. 
And taught by me, you (hall divine the caufe 

Of thefe ftrange Movements, all your Doubts ihall 
Th' eternal Being, in himfelf complete. 
Made Man for blifs, and gave this hallowed feat, 

A grateful eameft of Eternal Peace. 


** By his default, not long he fojoumM here. 
But changed for Anguifh, and the bitter Tear, 

The Soul's calm Sunfhine, and the heart-felt Joy i 
For this, the Mountain lifts its awful Brow, 
And leaves the fiery Steam and Fogs below 

That brew Commotion in the nether Sky, 


*^ From this aerial turbulence to free 
(While free fix)m Sin) his new-bom Family,. 

He rais'd this Summit, pointing to the Stars : 
The Morion, by the Mover, firfl imprefs'd. 
This Air retains, and flows from Eafl to Weft, 

Unlefs fome caufe below its courfe fai^airs* 


^^ For tfiis perennial Breeze that waves the woods. 
And foothes with murmurs deep the pafling floods, 

Where-e'er it blows with no malignant breath ; 
Vifits the haunts of Man, but wafts away 
Some vital eflTence from each Plant and Spray, 

And fows the bounty o'er the World beneath. 

^^ Whenever it falls beneath a genial Sky, 
Or finds a fruitful Soil, the rich Supply 

With pregnant bleflings clothes the fmiling Plain ; 
Then wonder not fuch Virtues to behold, 
Spontaneous fpringing from an Earthly Mould, 

Beyond the cultnre of an Earthly Swain. 


^^ For this Elysiak Soil that fpreads around, 
Foders profufely in its pregnant ground 

Primaeval Vegetation's kindly flores : 
Far, fiar unlike the puny Tribes below, 
Kb Fumes by heat exhal'd, nor melted fhow. 

Supply the flreams that warble thro' thofe Bow^'rs. 


** Fed by a limpid Spring, the Hving Tide 
Swells up and pours along, by Heav'n fupply'd. 

Si. xvii. /• I. For this perennial JSreeze^ Sec] A moni Be- 
nefit is here rtprefented under a phyfical idea, the propagation 
of revealed Religion from Eail to Weft, and the bleflings conveyed 
in its Precepts, as by the quilificationt they enjoin we only can be 
lit to enjoy its Fromifes, 

[ 3^ ] 

In two main ftreams ; the marer fweeps away 
All blot a&d record of our former Sin ; 
The other Lymph, when drank, renews within 

Our virtuous deeds, and (hews in bright array* 


** At hand, the filent Tide of Lethe rolls ; 
Beyond, foft Eunoe to departed Souls 

Her Mirror holds, and wakes the dormant traitt 
Of Memory, laid afleep by lapfe of Time : 
Both you mufl tafte ; but one, with guft fublime. 

All beverage hx excels^ to cheer the Brain. 


^^ And now, methinks, if I no more (hould tell, 
What I have faid, might every doubt expel ; 

But more I will difclofe, than you can claim 
From Promife made before. The times of Gold, 
And all their joys, by Poets fung of old, 

From fome faint Vifion of this Mountain came* 


•* Here Innocence infpir*d the fenfe of Joy ; 
Here everlafting Spring regalM the Eye 

St. xxi. /. ly 2. Lethe — £unoe»] The participation of 
the waters of thc(e two Streams by the initiatedy ligiufiet 
the advantages of a^e Beneficence, in banifliing the very images 
of our former lawlefs gratifications from the memory, figured here 
by the ufe of the Waters of Leth e. While virtuous condufi, be* 
coming habitual, gives a fore-tafte of joys to come in a fenfe of the 
heavenly favour, which is reprefented here under the figure of drink- 
ing the Waters of EuNOfi.— — See Note at the end of the Poe^u 

C 33^ 3 

With fruits and flowers, unknown to other C&MS: 
Here that perennial Stream of Nedar fiow'd, 
Which cheer'd of old the Heart. of Man and Ckxl^ 

By ancient Poets fung in deathlefs rhymes.'' 

Sudden I tum*d me round ; the tuneful Pair ' 
Benignly fmil'd to hear the Nymph declaims 

The facred truth, in fidion long concealed : 
Again, on her I fixM my wond'ring Eyes, 
Onward (he led me thro' Elysian Joys, 

When the hir Bank its flowery Path rereal'd* 


C 33» ] 



The Poet and Matilda continue tlieirG)aTerfation by the Sank 
of the River, till they are Interrupted by a new and extraor- 
dinary Phenomenon. 

ilER Voice continued ftill the pow'rfiil Charm, t - 
(Her Eye-beam kindlmg with Affedion warm,) 

Chanting the Bleffings of the pardon'd Soul : 
Now, thro* umbrageous Vistas, half unfeen. 
And now, with Nymph-like ftep, along the green 

Thro' light and fliade the &iry Vifion ftole. 


Nor lonely did fhe go ; widi equal fpeed 

Onward I followed, as flie feem'd to tread. 

The Bank opposed, with motion fwift or flow ; 

An hundred paces fcarce we diftant flood. 

Where eaftward tum'd the deq> Elysian flood. 

When crois the ftream her accents feen^'d to flow. 


C 33^ 1 


•* My Friend, obferve ! with heedful eye and car !**— 
Deep thro' the green Grove, luminous and dear. 

Something that feemM a fecond Mom was feen. 
Bright as the Bolt of Heaven : but Lightning iboa 
Flames, and is loft ; while, like the waidng Moon, 

This wider fpread the bow'ry walks between. 


^ What means this glorious fight?*' my ardent thought 
EnquirM : when, fwelling with the diitant Note, 

C^ck to my trembling ear the Zephyrs bore 
Celeftial harmony, that run along 
The lightened air. Oh ! how my heart was wrung^ 

To think how firft we lofl this happy Shore ! 


Unhappy Mother ! by your fault we fell, 
Tho* new to life, th' imaginary veil 

Of Ignorance you fcomM, and longM to know . 
What Heav'n forbade ! If you had (Ull obeyed. 
Still had you witnefsM in this happy Shade, 

Such joys as never muft be felt below ! 


While mufing thus, I walkM the blifsful Strand^ 
And felt my Soul to tranfport new expand ; 

The Air before me feem'd with golden gleam 
To gliften, as I gaz'd beneath the trees ; 
While the fweet Defcant, wafted on the breeze. 

Now heard diftin&lv* charm'd the liil'mne Stneain. 

C 333 3 


O, facred Nine ! if my devoted Soul 
Has felt for you the rigours of the Pole, 

The damp hodhimal, and the fultry Star, 
That fcatters Plagues and Death, my Pow'rs reftore. 
That with no middle flight afpires to foar 

High on the pinions of celeftial Air ! 


Urania ! come, unlock your holy Springs ! 
While with your Choirs yon' azure Concave rings. 

Deep Themes I meditate, to heavenly ftrains 
Attempered fole. Amid the op'ning Shades [play'd. 
What feem'd feven golden Trees, their Boughs dif- 

At hand they feemM, tho' on a diilant Plain. 


Buf when, advancing thro' the bofom'd Wood, 
I reach'd the fplendid Pageant where it flood, 

I found them each with beamy Lamplets crowned. 
That o*er the Foreft, and each flow'ry Lawn, 
Shed a pure light, as when (her Veil withdrawn) 

The midnight Moon furveys her Empire round. 


My brother Bard and I, with deep amaze. 
Stood for a moment, fix'd in torpid gaze ; 

But foon, like Meteors in a troubled Sky, 
Slow, as the modeft Maid to Hymen's Fane, 
^ey feemM to move. Our fight purfu'd with paib 

^ object ftr^ge, and new tp mortal eye. 

