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Descried us, savage Cerberus, he oped
His jaws, and the fangs show'd us; not a limb)
Of him but trembled. Then my guide, his palms
Expanding on the ground, thence fill'd with earth
Raised them, and cast it in his ravenous maw.
E'en as a dog, that yelling bays for food
His keeper, when the morsel comes, lets fall
His fury, bent alone with eager haste
To swallow it; so dropp'd the loathsome cheeks
Of demon Cerberus, who thundering stuns
The spirits, that they for deafness wish in vain.

We, o'er the shades thrown prostrate by the brunt
Of the heavy tempest passing, set our feet
Upon their emptiness, that substance seem'd.

They all along the earth extended lay,
Save one, that sudden raised himself to sit,
Soon as that way he saw us pass. “O thou!”
He cried, “who through the infernal shades art led,
Own, if again thou know'st me. Thou wast framed
Or ere my frame was broken." I replied :
"The anguish thou endurest perchance so takes
Thy form from my remembrance, that it seems
As if I saw thee never. But inform
Me who thou art, that in a place so sad
Art set, and in such torment, that although
Other be greater, none disgusteth more.”
He thus in answer to my words rejoin'd :
“Thy city, hicap'd with envy to the brim,
Aye, that the measure overflows its bounds,
Held me in brighter days. Ye citizens
Were wont to name me Ciacco. For the sin
Of gluttony, damned vice, beneath this rain,
E'en as thou seest, I with fatigue am worn :
Nor I sole spirit in this woe: all these
Have by like crime incurr'd like punishment.”

No more he said, and I my speech resumed :
“Ciacco ! thy dire affliction grieves me muel,
Even to tears. But tell me, if thou know'st,
What shall at length befall the citizens
Of the divided city ;? whether any
Just one in habit there : and tell the cause,
Whence jarring Discord hath assail'd it thus.”

He then : “After long striving they will come

1 Ciacco.] So called from his inordinate appetite; Ciacco, in Italian, signifying a pig. The real name of this glutton has not been transmitted to us. He is introduced in Boccaccio's Decameron, Giorn. ix. Nov. 8.

2 The divided city.] The city of Florence, divided into the Bianchi and Neri factions.

To blool ; and the wild party from the woods 1
Will chase the other 2 with much injury forth.
Then it beloves that this must fall,3 within
Three solar circles ; 4 and the other rise
By borrow'd force of one, who under shore
Now rests. It shall a long space hold aloof
Its forehead, keeping under heavy weight
The other opprest, indignant at the load,
And grieving sore. The just are two in number,
But they neglected. Avarice, envy, pride,
Three fatal sparks, have set the hearts of all
On fire.” Here ceased the lamentable sound;
And I continued thus: “Still would I learn
More from thee, further parley still entreat.
Of Farinata and Tegghiaio 8 say,
They who so well deserved ; of Giacopo,"
Arrigo, Mosca, 10 and the rest, who bent

Their minds on working good. Oh! tell me where

They bide, and to their knowledge let me come. 1 The wild party from the woods.) So called, because it was headed by Veri de' Cerchi, whose family had lately come into the city from Acone, and the woody country of the Val di Nievole.

2 The other.] The opposite party of the Neri, at the head of which was Corso Donati.

3 This must fall.] The Bianchi.
* Three solar circles.] Three years.

Of one, who under shorc
Now rests.]
Charles of Valois, by whose means the Neri were replaced.

6 The just are two in number.] Who these two were, the commentators are not agreed. Some understand them to be Dante himself and his friend Guido Cavalcanti. But this would argue a presumption, which our Poet himself elsewhere contradicts; for, in the Purgatory, he owns his consciousness of not being exempted from one at least of the three fatal sparks, which had set the hearts of all on fire." See Canto xiii. 126. Others refer the encomium to Barduccio and Giovanni Vespignano, adducing the following passage from Villani in support of their opinion: “In the year 1331 died in Florence two just and good men, of holy life and conversation, and bountiful in almsgiving, although laymen. The one was named Barduccio, and was buried in & Spirito, in the place of the Frati Romitani : the other, named Giovanni da Vespignano, was buried in S. Pietro Maggiore. And by each, God showed open miracles, in healing the sick and lunatic after divers manners; and for each there was ordained a solemn funeral, and many images of wax set up in discharge of vows that had been made. G. Villani, lib. 10. cap. clxxix. * Avarice, envy, pride.] Invidia, superbia ed avarizia

Vedea moltiplicar tra miei figliuoli.

Fazio degli Uberti, Dittamondo, lib. 1. cap. xxix. 8 Of Farinata and Tegghiaio.] See Canto x. and Notes, and Canto xvi. and 9 Giacopo.] Giacopo Rusticucci. See Canto xvi. and Notes.

10 Arrigo, Mosca.] 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, or de' Lamberti, is introduced in Canto xxviii.

5

Notes.

For I am prest with keen desire to hear
If heaven's sweet cup, or poisonous drug of hell,
Be to their lip assign'd.” He answer'd straight :
“These are yet blacker spirits. Various crimes
Have sunk them deeper in the dark abyss.
If thou so far descendest, thou mayst see them.
But to the pleasant world, when thou return’st,
Of me make mention, I entreat thee, there.
No more I tell thee, answer thee no more.”

This said, his fixed eyes he turn'd askance,
A little eyed me, then bent down his head,
And 'midst his blind companions with it fell.

