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near and fell in. He intimates that the motive of his breaking the font had been maliciously represented by his enemies.
v. 55. O Boniface!] The spirit mistakes Dante for Boniface VIII. who was then alive, and who lie did not expect would have arrived so s001, in consequence, as it should seem, of a prophecy, which predicted the death of that Pope at a later period. Boniface died in 1303.
58. In guile.] "Thon didst presume to arrive by fraudulent means at the papal power, and afterwards to abuse it."
v. 71. In the mighty mantle I was rob’d.] Nicholas III. of the Orsini family, whom the poet therefore calls “ figliuol dell' orsa, " " son of the she-bear.” He died in 1281.
v. 86. From forth the west, a shepherd without law.] Bertrand de Got, Arclibishop of Bourdeaux, who succeeded to the pontificate in 1305, and asgwned the title of Clement V. He transferred the holy see to Aviguou iu 1308 (where it remained till 1376), and died in 1314.
v. 88. A new Jasin.] See Maccabees, b. ii. c. iv. 7, 8. v. 97. Nor Peter. ] Acts of the Apostles, c. i. 26. v. 100. The condemned soul.]. Judas. v. 103. Against Charles.] Nicholas III. was enraged against Charles I. King of Sicily, because he rejected with scorn a proposition made by that Pope for an alliance between their families. See G. Villani, Hist. 1. vii. c. liv.
v. 109. Th’ Evangelist.] Rev. c. xvii. 1, 2, 3. Compare Petrarch. Opera, fol. ed. Basil. 1554. Epist. sine titulo liber. ep. xvi. p. 729.
v. 118. Ah, Constantine !] He alludes to the pretended gift of the Lateran by Constantine to Silvester, of which Dante himself seems to imply a doubt, in his treatise “De Monarchiâ.”“Ergo scindere Imperium, Imperatori non licet. Si ergo aliquæ dignitates per Constantinum essent alienatæ (nt dicunt) ab Imperio," &c. 1. iii.
The gift is by Ariosto very huinorously placed in the moon, among the things lost or abused on earth. Di varj fiori, &c.
O. F. c. xxxiv. st. 80. Milton has translated both this passage and that in the text. Prose Works, vol. i. p. 11. ed. 1753.
v. 11. Revers'd.] Compare Spenser, F. Q. b. i. c. viii. st. 31.
v. 30. Before whose eyes.] Amphiaraüs, one of the seven kings who besieged Thebes He is said to have been swallowed up by an opening of the earth. See Lidgate's Storie of Thebes, Part III. wliere it is told how the “ Bishop Amphiaraüs” fell down to hell.
And thus the devill for his outrages,
Like his desert payed him his wages.
A wound to shame tlıy warlike breast :
The gods' own children flee.
Duo magnorum viridi coeuntia sylvâ
Ovid. Met. 1. iii. V. 43. Aruns.] Aruns is said to have dwelt in the mountains of Luni (from whence that territory is still called Lunigiana), above Carrara, celebrated for its marble. Lucan. Phars. 1 i. 575. So Boccaccio, in the Fiammetta, 1. iii. “ Quale Arunte,” &c. “Like Arums, who amidst the white inarbles of Luni, contemplated the celestial bodies and their motions."
v. 50. Manto.] The daughter of Tiresias of Thebes, a city dedicated to Bacchus. From Manto, Mantua, the country of Virgil, derives its name. The Poet proceeds to describe the situation of that place.
v. 61. Between the vale.] The lake Benacus, now called the Lago di Garda, though here said to lie between Garda, Val Camonica, and the Apennine, is, however, very distant from the latter two.
v. 63. There is a spot.] Prato di Fame, where the dioceses of Trento, Verona, and Brescia met.
v. 69. Peschiera.] A garrison situated to the south of the lake, where it empties itself and forms the Mincius.
v. 94. Casalodi's madness.] Alberto da Casalodi, who had got possession of Mantua, was persuaded by Pinamonte Buonacossi, that he might ingratiate himself with the people by banishing to their own castles the nobles, who were obnoxious to them. No sooner was this done, than Pinamonte put himself at the head of the populace, drove out Casalodi and his adhereuts, and obtained the sovereignty for himself. v. 111. So sings my tragic strain.]