C 33^ 1 


** Why thiii/* the Virgin crr'd^ ^ mim childifli fight 
Piirfuc the long career of ruxuimg light, 

Regardlefs of the mere majeftic Shew 
'lliat comes behind ?** A Train ad^-andng foon 
He faw, vith garments brighter than the Moon, 

Or aught this Sin-\('om Mould can boaft bclow« 


And now they reached the flood, advancing on ; 
Ik'iicath, in bright reflex, the Waters flxme. 

As the Proccflion on its Mirror play'd 
A qiiiv'ring light ; I faw, diflind and dear, 
Mv Sludow in (he wat'ry glafs appear, 

As Ironi the left its bofom I furve)''d. 


Anil ni^M i!u' InurthrnM Phalanx reached the brim. 
1 111 lu.^xini: FiK s, n'llcdcd, feem'd to fwim 

i >i\ \hc ,^lin \\\v(akc of the glafly Tide : 
\\ i.V, il, p fuijvnJcil on the nearer Shore 
\ lip. ,^ :^nJ i;nx the l.;*mplcis march before, 
r.untnv. w'nh lion ilrcams, the welkin wide. 


T 1. !i . 1.-. ^.^\lv^ n;iik, ih^l nuik'd the coloured air, 
.v, . r.r.l Ilk. «Iw IIai o round the Cynthian Star, 

\\ ih. liMio, indirtiKc of the heav'nly Bow, 
I .M *. iiyi; u> 1 1, .iv'n ; \vc faw beyond the tide, 
I \u li.hi (npp.Miiiu; llufis the Clouds divide, 

.\i\.l %.uh« uw |\ucs dilldiu, march'd below. 

E 335 ] 


Beneath the lucid Canopy along. 

Came, hand in hand, a venerable Throng, 

With lilies from the Vales of Eden crown'd : 
In twelve diflinguifh'd Pairs the Seniors came. 
" Bleffed art thou," they fung, " diftinguifli'd Dame, 

Whofe Virtues from thy God fuch favour found !'* 

But when the glorious Retinue, at lad. 
Like a bright Cloud, along the green had pais'd ; 

As other Conftelladons feem to rife. 
And, mounting in its radiant courfe, purfue 
The weftem fires, defcending from the view, 

A fecond Train awoke a new furprife, 


Another Caravan appeared behind. 

The Team was drawn by four, who fann'd the Wind, 

Each with fix wings, that, waving, feem'd to glare 
With dreadful Optics, like thofe Orbs that roU'd 
In Argus' front, till Hermes clos'd of old 

Thofe jealous Eyes that watchM the wand'ring Fair. 


To tell their Forms I need not feek the Sprmg 
Of Helicon, for, to a louder firing 

St. XV. /. 2. — a ^Knerahte Tbrongt'] The four-and-twenty El- 
ders meitioned in the Revelations. Some of! thci Commentators 
fay, that it means the four-and-twenty Penmen of the Books of 
the Old Testament. LANDiNOy &c« 

St. xvii. h 2. fy fntr^'^2 The four EyaxcELisTS. 


[ 336 3 

Of old, the glories of the heav'nly Car 
EzHKiEL fung, when, from the frt>zen Pole, 
He faw Its whirling wheels in tempeft roll. 

Amid the Ihock of elemental War. 


Such as He fung, were thefe, but plumes they woris^ 
Like thofe in Patmos feen by John of yore. 

Between them a triumphal feat appeared : 
On lofty wheels elate a Form was feen, 
Whofe awful movements o'er the ample Green, 

With high ccmtrol the gay Proceffion fteer*i 

On either fide he fpread his Pinions light. 
And kept the mid-line of thefe Meteors bright, 

'i hat o'er the Sky in fplendour fcem'd to fweep : 
And tho' their umbrage fpread afar below. 
The blended radiance of the fevenfold Bow, 

Still unecHps'd, its colours feem'd to kce|>. 


The wond'rous Form a two-fold nature Ihew'd, 
The royal Bird in golden plumage glow*d 

6V. xviii. /. 4, EzKKiEL ywtt^, — ] This Vifion, intended to 
rcprcfcnt the llatc of the viiiblc Church in the fourteenth Centuxy 
;uid fome time before, is borrowed partly from Ezekiel, (fee c. i.) 
ai»d partly from the Revelations of St. John, from whom is de- 
rived the idea of the Seven Golden Lamps, or antecedent Lights, 
which are rfprefented as preparing tlie way fur the enfuing Pro- 
ccflion. (Sec Rev. c. i. and ii.) Landing, Sec. 

.SV. xxi. /. I. — a t'-jjQ'foId nature Jbew^d'\ By this ftrangc two- 
fold appearance, the Commentators fay, is meant the fecond ?£ r- 
SON of the Trinity.-— Landing, Vellutello, Augelucci. 

I 337 3 

Above : A Lion's form conceal'd the reft. 
Of dazzling white, commixt with fangvdne ftain, 
k feem'd; not Scipio's Hoft, nor Cjesar's Traio, 

Such triumph wimefs'd over Eaft or Weft. 


Dim wag the fplendour of Hyperion's Throne 
To this ; even then, when his prefumptuous Son 

Rode there fublime above a burning world j 
Till, blafted by the mighty Mother's pray'r. 
He fell from ^ther, thro' the kindling air, 

JFrom the deferted wheels by thunder hurl'd. 


Three Nymphs upon the right, in myftic dance, 
Seem'd o'er the green-fward carpet to advance : 

One clad in green ; a fuit of fanguine hue 
The fecond wore* Her Sifter's robe excell'd 
The drifted fhow, that clothes the wint'ry field. 

As thro' the m^zes of the dance fhe flew. 


And now the cheerful green her Comrades led. 
And now, in crimson deck'd, the martial Maid 

Glow'd in the front ; and now the veftal Dame, 
Foremoft of all, difplay'd her snowy Stole j 
While, tripping on the left, another School 

Of jocund Nymphs, in myftic meafure came. 

5*/. xxiii. /. I. Three Nymphs — ] The theological Virtueg^ 
Faithy diilinguiflied by a white veil ; Hope, drelTed in greea j an4 
Charity, in red, to denote her fenrour. 

Vol. n. Z 

C 338 ] 


Long purple robes of ftate, like Queens, they wore. 
Three eyes their Leader had, that march'd before ; 

Two rev'rend Seniors clos'd the feftive Train, 
In garb as difF'rent, as alike in mien : 
For here the Soul's Phyfician firft was feen. 

Taught by his Lord to foothe internal pain. . 


The Second, not like one that lovM to fpare. 
With brandifli'd weapon feem'd to threaten War, 

And glitt'ring falchion fiird his better hand : 
His martial port, nor lefs his mien fevere, 
Struck me, acrofs the flood, with chilling fear, 

Still as he wav'd aloft his angry brand, 

Four Swains afar I faw, in ruftic weed. 
To this ftrange pomp of Paradife fucceed ; 

And, clofe behind, a vifionary Man 
With eyes faft clos'd ; yet, tho* bereft of Day, 
The reverend Pilgrim feem'd, with keen furvey. 

The Secrets of another World to fcan. 

5/. XXV, /. I. Lon^ purple r(^hes of Jfatr^ Sic,'] The four Cardiul 
Virtues. Prudes CK is painted \nth three eyes, as obferving the 
prefcnt, the paft, and the future. 

Sl XXV. /. 5. For Ittrr the SfiuPs Pbyfictan — ] »St. Luke, dc- 
fignatcd here as the Author of the Ads of the Apolllcs. 

St, xxvi. /. I . The fccond—'\ St. Paul, armed with the fword 
of the word, mighty to divUe the Soul and tl^ Spirit, — LandinO. 

