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ft^/utij .ItptiS !i.i£t:-.tyia,Mmina.'B 








By the Rev. HENRY BOYD, A.M. 



VOL. I. 


Printed by A Stnban» Kew.Streef Squaie; 


I 'J 






-b EW Dedicators fet out with a profeffion, 
that they intend to addrefs their Patrons at 
their own erpence^ although this may fome- 
times be really the cafe. This, however, is 
literally true with refpedl to me. Before thei 
late Rebellion, I was happy in your Lord- 
Ihip's protedfcion and fociety. Yet, though 
under many obligations, the remembrance of 
which is indelible ; though my fituation was 
endeared to me by a coincidence of tafte in 
our literary purfuits, I fuffered the terrore of 
men to drive me from my poft, when with you 
I miglit be now contemplating the works 
of God in the wonders of Chemiftry ; the 
deep imprelTion of which on your Lordftiip » 
mind, you have often exprefled in converfa-* 
tion with me. My removal was contrary to 
your Lordfhip's opinion, contrary to my own 
inclination, when I left your neighbourhood. 

Relifta, non bene, parmula. 


C iv 3 

Yet your friend ftiip and generofity purfued 
me to the Wilds of Mourke. If I chofe to 
make the contrail dill greater, I could expa- 
tiate on your Lordlhip's intrepidity when 
you left the Afylum of the Metropolis, and, 
with a few attendants, made your way through 
a country fwarming with Foes (whofe objedi 
was not conqucll only, but extermination), 
to a remote angle of the Province, ftill more 
expofed to the tempeft that raged on either 
fide. It will be long remembered with grati- 
tude in the King's County, how much your 
influence and exertions contributed to keep 
the flames of war at a diftance; and from 
what remote and different parts of the country 
intelligence came to you, when your little gar- 
rifon was threatened with a nodlurnal aflault; 
a circumftance that ftrongly denoted the for- 
midable nature of the confpiracy, and the 
extent of that intercit which was taken in 
^'^ your Lordfliip's fafet\\ This part of your 
y Lordfliip's liiflory Avants only " pride, pomp, 

f and circumftance,*' to raife it to a much 

higher fcale in the Annals of the Times, 
though your excurfions were not marked 
with " characters of blood and fire f but a 
far fuperior impreflion is given of your Lord- 
fliip, in the ca^ tivating afpect of your do- 

I V 3 

main» and the contented looks of an happj 

As I often expatiate in fancy over the de- 
lightful fcenes where I for years enjoyed 
your Lordfhip's converfation, it. is a great 
addition to my folitary pleafures, that you 
can now enjoy your favourite purfuits with- 
out being obliged to fay, 

Impius haec tarn culta novalla miles habebit ? 

You ftill, it is true, cherifhed better hopes, 
and your example might have been exped;ed 
to influence me, as the danger was almoft 
over before my removal. But the Afylum 
had been offered, and the decifion made, be- 
fore fecurity could have been relied on by 
fuch as me. Your Lordfhip was at the head 
of a troop of Warriors ; I had the charge of 
a little band of Pilgrims, for whofe fafety I 
was anfwerable, and which, when put in the 
balance, outweighed every claim of felf-gra- 
tification. Not to mention, that a proper 
fubflitute was not readily found in that re- 
mote country, I found that the truly refpec- 
table Prelate who gave me the Afylum, 
expedled my refidence, influenced by a re- 
gard to me with which I had been long 
honoured^ and by higher motives becoming 


his ftation and chara<^r. On the latter I 
could enlarge with pleafure, if it needed my 
panegyric, or if this were a proper place for it. 
In one refped; I feel myfelf happy, that as 
I have fpent by much the pleafanteil part of 
my life in your Lordfliip's fociety, I flatter 
tnyfelf you know me too well to fufpecSt me 
of adulation, even if I fliould indulge myfelf 
in dilating further on your Lordfhip's cha- 
racter. The fentiments of which 1 am con- 
fcious with regard to you, would not have fuf- 
fered me to prefix your Lordfliip's name to 
any produdlion of mine, if the part already 
offered to the Public had not met with fa- 
vour. All I fliall add is, that I wifli it was 
more worthy of your Lordfliip's attention ; 
but whatever degree of amufement it may 
alFord, I trull you will long enjoy that hap- 
pinefs and diftindlion, the knowledge of which 
conftitutes no fmall ingredient in the humble 
eiijoyniejits of hini, who fubfcribes himfelf, 
with the greateft fincerity and refped:, 

Your Lordfhip's afTL^iionate and 

Grattful humble Servant, 

Rathfrvlanet^ henry BOYD, 

Jan. 6, i8o2 








6f TH£ 

t N F E R N O, 

With fome other POEMS, relative to the origin At 
they are founded^ or to which they appeah 

TN this age of enlightened reafon and adventurous 
difcovery, when it is grown a kind of literary 
paftime to attack every eftablifhmeht, and when the 
old fabrics of reafon and experience are often expofed 
to the wanton aiTaults of genius. — ^It is but natural, 
that the old iihpeiial code of critieifm fhould begin to 
lofe fome of its authority. 

It is now grown familiar to appeal to the fenti. 
ments of nature from the diftates of Aristotle, 
and Poets who were ignorant of his rules, or did not 
chufe to plan their works according to them, may at 
lafl expe^ a fair hearing; after having been long 
deemed criminals in the eyes of a law to which they 
were not amenable. Nor is there any danger of un. 
worthy claimants pleading admittance into the rank 
of clallics in confequence of the laws of critieifm 
having taken a more liberal turn. Though the re- 

Vol. I. B ward 

C » 3 

ward of literary fame or diihonour be no longer at 
the difpofal of an arbitrary Judge ; but, with the other 
facred rights of Englifhmen, are depofited in the more 
liberal hands of a jury, yet the verdift of the heart 
which admits the claim of genius, will by the fame 
facred inftindt which gives a (lamp to merit, be led 
to reprobate the produ£Uon which does not fall in 
with its fentiments, or appeal to the conclufions of 

The venerable old Bard who is the fubjeft of the 
prefent enquiry has been long neglefted ; perhaps for 
that reafon, becaufe the merit of his Poem could not 
be tried by the reigning laws of which the author 
was ignorant, or which he did not chufe to obferve : 
He always indeed was a favourite with fuch as were 
poffeft of true tafte, and dared to think for themfelves; 
but fmce the French, the reftorers of the art of cri* 
ticifm, caft a damp upon original invention, the cha- 
rafter of Dante has been thrown under a deeper 
fliade. That agreeable and volatile nation found in 
themfelves an infuperable averfion to the gloomy and 
romantic bard, whofe genius, ardent, melancholy, 
and fublime, was fo different from their ov^m ; and 
It is well known how foon they became the fovereign 
arbiters of tafle, and how univerfally the French 
fchool of compofition fucceeded to the Italian. 
Like Shakespeare, the poetry of Dante, unfettered 
by tules, is diftinguifhed by bold original flrokes of 
fublimity and pathos ; and often by jufl and flriking 
delineations of charafter; but the nature of Epic 
Poetry (if his vrill be allowed that name) and the ob- 
fcurity of his language, deprived him of fome advan. 
tages poffefTed by the British bard. An Epic Poet 
cannot immediately appeal to the feelings of the 



C 3 3 

crowd as the writer of the drama can. He muft be 
content with the approbation of the fludious, or at 
lead of fuch as have leifure to read ; but the drama* 
tift, even if his genius be not of the foremoft kind, 
has the afliftance of the a£tor to envigorate his fenti* 
Inents. His heroes appear to the naked eye— the 
Heroes of Epic Poetry only are fcen through the 
telefcope of fancy, by the eye of the reclufe con- 
templatift: — ^the former are favourites of the multi* 
tude, and the multitude gives immediate &me. 
The laurels of the heroic bard are of more tardy 
growth, and are more at the mercy of chance. To 
be convinced that this diverfity proceeds from the 
operation of caufes that a£l uniformly, we need only 
teAeSt on the different fortunes of Homer, and his 
three pupils ^schylus, Sophocles and Euripides, 
during their lives ; not to mention our own Milton 
and Shakespeare* 

Dante and Homer are fo far fimilar in their for- 
tunes and genius, that they were both the earlieft 
poetical writers known in their refpeftive languages, 
and both were remarkable for a fimplicity of ftyle, 
and a greatnefs of thought : Both were wanderers, 
and at leaft for part of their lives, dependant upon 
precarious bounty : But the parallel proceeds no fur- 
ther ; Homer had the advantage of chufing for his 
fubjeft, an event, one of the moft illuftrious and in- 
terefting in the annals of the world ; an event which 
gave occalion to the difplay of a variety of charafters, 
and the agency of every paffion. This noble fcene 
he has unfolded with fuch peculiar art ; he has (hewn 
fuch a knowledge of the fprings of human adHon, and 
defcribed a leries of incidents depending upon each 

B 2 other. 

C 4 ] 

Other, ill a manner fo probable, and yet fo interefting, 
that the rules of writing an Epic Poem, drawn from 
his Iliad and Odyssey have been long reduced into 
a fyftem. Thefe rules Dante could not obferve, ai 
it is probable he did not know them ; however, he. 
does not write without a plan, dill more (imple and 
lefs complicated than Homer's, The converfton of a 
Jinner by a fpiritual gtude^ dif playing in aferies of ter^ 
rible vifions the fecreis of Divine fuflice^ and whofe 
interpofttion had been procured by the fupplication <f a 
Saint in Paradife^ deeply interejled in his eternal weU 
fare. Here is a caul'e, an effeft, and the probable 
means by which this effeft is produced ; the means 
are of a nature that roufe the ilrongefl paffions. 
Terror and P/Vy, and the efFeft is deeply and univer- 
lally interefting. *Tis true, this plan does not admit 
of a train of connefted incidents, nor a variety of 
a£lion, arifing from that oppofition of interefts and 
play of the paflions, which muft naturally arife in 
defcribing the confequence of the wrath of Achilles ; 
but a uniform fcene of llaughter muft tire, though di- 
verfified with all the various fortunes of the dav, and 
all the jarring paflions of Gods and men. The wrath 
of Achilles gives rife to a fcciie of bloodflied, and his 
reconciliation only gives occafion to accumulated 
ruin, — ^Here then, in the province of dcfcription, the 
Florentine^ (I think) has the advantage. The different 
allotments of his criminals afford room for a wonderful 
variety of fublime imager)- ; and the adaptation of 
their punifliments to their crimes, gives a noble op- 
portunity for the exertions of fancy. The machinery^ 
or the part that fpiritual agents are employed in, is to 
us, the leaft interefting part in both Homer's Poems ; 


C 5 ] 

but the machinoy of Dante, though lefs diverfiiied, 

is much more folemn and aiFedmg : It coincides with 

the rational belief of the enlightened mind, and no lefs 

with the fuperftidon of the vulgar ; and we may juftly 

obferve, in the words of the firft critic of his age, 

that with refpeft to A/Vw, as well as Milton^ * " the 

probable is rriarveUousj and the marvellous is probable.*' 

By the complication and oppofition of interefts 

which muft arife in an adion fit for the fubjed of 

Epic Poetry, the human chara^er muft appear in the 

ftrongeft and moft aflfefting points of view, as well as 

in the greateft variety of fituations ; yet, in the courfe 

of a martial enterprife, among a people uncivilized and 

rude, thofe profpeds muft. be rather (imilar, and 

t|iis variety very much confined. — ^It muft indeed be 

confeflTed that the modem Poet, from the nature of 

his plan, was obliged to fhew all his charafters either 

in the circumftance of a6:ual fuflfering, or in dread of 

fuflPering : — ^Yet, it muft be obferved, that in the Iliad 

we only fee the Heroes of antient times, as they appear 

to each other in public, in the buftle of a camp, or 

the heat of a difpute. It is not fo in the Inferno. By '\ 

Dante we are indulged with a nearer and more inward 

iiew of the man^ as he really is ; or, in other words, 

.as his chara£^er appears in the eye of oflFended and 

omnifcient juftice. In Homer our profpeft is confined 

to one walk of life, one fpecies of aftion, one heroic 

age, in many circumftances very remote from our pre- 

fent modes of afting and thinking. We are entirely, 

(I fpeak of the Iliad) confined to the camp, the coun. 

fel, and the field of battle. This unity of time and 

place, 'tis true, gives an opportunity to the bard of 

ennobling a very Ihort period, or a very limited fcene, 

* See Johnson's Life df Milton. 

B 3 with 


C 6 ] 

«rfth a great "Variety of incidents, all coimeded together; 
and the more probable fuch incidents are, the greater 
tribute we pay his g^us. But this is rather inventing 
incidents than delineating charaders ; for in fuch an 
adion as the Iliad, the characters muft be pretty much 
the fame ; or they will at lead be diftinguifted by 
traits of a very minute kind. But the greater the 
variety of charaders delineated in any Poem, the gCr 
nius of the author, though perhaps left cultivated^, 
tnuft be allowed to be more exuberant,— — Z)tf«//s 
plan, like Shakefpeare's, allowed him the liberty of 
expatiating in the walks of public and private life } 
and of ancient and modem times : He introduces in* 
difcriminately the Statefman and the Hero, the Lover 
and the Sage, the Publican and the Prelate. This, 
indeed, fometimes leads him into whimfical aiTocia, 
tions ; as when he gives a view of Sinon, the be. 
trayer of Troy ; and the wife of Potiphar, in the fame 
bed together, under the influence of an incurable and 
malignant difeafe. 

But the mod daring flights of fancy, the moft ac- 
curate delineations of charader, and the moft artful 
condud of fable ; are not, even when combined 
together, fuiScient of themfelves to make a poem 

Non fatis eji pulchra effe poemaia^ d'ulcia fimto. 


The Greeks and Trojans may purfue their quarrel by 
fraud and force ; and various incidents mark the for- 
tune of the day : the difcord of Achilles and Aga- 
memnon may produce the moft tragical confequences; 
but if we, who are cool and impartial in the aSair, 
neither hurried by pallion nor blinded by intereft, 


C 7 3 

cannot enter warmly into the views of either party ; 
the ftory, though adorned with all the genius of an 
Homer, will be read by us with fome degree of non» 
^balance. The fuperftition that led the Cniiaders to 
refcue the Holy Land from the Infidels ; inftead of 
interefling us, appears frigid, if not ridiculous. We 
cannot be much concerned for the fate of fuch a crew 
of fanatics, notwithflanding the magic numbers of a 
Taflb* The exploded machinery of Demons and 
Magicians, which he was obliged to ufe, fhows what 
miferable refources he was reduced to, in order to give 
fo ill-chofen a f^ory any hold upon the imagination ; 
an hold which, by means of that very machinery, he 
foonefl loft. — ^But there muft be fomething to intereft 
the heart : — ^we cannot fympathife with Achilles for 
the lofs of his Miftrefs, when we feel that he gained 
her by the maflacre of her family : — and when, in the 
very middle of his complaint, he owns that he brought 
deftrudion upon the Trojans without any manner of 

No hoftile troops to Pbtbia*s realms they led ) 
Safe in her vales my warlike couriers fed ; 
Far hence remov'd, the hoarfe refounding main. 
And walls of rock, fecur'd my native rdgn : 
Hither we failM, a voluntary throng, 
T' avenge a private, not a public wrong. 

Pope's Homer, B. L 


When a man, where no intereft is concerned, no 
provocation given, lays a whole nation in blood 
merely for his glory ; we, to whom his glory is indif. 
ferent, cannot enter into his refentment.-— ^fiefides, 
fuppofing we could, he carries bis refentment too 


C 8 ] 

fo.— Widi thefe paffions of the cruel and unfbdal 
kind, we cannot fympathife; they repel the mind^ 
and fill it with abhorrence inflead of attracting it^ 
Such may be good poetical characters, of «that mixt kind 
that Ariftode admits ; but the moft beautiful mixture 
of light and fhade has no attra^on, unlefs it warmi 
the heart* It muft have fomething that engages the 
fympathy, fomething that s^peals to the moral fenfe : 
for nothing can thoroughly captivate the fancy, how- 
ever artfully delineated, that does not awake the fym, 
pathy, and intereft the p^ons that enlift on the fide 
of Virtue ; and appeal to our native notions of right 
and wrong. All fables of another kind, where this 
intereft is difregarded, 

Play round the head, but never touch the 

It is this that fets the Odyjey^ in point of fentiment, 
fo far above the Iliad. We feel the injuries of UlyfTes ; 
we enter thoroughly into his refentinents againft men, 
who had treated him with the higheft injuftice, ingra- 
titude, and perfidy ; men who had taken advantage of 
his long abfence to invade his property, and attempt to 
injure him in the tenderefl point. We are not only 
interefted for the Father, but we feem to feel the ge- 
nerous indignation of the young Telemachus^ and we 
tremble at the dangers of the fair Pevelap^. We do 
not think any punifhment too fevere for fuch a com- 
plication of cruelty, effeminacy, and injuftice, as ap. 
pears in the chara£ter of the fuitors of Penelope : we 
can go along with the refentment of Ulyfles, becaufe 
it is jufl ) but our feelings muft tell us that Acbilks 
carries his refentment to a favage length, a length 
where we cannot follow him } the confequences fhow 


c 9 : 

us the &tal effeds of difcord. But, as both j^rtiet 
are equally engaged in the commiflion of mjuries, an 
unprejudiced reader cannot enter into the refentment 
of either. 

Iliacos extra muros peccatur ; et intra. 

It is a conteft between barbarians, equally guilty of 
pjuftice, rapine, and bloodfhed; and we are not 
forry to fee the vengeance of Heaven equally infii£led 
on both parties. 

.£neas indeed is a more amiable perfonage than 
Achilles; he feems meant for a perfect character. 
But compare his conduct with refpe£b to Dido, with 
the felf-denial of Dry den's Cleomenes; or with the con- 
dud of Titus in the Berenice of Racine ; vftjhall then 
fee what is meant by making a charader interejiing. 
We Jhall at the fame time fee the diflferent ideas of 
moral perfedion which we entertain nmv^ and require 
\Si an interefting charader, in comparifon to what was 
neceifary in former times. .£neas, by the connivance 
of the Gods, leads the hofpitable Queen of Carthage 
into guijt ; and, by the command of the Gods, pioufly 
leaves her to niin an4 defpair. 

Titus has indulged a long paflion for Berenices 
which ihe returns with mutpal ardour ; but fufpe£ting 
jLhat the Romans, though fubjefted to the yoke, would 
never bear the dominion of a ^ueen^ educated in all 
the defpotic principles of the £aft ; he refigns his pat 
fion to their innate abhorrence of royalty ; and dif- 
mifles the diftraded princefs, after a long ftruggle 
between love and patriotifm. 

Here we thoroughly fympathife with the Hero j we 
feel for him ; and, though we are fenfible that in fuch 
a conteft we fliould hardly have come off vidors ; yet, 


asourpai&ons are not bribed to be of other partj, onr 
impartial fenfe of duty applaudi the patriottfin of the 
Emperor :-*and here it is remarkable, that the Dune 
impartiality that I may fay intereftt us againil the cha. 
rafter of AchilUs and Agamemnon ; interefts us for the 
diarader of Tittu and Telemacbm. 

Let us compare the charader of JSneas with 
that of the laft-named hero, and we Ihall find, that, 
however inferior the poem of Telemaque may be to the 
other, in point of invention and fuUimity; yet, ia 
the latter, the nobleft ufe of poetry is difplayed. A 
charader, at the fame time amiable and heroic, is 
fliown to be confiftent and beautiful ; we are inteiefted 
in the £tte of a Prince whom we muft love, and the 
faffwhs are engaged on the fide of virtue. 

But, as to the tStO. of all thefe poems on the heart, 

they are partial and confined, when compared to the 

Inf£rno, with refpefk to the original principles of our 

nature on which they are founded, or the fentiments 
to which they appeal. 

The Iliad could be interefting in a proper degree 

only to a Greek ; and that fo far only as it tended to 

awake his fenfe of national glory. The JEneid could 

only be interefting to a native of /f^m^.— But where- 

cver the abhorrence of vice, the natural love of virtue 

and juftice, and the notion of a moral Governor of 

the XJniverfe prevails ; wherever the notion of Provi- 

dance is found ; wherever the perfuafion of the im- 

j mortality of the foul and divine juftice predominates ; 

wherever the power of confcience, and the idea of 

right and wrong, and of future rewards and punifh- 

ments governs the human breaft ; there the poem of 

the Inferno can never fail to intereft. Thefe no^ons to 

us have all the appearance of innate principles, of 


r " 2 

ideas bom ^with us, becaufe thqr are by inftnidion 
introduced fo early in the mind that we do not recoi- 
led their origin : becaufe they are familiar, they are 
too little coniidered ;' and by want of coniideration^ 
their efkSt is leifened. It will not therefore, I hope^ 
be thought inconfiftent with the prefent iubjeS to give 
fome account how thefe fentiments rife in the mind, 
as fuch an inquiry will be found neceflary to give the 
prefent poem its fiill effed. To fbme, this inveftigation 
may be ufeful on its own account^ others to whom it 
is familiar wi)l allow us to plead the precept and eac- 
ample of a late eminent writer *, who, when he was 
obliged to go oyer the beaten ground criF the feudal 
Jv^enij in order to explain the national hiftory, de- 
fended himfelf by obferving, " That every thing ne- 
ceflary to illuftrate a fubjeft fo important, ought not 
to be looked for elfewhere, but be found in the book 

When a man confults his own feelings, he will find 
vice dere"ftat5le~ifirits own nature, lie will find him- 

felf armed with an inflinftive refentment againfl injuries 
of every kind ; even before he takes time to refleft on 
the idea of a legiflator, or the pernicious confequence 
of vice to fociety in general. When Moralifts, inftead 
of appealing to our original fentiments for our difap. 
probation of vice and injuflice, expatiate coolly on 
their bad influence on fociety, and leave out the con- 
(ideration of their native turpitude ; it has this bad 
cffeft at leaft, that it gives encouragement to reafoners 
of a certain cafl to argue, from topics fpecious enough, 
that private vices are public benejits ; a doftrine which 
never could have got footing, if, with the confe- 

* Hume. 


C " ] 

quences of vice upon a nation at large, we had always 
paid a proper attention to the real deformity of its 
nature and the hatred it infpired. Antecedent to and 
independent of all laws, a man may learn to argue on 
the nature of moral obligation, and the duty of uni* 
verfal benevolence, from Cumberland^ WoUaJlon^^ 
Sbaftefbttryy Hutcbefon ; he may learn from them the 
balance of the pai&ons, and the difference between 
thofe of the focial and unfocial kind ;-^ut, would he 
feel what vice is in itfelf ; would he learn the genuine 
iientiments of nature upon it ; would he fee the beft 
natural comment upon the Decalogue ; let him enter 
into the pafllons of Lear^ when he feels the ingratitude 
of his children ; of Hamlet j when he learns the ftory 
of his father's murder ; of Othello j when he fhudders 
at lago^^ tale ; of Chamontj when he bums with hon- 
ourable indignation at a filter's wrongs ; let him feel 
what Hermione or Edgar felt, when finking under the 
weight of a falfe accufation ; let him refled on the 
fentiments of thofe who fuffered by the ambition of 
Richard J the avarice of Shyloc^ or the cruelty and luft 
of Bajazet; and he will know the difference of right 
and wrong much more clearly than from all the ma- 
ralifts that ever wrote. 

That there is a real difference between moral good 
and evil, between virtue and vice, appears from this ; 
that, in reality, the difference of virtue and vige is 
founded by nature on the difference of natural good 
and evil : and it is for want of attending to the iflues 
and confequences of things, that men are ever guilty 
of making a miftake. — Why is prodigality a vice ? 
Becaufe it deprives me of competence, a naturs^l good ; 
and reduces me to poverty, a natural evil. The fame 



C 13 ] 

connexion holds good between every virtue and every 
inftance of happinefs ; every vice and every inft'ance of 
mifery : whatever tends truly and univeiially to the 
perfedion of human nature, to the general happinefs 
of mankind, is moral good as well as natural ; and 
moral Evil is that which corrupts, depraves, and di& 
honours our nature, and renders it truly miferable. 
But what deceives and impofes upon men is, becaufe 
they do not always fee natural evil the immediate con- 
lequence of vice ; but, though remote, it is not the 
iefe certain and neceflary ; — ^if we don't feel the con- 
fequences of our guilt here, fome other perfon muft ; 
and if we have the feeling of human nature, his re- 
fentments ought to (hew us the turpitude of the crime. 
The wickedefl of men do themfelves give teftimony to 
the truth of this general proportion, that there is ori- 
ginally, in the very nature of things, a neceflary and 
eternal difference between Good and Evil, Virtue and 
Vice, which the nature of things themfelves oblige 
men to have a conftant regard to ; but, vA\h refped to 
worldly profperity, things feem not to be diflributed 
according to the flrid rules of juftice in this fublunary 
ftate. We fee profperity the general confequence of 
vigilance, induftry, and prudence ; virtues which arc 
as often pradtifed by the bad as the good : the wicked 
man reaps the fruits of his induftry, the indolent man 
pays the forfeit of his floth. Juftice and the coiufe of 
this world require, that riches fhould be the reward of 
prudence and its concomitant virtues. For, let us 
confider what would be the confequence, if matters 
were otherwile ordered :— a bad man orders his a£&irs 
with confummate prudence and forefight ; perhaps he 
has been guilty of injiiftice or oppreifion in the acqui- 


C H 3 

fition \ for this he becomes the objed of hearenly Ten-* 
geance here ; and what is the confequence ? Notwith^' 
ftanding all his vigilance, his deiigns are uniformly 
blafted, and his affairs fall to ruin. The ruin muft in 
this cafe be general ; for even the good who are con^ 
neded with him, or who in the courfe of affairs would 
be fupplied by his abundance, muft fufier by his 
lofies, and even his own innocent family muft fufier 
with him. 

It is juft therefore, that prudence and its concomi- 
tant virtues, which can be pra£tifed as well by the bad 
as the good, fliould uniformly be rewarded here. The 
mduftrious knave cultivates the foil ; the indolent good 
man leaves it uncultivated. Who ought to reap the 
harveft ? who ought to ftarve ? who live in plenty t 
The natural courfe of things decides in favour of the 
villain ; the natural fentiments of men in favour of the 
man of virtue. When violence, and artifice, con* 
duded by prudence and fore-thought, prevail over 
fincerity and juftice attended with a lefs degree of vi* 
gilance, what indignation it raifes in the breaft of man! 
His natural equity induces him to ftrive to correft it 
by the interference of law, and the fan£tion of puniih- 
ment ; and when we defpair of finding upon earth any 
forcible means to check the triumphs of injuflice, we 
naturally appeal to Heaven. We are convinced, that 
the Great Author of Nature will execute, hereafter, 
what the moral principles he has given us prompt us 
to attempt, even here, by the interpofition of laws* 
We truft, that he will complete the plan which he 
himfelf has thus taught us to begin ; and, in a life to 
Gome, render to every one according to the works 
which he has done in this world. Thus we are led to thcL 


belief of a Future State ; not alone by our wcakncfe } 
not alone by the hopes of life and the fears of annihi* 
lation implanted in human nature ; but by the nobleft 
and beft principles that belong to it ; by the love <of 
virtue, and the abhorrence of vice and injuftice. 

It 16 not neceifary here to examine the different oju* 
fdons of antient authors on the immortality of the 
Soul. The natural evidence in this cafe is not fo much 
to be eftimated by the different abilities of the writers, 
as by the common fenfe of mankind. This, and aH 
other opinions, which, derive themfelves from the 
iight of nature, owe their authority, not to the ab- 
ftraded reafoning 'of any fchool, but to fome genersd 
fenfe or notion which is to be found in all men^ or to 
fome common and uncontroverted maxim of reafon. 
Unbelievers have often abufed their time and pains by 
confronting the teftimonies of antient Phiiofophers^ 
and (hewing tfieir inconfiftencies on this point. 
But what if Plato, Aristotle, or Tully arc 
inconfiftent with each other, and with themfelves ?— 
What is this to the evidence of nature, which is not 
the fingle opinion of Plato, or any other Philofopher, 
but the united voice of mankind ?— This was the 
common belief of the world, derived from fome com* 
mon fenfe or principle of reafon, before any philo- 
fopher had fo much as thought of an abftrad reafon 
for it : And had not the univerfal fenfe of nature, or 
early tradition, didated the truth to them, people 
never would have thought of philofophizing upon it. 
That the common fenfe of mankind, whether founded 
on tradition or reafon, was the foundation of the 
philofophical enquiry, appears from this, that all the 
antient writers on this fubjed appeal to the common 


• f 

t i« 3 

fenfe, and confent of mankind, as one great proof fof 
the truth of this dodrine ; which certainly proves this, 
at leaft, that this opinion was held before there were 
any writers, and before any philoFophical reafons were 
thought of. If the notion was common, it never 
could haye rifen from philofophica) reafoning, for no 
common opinion ever will, nor ever did ; and the rca* 
fon is plain ; a common opinion is the opinion of thd 
multitude, who never were, nor ever will be, capable 
of attending to abftraded reafoning : Now this natural 
evidence is the thing which we enquire after, and 
which will ftand its ground whatever comes of thft 
notions of learned men. 

The belief and perfuafion of the certainty of another 
life (as was obferved before) arofe from the common 
fenfe that men have of the difference of good and evil ; 
and thence, that under the government of a juft God, 
every man muft be accountable for the things done in 
this world. This account they faw was not taken 
here ; hence they concluded, or rather felt^ from the 
very force of reafon and confcience, or from their 
fenfe of juftice, that there was an account to be given 
hereafter. Such an internal argument as this, which 
fprings up in the heart, and from the heart of every 
man, has a greater weight with it, than all the rcafon- 
ings of philofophy put together ; and will tie men 
down, if not to hope for, at leaft to fear^ a future 
immortality ; ao^ of which is the filent voice of na- 
ture, bearing teftimony of a life to come. 

That this is the true foimdation of the univerfal be- 
lief of a future Life, appears from this, that the per* 
fuafion of another Life was always conneded with a 
fuppofition that there were different ftates for good and 

it bad 

C '7 1 

bad men, fb that we cannot any where trace the notion 
of immortality ; but we find evidence alfo for the dif- 
ferent conditions of men in another Life according ad 
they have behaved in this. Now, thefe two opinion9 
being thus infeparably conneded, it is eafy to fee 
which is the natural and primary opinion, and which 
is the confequence drawn from it. Let any man try, 
and he vnll find, ..that it is not the expectation of Living 
that makes him infer the neceffity of a Judgment to 
come ; but it is the nobleft principle of his nature, the 
Love of Virtue, and the Abhorrence of Vice and In- 
juilice, which makes him fee the reafonablenefs of a 
jfudgment to come, and from thence he infers that 
there muft be a Life to come. 

To what an amazing growth this wttitm encreafed 
in the hands of Poets ; and of Dante in particular, 
is well known : They named the Princes and the Jud- 
ges, and defcribed the tortures of the wicked as their 
fancies, led them, and their inventions became the 
Vulgar Theology ; but this fhews the truth of what 
is afferted above ; for neither would the Poets, whofe 
bufmefs it is to raife fine fcenes upon the plan and pro- 
bability of nature, have fo painted the torments and 
enjoyments of men departed ; nor would the world 
have received their inventions, had there not been a 
foundation in the natural notions of men to fupport 
the Romance. 

As to thofe who think the notion of a future Life 
arofe from the defcriptions and inventions of the 
Poets ; they may juft as well fuppofe that eating and 
drinking had the fame original ; and that men had 
never thought of fuftaining nature, but for the fine 
feaib and entertainments defcribed in fuch writers* 

C The 


^* t *' ' 

C «8 ] 

The Poets indeed altered the genuine fentiments of 
nature, and tinged the Light of Reafon by introducing 
the wild conceits of Fancy ; and when once they had 
grafted fuch fcions on the flock of nature, they throve 
fo fail, and grew fo rank, that the natural branches 
were deprived of their nourifhment, by the luxuriance 
of this wild Olive. But ftill the root was natural, 
though the fruit was wild. All that nature teaches is, 
that there is a future life, diftinguifhed into different 
dates of happinefs and mifery, in which men will be 
rewarded and punifhed according as they have purfued 
or negleded the rules of virtue and honour. This 
notion prevailed where the Fables of Greece^ or Itafy^ 
were never heard of ; and wicked men felt in them- 
felves the fear of the .wrath to come to, although they 
had never fo much as learnt the name of Tantalus, 
or Sisyphus, or any other name, in the Poet's fcene 
of Hell. 

The natural evidence then of Life and Immortality 
ftand equally clear of being the inventions of Poetry, 
or the mere fubtlcty and refinements of Philofophy ; 
and though it be allied to both, yet it arofe from nei« 
ther. The truth of the cafe^ with refpeft to both, is 
this : The Poets found men in pofTeffion of the doc- 
trine of future rewards and punifhments for good and 
bad men : Upon this foundation they went to work, 
and the plain draught of nature was almoft hid under 
the fhades and colours with which they thought pro- 
per to beautify and adorn it. The Philofophers found 
the fame perfuafion in themfelves and others ; and as 
their profeifion led them, fearched out for phyfical 
reafons to fupport the caufe. This enquiry has fiir- 
niihed us with the various opinions of antiquity, as to 


C »9 3 

the nature and operation of the foul, its manner of ading 
in the body, and out of it, its eternity and immortality , 
and feveral other curious pieces of learning. How far 
any or all of thefe Enquirers fucceeded in proving the 
Immortality of the Soul, from phyfical caufes, is a 
matter that does not fall within the prefent fubjed. 
As to the prefent point, it is plain, that the natural 
evidence is not at all affeded by their fuccefs, be it 
what it will ; for the natural evidence is prior to their 
enquiries, and flands upon another foot, upon the 
common fenfe and apprehenfion of mankind. — The 
fchools may determine the Soul to be Fire, or Air, or 
Harmony, or what elfe they pleafe ; yet, (till, nature 
will make every man * feel, that the Grave will not 
fecure him from appearing before the great Tribunal 
to which he is accountable. 

But befides our innate love of Virtue, and hatred 
of Injuftice, there are other principles in our nature 
which perpetually inculcate thdfe things upon us ; and 
to which all writers, who have launched into views of 
futurity, make their conftant a[q>eal ; that fhame and 
remorfe which attend on guilt, and which arife from 
natural imprefCons on the mind of man. It is certain 
from experience, that we can no more dire£t by our 
choice the refieSions of otir minds, than we can the 
fenfations of the body. When the fire bums, fleih and 
blood muft feel pain ; and a rational mind, compelled 
to ad againfl its own convi&ions, muft ever grieve 
and be afilifted : thofe natural connexions are unalter* 
ably fixed by the Author of Nature, and eftablifhed to 
be the means of our prefervation. We are taught by 
the fenfe of pain to avoid things hurtful or deftrudive 
to the body —and the torment and anxiety of mind 

C 2 which 

C 3^ ] 

which follow fo clofe upon the heels of Sin and Guilty 
are placed as Guardians on our Innocence; as Cendnels^ 
to give us as early notice of the approach of Evil, which 
threaten the peace and comfort of our Lives. If we 
be perfed mailers of the fenfations of our minds, if 
refle£tion be fo much under our command, that when 
we fay, '* come," it comcth, when we fay, ** go," it 
goeth ; how does it come to pafs that fo many fuffer 
from the uneafy thoughts and fuggeftions of their owi> 
hearts, when they have nothing to do but difmifs thefe 
troublefome vifitants when they pleafe ? Whence come9 
the felf-conviflion, the felf-condemnation of the vicious? 
Whence the foreboding thoughts of Judgment to come, 
the fad expedations of Divine vengeance, and the dread 
of future mifery, if the criminal has it in his power to bid 
thofe melancholy thoughts retire ; and can, when he 
pleafes, fit down enjoying his iniquities in peace and 
tranquillity ? Thefe confiderations make it evident that 
the pain and grief of mind which we fuffer from a fenfe 
of having done ill, flow from the very conftitution of our 
nature, as we are Rational Agents ; nor can we conceive 
any (Ironger arguments of the utter irreconcileablenefs 
of the Deity to vice, than that he has given us fuch a 
nature that we cannot be reconciled to it ourfelves-^ 
we never like it in others, where we have no intereft 
in the crime, nor long approve of it ourfelves where 
we have* The hours of cool refledion are the morti« 
fication of the guilty man, for vice never can be happy 
in the company of Rcafon. 

To return from this long digreffion ; the paffions 
which the Iliad and ^neid appeal to are tranfient 
and variable ; they are not felt in an equal degree by 
all, and by fome hardly perceived. The operations of 


t " ] 

afiger aiid indlgnsttion, hope, and fear, fympathy and 
pity, are violent, but fliort lived ; and the Poets who 
have endeavoured to keep thefe fentiments longer alive 
by art, than nature has permitted, only make them* 
felves ridiculous, and gain to their compofitions the 
name of Bombqft. But when the effe£t of a Poem, 
depends upon principles extenfive as human nature, 
fentiments to be found in every breaft, in a more or 
kfs degree, whofe influence is invariable and perma- 
nent, that Poem, if it rifes at all above mediocrity^ 
ihould, methinks, fecure an univerfal reception.— 
The fenfe of right and wrong, that innate love of vir- 
tue 9nd juftice, and the influence of confcience, are 
principles which every where prevail. Thefe are the 
principles on which the Poem of the Inferno is 
founded, and to which they confl:antly refer ; befides 
this, it abounds with powerful appeals to the flxongeft 
of all human paflions. Terror and Pity ; we fympa- 
thize with the fufferers, as they are neither Demons 
nor imaginary beings, but our fellow-creatures ; and 
the combined force of all thefe fentiments and prin- 
ciples, the hatred of vice, the power of confcience, 
and our pity to the viftims, muft produce the moft 
falutary of all effefts, that moral effe£t, which all 
Laws tend to produce, a juft idea of the confequence 
t)f Vice to ourielves. There is another reafon, which 
gives the defcriptions and tales of the Inferno a ftill 
ftronger mfluence* The modes of life defcribed in the 
antient heroic Poets, though they exhibit all the fim- 
plicity of nature, are ftill remote from ours. Military 
operations, fince Chriftianity prevailed, are not at- 
tended with the fame dreadful and exterminating effefts 
as formerly : The fcenes of war are at a vaft diftance 

C 3 from 

C " 3 

from moft of us, and the whole afped of it is changed* 
The defcription of domeftic life, different in many 
refpeds from ours, cannot have the fame effe& on the 
heart ; the profpeAs of bloody extermination and cruel 
ilavery, with the favage, and to us, unnatural fisnti- 
ments \dth which they are often att^ed, muft (hike 
us indeed with horror; but they muft fill us with 
averiion at the fame time : at leaft, we cannot fym« 
pathize fo warmly with one of Homer's Grecian 
Heroes, as one of Shakssfeare's Englijb Barms ; 
we do not feel for an Hector as we do for an Hot« 
«PUR. The charader of the latter Hero and Corio« 
LANU8, are very fimilar ; yet, I believe, every Engli/b^ 
man is more warmly interefted for a Percy, than any 
old Roman; nay, of two beggars, one whereof craves 
cur charity in the accent of a diftant province, his 
tones are fo difcordant to the recitative j to which our 
ears are accuftomed, that it checks the genial current 
of our charity, and we relieve him more from prind* 
pie than inclination; the other, whofe fupplications 
are uttered in a voice more unifon with the vocal har« 
mony which has been long ftuniliar to us, has a much 
better chance of interefting our feelings at once ; fuch 
is the different fuccefs of two Poets, one of which 
reprefent antient, the other, modem manners; the 
modes of life, and even the opinions which we meet 
1 with in Dante, are all, if not familiar to us, at leaft 
allied to our own by a very near affinity ; our manners 
of life and opinions are drawn from the lame fource, 
moft of his chara&ers profefs the fame faith with us, 
, and exhibit nearly the fame manners ; hence we feel 
f for them the more ftrongly. It may be thought that 
' there are too many appeals made to the powerful 


r 23 ] 

emotions of the foul, terror and pity. This arifes prind- \ 
paliy from the want of art in the compofidon : But the I 
variety of his defcriptions make an ample compenfation I 
for the imiformity of his fubjeft. Every thing that is \ 
terrible to human nature is there brought to view in / 
fuccef&on ; his corporal fufferings are variegated with ; 
more imagination, and defcribed with more fublimity / 
than any other Poet, not excepting Milton, who 
drew fome of his moft tremendous fcenes evidently 
£-om Dante ; fome are hurried round in perpetual 
motion ; fome are immoveably fixed under their tor- 
ments ; fituaticMis which intereft our feelings the more 
ftrongly, as they are both fo ftrikingly remote from the 
common appearances of Life : But had he confined 
himfelf to corporal fufferings alone, he had only 
deferved to rank with thofe bards 

** Where pure defcription holds the place of fenfe." 

He has alfo (hewn the fufferings of the mind, with 
a force of genius that (hews him to {lave been an ac* 
curate and profound obferver of the human charader. 
Some deprecate the wrath of Heaven in effeminate 
lamentations ; fome fuffer in manly filence ; in fome 
we meet an expreflion of malignant envy ; and fome, 
ftruck with fhame, endeavour to conceal their crimes 
and their woes in eternal oblivion ; fome have their 
fympathy, their envy, or their terror continually kept 
awake by fupematural reprefentations of whatever 
was to happen among their friends on earth. The 
very introduftion of a living man among them, who, 
exempt from their fufferings, views all their torments 
at leifure, ferves to fublime their pains for b, time. la 
ihort, the paflions are repr^f^^ted as having their fuU 
play in the infernal Regions^ and add new horror to 

C4 the 

i: «4 3 

the fccnc. But, not content to avail himfelf of the 
tonic doftrine of the paffions and vices furviving after 
death, whofe cflfefts he defcribed (fometimes allego- 
ricaily) with a wonderful force of fancy, he has alfo 
adopted the Pythagorean doftrine of the Tranfmigration 
: of Souls : By this means he has contrived to blend 
the torments of the mind and body in one horrible 
defcription (25) where the fufFerings of the viflims 
are encreafed by their being (while ftill confcious of 
their fuperior nature) changed into detcftable and 
portentous fliapes. This, Mr. Warton thinks, he 
borrowed from the Fable of Circe ; it probably is 
meant only an allegorical defcription of the pangs of 
mind arifing from confcioufnefs of having degraded 
their nature, and defeated the defign of their being, 
Milton has founded one of his moft ftriking fcenes 
upon it, (B. X.) and very much improved it by adding 
to it the tantalizing appearance of the forbidden fruit. 
He has alfo entered more into the fentiment of the 
criminals ; he has defcribed their feelings more at 
large, and made then- fuflferings more complex. It is 
remarkable to obferve the diflferent modes of defcribing 
future things adopted by different Poets in their ref- 
peflive ages. Homer, and the Greek Poets give us 
very little more than an idea of corporeal fufferings, 
except in the flory of Tantalus. Virgil has availed 
himfelf of the Platonic opinions (viz : that the effefts 
of indulged paflions furvive after death) to join to the 
fimple fketch of his mafter, a detail of the fufferings 
of the mind ; particularly in his defcription of the 
fcene where the ihade of Dido meets -^neas, his 
defcription of the vifionary feaft, and the eternal 
dread of Th£S£us* Dante was the next Poet of 


« y^ > / , . -^ .-^ -"O 

I ^5 1 

cTiarafter who "undertook this fubjefl: ; the clearer no- 
tions of morality which he drew from the Chriftian Reli- 
gion, enabled him to give his fancy a wider range ; and 
to difplay on a larger fcale, not only the fuflFerings of the 
body, but of the mind. In Milton their punifli- 
ments are ftill more complicated than in Dante. It 
appears from this fummary view, not that Dante 
has extended his puniihments beyond the ffaid rules 
of diilributive juftice j but that in the progrefs of fo- 
ciety as the notions of moral obligation became more 
clear, the powers of confcience grew more vigorous ; 
and that as the fcale of duty grew enlarged from man's 
innate love to juftice, the idea of puniihment for the 
refpedive failures in duty, muft have become more 
complicated. From this idea the puniihments of 
Sodom and Gomorrah are reprefented as more toler- 
able than the doom of Capernaum ; and various de- 
grees of puniihment are mentioned as proportioned to 
different fpecies of delinquency. We are not there- ' 
fore to attribute that tremendous diftinftion of puniih- \ 
ments we find in Dante," merely to the wanton \ 
exaggerations of fancy, or the gloomy reveries of \ 
fuperiKtion ; but to an enlarged view of the variety of 
obligations refulting from an high ftate of civilization, 
and clearer notions of Religion. ' That rule of duty, 
to " do unto others as we would they ihould do unto 
** us," in a ftate of favage life, can extend itfelf but 
to a few particulars ; but in a more advanced ftate of 
fociety, though the rule itfelf remains flill iimple, yet 
from the variety of relations which men iland in to 
each other, there it muft be applied to a greater variety 
of good oiEces, and the temptations to the breach of 
^em muft be more numerous. 


C 26 ] 


In this endeavour to illuftrate the Poem of the Ih« 

I F£RNo, and trace to their fource the impreflions k 

j makes on us, I have been obliged to cafl a veil on 

; the venerable Father of Grecian Poetry ; yet, I hope 

i it will not be thought owing to want of either Refped 

/ or Love. — It was in fome fort neceflary to (hew Dante 

I in his proper light. Homer and Virgil have all the 

' advantages of Nature and Art, they may eafily allow to 

' Dante that fingle one of appealing to Sentiments and 

Principles more general, and more permanent than 

their Poems refer to. Milton, towards the end of 

his immortal Poem, fhews the Sun and the whole Face 

of Nature under an Eclipfe, in order to give the greater 

effeft to a glorious apparition of Angels which he 

here introduces. I would be underftood to mean as 

little difrefpeft to 

^^ The folar Lord of the Poetic Year, 

as Milton did to the great Luminary: But all I 
meant was to fhade his excellence a little, that a Bard 
of a fecondary magnitude might have an opportunity 
of appearing in his proper light ; this was the more 
necefTary, as Dante had fallen into a degree of ob- 
fcurity far below his genuine deferts. 

Of the PuRGATORio, andPARADiso, Ifhallfpeak 
more at large in the effay prefixed to the former, and 
the notes adjoined to the latter ; but (hall only add 
here, an obfervation on the difpofition of his fubjeQ: 
made by the Poet, analogous to the condufl: of the 
antient Mafters of the art. He, like them, has con- 
trived to begin his Poem in the moft interefting crifis, 
or in the language of Milton, " to haften into the 
** midft of things." The circumftances which, in 



C 27 3 

Iiiftorical order, ought to precede, are thrown into an 
Epifode ; the introduction of which, (except fome 
partial intimations,) is fufpended, till the Poet finds a 
natural opportunity of inferting it in the 30th Canto 
of the PuRGATORio ; where an occafion being given 
by the leifure enjoyed by the Poet on his arrival at the 
terreftrial paradife, when he meets with Beatrice, 
who accounts to the Aflembly of Celeftials, who attend 
her there, for iht feverity of his penance, by its ne- 






With re/pea to the HISTORY of FLORENCE; 
' -wifk-a View of their Influence on the fucceeding 

TVyf Y firft intention was only to have given a few 
Hiftorical lUuftrations at the end of the Tranf- 
ladon ; but as the charaders of the Poem do not ap-t 
pear in chronological order, and this period of Hiftory 
is very interefting in itfelf, I thought it would anfwer 
a better purpofe to give a general idea of the State of 
Affairs at this important period, to which there are fo 
many allufions made in the Inferno. 

This Mr2L prefents a very fingular fcene to the view. 
The complication of two of the moft memorable quar- 
rels that ever embroiled mankind, with a private family 
feud, gave rife to that wonderful variety of charafters 
exhibited by the Poet. A difpute which had a re- 

C «9 1 

markable influence on the genius, religion, and politics 
of fucceeding ages. Tlife moft antient and inveterate 
of thefe contefts was the Quarrel between the Popes 
and Emperors of Germany y concerning their refpe^ve 
claims : In bafy the Emperor claimed the old prero. 
gatives of the Cjesars : The Popes not only denied 
them thefe, but claimed in their turn, the mp/t valu- 
able Privilege of imperial power in Germany. This 
was the power of difpofing of Ecclefiaftical Benefices^ 
From this old fource of difcord, the difpute between the 
Houfes of jfnjou and Swabia^ for the Crown of Naples^ 
took its origin ; and by a fingular coincidence of cir- 
cumftances, both Quarrels were at laft complicated 
%ritfa the inteftine Wars of Fhrence^ fome time before 
the birth of Dante. 

It will be neceilary to begin with the Papal and 
Imperial Feud, as it involved the other two ; and was 
infinitely fuperior to diem both in the grandeur of its 
objed, and the importance of its confequences. Hie 
others are only to be confidered in the light of Epifodes 
to this great Drama. 

In the reinoval of the feat of Empire from Rome to 
Con/tantinoplej Italy was left in a very feeble and dif- 
trafted ftate. For a long fucceflion of ages, it was 
alternately ravaged by the Goths, the Huns, and the 
Sarazens. While the Greek Emperor preferved a 
feeble Barrier in the Exarchate of Ravetma^ ^diich 
then contained a large tra& of country on the eaftem 
coaft of Italy y the people of Rome began to look up to 
the Pope as a better ftoteflror than a feeble Viceroy of 
a diftant Potentate. Thence his temporal authority 
firft took its rife, and the following occafion gave 
rapidity to its progrefs. 

t3 ft 

C 30 3 

It appears however, that the famous difpute about 
image-worfliip, had at this time alienated the Papal 
party fo much from their Imperial Mafter, that the 
Pontiffs of that day looked upon the image-breaking 
Emperor as little better than a Sarazen; conle. 
quently the Romans were ripe for a revolt, whenever 
an occafion or an abettor would offer. — See in Gib* 
BON, Vol. IX. page 1 1 7. a curious letter of Gregory 
the Second to the Emperor Leo ; after having accufed 
the Emperor of impiety and ignorance, for blaming 
image-wor/bipy he tells him that the firft elements 
of holy letters are fufEdent for his confufion ; ^^ were 
you to enter a grammar-fchool/' continues he, 
** and avow yourfelf the enemy of our worfhip, the 
fimple and pious children would be provoked to thit>w 
their horn-books at your head." It was natural for 
fuch men to give up the rights of the empire to any 
image-worfhipper who was able to feizc them, and 
even to affift the ufurpation. 

AiSTULPHus, the Gothic King of Lmbardy^ had 
invaded Ravenna^ and threatened Rrnne. Gregory, 
the third Pontiff of that name, alarmed at the dangerous 
neighbourhood, implored the affiftance of Pepik, 
King of France. Pepin foon expelled the Lombards 
from Ravenna j but difregarding the remonftrances 
of the Gr^f^ Emperor, to whom it belonged, he made 
a prefent of the newly recovered Territory to Gre- 
gory, who called it Romagna. This was the firft 
commencement of the Papal Grandeur ; and might 
have been of the Imperial, if Pepin, like Charlep 
magne, had availed himfelf of the opportunity. A 
league was made between the Lombard Prince and 
the Pontiff, under the aufpiccj of Pepin. Decide- 


[ 3« ] 

Rius, who fucceeded to the Crown of Lombardyj 
broke the League, and' his Holinefs, who had now 
learnt to preferve the Balance of Power, invited 
Charlemagne, King of France^ into Italy^ againft 
Desiderius. He defeated the Lombard^ fent him 
prifoner to France j and was crowned in his ftead, not 
only King of Lombardy^ but Emperor of Rome^ by the 
cmfent of the People ; a condition which the Pope did 
not then think proper to oppofe. The imperial Crown 
gave Charlemagne a pretence to claim all the power 
of the old Roman Emperors, even in the Territories 
where the Pope thought himfelf Lord Paramount ; 
and fowed the feeds of eternal difcord between the two 
Powers. After the death of Charlemagne^ the Pope 
feemed to regain fome privileges which he had loft. 
A defcendant of Charlemagne who fucceeded to the 
Empire, contrary to the right of the legitimate Heir, 
acknowledged that the imperial Crown was the gift of 
the Pontiff' only J and that he held every thing under 
him as Lord Paramount. Some of the Popes when 
they took the oaths to the defendants of Charlemagne^ 
declared it was only voluntary ; others aflumed the 
right of judging Emperors, and fome took the advan. 
tage of family Feuds between different branches of the 
Carlovingian Line, to extend both their fpiritual and 
temporal Power. They often took the Papal Chair 
without condefcending to apply for the confent of the 
Emperors; they obliged Kings to take back their 
repudiated wives, and extended their power, under 
various pretences, to a length truly amazing. But 
in time, not only the great European Potentates began 
to be jealous, but the citizens of Rome, who ftill re* 
tained fome gf their Republican fpirit, burning to 


C 3« 3 

regain thdr ancient liberty, endeavoured to reftrain 
the Papal Power within due bounds. — It was on thif 
occafion that the Pope invited the Emperor Otho the 
third into Italy y who re-eftablifhed the Ponti£f in his 
full power, and feconded his moil arrogant claims. 
TTie interefts of the Pope and Emperor happened then 
to be the fame. Till this period the Roman people 
pleading their immemorial privileges, had a fhare in 
the eledlion of an Emperor, and it was certainly the 
intereft of the Candidate to continue this power to the 
people. But the Pope perfuaded Otho, that it would 
be more for his intereft to take away this power from 
the infolent multitude, and depend for protedion on 
fpiritual aid alone. Againfl fuch a coalition of inter- 
efts the people of Rome were far unable to contend* 
Accordingly the two Potentates deprived them of their 
Franchife, and gave the right of election to the Bifhopa 
of MentZj Cologn^ Triers^ and the dukes of Branden^ 
burghj the Palatinate, and Saxony. Among thofe 
diflant Potentates, the judicious Pontiff forefaw, that 
he would have more influence in the eledion of an 
Emperor than amongft the Republicans of Rome^ 
nor did the event deceive him. The intereft of thofe 
German Princes fo often clafhed with the views of the 
Emperor, whofe power was very limited, that the 
Pope found it eafy at any time, to divert the attention 
of his Rival from Italy by domeflic difturbances ; and 
as diflance begets reverence, thefe Foreigners, from 
the barbarous fuperflition of the times, were often 
more at the devotion of their fpAual Father, than the 
fe£tiou8 Romans ; who, when all the world trembled 
at his fuhninations, continually teized him with vex« 
atious quarrels* 


I 33 1 

%us were the feeds fdwn of perpetual diflenlioris 
between the fpiritual and temporal powers, which 
filled all Italy with Guelfs and Ghibellines ; the 
former attached to the Papal party, the latter to the 
Emperors* GreoorV the feventh, the famous HiU 
deirandj made the mod daring exertion of his power. 
He publiihed a Bull, which deprived all Laymen of 
the power of invefting or difpofmg of Bifhoprics^ 
This was ftriking at the power of all kings, and fub- 
jeding the Clergy, a potent body in every kingdom^ 
to a foreign jurifdiftion. The Emperor, Henry the 
fourth, took arms to vindicate his authority. The 
conteft was carried on with various fuccefs for three 
centuries ; a conteft, which after having produced 
the moft important effefts, feems not yet to have en* 
lirely fubfided. 

One of the fifft, and moft illuftrious confequences^ 
was the liberty of Fi^orence ; a city whi<ih, imder 
the name of Fafula^ made a confiderable figure iii 
the times of the Roman Republic. — ^It was an early 
Colony from Rome^ encreafed by the army of Sylla. 
Under Brutus it ferved as a temporary Afylum for 
liberty, but foon followed the fate of the empire under 
Augujlus. The new fettlement made for the pur-» 
pofes of merchandife, from the mountains of Tafulct^ 
on the banks of the Amo^ is diftinguifhed by the 
name of Florentiaj fo early as the times of Tacitus and 
Pliny. It continued to encreafe in fplendor till the 
ruin of the empire, when it was levelled to the ground 
by Totila^ King of the Goths^ and not rebuilt till the 
times of Charlemagne. — ^From that aera, this city^ 
•deftined to be a fecond Athens in arts and arms^ 
tamely followed the fortunes of Italy. It was firft the 
- Vol- 1. D prey 

C 34 J 

prey of the Sons of Charlemagne ; then of the King^ 
of Lombardy ; and laftiy of the German Emperors 
and Popes alternately, till in the year 1215^ the fol- 
lowing memorable incident gave it an opportimity of 
siflerting its independency. 

The Buondelmonti and Uberii were the two moit 
potent fiatmilies in Florence* Next to thefe in power 
and influence were the Donati and Amdei. The 
Heirefs of the Family of Donati was the moil cele- 
brated beauty of that age, and her mother had fecretly 
defigned her for a young nobleman of the Buondelmonti 
family. She, however, delayed the profecution of her 
defign, in hopes of a favourable crifis, as her family 
was inferior to that of Buondelmonti. In thofe days c^ 
whimfical pundilio and romantic honour, young 
ladies lived in retirement; and Buondelmonti (as 
far as we can learn) never had feen tkis celebrated 
Fair One. Mean time, unconfcious of his dediny, 
he had paid his addreffes to a young lady of the family 
ef Amideii and was received as favourably as his ex* 
alted birth, fortune, and accomplifhments deferved. 
In a fliort time the contrad was figned^ and a day fixt 
for his nuptials. The family of Amidei, to whom this 
lady belonged, were before allied to the Uberti ; they 
were now on the point of being united to ^e race of 
Buondelmonti^ families that engroft all the power m 
Florence* Mortified to fee her equals fo far advanced 
above her, the mother of the fair Dokati fecretly 
reiblved £0 make one effort to break off^the concerted 
alliance. — One day, perceiving young Buondelmonti ^ 
in a thoughtful mood, pafling her houfe, fhe came to 
the door, and invited him to come in and repofe hin>« 
felf. He obeyed the fummons. 


C 35 3 

*rh6 difcourfe* turned on Matrimony j and the 
i)owager, pretending ignorance of the late tranfadiony 
gave him an obfcure intimation of a lady who enter- 
tained a fecret paffion for him : at the fame time flie 
drew a pidiiure of her charms, fo flattering, that it 
warmed the fancy of the young Baron. Regardlefs 
of the confequences, he refolvod to fatisfy his danger- 
ous curiofity, and eagerly enquired, if it was poi&ble 
to procure an interview With the lady. The mother, 
after fome artful delay, contrived to give him an acci<^ 
dental view of her daughter ; and, fuch was the efied 
of her charms, or {b feeble was his attachment to his 
betrothed fpoufe, (as intereft alone was probably con- 
cerned in the affair,) that he foon forgot his vows, 
made a tender of his hand and fortune to his new 
Miftrefs, and he aad the Mother, bang both appre- 
^henfive of the danger of delay, perfuaded the young 
Lady to agree to a private and immediate folemnizadon 
of the nuptials. 

The aSair however could not long be kept fecret. 
The day appointed for his public nupdals approached} 
and before that day he was obliged to declare his fitu- 
ation. The family of Amidei would have been too 
weak of themfelves to take vengeance on the perjured 
lover ; but as they were joined in affinity to the Uberti^ 
the old rivals of Buondelmonii^ they, and their numer^ 
ous dependencies, were immediately fummoned to a 
fecret confultadon. Here feveral modes of vengeance 
were propofed, but the fcheme of • Mofca Lambert* 
ttuci was preferred. He offered to wafh away the (lain 
in the blood of the aggreflbr ; — ^and in an inflant an 
allaflin from each family joined him, a^ if tt had beea 

* Inferno, C. a8. 

D 2 a com< 

C 3« ] 

a Cdmmon caufe. Before day, on Eajier Sunday^ 
they took their ftations in the houfe of one of the 
Amdeiy near the Ponte Vecchhj where they knew 
Buondelnumti muft pafs, in his way to church. He^ 
as Macbaviel obferves, ^* thinking it as eafy to forget 
*^ an injury as to break a contrad/' approached the 
fatal fpot on liorfeback, wrapt up in the moil unac- 
countable fecurity, and without a fmgle attendant. 
The confpirators immediately rufhed out, and diC* 
patched him with a thoufahd wounds. 

This atrocious deed was the caufe of the calamitied 
and liberty of Florence. The whole city was immedi- 
ately divided into the iaftions of the Buondelmtmti and 
Uberti ; and every day was diftinguiflied by confpira- 
cies and bloodfhed, till Frederic the fecond, who had 
lately fucceeded to the imperial crown, paid a vifit to 
Tufcany^ to eftablifh his power againft the papal fa£don, 
or Guel/s. For this purpofe he dqnanded the aid of 
the Uberti family, as the moft powerful in Tufcany* 
Buondelmonti thirfting for vengeance on their domeftic 
enemies, joined the Gtielfs^ and implored the afliftance 
of the Pope : But the fcale of Frederic preponderated, 
and the Buondelmonti family, with the whole papal 
fadion, were banifhed. 

The Pope was juftly alarmed. Since the time of 
Charlemagne no Emperor had poflfeired fo much 
power in Italy : Befides being at the head of the 
Germanic body, Frederic inherited the kingdoms of 
Naples and Sicily ; and thus his dominions made a for-> 
tnidable circle round the papal Territories : the fouth- 
em provinces of Italy ^ defcended to him from the Nor^^ 
man Conquerors, who had made a fettlement there 
upon an occafion unparalleled fince the heroic times. 
a\ The 

C 37 3 

The beaudful Provinces of Italy to the fouth had 
long been a fubjed of difpute, after the divifion of the 
Empire, between the Emperors of the eaft and weft* 
While both were too weak to aflert their claims, the 
Saracens or Arabs gained a footing in the country, 
and extended their ravages as Bur as Rome. * At this 
jun£ture a band of fixty Norman gentlemen coming 
through Apulia^ on their return from the Holy Land^ 
arrived at the town of Salerno^ and found it on the 
point of furrendering to the MufjTulmen who invefted 
it. The befiegers gave thefe illuftrious Pilgrims free 
permiflion to enter the town, as they wiihed by in« 
creafmg their numbers to complicate their diftrefs. 
The Normans reproached the Italians with th^ cow- 
ardice, and perfuading a few to join them in a fally, 
fell upon the hoft of the enemy by night, who forfook 
their camp in a panic, and fled on board their fhips. 
The ftrangers were entertained by the Prince of Sa^^ 
lemo^ as the deliverers of the State : The fame of the 
exploit foon invited other Normans to vifit Itafyj and 
their fervice was fo acceptable to the petty princes of 
the country, in their inceflant quarrels, that thofe 
needy adventurers foon obtained both riches and honn 
our. A tra& of land was beftowed upon them as the 
reward of their valour, between the dukedoms of 
Naples and Benevento; and there, about the year 
1030, they founded the fmall Principality of Averfa. 
The colony was every day enlarged by troops of 
native Normans \ among the reft the three famous 
fons of Tancred of Hautevilky Fierabras, Dxogo, 
and Humphrey. Shortly after their arrival the 
t Catapan of Apulia^ a Lieutenant of the Greek 

* Anno 983. 
f A barbarous GassK Namct impordng GovEaNOR-oiNBaAU 

D 3 Emperor, 

C 38 3 

Emperor, requefted their af&dance to recover Sieity 
from the Arabs. They accordingly joined the Greeks 
in the invafion of Sicily ; and, in the firft engagement 
FiERABRAS killed the Saracen general in fingle com- 
bat. It is probable they would have inftantly expelled 
the Arabs from the ifland, but the perfidious Greek 
defrauded the Normans of their ftipulated reward, 
which was the fourth part of the prey. They in re- 
turn fununoned the ApuHans to the ftandard of liberty, 
expelled the Catapan^ and without confulting either 
Pope or Emperor, erefted it into'a dukedom for them- 
felves : Nor were the ApuHans averfe to change a 
feeble Defpot for a gallant Protedor. 

Senfible however that they were not able to cope 
with their numerous foes, the Norman Dukes fub- 
mitted themfelves as feudatories to the Pope ; and re- 
nounced all allegiance to the Emperor, whom they 
looked upon as too diftant to proteQ: them. The Pope 
in return gave Robert Guiscard, the youngeft fon 
pf Tancred, a confecrated Banner, and encouraged 
him to attempt the conqueft of Sicily. This they foon 
cfFefted; and the conquerors obtained from their 
fpiritual Father, the important privilege of exercifing 
themfelves the Legantine Power in their own domi- 
nions. When we confider that the Legates were the 
Pope's Proconsuls in every kingdom of Europe* 
^ and every where curbed the royal authority, we fhall 
underftand the juft value of this conceffion. 

It was this Potentate, nurft in the bofom of the 
Church, yet exempt from her power, who enabled 
Gregory the feventh to humble the Emperor Henry 
the fourth, and fubjeft the imperial Sceptre to the 
Crojier. The defcendants of an obfcure Norman ad- 
vcijturer, fupported the pretenfions of the Church 


C 39 ] 

againft the utmoft eflFefts of the imperial Power with 
various fuccefs. The Popes fometimet fet up Anti- 
Emperors, and the Emperors Anti-Popes, while the 
people of Italy fometimes joined one, fometimes the 
other, as their intereft led them ; for the fpirit of free- 
dom ftill fubfifled among them, and they wanted (as 
VoLTAiRB obferves) to have *' two matters,** that, 
in reality, they might have'none,* 

But the Norman Vaflals of the Church began at 
laft to feel their own power, and grow intra&able ; 
and the Pope was obliged to call in another Potentate 
to preferve the balance of Italy : he had firft called in 
the French and Germans againft the Lombards j then 
the Norman Potentates were fet up to balance the 
power of the Germans ; but now when the Crown of 
Sicily was left without a male Heir, the Barons of 
Naples ^nd Sicily favoured the Pretenfions of Tan- 
CRED, natural fon to Wiluam the laft King of the 
Norman line ; an enterprifmg young Prince, whofe 
exaltation was a caufe of terror to the Pope. — ^To 
prevent his fuccefs, Pope Cblestine the third, a 
PontiflF rather remarkable for cunning, than political 
fagacity, encouraged young Henry, Duke of Swabia^ 
fon to the Emperor Barbarossa, to marry Con- 
st antia, • a profeft Nun, the only legitimate child of 
William. She was obliged to relinquifh her Mona- 
ftery, and the Pope gave her abfolution for the breach 
of her vow : the condition of this marriage wag the 
reftitution of all the papal Domain which the Normans 
had fdzed ; and the fruit of the alliance was a Son, 
who in right of his Mother fucceeded to the kingdom 
of Naples and Sicily ; and by the intereft of the houfe 

• Anno 1193. 

