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Of coc! tu esa, o'er which the mantling vine smell of well-cleft ceciar, and of train Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
incense, that were burning, shed odu. Luxuriant: meanwhile murmuring waters fall Down the slope hills, dispersed, or in a lake,
through the island : but she within was That to the fringed bank with myrtle crowned singing with a beautiful voice, and, Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
going over the web, wove with a golden The birds their quire apply ; airs, vernal airs,
shuttle. But a flourishing wood sprung Breathing the smell of field aad grove, attune The trembling leaves; while universal Pan, up around her grot, alder and poplar, Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance, and sweet-smelling cypress. There also led on the cternal spring."
birds with spreading wings slept, owls 2. Ruskin, Mod. Painters, III. 219: and hawks, and wide-tongued crows of " As Homer gave us an ideal landscape, the ocean, to which maritime employwhich even a god might have been pleased ments are a care. There a vine in its to behold, so Dante gives us, fortunately, prime was spread about the hollow grot, an ideal landscape, which is specially in and it flourished with clusters. But four tended for the terrestrial paradise. And fountains flowed in succession with white it will doubtless be with some surprise, water, turned near one another, each in after our reflections above on the general different ways; but around there flourtone of Dante's feelings, that we find our-ished soft mcadows of violets and of selves here first entering a forest, and that parsley. There indeed even an immortal even a thick forest.
coming would admire it when he beheld, " This forest, then, is very like that and would be delighted in his mind; of Colonos in several respects,-in its there the messenger, the slayer of Argus, peace and sweetness, and number of standing, admired.” birds ; it differs from it only in letting a And again, at the close of the same light breeze through it, being therefore book, where Ulysses reaches the shore at somewhat thinner than the Greek wood; Phæacia : the tender lines which tell of the voices “ Then he hastened to the wood; and of the birds mingling with the wind, and found it near the water in a conspicuous of the leaves all turning one way before place, and he came under two shrubs, it, have been more or less copied by , which sprang from the same place ; one every poet since Dante's time. They of wild olive, the other of olive. Neither are, so far as I know, the sweetest pas- the strength of the moistly blowing winds sage of wood description which exists in breathes through them, nor has the shinliterature."
ing sun ever struck them with its beams, Homer's ideal landscape, here referred nor has the shower penetrated entirely to, is in Odyssey V., where he describes through them : so thick were they grown the visit of Mercury to the Island of entangled with one another; under which Calypso. It is thus translated by Buck Ulysses came. ley
The wood of Colonos is thus described “ Immediately then he bound his in one of the Choruses of the Edipus beautiful sandals beneath his feet, am- Coloneus of Sophocles, Oxford Tr., brosial, golden ; which carried him both Anon. :over the moist wave, and over the “ Thou hast come, O stranger, to the boundless earth, with the breath of the seats of this land, renowned for the wind. . Then he rushed over the steed; to seats the fairest on earth, the wave like a bird a sea-gull, which, chalky Colonus; where the vocal knighthunting for fish in the terrible bays of ingale, chief abounding, trills her plain the barren sea, dips frequently its wings tive note in the green vales, tenanting in the brine ; like unto this Mercury rode the dark-hued ivy and the leafy grove over many waves. But when he came of the god, untrodden (by mortal foot), to the distant island, then, going from teeming with fruits, impervious to the the blue sea, he went to the continent ; sun, and unshaken by the winds of every until he came to the great cave in which storm ; where Bacchus ever roams in the fair-haired Nymph dwelt; and he revelry companioning his divine nurses. found her within. A large fire was burn- And ever day by day the narcissus, with ing on the hearth, and at a distance the lits beauteous clusters, burst into bloom
by heaven's dew, the ancient coronet Dante's description of the Terrestrial of the mighty goddesses, and the saffron Paradise will hardly fail to recall that of with golden ray; nor do the sleepless Mount Acidale in Spenser's Frerie Queene, founts that feed the channels of Cephissus VI. x. 6:fail, but ever, each day, it rushes o'er “ It was an Hill plaste in an open plaine, the plains with its stainless wave, ferti. That round about was bordered with a wood lizing the bosom of the earth ; nor have Of matchlesse hight, that seemed th' earth
to disdaine ; the choirs of the Muses spurned this In which all trees of honour stately stood, clime ; nor Venus, too, of the golden And did all winter as in sommer bud, rein. And there is a tree, such as I hear Spredding pavilions for the birds to bowre, not to have ever sprung in the land of
Which in their lower braunches sung aloud ;
And in their tops the soring hauke did towe, Asia, nor in the mighty Doric island Sitting like king of fowles in maiesty and powre. of Pelops, a tree unplanted by hand, of
"And at the foote thereof a gentle flud spontaneous growth, terror of ihe hostile
His silver waves did softly tumble downe, spear, which flourishes chiefly in this Unmard with ragged mosse or filthy mud; region, the leaf of the azure olive that
Ne mote wylde beastes, ne mote the ruder
clowne, nourishes our young. This shall neither
Thereto approch ; ne
filth mote therein any one in youth nor in old age, mark
drowne : ing for destruction, and having laid it
But Nymphes and Faeries by the bancks
did sit waste with his hand, set its divinity at
In the woods shade which did the waters naught ; for the eye that never closes of
crowne, Morian Jove regards it, and the blue Keeping all noysome things away from is eyed Minerva."
