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Not far from hence Antaeus, who both speaks
* The country near Carthage. (“De Monarchia,” lib. ii.) as proof of *The combat , between Hercules God’s judgment displayed in the duel. (Alcides) and Antaeus is adduced * The leaning tower at Bologna.
Where it doth lean, if chance a passing cloud
ARGUMENT.—This Canto treats of the first, and, in part, of the second of those rounds, into which the ninth and last, or frozen circle, is divided. In the former, called Caina, Dante finds Camiccione de' Pazzi, who gives him an account of other sinners who are there punished; and in the next, named Antenora, he hears in like manner from Bocca degli Abbati who his fellow-sufferers are.
YOULD I command rough rhymes and hoarse, to suit
That hole of sorrow o'er which every rock
His firm abutment rears, then might the vein
And saw before and underneath my feet
A space I look'd around, then at my feet
And one, from whom the cold both ears had reft, Exclaim'd, still looking downward: “Why on us Dost speculate so long? If thou wouldst know Who are these two, the valley, whence his wave Bisenzio slopes, did for its master own Their sire Alberto, and next him themselves. They from one body issued: and throughout Caïna thou mayst search, nor find a shade More worthy in congealment to be fix'd;
1 " Tabernich or Pietrapana.” The one a mountain in Sclavonia, the other in that tract of country called the Garfagnana, not far from Lucca.
* Alessandro and Napoleone, sons
of Alberto Alberti, who murdered each other. They were proprietors of the valley of Falterona, where the Bisenzio rises, falling into the Arno six miles from Florence.
Not him," whose breast and shadow Arthur's hand
Of those frore shallows. While we journey'd on
“Wherefore dost bruise me?” weeping he exclaim'd; “ Unless thy errand be some fresh revenge For Montaperto, wherefore troublest me?”
I thus: “Instructor, now await me here, That I through him may rid me of my doubt: Thenceforth what haste thou wilt.” The teacher paused And to that shade I spake, who bitterly Still cursed me in his wrath. “What art thou, speak, That railest thus on others?” He replied: “Now who art thou, that smiting others' cheeks,
3 Mordred, son of King Arthur. In the romance of “ Lancelot of the Lake,” Arthur having discovered the traitorous intentions of his son, pierces him through with his lance, so that the sunbeam passes through the body.
Focaccia of Cancellieri (the Pistoian family), whose atrocious act of revenge against his uncle is said to have given rise to the parties, Bianchi and Neri, in the year 1300.
6 Sassol Mascheroni, a Florentine, who murdered his uncle.
o Camiccione de' Pazzi of Valdar.
no, by whom his kinsman Ubertino was treacherously put to death.
7“ Carlino.” One of the same family. He betrayed the Castel di Piano Travigne, in Valdarno, to the Florentines, after the refugees of the Bianca and Ghibelline party had defended it against a siege for twenty-nine days, in the summer of 1302.
8 The defeat of the Guelfi at Montaperto through the treachery of Bocca degli Abbati, who, during the engagement, cut off the hand of Giacopo del Vacca de' Pazzi, the Florentine standard-bearer.
Through Antenora roamest, with such force
“And I am living, to thy joy perchance," Was my reply, “if fame be dear to thee, That with the rest I may thy name enrol.”
“The contrary of what I covet most," Said he, “thou tender'st: hence! nor vex me more. Ill knowest thou to flatter in this vale."
Then seizing on his hinder scalp I cried : “Name thee, or not a hair shall tarry here."
"Rend all away,” he answer'd, “yet for that I will not tell, nor show thee, who I am, Though at my head thou pluck a thousand times.”
Now I had grasp'd his tresses, and stript off More than one tuft, he barking, with his eyes Drawn in and downward, when another cried, “What ails thee, Bocca ? Sound not loud enough Thy chattering teeth, but thou must bark outright? What devil wrings thee? "_"Now,” said I, “be dumb, Accursed traitor! To thy shame, of thee True tidings will I bear.”—“Off !” he replied; “Tell what thou list: but, as thou 'scape from hence, To speak of him whose tongue hath been so glib, Forget not: here he wails the Frenchman's gold. 'Him of Duera,'' thou canst say, 'I mark’d, Where the starved sinners pine.' If thou be ask'd What other shade was with them, at thy side Is Beccaria,10 whose red gorge distain'd The biting axe of Florence. Further on, If I misdeem not, Soldanieri" bides, With Ganellon,2 and Tribaldello,1% him
Buoso of Cremona, of the family of Duera, bribed by Guy de Montfort to leave a pass between Piedmont and Parma, with the defence of which he had been intrusted by the Ghibellines, open to the army of Charles of Anjou, A. D. 1265, at which the people of Cremona were so enraged that they extirpated the whole family. G. Villani. *
10 Abbot of Vallombrosa, Pope's legate at Florence, beheaded for his intrigues with the Ghibellines.
11 “ Gianni Soldanieri,” says Villani, “ Hist.” lib. vii. c. xiv., “ put himself at the head of the people, in the hopes of rising into power, not aware that the result would be mischief to the Ghibelline party, and his own ruin,” A. D. 1266.
12 The betrayer of Charlemain, mentioned by Archbishop Turpin. He is a type of treachery with the poets of the Middle Ages.
18 Tribaldello de' Manfredi, bribed to betray the city of Faenza, 1282.