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His cries first echoed who had shaped its mould,
Did so rebellow, with the voice of him
Tormented, that the brazen monster seem'd
Pierced through with pain ; thus, while no way they found,
Nor avenue immediate through the flame,
Into its language turn'd the dismal words:
But soon as they had won their passage forth,
Up from the point, which vibrating obey'd
Their motion at the tongue, these sounds were heard :
“O thou ! to whom I now direct my voice,
That lately didst exclaim in Lombard phrase,
Depart thou; I solicit thee no more ;)
Though somewhat tardy I perchance arrive,
Let it not irk thee here to pause awhile,
And with me parley : lo! it irks not me,
And yet I burn. If but e'en now thou fáll
Into this blind world, from that pleasant land
Of Latium, whence I draw my sum of guilt,
Tell me if those who in Romagna dwell
Have peace or war. For of the mountains there 1
Was I, betwixt Urbino and the height
Whence Tiber first unlocks his mighty flood.”

Leaning I listen'd yet with heedful ear,
When, as he touch'd my side, the leader thus :
“Speak thou : he is a Latian.” My reply
Was ready, and I spake without delay :
“O spirit! who

art hidden here below,
Never was thy Romagna without war
In her proud tyrants bosoms, nor is now:
But open war there left I none.

The state,
Ravenna hath maintain'd this many a year,
Is stedfast. There Polenta's eagle? broods ;

1 of the mountains there.] Montefeltro. 2 Polenta's eagle.] Guido Novello da Polenta, who bore an eagle for his coat of arms. The name of Polenta was derived from a castle so called, in the neighbourhood of Brittonoro. Cervia is a small maritime city, about fifteen miles to the south of Ravenna. Guido was the son of Ostasio da Polenta, and made himself master of Ravenna in 1265. In 1322 he was deprived of his sovereignty, and died at Bologna in the year following. This last and most muniticent patron of Dante is himself enumerated, by the historian of Italian literature, among the poets of his time. Tiraboschi, Storia della Lett. Ital. tom. v. lib. 3. c. ii. sec. 13. The passage in the text might have removed the uncertainty which Tiraboschi expressed respecting the duration of Guido's absence from Ravenna, when he was driven from that city in 1295, by the arms of Pietro, archbishop of Monreale. It must evidently have been very short, since his government is here represented (in 1300) as not having suffered any material disturbance for many years. In the Proémium to the Annotations on the Decameron of Boccaccio, written by those who were deputed to that work, Ediz. Giunti, 1573, it is said of Guido Novello, “del quale si leggono ancora alcune composizioni, per poche che elle sieno, secondo quella età, belle e leggiadre ;” and in the collection edited by Allacci at Naples, 1661, p. 382, is

And in his broad circumference of plume
O’ershadows Cervia. The green talons grasp
The land, that stood erewhile the proof so long,
And piled in bloody heap the host of France.

“The old mastiff of Verruchio and the young, a
That tore Montagna 3 in their wrath, still make,
Where they are wont, an augre of their fangs.

“Lamone's city, and Santerno's, * range
Under the lion of the snowy lair,
Inconstant partisan, that changeth sides,
Or ever summer yields to winter's frost.
And she, whose flank is wash'd of Savio's wave,
As 'twixt the level and the steep she lies,
Lives so 'twixt tyrant power and liberty.

“Now tell us, I entreat thee, who art thou :
Be not more hard than others. In the world,
may thy name still rear its forehead high."

Then roard awhile the fire, its sharpen'd point
On either side waved, and thus breathed at last :
“If I did think my answer were to one
Who ever could return unto the world,


a sonnet of his, which breathes a high and pure spirit of Platonism. Among the MSS. of the Iliad in the Ambrosian Library at Milan, described by Mai, there is one that was in the possession of Guido. Iliadis Fragmenta, etc. fol. Mediol. 1819, Proæmium, p. xlviii. It was, perhaps, seen by Dante. To this account I must now subjoin that which has since been given, but without any reference to authorities, by Troya : “In the course of eight years, from 1310 to 1318, Guido III. of Polenta, father of Francesca, together with his sons Bernardino and Ostasio, had died. A third son, named Bannino, was father of Guido IV. Of these two it is not known whether they held the lordship of Ravenna. But it came to the sons of Ostasio, Guido V. called Novello, and Rinaldo the archbishop: on the sons of Bernardino devolved the sovereignty of the neighbouring city of Cervia.” Veltro Allegorico di Dante, ed. 1826, p. 176.