And to the waters fall tuning their accents fit. We have also Homer's description of “And on the top thereof a spacious plaine the Garden of Alcinoüs, Odyssey, VII.,
Did spred itselse, to serve to all delight,
Either to daunce, when they to daunce would Buckley's Tr. :
faine, “ But without the hall there is a large Or else to course-about their bases light; garden, near the gates, of four acres ; Ne ought there wanted, which for pleasure
might but around it a hedge was extended on
Desired be, or thence to banish bale : both sides. And there tall, flourishing So pleasauntly the Hill with equall hight trees grew, pears, and pomegranates, and
Did secme to overlooke the lowly vale;
Mount apple-trees producing beautiful fruit, and Therefore it rightly cleeped was
Acidale." sweet figs, and flourishing olives. Of these the fruit never perishes, nor does it See also Tasso's Garden of Armida, in fail in winter or summer, lasting through the Gerusalemme, XVI. out the whole year; but the west wind 20. Chiassi is on the sea-shore near ever blowing makes some bud forth, and Ravenna. “Here grows a spacious pine ripens others. Pear grows old after pear, forest,” says Covino, Descr. Geog., p. 39, apple after apple, grape also after grape, “which stretches along the sea between ind fig after fig. There a fruitful vine. Ravenna and Cervia." yard was planted : one part of this 25. The river Lethe. ground, exposed to the sun in a wide 40. This lady, who represents the place, is dried by the sun ; and some Active life to Dante's waking eyes, as (grapes) they are gathering, and others Leah had done in his vision, and whom they are treading, and further on are Dante afterwards, Canto XXXIII. 119, unripe grapes, having thrown off the calls Matilda, is generally supposed by flower, and others are slightly changing the commentators to be the celebrated colour. And there are all kinds of beds Countess Matilda, daughter of Boniface, laid out in order, to the furthest part of Count of Tuscany, and wise of Guelf, of the ground, Rourishing throughout the the house of Suabia. Of this marriage whole year: and in it are two fountains, Villani, IV. 21, gives a very strange one is spread through the whole garden, account, which, if true, is a singular picbut the other on the other side goes under ture of the times. Napier, Flor. Hist., the threshold of the hall to the lofty I. Ch. 4 and 6, gives these glimpses of bouse, from whence the citizen's are wont the Countess : to draw water.”
" This heroine died in 1915, af er 4
reign of active exertion for herself and Baroncione, and in her sixty-ninth year, the Church against the Emperors, which this celebrated woman breathed her last, generated the infant and as yet nameless after a long and glorious reign of inces. factions of Guelf and Ghibelline. Matilda sant activity, during which she displayed endured this contest with all the enthu. a wisdom, vigour, and determination of siasm and constancy of a woman, com character rarely seen even in men. She bined with a manly courage that must bequeathed to the Church all those patri. over render her name respectable, whe- monial estates of which she had previ. ther proceeding from the bigotry of the ously disposed by an act of gift to age, or to oppose imperial ambition in Gregory the Seventh, without, however, defence of her own defective title. Ac
any immediate royal power over the cording to the laws of that time, she cities and other possessions thus given, could not as a female inherit her father's as her will expresses it, for the good of states, for even male heirs required a her soul, and the souls of her parents.' royal confirmation. Matilda therefore, “Whatever may now be thought of having no legal right, feared the Emperor her chivalrous support, her bold defence, and clung to the Popes, who already and her deep devotion to the Church, it claimed, among other prerogatives, the was in perfect harmony with the spirit supreme disposal of kingdoms.
of that age, and has formed one of her "The Church had ever come forward chief merits with many e, en in the preas the friend of her house, and from sent. Her unflinching adherence to the childhood she had breathed an atmo- cause she had so conscientiously embraced sphere of blind and devoted submission was far more noble than the Emperor to its authority ; even when only fifteen Henry's conduct. Swinging between the she had appeared in arms against its extremes of unmeasured insolence and enemies, and made two successfui expedi: abject humiliation, he died a victim to tions to assist Pope Alexander the Second Papal influence over superstitious minds; during her mother's lifetime.
