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CANTO I.

the second is that where Mercury is ;

the third is that where Venus is; the 1. Dante's theory of the universe is fourth is that where the Sun is; the the old one, which made the earth a fifth is that where Mars is ; the sixta stationary central point, around which is that where Jupiter is ; the seventh i: all the heavenly bodies revolved; a that where Saturn is; the eighth is that theory, that, according to Milton, Par. of the Stars ; the ninth is not visible, Lost, VIII. 15, astonished even Adam save by the motion mentioned above, in Paradise :

and is called by many the Crystalline · “When I behold this goodly frame, this world,

that is, diaphanous, or wholly transOf heaven and earth consisting, and compute parent. Beyond all these, indeed, the Their magnitudes; this earth, a spot, a grain, Catholics place the Empyrean Heaven ; An atom, with the firmanitat compared And all her numbered stars, that seem to roll

that is to say, the Heaven of flame, or Spaces incomprehensible for such

luminous ; and this they suppose to be Their distance argues, and their swift return immovable, from having within itself, Diurnal), merely to othciate light Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot,

in every part, that which its matter deOne day and night; in all their vast survey

mands. And this is the cause why the Useless besides ; reasoning I oft admire, Primum Mobile has a very swift moHow Niture, wise and frugal, could commit tion ; from the fervent longing which Such disproportions, with superfluous hand So many nobler bodies to create,

each part of that ninth heaven has to be Greater so manifold, to this one use,

conjoined with that Divinest Heaven, For aught appears, and on their orbs impose the Heaven of Rest, which is next to Such restless revolution day by day

it, it revolves therein with so great Repeated; while the sedentary earth, That better might with far less compass move, desire, that its velocity is almost inServed by more noble than hersell, attains comprehensible ; and quiet and peaceHer end without least motion, and receives, ful is the place of that supreme Deity, As tribute, such a sumless journey brought Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light,

who alone doth perfectly see himself.” Speed, to describe whose swiftness number Of the symbolism of these Heavens fails."

he says, Convilo, II. 14: “As narrated The reply that Raphael makes to above, the seven Heavens nearest to us our general ancestor," may be ad are those of the Planets ; and above dressed to every reader of the Para- these are two movable Heavens, and diso :

one motionless over all. To the first

seven correspond the seven sciences of “Whether the sun, predominant in heaven, the Trivium and Quadrivium ; that is,

Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun ;
He from the east his flaming road begin,

Grammar, Dialectics, Rhetoric, ArithOr she from west her silent course advance,

metic, Music, Geometry, and Astro. With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps logy. To the eighth, that is, to the On her soft axle ; while she paces even, And bears thee soft with the smooth air along : Physics, corresponds, and the firv

starry sphere, Natural Science, called Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid."

science which is called Metaphysics Thus, taking the earth as the central and to the ninth sphere corresponds point, and speaking of the order of the Moral Science ; and to the Heaven of Ten Heavens, Dante says, Convito, II. 4: Rest, the Divine Science, which is "The first is that where the Moon is ; I called Thcology."

The details of these correspondences X. 2. From Canto X. to Canto XXIII. will be given later in their appropriate 3. From Canto XXIII. to the end. places.

2. Wisdom of Solomon, i. 7: “For the These Ten Heavens are the heavens spirit of the Lord filleth the world"; of the Paradiso ; nine of them revolv- and Ecclesiasticus, xlii. 16: “ The sea ing about the earth as a central point, that giveth light looketh upon all things and the motionless Empyrean encircling and the work thereof is full of the gion and containing all.

of the Lord.” In the first Heaven, or that of the 4. The Empyrean. Milton, Par. Moon, are seen the spirits of those Lost, III. 57:who, having taken monastic vows, were

"From the pure Empyrean where he sits orced to violate them. In the second, High throned above all highth." or that of Mercury, the spirits of those whom desire of fame, incited to noble

5. 2 Corinthians, xii. 2 : “I knew deeds. In the third, or that of Venus,

a man in Christ about fourteen years the spirits of Lovers, In the fourth, ago, (whether in the body, I cannot or that of the Sun, the spirits of Theo- tell; or whether out of the body, I can logians and Fathers of the Church. not tell : God knoweth ;) such an one In the fifth, or that of Mars

, the spirits caught up to the third heaven. of Crusaders and those who died for I knew such a man, (whether in the the true Faith. In the sixth, or that body, or out of the body, I cannot teli; of Jupiter, the spirits of righteous Kings God knoweth :) how that he was caught and Rulers. In the seventh, or that of up into paradise, and heard unspeakable Saturn, the spirits of the Contemplative. words, which it is not lawful for a man In the eighth, or that of the Fixed Stars,

to utter.” the Triumph of Christ. In the ninth,

7. Convito, III. 2. : “Hence the or Primum Mobile, the Angelic Hier: human soul, which is the noblest form archies. In the tenth, or the Empyrean, of those created under heaven, receiveth is the Visible Presence of God.

