Page images
PDF
EPUB

reserve; and when the soldiers of Cur- times. In 1305 he withdrew with his tadino, thinking they had won the day, followers to the mountains overlooking were scattered over the field in pursuit the Val Sesia in Piedmont, where he was cí plunder, Charles sell upon them, and pursued and besieged by the Church ulli Antiche, Nov. LVII., as “celebrated of snow” and famine, was taken prisoner, chief nobles, and no less esteemed for his tiful Margaret of Trent. or his wonderful prowess even among the together with his companion, the beauconclusion of the Life of Mahomet, it is thus described by Mr. Mariotti, His. may perhaps be expected that I should torical Memoir of Fra Dolcino and his balance his faults and virtues, that I Times, p. 290 :. should decide whether the title of en

planted a monastery), to the number of thusiast or impostor more properly be. thirteen, came to the Pope in old and longs to that extraordinary man. Had tom garments, with dishevelled hair and I been intimately conversant with the ushor beards, and with tears in their son of Abdallah, the task would still be eves; and on being introduced to the difficult, and the success uncertain ; at presence of his Holiness, they feli at his the distance of twelve centuries, I darkly lect, and laid a complaint that the Em- contemplate his shade through a cloud of peror had ejected them from their house religious incense ; and could I truly deliit Monte Cassino. This mountain was neate the portrait of an hour, the fleetimpregnable, and indeed inaccessible to ing resemblance would not equally apply any one unless at the will of the monks to the solitary of Mount Hera, to the and others who dwelt on it ; however, R. preacher of Mecca, and to the conqueror Guiscard, by a device, pretending that of Arabia. . From enthusiasm ke was dead and being carried thither on to imposture the step is perilous and a lier, thus took possession of the monks' slippery ; the dæmon of Socrates afcastle. When the Pope heard this, he fords a memorable instance how a wise concealed his grief, and asked the reason; man may deceive himself, how a good to which the monks replied, “Because, in man may deceive others, how the con. pelience to you, we excommunicated science may slumber in a mixed and the Emperor.' The Pope then said, middle state between self-illusion and "Pour obedience shall save you;'on voluntary fraud.” which the monks went away without Of Ali, the son-in-law and faithful folreceiving anything more from the Pope." | lower of Mahomet, he goes on to say : 16. The battle of Ceperano, near “He united the qualifications of a poet, Monte Cassino, was fought in 1265, be a soldier, and a saint; his wiselom still ween Charles of Anjou and Manfred, breathes in a collection of moral and reking of Apulia and Sicily. The Apu- ligious sayings; and every antagonist, in lans, sering the battle going against them, the combats of the tongue or of the deserted their king and passed over to sword, was subdued by his eloquence and

valour. From the first hour of his mis. 17. The battle of Tagliacozzo insion to the last rites of his funeral, the Abruzzo was fought in 1208, between apostle was never forsaken by a generous Charles of Anjou and Curradino or Con- friend, whom he delighted to name his radin, nephew of Manfred. Charles brother, his vicegerent, and the faithful gained the victory by the strategy of Aaron of a second Moses.”

55. Fra Dolcino was one of the early

social and religious reformers in the North "weaponless himself, arms ridiculous,"

of Italy. His sect bore the name of

“Apostles,” and its chief, is not only, This valiant but wary crusader persuaded heresy was a desire to bring back the the king to keep a third of his

forces in Church to the simplicity of the apostolic

party, and, after various fortunes of vicAlardo is mentioned in the Cento No-ltory and defeat, being reduced by : stress

Both were cingular virtues than for his courage.”

burned at Vercelli on the ist of June, on Gibbon, Ch. L., says : "At the 1307. This last act of the tragedy

the enemy.

Count Alardo di Valleri, who,

Made

routed them.

"Margaret of Trent enjoyed the pre

cedence due to her sex. She was first utter his name without an imprecation, led out into a spot near Vercelli, bearing we have reason to be astonished at the the name of · Arena Servi,' or more little we find in it that may be construed properly “Arena Cervi,' in the sands, into a wilful deviation from the strictest that is, of the torrent Cervo, which has orthodoxy. Luther and Calvin would its confluent with the Sesia at about one equally have repudiated him. He was mile above the city. A high stake had neither a Presbyterian nor an Episcobeen erected in a conspicuous part of the palian, but an uncompromising, stanch place. To this she was fastened, and a Papist. His was, most eminently, the pile of wood was reared at her feet. heresy of those whom we have designated The eyes of the inhabitants of town and as literal Christians.' He would have country were upon her. On her also the Gospel strictly-perhaps blindly— were the eyes of Dolcino. She was adhered to. Neither was that, in the burnt alive with slow fire.

