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So Providence for us, high, infinite,
Life and Times of Dinte, IL Ch. 15, Makes our necessities its watchful task, Hearkens to all our prayers, helps all our
Mrs. Bunbury's Tr., says : wants,
“ The last part of the Coinmedia, And even if it denies what seems our right, which Dante finished about this time
Either denies because 'twould have us ask,
(1320). .. is said to be the most 122. The Empyrean, within which poem. And it is so ; and it would be in the Primum Mobile revolves “with so vain for us to attempt lo awaken in the great desire that its velocity is almost generality of readers that attention which incomprehensible."
Dante has not been able to obtain for 141. Convito, III. 2: “ The human himself
. Readers in general will always soul, ennobled by the highest power, be repulsed by the difficulties of its that is by reason, partakes of the divine numerous allegories, by the series of nature in the manner of an eternal In- heavens, arranged according to the now telligence; because the soul is so en- forgotten Ptolemaic system, and more nobled by that sovereign power, and than all by disquisitions on philosophy denuded of matter, that the divine light and theology which often degenerate into shines in it as in an angel ; and there. mere scholastic themes. With the exfore man has been called by the philo. ception of the three cantos relating to sophers a divine animal."
Cacciaguida, and a few other episodes
which recall us to earth, as well as those verses in which frequently Dante's love
for Beatrice shines forth, the Paradiso CANTO II.
must not be considered as pleasant read. 1. The Heaven of the Moon, in which ing for the general reader, but as an are seen the spirits of those who, having especial recreation for those who find taken monastic vows, were forced to there, expressed in sublime verse, those violate them.
contemplations that have been the subIn Dante's symbolism this heaven re- jects of their philosophical and theological presents the first science of the Trivium. studies. ... But few will always be Convito, II. 14: “I say that the heaven the students of philosophy and theology, of the Moon resembles Grammar ; be- and much fewer those who look upon cause it may be compared therewith; for these sciences as almost one and the same if the Moon be well observed, two things thing, pursued by two different methods; are seen peculiar to it, which are not seen these, if I am not mistaken, will find in in the other stars. One is the shadow Dante's Paradiso, a treasure of thought, in it, which is nothing but the rarity of and the loftiest and most southing words its body, in which the rays of the sun of comfort, forerunners of the joys of cannot terminate and be reflected as in Heaven itself. Above all, the Paradiso the other parts. The other is the varia. will delight those who find themselves, tion of its brightness, which now shines when they are reading it, in a somewhat on one side, and now upon the other, similar disposition of mind to that of according as the sun looks upon it. And Dante when he was writing it; those in Grammar has these two properties ; short who, after having in their youth since, on account of its infinity, the rays lived in the world, and sought happiness of reason do not terminate in it in any in it, have now arrived at maturity, old special part of its words; and it shines age, or satiety, and seek by the means of now on this side, and now on that, inas- philosophy and theology to know as far much as certain words, certain declina as possible of that other world on which tions, certain constructions, are in use their hopes now rest. Philosophy is the which once were not, and many once romance of the aged, and Religion th: were which will be again.
only future history for us all. Both these For the influences of the Moon, see subjects of contemplation we find in Canto III. Note 30.
Dante's Paradiso, and pursued with a The introduction to this canto is at rare modesty, not beyond the limits of ence a warning and an invitation. Balbi, I our understanding, and with due sub.
mission to the Divine Law which placed 59. The spots in the Moon, whi ) these limits."
Dante thought were caused by rarity i 8. In the other parts of the poem one density of the substance of the plant summit of Parnassus” has sufficed; but Convito, II. 14: “The shadow in it In this Minerva, Apollo, and the nine which is nothing but the rarity of its body, Muses come to his aid, as wind, helms- in which the rays of the sun cannot ter man, and compass.
minate and be reflected, as in the otta 11. The bread of the Angels is Know-parts." ledge or Science, which Dante calls the Milton, Par. Lost, V. 419:"ultimate perfection.” Convito, I. I:
“Whence in her visage round those spots ? “Everything, impelled by the provi.
