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(When we some thousand steps, I say, had past,)
Costmy fair daind Sicilia her, if
When humbly I disclaim'd to have beheld
"I am Manfredi, grandson to the Queen
3“ Manfredi.” King of Naples and Sicily, and the natural son of Frederick II. He was lively and agreeable in his manners, delighted in poetry, music, and dancing, was luxurious and ambitious, void of_religion, and in his philosophy an Epicurean. He fell in the battle with Charles of Anjou in 1265, alluded to in Canto xxviii of “Hell,” ver. 13, or rather in that of Benevento. The successes of Charles were so rapid. ly followed up that our author, exact as he generally is, might not have thought it necessary to distinguish them in point of time. “Dying excommunicated, King Charles did not allow of his being buried in sacred ground, but he was interred near the bridge of Benevento; and on his grave there was cast a stone by every one of the army, whence there
was formed a great mound of stones. But some have said, that afterward, by command of the Pope, the Bishop of Cosenza took up his body and sent it out of the kingdom, because it was the land of the Church; and that it was buried by the river Verde, on the borders of the kingdom and of Campagna.”
See “ Paradise," Canto iii. 121. 5 Costanza, the daughter of Manfredi, and wife of Peter III, King of Arragon, by whom she was mother to Frederick, King of Sicily, and James, King of Arragon. With the latter of these she was at Rome, 1296.
8“ Clement.” Pope Clement IV.
7“ The stream of Verde.” A river near Ascoli, that falls into the Tronto. The “ extinguished lights" formed part of the ceremony at the interment of one excommunicated.
Against the holy Church, though he repent,
CANTO IV ARGUMENT.—Dante and Virgil ascend the mountain of Purgatory, by a steep and narrow path pent in on each side by rock, till they reach a part of it that opens into a ledge or cornice. There seating themselves, and turning to the east, Dante wonders at seeing the sun on their left, the cause of which is explained to him by Virgil; and while they continue their discourse, a voice addresses them, at which they turn, and find several spirits behind the rock, and amongst the rest one named Belacqua, who had been known to our Poet on earth, and who tells that he is doomed to linger there on account of his having delayed his repentance to the last.
THEN by sensations of delight or pain,
That any of our faculties hath seized,
Entire the soul collects herself, it seems
This found I true by proof, hearing that spirit
while e spirike power
A larger aperture oft-times is stopt, With forked stake of thorn by villager, When the ripe grape imbrowns, than was the path, By which my guide, and I behind him close, Ascended solitary, when that troop Departing left us. On Sanleo's road Who journeys, or to Noli low descends, Or mounts Bismantua's* height, must use his feet; But here a man had need to fly, I mean With the swift wing and plumes of high desire, Conducted by his aid, who gave me hope, And with light furnish'd to direct my way.
We through the broken rock ascended, close Pent on each side, while underneath the ground Ask'd help of hands and feet. When we arrived Near on the highest ridge of the steep bank, Where the plain level open'd, I exclaim'd, “O Master! say, which way can we proceed.”
He answer'd, “Let no step of thine recede. Behind me gain the mountain, till to us Some practised guide appear.” That eminence Was lofty, that no eye might reach its point; And the side proudly rising, more than line From the mid quadrant to the centre drawn. I, wearied, thus began: “Parent beloved ! Turn and behold how I remain alone, If thou stay not.” “My son!” he straight replied, “ Thus far put forth thy strength; " and to a track Pointed, that, on this side projecting, round Circles the hill. His words so spurr'd me on, That I, behind him, clambering forced myself, Till my feet press’d the circuit plain beneath. There both together seated, turn'd we round To eastward, whence was our ascent: and oft Many beside have with delight look'd back.
First on the nether shores I turn'd mine eyes,
3“ Sanleo.” A fortress on the summit of Montefeltro. The situation is described by Troya, “ Veltro Allegorico," p. 11. It is a con. spicuous object to travellers along
the cornice on the Riviera di Genoa.
3 “ Noli.” In the Genoese terri. tory, between Finale and Savona.
"" Bismantua." A steep moun. tain in the territory of Reggio.
Then raised them to the sun, and wondering mark'd
“Of truth, kind teacher !” I exclaim'd, “ so clear
Thou hast assign'd, from hence toward the north 6“ Amazed.” He wonders that be- of the Zodiac never changes, nor ing turned to the east he should appears to change, with respect to see the sun on his left, since in all the remainder of the heavens."the regions on this side of the tropic Lombardi. of Cancer it is seen on the right of 7" The path.” The ecliptic. one who turns his face toward the 8“ Thou wilt see.” “ If you coneast; not recollecting that he was sider that this mountain of Purganow antipodal to Europe, from tory, and that of Sion, are antipodal whence he had seen the sun taking to each other, you will perceive that an opposite course.
the sun must rise on opposite sides B “As the constellation of the of the respective eminences. Gemini is nearer the Bears than
O“ That the mid orb.” “ That Aries is, it is certain that if the the equator (which is always sit. sun, instead of being in Aries, had uated between that part where, when been in Gemini, both the sun and the sun is, he causes summer, and that portion of the Zodiac made the other where his absence pro' ruddy' by the sun, would have duces winter) recedes from this been seen to wheel nearer to the mountain toward the north, at the Bears. By the 'ruddy Zodiac' time when the Jews inhabiting must necessarily be understood that Mount Sion saw it depart toward portion of the Zodiac affected or the south.”—Lombardi. made red by the sun; for the whole
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