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1. The Eighth Bolgia, in which Fraudulent Counsellors are punished.
4. Of these five Florentine nobles, Cianfa Donati, Agnello Brunelleschi, Buoso degli Abati, Puccio Sciancato, and Guercio Cavalcanti, nothing is known but what Dante tells us. Perhaps that is enough.
7. See Purg. IX. 13:“ Just at the hour when her sad lay begins
The little swallow, near unto the morning,
Perchance in memory of her former woes, And when the mind of man, a wanderer More from the flesh, and less by thought
imprisoned, Almost prophetic in its visions is." 9. The disasters soon to befall Florence, and in which even the neighboring town of Prato would rejoice, to mention no others. These disasters were the fall of the wooden bridge of Carraia, with a crowd upon it, witnessing a Miracle Play on the Arno : the strife of the Bianchi and Neri; and the great fire of 1304. See Villani, VIII. 70, 71. Napier, Florentine History, I. 394, gives this account :
« Battles first began between the Cerchi and Giugni at their houses in the Via del Garbo; they fought day and night, and with the aid of the Cavalcanti and Antellesi the former subdued all that quarter : a thousand rural adherents strengthened their bands, and that day might have seen the Neri's destruction if an unforseen disaster had not turned the scale. A certain dissolute priest, called Neri Abati, prior
of San Piero Scheraggio, false to his family and in concert with the Black chiefs, consented to set fire to the dwellings of his own kinsmen in Orto-sanMichele ; the flames, assisted by faction, spread rapidly over the richest and most crowded part of Florence : shops,warehouses, towers, private dwellings and palaces, from the old to the new market-place, from Vacchereccia to Porta Santa Maria and the Ponte Vecchio. all was one broad sheet of fire : more than nineteen hundred houses were consumed ; plunder and devastation revelled unchecked amongst the Alames, whole races were reduced in one moment to beggary, and vast magazines of the richest merchandise were destroyed. The Cavalcanti, one of the most opulent families in Florence, beheld their whole property consumed, and lost all courage; they made no attempt to save it, and, after almost gaining possession of the city, were finally overcome by the opposite faction.”
10. Macbeth, 1. 7:— “If it were done when 't is done, then 't were
23. See Parad. XII. 112:“O glorious stars ! O light impregnated With mighty virtue, from which I acknowl
24. I may not balk or deprive myself of this good.
34. The Prophet Elisha, 2 Kings ii. 23:
“ And he went up from thence unto Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord : and there came forth two she-bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two chil. dren of them.”
35. 2 Kings ii. 11:
“ And it came to pass, as they still went on and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”
54. These two sons of Edipus, Eteocles and Polynices, were so hostile to each other, that, when after death their bodies were burned on the same funeral pile, the Aames swayed apart, and the ashes separated. Statius, Thebaid, XII. 430, Lewis's Tr.:“ Again behold the brothers! When the
fire Pervades their limbs in many a curling i spire, The vast hill trembles, and the intruder's
corse Is driven from the pile with sudden force. The flames, dividing at the point, ascend, And at each other adverse rays extend. Thus when the ruler of the infernal state, Pale-visaged Dis, commits to stern debate The sister-fiends, their brands, held forth to
fight, Now clash, then part, and shed a transient
56. The most cunning of the Greeks at the siege of Troy, now united in their punishment, as before in warlike wrath.
59. As Troy was overcome by the fraud of the wooden horse, it was in a poetic sense the gateway by which Æneas went forth to establish the Roman empire in Italy.
62. Deidamia was a daughter of Lycomedes of Scyros, at whose court Ulysses found Achilles, disguised in woman's attire, and enticed him away to the siege of Troy, telling him that, according to the oracle, the city could not be taken without him, but not telling him that, according to the same oracle, he would lose his life there.
63. Ulysses and Diomed together stole the Palladium, or statue of Pallas, at Troy, the safeguard and protection of the city.
75. The Greeks scorned all other nations as “outside barbarians.” Even Virgil, a Latian, has to plead with Ulysses the merit of having praised him in the Æneid.
108. The Pillars of Hercules at the straits of Gibraltar ; Abyla on the African shore, and Gibraltar on the Spanish; in which the popular mind has lost its faith, except as symbolized in the columns on the Spanish dollar, with the legend, Plus ultra.
Brunetto Latini, Tesor. IX. 119:
“ Appresso questo mare,
Vidi diritto stare Gran colonne, le quali
Vi mise per segnali
Ercules il potente,
Per mostrare alla gente Che loco sia finata
La terra e terminata.”
125. Odyssey, XI. 155: “Well-fitted oars, which are also wings to ships.”
127. Humboldt, Personal Narrative, II. 19, Miss Williams's Tr., has this passage : “ From the time we entered the torrid zone, we were never wearied with admiring, every night, the beauty of the Southern sky, which, as we advanced toward the south, opened new constellations to our view. We feel an indescribable sensation, when, on approaching the equator, and particularly on passing from one hemisphere to the other, we see those stars, which we have contemplated from our infancy, progressively sink, and finally disappear. Nothing awakens in the traveller a livelier remembrance of the immense distance by which he is separated from his country, than the aspect of an unknown firmament. The grouping of the stars of the first magnitude, some scattered nebulæ, rivalling in splendor the milky way, and tracks of space remarkable for their extreme blackness, give a particular physiognomy to the Southern sky. This sight fills with admiration even those who, uninstructed in the branches of accurate science, feel the same emotion of delight in the contemplation of the heavenly vault, as in the view of a beautiful landscape, or a majestic site. A traveller has no need of being a botanist, to recognize the torrid zone on the mere aspect of its vegetation ;
and without having acquired any notions of astronomy, without any acquaintance with the celestial charts of Flamstead and De la Caille, he feels he is not in Europe, when he sees the immense constellation of the Ship, or the phosphorescent clouds of Magellan, arise on the horizon.”
