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speaks of them as St. Dominic and St. That what he acts he is compelled to do, Francis.
Or universal ruin must ensue. 108. The Griffin, half lion and half From whence he used to dart his thunder down
Straight he ascends the high ethereal throne, eagle, is explained by all the commen From whence his showers and storms he used to tators as a symbol of Christ, in his di
pour, vine and human nature.
But now could meet with neither storm nor
In dreadful thund'rings. Thus th' almighty sire "The mystical bird of two colours is
Suppressed the raging of the fires with fire." understood in the manuscript of Herrade
See also Inf. XVII. Note 107. to mean the Church ; in Dante, the bi 121. The three Theological or Evan. formed bird is the representative of the gelical Virtues, Charity, Hope, and Church, the Pope. The Pope, in fact, Faith. For the symbolism of colours in is both priest and king; he directs the Art, see Mrs. Jameson, Sacred and souls and governs the persons of men ; Legendary Art, quoted Canto VIII. Note he reigns over things in heaven. Thé 28. Pope, then, is but one single person in 130. The four Cardinal Virtues, two natures, and under two forms ; he Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, and Temis both eagle and lion. In his character perance.
They are clothed in purple of Pontiff, or as an eagle, he hovers in to mark their nobility. Prudence is rethe heavens, and ascends even to the presented with three eyes, as looking at throne of God to receive his commands; the past, the present, and the future. as the lion or king he walks upon the 133. St. Luke and St. Paul. earth in strength and power."
136. St. Luke is supposed to have He adds in a note : “Some commen- been a physician ; a belief founded on tators of Dante have supposed the griffin Colossians iv. 14, “ Luke, the beloved to be the emblem of Christ, who, in physician." The animal that nature fact, is one single person with two holds most dear is man. natures ; of Christ, in whom God and 140. The sword with which St. Paul man are combined. But in this they is armed is a symbol of warfare and are mistaken ; there is, in the first place, martyrdom; “I bring not peace, but a a manifest impropriety in describing sword.”. St. Luke's office was to heal; the car as drawn by God as by a beast St. Paul's to destroy. Mrs. Jameson, of burden. It is very doubtful even Sacred and Legendary Art, I. 188, whether Dante can be altogether freed says: from the imputation of a want of re
"At what period the sword was given verence in harnessing the Pope to the to St. Paul as his distinctive attribute is car of the Church."
with antiquaries a disputed point : cerIIO. The wings of the Griffin extend tainly much later than the keys were upward between the middle list or trail given to Peter. If we could be sure that of splendour of the seven candles and the the mosaic on the tomb of Otho the three outer ones on each side.
Second, and another mosaic already 117. The chariot of the sun, which described, had not been altered in sucPhaeton had leave to drive for a day, is cessive restorations, these would be thus described by Ovid, Met. II., Addi- evidence that the sword was given to son's Tr. :
St. Paul as his attribute as early as the "A golden axle did the work uphold,
sixth century ; but there are no monuGold was the beain, the wheels were orbed ments which can be absolutely trusted
with gold. The spokes in rows of silver pleased the sight, before the end of the eleventh century ;
as regards the introduction of the sword The seat with party-coloured gems was bright; Apollo shised amid the glare of light."
since the end of the fourteenth century 120. In smiting Phaeton with a it has been so generally adopted, that in dunderbolt. Ovid, Met. II.:
the devotional effigies I can remember · Jove called to witness every power above,
no instance in which it is omitted. When And cven the god whose son the chariot drove, St. Paul is leaning on the sword, it ex.
" What flowers are these
presses his martyrdom ; when he holds vellous processions ever marshalled on it aloft, it expresses also his warfare in paper. In the invention, arrangement, the cause of Christ : when two swords grouping, and colouring the poet has are given to him, one is the attribute, shown himself a great master in art, the other the emblem ; but this double familiar with all the stately requirements allusion does not occur in any of the of solemn shows, festivals, and triumphs. older representations. In Italy I never Whatever he may have gathered from the met with St. Paul bearing two swords, sacred records, and from classic writers, and the only instance I can call to mind or seen in early mosaics, or witnessed in is the bronze statue by Peter Vischer, the streets of Florence with her joyous on the shrine of St. Sebald, at Nurem- population, her May-day dancers, and berg.'
the military pomp of her magnificent 142. The four Apostles James, Peter, Carroccio, like the ark of the covenant John, and Jude, writers of the Canonical going forth with the host, has here been Epistles. The red flowers, with which surpassed in invention and erudition, and their foreheads seem all aflame, are sym. a picture produced at once as original as bols of martyrdom. Massinger, Virgin it is impressive, as significant as it is Martyr, V. 1:
grand. Petrarca was, probably, indebted
to it for his ‘Trionfi,' so frequently in In Dioclesian's gardens, the most beauteoas
favour with Italian artists. Compared with these are weeds."
