« PreviousContinue »
Lucan, Phars., II., Rowe's Tr.: glory was to be begun in suffering, and
all power in humility.” When lo ! the sounding doors are heard to 115. Ruskin, Mod. Painters, III. 248 : Chaste Martia comes from dead Hortensius'
"There is only one more point to be noticed in the Dantesque landscape ;
namely, the feeling entertained by the Forth from the monument the mournful poet towards the sky. And the love of
is so closely connected with
the love of clouds, the sublimity of both Then with a pale, dejected, rueful look, depending much on their association, Thus pleasing to her former lord she spoke. that, having found Dante regardless of
the Carrara mountains as seen from 'At length a barren wedlock let me prove, Give me the name without the joys of love;
San Miniato, we may well expect to find No more to be abandoned let me come, him equally regardless of the clouds in That Caio's wife may live upon my tomb.'” which the sun sank behind them. Ac
cordingly, we find that his only pleasure 95. A symbol of humility. Ruskin, in the sky depends on its · white clear. Mloit. Painters, III. 232, says: “There ness,'—that turning into bianco aspetto di is a still deeper significance in the pas celestro, which is so peculiarly character, sage quoted, a little while ago, from istic of fine days in Italy. His pieces of Homer, describing Ulysses casting him- pure pale light are always exquisite. In self down on the rushes and the corn- the dawn on the purgatorial mountain, giving land at the river shore, - the first, in its pale white, he sees the trirushes and corn being to him only good molar della marina, -trembling of the for rest and sustenance, --when we com- sea ; then it becomes vermilion ; and at pare it with that in which Dante tells us last, near sunrise, orange. These are he was ordered to descend to the shore precisely the changes of a calm and perof the lake as he entered Purgatory, to fect dawn. The scenery of Paradise gather a rush, and gird himself with it, begins with day added to day,' the it being to him the emblem not only of light of the sun so flooding the heavens, rest, but of humility under chastisement, that 'never rain nor river made lake so the rush (or reed) being the only plant wide'; and throughout the Paradise all which can grow there ; - 'no plant the beauty depends on spheres of light, which bears leaves, or hardens its bark, or stars, never on clouds. But the pit can live on that shore, because it does of the Inferno is at first sight obscure, not yield to the chastisement of its deep, and so cloudy that at its bottom waves.' It cannot but strike the reader nothing could be seen. When Dante and singularly how deep and harmonious a Virgil reach the marsh in which the souls significance runs through all these words of those who have been angry and sal in of Dante,-how every syllable of them, their lives are forever plunged, they find the more we penetrate it, becomes a seed it covered with thick fog; and the conof farther thought! For follow up this demned souls say to them, image of the girding with the reed, under
"We once were sad, trial, and see to whose feet it will lead
In the sweet air, made gladsone by the SNA. As the grass of the earth. thought
Now in these murky settlings are we sad.' of as the herb yielding seed, leads us to the place where our Lord commanded Even the angel crossing the marsh to the multitude to sit down by companies help them is annoyed by this bitter upon the green grass ; so the grass of the marsh smoke, fummo acerto, and contiwaters, thought of as sustaining itself nually sweeps it with his hand from among the waters of affliction, leads us before his face." to the place where a stem of it was put 123. Some commentators interpret into our Lord's band for his sceptre ; Ouve adoreza, by “where the wind and in the crown of thorns, and the rod blows." But the blowing of the wind of reed, was foreshown the everlasting would produce an effect exactly opposite truth of the Christian ages- that all to that here described.
135. Æneid, VI.: “When the first “Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher is torn off, a second of gold succeeds;
Than his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing
Met in the milder shades of Purgatory. and a twig shoots forth leaves of the same metal.”
98. The first three months of the year of Jubilee, 1300. Milman, Ilist. Latin
Christ., Vi. 285, thus describes it : CANTO II.