D4 of 

C 40 1 

rf Swahia^ Qo which he was hdr,) procured the im^ 
perial Crowft by the name of Frederic the feeond. — 
In the year 1214^ he was ipvefted with the imperial 
Robes ; and being already heir of Naples^ his domi- 
nions furroimded the papacy on all fides. 

But, as FuEDERic was under age at the death of 
his Father, he had many powerful competitors for the 
Empire ; and was kept out of it during fome time. 
This was owing partly to the intrigues of the Pope, and 
partly to the jealoufy of the German Eleftors, who 
dreaded the increafing power of the family of Suabia ; 
of which, as well as of the Norman race, Frederic 
was the fole reprefentative : Otho was therefore elec- 
ted Emperor, after a long competition with Philip 
the reigning duke of Swabiuy though of a younger 
branch than Frederic. Otho was duke of Saxony^ 
$ind was elefted in 1208. 

At firft he expreffed unbounded gratitude to the 
Pope for his afliftancej but afterwards encouraged 
by the nonage of Frederic, he afferted the imperial 
claims to the Norman conquefts in Naples and Sicily^ 
and aftually marched an army to uie borders of 
Frederic's dominions. The Ptope* enraged at what 
he accounted the ingratitpde of Otho, immediately 
excommunicated him ; and even prevailed upon the 
Princes of Germany to depofe him ; having threat- 
ened them with the fpiritual confequences of their 
perjury to Frederic, to whom they had fwom fealty 
while in his cradle: fuch difturbances being raifed 
in Germany by the fentence of excommunication, that 
Otho was obliged to quit Apulia ; but he arrived 
too late in Germany to prevent his depofition. 

The Pope, on his affuming the patronage of Fre- 

* Innocent 3d. 


C 41 3 

deric, had infifted on his renouncing fome privileges 
with Tcfpeft to inveftitures in Naples and Sicily^ which 
had been granted to the Norman kings by the F^qsal 
See on account of pail fervices ; the moft remarkable 
was, that the bifliops were to be eie&ed by the Clergy 
without the interference of the Pope. This, however, 
Inkocent prevailed upon Constantia in the name 
of Fr£D£RIC to refdnd, with many others in which 
the old Norman independency was deeply involv^. 
He had alfo prevailed upon Frederic on condition of 
his acquiring the Empire by his means, to enter into 
a folemn engagement that he would attempt the con- 
queft of Fakjtine. 

Whatever were the views of Innocent, who died 
before they could be thoroughly difclofed, his fucceflbr 
HoNORius the Third, contrived to engage the ambition 
of Frederic in this attempt. He propofed to the 
Emperor the acquifition of a title to the kingdom of 
yerufalem by a marriage with Iole or Violante, 
daughter to John de Brienne, to whom that title had 
defcended : Honorius died fhortly after he had ac- 
complifhed this alliance, and left the fruits of it to be 
reaped by Gregory the ninth ; who reprefented to 
him the obligation he lay under to defend this kingdom 
for his pofterity, and finally perfuaded him to prepare 
for the expedition. Frederic, however, on her elec- 
tion, began to repent of his engagement, being confdous 
how much his hereditary dominions in Italy and Sicily 
were expofed to the machinations of an ambitious 
Pontiff, who having firft conferred the kingdom on 
his Norman anceftors, ^' his liberal fenfe and know- 
ledge taught him to defpife the phantoms of fuper- 
fiition, and the crowns of Asia ; he no longer en- 

C 42 3 

tertained the fame reverence for the fucceflbrs of 
Innocent, and his ambition was occupied by the re- 
ftoration of the Italian monarchy, from Sicily to the 
Alps. But the fuccefs of this projed would have 
reduced the Popes to their primitive fimplicity ; and 
after the delays and excufes of twelve years, Gregory 
at laft urged the Emperor with entreaties and threats, 
to fix the time and place for his departure for Pales- 
tine : fuch was his dread of the thunders of the 
Vatican^ he was at laft obliged to affemble and pre- 
pare in the harbours of Sicily and Apulia^ a fleet of 
one hundred gallies, and one hundred veffels that 
were framed to tranfport and land two thoufand five 
hundred knights, with their numerous attendants. 
His vaflals of Naples and Germany formed a pow- 
erful army, and the numbers of EngUjh crufaders, 
are magnified to fixty thoufand by the report of fame ; 
but the inevitable or aflfefted flownefs of thefe mighty 
preparations, confumed the ftrength and provifions of 
the more indigent pilgrims ; the multitudes were thin- 
ned by ficknefs and defertion, and the fultry fummers 
of Calabria^ anticipated the mifchiefs of a Syriai\ 

'* At length the Emperor hoifted fail at Brundufium^ 
with a fleet and army of forty thoufand men, but he 
kept the fea no more than three days ; and his hafty 
retreat, which was afcribed by his friends to a grievous 
indifpofition, was accufed by his enemies as a volun- 
tary and obftinate difobedience ; for fufpending his 
vow he was excommunicated by Gregory; when he 
embarked again to accomplifli his vow, the Pope 
cxcommimicated him afrefli, for prefuming to fet fail 
without making due fubmiflion, and being reconciled 


C 43 3 

to the church. This plainly (hewed the Pope's views, 
he (hortly after threw oflf the malk ; and not being 
afraid of the Emperor^s power in his abfence, publi(h« 
ed a crufade againft him in Italy. John de Brienne, 
the Emperor's father-in-law, was made the inftrument 
in this quarrel, as the Pope had perfuaded him, that 
Frederic who had promifed to reflore the kingdom of 
Jerufalem to him during his life, had refolved to break 
his promifej his influence joined with the Pope's, 
foon fpread the flames of civil difcord over all Italy : 
The Emperor's friends did not tamely give up his 
caufe, but in Rome itfelf withftood the Papal 
Faftion with great fpirit and eflfeft ; yet in Milan, 
the Partizans of Gregory got fo far the fuperiority, 
that in a (hort time all Lombardy was loft. This 
was not thought fufEcient by the Pontiff, who refolved 
to raife opponents to the Emperor in every quarter ; 
he fent inftruftions to the Clergy and Military 
orders of Palejiine^ to renounce all communion with 
and difpute his commands. He had by this time 
made an eafy conqueft of Palejiine ; yet in his own 
kingdom he was obliged to confent that the orders of 
tile camp (hould be iffued in the name of God, and 
of the Chri/iian Republic ; when he entered Jerufalem 
in triumph, he was obliged to take the crown from 
the altar of the holy Sepulchre with his own hand» 
and place it on his head ; for no Prieft would perform 
the office ; but the Patriarch of Jerufalem caft an 
interdid on the church which his prefence had pro* 
faned. The knights Hofpitallers and Templars in* 
formed the Sultan how eaiily Frederic could be fur- 
prized and ilain, while he bathed in the river Jordan ; 
l^ut the Sultan, (Meladin,) honourably fent their 
letters to Frederic, whofe charader he highly 



C 44 3 

efteemed. In fuch a (late of Fanaticifm and Fadion« 
yidory might be fuppofed to be hopelefs, and defeno^' 
difficult ; but the conclufion of an advantageous peace 
may be imputed to the difcord of the Mahometans, 
and their perfonai regard to the charadler of their 
enemy: Frederic is accufed by the Guelf writers 
of the times, of maintaining with. the Mifcreants an 
intercourfe of hofpitality and friendfliip unworthy of 
a chriftian ; of defpifing the barrennefs of the Holy 
Land ; and of indulging a profane thought, that if 
Jehovah had feen the kingdom of Naples j he never 
wduld have felefted Pale/tine for the inheritance of 
his chofen people : He made an advantageous peace 
with the Sultan, and accomplifhed every rational pur- 
pofe of a crufade, by obtaining the city for the 
Latins, who were to inhabit and fortify it ; and to 
the Mahometans, permiffion to vifit the Mosque, or 
Temple, from whence Mahomet was fuppofed to have 
afcended to heaven *.'* 

The Pope provoked at his making a peace with the 
Infidels on any terms, excommunicated him anew, 
abfolved his fubjefts from their allegiance ; and for- 
bade all, on pain of excommunication, to acknowledge 
or obey him as Emperor. But Frederic being re- 
inforced from Germany, foon recovered all that the 
Pope had feized in Aptdia and Naples; put feveral 
of the Neapolitan Lords to death who had revolted 
from him, and entering the territories of the church 
deftroyed all before him with fire and fword. 
. He was, however, ihortly after obliged to make 
peace, greatly to the advantage of the church; to 
recognize its authority ; to reflore the Prelates who 

« GiBBONy voL iL p. 140. Od. Edit* and the authorities 
quoted there. 


C 45 1 

had been deprived for their adherence to the Pdpe, 
and to make reftitution for all damages committed in 
the Papal dominions. 

Their reconciliation however, was far from being 
cordial. It is not certain that the Pope incited Henry 
the fon of Frederic, to rebel againft his &ther, on 
his invafion of Lbmbardy to punifli the rebellions 
Milanese. But it is beyond difpute, that he claimed 
as the property of the church, the ifland of Sardn 
KiA ; which Frederic had configned to his natural 
fon Enzius as Governor : On the denial of this un« 
founded claim, the Pope excommunicated the TLisu 
peror anew, and declared war againft him as a facri- 
legious perfon. Frederic marched an army to 
Rome, and defeated the Papal forces in a bloody 
battle ; but had not forces fufEcient to purfue his con* 
quefts at that time from the defedive authority of all 
Potentates in feudal times. 

The Pope refolved to try another mode to fubdue 
his antagonift ; he called a general council, in order 
to arm the whole Chriftian world againft his enemy. ' 
Frederic knowing or fufpeding his intent, em« 
ployed his fon Enzius in alliance with the Piians, 
who were Ghibellines, to intercept the foreign 
biihops, who were expefted by fea from Genoa 
where they were to aflemble, and to fend them in 
chains to Naples. The Genoefe who were Guelfs, 
had engaged to convey the biihops to Rome in fafety^ 
and fitted out a large navy for the purpofe; they 
were met and defeated by Enzius, who fdzed a great 
number of French, English, Scotch, smd Ita- 
lian bifhops, fome of whom he drowned, as the 
moft inveterate enemies to the Emperor ; and, odiers 
b« fent to Frederic, who kept them prifoners for life. 


c 46 :i 

Gregory did not long furvive this intellig^rtc^^ 
and Frederic felicitated himfelf in having got rid 
df his antagonift ; his immediate fucceflbr Cejlestinb 
the fourth did not live long, but Innocent the fourth 
trod exaftly in the paths of Grgeory. He did not 
fear to engage^ the Emperor either with fpiritual or 
fecular arms ; and though inferior in the latter conteft, 
yet in the former, he found means to fummons a 
general council, where he had influence enough to 
have Frederic depofed: The fecular Princes, how- 
ever, of Germany, protefted againft the fentence, and 
obferved with juftice, that the allegations againft the 
Emperor had not been proved, and that no teftimony 
had been admitted but that of his known and invete* 
rate enemies. 

At the head of his German Powers, Frederic 
marched into Apulia, to chaftife a new rebellion ; 
which, at the inftigation of the clergy, had broken out 
there, and to revenge himfelf upon the Pope, but he 
was taken ill, and died at the caftle of Fiorentino. 

Without entering into the charafters of thefe two 
celebrated antagonifts, there appears one prefumptive 
proof that the fentence of the Pope was unjuft : Louis 
the Ninth, king of France, a prince celebrated through 
the known world for the juftice of his decifions, oflFered 
his fervice as umpire between thefe enraged Potentates. 
Frederic chearfully acceded; but the Pope obfti- 
nately refufed to fubmit his caufe to the award of a 
layman. It is remarkable that one of his charges 
againft Frederic is, his having Ecclefiaftics tried by a 
fecular judge. 

He was fuccecded in the throne of Naples by hia 
fon Conrad j the Empire, after a long interregnum, 


C 47 3 

having gone into another family *, with his father's 
hereditary kingdom, he inherited his father's fpirit and 
the papal animofity ; the Pope under pretence that he 
had been excommunicated, but in reality becaufe he 
would not fubmit to the papal ufurpations in regard 
to inveflitures, affumed the right of difpofmg of the 
kingdom of Naples to Charles of Anjou, brother to 
Louis the ninth of France. The fequel of this tragical 
hiftory, and that of his fon, (hall be given when we 
refume the account of the aflfairs oi Florence y as with 
them it is intimately connefted. 

It appears from this detail, that in feveral States of 
Italyy particularly at Rome^ a fpirit of independence 
ftill furvived ; of this the Popes availed themfelves, 
and in every city eftablifhed a Guelf Faction againft 
the Ghibellines, or Imperialifls ; but their power over 
the confciences of men enabled them to fpread their 
influence flill further. By this powerful engine the 
Pope could kindle the flames of Rebellion againft his 
Antagonift, over all his vaft dominions ; and confe- 
crate Sedition by the name of Religion. When Fre- 
deric was on the point of reducing every thing to 
fubje£Hon on the banks of the Tyber, the Standard 
of Rebellion was fuddenly raifed on the fhores of the 
Rhine, and he was obliged to relinquifh the prize 
almoft in reach. This was the tantalizing fituation 
of almoft all the German Emperors, but the intrigues 
of the Pope were in the end favourable to the caufe 
of Liberty. — ^We have feen before how the Imperial 
Faction got the advantage at Florence^ and banifhed 
the Buondelmonte Family, with the whole Papal Fac- 
tion. But on the death of Frederic a new family 

♦ Of Hapfturgr. 

t 48 1 

tame to the Impend Throne, and the Suabian ftaC6 
declined ; the neutral party at Florence took the ad<*< 
vantage of the favourable jun£ture, and propoTed A 
coalition of parties ; the propofal was agreed to, the 
banifhed Guelfs were recalled, and an a£t pafTed of 
general amnefty. fhen by a general agreement, the 
tronftitution was new modelled.— The city was divided 
into fix diftrifts, governed by officers annually cho- 
fen ; two Judges were appointed for criminal caufes, 
and the whole defenfive force of the City and Country 
was divided into ninety-fix regiments, whofe fuperior 
officers were alfo changed annually :—Thefe were 
foon fit for fervice. The influence of the Guelfs pre- 
vailed, and extended their Conquefls over Pijloia^ - 
Siena^ and Arezzo^ which had been under the im- 
perial Fadion. In confequence of thefe advantages 
the Guelfs began to grow haughty, and the GhibeUinei 
envious ; their power had fallen very low, for they 
were looked upon all over Tiifcany as the abettors o£ 
tramontane Tyranny. But an opportunity foon 
offered of gaining the afcendant : Conrad, who died 
fuddenly, not without fufpicion of poifon, had left an 
infant fon, Conradin, the unfortunate heir of Naples^ 
under the tuition of Manfred, or Manfrov, a na-» . 
tural fon to Frederic the fecond. The Empire bein^ 
eleftive had now gone into another family, and Con- 
Hadin had nothing left but his hereditary dominion 
of Suabia, and the title to the kingdom of Naples* 
But Manfred, his Guardian, took advantage of his 
Pupil's non-age, ufurped the Crown of Sicily, and 
inheriting the inveterate hatred of the Houfe of Suabia 
againft the Pope, he renewed his claim to the landd 
which the Emperor Henry the fixth had refigned to 
the Pope on his marriage with Constance, At this 


t 49 1 

crifis Manfred was in arms againft the Pope, and re- 
animated the hopes of the Ghibellines * all over Italy- 
The Imperial Faftion in Florence^ difcountenanced and 
robbed of their fhare in the Government, applied to 
him for affiftance. The Gounfel was given by t Fa- 
rinata Ubertij the inveterate Enemy of the BuondeU 
montef race \ but their practices were difcovered by 
the vigilance of the maglftrates, and the delinquents 
cited before the counfel. The Uberti took arms and 
fortified their hoiifes : But the enraged populace at- 
tached to the Gi^lfs ; and to Liberty, took the part of 
their benefadliors, and the Ghibellines were obliged to 
feek an afylum at Siena. — ^This Republic had revolted 
from the confederacy of the Florentines^ and received 
the exiles readily- A Courier was inftantly difpatched 
to the borders of Romagna. That fame night a large 
detachment fet out for Siena^ and by forced marches 
reached it before day. Next morning a Spy, in the 
habit of a Francifcan^ waited on the Magiftrates at 
Florence^ with a forged Letter, from the Gt^^^Faftion 
at Siena ; containing a promife to open the gate, if the 
Florentines would fend a body of troops at an appointed 
hour. The magiftrates, not fufpefting what had 
paffed in the night, fell into the f^jiare, and imme- 
t jjitely difpatched the flower of their Militia to fecond 
the revolt of the Sienefe. But as they marched along 
in full fecurity, they were fuddenly attacked by Fari* 
nata^ at the head of a detachment of Manfred^s 
jForces : The habits of difcipline however prderved 

♦ Though the imperial power had now fallen very low, feveral 
Princes in Italy kept up the name of Ghibellines, or Imperia* 
LISTS, in order to eflablifh their own power, and withdand the 
papal encroachment. 

f Sec Inferno, C. x. 

Vol, L E them 

C so 3 

them from the effects of furprize, they formed imme« 
diately, and a bloody and obftinate aftion enfued s 
But in the heat of the Conflid, Bocca *, the head 
of the Abati Family, a Guelfy having been gained 
over by the pra&ices of Ubertij cut off the hand of 
the Florentine Standard-bearer: The Standard fell^ 
the Florentines were thrown into confufion ; the Gbi^m 
bellines took advantage of the moment of diforder, 
broke into the line of the Florentines ^ and drove them 
off the Field, with a prodigious flaughter of the No* 
bility and Gentry. 

The viftorious party, ftill burning with animofity, 
began to entertain the moft fanguinary Counfds : It 
was even propofed to exterminate the Papal Faction, 
and level their native city to the ground. But Fari* 
naia^ whofe influence next to Manfred*s was greateft, 
generoufly oppofed the-^moft cruel defign. He de- 
clared that his motive in taking arms was only to 
fecure a retreat to his native place, not to be inftru* 
mental in its de{lru6lion. His counfel prevailed* 
The Ghibellines entered the city in triumph, and the 
Guclfs were again expelled. 

The Florentine Guelfs fu-ft took refuge at Bologna^ 
and afterwards at Parma^ where they joined the papal 
Faction ; and in an engagement with the Imperialifts, 
their valour turned the fcale in &vour of the Parme-' 
fans. Meantime the Pope being hard preffed by 
Manfred^ who had ufurped the Crown from his 
Nephew, and looking upon himfelf as Lord Para- 
mount of Sicily <, deprived the orphan Conradin of his 
title to the Crown, which exceeded his power as Lord 
Paramount, and gave the inveftiture to Charles of 

* iNFERNOy Canto 32. 


L 51 ] 

Anjouj brother to that king of France who is com^ 
mcHily called St. Louis. The Florentine exiles took 
advantage of this favourable crifis, and offered their 
fervice to the Pope, who received them with joy. 
Meantime, Charles of Anjou failed for Italy^ with a 
numerous Fleet, and dextroufly efcaping the Gallies 
of Manfred^ which lay in wait for him, arrived at 
OJlia ; where he was received by the Romans as the 
deliverer of their country, and inftantly marced againft 
the invader. Manfred had a large detachment un- 
der Buoso Di DuERA, at a defile where the French 
were obliged to pafs ; but Duera, * as it is fuppofed, 
having been corrupted by Anjou, looked tamely on, 
and let him purfue his march. Struck with the rapid 
advances made by his rival, difcouraged by the ap- 
pearance of treachery, and perhaps flung by the me- 
mory of his perfidy, to his benefaftor Conrad, 
Manfred fent ambaffadors with overtures of peace ; 
but they were rejefted with fcom, and the ufurper 
refolved to make a defperate (land at the pafs of 
Cij^r^iwo.— *-Next to Mani'red, the fecond in com- 
mand among the Ghibellines^ was the Marquis dc 
Caserta, and on his advice with refpefl to military 
affairs, Manfred chiefly relied; but Caserta har* 
ing long fufpefted a criminal commerce between his 
wife and Manfred, fecretly vowed vengeance, and 
took this opportunity of putting his defign in pradlice. 
At a council of war, called before the engagement, 
he advifed Manfred to let part of the Guelfs pafs, 
and attack them at advantage when divided. On this 
counfel Manfred implicitly relied, and ordered the 
defile to be left open till part had paffed, but the im« 

• IkfeenOv C. 32.— Villani Chron. Flofent. $. 7. C. 27. 

E 2 petuofity 

C 52 ] 

petuofity of the French broke all his meafures : The 
army of Anjou poured in like an inundation, and 
purfued the Ghibellines with a continued flaughter for 
feveral miles. Manfred, with the broken remains 
of his army, retreated to the plains of Bcneventim^ 
whither he was purfued by Anjou with fuch precipi- 
tation, that he neglefted to fecure the country behind 
him, Manfred immediately perceived the overfight 
of the enemy, and availing himfelf of his fuperior 
knowledge of the countrj', furrounded the whole army 
of Anjou at TagUacezzo ; there he could have compel- 
led them by famine to come into terms, but, like 
PoMPEY, he rafhly refolved on battle, and fell in the 
aftion ; a fate too mild and honourable for his perfidy 
and ufurpation. He is alfo charged with parricide by 
fome hiftorians. 

.Charlf.s of Anjou immediately tdok poffeflion of 
Naples^ and was crowned by thfe Pope. This was 
looked upon as the fignal for deftrudtion to the GhL 
belline party in Florence. They faw their ruin ap- 
proaching, and refolved, if poflible, to gain the peo- 
pie to their fide, by a fliew of patriotifm. They im- 
mediately recalled fome of the Guelf faftion from 
BolognUy and gave them a (hare in the government. 
Bologna was already famous as a feat of learning ; and 
from it there were two legiflators chofen to fettle the 
commonwealth ; one a Guelf ^ and the other a Ghibel^ 
line J who by the joint aflent of all, \Jtrc msidQ Podeftas 
at Florence ; their names were * Catalano de Ma- 
LAsoTTE, and Loderingo di Leandolo. They had 
a council of thirty-fix formed out of both faftions to 
aflift them, and made fome good regulations j. but 

♦ Sec Inferno^ C. 23. 


C 53 ] 

vhat fliewed the futility of their patriotic pretences^ 
was their connivsbice at the introcfu6tion of a band of 
German mercenaries, by the Ghibcllines^ under pre- 
tence of protefting the State. The firft occafion of 
difcontent was an exorbitant tax which they attempted 
to levy on the people, to pay thefe mercenaries. This 
raifed a clamour againft the new council ; the popu- 
lace took arms and furrdunded the Senate, and Guido 
DE NovELLO, the head of the Ghibelline faftion, 
feized with an unaccountable panic, fled out of the 
neareft gate with his whole body of incendiaries, and 
all the Ghibelline faction. Next day, aftoniflied at 
their own folly, they endeavoured to return, but 
found the attempt too late — ^the Guelfs had refumed 
the Government, and chofen Charles of Anjou^ 
vicar of Tufcany ; but the citizens, tired of difcord, 
refolved to procure a coalition of parties, and by their 
influence, all the exiles were invited to return ; but 
the GhibelUnes ftill remembered their exile, and the 
Guelfs their oppreffions. 

Meantime the news arrived that Conradin, the 
heir of Sicily and Naples j was on his way from Germa, 
ny^ with a numerous army, to regain his Crown from 
Charles of Anjou. This intelligence re-animated 
the GhibelUnes J who hoped, by the afliftance of Con- 
radin, to gain the afcendancy. — ^The Guelfs were no 
lefs depreffed by fear, and when they heard that 
Conradin intended to direft his march through Tuf 
(any^ they applied to his rival for afliftance. The 
forces of Anjou arrived at Florence before the army of 
Conradin, and the GhibelUnes^ who well knew their 
demerits with the people, once more thought proper 
to relinquifh their country. The prefages of the GA/- 

£ 3 . belli na 

C 54 3 

hiUines were not vain ; the gallant Con r a din, wha^ 
though but fifteen years of age, had led an army froai 
Germany to claim his birth right, • was met by Anjou, 
Zt St. Valenii7ie\j near Naples. An aged Fretich knight, 
named Alard, on his return firom the Holy Land, 
had joined the army of Anjou^ and relying 
on his military experience, afked his advice with ref- 
pc£t to the difpofition of his forces. The veteran 
counfelled him to conceal a large body of troops in an 
ambufcade, and to fend a detachment before, led hj 
Z Knight, in the drefs and arms of Anjou ; and, that 
if this body were defeated, the partial lofs would fe^ 
cure him the viftory. Anjou followed his advice, 
and caufmg one Cozance, a French Knight, to put 
on his arms, fent him to meet the enemy at the head 
of a large detachment. The event ^as what • Alard 
. had foretold ; Cozance being taken for Anjou was 
kilted in the firft onfet, and the Germans^ thinking 
the bufinefs over, fell into diforder, and began to 
plunder the dead. Then Anjou, at the head of his 
ambufcade, broke in upon thepi, drove them off the 
field with great ilaughter, and took the unhappy 
CoNRADiN prifoner : He was carried thence to N^les^ 
formally tried, and condemned, and the Uft blood of 
the illuftrious houfe of Swabia was flied upon a fcaf- 
fold: Frederic of Aujlria^ his genero\is patron, 
fuffered with him. In his laft moments he bequeathed 
his title to the crown of Naples to Peter of Arragon^ 
who had married a daughter of Manfred's, nor was 
it long before an opportunity was given to affert the 
claim. The Trench were guilty of fo much cruelty 
and oppreffion in their government, that the Neapor 

* See iNFERNOy C. 28. Notes. 
\\ litans 

C 55 ] 

Ufans and Sicilians breathed nothing but revenge. 
The Pope, Nicholas the third, began now to dread 
the encroachments of Anjou, as much as he had his 
rival before. His jealoufy was raifed to the bittereit 
enmity by Charles's refufal to marry his daughter 
to the Pope's nephew ; and, he is faid, in revenge^ 
to have laid the plot of the Sicilian Vefpers^ where a 
whole people entered into a confpiracy to maffacre 
their oppreffors. It is well known that the ringing of 
the bell for evening prayers at Mejftnay was the fignal 
for the general maffacre ; and every Frenchman in the 
ifland, and even Sicilian women, with child by 
Frenchmen^ were put to death without mercy. Ara- 
coN was ready with a fleet, to take poifeflion of the 
ifland immediately after the a£Hon ; and in his pofte« 
rity the Norman line fit on the throne of Sicily at thia 

TTie Crown of Naples continued in the Anjou fiu 
tnily a few generations more, till the unfortunate 
Joan, great-grand-daughter to Charles of AnjoUj 
fucceeded. The tragical death of her huiband, and 
her marriage with the murtherer, leaves an indelible 
ftain upon her memory. 

After a life of guilt and misfortune, fhe adopted as 
heir Louis of Anjou^ brother to Charles the fifth, 
of France. From him the title devolved afterwards 
to Charles the eighth, of France ^ who won and loft 
Naples in a few months, which, after many revolu- 
tions was finally annexed to the Crown of Sicily., by 
Ferdinand, di Aragon^ grandfather to the Emperor, 
Charles the fifth. 

But while the fouthem provinces of Italy and Sicily 
were drenched in blood, Florence^ by her own excre- 
tions, arofe to a pitch of glory, unknown before. ' 


C j6 3 

In the difputcs between the Guelfs and Ghibellines^ 
the power of the people had infenfibly increafed. 
They were attached to the Guelf fadion, and by that 
means their influence rofe to fuch a degree, that, 
after feverai changes of the confutation, they pro- 
pofed that the city fliould be governed by three Priors 
or Prators ; to be chofen indifferently from the Patri- 
cians and the Plebeians. * The nobles were at varir 
ance among themfelvcs, and each party feared, that 
if they fhould deny the popular requeft, the rival fee, 
tion would take advantage of it to join the people, 
and turn the fcale againil them : Thus, each being 
intimidated by the other, they both agreed to grant 
the demands of the Plebeians ; and thus the people 
obtained a fhare in the government, which, from being 
ariftocratical, began to wear an afped of democracy. 

The nobles, however, ftill retained their femily 
influence, and, though they were guilty of daily out- 
rages, it was very difficult to bring any of them to a 
trud. The continual difturbances occafioned by thcfe 
feuds, gave a fair pretext to the popular party, to 
demand a large body of troops to be levied, who, un- 
der the command of an officer, called Gon/a/ionerf^ 
fhould be entirely at the devotion of the Prion. Thefe 
were intended to fupprefs any tumult raifed by the 
nobles. Stijl however, while any of the nobles had 
a fliare in the government, the courfe of juftice was 
impeded. The daily mifchiefs which this opcafioned, 
induced Gian de Bella, t a Patrician, but a lover of 
his country ; to propofe in a general aifembly, a total 
exclufion of the nobles from any ihare in the govern- 

• Machiavel Hift# Flor. L. z» 

f Of the fame Family with Dante. See Canto 29. 


' L 57 1 

ment, to encreafe the militia from one to four thou* 
iand, and to order the Gonfalionere to refide con- 
tinually with the Prior. Meantime an atrocious mur- ^ 
(ler was committed by a young Patrician of the Donatio 
family, and the Gonfalionere^ with all his additional 
forces, found himfelf unable to call him to account. 
The people complained to their patron, Gian de Bella j 
he, as the more moderate courfe, deiired them to lay 
their complaints before the prior* They, not obtain- 
ing ready admittance, attacked the palace, and levelled 
it to the ground. This was a fufEcient handle to the 
nobles to accufe Gian de Bella of raifmg dillurbances 
in the State, and he, forefeeing the ftorm, wifely 

By this effort the nobles found that their ftrength 
confided in their union, and that all the advantages 
gained by the people were merely the tScQ. of patri- 
cian difcord. 

In confequence of this they made a fecret coalition 
againft the populace, and refolved to engrofs all the 
power to themfelves ; but, elated with their conqueft 
/over Gian de Bella^ they took their meafures too open- 
ly, the people flew to arms, and the adverfe parties 
were on the point of an engagement, when the more 
moderate citizens interpofed, and, with difficulty 
brought about a reconciliation, on condition that the 
jiobles (hould again have a fhare in the Priorate. 

The names oiGuelf^nA Ghibelin were now almoflt 
forgotten at Florence^ but other faftions foon arofe 
whofe quarrels had a more pernicious etfed. The oc- 
cafion was this : * The family of Cancelieri^ at Pijioia^ 

^ Machiavel L. 2. Villani L. 8. C. 32. 

a fmall 

C 58 ] 

z fmali eftate, fubjed to Florence, was divided into two 
branches, the heads of which were at this time GuitieU 
mo and Bertaecio, or Foccacia. — — A fon ofGuilielmOf 
named Lore de Cancelieri, happened to (Irike the fon 
of Bertaccioj with a fnow-ball, in the eye. The blow 
left a mark, and Guilielmo, knowing the brutal ferocity 
of his kinfman, fent his fon immediately to Bertaccio^ 
to make an apology. Bertaccio feemed only to have 
wiflied for an opportunity, of quarrelling with the other 
branch of the family. He ordered the boy to be fciz- 
ed, and very deliberately cut off the offending hand, 
coolly remarking, " that blows only could be repaid 
** with blows, not with words." — The father of tile 
mutilated youth fummoned hi^ dependents to arms :— 
The family of Bertaccio affembled in defence of their 
Idnfman, and Pijloia was fuddenly involved in all the 

horrors of a civil war. Dante was at this time 

Prior of Florence, and it was he who gave the advice,^ 
ruinous to himfelf, and pernicious to his native coun- 
try, of calling in the heads of the two fafkions to F/o- 
rence. -^The founder of the Cancelieri family had firfl 
married a lady, called Bianchi, from her was deriv^ 
the name of the white faftion ; the others immediately 
called themfelves Neri, or blacks. On their arrival at 
Florence, the Cherchi, a noble family, immediately de- 
clared for the White fadion. Their inveterate enemiea 
the Donate, inflantly joinedthe Blacks, and all Florence 
was again divided into two parties, as interefl or incli* 
nation led them. 

The confpiracy of the black faftion to call in 
Charles of Valois, and the fubfequent exile of the 
white faftion, with Dante, will find a more fuitable 

place in the life of the Poet. Flcrencc, in the midft 


C 59 3 

of thefe convuliions, gained new ftrength, and ac«> 
quired new glory. The liberal arts had already got 
footing there, fo early as the twelfth century, after the 
power of the Emperors had declined in Italy. At the 
death of Frederic the fecond, it had been really /r^, 
but it was enabled to make a formal purchafe of its 
freedom, from the Emperor Rodolpbj of Hapjburghj 
^ho fucceeded the Swabian line ; and from that period 
till the fifteenth century, the Emperors were fo much 
involved in German politics, that they neglected Italy 
entirely. — It was during this decline of the imperial 
power^ that Florence^ Bologna^ Pifa^ and Lucea^ gained 
the liberty of governing themfelves by their own laws, 
aii4 that the power of Venice grew formidable ; but 
though other republics enjoyed their Uberty for a lon- 
ger period of time, though Venice was ennobled by con- 
queft, aiKi Pi/a by commerce, yet none were more il- 
luftrious by their freedom than Florence., Long before 
the taking of Conjlantinople by the Turks j which is 
looked upon as the common asra of the revival of learn- 
ing, fhe, like another Athens^ faw the arts revive in the 
lap of liberty. 

On a review of this long and bloody contention be- 
tween the Guelfs and Ghibelinesj and on adverting to 
its origin ; we find it only one branch of a deep radical 
evil, ^ofe origin muft be traced to remote ages, and 
yfhofe confequences we feel at this day. The difputes 
between the Eaftem Emperour and the Popes about 
Amage worfliip, and the influence that had in giving an 
Emperour to the Weft, were noticed above. With 
the hopes of obtaining temporal power to themfelves, the 
Fope$ foftered the ambition of Pepin, and the enormous 
powder of Charlemagnb. When they were nearly 


C 60 3 

overwhelmed by that mafs, which they had contributed 
themfelves to raife, or at lead made that a pretext ) 
they wanted to try the fame expedient, and call in a 
foreign power, to free them from that domeftic enemy, 
whom they had goaded almoft to madnefs ; and then 
made his fury the fubjed of tragical declamation. 
Thus they provoked Anjou againft Suabia ; and Ar- 
K AGON againft Anjou ; they fpread the flames of war 
from the fourcc of the Danube to the Tagus, and 
even (in the cafe of Richard Earl of Cornwall) en* 
deavoured to engage England in the quarrel. To 
this fource we can trace the claims of Charles VIII. of 
France, and of Louis XII. on Naples, the imperial 
claims on Milan, and even on Belgium, which have 
been either the immediate or remote caufes of all the 
devaflation made by war in Chriftendom ; even include, 
ing the prefent, through a decad of centuries. 

We owe the invention of many ufeful manufacturer, 
and the improvement of almoft all the fciences to Italy^ 
about that period. Charles of Anjeu^ though at- 
tended by the demons of difcord and oppreflion, made 
fome compenfation by tranfporting the Provencal po- 
etry from France to Italy ^ and upon the wild compo- 
fitions of the French Troubadours^ or ftroUing min- 
ftrels, the genius of Dante^ Petrarch^ and Boccace^ 
were formed ; elegance and poetry particularly were 
carried to perfeftion in Florence ; and even fo early as 
the time of Boniface the eighth, among the orators 
who were fent to congratulate him on his exaltation, 
there were no lefs than eight Florentines. From this 
aera, till the the time of Leo the tenth, Italy produced 
a fucceffion of men of genius, when the feeds that 
had been fown by the contefts between the Pope and 


C 6i 1 

Emperor produced their laft and noblejl fruit in the 

Even fo early as the twelfth century, people began 
to difpute very freely concerning religion. It was then 
the Albigenfes appeared, a fed, who acknowledged no 
law, but that of the gofpel, and held tenets nearly 
(imilar to thofe of the proteftants. They were perfe- 
cuted by Pope Innocent the third, and maflacred with« 
out mercy. It was on this occafion the inquiiition was 
firft eflablifhed, but its eflForts were too feeble to fup- 
prefs the fpirit of enquiry. When it was extinguifhed 
in Languedoc^ it was kindled anew in Piedmont^ and 
when banifhed from Italy ^ it took refuge in Bohemia. 

Difputes concerning the mereft trifles and abfurdi- 
ties, were profecuted with equal inveteracy. The 
Francifcansj in the fourteenth century, took into their 
head/to deny that they had a property in any thing, 
even in what they eat and drank ; the property they 
beftowed oh the church. Pope John the twenty-fe- 
cond, was offended that they fhould make an empty 
compliment to the church, and wrote againft them 
with great acrimony. The Emperor Lewis of Ba- 
voriay the Pope's enemy, defended the Francifcam^ 
and the Pope, in revenge, feized and burnt as Here- 
tics fome of the moft contumacious of them. This is 
one inftance out of many, that could be given, of the. 
blind and bloody zeal of the times. The mifchiefe of 
fuperftition, the ravages of religious wars, and the 
baleful influence of contending for fpeculative opinions, 
are favourite topics of declamation. It is a common 
artifice of fophiftry, to blend the ideas of religion and 
fuperftition together, and argue againft the benefits of 
one, from the ills that attend the other. But to an 



[ 62 2 

attentive obferver of this period, it will appear, that 
even the wildefl fuperftition of the times, had fuch 
ingredients mixed with it as formed the feeds of know- 
ledge, liberty, and virtue ; effects which did not 
always follow the boafted philofophy of thofe mafters 
of reafon, the ancients. 

The conteft between the Popes and Emperors was 
attended with fome partial evils in iu progrefs, but 
thefe partial evils produced univerfal good. The dif- 
pute was intereiling to the laft degree : It was of no 
lefs confequence than to determine whether the Pope 
fliould have the whole ecclefiaftical affairs of Germany 
at his difpofal, or the Emperor annihilate the liberty 
of Italy. Nothing could be better adapted to enlarge 
the minds of men, and exercife iheir intelle&s, than 
the adjuftment of thofe complicated rights. The ex- 
amination of their origin muft have carried theur en- 
quiries back, by a natural and eafy afcent, to the 
titnes of primitive and pure religion, and the golden 
age of ancient liberty. — ^Hence they muft gradually 
have acquired a morejuft idea of their religion, a 
clearer notion of the rudiments of policy ; and both 
muft have been ftamped on their minds with a deeper 
impreflion, by the illuftrious examples of antiquity. 
We find the falutary eflFefts of thefe difputes in open^i* 
ing the mind very early, particularly in the writings 
pf Dante. In his book de Monarchia, written to 
affert the claims of the Emperor againft the Pope, he 
expatiates upon clerical abufes with great freedom, 
Petrarch follows him in the fame track : He in* 
veighs againft the depravity of the times with great 
afperity, and his invectives are more pointed, becaufe 
more impartial. In fliort, the difpute between- the 


t 63 1 

tontending parties was an extenfive field foi" genius* 
The conflid of fuch difputants muft have ftruck out 
Inith at laft, and the mind having once felt its powers ; 
riiuft have exerted them, not only in religion and poli- 
tics, but on every art, and fdence $ on every thing 
ufeful and ornamental. 

The influence of this difpute on liberty was more 
immediate. The Emperor encouraged the Ghibellintf 
fadion in Italy y to throw off their flavifh dependence 
on the Pope, and truft to the protedtion of the im- 
perial Fafces. By this means, he was often on the 
point of conquering Italy ; but when the prize was 
almoft within his reach, the papal influence was fo 
great in Germany^ that the Pontiff could, at any time, 
taife commotion againft his enemy, in his native do- 
minions. Not only the Clergy, but the Laity, feldom 
wanted a pretence for difcontent. This often called 
the attention of the Emperor to domeftic obje£i:s : His 
prefence was often claimed in both places at once, and 
that people, from whom he was obliged to be abfent, 
feldom &iled to pufh their pretenfions into rights, and 
let up claims under the latter Emperors, which, un- 
der Charlemagne, were unknown. The Emperors 
were alfo often obliged to buy the friendfliip both of 
the Germans and Italians^ with large immunities. 
Hence gradually arofe the rights of the Germanic 
body, and the dear-bought liberty of the Italian re- 

With refpeft to the influence thefe difputes had 
upon the manners of the people, we muft own it was 
of a more mixed kind. The enthufiafm of miftaken 
zeal, conduced by deftgning men, often drove them 
40 atrocious addons ; but from the very complexion of 


C 64 ] 

their crimes^ we may trace their virtuesy had wc no 
other document. When a man's fauhs proceed front 
the miflakes of confcience, may we not juilly con-< 
dude, that confcience has, in general, a ftrong in** 
fluence over him ? 

In fome things it may be miftaken ; but, for the 
mofl part, it muft conduct him right. — ^His notion of 
the importance of certain opinions, may impel him to 
perfecute the fuppofed enemies of orthodoxy ; but, if 
he looks upon thofe opinions as appendages of a re- 
vealed law, for thefe eifential parts of the law he muft 
entertain the moft reverential regard. If this revela« 
tion coincides with, and enforces the primary notions 
of right and wrong engraven on the heart of every 
man, the law, as &r as it is clear, mud have an influ- 
ence on his life, and the more, the further he is re- 
moved from the career of ambition, and the tempta- 
tions of power. The progrefs of knowledge from the 
caufes above mentioned muft enlighten his mind, and 
afcertain his duty; and thus religion, by degrees, 
muft have difengaged itfelf from the incumbrances of 
fuperftition. If we compare this deduftion with the 
hiftory of the middle ages, it will appear, that not 
only the reformed, but the Catholic churches, gra- 
dually relinquifhed the grofTeft of fome of their tenets* 
and adopted a more liberal turn of thinking. 

The pretence of forwarding the interefts of religion 
has often occafioned mifchiefs of the moft virulent kind. 
Are we to make this an argument againft religion itfelf ? 
— Every thing that takes a ftrong hold on the mind 
of man may be equally abufed. The love of liberty 
itfelf has been equally revered, and equally perverted; 
but no fophifter ever prefumed to make this an argu- 

C 65 3 

Ibent againll well regulated freedom. When tbd 
phantoms of religion and liberty can lead men into 
fuch wild extremes, it only proves how e0ential the 
realities are to fociety. 

There is a general cry againft religious intolerance, 
without diftinguiming between the vigilance of proper 
difcipline, and the extreme of perfecution. ^Tole- 
ration is alfo extolled in a ftrain of general panegyric, 
by people who do not feem to know the difference be- 
tween the needful jealoufy of a wife legiflaturc, 
anxious for the virtue of a people, and that perni- 
cious negligence which attended the abufe of tolera^ 
tion in the declining days of Athens and Rome. 

The fervours of religion have often aftuated the 
paflions to deeds of the wildeft fanaticifm.— The 
booted Apojiles of Germany, and the Crufards of 
France carried their zeal to a very guilty degree. 
But the paffion for any thing laudable will hardly 
cJtrry men to a proper pitch, unlefs it be fo ftrong 
as fometimes to pufh them beyond the golden mean.— - 
The enthufiafm oiEngliJh valour has often puflied our 
countrymen to a£ts of the wildeft defperation j but 
with lefs^ perhaps, Britons had not been heroes. The 
lame zeal fent the miffionary to the north, and the 
conqueror to the fduth : it often raifed a tempeft 
which marked its road with devaftation j but at the 
fame time depofited the feeds of virtue, order, and 
civility. The wildeft extrava^ncies of tniftakeii ieal 
tend to work its own cure. Religious difputes occa- 
fionally inflame the paflions} but nothing fo much 
opens the mind and enlarges the underftanding, asf 
nothing is of equal importance. This is plain to any 
one that marks the progrefs of the human mind during 

VouL F the 

C 66 ] 

the four ages immediately preceding the reformation. 
The renovation of learning and the arts owes more to 
religious contefts than to any other drcumilance what- 
ever ; they relumed the flame of liberty, and fpread 
the light of truth, before the arrival of thofe Greek 
fophifters from Conftantinople, to whom the revival 
of learning is generally attributed. 

Such were the eflfefts of intolerance even in the ex- 
treme. In a more moderate degree, every well-regu- 
lated government, both antient and modem, were fo 
far intolerant, as not to admit the pollutions of every 
Tuperftition and every pernicious opinion. It was 
from a regard to the morals of the people, that the 
Roman Magiftrates expelled the Priefts of Bacchus *, 
in the firft and mod virtuous ages of the republic. It 
was on this principle that the Perfians deftroyed the 
temples of Greece wherever they came. Socrates was 
accufed of bringing in new Gods, becaufe new Godsy 
as the wife Athenians thought, might bring in new 

The Romans are faid to have admitted every mode 
of worfhip within their walls t- Would they, in the 
time, of their virtue and glory, have given admittance 
to the Venus Mylitta of the Eaft, with all her train of 
Prbftitutes ? There always was, and always will be, 
in every good government, an intolerant zeal of 
virtue againft vice ; an intolerance which the Chrif- 
tians did not, as fome fuppofe, borrow from the 
Jews ; but both they and the Jews borrowed it from 
the unalterable Law of Right. The dread of popery in 

♦ Ivivy, Herodotus. ^ 

f Gibbon's Decline of the Roman Empire. 


t 67 2 

the laft age was not an unmeaning antipathy to Certain 
fpeculative opinions, but a well-grounded fear of the 
influence of fuch opinions on fociety. It was a defign 
well becoming any government, to abridge the power 
of a body of men confefledly under a foreign influ« 

The Athenians and Romans kept a watchful eye^ 
not only over the groffer fuperftitions, but over im- 
piety ; becaufe they knew, that impiety and infidelity 
diflblved the fan£Hons of morality, and brought on 
both public and private corruption. Polybius plainly 
attributes the fall of freedom in Greece to the pre- 
valence of atheifm *. In Rome, Epicurean philofophy 
and political corruption went hand in hand. It was 
not till the republic was verging to its fall, that Cxfar 
dared in open fenate to laugh at the fpeculative opi- 
nion of a future ftate. Thefe were the times of uni- 
verfal toleration, when every pollution, from every 
clime, flowed to Rome, whence they had carefully 
been kept out before. How far they prevailed we 
learn from Juvenal ; and we are taught, by the acri- 
mony of his inve£Hve, how far it infringed on the 
anticnt cenforial vigilance of the republic. The con- 
fequence was natural ; impiety and its concomitant 
corruptions were fo completely eftabliflied at Rome, and 
the doftrine of immortality was fo deeply obfcured by 
fophiftry, that a late celebrated writer makes it a quef- 
lion, whether it ever was believed by the multitude ; 
and brings as his vouchers, Horace an Epicurean^ 
and Juv£NAL a declamatory fatiriil} the latter in« 

* That attributes the formation of the world to chance^ and dtf* 
iiies a prDvidence. 

F a deed. 

C 68 ] 

deed, in a ftorm of ironical indignation, qbfenres, 
that fcarce any one now believes thofe fables of fu- 
turity ; a rhetorical obfervation which might well 
enough become the pulpit in any age of Chriftianity. 

But to leave the digreffion : — It may be thought that 
there is too much attributed to the trifling fchool-di- 
vinity of the age, and the eternal difputes and wars 
occafioned by religion : it may be thought that the 
political and moral improvement, which began to 
adorn the conclufion of the fifteenth century, fprung 
from the natural courfe of human affairs, leaving re- 
ligion out of the queftion : it may be urged, that the 
caufes were the fame that raifed Athens and Rome to 
their glory, viz. the cultivation of reafon, and the 
natural progrefs of fociety from rudenefs to civiliza- 
tion. I leave it to thofe who are bed acquainted with 
thel fpirit of antiquity, to determine whether a fpedes 
of religion (mixt indeed with fuperftition) had or had 
not a vcr)^ principal Ihare in raifing thofe celebrated 
nations to the fummit of their glory : their decline and 
fall, at leaft, may fairly be attributed to irreKgron, and 
to the want of fome general ftandard of morality, 
whofe authority they all allowed, and to which they 
all appealed. The want of this pole-ftar left them 
adrift in the boundlefs ocean of conjecture ; . the dif- 
putes of their philofophers were endlefs, and their 
opinions of the grounds of morality were as diflferent 
as their conditions,, their taftes, and their purfuits. 
Cafar was an Epicurean^ who laughed at the notion 
of immortality and moral obligation, becaufe he meant 
to overturn the conftitution. Had he been conquered, 
or a Have, like Cato or Epiilettis^ he had probably been 
^ Stoic : his great foul would have taken pride in pa- 

c 69 : 

dence and temperance ; he would have allowed Virtue 
to be the only good ; and, from the inequality of thing» 
here, inferred a future retribution. Cicero wavered 
between both parties and both opinions ; Socrates and 
Plato honeftly owned their want of a coeleftial guide ; 
and Pyrrhoy taking advantage of the endlefs wander- 
ings of human reafon, concluded that all men were 
involved in hopelefs ignorance, and all things in im- 
penetrable obfcurity ; and, confequently, that between 
virtue and vice there was no diftinftion. In the old 
world, where they had no general ftandard to refer 
to ; where one grounded his opinions on principles 
that another denied ; where one party held animal 
pleafure, another riches, a third virtue, to be the 
chief good; their contradidlions mull have been in- 
finite, and the pernicious confequence of their dif- 
putes muft have been univerfal ignorance and obfcu- 
rity, unlefs a new fyftem had appeared, which brought 
men back to the genuine fentiments of nature, and 
enforced her internal diftates of right and wrong by 
the moft powerful fanftions. 

A fubjeft of fuch importance muft have produced 
difputes ; but thefe difputes had a neceflary tendency 
to produce both knowledge and virtue. To the con- 
teft we owe the revival of learning : the authority of 
the revealed law was allowed by all ; in its elfential 
parts all agreed : their difputes about feme kfs effen- 
tial parts produced at leaft critical knowledge, and the 
progrefs of knowledge will in the end bring about an 
uniformity of opinion. Even in the time of their 
fierceft difputes, their concurrence, as to eflentials, 
muft have given at leaft the fpirit of the law an exten- 
iive influence on morals, tmk it evidently has, a ^^^^^/^ ^ 

P^^ If 

C 70 ] 

If the rational powers of man are now idvandng 
to their zenith, we know what gave them their ftrft 
impulfe. If our fyftems of moral philofophy are noix^ 
more clear and better founded, we can eafily trace tjie 
caufe: one of our beft moralifts has deduced out 
obligations to virtue from our natural feelings of Tym* 
pathy and notions of propriety ; and by this tnade his 
whole work an illuftrious comment on that divine 
precept, ^* Do unto others as you would they Jbould do 
unto youJ^ 

The enemies of revealed religion may be divided 
into two claiTes ; one attacks its origin, another its 
confequences : the firft thinks it eafy to account for its 
formation by a concurrence of fortuitous inddentff, 
without having recourfe to divine fuperintendence $ 
the other can fee no efFeA from it but fanatic quarrels, 
tyranny, and defolation : the firft cannot avoid per- 
ceiving its beneficial confequences ; yet, as its precepts 
are hoftile to their fevourite inclinations, they endes^ 
vour to find its origin in chance, fuperftition, or a per- 
verfion of reafon : the fecond fet of adver&ries, moi^ 
enlightened and more fubtle, find it in vain to combat 
the accumulated evidence of prophecy attefted by hif. 
tory, and miracles confirmed by effefts fcarce lefs won- 
derful ; but they endeavour to difgrace a caufe that 
they cannot deftroy ; they attack it in its confequences, 
and think from the abufes of fuperftition to fhow the 
futility of religion ; concluding aptly enough, that if 
its progrefs be only marked with mifchief and folly, it 
could not originate in wifdom : but if, from hiftdry 
and obfervation, it appears that Providence had a 
Ihare in its progrefs, it can hardly be excluded from its 
origin : a concurrence of fortunate incidents may haVe 


C 71 3 

the appearance of chance ; but where, for a feries of 
ages, defigns feemingly pernicious, and accidents feem- 
ingly hoftile, are found to change their afpeft, and 
operate uniformly in favour of one objeft, this is more 
than chance. It would be ridiculous philofophy, to 
expatiate on the marks of wifdom in the organization 
of a plant, and yet affert that the root was a concretion 
of matter, formed without defign, and fitted to no end* 
Still it may be thought by fome, that the real and le- 
gitimate effeft of thefe religious difputes was nothing 
but contention and bloodflied ; and that liberty, know- 
ledge, and civilization, fprung from them only by acci- 
dent \ and that this is not a fmgular inflance of order 
fpringing from confufion. But to obviate this it will, 
I believe, on examination appear, that the difputes con- 
cerning religion in the middle ages were eifentially dif- 
ferent in their caufes, as well as their eSeds, from wars 
whofe fole motives are ambition or lucre. Even in the 
conteft of freedom, we have often feen, that the prof- 
perity attendant on conqueft only tended to fap the vir- 
tue of the conquerors ; and that a noble refiflance to 
tyranny ended in an inglorious overthrow by vice. 
Accumulated and pernicious luxury is the victor's lot, 
in difputes occafioned by commerce ; and the purfuits 
of dominion only vary the pifture with the infolence 
of xhe oppreflbr and the miferies of the oppreffed. The 
Greeks nobly refifted their Aftatic invaders ; they pur- 
fued them to their native plains ; but there they were 
encountered by a much more formidable hoft, the 
Vices of the conquered, who chafed them with dilho- 
nour from the field, purfued them to their native fliores, 
haunted them in the Temple and the Forum, ufurped 
their altars, mingled with their counfels, and in a few 

F 4 years 

C 7* 3 

ycaTs amply avenged the caufe of the Perfan Mo- 

The bloody devaftations of Attila and Zingis left 
few other marks but the debafement of the human 
charader wherever they pad ; and the hiftory of mo. 
dem times (hews us, in the ftrongeft colours, the per- 
nicious effefts of merely commercial wars. Compare 
this with the pifture of religious quarrels, a pidurc 
ijAi^ti^e^ touched with additional horrors by fome of the firft 
names of the age ; there we find, by a common trick 
of fophiftry. Religion, difguifed under the name of fu- 
perflition, reprefented as the caufe of half the miferies 
of the world. When, by the natural courfe of things, 
fociety is fhown as advancing by large ftrides to perfec. 
tion, juft at the dawn of liberty and the fciences, wc 
are told that this happy (late of things was thrown into 
inextricable confufion by religious difputes ; that Re- 
ligion came in, armed with her Bible and fword, re- 
kindled the flames of difcord, and threw back fociety 
into its original barbarifm. This we are told by Au- 
thors who knew right well, that the firft movement of 
the mind that fet it on the road to pcrfeftion was reli- 
gion ; and that knowledge, virtue, and liberty were 
her genuine oflFspring. But let us ftrip the fubjeft of 
the colourings of eloquence, and view it in its fimple 
ftate with an unimpaffioned eye. The Chriftian reli- 
gion, on its firft introduftion, was found incompatible 
with vice and every corruption of the heart, yet it gauB- 
ed ground, againft the almoft univerfal current of de- 
pravation. 1 hofe who did not chufe to mortify their 
darling appetites, and yet wiflied to obtain a title to its 
promiles (or at leaft a name among the heads of fedts) 
endeavoured to reconcile the dodrines of revelation to 


C 73 1 

iht ticcs of mankind. To this end they perverted the 
do&rine of grace, founded forth the merits of eleemo* 
fynary donations, and exalted theory above pradUce, 
and ^th above virtue. Hence fprung a monilrous 
birth of herefy and corruption, which was, in every 
9ge as it arofe, warmly oppofed by the few friends of 
genuine religion and virtue. Thefe were the firft re- 
ligious quarrels; which, though they are made the 
theme of moft tragical declamations by fome writers, 
appear to be nothing elfe but the war of Virtue againft 
Vice, of Realbn againft Sophiftry. In the mean time 
the Weftem Church, which had been lefs tainted with 
dangerous opinions than the Eaftem, by a fatal con- 
currence of events, acquired a large (hare of temporal 
power. The dodrines of tranfubftantiation, infallibi- 
lity, abfolution, indulgences, purgatory, &c. were, in 
procefs of time, invented, in order to fupport this 
power. Thefe doftrines were early oppofed by reafon, 
and their pernicious tendencies to virtue and the int«r- 
cfts of Ibciety pointed out j while fuch of the European 
potentates as foxmd themfelves aggrieved by the bound- 
lefe pretenfions of the church of Rome, under the co- 
lour of religion, oppofed her by force of arms. This 
gave rife to difputes more bloody and extenfive ; but 
ftill their bafis was the wholefome exertions of reafon 
againft fophiftry, and mental freedom againft oppret 
fion. This is the real hiftory of thefe difputes, which 
are branded by the name of the horrors of fuperllition ; 
but what would have been the (late of the world, if 
thefe corruptions had gone on without being checked? 
And how could it be expeded they could be overcome 
without a long and painful conflid ? — By long expe- 
rience we have found the good effe&s of religious dif** 

putes ; 

C 74 ] 

putes : like the contefls of oppofite parties in philolb' 
phy, they tend to ftrike out truth : fpr (if we may be 
allowed the metaphor) there is an elafUc repugnance 
in the mind againft receiving notions impofed upon it 
by force, or againft convidion ; and the weight of the 
preflure only makes it recoil with , the bolder fpring, 
particularly when tenets are impofed upon her which 
outrage our common notions of right and wrong, vir- 
tue and vice. Hence religious contefts, Kke all other 
intellectual difputes, have been always friendly to the 
caufe both of virtue and freedom. 

Thefe are the difputes which the enemies of religion 
reprefent in a light fo odious, and lay to her charge, 
becaufe by them her name was perverted and abufed : 
what they cannot deftroy they endeavour to difgrace j 
and, under the name of Toleration, they endeavour to 
introduce an apathy, an indifference to the beft and 
ilrongeft motives for purity of heart and reftitude of 
condud : their motives we may juftly fuppofe the fame 
with thofe of the firft perverters of religion. Its old 
and fecret enemies, undef the malk of friendfhip, en- 
deavoured to contaminate the dodrines of revelation 
by reconciling them to their vices : its open foes find 
it vain to impofe theirs upon the mind in this enlight- 
ened age ; and not being able to reconcile it with their 
pmfuits, they endeavour to deftroy its influence in the 
world : yet, when they meet with the fober cenfure of 
reafon, they declaim againft it as the clamour of eccle- 
fiaftical tyranny ; and they will not allow that religion 
can be favourable to the light of knowledge or the 
caufe of liberty, when it eenfures them for the propa- 
gation of their opinions : but there are certain bounds, 
even to liberty j beyond this it takes the aame of li- 

fi centiouihefs. 

C 75 3 

centioufnefs. The liberty of loofening the bands of 
fodety, and deriding the foiemn fan&ions of virtue, is 
the liberty of a lunatick ; and it was to prevent fuch 
wanton mifchief, that the true principles of freedom 
•were firft laid down. 

Thus I have endeavoured to Ihow, that reli^on, un- 
der its mod unfavourable afpeft, and attended with the 
moft untoward circumftances, was yet eminently be- 
neficial to the bed interefts of fociety ; that, when pol- 
luted, it threw off the contamination ; when perverted. 
It recovered its rectitude; and when traduced, it 
triumphed over calumny. It owed little to human 
afliflance ; for, in the middle ages, they who could 
bed have brought about a reformation were averfe to 
the taik : they did not chufe to abridge ecclefiaflical 
power, as they uniformly afpired to ecclefiaflical ho- 
nours. I am aware at the fame time that fuch an 
enquiry may feem mifplaced, and incongruous to the 
prefent defign ; but in an inquiry into the fpirit of the 
middle ages, the occafion feemed natural, and the 
fubjed was a favourite one. It is fufEcient for the 
author, if,^ notwithftanding the faults of the execu- 
tion, the attempt fhould meet the approbation of thofe 
whom he is mofl folicitous to pleafe: and if this fhould 
call forth fome more able invefligator, his ambition 
would be mofl fiiUy fatisfied. 






N. B» Many Biographical particulars of Dants» are taken fiom 
Ma. Haylsy's Notes to his Essay on Eric PoBxaY. 

/ r 

TPHE anceftors of Dantb were of one of the firft 
families of Florence^ of the name of Caccia 
GuiDA. Alioh4£ri was the furname of the mater- 
nal line, natives of Ferrara^ fo called from a golden 
wing * which the family bore on their arms.— ^The 
poet was bom in the year one thoufand two hmidred / 2 6 > 
and fixty-five, a little after the return of the Guelps 
or Pope's &&ion, who. had been exiled from their 
native country, in confequence of the defeat at f ManU 
Apert^ The fuperiority of his genius appeared early, 
and, (if we may believe Boccacb) his amorous dif* 
pofition began sdmoft as foon to make its appearance. 

* VeUtttdlo* f See historical essay. 


C 78 3 

I£s paflion for that lady, whom he hsis celebrated in 
his Poem, by the name of Beatrice, i$ faid to have- 
commenced at nine years of age. She was the daugh- 
/f^r^c^ ter of Foi^o Portinari^ a noble citizen of Florence. 
His paffion iGeems to have beeu of the chafte and pla^ 
tonic kind, like that of his fucceflbr Petrarch^ 
according to the account he has given of it in one of 
his early produdions, entitled Vita Nuovay a mixture 
of myfterious poetry and profe j in which he mentions 
both the origin of his affedions, and the death of his 
miilrefs, who died, according to Boccacio, at the 
age of twenty-fix.— The fame author afferrs, that in 
confequence of this event, Dante fell into a profound 
melancholy, from which his friends endeavoured to 
raife him, by periuading him to marriage. After 
fome time he followed their advice, and r&peiDted it ; 
for he unfortunately made choice of a lady, who bore 
fome refemblance to the celebrated Xantippe. The 
Poet, not poffeffing the patience of Socrates, fepa- 
xated himfeif from hsr^ with fuch v^ehement exprefions 
oi diflike, that he never afterwards admitted her to 
fit m his pnefe&ce^ thou^ ihe had borne him feveral 
cbiidren* £ith^ U this period, or ^pon the death of 
his firit tm&rdky he feems, by his own account, to 
have fallen ifUo a profligate courfe of life, from which 
he was refcued by the prayers of his miitreis, no^ 9 
Saint, who prevailed oin the fpirit of Virgil to attei^4 
him throng die Infernal regions ; at leait he gives 
this as the occaikm of his immortal work, the Divina 
CoTnmf4ia^ of which the In^ferno cojiftitutes a part. 

From the myflic ftraiu of bis poetry indeed, * one 
is in doubt whether his reigning vice was profligacy^ 

* Fu&GATORio, Canto 36« 


C 79 3 

fer an ambitious purfuit of worldly honours: The 
latter at lead was the immediate occafion of all the 
misfortunes of his future life. — ^To the profound 
learning of a reclufe, and the polifhed manners of a 
courtier, he had joined an ardent deiire of military 
glory, and diftinguiihed himfelf by his bravery in an 
aftion where the Florentines obtained a fignal viftory 
at Arezzo : This, jo'ined with his reputadon of con« 
fumraate learning, and knowledge of the world, pre- 
pared the way for his advancement to the firft honours 
of the State. Italy, at that time, was diftraded be- 
tween the feaions of the Guelfs, or partizans of the 
Pope ; and Gbibellines^ who adhered to the Emperor. J f/. 

After many revolutions the Guelfs had got the fupe- 
riority in Florence. In the year one thoufand three l<ilO 
hundred, Dante, with feveral colleagues, v^2& eleded 
Prior, the firft executive office in the republic of 
Florence ; and, according to a fragment of a letter, 
preferved by Leonardo Bruni, from this exaltation 
Dante dates the beginning of his misfortunes. 

Since the battk of Campaldino^ or Arezzoy (where 
Dakte had diftinguiflied himfelf) the fa£don of the 
Ghibellines feemed totally extind ; an uninterrupted 
flow of ten years profperity was attended with confe- 
quencel more fatad to the Guelfs j than all paft mis- 
fortunes. — ^The two noble families of the ♦ Cherchi 
and DoNATi, had been engaged in a quarrel of an 
old ftanding, but the feud did not break forth into 
open violence immediately :-^The firft occafion of 
their having recourfe to drms, was a difpute between 
two branches of the family of Canx^elieri of Pijioia. 

* See View of the Flo&emtins Hiftory, &c. 


C 80 ] 

Hie rival fadions had diftinguiflied themfelves by 
names of the Blacks^ and the Whites* Donatio from 
an old attachment to the part of the Cancelierij called 
the Blacks^ joined their fa£Uon: This immediately 
determined the Cherchi to join the Whites ; and^ in 
order to put an end to the quarrel, Dante, and his 
colleagues, ordered the heads of the oppofice fa£Hong 
to remove from Pijhia to Florence* This, as Bruni 
obferves, was like the introduction of a peftilence ; 
all the noble families of Florence immediately landed 
on oppofite (ides. Some joined Donatio and the blaci 
faction, fome declared for the whites j who were fup* 
ported by Cherchi. 

The quarrel fpread, by the influence of thefe nobles, 
among the lower orders of the citizens, and there 
was fcarce an individual in the city who was not enlifi- 
ed under the black or white enfign. At laft, at a 
fecret meeting of the black faction, in the church of 
the Holy Trinityy by night, it was propofed, by 
Carso Donati, to apply to Bonifac£ the eighth^ to 
^/^x/n^ terminate thefe intefUne broils, by fending Charles 

of Vcdoisy of the blood-royal of France* The white 
faction, having got intelligence of the projeft, im- 
mediately took the alarm, and ailembled in arms,, 
and clamoured loud againil the ruinous proje£U 

Dante perceived the pernicious confequences of 
DoNATi's counfel, and from that moment it is pro- 
bable he took a decided part againft the black ia^on. 
However, to preferve the appearance of impartiality, 
he, and his colleagues, gaining the multitude on their 
fide, ordered the leaders of both parties, Donati 
and Cherchi, into confinement : But the real fenti- 


C 81 3 

in^ts of the Prior foon appeared. Cherchi, and hid 
adherents of the white fa&ion were inftantly fet at 
liberty ; while Donati, with his black VaUJians^ re^ 
mained in bonds, or in exile. The Priorate indeed 
of Dante had expired before the releafement of the 
white fa&ion ; but the meafure was neverthelefs attri-^ 
buted 16 the counfels of the Poet. 