“ This canto with the four that follow
form a poem which, though an essential 143. St. John, writer of the Apoca- portion of the Divina Commedia, may lypse ; here represented as asleep; as if be separately considered as the continua. he were “in the spirit on the Lord's tion of the poetic vision mentioned in the day, and heard behind him a great voice Vita Nuova, and the fulfilment of the as of a trumpet.” Or perhaps the allu- intention there expressed. sion may be to the belief of the early “It represents the symbolical passage Christians that John did not die, but of the Christian Church, preceded by the was sleeping till the second coming of Hebrew dispensation, and followed by Christ. This subject has been repre- the disastrous effects of schism, and the sented in medieval Art as follows. corruptions induced by the unholy conMrs. Jameson, Sacred and Legendary duct
. of political Pontiffs. The soul of Art, I. 139:
this solemn exhibition, the living and “St. John, habited in priest's gar- glorified principle of the beatitude which ments, descends the steps of an altar into Religion pure and holy confers upon an open grave, in which he lays himself those who embrace it, is personified in down, not in death, but in sleep, until the 'Donna,' to whom Dante from his the coming of Christ; being reserved earliest youth had been more or less de. alive with Enoch and Elijah (who also voted, the Beatrice of the Vita Nuova, knew not death), to preach against the Loda di Dio vera,' who concentrates in Antichrist in the last days.' This fanci- herself the divine wisdom with which the ful legend is founded on the following Church is inspired, whom angels delight text: Peter, seeing the disciple whom to honour, and whose advent on earth Jesus loved following, saith unto Jesus, had been prepared from all eternity by Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus the moral virtues. saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till “ Beatrice is here presented as the I come, what is that to thee? Then went principle of divine beatitude, or that this saying abroad among the brethren which confers it, and bears a resemthat that disciple should not die.' (John blance to the figure of the New Jerusaxxi. 21, 22.)”
lem seen by St. John descending from 154. Of this canto and those that fol. heaven as a bride adorned for her hus low, Dr. Barlow, Study of the Div. Com., band' (Rev. xxi. 2); a representation of p. 270, says:
which, in the manner of Raphael, occurs “Dante's sublime pageant of the in one of the tapestries of the Vatican, Church Militant is one of the most mar. I and, though not arrayed in the colours
of the Christian virtues, Faith, Hope, window, forty-six angels are represented and Charity, white and green and red, with long golden hair, white transparent as was Beatrice, may yet be regarded as robes, and wings of yellow, red, violet, a Roman version of her.”
and green; they are all painted on a Didron, describing the painting of the background of azure, like the sky, and Triumph of Christ in the Church of celebrate with blended voices, or with Notre Dame de Brou, Christian Icono musical instruments, the glory of Christ. graphy, Millington's Tr., I. 315, says:– Some have in their hands instruments of
“In the centre of all rises the Hero of different forms, others books of music. the Triumph, Jesus Christ, who is seated The four animals of the Evangelists seem in an open car with four wheels. He with sonorous voice to swell the accla. alone is adorned with a nimbus formed mations of the hosts of saints; the ox of rays, departing from each point of the with his bellowing, the lion with his roar, head, and which illumines everything the eagle with his cry, and the angel with around. With one glance he embraces his song, accompany the songs of the the past which precedes, and the future forty-six angels who fill the upper part which is to succeed him. His face re of the window. At the head of the prosembles that drawn by Raphael and the cession is an angel who leads the entire masters of the period of Renaissance, company, and, with a little cross which agreeing with the description given by he holds in his hand, points out to all the Lentulus and Damascenus; it is serious Paradise they are to enter. Finally, and gentle. In the centre of the chariot twelve other angels, blue as the heaven is placed a starry globe traversed by the into which they melt, join in adoration ecliptic, on which the twelve signs of the before the triumph of Christ. zodiac are brilliantly figured. This globe “Dante has given a description of a is symbolic of the world, and forms a similar triumph, but marked by some in. throne for Christ: the Son of God is teresting differences. The Florentine seated on its summit. The car is placed poet formed his cortege of figures taken upon four wheels, and drawn by the four from the Apocalypse and Christian symattributes or symbols of the Evangelists. bolism. At Brou, with the exception of The angel of St. Matthew, and the eagle the attributes of the Evangelists, every: of St. John, are of celestial whiteness; thing is historical. In the sixteenth cen. the lion of St. Mark, and the ox of St. tury, in fact, history began to predomi. Luke, are of a reddish yellow, symboliz-nate over