"All Europe was in a frenzy of reli
gious zeal. Throughout the year the It was sunset at Jerusalem, night roads in the remotest parts of Germany, on the Ganges, and morning at the Hungary, Britain, were crowded with dlountain of Purgatory.
pilgrims of all ages, of both sexes. The sun being in Aries, the night Savoyard above one hundred years old would “come forth with the scales, determined to see the tombs of the AposI the sign of Libra, which is opposite tles before he died. There were at times Aries. These scales fall from the hand two hundred thousand strangers at Rome. of night, cr are not above the horizon During the year (no doubt the calcula. by night, when the night exceeds, or is tions were loose and vague) the city was longer than the day.
visited by millions of pilgrims. At one 7. Boccaccio, Decamerone, Prologue time, so vast was the press both within to the Third Day, imitates this passage : and without the walls, that openings "The Aurora, as the sun drew nighi, were broken for ingress and egress. was already beginning to change from Many people were trampled down, and vermilion to orange.
perished by suffocation.'. Loggings 31. Argument used in the sense of were exorbitantly dear, forage scarce; means, or appliances, as in Inf. XXXI. but the ordinary food of man, bread, 55.
meat, wine, and fish, was sold in great 44 Cervantes says in Don Quixote, plenty and at moderate prices. The oh). Pr. I. ch. 12, that the student Crisos- lations were beyond calculation. It is tomo “had a face like a benediction."
reported by an eyewitness that two 57. Sackville, in his Induction to the priests stood with rakes in their hands Alirror for llagistrales, says :
sweeping the uncounted gold and silver
from the altars. Nor was this tribute, "Whiles Scorpio dreading Sagittarius' dart like offerings or subsidies for Crusades, Whose bow prest bent in fight the string had slipped,
to be devoted to special uses, the accouDown slid into the occan flood apart." trements, provisions, freight of armies.
It was entirely at the free and irrespon80. Odyssey, XI., Buckley's Tr. : sible disposal of the Pope. Christendom But I, meditating in my mind, wished of its own accord was heaping at the to lay hold of the soul of my departed Pope's seet this extraordinary custom ; mother.
Thrice indeed I essayed it, and receiving back the gift of pardon and my mind urged me to lay hold of it, and everlasting life.” but thrice it flew from my hands, like See also Inf. XVIII., Note 29. unto a shadow, or even to a dream." 100. The sea-shore of Ostia at the
And Ancid, VI., Davidson's Tr. : mouth of the Tiber, where the souls of " There thrice he attempted to throw those who were saved assembled, and his arms around his neck; thrice the were received by the Celestial Pilot, who phantom, grasped in vain, escaped his transported them to the island of Purhold, like trie fleet gales, or resembling gatory: Minutius Felix, a Roman lawmost a fugitive dream.”
yer of the third century, makes it the 91. Casella was a Florentine musi- scene of his Octavius, and draws this cian and friend of Dante, who here pleasant picture of the sands and the sea. speaks to him with so much tenderness Reeves's Tr., p. 37 : and affection as to make us regret that “ It was vacation-time, and that gave nothing more is known of him. Milton me aloose from my business at the bar; alludes to him in his Sonnet to Mr. H. for it was the season after the summer's Lawes :
heat, when antum promised fair, and
south-eastern sun, they corresponded stories of enchantment and romance precisely to the situation of the path by belong to a ruin that appears as is made which he ascends above the purgatorial for their dwelling-place. It is a scene sea, the image could not possibly have out of that Italy which is the home of heen taken from a better source for the the imagination, and which becomes the fully conveying his idea to the reader : Italy of memory. nor, by the way, is there reason to dis "As the road winds down to the sea, credit, in this place, his powers of it passes under a high isolated peak, on climbing ; for, with his usual accuracy, which stands Esa, built as a city of he has taken the angle of the path refuge against pirates and Moors. А for us, saying it was censiderably more little farther on, than forty-five.