purged, dence of its own nature, inclines towards Vapours not yet into her substance turned" its own perfection ; whence, inasmuch
64. The Heaven of the Fixed Stars. as knowledge is the ultimate perfection
73. Either the diaphanous parts mes of our soul, wherein consists our ultimate felicity, we are all naturally subject to its the rarity and density must be in layers
run through the body of the Moon, or desire... O blessed those few who
one above the other. sit at the table where the bread of the
90. As in a mirror, which Dante ele. Angels is eaten."
where, Inf. XXIII. 25, calls impiombate 16. The Argonauts, when they saw
vetro, leaded glass. their leader Jason ploughing with the wild bulls of Æetes, and sowing the land lies under it ; "the mountain that remains
107. The subject of the snow is wha! with serpents ' teeth. Ovid, Met., VII., naked,” says Buti
. Others give a schalTate's Tr. :
astic interpretation to the word, defining “ To unknown yokes their brawny necks they it “the cause of accident," the cause of yield,
colour and cold. And, like tame oxen, plough the wondering field.
II. Shall tremble like a star. “When The Colchians stare; the Grecians shout, and a man looks at the stars," says Buti, “he Their champion's courage with inspiring because their splendour scintillates as fire
sees their effulgence tremble, and this is praise. Emboldened now, on fresh attempts he goes, does, and moves to and fro like the flame With serpents' teeth the fertile furrows sows; of the fire.” The brighter they burn, the The glebe, fermenting with enchanted juice, Makes the snakes' teeth a human crop pro
more they tremble. duce,"
112. The Primum Mobile, revolving 19. This is generally interpreted as
in the Empyrean, and giving motion to referring to the natural aspiration of the all the heavens beneath it. soul for higher things ; characterized in
115. The Heaven of the Fixed Stars. Purg. XXI. 1, as
Greek Epigrams, III. 62 “The natural thirst that ne'er is satisfied,
“If I were heaven, Excepting with the water for whose grace
With all the eyes of heaven would I look down The woman of Samaria besought."
on thee. But Venturi says that it means the “ being Also Catullus, Carm., V. :borne onward by the motion of the Pri “How many stars, when night is silent,
Look on the furtive loves of men. mum Mobile, and swept round so as to find himself directly beneath the moon.' And Milton, Par. Lost, V. 44 : 23. As if looking back upon hiä jour
“Heaven wakes with all his ney through the air, Dante thus rapidly describes it in an inverse order, the arrival,
Whom to behold but thee, nature's desire ? ' the ascent, the departure ;-the striking 131. The Intelligences, ruling and of the shaft, the flight, the discharge guiding the several heavens (receiving from the bow-string. Here again we power from above, and distributing it are reminded of the arrow of Pandarus, downward, taking their impression from Iliad, IV. 120.
God and stamping it like a seal upon the 51. Cain with his bush thorns. See spheres below), according to Dionysius inf. XX. Note 126.
the Areopagite are as follows :
The Seraphim, Primum Mobile. 41. Your destiny ; that is, of yourself
49. Piccarda was a sister of Forese
and Corso Donati, and of Gemma, The Dominions, Jupiter.
Dante's wife. In Purg. XXIV. 13, The Virtues, Mars.
Forese says of her :The Powers, The Sun.
"My sister, who, 'twixt beautiful and good,
I know not which was more, triumphs reTh.e Principalities, Venus.
joicing The Archangels, Mercury
Already in her crown on high Olympus." The Angels, The Moon.
She was a nun of Santa Clara, and was See Canto XXVIII. Note 99, and dragged by violence from the cloister by also the article Cabala at the end of the her brother Corso Donati, who married volume.
her to Rosselin della Tosa. As she 147. The principle which gives being herself says :to all created things.
"God knows what afterward my life became."
It was such that she did not live long. CANTO III.
For this crime the “excellent Baron," 1. The Heaven of the Moon continued. according to the Ottimo, had to do pen. Of the influence of this planet, Buti, ance in his shirt. quoting the astrologer Albumasar, says: 70. Milton, Par. Lost, XII. 583:6. The Moon is cold, moist, and phleg.
