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Betwixt the Reno and Savena's stream,
To answer Sipa in their country's phrase.
And if of that securer proof thou need,
Remember but our craving thirst for gold.”

Him speaking thus, a demon with his thong
Struck and exclaimed, “ Away, corrupter! here
Women are none for sale.” Forthwith I joined
My escort, and few paces thence we came
To where a rock forth issued from the bank.
That easily ascended, to the right
Upon its splinter turning, we depart
From those eternal barriers. When arrived
Where, underneath, the gaping arch lets pass
The scourged souls: “ Pause here," the teacher said,
“ And let these others miserable now
Strike on thy ken ; faces not yet beheld,
For that together they with us have walked.”

From the old bridge we eyed the pack, who came
From the other side toward us, like the rest,
Excoriate from the lash. My gentle guide,
By me unquestioned, thus his speech resumed :
“ Behold that lofty shade, who this way tends,
And seems too woe-begone to drop a tear.
How yet the regal aspect he retains!
Jason is he, whose skill and prowess won
The ram from Colchis. To the Lemnian isle
His passage thither led him, when those bold
And pitiless women had slain all their males.
There he with tokens and fair witching words
Hypsipyle beguiled, a virgin young,
Who first had all the rest herself beguiled.
Impregnated, he left her there forlorn.
Such is the guilt condemns him to this pain.
Here too Medea's injuries are avenged.
All bear him company, who like deceit
To his have practised. And thus much to know
Of the first vale suffice thee, and of those
Whom its keen torments urge.” Now had we come
Where, crossing the next pier, the straitened path

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61. He denotes Bologna by its situation expedition to Colchis, with the other argonauts, between the rivers Savena to the east, and to obtain the golden fleece. This he secured Reno to the west of that city; and by a peculi- with the aid of Medea, daughter of Æetes, king arity of dialect, the use of the affirmative sipa in- of Colchis, whom he finally deserted. stead either of si, or, as Monti will have it, of sia. 90. Daughter of Thoas, king of Lemnos. The meaning is, that there are more Bologn- She saved her father's life when the women of ese in the pit than are alive to-day.

Lemnos, induced by Venus, murdered all the 75. The seducers; those we have hitherto seen males. When Jason landed at the island, he are panders.

won her love, but afterwards forsook her, in 85. Born at lolcus, son of Æson, and brought order to continue his journey to Colchis. up by Chiron. His greatest exploit was the

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Bestrides its shoulders to another arch.

Hence, in the second chasm we heard the ghosts,
Who gibber in low melancholy sounds,
With wide-stretched nostrils snort, and on themselves
Smite with their palms. Upon the banks a scurf,
From the foul steam condensed, encrusting hung,
That held sharp combat with the sight and smell.

So hollow is the depth, that from no part,
Save on the summit of the rocky span,
Could I distinguish aught. Thus far we came;
And thence I saw, within the foss below,
A crowd immersed in ordure, that appeared
Draff of the human body. There beneath
Searching with eye inquisitive, I marked
One with his head so grimed, 't were hard to deem
If he were clerk or layman. Loud he cried :
“Why greedily thus bendest more on me,
Than on these other filthy ones, thy ken?”

“Because, if true my memory," I replied,
“I heretofore have seen thee with dry locks,
And thou Alessio art, of Lucca sprung.
Therefore than all the rest I scan thee more."

Then beating on his brain, these words he spake :
“ Me thus low down my flatteries have sunk,
Wherewith I ne'er enough could glut my tongue.”

My leader thus : “ A little further stretch
Thy face, that thou the visage well mayst note
Of that besotted, sluttish courtezan,
Who there doth rend her with defiled nails,
Now crouching down, now risen on her feet.
Thaïs is this, the harlot, whose false lip
Answered her doting paramour that asked,
• Thankest me much! - Say rather, wondrously,'
And, seeing this, here satiate be our view.”