142. Compare Tennyson's Ulysses: -
riners, Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and
thought with me, -
the deep Moans round with many voices. Come, my
friends, 'T is not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and, sitting well in order, smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down : It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Tho' much is taken, much abides ; and tho' We are not now that strength which in old
days Moved earth and heaven, that wbich we
are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in
will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
1. The subject of the preceding Whan he his peine shall beginne Canto is continued in this.
Through fire, which that men put under.
And all this did he for a wonder, 7. The story of the Brazen Bull of
That whan a man for peine cride, Perillus is thus told in the Gesta Ro
The bull of bras, which gapeth wide, manorum, Tale 48, Swan's Tr.:
It shulde seme, as though it were “ Dionysius records, that when Pe
A bellewing in a mannes ere rillus desired to become an artificer of And nought the crieng of a man. Phalaris, a cruel and tyrannical king But he, which alle sleightes can,
The devil, that lith in helle fast, who depopulated the kingdom, and was
Him that it cast hath overcast, guilty of many dreadful excesses, he
That for a trespas, which he dede, presented to him, already too well
He was put in the same stede. skilled in cruelty, a brazen bull, which And was himself the first of alle, he had just constructed. In one of its Which was into that peine falle sides there was a secret door, by which That he for other men ordeigneth.” those who were sentenced should enter 21. Virgil being a Lombard, Dante and be burnt to death. The idea was, suggests that, in giving Ulysses and that the sounds produced by the agony Diomed license to depart; he had of the sufferer confined within should used the Lombard dialect, saying, resemble the roaring of a bull; and “Issa ľen va.” See Canto XXIII. thus, while nothing human struck the Note 7. ear, the mind should be unimpressed 28. The inhabitants of the province by a feeling of mercy. The king of Romagna, of which Ravenna is the highly applauded the invention, and capital. said, “Friend, the value of thy in- 29. It is the spirit of Guido da dustry is yet untried : more cruel even Montefeltro that speaks. The city of than the people account me, thou thy- Montefeltro lies between Urbino and self shalt be the first victim.'”
that part of the Apennines in which Also in Gower, Confes. Amant., the Tiber rises. Count Guido was a VII.:
famous warrior, and one of the great “He had of counseil many one,
Ghibelline leaders. He tells his own Among the whiche there was one, story sufficiently in detail in what fol. By name which Berillus hight.
lows. And he bethought him how he might
40. Lord Byron, Don Juan, III. Unto the tirant do liking.
105, gives this description of Ravenna, And of his own ymagining Let forge and make a bulle of bras,
with an allusion to Boccaccio's Tale, And on the side cast there was
versified by Dryden under the title of A dore, where a man may inne,
Theodore and Honoria :
“Sweet hour of twilight! — in the solitude the French in 1282. See Canto XX.
Of the pine forest, and the silent shore Note 118. Which bounds Ravenna's immemorial wood,
45. A Green Lion was the coat of Rooted where once the Adrian wave flow'd o'er,
arms of the Ordelaffi, then Lords of To where the last Cæsarean fortress stood,
Forlì. Ever-green forest! which Boccaccio's lore 46. Malatesta, father and son, tyAnd Dryden's lay made haunted ground to rants of Rimini, who murdered Monme,
tagna, a Ghibelline leader. Verrucchio How have I loved the twilight hour and thee!
was their castle, near the city. Of “ The shrill cicalas, people of the pine,
this family were the husband and lover Making their summer lives one ceaseless
of Francesca. Dante calls them massong,
tiffs, because of their fierceness, making Were the sole echoes, save my steed's and “wimbles of their teeth” in tearing and mine,
devouring. And vesper-bell's that rose the boughs
49. The cities of Faenza on the along; The spectre huntsman of Onesti's line,
Lamone, and Imola on the Santerno. His hell-dogs, and their chase, and the They were ruled by Mainardo, surfair throng,
named “the Devil,” whose coat of Which learned from this example not to Ay arms was a lion azure in a white field. From a true lover, shadowed my mind's eye." 52. The city of Cesena.
Dryden's Theodore and Honoria be- 67. Milton, Parad. Lost, III. 479:gins with these words :
“Dying put on the weeds of Dominic,
Or in Franciscan think to pass disguised." “Of all the cities in Romanian lands, The chief, and most renowned, Ravenna
70. Boniface VIII., who in line 85 stands,
* is called “the Prince of the new PhariAdorned in ancient times with arms and sees.” arts,
81. Dante, Convito, IV. 28, quoting And rich inhabitants, with generous hearts." Cicero, says : “ Natural death is as it
It was at Ravenna that Dante passed were a haven and rest to us after long the last years of his life, and there he navigation. And the noble soul is died and was buried.
like a good mariner; for he, when he 41. The arms of Guido da Polenta, draws near the port, lowers his sails, Lord of Ravenna, Dante's friend, and and enters it softly with feeble steerfather (or nephew) of Francesca da age.” Rimini, were an eagle half white in a 86. This Papal war, which was field of azure, and half red in a field of waged against Christians, and not against gold. Cervia is a small town some pagan Saracens, nor unbelieving Jews, twelve miles from Ravenna.
nor against the renegades who had 43. The city of Forlì, where Guido helped them at the siege of Acre, or da Montefeltro defeated and slaughtered given them aid and comfort by traffic, is