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The Vision : or, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, of Dante Alighieri online

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E che di lui come a lei par dis])one.

Orl. Fw: c. xlvi. st. 7fi.
V. 52. Ciacco.] So called from his inordin.'itc apjietite : Ciacco, in
Italian, signifying a pig. The real name of this glutton has not been
transmitted to us. He is introduced in Boccaccio's Deciuieron, Giorn.
ix. Nov. 8.

V. fil. The dinidcd city.] The city of Florence, divided into the Bianchl
and Neri factions.
V. 65. The wild party from the woods.] So called, because it was

HELL. 367

headed by Veri de' Cerchi, whose family liad lately come into the city
from Acone, and tlie woody country of the Val di Nievolo.

V. (5<). Thr other.] The opposite party of the Neri, at the head of which
was Corso Doiiati.

V. 07. Tliis must fall.'] The Bianchi.

V. 69. Of one, who under shore

yoiv rests.]

Charles of Valois, by whose means the Neri were replaced.

V. 73. The just are two in 7iumber.] Who these two were, the com-
mentators are not agreed.

V. 7!). Of Farinatn and Teqghiaio.] See Canto X. and Notes, and
Canto XV[. and Notes.

V. SO. Glacopo.] Giacopo Knsticncci. See Canto XVI. and Notes.

V. 81. Arrigo, J/oscrt.] Of Arrigo, who is said by the commentators
to have been of the noble family of the Fifanti, no mention afterwards
occurs. Mosca degli Uberti is introduced in Canto XXVIII.

V. 108. Consult thy knoxvledge.] Wo are referred to the following pas-
sage in St. Augnstin : — " Cum fiet resurrectio carnis, et bonornm gaudia
et inalorum tormenta majora erunt." — " At the resurrection of the tlesli.
both the happiness of the good and the torments of the wicked will be


V. 1. Ah me ! Satan ! Satan !]

Pape Satan, Pape Satan, aleppe.
Pape is said by the commentatoi's to be the same as the Latin word
papcB ! "strange!" Of aleppe they do not give a more satisfactory

See the Life of Benvenuto Cellini, translated bj' Dr. Nugent, v ii. b.
iii. c. vii. p. ll."?, where he mentions "having heard the words Paix,
paiXi Satan ! allez, paix ! in the court of justice at Paris. I recollected
what Dante said, when he with his master Virgil entered the gates of
hell : for Dante, and Giotto the jiainter, were together in France, and
visited Paris with particular attention, where the court of justice may be
considered as hell. Hence it is that Dante, who was likewise perfect
master of the French, made use of that expression ; and I have ofteu
been surprised that it was never understood in that sense."
V. 12. The first adulterer proud.] Satan.
v. 22. E'en as a hilloio.]

As when two billows in the Irish sowndes
Forcibly driven with contrarie tides,
Do meet together, each aback rebounds
With roaring rage, and dashing on all sides,
That filleth all the sea with foam, divides
The doubtful current into divers wayes.

Spenser, F. Q'. b. iv. c. 1. st. 42.
V. 48. Popes and cardinals.] Ariosto, having personified Avarice aa
a strange and hideous monster, says of her — •

Peggio facea nella Romana corte,
Che v'avea uccisi Cardinali e Papi.

Orl. Fur. c. xxvi. st. 32.
Worse did she in the court of Rome, for there
She had slain Popes and Cardinals.

3i38 NOTKS.

V. 5)1. By vrces.vli/.] Tliis sciitiincnt called foitli the icpicheiisiou ol
Cecco d'Ascoli, in liis Acerha, 1. 1. c. i.

In cid pecc.'isti, O Fiorciitin poct.a, &c.
Herein, () Itaid of Florence, (li<lst tliou err,
Laying; it down that f<jrtiine's larj;esscs
Are fated tu their unal. Fnrtiin<; is none,
That reason cannot eonqner. Marie thou, Dante,
If any argument may gainsay this.


V. 18. Phlcr/yas.'] Phle^yas, who was so incensed af^ainst Ajiollo, for
having violated his daugliter Coronis, that he set fire to the tem|il(; of
that deitv, by whose vengeance he was cast into Tartarus. See A'irg.
^n. 1. vi." H18.

v. 59. Filippo Arr/enti.] Boccaccio tells ns, " he was a man remark-
able for the large jiroportions and extraordinary vigor of his bodily
frame, and the extreme waywardness and irascibility of Ins temper."
Decani, g. ix. n. 8.

