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If any to the world indeed return,
Clear he from wrong my memory, that lies
Yet prostrate under envy's cruel blow."

First somewhat pausing, till the mournful words
Were ended, then to me the bard began :
“ Lose not the time; but speak, and of him ask,
If more thou wish to learn.” Whence I replied:
6 Question thou him again of whatsoe'er
Will, as thou think'st, content me; for no power
Have I to ask, such pity is at my heart.”

He thus resumed : “ So may he do for thee
Freely what thou entreatest, as thou yet
Be pleased, imprisoned spirit! to declare,
How in these gnarled joints the soul is tied ;
And whether any ever from such frame
Be loosened, if thou canst, that also tell."

Thereat the trunk breathed hard, and the wind soon
Changed into sounds articulate like these :
“ Briefly ye shall be answered. When departs
The fierce soul from the body, by itself
Thence torn asunder, to the seventh gulf
By Minos doomed, into the wood it falls,
No place assigned, but wheresoever chance
Hurls it; there sprouting, as a grain of spelt,
It rises to a sapling, growing thence
A savage plant. The Harpies, on its leaves
Then feeding, cause both pain, and for the pain
A vent to grief. We, as the rest, shall come
For our own spoils, yet not so that with them
We may again be clad; for what a man
Takes from himself it is not just he have.
Here we perforce shall drag them; and throughout
The dismal glade our bodies shall be hung,
Each on the wild thorn of his wretched shade.”

Attentive yet to listen to the trunk
We stood, expecting further speech, when us
A noise surprised; as when a man perceives
The wild boar and the hunt approach his place
Of stationed watch, who of the beasts and boughs
Loud rustling round him hears. And lo! there came
Two naked, torn with briers, in headlong flight,
That they before them broke each fan o'th' wood.
“Haste now," the foremost cried, “now haste thee, death!”
The other, as seemed, impatient of delay,

120

97. “The fierce soul” of the suicide. figures of his famous fresco in the Sistine

105. At the Last Judgment we, like all other Chapel. souls, shall receive our human forms, but shall 118. The violent against themselves, in that not be allowed to wear them. Michael Angelo they squandered the blessings God had given has made use of this idea in one of the central them.

Exclaiming, “ Lano! not so bent for speed
Thy sinews, in the lists of Toppo's field.”
And then, for that perchance no longer breath
Sufficed him, of himself and of a bush
One group he made. Behind them was the wood
Full of black female mastiffs, gaunt and fleet,
As greyhounds that have newly slipt the leash.
On him, who squatted down, they stuck their fangs,
And having rent him piecemeal bore away
The tortured limbs. My guide then seized my hand,
And led me to the thicket, which in vain
Mourned through its bleeding wounds: “O Giacomo
Of Sant' Andrea! what avails it thee,”
It cried, “ that of me thou hast made thy screen?
For thy ill life, what blame on me recoils ? "

When o'er it he had paused, my master spake: “ Say who wast thou, that at so many points Breathest out with blood thy lamentable speech ? "

He answered : 60 ye spirits! arrived in time
To spy the shameful havoc that from me
My leaves hath severed thus, gather them up,
And at the foot of their sad parent-tree
Carefully lay them. In that city I dwelt,
Who for the Baptist her first patron changed,
Whence he for this shall cease not with his art
To work her woe: and if there still remained not
On Arno's passage some faint glimpse of him,
Those citizens, who reared once more her walls
Upon the ashes left by Attila,
Had labored without profit of their toil.
I slung the fatal noose from my own roof."