Suspensi Eurypilum scitatum oracula Phobi
Virg. Æneid. ii. 14. v. 115. Michael Scot.] Sir Michael Scott, of Balwearie, astrologer to the Emperor Frederick II. lived in the thirteenth century. For further particulars relating to this singular man, see Warton's History of English Poetry, vol. i. diss. ii. and sect. ix. p. 292, and the Notes to Mr. Scott's
Lay of the Last Ministrel,” a poem in which a happy use is made of the traditions that are still current in North Britain concerning him. He is mentioned by G. Villani. Hist. 1. x. C. cv. and cxli. and l. xii. c. xviii. and by Boccaccio, Dec. Giorn, viii. Nov, 9.
v. 116. Guido Bonatti.) An astrologer of Forli, on whose skill Guido da Montefeltro, lord of that place, so much relied, that he is reported never to have gone into battle, except in the hour recommended to hin as fortunate by Bonatti.
Landino and Vellutello speak of a book which he composed on the subject of his art.
v. 116. Asdente.] A shoemaker at Parma, who deserted his business to practise the arts of divination.
v. 123. Cain with fork of thorns.] By Cain and the thorns, or what is still vulgarly called the Man in the Moon, the Poet denotes that lu. minary. The same superstition is alluded to in the Paradise, Canto II. 52. The curious reader may consult Brand on Popular Antiquities, 4to. 1813. vol. ii. p. 476.
v. 7. In the Venetians' arsenal.) Compare Ruccellai, Le Api, 165, and Dryden's Annus Mirabilis, st. 146, &c.
v. 37. One of Santa Zita's elders.] The elders or chief magistrates of Lucca, where Santa Zita was held in especial veneration. The name of this sinner is supposed to have been Martino Botaio.
v. 40. Ercept Bonturo, barterers.] This is said ironically of Bonturo de’ Dati. By barterers are meant peculators, of every description ; all who traffic the interests of the public for their own private advantage. v. 48. Is other swimming than in Serchio's wave.]
Qui si nuota altrimenti che nel Serchio. Serchio is the river that flows by Lucca. So Pulci, Morg. Mag. c. xxiv.
Qui si nuota nel sangue, e non nel Serchio. v. 92. From Caprona.] The surrender of the castle of Caprona to the combined forces of Florence and Lucca, on condition that the garrison should march out in safety, to which event Dante was a witness, took place in 1290. See G. Villani, Hist. 1. vii. c. 136.
v. 109. Yesterday.] This passage fixes the æra of Dante's descent at Good Friday, in the year 1300 (34 years from our blessed Lord's incarnation Leing added to 1266), and at the thirty-fifth year of our poet's age. See Canto I. v. 1.
The awful event alluded to, the Evangelists inform us, happened "at the ninth hour,” that is, our sixth, when “the rocks were rent," and the convulsion, according to Dante, was felt even in the depths in Hell. See Canto XII. 38.
v. 16. In the church.] This proverb is repeated by Pulci, Morg. Magg. c. xvii.
v. 47. Born in Navarre's domain.] The name of this peculator is said to have been Ciampolo.
v. 51. The good king Thibault.) “Thibault I. King of Navarre, died on the 8th of June, 1233, as much to be commended for the desire he showed of aiding the war in the Holy Land, as reprehensible and faulty for his design of oppressing the rights and privileges of the church, on which account it is said that the whole kingdom was under an interdict for the space of three entire years.-Thibault undoubtedly merits praise, as for his other endowments, so especially for his cultivation of the liheral arts, his exercise and knowledge of music and poetry, in which he 80 much excelled, that he was accustomed to compose verses and sing them to the viol, and to exhibit his poetical compositions publicly in liis palace, that they might be criticised by all.” Mariana, IIistory of Spain, b. xiii. c. 9.
An account of Thibault, and two of his songs, with what were probably the original melodies, may be seen in Dr. Burney's History of Music, v. ii. c. iv. His poems, which are in the French language, were edited by M. l'Evêque de la Ravallière. Paris. 1742. 2 vol. 12mo. Dante twice quotes one of his verses in the Treatise de Vulg. Eloq. 1. i. c. ix and l. ii. c. v. and refers to him again, 1. ii. c. vi.
From "the good king Thibault” are descended the good, but more unfortunate monarch, Louis XVI. of France, and consequently the present legitimate sovereign of that realm. See Henault, Abrégé Chron. 1252, 2, 4.
v. S0. The friar Gomita.] He was entrusted by Nino de' Visconti with the government of Gallura, one of the four jurisdictions into which Sardinia was divided. Having his master's enemies in his power. he took a bribe from them, and allowed them to escape. Mention of Nino will recu
in the Notes to Canto XXXIII. and in the Purgatory, Canto VIII.
v. 88. Michel Zanche.] The president of Logodoro, another of the four Sardinian jurisdictions. See Canto XXXIII.