symbolism, which in the thiring the earth on which they dwell. The teenth and fourteenth centuries had eagle and angel do, in fact, fly; while reigned supreme. Dante, who was a the lion and the ox walk. Yet upon the politic poet, drew the triumph, not of painted window all the four have wings. Christ, but of the Church; the triumph A rein of silver, passing round the neck of Catholicism rather than of Chris of each of the four symbols, is attached tianity. The chariot by which he repreto the pole of the chariot. The Church, sents the Church is widowed of Christ, represented by the four most elevated whose figure is so important on the win. religious potentates, by the Pope, the dow of Brou ; the chariot is empty, and Cardinal, the Archbishop, and Bishop, Dante neither discovered this deficiency, or by the four chief Fathers, St. Gregory, nor was concerned to rectify it; for he St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, and St Augus- was less anxious to celebrate Christ and tine, drives the four-wheeled car, and, in his doctrine, for their own sake, than as conjunction with the Evangelists, urges connected with the organization and it onward. Jesus guides his triumph, administration of the Church. He not holding reins, but shedding blessings described the car as drawn by a from his right hand wherever he passes. griffin, thereby representing the Pope,
“The entire assemblage of persons for the griffin unites in itself the charac. represented on the window are seen teristics of both eagle and lion. Now marchingonwards, singing with joy. the Pope is also twofold in character; as Within the spaces formed by the mul. priest he is the eagle floating in the air; lions which trellis the upper part of the as king, he is a lion, walking upon the
“ The proper
earth. The Ultramontane poet regarded with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with the Church, that is the Papacy, in the me from Lebanon." light of an absolute monarchy; not a 17. At the voice of so venerable an limited monarchy as with us, and still old man. less a republic, as amongst the schisma 19. The cry of the multitude at tics of Greece and of the East. Conse- Christ's entry into Jerusalem. Matthew quently, while, at Brou, the Cardinal, xxi. 9: “Blessed is he that cometh in the Archbishop, and Bishop assist the the name of the Lord.” Pope in guiding the car of the Church, 21. Æneiil, VI. 833: “Give me in the ‘Divina Commedia,' the Pope is lilies in handfuls; let me scatter purple alone, and accepts of no assistance from flowers.” the other great ecclesiastical dignitaries. 25. Milton, Parad. Lost, I. 194:At Brou the car is guided by the Evan
" As when the sun new-risen gelists, or by their attributes; ecclesiasti. Shines through the horizontal misty air cal power is content merely to lend its Shorn of his beains." aid. According to the Italian poet, the 32. It will be observed that Dante Evangelists, although present at the Tri- makes Beatrice appear clothed in the umph, do not conduct it; the Pope is colours of the three Theological Virtues himself the sole guide of the Church, and described in Canto XXIX. 121. The permits neither the Evangelists to direct white veil is thesymbolof Faith; the green nor ecclesiastics to assist him. The Pope mantle, of Hope; the red tunic, or Charity. seems to require no assistance; his eye The crown of olive denotes wisdom. and arm alone are sufficient for him." This attire somewhat resembles that given
by artists to the Virgin.
dress of the Virgin,” says Mrs. Jameson, CANTO XXX.
Legends of the Madonna, Introd., liii., 1. In this canto Beatrice appears.
“is a close, red tunic, with long sleeves, The Seven Stars, or Septentrion of the and over this a blue robe or mantle. . highest heaven, are the seven lights that Her head ought to be veiled.” lead the procession, the seven gifts of the
35. Beatrice had been dead ten years
at the date of the poem, 1300. Holy Ghost, by which all men are guided safely in things spiritual, as the mariner
36. Fully to understand and feel what is by the Septentrion, or Seven Stars of is expressed in this line, the reader must the Ursa Minor, two of which are called call to mind all that Dante says in the the "Wardens of the Pole,” and one of Vita Nuova of his meetings with Beawhich is the Cynosure, or Pole Star. trice, and particularly the first, which is These lights precede the triumphal cha: thus rendered by Mr. Norton in his New riot, as in our heaven the Ursa Minor Life of Dante, p. 20:
“Nine times now, since my birth, the precedes, or is nearer the centre of rest, ihan the Ursa Major or Charles's Wain. heaven of light had turned almost to the
In the Northern Mythology the God same point in its gyration, when first apThor is represented as holding these con
peared before my eyes the glorious lady stellations in his hand. The old Swedish of my mind, who was called Beatrice by Rhyme Chronicle, describing the statues many who did not know why they thus in the church of Upsala, says:
called her. She had now been in this
life so long, that in its course the starry “ The God Thor was the highest of them ; heaven had moved toward the east one He sat naked as a child,
of the twelfth parts of a degree; so that Seven stars in his hand and Charles's Wain."