an influence which, amongst other debas. “No wonder, then, that in a super- ing lessons, then taught the world that a stitious age, when monarchs trembled at breach of the most sacred ties and dearest an angry voice from the Lateran, the affections of human nature was one means habits of early youth should have mingled of gaining the approbation of a Being with every action of Matilda's life, and who is all truth and beneficence. spread an agreeable mirage over the “ Matilda's object was to strengthen prospect of her eternal salvation : the the chief spiritual against the chief tem. power that tamed a Henry's pride, a poral power, but reserving her own Barbarossa's fierceness, and afterwards independence; a policy subsequently withstood the vast ability of a Frederic, pursued, at least in spirit, by the Guelmight without shame have been rever-phic states of Italy. She therefore proenced by a girl whose feelings so har- tected subordinate members of the monized with the sacred strains of ancient Church against feudal chieftains, and its tradition and priestly dignity. But from head against the feudal Emperor. True whatever motive, the result was a con- to her religious and warlike character, tinual aggrandizement of ecclesiastics ; she died between the sword and the in prosperity and adversity ; during life crucifix, and two of her last acts, even and after death ; from the lowliest priest when the hand of death was already cold to the proudest pontiff.
on her brow, were the chastisement of " The fearless assertion of her own revolted Mantua, and the midnight celeindependence by successful struggles with bration of Christ's nativity in the depth the Emperor was an example not over- of a freezing and unusually inclement looked by the young Italian communities winter." under Matilda's rule, who were already 50. Ovid, Met. V., Maynwaring's accused by imperial legitimacy of poli. Tr. :tical innovation and visionary notions of
" Here, while young Proserpine, among the government.
maids, “ Being then' at a place called Monte Diverts herself in these delicious shades ;
While like a child with busy speed and care Like gamesome boys over the churchyard
The light in vain keeps looking for his face, Hell's grizzly monarch at the shade arrives ; Now screaming sea-fowl settle in his place." Sees her thus sporting on the flowery green,
80. Psalm xcii. 4: “For thou, Lord, And loves the blooming maid, as soon as seen. His urgent Aame impatient of delay,
hast made me glad through thy work : Swift as his thought he seized the beauteous I will triumph in the works of thy prey,
hands." And bore her in his sooty car away. The frighted gaddess to her mother cries,
87. Canto XXI. 46:But all in vain, for now far off she flies,
“ Because that neither rain, nor hail, nor snow, Far she behind her leaves her virgin train ;
Nor dew, nor hoar-frost any higher falls To them too cries, and cries to them in vain.
Than the short, little stairway of three steps. And while with passion she repeats her call, The violets from her lap, and lilies fall :
94. Orly six hours, according to She misses them, poor heart! and makes new
Adam's in account in Par., XXI. moan; Her lilies, ah! are lost, her violets gone." 139: 65. Ovid, Met. X., Eusden's Tr. : "Upon the mout which highest o'er the wave
Rises was ), xi.. life or pure or sinsul, “ For Cytherea's lips while Cupid prest, From the firsu Ni to that which is the second, He with a heedless arrow razed her breast.
As the sun change quadrant, to the sixth." The goddess felt it, and, with fury stung, The wanton mischief from her bosom fung : 102. Above the gate described in Yet thought at first the danger slight, but Canto IX.
found The dart too faithful, and too deep the wound.
146. Virgil and Statius smile at this Fired with a mortal beauty, she disdains allusion to the dreams a poets. To haunt th' Idalian mount, or Phrygian plains. She seeks not Cnidos, nor her Paphian shrines, Nor Amathus, that teems with brazen mines : Even Heaven itself with all its sweets unsought,
CANTO XXIX. Adonis far a sweeter Heaven is thought."
1. The Terrestrial Paradise and the 72. When Xerxes invaded Greece he crossed the Hellespont on a bridge of Apocalyptic Procession of the Church
Triumphant. boris with an army of five million. So
3. Psalm. xxxii. 1: “ Blessed is he 's the historians. On his return he Ossed it in a fishing-boat almost alone, sin is covered."