v. 5. Esopi's fable.] The fable of the frog, who offered to carry the mouse across a ditch, with the intention of drowning him, when both were carried off by a kite. It is not among thosc Greek Fables which go under the name of Æsop.
v. 63. Monks in Cologne.] They wore their cowls unusually large. v. 66. Frederick's.] The Emperor Frederick II. is said to have pune ished those who were guilty of high treason, by wrapping them up in lead, and casting them into a furnace.
v. 101. Our bonnets gleaming briyht with orange hue.] It is observed by Venturi, that the word "rance” does not here signify “ rancid or disgustful,” as it is explained by the old commentators, but "orangecoloured,” in which sense it occurs in the Purgatory, Canto II. 9.
v. 104. Joyous friars.] “Those who ruled the city of Florence on the part of the Ghibillines, perceiving this discontent and murmuring, which they were fearful night produce a rebellion against themselves, in order to satisfy the people, made choice of two knights, Frati Godenti (joyous friars) of Bologna, on whom they conferred the chief power in Florence, one named M. Catalano de' Malavolti, the other M. Loderingo di Liandolo ; one an adherent of the Guelph, the other of the Ghibelline party. It is to be remarked, that the Joyous Friars were called Knights of St. Mary, and became knights on taking that habit : their robes were white, the mantle sable, and the arms a white field and red cross with two stars : their office was to defend widows and orphans; they were to act as mediators ; they had internal regulations like other religious bodies. The above-mentioned M. Loderingo was the founder of that order. But it was not long before they too well deserved the appellation given them, and were found to be more bent on enjoying themselves than on any other subject. These two friars were called in by the Florentines, and had a residence assigned them in the palace belonging to the people over against the Abbey. Such was the dependence placed on the character of their order, that it was expected they would be impartial, and wonld save the commonwealth any unnecessary expense ; instead of which, though inclined to opposite parties, they secretly and hypocritically concurred in promoting their own advantage rather than the public good." G. Villani, b. vii. c. 13. This happened in 1266.
v. 110. Gardingo's vicinage.] The name of that part of the city which was inhabited by the powerful Ghibellinc family of Uberti, and destroyed under the partial and iniquitous administration of Catalano and Loderingo.
v. 117. That pierced spirit.] Caïa phas.
v. 124. The father of his consort.1 Annas, father-in-law to Caiaphas.
v. 146. He is a liar.] John, c. viii. 44. Dante had perhaps heard this text from one of the pulpits in Bologna.
v. 1. In the year's early nonage.] “At the latter part of January, when the sun enters into Aquarius, and the equinox is drawing near, when the boar-frosts in the morning often wear the appearance of snow, but are melted by the rising sun. v. 51. Vanquish thy weariness.]
Quin corpcs onustum
Hor. Sat. ii, 1. ii. 78.
v. 92. Fleliotrope.] The occult properties of this stone are described by Solinus, c. xl. and by Boccaccio, in his humorous tale of Calandrino. Dedam. G. viii. N. 3.
In Chiabrera's Ruggiero, Scaltrimento begs of Sofia, who is sending him on a perilous errand, to lend him the heliotrope.
In mia man fida
Trust to my hand the heliotrope, by which
I may at will from others' eyes conceal me. Compare Ariosto, Il Negromante, a. 3. s. 3. Pulci, Morg. Magg. C. xxv. and Fortiguerra, Ricciardetto, c. x. st. 17.
Gower, in his Confessio Amantis, lib. vii. enumerates it among the jewels in the diadem of the sun.
Jaspis and helitropius. v. 104. The' Arabian phenix.] This is translated from Ovid, Metam. 1. xv.
Una est quæ reparat, seque ipsa reseminat ales, &c. See also Petrarch, Canzone :
“Qual.più," &c. v. 120. Vanni Fucci.] He is said to have been an illegitimate offspring of the family of Lazari in Pistoia, and, having robbed the sacristy of the church of St. James in that city, to have charged Vanni della Noga with the sacrilege, in consequence of which accusation the latter suffered death.
v. 142. Pistoia.) “In May 1301, the Bianchi party of Pistoia, with the assistance and favor of the Bianchi who ruled Florence, drove out the Neri party from the former place, destroying their houses, palaces, and farms." Giov. Villani, Hist. 1. viii. c xliv.
v. 144. From Valdimagra.] The commentators explain this propietical threat to allude to the victory obtained by the Marquis Marcello Malaspina of Valdimagra (a tract of country now called the Lunigiana), who put himself at the head of the Neri, and defeated their opponents, the Bianchi, in the Campo Piceno near Pistoia, soon after the occurrence