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From one side and the other, with loud voice,
He straight replied : “In their first life, these all
I then: “'Mid such as these some needs must be,
30. The miser despises the wasteful, who . According to Dante it was the lust of temhave a similar contempt for the avaricious. poral power and wealth on the part of the Pope Hence these recriminations.
and the clergy that was the cause of the un38. Alluding to the tonsure.
happy condition of Italy and the church. See 48. Ariosto, having personified Avarice as a Hell, xix. 94 ff. and Par. xxvii. 36 ff. strange and hideous monster, says of her —
57. The clenched grasp is emblematic of “ Peggio facea nella Romana corte;
avariciousness as the close-shaven locks are Che v'avea uccisi Cardinali e Papi."
of wastefulness. The latter expression is not
Orl. Fur. xxvi. 32. to be confused with the tonsure referred to in “Worse did she in the court of Rome, for there line 38. She had slain Popes and Cardinals."
64. By means of the obsolete word coil= noise, tumult, confusion, - Cary translates the 80. Fortune. original si rabbuffa = fight, come to blows. 101. When Dante began his journey it was
Not all the gold that is beneath the moon,
He thus: “O beings blind! what ignorance
74. God created the nine heavens and ap- night (Hell, ii. 1); the stars which were then pointed the various orders of the celestial rising from the horizon are now falling from the hierarchy to rule over them, and to control zenith; hence it is past midnight, and the second their movements and influence. Cf. Convito, day of the action of the poem has begun. ii. 5 and 6; Par. viii. 38 ff.; xxviii. 112 ff.
Than sablest grain : and we in company
The good instructor spake: “Now seest thou, son!
110. “Cocyti stagna alta vides, Stygiamque wrath within their hearts, in contradistinction paludem."
to the violently angry.
The meaning of the last word here is 121. According to the ancient commentators “slough” (from Latin mites ?). Cary conthe slothful in well-doing. Philalethes thinks fuses it with mezzo, -- middle, – and translates they are the sullen who nurse a hidden fire of it by the obsolete word, core = centre.
A signal having been made from the tower, Phlegyas, the ferryman of the lake, speed
ily crosses it, and conveys Virgil and Dante to the other side. On their passage, they meet with Filippo Argenti, whose fury and torment are described. They then arrive at the city of Dis, the entrance whereto is denied, and the portals closed against them by many Demons.
My theme pursuing, I relate, that ere
“ There on the filthy waters,” he replied,
Never was arrow from the cord dismissed,
1. Boccaccio and others see in this line an he set fire to the temple of that deity, by whose indication that the first seven cantos were writ- vengeance he was cast into Tartarus. See Virg. ten before Dante's exile. This is not true, how- Æn. vi. 618. ever, as it has been proved that the poem was 29. Because Dante, being alive, weighed not begun until several years thereafter the boat down more than the spirits. The fact
7. Virgil. Cf. Hell, vii. 3, where the words that the Poet is in the body is never left from “whom no event surprised” are in the original, sight throughout the poem, and constant refer“che tutto seppe" = who knew everything ence is made to it by Virgil, by Dante himself,
18. Phlegyas was so incensed against Apollo, or by the spirits, who are filled with wonder at for having violated his daughter Coronis, that the strange fact,
While we our course o'er the dead channel held, One drenched in mire before me came, and said: “Who art thou, that thus comest ere thine hour?"
I answered : “ Though I come, I tarry not:
To which I thus : “In mourning and in woe,
I then: “Master! him fain would I behold
He thus : “ Or ever to thy view the shore
And thus the good instructor: “Now, my son
I thus : “ The minarets already, Sir!
31. Filippo Argenti, mentioned by name in the sufferings of Filippo Argenti may perhaps line 59. Boccaccio tells us, “he was a man be found in the fact that the latter belonged to remarkable for the large proportions and ex- the family of the Adimari, enemies of the Biantraordinary vigor of his bodily frame, and the chi, and of the Poet. Cf. Par. xvi. 113 ff. extreme waywardness and irascibility of his 66. The city of Dis, defended by moats, walls, temper." Decam. ix. 8.
and towers, forms the sixth circle of Hell, that 32. I.e. the hour of death.
of the Heresiarchs. Here is the entrance to the 58. An explanation of Dante's fierce joy in lower Hell, where still blacker sins are punished.