St, xxvii. /. I. Four Swains — ] The four Epiftolary iufpired 
Writers ; \'iz. James, John, Peter, and Jude. Rosa Morakdo, 


St. xxvii. /. 3. — /I vifionary Man'] St. John the Divine, Au- 
thor of the Book of Revelations.——/^, ibid. 

l 339 3 


Solemn thqr march'dy and all the liv'ry wore 
Of that fage Retinue that walk'd before : 

The Lily crown'd the Van ; but thofe behind. 
On ev'ry front the blufhing Rofe difplay'd ; 
Frefh woven chaplets feem'd their brows to fhade. 

In feemly wreaths around their temples twin'd. 

Now, fiiU opposM, appeared the lofty Car, 
Loud Thunder raised its awful voice afar. 

That pafsM in horror o*er the trembling flood t 
Check'd by the found, the rolling Orbs ftood ftill. 
As if obedient to th' inftindive Will 

That mov'd the wheels, and all the Convoy flood. 

*i^* This allegorical rqirefentation of the Fortunes of the 
Church} as it gives a view of its Writers, implies much of its evi* 
4cnce refulting finom their union in one great fcheme, and the com- 
pletion of ancient ProphecieSy by later miracles, and Q|her diftin- 
guiflied events ; it is therefore very properly introduced as noaking 
part of the fqheme of Converfion of Dante, as the external evi* 
dence has a renuurkable tendency to confirm the tniemaly to which, 
without the former, every Enthufiaft would make pretence, and 
claim for his particular Qogmas, the inm^ard evidence of the Spirit. 



C 341 3 



I)efceiit of Beatrice, or Heavenly Wifiom^-^l^ex Addrdb'to 
Dants» and recital of the Reafbn of her extraordinary Condnft 
Wkh rcfpeft to hinu 

1 HUS flood thefe Lights that guide the wand'nng 

For, as the Stars, that circle round the Pole, 

Condud the Keel, remote from Eaft and Weft ; 
So thefe fupply the never-fetting Beaih : 
Sin only can obfcure the golden gleam 

That points the Paflage to eternal Reft# 


And now the Bands, that march'd in OTder bri^C 
^wixt the triumphal Wheels and feven-fold lightji 

Fac'd to the winged Car in full parade ; 
While kindling rapture beam'd from ev'ry eye^ 
Fix'd on the Pledge of everlafting Joy, 

While thus a filver Voice the Song efl[aj*d; 


^' Defcend from Lebanon, celeftial Spoafe ! 
Thy Conibrt waits thee, to reosive thy Vowsl''— • 


[ 342 ] 


Three heav'nly Echoes to the Song reply'd { 
Thrice the louJ t.liorus fillM the Concave round > 
Thrice Kdkn's Vales rcturu'd the joyous found. 

To /Ether wafted on th* aerial Tide. 

T!icn, as th' Elefted at the Trump of Doom 
.Shall burll their cearments and fbrfake the tomb. 

In glory clad, and wing'd to mount the Sky i 
So at the word uprofe a living Cloud ; 
So fccm'd their wings the Harry wheels to flu'owd. 

Waiting the h\.av*nly Mcflcnger on high. 


" B/c/:\l is the hjppy Soul, to Heav'n rejlor'di^ 
They lung ; while ev'ry hand profufely pour'd 

The rifled fweets of Paradife around. 
O'er the glad foil, and thro' the fcented air : 
^* Hither, ye Denizens of Heav'n! repair," 

They cryM ; " and hide with tiowers th' enamell'd 

While Earth was chd with Flora's fpoils below, 
Sudden the Eaft, with corrcfponding glow, 

Seem'd to refleft the bluftiing tint afar : 
So have I fecn, o'er Ocean's wavy bed. 
The Sun afcend, celeflial rofy red. 

When Autumn's vapours paint his flaming Car. 

Ruddy as Phoebus, in Aurora's Bower, 
A radiance, veil'd amid the fragrant fbower 

C 343 3 

Of falling rofes, feeniM, with umberM glance, 
To rival Day's iair Lord ; and foon difplay'd 
Thro' the deep cloud o( fweets, a matchlefs Maid 

Seem'd thro' the plaufive Squadrons to advance. 


A fnowy veil flie wore ; with olive bound, 

A green ftole far behind her, fwept the ground ; 

Beneath, a tunic like Aurora's veft 
Her decent limbs embrac'd with cinfture bright : 
' Twas my ^ry? Love ! but ftill my mortal light 

Not yet the Miftrefs of my Fate confeft. 


My heart, of old familiar to her dharms. 
No rapture felt at firft, no new alarms ; 

As had I known the Fair, my foul had thrill'd: 
Yet from the Nymph unknown a tranfient glow. 
Thro' ev'ry nerve inftindive, feem'd to flow. 

Which, as I gaz'd, my heaving Bofom fill'd. 


Yet, when that Eye-beam on my Optics playM, 
Which firft my fancy to Elysium led. 

Ere yet the Down proclaim'd my fpring of Youth ; 
With love and fear, conflifting in my breaft. 
Like a fond weeping Child I ftood diftreft. 

Who longs its angry Mother's wrath to foothe, 

I tum'd me to the Bard, and meant to fay, 
" O, Mantu AN ! plead for me !" — ^With deep difmay 


t 344 ] 

I felt my life-blood freeze— my Friend was gone f- 
Ah, Virgil ! ah, my Friend! how hard thy lot. 
To be expeird from this delightful fpot. 

Who ledft my fteps thro' many a burning Zone ! 


Not all the blifsful fcenes that Eve had loft. 
Not all the channs of that enchanting Coaft, 

Could check the briny tear, by grief fuppIyM. 
** Weep not for him, but for thyfelf, my Friend, 
Tho' here thou feel'll thine ancient compad: end. 

Another caufe may fwell the briny Tide." 

Thus, as the Mailer of the Bark, who cheers 
His toiling Crew, amid their hopes and fears, 

And now the Stern furveys, and now the Prow, 
Breathing his fpirit thro' the gallant Band, 
Seem*d the fair Veftal on her lofty Stand, 

WTien from her lips I heard thefe accents flow. 

The fame her port appeared, her garb the fame, 
As when, like Mom's emerging dawn, (he came 

From the deep bofom of the falling Ihower ; 
Save that her opening Veil, in part, difplay'd 
The peerlefs features of the heav'nly Maid : 

Even crofs the winding flood I felt their power* 


At me (he caft a look, feverely fweet : 
Ah ! how I fear'd her angel eye to meet, 

C 345 3 

Where dignity, with keen rcfentment, joined ! 
Calmly (he fpoke, but feem'd to kctfp at bay 
The tcmpeft of her wrath, with cool delay. 

And fuch a look, as threatened worfe behind. 


«c Yes— I am fhe ! Behold me well,''— (he cryM ; 

" Did you vouchfafe to climb the rugged fide 

Of this fteep Hill at laft ? Tremendous toil !— 
Did you not know that Blifs was centered here ? 
Unhappy Man !" — ^I met her look fevere. 

And feem'd, ev'n to myfelf, defpis'd and vile. 


I fpy*d my Image in the pailing wave. 
So true a pifture of a rated Slave, 

With fhame-depifted front : I tumM away. 
Loathing my Likenefs ; while the haughty Maid 
Maternal anger in her look difplay'd. 

Nor foften'd with a fmile my deep difmay. 


While thus I drained Refentment's bitter Bowl 
Even to the dregs, and Shame deprefs'd my Soul s 

Sudden, prolonged with many an heav'nly Note, 
A Concert of the Gods I feem'd to hear, 
Jesside's fong of Hope regal'd mine Ear j 

Yet my rapt Mem'ry but a fragment caught. 

" In thee J Lord ! we put our trt{ft^** they cry'd. 
*^ Our Limits are erdar^d^^ a Voice re^y'd. 