This appearance of partiality gave the wifhed for 
pretext to Boniface, to fend Charles of Valois to 
Florence. As both the whites and blacks were only 
branches of the Guelfsj or old papal faction, Charles 
Was honourably received by all, and preferved the 
appearance of moderation: till, when he thought 
affairs ripe for his proje^l, he^ on a ftidde!n, recalled 
the exiles of the black hGdoUj and baiiifhed their ad^ 
verfaries^ To give a colour to this outrage^ a lettei' 
was produced in public, faid to haVe been written by 
fome of the leaders of the white faftion^ and promifing 
the caftle of Prato to Ferrant , the confident of 
Charles, if he would prevail oh his mailer to de^ 
clare himfelf on the fide of the white fa£Hon. The 
blame was thrown on Dante, both of this letter, 
and the precedent banifhment of Donati. Dantb 
was then at R$me^ foliciting the interference of the 
Pope, to conciliate the two parties, and feflore peace 
to his afHidt^d country. Finding, however, his folici« 
tations in vain, he returned ; but returned only to 
meet the fentence of exile, to fee his pofTeflions com 
fifcated, and his houfe razed to the foundation^^^^Hd 
had been, in his abfence, dted before the Fodejla of 
Florence^ for mifdemeanours during his Prion?/^ ; and, 
on his not appearing, he was declared contumacious^ 
and fentence pronounced againft him^ At Siena^ oil 

Vol. I. G hid 

C 8« ] 

his return, the news of the fentence met him ; and at 
the fame time he faw himfelf furrounded by a numer- 
ous and illuftrious body of exiles ; who immediately 
formed themfelves into an army, under the command 
of Alejandro di Romena* They made feveral at- 
tempts to enter their native city by force, and once 
went fo far as to feize on one of the gates ; but they 
were ftill repulfed with lofs. 

Thefe different expeditions took up about the fpace 
of four years ; at laft, when they found their hopes 
abortive, they difperfed, and each fought his fortune. 
Dante firft found a patron in the great Cane de la 
Scala, Prince of Verona^ whom he has celebrated in 
the firft Canto of the Inferno. The high fpirit of 
Dante was ill fuited to courtly dependance ; and it 
is very probable he loft the favour of his Veronefe pa- 
tron by the republican franknefs of his behaviour. 
An inftance of this is given in feveral authors. The 
difpofition of the Poet, in the latter part of his life, 
had acquired a ftrong tinfture of melancholy : This 
made him lefs acceptable in the gay Court of Verona^ 
where probably a poet was only thought a charafter 
fit to find frivolous amufements for his patron. A 
common jefter, or buffoon, (a noted perfonage in 
thofe days,) eclipfed the charafter of the bard, and 
neither the variety of his learning, nor the fublimity 
of his genius, ftood him in any ftead. Cane, the 
Prince, perceived that he was hurt by it ; and, inftead 
of altering his mode of treatment, very ungeneroufly 
exafperated his refentment, by obferving, one day in 
public company, that *' it was very extraordinary, 
that the jefter, whom every one knew to be a worth- 
lefs fellow, fliould be fo much admired by him, and 


C 83 ] 

ail his court ; while DAKtfl, ik liiati unparalleled In 
learning, genius and integrity, wsls univerfally ne- 

*« You will ceaie tg wonder^ (fays Dante) when 
you confider that fimilarity of manners is the ftrongefl: 
bond of attachment*"— *This anfwer was fevere, but 
merited. It does not appear whether ScaIa refented 
it or no. It is certain that the Prince endeavoured to 
make the Poet an occafional obje^l of merriment in 
fome very low inftances, sind Dakte condefcended 
to meet him even in that humble fpede^ of wit. 

CiNTHio Geraldi, in his Hecatotommithij gives 
us one inflance of it, which is barely worth mention-* 
ing ; as it marks the manners of the times. At table 
one day, the Prince, or his jefter, had a boy fet under 
the table, who took care to convey all the bones as 
they were thrown down, to the fide of Dante- Af- 
ter dinner, the reliques were produced as a teftimony 
of his wonderful difpatch.— ^' You have diftinguiihed 
*' yourfelf to-day in a very extraordinary manner,** 
fays the Prince:—^" Not at all extraordinary," re- 
turned the Poet* Had I been a dog (alluding to his 
patron's name Cane) I would have demoliihed bones 
and all, ** as you have doiie*"* 

Dante however foon found it iieceffary to leek his 
fortune elfewhere, and from Verona he retired to France^ 
according to Manetti ; and BodcACio afiirnls that 
he difputed in the theological fchools of Paris with 
great reputation.-^BAYLB queftions his vifiting Paris 
at this advanced period of his life ; and thinks it im« 
probable, that a man, who had been one of the chief 
magiftrates of Florertcej fhould condefcend to engage 

* A fimilar (lory is told of young Hircanus by Josephus. 

G a in 

<, ^ ^ 

I 84 ] 

in the fquabbles of Parifian Theologifts ; but the fpiixC 
both of Dante, and of the times when he lived, fuf* 
ficiently account for this exercife of his talents ; and 
his refidence in France at this period is confirmed by 
BoccAcio, in his life of the Poet, (which Bayle 
feems to have had no opportunity of confulting) 
where his biographer aiTerts, that he difputed publicly 
with all comers. 

But now other profpeds began to open : In the year 
/ ? /J (> one thoufand three hundred and eight, Henry, Count 

of Lu^cemburghj was raifed to the Empire. This at 
forded Dante a profpeft of being reftored to his 
native country ; accordingly he attached himfelf to the 
interefts of the new Emperor, in whofe fervice he is 
fuppofed to have written his Latin work, intitled, 
De Monarchia^ in which he afferts the rights of the 
Empire againft the encroachments of the papacy. 
In the year one thoufand three hundred and eleven, 
he inftigated the Emperor to lay fiege to Florence ; 
** in which enterprize, fays one of his biographers, 
** he did not chufe to appear in perfon, from motives 
** of refpeft to his native country." — ^The Emperor 
was repulfed by the Florentines^ and his death,* which 
happened next year, deprived Dante of all hopes of 
re-eftabliihment in his native country. 

After this difappointment he is fuppofed to have 
fpent feveral years in roving about Italy^ in a ftate of 
poverty and dependance ; till he found an honourable 
eftablilhment at Ravenna^ by the friendfhip of Guido 
NovELLo DE Polenta, Lord of that place. He 
received this illuflrious exile with the moft endearing 
liberality, continued to proted him during the few 

♦ He wa» fuppofed to have been poifoned by a confecrated hoft. 


C 8s ] 

remaining years of his life, and extended his munifi- 
cence even to the afhes of the Poet. 

Eloquence was one of the many talents which 
Dante poiTefled in an eminent degree ; on this account 
he is faid to have been employed in fourteen different 
embaffies during the courfe of his life, and to have 
fucceeded in moft of them. 

His patron Guido had occafion to try his abilities 
m a fervice of this nature, and difpatched him as his 
ambaflador, to negociate a peace with the Venetians ; 
who were preparing for hoftilities againft Ravenna. 
Manelte afferts that he was unable to procure a 
public audience at Venice^ and returned to Ravenna 
by land, from his apprehenfion of the Venetian fleet. 
But the fatigue of his journey, and the mortification 
of having failed in his attempt to preferve his generous 
patron from the impending danger, threw him into a 
fever, which terminated in death. On the 1 4th of f ^j 9^ ^ 
September, 132 1, he died, however, in the palace ^ 
of his friend ; and the aSe£)ionate Guido paid the 
moft tender regard to his memory. 

This magnificent patron, fays Boccacio, com. 
manded the body to be adorned with poetical orna- 
ments ; and after being carried on a bier through the 
principal ftreets of Ravenna^ by the moft illuftrious 
citizens, to be depofited in a marble coffin. He pro« 
nounced himfelf the funeral oration, and exprefied his 
defign of erecting a moft fplendid monument, in hon* 
our of the deceafed : a defign, which his fubfequent 
misfortune rendered him unable to accompUfh. At 
his requeft many epitaphs were written on the Poet. 
The beft of them, fays Boccacio, by Giovanni di 
ViRoiL^Oy of Bohgnuy a famous author of the time^ 

G 3 and 

C 86 ] 

and the intimate friend of Dante. BoccAdia theft 
cites a few Latin verfes, not worth repeating, fix of 
which are quoted by Bayle as the compofition of 
Dante himfelf, on the authority of Paulus Jovius, 
in i483.<»— -Bernardo Bembo, the father of the 
celebrated Cardinal, raifed a haiidfome monument 
over the negleded aihes of the Poet^ with the follow* 
ing infcription : 

Exigua Tumuli Danthes hie forte jacebas ; 

Squalante nulli cognitapane 4tft^/«?M2^'/ 

jlt nunc marmoreo fubnixus conderis arcu 

Omnibus et cultu fplendidioriUnitesj 

Nimirum Bembus mti/is in cenfus Etrnfcis i/rt^ <ypt^ $4^ 

Hoc tibij quern in primis ha coluere^dedit^ 

Before this period the Florentines had vainly en? 
deavoured to gain the bones of their great Poet from 
the city of Ravenna* In the age of Leo the tenth 
they made a fecond attempt, by a folenrn application 
to the Pope for that purpofe \ and the great Michaei. 
Angelo, 9n enthufiaftic admirer of Pante, very 
liberally offered to execute a magnificent monument 
to the Poet. The hopes of the Florentines were again 
unfuccefsfiil : The particulars of then* unfuccefsful 
petition may be found in the notes on Codivi's life 
of Michael Angelo. 

Dante is defcribed by Boccacio, as a man of 
iniddle flature ; his demeanour was folemn, and hi$ 
walk flow ; his drefs fuitable to his rank and age ; big 
vifage long, his nofe aquiline, his eyes full, his cheek- 
bones large, and upper lip a little proje&ing over the 
under one ; his complexion was olive, his hair and beard 
thick and curled. This gave him that fingularity of 


C 87 ] 

afped, which made his enemies obferve, that he looked 
like one who had vifited the infernal regions. — ^His de- 
portment, both in public and private life, was regular 
and exemplary, and his moderation in eating and 
drinking remarkable. 

At what time, and in what place, he executed the 
great and lingular work which has rendered his name 
immortal, his numerous commentators feem unable 
to determine. Boccacio afferts, that he began it in 
his thirty-eighth year, and had finifhed feven Cantos 
of his Inferno before his exile. That in the plunder 
of his houfe, on that event, the beginning of his poem 
was. fortimately preferved, but remained for fome 
time negleded, till its merit being accidentally dif- 
covered by an intelligent Poet, named Dino, it was 
fent to the Marquis Marcello Marespina, an Ita- 
lian nobleman, by whom Dante was then protefted. 
The Marquis reftored thefe loft papers to the Poet, 
and intreated him to proceed in the work, which open- 
ed in fo promifmg a manner. To this accident we 
are probably indebted for the Poem of Dante, which 
he inuft have continued under all the difadvantages of 
an unfortunate and agitated life. — ^It does not appear 
at what time he compleated it; p^haps before he 
quitted V^ona^ as he dedicated the Paradefo to his 
Veronefe patron. The critics have varioufly accounted 
for his calling this Poem Comedia. 

*' He gave it that title,** fays one of her fons, be- 
*^ caufe it begins with diftrefs, and ends with felicity.*' 
The very high eftimadon in which this work was held 
in Florence appears from a very fingular inftitution. 
The Republic oi Florence^ in the year 1373, affigned 
a public ftipend to a perfon appointed to read lectures 

G 4 on 

C 88 3 

on the Poem of Dante. Boccacio was the firft 
perfon engaged in this office, but his death happening 
two years after his appointment, his commgat extended 
only to the firft feventee^ Cantos of the Inferno, 
Another very terrible inllance of their venera^on for 
their native bard is told by the author of the Memoires 
de Petrarque. Ceno de Afcoliy a celebrated Phyfician 
and Aftrologer, had the boldnefs to write parodies on 
the Poem of Dante. This drew on him the animad- 
verfion of the Inquifition. Charles, Duke of Car 
labriay thought to proted him, but in vain. The 
biihop of Aver/a J his chancellor, a Cordelier ^ declared 
that it was highly impious to entertaii^ a forcerer as a 
phyfician. There was no bufmefs done then without 
confulting an aftrologer, yet Charles was obliged to 
refign him to the fecular arm. He was accordingly 
burnt at Florence j about three years after the deat^ 
pf the Poet whom he had mali^ed. 



nPHE exordium of this Angular Poem will feem a 
little abrupt, till the occafion of it is known. 
— ^At the age of nine, the Poet had entertained a paf- 
fion for the Lady, whom he has celebrated in his 
Poem by the name of Beatrice. This paffion, by 
his own account, muft have been of the pure platonic 
kind, and feems by the traces it has left in this extra- 
ordinary performance, to have had a lading efieft upon 

In one of his early works he gives a large accoimt 
of its rife and progrefs ; but its mod flgiial confequence 
is recorded in the prefent Poem. — According to his 
own account, when his Beatrice had taken the veil, 
his platonic paflion was gradually debafed into purfuits 
of a lefs elevated nature ; and by his allegory of the 
Panther^ Lion, and Wolf, in the firft Canto, we may 
conclude, that he had given way by turns to the fug- 
geilions of fenfuality, ambition, and avarice. — ^This 
ambition, however, was the principal fource of his 
following misfortunes. 

His own account of his unfortunate lapfe ; the va- 
rious methods the fpirit of Beatrice had tried, to 
reclaim him before her deceafe ; and the final accom- 
plifhment of his Conversion, are to be found in the 

thirtieth Canto of his Purgatorio, 

1 That 

C 90 ] 

That the fubjed of the following Poem was fug* 
gefted to him in fome pf thefe dreams, in which hi^ 
Beatrice ufed ** to vifit his flumbers nightly," feems 
more probable, than that h^ took the hint from a 
no£tural reprefentation of the infernal regions on the 
river Amo. Even before \6^ misfortunes, the Poet 
was remarkable for a gloomy and contemplative tuni 
of mind ; and the ideas of abftraftion from mortal 
cares, which he had learned from bis miftrefs, com- 
bating with his ambition, muft have occafioned ftrong 
convulfions in a mind like his, ardent and active, but 
feafoned with fchool divinity and platoniq notions. We 
are not then to confider this work as merely an acrimo- 
nious fatire, compofed in the bittemefs of exile ; oii 
the contrary, as part of it was written before the com-i 
mencement of his misfortunes, while he was yet ix\ 
profperity and affluence, it appears the vigorous e£^ 
fervefcence of a ferious and refle£ting mind, deeply- 
tindured indeed with enthufiafm, but verfed in all the 
learning of the times. — ^The mode of conveying the 
creations of fancy, and the precepts of morality, in a 
viftoriy or dream^ was already £uniliar from the works 
of the Proven9al Poets, or Troubadours ; a mode 
which continued to the end of the fixteenth centuryf 
and feems peculiarly adapted to convey the mofl vi-*. 
gorous efforts of the imagination. 








The Poet in a Vifion, or Dreamy finds himfelf in the middk of a 
pathlefs wood, befet with Beafts of Prey, which he attempts in 
vain to efcape, till he is accofted by the Spirit of ytrgU\ who 
advifes him not to attempt the conunon road, but to follow hia 
guidance, through a dark and fubterraneous paflage* 

When Ufe had labourM up her midmoft ftage. 
And, weary with her mortal pilgrimage. 

Stood in fufpenfe upon the point of Prime ; 
Far in a pathlefs grove I chanc'd to ftray. 
Where fcarce imagination dares difplay, 

The gloomy fcen'ry of the favage clime. 


On the deep horrors of the tangled dell. 

With dumb difmay, the pow'rs of mem'ry dwell. 

Scenes, terrible as dark impending fate ! 
Yet tell, O mufe ! what intelledtual flore 
I glean'd along the folitary fliore, 

And fmg in louder ftrains the heavenly freight. 

i: 94 ] 

Whetha* entranced, I left the certain path, 
'Rapt in a vifion, to the vale of death, 

(Such flumbers feal'd my fenfe) is all unknown : 
Tet down the glen, that filPd my foul with fright, 
I ftray'd : — ^when lo ! an hill's aerial height. 

Veiled with glory, met the riling fun. 

Now fled my fear, that thro' the toilfome night 
The vital current froze, and urg'd my flight. 

When the fad moments of defpair I told« 
Then, like a toil-worn mariner I flood. 
Who, newly fcap'd the perils of the flood. 

Turns him again the danger to behold« 


Thus all the horrors of that hideous coafl, 
That dreary wild by mortal never croft, 

I ponder'd o'er, exhaufted as I lay : 
Then up the hill, that o'er the valley hung, 
With new recover'd pow'rs inflin£dve fprung } 

Eafmg with planted ftep the toilfome way. 


When lo ! a Panther in the op'ning ftrait, 
Couchant, with flaming eyes, expefting fat, 

All formidably gay, in fpeckl'd pride. 
Sufpenfe, I fought to fhun the dubious war^ 
But the grim tyrant of the woods afar * 

Still oppoiite his prey, malignant eyM. 


* By the Panther, the Lion, and the Wolf that bcfet Dantb 
in this gloomy vale, is meant (fay the Commcntotors) " the three 

** reign- 

t 95 3 


Sweet rofe the vemal mom, for now the fun 
With thofe fair lights his jocund race begun, 

That faw with fpringing time the hand of love 
Strike from the fuUen deep the feeds of life. 
And from the mafs of elemental (brife, 

Elance yon burning orbs that roll above. 


The chearful mom, and fpring's benignant fmile, 
New hope infpirM, to feize the gaudy fpoil. 

And with the fpeckled hide my limbs inveft ; 
But other cares the childiih hope with-held. 
For other thoughts the rage of combat quellM, 

And the warm inftinft of my foul fuppreft. 


For following clofe behind, a fiercer foe, 
(With rage and famine feem'd his eyes to glow) 

A Lion fhook his long terrific mane : 
The hufli'd winds feem'd his dreadful look to fear. 
A famifh'd Wolf attendant in the rear. 

Like fome gaunt friry, clos'd the deadly train. 

*^ reigning vices of the three ftagcs of human life, fenfuality, ambi* 
•• tion, and avarice/' — 

A plague well known on many a vnd^sA fliorer-"St. lo. wa^^C^ 

It 13 certain, that the Poet's three grand diviiions of the Infernal 
Regions correfpond, in a good meafure, with the dillindion he 
makes here ; the upper apartments being allotted principally to 
the lovers of fenfuality, the middle to ambition, and the lowed to 
the tpbes of avarice. 



C 9« 3 


His look betray'd unbounded third of gore^ 
A plague well known on many a wafted (bore j 

Again t left the height, by fear oppreft. 
Thus the reward of many a toilfome day. 
In one difaftrous moment fnatch'd away. 

With dilappointment chills the widow'd breaft^ 


I fled ; file follow'd down the dreary dell, • 
The fun retiring, look'd a fad farewell ; 

'Till ev'ry lingering hope my foul forfook i 
Thus, while I ftray'd along in dumb defpair,- 
A beckoning fliadow faintly feen afar. 

With flill, fmall voice, the dreary ftlence broke. 


" Whether of Heav'n," I cry*d, " or earthly bom,r 
Extend thy pity to a wretch forlorn,'* 

' I fpoke, and thus reply'd the gentle fhade : 
Not earthly now, tho* bom of human race. 
From Lombard fwains my lowly birth I trace. 
Ere Julius yet the Roman fceptre fway'd.*' 

• By the Poct*8 attempting to force the pafs befct with monften, 
the commentators fay, is meant that prefnmption which attempts 
4/t.£,^^ to encounter and make it8 way through the nmm and miseries of 
human life, without attending to the light of reafon, which is here 
introduced under the charader of the fpirit of yiaGiL.*-For the 
fuggeftions of Reafon on a future ftatc — See the Comparative View 
of the Infbrno, &c« 


[ 97 3 


^' Me thence to Rome^ his great fucceffor led. 
While yet the pow'rs of darknefs held in dread 

The world, unconfcious of their coming doom. 
Arms and the Man I fung, who fent by fate, 
On Troy's fad reliques raisM a nobler ftate. 

And the long glories of majeftic Rome. 

" Say, what detains thy lingering feet below, ? 
On yonder hill eternal pleafures blow ; 

To this Cimmerian vale, can aught invite V 
" If Mar6*s name be thme," abafliM, I cry'd, 
'^ That fource which fent thro* many a region wide 

Such living torrents of poetic light : 


" Hail ! Father of the Song ! if filial awe. 
With which I traced of old thy facred law. 

Can aught the pupil of thy mufe avail ; 
If in fome happier line, thy fpirit breathe. 
If thefe bleft temples own thy lineal wreath, 

Oh ! teach thy fon, yon' envy'd heights to fcale. 

" Where'er I wander thro* the glimm'ring fhade. 
Fate couches near in deadly ambufcade. 

And chilly dews my fhiv'ring members fteep : 
See ! where fhe waits, her viftim to furprife !** 
*' Another path is thine," the Poet cries, 

" To lead thee from the valley dark and deep." 

St, xiii. A 4.] . Dryden. 

Vol. I. H 

i: 98 J 


I wept, while gently thus my guardian God : 
** Avoid yon* dark and unaufpicious road. 

By Fiends frequented, and by fate o'erhung; 
Monfter fo fell, Nutnidia never bore. 
As fhe, who riots there in human gore. 

By unextinguiihable famine (lung. 


*' The Rend her hunger tries to fate in vain, 
, Still grows her appetite with growing pain. 

And ceafelefs rapine feeds the riftng blaze ; 
Then, fiU'd by many a Sire, the noxious pefl 
Shall propagate along from eaft to weft. 

Till Feltro's noble Hound liegins the chace. 

*' From Feltro's noble heir fhe meets her fate, 

Feltro ! a name intrinfically great. 

Above the little aid of gems or gold ; 
His truth and worth the harafs'd land fhall fave 
Where Nisus fills an honourable grave. 

For which Camilla fell, and Turnus bold. 


*' Then Hell fhall gorge her own infernal brood. 

To envy's cavern by the foe purfu'd. 

Whence firft to light the baleful being fprung; 
But Heav'n in love to thee hath fent me here 
A kind and faithful guide— difmifs thy fear. 
Thro* other worlds to lead thy fteps along. '^ 

^/. xviii. /. 6.3 An allufion to the name of Cane la sCala^ 
the generous Patron of Dante, who gave him an honourable and 
friendly reception in his exile. 

C 99 3 

^ Thine ears muft meet the yell of ftern defpair. 
Where Heav'n's avenging hand forgets to fpare. 

And tribes forlorn a fecond death implore : 
Then thofe that fing amid the purging flame, 
Infpir'd by ling'ring hope at laft to claim 

A tardy wafture to the happy fhore. 


^ Profcrib'd, I thence retire, and one fucceeds 
Heav'n's Denizen, whofe happier guidance leads, 

(If thou afpire) the feats of blifs to gain : 
For he that holds the univerfe in awe 
My foul excludes, an alien to his law. 

From the dread glories of his heav'nly reign. 

■^With incommunicable fplendour bright. 
In the high citadel of life and light. 

The Sire of being fits in regal (late ; 
Thrice happy he that ihares the gladfome ray. 
Where in the precinfts of eternal day 

His chofen faints the holy influence wait. 

Then, by that Heav'n, and Heav'n-taught mufe," I 
From this ill omened vale thy pupil guide, [cry*d. 
And teach my feet to fhun the fatal fhore ; 
Shew where the fmners mourn their ftated time 
*Till Peter call them to an happier clime.** 
I fpoke, the Bard in filence fped before. 




* • > 



^hc Spirit of Virgil opens his Miffion, ahd tells the Poet that 
he was fent to refcue him from the vifionary Beads of Prey, his 
fpiritual and mortal Enemies; by (hewing him the Secrets of the 
three Worlds, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise.— The 
Poet obje6b, that his hiiman fraflty is unable to bear fuch Scenes $ 
but he is encouraged by his ghoftly Guide, and led to the Gate 
of the Infernal Regions. 

Light flowly funk, and left the glimmering weft. 
And night's dun robe the weary world o'ercaft } 

I only woke to labour and to woe ; 
With fisdthful glafs, the peril and the pain 
Fancy refleds, and breathes the fervent ftrain 

That fings the fecrets of the world below, 


Ve pow'rs of mind ! and thou, whofe re&idy hand 
Sketched the dire vifion of the burning ftrand. 

And fcann'd the horrors of the darkfome way 1 
Oh ! fpread your glories o'er ihtfombrotis fcene. 
Decking her fhade with thy perennial green. 

And thine ennobling power at large difplay* 


[ 102 ] 


" Prince of the Roman Lay ! illuftrious Guide, 
Oh ! try the temper of my foul," I cry'd, 

^' Ere yet thy pupil dares the dubious path ; 
Shall I prefume, tho* great -^neas dar*d 
To meet the terrors of the Stygian guard. 

And trace, in duit enfhrin'd, the vale of death ? 


'* For him, the fortunes of his Line prevaiFd, 
Ere Clotho yet his final fentence feal*d. 

To pafs the (hadowy gate, and darkfome way ; 
Hell's high Controller faw his mighty foul. 
Saw the long glories of his line unroll. 

And gave his fandion to the bold eflay. 

** To Empire bom he feem'd in reafon's eye, 
And fated by the fandion of the iky 

To found the fortunes of viftorious Rome ; 
There too, his feat the great ApofUe chofe. 
And the mild kingdom of Emmanuel rofe 

On TvBER fix'd, by Fate's eternal doom. 

St. iii- /. I •] Dante feems to be ftruck here with the natural ap- 
prehenfioiis of a man entering into an unknown ftate. It is remark- 
able that in Virgil we fee none of thcfe fears in JZstAs (at leail 
before his entrance into the Infernal Vault) — Though it is certain 
that we are not fo much affedled with any thing, however well de- 
fcribed, as when we fee others affedled flrongly with it, the paffions 
work moft powerfully by refle£Uon and fympathy.— See Mason's 
Letters on Elfkidai &c. 

r 103 ] 

VI. ' 

^* Still lives the Chief in thine imequal'd fong. 
Still Heav'n coududts his daring fteps along, 

And ihews the papal gown, the laurel wreath ; 
Erft too the chofen man of Tarfus rode 
On rapture's wing to yonder bright abode, 

And brought down heav'nly grace to fuccour faith- 


^' Should I with heroes and with faints prefume 
To pierce the viewlefs world beyond the tomb. 

And trace the hallowed path with feet profane ; 
Would not thefe feeble limbs their truft betray. 
Should I attempt the interdi&ed way ? 

Say, (for thou know'ft,) were not the trial vain ?'' 


Like one, who, fome imagined peril near. 
Feels his warm wifhes chillM by wint'ry fear. 

And refolution ficken at the view. 
Thus I percdvM my fmking fpirits fail. 
Thus trembling, I furvey'd the gloomy vale. 

As near the moment of decifion drew. 


^ Speak'fl thou thy thought !" the dauntlefs ihade 
** Dilhonour'd ever be that foul unwife, ^replies j 

That takes to counfel cold fuggefling fear ! 
Unmanly fear, that chains the lib'ral mind. 
And fills with dreadful Ihapes the pafling wind ;-— 

But thou refolve, and fcom to linger here ! 

St. vi. /. 4.] St. Paul. 


[ I04 3 


** High-favour'd mortal ! hear the wondrous catiie 
That broke the chain of fate's eternal laws. 

And led me here, a difembodied gholl ! 
How thrilling from above, the fhaft of woe 
Awoke my pity in the fields below. 

For thy fad wand'rings on the haunted coafl: ! 


'* Exiles of either world, a band forlorn 

For ever wanders round th' ambiguous bourne, 

Of joy unconfcious, tlio' exempt from woe ; 
Of them was I, when, lo ! a radiant form, 
Whofe angel-afpeft breath*d an heav'nly charm. 

Drew me, exulting, from the depths below." 


Star-like her eyes — ^but feem'd fuffus'd with woe. 
As thus fhe fpoke, in accents foft and flow : 

'* Poet ! whofe feme (hall reach from fea to fea, 
** 'Till Heav'n's eternal orbs forget to roll, 
** Oh ! hafte thee hence ! and fave a finking foul, 

*^ Forlorn by fortune, yet belov'd by me." 


•* I fear, I fear, my fuccour comes too late ; 

" For fee ! he ftruggles in the toils of fate, 
Befet by Fiends in terrible array ! 
Portentous rumours fadden all the Iky ! 
But go, thy foft perfuafive arts apply 
" To lead the wand'rer from the feteful way* 


C 105 •] 


** Beatrice fends thee to the world above, 
(Her bofom throbbing with eternal love 

That leads her from the fount of pure delight) 
In mercy to oppofe his mad career ; 
Where yonder paths to fwift deftrudion bear 

She hovers on the bounds of ancient night. 



*' Go, gentle mufe ! and when my anthems rife, 

** Where Heaven's loud chorus charms the lift'ning (kies, 

*^ One thankful ftrain fhall yet remember thee !'* 
She ceas'd, and thus her wiflx my anfwer crown'd : 

Prompt at thy will, and to thy orders bound 
Thy faithful delegate, thy fervant fee ! 



Spirit benign ! whofe difentangled foul. 

Thy brethren taught to fpum the nether goal, 

" Pierce the blue mundane fhell, and claim the Iky ; 

Such energy attends thy warm requefl 

That my ftrong wifh outruns my winged hafte, 

*^ Nor need you more your holy influence try, 


But fay ! what motive armM thy gentle fprite 
To pafs the barriers of eternal night, 
" And view the fecrets of the central deep ! 
What prompts thee to forfake the happy choir, 
" Which warms thy fpirit with inftinftive fire, 
" Again to mount and fcale the heavenly fteep ?" 


L io8 3 


Thus I percdv'd my glowing breaft expand^ 
And now the dangers of the dubious ftrand 

Secure I pondered with intrepid foul. 
Then, boldly cr/d, « Oh ! Spirit ever bleft ! 
Whofe pity reaches from the realoiS of reft. 

And bids ev'n Hell her de^dty rage control ; 


" All hail ! — ^and thou, whofe ready flight obcy'd, 
Whofe welcome voice my fainting courage ftay'd. 
And thine own fpirit breath'd, divinely ftrong ! 
Conduft iny willing Reps." — ^I cheerful cry*d. 
And boldly foUow'd my celeftial guide 
Down that Cimmerian vale, with horror hung. 




The Poet, condudled by the Spirit of Virgil along a deep and 
gloomy Vale, finds the entrance to the Infernal Regions, and 
fees, over the Gate, an Infcription fuitable to the place ; which 
, terrifies him fo much, that he is on the point of relinquilhing the 
Enterprife. Virgil re-anhnates his courage, and leading him 
down the horrid Avenue, ihews him the Punifhment of the 
Neutrals, and Indolent ; a mixed multitude of the Spirits^ 
who had joined neither Party, on the Rebellion of Satan; and 
of them, who in this Life, neither deferved Glory nor Infamy. 

1 HRO* me J the newly-damn'dfor ever fleets 
In ceafelefs Jhoals^ to Paints eternal feat ; 

Jihro* me they march^ and join the tortured crew* 
The mighty gulph offended Jujlice made ; 
Unbounded pow*r the Jirong foundation laidj 

And, Love^ by Wifdom ledy the limits drew* 

♦ The Sibnipt opening of this Canto, with the folcmn Infcription 
over the &te of Hell, has a ilriking and fingidar effe£l. 

St. i. /. 5.] That Love to the general welfare that muft induce a 
moral Governor to enforce his laws by the fan£tion of punifhments ; 
as here a miiUken humanity is cruelty. 


** Lon^ ere the infant world arofe to ligbt^ 
I found a being in the womb of night. 

Eldejl of all — but things that ever laji!^^ 

And I for ever laji ! Te heirs of Hell^ 

Here bid at once your lingering hopefarewellj 

And mourn the moment of repentance faft /'* 


This falutadon fad mine eyes amazM, 
As on the high Plutonian arch I gaz'd, 

In dark and dreadful charaders pourtra/d, 
•* How dire the menace of the Stygian fcroli !" 
"With deep concern I cry'd; the Mantuan foul, 

Widi friendly words my finking fpirits fbyM. 


** Let no unmanly thought the place profane, 
The fated hour commands you to reftrain 

The fickly fancies bred by wayward fear ! 
This is the fcene I promised to unfold, 
The regions of Eternal Wrath behold ! 

Nor tremble to furvey her terrors near ! 


** Here thofe, in fearch of blifs who madly ftray'd 
F^om reafon's path, by paffion's lure betray'd. 

Lament the fad refult !" then down the deep 
With new-bom hope his mate the Mantuan led. 
Where wide before my wondering eyes were fpread 

The horrid fecrets of the boundlcfs deep« 

C III 3 


Thence, Oh ! what mailings from the abjeS throng 
Around the ftarlefs (ky inceffant rung ; 

The Ihort, fluill fliriek, and long refounding groan, 
The thick fob, panting thro' the cheerlefs air. 
The lamentable ftrain of fad defpair. 

And blafphemy, with fierce relentlefe tone, 


VoUying around, the full, infernal choir. 
Barbarian tongues, and plaints, and words of ire, 

(With oft* between the harfh inflided blow) 
In loud difcordance from the tribes forlorn 
Tumultuous rofe, as in a whirlwind borne. 

With execrations mix'd, and murmurs low. 


Struck with difmay, " What foimds are thefe,*' I cryM, 
^* And who are thofe that fill the gloomy void ? 

Their crimes, their tortures tell.** When thus theBard: 
** Behold th* ignoble fons of floth and ihame. 
Who fcom*d alike the voice of praife, and blame. 

Nor dreaded punifhment, nor fought reward^i 

St. viii. /. 5.] Bdfore we fee the ju^ice of the puniihxnent de- 
fcribed hercy we are to confider how general rules of morality come 
firfl to be formed. As we naturally wifh our afiions fhould be the ob- 
jcds of approbation, we naturally wi(h at firft to pleafe every body ; 
but, finding that by plealing one, we run the rifque of difpleafmg 
another, from the natural partialities of mankind^ we learn to form to 
ourfdves another fort of a judge^an impartial fpcftator, who neither 


« Mingled they march with that degenerate brood. 
Who, when the Rebel of the (ky withftood 

His fov'rdgn Lord, aloof their fquadrons held : 
Viewing with felfifh eye the fierce debate. 
Till, from the confines of the heavenly flate, 

Trembling they faw tjie rebel hoft expellU 

being conncaed with us, nor with any party of men with whom we 
aa, wiU, on that account, form the moft juft opinion of our aaions : 
For, as we might be partial to ourfclvcs, the people whom our ac- 
tions concern might be partial to thcmfelves ; but this pcrfon, this 
imaginary judge, abftraaed from cither party, fees the aaion as it 
really is, not through the mifts of paffion or prejudice — If the 
fentiments of this judge coincide with our notions of ourfelvcs, if 
we think fuch an impartial fpeaator would approve our trondua, 
our fatisfaaion is complete, in fpite of the partial cenfure of our 
companions. If we think this impartial judge will condemn us, all 
the applaiife in the world cannot fatisfjr us.— Self-Lote can only 
be corrcacd by the eye of this impartial fpeaator: It is he that 
Ihews us the propriety of gcnerofity and the deformity of injuftice ; 
the propriety of refigning the greatell interefts of our own, for the 
ftill greater interefts of others, when the happinefs or mifery of othera 
depends in any inftance on our condua, we dare not (as fclf-love 
would fugged to us) prefer any little intereft of our own, to the 
yet greater intereft of our neighbour ; we feel that we (hould become 
the proper objeas of the refentment and indignation of our bre- 
thren ; fo that befides the love of our neighbour, there is a ftronger 
love, a more powerful' affed^don, that incites us to the praaice of 
the fubhmeft virtues, it is the love of juftice, the lore of what is 
honourable and noble, the love of the grandeur, dignity, and fupe- 
riority of our own charaacr. 

From thefe fentiments, the general rules of morality are formed ; 
for an amiable aaion, a refpe&abk aaipn, an horrid aaion, are fuch 



C "3 ] 

•* Nor bore the viftor-Lord the alien race. 
But flraight, the foul pollution to efface, 

Hurl'd them indignant from the bounds of light : 
This frontier then the daftard crew received. 
Nor deeply damn'd, altho* of blifs bereav'd. 

And doom'd to wander on the verge of night ; 


** They fuflfer here, left yon* more guilty train 

Of crimes unequal, doom'd to equal pain, [boafL 

Blafpheming Heav'n, fhould make then* impious 
Quick I rejoined : " If giv'n by fate to know. 
Whence then thofe wailings of eternal woe 

Wafted in anguifh from the abjeft hoft ?'* 

as excite the loye, the refped^ or the horror of the impartial fpec- 
tator, for fuch perfons as perform them : Then the general rules 
which determine what adlions are, and what are not» capable to 
Taife fuch fentiments, can only be formed, by obferving what ac- 
tions do» and what do not raife thefe fentiments— from thefe fenti^ 
mcnts we form general rules, by appealing to which we try parti- 
cular afUons^ of what fort they are. It is the obfervation of thefe 
general rules, that general regard to what the impartial part of the 
world thinks of him, that makes a very efFential difference between 
a man of principle and a worthlefs fellow.-»-The one adheres to hit 
maxims, and a£ls with one uniform tenour of conduct ; the other 
adts as humour, inclination, or interell:, chance to be uppermoft, 
without any regard to the fentiments of the world,— So true it is, 
that he who defpifes fame, defpifes virtue, and muft feem, to the 
eye of impartial reafon at leaft, equally liable to punifhment with 
him that has fallen a vi£lim to a fudden guft of paffion. Sec 
Smith's Theory of Mo&al Sentiments. 

Vol. L I 

C "4 3 


Thus anfwcr'd fliort, and grave, the Mantuan fwauf, 
^* Juftlce and mercy both alike difdain. 

And envy galls the defpicable crew : 
Ev'n in a deeper lot, and gloomier Hell, 
The caitiflf train would be content to dwell, 

So might their memories laft for ever new, 


** Grudging the fame that in the upper world 
Attends the race to deep damnation hurl'd. 

They execrate their dark oblivious doom: 
We'll fpeak of them no more ! for, look, below !— 
See where the fons of reprobation go, 

Emerging from the depths of yonder gloom !** 


I look'd, and faw a waving banner fpread. 
And following faft the Legions of the dead 

A deep, exhauftlefs train fucceeding flill : 
The tenants of the tomb, fince death began 
His daily inroad on the race of man. 

Unequal feem'd the lengthened line to fill. 


The foremoft racer of the gloomy hoft 
That renegade I faw, who fled his poft, 

St.xv* L 1.3 P^A4H> MuRONi DA SuLMONA, an Hermit, remark- 
able for the feverity of his life and manners, who on the death of 
Nicholas the fourth was made Pope, by the name of Celestinb 
the fifth.— He, though well qualified to reform the abufes of the 


C "5 1 

And flung the crofier and the keys away : 
Nearer I gaz'd, and knew the abjed train. 
Who, Heav*n's averfion, and their foe's difdain. 

But half informed their tenements of clay. 


Naked they march'd, and ftill a warping cloud 
Of flies, and hornets, feem'd the hoft to fhroud. 

In fwarms on every bleeding vifage hung : 
A vizor foul ! while tears commix'd with blood. 
Still bath'd their refUefs feet, a welcome food 

To the faftidious worms that round them clung. 


Beyond a lazy current feem'd to creep. 
And on the borders of the gloomy deep 

A pale devoted train was feen to wait : 
" Oh ! fav'rite of the mufe !** I cry'd, " declare 
Why, dim difcoverM through the lucid air, * 

Yon* band fo eager feems to try their fete." 


Thus I, and thus the Mantuan bard reply'd : 
•* Not till we reach the melancholy tide. 

Does Heav'n permit your mortal doubts to clear.'* 
With downcaft looks I mark'd his ftem regard. 
And filent, foUow'd the immortal bard. 

With glowing fhame opprefs'd, and filial fear* 

Churchy fuffered himfelf to be prevailed upon by the Cardinal de 
ANAGNIA9 (Benedict. Caietan) to abdicate the papacf* 
Caiitan fuccecded by the name of Bonifaci the eighth* 


c: "S 3 

Far off exclaimed the grizzly mariner, 
" Hither, ye Denizens of Hell, repair ! 

The Stygian barque her wonted load requires ; 
For you diurnal ftars benignant beam, 
Prepare ye now to feel the fierce extreme 

Of froft corrofive, and outrageous fire. 


«* But thou that dar'fl with earthly feet to tread, 
Tho' uncondenlnM, the regions of the dead, 

Avaunt ! nor mingle with the curied band ! 
A lighter barge attends thy parted ghofl. 
Waiting to waft thee to a different coafl. 

Where Saints exped thee on the happy ftrand. 

>f I 


Sternly he fpoke, and thus the Bard reply'd : 
« Ccafe, fullen Pilot of th' Infernal Tide ! 

Commiflion'd from above he feeks the ihore, 
And pleads the will of HeavVs immortal Sire]" 
Quick fraud his eye-balls fled the ranc'rous fire. 

And foon he fmooth'd his brow, and dipt theioar. 


But when the abjed crew that linM the flrand 
With fhudd'ring horror heard the flem command. 

Loud they began to curfe their natal flar. 
Their pareat-clxme, their lineage, and their God ; 
Then to the ferry took the downward road 

With lamentable cries of loud defpair. 

L "7 ] 


Then o'er the &tal flood, in horror hung 
Collected, flood the Heav'n-abandon'd throng ; 

At lafl the Pilot gives the dreadful word : 
And as in crowds on crowds the finners came. 
The Fiend, with lifted 9ar, and eyes of flame. 

Compelled the lingering foul to hafte on board* 


As fome tall tree on autumn's clofing day 
Perceives her mellowing honours fleet away, 

'Till earth is hid beneath the frequent fall : 
'Thus the loft fons of Adam's lucklefs race 
Throng to the pinnace, and. embark apace. 

Swift as the faulcon hears her mafter's calL 


Soon as the Stygian keel forfakes the fhore^ 
The fatal bank is fill'd by thoufands more. 

While Maro thus the mournful caufe explains 
^' Heav'n's aliens here, from ev'ry diftant land. 
In countlefs crowds that blacken ^11 the ftrand. 

Implore the fatal (broke, and court their pains* 


'* See ! from behind. Eternal Juflice urge ! 
And fee ! how faft to fhun the flaming fcourge. 

Eager thro' fear, they crofs the difmal tide ! 
None ever lov'd of Heav'n, the voyage dar'd. 
And not for nought, the fell and fearlefs guard. 

Thy paffage to the dreadful fhore deny'd !" 


[ ii8 ] 


Thus fpoke the Bard : and, lo ! the duiky plain 
With tremulous throbs, as rack'd with inward pain. 

In ftrong convulfions to the centre (hook : 
Red, fuUen light'nings danc'd their difmal round. 
Portentous gleaming from the rocky ground. 

And down I funk, with flumb'rous torpor ftruck. 




CANTO tAe fourth. 


The Poet proceeds to the Limbo of the Ancients^ where he 
finds the Souls of Patnarchs, Sages, Poets, and Heroes, con- 
fined in a fort of Elysium ; among whom Virgil names the 
moft remarkable ; and defcribes a wonderful Revolution that had 
happened in the Region of the Infernal Wotid, in the time of 

The Tranflator has taken the liberty of adding fome chara^erifUc 
Imagery to the " Mufter-roll of Names," which confUtutes a 
great part of this Canto in the originaL 

A DEEP tremendous found my flumbers broke, 
Rous'd with the fubterranean peal, I woke. 

As fome ftrong arm had fhook me from my fleep : 
Trembling I rofe, and wildly gaz'd arouud. 
To fee what region of the dark profound 

Held me, a prifoner of the penal deep. 


Sufpended high upon the brink of Hell, 
Lift'ning, we flood to hear the difmal yell 

I 4 SucceiEre 

[ "o ] 

Succeffive pealing round the world of woe : 
Downward I gaz'd intent ; but gaz'd in vain. 
Such darknefs over-hung the place of pain, 

Hiding the horrid vifion far below. 


Ev'n Maro fhew'd the iigns of pale difmay. 
And cry*d, ** down hither lies our fated way !" 

While I, alarm'd with his contagious hue. 
Faltering reply'd, " if daflard fear controul 
On Hell's dread verge, the difembodied foul. 

Shall mortal man the dangerous path purfue ?" 

** Not fear, but pity,** the mild fpirit faid, 
** For thofe, for thofe in yon* ambiguous (hade. 

Exiles of Glory ! touch'd my heart with pain ! 
But haite, a tedious way before us lies.** 
He fpoke, I followed, (truck with pale furprife. 

To the firft region of the dark domain. 


Now thro* the void and viewlefs fhadows drear. 
Short lighs, thick-coming, led the lifl'ning ear, 

TrembUng in murmurs low along the gale : 
No pang is here, no tort*ring hour is known, 
Their irrecoverable lofs alone 

Matrons, and fires, and tender babes bewail. 

*^ And can the mournful train that here abide 
Unnotic'd pafs thee by ?" the Poet cry*d. 


L >2i 3 

** Thefe were the race renown'd of ancient time : 
Unknown a Saviour, unador'd a God, 
Their blind prefumptuous courfe in reafon's road 

They ftiil purfu'd, unconfcious of a crime. 


** No bleeding ranfom of their fins they knew. 
Nor from the fount regenerative drew 

The facred fymbol of eternal joy ! 
In ceafelefs languors now forlorn they dwell. 
Not heirs of Heav'n, nor denizens of Hell, 

And of their fad fociety am I !'' 


Sorrowing I flood at the myfterious doom 
Of thofe whofe names the upper world illume. 

And, boldly bent the facred depth to fcan, 
I dar'd, ev'n from the dread precinds of death 
To fnatch a proof of our illuflrious faith. 

And thus addrefs'd the venerable man : 


** Say, is there none among the names of old. 
In the bright lifts of endlefs life enrolled ? 

St. vii. /.I.] The opinion of the age doomed the Ancient Pa- 
ganSf however innocent in dieir liveS) to the Infernal World, at leaft 
to Hades. Had Dante prefumed to contradid the reigning opi- 
nion, his book, and he bothy perhaps, would have been condemned 
to the flames ; but he fteers clear of the dangers, and yet fecurea 
himfelf from the charge of a rigid and indifcriminating fuperftition, 
by inventing a kind of Elysium for the virtuous Ancients, and for 
thofe who had d)pd before the birth of our Saviour. 


C 122 ] 

None dar'd a Saviour, nor himfelf to plead ?' 
Maro reply *d, ** fcarce on the (hadowy coaft 
My foul arriv'd, when, lo ! a numerous hoft 

Selected hence, a chief triumphant led. 


** The van were thofe that livM before the flood : 
Confpicuous there the Man of Eden flood 

With him whofe blood the recent earth defil'd. 
He, whofe rapt eye the coming deluge faw. 
Followed behind ; and he that held in awe 

The fons of Israel in th' Arabian wild. 


*' Then he who, with his fmall domeftic band, 
FoUow'd the vifion of the promised land 

Thro* many a fmiling plain to Jordan's fhore ; 
He that fo dear the Syrian damfel bought 
His fpoufe, and they that to their father brought 

The fraudful mantle ftain'd with favage gore. 


" All thefe, the palm-crown*d chief, and thoufands 
Glean'd from the wild depopulated fliore, [more, 

St. X. /. 2.] Adam. St. xi. /. i.] Abraham. 

/• 3.] Abel. /. 4.] Jacob. 

7.4.] Noah. /. 5.] Rachel. 

/. 5.] Mofcs. 
St. xi. /. 5.] The Sons of Ifrael. See their Repentance re- 
corded* Gen. xliv. 


C "3 3 

Where Saviour's foot before had never been." 
Converfing thus we met the countlefs train 
Whofe fhadowy fquadrons hid the groaning plain. 

Arid flood aftoniih'd at the living fcene. 


Soon, glimm'ripg on the verge of ancient night. 
Afar we fpy'd a faint, deceitful light 

Vefting the nether world in twilight grey : 
There many a fpirit, fam*d in ancient time. 
From many an old and celebrated clime. 

The dim Battalia form'd in deep array. 


•• Say, Mantuan ! why, in yon' diftinguiih'd race. 
Such charafters are fcen of heav'nly grace. 

That fcarce they feem the penal fcourge to feel ?** 
I fpoke, and thus the mild conduding fhade, 
*' Becaufe their names, from age to age conveyM, 

Bear the bright ftamp of Fame's eternal feal." 


Then, ** hail ! returning Bard," was heard around 
From many a deep, harmonious voice to found, 

" Behold, at length, the matchlefs Bard return j" 
Soon thofe from whom the falutation came 
Four fliadowy chiefs appear'd, of mighty name. 

Too grave they feem'd for joy, too wife to mourn. 


** Yon' martial form behold !" the Mantuan faid, 
** See in his hand the vifionary blade ! 

4 Seems 

C 124 ] 

Seems he not bom the weight of hofts to wield ? 
*Tis mighty Homer, firft of bards ! who fung 
How on the flying rear Achilles hmig. 

And all the terrors of Scamander's field ! 


"' Near him, the mailer of the Latian Lyre, 
Who civilizM the rude satyric Choir, 

And bade them mingle with the polifh'd throng ; 
And mighty Luc^n, ftain'd with civil blood, 
With him who to the fwans on Ister's flood 

In exile fung his fweetly plaintive fong ! 


** Thus, joint partakers of the mufe's flame. 
And held in concord by her hallow*d name. 

None here neglefts the mutual honours due." 
More had the Poet faid, but now at hand 
Slowly approach the fmall fele£ted band. 

And hail the heav'n-afpiring Bard anew. 


Some time, apart, in fecret deep debate. 
Retired the matters of the mufe's ftate: 

Then, turning all to me, with kind regard ; 
In that bright band my humble name enroUM, 
Such haughty honour far unfit to hold 

Thus with immortals mixt, a mortal bard ! 

^/. xvii. /. I.] Horace. 
^•50 Ovid. 

C "5 3 


Thro' the dim fliadows of retiring night 

We pafsM, and reached the bounds of cheerful light j 

Talking of things for mortal ear unmeet : 
But now in front a tow'ry caftle frown'd, 
Deep, deep immur'd vdthin a feven-fold mound. 

And feven fwift torrents lav*d her hallow'd feet. 

The wondrous flood our trembling fteps upbore ; 
And now, arrivM upon the further fhore, 

Seven portals huge, we pafs with founding tread ; 
Then, meads where fpring eternal feem'd to reign. 
Where walk'd in crowds a fair and noble train. 

Of port fuperior to the vulgar dead. 

The grave-ey'd chiefs within the verge of light 
Confpicuous mov'd before my raptur'd fight, 

Converfmg deep, in accents foft and flow ; 
j9En£as there, and Hector's helmed fhade, 
Electra, with the fair Lavinian maid. 

With thoufands following, rang'd the fields below. 


I faw the Amazons, a matchlefs pair, 
Penthesilea here, Camilla there ; 

One flood for Troy, and one the race defy'd : 
I mark'd the mild and venerable face 
Of the firfl: founder of the Latin race. 

And, blufliing near, the Trojan's lovely bride. 

{ St. xxiiL /. 6.] Crn^M. Lavinia it twice mentioned by aa orcr- 


^ght of the Poet. 

C "6 J 


LucRETiA too, who fell her fame to fave. 
And Julia, doom'd to fill an early grave. 

With fair Cornelia, join'd their flaughter'd Lord. 
There Marcia gloried in her ftqic mate. 
Who fcoming to furvive his parent ftate. 

Met with imdaunted breafl the fatal fword. 


Old Junius there, who fhed the Tyrant's blood. 
Still feem'd to keep his ftem, unaltered mood j 

And C-ffiSAR looked aloft with falcon eye. 
There in barbaric folitude alone 
Stood He who fhook the Solymean throne. 

And held its Lord in long captivity. 

Afar the mafter of the ftudious feft. 
Who taught fair truth from falfhood to feleft. 

His pupils led j and near, liis reverend Sire, 
Bleft Socrates, who drain'd the deadly bowl. 
Stood rapt the mighty academic foul. 

While the proud cynic burnt with fecret ire. 

St.xidv.L 2y 3.] Julia and Cornelia, the two Wives of Pompcy. 

/. 4*] Cato. 
St. XXV. /. I.] The elder Brutus. 

/. 3.] The name of Caefar is tranfpofed from its place 
in the original, where it occurs amongft the 
heroes and heroines of mythological times. 
//. 5.] Saladin. 

7.6.] GuydeLufignan,thelailChriftian Kingof Jerufalcm. 
St. xxvi. /. I.] Ariftotle. 
/. 5.] Plato. 
/. 6.] Diogenes. 

C 127 ] 

Here, ferious now, appeared the laughing fage. 
And he, who ceafelefs moum'd an impious age. 

Now both the fame eternal tenor keep : 
The Lyrift too, renowned in days of yore. 
Tries the fweet charm of melody no more 

To bid the lifl'ning fons of Hades weep, 


TuLLY his Roman audience ftill harangues. 
Still on his lips the lift'ning Senate hangs. 

While newly fcapM the tyrant's bloody fteel. 
The Moralift, a pale, exhaufted fhade 
Shews his torn veins, and points the reeking blade. 

Like one that feems the lingVing wound to feel. 


Thales I faw the fons of fcience guide, 
Empedocles and Zeno fide by fide. 

And Euclid there, and Ptolemy I knew j 
Galen, Hippocrates, and Avicen, 
And fage Averrhoes, whofe {kilful pen 

At larger length his mighty mafter drew. 

St. xrvii. /. I.] Democritus. 

/. 2.] Heraclitus. 

/. 4.] Orpheus. 

St. zxYiii. /. 4.] Sens c a. 

Si. zxiz. /• 6.] Ariftotle, on whofe writings Ayerrhoes com- 

[ laS 3 

Onward we pafs'd, and faw a countlds train 
Scorning the limits of a mortal ftrain, 

And, loth to leave the bounds of cheerful light 
Sorrowing, at lail we took a long &rewell, 
And haften'd downward where th' apoftates dwell 

Deep in the bofom of primaeval night. 




The Travellers defcend to the fecond Region, where they find the 
Tribunal of Minos, and obferve his extraordinary method of pro- 
nouncing Sentence ; thence they find their way to the place 
where the Votaries of lawlefs Love are punifhed, among whom 
Dante meets the Spirits of Paulo and Franc esc a, a noble 
pair of Ravenna, whofe aifeding Story clofes the Canto* 

Of lefs extent a region now appeared. 

But (hriller (hrieks of anguifh thence were heard. 

For Minos there the foiil impleaded hears : 
Their ftem Examinant their hidden crimes 
Explores, and inftant to the feveral climes 

His ftruggling charge the grim attendant bears. 


The trembling fhade attends the awful call. 
And to his frowning judge confeffes all. 

And ftill a fignal dire the fentence fhews : 
A bumifli'd Dragon wraps the Judge around. 
And each blue fpire about his bofom wound, 

Marks a gradation of infernal woes. 


Inceflant crowds the awful prefence throngj 
And ftill the .gnssely minifter along 

Vol. I. j^^ K Bears 

[ I30 ] 

Bears the fad prifoner to the nether goal : 
Soon Minos view'd us thro' the {hades of night. 
And, paufing at the unaccuftom'd light. 

Left in fufpenfe the pale, indifted fouL 


** Let no vain promifes thy faith betray. 
Nor let the fmooth defcent, and eafy way, 

Allure thy feet, (exclaimed the Judge afar,) 
Down to the womb of unrefunding night. 
For thence in vain thou feek'ft the realms of night. 

Where Heirs dark minifters the paffage bar." 


" CommiflionM by his word, whofe will is fate, 
Thro* all the horrors of the Stygian (late 

Secure we ftray," the Mantuan bard replies. 
Nor added more, for plaintive ftrains 6f woe 
Commixt with ftruggling ftorms, were heard below. 

Loud as when N£PTun£ fcales the bending (kies. 


The tempeft raves around, and borne on high. 
On its black wing the wailing fhadows fly, 

Dafh'd wide, and devious thro' the darkfome air, 
'Till o'er the central gulph of Hades hung 
In loud diflrefsful cries, the falling throng, 

Blafpheme their fov'reign, and atteft their fear. 


Thefe were the haplefs flaves of lawlefs love. 
Soft pleafure's vot'ries in the world above, 

St. vi. /. 4.] The Tranflator here follows the interpnetation of 
the CftuscA Edition as the moil poelicaL 

C «3> 3 

Who the (till voice of reafon held in fcom ; 
And as a flight of ftarlings wing their way, 
Riding the wintry blaft in long array, 

The phantoms fleet, in airy tumult bome« 


Aloft we faw the moody revel ride. 

Then, in long eddies, like the fwallowing tide. 

With its full freight the hurricane defcends : 
Around the iinners fweep, above, below. 
Nor refpite of their cares teStiimfj nor refuge know 

From the refifUefs ftorm that never ends. 

As cranes, fagacious of the feafon, plan 
In fhadowy files their plumy caravan ; 

Then mt)unt, all clamorous, and obfcure the day : 
Thus in black bands the diffipated fwarm. 
Warping innum'rous on the coming ftorm. 

Tune to the piping winds their doleful lay. 


** Ah ! who are thofe that ride the troubled fphere. 
Driven by the viewlefs fiends in mad career ; 
Behold !" Iwury^fl, ^^ their names indulgent tell !" ^ ^a^ / 
•* Mark her," he cry'd, " the foremoft of the throng 
The queen of many a realm, and barbarous tongue. 
By H£R betray'd the mighty Ninus fell. 

^ Her impious court the foft example (hew'd. 
Thence, far and wide, the deep infe^on flowed, 



C 132 J 

Pleafure's foft whifp?r was the voice of law r 
At once to check the lib'ral tongue of blame, 
Induflrious ihe diffus'd the gen'ral fhame. 

Till truth and juftice loft their wonted awe* 

** See where fhe fhoots along in ruin roll'd. 
The mighty queen, renown'd in legends old. 

For the great fceptre by her lord beftow'd ! 
Assyria's ancient ftate, and Babel's plain. 
With all that mighty realm composed her reign. 

Where now the Sol dan fways the regal rod 1 


Then fcreaming, flitted by Eliza's ghoft. 
Who on herfelf reveng'd her lover loft : 

Then Egypt's wanton Queen was feen to foar* 
Next I beheld the Spartan Dame appear. 
The common peft of many a rolling year. 

While mutual daughter dy'd Scamander's fhore* 

St. xii. /. !.] The ftory oFSemiramis, here alluded to, is that 
told by Justin and Ctesias^ xiz,. That having prevailed on her 
hufband Ninus, to give the rein* of government to her for one 
day, fhe took an opportunity of ending his reign and life together, 

St* xiii. /. I ] Dido, the celebrated Queen of Carthage. — Sec . 
Kcr more authentic ftory in Mr. Hayley's curious extracts from the 
Araucana, in the Notes to his Effay on Epic Poetry. 

St. xiii. /. 3.] The miftrefs of Julius C^sar and Anthony^ 
and one who might have been miftrefs of the world, had it not been 
for the averfion the Romans entertained to the royal name, — See the 
afFe6ting fituation of Titus in Racine'^s Berenice, when he ift 
obliged to difmifs the Queen, on the eve of their nuptials, in order 
to appeafe the Senate. 

St. xiii. A 4.] Helen of Troy, 

C »33 3 

Achilles tQO, by love to ruin led, 

Paris I fpy*d, and Triftram's gory fhade, 

And ftill each coming ghoft the poet nam'd. 
To fee this wreck of fouls my heart recoiled. 
At length, " O call that pair, thou fpirit mild, 

That ikims fo light before the blaft untam'd ! 


** Soon may'ft thou know," he cry'd, " the tide of air 
Brings to our lofty (land the haplefs pair ; 

Do thou adjure them by their mutual flame 
To tell their woes, their woes they foon will tell." 
He fpoke. Afcending from the depths of Hell, 

Riding the blaft, the wailing lovers came. 


Then I. " ASii&ed pair ! defcend and fay. 
Why thus ye mourn ?** The gentle ghofls obey, 

And light, attentive to my warm requeft : 
As, with her faithful mate, the turtle-dove 
Defcends, obedient to the call of love. 

On fteady wing, and feeks the nuptial nefl« 

St. xtv. A I .] This alludes to the Story of his falling in love with 
PoLYXENA, the daughter of Priam, and being treacherouily killed 
by Paris, as he was celebrating the nuptials in the Temple of 

5*/. xiv. /. 2.] Or Trestram de Leon, one of the Knights of 
Arthur's Round Table, and nephew to Marke, King of ComwaO. 
He was killed in confequence of a criminal intercourfe with his 
uncle's wife, La Belie Ifonde. — See the death of Arthur, Pi^ IK 


C 134 ] 

Dido they left, that led the num'rous flight. 
And thro' the fhadows of eternal night 

Struck by the potent charm the lovers came : . 
^* Mortal," they cry'd, " whofe friendly thoughts impd 
Thy feet to wander thro' the (hades of Hell 

To learo our woes, the fates allow your claim I 


•* Ah ! could the fruitlefs prayers that hence arife. 
Bend the ftem Ruler of the diftant Ikies, 

Thine were the joys of everlafting reft ! 
So fweet the paufe thy adjurations gain 
For us, ill-fated pair, untimely flain 

Where Padus rolls the tribute of the weft ! 

St. xviii. /. 5.] The ftory of thcfc Lovers is thus told by Bocc A- 
cio in his Commentary on the 5th Canto : 

" Francesca was daughter to GuiDO de Polenta» Lord of 
Ravenna. Between PoLENTAandthefamilyof theMALATESTAS, 
Lords of Rimini, there had been a long and deadly feud; at 
length peace was made, by the mediation of fomc of the petty 
princes in the neighbourhood. That this alliance might be more 
firmly eftabliihcd, both parties were prevailed upon to make it more 
fecure by €he bonds of affinity. It was agreed, that the beautiful 
daughter of Guido (hould be given in marriage to the fon of 
Malatesta, named Lanciotto. This being previpuily men- 
tioned among fome of the friends of Guido, one of tbcm made the 
following obfervation to the father : • RefleA maturely on the 
mcafure you are about to purfuc. If you do not proceed with due 
precaution in this affair, it may be the occafion of new offence, and 
make the breach wider than it was before. You know that your 
daughter is of an high fpirit ; if (he fees Lanciotto before the cc- 
lebnUioDy not all the world would perfuadc her to confent* It doca 


[ '35 ] 

•* This mangled form was fated to infpire 
The gentle Paulo's breaft with am'rous fire ; 

From his to mine the foft infeftion fpread : 
Too foon the fatal fecret I divin'd ; 
Too foon with his my guilty wifli combined. 

Wretch that I was ! who ihar'd his brother's bed ! 

not therefore appear to me advifeable that Lanciotto (hould come 
hither himfelf, but that one of his brothers (hould be fent for in hi« 
ftead, pay his addreffes by proxy, and efpoufe her in the name of 
the abfent huiband.' Lanciottoi it feems, though a young man of 
fpirit and enterprife, was deformed in his perfon, and of a difagree* 
able afped^; yet ambition induced the father of Francesca to 
fiicrifice her to. him in preference to any of his brothers, as he was 
the prefumptive heir of the Signiory. Being aware of the difagree* 
able confequences, fuch as his friend had laid before him, he or- 
dered meafures to be taken according to his advice ; confiding in 
his daughter's fenfe of duty, as a guard to her fubfequent conduft, 
when it (hould be too late to retra^. A (hort time after Paulo, 
the brother of Lanciotto, came to Ratenna as the oftenfible 
lover of the fair Francesca. Paulo was engaging in his perfon, 
and his manners are defcribed as peculiarly attra^ive. As he cro(red 
the courts of the palace of Ravenna, with a train of gentlemen in 
his retinue, according to the cuiiom of the times, he was pointed 
out to Francesca, by one of her female attendants, ' as the man 
deftined to make her happy ;' the firil glance was the commence- 
ment of a fatal paflion, the more refifllefs, as (he was totally un- 
guarded againft an attachment which began under the ma(k of 
innocence. Under the influence of this cruel deceit, the contra6i 
was made, and (he was condu6led to Rimini immediately after the 
celebration, under the belief that (he travtUed in company with her 
fpoufe. The fallacy was not difcovered till the light of the morn- 
ing difcovered Lanciotto by her fide, inftead of Paulo. The 
confli£l in her mind betwixt indignation, grief, and Iotc, however 

K 4 fevercy 

C i3« 3 

^ Love link'd our fouls above, and links below. 
But, far beneath, in fccnes of deeper woe 

The eldeft murth'rer and his mates prepare 
Already to receive the ruffian's foul : 
Where Caina reaches to the nether pole 

With Fratricides the penal doom to Ihare." 

feYerCy it is fuppofed (he found means to conceal ; for it does not 
appear that her hufband entertained any fufpicions of her averfion, at 
kaft» if he did, he did not at firft feem to entertain a fufpicion that his 
brother (whatever attachment he might have felt at firft) could be 
made the inftrument of his difhonour. His frequent ahfences in 
diftant parts of the Signiory, foon, however, afforded them fre- 
quent opportunities of indulging their guilty commerce, and fo 
much fecurity, that a difcovery was eafily made by a faithful do- 
mefticy who on his mailer's return difclofed the fecret, and on his 
indigrnant expreilions of difbelief, he offered to give him demonflrative 
proof if he would fubmit to his guidance. Lanciotto at laft 
complied ; and returning from his next expedition in fecret, con- 
trived, by means of his faithful domeilic, to conceal himfelf near his 
wife's bedchamber, into which, fhortly after, he faw Paulo enter 
through a fecret trap-door*. The hufband immediately left his am- 
bufcade, and made what hafte to the door he could in order to break 
it openy but either the noife alarmed the guilty pair, or they had 
perceived him through a chink of the door or partition. However 
it was, Paulo had time to defcend by the trap-door, or pafs by 
the Aiding pannel, and thought he could by that means pre- 
vent the fatal confequences ; but an untoward circumflance led (it 
is faid) to a difcovery : the fkirt of his night-gown was either 
caught in the clodng door, or faflened on a nail, which detained 
|ktm till FaANCESCA (unconfcious of this accidl:nt) had admitted 

* Or Hiding pannel in the wainfcot, for the word iignifiei either. 



