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effects which Mercury produces upon us 128. Villani, VI. Ch. 90, relates the in the world below, for which honour story of Romeo (in Italian Romeu) as and blame are given to the planet ; for follows, though it will be observed that as Albumasar says in the introduction to he uses the word romco not as a proper, his seventh treatise, ninth division, where but as a common noun, in its sense of he treats of the nature of the planets and pilgrim : “ There arrived at his court a of their properties, Mercury signifies pilgrim, who was returning from St. these twenty-two things among others, James ; and hearing of the goodness of namely, desire of knowledge and of seeing Count Raymond, he tarried in his court, secret things; interpretation of the Deity, and was so wise and worthy, and found of vracles and prophecies; foreknowledge such favour with the Count, that he made of things future; knowledge and pro- him master and director of all things. fundity of knowledge in profound books; He was always clad in a decent and study of wisdom ; memory of stories and clerical habit, and in a short time, by tales; eloquence with polish of language; his dexterity and wisdom, increased the subtilty of genius ; desire of lordship; income of his lord threefold, maintaining appetite of praise and fame; colour and always a grand and honourable court. subtilty of speech; subtilty of genius in Four daughters had the Count, everything to which man betakes him- and no son. By the wisdom and address self; desire of perfection; cunning of | of the good pilgrim, he first married the hand in all arts; practice of trade; selling, eldest to the good King Louis of France buying, giving, receiving, stealing, cheat by means of money, saying to the Count, ing ; concealing thoughts in the mind ; | . Let me manage this, and do not be change of habits ; youthfulness, lust, troubled at the cost ; for if thou marry abundance, murmurs, lies, false testimony, the first well, on account of this relationand many other things as being therein ship thou wilt marry all the others better, contained. And therefore our author and at less cost.' And so it came to seigns, that those who have been active pass; for straightway the King of Eng. in the world, and have lived with politi- land,' in order to be brother-in-law of the cal and moral virtues, show themselves King of France, took the second for a in the sphere of Mercury, because Mer- small sum of money ; then his brother, cury exercises such influence, according being elected King of the Romans, took to the astrologe as has been shown; the third ; and the fourth still remaining but it is in man's free will to follow the to be married, the good pilgrim said, good influence and avoid the bad, and With this one I want thee to have a hence springs the merit and demerit.”
brave son, who shall be thy heir ;' and Milton, Lycidas, 70 :
so he did. Finding Charles, Count of " Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise, Anjou, brother of King Louis of France, (That last infirmity of noble mind,)
he said, 'Give her to this man, for he To scorn delights, and live laborious days ; will be the best man in the world ;' pro. But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
phesying concerning him, and so it was And think to burst out into sudden blaze, Comes the blind Fury with the abhorréd shears
done. Then it came to pass through And slits the thin-spun life. * But not the envy, which spoils every good thing, that praise,'
the barons of Provence accused the good Phæbus replied, and touched my trembling pilgrim of having badly managed the
Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, treasury of the Count, and had him
called to a reckoning. The noble pilgrim
came to thy court a poor pilgrim, and Brother, our will is quicted by virtue
Have my mule and my staff and scrip
ask no further wages.' The Count
would not have him go ; but on no ac- might not appear outwardly, as Statius count would he remain ; and he departed the poet relates of Theban (Edipus, as he had come, and never was it known when he says, that in eternal nighi he whence he came, nor whither he went. hid his shame accursed. She shows Many thought that his was a sainted herself in the mouth, as colour behind
glass. And what is laughter but a co142. Lord Bacon says in his Essay on ruscation of the delight of the soul, that Adversity: “Prosperity is the blessing is, a light appearing outwardly, as it of the Old Testament; adversity is the exists within ? And therefore it behoblessing of the New, which carrieth the veth man to show his soul in moderate greater benediction and the clearer reve. joy, to laugh moderately with dignified lation of God's favour. Yet, even in the severity, and with slight motion of the Old Testament, if you listen to David's arms ; so that the Lady who then shows harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like herself, as has been said, may appear airs as carols ; and the pencil of the Holy modest, and not dissolute. Hence the Ghost hath laboured more in describing Book of the Four Cardinal Virtues com. the afflictions of Job than the felicities of mands us, “Let thy laughter be without Solomon.”
cachinnation, that is to say, without cackling like a hen.' Ah, wonderful
laughter of my Lady, that never was CANTO VII.
perceived but by the eye!” 1. “Hosanna, holy God of Sabaoth,
20. Referring back to Canto VI. illuminating with thy brightness the 92 :
" To do vengeance happy fires of these realms."
