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« I will tell of the sixth, a man most prudent and in valor the best, the seer, the mighty Amphiaraus. And through his mouth he gives utterance to this speech ......1, for my part, in
very truth shall fatten this soil, seer as I am, buried beneath a hostile earth.'
Statius, Thebaid, VIII. 47, Lewis's Tr.:
“Bought of my treacherous wife for cursed
gold, And in the list of Argive chiefs enrolled, Resigned to fate I sought the Theban plain; Whence flock the shades that scarce thy
realm contain ; When, how my soul yet dreads ! an earth
quake came, Big with destruction, and my trembling frame, Rapt from the midst of gaping thousands,
hurled To night eternal in thy nether world.”
Irradiates all his soul with inward light,
of sight." 45. His beard. The word “plumes” is used by old English writers in this Ford, Lady's Trial:
“ Now the down Of softness is exchanged for plumes of age." See also Purg. I. 42.
46. An Etrurian soothsayer. Lucan, Pharsalia, I., Rowe's Tr.:“ Of these the chief, for learning famed and
age, Aruns by name, a venerable sage, At Luna lived."
Ruskin, Modern Painters, III. p. 246, says:
“ But in no part of the poem do we find allusion to mountains in any other than a stern light; nor the slightest evidence that Dante cared to look at them. From that hill of San Miniato, whose steps he knew so well, the eye commands, at the farther extremity of the Val d'Arno, the whole purple range of the mountains of Carrara, peaked and mighty, seen always against the sunset light in silent outline, the chief forms that rule the scene as twilight
By this vision Dante seems to have been wholly unmoved, and, but for Lucan's mention of Aruns at Luna, would seemingly not have spoken of the Carrara hills in the whole course of his poem : when he does allude to them, het speaks of their white marble, and their command of stars and sea, but has evidently no regard for the hills themselves. There is not a single phrase or syllable throughout the poem
40. The Theban soothsayer. Ovid, Met., III., Addison's Tr.:
“It happen'd once, within a shady wood,
Two twisted snakes he in conjunction view'd,
try.' Again he struck the snakes, and stood again New-sex'd, and straight recovered into man.
When Juno fired, More than so trivial an affair required, Deprived him, in her fury, of his sight, And left him groping round in sudden night. But Jove (for so it is in heav'n decreed That no one god repeal another's deed)
which indicates such a regard. Ugo- says: “Virgin should here be rendered lino, in his dream, seemed to himself Virago.” to be in the mountains, by cause of 93. Æneid, X.: “Ocnus, .... son which the Pisan cannot see Lucca'; of the prophetic Manto, and of the Tusand it is impossible to look up from can river, who gave walls and the name Pisa to that hoary slope without re of his mother to thee, O Mantua ! ” membering the awe that there is in the 95. Pinamonte dei Buonacossi, a passage ; nevertheless it was as a hunt bold, ambitious man, persuaded Aling-ground only that he remembered berto, Count of Casalodi and Lord of these hills. Adam of Brescia, tor Mantua, to banish to their estates the mented with eternal thirst, remembers chief nobles of the city, and then, stirthe hills of Romena, but only for the ring up a popular tumult, fell upon the sake of their sweet waters.”
rest, laying waste their houses, and 55. Manto, daughter of Tiresias, sending them into exile or to prison, who fled from Thebes, the “ City of and thus greatly depopulating the city. Bacchus,” when it became subject to 110. Iliad, I. 69: “ And Calchas, the tyranny of Cleon.
the son of Thestor, arose, the best of 63. Lake Benacus is now called the augurs, a man who knew the present, Lago di Garda. It is pleasantly alluded the future, and the past, and who had to by Claudian in his “ Old Man of guided the ships of the Achæans to Verona,” who has seen
Ilium, by that power of prophecy grow old coeval with himself.”
which Phæbus Apollo gave him.” “ Verona seems
112. Æneid, II.
suspense To him remoter than the swarthy Ind;
we send Eurypylus to consult the oraHe deems the Lake Benacus as the shore
cle of Apollo, and he brings back from Of the Red Sea.”
