« PreviousContinue »
36. In the radiance of the three rified earthly body:
Isaiah Ixi. 7: theological virtues, Faith, Hope, and “ Therefore in their land they shall pos Charity.
sess the double ; everlasting joy shall be 38. To the three Apostles luminous unto them." above him and overwhelming him with 95. St: John in Revelation vii. 9: their light. Psalm cxxi. 1: “I will “ After this I beheld, and lo, a great lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from multitude, which no man could numwhence cometh my help.”
ber, of all nations, and kindreds, and 42. With the most august spirits of people, and tongues, stood before the the celestial city. See Canto XXIV. ihrone, and before the Lamb, clothed
with white robes and palms in their 49. Beatrice.
hands.” 54. In God, or, as Dante says in 100. St. Jolin. Canto XXIV. 42 :
101. If Cancer, which in winter rises “There where depicted everything is scen."
at sunset, had one star as bright as this,
it would turn night into day. And again, Canto XXVI. 106 :
105. Any failing, such as vanity,
ostentation, or the like. " For I behold it in the truthsul mirror, That of Himself all things parhelion makes,
107. St. Peter and St. James. And none makes Him parhelion of itself.”
113. This symbol or allegory of the
Pelican, applied to Christ, was popular 58. “Say what it is,” and “whence during the Middle Ages, and was seen it came to be."
not only in the songs of poets, but in 62. The answer to these two ques. sculpture on the portals of churches. tions involves no self-praise, as the an Thibaut, Roi de Navarre, Chanson swer to the other would have done, if it LXV., says :had come from Dante's lips.
“ Diex est ensi comme li Pelicans, 67. This definition of Hope is from Qui fait son nit el plus haut arbre sus, Peter Lombard's Lib. Sent., Book III. Et li mauvais oseau, qui vient de jus Dist. 26: “Est spes certa expectatio fu
Ses oisellons ocist, tant est puans ; turæ beatitudinis, veniens ex Dei gratia,
Li pere vient destrois et angosseux,
Dou bec s'ocist, de son sanc dolereus et meritis præcedentibus."
Vivre refait tantost ses oisellons ; 72. The Psalmist David.
Diex fist autel, quant vint sa passions, 73. In his divine songs, or songs of
De son douc sanc racheta ses enfans
Dou Deauble, qui tant parest poissans." God. Psalm ix. 10: “And they that know thy name will put their trust in 114. John xix. 27 : “ Then saith he thee.”
to the disciple, Behold thy mother ! 78. Your rain ; that is, of David and And from that hour that disciple took St. James.
her unto his own home.” 84. According to the legend, St. 121. St. John. Dante-bearing in James suffered martyrdom under Herod mind the words of Christ, John xxi. Agrippa.
22, “If I will that he tarry till I come, 89. “ The mark of the high calling what is that to thee?
Then and election sure," namely, Paradise, went this saying abroad among the which is the aim and object of all the brethren, that that disciple should not “ friends of God; ” or, as St. James die”-looks to see if the spiritual body expresses it in his Epistle, i. 12: of the saint be in any way eclipsed by “Blessed is the man that endureth his earthly body. St. John, reading temptation : for when he is tried, he his unspoken thought, immediately unshall receive the crown of life, which deceives him. the Lord hath promised to them that Mrs. Jameson, Sacred and Legendary love him."
Art, I. 139, remarks : “ The legend 90. This expression is from the Epistle which supposes St. John reserved alive of James, ii. 23 : “And he was called has not been generally received in the the Friend of God.”
Church, and as a subject of painting it 91. The spiritual body and the glo is very uncommon. It occurs in the
fenologium Græcum, where the grave enough of it. In reading John it is to which St. John descends is, accord always with me as though I sa'y him g to the legend, fossa in crucis figuram before me, lying on the bosom of his n the form of a cross). In a series Master at the last supper : as though : the deaths of the Apostles, St. John his angel were holding the light for me,
ascending from the grave; for, ac- and in certain passages would fall upon ording to the Greek legend, St. John my neck and whisper something in '
mine ied without pain or change, and im- ear. I am far from understanding all I nediately rose again in bodily form, read, but it often seems to me as if what nd ascended into heaven to rejoin John meant were floating before in the Christ and the Virgin.'
distance; and even when I look into a pas126. Till the predestined number of sage altogether dark, I have a foretaste he elect is complete. Revelation vi. of some great, glorious meaning, which I: “And white robes were given unto I shall one day understand, and for this very one of them ; and it was said unto reason I grasp so eagerly after every hem, that they should rest yet for a new interpretation of the Gospel of ittle season, until their fellow-servants John. Indeed, most of them only play lso and their brethren, that should upon the edge of the evening cloud, and De killed as they were, should be ful. the moon behind it has quiet rest.” illed.” 127. The spiritual body and the glori.