1 The land. The territory of Forli, the inhabitants of which, in 1282, were enabled, by the stratagem of Guido da Montefeltro, who then governed it, to defeat with great slaughter the French army by which it had been besieged. See G. Villani, lib. 7. cap. lxxxi. The Poet informs Guido, its former ruler, that it is now in the possession of Sinibaldo Ordolaffi, or Ardelafli, whom he designates by his coat of arms, a lion vert.

2 The old mastiff of Verruchio and the young.) Malatesta and Malatestino his son, lords of Rimini, called, from their ferocity, the mastiffs of Verruchio, which was the name of their castle. Malatestino was, perhaps, the husband of Francesca, daughter of Guido da Polenta. See Notes to Canto v. 113.

3 Montagna.] Montagna de' Parcitati, a noble knight, and leader of the Ghibelline party at Rimini, murdered by Malatestino.

4 Lamone's city and Santerno's.] Lamone is the river at Faenza, and Santerno at Imola.

5 The lion of the snowy lair.) Machinardo Pagano, whose arms were a lion azure on a field argent; mentioned again in the Purgatory, Canto xiv. 122. See G. Villani passim, where he is called Machinardo da Susinana.

6 Whose flank is wash'd of Savio's wave.] Cesena, situated at the foot of a mountain, and washed by the river Savio, that often descends with a swoln and rapid stream from the Apennine.

This flame should rest unshaken. But since ne'er,
If true be told me, any from this depth
Has found his upward way, I answer thee,
Nor fear lest infamy record the words.

“A man of arms at first, I clothed me then
In good Saint Francis' girdle, hoping so
To have made amends. And certainly my hope
Had fail'd not, but that he, whom curses light on,
The high priest, again seduced me into sin.
And how, and wherefore, listen while I tell.
Long as this spirit moved the bones and pulp
My mother gave me, less my deeds bespake
The nature of the lion than the fox.3
All ways of winding subtlety I knew,
And with such art conducted, that the sound
Reach'd the world's limit. Soon as to that part
Of life I found me come, when each behoves
To lower sails 4 and gather in the lines ;
That, which before had pleased me, then I rued,
And to repentance and confession turn’d,
Wretch that I was; and well it had bested me.
The chief of the new Pharisees ó meantime,

1 A man of arms.) Guido da Montefeltro. 2 The high priest.) Boniface VIII.

3 The nature of the lion than the fox.] Non furon leonine ma di volpe. So Pulci, Morg. Magg. c. xix. :

E furon le sue opre e le sue colpe

Non creder leonine ma di volpe. Fraus quasi vulpeculæ, vis leonis videtur. Cicero, De Officiis, lib. 1. cap. xiii.

4 To lower sails.] Our Poet had the same train of thought as when he wrote that most beautiful passage in his Convito, beginning "E qui è da sapere, che siccome dice Tullio in quello di Senettute, la naturale morte,” etc., p. 209. “As it hath been said by Cicero, in his treatise on old age, natural (leath is like a port and haven to us after a long voyage ; and even as the good mariner, when he draws near the port, lowers his sails, and enters it softly with a weak and inoffensive motion, só ought we to lower the sails of our worldly operations, and to return to God with all our understanding and heart, to the end that we may reach this haven with all quietness and with all peace. And herein we are mightily instructed by nature in a lesson of mildness ; for in such a death itself there is neither pain nor bitterness; but, as ripe fruit is lightly and without violence loosened from its branch, so our soul without grieving departs from the body in which it hath been.”

So mayst thou live, till like ripe fruit thou drop
Into thy mother's lap, or be with ease
Gather'd, not harshly pluck’d, for death mature.

Milton, P. L. b. 11. 537. 5 The chief of the new Pharisees.] Boniface VIII., whose enmity to the family of Colonna prompted him to destroy their houses near the Lateran. Wishing to obtain possession of their other seat, Penestrino, he consulted with Guido da Montefeltro how he might accomplish his purpose, offering him at the same time absolution for his past sins, as well as for that which he

Waging his warfare near the Lateran,
Not with the Saracens or Jews (his foes
All Christians were, nor against Acre one
Had fought, nor traffick'd in the Soldan's land),
He, his great charge nor sacred ministry,
In himself reverenced, nor in me that cord
Which used to mark with leanness whom it girded.
As in Soracte, Constantine besought, a
To cure his leprosy, Sylvester's aid ;
So me, to cure the fever of his pride,
This man besought: my counsel to that end
He ask'd ; and I was silent; for his words
Seem'd drunken : but forthwith he thus resumed :
From thy heart banish fear: of all offence
• I hitherto absolve thee. In return,
* Teach me my purpose so to execute,
“That Penestrino cumber earth no more.

