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Betwixt the Reno and Savena's stream,
Him speaking thus, a demon with his thong
From the old bridge we eyed the pack, who came
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
Bestrides its shoulders to another arch.
Hence, in the second chasm we heard the ghosts,
So hollow is the depth, that from no part,
“Because, if true my memory," I replied,
Then beating on his brain, these words he spake :
My leader thus : “ A little further stretch
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."
| E4%, iii. 130. He alludes to that passage in the Eunu.
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,
Wisdom Supreme! how wonderful the art,
I saw the livid stone, throughout the sides
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;
“Master! say who is he, than all the rest
“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
He shouted : “Ha! already standest there?
I felt as those who, piercing not the drift
I am not he, not he whom thou believest.? 15
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
I know not if I here too far presumed,
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.