CANTO XXVI. ied earthly body.
128. Christ and the Virgin Mary. 1. The Heaven of the Fixed Stars Butler, Lives of the Saints, VIII. 173, continued. St. John examines Dante on says: “It is a traditionary pious belief, Charity, in the sense of Love, as in that the body of the Blessed Virgin was Milton, Par. Lost, XII. 583 : raised by God soor after her death, and assumed to glory, '; a singular By name to come called Charity." privilege, before the general resurrection of the dead. This is mentioned by the 12. Ananias, the disciple at Damas. learned Andrew of Crete in the East, cus, whose touch restored the sight of in the seventh, and by St. Gregory of Saul. Acts ix. 17: “And Ananias Tours in the West, in the sixth cemo went his way, and entered into the tury. . . .. So great was the respect and house, and putting his hands on him, veneration of the fathers towards this said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even most holy and most exalted of all pure Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the creatures, that St. Epiphanius durst not way as thou camest, hath sent me, that affirm that she ever died, because he thou mightest receive thy sight, and be had never found any mention of her filled with the Holy Ghost. And immedeath, and because she might have been diately there fell from his eyes as it had preserved immortal, and translated to been scales; and he received sight forthglory without dying.”
with, and arose, and was baptized.” 132. By the sacred trio of St. Peter, 17. God is the beginning and end of St. James, and St. John.
all my love. 138. Because his eyes were so blinded 38. The commentators differ as to by the splendour of the beloved disciple. which of the philosophers Dante here Speaking of St. John, Claudius, the refers; whether to Aristotle, Plato, or German poet, says: “It delights me Pythagoras.
in him something so entirely wonderful, – 42. Exodus xxxiii. 19. “ And he twilight and night, and through it the said, I will make all my goodness pass swiftly darting lightning,—a soft even before thee.” ing cloud, and behind the cloud the 44. John i. I: “In the beginning broad full inoon bodily; something so was the Word, and the Word was with deeply, sadly pensive, so high, so full God, and the Word was God. of anticipation, that one cannot have and the Word was made flesh, and
dwelt among us, .... full of grace 124. Most of the Oriental languages and truth."
claim the honour of being the language 46. By all the dictates of human rea- spoken by Adam in Paradise. Juan son and divine authority.
Bautista de Erro claims it for the Basque, 52. In Christian ar* the eagle is the or Vascongada. See Alphabet of Prim symbol of St. John, indicating his more Long. of Spain, Pt. II. Ch. 2, Erving' fervid imagination and deeper insight Tr. into divine mysteries. Sometimes even 129. See Canto XVI. 79: the saint was represented with the head
“ All things of yours have their mortality, and feet of an eagle, and the hands and
Even as yourselves.” body of a man. 64. All living creatures.
134. Dante, De Volg. Eloq., I. Ch. 69. Isaiah vi. 3: “As one cried 4, says, speaking of Adam : "What was unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy the first word he spake will, I doubt noi. is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is readily suggest itself to every one of sound full of his glory."
mind as being what God is, namely, El, 83. The soul of Adam.
either in the way of question or of an. 91. “Tell me, of what age was Adam swer. when he was created ?" is one of the 136. The word used by Matthew, questions in the Anglo-Saxon Dialogue xxvii
. 46, is Eli, and by Mark, xv. 34, between Saturn and Solomon; and the Eloi, which Dante assumes to be of later answer is, “I tell thee, he was thirty use than El. There is, I believe, no winters old.” And Buti says: "He was authority for this. El is God; Eli, or created of the age of thirty-three, or Eloi, my God. thereabout; and therefore the author 137. Horace, Ars Poet., 60 : “As the says that Adam alone was created by woods change their leaves in autumn, God in perfect age and stature, and no and the earliest fall, so the ancient words other man." And Sir Thomas Browne, pass away, and the new flourish in the Religio Medici, $ 39: “Some divines freshness of youth. .... Many that now count Adam thirty years old at his have fallen shall spring up again, and creation, because they suppose him others fall which now are held in honour, created in the perfect age and stature of if usage wills, which is the judge, the
law, and the rule of language." Stehelin, Traditions of the Jews, I. 16, 139. The mount of Purgatory, On, quotes Rabbi Eliezer as saying “that whose summit was the Terrestrial Parathe first man reached from the earth to dise. the firmament of heaven; but that, aster 142. The sixth hour is noon in the he had sinned, God laid his hands on old way of reckoning; and at noon the him and reduced him to a less size." sun has completed one quarter or quadAnd Rabbi Salomon writes, that “when rant of the arc of his revolution, and he lay down, his head was in the east changes to the next. The hour which is and his feet in the west.”