C n7 3 
XX r. 

She pnusM, and her eternal plaints renewM ; 
Struck with her haplefa tnle I miiUnf; (tmnl: 

" Why penfive thus?" the ^fntlc biiril ni{]»lrM( 
Then I : " Could aught the captive foiilii jwrhimto 
To tell the trains for their fwluilion txid, 

Millions might Ihun tlicir laic, by Hcnv'n lnf|)ir*d." 


Then turning round to view the haplcfn pair, 
Sighing, I thug addrefit'd the weeping fair :— 

" How fad th* atonement of thy guilty joy" 1 
But fay, how firll you faw hiii [xifliim grow} 
What bufy demon taught thcc firil to know 

The fecrct meaning of hii finother'd fighn ?" 

She wept, and ** CHi ! how grievnu f > rclat* 
F^ pjtt and tread again the paiha of fate. 

Let hun who fiing Kf.i/.A'» Wfc* doiUrc: 
But fmce, iinlatcd flill, the widi rtnmm 
To know the Iburce t^ oar eternal pairui* 

TboD link DM vainly breathe tlie pw/iit prsy'r. 

C '38 1 


•* One day (a day I ever muft deplore !} 
The gentle yputh, to fpend a vacant hour^ 

To me the foft fedudng ftory read, 
Of Launcelot and fair Geneura's love. 
While fafcinating all the quiet grove 

Fallacious Peace her fhares around us fpread» 

'' Too much I found th' inlidious volume diarm. 
And Paulo's mantling bluflies rifmg warm} 

Still as he read the guilty fecret told : 
Soon from the line his eyes began to ftray ; 
$oon did my yielding looks my heart betray. 

Nor needed words our wiihes to unfold. 

•* Eager to realize the ftory'd blifs. 
Trembling he fnatch*d the half-refented kifs. 

To ill foon leflbnM by the pandar-page! 
Vile pandar-page ! it fmooth'd the paths of fhame.' 
While thus fhe fpoke, the partner of her flame 

Tun'd his deep forrows to the whirlwind's rage. 


So full the fymphony of grief arofe. 
My heart, refponfive to the lovers woes 

With thrilling fympathy convuls'd my breaft : 
Too ftrong at laft for life my paflion grew, 
And, iick'ning at the lamentable view, 

I fell, like one by mortal pangs opprefs'd. 




Leaving the Lover's Lot, and journeying ftill downwards, the 
Poets find the Gulph of Epicurism* where Dante is known by 
the Soul of a noble Florentine, named Ciacco, who difclofes 
to him fome revolutions foon to take place in their native Repub- 
lic. On paifing this Region, Dante makes fome Enquiries re- 
lative to the State of Things after the Refurre£tion, which are 
anfwered by the Mantuan Poet, and the confequences of the 
^nal Judgment explained firom Analogy. 

I—ONG in the arms of Death entranced I lay*— 
At length the vital current found its way ; 

When other regions, fraught with other woes. 
Far feen beneath, amaz'd my ftartled fight : 
Obfcure, the Champaign frown'd in native night. 

And deeper plagues their deadly flores difcIofe« 


The profpe£l low'rs beneath eternal florms. 
Dire, vollied hail, the hoary fcene deforms. 

And drifted fhows their endlefs rigour keep : 
Dark ruin huitles thro' the dufky air. 
Foul fleams arife and fill the troubled fphere, 

Inceffimt floating round the awful fteep. 

[ 140 ] 


Hell's bloodhound there his triple form extends, 
And ever and anon the favage rends 

Some wandering wretch, and dyes his fangs in gore ; 
His flaming eyes the troubled deep furvey. 
Loud gnaih his teeth and hold the damn'd at bay, 

Whofe captive bands in vain his rage deplore. 


The founder'd crew bewail the bitter (how'r, 
Loud barks the fiend ; his flaming eye-balls lour, 

Still as the wretches fhift the torturM fide. « 

Rolling innum'rous thro' the dark profound. 
Their yells canine th' aflonifh'd hearing wound ; 

At length our fleps the dog of darknefs fpy'd. 


His triple head aloft the favage rearM : 
His fangs, a triple row of fate, appeared. 

And all the man forfook my finking frame. / 
Soon Maro, flooping, flung a moulded clod. 
He fwallow'd it, and found his rage o'erawM, 

Then gradual funk, exhaufled, weak, and tame. 


As when a mongrel quits his nightly guard. 
When the dark felon deals the wifli'd reward, 

And charms the ceafelefs terrors of his tongud ; 
So found the fiend his wonted wrath afluage : 
His eyes had lofl their flame, his fangs their rage. 

And filence o'er the deep a moment hung. 

C 141 ] 


The captive crew the wondrous paufe admire. 
Now firft untortur'd by his clamours dire : 

At length arriving on the bounds of pain. 
Thro' their wide floundering forms amazM we pafisM, 
Extended, bare, beneath the bitter blaft, 

Whofe dread artill'ry beat the groaning plain. 

Mocking .the touch, vthe heav'n-abandon'd hoft, 
A foul encampment ! fiU'd the fpadous coaft. 

A voice at length the horrid filence broke ; 
Where a pale prisoner feem'd his head to raife. 
And view my earthly form with fix'd amaze ; 

While thus with feeble voice the phantom fpoke : 


•* Say ! hardy wahd'rer thro' the realms of pain. 
Does any trace or lineament remain. 

To wake the mem'ry of a friend once dear ? 
A while our vital threads together ran." 
** In vain," I cry'd, " I trace thy vifage wan. 

Where nought but characters of hell appear. 


** Tell who thou art, and what th* ignoble crime 
That chains thy limbs in this contagious clime. 

Among the fouleft ftigmatics of Hell 2" 
I fpoke, and thus th' aflHi^ed foul rejoin'd : [wind, 
•* Florence, whofe broad-blown crimes inkSt the 

Saw n[ie within her vile enclofure dwell. 



^ While yet I breathM the fweet Hefperim air» 
Eve doomM the bitter-beating ftorm to bear. 

At feafts well known, Ciacco was my name ; 
Nor mine a voice that folitary wails, 
Here thoufands fill the deep Cimmerian vales. 

For foul intemperance doom'd to equal Ihame.'' 


Sighing, I anfwer'd, *^ Could my tears afluage 
This deadly tempeft of eternal rage, 

Ceafelefs, for thee, my tears fhould learn to flow : 
But fay what ills yon fadious walls await ?— « 
Since Difcord breathes her poifon through the ftate. 

Lives there a m^n whofe worth can ward the blow?** 


Then he, ^ The wordy war fhall end in blood ; 
Whence the ftrong hunter of the Aconian wood 

St. zi. /. 3.] CutccOf or GuiottOt a noble FlorentinOy noted for 
intemperance ; thence he got the nickname of Ciacco» L e. Tie 
Hog. F or fome entertaining particulars of him, fee the ftorf 
of PUSppo JtrgenUt in the notes on the Eighth Canto* 

St. xiii. /• 2.] Cberchi of Florence, the head of the White Fac^ 
tion, of a family not fo remarkable for their antiquity as their opu- 
lence* Hia antagonifl. Demote who headed the Black Fadion, 
was of an illuftrious family, but indigent* For the rife and hiftory 
of thefe faftions, fee the Florentine Hiftory annexed, and the Lift 
of Dantb, who, for his partiality to the White Fa6tion duiing his 
govemmenty wasbaniflied* 

It is to beobfenredy that the Poet dates this vifion in his thiity* 
fifth year, before his baniflynent } hence Ciacco fpeaks to him in a 


E 143 3 

*^ Cries, Havock / and lets flip his dogs of war. 
Three funs fliall fee him rule the fubjed plain. 
Till Valois, hov'ring on the Tuscan main. 

Shall turn the fcale, and chafe the tyrant Bu** 

^^ Long ihall the Vidor fliow his haughty brow. 
The foe beneath his iron hand ihall bow ; 

In vain I fee and mourn their rigid doom I 
Two patriots (till remain ; but favage Force, 
And Pride, and Av'rice, check their noble courfe. 

And with confederate flames the ftate confnmc/' 


He ceas'd, and I refum'd my ardent pray'r : 
*' Yet to thy fnend a fleeting moment fpare. 

Farina's lot, and Tegohio's doom to tell ; 
Arrigo, Mosca, with Jacopo's fate ; 
If here, below, the tort'ring hour they wait. 

Or near the fprings of endlefs pleafure dwdl? 

^ Where fliall I find thofe fouls fo high renowned ?" 
Far hence,'' he cry'd, ^' in darkeft durance bound. 


Si. XT. /. 4.] The ftorics of tbefe charm Acts ihall all be toU 
tinder their refpc6tive allotments. 

The punifhment of intemperance may feem rather too fevere» at 
iti confequences rather affed the criminal himfelf than fociety*'*- 
Luxury indeed giTcs life to conunerce^ and birth to a variety of 
trades, but it is often fupported by oppreffion, and often by fraudi 
evils the moft detrimental to fociety ; and the ruin which luxury 
brings on one man of opulence, particularly in a commercial coun* 
Sty, muft affed thoulandi. 



For various fins, in various climes confin'd. 
That path leads downward to their dark abode. 
Where human foot before hath never trod. 

Still many a darkfome league thy feet mufl wind/ 

•* And Oh ! if e*er thou viewed the golden iky. 
Let not my name in dark oblivion lie ; 

No more I afk, and thou enquire no more."— 
He tum'd, yet eyed me ftill with look afkance j 
Then with his brethren funk in torpid trance, 

And filence reign'd along the difmal Ihorc, 


" Thofe," cryM the Bard, " fhall flumber out their fate, 
'Till, from the confines of the heavenly ftate. 

The Hierarch*8 trump (hall thunder thro* the deep : 
Then, cloath'd again in vefts of humble clay. 
The hideous band fliall rife upon the day. 

And down return, their endlefs doom to weep.*' 

Then through the dark morafs we pickM our way. 
Where, vex'd with ftorms, the feftal fquadrons lay. 

Reasoning in fage debate on future things. 
Then I, ^' Shall equal plagues the damn'd await ; 
Shall Hell encreafe her torments, or abate. 

When the laft change their final fentence brings ?^ 


•* Let Science folve the doubt,*' the Bard rejoined, 
'^ The body married to th' inmiortal mind^ 

I Or 

C 145 1 

Or higher tranfport feels^ or fiercer woe : 
Then th* ignoble brethren of the fty. 
When the laft clarion fhakes the vaulted (ky. 

Shall feel their pains fublim'd, their tortures grow.*^ 


Far thence, the fearful verge we walk'd around^ 
Converfing fad, or wrapt in thought profound^ 

On myftic things unmeet for mortal ftrain : 
At length, arriving where the fhelving fteep 
By eafy flope refign'd us to the deep. 

We faw where Pluto rul'd the dark domain. 

St. XX. L 6.] From St. Auguftine, ** Cum fiet refuntfkio carniib 
et boaonim gaudium erity ct toitnenta majors. 


Vol. L 

C 147 1 



Dante arriyes at the fourth Region, wheit, undeir the imiAedbfte 
Government of Pluto, (probably Plutus, the fabled God of 
Riches) he finds the Souls of Mifers and Prodigals, and de- 
fcribes their lingular Employment. — ^Thence he proceeds to the 
fifth Region, where, in different departments^ fuited to their 
offences, he finds the Spirits of thofe who were condemned for 
Deeds of ungovernable Rage, for Selfifhnefs, Envy, or habits of 
inveterate Malice* 

** Prince of the Kends/' a V01C6 exclaimed, « arife 4 
Behold thy realms exposed to mortal eyes !" 

It ceas'd, the Bard my rifing fears repreft* 
•* Fear not/* he cry'd, " but ftill purfue thy wayj 
He boafts no pow'r thy voyage to delay 

To the dark regions of the world unblefti'* 

Then turning to the Fiend with high difdaiii, 

" Ceafe, Hell-hound, ceafc ! thy boiling rage contaiii j 

Haft thou forgot the fierce avenging fword, 
On thy afiliaed rear when Michael hrnig? 
Know Heav'n's beheft ! and rein thy impious tongue, 
" He comes obedient to the almighty word/* 


C 148 ] 

As the calmM vefTel furls her woven wings^ 
As round her mail the flagging canvafs clings. 

The fwarthy Satrap footh'd his fwelling ire r 
Then coafting wide around the awfiil fteep, 
We faw below th* interminable deep. 

Where all the plagues of either world confpirc^ 

Juftice of Heav'n ! from thine avenging hand 
What namelefs toils and tortures fill the (trand !! 

Ah ! why on mortal failings fo fevere ! 
As Scylla's rocks the thundering furge repel 
A ceafelefs Tourney in the depths of Hell, 

With deadly tumult fliook the nether fpherei. 


Legions on legions round the difmal coait^ 
With lamentable cries, from poll to poft 

Roird the metallic mafs along the plain : 
Up the fteep fides the pondVous globes afcend 
Above, the fons of diflipation fend 

In ruin down the ponderous globes again. 

Ah ! why this cruel fport,'* the mifers cry i ' 
Why this vain toil," the prodigals reply, 
Againft the hill to heave the flipp*ry ore ?" 
Again the mighty combatants retreat. 
Again in cumbrous tournament they meet. 
Echoing the doleful dirge from fhore to ihore. 

St, vi. A 6.] If we take this punifhment in an allegorical Cenfe, 
it is defigaed to defcribe the mifery that attends the habitual, and 



C »49 3 


** What monftrous tale do yon' employments tell. 
Are all the Abbies empty*d into Hell ?" 

Wond'ringy I cry'd, and thus the Mantuan fwaln^ 
*^ Thefe hoftile tribes lament their bitter doom. 
Who liv'd above, in intelle&ual gloom, 

The flaves of wild expence, or fordid gain. 


*^ Mark where they meet, on yonder plain afar. 
Their diflfrent fongs the fignals of the war ! 

And leam tUetr- fereral clans, their leaders names. 
Ton' heads that fluduate on th& face of night, 
Whofe polifh'd fronts reflects a dubious light. 

With reverend mitres once oxiceal'd their fhame. 


^ Their griping hands the facred flores confeft." 
Then I : <' Oh tell ! among tbofe (hades unbleft^ 

Is th^e no form familiar to my fight ?" 
Mild he reply'd, '< Their late ignoble fall 
Has fpread a dark refemblance over all, 

(lor lefs their labours in the womb of night. 


^ But, when the trump of doom (hall rend the air. 
Ton' prodigals ihall rife with horrent hair. 

undue adivity of the fubordinate powera of the mind. This remark 
will apply to all the penal exhibitions in the Poem. 

St. yii. /• 2.] From the number of Qerical Tonfures feen among 

L3 And, 

c >5o : 

And, with clench'd hands convulsM, the faving crew. 
In exile now they mourn their gifts abus'd, 
Or tempefl all the deep in fray conftisM, 

A fcene unknown before to fancy's view. 

^' Learn hence of mortal things how vain the boaft. 
Learn to defpifc the low, degenerate hoft. 

And Tee their wealth how poor, how mean their pride { 
Not all the mines below the wand'ring moon^ 
Not all the fun beholds at higheft noon. 

Can for a moment bid the fray fubfide." 


Mufing, I cr/d, ** Oh Fortune, viewlefs pow*r ! 
Whofe flitting gifts purfue the changeftil hour ; 

Say, whence thou ?pt ?*'— when thus the Bard rc^ 
nown'd : [fpheres, 

*^ See, thou^htlefs man ! the hand that wheels th( 
Where each to each the radiant bounty bears. 

Dealing the portiop -d light to worlds around. 


** Fortune, his Delegate, with equal hand 
Thus fcatters bleflings from her lofty (land, 

Difperfing round the globe her trs^vel'd boon. 
From realm to realm the varied bounties run ; 
In vain the father keeps them for his fon, 

Faft they forlake him with the waning moon, 

•* To thofe her fmiles difpenfe a vernal bloom. 
While tbefe uxmoted pine in winter's gloom } 

C 151 3 

And, as (he fleets away, the fummer fades ; 
Fail changing ftates her mighty march proclaim : 
Ev'n wifdom (inks before her dreaded name 

When her vide charge her eagle eye pervades* 


^^ With mighty hand the fubjeft orb flie rollst 
No chance her unrelenting fway controlSj^ 

Fate urging on her courTe \rith angels fpeed : 
By turns her fubjeds mount, by turns they call. 
Loud curfcs on her name for ever fall. 

While ihe regardlefs runs her path decreed. 

^ The murmurs deep of yonder moody fphere 
In vain afpire to reach her hallowed ear : 

For ever lift'ning to the choral fong 
Of thofe who turn the mighty mtmdane wheel. 
Not doom'd the thrilling fhaft of woe to fed. 

And urging (till their flaming orbs along* 

Su JfVr^ If 5.3 This comparifon of the difpenfiitiont of Fortiwe 
with the progref s of the feafons, is equally juft and beautiful* There 
might be a very pittty Poem written on the comparifon of the ef« 
fe&a of the different feafons to the ftates of life that refanbk them. 
In winter the fun kindly withdraws it9 ipflvienccy that the foil may 
recover that vigour which had been exhaufted in fpring and fummer. 
Thus a ftate of indigence call^ fqrtli thofie talents, and ripens that 
genius, which profperity perhaps if ould have extinguiihed. Where 
thefe forts of revolutions happen moft frequently (as in a commcr^ 
cial and free nation) the chara6ier of the people rifes, and they 
grow eminent in arts and arms ; but if we were to fuppofe for a 
moment one order of men always to enjoy accumulated riches, and 
the other always depreffed in poverty, by an uniform fentcnce, the 
fpirit of enterprife would be quite extinft ; the one part of the 
world would be immerfed in vice, and the other funk in flavtry* 



^ But hafte we hence, ai darker lot to mcmni : ^ 
The planet novr has reachM his weftem boumei 

That faw our toils begin vith rifing day ; 
Thro' yonder ruin'd cliffs the bellowing deep 
With hoarfe (fin tumbling down from fteqp to tbbep^ 

With hollow nnirmurs mines our ftted way. 


•^Wafted in darknefs down the i»tchy wavb. 
We faw the Styoiah pool her borden lave. 

Fed by th' abounding catara£l on high : 
Far, far beloW We fp/d the fuUen flood. 
And rotmd her borders, half immers'd in mud. 

We faw two fquadrons charge with frantic cry^ 


^Burning with rage^ bvft impotent of hand. 
Naked they meet, and battle round the ftrand* 

Now, head to head, their clafhing fronts engage ; 
Each other now with lion-ramp they fpum. 
Then, while beneath their feet the wretches moum. 

Piecemeal they rend their lunbs with brutal rage. 


^ Learn hence what woes," the fage condu&or faid, 
** Wait the devoted crew by wrath milled ! 

See how they wallow round the fordid fhorel 
Plung'd in the deep, another hideous crew. 
Where yonder bubbling pool attra£b the view. 

With Iblother'd groans their wayward £iite deploro. 

C ^53 3 

I liften'd, and anon, a fullen found 

Came ftruggling upwards from the pool profound 

In words half-formM, and long reludant groans : 
•• yoylefs we viewed the fun* s benignant beam^ 
Now here we bide beneath the fullen Jiream^ 

Where ev^ry jay the envious foul difwrns^^ 


Afar we coafted round the lake abhorred. 
With Envy's baleful brood innum'rous ftor'd $ 

While, ftill fome wretch amid the mantled wave 
Fating, renews the flory of his woes, 
Faft on the mournful fong the furges clofe. 

And the deep (buggling files inceflant lave. 

5*/. zxi. /• 6.] By Acddioji in the origrinal, ii meant the lelfift 
or Miianthropesy as well as the envious, as appears from the Pua* 
GATOR io» where, when the Poet deicribes the purgation of this 
very vice, Accidia, he contnfts it with Benevolence^ Sec Ma- 
Moiaas DB P£TaAa<^lk9 torn. ii. 109. 


C ^ss 1 




In their Pafiagc OYcr the Pool of Eny Vy in the Boat of Phlb* 
GYAS9 the Poets meet the Soul of Philippo AaGBNTiy a nohle 
Florentinei remarkable while aHve for his outrageous and brutal 
paffions ; on the other fide they find the Metropolis of the Ix* 
psRNAL WoaLDf wheic they apply for entrance in vain. 

1 HE wxding path a gloomy fabric ends ; 
Its heighth with pain the mortal eye afcends : 

Sudden a fignal flames from either fpire. 
The waves roll pale beneath the livid light ; 
Andy glimmering o'er the wafte of ancient nighty 
Faintly appears a correfponding fire. 



** Whence the repeated fign, and why afar 
Refponfive beams yon' half-extingiii(h'd flar?"— 

I afk'd, and thus the Mantuan fage reply'd : 
^* The vapours dun, that yonder floods exhale, 
"llide from thy mortal eye the c6ming fail, 

Ijed by the lignal from the further fide." 

Swift as the Parthian arrow's winged flight. 
The lone barque fldms along the face of night ; 

Her courfe a folitary Pilot fleers. 
Exclaiming loud, *^ Fell Spirit ! art thou come ? 
Embark ! and feek thine everlaiUng home !** 

But Virgil law, and checked my riling feart* 


" Phl£gyas !** he cry'd, " thy rancour fwells in vaia^ 
We pafs the nether world unknown to pain : 

And thy fleet bai^e is fent our way to fpeed.** 
As one that feels his warmed hopes betrayed. 
So look'd, and fo exclaimed, the wrathful fliadi^ 
. When Maro trod the deck devoid of dreads 


The groaning barge confeft unufual weight. 
Her yielding timbers fcarce fuftain'd the freight. 

Plowing the fable furge with plunging prow. 
And now the keel divides the middle flood : 
When rifing formlels, from th' abyfs of mud. 

Sudden, a ghaftly phantom feem'd to grow. 



" Why wert thou thus condemned before thy time ?* 
He cry*d : — I anfwer'd from the deck fublime : 

** Commiflion'd here, I come, but not to ftay ; 
But what foul ihape art thou, that flops my path ?'' 
He anfwers, " One that mourns the fecond death.** 

And foon the well-known founds the wretch betray. 


t »57 3 


With look avcrfe I cry*d, " Devoted (hade ! 
Go mourn thy lot, among the felf-betray*d, 

Too well I know thee thro' the foul difguifeJ 
Inftant, with eager hand, he feizM the prow ; 
Bold Maro puih'd him to the lake below ; 

Then clafp'd me round with loud exulting cries. 

5*/. Tii. A 4*] The name of this angry fpirit was Phi lip pa 
Argbntii fo called becaufe he ufed to have his horfe (hod with 
filler. — His brutal paflions made him the inftrument of a ludicrous 
revenge, infiifked by the celebrated Ciacco (See Canto vi.) oa 
BiONDBLLOy another epicure of Florence. The ftory is that told 
by BoccAciOy in his Dbcamirone. Giomata9. Novella 8. 

^ There dwelt in FLOaBNCE a gentleman, known by the name of 
GuiACCOy or CiAccOy one fo fond of good living, that his whole 
fortune was barely fufficient to fupply the expences of hit table* 
As he frequented the firft company, he was remwkable for a good 
addrefs and agp«eable conver&tion, with a tindhire of that sso^ 
sffwrance that does not always wait for invitation. One of his coA- 
tempOTaries in Florence was Biondsllo, one of the noft finiflied 
beaus of the 13th eentury. ** He was (in the words of the old 
«< tranflation) very low of ftature, yet comely fonnM ; more neat 
^ and briflc than a butterfly, always wearing a wrought filk night- 
^ cap on his head, and not a hair ftanding out of order, but the tuft 
M (or tupee) flowing above the forehead :" and in the article of 
good liv^g, he was another CiaiC9m 

** One morning in Lent, as he was cheapening two lampreys in 
the fiih-market, he happened to fee Ciacco, in a reverie of morning 
contemplation oa the beauty of the furrounding objefts. Biom- 
DBLLo's purckab awoke him finom his dream ; he enquired eageriy 
far whom was that d^cious fare i The other named, Vibbo db 
CHBacHi, one of the beads of the dty; and added, that three 
athei lampreys, a tuiboc, tad a ftuigeon, were the bUl of fare lor 
the day i^and that a ttk& cMSfaaj were invited. Tbn h€ very 


C i5« J 


^ Bleft foul ! that fpum'ft at fin with virtuous fcom | 
And bleft be ihc of whom fuch worth was bom I 
. Yon' catiff fee^ by ceafelds rage pofleft : 
o^(XC -JBiPhis detefted life had reach'd her goal. 

No fpark of goodnets cheer'd his gloomy foul. 
And furious ftill he wallas the Stypan wafte. 

gftvely aikcd CiAccOy if he intended to make one? He readfly 
aDfweredy ** You know I always am welcome there." Bionp£llo 
named the hour of dinner ; and) pun£lual to a minute, Ciacco at« 
tended. He found Viero engaged in difcourfe with fome gentle- 
men) and waited very patiently till the converfation ended. At laft 
the company went away. Viero afked his gucft to dine with him, 
in a manner that convinced him he had expe^ed no company. 
Dinner was at laft ferved up> confifting of pulfe and fome dried fi(h. 
Ciacco immediately perceived the trick that was put upon him by 

B1011DELLO9 and refolved to be even with him. In a few days 

after, Biondello met him ; and, with a fneer, aiked him how he 
liked bis entertainment? << Exceeding well (replied Ciacco); pei^ 
^ haps before eight days I may have an opportunity of (hewing my 
^' gratitude." — Shortly after B 1 o n o e l lo left him, C i acco met a 
porter, called him to his houfe, and giving him a large flafk, bade 
him follow him. He led him to the palace of Cacci vu li, and there 
fliewed him a gentleman of gigantic iize and choleric afpedt, walk- 
ing about with that exprefiQon of countenance defcribed in the Ba« 
THOS of Pope : 

■ He look'd fo wond'rous g^m. 

His very (hadow fear'd to follow him. 

This was Philippo Argenti, the moil irritable of all human 
beings. <*Go to that gentleman (fays Ciacco), and tell him» 
** that Biomdbllo fends to him, and entreats him, as he is a celc* 
<* brated g^s-painter,^ diat he will' erulnnaie your bottle with fait 

M beft dnttf ai he has fome fiicads to treat:<i^at take care to- 


C '59 ] 


«• There many a regal Chief of ancient note^ 
Wallowing thro' mire obfcene lament their lot. 

In ruin roU'd, like brethren of the fty." 
« Oh ! could I fee," ftiU trembling I exclaim'd, 
*' By Heav'n's affli&ing hand his fury tam'd. 

Ere yet our Pilot reach the harbour nigh/' 

^ keq^ out of hia reach, as lie is apt to pay his meflenger in a coia 
^ not always current."—- The porter, delivered his meflagey and 
AaosNTi inunedtately conftrued it into an infult, from the known 
chancer of Biondbllo. With a menacing Toice he defired the 
Porter to come near, and he would (how him and his bottle a fpe- 
cimcn of that glafs-paintiug that Biohdello required. The Por- 
ter, fearing the confequence, kept aloof, and at lafl fairly took to 
fall heels.— CiAcco, when the porter returned, paid him liberally ; 
and having thus laid the plot, fet out immediately in queft of 
BiONDELLO, to bring him in the way of Aroenti before his wrath 
fliould fubfide. By this time Biondello had forgot what had 
pafled ; when CiAcco met him with an eameft countenance, and 
aiked him when he had been at the palace of Caccjvuli ? ** Why 
«< do you aik ?** returned the other. <* Aegenti ((ays Ciacco) 
'* has been in qneft of you this whole day, about bufinefs of the** 
** laft importance/' Biondello, expcding a good dinner at leaft 
immediately ran into the {hare, while Ciacco followed at a proper 
diiUnce, to fee the ifiue. 

** AaoBNTif meantime, boiling with indignation at the fuppofed 
affront couchod in the meflage from Biondello, was at the very 
infiant amufing himfelf with plans of the moft fanguinary revengcy 
when the unfortunate Biondello accofted him, and requefted to 
)mow his conunands. The firft (alutation Aegbnti returned was 
a blow on the face that covered him over with blood. The un- 
happy beau in tain demanded the meaniag of this outrage ; the 


C i6o ] 

The Bard rcplyM ; •* Yet, ere the coming (horff 
Slackens the labour of the ftraining oar, 

Expeft thy wifli to fee." Nor more he fiiid ; 
When round the barriers came a cry of war, 
** Seize, fdze the Florentine, refounds afer ; 

While faft Aroenti fled, by fear betray'd. 


I heard the fiends their brother demons call, 
I law the hunted foe exhaufted fall ; 

And, fpending on himfelf his bootlefs rage. 
With bloody fangs ; I could not bear the fight. 
But hurried onward thro' th' abyfs of night. 

While following groans my flarcled ear engage. 

other made no anfwer, but by a fecond blow; and his choler 
rifing, he tore o£F his fine embroidered cap and feather, feized hixn 
by the toupee, and began to drag him through the mire. A crowd 
gatherings they were with difficulty feparated ; and, after a £p%at 
Biany incoherent oaths, an explanation was obtained from Ar- 
GBNTi. When the crowd heard the infulting melTage, which, by 
Argenti's account, BioNDELLohad fent to him : they threw the 
btame upon the ktter, as he muil have known the irrafcibk temper 
oi his antagonift. In vain the unfortunate vidim protefted, that he 
never had fent any fuch meflage, and that it mud have been a ndC' 
take. At laft he recolleded the affair of the lampreys ; and then 
learnt, though too late, to whofe account he might place the affair. 
Goon after meeting Ciacco, he was aiked how he liked the darct 
of Argent I ? ** As well (&ys he] as you Hked the lampreys at 
** Vibro's."-— ^'^ By this token remember, ((ays Ciacco,) that 
** fuch a dinner, where you are the caterer, will always procure 
** fuch a bottle of wine^ where I haveaayintcreft with the butler." 


But other clamours now, jURinGt and clear^ 
With hubbub wild, aflfail'd my ftartled ear ; 

** There Hell's dire fenate fits in awful ftate : 
Her dark Divan the lofty hall furrounds, 
Her citadel the baleful profped bounds, 

And pours her millions forth at every gate/' 


Thus Maro fpoke, and thus abrupt 1 faid, 
« I fee ! I fee ! thro* Night's difclofmg fliade. 

Hell's pyramids, that feem afcending fires ! 
Why feem yon' tow'rs in crimfon light to glow ?" 
«* The fiery floods," he cry'd, " that roll below, 

A baleful fplendour cail on yonder fpires." 


Now finoothly fteering down the deep canal. 
Trembling, we coafted round the lofty wall ; 

High mounds of burning fleel ! that front the coaft. 
Still our unweary'd oars the furges fweep : 
At length, exclaim'd the Pilot of the deep, 

^^ Hafte, hafte on ihore, and feize the fated poft !" 


But foon, at ev'ry pafs, the Guard of Hell, 
Who erft from Heav'n in flaming ruin fell— 

" Stop there, prefumptuous Man," indignant cry'd; 
^^ Let not thy mortal feet our bounds profane^ 
If or venture to furvey our myftic reign." 

The Bard a parley fought. — ^The Demons cry'd. 
Vol. L M 

L i6^ ] 


** Come thou ! and let the Mortal find his wajr. 
All dark, and gnidelefs, to the realms of day ; 

Send him to feek the path he lately trod ! 
But thee, his guide, another doom awaits^ 
Ordain'd within thofe adamantine gates 

For ever to endure the penal rod/' 


Heavy and damp the deadly fentence fell ; 
Then, who the tempeft of my foul can tell ! 

All folitary left, of friends forlorn ! — 
•* Paternal Ihade," I cry*d, " whofe guardian arm 
Led me thro' fields of fate, fecure from harm. 

Leave me not thus, in endlefs night to mourn! 


** If yon* forbiddeti gate the Demons bar. 
Why linger here, and tempt unequal war ? 

St, xvi /. 6.] The difficulty the Poets meet with in finding 

their way into the Theatre of Hercfy, is not introduced merely t© 

enliven the poem with stn embarraflment* The Demons oppofe the 

detedlion of thofe fcenes where that falfe philofophy is puni(hed« 

ttrhofe employment it had been to glofs over vice by the colours of 

eloquence, and fupport it by argimient ; as by that they flrike at 

the root of all moral obligation, and endeavour to loofen every tie 

of fociety^ And as the powers of darknefs are defcribed as thu» 

employed belowj vrt find aboKfe, that fuch is the allurement of vice^ 

and fuch the fophiilry of the Paffions in defending themfelves, that 

though the opinions dangerous to morality and religion are ftill an- 

fwered, they flill fprout up anew in different (hapes, and afford, if 

not the mod difficult, yet the moft troublefome employment to t|^ 

advocates of reafon and truth. 



When Fate herfelf commands us to retire !*' 
^^ And wilt thou hearken ftill to daftard fear ? 
Heard'ft thou the call," he cryM, " that fent us here ? 

Down, down, it leads us thro' yon' central fire !'' 

** Tremble no more, but here in filence (bay. 
While I explore the dangers of the way : 

Nor doubt my quick return." He fpoke, and fled« 
Lonely I fti:ay'd along the difmal fhore, 
Pond'ring the ftrange adventure o'er and o^er. 

And ftill his ling'ring ftay increas'd my dread. 

The parley ends ; the malTy gates unfold. 
And in the Stygian crew by thoufands roli'd. 

While on their rear the clanging portals clofe. 
The Bard, returning thence, demure and flow. 
While on his afped hung a cloud of woe. 

Sadly exprefs'd his anguifh, as it rofe : 

** Shall our commiffion'd courfe determine here ? 
Shall yon' Wack Cherubim their enfigns rear ? 

In vain— -for other arms Ihall force our way !-^ 
Defpond not thou ! but wait th' eventful hour ; 
Their pride of old oppos'd a mightier pow'r, 

Whofe force yon' ruin'd battlements difplay. 


** Yon' valves that never clofe, the Viftor pafs'd ; 
Before him yawn'd th' interminable wafte ; 

M 2 

C 164 3 

Th' eternal dungeons by in ruin rounds 
The Stygian hoft his (ingle arm withftood ; 
And well they knew what deadly woes enfued : 

Where op'ning Hades mourns his ancient wound. 



C i6s 3 



Bj the Interpodtion of an uQezpe£ied Vifitanty the Poets at length 
obtain admiffion within the walls of the Metropolis.— Here 
the firft objed prefented to the view is the Theatre of He* 
rest: where^ among the other Heresurchsi they find the 
Souls of a Pops and an Emperor. 

JriE fpoke, I felt the cold contagion fpread : 
The friendly fpirit (aw my rifing dread. 

And with diflembled hope afluag'd my fear : 
Then flood fufpenfe awhile, and liften'd round 
Where fogs, tumultuous roU'd, the fight confound 

In vain ! no welcome fummons met his ear, 

** Conqueft was promised by the powers on high : 
Can Heav'n recede ! and Hell its force defy? 

Why ftays her meflenger !" amaz'd he faidt 
I mark'd his wav'ring mind, and inftant dr^w 
Conclufions unforefeen, and terrors new, 

From the deep mufmgs of the Mantuan ihade« 


C i66 ] 


« On Heirs extremeft bound thy lot was thrown. 
What could allure thee thus thro' worlds unknown^ 

From yon* calm fphere beyond the reach of pain ? 
Did any one before the voyage try ?" 
I fpoke, and this the Mantuan's mild reply : 

** Long fmce, my feet explored the dark domain \ 


** Scarce had I left the cheerful bounds of day. 
When, new to all the terrors of the way, 

Erictho fent me thro' the flaming deep, 
Fearlefs I plung'd among the felon crew, 
And from the midft a chofen fpirit drew 

In long reluctance up the horrid fteep« 


Her potent word the nether deep difplay'd. 
Where Judas hides in Hell's remoteit Ihade,, 

And bade the ghofts obey her mighty law ; 
Wont to infpire the fealed lips of death 
With fad prophetic founds, and magic breath. 

The Sorg'refs held the central world in awe/* 

Su iv. U 3«] A famous Sorcerefs of Sicily^ to whom SExrvf^ 
fon of PoMPEY, came, according to Lucan, to Icarp the event of 
the battle of PharfoRa^ and his own &te. Her incantations are 
difplayed in the fixth book of PbarfaTta^ with great pomp of nunu 
bcrs, and a certain wild fublimity. She u there defcnbed as huntt 
tng over the field of battle for a corpfe, not yet cold, as the fitteft 
for her necromantic purpofes* She infpires him with new life, and 
renders him yocal by ^e al&fiancc of the fpirit whi^h Vir^ qict^ 
lioi^ bcrct 

C 167 ] 


*Where yonder noifome fogs eternal rife 
From the pale wave, and intercept the Ikies, 

Fearlefs I pad yon* ever-burning fpires, 
** Tho' danger keeps the gate," th' unfiniih'd word 
Broke off, fucceeded by a fight abhorr'd, 

Hov'ring on high amid the folding iires» 


Three female forms, with recent blood embruM, 
On the tall battlements in council flood. 

And ev'ry face a fnaky vizor wore : 
Green warping Hydras formM the flowing veil:, 
And twin'd Ceraftse wove the horrent creft, 

Whofe mingled hidings ran around the ihorct 


My guide^ who knew the daughters of defpair. 
Exclaimed, ^^ behold Meoara's threatening air ; 

Yonder her deep remorfe Alecto feeds ! 
The third, yet fiercer dill an hideous (lore 
Of vengeance hoards, and counts it o'er and o'er. 

The dire atonement of umightequs deeds/* 


Soon as they fpy'd us from their ftation high. 
They fent a fcream that fhook the gloomy Iky, 

St. yiii. /• 4.] Alluding to the meaning of the nam^ Ti s i ? h on e, 
if €. |be avenger of blood. 

M4 Ani. 

And beat their breads, and mcnac'd from a£u'« 
Away !" Medusa thunders at the gate } 
Her ftem petrific eye (haU fuc your fate. 
Away ! great Th£S£us felt our force in war.'* 


** Turn, turn away, the trembling Poet cries, 
Left that portentous vifion meet thine eyes." 

Speaking he tum'd averfe, nor I delay'd. 
With folded hands, to hide my darkened fight : 
His kind paternal hands their aid unite, 

And cover my pale face with friendly (hade. 

(Ye found of intellefik ! the truth retain. 
Hide in the mazes of the myftic ftrain^ 

Not long we ftood, till thro' the vaft profound, 
Difmal afar, but more aftounding near,' 
A mingled tumult ftruck my flartled ear. 

The vaulted deep and trembling (hctre refound« 

A whirlwind thus, the child of heav'nly wrath. 
Thro' the tall for^ft fweeps an ample path. 

And rends their fhatter'd boughs, and flings afar j 
Thro' the long avenue in dufty pride 
The defolating God is feen to ride. 

And flogks apd fwains avoid the coming war« 


*' Now turn thy Iharpen'd eye to yonder fteep. 
Where damps and noifome fogs eterpal weep." 

I lookM I 

— H 

C 169 ] 

I look'd ! and faw a throng, in deep difmay. 
Flying in flioals ; as when the finny train 
Before the fable monarch of the main 

Innum'rous feud, and fill the ample bay. 

Thus in loud ruin came the bands fcM'Iom : 
Behind, a godlike form in tempeft borne, 

Urg'd the foul flight acrofs the fable flood.: 
Before his lifted arm the vapours hoar. 
In gloomy volumes roU'd to either fhore ; 

And full difclos'd the heavenly viiion flood. 


I watchM the Mantuan look — ^he gave the fign j 
At once with rev'rend awe our heads decline. 

He anfwer'd not, but tum'd a wrathful eye, 
Full on the gate opposM. His beamy wand 
The portal fmote, it felt the heav'nly hand. 

The jarring valves disjoin^ and open fly. 


Full in the flaming arch the Seraph flood, 

** Exiles of Heav'n !*' he cry*d, " rebellious brood ! 

Learn lefs prefumptioli, and his arm to dread 
Whofe fov'reign will admits of no control } 
Whofe vollied thunders oft were heard to roll 

Thro' the fa^d regions of the fentencM dead ! 


^* Pare yc contend with Heav'n, ye fons of night ? 
Think how your Jaimir moumM a Mortal's might !'^ 


C 170 ] 

He ceas'dy and frowning left the gates of death r 
Silent and ftem the Mantuan fhade he paft. 
Then mounted upwards on a whirlwind blaft. 

Like one that bum'd with unexdnguifh'd wradu 


To the unguarded gate we bent our way. 
Secure of conqueft in the Stygian fray ; 

And entering flow, our careful eyes explore 
The Heav'n-built fortrefs of eternal wrath ; 
Where viewlefs tortures lin'd the plains beneath. 

And execrations ran from ihore to fhore. 


As where old Arli fees the flagnant flood, 

Or nigh Quarnaro ftain'd with Istrian blood. 

Long fepulchres deform the fun'ral field : 
Thus ridgy rofe, and bold, the burning fpace j 
But deeper dykes the Stygian foil de&ce. 

And ev*ry tomb a ftruggling vidtim held, 

St* zyii. /. 5.] An allufion to our Sayiour's ddcent into HeD, 
Sec Canto 4thy and the conclufion of Canto Sth, where this note, by 

a lapfe of the memory^ was omitted. It was the opinion of th^ 

times that our Saviour defcended not only into the ftate of the dead* 
(Hadesy)but into the regrion of eternal puni(hment» to (hew bis do- 
minion at once over death and hell, and to lead from the Limbus 
Patrum* the Patriarchs and Antideluvians in triumph. See his 
retinue defcnbed. Canto 4th, There are numberlefs allufions ta 
this through the Poem. 

St. xix. /.I.] A City of Provence, where CSarlemagne orerw 
threw the Saracens in a pitched battle^ but with great flaughtqp of 
th^ French, 

C 171 3 

Round each fad furnace glows a lamping flame, 
And ev'ry cell reflefts a ruddy gleam : 

Mafies of molten fteel they feem'd afar. 
Some pow*r fufpends their burning valves on high, 
And fends abroad the lamentable cry 

Of prifon'd fouls that curfe their natal ftar. 


^^ Ah, Guide divine ! explain this horrid fight ; 
Say, who are they that mourn their wretched plight 

In yon* deep dungeons of outrageous fire ?" 
** There the Heresiarchs dwell," the Poet faid, 
^ Who their hd profelytes firom truth mifled. 

Their impious followers fill the difinal choir. 


^' In fubterranean tribes beneath the plain 
The vidims lie, condemned to various pain ; 

As each more deeply drank of error's wave 
Millions unthought the diftant bound polfefs." 
Thus fpeaking, down the widening path we prefs. 

Where the wall frowns o'er many a flaming gravo. 


C 173 ] 



Damtb obtaining Permiffion to addrefs the Heresiarchs, finds 
among the reft Guido Cavalc^nti and Farinata Ubbrte, 
two nobk Florentines; the latter of whom giyes an obfcutt 
Intimation to the Poet^ of his impending £xik» and accounts for 
this extraordinary PriWkge of forefeeing things enjoyed by the 
Tribes below. 

1 HE Bard proceeds, and guides my trembling feet 
Where round the plain the awful turrets meet. 

" Oh, thou !" I cry'd, " whofe fage conducting hand 
Teaches iny fteps the dark degrees to found. 
Say, is it giv'n to fearch the flaming round. 

And learn the ftories of the fentenc'd band ? 


^* See from afar their opening tombs invite. 

And no invidious band appears in fight." [clofe 

" Thefe tombs,'* he cry'd, ** the hand of fate fhall 
When from the vale of doom their fouls return. 
Embodied each in fiercer fires to bum. 

Dire confummation of their endlefs woes. 



C 174 1 

Where yon' red furnace glows amid the fird 
Old Epicurus heads the impious choir; 

Who thought the foul an air of fleeting breathy 
For ever now his dire miftake he mourns. 
Go ! where among his train the Atheift bums. 

And learn the fecrets of the fecond death. 


« Thy eager wifli I fee !"— AbafliM, I faid, 
*^ Thy counfel kind my eager wiih allay'd ; 

When my too lib'ral tongue thy care controlled !'^ 
He anfwer'd not ; for deep within the ground 
A voice exdaim'd, ^^ Oh, hail ! thou welcome found. 

That tun'd my tongue on Arno's banks of old. 


*' What wayward chance, Oh ! gentle Tuscan, tell ! 
Condu&s thee thro' the flaming bounds of Hell, 

A mortal man ?" — ^With quick inftiuQive dread 
I feiz'd my Guide ; when thus the Mantuan bold :— • 
^^ Turn, daftard, turn ! and Hubert's fhade behold i. 

See ! from the flaming verge he lifts his head.' 


Si, iii. /.^i.] Thofe who had abufed the grifts of underftandingf 
and endeavoured to pervert or QhTcure the conyi^ons of reafon, 
or the do£brines of Revelation, are here fubjefked to an appro* 
priate puniihmcnt coniifting in the inflided honon of their own 
underftanding, fublimed bj pain* and ** the keen mihrationt of Ott* 
md trtah ;" denoted by the reflected light from burning ileeL 

St. V. /. 5.] Farinata> of the iUufiriouB family of the Ube&ti 
of FLoaENCEy an Epicurean or materialifl by principle, one 
** who thought the foul an air of fleeting breath."— He was tb€ 
principal of the Ghibellinc or Imperial fadion.*— See Fbrentine 
Hiftory annexed, in the refercDCC to this Canto. 

C i7S ] 


Half4pringing from the tomb he feem'd to fcom. 

With high and haughty mien his lot forlorn : 

His eye met mine, the Mantuan feiz'd my hand. 

And led me thro' the dire fepulchral fcene. 

Where winds a path the burning tombs between. 

*' Now fpeak,"he cry'd, "and tell thy bold demand?'* 

Near the red furnace in fufpenfe I flood. 

The fpeftre view'd me round with furious mood: 
And, ** Mortal ! whence thy race/* intent he cry^d. 

With £dt'ring voice my lineage I difplay'd ; 

** Thou nam'ft my deadlieft foes," reply'd the fhade, 

** And oft' the prowefs of tins arm they try'd." 

•' My arm twice fwept them from their native plain y 

<*Yet twice they wip*d away th' ignoble ftain." 

Stern I reply'd, " while thine in exile moum'd.'* 

Rous'd at the word, another Ihade appeared. 

High o*er the flaming verge his front he rear'd, 

VlThile in his fparkling eye impatience bum'd. 

Eager he look'd along the glimm'ring fliore. 

And difappointment blanch'd his vifage o'er : 

** Oh, Alighuri ! Oh, my friend !" he cryM, 

*' If to thy daring foul this difmal path 

Spontaneous opens thro* the vale of death. 

Why has my Guido left thy faithful fide ?" 

St. ix. /. 3.] Here ia an inftancc that the Poet diflributcs hit 
punifliment according to his ftn6ie(l notions of the criminal's de- 
merit. Guido Cavalcanti (the fpeAre meant here) was a Gudf of 

the white fadiony as Dante was, and his moft intimate friend ; but 


C '7« J 

*' A hand condu£b me thro* the realms of pain,^ 
I cry*d, " which haply Guido would difdain/' 

(For by his voice the fpeftre foon was known.) 
^' Say, feels he ftill the fun's benignant beam 
Again," he faid, ** or here in Hell's extreme 

Sends from afar the never-dying groan ?** 

Sufpenfe awhile he waited my reply. 
Then funk defpairing with a feeble cry» 

Stem, and unmov'd, the other fliade remains, 
Pond'ring the fortunes of his exil'd race : 
** I mourn, I mourn," he cry*d, " their deep dilgrace, 

More than the dn&ure of thefe burning chains. 


^* But ere the fiftieth moon fhall gild her horn 
The vanquifh'd fhall rejoice, the vidor mourn. 

«— But whence this lafling hate to Hubert's bloody 
That breathes flill deadly in the voice of law ?" 
•* The direful caufe," I cry'd, ** Valdarbia faw. 

When to the main fhe roU'd a fanguine flood. 


tin^ured with the principles of maiertoRfm.—'-^Stc a bcSutiful Irtii- 
tation of a Sonnet addrefled to his Son by Dantey in Mr. Hayley's 
notes to his Eflay on Epic Poetry. 

St. X. A 2.] This was the Guido to whom the Sonnet before 
mentioned was addreiTed.— The Poet alludes here to his pref erence 
of the Philofophers to the Poets, a point op which they had numy 
amicable contefts. 

Sl xii. /. 3.] Hubert here obfcuidy prophefies the expulfion of 
the Guelfs by Charles of Valois, and the exile of Dante. 8ee 
hue ^flTof Dante* and Florentioe Hiitory annexed^ 


t 17/ 


Sighing, he cryM, *' Was mine the fingle hand 
^hat with your fo£Hou9 blood embath'd the ftrand ? 

Did no juft vengeance point my lifted fpear ? 
But this fole arm, above ignoble dread, 
Warded the vengeance burfting o'er your headj 

When trembling Florence faw perdition near/* 

** Hubert," 1 cryM, " the myftery explain. 
So may your blood, reftor'd, in Florence reign) . 

And kindly folve my doubt ; for fchoolmen tell. 
Fate to the fiends fo deals her dubious lights 
That prefent things efcape their clouded fight, 
While future fcenes arc clearly known in Hell.'* 


•* In thefe fad realms," the Tuscan foul replies, 
** Diftinft the fcenes oi future time arife, 

While ftill the fading prefent fleets obfcure : 
Nought know the fehtenc'd tribes of pafling things, 
Unlefs fome wretch condenm'd the tidings brings 

Frefh from the ftains of yonder clime impure. 

Su XV. /. 6.] As the great caufe of vice in this world is pre* 
ferring the Prefent to the Futttre^ the Poet has invented a fpecies of 
puniihmenty where this order is reverfed, where the Future in- 
creafes the mifery of the condemned, by predominating over the 
Present. Even in this world, the fufferings of them who have 
the misfortune to be the viAims^rttrcnzy and Defpair, feem princi- 
pally to conflft in a dreadful deje6Uon or irritation of mind> whea 
deprived of felf-poiTeflion : 

It makes the Pa s T| present; and the Fut u r s^ frown. 


Vol- !• N 

C '78 ] 

^* This privilege alone our fquadrons boaft. 
Till Prrfent, Paft, and Future, all are loft 

In final doom, and time fliail be no more." 
Vext at my fault, " Oh, tell thy fad compeer !" 
I cry*dj *^ his Guido^ caufe of all his fear. 

Yet ftrays delighted on tlie Tuscan fhore. 


" This had I told ere now ; but thoughts perplcx'd, 
Tho' now refolv'd, my anxious bofom vext ; 

And now adieu, — ^my Guide forbids my ftay l'* 
^ But firft declare what fellows of the tomb. 
In burning cells await the final doom,. 

Secluded ever from the hope of day/' 

^* Round (he reply'd) a thoufand tombs arife, 
Yon' furnace rings with royal Frederic's cries. 

St. xviii. /. 2.] The fecond Empeior of that name, grandfon to 

BARBAR0SSA9 and to William the G00D9 Kling of Sicily, by 

CoNSTANTiA his daughter, who, though a profefTcd Nun, was 

obliged to marry Henry the Sixth, his fon* By this means, 

Frederic united in his own perfon the claims of the Houfe of 

SuABiA to the Empire, and of the Houfe of Tancred to Naples 

and Sicily. The& claims, as they would have clafhed with the 

interefts of the Church, alarmed the Pope (Honorivs the Third,) 

particularly when he found that Frederic had taken pofTeffion of 

the Sicilies. He firft kindled a difpute between Fr e de r ic and 

his Clergy % then, after long and Yexatious difputes, he confented 

to a feeming reconciliation, and perfuaded the Emperor to under* 

take a Cru&de againft the Sultan of Egypt. When he was in the 

Mrar, the Pope took care to betray his counfels to the Sultan, and 

pointed out the beft method of fubduing him. The Sultan, to 

cinbroil the Chriftian potentateSf difcovered the Papal correfpond- 


C 179 ] 

His captive prelates fill the difmal choin 
Enquire no more !*' he cry'd, and plung'd amain. 
With headlong hafte, among the burning train. 

And eager feem'd to feek his bed of fire. 

My Guide I followed on with heavy heart ; 
The gentle Poet faw my inward fmart. 

And afc'd the caufe. The myftic threat I told. 
*' Bid Mem*ry ftill the fatal words retain, 
(He cry*d) and mark the wonders of the plain ; 

Thy guardian Saint will foon thy fate unfold 1" 


Onward our feet purfu*d the left-hand way. 
Behind the burnings cad a difmal ray ; 

And, op'ning in the front, a gloomy vale 
Breath'd a fepulchnd fcent ; where, fteaming round. 
Dark, noifome vapours hide the fatal ground. 

And o'er the deep in lazy volumes fail. 

ence to FredehiC} who immediately made peace with him, and 
returned to Europe to puniih the Pope. On his arrival in Italy, 
he took pofiefiion of Apulia and Sicily ; and, to affront the 
Pope^ fent for a colony of Saracens, whom he fettled at Nocera in 
Apulia. In confequence of this he was engaged in a long and 
cruel war with the Pope ; and, ere it was finifhed, died in Apulia* 
by the hands (as is fuppofed) of his natural fon Manfred, or 
Ma IN FRO I, who is faid to have fliiled him with a wet cloth. He 
died excommunicated ; but the crime that feems to have given him a 
feat here was a book, faid by fome to be written by him, by others 
attributed to his confidential Minifler, Peter deVineis, the fub^ 
ftance of which was. The Three Impoftors, viz. Moses, Ma ho- 
MET, and J. C. Sec C. xiii. for the ilory of Peter de Vineis. 



C >8i 3 



The Poet arriving at the boundi of the Circle of Herefyy finds the 
Tomb of Anaftafius* Virgil then gives a general map or ddineation 
of their intended journey. From him Dante learns that the next 
region is inhabited by tyrants, oppreflbrs, and others of that 
clafsy whom he accurately diftinguifhes into their feveral fpecies* 
In giving a general view of the other criminals, he afligns a reafoa 
why Usu&y is punifhed with other ciimea againft Nature. 

JN O W, bending o V the high embattled fleep» 
We find the pois'nous vapours of the deep. 

Intolerably ftrong, invade our finelL 
FuU-charg'd with peftilence the fog arofe ; 
Faft we retreated from the fcene of woes. 

Where ^ tall fabric crownM the verge of HelL 


Thofe words engrav'd, the haplefs inmate told, 
♦* The Pupil of Photinus here behold, 


^L ii. A 2.] Photinus was a Greek heretiot who held, againft 
the Omousiansi that the Son waa not cquaj to the Fathkr, and 

N3 that 

[ 182 ] 

Whofe tainted faith the triple crown dIfgracM !" 
*' Oh ! flowly, flowly pace the noifome vale, 
(Exclaim'd the Mantuan) left your fcnfes fail. 

Too weak to bear the fuffocating blaft !** 


*' Say, (hall we fruitlefs pafs the precious time. 
While darknefs overhangs the difmal clime ?'* 

I a(k'd, and thus the friendly Spirit faid : 
^' Attend ! while I prepare thee for a fight 
Yet hid within the fullen womb of night ; 

Where yon* fufpended cliffs the valley ihade. 


** Thro* three dcfcents of pain our journey leads. 
Each holds a tribe condemned for lawlefs deeds ; 

that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from both. His pupil was 
(according to Dante) Pope Anaflaiius the Fourth ; though Baro- 
nius and BelLirmine both deny it. (See Anna!. £ccl. anno 497, 
and Rom. Pont. cap. 10.) One good effed followed at 
leaft from thefe difputes of the rival parties ; each took due care 
that the facred text fhould not be corrupted by their antagoniib» 
and hence th? fcnptural code was preferved pure ; which, had the 
Churph always been at peace, would have been Uable to great cor- 
ruption, where none would have had an intereft to detedl the fraud. 
Nor, fuppoilng it had not been corrupted, could its purity have 
been fo eafily proved to unbelievers as it can now, if the Church 
• had not been divided into parties, who carefully watched each 
other. When it is remembered, that thofe difputes began in the 
firft ag^ jof the Church, it will eafily be perceived what influence 
they had in preferving the fcriptures undepraved. 


C »83 ] 

Learn thou their crimes ! a fight will then fufBce ; 
There Malice, deadly fiend, abhorr'd by God, 
With her twin-race of Violence and Fraud, 

Beneath the penal fcourge for ever lies. 


^^ Above the Sons of Violence refide. 
The bands of Fraud below together hide ; 

(Vile Fraud ! the heav'n-bom foul's peculiar blot !) 
For this, in fiercer pains, the traitors keep 
Their horrid vigils fiu* in yonder deep ; 

Hated of Heav'n, and fill the loweft lot. 


*< But the Blafphemer, who his God defy'd. 
With him who flung the load of life afide ; 

And he whofe arm againll his neighbour rofe. 
The nearer frontiers fill ; a triple fpace ; 
Ruffians and Spendthrifts hold the foremoft place. 

With the proud Atheift, doom'd to kindred woes. 


^' The rear contains the foul blafpheining band. 
Who rais'd againit their God the impious hagid, 

St. IT. /. 5.] . The Poet here gi^eSy ift. The cgeneral divifion of 
the remaining region into the two grand depai;|pient« of Viidenoe 
and Fraud (St. v.). Then he defcends to a particubr enmne- 
ration of each clafs : In the department^ef Vioknce he mentiona 
robbers, fuicides, nfiuperg, atheiila, and blafphemeiit with thofe 
who hare been guilty of unnatural pra^iccs (St. 7—-^.), The 
▼arious fpecies of fraud are next given in detail (St* 9—1 1.}. 

N 4 Anraign'd 

Arraigned his goodnefs, and his wrath defy'd : 
Gomorrah there, and foul Caorsa's race. 
In mingled bands the paths of horror trace, 

With thofe whofe callous hearts the truth deny'd^ 


^* Fraud (kulks below with all her various brood. 
There darkling dwell the foes of public good. 

The pilPrer, and the cheat, his dark ally: 
With thofe, whofe felon hand their truft betray 'd, 
Hypocrify in faintly garb array'd. 

Corruption foul, and frontlefs Perjury^ 

•* The central gulph, replete with fiercer pains. 
The faithlefs friend, and all his tribe contains : 

O'er them the Father of the Fiends prefides. 
Their common race with all its ties forgot. 
In mutual hate they mourn their hideous lot. 

Where the firft demon rules the frozen tides." 


** Diftin6i and clear," I cry*d, " thy words fublimc 
Sketch the fad regions of the horrid clime. [ 

But fay, why fentenc'd to a milder hell. 
Where round the fortrefs floats the troubled wave, 
Envy and Strife their fifter-legions lave ; 

Deferve they not in fiercer pains to dwell ? 


•* Say, why the, votaries of lawlefs love 
Ride the mad tdmult of the winds above ; 


i: i8s : 

While, like the conflift of the noify bar, 
Still battling with their tongues, the Mifers chide ? 
Why guiltlefs are they doom'd the fcourge to bide ? 

Or, guilty, why fo light a fentence fliare ?" 


^* Who made thee judge?'* incens'd, the Spirit cry'd, 
^* Was then my former lore in vain apply'd. 

Which taught the juft degrees of heavenly ire ? 
The fenfual feel a lighter load of woe. 
But Fraud and Malice feek the gulph below. 

Together doomed to everlafting fire. 

St, zi. /• 4.] The different degrees of punidiment allotted to 
the Mifer and Ufurery feem founded on the principle that a man may 
be a Mifer without any flagrant injuftice or offence againfl Society 
being laid to hia charge : But an Ufurer is a greater peff to Society, 
as his bufinefs confiffs in taking advantage of the diffreffes of 

others. In the time of Dante, indeed, larger intereff for money 

was more neceilary than now, as the lenders ran a greater riik ; but 
this only left room for greater extortion. 

It feems confonant to our general notions of equity, that Fraud 
in the other world (hould be punifhed more fevcrely than Violence, 
though in this flate of things it would not always be convenient, 
for Violence flriki^s more immediately at Society than Fraud; but in 
the eye of Rcaibn, Fraud, and the crimes to which it gives birth, 
feem of a much more atrocious hue than the worft effed^s either of 
Love, Ambition, or Avarice. The .latter proceeds merely from the 
indulgence of their refpeftive pafiions ; the former, from a corrup- 
tion of Reafon itfelf, hence called in the text 

-The Heav'n-born foul's peculiar blot !" 

The crimes of Violence moftly proceed from temptation, the 
crimes of Fraud from delibenttion* — Hence fraud, perfidy, and in* 
gratitude, thofe vices of a clear head and cool blood, feem juftly 
doomed to a lower and more fevere lot« Vide Cic. Offic* Lib. i. 


t i86 3 


The (bns of lawlefs love and hafty rage 

Hence feel the pitying hand their pangs afluage. 

Weigh thou their merits, and thy doubts forego f- 
The deeply-damn'd within the fortrefs dwell. 
Without, far ftationM to the bounds of Hell, 

In lighter fquadrons range the fons of woe/* 


^ Can I repent my doubts ! illumined Bard, 
When thus thy heav'nly words my doubts reward ? 

Oh ! let me yet thy kind attention claim ; 
Caorsa's wealthy crew you nam'd before 1 
Could Ufury fend them to the burning fliore 

With Sodom'& fons to feed the penal flame V^ 


^ Search thy philofophy,** Ae Pbet cry*d ; 

^ Dame Nature there, the pure, primaeval guide 

Whence patient Art her operations form : 
Still from fome vital principle derives 
The various line of propagated lives, 

And with prolific heat her nations wamu 


^ But from her hallowM path the Mifer (trays^ 
Who lets pale Av'rice warp his fordid ways. 

Inveterate foe to Nature's fimple lore. 
Beneath his influence grows the barren gold. 
He fpeaks, and lo ! the parent fums unfold 

hi monftrous Inrths, a miibegotten (tore* 

C 187 3 

But now the fign, oppos'd to Aries, (hrouds 
Her flaming head among the weftem clouds. 

And in the rifing fcale afcends the day : 
While, with inverted pole, the northern car 
Is feen fufpended o*er the boreal ftar ; 

Hafte, hade ! the moments chide our long delay. 


St. xvii. /• 5O io e. Above or on the South fide of the North 
Pole» when in fome feafons of the year it appears before the break of 





The PoetSy with difficulty, make their way through a craggy anl 
dangerous pafs, between the Regions of Heresy and Oppres* 
siON« — In the latter Divifion^ they find« under a Guard of Cen« 
taursy the Souls of Tyrants, Opprefibrs, Conquerors, and all 
who were guilty of deliberate and open Violence againft Society 
or Individuals. After taking a view of their Punifliment, by tka 
ailifianceof a Cehtaur* they reach the Forest of Suiciss. 

1 HE flielving path our cautious fteps purfue ; 
When» lo ! anothar gulph appears in view; 

Th' aflonifliM eye (tarts back, our feet recoiL 
Not with fuch fearful view die Trentian fteep 
Looks dizzy down upon the circling deep 

Where flow invafion mines the mould'ring ioSL 


There oft the thund'ring ruin fmites the plain r 
The flood recoils, and leads her humid train 

St. i. /. 4.] The Hill of Montb Barco, between Trstigi 
and TRENTO9 having been (haken by an earthquakcy or under* 
dined by the river Adioe, parted in the nuddle, and falling 
acrola the riveri turned it for a time from its ufual cbanncL 


C ^90 J 

Far, far aflope ! the m^n rock disjoins. 
So feem'd th' eternal breach ; the hideous guard 
Was He, whofe form the horrid mixture marr'd. 

By CasTA moumM through all her fair confines* 


He heard our footfteps found along the fhore. 
Then rous'd to vengeance, fent his voice before. 

And tow'rd the Poet bent his furious way. 
All horrible vndi felf-inflided wounds. 
^ Avaunt," the Poet cry'd, ^ thofe folemn bounds 

No Gr££k invades widi purpofe to betray ! 

^ No ftem aflaffin, by a iifter led. 
Comes to demand thy mifcreated head : 

A blamelefs mortal fent to ycMider deep 
A paflage craves."— As with indignant bound 
The bellowing buU refents the mortal wound. 

So danc'd the grizzdy ftape around the ileep. 

Sl ii. /. 5.3 The famous Minotaur of Crete, a monfter, cele- 
brated by the Poets, fuppofed to be half formed like a man, and 
half like a bulL The Gas b it mentioned here is Theseus, Sod 
to the King of ArHSHit who refcued bis country from the igno- 
minious tribute of feven noble youths, who were exaded by the 
Cretan Monarch yearly, for die murder of his Son by thtjithc- 
manif and given to -be flaughtered by thcMiNOTAua. Ari adiie» 
the Cretan princefs, conceiving a paflion for Theseus, is faid to 
have given him a due, which condudled him through the mazes of 
the labyrinth, where the Minotaur was lodged. By this, after 
haying killed the monfter, he was conduced fafe back. This &• 
bulous being has not the moft happy effeft in making his appearance 
among real hiftorical perfonages, though he appears in other re- 
fpe6b a proper enough attendant on the race of Violence and 

C 191 ] 

^ Redre ! and gire his rage an ample path ; 
•Tis raflmefs thus to brave eternal wrath !** 

Exclaim'd the Bard ; and by anotha- way 
O'erhanging rocks fublime, and ridges drear, 
Whofe tott'ring bafes filFd my foid with fear. 

The Mantuan led me, ftruck with pale difinaj. 


•* See ! yon* tall Theatre in ruin rollM ! 

My fteps," he cry'd, " the barrier pafs'd of old. 

While yet in tow'ring ilate the circle flood : 
But, ere from earth the mighty fpoiler came, 
Deftru£Uon levelled round the {lately frame. 