St. xit. /. I. « tn thee^ Lord^ &cO llus introduaioii of 
the jift Pfalm» fung by all the Choirs <^ PSitnarchs, Prophets, 


[ 346 3 

The reft I loft. A cold, like Alpine fnow 
Deep frozen by the rude Sclavonian blaft, 
"Rirough my trembling bones and marrow pafsMy 

When firft I heard the awful DeTcant flow. 


But, as the Gale, from Afric's burning Sky, 
Where Sol looks, down direft with lordly eye^ 

Chacing the Shadows from the fervid line. 
Sends downwards from thofe everlafting Hills, 
The Winter's fhining hoard, in countleft rills ; 

So fled my terror by the Song divine. 


At once, the tempeft of my Sighs afleep 
Were laid ; my charmed Eyes forgot to weep : 

ApoiUeB, and Angels, is finely introduced to elevate the fiiikin|r 
fpirits of the Candidate for Heaven, under a fenfe of fome re- 
maining difpleafure of the Divinity* 

The 7th Verfe particularly is fitted to his cafe^ << / mil he 
glad^ and rgoice in thy Mercy. ^* The confiderations that make 
the Soul cheerful in the midii of Affli6tion are, *< that God is 
inerciful ; that, as He is not ignorant, fo neither is He unmindful 
of our troubles ; that He is a friend, who knows us in advcrfity^ 
no lefs than in profperity ; that He hath not fubjedied us to the nc- 
ceflity of being overcome by our Spiritual Enemies, but has, with 
the temptation, alfo made us a way to efcape. We are to confider 
Him as our God and Saviour ; that the times of profperity and 
adyerfity are both in His hand ; and therefore on Him we are to 
«MKf»lilllhe day of mercy ihall dawn, and the (hadows flee away." 
-Home oti the 31ft Pfahn. 

t 347 3 

When the full Chorus, who for ever chime 
To the deep movement of the Mundane rounds 
With melting Airs afluag'd my fmaiting wound. 

With beav'nly-wafted Notes and Airs fublime. 


How Memory lov'd upon each Note to dwell. 
When Pity feem'd in ev*ry ftrain to fwell. 

While ev'ry clofe that charmM the lift'ning Sky 
SeemM modulated to my ravifli'd Ear 
In thefe foft fbrains« ^* Ah ! why this look fevere ? 

Why wound his Heart ? Beatrice, tel^ me why ?^ 


Ah ! then the Froft, that feem'd my heart to load 
In i;ghs tranfpir'd, in briny current flow'd ; 

And, from my lips and eyes, in anguifli broke : 
When by the dexter wheel her lofty ftand 
She took, and anfwerM thus their loud Demand! 

With matchlefs dignity pf voice and look. 

" High fpher'd above the world, your wide furvcy 
Sees all HIS fecrets in empyreal Day ; 

Nor cloud, nor flumber, can deceive your fight : 
But, for HIS lake alone, diftina and clear. 
His faults I mean to tell, that he may hear 

And pay the debt of penitential woe. 

'< Not from th' eternal Sphere that rolls above^ 
Not from, yon* everlafting Fires that move 

C 348 3 

Each in its fitted round, he gain'd the boon 
Of heav'nly Grace ; but from an higher PowV^ 
That fends abroad the frudifying fhower 

From fources far above the Sun or MooOt 

*^ Such genuine "worth adom'd hfe early dxf^ 
That each prolific ftem of heav'nly Grace 

In Aat rich Mould a genuhie footing found t 
But, oh ! the rankeft foil but ferves to feed 
The ptant of juice malign, and noxious v^eed, 

If Culture's hand neglect the hapleft ground* • 


^ At firft, by ev'ry foft, endearing art, 
I clos'd the dang'rous Pafles to his Heart, 

Wlule from my Eyes he drank celeftial Light : 
HTwas Heav'n, by me, difpensM the gladfome Ray 
That led him on in Virtue's rugged way. 

By the pure Canon of eternal Right. 

^^ But foon, when Life had reach'd a nobl^ Aag^» 
To heavenly cares I gave my riper age. 

The World forgetting, and by Love forgot : 
For now, my Lover broke his eafy chain ; 
His homage fcom'd, and fought the World again^ 
^ By traniient charms, and fading phantoms cauglit. 

Exalted now, and half to Soul refin'd. 
The lucid Mirror of die £sdnted Mind 

t 349 3 

From fair Religion caught the genuine glow : 
Yet, as the Woman to an Angel grew. 
Still lefs and lefs he bore the dazzling view. 

But left the lofty Height, and fixM below. 


In vain the wandering Lover to reclaim, 
Won by my Pray'rs, the nightly Vifion came j 

In vain the pious Thought arofe by day : 
Still more entangl'd in the fetal fnare, 
He mockM my nightly toil, my daily care. 

And fondly flung his bitter hopes away. 

*' A fure, but dreadftil remedy was left. 
To (hew the fentencM Dead, of blifs bereft ; 

Dauntlefs, for this I (hot the Gulf of Death ; 
For this, my folemn adjurations drew 
The Soul of Maro from the prifon'd Crew, 

To fliew the Secrets of the World beneath. 


** Scarce would the Sinner Heav'n's Decree fulfil. 
Were he admitted to th' oblivious Rill ; 

Si. xxxii. /.I. — HtavWs Decree fulfil,'} The PoiT here 
intimates the wifdom of this temporary withdrawing of Spiritual 
Confolations, as an exercife of Faith and Hope, and a falutarj ex* 
pedient to make us know the value of Heavenly Bleflings. He 
means alfo to (how how el[ential a part Humiliation muft conftitutc 
in genuine Repentance ; a Virtue, which, when we are perfuaded 
that Qur Sins arc forgiven, we are apt to forget ; and pronounce 


C 350 3 

Or that delicious fruit that loads the Tree 
Of Life, before he felt the bitter throes 
Of Penitence, whofe keen falubrious Woes 

The piurged Soul from Sin's contagion free. 

upon our own fUtc, from a comparifon with others. '. he cenfi>* 
rious fpirit of certain Enthuliafts, who pride themfelves on their 
fancied privileges, are an evidence of thii. Sec Extrad ttwm 
Ramsay, ijParadilb, fcd.iv. 


C 3Si 3 



The ConfeiCon of the Poet, his Abfolution, and Immerfion in the 

River Lethk. 

Say, thou that droop'ft beyond the facred flood,** 
The Holy Virgin thus her theme purfu'd. 

But with a folemn brow, and piercing tone, 
*^ Have I fpoke truth ? the fan^on of thy voice 
Mufl cl^ar my charge, and vindicate the S]pe§ ; 

Thy innocence, or guilt, mull now be Ihown^** 


My fapulties I felf fo much confus'd. 
My oifgans fidter'd, ^ to fpeech difusM, 

Tho* oft I try'd to anfwer to the charge : 
Awhile fhe ftood ; then, with indignant look. 
She cryM, " You have not drunk of Lethe's brool(. 

Your Mem'ry yet difplays your dee4s at Iarg?t'^ 

I S5^ 3 


Slow from my lips the fad confeifion flow'd. 
More to the Eye than Ear their movement Ihow'd 

My deep contrition for my early fault ; 
As when the Bowman's hand o'er-ftrains the firing. 
Wide flies the fluttering fliaft on languid wing; 

Thus faird my words to paint my guilty thought. 


Deep groans and tears the pow*rs of fpeech fupprels'd. 
The deep concealment laboured in my breaft. 

Too big for utt'rance, while (he thus declaimM : 
*' I wing'd thy Soul to that empyreal Height, 
Where the Chief Good, the Source of true Delight, 

Thy nafcent Faith with heav'nly Hope inflam'd, 


" What deep Gulph, or infuperable Mound, 
Crofs'd thy plain path ? declare what Magic bound 

Thy faltering progrefs in Circ-^an chains; 
What fpell could bid the beam of Hope delay. 
Before its light was loft in heav'nly Day ; 

Why was her beamy torch illum'd in vain ? 