abstract, an unpardonable offence in the “Next came the turn of Dolcino : he eyes of the Romanism of those times, was seated high on a car drawn by oxen, witness St. Francis and his early flockand thus paraded from street to street all provided he had limited himself to make over Vercelli. His tormentors were all Gospel-law binding upon himself and his around him. Beside the car, iron pots followers only. But Dolcino must needs were carried, filled with burning char- enforce it upon the whole Christian comcoals; deep in the charcoals were iron munity, enforce it especially on those who pincers, glowing at white heat. These set up as teachers of the Gospel

, on those pincers were continually applied to the who laid claim to Apostolical succession. various parts of Dolcino's naked body, That was the error that damned him.” all along his progress, till all his flesh Of Margaret he still further says, was torn piecemeal from his limbs: when referring to some old manuscript as every bone was bare and the whole town authority:was perambulated, they drove the still “She was known by the emphatic living carcass back to the same arena, appellation of Margaret the Beautiful. and threw it on the burning mass in It is added, that she was an orphan, which Margaret had been consumed.” heiress of noble parents, and had been Farther on he adds :

placed for her education in a monastery “Divested of all fables which igno. of St. Catherine in Trent ; that there rance, prejudice, or open calumny in- Dolcino-who had also been a monk, or volved it in, Dolcino's scheme amounted at least a novice, in a convent of the to nothing more than a reformation, Order of the Humiliati, in the same not of religion, but of the Church ; his town, and had been expelled in conse, aim was merely the destruction of the quence either of his heretic tenets, or of temporal power of the clergy, and he immoral conduct -succeeded, neverthe died for his country no less than for his less, in becoming domesticated in the God. The wealth, arrogance, and cor- nunnery of St. Catherine, as a steward ruption of the Papal See appeared to or agent to the nuns, and there acconihim, as it appeared to Dante, as it ap- plished the fascination and abduction of peared to a thousand other patriots before the wealthy heiress." and aster him, an eternal hindrance to 59. Val Sesia, among whose noun. the union, peace, and welfare of Italy, tains Fra Dolcino was taken prisoner, is as it was a perpetual check upon the in the diocese of Novara. progress of the human race, and a source 73. A Bolognese, who stirred up of infinite scandal to the picty of earnest dissensions among the citizens. believers. .

74. The plain of Lombardy sloping "To this clear mission of Italian Pro- down two hundred miles and more, from testantism Dolcino was true throughout. Vercelli in Piedmont to Marcabo, a If we bring the light of even the clumsiest village near Ravenna. criticism to bear on his creed, even such 76. Guido del Cassero and Angio. as it has been summed up by the igno- lello da Cagnano, two honourable citizens sance or malignity of men who never lof Fano, going to Rimini by invitation

cape.

T1.:

Malatestino, were by his order thrown “ Bertrand de Born,” says the old bilo the sea and drowned, as here pro- Provençal biography, published by Ray. plevel or narrated, near the village of nouard, Choix de Poésies Originales des Cattolica on the Adriatic.

Troubadours, V. 76, “was a chatelain 85. Malatestino had lost one eye.

of the bishopric of Périgueux, Viscount 6. Rimini.

of Hautefort, a castle with nearly a Selle Focara is a headland near Cat-thousand retainers. He had a brother, tolica, famous for dangerous winds, to and would have dispossessed him of his be preserved from which mariners offered inheritance, had it not been for the King tp rows and prayers. These men will of England. He was always at war with pot need to do it; they will not reach all his neiglıbours, with the Count of

Périgueux, and with the Viscount of 102. Curio, the banished Tribune, Limoges, and with his brother Constan. who fleeing to Cesar's camp on the tine, and with Richard, when he was katacon, urged him to advance upon Count of Poitou.

He was

a good kume. Lucan, Pharsalia, I., Rowe's cavalier, and a good warrior, and a

good lover, and a good troubadour ; and * To Cæsar's camp the busy Curio fled:

well informed and well spoken; and Cario, a speaker turbulent and bold,

knew well how to bear good and evil Ofrenal el juence, that served for gold, fortune. Whenever he wished, he was And principles that might be bought and sola.

master of King Henry of England and of To Cæsar thus, while thousand cares infest,

his son ; but always desired that father Revolving round the warrior's anxious breast, and son should be at war with each other, dis speech the ready orator addressed. and one brother with the other. And

he always wished that the King of France 'Haste

, then, thy towering eagles on their and the King of England should be at When fair occasion calls, 'tis fatal to delay.'» variance; and if there were either peace lo Mosca degl' Uberti, or dei

or truce, straightway he sought and Lamberti, who, by advising the murder

endeavoured by his satires to unde the of Brondelmonte, gave rise to the peace, and to show how each was disparties of Guelf and Ghibelline, which

honoured by it. And he had great adso long divided Florence. See Canto

vantages and great misfortunes by thus

exciting feuds between them. He wrote 134 Bertrand de Born, the turbulent many satires, but only two songs. The Troubadour of the last half of the twelfth Giraud de Borneil the wives of Bertrand