was then tempting him to commit. Guido's advice was, that kind words and fair promises would put his enemies into his power; and they accordingly soon afterwards fell into the snare laid for them, A.D. 1298. See G. Villani, lib. 8. cap. xxiii. There is a relation similar to this in the history of Ferreto Vincentino, lib. 2. anno 1294; and the writer adds, that our Poet had justly condemned Guido to the torments he has allotted him. See Muratori, Script. Ital. tom. ix. p. 970, where the Editor observes: “Probosi hujus facinoris narrationi fidem adjungere nemo probus velit, quod facile confinxerint Bonifacii æmuli,” etc. And indeed it would seem as if Dante himself had either not heard, or had not believed, the report of Guido's having sold himself this foolishly to the Pope, when he wrote the passage in the Convito cited in the Note to v. 76; for he soon after speaks of him as one of those noble spirits “who, when they approachel the last haven, lowered the sails of their worldly operations, and gave themselves up to religion in their old age, laying aside every worldly delight and wish.”

Nor against Acre one Had fought.] He alludes to the renegade Christians, by whom the Saracens, in April 1291, were assisted to recover St. John'd'Acre, the last possession of the Christians in the Holy Land. The regret expressed by the Florentine annalist, G. Villani, for the loss of this valuable fortress, is well worthy of observation, lib. 7. cap. cxliv. "From this event Christendom suffered the greatest detriment: for by the loss of Acre there no longer remained in the Holy Land any footing for the Christians; and all our good maritime places of trade never afterwards derived half the advantage from their merchandise and manufactures ; so favourable was the situation of the city of Acre, in the very front of our sea, in the middle of Syria, and as it were in the middle of the inhabited world, seventy miles from Jerusalem, both source and receptacle of every kind of merchandise, as well from the east as from the west ; the resort of all people from all countries, and of the eastern nations of every different tongue; so that it might be considered as the aliment of the worll."

2. As in Soracte, Constantine besought.] So in Dante's treatise De Monarchia : “Dicunt quidam adhuc, quod Constantinus Imperator, mundatus a lepra intercessione Sylvestri, tunc summi pontificis, imperii sedem, scilicet Romam, donavit ecclesiæ, cum multis aliis imperii dignitatibus.”. Lib. 3. Compare Fazio degli Uberti, Dittamondo, lib. 2. cap. xii.

* Heaven, as thon knowest, I have power to shut
* And open: and the keys are therefore twain,
“The which my predecessor 2 meanly prized.'

“Then, yielding to the forceful arguments,
Of silence as more perilous I deem'd,
And answer'd : 'Father! since thou washest nie
*Clear of that guilt wherein I now must fall,
'Large promise with performance scant, be sure,
"Shall make thee triumph in thy lofty seat.'

“When I was number'd witli the dead, then came
Saint Francis for me ; but a cherub dark
He met, who cried, “Wrong me not ; he is mine,
* And must below to join the wretched crew,
'For the deceitful counsel which he gave.
'E'er since I watch'd him, hovering at his l.air.
“No power can the impenitent absolve ;

Nor to repent, and will, at once consist,
' By contradiction absolute forbid.'
Oh misery ! how I shook myself, when he
Seized me, and cried, “Thou haply thoughtzt me not
A disputant in logic so exact !
To Minos down le bore me; and the judge
Twined cight times round his callous back the tail,
Which biting with excess of rage, he spake :
* This is a guilty soul, that in the fire
* Must vanish. Hence, perdition-doom'd, I rove
A prey to rankling sorrow, in this garb."

When he had thus fulfilld his words, the flame
In dolour parted, beating to and fro,
And writhing its sharp horn. We onward went,
I and my leader, up along the rock,
Far as another arch, that overhangs
The foss, wherein the penalty is paid
Of those who load them with committed sin.


Argument. They arrive in the ninth gulf, where the sowers of scandal, schismatics, and

heretics, are seen with their limbs miserably maimed or divided in different ways. Among these the Poet finds Mahomet, Piero da Medicina, Curio, Mosca, and Bertrand de Born.

Who, e'en in words un fetter'd, miglit at full
Tell of the wounds and blood that now I saw,
1 My predecessor.) Celestine V. See Notes to Canto iii.


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