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That dwelt with us1; Tignoso 2 and his troop,
Where now such malice reigns in recreant hearts.
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.
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,
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."
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.
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
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.
Bagnacavallo1; Castracaro ill,
And Conio worse 2, who care to propagate
A race of Counties3 from such blood as theirs.
When from amongst you hies your demon child;
Will slay me;" then fled from us, as the bolt
As the quick-following thunder: "Mark in me
1 Bagnacavallo.] A castle between Imola and Ravenna.
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." 6 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.
Our country's sorrow has so wrung my heart.
Will slay me.] The words of Cain, Gen. iv. 14.
Aglauros, turn'd to rock." I, at the sound
Now in mute stilness rested all the air;
And thus he spake: "There was the galling bit2,
He drags you eager to him. Hence nor curb
Turns with fond doting still upon the earth.
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,
So much appear'd remaining to the sun
Of his slope journey towards the western goal.
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 xáuov 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.
Press on my front. The cause unknown, amaze
And as much differs from the stone, that falls
The ground there smitten; whence, in sudden haste,
He answer'd, "yet with dazzling radiance dim
Up to their pitch." The blessed angel, soon
As we had reach'd him, hail'd us with glad voice:
Than ye have yet encounter'd." We forthwith
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.
Ascending at a glance.]
Quod simul ac primum sub divo splendor aquai
Ætheris 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,
He straight replied: "No wonder, since he knows
The many, that possess it, makes more rich,
To love, as beam to lucid body darts,
1 Blessed the merciful.] Matt. v. 7. 2 Romagna's spirit.] Guido del Duca, of Brettinoro, whom we have seen in the preceding Canto. 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."