And opM a paflage o'er the Stygian flood* 


** All nature feem*d to own die mighty Mak ; 
A trembling fympathy thro' Hades ran ; 

And Chaos thought her rdgn returning newt 
Loud earthquakes min*d the wide infernal field. 
Far, far below her deep foundations reel'd. 

And wide around, a lengdi of ruin drew* 


•* Here take thy Hand ; and view the difmal dell ! 
What floods of gore in boiling torrents fwell, 

Whofe flagrant wave the fons of violence hide ! 
Thine are the fpells, infatiate lull of pow'r ! 
That charm the terrors of the tort'ring hour. 

And down the deep your flaves triumphant guide. 


C ^9^ 1 


The bloody billows fwept a fpadous round, 
While, muft'ring fierce upon the rifing groumj 

Succin£l in arms, a band of bowmen flood : 
Three quiver'd chiefs forfook the ghoflly band. 
And flemly tracM us on die fanguine flrand, 

While thus the firfl exclaim'd in ireful mood s 


^ Avaunt ! or quick the fatal arrow flies ; 

How dare you thus indulge your curious eyes ?— • 

-—Or tell, what plagues await your fentenc'd fouls ?^ 
^ Ceafe ! moody fon of wrath," the Bard reply*d, 
•* Dearly you eam'd your over-weening pride ! 

Know, fate alone our downward courfe controls.'^ 


** Go ! bid your Chief attend ;" he tumM, and faid, 
" This for Alcides* fpoufe the ranfom paid 

In blood. The fecond fhap'd the Pelian Lance- 
Stem Pholus joins, to lead the endlefs chace. 
Still fhow'r their fhafts on yon' devoted race. 

When from their fentenc'd lots, the flaves advance." 

5*/. xj. /• 3.3 It will be necefTaxy to inform the reader who it 
not verfed in Mythological Hiftory, that this was the Spirit of 
Neffusy the Centaur defcribed by the Poets as half man, half horfew 
NeiTus was employed by Hercules to carry his wife over the river 
Evenusy and on offering her violence on the further fhore, was Hiot 
with a poifoned arrow by Hercules. The Centaur, in his laft mo- 
ments, prefented his upper garments to the lady, tindlured with hia 
envenomed blood ; and requeued her to preferve it as a fure philtre 
to fecure or regain her hufband's afiedions. Shej in a fit of jea- 



C »93 1 


He fpoke, with cautious fteps I nearer drew, 
Chiron beheld, and bent his fatal yew ; 

Exclaiming, •' Hence, ye troublers of the dead ! 
What boldnefs leads your earthly feet profane 
To fhake with mortal weight the trembling plain } 

Hence ! ere this fhaft transfix your fentenc'd head. 

The Bard reply'd, " from no finifter view 
His earthly feet the darkfome way purfue; 

*Twas fate conipell'd him, no profane delight : 
An angel-voice the dire injunftion gave. 
To wander here, unconfcious of a grave, 

Under my guidance thro' the realms of night. 

" But, by that pow'r that 'tends me down the fteep. 
Send, I adjure thee ! fend thro' yonder deep 

Some faithful hand to guide his lonely way, 
And waft the mortal o'er the crimfon flood." 
-— Sufpenfe awhile the troubled vifion flood. 

Then gave the fign ; his ready mates obey. 


Nessus conduds us to the crimfon flood. 

Where feeth'd by ceafelefs fires, the Men of Blood 

loufy, fent it to her hufband, who putting it on, as he was fa- 

crificing, was feized with intolerable pain, and expired in a fit of 

raging madnefs ; in which he killed the meffenger who had 

brought the fatal prefent. See the FiaiiuUiiiiit of Sophocles, VLnd^Jh-OjC^/vcn^c <c 

Ovid Met. B. ix. — He that (haped the Pelian fpear was Chiron, the 

famous tutor of AchiUes. 

Vol. I. O Stand 

[ 194 ] 

Stand in long files. — ^Anon, a furious wave, 
Sublim'd to tenfold rage by fires unfeen, 
ComeSy with a thundering tide their ranks between^ 

And loud laments along the borders rave. 

^ Where yon' pale heads above the flood afcend. 
The Tyrant learns to weep/* exclaimM the Fiend, 

** And feels the everlafUng weight of blood." 
There Dionysius, link'd with PHERiE*s.Lord, 
Confpicuous frown among the Band abhorr'd. 

And o'er their maflacres for ever brood. 

There flem Obizo, by his fon betray 'd. 
With EzzELiNo fate, a darker fhade ; 

Si. XTi. /. 4.-^DiONYsiu8.] Tyrant of Syracufe, who» being 
expdled by the citizens, became a fchoolmafter in Corinth. 

Pherx^ — ^Alexander of Phene, one of the mod inhuman 
tyrants of his time ; yet he, though familiarized to blood, is faid to 
have (bed tears at the reprefentation of a play of Euripides, He had 
made a lifl of perfons whom he meant to put to death ; and 
among the red, his wife's two brothers. This was found' by his 
wife, and fhewn to them. They threatened her with inftant death 
if (he did not confent with them^ and afdil in difpatching the ty* 
rant. She was obliged to confent, and next night removed his 
fword from his bed-head, on which the afTaflins entered the room, 
and difpatched him. Plutarch. 

St. xvii. L r. — Obizo.^ Marquis of Ferrara, of the noble fa- 
mily of itai'Efle, who, by every fpecies of tyranny and oppreilion* 
had accumulated a vail fortune, and was at lad fmothercd with a 
pillow by his own fon, for his riches. 

<^/.xvii. /. 2. — £ z z £ L I N o. j Lord of the Trivigiana, in Piedmont • 
Hciunder pretence of aiding the party of Frederic the Second, de« 


[ 195 3 

Still as we pafs'd, the Centaur led the way^ 
The Mantuan feem'd his office to refign : 
Anxious I tum'd me to the Bard divine, 

" Proceed," he cry'd, ** thy recent guide obey/^ 


Another Legion there our eyes behold, 


Pull on their backs, the bloody billows roUM : 
There, ikulking low, was feen a Shade forlorn^ 

Who dyM with Britifh blood the hallow'd floor ; 

Old Father T»iames along his willowy fliore 
Still feems the young Plantagenet to nK)um^ 

ftroyed all the country from Bologna to Padud, with fire and fword,' 
•and reduced it under his dominion. — Having fupprefled a rebdlion 
in Padua, he took twelve thoufand pnfoners, and (hut.them up in 
il vaft theatre of wood, under the guard of his vidkorious army.— ^ 
This he ordered to be fet on fire ; but before the flame was kindled, 
he afked his ChalndeUor, (whom he fufpe6led of fome (hare in the r6- 
i)ellion,) ** If he knew thofe criminals V* — ^He anfwered in the a&m- 
ative, and (hewed a voluminous regifter, where all their nttnes and 
diifdemeanours were written at large.— " Then," fays Ezzelino^ 
'* as 1 have received many favours from his Infernal Majefty, I in- 
tend to make him a prefent of all thefe Souls ; and left they (hould 
appear in a tumultuary body before the monarch, you, with your 
regifter, (hall attend, to fumi(h him with an accurate lift of thehr 
names and ftations/' He accordingly ordered his guards to throw 
him over the ramparts, and commanded the pile to be fet on fire.— • 
He was at laft defeated by Pallavicini on the banks of the Addua, 
in the year 1260, and chofe to die of his wounds, rather than fuf« 
fer any alfiftance*— —Villani Hift. Florentin. 

St. zviiL /. 3.] Guy of Montfort, fon to the £unou8 Simon de 
Montfort, Earl of Lcicefter, who, heading the Barons againft 
Henry the Third of England, was defeated by Prince Edward, and 

Oa loft 

[ i9« 3 

Then, to the middle bath'd in torrent fire, 
Banking the flood, appeared a ghaftly choir. 

And lengthening down the vale, fucceflive bands 
In juft gradation rofe, afcending ftill, 
TUl, quivering o'er their feet, the fcanty rill 

With fhaliow crimfon fluih'd the pebbly (brand, 

^ XX- 

*^ Lo ! round yon* point the boiling depths increafe,' 
Th' attendant cr/d, " 'till yonder floods embrace 

With overwhelming furge the tyrant crew: 
Emerging thence their Legions feek the light ; 
Then, gradual fink, amid the gloom of night, 

Till yon' red deluge folds them from the view. 


** Pyrrhus and Tarquin there for ever wail. 
Where yonder waves the giant-bulk aflail 

loft his life in the battle of Eycfliam. His fon, to revenge his 
death, aflailinated young Heniy, nephew to the King, and fon to 
Richard, King of the Romans, in the great church of Viteibo— -^ 
ViUani Landino, VOlutello. 

Sl xxu /. 1. — PvaaHus.] King of Epirtis.-^— See bis Life in 

TAaoi'iN.] — ^The fon of Tarquin the Pkt)ttd, the laft 
King of Rome. It was he who difhonoured Lucretia; which 
roufed the people of Rome to yengeance, and caufed the expuUion 
of bis father. — In the Uft attempt made by Tarquin to recoycr his 
diadem, Sextus, the tyrant, and Brutus, the firft Conful, fell by 
mutii4 wounds.-*— —Liry, lib. i. 

a Of 

C ^97 ] 

Of Attila, thd^fcourge of human kind! 
The R£iN£RS too, an execrable pair ! 
Their moonlight murders weep, and nightly war. 

In name, and fame, and endlels doom combined/* 

St. zzi. /.3^*Attila.] King of the Huns, called by contenw 

' /porary hiftorians ** the fcourge of God," for his terrible devafta- 

tions in the weft. For a very animated and curious account of 

this extraordinary people, fee Gibbon's Decline of the Roman £m«t 

pirc, voL ▼. oAavo edit. 

St. zxi. /. 4^— -Titf Reinexs.] Two noblemen of the fame namet 
but different iamiliesy took the opportunity of the difputes m Flo- 
rence to indulge their innate cruelty. 

The phalanx of tyrants and homicides immerfed at different 
depths in a deluge of blood, and obliged to keep their ranks, or 
expofe themfelTCs to the arrows of the Centaurs, grives a lively idea 
of the bloody engagement between the Romans and Parthians on 
the plains of Carriiae, where the Roman Legions were nearly in the 
tame fituation with the criminals defcribed here. 

To thofe readers who are fond of allegorizing the pimifiunents 
of Dante, the deluge of boiling blood in which the fouls of tyrants 
and affaflins are immerfed, gives a very lively idea of the horrors of 
an unquiet confcience ; a ftate of mind defcribed in a few words 
by Mr. Burke, but with more fublimity than by any Poet I have 
ever met with : ** a ftate (he fays) yAicrt one terrific image grows 
to fuch a iize, that it breaks down all the partitions of the mind.'' 
Treattfe oh the SuhKme and Beafttiful.'^^l quote from memory, not 
having the book near me* 



C >99 3 



Dante arrives at the Foreit of Suicide, where he finds the Spirit 
of Pietro de Vignes, Chancellor and Prime Minifter to the 'Evfx* 
peror Frederick the Second ; from whom he learns the nature of 
his puniflunent. In the fame region, though differently pu- 
nifhed, he finds the Spirits of thofe who had been led to fuicide 
by diflipation. Among thefe he meets two of his contempor** 
riesy Lano di Sanefi and Jiacapo Padouano, 

JrliGH wafted o'er the flood, the Centaur bore 
His mortal charge, and galn'd the further fhore } 

Where the deep horrors of a pathlefs wood 
O'erAung the wave with dark funereal frown ; 
Deep tangled ihades the horrid foil embrown. 

And deadly venom ev'ry trunk bedew'd. 


No fhade fo difmal hides Cornetto's ihore. 
As where C-ffiCiNA hears the Tufcan roar. 

Nor fouler (hapes poffefs the haunted glade : 
Their dire aflemblies here the Harpies hold, 
Whofe voice purfu'd the Trojan fleet of old, 

And hideous fcenes of future woe difplay'd. 


They fleet around on broad portentous wing. 
And hov'ring high their baleful dirges fing ; 

Then people ev*ry bough, a difmal throng : 
Down to the breaft they feem of female race, 
But dufky plumage all the reft deface. 

And with ftrong talons to the boughs they clung. 

^* See (Maro cryM) the Wood, whofe gloomy bounds 
A level traft of burning fand furrounds ; 

Beyond the limits of this baleful grove : 
And now, for fcenes beyond the reach of faith ! 
Scenes yet unequalFd in the haunts of d^th \ 

Prepare your eyes, as thro' the vale we rove," 


Now difmal fhrieks aiTailM my ilartled ear. 
Thro* the long wood, afcending (hrill and clear j 

Nor torturing hand, nor fent^nc'd foul was feen.— • 
Inftant, my vain furmife the Mantuan ftw— 
And — ^** Let thy hardy hand (he cryM) withdraw 

Thofe envious boughs, the walks of death between!*' 


My ready hands the hanging branches tore ; 
And, lo ! my hands were all embru*d in gore ! 

When, from the trunk, an hollow difmal fo^n4 
Exclaim*d, " Ah ! why my bleeding fibres tear ?— » 
If e*er above you breath'd the vital air. 

Why thus with cruel hand your brethren wound ? 


5/. vi. /. 4.] Imitated from Fir^!^ Mn^ lib. iii. 

C aoi ] 


Altho* confined in this accurfed wood, 

We boaft a common race and kindred blood : — 

But, were we bom of Lybia*s venom'd race, 
Hard were the deed our torturM boughs to bend. 
And from the trunk our bleeding members rend ; 

Nor would a pious hand our plants deface !" 

He figh'd ; and blood for tears began to flow !— 
As when, in fummer green, th* unfeafon'd bough. 

Sullen and flow, the fputt'ring flame receives. 
At many a vent efcapes the flruggling fteam : 
His crackling fibres burft at each extreme. 

And fail th' expiring figh reluftant heaves. 


My Guide reply'd, ^* *Tis needlefs to upbraid : — 
Had he divin'd thy fate, lamented Shade ! 

His guiltlefs hand had ne'er thy boughs profan'd ; 
Or had he thought on Polydorus^ doom, 
Jike thee, confined within a living tomb. 

Thy blood his pious hands had never ftain'd. 

*' But, tell thy lineage and paternal name ; 
And if, above, thy violated fame 

Hath fuffer'd aught, let him thy fame defend !" 
Appeas'd, the Voice rejoin'd, " Thofe welcome founds 
Soothe for a while the mem'ry of my wounds : 

If then your bus'nefs brook delay, attend !— 

Su is. /• 4*] Sec Virgili Ma, lib. iii. 

*« Mine were the avenues to Frederick foul ; 
The Royal Mind I held in foft controul. 

And at my wifh his bounty ebb'd and flow'd : 
With faithful zeal the glorious poft I kept. 
But Envy woke while I fupinely flept. 

And min'd the bafis of my fair abode. 


" Within the Courtier's bread (he lurk*d unfeen. 
Rankling the heart beneath the fmiling mien, 

'Till the black poifon burft in ruin round. 
To CiESAR^s heart the venom'd whifper dole :— 
Soon o'er my head I faw De(lru£tion roll, 

And raflily dealt the felf-infli£ked wound. 

St. xi. /. 2.] Tins fuicide was the famous Pietro dclle Vigne» 
or Petrus de Vinfis, confidential minifter and phyfician to Frederic 
the Second (fee Notes on Canto x.) ; he was a Capuan by birthv of 
the loweft pai-entagc, but rofe to the highefl offices under the Em- 
peror. He is fuppofed to have written the book of The Three 
Impodors (Mufes, Mahomet, and J. C.) to ingratiate himfelf widi 
Frederic ; but it was the fafliion of the Guelf writers to blacken 
the charaders of the Ghibellines. His rife was attended with the 
envy of all the old Patrician Courtiers, who, by fi6Utioua letten 
from Pope Innocent the IVth, promifing him a confidciable re- 
ward if he would poifon his fovereigUi occafioned his falL Fre- 
deric, equally credulous and cruel, caufed him to be blinded, by 
holding a red-hot bafon to his eyes. The fallen minifter retired to 
Pifa ; and his pride being hiurt by the negledl of the Pi&ns, or not 
being able to brook his difgrace, he refolved to put an end to his 
cxiftence. One day, being led out, he aiked his guide to condud 
him to Paul's Church ; and, when he found himfelf within reach 
of the wall, he ran his head violently againft it and fra^ured his 
(kuU. Others fay, that he flung himfelf out of a window into the 
ftreet, when he heard the Emperor's retinue was pafling by* 

C ^^3 ] 

^' In death I hop*d to (hun the deep difgrace ; 
But winged Vengeance knew my foul to trace« 

Yet, by thofe bonds, that hold me to the foil, 
I fwear, that ftill, unconfcious of a ftain, 
This hand upheld the glories of his reign, 

Nor fold my fame, nor (har'd the public fpoil. 


** And oh ! if yonder world expefts you ftill. 
Let not Detraction on my name diftil 

Her pois'nous dew, but chafe the Fiend away !** 
He ceas'd, and feemM to wait my laft reply. 
^^ Hafte, hafte ! (ezclaim'd the Bard) the minutes fl] 

While here you wafte the hours in fond delay." 


** Alk thou, (I cry*d,) whatever imports to know :- 
So hA my rifing tears began to flow 

That utterance is deny*d." — The Bard began : 
** So may thy fervent pray*r prevail above. 
Say, what ftrange fpell, in this Tartarean grove. 

In ev'ry tnmk infolds a fentenc'd man? 


** Does no kind chance the prifon'd foul redeem ?'* 
I fpoke, the Ghoft renew'd the doleful theme : 

** When the fierce foul, difdaining longer ftay. 
Spontaneous leaves the bounds of upper air. 
Seven times the depth of this infernal fphere 

He falls) for ever in thofe bounds to fby. 

C «04 3 


^^ Wherever flung, he cafts a random root. 
Thence up, amain, the horrid fibres flioot ; 

And foon the {avage plant o'erfliades the foil : 
On ev'ry item a baleful bird defcends. 
And with infatiate bill our foliage rends ; 

While blood and mingled tears the trunk defil 


** The general doom fhall bid us feek our duft ; 
But not to clothe us in the hated buft : 

That odious union no command compels* 
At ev'ry trunk within the woody wafte, 
The hanging corfe (hall taint the coming blafl ! 

While deep within the wailing fpirit dweUs« 



It ceas'd, and dill we flood, intent to hear ;— • 
When thro* the gloomy grove, diftind and clear. 

We heard the clamours of the chace afar, 
As when, to vengeance rous'd, the chafing boar. 
Prepares his cruel fangs to bathe in gore. 

So feem'd the difcord of the Sylvan war* 


At length the bloody hunt appeared in view ; 
The hounds of Hell a wretched pair purfue ! 

Naked they ran, and, all befmear'd with gore. 
The crackling branches broke before- their flight. 
« Oh, Death ! (the foremofl cry'd,) aflfert thy right ; 

Nor let us flill in vain thy aid implore !" 

C ao5 ] 


** Had you thus ply'd your feet on Toppo's plain^ 
(The fecond cry'd) thy corpfe among the flain 

Had not been found on that ill-omen'd day.*' 
Faintly he fpoke, and, on a bough reclin'd. 
Heard the loud quefting in the coming wind. 

And, ftemly patient, feemM to itand at bay. 


Soon ifluing from the grove, the Brood of night 
Traverfe the tainted groimd with fell delight. 

And fnuff with eager fcent the poifon'd gale: 
Arriv'd, the falling wretch they foon furround, 
Faften at once, and drag him to the ground j 

Then bear his mangled members down the dale* 


The plaintive tree his fhatter'd arms upheld. 
From ev*ry bough a crimfon current wellM: 

While Maro led me to the fcene of blood, 
** Ah ! Giaccomoy why my branches tear ? 
Ought I the vengeance of thy crimes to bear ?** 

Thus wail'd the Spirit, in his fhrine of wood. 

St. xxu /. 3.] This Spirity who is defcribed fo expeditious 10 
his flighty was named LanO) a native of Siena: he was fent with 
a detachment of his countrymen to aflift the Florentines againft 
the Aretines; but finding the fortune of the day turning againft 
him, and refledling that he had funrived his patrimony, and all the 
enjoyments he had any reUfh for, he rufhed into the thickeft of the 
battle, and was killed. The other Spirit, companion of his flight 
and tonncnty was Juuafo Di Santa Andrea^ a Paduan, who had 


C ao6 3 


^ Say ! who art thou that ftain'ft the difmal {hare 
(ExclaimM the Roman Bard) with ftreaming gore ?*' 

Sighing, the Voice reply'd, " Whatcrer PowV 
Leads you this fcene of carnage to furvey ; 
With pious hand my ihatter'd members lay. 

Where late you faw the fiends Aeir prey devour. 


^ You know thofe walls that own*d the martial GocJ, 
Then chang'd the terrors of his iron rod, 

Relenting, for the Baptijl\ milder fway : 
Their change the furious Pow'r indignant faw, 
And bent her down beneath his ftemer law. 

Wafting thdr ftrength in many a bloody fray* 


** Where now on Arrufz flood his ftatue frowns^ 
Whofe demon powV the abje£l city owns. 

^pent his fub(bince with a profufion that look'd like frenzy. In 
order to make a bonfire for the welcome of fome friends, he ordered 
all his labourers' cottages, corn, and waggons, to be confumed in 
one conflagration. He killed himfelf in a fit of defpair, after a life 
of diffipation. 

St. XXV. /. 3.3 The Church of the Baptift at Florence was for^ 
merly a Temple of Mars. The Poet infinuates, from their love of 
war and difcord, that they were ftill more attached to the ancient 
objed of their worfhip, than the << piild fway of the Baptift." 


(Elfe were her ruins fpread along the fhore \) 
The furies faw me there the cord extend, 
And from the fatal beam my weight fufpend ; 

Mine own ill-omen'd roof the burthen bore.** 

Su xxvi. /. 6.] This cataflrophc was fuch a common refult of a 
life of diffipation in the 13th century^ that, iay the Commentators* 
it is hard to afcettain the partxcuhir perfon meant hy the Poet here, 
under the image of a (hattered tree. — ^A life of extravaganeey clofed 
by fuicide, is delineated with great juftnefs of defign, and fbrength 
of colourings in Cecilia^ or Memoirs of an Heirefsy Vols. I. and II 
See alfo Letters on Infidelity. 

The hint of this punifhment (as of many others) is taken from 
ViRGiLf .£n. vi. 435. 

. lucemque pcrofi 

Project animas.— 4^am vellent sethere in alto^ 
Nunc et pauperiem et duros perferre labores ! 

DamtE) in this Canto, g^ives a ftriking inftance of poetical art» 
in combining two or three fcattered images in Virgil into one 
fttblime and terrible pifiure. The Metamorphofis of Polydorus, 
aninfipid fi£Uon where it (lands*, the punifhment o( Juicide pzffed 
llightly over in a general defcription f , and the cruelty of Mezen^ 
iitUf in binding living bodies to the dead, are all brought together 
in one of the moft ftriking reprefentations in the whole Poem.— 
This is the moft noble fpecies of imitation, and only to be attempted 
by that (brt of fuperior genius, which can give fuch refemblances 
the air of an originaL Thus Vi rg i l has treated Ho m e a, and Mi l- 
TOM, in the fame manner, has availed himfelf of the fiftions of 
Ovid and Claudiam. 

As to the propriety of this punifliment, it feems at leaft a fort of 
Podieal juftice to confine the Spirits who had left their allotted 
fkations without leave, to other bodies, which befides, being infinitely 
more dilagreeable, they could not fo eafily forfake. Something 

* iEn iii6. i£a. ?i.4ts. f i£a. viii. 485. 


t ao8 3 

like it at lead we can perceiye in this world. Thofe #fao endeavour 
to quit their appointed ftation$ by unwarrantable means, are gi» 
nerally driven backy and confined to them or fomething worfe» with 
the addition of difgrace. This gives their a£tivity a proper direc- 
tion *, if they will improve by the difpenfation. If fome will not 
learn this leiTon, and deg^rade themfefves fliU further, it only {how» 
that the will of man is free, and that fome rather chufe to make 
themfelves warnings than examples* Inllances of fuccefsful fraud 
often occur ; but as thofe are not punifhcd here, it fumifhes a ftrong 
probability of a future difpenfation. As the inftances of thefe who 
are corrected here, proves the fuperintendence of a moral Go* 

* See Efla) on the Purgatmo^ 


C 209 } 



Beyond the Foreft of Suicide^ the two Travellers find the Plaint 
of Blafphemy and Atheifniy where the Ghoft of Cafaneus, on« 
of the Theban Leaders, noakes a confpicuous figure. After 
viewing their various puni(hment8» the Poets purfue their jour* 
ney along the Banks of Phlegethon, where Dantb takes the op« 
portunity of learning from Vjrgil the Origin of the Infernal 

Gleaning Ms ruins from the bloody ftrand^ 
By kindred love compeird, my pious hand 

Bedeck'd the mourning bull with honours due 1 
Then^ parting fad, we reaeh'd the diimal bounds 
Where the red plain the gloomy grove furrounds. 

And Juftice arms her hand with horrors new# 


The burning fands refied the tortur'd fight. 
Far gleaming thro' the fuUen robe of Night, 

To vegetation's kindly pow'r unknown : 
Save where the loud lamenting Grove behind 
Loads with her difmal plaints the pai&ng wind. 

And girds the Champaign with a gloomy zone» 

Vol. L P 

Our cautious feet vndi agoniadng pain 
Coafted around that ever-burning plain. 

And left the Grove of Suicide behind: 
Such burning fands the fearlefs Roman trod. 
And £ic'd the terrors of the fetvid God, 

Ere Liberty her hteft breath refignM. 


Vengeance of Heav*n ! I faw thy hand fcvere 
(Your doom ! ye Atheifts and Blafphemers, hear !) 

O'er many a naked foul the fcourgc djfpky ! 
In different lots the fentenc'd bands were caft. 
While fome the burning marie inceiTant trac'd. 

Some cowering fate, and fome blafpheming by. 


Here grov'ling bands their burning wounds deplore. 
There, ghaftly throngs around the dreary ihore 

V(rith daftard wailings bend beneath the (lorm : 
While, winding round the fliore, unknown to reft. 
Some (hift in endlefs march their feet unbleft. 

And o^er the plain in many a Legion fwamu 


A race fele£t poflefs'd the middle plain, 

Lefs numerous far, but dcK)m'd to fiercer pain I 

St. ill. /. 4^] Alluding to the famous march of Cato, with the 
remains of Pompey's beaten army^ through the burning (ands of 

Lybia« See a very fpirited defcription of his Journey, Phar- 

(alia, Bookix. 


C 311 3 

iFor there in waving folds the iheeted fire 
tnceflant falls, as o'er the Alpine fteeps 
When in his Cave the wrath of Boreas fleeps^ 

The fiiow defcends, and wreaths the rocky fpire. 



As when young Ammon trod the Indian walte. 
He faw the climate breathe a fulph'rous blaft. 

And fire with catching flames the fultry fiiore ; 
*I111 numerous hands upturned the flagrant foil. 
And check'd the running plague with patient toil. 

While Heav'n in pity gave the conteft o'er. 


Thus the red tempell: overhead defcends. 
The fuel'd plain her dire afliftance lends ; 

St. vii. /• I.] This ftoiy of Alexander the Great is taken {fom 
Albertus Magnus (de inind>ilibus mundi). He fays, that in India, 
the fun extni£ks the terreftrial vapours^ and kindling them in the 
air, fends them down in (hewers of fire ; and that Alexander, to 
prevent this inconvenience, caufed the ground to be turned up.^ 
In the province of Perfia, where the woHhippers of Fire hold their 
chief myfterieS, the whole furface of the earth, for a confiderable 
fpace, feems impregnated with inflamnuible vapours. A xted ftuck 
into the ground continues to bum like a flambeaux. An hole 
made under the furface of the earth immediately becomes a fur^ 
nace, anfwering all the purpofes of a culinary fire* They make 
lime there by merely burying the ftones in the earth, and watch 
with veneration the appearance of a flame that has not been extin- 
gui(hed for time immemoriaL^— Goldfmith's Hiftory of the Earth, 
vol. i* page 86* 

This horrible defcriptionf and the different charafters and fitua* 
tions of the criminalt would make a noble fubjed for the pencil of 
% Salvator Rofiu 

Pa »TiU 

1111 roiuM to rage, the blended burnings meet ; 
A thouland plagues around the Legions dwell. 
Ten thoufand hands the clinging plague repels 

The plain loud echoing to their ihifting feet. 


^ Oh, Guide ! with whom the burning wall I viewed. 
Whom nought but yon' rebellious Fiends withllood ^ 

Difclofe HIS name, whofe Giant-bulk divides 
The parted bands ! his lot he feems to fcom : 
The ftorm unheeded falls, in vengeance borne. 

And guiltlefs flames furround his lofty fides/* 


The Giant heard ; " And ftill the fame,** he cry'd, 
** Since this ftrong arm the bolt of Jove deiy'd, 

I feel his utmoft, and his pow*r defpife. 
JBlow all your fires, ye Sons of Mtxiz ! blow 
Vesuvius ! groan thro* ev'ry vault below ; 

In vain your red explofions fweep the ikies ! 


^^ Your blended fires {hall find my foul the fame, 
Tho* Phlegra join her fierce, auxiliar flame, 

St»t. L 1.3 This Giant-form is Capaneusy one of the fercR 
leaders who invaded ThebeSt remarkable for his brarerjr and blaf- 
phemy. He was ftruck dead with lightning in attempting to fcale 

the wall. See Eunpides PhxnilTaBy ^fchylus. Statins Thebaid. 

lib. X. 

Milton feems to have borrowed and transferred to his own Arch- 
rebel fome traits of- this uttfubmitting charafter* 1 Sec Par. Loft^ 


With cv'ry bolt that fcar'd the giant brood : 
£v'n here, enwomb'd within the flaming deep^ 
This eye can bid his boafted triumph weep. 

This mind retain its firm mialter-d mood.'^ 


In harfh unwonted ftrain retum'd the Bard :— * 
^^ ni-iated Chief ! in vain by thunders marred. 

Still lives thy pride in this infernal val^ ?-— 
Thy deadly rage fublimes the prcling fires ! 
Thy bofom-^orture with the flame confpires. 

And mingled plagues thy haughty h^art aflail. 



Then, turning round to me, with foften'd tone,— 
^^ Behold the Chief that fliook the Tb^ban throne. 

And led the horrors of fraternal war ! 
Singly he dar*d the pow*r of Ifeaven blsdpheme. 
And here in Hell purfues the deadly thenxe : 

For yet untam'd his ftormy paflSons jar. 


** Now round the gloomy verge, with cautious feet, 
Purfue my fteps, where yonder fhadows meet. 

And hide the burning vale with umbrage hoar.** 
Prompt I obeyMj till thro' the gloomy wood, 
3ent from a viewlefs fount, a fwelling flood 

With fanguine current flufli'd the fandy fhore. 

St. xiii. L 6.] See Supplement to the Notes. 


C "4 J 

Such, Bulicamlte / thy infected wave, 
Where their foul forms thy fliamelefs Naiads hre^ 

Winding thro* rifted rocks her devious way : 
There, bending gently o'er from fide to fide^ 
Her banks afcend in high theatric pride, 

And by the Ipfty yeige our journey lay. 


Not all the wonders of the Stygian flate, 
Since^ firfl we pjJl the ever-yawning gate, 

Ought with this flowing miracle to vie ! 
Where'er it runs the flame forgets to rage. 
Its waves the terror of the clime afluage. 

And quench the flaming niin of the fky. 

Eager the caufe to know, my Guide I pray'd, 
And foon the Bard the wondrous caufe difplay'd. — 

'^ A defart ifle amid the Ocean (lands, 
Known by the name of Crete in days of yore. 
When ancient Saturn rul'd the happy fhore, 

And Peace and Concord bleft his wide commands. 


** There ancient Ida rais'd her halloVd head, 

■ • • • • • * 

Her facred fprings with folenm umbrage fpread ^ 

Now time hath laid her mellowing honours low : 
There Ops of old the heayenly Babe conceal'd. 
While round her bow'r the loud Curetes yell'd. 
And ftopp'd with clanging arms the coming foe. 

St. XV. /.I.] A riTcr that runs through Vitcrbo, ^nd paffcs by 
the public Stews. cS^andino. 

C *»s ] 


'* There, rais'd to Heav'n, a giant-ftatue fbnds, 
Whofe front fubllme the fubjed plain commands. 

And ftill to Rome he points a warning eye } 
But turns his back, where old redundant Ntk^ 
With annual tribute cheers the level foil. 

While round his golden head the vapours Aj. 


^^ Silver his tow'ring neck and manly breaft^ 
Strong brazen ribs enclofe his ample cbefl ; 

And limbs of jointed fteel his frame uphold : 
Firm on his better foot he feems to truft, 
Tho* form'd of clay and mouldering in the duft, 

Yet ftill it feems to prop his giant mould. 


'^ Aloft his bumifh'd front falutes the ftars. 
But o'er his motley form unnumbered fears 

For ever yawn, and ev'ry fear diftils 
A briny ftream around his moiften'd feet ; 
In mingled rills the mazy currents meet. 

And purling thence the ample valley fills. 

St. xxi. A 4*] By this Statue on Mount Ida» the Commenta- 
tors fay, is meant Time* — ^The degeneracy of the different ages, 
by the different metals that compofe the image* and the growing 
vices and miferies of mankind» are adumbrated under the idea of the 
four Infernal Rivers* formed by the tears of Time for the degeneracy 
of his offspring. The " warning eye" of the Statue direfted to 
Rome is very remarkable. Dante* in all his Worksy is very pointed 
^gainft the corruptions of the Church. 



** Far thence the wand'ring current winds its way } 
'Till in thofe nether realms, devoid of day, 

Three fev'ral heads it forms, of mighty name :-n 
Firft Acheron the doleful region laves, 
Then Styx and Phlegefhon with fiery waves. 

And, far below, Cocyfus" frozen ftream. 


** With headlong hafle they feek the central deep, 
And in th' oblivious pool for ever fleep ; 

Thine eye fhall fee them in their dread repofe !*' 
** How find the floods their fubterranepus way ?*' 
(I cry'd ;) "or why abhor the face of day, 

And here at length a fanguine ftream difclofe ?" 


^* Waft thou a wand'rer in the Vale of Death !** 
The Bard reply*d, ** nor faw the winding path. 

Circling firom fteep tp fteep the vaft profound ? 
3till half the uncouth voyage yet remains ! 
Still many a realm of everlafting pains. 

Behold th' eternal torrent fweep around ! 




** Seems not the fteep to court the headlong tide ? 
Be patient then, and bid thy doubts fubfide. 

Whatever wonder meets thy ftartled eyes !*' 
jSubmifs, I fpoke ; — ^^ Tet tell, illuftrious Shade ! 
yrhere Phlegethon defc^nds in flames array'd, 

pr Letbd*^ waves the dijarmed draught fupplies ? *\ 

C ai7 3 


•* Thou faw'fl: the firft in boiling eddies rave. 
Thou heard'ft him ftniggling thro' the fanguine 'wave 

(He cry'd) ; but, doom'd to purge the taint of fin. 
Tar oflF, flow Lethe fees her current roll. 
And fends to blifs the difembodied foul. 

When hallowM tears have wafli'd her (bins vithiiL 


^* But now the moment bids our toils renew. 
Hafle ! from the opening grove thy Guide purfue : 

See ! from our favoured path the flames recede ; 
The fcorching vapoiu* leaves the charmed (band ; 
^d cooler airs along the fliore expand." 

He fpoke j — ^my ready feet the call obey'd. 

St. xvi. /. I.] See Canto XIL 


t 219 ] 



jBefore the Poets leave the Regions of Burning Sand, they meet a 
detachment of Spirits, who had been guilty of Crimes againft 
Nature. Among thofe, with fome difiicuity, Dantb recognizes 
the Shade of the celebrated Bruii£tto Latini, who had been 
iiis Tutor in his early days, from whom he learns the canfe of 
^s Puuilhment, and the Names of his AObciates. 

Along the founding rock our footfteps fweq>. 
While, overhead, exhaling from the deep. 

The cloudy canopy repels ih6 flame ! 
Such is th* eternal mound that met the flood 
^ thofe on Belgians ancient bounds that flood 

The fury of the rapid Scheld to tame : 


pr fucfa aid Padua rears againfl the waves. 
Where headlong Br^nta thro' the valley raves^ 

And Chiarantaka fees her fhows diflil : 
But humbler mounds the Alpine furge repel 
Than thofe huge moles that bank the furge of Hell, 

And fhew a mighder hand and mafter's fkilb 


Now far behind we left the finking wood. 
When, by the margin of the filent flood, 

A fhadowy band in flying march we meet. 
As obje£b feen by Phoebe's glimm'ring light, 
V^hen her pale crefcent half illiunes the night. 

With hollow gaze the wond'ring fpe&res greet. 


Keen as the guiding fleel the artift views, 
• Their eager eyes my mortal form perufe : 

When ftraight a voice, exclaiming from the croud^ 
Was heard ; and foon a flrong arrefting hand (^mand 
Seiz'd me alarmM ;— and, *' Oh ! what flrange com* 
Hath fent thee here ?'^ the Phantom cry*d aloud. 


Soon difengaging from the foul embrace, 
I drove his horrid lineaments to trace 

With fulph'rous blafl enfearM, and thunders fear. 
And foon Brunetto's ruin'd form I found, 
Tho* deep concealed beneath the fiery wound, j^mar ?** 

** Ah! who," I cry'd, ** that honour'd form could 


The ruinM man reply'd, *' if ever dear 
You held Latini's name, vouchfafe to hear 

Sir. v. /. 4.] Brunetto Latiniy a famous Profeffor of PhOofophy 
and Rhetoric, and no contemptible Poet. From a piece of his, called 
II Tehretto, Dante took the Exordium of the Ihferno* 
See Warton's Summary, &c. He was tutor to Dante ^n his 
early days, and was banifhcd from Florence for forgery, hut con- 
demned (fays his pupil) to the Infernal Regions, for crimes of a 
difFerent nature. 

C "t 1 

Hi8 piteous tale, and let your Guide retire/^ 
** Approach/* I cry'd, *' within this calm retreat 
(If he allows) and take thy (hady feat 

Far from the tempeit of defcendihg fire/' 


•* Alas ! in vain thy friendly wifli," he cry'd, 
** Repofe even for a moment is deny'd ! 

The fentenc'd foul for ever fleets around.— 
—Who dares the rig'rous mandate to defpife. 
In chains twice fifty Stygian fummers lies. 

Struggling in vain to fhift his burning groxmd i 


•• But ftill 'ris giv'n me from yon* band to ftray^ 
A fad attendant on thy deftin'd way ; 

Go on [ — ^I follow thro' the vale beneath, 
*Ttll overpow'ring fate my fteps compel 
To join yon' reftlefs band that meafures Hell, 

And mourns the fiery fall of heav'nly wrath 



Full o'er the burning verge my head reclin'd. 
Caught his fad accents in the palling wind ; 

As from the vale the following Shade exclaims ; 
•* What fury led thee down the darkfome way, 
A breathing foul in tenement of clay ? 

Say, who conduds thee thro' the parting flames ?'* 


** Forlorn," I cry'd, " and finit with chilling dre^^d, 
As late I wander'd thro* a darkfome glade^ 

And fooght vith trembling feet a deviotis way $ 
Pitying my deep defpair^ this gentle Ghoft 
With welcome words my troubled mind compos'ciy 

And led me hither from the walks of day/* 


^ If right," he cryM, " I read thy natal ftar. 
The port of glory opens from a&r ; 

And, had not fate my kindred aid denyM, 
This friendly hand thy future courfe had Ihew'dy 
Such early gifts the hand of Heav'n beftow'd. 

Nor had my friend defpis*d his ancient Guide. 


*^ But that obdurate tribe, whofe fouls retain 
The black impreflion of their ancient fbdn, 

Shall pufh thee from their walls with hoftile hate. 
In vain the gen'rous plant of juice refin'd 
Adopts the wildings rough, ungentle, kind. 

And bears with yielding trunk the alien freight. 


^ Hell marked of old the ignominious race» 
And ftill the horrid lineaments we trace ; 

(Purge thou thy foul, if any fpots remain !) 
Till civil rage the arts of peace fhall learn. 
And fadions reconcil'd thy worth difcem ; 

But, wife too late, difcem thy worth in vain. 

Si» xU* /. 6.] Dante pretended to derive his blood in a ri; 
ibom the old Romaa Colony that firft Settled in Florence. 


t ^^3 ] 

^ Then deadly rage (hall feizc the alien broody 
And bathe thdr nif&an hands in kindred blood ; 

Yet ftill thdr wrath fhall fpare the Romak fteni> 
In mem'ry of her kind proteding Shade ; 
When erft her height the riling vale furvey'd. 

Ere alien tribes had fbun'd her ancient name. 

'^ {f ceafelefs prayer could make th' avenger mild. 
Thou Ihouldft not wander thus, a foul exil'd ;" 

Sad, I rejoinM ! ^^ For yet my heart retains. 
And ever fhall retain, in facred (tore. 
The treafures of thy foul-ennobling lore. 

While life's warm current fill thy pupil's veins. 

^ Nor, till my grateful heart forgets to heave^ 
Will this unwearied tongue the fubje£t leave : 

And, if dilafters cloud my days to come. 
Let her whofe voice difpell'd my gloomy care. 
Who led me thro' the caverns of defpair, 

Difpenfe with fov'reign hand her Poet's doom. 


*^ Nor ever (hall the frown of fate control 
The fix'd intent of this determin'd foul, 

Wliatever plague the wayward pow'rs intend : 
Whether (he raife my buoyant hopes in air. 
Or hurl them to the depths of low defpair, 

Pleas'd (hall her captive fink, and pleas'd afcend.^ 

St^ xir. I. X.] Set Life of Daote, hft page. 


^ Unhappy is the man,'* exclaimM my Guide^ 

*^ From whofe weak mind the words of wifdom glide.' 

Blufliing I heard, but aikM» unfated ftill 
With the high converfe of the fentenc'd dead, 
^ What Chiefs renown'd the dark proceflion lead^ 

And who were doom'd the hideous line to fill V* 


Rompt he replies, ^' the fouls of nobler Haiiie 
'Tis giv'n to know, but on the doleful theme 

The parting moments ileal with envious pace i 
Of thofe, the chief at Learning's altar bow'd 
Prelates and Priefts, a long, fele&ed crowd. 

All ftigmatiz'd with Sodom's deep difgrace* 

*' There holy Priscian leads the lettered throngs 
Here fam'd Ac cor so tow'rs their files among. 

He too is there, who late at Rome's requeft, 
Forfook proud Florence for Vicenza's plain. 
The living fcandal of the hallow'd train, 

'TUl the kind clay his tainted limbs opprelU 

** No time is giv'n of other names to tell j 
For hark ! on yonder plain what clamours fwell ! 

St. zx. /• I.] The famous Grammarian. 

St. XX. /. 2.] A celebrated Civilian, better known by the nami^ 
of Accurfius. 

5*/. XX. /. 3.] Andrea MezzOi firil bifhop of Florence, where 
his flagitious coorfe of life became fo notprioust that his friends got 
him tranfla^d to Vtceozat as a leb frequented place^ where ho 

L "5 3 

And fee ! in tempefts roUM, the burning fand, 
Mingled with fmoke, afcends the glowing (ky ! 
I fee ! I fee ! a dire aflcmbly nigh. 

Nor dare I mingle with the hoftile band/* 


** Love my remains," he cryM, and fled forlorn^ 
In a crofs whirlwind o'er the defert borne ; 

Our aching eyes his founding flight purfue : 
Nor fpeeds the kindling racer to the goal 
With foot fo fleet, when conquefl: fires his foul. 

As o'er the glift'ning fand the Phantom flew. 


Vol . I. (^ 

I ^^7 1 



*Thc PoetSy ftill foHowing the courfe of the Infernal RirerSy and 
now ap{ifx>aching near the fecond Catarad, meet another De- 
tachment of tkofe who were puniihed for committing violence 
againft Nature. Among them he diftinguiihes the Souls of two 
ttoble Florentinety Tbgohiaio* and jACoro Rvsricucifif 
who lay him under particular injunAions on' hit return to the Up- 
per World. — ^Then arriving at the Regions of Fa auD| the Poeii 
wait for an Afliftant to waft them down the Steep. . 

JN OW o'er the marg^i, echoing from afar, 
Our ftartled fenfe perceives the watry war ; 

Like the hoarfe cadence of a fammer fwarm ; 
When preffing onward thro' the falling flame. 
Another Caravaa lamenting came. 

And three fwift couriers fpread the wild alarm. 


The foremofl racer of the gloomy hoft 
Exdaim'd, '^ Oh, flay ! a common foil we boafl ; 

Natives alike of Arko*s hated fhore !'' 
I look'd, and fome the recent -plague aflailM, 
Some, 4onger damnM, their ancient wounds bewail'd. 

The flaming fcourge had mark'd their members o'er. 



[ al8 J 


Awhile the Mantuan to the coming found 
Attentive ftood, then fpeedy tum'd around. 
And no ignoble band is near !'* he cry'd; 

They feem to wifh thy flay, nor thou difdam. 
Nor dread the fulph*rous blaft that fweeps the plain^ 

Nor the red tempefts of the kindling ikies.'* 

We ftood, and fwelling in th' infernal gale, 
A fuller voice of woe our ears aflail. 

And foon the fentenc'd crew appears in fight : 
Tracing the fervid plain in difmai dance. 
And wheeling round with envious look aikance. 

My earthly form they view'd with ftem delight. 


Thus, doom'd to llaughter, in the lifts of blood 
With levePd points the Gladiators ftood, 

Perufing each his foe with ftudious gaze ; 
•« Contemn us not," they cry'd, " a race imbleil> 
Nor fcom our fervent pray'r in pain addreft. 

But tell who leads thee thro' thefe darkfome ways. 

^ That bleeding, bare, and blafted form behold^ 
Unhide-boimd how he runs ! — ^In days of old 

GuiDo was he too well to MANFREixknown, 
In peace, in war, in ftrts and arms renown'd, 
Tho' now condemn'd to walk the burning round. 

Behind him Teoghio treads the fervid zone. 

St. vi. /. 3. — Guioo.] The Lord of Caflcntino, by wbofc i<^ 
vke Cbarkt of Anjou, brother to St. Lewis, to wbom Iraoceot 

C 229 ] 

** Loud raves that voice around the fliores of Hell 
On which the lift'ning fenate us'd to dwell i 

And if a viler name you want to know. 
That fcandal of his clime, Jacopo, fee, 
Where, ftill obedient to the Fate's decree. 

The nuptial furies haunt my foul below !*' 


Sttuck with the memory of thefe (hades ador'd^ 
The mingled horrors of their lot abhojrr'd 

Had fcarce reftrain'd me from a laft embrace i 
But Hell had mark'd them with a hand of fire. 
The foul contagion cool'd my warm defire. 

And thus in groans I hailed the noble race ; 


'^ Vntnefs my fcalding tears, my heaving bread, 
If aught but fwelling grief my fpeech fuppreft ; 

the Fourth had given the Crown of Naples* won the battle of Bene- 
ventOf where Manfred, who had ufurped the Crown of his nephew 
Conradin, was defeated and flain. See Florentine Hiftoiy aa« 

By thefe unextinguiihable flames that aflail the Violators of Na« 
ture> the Poet allegorizes the ravings of in&tiable Dcfire, i See 
the Pbtonic View of Futurity at the end of the Notes. 

Si* vL /. 6.-r-TsGOHio.] A noble Florentine, of the family of 
Aldobrandino, who endeavoured by his counfd to prevent the un« 
fortunate affiur at Valdarbia*— See Canto X^-^ee aUb Florentine 
Hiftory annexed. 

Si. vii. A 4.P— Jacopo.] Driven by domcftic unhapptneis into a 
Aligitious couife of life. 

9»3 An4 

C «3o 3 

And flowly, flowly ebbs the tide of woe ! 
"Witnefs the Bard, who far your coming fhoVd^ 
From Tuscan veins my vital current fiow'd. 

And Arno's banks a common name beftow. 

" Heav*n leads me down, a far fequefter'd way. 
Thro* the dark centre, to the walks of day ; 

Where fruits of heav'nly fcent o'erhang the path^ 
And Sin her pois'nous gall forgets to ibed/' 
Yet your great names my early reverence bred. 

Still unabated in the fields beneath. 

^* So may your limbs fuftain the lengthened toil. 
So may thy name adorn thy native foil.** 

" Oh ! happy wand*rer ! tell,** a Spirit cries, 
" Shall we believe the voice of common &me. 
That yon* devoted walls the furies claim. 

No virtue left to purge the tainted flues, 

" For newly in Gomorrah's bands enrolled, 
BoRsiERi late, the dreadful tidings told.** 

St. xii. /. 2.-— B0R.SIERT.3 A noble Florentine, noted for the 
feflivity of his talents.— ^He was famous for making up quanrls ; 
but (like Peter Dandin, in Rabelais) he always waited till the re* 
fentment of the parties cooled, and they wiihed to be rec«ncfled. 

On being afked by Grimaldi, a rich covetous old noblemant 

what ornament he (hould place in his new Saloon, fo as to appear 
both elegant and uncommon, he anfwered, ** Liberality.* ^ ■ - T ht 
Inuendo is faid to have had an immediate effe6^ on Grimaldi't difpo* 
fition.*— — See Boccacio Decamerone. Giemata i, Nov* 8. 

5 « Too 

C aji ] 

*« Too true, alas !" I cry'd, " the difmal tale. 
For Av'rice leads her thro' the fordid maze, 
And mad Sedition mars her golden days. 

While Freedom weeps forlorn in Arnq's vale/' 

Abafli'd the fpe£b'es heard, and hung their head, 
And in each other's looks confufion read ; 

** Then, happy foul," they cry'd, *^ to whom 'tis giv^n 
So foon the doubts of Hadjis to remove, 
So may'ft thou tell thy wondrous 'fcapes above, 

And view again the ftarry cope of Heav'n. 

** Then^ Oh ! forbid the hand of Time to fweep 
Our names with us to this oblivious deep." 

They ceas'd, the difmal dance in fi-agments flew. 
And wide difperfing o'er the face of night, 
Wing'd by purfqing vengeance, urg'd their flight, 

^Till the red tempeft veil'd them from the viewt 

Now, haft'ning round, we fought the further {horc^ 
Whence heard by fits the falling waters roar, 

In catara&s defcending to the mam : 
Thus father Appenine in foamy pride 
Pours the full torrent from his lofty fide. 

And fends it down to fweep the fubjed plain^ 

By Benedict's proud wall the flqqd defcends. 
Where, near the m^, the niountain-barrier ends^ 

Sl xvi, /• I.] The river Mantone defcending from the Arn 
f KHiNE Mountamby the Abbey of Sfiint Benedict^ 

0^4 An<i 

[ -3^ 1 

And in the deep embofomM val.e is loft ; 
Thus, fwelling to the fteep, the flood afar 
Burils in loud ruin o*er the central bar, 

And fends the deaTning^ din from coafl to coaft. 


The Mantuan fpoke, my ready hand unlac'd 
A length of cordage from my flacken'd waift, 

A cindure meant to weave the woodland fiiare } 
This Maro feiz*d, in many a volume bound. 
And flung it far, unravelling round and round. 

Yet ftill one end retained with cautious care. 


The fwift defcending line his ^ye purfu'd. 
While deadly fear congealed my curdling bloody 

Pond'ring the future fceue with rifing dread ; 
But all in vain I ilrove my fears to hide. 
My rifmg fears the dauntlefs Roman fpy'd, 

And each unmanly thought by fancy bred. 

** A while," he cry*d, « thy bufy doubts fufpend, 
'Till from the central deep, the guard afcend j 

Far, for below he fees the waving fign." 
Now blufli not, Mufe ! thy wonders to difplay 
Tho' feeming fable taints the arduous lay, 

'Tis wora:^4 truth itifpir^ the mighty line I 


Now may the tuneful Nin£ my labours fcom| 
Jiiid leave my fong of ev*ry grace forlorn. 


C 233 ] 

If aught but truth I fing. — A grizzly form 
SoarM from the deep, on fliadowy wing difpiay'd. 
Doubling the horrors of th' eternal fliade^ 

And all my fpirits rous'd in wild alarm. 


As when the anchor owns the loos'ning hand. 
And leaves, with gripe relax'd, the yielding land. 

Struggling, the hardy failor mounts to day. 
With fliort, encumbered ftroke he ploughs the tide 
Behind, his laboring feet the voyage guide ; 

So feem'd the Fiend to wing his dubious waj; 


C ^35 3 



Thii Canto begins witb an alkgoiical delcnptioo of Fravd^ undo' 
the appearance of a Monfter appointed to cany the Poets down to 
the Gulf of Malebolge, or the Regions of Deceit. Before they 
begm their a^'rial Voyage, Dantb is dire£led to obferve the 
Condition and Puniflunent of the Usua£R8» who are fuppofed 
to be punifhed with the reft of thofe who had been guilty of 
Violence againft Nature* 

jDEHOLD the Monfter fhews her tortuous train. 
Which mines the wall, and over land and main. 

Thro* camps and courts extends her fov'rdgn fway 5 
See on her march what foul contagion waits. 
Shedding her poifon o'er a thoufand dates, 

Whil^ countlefs tribes the prefent God obey." 


Thus fpoke my Guide, as to the gloomy fteep 
The flying fiend incumbent on the deep 

Pointe4 her coi^rfe, on mighty pinions rais'd ^ 
]^ow on the aerial cliff confeft (he (lood. 
The near contagion froze my curdling blood, 

^ on the wondVous form intent I gaz'd, 

St* i. A I. Monfter. — "} f aAUD« 

A famt-like face the latent Fiend omceal'd^ 
But the foul form her genuine race reveal'd^ 

Tho' half immersM within the Stygian Ibund : 
Thick lable plumes her Ihaulders broad arrayed. 
Her nether Ihape, a ferpent train difplay'd. 

In many a gorgeous volume roll'd around* 

Not firelier tints employed the Asian loom. 
Nor Her's Tivfao fell beneath. Minerva's doom. 

Than mark'd her fpeckled form, as on the ftrancl 
Like fome tall brigantine her bulk (he moor'dy 
And feem'd to call our daring fteps aboard. 

Waiting with proffered aid the Bard's command. 

At when Danubius feeks the diftant rnain^ 
The bearer lurks to feize the fcaly train. 

And meditates unfeen the watry war ; 
With mortal terrors arm'd, her tail difplay'd 
Redundant o'er the deq>, a waving (hade. 

And feem'd to point our uncouth flight zjbr^ 


^ Come on," excladm'd the Mantuan, " thro' the air> 
The Fiend is doom'd our welcome weight to bear, 

Ha(le to the right j" — my trembling feet obey'd^ 
Ten paces fcarce had mark'd the burning fand. 
When on the frontiers of the doleful ftrand 

A ftatlonary band mine eyes furvey'd, 



C 237 3 


JWhen thus my Guide, ^' to pafs without a view 
The meaneft cohort of my fentencM crew. 

Was not our purpofe when we left the light : 
Cro, learn the fecrets of their dole&il (late. 
While with th* attendant minifter of fate, 

I plan our voyage thro' the realms of night.*' 


Now winding thro' the tenements of woe. 
Along the fhore with wand'ring fteps and flow. 

Among their foremoft bands I ftray'd forlorn : 
Still on their heads the burning fliow'r defcends ; 
In vain the bufy hand the Peft defends. 

Thro' their long files in flaming volumes borne* 


At length the wretches fink beneath thdr tcnl ; 
But kindling all around, the torrid foil 

Denies their weary limbs the wifli'd repofe : 
Thus infe& tribes in fummer fwarming round 
Invade the flumbers of the faithful hound. 

Whene'er his languid lids began to dofe. 


In vain I ftrove thdr lineaments to trace, 
For Hell's dark vizor fat on ev'ry £aice. 

And on each bending n6ck a badge was hung. 
Where emblematic forms in flames array'd^ 
Of each the name and parentage difplay'd, 

lUuftiiQus names ! yet ne'er by Poet fung. 

C ^38 3 


£ach on the pendent fign deploring gaz'd^ 
On either hand the fiery Tcutcheons blaz'd } 

Here, gleaming azure o'er a golden field : 
Far to the left was feen a Lion-form^ 
In aft to fpring ; and on another arm 

A filyer Swan adom'd a fanguine fhield. 


Itien one, whofe mail difpla/d a woodland Boar, 
Exclaim'd, ^ what Fiend to this difaft'rous ihore 

Ufliers thy feet prophane ?— -away ! away ! 
Bid old ViTALiAN leave the Paouan ftrand : 
Tell him Rikaldo on the burning fand 

Freferves a place his honoured limbs to lay/' 


Then rofe a melody of mortal founds. 
Exclaiming, ^^ Welcome to thofe burning bounds. 

Welcome the plunderer of the Tuscan ftrand i 
Welcome the triple-headed bird of prey !" 
Thus with fwoln tongue their leader fcoffing by 

In dire contorticms on the burning land. 

My prefence feem'd theu- forrows to renew ; 
Then, parting foon, I took a ihort adieu. 

Si. xL A 4*] The arms of the Gian Fig}iaxzi. 

/• 6.] The arms of the Ubriachi. 
St. xiL /. I.] The arm* of the Scrofigoi, of P^ua. 

L 4*-^VtrALUM.] Another noble Paduan, 00 left fa- 
mous for ufurjr. 

/. 6.] Viz. Vitalian's. 
Si. xiii. 1. 4.1 The anns of Buiamonte of Florence. 



Left my delay the gentle Bard fliould tire. 
The Monfler tam'd had felt his hardy hand. 
And ftood obfequious to the high command^ 

Bound with ftrong bridle to the rocky fpire. 

•* Fearlefs afcend/' he cry'd, ** while I behind 
Support your tott'ring burden in the wind. 

And fteer with faithful hand your airy flight : 
My other hand fhall ward his tortuous train. 
Left as we voyage o'er the Stygian main. 

It chance to wound you in the gloom of night.'* 

As one, whofe frame the Quartan Hends invade. 
Shrinks at the \uiv'ring of the Sylvan fliade. 

My fpirits fuLK to hear the fummons dread ; 
But gen'rous fhame my coward bofom warm'd. 
And Maro's fparkling eye my terrors charm'd ; 

Yet from my lips the power of utterance fled* 


With trembling feet I fcal'd the Monfter's fide. 
And clung inftin£tive to my Roman Guide, 

Who cry'd, " Geroneo, foar with fteady wing ! 
No common hand the hardy vopge fleers. 
Thy fcaly fides no common burden bears, 

A meflenger from Heav'n's immortal King !" 


As the tall brigantine retiring flow. 

Turns to the beating main her bounding prow. 


C 240 ] 

Thus, pcnntmg to the deep hb horrid head^ 
Launched from the airy cliff the Monfter foars^ 
And plies amain his broad expanded oars^ 
fail behind the rocky barrier fled. 

As he whofe hand milled the burning day. 
Saw from the point of noon with pale difmay 

The world in ruins, and the ikies on fire ; 
Or he who found his vaunted plumage fail. 
And fann'd the kindling air with fhorten'd fidl. 

Theme of long forrow to his aged fire : 


Thus ev*ry trembling limb with horror Ihook, 
When firft the failing Fiend the fhore forfook. 

Shooting with level wing the gulph of Hell : 
On either hand retir'd the flaming wafte. 
His fimning wings the fickfning fervours chas'd. 

As o'er the deep he foar'd with eafy fail. 


Far on the right the bellowing flood defcends. 
Above the frowning rock for ever bends, 

While with its folemn found, the fhriek of woe 
Rofe, mingling oft' and loud : — Sufpence I hung 
Lill'ning afar, the deep tumultuous throng. 

And marked the glimmering fires that rag'd below. 

S'/.xix. /• t.] Alludes to the dory of Phaeton, who, the Poet» 
lay, got the guidance of the Chariot of the Sun, and fet the world 
on fire ; and to the fate of IcaniSy who being furnifhe^1l)y hit father 
with wings, foared too near the fun, melted the wax that connected 
the plumage, and fell into the fea. 

r 241 ] 


Still, winding to the left, we bent our flight. 
While, fait afcending o'er the face of night. 

Full many a ftage of torture met mine eye. 
And many a penal realm, and burning zone ; 
At length, Geroneo laid his burden down. 

And now we faw the central horrors nigh. 


Relu£bnt thus her Lord the Faulcon hears. 
And wheeling round her airy voyage fleers ; 

Then, ilowly lights at lafl in fuUen pride : 
The Fiend his charge no lefs indignant bore. 
With joy we faw him fpum the hated fliore. 

And like a Parthian fhaft, the clouds divide. 


Vol. I. 

C 243 J 


The two aerial Travellers are depofited by Geromeo, on the Verge. 
of the eighth Circle, where, in one Department, they are permitted 
to view the Puniftiment of Pandars, led by Caccianimico, a 
noble Venetian ; in another, they fee a Train of Seducers, and 
peijured Lovers, led by Jason ; and in a third,, they find a Crew 
pf Paraiites, among whom they diftinguifh the Soul of Alezio. 
im inhabitant of Lucca. "^ 

JriERE Malebolge fpreads, a vale profound, 
Eternal battlements the wafte furround. 

And from afar their gloomy heighth difplay : ! 
Acrofs the deep they fling a livid (lain, 
And mark with fun*ral Ihade the feats of pain. 

Where ten Cimmerian gulphs divide the bay. 

Long, lofty mounds difpart her various face, 
Huge rocky theatres her flyrts embrace. 

As ftately ramparts round the fortrefs wind. 
And many a bridge continued from the ihore 
Tum*d their innumerable arch^ o'er 

The foaming flood, and ?^t the centre join'd, 

St, ii. /. 6.] This part of the Infernal Regions, called Male* 
bolge, we are to confider as an huge Labyrinth, confifting of a num- 

Rl ber 


Geroneo here forfook his mortal freight^ 
And Maro led along his trembling mate 

Still by the left-hand path, our deftin'd way ; 
But pafs*d not far, 'till lift'ning low, we heard 
New founds, and lamentable fights appeared 

Of fiends and Mortals mix'd in horrid fray. 

This way, and that, with headlong fury driv'n. 
In crofs confiifion ran the Foes of Heav'n ; 

While on the lofty bridge, a demon throng 
Wave o'er iheir naked limbs the bloody fcourgc^ 
And with loud drains of ignominy urge 

Two different ways, the yelling croud along. 


As when at laft the flow returning fpring 
Is feen the far-fam'd Jubijlee to brings 

bcr of Amphitheatres, one withii^ the other, divided by circular 
walls of adamant, of many leagues in circuit, and a feries of arches, 
fome broken, fome whole, reaching from the outward circumference 
to the common centre, acrofs the feyeral gulphs confined witljiQ 
the walls, like the radii of a circle. On thcfe bridges the Poets 
continue their march, and furvey the gvlph below, and their inha- 
bitants, as they appear in fucceflion. 

Sf» ▼• A 2.] In the proceffion of the Jubilee, the party that re- 
turned from St. Peter's kept one fide of the bridge of St. AngelOf 
and the company that met them kept the other, to prevent confii- 
fion ; as the two parties of thofe who purfued the trade of Sedu6lion 
for oiher/f and thofe who exercifed it for ihemfelvcs^ crofTed each 
other in the Labyrinth of Mialebolge. 


t 245 ] 


Faft from the Capitol the living tide 
Pouring triumphant pafs the coming train. 
Who to the facred fummit mount amain, 

While Tyber fends the Ihout from fide to fide. 

The fcourgi* defcends, the loud refponfire yell 
Echo'd their (hame around the vaults of Hell ; 

As thro* the bloody ring they ran forlorn ; 
Yet as they pafs'd my penetrating eye, 
A wells^known viftim in the line could fpy, 

Tho' ftigmatiz'd with ev*ry majrk of fcom. 

The Poet faw my wilh to turn again 
And hail the Ghoft ; then call'd him from the train. 

Slowly, with downcaft eyes, the Speftre came. 
" That form," I cry'd, " familiar to my fight. 
Tells, in Bologna once you faw the light 

Of noble birth, and not unknown to fame. 

" Why are your members markM with (liameful fear, 
Why doomM to run around the Stygian bar ?'* — 

Sad he reply'd, " Thy gentle words command 
(Tho* hard my fhame to tell) a due return ; 
You fee me doomed a Sifter's fliame to mourn. 

By me delivered to the Spoiler's hand. 

^SL vii. /. 4.] A noble Venetian, who perfuaded his Sifter, the 
greateft beauty of her time, to yield to the defires of the Marquis of 
Ferrara ; pretending that the Marquis had given him a written proi 
mife<of marTiage.F— He was liberally rewarded. 


[ 146 3 


** Nor fmgly did I leave the (infill clime ; 

Here other Tuscans chaunt the difmal rhymey 

Numerous as they on £un'd Savona's plain : 
Nor wonder when thy mindful foul recalls 
How Mammon reigns in our polluted walls^ 

And binds whole legions in his golden chain.'* 


He ceasM, the rod of vengeance wav'd on high. 
And the black Fiend appeared infulting nigh : 

" Pandar ! begone/* he cry'd, " thy tribe purfuc. 
No Marquis here thy frail difciple buys.** 
Swift at the word the fcreaming viftim flies. 

And gladly we forfook the fhameful crew. 


We quit the barrier, and an arch we climb, 
"Wliich o*er the darkfome valley hungfublime; 

Then mounting, leave the battlements behind : 
And on the fummit pois*d, with wonder view. 
Capacious to receive the flying crew 

A gloomy gate of rocky fragments join*d. 


^* Now to the Gulph direft thy {harpen*d fight,*' 
The Mantuan cry*d, " and mark the fons of night, 

Before they feem*d to Ihun thy curious eye 
And fhew*d their rear, but now revolving round 
Their van returns, and marks the former groimd. 

Sending before a loud, difcordant cry.** 


I look'd ;— a traiii appeared, unfeen before. 
Alike their bands the bloody fcourge deplore. 