V. G6. The city, that of Dis is nam'd.] So Ariosto. Orl. Fur. c. xl.
6t. 32.

V. 94. Seven times.] The commentators, .'says Venturi, iierplex them-
selves with the inquiry what seven perils these were from which Dante
had been delivered by Virgil. Reckoning the beasts in the first Cimto
as one of them, and adding Charon, Minos, Cerlierus, PlutMs, Phlegyas,
and Fili|)po Argenti, as so many others, we shall have the number ; and
if this be not satisfactory, we may suppose a determinate to have been
put for an indeterminate number.

V. 109. At ivar 'twixt loill and loill not.]

Che SI, e no nel capo mi tenzona.

So Boccaccio, Ninf. Fiesol. st. 233.

II PI e il lib nel capo gli contende.

The words I have adopted as a translation, are Shakspeare's, Measure
for Measure, a. ii. s. 1.

V. 122. This their insolence, not neio.] Virgil assures onr poet, that
these evil spirits had formerly shown the same insolence when our Sa-
vior descended into hell. They attemjited to prevent him from entering
at the gate, over which Dante had read the fatal inscription. "That
gate which," says the Roman poet, "an angel has just ])assed, by whose
aid we shall overcome this opposition, and gain admittance into the city."

V. 1. The 7i7(c.] Virgil, perceiving that Dante was pale with fear, re-
etrained those outward tokens of displeasure which his own countenance
had betrayed.

V. 23. Erietho.] Erictho, a Thessalian sorceress, according to Lncan,
Pharsal. 1. vi. was employed by Sextus, son of Pompey the Great, to
conjure up a spirit, who should inform him of the issue of the civil wars
■between his father and Caesar.
V. 25. No long space my flesh

Was naked of me.]
Qam corpus complexa animae tam fortis inane.

Ovid. Met. 1. xiii. f. 2.

HELL. . 369

Daiito appears to liave fallen into a strange anachronism, Virgil's
deatli did not haiipcn till Jong after this period.
V. 42. Adders and cerastes.]

Vipereum crineni vittis iiniexa cruentis.

Virr/. ^n. 1, vi. 281.
^spiuaqne vagi torquente cerastaj

- - - - et torrida dipsas

Et gravis in geminum vergens capnt amphisba'na.

Lucan. Pharsal. 1. ix. 719.
So Milton :

Scorpion and asp, and ampliisba-na dire,
Cerastes liorn'd, liydrus and elops drear,
And dipsas.

P. L. b. X. 524.
V. G7. A wind.] Imitated by Berni, Oil. Inn. 1. 1. c. ii. st. 6.
V. 88. With Jiis wand.]

She with her rod did softly snute the raile,
Which straight flew ope.

S2Knscr. F. Q. b. iv. c. iii. st. 40.
V. <,)(). What projits at the fays to hut the horn.] "Of what avail can it
be to offer violence to impassive behigs ? "

V. 97. Yonr Cerberus.] Cerberns is feigned to have been dragged by
Hercules, bound with a three-fold chain, of which, says the angel, he
still bears the marks.

v. 111. The plains of Aries.] In Provence. See Ariosto, Orl. Fur. c.
xxxix. st. 72.

v. 112. At Pola.] A city of Istria, situated near the gulf of Quaniaro,
in the Adriatic sea.


V. 12. Josaphat.] It seems to have been a common opinion among the
Jews, as well as among many Christians, that the general judgment will
be held in the valley of Josaiihat, or Jehoshajihat : " I will also giither
all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshajihat,
and will plead with them there for my people, and for my heritage
Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my
land." Joel, iii. 2.

V. 32. Farivafa.] Farinata dcgli Uberti, a noble Florentine, was the
leader of the Ghibelline faction, when they obtained a signal victory
over the Guelfi at Montapei-to, near the river Arbia. IMacciiiavelli cal's
him "a man of exalted soul, and great military talents." Hist, of Flor.
b. ii.

V. 52. A shade.] The spirit of Cavalcante Cavalcanti, a noble Floreij-
tine, of the Guelph ])arty.

V. 59. 3fy S07).] Guido, the son of Cavalcante Cavalcanti ; "he whom
I call the first of my friends," says P.inte in his A'^ita Nnova, where the
coniniencement of their friend^hij) is related. From the character given
of him by contcm|3orary writ(^rs, his temper was well formed to assimi-
late with that of our poet. " He was," according to G. Villani, 1. viii. c.
41. " of a ])hilosophical and elegant mind, if he had not been too delicate
and fastidious." And Dino Compagni terms him " a young and noble


'd'tO NOTES.

knight, bravo and conrteoiis, but of a lofty scornful si)irit, much addicted
to solitude and study." Muratori. lier. Ital. Scii|)t. t. It. 1. 1. |). 481. He
died, citlicr in exile at Serrazana, or soon after his return to Florence,
December t;?00, diirinj;- the spring of which year the action of this poem
is supposed to be passing.