Upon the vengeance of the ancient sin.' Dante is still in the planet Mercury, which receives from the sun six times 27. Milton, Par, Lost, I. 1, the more light and heat than the earth. story
5. By Substance is here meant spirit, “Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit or angel ; the word having the sense of Of that forbidden trec, whose mortal taste Subsistence. See Canto XIII. Note 58.
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man 7. The rapidity of the motion of the
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat." flying spirits is beautifully expressed in these lines.
36. Sincere in the sense of pure. 10. Namely, the doubt in his mind. 65. Plato, Timæus, Davis's Tr., X. : 14. Bice, or Beatrice.
“Let us declare then on what account 17. Convito, III. 8: “And in these the framing Artificer settled the forma
He was good; two places I say these pleasures appear, tion of this universe. saying, In her eyes and in her sweet and in the good envy is never engensmile; which two places by a beautiful dered about anything whatever. Hence, similitude may be called balconies of being free from this, he desired that all the Lady who inhabits the edifice of things should as much as possible rethe body, that is, the Soul; since here, semble himself.” although as if veiled, she often shows
Also Milton, Par. Lost, I. 259:herself. She shows herself in the eyes
“The Almighty hath not built so manifestly, that he who looks care
Here for his envy." fully can recognize her present passion. And again, VIII. 491:Hence, inasmuch as six passions are peculiar to the human soul, of which
" Thou hast fulfilled the Philosopher makes mention in his Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign, Rhetoric, that is, grace, zeal, mercy,
Giver of all things fair! but fairest this
Of all thy gifts ! nor enviest." envy, love, and shame, with none of these can the Soul be impassioned, with. 67. Dante here discriminates betweet out its semblance coming to the window the direct or immediate inspirations a of the eyes, unless it be kept within by God, and those influences that come great effort. Hence one of old plucked indirectly through the stars. In the out his eyes, so that his inward shame Convilo, VII. 3, he says : “ The good.
needs of God is received in one manner hy disembodied substances, that is, by
CANTO VIII. the Angels (who are without material
1. The ascent to the Third Heaven, frossness, and as it were diaphanous on account of the purity of their form), and or that of Venus, where are seen the in another manner by the human soul, spirits of Lovers. Of this Heaven Dante which, though in one part it is free from says, Convito, II. 14:
" The Heaven of Venus may be commatter, in another is impeded by it; (as pared to Rhetoric for two properties; a man who is wholly in the water, the first is the brightness of its aspect, except his head, of whom it cannot be which is most sweet to look upon, more said he is wholly in the water nor wholly than any other star ; the second is its out of it ;) and in another manner by the animals, whose soul is all absorbed appearance, now in the morning, now in in matter, but somewhat ennobled ; and the evening. And these two properties in another manner by the metals, and in are in Rhetoric, the sweetest of all the another by the earth; because it is the tion. It appears in the morning when
sciences, for that is principally its inten. most material, and therefore the most the rhetorician speaks before the face of remote from and the most inappropriate his audience ; it appears in the evening, for the first most simple and noble that is, retrograde, when the letter in virtue, which is solely intellectual, that is, God."
part remote speaks for the rhetorician."
For the influences of Venus, see Canto And in Canto XXIX: 136 :
IX. Note 33. “ The primal light, that all irradiates,
2. In the days of “the false and lying By modes as many is received therein, gods," when the world was in peril of
As are the splendours wherewith it is mated." damnation for misbelief. Cypria, or 76. Convilo, VII, 3: “Between the Cyprigna, was a title of Venus, from the angelic nature, which is
place of her birth, Cyprus.
an intellectual thing, and the human soul there is Venus, the third planet, was its sup
3. The third Epicycle, or that of no step, but they are both almost continuous in the order of gradation.
posed motion from west to cast, while Thus we are to suppose and firmly to froin east to west by the motion of the
ihe whole heavens were swept onward believe, that a man may be so noble,
Primum Mobile, and of such lofty condition, that he shall be almost an angel.”