about the beginning of her ninth year she Spenser, Faerie Queene, I. ii. 1: appeared to me, and I near the end of “ By this the northern wagoner had set
my ninth year saw her. She appeared His sevenfold teme behind the steadfast starre to me clothed in a most noble colour, a That was in ocean waves yet never wet, becoming and modest crimson, and she But firme is fixt, and sendeth light from farre To all that in the wide deep wandering arre.
was girt and adorned in the style that
became her extreme youth. At that 11. Song of Solomon iv. 8: "Come instant, I say truly, the spirit of life,
which dwells in the most secret chamber 85. Æneit, VI. 180: “Down drop of the heart, began to tremble with such the firs; crashes, by axes felled, the violence, that it appeared fearfully in the ilex; and the ashen rafters and the least pulses, and, trembling, said these yielding oaks are cleft by wedges. words: Ecce deus fortior me, qui veniens And IX. 87: “A wood ... dark dominabitur mihi ! * Behold a god, with gloomy firs, and rafters of the stronger than I, who, coming, shall rule maple." me!'
Denistoun, Mem. of the Duke of Ur. “At that instant, the spirit of the bino, I. 4, says: “On the summit grew soul, which dwells in the high chamber those magnificent pines, which gave to to which all the spirits of the senses the district of Massa the epithet of bring their perceptions, began to marvel Trabaria, from the beams which were greatly, and, addressing the spirits of carried thence for the palaces of Rome, the sight, said these words : Apparuit and which are noticed by Dante as jam beatitudo vestra, — Now hath ap
The living rafters peared your bliss.' At that instant the
Upon the back of Italy.' natural spirit, which dwells in that part where the nourishment is supplied,
87. Shakespeare, Winter's Tale, IV. began to weep, and, weeping, said 3:
“ The fanned snow these words : Heu miser ! quia fre- That's bolted by the northern blast twice o'er." quenter impeditus ero deinceps, — Woe
me wretched ! because frequently And Midsummer Night's Dream :henceforth shall I be hindered.'
High Taurus “ From this time forward I say that Fanned with the eastern wind." Love lorded it over my soul, which had
113. Which are formed in such losty been thus quickly put at his disposal ; regions, that they are beyond human and he began to exercise over me such
conception. control and such lordship, through the 125. Beatrice died in 1290, at the age power which my imagination gave to of twenty-five. him, that it behoved me to perform
136. How far these self-accusations of completely all his pleasure. He com: Dante were justified by facts, and how manded me many times that I should far they may be regarded as expressions seek to see this youthful angel, so that of a sensitive and excited conscience, we I in my boyhood often went seeking her, have no means of determining. It is and saw her of such noble and praise- doubtless but simple justice to apply to worthy deportment, that truly of her him the words which he applies to might be said that saying of the poet Virgil, Canto III. 8:Homer: 'She does not seem the daughter of mortal man, but of God.' And
“O noble conscience, and without a stain,
How sharp a sting is trivial fault to thee!" though her image, which stayed constantly with me, inspired confidence in
This should be borne in mind when Love to hold lordship over me, yet it we read what Dante says of his own was of such noble virtue, that it never shortcomings; as, for instance, in his suffered that Love should rule without conversation with his brother-in-law the faithful counsel of Reason in those Forese, Canto XXIII, 115:matters in which such counsel could be
"If thou bring back to mind useful."
What thou with me hast been and I with the 48. Dante here translates Virgil's own
The present memory will be grievous still." words, as he has done so many times
But what shall we say of this sonnet before. Æneid, IV. 23: Agnosco addressed to Dante by his intimate recieris vestigia flamme.
friend, Guido Cavalcanti? Rossetti, 52. The Terrestrial Paradise lost by Early Italian Poets, p. 358:Eve.
"I come to thee by daytime constantly, 83. Psalm xxxi. 1, 8: “In thee, O But in thy thoughts too much of lasene* Lord, have I put my trust. Thou hast set my feet in a large room.
Greatly it grieves me for thy gentle wind,