*' What charms could thofe unreal Phantoms fliow^ 
Which fill yon* deep noftumal Vale of Woe 

With orgies foul, or fix in torpid trance 
The fleepy Soul, that you fhould leave the Streams 
Of Life, to follow to the Land of Dreams 

The fairy meafures of their moonlight dance ?'* 


C 353 3 


Ill bittemefs of foul, I heav'd a figh, 
And ^th low voice effay'd a faint reply ; 

Scarce could my laboring lips the accents mould. 
As with warm tears I thus confels'd my fault : 
" Their well-feign'd looks of Love my Fancy caught. 

When you were fummonM to Emmanuel's Fold." 


" Even were you filent, or your fault deny'd. 
No lefs it would be known,*' the Saint reply'd, 

" To the Heart-Searcher, on his awful Throne; 
But Mercy turns reverfe the griding wheel, 
She takes the keen edge from the lifted fteel. 

When Penitence is heard its guilt to own. 


" Thus, let my words rebate the tempered edge 
Of thy compundions, and thy pangs afiuage ; 

Lefs will thofe Syrens charm when next you meet. 
If from my lips you learn, what fruits of Faith 
You might have reap'd from my untimely death. 

When my cold clay poffefs'd its laft retreat. 


" Never did Nature's hand, with Art combined. 
Weave fuch a charm to captivate the Mind, 

As my frail Form, now wafted far away 
To the dark world, on Diffolution's wing : 
Why then, ah ! why fliould any mortal thing. 

After my parting, lead your thoughts aftray ? 
Vol. II. A a 

t 354 ] 


** When her first fliaft the hand of Fortune fix'd 
In your full heart, and first the beverage mix'd 

Of bittemefs, it (hould have wing'd your Soul 
To leave fallacious things, and try your flight 
(Marfliaird by me) to yonder fields of Light, 

Where neither chance nor change our joys controL 


" No fecond Miftrefs, then, had damp'd your ^ring, 
Tho' like Heaven's Choirifters (he feem'd to fing; 

Nor had you Waited for a second wound. 
To ftimulate your flumb*ring Soul again : 
What torments had you fliun'd ! what needlefs pain ! 

If you had fled, ere Ruin clos'd you round ? 


*' In vain you fpread the fame infidious fnare, 
For the full-plum*d Inhabitants of Air; 

The unfledg'd bird may twice or thrice be caught.*' 
Like a correfted Child, in forrow drown'd, 
I ftood, with fad looks, fix*d upon the ground. 

Nor darM to meet her eyes, with anger fraught. 


Again (he fpoke : " My converfe pains your ear ! 
Since then 1 find you thus averfe to hear. 

Indulge your eye, and let me view your face : 
There I behold with joy the manly fign 
That mrrl..^ the time of life, when thoughts divine 

Should lilt thy Soul from her Circus an maze. 


[ 355 3 


The cerrial oaks with lefs refiftance bend. 

When loud Norwegian ftorms, or Libyan, rend 

The groaning grove, than I upraised my head. 
Struck with her tone farcaftic, when (he prais'd 
Thofe marks of age mature, by Sloth debas'd, 

While deep confufion o'er my vifage fpread* 


I faw the living cloud that lately hung 
Above the Car, with loud triumphal foiig 

DifpersM, and all its radiant frame revealed } 
My eyes were dazzled with the profped bright. 
Yet ftill, methought, in that Abyfs of Light, 

Mine eyes the Maid's etherial fhape beheld. 


Rapt in the vifion of that heavenly Form, 
Whofe double nature, with myfterious charm. 

Had caught her fight, the holy Veftal flood, 
Like a young Cherub, on the water's brim ; 
Heav'n in her eye, and Grace in ev'ry limb, 

Tho' ftill fhe feem'd the fame, that fir'd my blood. 


Yet, lighted up by Heav'n, her kindling charma 
Caught with ftrange fire, and fiil'd with new alarms 

My breaft ; and open'd ail my wounds agsdn : 
Her former felf, the Tenant of th^ Skies, 
As far excelled, as when, in dim difguife 

Of dufl, fhe far outfhone the lemale Train. 

Aa 2 

C 35^ 3 


•Woke by her fmile, my aggravated Sin 

In dark Goroonean horror frown*d within } 

And thefe fedu£tive fcenes that led aftray 
My heart from her, grew hideous to my fight: 
Remorfe involv'd my Soul in fudden Nighty 

And fainting, lifelefs, on the Bank I lay. 


What pafb'd, 1 knew not, till my fwoon was o*cr ; 
She beft can tell — but foon I felt my pow'r 

Of intelleft and limb return again. 
That Nymph, whom on the Ihore I firft beheld, 
Rai^^*d me, half-lluinb^ring, from the verdant field; 

*' Hold fall/' (he cry'd ; and led me o!er the Plain. 


Down the flope Bank, and thro' the limpid wave 
She led me, till I found its waters lave 

My panting fides, and o'er my (houlders climb ; 
While, like a light ikiif from the wat'rj' verge, 
She fkim'd the wave, nor yet forfook her charge^ 

Steering me thro' the flood with hand fublime# 


Emerging now appear'd the further brim. 
When, like the prelude of an holy hymn, 

The fiill-ton'd Carol of Luftration foon 
Chim'd on my ear ; my Guide the fignal took. 
And inftant plung'd me in the fwelling brook : 

The booming billows check'd the folemn tune. 

[ 357 ] 


O'erwhelmM, a fpace I lay, and quaflf 'd at large 
The copious wave ; but foon, her dripping Charge 

The Nymph recovered from the limpid wave ; 
She bade me o'er the velvet green advance, 
Where the four Sifters wove the myftic dance. 

And each a kind embrace alternate gave. 


" Here," they exelaimM, " by Day the dance we lead; 
But when the riflng Moon along the mead 

The fignal fends, we join the virgin Band, 
And mount the winged Winds to jojn her Car : 
Kindling we mount, till each becomes a Star, 

And circle Heav'n beneath our Queen's command. 


" Before your Miftrefs loft her robe of clay. 
We were difmifs'd from yonder milky way. 

To tend her fteps below, and fire her Mind 
With heav'nly vigour for her upward flight ; 
Our Sifters three, that boaft a purer Light, 

Will (hew the wonders that remain behind." 

5/. xxiii. /. I. O^ervfhelm^dy &c.] The rebuke of Beatrice may 
feem too feverc $ but it only means to (how the deep Self-abafement, 
and even Self-abhorrenc^^ in fome fenfey that muil attend true 
Penitencey when the Sin has been deliberate, and againft repeated 
warnings and convi£lions ; as was the cafe here, according to the 
account given by her. The plunging in Lethe, and the embrace of 
the four Siders, reprefents more truly abfolution, than that Paflage 
cited for the purpgfe in the tenth Canto. 

Aa 3 

[ 35^ ] 


Thus, finging, they advanced, and led me on, 
Where, in the vaward of the moving throne. 

The two-fold myftic Being met my fight : 
Again the Maids that charm the nightly Pole 
Exclaimed, " Indulge thy view, without control. 

And catch new tranfports from thy firft delight,** 


Soon kindling at the view, the Flame began. 
And thro' my fhiv*ring nerves, like lightening, ran, 

As thofe bright eyes that open'd Heav'n, 1 viewed 
Thofe ftiLi-like eyes ! oh ! how they feem'd to gaze, 
(Like double Rlirrors, on the folar rays) 

On that bright Form that on the Chariot flood. 


Seen in the moving tablet of her eyes, 
Pencil'd by I^ight, the Tenant of the Skies, 

In a clear focus of abftracled Day, 
The wonders of his changing Form difplay'd; 
Which, as the tints his fovercign will obeyM, 

'Twixt mortal and immortal fecm'd to play. 


