« PreviousContinue »
141. See Canto II. 59:
from this fourth you deduct the space • And I : What seems to us up here diverse,
occupied by the seas and lakes, and the Is caused, I think, by bodies rare and vast sandy regions which extreme heat dense.""
and want of water render uninhabitable,
there remains but a very small propor142. The Sun.
tion of the terrestrial sphere for the 144. Mercury, son of Maia, and habitation of men. Enclosed then and Venus, daughter of Dione.
locked up as you are, in an unperceiv. 145. The temperate planet Jupiter, able point of a point, do you think of between Mars and Saturn. In Canto nothing but of blazing far and wide your XVIII. 68, Dante calls it “the tem- name and reputation? What can there perate star ;” and in the Convito, II. be great or pompous in a glory circum14, quoting the opinion of Ptolemy : scribed in so narrow a circuit ? ”
* Jupiter is a star of a temperate complexion, midway between the coldness of Saturn and the heat of Mars."
CANTO XXIII. 149. Bryant, Song of the Stars :
1. The Heaven of the Fixed Stan " Look, look, through our glittering ranks afar, continued. The Triumph of Christ. In the infinite azure, star after star,
3. Milton, Par. Lost, III. 38:How they brighten and bloom as they swiftly
As the wakeful bird How the verdure runs o'er each rolling inass! Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid And the path of the gentle winds is seen,
Tunes her nocturnal note.' Where the small waves dance, and the young woods lean.
12. Towards the meridian, where the
sun seems to move slower than when " And see, where the brighter day-beams pour, nearer the horizon.
How the rainbows hang in the sunny shower ;
20. Didron, Christ. Iconog., Mil. hues,
lington's Tr., I. 308 : “ The triumph of Shift o'er the bright planets and shed their Christ is, of all subjects, that which has dews :
excited the most enthusiasm amongst And 'twixt them both, o'er the teeming ground, With her shadowy cone the night goes round!" artists; it is seen in numerous monu
ments, and is represented both in paint151. The threshing.floor, or little ing and sculpture, but always with such area of our earth. The word ajuola remarkable modifications as impart to would also bear the rendering of gar- it the character of a new work. The den-plot; but to Danie this world was eastern portion of the crypt of the rather a threshing-floor than a flower. cathedral of Auxerre contains, in the bed. The word occurs again in Canto vaulting of that part which corresponds XXVII. 86, and in its Latin form in with the sanctuary, a fresco painting, the Monarchia, III. : Ut scilicet in arcola executed about the end of the twelfih mortalium libere cum pace vivatur. Per century, and representing, in the most haps Dante uses it to signify in general simple form imaginable, the triumph any small enclosure.
of Christ. The background of the pic. Boethius, Cons. Phil., II. Prosa 7, ture is intersected by a cross, which, Ridpath's Tr. : “You have learned if the transverse branches were a little from astronomy that this globe of longer, would be a perfect Greek cross. earth is but as a point in respect to This cross is adorned with imitations of the vast extent of the heavens ; That is, precious stones, round, oval, and loze the immensity of the celestial sphere enge-shaped, disposed in quincunxes. is such that ours, when compared with In the centre is a figure of Christ, on it, is as nothing, and vanishes. You a white horse with a saddle ; he holds know likewise, from the proofs that the bridle in his left hand, and in the Ptolemy adduces, there is only one right, the hand of power and authority, fourth part of this earth, which is of a black staff, the rod of iron by which itself so small a portion of the universe, he governs the nations. He advances inhabited by creatures known to us. If thus, having his head adorned with an
azure or bluish nimbus, intersected by “ Those glimmerings of light, those scintillations a cross gules; his face is turned towards
That by supernal influences draw the spectator. In the four compart.
Their nutriment in splendours from the sun. ments formed by the square in which 46. Beatrice speaks. the cross is enclosed are four angels 56. The Muse of harmony. who form the escort of Jesus ; they are Skelton, Elegy on the Earl of Nortk. all on horseback, like their master, and umberland, 155:with wings outspread; the right hand “ If the hole quere of the musis nyne of each, which is free, is open and In me all onely wer sett and comprisyde, raised, in token of adoring admiration. Enbreathed with the blast of influence dyvyne, * And I saw heaven opened, and be.