more of the divine nature than any other. It must be observed, however, that

And inasmuch as its being the lower spheres, in which the spirits depends upon God, and is preserved by appear, are not assigned them as their him, it naturally desires and wishes places or dwellings. They show them to be united with God, in order to selves in these different places only to strengthen its being." indicate to Dante the different degrees

And again, Convito, III. 6: “Each of glory which they enjoy, and to show thing chiefly desireth its own perfection, that while on earth they were under the and in it quieteth every desire, and for influence of the planets in which they

it is each thing desired. And this is here appear. Dante expressly says, in the desire which always maketh each Canto IV. 28:

delight seem insufficient ; for in this

life is no delight so great that it can He of the Seraphim most absorbed in God, satisfy the thirst of the soul, so that the

Moses, and Samuel, and whichever John
Thou mayst select, I say, and even Mary,

desire I speak of shall not remain in Have not in any other heaven their thrones our thoughts. Than have those spirits that just appeared to 13. Chaucer, House of Fame, IIL

thee, Nor of existence more or fewer years ; But all make beautiful the primal circle,

“God of science and of light, And have sweet life in different degrees,

Apollo ! thorough thy grete might
By feeling more or less the eternal breath,

This litel last boke now thou gye.
They showed themselves here, not because
This sphere has been to them, but to give sign

And if that divine virtue thou
Of the celestial which is least exalted."

Wilte helpen me to showen now

That in my hed ymarked is,
The threefold main division of the
Paradiso, indicated by a longer prelude,

Thou shalt yse me go as blive or by a natural pause in the action of the

Unto the next laurer I se,

And kysse it for it is thy tre. poem, is :-). From Canto I. to Canto Nowc entre in my bresi anone"

I:

allotted

19. Chaucer, Ballade in Commen- “Restless I grew, and every place forsook, Pacion of Our Ladie, 12 :

And still upon the seas I bent my look.

Farewell for ever! Farewell, land! I said ; - winde of grace! now blowe unto my saile ;

And plunged amidst the waves my sinking head

The gentle powers, who that low empire keeg O anriate licour of Clio ! to write

Received me as a brother of the deep; My penne enspire, of that I woll indite,"

To Tethys, and to Ocean old, they pray

To purge my mortal earthy parts away." 20. Ovid, Met., VI., Croxall's Tr. :

“ As Glaucus," says Buti, was When straight another pictures to their view changed from a fisherman to a sea-god Who, raised with high conceit, and puffed by tasting of the grass that had that with pride,

power, so the human soul, tasting of At his own pipe the skilful God defied. things divine, becomes divine." Why do you tear me from myself, he cries ?

73. Whether I were spirit only. 2 Ah, cruel ! must my skin be made the prize ! This for a silly pipe ? he roaring said,

" Whether in the

Corinthians, xii. 3: Meanwhile the skin from off his limbs was body, or out of the body, I cannot tell ; flayed."

God knoweth."

One of the questions which exercised And Chaucer, Ilouse of Fame, 139, the minds of the Fathers and the School. changing the sex of Marsyas :

men was, whether the soul were created “And Mercia that lost hire skinne,

before the body or after it. Origen, Bothe in the face, bodie, and chinne, following Plato, supposes all souls to For that she would envyen, lo !

have been created at once, and to await To pipen bette than Apollo."

their bodies. Thomas Aquinas combats 36. A town at the foot of Parnassus, this opinion, Sum. Theol., I. Quæst. dedicated to Apollo, and here used for cxvIII. 3, and maintains, that “creation Apollo.

and infusion are simultaneous in regard

This seems also to be Chaucer, Quene Annelida and False to the soul.” Arcite, 15:

Dante's belief. See Purg. XXV. 70:

“The primal Motor turns to it well pleased “Be favorable eke thou, Polymnia!

At so great art of nature, and inspires
On Parnassus that, with thy susters glade

A spirit new, with virtue all repletc."
By Helicon, and not ferre from Cirrha,
Singed, with voice memoriall, in the shade 76. It is a doctrine of Plato that the
Under the laurer, which that maie not fade."

heavens are always in motion, seeking

the Soul of the World, which has no 39. That point of the horizon where determinate place, but is everywhere the sun rises at the equinox ; and where diffused. See also Note 1. the Equator, the Zodiac, and the equi

78. The music of the spheres. noctial Coiure meet, and form each a

Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, V cross with the Horizon.