Now a continuous mountain-slope of forty-five degrees is
Its Roman strength Turbia showed
In ruins by the mountain rod,'alreally quite unsafe either for ascent or descent, except by zigzag paths; and not only recalling the ancient times, 1 greater slope than this could not be when it was the boundary city of Italy climbed, straightforward, but by help and Gaul, and when Augustus erected of crevices or jags in the rock, and great his triumphal arch within it, but as. physical exertion besides."
sociated also with Dante and the steep Mr. Norton, Travel and Study, p. 1, of Purgatory. Beneath lies Monaco, thus describes the Riviera : “ The Var glowing like a gem'on its oval rock, forms the geographical boundary be the sea sparkling around it, and the tween France and Italy; but it is not long western rays of the sinking sun till Nice is left behind, and the first lingering on its little palace, clinging height of the Riviera is surmounted, to its church belfry and its gray wall, that the real Italy begins. Here the as if loa:h to leave them.” hills close round at the north, and sud. In the Casa Magni, on the sea-shore denly, as the road turns at the top of a near Lerici, Shelley once liveri. Не long ascent, the Mediterranean appears was returning thither from Leghorn, far below, washing the feet of the when he perished in a sudden storm at mountains that form the coast, and sea. stretching away to the Southern hori. 67. After they had gone a mile, they
The line of the shore is of ex were still a stone's throw distant. traordinary beauty. Flere an abrupt 82. See Convito, I, 10. cliff rises from the sea, here on and 112. Manfredi, king of Apulia and broken masses of rock jut out ate it : Sicily, was a natural son of the Em• here the hills, their gray si les terraced peror Frederick the Second. Ile was for vineyards, slope gently down to the slain at the battle of Benevento, in water's edge ; here they stretch into little 1265; one of the great and decisive promontories covered with orange and battles of the Guelphis and Ghibellines, olive-trees.
the Guelph or Papal forces being com“One of the first of these promon- manded by Charles of Anjou, and the torias is that of Capo Sant' Ospizio. Ghibellines or Imperialists by Marr A close grove of olives half conceals fredi. the old castle on its extreme point. Malispini, Storia, ch. 187, thus de. With the afternoon sun full upon it, scribes his death and burial : “Man. the trees palely glimmering as their fredi, being left with few followers, leaves move in the light air, the sea so behaved like a valiant gentleman who blue and smooth as to be like a darker preferred to die in battle rather than sky, and not even a ripple upon the to escape with shame. And putting beach, it seems as if this were the very on his helmet, which had on it a silver bome of summer and of repose. It is eagle for a crest, this eagle fell on the reinote and secluded from the stir and saddle-bow before him ; and seeing this noise of the world. No road is seen he was greatly disturbed, and said in 'eading to it, and one looks down upon Latin to the barons who were the solitary castle and wonders what him, ' Hoc est signum Dei; for this crcs.
I fastened on with my own hands in threw a stone upon his grave, so that a
an enemy of an ass, and came shouting, “Who will holy Church, and of priests and monks, buy Manfredi? for which a baron of confiscating churches as his father had the king beat him with a cane. And done; and a wealthy gentleman was he, the body of Manfredi being brought to both from the treasure which he in. King Charles, he assembled all the berited from the Emperor, and from barons who were prisoners, and asked King Conrad, his brother, and from his each one if that was Manfredi; and own kingdom, which was ample and timidly they answered yes. Count fruitful, and which, so long as he livel, Giordano smote himself in the face notwithstanding all the wurs he had with with his hands, weeping and crying, the Church, he kept in good condition, so "O my lord !' whereupon he was much that it rose greatly in wealth and power, commended by the French, and certain both by sea and by land." Bretons besought that he might have This battle of Benevento is the nonourable burial. Answered the king same as that mentioned Inf. XXVIII. and said, I would do it willingly, if | 10.he were not excommunicated'; and " At Ceperano, where a renegade that account he would not have
Was each Apulian," him laid in consecrated ground, but he 113. Constance, wife of the Em. was buried at the foot of the bridge of peror Herry the Sixth. Benevento, and each one of the army 115. His daughter Constance, who