122. Lano, a Sienese, who, being reduced appeased; and if some remains of his statue by prodigality to a state of extreme want, found were not still visible on the bridge over the his existence no longer supportable; and hav- Arno, she would have been already levelled to ing been sent by his countrymen on a military the ground; and thus the citizens, who raised expedition to assist the Florentines against the her again from the ashes to which Attila had Aretines, took that opportunity of exposing him- reduced her, would have labored in vain.” See self to certain death, in the engagement which Paradise, Canto xvi. 45. The relic of antiquity, took place at Toppo near Arezzo.

to which the superstition of Florence attached 123. The thicket contains the soul of Rocco so high an importance, was carried away by a de' Mozzi or Lòtto degli Agli. He tells his food, that destroyed the bridge on which it story in lines 144 ff.

stood, in the year 1337, but without the ill 133. Jacopo da Sant' Andrea, a Paduan, who, effects that were apprehended from the loss of having wasted his property in the most wanton their fancied Palladium. acts of profusion, killed himself in despair. 150. It was believed in Dante's time that

144. “I was an inhabitant of Florence, that Attila had destroyed Florence, and that the city. city which changed her first patron Mars for St. had been rebuilt by Charlemagne. This is, John the Baptist; for which reason the ven- however, only a tradition. geance of the deity thus slighted will never be

CANTO XIV.

ARGUMENT.

They arrive at the beginning of the third of those compartments into which this

seventh circle is divided. It is a plain of dry and hot sand, where three kinds of violence are punished; namely, against God, against Nature, and against Art; and those who have thus sinned, are tormented by flakes of fire, which are eternally showering down upon them. Among the violent against God is found Capaneus, whose blasphemies they hear. Next, turning to the left along the forest of selfslayers, and having journeyed a little onwards, they meet with a streamlet of blood that issues from the forest and traverses the sandy plain. Here Virgil speaks to our Poet of a huge ancient statue that stands within Mount Ida in Crete, from a fissure in which statue there is a dripping of tears, froin which the said streamlet, together with the three other infernal rivers, are formed.

10

Soon as the charity of native land
Wrought in my bosom, I the scattered leaves
Collected, and to him restored, who now
Was hoarse with utterance. To the limit thence
We came, which from the third the second round
Divides, and where of justice is displayed
Contrivance horrible. Things then first seen
Clearlier to manifest, I tell how next
A plain we reached, that from its sterile bed
Each plant repelled. The mournful wood waves round
Its garland on all sides, as round the wood
Spreads the sad foss. There, on the very edge,
Our steps we stayed. It was an area wide
Of arid sand and thick, resembling most
The soil that erst by Cato's foot was trod.

Vengeance of heaven! Oh! how shouldst thou be feared
By all, who read what here mine eyes beheld.

Of naked spirits many a flock I saw,
All weeping piteously, to different laws
Subjected; for on the earth some lay supine,
Some crouching close were seated, others paced
Incessantly around; the latter tribe
More numerous, those fewer who beneath
The torment lay, but louder in their grief.

O'er all the sand fell slowly wafting down
Dilated flakes of fire, as flakes of snow
On Alpine summit, when the wind is hushed.

1. The spirit contained in the bush had said 19. The violent against God, or blasphemers, that he was a Florentine. See Canto xiii. 144. . lie supine; the violent against Art, or usurers,

15. The Libyan desert, traversed by Cato sit still; the violent against Nature, or Sodomwhen he led the remnant of Pompey's army to ites, run over the plain unceasingly. Juba, king of Numidia. Cf. Lucan, Pharsalia,

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As, in the torrid Indian clime, the son
Of Ammon saw, upon his warrior band
Descending, solid flames, that to the ground
Came down; whence he bethought him with his troop
To trample on the soil; for easier thus
The vapor was extinguished, while alone :
So fell the eternal fiery flood, wherewith
The marle glowed underneath, as under stove
The viands, doubly to augment the pain.
Unceasing was the play of wretched hands,
Now this, now that way glancing, to shake off
The heat, still falling fresh. I thus began :
“ Instructor! thou who all things overcomest,
Except the hardy demons that rushed forth
To stop our entrance at the gate, say who
Is yon huge spirit, that, as seems, heeds not
The burning, but lies writhen in proud scorn,
As by the sultry tempest immatured ?".

Straight he himself, who was aware I asked
My guide of him, exclaimed : “ Such as I was
When living, dead such now I am. If Jove
Weary his workman out, from whom in ire
He snatched the lightnings, that at my last day
Transfixed me; if the rest he weary out,
At their black smithy laboring by turns,
In Mongibello, while he cries aloud,
• Help, help, good Mulciber!'as erst he cried
In the Phlegræan warfare; and the bolts
Launch he, full aimed at me, with all his might;
He never should enjoy a sweet revenge.”