Yet, thron'd upon the Car's majeftic frame. 
The awful Prototype a-ppcar'd the fame : 

Oh! how I \v(mdcr'd at the heav'nly fpdl. 
While at this Banquet of the Soul I flood, 
Wh.=:re Ti-anfport fed Defire with hallowM Food ! 

Still on the fccne Ronifnibrance loves to dwell. 

[ 359 ] 


Now the fair Sifters took their turn to fing. 
Who fweep the heavenly Spheres on bolder wing. 

Still meafuring to the Dance their Defcant fweet : 
" O turn to thy first Love! celeftial Maid ! — 
From clime to clime, and thro' th' infernal Shade 

Long has he trac'd thy fteps with weary feet [ 


" Withdraw that envious cloud that hangs between ! 
Give him thy cloudlefs charms, as thou art feen. 

When on the Bleft they fhed celeftial Day ! 
Shine out at full, and fate his longing Soul ! — 
Grant him that Light, that beams above the Pole, 

Nor let him linger thus in fond delay. 


" Seraphic Viiion ! ne'er in Pindus* Vale, 
The gifted Bard, with holy muftng pale. 

Who quaifs th* infpiring fount that wings the Soul, 
Thy over-whelming Glories could recite. 
When the blefs'd Squadron, in a flood of Light, 

Sung thy difclofure to the ringing Pole ! 


Aa 4 

E 361 3 



The Defcnption of the Proccffion continued. — ^The Poet arrives it 
the Tree of Knowledge of Good and £vil«— Its Appearance 
defcribed, and the Confequences of his Arrival there. 

1 HE tardy Seafoa, fpent on flubbom Troy, 
Had pafs*d, fince I percdv'd the tafte of joy : 

Oh! how my eager Soul, when blifs returned, 
Look'd thro* my eyes ! — ^The glorious fcenes, in vain, 
That ill'd the concave Sky, and thronging Plain, 
Led them from her, whofe abfence long I moum'd. 


While 01 the Saint's tranfporting form I hung, 
I heard, ii whifpers, from the holy Throng, 

" His nortal Senfe will never bear the view." 
Inftant the glowing circles feem'd to run 
Acrofs my ight, like one that eyes the Sun, 

Whelminj my fenfe, and proved the warning true. 

[ 36^ 3 


But, when the vifual nerves refum'd their tone^ 
I law (tho* half their energy was gone) 

The heav'nly Squadron, ranging to the right. 
In glorious march, with Sol's afcending rays 
Weftward they wheel'd, reflecting blaze on blaze^ 

While ftill before them fail'd the feven-fold Light. 


As flying Squadrons fliun the ftorm of War, 
With fluctuating fliields, that gleam afar. 

And waving banners fprcad ; the Bleft were feea 
In mighty circuit verging to the Weft, 
Till they beheld the winged Team arreft. 

And turn its Pole upon the velvet green. 


Clofe by the fer^^id wheels, by left and right, 
The Veftals march'd along ; a Bevy bright 

Still following, as their Mafter mov'd along, 
Sweeping the ample Sky, with fteady wing, 
While fhe who wafh'd me in Oblivion's fpring. 

With S rATiL's, and with me, purfu'd the Ihrong 


Ikiiir.d tiic wheel, v» hich markM with narrowo" fweep 
The dexter path, along the foreft deep, 

C'oTiceal'd in folitary gloom, we pafsM ; 
iMutc were thefe Bowers where Angels i'un^ of old, 
(T.rc Eve her blifs for empty profpecls foU,) 

And hcav'niv Fxhccs checrM the blooning wafte. 

I 363 ] 


Thrice had the winged arrow's foiin<fing flight 
Our journey meafur'd, when, as fwift as Light, 

Beatrice left the Car: a fullen found 
Slow wafted to my ear our Father's Name, 
Chanting the woful caufe of Sin and Shame 

In doFrous accents, thro' the woods profound. 


Round a lone Tree, amid a folemn glade. 
The radiant Team a mighty circuit made; 

By Winter fcath'd, and mark'd with Thunder's fear 
It feem'd : no leaves it fliow'd, nor fcented bloom } 
Its long, funereal arms, m awfiil gloom 

Extended o'er the blafted heath afar. 


Yet, not like other Trees its branches fpread ; 
With ampler fweep, as nearer to the head. 

The wide diverging boughs portentous wave 
High o'er the racking clouds, of giant fize. 
Above thofe groves that ihade the fouthem Skies, 

And tempeft, flood, and fire, alternate brave. 


" O happy THOU, who, while enflirin'd in duft. 
Never allur'd by thy degen'ratc guft. 

Or tempting fruit thy bright reverfion fold. 
When Appetite rebell'd." Around the Tree 
Thus fung the Saints in heav'nly harmony. 

As to the trunk the hallow'd Chariot roU'd. 

C 364 ] 


Then he, whofe (kill renewed, by Hcav*n*8 behefty 
The failing Race, by deadly Plagues opprefs'd. 

Led on the team, and fix'd the radiant Pole^ 
To the large Trunk, with art celeftial bound 
To the paternal Stem, where firft it found 

Its birth ere fever'd from the mighty bole. 


As when with kindling wheels the Lord of Day 
Illumes the fleecy Star with genial ray. 

All Nature wakens from her torpid trance } 
While, flowly rifing from the wint*ry Tomb, 
In ev*ry fwelling bud the nafcent bloom. 

Springing to Life, renews the vernal dance. 


Ere thro' the fecond Sign his chariot fpeeds. 
Young April's tender hues adorn the meads; 

Thus, like the blufhes of a vernal Sky, 
Where the fair Violet and full-blown Rofe, 
Seem'd their fweet mingling colours to difclofe. 

The withered Plant revived, with figns of joy. 

Sf. XI. /. 6. //J birtff — ] How this Chariot, which means the 
viiiblc* Church, drew its bein;; from the Tree of Knowledge, feems 
rather 2 drained allegory ; but it means, that the peculiar bleffings 
of Redemption were the confequences of the Fall, by the operation 
of IIiM who alone can brinfr Good out of Evil. — There is no fa- 


1 1 ^: factory light thrown on it by the Commentators which I bad an 
opportunity of coiifulting. Vellutello fays, it fignifies, the 
perfect obedience of Chrift annexed to the imperfcA obedience of 

E 36s J 


But never could Imagination fcsui 

The peal of heav*nly praife, unmatchM by Man, 

That, like a fudden Paean, rung around 
From the deep thronging Theatre of Souls, 
Who fung their ranfom to the lift'ning Poles; 

The potent charm my flumb*ring Senfes bound. 

Could I recal the fweet oblivious ftrain. 
That o'er the eyeballs of the watchful Swsdn 

A deep eclipfe, with tuneful magic, drew ; 
Then would I, with a mafler-hand, difplay 
My feelings, when the Soul's departing ray 

Sunk in a cloud of deep Cimmerian hue. 


Let others chufe the tafk, who wilh to fing. 
How, in a coming trance, the mental Spring 

Gradual refigns her recolledUve might ; 
Thro' the dark Medium loves the Mufe to run. 
To the warm precin£ts of the golden Sun, 

When my recovering optics hail'd the Light. 


As, overwhelmed by Light, with fwimming eyes. 
Upon that fragrant Plant, which flill fupplies 

Angelic Food ; while round the heav'nly Hall, 
The never-ending Hym£N£als ring. 
The Galileans gaz'd, till from their King 

That Voice they heard that rends the funeral pall. 

^/. xvii. /. I. ^/, overwhelmed hy Llghti'^'y Compaiifon drawn 
from the effe6t of the Transfiguration on the Apoftles P£TE&, 
James, and John. Mat-xvii- 


As they, on waking, faw the heavenly Paii^ 
Like Morning's mufRed glories, k>ft in air. 