In the Convito, II, 4, Dante savs : 130. The Angels, and the Heavens, Equatorial) in the Heaven of Venus,
. Upon the back of this circle ihe and the human soul, being immediately of which we are now treating, is a little inspired by God, are immutable and indestructible. But the elements and the sphere, which revolves of itself in this souls of brutes and plants are controlled call Epicycle.” And again, 11. 7:11
heaven, and whose orbit the astrologers by the stars, and are mutable and perish this heaven moves and revolves with its able.
Epicycle from east to west, once every 142. See Purg. XVI. 85:
natural day; but whether this movement •Forth from the hand of Him, who fondles it be by any Intelligence, or by the sweep Before it is, like to a little girl
of the Primum Mobile, God knowetli i Weeping and laughing in her childish sport, in me it would be presumptuoʻis 10 Issues the simple soul, that nothing knows,
Save that, proceeding from a joyous Maker, judge."
“ From man or angel the great Architect And also Purg. XXV. 70:
Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge
His secrets to be scanned by them who ou like “The primal Motor turns to it well pleased
Rather admire; or, if they list to try
Hath left to their disputes ; perhaps to ninve
The mighty frame; how build, unbuild, contrive, “ This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward To save appearances; how gird the sphere
boy ; With centric and eccentric scribbled o'er, This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid; Cycle and epicycle, ob in orb.”
Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms, See also Nichol, Solar System, p. 7:
The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
Liege of all loiterers and malcontents. “Nothing in later times ought to obscure the glory of Hipparchus, and, as
9. Cupid in the semblance of Asca. some think, the still greater Ptolemy. nius. Æneid, I. 718, Davidson's Tr. : Amid the bewilderment of these plane
“She clings to him with her eyes, her tary motions, what could they say, ex. whole soul, and sometimes fondles him cept that the gods never act without in her lap, Dido not thinking what a design ;' and thereon resolve to discern powerful god is settling on her, hapless it? The motion of the Earth was con
one. Meanwhile he, mindful of his Acicealed from them : nor was augħt intel- dalian mother, begins insensibly to efface ligible or explicable concerning the the memory of Sichæus, and with a wanderings of the planets, except the living flame tries to prepossess her langrand revolution of the sky around the guid affections, and her heart, chilled Earth. That Earth, small to us, they by long disuse." cherefore, on the ground of phenomena,
10. Venus, with whose name this considered the centre of the Universe,
canto begins. thinking, perhaps, not more confinedly
12. Brunetto Latini, Tresor, I. Ch. 3, than persons in repute in modern days.
says that Venus “ always follows the Around that centre all motion seemed to pass in order the most regular; and called the Goddess of Love."
sun, and is beautiful and gentle, and is if a few bodies appeared to interrupt the
Dante says, it plays with or caresses regularity of that order, why not conceive
now behind and now in the existence of some arrangement by front." 'When it follows, it is Hespewhich they might be reconciled with it?
rus, It was a strange, but most ingenious it is Phosphor, the Morning Star.
the Evening Star; when it precedes, idea. They could not tell how, by any simple system of circular and uniform spirits, as well as their brightness, is in
21. The rapidity of the motion of the motion, the ascertained courses of the planets, as directly observed, were to be proportion to their vision of God. 'Com
Canto XIV. 40 :accounted for; but they made a most artificial scheme, that still saved the im " Its brightness is proportioned to the ardour, mobility of the Earth. Suppose a person
The ardour to the vision, and the vision
Equals what grace it has above its worth." passing around a room holding a lamp, and all the while turning on his heel. 23. Made visible by mist and cloud. If he turned round uniformly, there rack. would be no actual interruption of the 27. Their motion originates in the uniform circular motion both of the Primum Mobile, whose Regents, or Incarrier and the carried ; but the light, as telligences, are the Seraphim. seen by an observer in the interior, would 34. The Regents, or Intelligences, of make strange gyrations. Unable to ac- Venus are the Principalities. count otherwise for the irregularities of 37. This is the first line of the first the planets, they mounted them in this canzone in the Convito, and in his com. manner, on small circles, whose centres mentary upon it, II. 5, Dante says: only revolved regularly around the Earth, “In the first place, then, be it known, but which, during their revolutionary that the movers of this heaven are submotion, also revolved around their own stances separate from matter, that is, centres. Styling these cycles and epi. Intelligences, which the common people cycles, the ancient learned men framed call Angels." And farther on, il. 6: that grand system of the Heavens con- “It is reasonable to believe that the cerning which Ptolemy composed his motors of the Heaven of the Moon are "Syntax.