V. 62. Guido thy son

Had ill coiHcmpt.]

Guido Cavalcanti, being more given to ])hilosophy than poetry, was
perhaps no groat admirer of Virgil. Some p(;ctical comimsitions by
Guido are, however, still extant ; and his reputation for skill in the art
was .such as to eclipse that of his predecessor and namesake Guido
Guinicelli, as we shall see in the Purgatory, Canto XI. His "Canzone
sopra il Terreno Aniore" was thought worthy of b(nng illustrated by
numerous and ample commentaries. Crescinibeni 1st. della Volg. Poes.
1. V.

For a ]>layful sonnet which Dante addressed to him, and a spirited
translation of it, see Hayley's Essay on Epic Poetry, Notes to Ep. iii.

V. 66. Saidst thou he' had?] In ^Escliylus, the shade of Darius is
represented as inquiring with similar anxiety after the fate of his son

Atnssn, MoroSa 5e 'Eip^r)v epTj/xbi' ((>acriu 6v izokKiav /xe'ra — • ' •
Darius. Uws 5e 5») khI ttoi TeKevTav etrri ; Tts aioTr^pCa ;

nErSAI. 723.

Atossa. Xerxes astonisli'd, desolate, alone —

Ghost of Dar. How will this end ? Nay, pause not. Is he safe ?

The Persians. Patterns Translation.

V. 77. Not yet fifty times.'] " Not fifty months shall be passed, before
thou shalt learn, by woeful experience, the difficulty of returning from
banishment to thy native citj'."

V. 83. The slaur/hter.] " By means of Farinata degli Uberti, the Guelfi
were conquered by the army of King Manfredi, near the river Arbia,
with so great a slaughter, that those who escaped from that defeat took
refuge not in Florence, which city they considered as lost to them, but
iu Lucca." Macchiavelli. Hist, of Flor. b. 2.

V. 86. Such orisons.] This appears to allude to certain prayers which
were offered up in the churches of Florence, for deliverance from the
hostile attempts of the Uberti.

V. flO. SinqJi/ there I stood.] Guido Novello assembled a council of
the Ghibellini at Empoli, where it was agreed by all, that, in order to
maintain the ascendency of the Ghibelliue party in Tuscany, it was nec-
essary to destroy Floi'ence, which could serve only (tlie people of that
city being Guelfi) to enable the party attached to the church to recover
its strength. This cruel sentence, passed upon so noble a city, met ^^•itll
no opposition from any of its citizens or friends, except Farinata degli
Uberti, who ojienly and without reserve forbade the measure, affirming
that he had endured so ninny hardships, and encountered so many
dangers, with no other view than that of being able to pass his days in
his own country. Macchiavelli. Hist, of Flor.b. 2.

V. 103. Mif fault.] Uante felt remorse for not having returned an
immediate answer to tlie inquiry of Cavalcante, from wiiich delay he
was led to believe that his son Guido was no longer living.

V. 120. Frederick.] The Emperor Frederick the Second, who died in
1250. See Notes to Canto Xill.

V. 121. The Lord Cardinal .] Ottaviano Ubaldini, a Florentine, made

HELL. 871 ■

Cardinal in 1245, and deceased about 1273. On account of his great
influence, lie was generally known by tlie appellation of "the Cardinal."
It is reported of liini tiiat he declared, if there were any such thing as a
human soul, he liad lost his for the Ghibellini.
V. 132 Her gracious beam.] Beatrice.


V. 9. Pope Anof^tasms.] The commentators are not agreed concerning
the identity of the person, who is here mentioned as a fohower ol' tlie
heretical Photinus. By some he is supjiosed to have been AnastMsins
the Second ; by others, the Fourth of that nauie ; wliile a third set,
jealous of the integrity of tlie pa]>al faith, contend that our poet has con-
fonnded him with Anastasius I. Emperor of tlie East.

V. 17. Ml/ so?).] The remainder of the present Canto may be con-
sidered as a syllabus of the wliole of tliis part of tlie poem.

V. 48. And sorroii-s.] Tliis flue moral, that not to enjoy our being is
to be nngrateful to the Author of it, is well expressed in Spenser, F. Q.
b. iv. c. viii. st. 15.