whose transgression is forgiven, whose a warning to all human arrogance.' 10. Counted together, their steps were Leander naturally hated the Helles
not a hundred in all. pont, having to swim it so
times. The last time, according to Thomas celestial, represented as crowned with
41. The Muse of Astronomy, or things Hood, he met with a sea nymph, who, stars and robed in azure. Milton, Parad. enamoured of his beauty, carried him Lost, VII. 1, makes the same invocato the bottom of the sea. See Hero and Leander, stanza 45 :
“Descend from heaven, Urania, by that “ His eyes are blinded with the sleety brine, His ears are deafened with the wildering if rightly thou art called, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar, He asks the purpose of her fell design, Above the flight of Pegasean wing. But foamy waves choke up his struggling The meaning, not the name, I call: for thou voice,
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top Under the ponderous sea his body dips, Of old Olympus dwell'st; but, heavenly-born,
And Hero's name dies bubbling on his lips. Before the hills appeared, or fountain fluwed, “Look how a man is lowered to his grave,
Thou with Eternal Wisdom didst converse, A yearning hollow in the green earth's lap;
Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play So he is sunk into the yawning wave,
In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased The plunging sea fills up the watery gap;
With thy celestial song.
47. The general form which objects
may have in common, and by which “And where he swam, the constant sun lies they resemble each other.
sleeping, Over the verdant plain that makes his bed ;
49. The faculty which lends discourse And all the noisy waves go freshly leaping, to reason is apprehension, or the faculty
by which things are first conceived. See 2. St. Mark has the Lion, because he Canto XVIII, 22:
has set forth the royal dignity of Christ ;
or, according to others, because he begins " Your apprehension from some real thing with the mission of the Baptist, -* the An image draws, and in yourselves dis- voice of one crying in the wilderness,'
plays it, So that it makes the soul turn unto it," which is figured by the lion: or, accord
ing to a third interpretation, the lion was 50. Revelation i. 12, 20: “ And I allotted to St. Mark because there was, urned to see the voice that spake with in the Middle Ages, a popular belief
And, being turned, I saw seven that the young of the lion was born dead, golden candlesticks.
And the and after three days was awakened to seven candlesticks ..... are the seven vitality by the breath of its sire ; some churches."
authors, however, represent the lion as Some commentators interpret them as vivifying his young, not by his breath, the seven Sacraments of the Church ; but by his roar. In either case the apothers, as the seven gifts of the Holy plication is the same; the revival of the Ghost.
young lion was considered as symbolical 78. Delia or Diana, the moon; and of the resurrection, and Mark was como her girdle, the halo, sometimes seen monly called the ‘historian of the resuraround it.
rection.' Another commentator observes 83. Revelation iv. 4: “And round that Mark begins his Gospel with roarabout the throne were four and twenty ing,'—'the voice of one crying in the seats : and upon the seats I saw four and wilderness ;' and ends it fearfully with twenty elders sitting, clothed in white a curse, — He that believeth not shall raiment; and they had on their heads be damned ;' and that, therefore, his crowns of gold."
appropriate attribute is the most terrible These four and twenty elders are sup- of beasts, the lion. 3. Luke has the posed to symbolize here the four and Ox, because he has dwelt on the priest. twenty books of the Old Testament. hood of Christ, the ox being the emblem The crown of lilies indicates the purity of sacrifice. 4. John has the EAGLE, of faith and doctrine,
which is the symbol of the highest in85. The salutation of the angel to the spiration, because he soared upwards to Virgin Mary. Luke i. 28 : “Biessed art the contemplation of the divine nature of thou among women. Here the words the Saviour." are made to refer to Beatrice.
100. Esekiel i. 4: “And I looked, 92. The four Evangelists, of whom and behold, a whirlwind came out of the the four mysterious animals in Ezekiel north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding are regarded as symbols. Mrs. Jameson, itself, and a brightness was about it, and Sacred and Legendary Art, I. 99: out of the midst thereof, as the colour of
“ The general application of the Four amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also Creatures to the Four Evangelists is of out of the midst thereof came the likemuch earlier date than the separate and ness of four living creatures. And this individual application of each symbol, was their appearance; they had the likewhich has varied at different times; that ness of a man. And every one had four propounded by St. Jerome, in his com- faces, and every one had four wings. mentary on Ezekiel, has since his time. And their feet were straight feet; and prevailed universally. Thus, then,-1. the sole of their feet was like the sole of To St. Matthew was given the CHERUB, a call's foot ; and they sparkled like the or human semblance, because he begins colour of burnished brass." his Gospel with the human generation of 105. In Revelation iv. 8, they are Christ; or, according to others, because described as having "each of them six in his Gospel the human nature of the wings ;" in Ezekiel, as having only four. Saviour is more insisted on than the 107. The triumphal chariot is the divine. In the most ancient mosaics, Church. The two wheels are generally the type is human, not angelic, for the interpreted as meaning the Old and New head is that of a man with a beard. Testaments ; but Dante, Par. XII, 106,