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61. The two rivers between which makes no mention, because he became Bologna is situated. In the Bolognese illustrious after the author's death. dialect sipa is used for st.
Alessio took such delight in fattery, 72. They cease going round the cir- that he could not open his mouth withcles as heretofore, and now go straight out flattering. He besmeared everyforward to the centre of the abyss. body, even the lowest menials.”
86. For the story of Jason, Medea, The Ottimo says, that in the dialect and the Golden Fleece, see Ovid, Me- of Lucca the head “ was facetiously tamorph. VII. Also Chaucer, Legende called a pumpkin.” of Goode Women :
133. Thaïs, the famous courtesan of “ Thou roote of fals loveres, duke Jason !
Athens. Terence, The Eunuch, Act Thou slye devourer and confusyon
III. Sc. 1:Of gentil wommen, gentil creatures !” “ T'braso. Did Thaïs really return 92. When the women of Lemnos me many thanks ? put to death all the male inhabitants “Gnatho. Exceeding thanks. of the island. Hypsipyle concealed her “Thraso. Was she delighted, say father Thoas, and spared his life. you? Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautics, II., “Gnatho. Not so much, indeed, at Fawkes's Tr.:
the present itself, as because it was “Hypsipyle alone, illustrious maid, given by you ; really, in right earnest, Spared her sire Thoas, who the sceptre she does exult at that.” swayed.”
136. “ The filthiness of some pas122. “ Allessio Interminelli,” says sages,” exclaims Landor, Pentameron, Benvenuto da Imola, “ a soldier, a no- p. 15, “would disgrace the drunkenest bleman, and of gentle manners, was of horse-dealer ; and the names of such Lucca, and from him descended that criminals are recorded by the poet, as tyrant Castruccio who filled all Tus- would be forgotten by the hangman in cany with fear, and was lord of Pisa, six months.” Lucca, and Pistoja, of whom Dante
nity. His pupil is less reverential in this particular.
1. The Third Bolgia is devoted to the Simoniats, so called from Simon Magus, the Sorcerer mentioned in Acts viii. 9, 18. See Par. XXX. Note 147.
Brunetto Latini touches lightly upon them in the Tesoretto, XXI. 259, on account of their high ecclesiastical dig
“ Altri per simonia
Si getta in mala via,
E vende le prebende,
and was near drowning; or rather he fell into one of the circular basins of water, which surrounded the principal font.” Upon this Arrivabeni, Comento Storico, p. 588, where I find this extract, remarks: “Not Dante, but Lami, staring at the moon, fell into the hole.”
20. Dante's enemies had accused him of committing this act through impiety. He takes this occasion to vindicate him
E mette 'nfra la gente
Ma questo lascio stare,
Che non è mia ragione
Di dirne lungamente." Chaucer, Persones Tale, speaks thus of Simony :
“ Certes simonie is cleped of Simon Magus, that wold have bought for temporel catel the yefte that God had yeven by the holy gost to Seint Peter, and to the Apostles: and therfore understond ye, that both he that selleth and he that bvesh shinges spirituel ben called Simoniackes, be it by catel, be it by procuring, or by fleshly praier of his frendes, Aeshly frendes, or spirituel frendes, Aeshly in two maners, as by kinrede or other frendes : sothly, if they pray for him that is not worthy and able, it is simonie, if he take the benefice : and if he be worthy and able, ther is non.”
5. Gower, Confes. Amant. I. : -
33. Probably an allusion to the red stockings worn by the Popes.
50. Burying alive with the head downward and the feet in the air was the inhuman punishment of hired assassins, “according to justice and the municipal law in Florence,” says the Ottimo. It was called Propagginare, to plant in the manner of vine-stocks.
Dante stood bowed down like the confessor called back by the criminal in order to delay the moment of his death.
53. Benedetto Gaetani, Pope Boniface VIII. Gower, Conf. Amant. II., calls him
“ Thou Boneface, thou proude clerke,
Misleder of the papacie.” This is the Boniface who frightened Celestine from the papacy, and persecuted him to death after his resignation. “ The lovely Lady” is the Church. The fraud was his collusion with Charles II. of Naples. “He went to King Charles by night, secretly, and with few attendants,” says Villani, VIII. ch. 6, “and said to him : • King, thy Pope Celestine had the will and the power to serve thee in thy Sicilian
He shall this dredfull trompe blowe
Of deth, which shall nought be foryive.” 19. Lami, in his Deliciæ Eruditorum, makes a strange blunder in reference to this passage. He says : “ Not long ago the baptismal font, which stood in the middle of Saint John's at Florence, was removed ; and in the pavement may still be seen the octago. nal shape of its ample outline. Dante says, that, when a boy, he fell into it
wars, but did not know how : but if guished every lamp and torch in the thou wilt contrive with thy friends the church. A darker omen followed : a cardinals to have me elected Pope, I riot broke out among the populace, in shall know how, and shall have the which forty lives were lost. The day will and the power'; promising upon after, the Pope dined in public in the his faith and oath to aid him with all Lateran; the two Kings waited behind the power of the Church.” Farther on his chair.” he continues: “He was very magnani- Dante indulges towards him a fierce mous and lordly, and demanded great Ghibelline hatred, and assigns him his honor, and knew well how to maintain place of torment before he is dead. and advance the cause of the Church, In Canto XXVII. 85, he calls him and on account of his knowledge and “the Prince of the new Pharisees”; power was much dreaded and feared. and, after many other bitter allusions in He was avaricious exceedingly in order various parts of the poem, puts into the to aggrandize the Church and his rela- mouth of St. Peter, Par. XXVII, 22, tions, not being over-scrupulous about the terrible invective that makes the gains, for he said that all things were whole heavens red with anger. lawful which were of the Church.” “He who usurps upon the earth my place,
He was chosen Pope in 1294. “The My place, my place, which vacant has beinauguration of Boniface,” says Mil