the shrine these mournful words : 0 65. The Pennine Alps, or Alpes Greeks, ye appeased the winds with Pæna, watered by the brooklets flow
blood and a virgin slain, when first ye ing into the Sarca, which is the princi
came to the Trojan shores; your repal tributary of Benaco.
turn is to be sought by blood, and · 69. The place where the three dio
atonement made by a Grecian life.'” ceses of Trent, Brescia, and Verona
Dante calls Virgil's poem a Tragedy, meet.
to mark its sustained and lofty style, in 70. At the outlet of the lake.
contrast with that of his own Comedy, 77. Æneid, X.:
of which he has already spoken once, “ Mincius crowned with sea-green reeds." Canto XVI. 138, and speaks again, Milton, Lycidas:
Canto XXI. 2; as if he wished the “Smooth-sliding Mincius, crowned with vocal reader to bear in mind that he is wearreeds."
ing the sock, and not the buskin. 82. Manto. Benvenuto da Imola 116. “ Michael Scott, the Magi
" the grove
His hoary beard in silver rolled,
His left hand held his book of might; A silver cross was in his right;
The lamp was placed beside his knee: High and majestic was his look, At which the fellest fiends had shook, And all unruffled was his face :: They trusted his soul had gotten grace.”
cian,” says Benvenuto da Imola, “practised divination at the court of Frederick II., and dedicated to him a book on natural history, which I have seen, and in which among other things he treats of Astrology, then deemed infallible. . . . . It is said, moreover, that he foresaw his own death, but could not escape it. He had prognosticated that he should be killed by the falling of a small stone upon his head, and always wore an iron skull-cap under his hood, to prevent this disaster. But entering a church on the festival of Corpus Domini, he lowered his hood in sign of veneration, not of Christ, in whom he did not believe, but to de. ceive the common people, and a small stone fell from aloft on his bare head.”
The reader will recall the midnight scene of the monk of St. Mary's and William of Deloraine in Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto II. : “ In these far climes it was my lot To meet the wondrous Michael Scott;
A wizard of such dreaded fame That when, in Salamanca's cave, Him listed his magic wand to wave,
The bells would ring in Notre Dame ! Some of his skill he taught to me; And, warrior, I could say to thee The words that cleft Eildon hills in three, And bridled the Tweed with a curb of stone; But to speak them were a deadly sin; And for having but thought them my heart
within, A treble penance must be done.”
See also Appendix to the Lay of the Last Minstrel.
118. Guido Bonatti, a tiler and astrologer of Forlì, who accompanied Guido di Montefeltro when he marched out of Forlì to attack the French “ der the great oak.” Villani, VII. 81, in a passage in which the he and him get a little entangled, says: “It is said that the Count of Montefeltro was guided by divination and the advice of Guido Bonatti (a tiler who had be
an astrologer), or some other strategy, and he gave the orders; and in this enterprise he gave him the gonfalon and said, “So long as a rag of it remains, wherever thou bearest it, thou shalt be victorious'; but I rather think his victories were owing to his own wits and his mastery in war."
Benvenuto da Imola reports the following anecdote of the same personages.
“ As the Count was standing one day in the large and beautiful square of Forlì, there came a rustic mountaineer and gave him a basket of pears. And when the Count said, “Stay and sup with me,' the rustic answered, My Lord, I wish to go home before it
And the opening of the tomb to recover the Magic Book : “ Before their eyes the wizard lay,
As if he had not been dead a day.
