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That dwelt with us1; Tignoso 2 and his troop,
With Traversaro's house and Anastagio's3,
(Each race disherited ;) and beside these,
The ladies and the knights, the toils and ease,
That witch'd us into love and courtesy5;

Where now such malice reigns in recreant hearts.
O Brettinoro! wherefore tarriest still,

Since forth of thee thy family hath gone,
And many, hating evil, join'd their steps?
Well doeth he, that bids his lineage cease,

1 With us.] Lombardi claims the reading, "nosco," instead of " Vosco,” "with us," instead of "with you," for his favourite edition; but it is also in Landino's of 1488. 2 Tignoso.] Federigo Tignoso of Rimini. 3 Traversaro's house and Anastagio's.] Two noble families of Ravenna. See v. 100. She, to whom Dryden has given the name of Honoria, in the fable so admirably paraphrased from Boccaccio, was of the former: her lover and the spectre were of the Anastagi family. See Canto xxviii. 20.

The ladies, &c.] Le donne, e i cavalier, gli affanni, e gli agi

Che ne 'nvogliava amore e cortesia.

66

These two lines express the true spirit of chivalry. Agi" is understood, by the commentators whom I have consulted, to mean "the ease procured for others by the exertions of knight-errantry." But surely it signifies the alternation of ease with labour. Venturi is of opinion that the opening of the Orlando Furioso

Le donne, i cavalier, l'arme, gli amori,

Le cortesie, l'audaci imprese io canto,

5

originates in this passage. Courtesy.] "Cortesia e onestade," &c. Convito, p. 65. Courtesy and honour are all one; and because anciently virtue and good manners were usual in courts, as the contrary now is, this term was derived from thence: courtesy was as much as to say, custom of courts; which word, if it were now taken from courts, especially those of Italy, would be no other than turpitude,' turpezza."

99.66

-Courtesy,

Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds

With smoky rafters, than in tapstry halls

And courts of princes, where it first was named,

And yet is most pretended.

Milton, Comus.

Marino has exceeded his usual extravagance in his play on this word.

Ma come può vero diletto? ò come

Vera quiete altrui donar la Corte ?

Le diè la Cortesia del proprio nome
Solo il principio, il fine ha della Morte.

Adone, c. ix. st. 77.

O Brettinoro.] A beautifully situated castle in Romagna, the hospitable residence of Guido del Duca, who is here speaking. Landino relates, that there were several of this family, who, when a stranger arrived amongst them, contended with one another by whom he should be entertained; and that in order to end this dispute, they set up a pillar with as many rings as there were fathers of families among them, a ring being assigned to each, and that accordingly as a stranger on his arrival hung his horse's bridle on one or other of these, he became his guest to whom the ring belonged.

2

Bagnacavallo1; Castracaro ill,

And Conio worse 2, who care to propagate

A race of Counties 3 from such blood as theirs.
Well shall
ye also do, Pagani 4, then
When from amongst you hies your demon child;
Not so, howe'er5, that thenceforth there remain
True proof of what ye were. O Hugolin",
Thou sprung of Fantolini's line! thy name
Is safe; since none is look'd for after thee
To cloud its lustre, warping from thy stock.
But, Tuscan! go thy ways; for now I take
Far more delight in weeping, than in words.
Such pity for your sakes hath wrung my heart."
We knew those gentle spirits, at parting, heard
Our steps. Their silence therefore, of our way,
Assured us. Soon as we had quitted them,
Advancing onward, lo! a voice, that seem'd
Like volley'd lightening, when it rives the air,
Met us, and shouted, "Whosoever finds

Will slay me;" then fled from us, as the bolt
Lanced sudden from a downward-rushing cloud.
When it had given short truce unto our hearing,
Behold the other with a crash as loud

As the quick-following thunder: "Mark in me

1 Bagnacavallo.] A castle between Imola and Ravenna.

Castracaro ill,

And Conio worse.] Both in Romagna.

3 Counties.] I have used this word here for "Counts," as it is in Shakspeare. Pagani.] The Pagani were lords of Faenza and Imola. One of them, Machinardo, was named the Demon, from his treachery. See Hell, Canto xxvii. 47, and note. 5 Not so, howe'er.] "Yet your offspring will be stained with some vice, and will not afford true proof of the worth of your ancestors." Hugolin.] Ugolino Ubaldini, a noble and virtuous person in Faenza, who, on account of his age probably, was not likely to leave any offspring behind him. He is enumerated among the poets by Crescimbeni, and by Tiraboschi, Mr. Mathias's edit. vol. i. p. 143; and Perticari cites a beautiful little poem by him in the Apologia di Dante, parte ii. c. 27, but with so little appearance of antiquity that nothing less than the assurance of so able a critic could induce one for a moment to receive it as genuine.

Such.] Here again the Nidobeatina edition adopted by Lombardi, and the Monte Casino MS. differ from the common reading, and both have Si m' ha nostra region la mente stretta.

instead of

8

Our country's sorrow has so wrung my heart.
Si m' ha vostra ragion, &c.

Whosoever finds

Will slay me.] The words of Cain, Gen. iv. 14.

Aglauros, turn'd to rock." I, at the sound
Retreating, drew more closely to my guide.

Now in mute stilness rested all the air;

And thus he spake: "There was the galling bit2,
Which should keep man within his boundary.
But your old enemy so baits the hook,

He drags you eager to him.

Hence nor curb

Avails you, nor reclaiming call.

Heaven calls 4,

And, round about you wheeling, courts your gaze
With everlasting beauties. Yet your eye
Turns with fond doting still upon the earth.
Therefore He smites you who discerneth all."