Now in the presence of the Son of God, man, Latin Christ., Book IX., ch. 7,
Has of my cemetery made a sewer “ was the most magnificent which
Of blood and fetor, whereat the PerRome had ever beheld. In his pro
verse, cession to St. Peter's and back to the Who fell from here, below there is apLateran palace, where he was enter
peased.” tained, he rode not a humble ass, but He died in 1303. See Note 87, a noble white horse, richly capari- Purg. XX. soned : he had a crown on his head; 70. Nicholas III., of the Orsini (the the King of Naples held the bridle on Bears) of Rome, chosen Pope in 1277. one side, his son, the King of Hungary, “He was the first Pope, or one of the on the other. The nobility of Rome, first,” says Villani, VII. ch. 54, " in the Orsinis, the Colonnas, the Savellis, whose court simony was openly practhe Stefaneschi, the Annibaldi, who tised.” On account of his many achad not only welcomed him to Rome, complishments he was surnamed Il but conferred on him the Senatorial Compiuto. Milman, Lat. Christ., Book dignity, followed in a body : the pro- XI. ch. 4, says of him: “At length the cession could hardly force its way election fell on John Gaetano, of the through the masses of the kneeling noble Roman house, the Orsini, a man people. In the midst, a furious hurri- of remarkable beauty of person and cane burst over the city, and extin- demeanor. His name, 'the Accomplished,” implied that in him met all high priest, that the priests had no the graces of the handsomest clerks in courage to serve any more at the altar, the world, but he was a man likewise but, despising the temple, and neglectof irreproachable morals, of vast ambi- ing the sacrifices, hastened to be partion, and of great ability.” He died takers of the unlawful allowance in the in 1280.
place of exercise, after the game of 83. The French Pope Clement V., Discus called them forth.” elected in 1305, by the influence of 87. Philip the Fair of France. See Philip the Fair of France, with sundry Note 82. “He was one of the handhumiliating conditions. He transferred somest men in the world,” says Vilthe Papal See from Rome to Avignon, lani, IX. 66, “ and one of the largest where it remained for seventy-one in personi, and well proportioned in years in what Italian writers call its every limb,-a wise and good man for “ Babylonian captivity.” He died in a layman.” 1314, on his way to Bordeaux. “ He 94. Matthew, chosen as an Apostle had hardly crossed the Rhone,” says in the place of Judas. Milman, Lat. Christ., Book XII. ch. 5, 99. According to Villani, VII. 54, “ when he was seized with mortal Pope Nicholas III. wished to marry sickness at Roquemaure. The Papal his niece to a nephew of Charles of treasure was seized by his followers, Anjou, King of Sicily. To this alliespecially his nephew; his remains ance the King would not consent, saywere treated with such utter neglect, ing: “Although he wears the red stockthat the torches set fire to the cata- ings, his lineage is not worthy to minfalque under which he lay, not in state. gle with ours, and his power is not His body, covered only with a single hereditary.” This made the Pope insheet, all that his rapacious retinue had dignant, and, together with the bribes left to shroud their forgotten master of John of Procida, led him to encourwas half burned ..... before alarm age the rebellion in Sicily, which broke was raised. His ashes were borne back out a year after the Pope's death in the to Carpentras and solemnly interred.” “Sicilian Vespers,” 1282.
85. Jason, to whom Antiochus Epi 107. The Church of Rome under phanes granted a “license to set him up Nicholas, Boniface, and Clement. Reda place for exercise, and for the train- elation xvii. 1-3:ing up of youth in the fashions of the “ And there came one of the seven heathen.”
angels which had the seven vials, and 2 Maccabees iv. 13 : “ Now such talked with me, saying unto me, Come was the height of Greek fashions, hither; I will show unto thee the judgand increase of the heathenish manners, ment of the great whore that sitteth through the exceeding profaneness of upon many waters; with whom the Jason, that ungodly wretch and not kings of the earth have committed forCANTO XX.
nication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness : and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”
The seven heads are interpreted to mean the Seven Virtues, and the ten horns the Ten Commandments.
110. Revelation xvii, 12, 13:—
“ And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, ..... and shall give their power and strength unto the beast."
117. Gower, Confes. Amant., Prologus:
“ The patrimonie and the richesse
The firste Constantinus lefte.”
Peter,” Milman, Lat. Christ., Book I. ch. 2, remarks:
“Silvester has become a kind of hero of religious fable. But it was not so much the genuine mythical spirit which unconsciously transmutes history into legend; it was rather deliberate invention, with a specific aim and design, which, in direct defiance of history, accelerated the baptism of Constantine, and sanctified a porphyry vessel as appropriated to, or connected with, that holy use : and at a later period produced the monstrous fable of the Donation.
“ But that with which Constantine actually did invest the Church, the right of holding landed property, and receiving it by bequest, was far more valuable to the Christian hierarchy, and not least to the Bishop of Rome, than a premature and prodigal endowment.”
1. In the Fourth Bolgia are punished the Soothsayers: “Because they wished to see too far before them,
Backward they look, and backward make their
9. Processions chanting prayers and supplications.
13. Ignaro in Spenset's Faerie Queene, I. viii. 31:“But very uncouth sight was to behold How he did fashion his untoward pace; For as he forward moved his footing old,
So backward still was turned his wrinkled
face." 34. Amphiaraus was one of the seven kings against Thebes. Foreseeing his own fate, he concealed himself, to avoid going to the war ; but his wife Eriphyle, bribed by a diamond necklace (as famous in ancient story as the Cardinal de Rohan's in modern), revealed his hiding-place, and he went to his doom with the others.
Æschylus, The Seven against Thebes :