And their Great Mailer, late in radiance clatf^ 
Like Sol, divefted of his Robes of Light, 
'Or, as the dark'ned Moon falutes the Night, 

Dimly perceiv'd, with half his fplendours fled«r 


So wondered I to fee the changing fcene. 
For none was left on all the (hady Green, 

But that fair Nymph that plunged me m the Flo 
" Where is Beatrice ?" in amaze I cry*d« 
" Seated beneath yon* Tree !** the Nymph rcply'c 

" Her feven Attendants range the neighboring wc 

" The reft arofe upon the wafting gale. 
Up to the Zenith on triumphant fail. 

Their great Conduftor glittering in the van : 
Sweet was the air, and folemn was the hymn 
They fung, as o*er the clouds I faw them fkim. 

While round the cope of Heav'n the concert ram 


Here ceased the Nymph, or I the reft forgot. 
For now my Emprefs my attention caught ; 

Where, by the Tree, amid her veftal choir 
She fate, as Guardian of the facred Team : 
The feven Lamps call around a golden gleam. 

Scorning the Boreal gale, or Auster^s ire* 


C 3«7 ] 


*' A Forefter,'* (he cry'd, " you here mud ftay, 
Till the Metropolis her gates difplay ; 

You may expeft the mighty Sovereign foon. 
To give th' adopting Sign : But, ere you go. 
Your Care a friendly warning muft beftow 

On Sin's devoted Slaves beneath the Moon. 


*' Obferve yon* myftic Sign ;" I tumM my eye 
Obedient to the Mandate of the Sky ; 

When, fwifter than the blafting bolt of Jove, 
From the difparting Clouds an Eagle came, 
And thro* the foliage fhot like running flame. 

Rending thofe boughs, the Pride of all the Grove. 


Then the proud Chariot, with impetuous flight 
The Bird aflaird ; it fwervM beneath his might. 

Like a tall Frigate by a furious ftorm 
Compell'd to reel ; while, on its rocking feat, 
A fly Fox clamber*d with polluted feet : 

Confuming want had pinM his meagre form. 

Sf. xxiii. /. 4^ — an Ea^Iecamei^ By the Eaglf is meant the Power 
of the Roman Empire; firft inimical, and then fnendly, to the 
Church ; covering it with mw fpoihy and fupporting it with its in« 
fluence. — See St. xxviii. 

St. xxiv. A 5. jljly Fox'^'^ By the Fox is meant, the various 
Herefies of the firft Ages, fuppreffed by Beatrice, ortrueTheo-, 
logy.*— Lanoino, &c. ' 

C 368 3 


But the fair Veftal, with a ftem regard,\ 
His wiles deteAed, and his entrance barr^ll. 

And fent the fell Anatomy away, 
Juft as his wafted bones could bear his weight ; 
Then Jove's proud Bird, above the Car of State, 

His ample pinions fpread in large difplay* 


All fudden, I beheld the moving Throne 
Before, behind, with moulted plumage ftrown. 

Then loud laments along the welkin roU'd, 
As of a Spirit, who in anguifh hung 
O'er the fad fcene : •* Ill-fated Ship, how long 

Shall that (ad burden fill yoxu: facred hold V* 


Thefe mournful accents in an Earthquake ceasM, 
And uiftant, from the rocking ground released. 

Between the wheels a fcaly Serpent drew 
His fatal fpires, and fpread his Dragon wing. 
Then ftruck the facred Seat with deadly fting. 

And foon the facred Seat in fragments flew. 


The ruin'd remnant, like an hearfe, was clad 
With waving plumes, that all around it fpread ; 

St, xxTii. /. 3. — a fcaly Serpent'] By the Serpent is meant 
Mahomet; and his Deflrudion of the Imperial Seat, means 
the lofs of Jerusalem^— LANDINO9 &c. 

C 369 ] 

tJnhappy boon ; though giv'n without deceit, 
Contealing from the view (as o'er the foil 
Summer her lir'ry fpreads with cheerful fmile) 

The fhatter'd fellies Jirid the broken feat. 


When, lo ! a breathing time was fcarce allowM, 
When, like pale Speftresj from the fun'ral fhrowd. 

At ev'ry comer of that umber'd Car, 
An hideous face, with giant features, frown'd ; 
Three perched lipon the Pole, twice two around 

With baleful accents breath'd revenge and war. 

Sf. XXIX. /. 5. Thrte pfrch^d upon the Pole — ^ It is quite amuf* 
ing to fee the pains taken by the Italian Commentators to ex- 
plain thcfe SEVEN HEADS and ten horns, in a different fenfe from 
what they are held to typify in their original place in the Revela- 
tions. Landing and the reil make the ten horns to fignify the 
Ten Commandments, and Seven heads the Seven Sacraments. 
Daniello fuppofcs they meain the Seven Ele6lors of the Empire; 
and honed Vellutello, who is fomewhat nearer to the mark, ima- 
gines they fignify the seven deadly Sins, Landing is obliged to 
have recourfe to the above-mentioned expedient, as he finds the Heads 
and Horns fo attached to the Chariot, or Church, that they muft 
iland or fall together. But other Interpreters give thefe types a 
different meaning. Even Landing is obliged to confefs, that by 
the gigantic Lover is meant Philip le Bel of France ; by the 
AMterefs^ Pope BoNiFACE the Eighth, or Clement the Fifth, 
whofe intrigues with this Monarch, and alliances formed againil him, 
occafioned much mifchief to the Papal interefl. See Hifl. Flor. and 
Notes upon the twenty-eighth Canto of the Inferng. See Sir 
Isaac Newton on Daniel; and Hurd, Bagot, Halifax, and 
Ket on the Prophecies- 

Vol. n. B b 

C 370 ] 

Their fronts were doubly armM, like Ammon's Goi^ 
The deadly four, that round the Chariot flood, 

Each with a folitary horn was feen ; 
No (hapes fo mifcreated and uncouth. 
Yet ever raisM their heads, from North to Souths 

To fcare the Nations with Gorgonian mien* 


Firm as a rock, that fcoms the lapfe of Tune, 
A loofe AdultVefs, on the feat fublime, 

AUur'd the crowd with loud Circle an look ; 
New wonders ftill the plaftic pow'r employ M, 
x\n hideous Confort, feated by her fide, 

Low bending feem'd to Love's imperious yoke* 


But, when the Lover mark'd her wand'ring eye. 
Caught by each tranfient Form that fleeted by. 

By jealous heal inflamM, his cruel hand 
Scourg'd her without remorfe ; then, fir'd by ragc^ 
He drew the Chariot from its verdant ftage. 

And draggM it on in triumph o'er the land. 


t 3;* 1 



The Poet arriTCf, under the guidance of MatxldAi at the River 
EuNOEy of which he is made to drink; and concludes the 
Canto with a general Defcription of its Effeds upon hinu 

1 rtE Wood concealed the Plund'rer and his Prey ; 
But foon a foft and melancholy Lay 

Was heard, arifing from the Veftal Train : 
*« God/ the Heathen /poll thy /acred Shrine J^ 
While the pale afpeft of the Maid divine, 

With fudden change befpoke her inward pain. 

Not deeper woe the Virgin's look confefsM, 
When the torn limbs the (truggling Soul releasM^ 

Convuls'd, and trembling on the fatal Wood } 
But Hope's foft colour, like the flufh of Mom, 
Seem'd o'er her kindling afpefl to return, 

And thus fhe anfwer'd, in triumphant mood: 


C 37^ 3 


** A little time will fee me pafs away ; 
But foon, returning, like the Orb of Day, 

My beams (hall cheer your fight, celeftial Maids I'' 
Then, moving to the Trent, Matilda's name 
She callM, and him whom Thebes confignM to fame 

With me, to join her in the facred ihades. 