And meet with counter-march the Pandar hoft. 
** See," Maro cry'd, " where Jason leads the van. 
See, ftruggling with his woes the mighty man. 

Silent and ftem, an unfubmitting Ghoft. 

^ By him the ColciIiak moum'd his pilfer'd ore. 
By him the Royal Maid on L£Mn6s' fhore, 

Deplor'd her ruin'd fame, her tnifl: betrayM : 
Vain was her pious fraud, her mercy vain^ 
That fav'd a Father from the bloody train ; 

Her truth the perjur'd Lover ill repaid. 


*^ tn vain her Spoufe the hand of juftice fled, 
I£s fecond Miffarefs on the felon's head 

With ample vengeance paid her fex's wrongs. 
The Virgin Spoilers there, an odious race. 
Follow their Chief, and fill the difmal chace. 

That Gulph to them with all its pains belongs." 

St. xiii. /. 1.3 ThU is the Tribe of Seducers, and at their head 
Ja80II» the betrayer of Hypfipyle (who» when the Women of'Lem- 
D08 had confpired to murder all the Men on the ifland, had faved her 
Father,) and Mbdba, who revenged the wrongs of her fex by the 
death of his third ipoufe. Casus a. — See Euripides Medea, ApoU 
lonius Shodius* Ovid, lib. vii.— His deportment here is finely con* 
trailed to the left^ 

Su xiv* /. 5.] Hypfipyle* 

5/. XV. /. 2.1 Medea *. 

• Vid. Ortd, Epift. Msd. Jtioo, and Hypfipyle JafonL VId. Sut. Thebud. 
Kb. v,vt. 


C 148 3 


Now o'er another arch our footftq>s found, 
Stridiog in awful ftate the dark profound z 

High on the fummit now we plant our feet. 
Soon from below a long, reludant groan, 
Mix'd ^th vile fputt'rings, told a tribe unknown. 

Half fufibcated in thdr dark retreat. 


Soon bending o'er the verge with fharpen'd fight. 
We fteal a glimpfe thro* envious (hades of night ; 

And fee their (Iruggling hands employed in vain 
To cleanfe the filth away, while fogs confined. 
Still ileaining up, the weary captives blind, 
• And mark the vault with ignominious ftaim 


At length, with ordure foul, and fhame befpread. 
Emerging from the deep, an horrid head 

Shcw'd the dim reliques of a noble race ; 
Whether the province, of the fword, or ofilfae gown, 
The church or camp he joinM, was all unknown, 

A malk fo deep concealed his manly face. 


" Of this vile crew, with namelefs plagues opprefs*d. 
What leads thine eye to me from all the reft ?** 

He fpoke ; I anfwer'd, ** in more feemly guife, 
I faw thee once in fweet Hefperia's clime. 
Where ancient Lucca rears her wall fublime, 

Whofe nobleft blood thy lofty name fupplies. 

[ 249 3 

** Too well thofc hated lineaments difclofe 
Ai^EXio's name, and weli-deferved woes/' 

He faid, and fmote his face with frantic cry : 
•* To flattery's note I tmi'd my fervile tongue, 
With mieam'd wreaths the worthlds head I hung ; 

Kow other cares my weary hand employ." 


** Behold that loathfome Form,'* the Guide exclaim'd,«— 
** Who ever feems employed in rites unnam'd ; 

Now lurking low, and now ered (he (lands: 
Yon' fhape deform, and foul polluted brow. 
Thro' Greece of old infpir'd the am'rous vow. 

And titled Slaves obeyed her proud commands." 

St. XX. /. 2^-»Alexio'8.] a noted Parafite of thofe times. 

Sf. xxi. /. I.] ThefamoDS Courtezan of Corinth. 

/• 6.] PandarSy Seducers, and Paraiites are here very 
properly clafled together ; and though their punifliment be not very 
decorous, it is ncverthelefs ftri6lly juft, as they aU by various means 
make a God of thcik Billy, and are fuitably rewarded by the 
Deity whom they adore* 


I ^5^ J 



In the third Circle of Malebolge, the Poets next arrive at die 
Gulf of Simon y« where they find the Soul of Pope Nicholas 
the Third, and team from him the Nature of the Punifluncnt of 
Magus and his Followers ; thence occafion is taken to inveigh 
againft the Corruptions of Eccleiiaftical Eledion. 

Oh ! Magus, tell, what led thy fordid train. 
With gold the hallow'd Province to profane. 

And tempt the wand'ring Spoufe of God to (in ? 
Tour deadly ftadon claims a hariher lay ; 
High o'er your frontier hangs the lofty way. 

And fees below your horrid lot begin. 


Now o'er the fecond vale fublime we hung ; 
Oh, heav'nly wifdom ! what immortal tongue 

Can fing thy triumphs in the flaming deep ? 
Thy triumphs, not to Earth and Heav'n confinM, 
For millions here thy mighty angels bind. 

And countlefs tribes thy penal fentence weep. 

St.u Ai.l The Church. 

^ - 


In num'rous crannies part the (helving fides^ 
And many a chafm the gloomy vale divides ; 

Like thofe baptifmal fonts that range around 
Thejacred floor, where John of Patmos reigns. 
Where late a life repaid my pious pains, 

A life well purchased, tho' with fland'rous wound. 

Each, to the middle plung'd, a vi£Um held. 
The bud was hid, the burning limbs reveal'd j 

Convulfive (till they dance, to reft unknown r 
For ever ihifting round, the meteors glow. 
The hanging head furveys the lake below. 

And upward fends the long, relu&ant groan* 

As the young blaze with unftuous fuel fed 
Flames more intenfe, and lifts a bolder head ; 

So feem'd their quiv'ring limbs around to bum ; 
" Say, who is he," I cry*d, " whofe feet fublime 
With fiery circles marks the difmal clime, 

Confpicuous far among the tribes forlorn ?" 

** Would'ft thou be wafted to a nearer ftand. 
And from himfelf his name and crimes demand ?^^ 

St. ill. /• 3.3 The cells of the Simonifts Dante compares to the 
baptifmal fonts in the church of the Baptifts at Florence ; which» 
while he was Prior, he had ordered to be broken up, as one of his 
friends had been there in danger of drownings— This brought new 
(landers on him from the oppofite fadion. 

C ^53 ] 

** My prompt obedience waits upon thy word ;— 
Thy will determines mine :" — ^^ Submifs," I faid. 
And following to the verge the Mantuan Shade, 

Survey'd in ampler view the fcene abhorr'd. 


Then down the fteep the hardy Roman bore 
My mortal weight, and reached the (helving fhore ; 

Where overhead the frowning arches meet: 
Amid furroxmding fires aghaft I flood. 
And faw with tenfold rage the dance renew*d, 

lightening the region round with twinkling feeL 


** Say thou,'* I cryM, " whofe limbs fufpended high. 
Like flaming meteors mark the nether fky ; 

What horrid caufe thy burning t)ufl conceals ?" 
As a Confeflbr, lifl'ning long I flood. 
While the pale wretch protrafts the tale of blood. 

And from the falling axe a moment fleals. 

** Shame of the Papal Chair ! and art thou come, 
Hollow and difmal from the fiery tomb," 

He cried — ** a later doom the Prophet told — 
But come. Seducer of the Spoufe of God, 
Who rul'd the chriflian world with iron rod. 

Come ! thine eternal revenues behold !" 


St, ix. /. 4.] This was the Spirit of Pope Nicholas the Third, 
of the family of Orsini, a great Simoniih — He addreiTes Dante 
in this extraordinary manner, thinking him t^e Spirit of Bonifacb 


[• *54 J 


As one, that hears the undilUnguifli'd found 
Of foul reproach, his quick fenfations wound. 

Struck with the fad falute, amaz'd I flood ! 
" Explain,** the Mantuan cry'd, " his fond miflakcji 
No dire fucceflbr feeks the burning lake. 

With other views you pafsM the penal flood.** 


Prompt I obeyM, the troubled fpirit heard. 
And fiercer figns of doubled pain appear*d. 

*' Ah ! why delude a tortur*d foul !** he cry*d ; 
** But if a flrong defire my doom to know. 
Led your advent*rous feet fo far below. 

Know, late I reign*d o*er Rom£ in mitred pridle i 

" Orsini claims my blood — illuflrious name ! 
To raife her honours thus I funk to fhame ; 

Unfriended, and unwept, but not alone : 
Many a proud prelate learns below to weep. 
Above the fatal pafs I'm doom*d to keep, 

*Till Boniface forfakes the hallow*d throne* 

*' I fondly thought my proud fucceffor come. 
Sent to fupplant me in the fiery tomb ; 

the Eighth, fent to take his place. In the third line he alludes to 
a certain prophecy of the duration of Boniface's reign. For an 
Account of Boniface, fee Canto XXIX. He is faid to have laid the 
plot of t^ie Sicilian Vefpers, to revenge an aiTront put upon him. by 
Charles of Anjou* See Florentine Hiilory annexed. 


C as5 3 

Tour falutadon caus'd the fad miftake : 
Fated, alas ! a longer time to weep, 
And view with ftraining eye the nether deep, 

Tlian He, for foon he feeks the Stygiak lake* 


** Soon haughty Boniface his Vigil ends. 
And Clement here with flaming feet defcends, 

A darker foul ! the painful feat to claim ; 
As Jason gain'd of old the Syrian Lord, 
The Gallic Chief he plies with arts abhorrM, 

And foon the holy mantle hides his ihame. 



He ceasM— my fervent zeal overcame my fear. 
And thus th' ufurper of the hallow'd chair 

In fcorn I queftionM, " Say, when Jesus graced 
The humble Fifher with the high command. 
Did fliining gold pollute his holy hand ? 

" Follow my footsteps," was his fole requeft. 

Sl xiv. /. 1.3 Boniface rtigncd only tight years ; Benedict^ 
bis fucceiTory only eleven months. Then by the intrigues of the 
French Cardinals, Raymond le Got, Bifliop of Bourdeaux, was 

.chofen, who took the name of Clement the Fifth, at the inftiga- 
tion of Philip the Fair, King of France ; who made fevend con- 

' ditioQs with him before his eledlion, none of which Clement ob« 
ferved. He is faid to have tranflated the Papal See to Avignon, io 
4N:der to carry on an amour with the Countefs of Foix. 

St^ xiv* /• 4. — ^Jason.} The brother of Onias, the High Pncft 
ti( the Jews. — He bought the High Priefthood for a large fum of 
itaoney from Aatiochus, (who then poifefled Jerulalem,) depofed 
his brotheri and introduced idolatrous rites into the tonplc* 

[ ^56 3 

•* Or from his ftation when Iscariot feH, 
Did P£TER*8 voice the chofen Saint compel 

To buy the empty feat for fums of gold ?• — 
Now bid the Monarch dread his mitred foe ; 
Go, boaft thy treafures to the Fiends below. 

And how thy wolves deftroy'd the hallow'd fold ! 


^ And tho' the fanftion of Orsini*s name 
Thy facred office, and thy lineal feme 

Forbids my tongue to ufe an harfher drain j 
Yet ever be thy caitiff-foul purfu'd, 
With the ftrong fatire of the juft and good. 

Long, long opprefs'd beneath thy hated reigiu 

** Thofe fordid fcenes the man of Patmos faw. 
When he beheld the foul enchantrefs draw 

The royal train to wear her bonds abhorr'd : 
With rapture on her lying charms to dwell. 
And on her brow adore the ftamp of Hell, 

That brow, rebellious to her lawful Lord, 

** Go, feek your Saviour in the delved mine^ 
And bid th' Idolater the palm refign ; 

Thine is a Legion, his a fingle God !— 
Lamented ever be that lib'ral hand, 
Whofe gifts allur'd the apostolic band 

To leave that humble path where long they trod.** 

Si. XIX. /. 5] The pretended donation of Conftantinc to the 
Church.— Sec Florentine Hiftory annexed. 

C ^57 1 


I fpoke— and whether grief fublim'd his pain, 
Or confdence flung his foul, or high difdain ; 

. His feet \rith tenfold hafte the dance renew'd : 
Ufl'ning with fix'd delight, the Mantuan Bard, 
Silent awhile my ftrong inveftive heard, 

And fondly came, and feiz'd me where I ftood. 


Pleas'd with my zeal, the friendly Bard embrac'd. 
And to his heart with wanner rapture preft 

His filial charge, than e'er I felt before: 
Then to another bridge, that o'er the deep 
Led us flill onward to the central fteep. 

My weight with Angel-arm the Poet bore, 


The bending arch with high pontific pride 
O'erhimg the gloomy gulph from fide to fide ; 

The Mantuan there his cumb'rous load refign'd : 
Then winding up the ridge our fearful way. 
Where even the mountain kid would fear to flray, 

Another vale we faw to guilt afCgnM, 


Vol. I. 

f ^59 1 


X lERlAN Maids ! a deeper trad furvejr. 
Far other objeds claim the arduous lay, 

Succeffive feen in Hell's Cimmerian glooms 
As from the frowning arch^ with (harpenM iight, 
I look'd attentive thro' the wafte of Night, 

And mark'd the yarious tenants of the tomb } 


Soon, from the hideous womb of Night revealM, 
Another troop my wond'ring eyes beheld j 

Circling the difmal vault, demure and flow: 
Their motley bands in meafur'd march advance. 
And form with (lately flep the folenm dance, 

]N^or groan, nor weak complaint betrays their Foe« 


As to fome Temple moves the fuppliant train. 
So march'd the mourners round the (e^t of pain } 

With tortuous neck and fad reverted face : 
Their wondering eyes furvey their fhoulders broad^ 
Their £dt'ring feet purfue the gloomy road. 

And ijread the round with retrogref&ve pace^ 


[ 26o 3 


The Palfy thus the feeble vidtim tries, 

And horrid fpafms the tortur'd Ihape difg^uife, 

Diftort the limbs, and change the human form* 
Ye that attend the tenour of my fong. 
Judge, if unmov'd I faw the filent throng 

Of God's fair image fpoil'd, a monftrous fwanju 


Their laboring reins the falling tear bedewed. 
Deep ftruck with fympathetic woe I flood, 

'Till thus the Bard my flumb'ring, reafon woke :— 
** Dar*ft thou the fentence of thy God arraign ; 
Or with prefumptuous tears his doom profane ? 

Say, can thy tears his righteous doom revoke I 


*• Raife thy dejefted look ; for, lo I afer. 
The Prophet comes, that 'mid the ming'ling war 
Ingulph'd, with living eye, the fhades beheld." 
** Why does the Vidor leave the fcene of blood ?'* 
The Thebans cryM, as down the fteep he rode 
. To Minos' feat, a breathing foul, compell'd. 

Si. vi. /. 6.] Ampkaraus, one of the Seven Captains wbo 
warred againft Thebes. He forefaw that he would not fur^'^ 
the war,«id endeavoured to conceal himfelf from the confederates: 
but his wife, being bribed by a golden bracelet, given her by Ar- 
gia, wife to Polynices, (hewed the place of his concealment ; "^ 
which piece of perfidy he left orders to his fon Alcmeon to re- 
venge his death, went to the fiege in a fit of defpair, and is fiW to 
have been fwallowed up by an earthquake. Sec Euripides Pk<*" 
viSxj Statius Thebaid. L. 7. fub fin. 


^ Prefumptuous Chief! he fearch'4 the womb of Time, 
And rais'd his impious eye to heights fublime : 

Now Fate has tum'd his impious eyes behind ; 
See where, with ftep aveiie, the (hade appears !-— 
TiRESiAS, bending with a weight of years. 

Attends his country's foe, in penance joinM. 


•* His charmed rod the ming'ling ferpents ftruck. 
And foon the heav'n-taught Sage his fex forfook ; 

Another ftroke the manly fex renewed. 
Old Aruns fhews behind his faded form, 
Whofe tomb on high Carrara meets the ftorm. 

And proudly overlooks the Tufcan flood. 

*^ There, on the topmoft clifl^s, his maniion ftood ; 
From thence the planetary dance he viewed ; 

The peopled (hores, and tributary main : 
See Man TO next, by many a Poet fung. 
Her flowing trefles o'er her bofom hiing. 

In deep defpondence joins the mournful train. 

St. vii. /. 5.— TiREsiAs] The cclcbrattd Prophet of Thebes, 
who, according to fabulous hiftory, was part of his hfe a man, and 
part woman* 

Si, viii. /. 4« — Aruns] A Tufcan augur, mentioned by Lu- 
can, in his Pharfalia. * 

St. ix. /. 4^ — Manto] The daughter of Tirefias, and fup- 
pofed to be the foundrefs of Mantua, when Creon, brother-in- 
law to Oedipus, fucceeded to the Crown of Thebes, after the 
rival kings had fallen by mutual wounds. See £fcbylus Thebc^, 
Sophocles Antigone, &c. 


t i6a j 


^* From tliinM Thebes, by lawlefs arms ezpell'd. 
Fair Mincio's ftrand her lateft fcene beheld. 

Where firft I learnt to build the lofty rhyme ; 
When her old father felt the ftroke of fate. 
And Creon's arms enflav'd the Theban ilate. 

The Frophetefs forfook her native clime. 


" Then, where the Alpike hills, in tow'ring pride^ 
An hundred dates behold, on either fide ; 

Here bleak Germania, there the Latiak pbioh 
She found a place, where old Bena^o roars ; 
Then, fed by many a flood, o*erlooks his fhores. 

And fills the valley like the furging maiiu 


" Garda, the Cakon's Vale, and Appenkine, 
With triple mound the foaming flood confine. 

And in the middle^ where their borders meet, 
A limitary fort, Bischiera, (lands. 
And rules with fov*reign fway the frontier lands. 

Where, funk by time, the flielving banks retreat- 


^* There the proud waters fcom their ancient bounds, 
And burfl away, and flood the fertile grounds : 

Fair Mincio there begins his mighty courfe. 
And from the fwelling tide its wealth receives ; 
Then«fweeps th' adjacent plain with broader waves, 

And winds at leifure round Governo's fhores. 

t ^53 3 

^ At length her fubjed ftreams in Padus lofl^ 
Obfcure, and namelefs, feek the Adrian coalt ( 

Yet, ere its tribute fwells the fov'reign tide, 
A fpadous valley checks its headlong hade. 
And brown it fpreads a iullen vatry wafte^ 

Filling vnih noxious fteams the airy void* 

** *Twa8 here, embofom'd in the circling deepi 
Where dreary fogs unfsUin'd for ever fleep j 

A defert ifle the fad Enchantrefs found : 
Where, wrapt in tenfold night, the Hag profane 
Her arts employ'd, and rul'd the fubjed trsdn ; 

And MANto's name yet marks the gloomy ground. 

*^ But Freedom chofe at length the facred feat^ 
And found her favdur'd fons a fafe retreat ^ 

By many a marih and founding flood fecur'd : 
Succeeding ages faw her numbers fwell. 
And fpread their fame till Casalodi fell 

To meet his doom by Pinamont allur'd." 


Thus MANTtJA rofe amid the circling wave : 
Let no invented tale thy ear deceive.** 

St, XV. A 6. — ^Manto.] Mantua. 

St. xvi. /• s^ — Casalodi] The firft Tyrant of Mantpa. He, 
by the perfuafion of Pinamont^ extirpated all the nobility ; wfaicbf 
when he had effefledy Pinamont joined the popular party, be^trayed 
the counfels of Alberto, and raifed a ciyil war in Mantua, whtck 
guded in the deftrudion of the Tyrant. Villani I£ft« Flor. 


^ Thy record vnth their tales comparM/' I fitid, 
^ Like orient gems to dying embers (how. 
But other vifions fill the vale below. 

Come, gentle Bard ! and name the paffing Dead.'' 


^^ Yon* Venerable Sage, whofe beard defcends. 
And o'er his back an hoary fhade extends. 

When Greece her millions pour'd on Aulis' coaft^ 
And angry Dian charmM the fleeping wave. 
With Calchas join'd, the bloody coonfel gave. 

Which wafted o'er to Troy the mighty Hoft* 

** Still lives his name in my heroic fong. 
To thee beft known the Latian bards among.— • 

See Michael Scot, for magic arts renownM, 
Meafures, in garb fuccind, the mighty maze# 
With fault 'ring flaps behind BonAtti flrays. 

And laft Asdente fweeps the circle rounds 

^ Far, far behind appears the Beldame train. 
Who chang'd Minerva's arts for viler gain, 

St. nrvLU /.I.] EuRYPVLUs the Angur, who, itisfaidy whcnr 
the Greeks were wind-bound at Anlis, counfelled the facrifice of 
Iphigenia, to appeafe the anger of Diana, and procure a fair wind. 
See Euripides, Iphigenia m Aulide. 

^ St^ xix. A 3.] A famous Aftrologer, and fuppofed Magician of 
the 1 3th century ; he is faid to have predidied the death of Frederic 

he Second. 

St.xvA, 7.6.] BoNATTi and AsDENTE,two Italian Aftrologcrs 
of the fame period. — ^The Great Men of that age never undertook 
any thing of confequence without confulting an Aftrologer. 


And left the humble diftaff, and the loom :— 
But now the moon full-orb'd, with fliadowy bcCf 
By Seville ends her long, nofhimal race. 

And opening day difpels the mighty gloom. 

<^ Laft night fhe fill'd her horns, and chasM the night ; 
That filver crefcent, whofe benignant light 

ShoVd thro' the baleful grove your dubious way ; 
Now full opposM to Phoebus' eailem car. 
Soon as (he fpies his mounting fteeds afar. 

She finks obedient to the coming day/' 


I a67 3 



Proceeding over another Bridge, the Poets fee below the Depart* 
ment of Baratry, where the State Simoniftsy or they who were 
guilty of felling Offices, or making traffic of JufUce, are con* 
fined. On the arrival of a new Criminal, a Native of LuccAy 
they learn feveral particulars relating to their Puniihment. 

i^TILL many a bending arch prolonged our way. 
And ftill the Mafter of the Roman Lay, 

With themes forgotten now, my labours cheer'd : 
'Till other ftrains of woe our converfe broke. 
Where Malebolge felt th' eternal yoke^ 

And far below in gloomy pride appear'd. 

As where Old Venice hoards her naval ftore. 
Deep ranged around, the pitchy cauldrons roar. 

And bufy hands the boiling mafs divide : 
Some bid the wave-worn barque her way purfue, 
Some caulk the fides, and fome the fails renew. 

Or plant the tap'ring maft in ftately pride. 


Thus boird the Gulph by heav*nly rage fublim'd. 
The black bituminous furge alternate climb'd 


t a«8 3 

The fieq>y repuUive fhore, and flaw retumM t 
Deep in her bofom lay her tribes conceal'd, 
Tho' oft' the dark-wingM ftorm her depths rereal'd^ 

And daihing wide her peopled billows bum'd« 


While yet the fcene my fixt attention held^ 
Sudden the Bard my hafty feet compdPd 

To leave the gloomy verge. — *^ Behold !** he cries^ 
I rais'd my ftartled eye^ relaxant, flow, 
As one whom fate compels to meet his foe. 

Attends with &ult'ring feet» and downcaft eyes. 

When, lo ! confpicuous thro' the horrid clime, 
A Son of Darknefs o'er the bridge fublime 

Advanced with flying fpeed, and eyes of flame : 
Ah ! how his Gorgon look my bofom chill'd. 
As high fufpended o'er the floating field, 

On dragon wing the black PiuAiivant came ! 


New to the horrors of the nether flcy, 

A living load furcharg'd his flioulders high, 

With fettered limbs and head depending low ; 
Faft by the feet he held the fentenc'd man. 
And thus aloft his cruel charge began. 

To the dark centinels that watch'd below. 


*' Come ! feize your prey, ye minifters of pain ! 
For yet in Lucca's bounds a num'rous train 



C 269 2 

Pant for the vopge, and my guidance wait, 
Prone to State-Simony, a fordid tribe, 
BoNTURo fmgly fcoms the' golden bribe. 

Nor fells the honours of his parent ftate." 


He flung his burden down, and inftant fled . 
Along the bending arch with tyger tread ; 

As from his chain difmifsM, the hardy hound 
Purfues the thief, fagacious thro' the gloom. 
Meantime his brethren feal the victim's doom. 

And hurl Imn fcreaming to the Gulph profound. 


Emerging flow, he fought the nearer coaft. 
His features in a pitchy vizor loft. 

" Back to the boiling deep," the Demons cry'd, 
^* No Veronica hears her fons to fave. 
po with the cool delights of Serchio's wave. 

Compare the tumults of the fiery tide." 

St. vii. /. 5*— BoNTURO.] Spoken ironicaUfy he being thenoft 
corrupt magillrate in Italy. Vbllutello. 

St, ix. /. 4. — ^Veronica.] Or St. Suaire ; i. e, St. Napkin, the 
Handkerchief of St. Veronica, which (he it faid to have given to 
pir Saviour, as he was going to his Crucifixion, to wipe his face, 
and to have received it back with a lively impreflion of his counte-* 
nance upon it. This relic was then kept at Lucca, but now at 
Rome, where it is (hewn with great pomp every Good Friday. I 
fmce learn it was a double handkerchief, and that a double impreffioi^ 
was made ; confequently there is one at each place. ■ ■ T o this the 
Demon ironically alludes. 

St. ix. /• 5.] Serchio, a River that runs through Lucca. 


^ Hence ! or thofe barbed hooks thy Umbs arreft ;** 
Relu&ant, flow, retir'd the foul unbleft : 

But the dire anglers fdz'd and plunged amain 
The tardy wretch — ^^ And now," they cry'd, " explore 
The depths, and crown thy toils with golden ore. 

Or join the dilmal dance with yonder train 



The vidim funk, and high the billows rofe. 
As when the flame around the cauldron glows j 

High o'er the verge the fumy furges fweU, 
In eddies borne, the quartered limb^ afcend : 
yiith eager prongs the brawtiy flaves attend, 

A^d down by turns the floating mais compel, 


** Here," faid the Bard, " beneath this rocky mounds 
Hide thee awhile, left yonder fiends furround. 

And with untimely challenge caufe delay ; 
Nor dread the foe, tho' feeming fate impend, 
This hand has learnt the danger to defend. 

And hold the Denizens of Hell at bay/* 


He fpoke, and mark'd the place, and fped along, * 
The Demons faw, and faft around him throng. 

With level'd fpears, and many an uncouth yell : 
The dauntlefs Poet wav'd his magic hand, 
** Retire," he cry'd, ** your headlong rage command. 

No bpld intruder views the bounds of HeU.] 


I «7» 1 


^ Or if you mean to try the force of fate. 
Detach at leaft fome chofen delegate. 

To learn my motives, ere the battle rage^^ 
The vagrant thus afTerts the public way ; 
His brandifh'd truncheon keeps the curs at bay. 

Aloof the clam'rous tribe the combat wage. 


^ Go, Malacoda, hafte !'' the fiends exclaipd, 
« And inftant learn the daring felon's name.** 

** Why thus delay his doom ?" the Demon cry'd. 
And murm'ring fled — Prepared the Mantuan flood. 
And with flem eye the Stygian courier ^ew'd | 

Then fearlefs, thus began my awfiil guide : 


♦* Thro* thefe fad bounds to flray, and fbay fecure, 
Where fiery gulphs defoend, and rocks immure. 

Say, Demons — ^feems it lefs than Heav'n's command I 
Commiflion'd thence, a Mortal's fleps I leadf 
Heav'n wills, and op'ning Hell approves the deed. 

And dare yon' fable Chief his will withftand ?"— « 


Down at his feet the fiery Trident fell, . 
And to his mates he cry'd with uncouth yell ; 
^* Ye Sons of Hades, bid your fury ceafe !"— 
«* Come from your fecret cell," the Mantuan crie$^ 
^^ Before us now uninterrupted lies 
The fleep defcent, and all around is peace." 


I heard, and ftraight obqr'd the pious Bard, 

The Demons hemtn'd me round— 4l grizzly gnand^ 

Relufbnt yet, and burning for their prey. 
Thus, circled roimd with death, the captive band 
At old Caprona fear'd the conquering hand, 
Tho' ftrong engagements held the foe 9X bay, 


Inftant they wheel around, an hideous fwarm, 
And guide us on our way ; — ^with wild alarm 

Half raisM, my trembling eye their ihapes furveyMj 
While the dread whifper ftole in murmurs round ; 
^* Come, let the Mortal feel the fiery wound," 

But foon the Chieftain's eye th^ rage allay'd. 


When thus the leader of the Stygian guard : 
♦* Behold yon* rocks that feem by thunder marr'd, 

Whofe rifted ruins crofs the public path : 
Twelve hundred circles of the fun are pail, 
Since dire deftruSion trod the hideous wafle. 

And left thofe figns of monumental wrath, 


** That breach ynll flop your way — hxit wind around ] 
Still further on another bridge is found, 

St, XTiii. /. 5.3 Alludes to the taking of Pifa, by Count GnidQ 
Novello, who fcnt his prifoners in irons to Lucca, left the commoi^ 
people fhould kill them. V illarni, lib. ini. 

C ^73 ] 

Which lands you gently on the further (hore i 
A trufty guard attends, nor thou difdain 
The proflFer'd fervice of the fable train. 

Go ! Sons of Erebus ! — ^the path explore !-^ 


** Thou Calcabrina, point the dubious way, 
While fage Cagnazzo forms the long array. 

And Barbaricca leads the ilnlefs pair: 
With him the might of Draghinazzo join, 
And LiBico with Alichin combine. 

And thou, bold Rubican, the ftandard bear. 


** Let Graffican with angel eye furvey. 
Aloft from (hore to (hore, the duflcy bay ; 

And Farfarei^ on high with (hadowy wing. 
Shall tend the to(fings of yon* fiery wave, 
When any foul prefumes his foe to brave. 

Or dares aloud his baleful dirgq to fing* 

** Safe to the fecond arch your travellers gjiide I" 
** Oh ! Ifet us go alone !" I trembling cry'd ; 

*' Oh, Maro ! is thy fated powV expired ? 
See how they gna(h their teeth, and fcowl afar. 
Save thy frail fuppliant from th* unequal war. 

Left they forget their charge,, with frenzy fir'd/* 

Trembling I fpoke, and thus the Bard dlfpelPd 
My rifing fear. — ^^ The ftruggling vidims held 
Vol. L T In 

C a74 ] 

In yon* bituminous deq> inflame their rage.*^ 
He ceas'd, the fable Chief difplays the fign. 
The banded Rends in clofe battalion join. 

And loud JEoliaix fifes their fury 'fuage^ 


C ^75 3 



The PoetSy under the Guard of the Maleboloiam Bandt con- 
tinue their March round thf Bprden of the Gulph of Bakatrt. 
—From the Soul of a Spaniard, who had ftolen a Refpite from 
his TonnentSy they learn the Nam^ of ferend of hit Companions, 
f— The Demons that guard MALSBOLOBy fentence him to a fe- 
vere Puniihmen^ for leaying Im Pun?eon| but he efcap^s by a 

1 HE infernal bugle blew, the march began ; 
I faw the Demons form the gloomy van. 

And fweep the rx)cky verge in long array^ 
Thus have I feen on f^m'd Arezzo's plain, 
The clarion-8 note awak:e the gallant train 

To martial deeds, on fome diftinguiflxM 4ay<i 

Thro* vaulted Hell the moody mufic rung ; 

Not the loud trupip that wakes the martial throng;ii 

Nor the fell cannon's deep difplofive found. 
Nor failor^s pipe that hails the Boreal ftar, 
pr fhrill falutes the Foreland feen afar, 

l^ tbs^ loud ftrain the hearing feem'4 to ifouxut^ 

C a7« ] 



Guarded vfiih Fiends, we fped our darkfome way. 
And high fufpended o'er the ftormy bay. 

My (larded eye the boiling furge explores : 
Impatient of the plague, the toiling train 
Emerge, and quick as lightening, plunge again. 

Or feek in panting tribes the neighb'ring fhores, 


Sagapipu^^ of a ftorm, the Dolphin train 
Thus gambql round, and tempeft all thci main, 

llie feaman marks the (ign, and furls the fail : 
Or thus in fable files the croaking race 
Emerge to breathe, and Ihew the formlefs face. 

While hid below^ their a£bive members traiL 

Gafpmg awhile the fad deferters flood } 
Then, when aloft the flying foe they viewed. 

Thick, thick they plunge amid the flafhing wave ; 
And deep ingulph'd, declin'd th' unequal war. 
Yet one bold wretch the Deipops fpy'd afar. 

Who feem'd the malice of his foes to braye« 


But Grafficano clove the yielding air. 
And, fwift defcending, by the tangled hair. 

All carelefs as he lay, the finner took : 
The cautious angler thus, with ikilful hand 
And barbed hook, folicits to the flrand 

The fcaly ^enant of the limpid brook^ 


By converfe long I learnt their leaders names. 
" Hafte, RiJBiCAN 1" the Mafter Fiend exclaims, 

" And let the vidUm feel (he fiery prong." 
•* Oh ! learn at leaft the wretch's name," I cryM, 
•* Yet ere they plunge him m the burning tide. — 

jAnd thus the Mafter of the li.0MAN iSong : 


** Tell whence thou art, while yet *tis giv'n to tell." 
With falt'ring voice the Denizen of HeU 

Reply*d, " To fam^d Navarre my birth I owe : 
Curs'd be the Sire, that left, defpoilM and bare. 
His wretched Son, and curs'd the Mother^s care 

Who bade my tender years a mafter know ! 


** Bleft with my SovVcign's love and royal truft. 
Both I abus'd, impelled by fordid luft 

Of baneful gold, his facred gifts to fell. 
Now fee my gains." — ^While thus he moum'd his lot, 
CiRiTTo's fangs the ihrieking Sinner caught. 

And faft around him throng'd the Band of Hell. 

^U iz. A 6.] This criminal's name was Giak Polo ; he was of 
a good family, but his father having fpent his fortune^ his mother 
placed him as a page, with a baron of the Court of Navarre, who 
took fuch care of his education that he rofe to the firft honours of 
the (late. But, in a (hort time, he difgraced his chara£ter by the 
moil (hameful bribery and fale of offices ; his Sovereign was the fa- 
mous Thbbaut, Count of Champagne, to whom the kingdom 
of Navarre came by marriage. He was a great encourager of the 
Prove N9AL Poets, and fome of his own verfes ace dill extant. He 

T3 it 

C 378 3 


^^ This fiery trident firft impales his frame/* 

The Chieftain cry'd, " avaunt ! ye fons of flame !** 

Then turning to the Bard in milder mood, 
^^ Now queftion while you may ; for fate impends i 
See ! on his limbs the Stygian prong defcends; 

Hafte, ere my brethren quaff his (beaming blood* 


The Sard obeyM— and, " Son of woe,** he cry'd^ 
** Does any Tuscan fwim the boiling tide?" — 

Then faint and falt'ringj thus the gory Shade :— * 
" Oh ! had I flaid with the Sardinian Ghoft, 
In yonder Gulph, and ihun'd the dreadful coaft, 

I ihould not thus have moumM, to fhame betrayed 1** 

** Too much, too much my flruggling rage has borne," 
LiBicco cry'd, and tore the wretch forlorn. 

18 laid to be the firft that vrrote in o^lavo rhyme ; but he is mod 
known in his amours with Blanch, of Castile, whofe maniage 
with Lewis (afterwards Lewis VIIL) by the mediation of Jo hk. 
King of England, induced Philip Augustus to relinquifli the 
caufe of young Arthur. Sec Shakespeare's King John^^-^ 
Thebaut's VerfeS to her are ftill prcferved. . She was Regent in' 
the minority of her fon Lewis IX. or St. Lewis, the famous 
Crufader. Her other fon, Charles of Anjou, conquered Sicily, 
beheaded Conr adin, the rightfid heir, and laid the foundation of the 
French title to that kingdom. See Memoires de Petrarc^s^ 
Vol. L FLORENtiNB Hi STORY anncxcd. 

N. B. From this King of Navarre, the noble Family %l 
Hastings is defcended. 


C 279 ] 

Then flung the vi£dm to his brother Fiends. 
^* The Fiends received the charge with favage joy. 
And markM his mangled limbs, and hurrd him high, 

Down on their pointed prongs the Slave defcen4s/' 

They pausM awhile, the ManTuan cryM aloud, 
^^ Oh ! name that foul among the mourning croud, 

Whom late you left in yonder floods behind !" 
The bloody fpedre thus : — ^^ GomiT a there, 
\Vho let his Sovereign's foe efcape the fnare. 

Laments among the burning waves confined. 


^^ The next his mailer's bride in triumph led, 
And with Oomita fliares the burning bed. 

For brib'ry faifl'd alike, and honours fold ; 
Kow both below their native tongue profane, 
And count with fcalding tears their golden gain, 

Around the flaming gulph for ever rolPd. 

Sim xiii* /. 4.— Oomita. J A Sardinian, who, when that 
iiknd belonged to the Pifans, was made Governor of the jurif* 
di6tion of Gullura \ his bribery and fale of juHice was long un- 
known to N1NO9 Count of Pifa, till his fufEering fome ftate-pri- 
foners to efcape, and the detedion of the reward he received for 
his conninmce, difcovered his real charadlen 

Si.xiv.L I.] Michael Zanche, Senefchal of Looodoro, 
under Henry, ofEnzius, natural fon to Frederic IL where he 
lunafled a princely fortune by the fale of juftice. He is faid to 
have poifoned his Lord, and prevaSed upon his mother, (to whom 
Frederic had given the Signory of Logodoro, after her foa's deathi) 
to marry hinu 


C *8o 3 

** But, oh ! if deadlier tales attraft your eai*. 
If names ftill more renovn'd you long to hear. 

Save, fave your fuppliant fiiom the lifted prong V* 
He fpoke — on high the cruel fteel impends. 
The Chieftain turns j— and ere the ftroke defcends. 

His potent voice repell'd the &vage throng. 

*« Coihmand tliy Slave," the trembling Spaniard laid, 
** And many a Lombard foul by me betray'd. 

With many a Tufcan Lord fliall rife to view. 
The wonted fignal giv'n, in fhoals they come. 
To breathe the lib'ral.air, and mourn their doom; 

Confent, and feize at once the abjed crew.** 

« Obfeive the SpamWs aim," CAGi»A220 cries j 
Dark o'er his brow the fnaky horrors rife. 

Ah-eady fee ! he meditates his flight !" 
The Ihudd'ring wretch reply'd, « efcape is vain, 
I only hope to fee them fhare my pain. 

And eafe my forrows with the welcome fight." 


Glad Alichino thus the foul addrefs'd :— 

« Blow the loud fignal. Slave ! and call the reft I 

While clofely couch'd we lurk behind the fteep: 
Then, if thou dar'ft, our fov'reign truft betray j 
For ere thy head can touch the boiling bay, 

This barbed hook fhall drag thee f^om the deep.*' 

St. xvi. /. 4,] The fignal of thdr tormentor's abfence. 

C 281 3 

Kow learn a Stygian vnle K— the watchful crew, 
With fharpen'd fight the coming legions view, 

Expefltot of thdr prey ; but Watch in vain : 
The wily Spaniard foon the moment feiz'd. 
And fudden fpringing from the guard amaz'd^ 

Exulting plung'd amid the burning main« 

Mourning thdr lofs, the grim battalion ftood ; 
Stem Alichino firft the chace renew'd, 

** Mine was the fault," he cry'd j " the lofs be mine.'* 
But vain his Ihadowy wing^ and angel eye. 
In vain his brethren bold their pinions ply. 

And fcour the deep, or the long ramparts line^ 

XXL . 

Thus dives the Mallard imdemeath the flood. 
By the fleet Faulcon on the lake purfu'd; 

Baffled the bird afcends, and feeks her Lord : 
But Calcabrina foon renews the chace, 
"With full intent to 'venge the deep difgrace. 

On him whofe negligence the wretch reftor^d. 


Stem Alichino ftill the temped rode. 
His rival Fiend with indignation glow'd, 

And chas'd his brother Iiend to wreak his fpite : 
And now the wily Spaniard difappear'd. 
When Alichin his ftem purfuer heard. 

Breathing deftrudion thro' the gloom of night, 

St. xxi. /. 6.] Alichino^ his brother Fiend| who had permitted 
the victim to efcape. 


Above the tumult of die main they meet, 
Andy breaft to breaft, with grappling fiiiy 

The rocks^ the fubje£l waves refounding far. 
From fliore to ihore the loud aerial fray* 
At laft their tangled wings their weight betray^ 

They fall ;^-the raging deep abforbs the 

Faft to their aid the black confederates fly. 
Like meteors glancing o'er the troubled iky; 

At length, half loft, they fee the ftruggfing Paix^ 
Deep, deep ingulph'd amid the pitchy wave 
They light, they fettle round, intent to fave. 

And up with pain the cumb'rous burden bear. 


t ^H 3 



After a narrow efcape from the fury of the Malebolgian Guanl» 
the Poet finds himfelf in the Regions of Hypocrify. He de« 
fcribes its Punifhmenty and the Ceremony they obferve in paifing 
the Station of Caiafhas, the celebrated High Prieft of the 
Jews* Among the reft, he meets with the Spirits of Cata- 
Lano and LoderingO) two Bolognefe Friarsi one a Guelf and 
4he other a GhibeOine, who were admitted to fettle the affairs of 
Florencei hut, by their partiality, left them more embroiled. 

Forsake]^ of our Guard, demure, and flow^ 
Onward we journey thro' the vale of woe ; 

Like two fad hermits o'er the defert plain : 
While in the molten fea the I>emons roUM, 


My mem'ry ftrait recalled the fcene of old, 
Defcrib'd in ruftic phrafe by PHRvaiA's Swaim 

tlie dark intention of the croaking Lord, 
And how his charge with him the Kite devour'd ; 

Sl ii. /. 2.] He means the fable in JEfop, where the Frog ofFert 
to ferry over the Meafe, with a fecret intention to drown him ; and, for 
more fecurity, has him tied on his back. While they are thus en-* 
cumberedi they are £een by a Kite, who carries them both ofL One 


^ut calmer thoughts were loft in fudden drtid^ 
lieft, with recruited ftrength and double rage» 
On U8 the Fiends their fury Ihould afluage. 

By our requeft to (hame and ruin led^ 


And now, methought, the Stygian hunt began $ 
Swift to my heart an icy fummons ran, 

With falt'ring voice I cry'd, " The furies come ! 
I hear their moody mufic from afar ; 
I fee their Chieftain giiide the flying war, 

O Father, hafte ! and ward the menac'd cJoom V* 

** Thy foul (the Mantuan cryM) refleS:s thy fear^ 
As in the mirror bright, the obje& near. 

In glowing tints returns a double form ; 
But come, by mutual dread and danger join'd. 
By yon* defcending path our feet mud wind. 

And fhun, in friendly ihade, the flying fwarm. 


^* If this long atenue direfts us right, 
Down thro* the valley'of eternal night. 

Another gulph, with rocky moimds inclos'd. 
Divides the deep with everlafting bar ; 
\Vhofe lofty bounds repel the flying war. 

To the loud onfet of the Fiends opposed." 

docs not pcTtcivc the refetnblancc here veiy clearly. The difap- 
pointment of the Demons by vain promHes, and their negle£^ of 
the prey already caught while they are watching for more'} is mi^k 
Uker the ftory of the Dog and the Shadow* 


Scarce had the Roman ceas'd, when, waving high. 
The Stygian banner floats acrofs the Iky, 

And funeral fcreams are heard, and dire alarms ! 
His mate the Mantuan feiz'd ; and, fpringing light, 
Plung'd headlong downwards thro' the wafte of night, 

And held me trembling in his faithful arms. 


The M^trpn thus the flaming roof forfakes. 
And, half arrayed, her helplefs infant takes. 

The lov'd, th^ fole companion of h^ wbe ; 
Nor fpeeds the torrent o'er the channel'd mounts 
.>7or fwifter turns th' indented wheel around. 

Than Maro fought the mournful plains below^ 


We lighted foon below ; the Fiends afar* 
Poflefs the cliflFs, and vainly threaten war ; 

But now, by Heav'n reftrain'd, (heir baflled rage 
Its limits felt, nor duril they wing their way 
Where lofty rocks divide the duflcy bay. 

And mark with mighty range their utmoft ftage^ 


A folenm train, with weary ftep, and flow. 
Still feem'd to wind around the fpace below. 

Their long laborious march with heavy cheer y 
Mpnaftic hoods their bending forms concealed. 
And deep depending cowls their faces veil'd. 

Such a$ the fons of diftant Belgia wear<^ 

C d*6 J 


Their fonns emerging thro' the (hades of night, 
Succeflive gleam'd afar a golden light. 

Vain femblance all ! for molten lead within. 
With fcalding weight thdr fmking limbs oppreft^ 
Morp pondrous far than Fredbric's burning reft, 

A plague well-fuited to their mortal fm! 

Loud lamentations fill'd the pafling gale, 
VHien the proud phalanx came, in pondrous mail, 

(Eternal dnChire !) clad, and borne along. 
Our ready fteps attend the wayward train, 
pur eager ears imbibe the various fbain. 

And mark'4 what nations form'd the mighty tfarontg, ' 

Slow was the mournful march. — With heay'nfy haile| 
Now thefe, now thofe, the Mantuan Poet pait. 

And reached with flying feet the diftant yan ; 
3till lifl'nmg near, if any found betray^ 
A Tuscan foul in leaden veil array'd, 

'Till thus at length a hollow voice b^gan ; 


f^ Turn, Florentines ! a kindred Soul iQiplores^r^ 
Whatever caufe to thefe dete(led fhores 

Sl X. Lg,'} Frederic the Second is faid to have invented the 
following horrible punifhment for State-Criminals: He caufed^ 
them to be wrapt in fheets of lead from head to foot, and laid in 
a large cauldron intenfely heated, fo that the lead and the cri^una^ 
were foon diflbWe^ in oie common msfs. Vi^lani, li^. vi* 

E a87 3 

Commands your journey ! mark our rigid fete !*^ 
We ftopp'd, we tum'd, and faw a wretched Pair, 
Forth from the crowd their cimibrous veftments bear. 

And prefs laborious thro^ the Stygian ftrait. 

Dun>b, and malignant, on my ihape they gaz'd ; 
My difencumber'd limbs their envy raised.— 

^* How dare you thus/*they cry'd," with blood-warm 
^d flefhly feet, purfue the fetal "f^y* [[veins^^ 

yrhile here in long metallic robes we ftray, 

Whofe cumbrous weight our tardy feet reftrains ?**• 


Then thus, in groans : ** Oh ! favoured Soul, attend, 
^t not our fad requeft thine ears offend ; 

Thy name, thy birth, and wond'rous fete difclofe ! 
Tbo' Hypocrites, we join in fervpnt pray*r.'* 
f* On Arno's banks," I cry*d, " my native air 

I dreW| and early bore a weight of woes ! 

f * Here, wandering, I obey the Sovereign will :— - 
But fay. What fentence bid your tears diftil 

For ever thus — ^your crimes and fortunes tell !** 
f* Behold our brows, with burning mitres prefs'd, 
^ee on our fentenc'd limbs the burning veft. 

Nor aik from what fed caufe our forrows fwiell ! 


f < While yet on earth, nor yet confign'd to ihame, 
Bologna rung with Catalano's name, 

St, xTii. A 2. and 3^*Catalanq and Lodbiiinoo.] Two 
monbcn w a religious fociety, half fecular, half lay, then infti- 


Nor )efs to fame was Loderingo knowiu 
Let Arno's banks deplore our deecU of old, 
Apd weeping Florence tell her freedom fold 

By us, who fiird the high Praetorian throne*'* 


** Unhappy Pair ! I mourn your ceafelefs pain '/■ 
I would have faid :^?when, lo ! acrofs the plain, 

A flumb'ring Giant feem'd to bar the way ; 
The Pontiff's robe his mighty members grac'd, 
I$s haughty brow a burning mitre prefs'd. 

And low, with fetter'd feet, fupine he lay. 

The captive groan'd, and feem'd to fhun the view } 
*' See," Loderingo cry*d, *' the mighty Jew, 

Whofe will of old the Sanhedrim obeyed ; 
Thro* hot mifguided zeal to fave a (late. 
With bloody hands they feal'd Emmanuel's fete, 

Xo fhamefu^ death by guilty men betray 'd^ 

^ Yonder his fellow-judge in bondage lies, 
Anci ey'ry p^ff^nger his weight appli^. 

tuted by Urban the Fourth, called Frate Godenti, or, BrcH 
thcFB of St. Mary. From the extraordinary fan£tity of their cha- 
ra£iq-, they were chofen joint Priors of Florence, in order to quiet 
the fa6liona that embroiled the ftate. See the Hiilorical ^tqi 

Si. xix. /. 2.] 9^iAi*HAs^ ^^^ Je^9 ^l^P declared it was n^« 
f eflary one man Jhould die for tie feoj^Ie^ 

C ^89 ] 

His leaden weight, to prefs the groaning breaft. 
The proftrate Sanhedrim poflefs the plain ; 
Still on their bofoms prefs the loaded train^ 

And fpum with hoftile heel the fetter'd Prieft.*' 


Viewing the deadly doom, the MantuaW flood. 
Of thofe fad exiles, ftain'd with guiltlefs blood. 

Then to the Florentine defponding cry'd : 
"** Say, do not yon* furrounding rocks aflford 
Means of deliverance from the race abhorr'd, 

Whofe legions line the fteep on either fide ?** 


^* A pendent rock for many leagues pervades 
(The Prisoner cry'd) thefe deep Cimmerian (hades 

Entire, 'till ftrong convulfions marr'd its height : 
Now many an horrid breach, and chafm profound. 
Deforms its face to yonder fiirtheft bound. 

Where o*er the centre hangs a gloomier night/' 


Sorrowing, the Bard declined his mournful head. 
Then, ** Oh ! ye firaudfiil fons of night, (he faid,) 

St. xxii. /. 5.] The Demons had told them (Canto xxi.) that 
from the next Gulph, i, t. the Gulphof Hypocrisy, the way lay 
entire to the centre. This fublime imagination of Dante, that 
the earthquake which attended the Crucifixion overthrew the in- 
fernal ramparts, and obftrufled the way to Hell, feems to have 
given the hint to Milton, that Sin and Death firft built this 
wondrous bridge, whofe partial ruin at leafl was the confequence 
•f the Resurhection. 

Vol. L U And 


And thou, whofe trident awes the (avage band, 
1 fee your wiles !" (reply'd the Tuscan Sage) 
^* Falfehood has mark'd their name from age to age. 

Since firft their Lord the great fedu£don planned.*' 


The troubled Spirit heard -, and, lingering lon^. 
O'er the tall battlements dejeded hung : 

At length he gave the fign ; and, down the patb» 
With his afTociate took the dangerous way. 
And left the Prelates, where in rank they lay 

Beneath the load of everlafting wrath. 


C «9i ] 



The Poet efcaptng with much difficulty from the Sixth Department 
of Malebolge, arrives at the Serenthy where the Spirits of 
thofe who had been guilty of Robbery, either public or private, 
arc punifiicd. There he meets a noble Pistoian, from whom 
he learns fome particulars of the fate both of Pistoia and 

W HEN now the infant Year begins her race. 
When rifing Sol the watry fign furveys. 

And deep inurnM, his oozy trefles laves : 
Keen Boreal blafts congeal the falling dew. 
The hoary profpeft gleams beneath the view, 

'Till Phoebus gilds a£ir the orient waves. 


Half-clad, the (hudd'ring peafant meets the dawn. 
And views with looks of woe the wintry lawn j 

Then turns delponding to his hut forlorn : 
Once more the wintry plain his feet effay. 
The frofty mantle flits beneath the ray. 

And meets the Sun in mounting volumes borne. 

U 2 


tlis long forgotten crook he learm to \^eld. 
Then jocund drives his bleating charge afield : 

The Maktu AN thus refum'd his wonted cheer 2 
His placid mien aflur^d his fainting mate. 
So look'd the Bard, when near the gloomy gate 

His Angel-prefence firft difpell'd my fear^ 


Penfive awhile he ftood, and feem'd to weigh 
The untry'd dangers of the duiky bay ; 

Then meafuring the deep gulph with caufiotis look^ 
He plann'd the enterprife with ftudious thought. 
And in his arms his trembling pupil caught. 

And flow and fure the lofty (land foribok. 


O'er rifted rocks, and hanging cliffs we pafs'd, 
When, lo ! . a ruinous fragment checked our hafle. 

" Mount !'* he exclaim'd — ^^ but mount with caii* 
tious feet. 
Left, min'd below, the pondrous ruin falls !'' 
Trembling I mount, and pafs the mouldering walls, 

Whofe nodding horrors o'er the valley meet. 


My Angel-guide purfued the way with pain. 
How hard, alas ! for that encumbered train 

In heavy mail of molten lead to climb ! 
With foil fubduM, with ghaftly fear difmayM, 
I fcarce purfu'd the difembodied Shade, 

O'er many a dreadful breach and cliff fublime^ 

r ^93 ] 


5ut now, defcending to the central deep, 
The fhort divifions flope, abrupt, and fteep, 

Eafing the labour of the downward way ; 
Yet ftill the walls of Hades rofe fo high. 
Doubling the horrors of the nether fky, 

That my funk heart was ftruck with cold difinay* 

Thus the long ruins of the vale we pafs'd, 
The broken, bold extreme appear'd at laft. 

But lengthening toil my wafted pow'rs fubdu'd* 
Down on the dizzy verge fatigu'd I fat,. 
Pond'ring with anxious thought my haplefs fate ; 
*Till thus the friendly Bard my hopes renew'd ; 


** Arife ! — ^In vain the flumb'ring foul afpires, 
(Her powers betray'd. by floth, extinft her fires) 
. In vain fhe tries the dazzling heights of fame ; 
As morning fogs difperfe to meet no more. 
As the waves clofe behind the laboring oar. 
The daftard foul expires without s^ name \ 


^* Arife ! — ^It ill befits the mounting mind. 
With mortal cares debased, to lag behind ; 

Yet Alps, more hideous ftill, and gulphs await. 
That mock the deeps behind." — Abafh'd I ftood i 
|n warmer tides the vital current flow'd j 

^* Lead on," I cry'd, " and point the paths of Fate !*^ 

C 294 ] 


Againft the pendent rock with pain we rofe. 
And cliffs, more dreadful ftilly our courfe oppofe ; 

And deadlier perils round befet the path. 
To hide my fear, converfmg up the deep, 
Tho' faint, I climb'd, when from the neighboring deep. 

Fierce and abrupt, I heard the voice of wrath. 


Confus'd, and low the fullen found began. 
Then louder ftill around the barriers ran : 

** Quick ! let us leave the height, illuftrious Guide,** 
I cry'd, " the mingled fray deceives my fight ; 
Hid in the gloom of everlafting night/' 

« I grant thy juft defire," the Poet cryM. 


The Stygian void, with light'ning's fpeed we pafs'd. 
And wild and dreary fpread the nether wade 

A living fcene ; with dragon forms replete ! 
Vipereous tribes the horrid circle trace. 
To Libya's fands unknown, and Gorgon's race 

£re£k, with bumiih'd fcales, and deadly threat* 

The Jaculator flits acrois the gloom. 
The dire Chelydrus plots a darker doom j 

St* xiv. /. iw— The JACULATOR.3 

Concolor cxufti^* atque indifcrctus arenia 
Ammodytes : fpinaquc yagi torquente ceniftx : 
£t fcytale fparfis ctiam nunc fola pruinis 
Exuviae pofitura fuas : et torrida dipfas : 
£t gn^vis in gcmioum Tergene o^ut Amphi/baena ) 


C 295 ] 

And Amphisbjena lifts a double wound : 
Wide Ethiopia, with her Serpent train, 
Nor the black tribes that haunt Erythra's plain. 

With ihapes fo monftrous hide the tainted ground. 


Without a moment's reft, the fentenc'd throng 
Thro' warping millions urge their flight along. 

DefpoilM and bare, with burning wounds embolsM, 
A knot vipereous ties their bands behind ; 
Deep thro' the bleeding vans the ferpents wind 

Around, before, inmany a volume crofs'd* 


Faft to the barrier fped a wretch forlorn, 
Behind, his flying foe in tempeft borne. 

Full at his flioulders aimM the fiery wound. 
Starting, convuls'd, he felt the clinging peft. 
He found its burning folds his limbs inveft. 

And, mingling foon, they grovel on the ground. 


Together now beneath the fpreading flame, 
They wafte, they vanifli, like a morning dream ; 

£t natrix violator aquae, jaculique Tolucnesy 
£t cQntentua iter cauda fulcare paraeaa : 
Oraque diftendcns avidus fpumantia prefter : 
OflaquediiToIvais cum corpore tabificus feps« 

Luc. Phak). lib, ix« 717. 

U4 Their 

C *9fi 3 

Their fcatt'ring aihes whiten all the fliore ; 
Again they part, the human form returns. 
Again fublime in air the Dragon bums, 

And the pale vi£tim feels his rage once more;, 


The Phoenix thus, her fatal period come, 
VeilM in a cloud of fragrance meets her doom. 

Secure of fate, and feeds the fpicy flaihe. 
Frefh from her tomb the wond'rous bird reviTes i 
In vain the confummating day arrives. 

And circling ages find her (till the fame. 


As one by fpafm, or demon frenzy feizM, 
Frefh from his iron flumber flarts amaz'd. 

While mem*ry reels beneath the ftunning Wow z 
Half lofl, and fhudd'ring from his doom fevere. 
Thus flowly rofe the fon of fad defpair. 

And, queftionM, thus commenced his tale of woe ^ 


" Ye afk to know my rac^— from Arno's vale 
Hurl'd headlong down, I fought the depths of Hell j 

For more than common villany renown'd. 
No feller favage haunts the moonlight wild. 
Nor owns a den with bloodier deeds defil'd. 

As well PisTOiA knows, my native grpund. 

St, XX. /. 4.] Sumamed Bestia» from his favage difpofition* 
He was notorious for robbery and facrllege. He, with fome others^ 
bid the plan of robbing the Cathedral of St. James's, at Pistoia i^ 


C ^97 !l 

** Yet, ere we pafs, illuftrious Bard ! enquire 
Why here below he feeds the penal fire ; 

More fit to join the fanguinary band !" 
I fpoke— »the finner heard my ji^ft requeft, 
And turning round his feded face unblefsM, 

Explain'd his title to the fnaky (brand. 

^' No deadlier pang my parting fpirit bore. 
Since firfl (he funk to this difaftrous fhore. 

Than the keen cenfure of thy judging eye ? 
*Twas facrilege, and luft of hallow'd gold. 
Among the fpoiler troop my name enroUM, 

Still forc'd the fiery plague in vain to fly. 


^* But, left my deadly plagues regale thy fight. 
Know, if thou e'er fhould'ft fee the bounds of light,^ 

(Unhappy Florentine ! attend thy doom !) 
The Swarthy Tribe on fair Pistoia's plain 
Shall turn the day, and rally once again. 

And colonize once more their native home. 

which they executed without difcovery, and dcpofited their fpoiU 
in the houfe of one of their confederates, whofe fair character they 
thought would prevent a fearch. Next morning aknoft all the fuf- 
pcded perfons in Pistoia were put to the torture: ftill however 
the confederates efcaped ; till one Rampiro, an intimate friend of 
Van NO, was fentenced to the rack ; and his friend, in order to fave 
jiim, fent an anonymous letter, difcovering where the fpoils were 
depofited. They were accordingly found, and the mader of the 
houfe was committed to the flames. 

St, xxiii. /. 4«] He foretells the prevalency of the Black Fa6Uon 
under Charles of Valois, and the ban^mcnt of Dante. See Life 
of Dfinte.-pHift. Flprent, 

[ ^98 ] 


^ I fee, by Mars exhal'd, an hoftile doad 
The tented plain of Valdimagra fliroud. 

And fweep Piceno's field with whirlwind fway ! 
See ! where the Swarthy Band obfcures the field ! 
The foe inglorious drops the filver fludd ; 

Cro to thy fiiends, foretel the dreadfiil day !'' 


C 299 3 



Hie Poet proceeds through the Regions of Sacrilege and 
R0BBERY9 where he meets with the Spirit of Cacu8» and fees 
fevcral ftninge Transformations and Tranfmigrations among four 
Florentinesi whom he finds on the Frontiers of the Region. 

oTERNLY he ceas'id, with execrations dire ; 
And, loud blafpheming Heav'n's Eternal Sire, 

He rais'd his ruffian hands, and dar'd his wrath ! 
But foon a fpiry fnake his members binds. 
Another round his vocal pafTage winds. 

And ftops with many a fold the felon's breath. 


lU-fam'd PisToiA ! call the facred flame 

From Latiak plains to purge thy hated name. 

And fweep away thy facrilegious brood : 
Aflemble round, ye fentenc'd tribes of Hell ! 
Not all your legions holds a fiend fo fell ; 

Not he, whofe pride the thund'ring Pow'r withftood ! 


H9 fled in horror o'er the bunung wafte, 
Md foon a Csntaur form, \nth furious hafte, 


C 300 ] 

FoUow'd his track. Acrofs his (houlders broad. 
Where the fleet courfer with the man combin'd, 
A thoufand warping {hakes their volumes twin'd. 

Such as Maremma's plains yet never flio^cL 

Full on his neck a burning dragon borne. 

With winnow'd flames opprefs'd the wretch fbrlom. 

Who darM the whirlwind of his wings to meet. 
•* Behold the Robber's doom (the Mantuan cry'd} 
Who Aventine's proud hill with flaughter dy'd. 

And fiird with murd'rous de^ her dark retreat ! 


^^ He items the coming crowd with furious fpeed, 
A puniflmient to match his wiles decreed ; 

When ftruggling (leers, with more than mortal £6rce^ 
Down backward to his bloody cave he drew ; 
Reversed their footfteps mark'd the midnight dew 

In vain ! for foon Alcides trac'd their courfe« 

*' The Son of Jove the lurking felon found. 
And foon the Hero dealt the deadly wound/^ 

The Mantuan ceas*d, the Speftre difappear'd. 
While three fad Phantoms, hov*ring on the coaft. 
Were feen, like Heralds of a mighty hofl:. 

And mingled cries, and hifles ftrange, were heard \ 

<' Your names, your country tell !*' the foremoft cryM j 
lift'ning the Mantuan flood, nor aught reply •d j 

St. iv. /. 4.] Cacusf the famous Robber. Sec Viigfl, B. iii. 

L 301 3 

*Till fonle kind chance their ftory fhould declare^ 
At length a voice was heard j " Cianfa, come ; 
Why this delay to confummate our doom ?" 

Silent we flood, and watched the mournful Pain 


Hot marvel, ye that hear the wondrous tale ! 
If doubts, arifing oft, your minds affail ! 

Thofe eyes, that faw them, fcarce believ'd the fight i 
*We look'd ; and, lo ! on oary feet fublime, 
A burniih'd fnake divides the dufliy clime. 

And o'er the profpeft gleams a tranfient light* 


Around his prey we faw the ferpent wind, 
Inftant his curling fpires the captive bind ) 

At once deprived of motion and of ftrength :— > 
iThe fuppliant's face his cruel fuigs arrefl. 
Huge, fcaly volumes his long limbs invefl. 

And thro' his bowels fhoot their horrid length. 

it, Tui. /. 5.] This flying ferpent was Cianfa (named Stanza 
vii.), a Flohentire of the family of the Donati and of the 
Black Fa£tion» confequently an enemy to Dante. What his 
particular crime was, is unknown ; I hope Dante does not facrificc 
Kim merely to the Spirit of FaAion ; — he in general is very im- 
partially— This Vi£tim makes up the number of the four Floren- 
tines, whofe Ibange transformations and tranfmigrations are here 
dcfcribed«-*The Vi^m whom he is defcribed as winding round is 
Agnsli.o» of the family of BauNELLESCHiy of the Black Fac- 
tion too ; (fee Machiatel, Hid. Flor. lib. ii.) but his particular 
erime is alfo unknown to all the Commentators that I had an oppor- 
tunity of confulting ; nor can we learn what event the Poet alludes 
to by his monftrous coaTttion with Cianfa (Stan, xixi, xiv.). 

C 3^^ 1 

Thus roxrnd the elm the wanton ivy ftrays. 
And o'er the boughs in long meanders plays, 

Tet ftill diilind, their native hues remain ; 
Not fo the Stygian Pair ; their colours bknd :^— 
Each feem'd to each its changing form to lend. 

And each by turns to feel the ftroke of pain* 


O'er the fair parchment thus the colours fade, 
Deep-ting'd, and black'ning, as the flames invade 

Her virgin-white with mingling flain fuffus'd. 
^ Ah ! why this fatal change, Agnello, fay T' 
(His Fellow-fiends exclaim'd, with pale difmay} 

^ See how they blend, and form a mais conAis'd T 

xn. • 

Infbmt as thought, their wreathing limbs entwine^ 
And each to each their mingling members join, 

A tow'ring prodigy, without a name ! 
Unmatch'd by Fancy in her airy cell ! 
Unmatched among the num'rous bands of Hell ! 

And limbs unequal prop'd the monitrous frame* 

xm. ' 

The Giant-fpedlre frown'd with hideous grace. 
The Man and Dragon mingling in his lace. 

While waving pinions clad his arms anew :— ^ 
Half blended, half diftin£t, he fped his flight ; 
Dreaded and fhunn'd by all the Race of Night, 

Wherever his ill-conforted limbs he drew. 

C 3^3 3 ^ 

Nor long at gaze his fad aflbciates flood : 
For, lo ! a burning Afp, athirft for blood. 

The foremofl {hikes, and thro' his heaving fides. 
Piercing he pad, with long continuous wound ; 
Then difentangling, fhot along the ground. 

And o'er the plain in flow 'meanders glides. 

The Lizard thus infeits the public way. 
When raging Sirius fires the fervent day. 

And, like a meteor, flits acrofs the path :— 
The vidim felt the agonizing blow ; 
Then turning faw, amaz'd, his little foe. 

That feem'd to bum with unextinguifh'd wrath. 