Then thus my guide, in accent higher raised
Than I before had heard him: “Capaneus!
Thou art more punished, in that this thy pride
Lives yet unquenched: no torment, save thy rage,
Were to thy fury pain proportioned full."

28. In the pretended letter of Alexander the 53. Mongibello = Mount Ætna in Sicily, Great (" Son of Ammon”) to Aristotle, it is told where the poets place the smithy of Vulcan. how first snow, then fire, fell upon his army. “More hot than Ætn' or flaming Mongibell." He ordered his soldiers to trample down the

Spenser, F. Q. ii. 9, 29. snow as it fell in order that it might not cover 54. The original reads, – them; but he ordered them to spread out their

“Buon Vulcano, ajuta, ajuta." garments against the fire. Dante seems to have For the sake of metre Cary uses Mulciber, taken confused these two supposed facts.

from Milton, – 42. At the gate of the city of Dis.

"and in Ansonian land 43. This is Capaneus, one of the seven kings

Men called him Mulciber." who besieged Thebes. Having mounted the

Par. Lost, i. 739, 740. walls, he defied Jupiter himself to help the 55. Battle between the giants and Jupiter, in city, and was destroyed for his presumption. which the former piled one mountain on another

Statius, Theb. x. 845 ff. in order to scale the heavens. Phlegra is a val49. Vulcan, who made the thunderbolts for ley in Thessaly, where the battle took place. Jupiter.

Next turning round to me, with milder lip
He spake: “This of the seven kings was one,
Who girt the Theban walls with siege, and held,
As still he seems to hold, God in disdain,
And sets his high omnipotence at naught.
But, as I told him, his despiteful mood
Is ornament well suits the breast that wears it.
Follow me now; and look thou set not yet
Thy foot in the hot sand, but to the wood
Keep ever close." Silently on we passed
To where there gushes from the forest's bound
A little brook, whose crimsoned wave yet lifts
My hair with horror. As the rill, that runs
From Bulicame, to be portioned out
Among the sinful women, so ran this
Down through the sand; its bottom and each bank
Stone-built, and either margin at its side,
Whereon I straight perceived our passage lay.

“Of all that I have shown thee, since that gate
We entered first, whose threshold is to none
Denied, naught else so worthy of regard,
As is this river, has thine eye discerned,
O'er which the flaming volley all is quenched.”

So spake my guide, and I him thence besought,
That having given me appetite to know,
The food he too would give, that hunger craved.

“In midst of ocean," forthwith he began,
“A desolate country lies, which Crete is named ;
Under whose monarch, in old times, the world
Lived pure and chaste. A mountain rises there,
Called Ida, joyous once with leaves and streams,
Deserted now like a forbidden thing.
It was the spot which Rhea, Saturn's spouse,
Chose for the secret cradle of her son;
And better to conceal him, drowned in shouts
His infant cries. Within the mount, upright
An ancient form there stands, and huge, that turns

24. Phlegethon.

order to prevent the child's cries from being 76. A warm medicinal spring near Viterbo, a heard commanded the Corybantes to make loud very popular resort in Dante's time. It seems noises. to have been especially frequented by women of 99. Virgil describes here the origin of the ill fame.

Infernal rivers. The statue of the old man is 81. The entrance to Hell.

taken from Nebuchadnezzar's dream in the go. Crete, an island of the Mediterranean, Book of Daniel, only its meaning is different. birthplace of Jupiter, from whom the Trojans, The latter represents the four monarchies of and hence the Romans, draw their origin. antiquity, the former the different ages of man,

91. The reign of Saturn was the golden age. the gradual deterioration of which is repreCf. Æn. viii. 319 ff.

sented by the gold, silver, brass, and iron. The 96. Rhea concealed her son Jupiter from his foot of clay represents the present age, the worst father Saturn, who devoured his children, and in of all. The back turned to Damietta and face

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