41. The world is as wax, which the sun softens and stamps with his seal.

“Look, huw the floor of heaven

Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold: 44. “This word almost,” says Buti, There's not the smallest orb which thou behold's

gives us to understand that it was not But in his motion like an angel sings,
the exact inoment when the sun enters Such harmony is in immortal souls:

Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins.
Aries,"

But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
vo. Milton, Par. Lost, III. 593 : - Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear 16."
"Not all parts like, but all alike informed

And Milton, Ilymn on Ckrist's No. With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire." tivity :61. Milton, Par. Lost, V. 310: “Ring out, ye crystal spheres,

Once bless our human ears, Seems another morn

If ye have power to touch our senses so, Risen on mid-noon."

And let your silver chime

Move in melodious time; 68. Glaucus, changed to i sea-god

And let the bass of Heaven's deep organ by cating of the salt.meadow grass.

blow;

And, with your ninefuld harmony,
Uvid, Met., XIII., Rowe's Tr. :-

Make up full consort to the angelic symphony.

beams.'"

Rixner, Handbuch der Geschichte der all your senses it is the most Wanted Philosophie, I. 100, speaking of the ten Thus, the people who live near the place heavens, or the Lyre of Pythagoras, where the Nile rushes down from ser says: “These ten celestial spheres are high mountains to the parts which are arranged among themselves in an order called Catadupa, are destitute of the so mathematical and musical, that is so sense of hearing, by reason of the greaharmonious, that the sphere of the fixed ness of the noise. Now this souni stars, which is above the sphere of which is effected by the rapid rotatka Saturn, gives forth the deepest tone in of the whole system of nature, is a the music of the universe (the World. powerful that human hearing canx Lyre strung with ten strings), and that comprehend it, just as you cannot lous of the Moon the highest.”.

directly upon the sun, because you Cicero, in his Vision of Scipio, inverts sight and sense are overcome by has the tones. He says, Edmonds's Tr. :

“Which as I was gazing at in amaze. 92. The region of fire. Bruneto ment, I said, as I recovered myself, Latini, Tresor, Ch. CVIII.: “ "After the from whence proceed these sounds so zone of the air is placed the fourth strong, and yet so sweet, that fill my element. This is an orb of fire with ears? The melody,' replies he, which out any moisture, which extends as far you hear, and which, though composed as the moon, and surrounds this atmosin unequal time, is nevertheless divided phere in which we are. And koos into regular harmony, is effected by the that above the fire is first the mool, impulse and motion of the spheres and the other stars, which are all of the themselves, which, by a happy temper nature of fire." of sharp and grave notes, regularly pro 109. Milton, Par. Lost. V. 469:duces various harmonic effects. Now it is impossible that such prodigious All things proceed, and up to him return,

“One Almighty is, from whom movements should pass in silence ; and if not depraved from good ; created all nature teaches that the sounds which Such to perfection, one first matter all, the spheres at one extremity utter must Endued with various forms, various degties be sharp, and those on the other ex

Of substance, and, in things that live, or lite;

But more refined, more spiritous, and pure, tremity must be grave; on which ac As nearer to him placed, or nearer tending count, that highest revolution of the Each in their several active spheres assigned, star-studded heaven, whose motion is Till body up to spirit work, in bounds

So from the root more rapid, is carried on with a sharp Springs lighter the green stalk; from thence the and quick sound ; whereas this of the moon, which is situated the lowest, and More aery; last, the bright consummate flower at the other extremity, moves with the Spirits odorous breathes : flowers and their fruit

Man's nourishment, by gradual scale subline gravest sound. For the earth, the ninth To vital spirits aspire, to animal, sphere, remaining motionless, abides in- To intellectual: give both life and sense, variably in the innermost position, occu- Eancy and understanding : whence the soul

Reason receives, and reason is her beag, pying the central spot in the universe.

Discursive or intuitive." "Now these eight directions, two of which have the same powers, effect 121. Filicaja's beautiful sonnet on seven sounds, differing in their modula. Providence is thus translated by Leigh ions, which number is the connecting | Hunt :principle of almost all things. Some learned men, by imitating this harmony “Just as a mother, with sweet, pious face,

Yearns towards her little children tua se with strings and vocal melodies, have

seat, pened a way for their return to this Gives one a kiss, another an embrace, place : as all others have done, who,

Takes this upon her knees, that on her feet;

And while from actions, looks, complaints endued with pre-eminent qualities, have

pretences, cultivated in their mortal life the pursuits She learns their feelings and their various of heaven.

will, •• The ears of mankind, filled with

To this a look, to that a word, dispenses

And, whether stern or smiling, loves thea these sounds, have become deaf, for cf

leaves

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