of the order of the Angels ; and those 4. Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost, of Mercury are the Archangels; and III, I :
those of Venus are the Thrones," IL
vill be observed, however, that in line the north by the Tronto emptying into 4 he alludes to the Principalities as the the Adriatic, and the Verde (or Garig Regents of Venus; and in Canto IX. 61, liano) emptying into the Mediterranean. peaks of the Thrones as reflecting the 65. The kingdom of Hungary ustice of God :
67. Sicily, called of old Trinacria, "Above us there are mirrors, Thrones you call from its three promontories Peloro, Pa them,
chino, and Lilibeo. From which shines out on us God Judicant ;" 68. Pachino is the south-eastern prothus referring the Thrones to a higher montory of Sicily, and Peloro the north
Between them lies the Gulf of heaven than that of Venus. 40. After he hal by looks asked and Catania, receiving with open arms the
east wind. Horace speaks of Eurus as gained assent from Beatrice. 46. The spirit shows its increase of
“riding the Sicilian seas." joy by increase of brightness. As Picar. the giant Typhæus, as struck by Jove's
70. Both Pindar and Ovid speak of da in Canto III. 67:
thunderbolt, and lying buried under “ First with those other shades she smiled a | Ætna. Virgil says it is Enceladus, a l'hereafter answered me so joyously,
brother of Typheus. Charles Martel She scemed to burn in the first fire of love,'' here gives the philosophical, not the
poetical, cause of the murky atmosphere And Justinian, in Canto V. 133 : of the bay. “ Even as the sun, that doth conceal himself 72. Through him from his grand
By too much light, when heat has worn father Charles of Anjou, and his father-
in-law the Emperor Rudolph. By greater rapture thus concealed itself 75. The Sicilian Vespers and revolt
In its own radiance the figure saintly." of Palermo, in 1282. Milman, Hist. 49. The spirit who speaks is Charles festival on Easter Tuesday that a multi
Latin Christ., VI. 155 : “ It was at a Martel of Hungary, the friend and bene- tude of the inhabitants of Palermo and factor of Dante. He was the eldest son the neighbourhood had thronged to a of Charles the Lame (Charles II. of church, about half a mile out of the Naples) and of Mary of Hungary. He was born in 1272, and in 1291 married. The religious service was over, the mer.
town, dedicated to the Holy Ghost. the beautiful Clemence,” daughter ofriment begun ; tables were spread, the Rudolph of Hapsburg, Emperor of Ger
amusements of all sorts, games, dances many. He died in 1295, at the twenty-three, to which he alludes in the when the harmony was suddenly inter
under the trees, were going gaily on, words,
rupted and the joyousness chilled by “ The world possessed me Short time below."
the appearance of a body of French
soldiery, under the pretext of keeping 58. That part of Provence, embra. the peace. The French mingler famicing Avignon, Aix, Arles, and Mar. liarly with the people, paid court, not in seilles, of which his father was lord, and the most respectful manner, to the which he would have inherited had he women ; the young men made sullen lived. This is “the great dowry of remonstrances, and told them to go their Provence,” which the daughter of Ray. way. The Frenchmen began to draw mond Berenger brought to Charles of together. * These rebellious Paterins Anjou in marriage, and which is men. must have arms, or they would not ventioned in Purg. XX. 61, as taking the ture on such insolence. They began to sense of shame out of the blood of the search some of them for arms. The two Capets.
parties were already glaring at each 61. The kingdom of Apulia in Au: other in angry hostility. At that mosonia, or Lower Italy, embracing Bari ment the beautiful daughter of Roger on the Adriatic, Gaeta in the Terra di Mastrangelo, a maiden of exquisite loveLavoro on the Mediterranean, and Cro- liness and modesty, with her bridegroom, tona in Calabria ; a region bounded on approached the church. A Frenchman,