second to the sixth, is the hour which 107. Parhelion is an imperfect image follows it, or one o'clock. This gives of the sun, formed by reflection in the seven hours for Adam's stay in Paradise ; clouds. All things are such faint reflec- and so says Peter Comestor (Dante's tions of the Creator ; but he is the re- Peter Mangiador) in his ecclesiastica: Nection of none of them.
history. Buti interprets the passage differently, The Talmud, as quoted by Stehelin, giving to the word pareglio the meaning Traditions of the Jews, I. 20, gives the of ricettacolo, receptacle.
following account : “The day has twelve 118. In Limbo, longing for Para. hours. In the first hour the dust of dise, where the only punishment is to which Adam was formed was brought live in desire, but without hope. Inf. together. In the second, this dust was IV. 41:
made a rude, unshapely mass. In the “Lost are we, and are only so far punished,
third, the limbs were stretched out. In That without hope we live on in desire." the fourth, a soul was lodged in it. In
the fifth, Adam stood upon his feet. In here below no production, nor life of the sixth he assigned the names of all animals, nor plants; there would be things that were created. In the seventh, neither night, nor day, nor week, nor he received Eve for his consort. In month, nor year; but the whole universe the eighth, two went to bed and four would be deranged, and the movement rose out of it; the begetting and birth of of the stars in vain. And not otherwise, two children in that time, namely, Cain were Moral Philosophy to cease, the and his sister. In the ninth, he was forbid other sciences would be for a time con. to eat of the fruit of the tree. In the tenth, cealed, and there would be no produce he disobeyed. In the eleventh, he was tion, nor life of felicity, and in vain tried, convicted, and sentenced. In the would be the writings or discoveries of twelfth, he was banished, or driven out antiquity. Wherefore it is very manifest of the garden.”
that this heaven bears a resemblance to
9. Without desire for more.
10. St. Peter, St. James, St. John, 1. The Heaven of the Fixed Stars and Adam. continued. The anger of St. Peter;
14. If the white planet Jupiter should and the ascent to the Primum Mobile, become as red as Mars. or Crystalline Heaven.
22. Pope Boniface VIII., who won Dante, Convito II. 15, makes this his way to the Popedom by intrigue. Crystalline Heaven the symbol o Moral See Inf. III. Note 59, and XIX. Note Philosophy. He says: “The Crystal- 53. line Heaven, which has previously been 25. Tl.e Vatican hill, to which the called the Primum Mobile, has a very body of St. Peter was transferred from manifest resemblance to Moral Philo- the catacombs. sophy; for Moral Philosophy, as Thomas
36. Luke xxiii. 44: “And there was says in treating of the second book of the darkness over all the earth ..... And Ethics, directs us to the other sciences. the sun was darkened.” For, as the Philosopher says in the fifth
41. Linus was the immediate successor of the Ethics, legal justice directs us to of St. Peter as Bishop of Rome, and learn the sciences, and orders them to Cletus of Linus. They were both mar. be learned and mastered, so that they tyrs of the first age of the Church. may not be abandoned ; so this heaven
44. Sixtus and Pius were Popes directs with its movement the daily re- and martyrs of the second age of the volutions of all the others, by which Church ; Calixtus and Urban, of the daily they all receive here below the third. virtue of all their parts. For if its revo
47. On the right hand of the Pope the lution did not thus direct, little of their favoured Guells, and on the left the pervirtues would reach here below, and secuted Ghibellines. little of their sight. Hence, supposing
50. The Papal banner, on which are it were possible for this ninth heaven to the keys of St. Peter. stand still, the third part of heaven
51. The wars against the Ghibellines would not be seen in each part of the in general, and particularly that waged earth; and Saturn would be hidden against the Colonna family, ending in from each part of the earth fourteen the destruction of Palestrina. Inf. years and a half; and Jupiter, six years ; XXVII. 85:and Mars, almost a year; and the Sun, one hundred and eighty-two days and
" But he, the Prince of the new Pharisees,
Having a war near unto Lateran, fourteen hours (I say days, that is, so And not with Saracens nor with the Jews, much time as so many days would mea For each one of his enemies was Cristian, sure); and Venus and Mercury would
And none of them had been to conquer Acre, conceal and show themselves nearly as
Nor merchandising in the Sultan's laud." the Sun; and the Moon would be hidden 53. The sale of indulgences, stamped from all people for the space of fourteen with the l'apal seal, bearing the head of days and a half. Truly there would be St. Peter.