When thus my guide : "No more his bed he leaves,
Ere the last angel-trumpet blow. The Power
Adverse to these shall then in glory come,
Each one forth with to his sad tomb repair,
Resume 1 his fleshly vesture and his form,
And hear the eternal doom re-echoing rend
The vault.” So pass'd we through that mixture foul
Of spirits and rain, with tardy steps; meanwhile
Touching, though slightly, on the life to come.
For thus I question’d: “Shall these tortures, Sir!
When the great sentence passes, be increased,
Or mitigated, or as now severe ?"

He then : “Consult thy knowledge ;3 that decides,
That, as each thing to more perfection grows,
It feels more sensibly both good and pain.
Though ne'er to true perfection may arrive
This race accurst, yet nearer then, than now,
They shall approach it." Compassing that path,
Circuitous we journey'd ; and discourse,
Much more than I relate, between us pass'd :
Till at the point, whence the steps led below,
Arrived, there Plutus, the great foe, we found.

1 Resume.] Imitatel by Frezzi :

Allor ripiglieran la carne e l'ossa ;

Li rei oscuri, e i buon con splendori

Per la virtù della divina possa. Il Quadr. lib. 4. cap. xv. ? Touching.] Conversing, though in a slight and superficial manner, on the life to come.

3 Consult thy knowledge.] We are referred to the following passage in St. Augustin :-“Cum fiet resurrectio carnis, et bonorum gaulia et malorum tormenta majora erunt.”_" At the resurrection of the flesh, both the happi. ness of the good and the torments of the wicked will be increased."

CANTO VII.

Argument. In the present Canto, Dante describes his descent into the fourth circle, at the

beginning of which he sees Plutus stationed. Here one like doom awaits the prodigal and the avaricious; which is, to meet in direful conflict, rolling great weights against each other with mutual upbraidings. From hence Virgil takes occasion to show how vain the goods that are committed into the charge of Fortune ; and this moves our author to inquire what being that Fortune is, of whom he speaks : which question being resolved, they go down into the fifth circle, where they find the wrathful and gloomy tormented in the Stygian lake. Having made a compass round great part of this lake, they come at last to the base of a lofty tower.

“Ah me! O Satan! Satan!”1 loud exclaim'd
Plutus, in accent hoarse of wild alarm :
And the kind sage, whom no event surprised,
To comfort me thus spake: “Let not thy fear
Harm thee, for power in him, be sure, is none
To hinder down this rock thy safe descent.”
Then to that swoln lip turning, “Peace!” lic cried,
“Curst wolf! thy fury inward on thyself
Prey, and consume thec! Through the dark profound,
Not without cause, he passes. So 'tis will’d
On high, there where the great Archangel pour'd
Heaven's vengeance on the first aclulterer proudl."

As sails, full spread and bellying with the wind,
Drop suddenly collapsed, if the mast split;
So to the ground down dropp'd the cruel fiend.

Thus we, descending to the fourth steep ledge,

Gain'd on the dismal shore, that all the woe 11h me! O Satan! Satan!] Pape Satan, pape Satan, aleppe.

Pape is said by the commentators to be the same as the Latin word papo, “strange!” Of aleppe they do not give a more satisfactory account. See the Life of Benvenuto Cellini, translated by Dr. Nugent, v. ii. b. 3. cap. vii. p. 113, where he mentions “having heard the words, Paix, paix, Satan ! allez, paix ! in the courts 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 painter, 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 often been surprised that it was never understood in that sense.

The first adulterer proud.], Satan. The word “fornication," or “adultery," "strupo,” is here used for a revolt of the affections from God, according to the sense in which it is often applied in Scripture. But Monti, following. Grassi's Essay on Synonymes, supposes "strupo” to mean " troop; " the word "strup” being still used in the Piemontese dialect for “a flock of sheep," and answering to “troupeau" in French. In that case, "i superbo strupo” would signify “the troop of rebel angels who sinned through pride,"

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Hems in of all the universe. Ah me!
Almighty Justice! in what store thou heap'st 1
New pains, new troubles, as I here beheld.
Wherefore doth fault of ours bring us to this?

E'en as a billow,2 on Charybdis rising,
Against encounter'd billow dashing breaks ;
Such is the dance this wretched race must leail,
Whom more than elsewhere numerous here I found.
From one side and the other, with loud voice,
Both rollid on weights, by main force of their breasts,
Then smote together, and each one forthwith
Roll'd them back voluble, turning again;
Exclaiming these, “Why holdest thou so fast ?"
Those answering, "And why castest thou away?”
So, still repeating their despiteful song,
They to the opposite point, on either hand,
Traversed the horrid circle; then arrived,
Both turn'd them round, and through the middle space
Conflicting met again. At sight whereof
I, stung with grief, thus spake : "O say, my guide !
What race is this? Were these, whose heads are shorn,
On our left liand, all separate to the church ?”

He straight replied: "In their first life, these all
In mind were so distorted, that they made,
According to due measure, of their wealth
No use. This clearly from their words collect,
Which they howl forth, at each extremity
Arriving of the circle, where their crime
Contrary in kind disparts them. To the church
Were separate those, that with no hairy cowls
Are crown'd, both Popes and Cardinals, o'er whom

Avarice dominion absolute maintains." 1 In what store thou heap'st.] Some understand “chi stipa” to mean either “who can imagine," or " who can describe the torments,” etc. I have followed Landino, whose words, though very plain, seem to have been mistaken by Lombardi : "Chi stipa, chi accumula, ed insieme raccoglie ; quasi dica, tu giustizia aduni tanti supplicii.", 2 'Een as a billow.]

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. 4. c. i. st. 42. 3 Popes and Cardinals.] Ariosto, having personified Avarice as 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.

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