120

125

130

101. The second pit, that of the flatterers. chus of Terence, where Thraso asks if Thaïs 115. I.e. whether he had the tonsure or not. was obliged to him for the present he had sent

120. Of an ancient and considerable family, her; and Gnatho replies, that she had expressed called the Interminei. Benvenuto da Imola her obligation in the most forcible terms. says of him, “omnes unguebat, omnes lingebat, T. “Magnas vero agere gratias Thaïs mihi? etiam vilissimos et mercenarios famulos."

G. Ingentes."

| E4%, iii. 130. He alludes to that passage in the Eunu.

CANTO XIX.

ARGUMENT.

They come to the third gulf, wherein are punished those who have been guilty of

simony. These are fixed with the head downwards in certain apertures, so that no more of them than the legs appears without, and on the soles of their feet are seen burning flames. Dante is taken down by his guide into the bottom of the gulf; and there finds Pope Nicholas the Fifth, whose evil deeds, together with those of other pontiffs, are bitterly reprehended. Virgil then carries him up again to the arch, which affords them a passage over the following gulf.

WoE to thee, Simon Magus! woe to you,
His wretched followers! who the things of God,
Which should be wedded unto goodness, them,
Rapacious as ye are, do prostitute
For gold and silver in adultery.
Now must the trumpet sound for you, since yours
Is the third chasm. Upon the following vault
We now had mounted, where the rock impends
Directly o'er the centre of the foss.

Wisdom Supreme! how wonderful the art,
Which thou dost manifest in heaven, in earth,
And in the evil world, how just a meed
Allotting by thy virtue unto all.

I saw the livid stone, throughout the sides
And in its bottom full of apertures,
All equal in their width, and circular each.
Nor ample less nor larger they appeared
Than, in Saint John's fair dome of me beloved,
Those framed to hold the pure baptismal streams,
One of the which I brake, some few years past,
To save a whelming infant: and be this
A seal to undeceive whoever doubts
The motive of my deed. From out the mouth
Of every one emerged a sinner's feet,
And of the legs high upward as the calf.
The rest beneath was hid. On either foot
The soles were burning; whence the flexile joints
Glanced with such violent motion, as had snapt
Asunder cords or twisted withs. As flame,
Feeding on unctuous matter, glides along

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1. See Acts viii. 9 ff. From him comes the 8. The apertures in the rock were of the same name of simony, the crime of buying or selling dimensions as the fonts of St. John the Baptist ecclesiastical preferment, the corrupt presenta- at Florence, one of which Dante says, he had tion of any one to an ecclesiastical benefice for broken to rescue a child that was playing near money or reward.

and fell in. He intimates, that the motive of 6. "It is now time for me to describe your his breaking the font had been maliciously sin and its punishment.”

represented by his enemies.

The surface, scarcely touching where it moves;
So here, from heel to point, glided the flames.

“Master! say who is he, than all the rest
Glancing in fiercer agony, on whom
A ruddier flame doth prey ?" I thus inquired.

“If thou be willing," he replied, “ that I Carry thee down, where least the slope bank falls, He of himself shall tell thee, and his wrongs."

I then: “As pleases thee, to me is best. Thou art my lord ; and know'st that ne'er I quit Thy will : what silence hides, that knowest thou."

Thereat on the fourth pier we came, we turned, And on our left descended to the depth, A narrow strait, and perforated close. Nor from his side my leader set me down, Till to his orifice he brought, whose limb Quivering expressed his pang. “Whoe'er thou art, Sad spirit! thus reversed, and as a stake Driven in the soil,” I in these words began; “ If thou be able, utter forth thy voice.”

There stood I like the friar, that dost shrive
A wretch for murder doomed, who, e'en when fixed,
Calleth him back, whence death awhile delays.

He shouted : “Ha! already standest there?
Already standest there, O Boniface!
By many a year the writing played me false.
So early dost thou surfeit with the wealth,
For which thou fearedst not in guile to take
The lovely lady, and then mangle her?"