" Add Love, matic, sometimes warm, and gives light. By name to come called Charity, the soul ness, aptitude in all things, desire of joy, Of all the rest." of beauty, and of praise, beginning of all
118. Constance, daughter of Roger of works, knowledge of the rich and noble, prosperity in life, acquisition of things Sicily. She was a nun at Palermo, but
was taken from the convent and married desired, devotion in faith, superior sciences, multitude of thoughts, necro
to the Emperor Henry V., son of Barbamancy, acuteness of mind in things, geo these “winds of Suabia,” or Emperors
rossa and father of Frederic II. Of metry, knowledge of lands and waters and of their measure and number, weak of the house of Suabia, Barbarossa was ness of the sentiments, noble women, Frederic II. the third, and, as Dante
the first, Henry V. the second, and marriages, pregnancies, nursings, emLassies, falsehoods, accusations ; the
calls him in the Convito, IV. 3, "the being lord among lords, servant among the last of the Suabian line.
last of the Roman Emperors," meaning servants, and conformity with every man of like nature, oblivion thereof, timid, of simple heart, flattering, honourable towards men, useful to them, not betraying
CANTO IV. secrets, a multitude of infirmities and the care of healing bodies, cutting hair, 1. The Heaven of the Moon con. liberality of food, chastity. These are tinued. the significations (influences) of the Moon
2. Montaigne says: “Ifany one should upon the things it finds, the blame and place us between the bottle and the honour of which, according to the astro- bacon (entre la vouteille et le jambon), logers, belong to the planet ; but the with an equal appetite for food and drink, wise man follows the good influences, and there would doubtless be no remedy but leaves the bad ; though all are good and to die of thirst and hunger." recessary to the life of the universe."
6. Ovid, Mlet., V., Maynwaring's Tr.:18. Narcissus mistook his shadow for a substance ; Dante, falling into the
“As when a hungry tiger near him hears
Two lowing herds, a while he both forbears ; opposite error, mistakes these substances
Nor can his hopes of this or that renounce, for shadows.
So strong he lusts to prey on both at once."
9. “A similitude," says Venturi, "of 49. Plato's Dialogue, entitled Tisz, great poetic beauty, but of little philo- the name of the philosopher of Locri, sophic soundness.”
51. Plato means it literally, and the 13. When he recalled and interpreted Scriptures figuratively. Me forgotten dream of Nebuchadnezzar, 54. When it was infused into the body, Daniel, ii. 10: “ The Chaldeans an or the body became informed with it swered before the king, and said, There Thomas Aquinas, Sum. Theol., L. is not a man upon the tarth that can Quæst. LXXVI. I, says: "Form is that show the king's matter : therefore there by which a thing is. is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked ciple therefore, by which we first thing, such things at any magician, or astrologer, whether it be called intellect, or intelles. or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that tual soul, is the form of the body." the king requireth : and there
And Spenser, Hymne in Honeur en other that can show it before the king Beautie, says :except the gods, whose dwelling is not
“For of the soule the bodie forme doth take, with flesh."
For soule is forme and doth the bodie make." 24. Plato, Timæus, Davis's Tr., says: " And after having thus framed the
63. Joachim di Flora, Dante's " Ca. universe, he allotted to it souls equal in labrian Abbot Joachim,” the mystic of number to the stars, inserting each in the twelfth century, says in his Expos each. And he declared also, that tion of the Apocalypse: “ The deceived after living well for the time appointed Gentiles believed that the planets to to him, each one should once more re- which they gave the names of Jupiter, turn to the habitation of his associate Saturn, Venus, Mercury, Mars, the Moon, star, and spend a blessed and suitable and the Sun, were gods.” existence."
64. Stated in line 20 :26. The word “thrust," pontano, is
“The violence of others, for what reason here used in its architectural sense, as in Doth it decrease the measure of my merit?" Inf. XXXII. 3. There it is literal, here figurative.
83. St. Lawrence. In Mrs. Jameson's 28. Che più s' india, that most in-God's Sacred and Legendary Art, II. 156, his himself. As in Canto IX. 81, Sio m' martyrdom is thus described :intuassi come tu t' immii, “if I could in. “'The satellites of the tyrant, hearing thee myself as thou dost in-me thyself”; that the treasures of the church had been and other expressions of a similar kind. confided to Lawrence, carried him before
42. The dogma of the Peripatetics, the tribunal, and he was questioned, but that nothing is in Intellect which was replied not one word ; therefore he was not first in Sense.
put into a dungeon, under the charge of 48. Raphael, “the affable archangel," a man named Hippolytus, whom with of whom Milton says, Par. Lost, v. his whole family he converted to the
faith of Christ, and baptized ; and when
he was called again before the Prefect "Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deigned and required to say where the treasures
To travel with Tobias, and secured
were concealed, he answered that ia maid.'