King of Aragon called the songs of century, was alike skilful with his pen de Born's satires. and his sword, and passed his life in him bore the name of Papiol. And he

And he who sang for alternately singing and fighting, and in stirring up dissension and strife among the Count of Britany, Rassa ; and the

was handsome and courteous; and called that spirited war-song, well known to all King of England, Yes and No'; and his

And he idadiers of Troubadour verse, beginning

son, the young king, Marinier.

set his whole heart on fomenting war The beautiful spring delights me well, When flowers and leaves are growing;

and embroiled the father and son of And it pleases my heart to hear the swell

England, until the young king was killed Of the birds' sweet chorus flowing

by an arrow in a castle of Bertrand de In the echoing wood;

Born.
And I love to see, all scattered around,
Pavilions and tents on the martial ground;

“And Bertrand used to boast that he And my spirit finds it good,

had more wits than he needed. And To see, on the level plains beyond,

when the King took him prisoner, he Cay knights and steeds caparison'd ;” asked him, “ Have you all your wits, for and ending with a challenge to Richard you will need them now?" And he Caur de Lion, telling his minstrel Pa-answered, 'I lost them all when the

young king died.' Then the king wept, And tell the Lord af'Yes and No

and pardoned him, and gave him

And he robes, and lands, and honour peace already too long has been.”

X. Note 51.

his neighbours.

piol to go

That

lived long and became a Cistercian against him. They were, Henry, surmonk."

named Curt-Mantle, and called by the Fauriel, Histoire de la Poésie Proven. Troubadours and novelists of his time çale, Adler's Tr., p. 483, quoting part of “The Young King,” because he wils this passage, adds :

crowned during his father's life; Richard " In this notice the old biographer Caur-de-Lion, Count of Guienne and indicates the dominant trait of Bertrand's Poitou; Geoffroy, Duke of Brittany; character very distinctly; it was an un- and John Lackland. Henry was the bridled passion for war. He loved it only one of these who bore the title of not only as the occasion for exhibiting king at the time in question. Bertrand proofs of valour, for acquiring power, de Born was on terms of intimacy with and for winning glory, but also, and even him, and speaks of him in his poems more, on account of its hazards, on ac as lo Reys joves, sometimes lauding and count of the exaltation of courage and of sometimes reproving him. One of the life which it produced, nay, even for the best of these poems is his Complainti, sake of the tumult, the disorders, and on the death of Henry, which took place the evils which are accustomed to follow in 1183, from disease, say some accounts, in its train. Bertrand de Born is the from the bolt of a crossbow say others. ideal of the undisciplined and adventure. He complains that he has lost " the best some warrior of the Middle Age, rather king that was ever born of mother;" and than that of the chevalier in the proper goes on to say, “ King of the courteous, sense of the term.

and emperor of the valiant, you would See also Millot, Hist. Litt. des Trou have been Seigneur if you had lived badours, I. 210, and Hist. Litt. de la longer; for you bore the name of the France par les Bénédictins de St. Maur, Young King, and were the chief and continuation, XVII. 425.

peer of youth. Ay! hauberk and sword, Bertrand de Born, if not the best of and beautiful buckler, helmet and gon. the Troubadours, is the most prominent falon, and purpoint and sark, and joy and striking character among them. and love, there is none to maintain His life is a drama full of romantic them!” See Raynouard Choix de interest ; beginning with the old castle Poésies, IV. 49. in Gascony, “the dames, the cavaliers, In the Bible Guiot de Provins, Barthe arms, the loves, the courtesy, the bazan, Fabliaux et Contes, II., 518, he bold emprise ;" and ending in a Cister- is spoken of as cian convent, among friars and fastings,

“li jones Rois, and penitence and prayers.

proux, li saiges, li cortois." 135. A vast majority of manuscripts In the Cento Novelle Antiche, XVIII., and printed editions read in this line, XIX., XXXV., he is called il Re Gio. Re Giovanni, King John, instead of Rc vane ; and in Roger de Wendover's Giovane, the Young King. Even Boc Flowers of History, A.D. 1179—1183, caccio's copy, which he wrote out with Henry the Young King." his own hand for Petrarca, has Re Gio. It was to him that Bertrand de Born var:ni. Out of seventy-nine Codici “ gave the evil counsels," embroiling examined by Barlow, he says, Study of him with his father and his brothers