For he whose dales in wilful woe are worne,

The grace of his Creator doth despise,

Tliat will not use his gifts for thankless nigardise.

V. 53. Cahors.] A city in Guienne, mucli frequented by nsurers.

V. 83. Thy ethic page.] He refers to Aristotle's Ethics.

" Mera 5e Ta.vTa AeKTe'o)' a\\r]v TroiTJcrajticVonS apx')'', OTi tCiv irepl To. rjOrj (jievKTiiv
rpCa ecTTii' eiSr), KaKia, axpacria, 0ripi.6Tri<;. Etldc. Nicomach. 1. vii. C. i.

"In the next place, entering on another division of the subject, let it
be defined, that respecting morals there are three sorts of things to be
avoided, malice, incontinence, and bruti.shness."

V. 104. Her lavs.] Ari.stOtle's PliysicS. — " 17 rexi-i? /xifxerrai Tr\v 4>v(Tii'."

Arist. *Y2. AKP. 1. ii. c. ii. " Art imitates nature." — See the Coltiva-
zione of Alamanni, 1. 1.

1' arte umaua, &c.

V. 111. Creation's holy hook.] Genesis, c. iii. v. 19. "In the sweat of
thy face slialt thou eat bread."

V. 119. The wain.] The constellation Bootes, or Charles's waiu.


V. 17. The king of Athens.] Theseus, who was enabled, by the
Instructions of Ariadne, the sister of the Minotaur, to destroy that

V. 21. Like to a bull.]

'fis 5' oral' b^vv exeoi/ ireXeKvv oi^Jjiog avrip,
K6i|/as i^oniOev Kepdwv ^obs aypavXoio,
'Iva. Ttt/xT) Sua. iracrav, 6 Se wpodopuiv epiVrjcj-tv.

Homer. H. 1. xvii. 522.
As when some vig'rous youth with sharpcn'd axe
A pastur'd bullock smites behind tlie horns.
And hews the muscle through ; he, at the stroke
Springs forth and falls.

Cowper's Translation.


V .'in. He nrrii''il.] Our Saviour, wlio, aocordinjT t(i Dante, wlien he
ascc'iidcil from licll, carried witli liiiii tlie souls of tlio patriarclm, and
otliui' just iiiCM, out of tlie first circii;. ' Sue Canto IV.

V. "Ki, jVc.'(.s/(s.) Our ]ioi't was probably indiiciMl, l)y the f<jllo\\in<i line
in Ovid, to asHif^n to Nessiis the task of conducting tlieni over the ford :
Nessus adit nicnibri.sque valens scitnsque vadorimi.

Melmn. 1. ix.
And Ovid's authority was Sophocles, who says of this Centaur —

, O? Tof PaOiipjiovv TTOTa/ibi/ Eiirfvov ^poTOUS
MiaBoii TTopeve xcpalv ourt Trofiirinois
Kujirai; «pt'<rCT<oi','OUT« \aC(f>eiTiv few;.

Track. 570.
He in his arms, Even us' stream
Dcep-fiowin<i, bore the ])assen,y:er for hire,
Without or sail or billow-cleaving oar.

V. 110. Ezzolino.'] E/.zolino, or Azzolino di Romano, a most cruel
tyrant in the ]M;irca Trivigiana, Lord of Padua, Yiccnza, A'eiona, and
Brescia, who died in 12(50. His atrocities form the subject of a Latin
tragedy, called J'^i'ccrinis, by Albertino Mussato, of Padua, the contem-
jioi'ary of Dante, and the most elegant writer of Latin verse of that age.
Sec also the Paradise, Canto IX. Berni. Orl. Tim. 1. ii. c. xxv. st. 50.
Ariosto. (>rl. Fur. c. iii. st. o.'i. and Tassoni Seccliia Hapita, c. viii. st. 11.

V. 111. (ihizzo' of Este.] Marquis of Ferrara and of the INL-irca d'An-
cnna, was murdered by liis own son (whom, for the most unn.'itural act,
Dante calls his step-son), iov the sake of tlie treasures which his rapacity
had amassed. See Ariosto. Orl. Fur. c. iii. st. 32. He died in 1293,
according to Gibbon. Ant. of the House of Brunswick. Posth. Works,
V. ii. 4to.