rains; for infallibly there will be much luded me? Who has put me to shame?' rain to-day.' The Count, wondering And for a long time this was a great at him, sent for Guido Bonatti, as a source of merriment among the people.” great astrologer, and said to him, Dost Asdente, a cobbler of Parma. thou hear what this man says?' Guido
think he must have had acuteness of answered, “He does not know what he mind, although illiterate ; some having is saying ; but wait a little.' Guido the gift of prophecy by the inspirawent to his study, and, having taken tion of Heaven.” Dante mentions him his astrolabe, observed the aspect of in the Convito, IV. 16, where he says the heavens. And on returning he said that, if nobility consisted in being known that it was impossible it should rain and talked about, “Asdente the shoethat day. But the rustic obstinately af
maker of Parma would be more noble firming what he had said, Guido asked than
of his fellow-citizens." him, How dost thou know?' The 126. The moon setting in the sea rustic answered, Because to-day my west of Seville. In the Italian popular ass, in coming out of the stable, shook tradition to which Dante again alludes, his head and pricked up his ears, and Par. II. 51, the Man in the Moon is Cain whenever he does this, it is a certain
with his Thorns. This belief seems to sign that the weather will soon change.' have been current too in England, MidThen Guido replied, Supposing this summer Night's Dream, III. 1:
« Or to be so, how dost thou know there else one must come in with a bush of will be much rain?' Because,' said thorns and a lantern, and say he comes he, 'my ass, with his ears pricked up, to disfigure, or to present, the person turned his head aside, and wheeled of moon-shine.” And again, V. 1: about more than usual.' Then, with “ The man should be put into the lanthe Count's leave, the rustic departed tern. How is it else the man i' the in haste, much fearing the rain, though moon?..... All that I have to say the weather was very clear. And an is to tell you, that the lantern is the hour afterwards, lo, it began to thun moon; I, the man in the moon; this der, and there was a great down-pour- thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this ing of waters, like a deluge. Then dog, my dog." Guido began to cry out, with great in
The time here indicated is an hour dignation and derision, "Who has de after sunrise on Saturday morning.
1. The Fifth Bolgia, and the punishment of Barrators, or “ Judges who take bribes for giving judgment."
2. Having spoken in the preceding
Canto of Virgil's “ lofty Tragedy," Dante here speaks of his own Comedy, as if to prepare the reader for the scenes which are to follow, and for
which he apologizes in Canto XXII. ing works of art. Of these two, one is 14, by repeating the proverb,
by far the oldest thing in Venice, being “ In the church not much younger than the battle of With saints, and in the tavern with carousers.” Marathon ; and thus, from the height
7. Of the Arsenal of Venice Mr. of twenty-three centuries, entitled to Hillard thus speaks in his Six Months look down upon St. Mark's as the growth in Italy, I. 63:
of yesterday. The other two are non« No reader of Dante will fail to pay descript animals, of the class commonly a visit to the Arsenal, from which, in called heraldic, and can be styled lions order to illustrate the terrors of his only by courtesy. In the armory are Inferno,' the great poet drew one of some very interesting objects, and none these striking and picturesque images, more so than the great standard of the characteristic alike of the boldness and Turkish admiral, made of crimson silk, the power of his genius, which never taken at the battle of Lepanto, and hesitated to look for its materials among
which Cervantes may have grasped the homely details and familiar inci with his unwounded hand. A few dents of life. In his hands, the boil fragments of some of the very galleys ing of pitch and the calking of seams that were engaged in that memorable ascend to the dignity of poetry. Be fight are also preserved here." sides, it is the most impressive and char 37. Malebranche, Evil-claws, a genacteristic spot in Venice. The Ducal eral name for the devils. Palace and the Church of St. Mark's 38. Santa Zita, the Patron Saint of are symbols of pride and power, but the Lucca, where the magistrates were strength of Venice resided here. Her called Elders, or Aldermen. In Florwhole history, for six hundred years, ence they bore the name of Priors. was here epitomized, and as she rose 41. A Barrator, in Dante's use of and sunk, the hum of labor here swelled the word, is to the State what a Simoand subsided. Here was the index niac is to the Church ; one who sells hand which marked the culmination justice, office, or employment. and decline of her greatness.
Built Benvenuto says that Dante includes upon several small islands, which are Bontura with the rest, “ because he is united by a wall of two miles in cir- speaking ironically, as who should say, cuit, its extent and completeness, de • Bontura is the greatest barrator of all.' cayed as it is, show what the naval For Bontura was an arch-barrator, who power of Venice once was, as the dis- sagaciously led and managed the whole used armor of a giant enables us to commune, and gave offices to whom he measure his stature and strength. Near wished. He likewise excluded whom the entrance are four marble lions, he wished.” brought by Morosini from the Pelopon 46. Bent down in the attitude of one nesus in 1685, two of which are strik in prayer ; therefore the demons mock