And perfightly as could be thought or re
vysyde; hold a white horse; and he that sat To me also allthouche it were promysyde upon him was called Faithful and True, Of laureat Phebus holy the eloquence, and in righteousness he doth judge and
All were to littill for his magnyficence." make war. His eyes were as a flame
70. Beatrice speaks again. of fire, and on his head were many 73. The Virgin Mary, Rosa Mundi, crowns; and he had a name written Rosa Mystica. that no man knew but he himself.
74. The Apostles, by following whom And he was clothed with a vesture the good way was found. dipped in blood ; and his name is Shirley, Death's Final Conquest :called the Word of God. And the
“Only the actions of the just armies which were in heaven followed
Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust." him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen white and clean.' Such is the 78. The struggle between his eyes and language of the Apocalypse, and this the light. the fresco at Auxerre interprets, al 85. Christ, who had re-ascended, so though with some slight alterations, that Dante's eyes, too feeble to bear which it will be well to observe." the light of his presence, could nov
See also Purg. XXIX. Note 154. behold the splendour of this “meador
21. By the beneficent influences of the of Powers." stors.
88. The Rose, or the Virgin Mary, 26. The Moon. Trivia is one of the to whom Beatrice alludes in line 73. surnames of Diana, given her because Afterwards he hears the hosts of heaven she presided over all the places where repeat her name, as described in line three roads met.
110:Purg. XXXI. 106 :
" And all the other lights
Were making to resound the name of Mary." “ We here are Nymphs, and in the Heaven are
90. This greater fire is also the Vir.
gin, greatest of the remaining splendours. Iliad, VIII. 550, Anon. Tr. : “ As 92. Stella Maris, Stella Matutina, are when in heaven the beauteous stars ap- likewise titles of the Virgin, who sur. pear round the bright moon, when the passes in brightness all other souls in air is breathless, and all the hills and heaven, as she did here on earth. lofty summits and forests are visible, 94. The Angel Gabriel. and in the sky the boundless ether opens, 101. The mystic virtues of the sapand all the stars are seen, and the shep- phire are thus enumerated by Marbodus herd is delighted in his soul.”
in his Lapidarium, King's Antique Gomes, 29. Christ.
p. 395:30. The old belief that the stars were
By nature with superior honours graced, fed by the light of the sun. Milton, Par. As gem of gems above all others placed ; Lost, VII. 364:
Health to preserve and treachery to disarm,
And guard the wearer from intended harm. “ Hither as to their fountain other stars
No envy bends him, and no terror shakes; Repairing, in their golden urns draw light." The captive's chains its mighty virtue breaks ;
The gates fly open, fetters fall away, Anc Calderon, El Principe Constante,
And send their prisoner to the light of day,
E'en Heaven is moved by its force divine sonnel in Jc-. II. :-
To list to vows presented at its shrine."
Sapphire is the colour in which the
Milton, Lycidas, 108:all painters arrayed the Virgin, “its
“ Last came, and last did go, hue,' says Mr. King, being the
The pilot of the Galilean lake; exact shade of the air or atmosphere
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain,, in the climate of Rome.” This is (The golden opes, the iron shuts amain)." Dante's
And Fletcher, Purple Island, VII. “Dolce color d' oriental zaffiro," in Purg. I. 13.
“Not in his lips, but hands, two keys he bure, 105. Haggai ii. 7: “The desire of Heaven's doors and Hell's to shut and open all nations shall come.
wide. 112. The Primum Mobile, or Crys. talline Heaven, which infolds all the
CANTO XXIV. other volumes or rolling orbs of the universe like a manlle.
1. The Heaven of the Fixed Stars 115. Cowley, Hymn to Light: continued. St. Peter examines Dante
on Faith. “ Thou Scythian-like dost round thy lands above The sun's gilt tent for ever move ;
Revelation xix. 9: “And he saith And still as thou in pomp dost go,
unto me, Write, Blessed are they which The shining pageants of the world attend thy are called unto the marriage-supper of show.
the Lamb." 120. The Virgin ascending to her son. 16. The carol was a dance as well Fray Luis Ponce de Leon, Assumption as a song ; or, to speak more exactly, of the l'irgin:
a dance accompanied by a song.
Gower, Confis. Amant., VI. :“ Lady! thine upward Night The opening heavens receive with joyful song :
" And if it nedes so betide,
That I in company abide,
Where as I must daunce and singe And to the sacred mouni Aoat peacefully The hove daunce and carolinge. along!