I felt as those who, piercing not the drift
Of answer made them, stand as if exposed
In mockery, nor know what to reply;
When Virgil thus admonished: “Tell him quick.

I am not he, not he whom thou believest.? 15
And I, as was enjoined me, straight replied.
That heard, the spirit all did wrench his feet,
And, sighing, next in woeful accent spake :
“ What then of me requirest? If to know
So much imports thee, who I am, that thou

37. The general slope of the eighth circle is 55. The spirit mistakes Dante for Boniface toward the central abyss. Hence the bank of VIII., who was then alive; and who, he did each pit, which is nearest the centre, is lower not expect, would have arrived so soon. than the other.

The "writing” spoken of is the book of 51. Allusion to the terrible punishment for the future, in which the damned may read, murder in the Middle Ages, by being buried although the present is unknown to them. See alive, head downward. The municipal statute Hell, x. 99 ff. Boniface died Oct. 12, 1303. of Florence reads, "Assassinus trahatur ad 58. “ Thou didst presume to arrive by fraudcaudam muli seu asini usque ad locum justitiæ ulent means at the papal power, and afterwards et ibidem plantetur capite desorum, ita quod to abuse it." moriatur.”

59. Lady = the church.

Hast therefore down the bank descended, learn
That in the mighty mantle I was robed,
And of a she-bear was indeed the son,
So eager to advance my whelps, that there
My having in my purse above I stowed,
And here myself. Under my head are dragged
The rest, my predecessors in the guilt
Of simony. Stretched at their length, they lie
Along an opening in the rock. Midst them
I also low shall fall, soon as he comes,
For whom I took thee, when so hastily
I questioned. But already longer time
Hath past, since my soles kindled, and I thus
Upturned have stood, than is his doom to stand
Planted with fiery feet. For after him,
One yet of deeds more ugly shall arrive,
From forth the west, a shepherd without law,
Fated to cover both his form and mine.
He a new Jason shall be called, of whom
In Maccabees we read; and favor such
As to that priest his king indulgent showed,
Shall be of France's monarch shown to him.”

I know not if I here too far presumed,
But in this strain I answered : “Tell me now
What treasures from Saint Peter at the first
Our Lord demanded, when he put the keys
Into his charge? Surely he asked no more
But 'Follow me!' Nor Peter, nor the rest,
Or gold or silver of Matthias took,
When lots were cast upon the forfeit place
Of the condemned soul. Abide thou then;
Thy punishment of right is merited :
And look thou well to that ill-gotten coin,
Which against Charles thy hardihood inspired.

71. Nicholas III. of the Orsini family, whom 86. Bertrand de Got, archbishop of Borthe Poet therefore calls figliuol dell' orsa, deaux, who succeeded to the pontificate in son of the she bear.” He died in 1280. 1305, and assumed the title of Clement V. He 73. Whelps = his own family.

transferred the holy see to Avignon, and was 74. Having = money.

the slave of Philip le Bel of France. 79. Boniface VIII.

88. Son of Simon the High Priest. He 81. “ Boniface will not stand here as long as I bought his high priesthood from King Antiohave stood, for the one who is to follow him will chus. See 2 Maccabees iv. not be so long coming as he has been.” Nicho- 90. As Antiochus favored Jason, so Philip le las has been here twenty years (died in 1280). Bel favored the election of Clement V. In 1303 Boniface died and took the place of 95. Matt. xvi. 19. Nicholas, thrusting him down below. Clement 98. Matthias, elected apostle in place of V.. who in his turn follows Boniface, died April Judas. Acts i. 15-26. 20, 1314. Hence Boniface had to wait only 103. Charles of Anjou. Nicholas was charged about ten years.

with being bribed to consent to the conspiracy This passage proves that this part of Dante's to drive Charles from Sicily. pocm was written after 1314.

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