Three paces fcarce had mark'd the hallow'd Soil, 
When thus to me, with a benignant fmile. 

She fpoke : "Approach, my Friend ! but come alone ; 
Dread nought, but liiten with attention deep. 
And what I fay, with due obfcrvance keep : 

Thus for your former negligence atone."— 


Nearer I came, when thus the Maid divine : 
*' Why are you filent, when the Fates affign 

The ready means your former doubts to clear ?" 
Like one, who meets a Sage with reverend awe. 
And from his facred Lips expefts the Law, 

In filence long I Hood, intent to hear. 


At length, I thus began with fah'ring breath. 
Scarce audible, " The longing Eye of Faith 

On your deep counfcls all its pow'r employs ; 
Aflift my failing llrcngth 1'* " Attciul," Ihe cryM; 
" Nor let your lleav'n-born faculties fubfidc, 

like one who in the arms of Morpheus lies/' 

[ 373 3 


" 'riiat hallow'd Ark, that mourns the Dragon's ire. 
No longer boafls its heav*nly frame entire ; 

But vengeance flames, and fcoms the trivial Spell 
f'mployM by mortal Men to quench its rage : 
1 hey whofe vile arts profanM the facred Pledge, 

No fhield will find, its flaming fliaft to quell. 


" That Bird, whofe moulted plumes the chariot clad. 
Shall fee a regal Heir his jiinions fpread. 

And drive thefe hideous Speftres far away. 
That o'er the facred wheels portentous frown ; 
And to compenfate for her old renown. 

Make her at once a Monfter and a Prey. 


" No Pow'r of Earth or Hell, with hoftile bar. 
Can ftop the courfe of his afcending Star. 

I fee, in burning charafters above 
Difplay*d, the myftic number of his Name : 
Yon' frontlefs Woman, and the Son of Shame, 

Beneath his rage fhall mourn their law^Iefs Love. 

St, viii. /. 1, Thai Blrdy 5cc.] Some Commentators explain this 
Prophecy by the acceflion of the Emperor Henry the Seventh, 
who renewed the hopes of the Ghibelline Fad^ion in Italy ; 
wlule others imagine that the Poet's Patron, Cane Della 
ScALA, Lord of Verona, from whom he expe^ed a reftoratiod 
to his Country, and the fuppref&on of the oppofite Fadion, b 
meant in this Stanza. 


I 374 3 


^* Obfcure, perhaps, fts Oracles of old, 
A myfUc veil my warning words infold ; 

As hallow'd Themis, or the Moniler's ire 
That menacM Thebes : but foon a Nymph fliall coni^ 
Whofe facred Voice IhaU folve the Viftim's doom. 

Nor need the help of Famine, Sword, or lire. 


^^ Mark thou my Words, and let thy Brethren hear^ 
That hurry to the Tomb i|i fwift career. 

Thro' that dim twilight of the flumb'ring Soul 
Which they call Life ; nor be the Plant forgot, 
Py Foes twice plunder'd on this fatal Spot, 

Whofe daring ha^ds; have fpoil'd the iacred Bole^ 


♦' Celeftial Anger ftill indignant glows, 

^Gainll them who fpoU or break the waving Boughs^ 

That fpring for halIow*d purpofes alone : 
The Man, who robb'd it firfl with hand profane. 
Five thoufand years in Penitence and Pain, 

Waited the hand that could his Deeds atone. 

. xm. 

** Thy Genius flumbers, if it fiails to fee. 

Why, waving o'er the clouds, that wond -rous Tree 

5/.X. /. 3* — the Monger's ire] The Sphinx, who defolated 
Thebes, becaufe it9 Inhabitants could not explain her Enigma; 
this being effedled by CEdipus, occafioned her death. See Sta* 
TiusTheb. i, 2, 3. ^urip. Fhaeniflac. Sorn. (Edip. TyraxiA^ 


C 375 3 

As it afcends a broader umbrage throws ; 
Like Elsas' wint'ry wave, thy thoughts congeal ; 
Or, as the blood that ftain'd pale Thisbe's Steel, 

A Stygian tint on ev'ry theme beftows. 

** Elfe had your Soul enjoy'd, with deeper guft. 
The Truth, and feen how glorious, good, and juft. 

The Pow'r, that jguards the interdifted Tree ; 
And tho* your Mind be wrapt in Stygian fume, 
That Heav'n's bleft beam can fcarce pervade the gloom. 

Truth's powerful hand the Captive foon fhall free* 


** No Pilgrim from the brink of Jordan's flood. 
That homeward brings the palm-encircled wood, 

Shall bear fuch reliques of the Holy Land, 
As you, when to the nether World you go/' 
** I feel," I cryM, « I feel the Pidures glow 

Traced by the magic of thy mighty hand* 


^^ But, ah ! your myftic meaning foars fo higl)^ 
Above my labouring Mind's benighted Eye, 

That half is loft, while I the reft attend. 
So thick and faft the coming glories fidl. 
No mortal Mind can recognize them all. 

Nor the whole fcbeme of wonders comprehend.*' 


*' That ftyle I chofe for you, Heav'n-favour'd Man, 
That you the difference of thefe Truths may fcan, 

B b 4 From 

c 376 : 

From thofe vain fhadows which the world below 
For SUBSTANCE hold. But, for as Heav*n*s career 
Exceeds in fwiftnefs this fublunar Sphere, 

My heavenly truths their idle dreams out-go.^ 



" I cannot tax my mcm'ry/* I reply M, 

" When from thy facred Love I tum'd afide : 

No deep remorfe recals the mental wound.*' 
*^ You drank of Lethe's ftream," the Virgin faid ; 
*' The hidden flame is by the fmoke betray'd j 

In your obli\don, your defeft is found* 


" But now the Truth, concealed beneath a Cloud, 
To your dim eyes its fplendour fhall unflirowd. 

And to your rude perception condefcend." 
Now. on the point of Prime, the Orb of Light 
Surv-eyM the nether World, intenfcly bright ; 

But {lower feem*d his radiant courfe to bend, 


As couriers, fent before a mighty Hoft, 
Stop fuddenly, by fome adventure croft. 

Thus, all at once, the Veftals in the Van 
Stood dill beneath a fhade, whofe folemn brow 
Spread its dark umbrage o'er the (hade below ; 

Like thofe tall woods that Alpine breezes fan. 


Two Rivers parted thence, with even flow ; 
They fecmM like two reluftant Friends that go, 


5ever*d by rigid Fate, a diflTrent way. 
** O Light and Glory of our mortal Race ! 
What floods are thefe that lead their liquid Maze, 

From one deep fource, and yet fo widely ftray ?** 


" Be that Matilda's talk/' the Maid reply'd. 
Like one that feems to fling the blame afide, 

" Unjuftly fix'd. ^'atilda foon rejoined : 
** Both this and other things fo clear I taught, 
That Lethe fcarce the graven flamp could blot, 

If fome ftrange Spell had not bewitch'd his Mind. 


Her Friend rqjiy'd : " Some more important care 
Has from his fancy fwept that Image fair. 

And his Mind's eye eclips'd with fudden night : 
But EuNOE wanders near, your viftim lead 
To her bleft waters o'er the flow'ry mead. 

And let him try the final cleanfing rite," 


*' Th<5 Lamp of better Life, by holy dew. 
Befprent, its former Luftre (hall renew : 

Now faintly glimm'ring in his languid bread. 
Like one that only waits to learn the will 
Of his fuperior, to the heav'nly Rill 

Matilda brought me, at my Love's requeft." 

St, xxiii. /. 4. But EuNOE wandcri'-^ See Note at the end of 
the Canto.