From the fmall wound a vapour feem'd to flow ; 
Replete with rage, the little Afp, below, 

A correfponding cloud was feen to fend. 
Each with malignant look his foe beheld. 
While fiimes to fumes oppos'd, their forms conceal'd. 

And tortures new their changing limbs diftend. 

xvn. * 

Sabellius now no more let Afric boaft. 
Nor Naso mourn his Arethusa loft, 

5>. xvi. /.2.] The Afp w%s Guerchio, the human figure 
Buoso Abbate, both Florentines of the Black FaAion, 
doomed here to change alternately, and purfue each other in dif- 
ferent fliapes over the Infernal plain. Their particular crimes arc 

St. xvii. /- I. — Sabellius.] A foldier in Cato's army, who 
18 defcribed by Lvcan (lib. ix.) as ftung by a particular kind of 


C 304 j 

Or fing AcEKok's fon in fcales array 'd ; 
Alternate forms, and double change I fing^ 
Portentous fcenes ! that claim a louder ftring ; 

Scenes never yet by Fancy's eye furvey'd ! 


TrembliHg and pale the human figure ftood. 
While palfie$ ftrange his finking limbs fubduM 9 

Convuls'd, at length, his clofing legs entwines 
While the finall Afp, ereft, in bumifh'd pride, 
Aflonifh'd fees her fcaly train divide, 

Aifume the man, and all the fnake refign. 


feut o'er the bending wretch the Serpent creeps. 
His lefs'ning limbs the fubtile venom fteeps, 

Contrads his joints, and bends his fpinal flrength t 
Soon in his fides his fhort'ning arms are lofl ; 
Groveling and prone, he falls along the coafl. 

And hurtling fcales invefl his dreadful length. 


EnlargM by juft degrees the Afpic fwells. 
His foft'ning (kin the rigid fcale expels. 

Serpent, and inflantly falling into afhes. — Arethusa, a Nymph 
changed into a Spring. Otid, lib. v. — Cadmus, changed into a 
ferpent. Ditto, lib. vi. — Compare the defcription of the change 
with MiLTOK, Bt X. — PucfciOy mentioned here, was a common 
Robber ; the reft were all of noble families, and fpoikrs of 
^/. six. /. I.] f. e, The^iuman figure, Buo«o Abati. 

5 And 

[ 3^5 3 

And, branching into arms, his (houlders fpread ; 
In naked majefty ereft he ftands. 
His vile alTociate licks the fable fands, 

A reptile prone, and bows the humble head. 

The Fiends alternate thus their (hape difown, 
(Their dark malignant Ibok unchanged alone) 

The form ereft affumes an ampler face, 
Auguil and broad his manly temples rife. 
His little ears expand, his trembling eyes 

Enlarge, and noilrils fill the middle fpace. 

The Serpent, late a man, iii deep defpair^ 
Feels his fad vifage drawn to (harp and fpare. 

His head prolonged, his clofing eyes retired ; 
His parting tongue denies its ufual aid. 
Dejected, dumb, he feels his pow'rs betray'd. 

And hears his foe with fudden fpeech infpir'd. 


At length the fumes difperfe, the fnake retreats. 
While following fait his proud affociate threats ; 

*' Abbate ! march !" he cry'd, " and feel the doom, 
The rigid doom, which many a year I bore. 
Laborious winding round the fandy fhore, 

'Till late I durft the human form afTume." 

Such, old Zavorra ! fuch thy wondrous law ! 
Where, change fucceeding change, amaz'd I faw 

St. zxii. /. 4*] Alluding to the vulgar error, that the ferpent't 
tongue is forked. 
St. xxiv. /. I.] Zatorra, one of the Regions of Fraud. 

Vol. I. X Portentous 

I 3^ 3 

Portentous fcencs ! unknown to modem fahh I 
Yet Puccio ftill difown*d her magic pow'r ; 
£re£k, unchanged, I faw the felon tow'r, 

While foul Abbate crept along the path. 


The Form that chasM the Serpent o*cr the plain. 
Was Cavalcanti's Shade, untimely jladn } 

Ev'n yet GavillDb' bounds his death deplore. 
Where burning vfith revenge and fa£Hou8 hate. 
His cruel friends repaid their klnlman's fatc^ 

With wafting fire, and floods of Tuscan gore. 

St. xxT. /. i»] He was flain at Gaviflay in the VaUamo, and 
his death was cruelij revenged hy his ia6tion, who kiUcd the pca- 
fimt8> and wafted the whole country with fife and fwofd. 

(j3r Tic Puniftimcnts in the foregoing CantOt are of a fingultf 
cafly and not eaiily accounted for hy any analogy to the charadcr 
of the Criminals here defcribed. We may indeed fuppote the 
mifery of the fraudulent to confift in their dread of circumYentioiit 
as they naturally judge of others' charader by their own, and are 
thence precipitated i^on atrocious meafuresi which, without thif 
fufpicion, they would not have attempted. This contempbtion of 
their own charaf^er^ (by reflexion,) in the opinion they hold of 
others, may poifibly bear fome relcmhlance to the Poet^s defcription 
of their ftrangc encounters and tranfinutations.— See the charaAcr 
of C^sAR Borgia in Machiatel. There is in Holwell's IhdiI 
Tract S9 a ftory of two Gentoo chiefs, which illuftratet this 
charaf^er. One of them fufpeQtng the other of a defign to aflaflinate 
him, refolved t6 anticipate him; and, as they were on amicable 
terms, the former invited the latter to an entertainment in hft 
Pavilion, which he contrived to have blown up with gunpowdett 
having previoufly, on fome pretext, abfented himfelf at the critical 
ftiinute, which he knew by a concerted fignal. 



t 307 J 



Leaving the Regions of Sacrilege* the Poets are intltxlttced to the 
Lot of thofe who were endowed with uncommon Talents which 
they had perverted to the purpofes of Deceit and Perfidy*— 
Among the mod confpicuous Figures* he finds Diomedb and 
Ulysses ; from the latter of whom he learns the Story of his 
Voyage to the Atlantic, and the Circumftances of his 

Florence, all haU 1 thy glorious name refotind« 
O'er land tod fea, and thro* the Stygian bounds ; 

The five bold brethren chaunt thy praife below. 
For facrilege renownM, and moonlight fpoil. 
Such fons, alas ! thy honoured name defile, 

And ftigmatize with fha&e my burning brow. 


If morning vifions ihew thy coming fate, 
Heav'n's vengeance overhangs my parent (late, 

£/• 17.3.3 CiAKFAy Agnello, Guerchio Cavalcanti, 
Buoso Abbati, (the firft a Guelf, the othen Ghibellmet») and 
Puccio ScAMCiATOy aQ mentioned in the laft Canto. 

Xa And 

C 308 ] 

And glad Etruria hails the doomful day : 
While ills on ills fucceed, a num'rous train. 
And mark my fad declining days with pain. 

When grief and rime have wov*n my locks with gray ! 


Now rifted rocks impede the dang'rous path. 
Yet ftill I follow* d thro' the walks of death. 

And climb'd with heart of proof the adverfe fteep^ 
But, oh ! what fcenes amaz'd my ftartled fight, 
Portentous gleaming thro' the wafte of night. 

And fentenc'd fouls whofe torments ftill I weep ! 


Here millions mourn their talents mifapply'd i 
Celeftial grace ! the dang'rous talent guide. 

And ftill in virtue's caufe employ my fong ! 
Unhappy he ! that leads the Mufe aftray. 
And proftitutes the Heav'n-commiflion'd lay, 

From virtue's road to lure the heedlefs throng I 

St. ii. /. 4*] The Poet here alludes to two dreadful calamities 
which happened in Florence in his time, as if they were yet t9 
come. In the year 1 304, Scenical Reprefentations were already 
in high repute at Florence. A nodlumal fpc6lacle of this forty 
which reprefttnted the torments of the damned, was (hewn in a fort 
of wooden theatre on the river Amo. The concourfe was (b 
great, that the temporary wooden bridges gave way, and a ^aft 
multitude was drowned ; and fuch was the mutusJ hatred of the 
two fiadionsy that each exultingly remarked of thofe of the oppo«* 
£te party who were killed, that they had made a tranfition from a 
fancied, to a real fcene of torment. — Some years after, Florence 
was almoft depopulated by that pellilence fo beautifully defcribed 
hf BojccaciO) in his IntroduAito to the Decameronc^ 

C 309 ] 

As when the fwain, reclin'd beneath the (hade. 
Beholds the glow-worm train illume the glade. 

And fpangling myriads gleam along the vale ; 
While ev'ning flumbers o'er her fhadowy reign. 
And, borne on Summer wing, acrofs the plain^ 

In twilight bands, the droning beetles fail, 


Thus, diftant far, the peopled gulph below, 
Difgorg*d, at many a vent, her ftores of woe ; 

And ev'ry flame involved a wretch from view. 
Deep wreathing fmoke the grizzly Phantom veil*d. 
As when of old, in thund'rous clouds conceal'd. 

And rap*d by fiery fteeds, Ejlias flew. 


Gasdng the ample iky, his Pupil flood. 

When up the fleep of Heav'n the triumph rode. 

And like a kindling glory fped along. 
Thus ever courfmg round the difmal goal. 
Each fiery column boVe a fentenc'd foul, 

And fmoky whirlwinds hid the captive throng. 


To the high mouldering arch I cl^ung fublime. 
Viewing the horrors of the Stygian cliroe : 

" Behold yon coimtlefs fires," the Mantuan cry'dj 
^^ Each fpiral flame a criminal contains, 
And wraps the vi£tim round in viewlefs chains* 

See ! how they fhrink, and flrive their woes to hide.'' 

A.vii. /. I.] EusHA. Stc z King9| chap.ii* 


*< I fet, illuftrious Bard ! the groving plague ; 
I fee the vale diftind for many a league, 

With walking fires, reflefiing blaze on blaze ! 
Now hither, one its double fummit bends } 
Say, whence the deep-engender'd blall afcends. 

That parts the flame, and blow< it difierent ways ? 


<* PerhapS| the brethren of Boeotia's ftate 
In hoftile flames renew their ancient bate :*' 

I fpoke— The Bard retum'd, " Tydides diere^ 
With old Laertes" fon, in fraud combin'd j 
For ever mourn in flaming fetters joinM, 

In Earth and Hell, an undivided pair ! 

St. X. /. I.] FoLYNiCEs and Eteocles, the rival Kings of 
Thebes, who fell by mutual wounds; and according to poetical 
hiftory, when their bodies were laid on the £une funeral pile, the 
flames divided* See Statiu^, Thel>. ^b* xii. This the Poet hfre 
alludes to, when he fees the fouls of Ulysses and Diomede, 
confined in the fame fiery column, divided above. The reafon of 
Diomede's fentence does not appear. The condemnation of Ults- 
8E8 is founded upon his £dfe accufation of Palahedes, who, 
when Ulysses pretended madnefs to excufe himfelf from going to 
the fiege of Troy, deteded him by the following ftratagem : To 
a feeming lunacy, where Ulysses was employed in ploughing the 
ground, ^cd fowing it with fait, Palam^des took Telemachus, 
then an infant, and laid him in his way. The father immediately 
turned the plough ^de, and on this proof of his fanity, was com- 
pelled to engage in the expedition. For this, Ulysses vowed 
vengeance againft Pa lam EDE 8, and aocufed him of a treafonahle 
correfpondence with the enemy, having produced a fum of moi^ 
^ pn the trial, which he himfelf had found means to hide in Pala- 
MSDEs's tent. The ftory of his dete6^ing Achilles, (who was 
difguife^ jn ft. female drefs,) by (hewing him a fuit of armour, it 
wdl knowDi and beautifully tol4 by Statius, Achilles, lib,ii. 

I 3f« } 


** Now boaft below your deadly ambufcade. 
The fatal deed, and Ilion's town betray'd ; 

Tou fent her exiles to an happier fhore ! 
Fair Deidamias' woes, Achilles* flight. 
The fraudful deed that mafk'd the difmal nighty 

And Palamedes* fate in flames deplore.'' 


Then, fuppliant, thus I pray'd — ^^ If giv*n by fiaitc, 
In yon' eternal burnings to relate 

Their fortunes and their crimes, the moment fdze. 
While, fix'd on yonder point, the hov'ring flame. 
Dividing clear, your notice feems to claim. 

And fii^ndly fate a little fpace depre^/' 


•• Thy pray'r is heard,'* retum'd the gentle Shadi, 
^^ Think not thy pious wifh by me delay'd ; 

But hear in filence, left with fudden flight 
The wayward Phantoms fhufi thy barb'rous fpeech. 
Untaught the fmooth Ionian ftrain to reach. 

And I^ mv well*kiiown voice prevent their flight/' 

Now drding to our fland the Phantoms came. 
And thus the Bard addre&'d the double flame : 

St. xiii. A 5.] We fiad by this, that Dantr had not learnt 
CasBKyas wefind ViaoiL afiaid left the GaaciAN Spedresfluuild 
)>e frighted with the baibanma accents of the Limoua VoLOAac. 
Even ParaAacH did not acquire this language till his old age.** 
Bee' Mem. ParaAaq^E. 

X 4 ^ Tc 

[ 3" 3 

** Ye fouU, condemn'd in kindred fires to mourn. 
If c*er your names adom'd my lofty lays. 
If ev'n in Hell you boaft the Mantuan's praife. 

Oh, fay ! why fentcncM thus you roam forlorn ?*' 


The broader fpirc with double fury bum'd. 

And round with whirlwind fpeed convulfive tum'd. 

As fome defcending blaft his rage awoke : 
Aloft the trembling top fantaftic play*d. 
The wondrous organ foon the blaft obeyed. 

And thus in fighs the horrid filence broke : 


" Ye wand*ring Shades ! Laertes* fon behold. 
Who left the lov'd Circjean bow'rs of old. 

Ere good ^Eneas blefs'd Caieta's fhore ! 
Yet, ' after all my toils, nor aged fire, 
Nor fon, nor fpoufc, could check the wild defirc 

Ag?un tQ tempt the fea, with venturous oar. 


'^ In fearch of fame I nieafur'd various climes, 
Still vers'd in deeper frauds and namelefs copies^ 

With flender band, and folitary fail, 
I circled round the Celtiberian ftrand ; 
1 faw the Sardian cliffs, Motiocco's land. 

And pafs'd Alcides' ftraits with fteady gile« 

St. xvii. /. I.] The Poet here feemt to have confidered Utrs* 
SEs m his latter expeditions as a Pirate. That this was a coounoA 
occupation of the ancient Greeks, appear) from Homer's OdjIScjg 
lib* is. Thucydidcs, lib, i. ad init« 


** The broad Atlantic firft my. keel imprefs'd, 
I faw the finking barriers of the weft^ 

And boldly thus addrefs'd my hardy crew : 
** While yet your blood is warm, my gallant train. 
Explore with me the perils of the main, 

And find new worlds unknown to mortal view, 


*' Recall your glorious toils, your lofty birth. 
Nor like the grov'ling herds, allyM to earth. 

No bafe defpondence quit your lofty claim/' 
They heard, and thro' th' unconquerable band 
My potent words the living ardor iann'd. 

And inftant breath'd aroimd the fervent flame. 

** With meafur'd ftroke the whit'ning furge they fweep, 
*T111 ev*ry well-known ftar beneath the deep 

Declined his radiant head ; and o'er the fky 
A beamy fquadron rofe, of name unknown, 
Antardic glories deck'd the burning zone 

Of night, and iQuthem fires falute the eye; 


^ Now five fucceflive moons with borrowed light 
Ilad filver'd o'er the fober face of night. 

Since firfl the weflem furge receiv'd our prow : 
At length a diftant iile was feen to rife. 
Obscure at firfl, and mingling with the ikies, 

"Jill nearer fi^en^ its fbores began to grow. 

C 3i4 3 


^* A mountain rofe fublime above the coaft^ - 
Immeafurably tall, in vapours loft ; 

Where hurricanes for ever howl around. 
Curs'd be the day I faw the difmal fliore ! 
Accurft the rending fail and faithlefs oar ! 

And curs'd myfelf that pafs'd the fatal bound I 


*^ Trembling I txw the Heav'n-commiffionM blaft 
The canvas tear, and bend the groaning maft } 

In v^ we toil'd the ruin to prevent : 
Thrice round and round the found'ring veflel rides. 
The opening plank received the rufhing tides. 

And me and mine to quick perdition fent !'' 

Si* zxiL /• 1.3 Probably Ten esiffs* 


i: 315 3 



The Poet continnes to defcribe the PanUhment of filch ti had 
abufed their Talents. After Ulyssbi finilhct hit 'IUe» he mecti 
tbf Spirit of Count GuiDO db Montbfbltro, who rdatcf «B 
large the Hiftory of hit Crimet» Yum CooTcrfion, and RdapCc 

xrVT now the trembling fummit playM no more^ 
The wondrous organ gave its office o'er. 

And, fighing, funk in circling vapours loSt : 
And foon a third, involved in fiery fume^ 
like a fad Spirit in a difmal tomb. 

With fmother'd groans approached our lofty poft. 

Pent in the brazen bull, a fcorching grave. 
The fad Sicilian thus tiras heard to rave. 

And hideous bellowings fill'd the region round : 
No lefs in vain the prifon'd Spirit tries. 
In many a low complaint his feeble voice. 

The tyrant flame opprefs'd the plaintive found. 

Si. ii. /. a*] An aOnfion to the wdl-known Story of the famous 

Pbrillus, of Sicily, and hishrazen Bull, which he invented at 

pn inilrunient of torture, where Criminals were enclofed after it was 

. fnad<; red-hot : but the Tyrant Ph alabis is {aid to have made the 

firft experiment upon the loventor himfelf • 


At laft the blaze divides, and, breathM in pam. 
Forth from the fummit broke an hideous flrain. 

In founds confus'd. But foon the quiv'ring flame 
Form'd the ftrange mufic to the mortal ear ! ^ 

In wondrous words, articulate and clear. 

And, mix*d with fobs, the difmal accents came ! 

** Sweet is the dialed of Arno's vale ! 
Hail, native tongue ! congenial fpirits, hail ! 

Still, in the (hades below, Remembrance keeps 
The mournful image of her ancient joys : 
Still on the fadly-pleafing taik employs. 

Her fettled thoughts, and o'er the pidure weeps« 


" ThQ* .half-confum*d, I gladly ftand to hear 
The found, nor thou difdain to blefs mine ear ! 

But, oh ! if late you left the Tuscan plain^ 
Perhaps Romagna's late to thee is known ; 
Where from Old Appennine, in fiiry thrown. 

The ftream divides Urbino*s rich domain.'* 


Silent I flood ; when thus the Mantuan Shade : — 
*' Hear'ft thou thy native tongue ! then why difmay'd? 

Why doubtful thus, to meet a wretch forlorn ?** 
Abaft'd I tumM, and thus the Soul addrefs'd :— 
" Still thy RoMAGNA mourns, unknown to reft. 

By foul inteftine broils for ever torn. * 

St> vi. /. 5.] The Poet here, in anfwer to Count GinDO, tcBft 
firft. the condition of the Romagna in general; and then (in die 
f ucceeding Stanzas ) of .each diftrift in particular. 

C 317 3 

^ Awhile the whirlwind finks in grim repofe j 
But Difcord foon her Stygian bugle blows. 

And breaks the (lender bands of plighted faith : 
Ravenna fleeps beneath Polenta's wing. 
Under his blooming boughs the fhepherds fing. 

And fcom the bloody Gaul's intemperate wrath. 

•• Still FoRLi owns her Siniboldo*s fway ; 
When GuiDo*s prowefs tum'd the doubtful day. 

Where Gallia fled and dropt the Killed fhield, 
Verucchio^s bloodhounds flill their flation keq> ; 
Beneath their fway the fubjeO: valleys weep. 

And fun'ral trophies fadden all the field. 

St. vii. /. 4.^-PoLENTA.] Lord of Ravenna, the generous Pa* 
tron of Dante^ and a Ghibelline* He was hther to ttic unfor- 
tunate Francesca. See Canto V« 

St. viu. /. 1. — FoRLi.] A city in Romagna, which had 
efpoufed the Emperor's and the Ghibelline fa£Uon. In the year 
12829 it was beiieged by an army of Papal French, brought by 
Martin IV. (a Frenchnnm)into Italy, and reduced to the greatefl 
extremity. The Governor, Montsfeltro, agreed to admit a 
detachment of the befiegers at a poftem, on a concerted fignal, on 
the fole condition of fparing the lives of the garrifon. The French, 
at the appointed hour, fent a detachment of cavahy, forced the 
gate, and inftantly fell to plundering. Count Guido, the Go« 
vernor, in the mean time, had iallied out of another gate, with a 
fele£l pouty, and coming with a circuit on the French infantry, cut 
them to pieces ; then he returned to the city, and found the French 
iUll plundering. They wen difmounted and unaccoutred ; and the 
inhabitants having fecreted their faddles and bridled, they attempted 
to fight their way on foot, and were all exterminated to a man.— - 
ViLL/Ni, lib. vii. 

St» viiL /• 4-— Vervcchio's ilooSounds'] The Malstestas» 

6 father 

r 318 1 

•^ Faekza owns her temporifing Lord, 
Thence o*er Imol a fpreads her fway abhorred ; 

Bat fair Cesena's line, to freedom true. 
Still vindicates in arms her humble reign : — 
Now, Capdve, like the reft ! thy doom explam. 

And tell what crimes thy fentenc'd foul purfue V^ 

fiither Hid fon, tyrants of Rimini. The younger Lanciotto was he 
that named Francefca, daughter of PolenU, who was in lore with 
his bfother, and CMnrificed her to his jealoufy. See Canto V. 

a.ix. /. I.— Faeh2a.] Where Mainardo Pkgani niled, who 
changed fnnn the Guelfs to the Ghibellines, as fuited his in- 


Si. ix. /. 5.3 This puts us in mind of the fublime addrds of 
Odmt to the Piophetefs in The Defieut of 0£m^ by Gray : 

Thou the deeds of light (h4t know. 
Tell me what is done below. 

Damte is fuppofed not to have known the Spint of Cittit 
GuiDo on his firft addrefst when the Poet extols his gallant hda* 
Yiour at Forii (Stanza viii.). By this afEur, Guido rofe to the 
iiimmit of military firnie, but foon fiained hischatader by an open 
contempt of the moft folemn engagements, when a bnuch of then 
gained him any advantage over his enemies. A fit of ficknels, 
however, was fucceeded by a fit of repentance ; he refolved to 
vmhdiaw from the world, and actually took the Francifcan habit. 
But Boniface VIII. (the PharifsBan L<Mrd) perfuaded him to 
break his vow on the following occaiion : 

The States of Italy, after the death of Frederic II. when 
the power of the Emperor was reduced to a fhadow in Italy, ftill 
kept the name of Ghibbllines, to preferve their liberty againft 
the Popes, who headed the Guelfs. The Emperor had little or 
fo power in Italy, when Count Guido« in his name, made fo gal- 
lant a defence at Forli. The power of the Popes was little moie; 
they had loft all the territories that the Couatels Matiuni had 


t 3«9 ] 


Now ftronger fighs the quiv'ring fummit fent ; 
At laft the fmother'd language found a vent 

Diftinft and loud : — ^^ Thy rig'rous doom (he cryM; 
Firm as the word of fate fecures my fame. 
As hence no tell-tale goes to fpread my fhame^ 

£lfe were thy rafh untimely prayer deny'd. 

bequeathed to Gregory VII. ; and the feudal Lords, m the veiy 
neighbourhood of , Rome, aflerted their privileges, and endeavoured 
to curb the Pkpal prerogative. Cardinal Caiktan had perfuaded 
CfiLBSTiN V. to reiign the papacy (fee Canto III.), andfucceeded 
hiAi by the name of Boniface VIII. The two Cardinals of the 
noble family of Colokna objeAed both to the relignation and fuc* 
ceffion, as irregular and uncanonical. They publiihed a Manifefto 
to this purpofe. Boniface, the moft vindi^ve of men, fum- 
moned the two Cardinals to appear before him. They difobeyed ; 
and he, without any further ceremony, excommvmicated them,— * 
Not content with the fiilminations of the Church, he inftigated their 
•Id rivals, the Or sin i family, to declare war againft them; and, 
joining his arms to thofe of his new allies, publiflied a cruCide againft 
the whole family. 

The CoLONNAS, unableto withftand fo powerful a confederacy, 
were -ftripped of their fortreiTes one after another, till, as their laft 
refort, they were fliut up at Paleftrina, (the old Fk^nefte,) then 
deemed impregnable. It was then the Pope enticed Count Guido 
out of his cloifter, in order to avail himfelf of his talent for ftra* 
tagem. He gave the Pope that celebrated adieu, ** Be liberal of 
your promifes, but frugal of your performances." In confequence 
of which, Boniface propofed a reconciliation with the Colon* 
HAS, on which they opened their gates : but immediately he broke 
his engagement, razed Paleftrina to the ground, burned their caiUes, 
confilcated their eftates, and drove their whole famfly into exile. 
ficiAEEA CoLONNA, ottc of the brothers, was obliged to live on 
fhtics ia the woods of AaoEA t Then embarking on board a 


C 3«o J 


«< But, fince the Stygian Bar prevents thy fligbt^ 
Condemned to linger here in endlefs night, 

Liften, fad Soul ! to Montefeltro's tale-^ 
Sick of the world, I heard the faintly call, 
Forfook the marfhaird field, the feflive hall. 

And chang'd the din of arms for vigils pale* 

^ With holy tears my countlefs fins I waiPd, 
Till Heirs-commiflionM Prieft my foul aflail'd ; 

(Hell ! with thy chofen plagues, his foul purfue l) 
My fouleft crimes the vile impoftor purg'd ; 
Then, with peculiar fiaud, his pupil urg'd. 

To aid his fchemes with guilt of deeper hue ! 

Tefiely he was taken by pirates, and retaken by Philip the Tmr, 
King of France, who, being engaged in a war with the Pope^ 
(on account of a fubfidy from the Clergy, which Philip wanted 
for his own occafions, and the Pope for a pretended cniiadc,) fent 
CoLONNA privately to Italy ; who, raifing a fmall body of men, 
joined Nog a ret, the French General; furpnfed the Pope at 
Anacni, his native town, and plundered his palace : but as they 
were carrying him off in triumph, the people of the tovni perceiv« 
ing the fmallnefs of their numbers, rofe upon them, drove them out 
of the precinAs, and refcued the Pontiff* He, however, died (oaa 
after ; and it was proved after his death, that he had faid, ** how 
profitable is this fable of Jefus Chrift to us !" — Villani, lib.vii,viii« 
Memoires de Petrarq^je, voLi. page I02. 

Another well-founded charge that appeared after lus death, was, 
that he had privately put Ce lest in to death in prifonj for, dur- 
ing his life, Boniface was looked upon by all good Catholics as 
only an ufuxper. 

C 32' 3 

^ From earliefl yo^th I (hun'd the lion Law, 
Contented, with the wily fox, to draw 

The heedlefs foe within my fatal fnare : 
Fraud was my &me, and circumvention deep ; 
•Till Confdence, waking from her iron fleep, 

Difpeird at once my boafled fchemes in air ! 

** "With inward eye my fpotted foul I view'd. 
And ev*ry (lain with hallowM tears bedew*d ; 

Their fwelling fails my finking paflions furl'd !- 
The backward courfe I trod with pious hade. 
But foon the Papal hand my fears effac'd. 

And led me forth to join the buiUing world. 

^^ With fliamelefs front the Pharis^an Lord 
Had flung away the keys, and drawn the fword ; 

Nor Saracen, nor Jew, his prowefs fear'd ; 
Nor Ac Ron's hardy band, nor Sold an fell, 
Colonna's name alone he burnt to quell, 

(A cruel foe !) nor God, nor Man rever'd ! 

** The faintly garb pneferv'd my foul in vain. 
My fafts, my hairy gown, and girding chain !— 

Not royal Const antine more warmly pray'4 
The healing boon of old Sylvester's hand. 
Than He, to lure me from the peaceful (land. 

And to his bloody fchemes fecure my aid.'* 

St, XT. A I*— PHARIS4CAN Lord] Boniface VIII^ 

Vol. I. Y 

C 3" 3 

He faw my doubts, and thus enforced his plea j 
*« See, and adore this Heav'n-difclofmg key ! 

** I fpeak — and, lo ! thy fins are loft in air ! 
*« Then with thy counfel aid my levy'd powers, 
*« To whelm the pride of Palestrina's tow*rs» 

** For now no timid Hermit fills the chair.** 


Trembling, irrefolute, and dumb I ftood ; 
The ftrong dilemma froze my curdling blood. 

To fmk my foul, or meet the Prelate's wrath : 
At laft. Damnation won. — '^ Advance," IcryM, 
*' With folemn oaths thy deep intentions hide ; 

" Prpmife at large — ^but fcom to keep thy faith,*' 


Soon I expir'd — ^and holy Francis came. 
My Patron Saint ! in vain my foul to clsdm ; 

A fwarthy Plaintiff drove him from his poft : 
** What, Hermit! would you wrong the pow*rs below?'* 
The Demon cry'd, " your Profelyte muft go, 

** And march in flames around the Stygian coafL 


" Since firft the fage advice his foul betray'd, 
" His flaps I foUow'd, faithful as his Shade, 

" And mark'd him for the Fiends, an eafy prey : 
*• Nor plead the abfolving hand, for nought avails 
** The potent charm, when long repentance fails, 

•' And new pollutions drive the fpell away.*' 

St. xvii . /. 6. — timtJ Hermit. ] Such asCELESTiNfiV. had heeo^ 
whom he had perfuaded to abdicate. 

At once his fiery gripe my limbs embraced ; 
•* Come ! if th* infernal Logic fuits thy tafte, 

** Defcend with me, and join the fchools below/* 
To Minos ftraight his trembling charge he bore ; 
Intent he heard the black impeachment o'er, • 

Then marked my lot ^unong the fons of woe. 


** Be thine," he faid, *' in walking fires to dwell, 
'^ Since that fad hour I roam the bounds of Hell, 

^^ Involved in£nould'ring flames, and vapours blue. 
He ceas'd — ^the quiv'ring blaze forgot to move. 
For words no more the laboring fummit flrove. 

And, hifling thro' the gloom, the Spe&e flew. 


Onward we pafs, and climb the neighboring height. 
When far below, confin'd in d^per night. 

We hear the num'rous fons of dif<;:ord mourn : 
The man that dar'd to loofe the kindred tie. 
The long litigious traui, and fecret fpy. 

And double Friends, and Schifmatics forlorn. 




t • 3^5 ] 



Next to the I/yt oF thofe who had abufed, oi" perrerted, thdr Ta« 
lents, the TravcDen are introduced into the Region of Sehifina^ 
C]C8» Mttideren, and Sowei« of Sedition ( among ^diom Maho*' 
MBTy Ali, Curio the famous Tribune, and Mosca, who had 
firft kindled the Flames of Difcord in Floxcnce^ make the prisw 
cipal Figures. 

v/H, fettered Soul of Rhyme ! how wilt thou range 
Around the fceiie of torment, new and ftr^nge ; 

Where Profe, with unencumber'd feet, defpairs, 
Such fields of fate, and floods of gore, I faw, 
Ey'n Fanqr fears the living fcene to draw. 

And fad Remembrance ev'ry torture fliares ! 


Let Cann-e's field no more her triumphs tell. 
Where fad ^milius with his Legions fell. 

And the proud Viftor bore the fpoils away ; 
When old Apulia to the Gods complain'd. 
When o'er his ihores, with native blood diftain'd, 

Jn flaughter'd heaps the pride of Latium lay. 

St. ii. A i^AMMit'^jSr^ Where the Romaks were con. 
qucred with prod^ous flaughter by Hannibai». 



Not Cakn^'s plain, nor fad Calabria's field. 
Where Guiscard's northern bands the foe expellM ; 

Or C£P£RANo, where the Norman fled ; 
Or that diftinguiih'd day, when Alard drew 
The fatal fnare around the hoflile crew, 

Could match the fcenes in loweft Hell difplay'd ! 

Not all the wounds that mark a flying hod. 
The bofom gor'd, or limb in battle loft, 

With this infernal maflacre could vie : 
TTiere, fever'd to the chine, and fteep'd in blood. 
The leading Ghoft his mangled bofom fliow'd. 

And deep his quiv'ring vitals met the eye. 

Si. iii. /. 2. — Guise ARO] The Norman Knight who firft fet- 
tled in Apulia. From hhn, firft the illuftrious Houfe of Suahia, 
and next (by a fpurious branch) the Houfe of Aragon, derrred 
their claim to the Crown of the Two Sicilies. For an account of 
the battle here mentioned, fee Hiitorical View annexed. See alfo 
Villani, lib. iv. 

5"/. iii. 7.3. — ^Ceperano] Where Manfred, natural Son to 
Frederic the Second, who had ufurped the throne of Naples 
from Con RADiK his Nephew, was defeated axul flain by Charles- 
of Anjou. 

S/. iii. /. 4. — Or th^t cTtftinguybed day] At Tagliacozzo, where 
Con RAD IN, the rightful heir of Naples, was robbed of his birth- 
right and life by Charles of Anjou. (See Hiftory annexed.} 
By the advice of Alard, the van palFed the ford with Henry dr 
Cozance, in the drcfs of Anjou, at their head. They were foon 
defeated, and Cozance flain; whom Conrad in 's men miftaking 
for the French General, thought the bufinefs over, and fell to 
plundering. Then the F&ench rofe from their ambufcade, fell oa 


t 327 ] 


)Ae iook'd aloft ; and foon^ \(rith furious mood^ 
)Eiis deadly hand the doling wounds renewed. 

And rent in twain the bloody feat of life : 
** Behold ! and mark my doom," aloud he cry'd, 
•' Heav'n's Delegate I feem*d, yet heav*n deny'd. 

And fcatter'd in her name the feeds of {trife» 


** See ! following clofe behind, a fullen Shade, 
Frelh from the edge of yon* enfanguin'd blade } 

On either fhoulder hangs his parted head ! 
See ! what a gory fbream his locks diflil, 
Twas he that firft oppos'd my fov'reign will ; 

And half my powers to foul rebellion led 1 


^^ Ton* mutilated bands, that, far below. 
In long difaftrous march lamenting go. 

the difordered foe> and cut them to pieces. Conrad in was taken 
an^ beheaded* When on the fcaiFold he threw his glove among the 
croilvdy and begged that fome one woiild cany it to Peter, King 
of Ar AGON, as a nuirk that he was th^ rightful heir. It was ac- 
cordingly carried to him by a Knight of the Family of Walbouro, 
who earry a glove in their arms to this day. Villani, lib. vii. Sec 
Voltaire Hift. Umverfelle. 

St> V. /. 5.— /r«iv*»'/ Delegate} Mahomet. 

St. Yi. /.I.] A LI, the firft Schifmatic from the Mahometan faith* 
The Perfians foUow his k&, the Turks the fed of Omar. 

Y 4 

C 3^^ 3 

For fchifms and fcandals doom'd, a race impiire I 
Heav Vs facred law in many a land defU'd, 
Grafting on her pure (lem their fdons wild, 

And now, by turns, the tort'ring hour endure^r 


" The brandi(h'd blade, at yonder dreadful poll. 
Still as they wheel around the bloody coaft. 

Mangles the trunks, or lops the limbs away : 
Thence, halting, maim'd, they march ; as oft, abo\r. 
They ftrove to maim the growths of heav'nly loTe, • 

And lead the candidates of bliis aftray. 

* IX. 

" The bloody breach, at cv'ry fetal round. 
Unites, to feel the new-inflided wound. — 

But who art thou ! that feem^ft, with tranquil ejCy 
To view the labours of the fentenc'd train ? 
Can pray'r or tears delay the blow of pain. 

Or put the dreaded ihaft of Vengeance by \ 


** No tenant of the grave, nor fentenc*d ghoft,*^ 
The Bard reply'd, ** furveys the darkfome coaft :— ' 

Commiffion*d here he comes, your tribes to view ; 
But I, a prisoner of the tomb, attend. 
Thro' yonder vale a guiding hand to lend. 

And fliow the tortures of the fentenc'd crew.** 

. The mutilated band, in deep amaze, 
^^UTembled round, with dark maUgnant gaze ; 


C 3^9 3 

Struck vrith my fete, forgetful of their owd* 
♦• Bid DoLCiN arm in hafte !'* the foremoft faid, 
•• DoLciN, the firft that feeb the Stygian blade. 

If e'er again thou feeft the golden fun. 

•* In vain the fnowy ftorm delays the war ; 
The foe, fagacious of his track afer. 

Shall hunt him for his life !'' He faid, and fled. 
Then, mth his weafand pierc'd, another Ghoft, 
Short of his ears and nofe, approach'd our poft. 

Thro' the tumultuous crowd, with hafty tread. 


With fixed eye and melancholy mood. 

The Spedre gaz'd ; while fell the gufhing blood 

StreamM from the bubbling channel of his breath.— 
« Oh, thou !'• he cry 'd, «* whofe high diftinguifh'd doom 
Sends thee below, unconfcious of a tomb. 

Remember Pedro in the world beneath ! 

St. xi. /. 4.— iDolcin] a noted Heretic in the beginning of 
the 14th century, whofe k6t, pretending to follow the letter of the 
Gofpdy had all things in common. They were guilty of the moil 
itrocious crimesy and filled the whole north of Italy with confu- 
fion* At lady they were obliged to retreat to the Apemnines, 
where they ftood a fort of fiege ; till famine, and the inclemency 
«xf the wother, obliged them to difperfe. Dolcin waa taken and 
executed, with his concubine. Villani, lib. viii. 84. See Bayle's 
Difbonary, Art. Dolcim. 

St0 xiii. L 6^-«-PsDKo] Pisao di Mboicmi, who had fowa 
diffintion between the Fanuliet of Fawo and Malatesta of Ri* 
mini; one conCequence of which was, the tragical death of 
Cuu>o and Ah GioLsij,Oy who, on a pretended recpnciliation, were 


C 330 2 

*^ And fliould'ft thou e'er review the golden dayv 
Or o'er Vercelli's coalt delighted ffaray. 

Where to Marcabo fteals the gentle vale. 
Tell Fano's Chiefs, a brave, unhappy pair. 
Whom late my deadly arts involvM in vtrar. 

To keep the land, and (hun the tempting faiL 

^ The one-ey'd Chief, that rules the weftem fhorc^ 
Solicits them on board, and dips the oar.— 

Te Cyprian Cliflfs, and Old Majorca, tell I 
Did e'er the flood, whofe azure arms unfold 
Tour lofty (band, a fouler deed behold. 

Of roving Algerine, or Pirate fell ? 

** I fee the victims leave the Tuscan fteep ! 
I fee them plunge amid the circling deep ! 

If aught of future things the Dead foreknow. 
See ! on the prow exults the Traitor King ! 
And, lo ! his flaves the noble captives bring. 

And plunge relentlefs in the gulph below l'* 


*' If your requeft you wifh to Fano borne. 

Name yonder Shade T' I cry'd, ** who walks fbrlomi 

^ _ 1 1 1 11 II - — - ~ I I I 

feducedon board by Lanciotto MalatestAi Tyrant of Rim IK^ 
(the fame that had murdered his wife and brother-^fee Canto V.) 
and thrown into the fea. The incendiary is here defcribed as en* 
deavourtng to prevent their doom, left their death, the confequenct 
of his Tillany, (hould heap more condemnation on himfclf* La»« 

PINO and VfiLLUTfiLLO flf locQ^ 

C 331 1 

With dark, malicious mien, and eyes of fire ?'* 
I^EDRO reply'd^ " Tho' filent ngw he ftands, 
His tongue could move the C^esareak bands 

To deeds of lawlefs rage, for fordid hire ! 

xvm. . 

^^ He quell'd the doubts in Cesar's mounting foul; 
And fhew'd afar the bright imperial goal : 

But foon his impious tongue the forfeit paid !" 
Then, with determined hand, he open'd wide 
The villain's mouth, that pour'd a crimfon'd tide. 

Where the maim'd tongue with fruitlefs motion 



Difmember^d of his hands, the next appeared ; 
Aloft his mutilated arms he reared. 

And o*er his vifage rain'd a bloody flioVr.— 
•* Be Mosca's name," he cry'd, " for ever curs'd [ 
Behold the wretch, whofe fa£tious weapon firfl: 

The ftreets of Florence dy*d in dvil gore T* 

St. XTii. /. 5.3 Curio, the fa6tiou8 Roman Tribune, whofe ad* 
rvXf according to Lucan, had great weight with Cjesar, in in* 
ducing him to croft the Rubicon. 

Sl xix. /. 4. — ^Mosca] The firft incendiary who began the 
quarrel between the Guelfs and Ghibellines at Florence. He 
was of the Family of -^saMftey and killed a gentleman of the race of ^yrn^^itA^ 
BuoNDBLMONTEy to avengc a flight put-on a Lady related to him. 
See Hiftory annexed See aUb Viilami lib. Tii. and libcfaiavd» 
lib. h ii« 

I 33« 3 

•* Plague of thy native land !" inccnsM, I cry'd ; 
Nor added more ; for now the mournful Shade, 

Struck by my voice, ivith quicken'd pace 
But hence, ye Race profane ! ye Scepdcs, hence ! 
New horrors rife, and unknown fcenes commeocCt 

Whofe firm belief a pui^^ed mind requires. 


Guided by holy truth, I dare unfold 
What never Poet fung in days of old :— 

Behind the Florentine, a headlefs man 
Appeared. The rigid trunk its way purfu'd 
To the high barrier, where, amaz'd, I ftood. 

Led by the tumult of the diftant van. 


By the long locks the gafping head he boxie. 
The pallid face befmear'd with recent gore, 

Seem'd like a lamp, to guide his fteps aright ; 
Still fep'rate, yet ftill one, they march'd al(Mig, 
The ready feet purine the haily throng. 

Led by the trembling eye's malignant light. 


Slow railing from beneath the vifage fell, 
The wondrous organ thus began to tell 

His dreadful tale : — ^^ O, Son of Earth ! attend, 
Qn whom the Fates a wondrous pow'r bellow. 
Alive to fee the tenements of woe. 

And with ftrange lenity thy doom fufpend ! 


C 333 3 

^^ Bblt&am behold ! the plague of England's hdr, 
"Who bade young John his bloody banners rear 

Againft his royal Sire, and claim the crown ! 
See ! headlelsy how I march, a bleeding buft ! 
A well-proportion'd doom to breach of tnift. 

And hateful feuds in kindred bofoms fown !'^ 

St. xxiT. /. f d-^BELT&AM^ Or Bertram de Bou&if» a Nor* 
MAM Knightf wbofpirited up Johm of Emglamd to rebd againft 
hu bther, Hehry the Second. 


C 335 J 



Next to the Circle of Sedition fucceeds the Region allotted to 
(he Puniflunent of Alchemifts, fraudulent Projedors, and other 
Impofton of that fort ; who are defcribed under feveral kinds of 
torture, various as their crimes : Among thefe, the Poet meets 
Griffolino of Arezzo, a famous Projector, and Capochio 
of S1ENA9 a ProfeiForof the occult Philofophy. 

1 HITS maim'd with many a wound, the difmal train 
I faw, in long proceflion o'er the plain 

Lamenting march, 'till forrow dimm'd my fight : 
At length, the Mantuan Bard ezclaim'd, ^* Forbear ! 
Why ever thus diftil the fruitlefs tear. 

And mourn in vain the fentenc'd bands of night ?" 

*^ Mean'ft thou on this exalted point to ftand. 
And fondly number o'er the wailing band, 

That mark with ftreaming gore the Stygian path ? 
«— No flight furvey can reach the mighty fum. 
For feven Cimmerian leagues are yet to come. 

Hid by their Legions in the fields beneath. 

C 336 3 

^ Come on ! — the fatal moments fleet away ! 
Andy far beneath our feet, with upward ray 

The Moon beholds the rolling world below. 
Far other thoughts the pafling moments claim^ 
A flender fpace aflign'd to deathlefs fame. 

Which onward leads us thro' the vale of woe.** 

** No trivial caufe,** I cry'd, ** my fteps detained !* 
Still bent on hafte, the Bard my fuit difdain'd. 

«* Oh, Father! day," I cry'd, « a kindred voices 
Afcending from the deep, my hearing wounds — 
There ! there again ! I hear the well-known founds^ 

And yonder ftalks the Shade in foul difguife." 

I^lemn the Bard reply'd, *' the hour is paft, 
Prefume not thou the gift of Heav'n to wafte ! 

Thou might'ft have feen thy kindred Shade before. 
When BoRNio's tale thy fix'd attention held } 
I faw him leave his rank^ by rage impelled. 
Survey thy form, and menace from the fhore. 

^' No pious hand a kinfman's blood repaid. 
Still unaveng'd he walks, a gory Shade ; 

Si* iii. /• 3O The Antipodes. ' 

St, tv. /• 6.] GsRide Bello, of the FamSy of Aug Hti Riband 
nearly related to Danti. He wn kiHod in oonfequence of a reU* 
gious difpute, and his death not revenged till thhty years after^ 
What his condemnatioq wai fouuded on, is not knovn. 


C 337 1 

Thence fwdls his rage, axul thence his forrows flow ! 
llien ddgn thofe fympathizing tears to fpare !" 
In vain I pray -d, my words were loft in air. 

Broke by new clamours from the gulph below. 


Sublime- 1 ftood, above the difmal found. 

And long, loud fhrieks the hearing feem'd to wbund, 

Stunii'd by the tumult of the Stygian throng ;— 
— ^Awhile it paus'd ; — ^again, diftind and clear. 
The full, infernal choir aflail'd the ear. 

And Hell's wide vault with execrations rung. 


My guarding hands the hearing fenfe defend. 
And ftooping down, I fee from end to end 

The various fcene ! — ^But not Sardinia's ftrand. 
Not all the pois'nous fteams that August breeds. 
Not all the plagues that haunt Maromma's reeds, 

Match'd the contagion of the Lazar band. 

Ptegnant with lep'rous fcents, the loaded gale 
Sdll breath'd infe£tion round the dufky vale ; 

The dufky vale a gen'ral groan returns : 
Stem Juftice here the fcourge in venom fteeps. 
And deals her various plagues around the deeps, 

Th' impoftor crew the fore afflidion itioums. 

O'er old iEoiNA thus, as Poets fing. 
The Demon fpread her peftilential Vdng, 

Si. X. /. i4 — JEoimA'] AUudmg to the Story told by Ovid, lib. 

viL of the depopulation of JEgiiha by a peflileoce» and a colony 

Vol. I. Z of 

C 338 3 

While gafping life the trembling ifle forfook ; 
'Till bufy ants, by wondrous change endu'd 
With human fliape, the failing race renewed. 

And Man's imperial form exalting took. 


In putrid heaps difpersM, the Lazar train. 
With foul contagion fill the groaning plain, 

And fcarce we laboured thro' the noifome throng 
Some fat defponding, fome with reptile pace 
Dragg'd on their loaded limbs from place to place. 

And fome in fordid mifery lay along. 

Againft each other prefsM an hideous Fair, 
With lep'rous limbs embofs'd, and matted hair. 

As tiles contiguous fence the falling hail ; 
Nor plies the groom with more induftrious fpeed 
The grating comb on fome diflinguifli'd fteed. 

Than thofe ill-omen'd Fiends their limbs unfcale. 

xra. ' 

Thus flies the fencefiil coat before the blade 
From lufcious bream or turbot difarray'd. 

** So may your hands the odious tafk fuftaih," 
The Mantuan cry'd, " ye Souls propitious ! tell. 
If any Florentine in durance dwell 

Within the bound'ries of your fad domain.^ 

of ants changed into men. They were the fathers of Achilles's 
myrmidons, whofe name in Greek fignifies ants. 

St. xiii. /. 3.] The Tranflator has abridged this odious defcrip- 
tion as much as was compatible with any degree of deaniefs* The 


t 339 ] 

Straight one of them reply'd, ^ thy fearch Is o'er ; 
Behold a fentenc'd Pair from Arno's fliore ! 

But who art thou ! and why thy ftrange requeft ?" 
" I come/' the MantuaK cry'd, " by Heav Vs com- 
To guard a mortal down the Stygian ftrand, [mand,^ 

And fhow, in fad review, the tribes unbleft/' 


Shrieking, afunder part the hideous Pair, 
And view me o'er with looks of wan defpair. 

And all the thronging Lazars croud around ; 
An hideous crew ! the Mantuan faw my dread. 
And ** fdze at once the moment given,'* he faid, 

^* To learn the wonders of the world profound." 

Then, turning round, 1 thus the P^ addrefs'd : 
*' If ftill your name on Arno's ihore confeft. 

early Poets of the middle age defcribed every thiDg^ however dif- 
guftlngy with great mumtenefsw— Spenser has this fault among his 
various excellencies. This fometimed creates averfion, but often 
(hews an intimate knowledge of the fubje6^, whatever it be. This 
particularity may indeed be carried too far ; but Poets, fometimes 
by avoiding it, run into more general terms, and lofe thofe beauti- 
ful fpecific marks of things, the fele^on of which in defcription is 
one criterion of a true genius. To give examples of this, every 
Rhymer can talk of liftening waves, but Cowley gives the fpecific 
mark, with him " they liflen towards the fhore.'^ Every paftoral 
Poet in the found of Bow bell can fing of the verdure of the Spring; 
but Gray's April clothes the fields in tetuUr green, fuch as one 
only fees for a fortnight in the beginning of that feafon. 

Z 2 Survive 

L 340 ] 

Survive the wreck of years, your crimes difclofe : 
Nor tho' the ignominious plague aflail 
Your loaded limbs, and fill the tainted gale, 

Difdain to tell the procefs of your woes/' 


My birth Arezzo claims," the firft rcply'd, 
I fell, to footh a fpurious minion's pride $ 
A fond believing fool, whofe mad defire 
I mock'd with fchemes of necromantic flight. 
To raife on airy plumes his leaden weight. 
His cruel father doom'd me to the fire !" 


^^ But chemic arts my final fentence feal'd. 
And Heav Vs relentlefs doom my foul compelled 

To join the dark metallic tribe below. 
Hail ! hail, Si£na ! nurfe of ev'ry crime. 
Not deeper flains deform the barbarous clime. 

Nor fUgmatize the Gaul's difhonour'd brow/' 


I fpoke, ironic thus a lep'rous Shade, 
Young Stricca only, by his mates betray'd 


^/. xvii. A 6.] Grifolino of Arezzo, a famous Alchemid 
and Proje^r* He drew great fums from Alberto, natural fon 
to the Bi(hop of Siena, under pretence of teaching him the art of 
flying. The affair came at lad to the Bifliop's knowledge, who 
delivered him over to the fecular arm for profefling unlawful aitsw— 
What havoc the good. Bifhop would have made among our aero- 
ftatic gentry ! 

St* xix. /. 2w— -Stricca.] A young and noble Florentini, 
member of a Club of young men, who vied with each other which 
fltould fpend their patzimony fooneft. 


C 341 ] 

To foul intemp'rate wade, and Colas name. 
Great Chief! for culinary arts renown' J, 
Whofe poignant fauce the glutton tribe refound. 

And Caccias bleeding vines excepdon claim. 

** And let the vile Abbagliato go 
In dark oblivion to the ihades below. 

With all his foul confederates of the ftye ! 
There let them lie promifcuous in the pit. 
Too low for Satire's keeneft fhaft to hit, 

Among the tribes of low intemp'rate joy ! 


" Nor wonder in the world below to hear 
Siena's various crimes falute thine ear ! 

But view at leifur^ this disfigur'd face. 
If fad Capocchio (till thou ddgn'ft to own. 
For myiUc arts of tranfmutation known. 

Who lov'd with thee xh&fecret World to trace ! 


" How oft', in nadve innocence of heart, 
I faw you wonder at the mimic art ! 

Stn xix. /. 3d — Colas] The Apicius and Catius of his 

Si. xxi. /. 4« — Capocchio.] The companion of Dante for 
fome time in phyfical ftudies, which he afterwards changed for the 
Occult SciencE) as A«.chemt was then called. The cheats of 
Alchemifts are very humoroufly defcribed in the Chanon's Yeo- 
man's Tale of Chaucer. 

Z3 —But 

[ 34a 3 

<^But foon my hanid forfook the trivial t(nl 
For bolder frauds, and taught the bafer ore 
To match the genuine gold of India's fiiore^ 

And fell a vi&im to the £atal guile," 


C 343 3 



The Poet coatinues to defcribc the different fpeciet of Fraud. In 
this Canto he gives an account of two other kinds of it, and 
their Punifhments. The firft, of thofe who had been guilty of 
Impofition under fifUtious Names ; and the fecondy of thofe who 
had, by fiditious Tales, completed their fraudulent purpofes^— 
Among them are foundy Myreha and Potiphar's wife, Stuon 
the Greek, and Adam, a native of Brescia, in Italy. 

Of oldy when Juno burnt with jealous ire» 
And pleas'd, her rival faw in flames expire } 

Tet ftill her haplels family purfu'd : 
The furious King addrefs'd the trembling throng : 
^^ Seize yon' wild fayage, and deftroy her yoimg i** 

Then ch9$'d his coofort to the raging floods 

St.uL Id— Juno.] Alludes to Juno's jealqus reyenge on Se- 
me lb, her rival, and her fubfecjuent perfecution of the Family ; par- 
tioulaily her infpiring Athamas with madncfs, when he miftook 
his wife and children for a wild beaft and her young ones, and pur« 
fued them to the Cliflfs of Cithjcron ; where, after he killed one, 
(he threw herfelf with the other into the fea. Ovid, lib. iii, iv. 

Stanzas iii. and iv. allude to the madncfs of Hecuba, owing to 
^ misfortunes of her Family, and her fubfequent transformation, 
|s defcrihcd by Ovid and Euripides. B. C. 13. 

Z4 Tb^ 

[ 344 ] 


Soon from the Queen he forcM the fcreaming child. 
And the rude rocks with infant gore defil'd-*- 

With the remaining fon the mother fled : 
And up the neighboring cliff* with frenzy flew^ 
Then down herfetf, and Melicerta threw, 

A welcome weight to Thetis' oozy bed. 


When fate her unrefifled pow'r to fhew. 
Had laid the heav'n-built walls of Ilium low. 

And fwept away old Priam's num'rous race ; 
The frantic Queen beheld her flaughter^d lord. 
And grimly fmilM, to fee the ruffian's fword 

With wanton rage his reverend form defkce. 


Her beauteous daughter's fate renew'd the wound j 
But when her Polydore the mother found. 

Stretch 'd on the fend, her tears forgot to flow ; 
In notes canine her human voice was lofl. 
And foon, transform'^, along her native coaft. 

The royal favage howl'd in endlefs woe. 


But Thebes, nor Ilium, with their plagues ^ombin'd, 
Equal'd the Pair in moon-flruck madnefs join'd ; 

The Poet introduces this Canto yith two fimilesy to give a 
ftronger idea of the afflicting diforder which he next defcribes. He 
feems to hint» that ^hey were tormented with a diforder like canine 
madnefsy as they are defcribed with all the fymptoms of it. 

C 345 ] 

Who cours'd the nether world with whirlwmd fpeed ) 
Gnafiiing his iron teeth the foremoft flew. 
And headlong to the ground Capocchio drew ; 

Qeneath his iavage fangs I faw him bleed, 


With horrent hair amaz'd, his neighbour flood. 
And law, in filent woe, the fcene of blood ; 

While trembling thus, 1 breath*d my ardent prayV: 
♦* Tell, Grifolin ! while yet 'tis givep to tell J 
Ere yon' Demoniac's hands your utt'rance quell. 

Why confdence ftings to rage the bloody Pair ?** 


The firft is fhe !" the trembling finner cry'd. 
Who, loft to fhame, her mother's place fupply^d } 
While deep nodumal fhades the deed conceal'd* 
Don ATI's meagre look the fecond ftole. 
And fignM for him the teftamental fcroU, 
His injur'd fon in vain the fraud reveal'd/' 

St. vii. /.I.] For the Story of MntiiHAy f(pe Ovid, lib. x.-k- 
Her companion defcribed here as tortured with canine madnefsi was 
GiAN ScHicciy whofc Story is thus told by the old Commenta^ 
tors ; A Gentleman of the Family of Donati» happened to 
take his laft illncfs at the houfc pf a relationy Simon E^onati, and 
died fuddenly. Simon concealed his death, got the body remove^* 
and perfuaded Schicci> (a man of a cadaverous complexion,) to 
take his place in the bed, and fign a Will in the prefence of com- 
pet^t witneffes, which he had prerioufly drawn up in his own h^ 
vouTf 8uid in prejudice of young Donati, the rightful heir. When 
this was done, the Impoftor rofe» the dead body was replaced, and 
the funeral was ordered with due decorum. The matter was firft 
fufpe^ed by a prefent which Don at i made to Schicci, of a beau- 
tiful mare of great ^ue, known by the name of La Doima ^ 
Tomuh The Queen of the Troop* Landing. 

C 346 ] 

He ended fcarce, \dien o'er the labia ivaAe, 
With tyger-footed lage the idom pafsM : 

I tum'd me round, their brother Fiends to viev. 
When, k> ! a formlefs maa in droplies loft, 
Stretch'd his unwieldy limbs along the coaft, 

A bloated form ! with fac& of iickly hue. 


The fluid plague his mighty limfos oppreis'd. 
And fillM with wat'ry load )us |ppoaning cheft, 

While heftic pantings ftrain'd his laboring jaws ; 
Intenfe, eternal thirft his bowels bum'd. 
The draught deny'd by fate, the pns'ner moumM^ 

And loudly bann'd her unrelenting laws. 

^* 7e fouls, that range^mound tlie Styoian plain,^ 
(Oh, partial Heav'n Q without the fenfe of pain i 

Gafping," he cryM, ** Ad^mo's fete behold ! 
Heav'n's choiceft gifts my fordid h^d abus'd, 
And now, alas ! the cooling drop refus'd. 

For ever mocks my raging thirft of gold« 

^ Ye rills, that wander down Romeka's ileep, 
Till Arno bears your treafures to the deep, 

Slx. /.3.F— Adamo] a native of Brescia^ eminently ddSitd 
in metallurgy. For a ftipulated reward, he agreed with the Count 
of Rom EN Ay GuiDOy and his Brother, to debafe the current coin» 
by which his employers were fuddcnly enriched. But poor Adamo 
was detected, and condenmed to the flames for ** unlawful arts.*'— 
The iUufions of fimcy, that aggrravate his puniihment, are beau- 
tifully defcribed in that fine apoftrophe to the Water&lls of 
Casentiiio. 3 

t 347 ] 

VThy thus with murmurs foft delude mine ear ? 
Ye empty warblers ! leave me to repofe ! 
Nor roufe to rage my fell, peculiar woes j 

Enough for me the dropfy's load to bear. 


^' And, oh ! ye iacred founts ! ye fitvour'd climes I 
Te ihady fcenes ! that faw my hidden crimes ! 

Haunt me not thus ; nor aid the pains of Hell ! 
Still, ftill I fee fair Casektino's fhore ! 
Where firft I dar'd to fpoil the iterling ore. 

And, fentenc'd to the flames, unpitied fell ! 


f* G)uld I but once the villain Guido view \ 
Or Aghinolf, apiong the Stygian crew! 

Were all Siena with her ftreams in doVr 
On me beftow'd, to bathe in cool delight, 
J'd give them all, to buy the welcome fight !— 

rd give them all, to feel them in my pow'r ! 


f ^ Thofe frantic fouls that range the world of woe. 
Have feen the brother felons hr below ; 

But, oh ! thofe dropfy'd limbs their aid deny: 
Twelve hundred waning moons would end their race, 
JEre thefe poor legs could meafure thrice a pace, 

Elfe would my weary feet the journey try. 


*^ Altho' four tedious leagues their lot extends, 
And thus the wat'ry load my body beads ; 

I 348 3 

Yet gladly would I bear the arduous toil. 
To fee the youths whofe wily tongues enihar'd 
My foul ! whofe wily hands the plunder ihar'd^^ 

And left to me the labour of the file." 


«* Yet, ere we part," I cry'd, " their names difdofev 
From whom yon' fuUen fume inceflknt flows. 

As the hand fleams in winter's frozen wave." 
^ When firfl/' he faid, «* from yonder world I fell, 
I found below thefe Denizens of Hell, 

Twinrtenants of the deep Tartarean cave.. 


•* For ever pining, thus they lie forlorn. 
The firfl is fhe that paid the Hebrew's fcom 

With accufations foul, and deadly hate ; 
Old SiNON next reclines his burning head. 
And feek the fiever thro' his vitals fpread ; 

Hark} how he raves beneath its fervid weight l"" 


IncensM to hear the flory of his fhame, 
The felon flarted from his coi^ch of flame, 

St* ztH. /. a.] The Story of Potip hail's wife is well knowi. 

St. zm. A 4.— S1NON.3 For the Story of Sinom, who per* 
fuaded the Trojan s^ by a feigned Tale, to break down their 
walls and receive a wooden horfe filled with their enemies, fee 
VuGiLi lib.ii. 


C 349 3 

And ftruck the Florentine ; vith hollow found 
His dropfy'd womb retum'd the feeble blow ; 
The Tufcan foon with rage began to glow. 

And ftroke for ftroke retum'd, and wound for wound. 

With leaden weight the ponderous hand defcends. 
No more the conqueror of Troy contends, 

*• My heels are fetter'd, but my fift is free j" 
Adam exulting cty'd : the Greek exclaims, 
*' Why flept thy valour then among the flames, 

When fliouting legions mock'd thy arts and thee ? 

** You belter knew to melt die mimic ore." 

^ Ah !*' cry'd his foe, ** if thus, in days of yore. 

You followed truth, the walls of Troy had ftood.** 
" At once," the Greek rcply'd, " I eam'd my lot. 
In my firft failure, by damnation caught. 

But countlefs crimes thy parting foul purfu'd !" 

** Think on the hollow deed," the Coiner cry'd, 
^^ And hide thy head ; in deep damnation hide !" 
And let thy wat'ry paunch, "the Greek rejoin'd. 
And burning tongue, thy blamdefs life atteft. 
See, fee ! thy limbs with liquid weight opprefs'd. 
That fcarcely leave the human form behind." 


Trembling the Tufcan cry'd, inflamed with ire, 
^ Can pining dropfy match the fever's fire ? 

Su six. /• 3.] Borrowed fix)m Samson Agomistss. 

Will that iU-omen'd tongue no refjute know ? 


Oh ! wott'd to Hcav'n, or Hell, I knew the ftnuiiy 

Whofe fpell could bid thee leave the bed of pam. 

And feek Narcissus' limpid ftream below V* 


Long had I liftenM to the uncouth fray ; 
At length, ** if thus you linger by the way, 

I leave my charge," the angry Poet faid. 
Like one I ftood, whom trembling dreams afiright^ 
Who feems o'er hanging cliffs to urge his flight 

In vain, with feeble limbs, and mind difinay'd. 

St. xxii. /. 6.] In the original, ** I bdierc yon would 
not require much preffing to lick the looking-glftf« of Nak" 
cissus ;'' f. e. the fountain where he feU in love with his ftndow. 
Sekdiion of language was not yet known ; Davte, as he defcrihcs 
every thing, often makes ufe of the words that firil offer. Thk 
gives his ftyle fometimes a flat, piofaic afped, bat its general dia* 
rafteriftic is venerable fimplictty, and his fuUimity depends on the 
thought alone. 

It is a wonder that we have not fuch fcenes oftener in Da»te, as 

this between Abam of Brescia and Sinon of Troy. Far fipom 

degrading the fubje£^ it rather feems very confiftent with Damte's 

conftaat defign to Ihew the human chara^er in all its varieties. In 

the Inferko, fome expreis their feelings for others^ fome fed for 

themfelves ; 

^ He tender for another^ pain». 

** Th' unfeeling for their own." 
Some bear their affi£fcion with a kind of fullen fortitude ; and, to- 
incorrigible natures^ it only ferves to exafperate thdr malignitj. 
All thefe phsniomena often appear m the fufferings of criminals, even 
here. That the fenfe of their toni&ents ftiould wake the fympathy 
of the condenmed, and their fears lor thofe who may be in danger 
of a like fentence, cannot bem iocoiigmoas to thofe who remem- 
ber the pathetic fupplication of die rich man for his brethren 


C 35^ 3 

Th* unreal danger thus I ftrove to ward. 
And trembling funk beneath his ftem regard ; 

While lame excufes faulter'd on my tongue. 
But Ma AG foon difpeU'd my rifing fear : 
** Thy fault is gone," he cry'd, *' refume thy cheer, 

I fee thy foul by deep contridon flung ! 



•* Henceforward when the Fiends begin to jar. 
Be cautious thou ! and fhun the wordy war ; 

Think on thy hopes, and quench the low de/ire. 
Depart with me, and let the Demons rage ; 
Let not the ceafelefs brawl thine ear engage. 

And damp the mounting flame of heav'nly fire.** 

(Luke xvi. 27, 28.). Had Dr. Scot, the Author of The 

ChriUan Life, been a Poet, and chofen to diverfify his view of the 
Infernal World ¥nth proper charadlers and incidents, we fliould pro- 
bably have had many fcenes like that between Adam of Brescia 
and Sin ON. He is at the fame time a folid reafoner, and pofiefTed 
of a ftrong imagination ; but he feems to delight in the ternble 
and tremendous, more than even Dante himfelf ; and he has no- 
thing of Dante's pathos. The Demons of the Florentine 
are mild, placable beings, compared with thofe of the old Divine ; 
they are as different abnoft as the light aerial fpells of Oberon, and 
the horrible incantations of the Fatal Siflen, in Gray. See Spec- 
tator, No. 447. See alfo, A Summary of the Third Chapter of 
the Firft Book of The Chrifiian Lifcj at the end of the Notes. 


t 353 3 



The Poets arrive at the ninth Region, ^vided into four Circles, 
where four Species of Perfidy are puniihed. Around the Verge, he 
finds a Guard of Giants; among whom he fees Nimrod, £phi* 
ALTESy and Antaus, with feveral others, real or &hulous« B^ 
the hBt they are aififled in their Journey oter the Frontiers^ 

1 HE voice tliat touchM my heart \¥ith genVotis pain. 
And ting'd my gloi^ng cheeks with crimfon ftain, 

Pour'd in the fov'reign balm^ and heal'd the wound; 
Thus, as the Poets fing, Pelides' fteel 
The cruel blow could either give or heal. 