It is from the old French karole. “ Bright angels are around thee, They that have served thee from thy birth are See passage from the Roman de la Rose, there :
in Note 118 of this canto. See also Their hands with stars have crowned thee;
Roquefort, Glossaire: “KAROLE, dance, Thou, peerless Queen of air, As sandals to thy feet the silver moon dost concert, divertissement; de choren, cho wear!”
rus ;” and “KAROLER, sauter, danser,
se divertir. 128. An Easter llymn to the Vir. gin :
Et li borjéois y furent en present
Karolent main à main, et chantent haute “Regina cæli, lætare ! Alleluia. Quia quem meruisti portare, Alleluia.
Vie de Du Guesclin." Resurrexit, sicut dixit. Alleluia."
Milton, Par. Lost, V. 618:This hymn, according to Collin de
“ That day, as other solemn days, they spent Plancy, Légendes des Commandements de
In song and dance about the sacred hill, l'Eglise, p. 14, Pope Gregory the Great
Mystical dance, which yonder starry spliere I eard the angels singing, in the pesti of planets and of fixed in all her wheels lence of Rome in 890, and on hearing
Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,
Eccentric, intervolved, yet regular it added another line :
Then most when most irregular they seem;
And in their motions harmony divine
So smooths her charming tones, that God's 135. Caring not for gold and silver
Listens delighted.” in the Babylonian exile of this life, they laid up treasures in the other.
17. “That is,” says Buti, "of the 139. St. Peter, keeper of the keys, abundance of their beatitude. . . . . And with the saila w the Old and New this swiftness and slowness signified the Tesiamen:
servour of love which are in them.”
13. From the brightest of these carols the Lord, and has the impress of his or dances.
King stamped upon him." 20. St. Peter.
93. The Old and New Testaments. 22. Three times, in sign of the Trinity. 115. In the Middle Ages titles of
27. Tints too coarse and glaring to nobility were given to the saints and to paint such delicate draperies of song. other renowned personages of sacred
28. St. Peter speaks to Beatrice. history. Thus Boccaccio, in his story
41. Fixed upon God, in whom all of Fra Cipolla, Decamerone, Gior. VI. things are reflected.
Nov. 1o, speaks of the Baron Messer 59. The captain of the first cohort of Santo Antonio ; and in Juan Lorenzo's the Church Militant.
Poema de Alisandro, we have Don Job, 62. St. Paul. Mrs. Jameson, Sacred Don Bacchus, and Don Satan. and Legendary Art, I. 159, says: “The 118. The word donne, which I have early Christian Church was always con- rendered “like a lover plays," is from sidered under two great divisions: the the Provençal domnear. In its old church of the converted Jews, and the French form, dosnoier, it occurs in some church of the Gentiles. The first was editions of the Roman de la Rose, line represented by St. Peter, the second by 1305 : St. Paul. Standing together in this
" Les karoles jà remanoient ; mutual relation, they represent the uni
Car tuit li plusors s'en aloient versal church Christ ; hence in works
O leurs amies umbroier of art they are seldom separated, and Sous ces arbres pour dosnoier." are indispensable in all ecclesiastical decoration. Their proper place is on
Chaucer translates the passage thus :each side of the Saviour, or of the Virgin “ The daunces then ended ywerc;. throned ; or on each side of the altar; For many of hem that daunced there or on each side of the arch over the choir.
Were, with hir loves, went away
Under the trees to have hir play." In any case, where they stand together, not merely as Apostles, but Founders, The word expresses the gallantry of their place is next af:er the Evangelists the knight towards his lady. and the Prophets."
126. St. John was the first to reach 64. Hebrews xi. 1: “Now saith is the the sepulchre, but St. Peter the first to substance of things hoped for, the evi- enter it. John xx. 4: “So they ran dence of things not seen.'
both together; and the other disciple 66. In Scholastic language the essence did outrun Peter, and came first to the of a thing, distinguishing it from all other sepulchre. And he, stooping down, and things, is called its quiddity; in answer looking in, saw the linen clothes lying ; to the question, Quid est ?