Α Α 3
55. Matthew vii. 15: 6. Beware of 79. Canto XXII. 133. false prophets, which come to you in 81. The first climate is the torrid sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are | zone, the first from the cquator. From rüvening wolves."
midst to end, is from the meridian to 57. Psalm xliv. 23: “Awake, why the horizon. Dante had been, then, sleepest thou, O Lord ?”
six hours in the Ileaven of the Fixed 58. Clement V. of Gascony, made Stars; for, as Milton says, Par. Losi, Pope in 1305, and John XXII. of Ca- V. 580:hors in France, in 1316. Buti makes
“ Time, though in eternity, applied the allusion more general : “ They of
To motion, measures all things durable, Cahors and Gascony are preparing to By present, past, and future. drink the blood of the martyrs, because they were preparing to be Popes, car 82. Being now in the meridian on dinals, archbishops and bishops, and the Straits of Gibraltar, Dante sees to prelates in the Church of God, that is the westward of Cadiz the sea Ulysses built with the blood of the martyrs." sailed, when he turned his stern untc
61. Dante alludes elsewhere to this the morning and made his oars wings intervention of Providence to save the for his mad flight, as described in Inj. Roman Empire by the hand of Scipio. XXVI. Convito, IV. 5, he says : “Is not the 83. Eastward he almost sees
the hand of God visible, when in the war Phænician coast ; almost, and not quite, with Hannibal, having lost so many because, say the commentators, it was citizens, that three bushels of rings were already night there. carried to Africa, the Romans would 84. Europa, daughter of King Agehave abandoned the land, if tha: blessed nor, borne to the island of Crete or youth Scipio had not undertaken the the back of Jupiter, who had taken the expedition to Africa, to secure its free shape of a bull. dom?"
Ovid, Mlet., II., Addison's Tr. :69. When the sun is in Capricorn ; that is, from the middle of December to Among the fields, the milk-white bull surveyed,
“ Agenor's royal daughter, as she played the middle of January.
And viewed his spotless body with delight, 68. Boccaccio, Ninfale d'Ameto, de And at a distance kept him in her sight. scribing a battle between two flocks of At length she plucked the rising Powers, and fed swans, says the spectators
The gentle beast, and fondly stroked his head.
“saw the air full of feathers, as when the nurse Till now grown wanton and devoid of fear, of Jove (Amalthæa, the Goat] holds Not knowing that she pressed the Thunderer, Apollo, the white snow is seen to fall She placed herself upon his back, and rode
O'er fields and meadows, seated on the god. in fakes."
“ He gertly s-arched along, and by degrees And Whittier, Snow-Bound :
Left the dry meadow, and approached the seas;
Where now he dips his hoofs and wets his thighs, “Unwarmed by any sunset light,
Now plunges in, and carries off the prize."
85. See Canto XXII. Note 151. As zigzag wavering to and fro
87. The sun was in Aries, two signs Crossed and reciossed the wingéd snow.” in advance of Gemini, in which Dante
then was. 72. The spirits described in Canto
88. Donnea again. See Can', 'XIV XXII, 131, as
Note 118. " The triumphant throng
91. l'urg. XXXI. 49:That comes rejoicing through this rounded ether,"
“Never to thee presented art or nature
Pleasure so great as the fa'r limbs wherein and had remained behind when Christ
I was enclosed, which scattered are in
carth." and the Virgin Mary ascended.
74. Till his sight could follow them 98. The Gemini, or Twins, are no more, on account of the exceeding Castor and Pollux, the sons of Leda. vastness of the space between.
And as Jupiter, their father, caune to