And raife the bleeding warrior from the ground* 

And now we left the difmal vale behind. 

And climb'd the barrier which its plagues confin'd^ 

In filence roaming round the world of woe : 
Guided along by that malignant light. 
That lefs than morning feem'd, and mOre than night, 

^ale, gleaming from the frpzen lake below. 
Vol, L a a 

I 354 ] 


But now a trumpet, terrible afar, 

Pour'd thro' the Stygian world the Waft of war; 

Not Roland's horn in Roncesvalles field. 
Startled the air with half fo loud a ftrain, 
When Gallia's Heroes prefs'd the bloody plain. 

And Charlemagne refign'd the lilied (hieUL 


Now o'er the gloomy vale with fharpen'd fight 
I look'd, when, feen by dim and dubious light, 

A range of lofty fteeples feem'd to rife. 
" O Sire ! the wonders of the deep declare,'* 
I cry'd ; — and Maro thus : " The dufky air 

And rifing fogs confiife your mortal eyes. 

Si. ill. /. 3— Roland's homji The horn was blown by the Ghoft 
of that mighty Hunter, Nimrod. 

RoNCE8yALLE8j£r/(/.] Whcn Ch ARLEMAGNS (accordingtoTuR- 
?in) had conquered part of Spain, he fent Gang, or Ganelone, 
Lord of Mag AN z A, the femoua Traitor in Ariosto, to the twa 
Saracen Commanders that remained, with an altematrvc, cither to 
leave Christendom, or be baptized. They cormpted Gang, who 
betrayed the counfels of Charlemagne to them, and advifed them, 
with part of their forces to give Orlando, the nephew of Charle- 
magne, battle, in the Pyrenees, and to conceal a ftrong ambuf- 
cade near the place of engagement. They took their meafures ac- 
cordingly, and engraged Orlando at Roncesvalles. The ve- 
teran French foon put them to flight, but in the diforder of pur- 
fuit they were attacked by the Moorish ambufcade, with great 
ilaughter. There was a large party of French at fome difiance. 
Orlando founded his wonderful horn to let them know his diftrefs, 
but the extraordinary effort had a very tragical effe6l on himfelf. 
He is faid to have burft his ifeindpipe, being reprefented as invul* 
ncrable. — ^Vid. Suitte de Roland le Funeux par M. Rosset, 4to. 
a Paris 1644. See alfo Mr. H^YLiY's Eflay on Hiftory. Notea 
on the fecond £piiUe« 

' C 355 3 


*• But foon thou may'ft behold her wonders near ! 
Come ! follow on your friend, devoid of fear ! 

And know, in yonder Gulph the Giant brood. 
Old Anak's fons, and Phlegra's bands renowned, 
In tow'ring fquadrons man the Gulph aroimd, 

Fix'd to the middle in the frozen flood**' 


As when the mill forfakes the mountain's height. 
And her tall rocks enierge in open light. 

In dread magnificence, the Stygian fcene^ 
^/^^"ihirmonftrous births difclos'd, a profpeft dire! 
As round fome fort the cloud-capt tow'rs afpire. 

So flood the portly race with haughty mien* 


Embodied thus on Pelion's hilk they drove. 
And proudly fac'd the flaming bolts of Jove : 

But nearer now, their lineaments deform. 
And ample breads we faw, with pale difmay 
Their formidable arms that crofs'd the bay. 

And dauntlefs heads fublime that bravM the donxu 


Nature in mercy left the deadly trade. 
And fouls no more in Giant limbs array'd. 

Led mighty Mars fliould lay the world in bloodt 
Kature, whofe hand the Elephant confines. 
Who to the Whale the wat'ry world afSgns, 

Porbid with kindred gore to tinge the flood. 

Aa 2 

[ 356 3 


But not the foreft tribes, nor finny race, 
With equal rage their native walks deface. 

As he whofe deadly arm by Reafon's light 
Bircded falls, and mocks the warding hand ^ 
Confpiring realms in vain his pow'r withftand. 

In vain embattled hofls defend their right. 


With helmed head like Peter's dome fublime. 
We faw their General front the horrid clime ; 

The Hoping bank his middle round embrac'd. 
But three tall Frisians, from the icy main. 
All end-long rangM, would ffa-etch their arms in vaia. 

To reach his fhoulders from his ample waiiL 


A fymphony of Babel founds he pour'd. 
Fit Anthem for fuch Fiend ! and ftemly lowr*d, 
Reftrain thy brutal rage,*' the Bard reply'd. 

Or thro* thy clamorous horn thy fury fpend^ 
That feems adown thy bofom to depend. 

To thy ftrong neck by links of iron ty*d ?" 


Then thus to me : " The barb'rous tongue betrays 
That Chief, whofe bold ambition dar'd to raife 

Si. xi. /. I.] In the Original, 

Raphegi mai amech izabi almi.^ 


C 357 ] 

On Tyoris banks the Heav'n-defying towV, 
'Till Difcord, fent from Heav'n his tribes among, 
SeaPd ev'jy ear, and fetter'd ev'ry tongue, 

While jarring millions own*d her wayward pow'r. 


'^ A medley of all tongues, to all unknown. 
The Monfter fpeaks, a language quite his own. 

Nor knows the meaning of the mongrel founds : 
Nor thou expeS; his fpeech to underfland, 
Tho' ev'ry dialed of ev'ry land 

Were thine, thro' all the peopled world around. 


Far to the left we faw the barrier wind. 
And, lo ! another monftrous form, reclined 

Againft the rock, in gloomy durance lay : 
A mighty arm his finewy ftrength had bound, 
And links of adamant were twilled round 

His limbs, fatigued with many a vain eflay« 

** There Ephialtes mourns," the Mantuan cry'd, 
<* Whofe deadly arm the bolt of Jove defy'd j • 

The fierceft Chief that warr'd on Phlegra's plain. 
Thofe horrible ftrong hands that fliook the iky, 
Deep chain'd below in frofty fetters lie, 

For ever plung'd in yonder icy main ! 

St, xii. /. 4— 'Ttff 2)2/^or^ vht. at Babel. 

St, XV. A I— -Ephialtes] One of the Giants, who, according 
to Mythological Hiftoiy, warred againft Jove.— -See ^Bneid tu— • 
Qtid* Metam* i Fab. iiL Viae. Georgic i* adjuh 


C 358 3 


*' Tell, if in yonder Gulph iEoEON raves ) 
Or fay, in which of thofe Tartarean caves 

The grizzly Tenant dwells."— With eager hafte 
I fpoke — ^and thus retum'd the gentle Ghoft : 
** Yonder he fhudders in eternal froft. 

And ftemly fad furveys the polar wafle. 


^ And there Ant^us roams with liberal pace. 
Sole unconfin'd of all the Giant race. 

And waits to waft us down the difmal fteep/' 
He fpoke, and fled : for gath'ring fail behind, 
Loud execrations fill'd the pafling wind. 

And heaving earthquakes feem- d to fhake the deep, 


I tum'd around, and faw with pale afiright. 
Where Ephialtes flrove with all his might 

His arms to free, and fhook the flony bar : 
On me he feem*d to rufh with frantic cry. 
Fate in his hand, and horror in his eye. 

Trembling I fhunn'd with fpeed th' unequal war. 

At length emerging from his horrid cave. 
We faw our grizzly Guide his ftature heave, 

, St. XIX. /. 2.] The Story of Ant aus wrcftling with Hercvles, 
and recovering new ftrength when he touched his mother earthy and 
at ]aft» being throttled in ^he air* is told with great fpirit by Lu- 
CAN, PharMa, lib. it. It is imitated by A&iosto and Spen- 

« Lord 

C 359 ] 

** Lord of the Lion-Tribe ! renownM of old. 
In thofe fam'd fields that faw the Punic Ihame, 
Where Scipio's hand retrieved the Roman name," 

The Mantu AN cry'd, " thy fated charge behold ! 

^ Hadft thou on Phlegra's plain the combat led. 
No Mortal Chief like thee bad rais'd his headj 

But gentler tafks thy prefent aid demand. 
Nor thou averfe the gentle taik difclaim : 
Behold the Bard that gives eternal fame, 

Whofe deathlefs (brains requite thy friendly hand. 


** For fKU he lives confined to mortal views. 
Still doom'd to ^ meditate the thanklefs Mufe,' 

Unlefs preventing Grace abridge his ftay : 
Obfcure he joumies thro' the world of woe. 
And waits thy wel^e to the Gulph below. 

Where pale Cogytus fills the frozen bay. 



Thofe hands, whofe dreadful gripe Ai^cides fearM, 
He ftretch'd, and from the groimd the Mantuan 

To me the Bard with arms inftindive clung. 
Like Carisenda's tow'r the Giant flood. 
Portentous leaning o'er Bologna's flood 

With louring fogs around his turrets hung, 

Stf ui* A 2.3 Spenser. 


C 360 3 


Sinking at length, the central Gulph we gain, 
Where Lucifer commands the frozen plain. 

And old Isc ARioT heads the horrid crew ; 
Reclining breathlefs on the fhore unblefsM, 
We faw the Libyan rear his (lately creft. 

Spring like a maft, and tow'r above the view^ 


I 361 3 



Jn the GuLPH of Caina» the fecond Region of the laft Cirde, the 
Poet fees the pDnifhment of Fratricide ; and in the third, caBed 
An TENOR Ay he leama the doom of Treafon. In the firft, he 
finds the Soul of Alberto Camiscione, anobk Florentine^ 
and in the fecond, he fees the Spirit of BoccA Abate. From, 
tbem he learns the names of their refpedive Companions. 

Oh ! could I tui\e my conTummadng ftram. 
To ling the terrors of the frozen main, 

** With other notes than to th* Orphean lyre!** 
Ye Sons of Hades, come, ye fentenc*d throng. 
With your Infernal anthem ^^ell the fong, 

To match the concert of the Stygian choir, 


Hail, central Horrors ! hail ! accept the lay } 
No infant voice ye claim ! no faint efTay ! 
. O ! teach the Mufe to fweep, with bolder wing, 
The wint'ry Gulph, and reach the world's extreme} 
And, with a voice that fuits her dreadful theme^ 
To bid the theatre of Hades ring ! 

St. h h 3*] Milton^ 

C 36^ 3 

And come, ye Maids ! that haunt Cithjerok's gnnr^ 
Who taught of old Amphion's lyre to move 

The lift'ning rocks, and ndfe the wond'rous wall; 
Survey with me the dark devoted race, 
Whofe hideous files poflefs the central fpace. 

And curfe the happier tenants of the flail ! 

Now from the lofty wall, the Giant brood 
Beheld us wand'ring o'er the frozen floods 

A dreary polar fcene, extending wide ! 
•* O ! flep with care," exclaim'd the Mantuan mik^ 
•* Nor hurt the haplefs crew from Heav'n exil'd, 

Whofe fuppliant faces line the frozen tide !'' 


From fhore to fhore, the glaffy main I viewed. 
Not fuch the fleeting Froft that binds the floo4 

Of Dakube old, or Volga's filent ftream. 
When brumal rigours feal his frozen urn. 
And o'er his face the Scythian roams forlorn 

In wand'ring hordes beneath the lunar beanju 


Were Pietrapana down in ruin hurl'd. 
Or Taeernicchia thro' the nether world, 

St, vi. /. I.— Pietrapana] An high hill near LuccA^ 
St.\u L 2«—- Tabsrnicchia] The lofticft mountain in Scla* 

TON I A. For the iittgnlar afpcrity of the rhymes, I ihal} infexl 

the original of this Stanza. 


I 363 3 

By fome celeftial arm with fury fent, 
The everlafting ice that binds below 
Th' interminable main, would brave the blow 

Beneath th' eternal weight of hills unbent^ 


Uor defolate extends the dreary fpace ; 
Like the dark legions of the croaking race. 

When the foft influence of the Spring they hail j 
With chattering teeth, and ftony eyes aghaft^ 
Immur'd in ice beneath the bitter blail. 

With rigid feces prone, the finners waiL 


The Mantuan's voice my cautious feet reprefl",' 
When front to front, beneath the wint'ry wafte^ 

With interwoven looks, a Pair was feen.-— 
** Ah ! who are ye, in icy durance held ?" 
I cry'd ; the Pair their ftony lids unfeal'd. 

And filent gaz'd around with penfive mien* 


Scarce had their op'ning eyes reliev'd their pain^ 
When forth a briny torrent gufh'd amain ; 


Non fece al corfo fuo fi groflb vdof 
pi yemo la Daooia in Auftericch 
Ne 1 Tanai fotto il (red6o cido 
Com 'era quivi; iho^ Tabeniiccli 
Mi/iJ ^ Vttsft fu caduto o Pietrapana 

Men a?ria pur del Orb faltto Cxicch« 




Keen breathM the gale, and froze the falling tide : 
In vain they ftrove their rigid eyes to clofe. 
From the feal'd orb the (bam fuffufion grows, 

And with long icicles their heads divide. 

Fttrions vnth pain, their claihing fronts eqgage* 
A third, with ears retrench'd^ beheld their rage. 

And cry'd, ^^ Why gaze ye thus with fell delight 
On others' pain ? — but here, perhaps, you ftay» 
To know the caufe of their unnat*ral fray. 

And why the brethren mix in mortal fight. 


•* Old Falterona's vale their fire poflefs^d. 
And to the brethren left the rich bequefl ; 

By mutual wounds the bloody brethren fidl ^ 
like the twin-partners of Boeotia's throne, 
£ath brodier wifhM to rule, and rule alone. 

And plunged together to the depths of HelL 


^ Nor holds Caina in her frozen flood 

A fouler Pair, nor deeper ftain'd with blood ; 

St. xi« /. 3.] Thefe were the fons of Alberti di Faltbronai 
who being left joint heirB, and quarrelling about their patrimonyt 
agreed to decide the affair by fingle combat, and fdl by mutual 
wounds. Lavdiko. 


C 3«5 3 

l^ot Authur's fon, vnth parricide defilM ; 
Not ftem F0CCACCIA9 who his Uncle flew, 
Kor Mascheron, whofe head obftruds the view. 

Beneath an hoary mafque of winter pil'd* 


And tell (if yet my name ye wifli to know) 
Trivigna'^ Lord, that Pazzi waits below. 

And longs to fee him fill the frozen feat : 
For tbo* a Father's bhod my poniard dy'd^ 
A darker lot, to parricides denfd^ 

WaiU the Affajftn of bis parent Jiate !^^ 


Onward we pafs the dumb, devoted throng, 
' Where, cas'd in blue, chryftalline fpheres, along, 

St. xiL /. 3.— Arthur's fin] Mordred, Arthur's fon by hit 
own fifter, who killed his father in battle. See Morte d'ArthuTp 
part the laft. See alio Reliques of Ancient Poetry, voL iii. deries 
the firfty for the Story of the death of Art h u r. 

Sl xiL /• 4. — FoccACCiAJ Of the Family of Cancblieri, 
at PisTOiA. Befides the aflaflination of his Uncley he was guilty 
oF an inhuman deed upon a near relation, which was the occafion 
of the quarrel between the Black and White Faftions* Ma^ 
chiaveL VillanL See Flor. Hift. annexed. 

Su xii. /. 5. — ^Mascheron3 Another Florentinb, who it 
Dud, in the fame quarrel, to have killed his Unde. 

^/. xiii. /. 2.— Trivigna's Z.or/] Carlino, a GusLF,whobc<* 
trayed Castel Riano to the Ghibellines for a fum of money. 

Pazzi.] Camiscione Pazzi, another who was guilty gf 
parricide in the fame contelL Sec Roscob's Life of Lorenzo 


A thoufand heads the gUft'ning valley filPd $ 
A gaunt and wolviih tribe ! the central coaft 
We fought ; the region of eternal froft, 

Whofe cold and Gorgon httrijny bofbm chiU'dL 


The difembodied Spirit fled before, 
I foUow'd dofe along the difmal fhore ; 

But whether led by fate, or fortune's fpite, 
Heedlefs I ftumbled o'er an helmed brow. 
That, cas'd in ice among the tribes below. 

And rifing in the path, efcap'd my fight. 

With dull and hollow found the helmet rung» 
And chill amazement feiz'd my fault'ring tongucL 

As thus the captive cry'd, *• Inhuman ! fay. 
What Fury leads thee thro* the wint'ry found. 
To aid our pangs, and double wound on wound \ 

Is this the meed of Montaperti's day ? 


Dubious I flood, and thus the Mantuan pray'd :— 
" O ! may I flop, till this devoted Shade 

Suxn. L 6.] Or Valdarbia» whenc the Guelfs were be* 
trayed into an ambufcadc, and defeated with a great flaiightcr^* 
BoccA Abati, a Guelf leader, who is fo unwilling here to dif- 
cover himfelf, had been prcvioufly corrupted by Ae GHi»BLLiNESf 
andin th^ heat of the engagement killed the Guelfian Standard-r 
bcar^, which threw the Guelfs into immediate confufion^ and the 
Ghibellines gained the ▼iaory.^Jlani^MachiaveL See Canto X. 
Notest and Floiw Hift. annexed. 


C 367 1 

Refolve my doubts, and eafe my laboring thought !'* 
ftood. " Now, Traitor, tell thy crimes," I cry'd, 
** And thou !" the deep blafpheming voice reply'd, 
*' Say, why thou troubleft thus Antenor's lot ?— 


** Scarce could a mortal give fo ftrong a blow !"— 
** Fear not,*' I cry'd, ** thy fellow mortal know. 

And one empowered to give eternal fame."— • 
•* Eternal Furies firft thy Soul invade ! 
Ere thou allur'ft me from Oblivion's fhade !— 

Avauht ! nor feek to aggravate my fhame !' 


Faft by the locks I feiz'd the wretch forlorn :-— 
*• Difclofe thy name ! or thy foul ringlets torn. 

Thou Traitor Slave ! the forfeit foon fliall pay/' 
** Let all thy fury on my head defcend !" 
He cry*d, ** and from the roots my treffes rend,^ 

My name fhall ne*er adorn a Poet's lay.*' 


Loudly he rail'd, and curs'd my cruel hand. 

At length, flow murm'ring o'er the frozen (brand, 

Thofe welcome founds were heard; — ^^ Sage BoccAj 
What Styoiak note has chang'd thy human voice ? 
— -Curfe on that canine yell ! that jarring noife ! 

Say, does fome Fiend invade thy frozen cell ?" 

Si. zvii. /. 6.3 This infernal diftrid is fo named from AntenoK| 
who is faid to haTc betrayed Tkoy to the Greeks. Diftji Cre- 
tenfii. 3 

t 368 :i 

^ Villain !" I cry'd, ** at length I know thy crime t 
That name accurs'd, in fweet Hespsria's clime 

In fpite of thee fhall live." — ^^ Nor mine alone^^ 
The Felon cry'd, " behold Duera near. 
Feels the new rigours of the polar year. 

And Vali^ombrosa fits, with eyes of ftone ! 


^ The ice in vain his fever'd neck conceals, 
Mag AN z A near his warped look reveals. 

With him who late the Tuscan army fold i 
There Tribaldello like a Gorgon glares. 
And in foul dreams Faenza's plunder fhares } 

Faenza ! fold by night for Celtic gold^ 


Far thence, an hideous Pair, together clung^ 
Still on the head before the hindmoft hung, 

5*/. xxi. /. 4««-Dueka3 Lieutenant of Manfred; whoyasfome 
fay, incited by jealoufy of Manfred's attachment to his wife; or (as 
others pretend) gained by French gold* gave up the pals of Pak- 
MtGiANO to Charles of Anjou, which coft Manfred his life^ 
Sec HilL Flor. 

Sf* XXI. /• 6. — ^Vallombrosa] The Pope's Legate at Flo* 
rencE} who> being detected in a confpiracy to introduce the Gai- 
BELLiNEs and crufh the Guelfs, was beheaded. 

St. xxiL /. 2. — ^Maganza3 The famous Gang, who betnyei 
the Chriflian army at Roncesvalles. See Canto XXXL Notei. 

St. xxii. /. 3. — UTtthbiml Another Florentine traitor. Hewis 
a Ghibelline. 

St. xxii. /. 4. — ^Tribaldello'] A GhibellwEi who opened 
the gate of Faenza to the French, who were brought by Mar'^ 
TIN IV. to fupprefs the Ghibelline fa&ioo* 

C 369 ] 

With fatten d fangs, and quaflPM the ftreaming gorcj 
Juft where the hairy fcalp begins to join 
The fuppiiant's bending neck, with rage canine 

The furious cannibal hi^ captive tore4 


The Furies thusj by fad Isme^to'^ flood. 
Saw Tydeus quench his ire in hoftile blood. 

** O thou ! whom man's benignant race difclaims,'* 
I cry'd, ** a while thy horrid feaft forego ! 
Say, why th' eternal fibres feem to grow. 

And why the hideous woimd for ever ftreams ? 


^^ Perhaps the old tradition of his crinie 
Lies buried long beneath the ruft of Time ; 

Be mine at leaft to tell, in open day. 
The traitor's deeds, and clear thy injur'd names 
For the long pafles to eternal fame 

Are ever open to the Mufe's lay." 

St, xxiT. /. ^"'^IforriJ fiqfl,2 Alludes to the Story of Tydeus, 
who, being wounded mortally by Msnalip^us at Thebes, had 
his enemy flain, his head brought to him, and died in the (avage 
manner here defcnbed. 


Vol. J. ]9 b 

C 371 J 



The Poet meets tlie Soiil of Uggholino, Count of Pisa, in the 
Gulphof ANTSNORA9 who had fallen a iacnfice to the fa6tiou8 
Arts of RuGGiERi Ubaldimo, the Archbi(hop of Pisa. The 
condemned Spirit gives him a moft a£Feding Detail of the laft 
Scene of his Life. Thence the Poet proceeds ftiU on towards the 
Centre ; and in the way takes a tranfient Survey of the Ptole- 
MEAN Sound, where the Souls of thofe ^ho had joined Ingra- 
titude with Treafott are puniihed. 

Slowly the (Inner left his bloody meal. 
Then, gazing upwards from the depths of Hell, ^ 

He finooth'd the clotted hair^ and thus reply'd 3 
^^ Mortal ! thou bid'ft me recoiled my doom^ 
An horrid fcene ! that lives beyond the tomb. 

And flops my fpeech with forrow^s whelming tide. 

^^ And, oh ! if aught it grieves the fentenc'd dead^ 
in other worlds their infamy to fpread, 

Attend^'-^but firfl the gufhing tear will flow : ' 
I know not whence thou art, nor whofe command 
Sent thee, a mortal, to the frozen ftrand. 

To view the wonders of the world below* 


C 37a 3 

^ Thou fpeak'ft the Tuscan tongue ! then. Mortal, 
A ftoiy, yet unknown to human ear ! [hear 

The fad detail of Uggholino's fate : 
Here the curs'd Prelate, by whofe arts I fell. 
Still feeds my vengeance in the depths of Hell, 

The joint betrayer of my parent ftate. 


*^ Haply thy young remembrance yet may trace 
The deadly rancour of Sismondi's race. 

And how this Prelate fann'd the gen'ral flame : 
The man, who Arft my confidence abus'd ; 
Yes, Traitor, thou ! 'twas thou thy friend accused. 

Led him aflray, and then divulg'd his fhame. 

St» ir. /• 6.] A Nobleman of Pisa, of the Ymfy of Gko^ 
EAKDEscAy a Guelf. But the GhibeDine Fadioni^ being powaful 
in Pi 8 Ay ambition compelled him^to make an unnatmiad Coalitto 
with RuGGiERO DE UBAU>iN!y Bifhop of P1SA9 and head of the 
Imperial Fadion, againft his own Nephew, Nino db Gallvsa, 
Lord of Pisa. Under pretence of mal-adminiflration, they ba* 
nifhed Nino, and Uggholino obtained the Government; but 
this portentous alliance did not long continue* A kinfman of Ug* 
GHOLiNOy and one of RuGGiEao> were rivals for the affedions 
of a Ladyy and in an unfortunate rencounter Ubaldino was 
killed* This bred diflention between the Families, which, joined 
with envy of Uggholino's exalted ftation, induced Ruggiero 
to betray the fecret machinations of his colleague againft the State 
He accufed Uggholino of betraying fome CaiU<^ to the Flo*' 
RBNTiNBS in their late contefts with that Republic. This raifed 
the fury of the populace ; and they, headed by the Bifhop, with a 
crofier in his hand, and the heads of the Families of Lan franc hi, 
SiGiSMONDi, and Gualandi, befet the Palace of UotSHOLimH 
dragged him and his four Sons out, and fhut them up in a priibn 
in the Piazza degli Antianitf^ where they miferably perifhed by fa« 
mine. ViJani, lib. vii. cap. izo* 

C 373 3 


^' But to myfelf, and to the Fiends alone, 
The confummation of my woes are known. 

How terrible and long I felt my fate ! 
When in the doleful tow'r of famine pent. 
For treafon built, a gloomy tenement. 

With my four guiltlefs fons I drooping fat. 


^^ The firft fad night I paft, unknown to fleep. 
The circling hours beheld me wake and weep ; 

^Till thro' an opening of my gloomy goal. 
When now the flaming couriers of the night 
Pn day's fiiir confines quench'd their waning light, 

"^^ith pale and ominous dawn the morning flole. 


** That moment firft beheld my eyelids clofe, 
A fhort, lad refpite to my lingering woes ; 

But dire, prophetic dreams the curtain drew. 
And fhew'd my doom at large ! Methought I ftood 
And faw a Wolf along the plain purfu'd. 

While this infernal Prieft the bugle blew. 


f ^ Thence, with her whelps fhe fought the Julian fteep. 
But Lanfranc feem*d the woody pals to keep j 

SisMONDi's Chiefs, and thofe of Gualand's name. 
Their fleet and famifh -d pack of blood-hounds joinM, 
Which clos'd the trembling prey before, behind ; 

Faften'd at once, and tore the fayage ganie." 


t 374 3 

^* Ere Imiling Moni had purpled o*er the Ikyc 
I woke, anji heard lay children faintly cry. 

And all demanding food, tho' ftill afleep : 
Thy heart is marble, if a father's woe 
It feels not now ! what bids your forrows flow^ 

If for fydi dire diftrefs you £adl to weep I 



^^ They proke at laft, and now the time drew nigh 
That brought their morning meal— a fcant fupply ! 

A fad prefage in ev'ry bofon^ grew. 
As they recall'd their dreams. Juft then, below, 
A h^Liid relentlefs lock'd the den of woe ; 

And on my fons a fearful glance I threw. 


** No word from me was heard, or plaintive groan, 
Methought I felt my heart congeal to ftone : 

They wept.** At laft, my fweet Anselmo cry*d, 
** What ails my Father ? what a piteous look 
Tou caft around !** My heart with horror Ihook, 

Yet nought to their fad queftions I reply*d, 



Tlius pafs*d the cheerlefs day and lingering mght j 
At laft, the fecond mom*s afcending light 

Sent thro* the doleful gloom a dubious ray : 
ReSeded on each face, it feem'd to fhew 
The marks of my defpair, in frantic woe 

From my bare arms my flefli I tore away. 

[ 375 ] 


At once they call with agonizing cries : 


I^et us fupply your want— but fpare our eyes ; 

Lefs anguifh will we feel the means to give 
Of life, than fuch a fight again to view ! 
Hiofe members you beftow'd, reclaim your due ! 

And let our limbs afford the means to live !'* 


Unwilling thus to aggravate their woes. 
Gloomy and calm, attendant on the clofe 

Of all p^r pangs, I fate; revolving flow ; 
Two days fucceed — ^the fourth, pale morning broke, 
" O Father, help ! I feel the deadly ftroke !'* 

My Gaddo cry'd, and funk beneath the-blo^ ! 


f' Anoth^, and pother mom beheld : 

Three yet Remain. At length, by Fate compelled. 

On the cold pavement one by one expir'd. 
Groveling amongft the dead, of fight deprived ; 
Two lingering days of torture I furviv'd. 

And tardy fate, with fupplication tir'd. 


** O'er each lov'd face my hands fpontaneous flray'd, 
And oft' I caird each dear departed fhade : 

Affail'd by wafling want, with grief combined, 
Ga\mt famine long had try'd its pow'rs in vain ; 
But mortal grief at lafl reliev'd my pain. 

And with cold hand the vital thread untwin'd/' 

Bb 4 

I 37« 3 


He ended (lem, and to his dire repaft 

Turned vfiih malignant look, and furious |iafto. 

Like a (launch blood-hound to his favage game* 
—Ye. tow'rs pf Pifa ! may Gorgona's ftrand. 
With lofty mounds the coming flood withftand, 

And fend it foaming down to whelm thy fhame. 


If HuGOLiNE his native realm betray'd. 

The fons were guiltlefs, tho' the fiaither ftray'd } 

My vengeance due thy giant crimes arreft : 
Rival of Thebes ! Brigata's tender age, 
And Hugo's tears, thy malice might afluage. 

If e*er compailion warm'd a Pisak's breaft ! 


Now, thro' the regions of eternal froft 
We traveird on, and left Antenor's coaft, 

Where a new colony ppflefs'd the deep : 
Not prone and abje£t like the laft they lay. 
But fhew'd their hideous fronts in open day, 

Seeming for ever bpxmd in iron fleep. 

Faft flow'd their tears, and as they flow'd they froze! 
The Gorgon mafk on ev'ry vifage grows ; 

And back their tears return, and fting the brain ; 
While, ever and anon, the bitter blaft, 
Relcntlers breathing o'er the fuUen wafte, 

Spals up thdr eyes, and aggravates thpir pain. 

C 377 3 


f* Whence this eternal blafl that fweeps the fkies V* 
I afk'd, and thus the Mantuan Shade replies: 

^^ In gloomy ftate, within the Gulph below. 
The Spirit dwells, that fends the blafl around, 
fiia of the Fiends ! on Hell's extremeft bound, 

Where the myilerious caufe thou foon fhalt know* 


f ^ O ye ! who ftill exped your dubious doony 
(A Spirit cry'd, within his frozen tomb) 

Remove this maik, and let my fprrow flow ; 
— 'Tis all I afk—- a tranfient fmall relief. 
Before my tears congeal, and choke my grief, 

To eafe my bofom of its load of woe.'' 


My Guide retym'd : ** If we negled thy pray'r, 
ISoon may we reach the gulph of fad defpair ; 

But firft thy country and thy crime difclofe : 
Thy crime is known, for Alberigo's fame 
Was high, till late he eam'd a Traitor's name. 

Paid for his treafon with eternal woes." 

Si, zxiiL /. 4.^Albekigo] A Member of a celebrated So* 
ciety> inftituted in the 13th century, by Martin IV. half cleric 
call half lay, fomewhat like the Knights Templars* They 
were called Frate Godente, or Brothers of St. Mary. Albe- 
RiGO had a quarrel with fome others of the Society, but on a feem- 
ihg reconciliation, brought about by fome common friends, he in* 
yited the whole Society to a fplendid entertaiiun^t, and took care 
tp have tbe IpU befet with ruffians ija the drefs of attendants* The 

[ 378 J 

f^ I; Alberigo falPn !" amaz'd, I faid ; 
" Then ftill above a difembodied Shade 

Afllimes thy form." — ^The giulty Ghofl rejoia*d, 
** For ever exil'd from the bounds of day, 
0|t' the &d Spirit feeks the frozen bay. 

And leaves the limbs, poflefs'd of life, behind* 


f * When firft the Traitor's foul forfakes its feat, 
A chofen Demon finds the foul retreat. 

coming in of the dcflert was the fignal^ on which the afiaflinB each 
marked his inan» and, fingling theih out from the other guefts, in- 
ftantly difpatched them. 

The fuppofition in the following Stanza, that the confequence 
of fome vices is, that on the firft commiilion the foul forfakes the 
body, and all the vital functions arc performed by a Demon, has at 
the fame time a ftriking poetical effefl, and includes a very fine 
moral. Some crimes, particularly what we may call the cool- 
blooded vices, fuch as Perfidy, Ingratitude, &c« befpeak fuch ^ 
total corruption of mind, fuch an uniyerfal depravation^ tjiat a fin^ 
gle a6k of this kind is equivalent to a conf4rmed habit of fomq 
other vices. In other words, the corruption has gone its full 
length, the Demon fupplants the man, and takes poffeflion of the 
whole foul. The hint feems to be taken from that tremendous 
pi6kure in the Gofpel, of ** the houfe fwept and gamiflied for the 
rccep^on of feven malignant Spirits ;" an^ the laft eftate of that 
man is defcribed as worfe than the firit. As the crimes of thofe 
who are defcribed under puniflunent in thefe lower departments, 
arofe from Sympathy suppressed, their tonuent is made to con- 
fiil in a vain effort to recover it ; and thofe eyes, which never melted 
with compaflion, are here very properly expofed to the excruciat- 
ing torture of freezing tears, or the bitter refiedion which arofe 
in the mind by the rexnembrancc of the feelings of humanity 

C 379 3 

And ev'ry funftion of the man renews : 
To all his old allies, the form poffefs'd. 
Still feems the fame, carefling and carefs'd, 

Till age or ficknefs fets the pris'ner loofe. 


f^ Kjiow, Mortal ! with the firft felonious deed, 
^So may my ftrong and fervent pray'r fucceed !) 

A Demon comes to guide the mortal frame 
Below, in frozen chains the Spirit pines. 
And he, whom yonder wint'ry cell confines. 

Could tell, he yet can boaK the Dorian name. 


*« What Fiend,*' I cryM, " can tempt thy lips to tell 
Such fruitlefs falfehoods in the depths of Hell ? 

Still DoRiA lives, and flill enjoys the day." 
The wretch reply^d, ** Remember when you flood. 
And from the brink of Hell in terror view'd 

Old Zanco's foul to liquid flames a prey. 


f * Ere He tq Hell was borne, the doom had pall. 
And DoRiA fe)t bejow the bitter bl^, 

St. xxvii. /. 3d — ^Doria] Branca Doria, fon-in-law to Mi- 
.CHAEL Zanche, Lord of LoGODORO (See Canto XXIL) ; who, 
to enjoy the large patrimony defUned to him by Zanche, (which 
had been acquired by corruption in a judicial capacity,) poifoned 
^8 father-in-law at an entertainment. A Demon, according to 

the Poet, immediately fupplanted the foul, and performed all the 


vital fundtions of the man. 

' JSf> xxviii. /• i^-^Ere He] Michael Zanco, or Zanche. 

L . • 

C 380 3 

Ffeezing the geqial current of his tean : 
And where yon' livid maik a foul conceak. 
His fellow-traitor there his doom bewails, 

A Ilend above jn either fom) appears, 

^^ But, oh ! if e'er thy vows were breathM in pain^ 
Let not thy hand the pious taik difdain 

To break the feal, and bid my forrows flow/' 
" Far be the tafk profane !" the Mantuan cryM, 
Mute I obey'd my unrelenting Guide, 

And darkling follow'd to the dq)ths be^pw. 

Falfe Genoa ! claim not all the fraudful race, 
Whofe guilty fquadrons fill the central fpace. 

But fcatter the vile feminary wide ; 
No Fiend in all the Ptolemy an coaft, 
flquals the foul Ligurian's hated ghofi, 

Whofe limbs above obey a Stygian Guide^ 


C 381 3 



The Poet arriyes at the Station of the Infernal Monarch, whom he 
finds employed in the Punifliment of Judas IscAaioTt Bair** 
TVS, and Cassivs, who are confidered here as gwltj of the 
fame Crime, Ingratitude and Perfidy, to their chief Benefa£torti 
Thence, direAed hy Virgil, he finds his way by the Centre« 
and emerges with difficulty in the other Hemifphercy near the 
Mountain of Pueoation. 

^* Yonder the flag of Erebus unfurlM, 
proclaims the Monarch of the nether world/' 

The Bard ezclaim'd, as now the fogs profound^ 
Difperfing flow before the rifing gale, 
DifcIosM, what feem'd a toVr with fliifting fail. 

And warring tempefts fwept her vans around. 

Shook from his wings the fell Tornado grew. 
And ail the hideous fcene difclos'd to view. 

Beat with eternal ftorms, a barren coaft ! 
Half in die whirlwind feiz'd, the Spirit caught 
His trembling charge, and o'er the furface brought 

With rapid wafture to the central poft 



Oh ! could the Mufe defcribe in equal ftnttf 
The horrors of the wide Cerulean plain. 

For ever glaz'd beneath the Boreal blaft I 
The various poftures of the tribes that lay 
In filent flioals, beneath the frozen bay. 

The loweft tenants of the wint'ry wafle ! 

Some fho\(^'d their heels aloft, and Ibme the head. 
And fome recumbent on their frozen bed^ 

In proftrate files poflefs'd the middle deepY 
While bending fome, Vith head and heels conjoined, 
Afunder each in cryflal cells confined. 

Feel thro' their reins the icy horrors creep. 


Their rigid lips were feal'd in dumb defpair. 
Their ftony eyes, unconfdous of a tear, 

Glar'd as we pafs'd, but now the infernal Sire, 
Ken'd from afar, his port majeftic fhew'd, 
** There fills the Foe of Man his dire abode. 

Go ! and may Heav'n thy finking foul infpire !'' 

He fpoke— the gloomy Chief in Hades fear'd^ 
'Midft plaintive fhrieks, and warring winds, appeared, 

St, iv« /. 6.] Thofe who had been guilty of Perfidy, aggnvatcd 
by Ingnttitude» to their Bene&dors. The principal of whonci are 
Judas, Brutus, and Cassius.— N. B. The Poet was now no 
more a Republican, but had incited HsNav of LuzsMBUROli to 
invade Fi.oafi|{C£> and renew the Imperial Fa£Uon. 

C 383 3 

While nature thro* my nerves convnlfive fhooK : 
New palfies fdz'd my agonizing frame. 
And glowing now I felt the fever's flame. 

While life and death by turns my limbs forfook. 

Half from the central Gulph he feem'd to fpring. 
But Phlegra's Giant' brood, and Babel's King, 

To pigmies funk before the Stygian Lord : 
Lefs to the Monarch of the frozen main 
They feem'd, than I to that gigantic train. 

When late my fuppliant pray'r their aid implor'd. 


If his meridian glories, ere he fell, 
Equal'd his horrible eclipfe in Hell, 

No brighter Seraph led the heav'nly hod : 
And now, a tenant of the frozen tide. 
The Rebel juftly merits to prefide 

O'er all the horrors of the Stygian coaft. 


Six fliadowy wings invefl his (houlders wide, 
A Gorgon face appear'd on either fide. 

And one before, that feem'd with rage to burn : 
Rancour with fullen hue the next o'ercaft. 
And Envy's jaundic'd look diflain'd the laft 

With Grief, that feem'd at others' joy to mourn. 


He wav'd his faiUbroad wings, and woke the florm, 
CocYTus fhudder'd thro' her tribes deform. 


t 384 3 

That felt the freezing pow'r m ev'ry gale : 
Keen, polar blafb around his pinions fleet. 
And o'er the region lift th' eternal fleet. 

And mould, with many a guft^ the beating hai!«' 


DifguisM in gore the gloomy Chieftain flood. 
From er'ry mouth difBU'd the ftreaming bloody 

And lamentations loud and piercing cries 
Were heard within.— HBs triple jaws divide^ 
And fhew his deadly fangs on either fide. 

And each a finner's blood in crimfon djeSd 


We faw the prisoners force tteir bloody way. 

We faw his marble jaws with deadly fway. 

At once defcehd and crufh thent in their flight ^ 

Half feen again, the wretch for mercy calls, 

High-pois'd again^ the ponderous engine falls. 

And chums their qi£v'ring limbs with ftem delight 


" IsCARiOT there," the mighty Mantuan cryM, 
^' In doProus pangs atones his parricide I 

Hark ! how he yells within, and flings abroad 
His flruggling &et ! in fuUen fortitude 
Here Brutus Ues by torture unfubdu'd. 

And Cassius bathes his mighty limbs in blood !** 


** Here ends our long furvey — ^for now above 
Young Hespbr lights his evening lamp of love. 

C 385 3 

And calls us upwards to the bounds of day : 
Now other worlds bur weary fteps invite 
Another paflage to the bounds of light, 

Up to the world, a long laborious way/' 


He gave the (igh, and foon with pious hafte^ 
t diing around his neck, and bending waift j 

Then, toward the Fiend, he bore his trembling charge. 
And, when he faw his mighty wings difplay'd. 
Boldly he plungM beneath the waving ihade^ 

And feiz'd his fliaggy back, and fhoulders large. 


Thence, foft and flowj his giant fides along 
He bore his load, 'till from his cindure hung^ 

We faw beneath the (helving ice divide ; 
Then, plunged at once amid the central wombi 
And, trembling, pafs'd the unfubftantlal gloom. 

Where worlds met worlds aroimd the difmal void. 


At once t found niy Guide his hold forego. 
And turn with labour to the world of woe i 

His fhifting feet, as if again to try 
With long repeated fearch the frozen founds 
** Prepare with me," he cry'd, " to climb aroUnd 

Thofe giant limbs that feem to prop the Iky. 


** Now turn, and try this columned height to fcale,*' 
The Bard exclaim'd, as from th« difinal vale. 
Vol. I. C c 

C 386 3 

Thro* a vide arch of adamant we pre&M : 
Awhile he flood the wondrous fcene to view. 
Then up with pain his mortal burden drew. 

And both a moment feiz'd of welcome rdL 

Then gazing upwards from our ihelving feat. 
We faw the Stygian Lord's inverted Hate, 

His feet fublime, and head depending far : 
Now weigh, ye tribes of earth ! my lengthened toit ; 
Think with what pain I pafs'd the central ifle. 

And crofs'd with weary limbs the mighty bar. 


** Arife !" the Bard exclaimed ; ** the mounting fun 
Expedts to meet us ere his race be run. 

And long and difmal lies the way to light [ 
No fplendid palace fronts the flow'ry path. 
But cliffs of horrid height, and fhades of deaths 

And hov'ring. dread, and everlafling night. 

*' O Sire !" I cry'd, " thefe wondrous things explain, 
How pafs'd we unawares the frozen main ? 

And why fufpends the Fiend his feet above ? 
What Angel's fpeed has urg'd the fhir of day 
So fudden to relume his morning ray. 

Since Hesper. woke his ev'ning lamp of lore ?** 

" Suppofe the centre pafl," the Poet faid, 
" Since lirft at yonder point I tum'd my head, 

S/. xxi. /. 6.] Alluding to what the Poet had faid Staitta IV- 

C 387 1 

And laboring feet on Satan's fcaly fide : 
thither unforced you funk with downward weighty 
With labour now you climb the ftony ftrait, 

Tho* I fuftain you thro* the gloomy void. 


^^ Beneath our feet the plains of Asia lie^ 
There Palestine furveys the nether Iky, 

Where bled the sinless man a world to live } 
Pale evening there afcends, in fober grey. 
While here the morning points a purple ray. 

And gilds with light the broad antarilic Vrate, 


** Around the centre fleeps the frozen flood, 
Where Satan ftands embath'd in Traitors blood ; 

His giant iimbs the meeting worlds unite i 
Flaming from yonder fouthem iky he fell, 
The plain broke inwards, and thro' loweft Hell 

Before him ^^d, Mil Asia floppM her flight, 


" Portentous there it rofe, a facred hill. 
Where angel hands their richeft balm diftil. 

And Mary's fon reclin'd his facred head j 
Kor ceas'd the central fliock, 'till, hither bome^ 
Another hill its horrid way had torn. 

Which overlooks a£aur its oozy bed,' 


Now many a league above the vnat'rj found 
We hung, and darknefs hover'd ftill around : 

C c a 

C 388 3 

Tet on we pafsM, admonlfli'd by the ear ; 
For hoarfe and diikial thro' the gloomy fteep, 
A falling torrent fought the central deep. 

Thro' many a rifted rock^ and ftony fphere. 


Still up the wave-worn cliflF the Mantuak prefs'(^ 
I followed faint, deny'd a moment's reft ; 

Till dim and dubious thro' the rocks on high,. 
A ray of welcome Gght difclosM our path ; 
Joyful we left the fhadowy realms of death,. 

And hail'd the op^mng glories of the iky. 






Scott's Christian Life, Part I^ Chap. Si« 
f^gt li«-74. FoK Edit, 


C ^9^ 1 

X SHALL here give the Reader an opportunity of 
comparing the Firft Part of Scott*s Chrijiian Life^ 
Chap. in. with the view of futurity given by Dante. 
—Dr. Scott was very much admired at the beginning 
of this century ; though his language, like Dante's, 
is fometimes debafed by vulgar idioms, his reafoning 
is clofe, and his fancy vigorous. He indeed afTumes 
fome propofitions without defcending to the proof, and 
reafons from them \ but his alTumptions, when exa* 
^lined, are found fufEciently evident. The Platonic 
do&rine, that fouls ftill retain the habits they had ac- 
quired while in the body, is by him purfued through 
all its confequences, and carried further than any 
other author has done. He has fhewn, that the re- 
prefentations of futurity are not merely th^ fuperfti^ 
tious dreams of a difordered fancy, l>ut that every man 
carries the feeds of eternal happinefs or mifery in his 
own mind ; and that reprefentations of futurity may 
be founded on thq flri&efl reafoning, equally trc;- 
mendous with the wildeft pictures of fancy. His re- 

C c 4 prefentx 

C 39* 3 

prefentations only want to be diverfified with proper 
chara£kers and incidents, and conne&ed into one view 
to make a Poem, fuperior perhaps to any on the fub* 
]cGt. It was a lofs to Dante, that fuch a Writer ha4 
not appeared before his time } he would probably have 
foggefted new profp^£ts, new adventures, and new 

. One pofition that this Divine ^(Tumes, without de- 
fcending to the proof, and what he builds fome of his 
bed reprefentations upon, is, that in the other world 
Spirits departed will naturally aflbciate themfelves with 
others of a like difpofition. This, I think, deferves a 
little examinatipn, as a great part of his fyilem de- 
pends upon it. — ^We can only judge of the effects of 
habit in a future ftate of exiftence, from its effe£b in 
this world, Let us examine what is the prindpal at- 
tra£b*on of fodety here, particularly what induces men 
to make thofe intimate connexions which we gene- 
rally call Friendfhip, and which indeed deferves the 
name in a fubordinate fenfe. It is neither mutual en* 
tertainment, nor mutual information alone, but prindr 
pally a concurrence of fentiment. A man of wit is 
never fo much at his eafe in the company of another 
man of wit, as with a man yrho fhews the effeft of his 
' fallies by the mod genuine marks of admiration. He 
looks upon a hearty fit of laughter, as the beft eqiiiva- 
lent for his bon mot : his jeft retorted by ^Aoth^, is Uke 
verfe paid with verfe; but the man that laughs at his jeft, 
enters into his fentiment, and they have that fpecies of 
fympathy that fprms a fort of mutual attrafldon j 

3 which. 

C 393 3 

^hich, if it does not end in friendfliip, at lead con- 
ftitutes familiarity.— ^If he prefer the company of men 
of talents, the pleafure does not arife fo much from 
the information he receives, as from the confcioulhefs 
that they think alike upon their favourite fubje£ts } and 
that habit has turned their ideas into the fame ch^« 
nel. This is the cafe with the virtuous and vicious, 
the foldier and the failor, the pedant and the mecha- 
nic, the beggar and the beau. Habi( induces each of 
them to affoc^ate with (he man whofe fentiments are 
in unifon with his own. Hence, In every large com«p 
pany, where there is not that happy mixture of good<^ 
breeding and talents, or at leaft that general fympathy 
requiiite to keep up ^ gene^ral converfation, we fee the 
company break into little groups, jufl as they find a 
jet in unifon with themfelves ; and politics, bufinefs, 
double entendre, and fcandal, are all difcufled in theb 
own fittle committees. 

This is the eSe& of fympathy ; but (he fympathy 
itfelf is principally the effeft of habit. If then the 
conclufion of Plato, with refpedt to the particular ef- 
ftGts of habit in each perfpn, be well founded } from 
the fame mode of reafoning it will follow, that if 
habit ftrengthen the vice, fo as tp make it a future 
plague, the fyait habit will make the vicious affociate 
with fiich Spirits as are under the influence of likp 
habi^ with themfelves. We fee habit produce each 
of thefe eScQts here, and we only can reafon on in- 
vifible things, from their analogy to our ^ly expe* 


C 394 ] 

Having thus ihewn (perhaps more at large than was 
neceflary) that our propenfity to aflbdate with fuch as 
correfpond with us in fentiment, originally fprings 
from habit, and that it has the fame caufe with the 
inveteracy of the vicious aflfedions themfelves, we 
Ihall next take a fummary view of the Platonic Docr 
trine^ as delivered by Scott, 

[ 395 3 


JMaN U firft coniidcred by him as a rational, a re- 
ligious, and a fodal animal ; and his duties confei- 
quently divide into the Human, the Divine, and the 
Social Virtues. He then ihews how each of thefe 
virtues contributes, in its own nature, to heavenly 
happinefs ; and how ^ch of the oppoiite vices tends 
to make the criminal eternally miferable. As he is a 
rational animal, his reafon is given him to fubdue his 
irafcible and concupifdble affe&ions, and fhew him 
the juft value of things. Then he begins with Pru- 
dence, a virtue which, dire&s us to the worthieft ends, 
and teaches us to employ the bed means. This is the 
principle which allies us to Angels ; and our Appe* 
dtes, therefore, being meant to be fubje& to our 
Wills, and our Wills to Reafon, wheil this order is 
reverfed, the mind muft feel that fort of anguifh, or 
vmeafinefs, which a body does which is out of joint ; 
but Prudence muft be Happinefs, becaufe |t is a cqn- 


C 396 ] 

tinual exerdfe of Reafon, the nobleft hcvitj we are 
pofTefled of: ** For we, (fays he,) bemg finite be* 
ings, and of a mixed nature, cannot aft vigorouily in 
two lines of a£tion at once. If we exerdfe only our 
animal faculties, our rational will decay, and ufe an4 
(ucerdfe will not only improve and ftrengthen our 
reafon, but make its exerdfe delightful. It will eni^ 
power it to regulate all our a^ons, and our eternal 
ftate of happinefs will commence even here. The 
enjoyment of the heavenly ftat«, is nothing but ^ ex^i 
ertion of our rational faculties in their full freedom, 
difentangled from the fhares of all unreafonable af<i 
feftions. Our underftanding will be employed in the 
contemplation of truth, and our will d^oted to the 
love of abfolute perfe^on. 

^^ But when our Reafon is laid afide, and things 
are prized above their intrinfic value, our difappoint- 
ment is proportioned to our eiipedations ; and our 
expefbtion not being guided by Reafon, will always 
go along with our enjoyments, and always enfure dif- 
appointment. In the mean time, thde things are fleet- 
ing from us ; we leave the world, and carry our irra^ 
tional defires along with us, fublimed to virulence by 
long habit. Then every luft, feparated from it$ ob> 
jed, converts into an hopelefs and outrageous defire^ 
a defire exalted to frenzy by defpair ; and the mind^ 
pre-engaged to fenfual delights alone, cannot dired itai 
attention to nobler objeds. Such is the force of h?.* 
bit." The virtue he reconunends in oppofition to 
this, is Moderation ; or placing a due value on tem-i 
poral objects : i. e. fuch a value as they deferve, an4 

C 397 3 

ds \^li not interfere with our duty. To enforce ttiU 
further, he obferves, that we underftand by our afo 
feftions, that they change the hue of all objedls, and 
that fuch fpirits, immerfed in the pleafured of fenfe, 
and habituated to them only, ihould relifli any thin^ 
higher, he thinks impofiible. 

Next, he treats of Fortitude, which, by his defini^ 
tion, is the virtue that keeps our irafcible affedions in 
due bounds, and does not permit them to exceed thofe 
evils or dangers which we feek to repel, or avoids— -In 
this cafe. Fortitude not only comprehends courage, as 
oppofed to fear } but gentlenefs, as oppofed to fierce- 
fiefs; fuflferance, as oppofed to impatience; content- 
^dnefs, as oppofed to envy ; and meeknefs, as op« 
pofed to revenge : all which are the paflions of weak 
and pufillanimous minds, fo foftened with bafenefs and 
cowardice^ that they are not able to withftand the 
ilighteft imprelfions of danger or injury, the flighteft 
erofs accident ; the molt cafual affront is psunful to 
their morUd and irritable apprehenfions, what would 
only amufe a mind in proper health. Their courage, 
he fays, is the mere fennent of animal nature ; but 
true fortitude confifls in that power over the irafcible 
affedions, which prevents us from being timorous In 
danger, <»* envious in want ; impatient in fuffering, or 
angry at contempt ; or malicious and revengeful un- 
der injuries and provocation. Then he illufhates the 
effects of thofe untoward accidents upon a mind duly 
tempered with Fortitude, by a very Angular compa- 
rifon of the pattering of hail on the tiles of a mufic- 
Jboufe, which does not in the leaft diflurb the harmony 


C 398 3 

within.— While it is in the power of thoffe acddeiits td 
difturb our paffions, he fays, " We are tenants at will 
to them for all the little peace we enjoy, and our hap-* 
pinefs and mifery muft entil'ely depend upon them at 
they are good or bad/' 

*' Thus (he fays) are we tofled about while here^ 
like (hips without rudder or compafs. All thefe paf- 
fions, which fall under the government of Fortitude^ 
are in their exceifes terrible, and^ like yoimg vipers, 
gnaw the womb that breeds them« The intervention 
of other enjoyments, prevents our feeling the full e£- 
fe£ls of thefe paiGons here. Immerfed as we are in 
grofs terreftrial vehicles, our feelings cannot be fo ei;- 
quifite, nor confequently our paf&ons fo violent, as 
they doubtlefs will be, when we are fhipped into 
naked fpirits ; and if we go into the other world with 
thefe paffions unmortified in us, they will not only be 
far more violent than now, but our perceptions of 
them will be pure and unalloyed by any intermixture 
of enjoyment ; and if fo, what exquifite torments muft 
they prove, when hate and envy, malice and revenge, 
fhall be altogether like fo many vultures preying upon 
our hearts, and our minds fliall be continually goaded 
with all the furious thoughts that thefe outrageous 
paffions can fuggeft to us ! When, with the meagre 
eyes of envy, we fhall look up to thofe regions of un- 
hoped felicity ; when our impatience fhall be height- 
ened, by a fenfe of our follies, to a diabolical fury, fub- 
limed with an infatiable defire of revenge upon all 
that have contributed to our ruin, and an inveterate 
malice againfl all we converfe with> what a Hell muft 


r 399 3 

^e be to ourfdves! — ^The external punifhmehts el 
Devils are undoubtedly very fevere, but wrath and 
envy, malice and revenge, muft be much more fo; 
they are both the nature and the plague of Devils ; 
ihey are the creatures of thofe curkd aiFedions, as it 
was they which changed them from Angels into Fiends. 
If, then, thofe affedions had fuch an horrible power oi 
tranfmutation, as to metamorphofe Angels into De- 
mons ; how can we ever exped to be happy, fo long 
as we harbour and indulge them ?'' 

^* To prevent this impediment to our happinefs, is 
the end of thofe evangelical precepts, of putting away 
bittemefs and wrath, of being children in malice, and 
cultivating the fruits of the fpirit ; fuch as peace, long- 
fu&ring, gentlenefs, and meeknefs; which are no« 
thing elfe but the virtue of Fortitude, exertmg itfelf on 
our different irafcible affedions/^ 

^^ Right realbn tells us, that our irafcible affedions 
add to the evils which we fear or fuffer ; and the ez- 
ercife of Fortitude is, therefore, an addition to our hap« 
pinefs here, and it alfo tends to kill the feeds of mi- 
fery hereafter.'* 

Next, he confiders the virtue of Temperance, and 
expatiates on the dodrine of the foul's contrading a 
relifli for fenfual pleafure, which, where the objed is 
removed, muft be a fource of torment ;— but this is 
partly a repetition of the foregoing dodrine ^. 

He next explains the virtue of Humility, or think- 
ing properly of ourfelves ; (hewing that pride is the 

f See Pbto Phard. dm. Alex. Pcdiy • lib. ii. csp. i. 


t 400 2 

foot of envy, that tnvy begets malice, and malice raw 
fer^i Then h^ prefcribes the contemplation of oui^ 
errora and indifcretions, odr irregularities of tempery 
our defe£b in moral yatue, and detiadons from rights 
as the bed means of teaching us Humility; and, above 
all, a cobtemphdon 6f the attributes of the Deity, and 
our littleneb, compared with his £ivours io us. 

The immediatei effe£b of the jibove-mentioned Tir« 
tues are privations of pain aifd reft ; but when thefe 
impediments are removed, the' a^ve. nature of the 
mind will impel it to more congenial employments i 
that is, to the divine virtue belonging to man, as a 
reafonable creature, of which he treats next. 

L The contemplation of the Divinity, the moft wor« 
thy obje£k of a rational being, whofe mofl natural em- 
ployment is the fearch of truth^^^ll. The exercife of* 
devotion. — HI. Imitation of the Divine nature in it9 
moral attributes ; and as from the contemplation of 
his own nature his felf^omplacency muft proceed, fo 
muft our virtues be the fource of our felf-fatssfkdion^ 
or our vices of mifery^ — ^IV. Reliance on hinl ; our 
Heaven muft be, to be dired:^ by him ki our choices^ 
to have omr wills conformable to his ; and our Helly 
to be fet adrift by him, and left involved in the tern- 
peft of our own defires. 

He concludes trith a view of the focial virtues, ancf 
after fome obfervations on the nature of men, and the 
duties of fociety, in recommending benevolence, he 
ebferveSy ^^ That fociety puts us within each other's 
reach ; and, by that means, if we are enemies, renders 
us more dangerous fo each other^ like two armies^ 


[ 401 ] 

whichy at diftance, engage only vath miilile weapons^ 
and do not havock and butcher each other till they 
come to clofe engagement/' Such are the efFe£ts of 
hatred and malice in this world, fo as often to render 
the mod difmal folitude preferable to fociety ; but the 
effeds of thefe unfociable paflions mud be much more 
horrible in the other world, if they are not mortified 
here ; for whenever the fouls of men leave their bo- 
dies, they doubtlefs aifociate with fpirits like them- 
felves ! ** they flock to birds of their own feather," 
and comfort themfelves with fuch feparate fpirits as 
are of their own genius and temper : For, befides 
that bad fpirits are by the laws of the invifible world 
incorporated into one nation, fimilitude of difpofition 
is an attra&ion to afibciation, malice naturalizes men 
for the kingdom of darknefs, and difqualifies them 
for the fociety of the blefled, and urges them to that 
infernal fociety of fpirits like themfelves. But, bet- 
ter were eternal folitude in the mod defolated region 
of infinite fpace, better were the eternal preffure of 
defpair, the never-dying corrofions of envy, and the 
flings of a confcience brooding over its eternal wounds, 
than the inceflant and horrible vexation of fuch a ma. 
lignant confraternity ! for, though we, who are ou ly 
fpe£bators of corporeal agency, cannot fee how fpirits 
ad upon each other, yet there is no doubt but the 
plagues inflided by fpirits upon fpirits, are as imme- 
diate as thofe inflided by body upon body *, and fup- 

* Even here wc fee the eye can give pleafure or pain by imper- 
ceptible means : — ^A (mile cheers the beholder, and a frown evi- 
dently hurts him. 

Vol. I. D d pofmg 

[ 402 3 

pofing that thefe can mutually aft upon each other, 
there is no doubt but they can communicate either 
pain or joy to each other in proportion to their power. 
What then can be expefted from a company of mali- 
cious fpirits herding together, but a reciprocation of 
revenge, mifery, and torment! — ^Their moft exquifite 
enjoyments here, have rifen from the exertions of 
fpite and malice; and the (hadowy folace of their 
torments below, muft arife from the fame direful gra* 
tification of mutual and implacable revenge. 

Here the fubjcft of this eternal quarrel is laid, ** when 
all who, by evil counfels, wicked infmuations, or pemi* 
cious examples, contributed to each other's ruin, 
come to meet ; when their mutual mifery is fublimed 
by an infaiiable defire of vengeance ; Heavens ! what 
a tremendous fituation ! how all their aggregate powers 
of mifchief will be exerted in one relentlefs effort of 
mutual vengeance !'* This one would think is mifery 
enough; but befides this, our religion teaches us to be- 
lieve, " that t}iey fliall be expofed to all the dreadful in- 
fliftions of the firft apoftates from Heaven; fpirits, 
who even now, when let loofe upon us, can unfold 
fuch fcenes of horror to our affrighted fancy, as oft* 
to drive us to madnefs, defpair, and fuicide : What 
then muft be the confequence when we are wholly 
abandoned to them, and left the eternal viftims of their 
unlatcd malice ! with what an hellifh rage will they fly 
upon our guilty and timorous fouls, w^here there is fo 
much fuel for their injefted fparks of horror lo take 
fire on ! — As the indulgence of rancour and malice 
naturally drives us to fuch malignant fociety*' — to 

I ^uard 

t 403 1 

gUlrd againft this, in every page of the gofpel the 
duty of love and mutual charity is inculcated with the! 
mod eamef): repetition. 

He next expatiates on the virtue of Judice, and in 
ihewing what will be the corifequence hereafter of in- 
dulging an unrighteous temper. He obferves, " that the 
moft barbarous and wicked focieties here, have fome 
remains of juftice and honour among them, fome 
fparks of confcience, whidh mud make a great differ* 
ence between them, and the fociety of fuch fpirits as 
thofe, who were habituated to ads of injudice, or 
fraud, mud naturally feek in the other world. Their 
defpair of ever being reconciled to Cod, and their in- 
veterate malice againd him, and every thing good, 
mud erafe every remaining trace of goodnefs out of 
their minds, and their whole converfation can be no-< 
thing elfe than an intercourfe of oppreffion, treachery, 
and violence. The Devil is defcribed as the father of 
lies, and, regis ad exemplurtij all the miferabte vaifals 
of his dark kingdom do all imitate his example, and 
tread in his footdeps. Then, gracious Heaven ! what 
woeful fociety mud that be ! where all trud and con^ 
fidence is banidied, and every one dands upon his 
guard, tortured with eternal vigilance of furrounding 
mifchiefs! where all their employment is diabolical 
fraud and circumvention, and their whole dudy to do 
and retaliate injuries V* 

To prevent the eSeds of this dangerous fpirit when in* 
dulged, the Scripture recommends not only righteoufnefs 
in general, but truth, plainnefs, opennefs, and candour, 
as far as the innate treachery of the world will admit. 

D d a The 

[ 404 ] 

The confequence of indulging a fiidious or rebel- 
lious fpirit is next defcribed : where, being chained to- 
gether by an adamantine fate, they confent, in this, 
and in this aione, to oppofe all good defigns, and do 
the mod mifchief they are able : fo that their fociety 
is like the monfter Scylla, whom the P<Jets fpeak of, 
whofe inferior parts were a company of dogs who vrere 
continually fnarling and quarrelling among themfelves, 
and yet were infeparable from each other, as being all 

parts of the fame fubftance. ^With a forefight of 

thefe wretched confequences of difunion, the gofpel 
precept is " to follow good-will towards all men/ ^ 
Then, after enlarging on the concord of the faints above, 
he infifts on the neceffity of *' purging our minds of 
thofe froward and contentious humours, if we would 
wifli to be fit companions of their bleffed fociety." 

With refpeft to the virtues of obedience to fuperiors, 
and condefcenfion and genilenefs to inferiors, and the 
confequences of their oppofite vices, he gives a dread- 
ful pifture of thofe tyrannical rulers, and ungovernable 
fubjeds, that the two parties will be divided into in 
the other world, where " rebels will naturally confort 
with rebels, and tyrants with tyrants ; where all the 
fuperiors are fierce and tyrannical, and all the inferiors 
perverfe -and ftubborn ; where the rulers are a com- 
pany of Demons, that impofe nothing but grievances 
and plagues, and thofe that obey are a fet of furly and 
untraftable flaves. that fubmit to nothing but what 
they are compelled to by grievances and plagues-*— 
ladled into unfufferable obedience, and forced by one 

torment t<J fubmit to another." 


[ 405 ] 

In his recommendation of the oppofite vfttues, there 
are fome traits of the doftrine of paffive obedience, 
which, in the days of Scot, was often a theme of elo- 
quence from the pulpit. He concludes the chapter 
with a detail of motives for the pra£tice of the heavenly 
virtues, from their fuitablenefs to the chriftian charac- 
ter, and remarks what an idea the vices of a chriftian 
muft give a heathen of our religion, fi-om the imflance 
of the Indian, who, when he was told the cruel 
Spaniards went to Heaven, rather chofe the darkeil 
Hell than fuch diabolical company. The next motives 
he urges are, the honour of following the example, 
and treading in the fteps of the moil exalted nature, 
and the freedom we acquire by a life of virtue j for 
** in a ftate of fin the free courfe of reafon is interrupt^ 
ed by vice, and the free courfe of vice is reftrained, in 
fome refpeft, by reafon, even in the mod abandoned ; 
and wherever we go we walk like prifoners, clogged 

by the (hackles of ftiame and fear." ^In this cafe 

we muft refolve *' either to conquer our reafon, or our 
luft ; if we conquer the former, we acquire a liberty 
indeed, the liberty of Demons and of brutes; if we 
fubdue the latter, we acquire the freedom of men, and 
of angels; and we fhall move without check or con- 
finement in a free and noble fphere, for we (hall be 
pleafed with what is wife and fit, and good without 
. any curb or reftraint, and be all life, all fpirit, all wing, 
in the difcharge of our duty." 

In expatiating on the pleafures of a virtuous life, he 
obferves, " that whereas feiifual enjoyments are (hort 
and tranfient, the heaven of a rational creature confifls