V. Ill), //c] " Henrie, tlie brother of this Edmund, and son to the
foresaid king of Almaine (Richard, brother of Henry III. of England) as
lie returned from Affrike, where he had been with Prince Edward, was
slain at Vitorbo in Italy (whither he was come about business which he
had to do with the Pope) by the hand of Guy de Montfort, the son of
Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, in revenge of tlie same Simon's
death. The niurther was committed afore the high altar, as the same
Henrie kneeled tiiere to hear divine service." a.d. 1272, Holinshed's
Cliron. p. 275. See also Giov. Villani Hist. I. vii. c. 40.

V. 1.35. On Serins and on Pyrrhus.] Sextus, either the son of Tarqnin
the Prond, or of Pompey the Great ; or, as Vellutelli conjectures, Sextus
Claudius Nero, and Pyrrhus king of Epirns.

V. 137. The Rinieri, of Corneio this,

Pazzo the other named.']

Two noted marauders, by whose depredations tlie public ways in Italy
were infested. The latter was of the noble family of Pazzi in Florence.


V. 10. BeticiTt Corncto and CecbuCs stream.'] A wild and woody tract
of country, abounding in deer, goats, and wild boars. Cecina is a river
not far to the south of Leghorn ; Corneto, a small city on the same
coast, in the iiatrimony of the church.

V. 12. The Stnqihitdrs.] See Virg. ^,n. 1. iii. 210.

V. 14. Broad arc their pennons.] From Virg. .^n. 1. iii. 216.

nELL, 373

V. 48. In my verxe drarrihrd.] Tlie commentators cx|)lain this, " If lie
could liave believed, in consequence of my assurances alone, tliat of wliicli
he liath now had ocular proof, he would not have stretched forth his
hand against thee." But 1 am of o])inion that Dante makes Viri;il
allude to his own story of Polydorus, in the third book of the j-Eueid.

V. 5(i. That pleasant loord vf thine.] " Since you have inveigled me to
speak my holding forth so gratifying an expectation, let it not disi>]ease
you if I am as it were detained in the snare you have spread for me, so
as to be somewhat ])roIix in my answer."

V. 60. I it lous.] Pietro delle Vigne, a native of Capua, who, from a
low condition, raised himself by his eloc(uence and legal knowledge to
the office of Chancellor to the Emperor Frederick II. whose confidence in
him was such, that his influence in the empire became unbounded. The
courtiers, envious of his exalted situation, contrived, by means of forged
letters, to make Frederick believe that lie held a secret and traitorous
intercourse with the Pope, who was then at enmity with the Emperor.
In consequence of this supposed crime he was cruelly condemned by his
too credulous sovereign to lose liis eyes, and, being driven to despair by
his unmerited calamity and di.sgrace, he put an end to his life by dashing
out his brains against the walls of a church, in the year 1245. Both
Frederick and Pietro delle Vigne composed verses in the Sicilian dialect,
which are yet extant.

V. 07. The harlot] Envy. Chaucer alludes to this iu the Prologue to
the Legeude of Good Women.

Envie is lavender to the court alway,
For she ne parteth neither night ne day
Out of the house of Cesar ; thus saitli Dant.

V. 119. Each fan o' th' luood.] Hence perhaps Miltou :
Leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan.

P. L. b. V. 6.

T. 122. Lano.] Lano, a Siennese, who, being reduced by prodigality
to a state of extreme want, found his existence no hjnger supportable ;
and, having been sent by his couutrymeii on a military expedition, to
assist the Florentines against the Aretini, took that opportunity of ex-
posing himself to certain death, in the engagement which took place at
Toppo near Arezzo. See G. Villani. Hist. 1. 7. c. cxix.

V. 133. Giacomo

Of Sunt' Andrea .']

Jacopo da Sant' Andrea, a Padnan, who, having wasted his property
in the most wanton acts of profusion, killed himself in despair.

V. 144. In that citi/.] " I was an inhabitant of Florence, that city
■wliich changed her first patron Mars for St. .Tohn the Ba|itist, fin- which
reason the vengeance of the deity thus slighted will never be appeased ;
and, if some remains of his statue were not still visible on the bridge
over the Arno, she would have been already levelled to the ground ; and
thus the citizens, who raised her again from the ashes to which Attila
had reduced her, would have laboured in vain." See Paradise, Canto
XVI. 44.

The relic of antiquity, to which the superstition of Florence attached
so high an importance, was carried away by a (loud, that destroyed the
bridge on which it stood, in the year I'^ol, but without the ill effects
th.at were apprehended from the loss of their fancied Palladium.