CANTO XV.

ARGUMENT.

An angel invites them to ascend the next steep. On their way Dante suggests certain doubts, which are resolved by Virgil; and, when they reach the third cornice, where the sin of anger is purged, our Poet, in a kind of waking dream, beholds remarkable instances of patience; and soon after they are enveloped in a dense fog.

As much as 'twixt the third hour's close and dawn,
Appeareth of heaven's sphere, that ever whirls
As restless as an infant in his play;

So much appear'd remaining to the sun

Of his slope journey towards the western goal.
Evening was there, and here the noon of night;
And full upon our forehead smote the beams.
For round the mountain, circling, so our path
Had led us, that toward the sun-set now
Direct we journey'd; when I felt a weight
Of more exceeding splendour, than before,

1 Aglauros.] Ovid, Met. lib. ii. fab. 12. 2 There was the galling bit.] Referring to what had been before said, Canto xiii. 35. The commentators remark the unusual word "camo," which occurs here in the original; but they have not observed, I believe, that Dante himself uses it in the De Monarchia, lib. iii. p. 155. For the Greek word xáμov see a fragment by S. Petrus Alex. in Routh's Reliquiæ Sacræ, vol. iii. p. 342, and note. 3 Which.] Mr. Darley has noticed the omission of this line in the former editions. Heaven calls.] Or ti solleva a più beata speme,

Mirando il ciel, che ti si volve intorno

Immortal ed adorno. Petrarca, Canzone. I'vo pensando. As much.] It wanted three hours of sunset.

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Press on my front.

The cause unknown, amaze

Possess'd me! and both hands against my brows
Lifting, I interposed them, as a screen,
That of its gorgeous superflux of light
Clips the diminish'd orb. As when the ray 2,
Striking on water or the surface clear
Of mirror, leaps unto the opposite part,
Ascending at a glance3, e'en as it fell,

And as much differs from the stone, that falls
Through equal space, (so practic skill hath shown ;)
Thus, with refracted light, before me seem'd

The ground there smitten; whence, in sudden haste,
My sight recoil'd. "What is this, sire beloved!
'Gainst which I strive to shield the sight in vain ?”
Cried I, "and which toward us moving seems?"
"Marvel not, if the family of heaven,"

He answer'd, "yet with dazzling radiance dim
Thy sense. It is a messenger who comes,
Inviting man's ascent. Such sights ere long,
Not grievous, shall impart to thee delight,
As thy perception is by nature wrought

Up to their pitch." The blessed angel, soon

As we had reach'd him, hail'd us with glad voice:
"Here enter on a ladder far less steep

Than ye have yet encounter'd." We forthwith
Ascending, heard behind us chanted sweet,

1 Both hands.] Raising his hand to save the dazzled sense.

2 As when the ray.]

Southey's Thalaba, b. xii.

Sicut aquæ tremulum labris ubi lumen aënis Sole repercussum, aut radiantis imagine lunæ, Omnia pervolitat late loca, jamque sub auras Erigitur, summique ferit laquearia tecti. Æn. lib. viii. 25. Compare Apoll. Rhodius, iii. 755.

3 Ascending at a glance.]

Quod simul ac primum sub divo splendor aquai
Ponitur: extemplo, cœlo stellante, serena
Sidera respondent in aquâ radiantia mundi.
Jamne vides igitur, quam parvo tempore imago
Etheris ex oris ad terrarum accidat oras.

Lucret. lib. iv. 215.

And as much.] Lombardi, I think justly, observes that this does not refer to the length of time which a stone is in falling to the ground, but to the perpendicular line which it describes when falling, as contrasted with the angle of incidence formed by light reflected from water or from a mirror.

"Blessed the merciful1," and "Happy thou,
That conquer'st." Lonely each, my guide and I,
Pursued our upward way; and as we went,
Some profit from his words I hoped to win,
And thus of him inquiring, framed my speech:
"What meant Romagna's spirit2, when he spake
Of bliss exclusive, with no partner shared ?”

He straight replied: "No wonder, since he knows
What sorrow waits on his own worst defect,
If he chide others, that they less may mourn.
Because ye point your wishes at a mark,
Where, by communion of possessors, part

Is lessen'd, envy bloweth up men's sighs.

No fear of that might touch ye, if the love
Of higher sphere exalted your desire.
For there3, by how much more they call it ours,
So much propriety of each in good
Encreases more, and heighten'd charity
Wraps that fair cloister in a brighter flame."
"Now lack I satisfaction more," said I,
"Than if thou hadst been silent at the first;
And doubt more gathers on my labouring thought.
How can it chance, that good distributed,

The many, that possess it, makes more rich,
Than if 't were shared by few?"

He answering thus:

"Thy mind, reverting still to things of earth,
Strikes darkness from true light. The highest good
Unlimited, ineffable, doth so speed

To love, as beam to lucid body darts,
Giving as much of ardour as it finds.
The sempiternal effluence streams abroad,
Spreading, wherever charity extends.
So that the more aspirants to that bliss
Are multiplied, more good is there to love,

1 Blessed the merciful.] Matt. v. 7. 2 Romagna's spirit.] Guido del Duca, of Brettinoro, whom we have seen in the preceding Canto. 3 For there.] Landino has here cited, in addition to Seneca and Boetius, the two following apposite passages from Augustine and Saint Gregory: "Nullo modo fit minor accedente consortio possessio bonitatis, quam tanto latius quanto concordius individua sociorum possidet caritas." Augustin. de Civitate Dei. "Qui facibus invidiæ carere desiderat, illam possessionem appetat, quam numerus possidentium non angustat."

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