. the Divina Commedia, p. 153, “Only Therefore, when the commentators chalfive were found with the correct reading lenge us as Pistol does Shallow, “Under --re giovane, .. The reading re gio- which king, Bezonian ? speak or die!" I vane is not found in any of the early think we must answer as Shallow does, editions, nor is it noticed by any of the “ Under King Harry." early commentators." See also Gin 137

See 2 Samuel xvii. 1, 2:guené, Hist. Litt. de l'Italie, II. 586, “Moreover, Ahithophel said unto where the subject is elaborately dis- Absalom, let me now choose out twelve cussed, and the note of Biagioli, who thousand men, and I will arise and purtakes the opposite side of the question. sue after David this night. And I will

Henry II. of England had four sons, come upon him while he is weary and all of whom were more or less rebellious weak-handed, and will make him afraid

Li

latier :

lom :

land;

death was afterwards avenged by his
brother, who in turn slew one of the
of the Italian vendetta, which required
retaliation from some member of the
VII., "and for centuries after, private the same book :-

and all the people that are with him cession of mutual injuries ; vengeance shall flee ; and I will smite the King was not only considered lawful and just, only."

but a positive duty, dishonourable to Dryden, in his poem of Absaiom and omit; and, as may be learned from Achitophel , gives this portrait of the ancient private journals, it was some

times allowed to sleep for five-and"Of these the false Achitophel was first ;

thirty years, and then suddenly struck a A name to all succeeding ages curst:

victim who perhaps had not yet seen the For close designs and crooked counsels fit; light when the original injury was inSagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit ; Restless, unfx'd in principles and place ;

flicted.” In power unpleas'd, impatient of disgrace :

46. The Val di Chiana, near Arezzo, A fery soul, which, working out its way, was in Dante's time marshy and pestiFreated the pigmy body to decay, And o'er inform the tenement of clay."

lential. Now, by the effect of drainage,

it is one of the most beautiful and fruitful Then he puts into the mouth of Achi. of the Tuscan valleys, The Maremma tophel the following description of Absa- was and is notoriously unhealthy ; se:

Canto XIII. Note 9, and Sardinia would "Auspicious prince, at whose nativity seem to have shared its ill repute. Sorte royal planet ruld the southern sky: 57. Forgers or falsifiers in a general Thy longing country's darling and desire : Thear clondy pillar and their guardian fire;

sense. The “false semblaunt" of Gower, Their second Moses, whose extended wand Confes. Amant., II :Divides the seas, and shows the promised

" Or fals semblaunt if I shall telle, Whose dawning day, in every distant age,

Above all other it is the welle Has exercised the sacred prophet's rage;

Out of the which deceipte floweth." The people's prayer, the glad diviner's theme, The young men's vision, and the old men's They are registered here on earth to be dream."

punished hereafter.

59. The plague of Ægina is described

by Ovid, Metamorph. VII., Stone. CANTO XXIX.

street's Tr.: 1: The Tenth and last “cloister of Malebølge,” where

" Their black dry tongues are swelled, and Justice infallible

And short thick sighs from panting lungs are Punishes forgers,"

drove.

They gape for air, with fatt'ring hopes t'abate and falsifiers of all kinds. This Canto Their raging flames, but that augments theu is devoted to the alchemists.

heat. 27. Geri del Bello was a disreputable

No bed, no cov'ring can the wretches bear.

But on the ground, exposed to open air, member of the Alighieri family, and was

They lie, and hope to find a pleasing coolness murdered by one of the Sacchetti. His

there. The suff'ring earth, with that oppression curst,

Returns the heat which they imparted first. Sacchetti at the door of his house. 29. Bertrand de Born.

“Here one, with fainting steps, does slowly

creep 35. Like the ghost of Ajax in the O'er heaps of dead, and straight augments the " He answered me not

heap; at all, but went to Erebus amongst the

Another, while his strength and tongue pre

vailed,

Bewails his friend, and falls himself bewailed : 36. Dante seems to share the feeling This with imploring looks surveys the skies,

The last dear office of his closing eyes,
But finds the Heav'ns implacable, and dies."

The birth of the Myrmidons, "wlia *Among the Italians of this age,” still retain the thrist of ants, though now hany Napier

, Florentine Hist., 1. Ch. transformed to men,” is thus given in offence was never forgotten until re. penged, and generally involveu a suç.

“As many ants the num'rous branches bear,

The same their labour, and their frugal care.

scarce can move,

Odyssey, XI.
other souls of the dead."

injured family.

« PreviousContinue »