yet went he not in. Then cometh 78. Jeremy Taylor says: "Faith is a Simon Peter following him, and went tertain image of eternity; all things are into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen present to it; things past and things to clothes lie. come are all so before the eyes of faith, 132. Dante, Convito, 11. 4, speaking that he in whose eye that candle is en of the motion of the Primum Mobile, or kindled beholds heaven as present, and Crystalline Heaven, which moves all the sees how blessed a thing it is to die in others, says: “From the fervent longing God's favour, and to be chimed to our which each part of that ninth heaven grave with the music of a good con- has to be conjoined with that Divinest science. Faith converses with the angels, Heaven, the Heaven of Rest, which is and antedates the hynıns of glory ; every next to it, it revolves therein with so man that hath this grace is as certain great desire, that its velocity is almost that there are glories for him, if he per incomprehensible.” severes in duty, as if he had heard and
137. St. Peter and the other Apostles sung the thanksgiving-song for the blessed after Pentecost. sentence of doomsday.”
141. Both three and one, both plural 87. “The purified, righteous man," and singular. says Tertullian, “has become a coin of 152. Again the sign of the Trinity.
landed safely in Galicia. There the CISTO XXV.
body was buried; but in the course of 1. The leaven of the Fixeil Stars time the place of its burial was foie continued. St. James exaniines Dante gotten, and not discovered again till the on llope.
year Soo, when it was iniraculously re5. Florence the l'air, Fiorenza le vealed 10 a friar. bella. In one of his canzoni, Dante
Mrs. Jameson, Sacred and Legendary
Art, I. 211, says : “ Then they caused says :
the body of the saint to be transported “ O mountain song of mine, thou geest thy way: to Compostella ; and in consequence of Farence my town thou shalt perchance be the surprising miracles which graced his
hold, Which bars me from itself,
shrine, he was honoured not merely in Devoid of love and naked of compassion." Galicia, but throughout all Spain. He 7. In one of Dante's Eclogues, written and Compostella, as a place of pilgrim.
became the patron saint of the Spaniards, at Ravenna and addressert to Giovanni del Virgilio of Bologna, who had invited From all countries bands of pilgrims re
age, was renowned throughout Europe. him to that city to receive the poet's sorted there, so that sometimes there crown, he says: “Were it not. better,
were no less than a hundred thousand in on the banks of my native Arno, if ever
one year. I should return thither, to adorn and Jago, enrolled by Don Alphonso for their
The military order of Saint hide beneath the interwoven leaves my protection, became one of the greatest triumphal gray hairs, which once were and richest in Spain. golden? .. When the bodies that wander round the earth, and the dwellers all the wonderful deeds enacted by San.
“Now, if I should proceed to recount among the stars, shall be revealed in my tiago in behalf of his chosen people, they song, as the infernal realm has been, would fill a volume. The Spanish histhen it will delight me to encircle my torians number thirty-eight visible appahead with ivy and with laurel." It would seem from this extract that scended from heaven in person, and took
ritions, in which this glorious saint deDante's hair had once been light, and the command of their armies against the not black, as Boccaccio describes it.
Moors." See also the Extract from the Convito,
26. Before me. and Dante's Letter to a Friend, among
29. James i. 5 and 17: “If any of you the Illustrations in Vol. I. 8. This allusion to the church of San giveth to all men liberally, and up
lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that Giovanni, where Dante was baptized, braideth not ; and it shall be given him. and which in Inf. XIX. 17 he calls “il mio bel San Giovanni,” is a fitting pre- fect gift is from above, and cometh down
Every good gift and every per. lude to the canto in which St. John is from the Father of lights, with whom to appear.
is no variableness, neither shadow of 12. As described in Canto XXIV.
In this line, instead of largezza, some “So, giving me its benediction, singing, editions read allegrezza ; but as James
Three times encircled me, when I was silent, describes the bounties of heaven, and The apostolic light.”
not its joys, the former reading is un14. The band or carol in which St. Loubtedly the correct one. Peter was. James i. 18: “That we 32. St. Peter personifies Faith ; St. should be a kind of first-fruits of his James, Hope ; and St. John, Charity. creatures."
These three were distinguished above 17. St. James, to whose tomb at Com the other Apostles by clearer manises. postella, in Galicia, pilgrimages were tations of their Master's favour, as, for and are still made. The legend says example, their being present at the that the body of St. James was put on Transfiguration. board a ship and abandoned to the sea ; 34. These words are addressed by St. þut the ship, being guided by an angel, James to Dante.