three days he would show them. The
third day being come, St. Lawrence See Tobit xii. 14: “And now God gathered together the sick and the poor, hath sent me to heal thee and Sara thy to whom he had dispensed alms, and, daughter-in-law. I am Raphael, one of placing them before the Prefect, sail, the seven holy angels which present the Behold, here are the treasures of Christ's prayers of the saints, and which go in Church. Upon this the Prefect, thinking and out before the glory of the Holy he was mocked, fell into a great rage, One."
and ordered St. Lawrence to be tortured It must be remarked, however, that it till he had made known where the treawas Tobit, and not Tobias, who was sures were concealed ; but no suffering cured of his blindness.
could subdue the patience and constancy
of the holy martyr. Then the Prefect to the enterprise, was not sorry that he commanded that he should be carried by had miscarried in it, because so brave night to the baths of Olympias, near the and good a man deserved rather to be a villa of Sallust the historian, and that a friend to the Romans than an enemy." new kind of torture should be prepared 103. Alcmæon, who slew his mother for him, more strange and cruel than had Eriphyle to avenge his father Amphia. ever entered into the heart of a tyrant to raüs the soothsayer. See Purg. XII. conceive ; for he ordered him to be Note 50. stretched on a sort of bed, formed of iron Ovid, Met., IX. :bars in the manner of a gridiron, and a fire to be lighted beneath, which should
"The son shall bathe his hands in parent's
blood gradually consume his body to ashes :
And in one act be both unjust and good." and the executioners did as they were commanded, kindling the fire and adding 118. Beatrice, beloved of God; "that coals from time to time, so that the vic- blessed Beatrice, who lives in heaven tim was in a manner roasted alive; and with the angels and on earth with my those who were present looked on with soul." horror, and wondered at the cruelty of 131. Lessing, Theol. Schrift., I. 108 : the Prefect, who could condemn to such “I God held all Truth shut up in his torments a youth of such fair person and right hand, and in his left only the ever courteous and gentle bearing, and all for restless instinct for Truth, and the lust of gold.”
said to me, Choose! I should humbly 84. Plutarch thus relates the story of fall down at his left, and say, Father, Mutius Scævola, Dryden's Tr. :
give! Pure Truth is for Thee alone !" “The story of Mutius is variously 139. It must not be forgotten, that given ; we, like others, must follow the Beatrice is the symbol of Divine Wisdom. commonly received statement. He was Dante says, Convito, III. 15: “In her a man endowed with every virtue, but countenance appear things which display most eminent in war; and resolving to some of the pleasures of Paradise ;" and kill Porsenna, attired himself in the Tus. notes particularly “the eyes and smile." can habit, and using the Tuscan language, He then adds : “And here it should be came to the camp, and approaching the known that the eyes of Wisdom are its seat where the king sat amongst his demonstrations, by which the truth is nobles, but not certainly knowing the most clearly seen ; and its smile the per. ting, and fearful to inquire, drew out his suasions, in which is displayed the in sword, and stabbed one who he thought terior light of Wisdom under a veil ; and had most the appearance of king. Mutius in these two things is felt the exceeding was taken in the act, and whilst he was pleasure of beatitude, which is the chief under examination, a pan of fire was good in Paradise. This pleasure cannot brought to the king, who intended to exist in anything here below, except iv sacrifice ; Mutius thrust his right hand beholding these eyes and this smile.' into the flame, and whilst it burnt stood looking at Porsenna with a steadfast and undaunted countenance; Porsenna at last
CANTO V. in admiration dismissed him, and returned his sword, reaching it from his seat ; 1. The Heaven of Mercury, where are Mutius received it in his left hand, which seen the spirits of those who for the love occasioned the name of Scævola, left- of fame achieved great deeds. Of its handed, and said, I have overcome the symbolism Dante says, Convito, II. 14 : terrors of Porsenna, yet am vanquished • The Heaven of Mercury may be comby his generosity, and gratitude obliges pared to Dialectics, on account of two me to disclose what no punishment could properties ; for Mercury is the smallest extort ;' and assured him then, that three star of heaven, since the quantity of its hundred Romans, all of the same resolu- diameter is not more than iwo thousand .ion, lurked about his camp only waiting and thirty-two miles, according to the Sor an opportunity; he, by lot appointed estimate of Alsergano, who declares it to