V. 152. I slumj the fatal noose.] We are not informed who this suicide

374 NOTES.


V. 15. liii Cato'sfoot.'] See Liican, Plijirs, 1. 0.

V. '2C>. liilutedjialccs ofJiir.\ (Joiiiinue Tasso. fi. L. c. x. st. 61.

V. 28. As, in the torrid Indian clinic] Laiidino refers to Albertus
Maguiis for tlie ciiciiiiistaiico here alluded to.

V. 53. In Mon<iiJ)<:llo. J

More hot tlian MUi" or flaniinj? Mongibcll.

Spenser, F. Q. b. ii. c. ix. st. 29.

Soo Y'u'j;. JFa\. 1. viii. 41«). and Beriii. Orl. Inn. 1. i. c. xvi. st. 21. It
would be endless to refer to iiarallel i)assajics in the Greek writers.

V. (i4. Tliis of the seiten kinfis 'n'd.t oiic.\ (Jompare ^I'^scli. Seven Chiefs,
425. Euripides, I'hcen. llT'.t.' and Statius. Tlieb. 1. x. 821.

V. 7(). Bulicame.] A warm medicinal spring near Viterbo, tlie waters
of which, as Laudino and Vellutelli affirm, passed by a place of ill lame,
■yenturi, with less probability, conjectures that Dante would imply, that
it w-as tlie scene of much licentious merriment among those who fre-
quented its baths.

V. 'Jl. Under ivJtose monarch.]

Credo pudicitiam Saturno rege moratam

In terris. Juv. Satir. vi.

V. 102. His head.] Daniel, ch. ii. 32, 33.

V. 133. Whither.] Ou the other side of Purgatory.


V. 10. Chiarentana.] A part of the Alps where the Brenta rises,
which river is much swoln as soon as the snow begins to dissolve on the

v. 28. Brimetto.] " Ser Brunetto, a Florentine, the secretary or chan-
cellor of the city, and Dante's pireceiitor, hath left us a work so little
read, that both the subject of it and the language of it have been mis-
taken. It is in the French spolcen in the reign of St. Louis, under the
title of Tresor, and contains a species of philosophical course of lectures
divided into theory and practice, or, as he expresses it, v)i enchaiisse-
ment des chases diiunes et hmnaines," &c. Sir R. Clayton's Translation
of Tenhove's Memoirs of the Medici, vol. i. ch. ii. p. 104. The Tresor
has never been printed in the original language. Tliere is a fine manu-
script of it in the British Museum, with an illuminated portrait of Bru-
netto in his study prefixed. JIus. Brit. MSS. 17, E. 1. Tesor. It is
divided into four books ; the first, on Cosmogony and Theology ; the
second, a transPatiou of Aristotle's Ethics ; the third on Virtues and
Vices ; the fourth, on Rhetoric. For an interesting memoir relating to
this work, see Hist, de I'Acad. des Inscrijjtions, torn. vii. 296.

His Tesoretto, one of the earliest productions of Italian poetry, is a
curious work, not unlike the writings of Chaucer in style and numbers,
though Bembo remarks, that his jnipil, however hirgely he had stolen
from it, could not have much enriched himself. As it is perhaps but
little known, I will here add a slight sketch of it.

Brunetto describes himself as returning from an embassy to the King
of S})ain, on which be had been sent by the Gneli)h party from Florence.
On the plain of Ilonccsvalles he meets a scholar on a bay mule, who
tells him that the Guelfi are driven out of the city with great loss.

HELL. 375

Struck with grief at these mournful tidings, nnd musing witli liis liciul
bent downwards, he loses his road, and wanders into a wood. Here
Nature, whose figure is described with sultliniity, ajjpears, an.d discloses
to him the secrets of her ojierations. After this he \\iinders into a
desert ; but at lengtli i)roceeds on liis way, under the jirfitection of a
banner, with which Nature had furnished iiim, till on the thiid day he
finds himself in a large pleasant champaign, where are assembled many
emperors, kings, and sages, ft is the habitation of Virtue and her
daughters, the four Cardinal Virtues. Here Brunetto sees also Courtesy,
Bounty, Loy.alty, and Prowess, and hears the instructions they give to a
knight, which occupy about a fourth i)art of the poem. Leaving this
territorj', he passes over valleys, mountains, woods, forests, and bridges,
till he arrives in a beautiful valley covered with flowers on all sides, and
the richest in the world ; but which was continually shifting its api)ear-

Online Library1265-1321 Dante AlighieriThe Vision : or, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, of Dante Alighieri → online text (page 28 of 37)