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Was ware, when her, who sits upon the waves,
With kings in filthy whoredom he beheld ;
She who with seven heads tower'd at her birtlı,
And from ten horns her proof of glory drew,
Long as her spouse in virtue took delight.
Of gold and silver ye have made your god,
Differing wherein from the idolater,
But that he worships one, a hundred ye?

Ah, Constantine !1 to how much ill gave birth, fornicata cum regibus terre. Illa equidem ipsa es quam in spiritu sacer vidit Evangelista. Illa eadem, inquam, es, non alia, sedens super aquas multas, sive ad littora tribus cincta fluminibus sive rerum atque divitiarum turbá mortalium quibus lasciviens ac secura insides opum immemor wternarum sive ut idem qui vidit, exposuit. Populi et gentes et linguæ aquæ sunt, super quas meretrix sedes, recognosce habitum,” etc. Petrarchæ Opera, ed. fol. Basil. 1554. Epist. sine titulo Liber, ep. xvi. p. 729. The text is here probably corrupted. The construction certainly may be rendered easier by omitting the ad before littora, and substituting å comma for a full stop after exposuit. With all the respect that is due to a venerable prelate and truly learned critic, I cannot but point out a mistake he has fallen into, relating to this passage, when he observes, that “Numberless passages in the writings of Petrarch speak of Rome under the name of Babylon. But an equal stress is not to be laid on all these. It should be remembered, that the popes, in Petrarch's time, resided at Avignon, greatly to the disparagement of themselves, as he thought, and especially of Rome ; of which this singular man was little less than idolatrous. The situation of the place, surrounded by waters, and his splenetic concern for the exiled church (for under this idea he painted to himself the pope's migration to the banks of Avignon), brought to his mind the condition of the Jewish church in the Babylonian captivity. And this parallel was all, perhaps, that he meant to insinuate in most of those passages. But when he applies the prophecies to Rome, as to the Apocalyptic Babylon (as he clearly does in the epistle under consideration), his meaning is not equivocal, and we do him but justice to give him an honourable place among the TESTES VERITATIS.” An Introduction to the Study of the Prophecies, etc., by Richard Hurd, D.D., serm. vii. p. 239, note y, ed. 1772. Now, a reference to the words printed in italics, which the Bishop of Worcester has omitted in his quotation, will make it sufficiently evident, that Avignon, and not Rome, is here alluded to by Petrarch. The application that is made of these prophecies by two men so eminent for their learning and sagacity as Dante and Petrarch is, however, very remarkable, and must be satisfactory to those who have renounced the errors and corruptions of the papacy. Such applications were indeed frequent in the Middle Ages, as may be seen in the “Sermons" above referred to. Balbo observes, that it is not Rome, as most erroneously interpreted, but Avignon, and the court there, that is termed Babylon by Dante and Petrarch. Vita di Dante, vol. ii. p. 103.

1 Ah, Constantine !] He alludes to the pretended gift of the Lateran by Constantine to Sylvester, of which Dante himself seems to imply a doubt, in his treatise De Monarchia : “Ergo scindere Imperium, Imperatori non licet. Si ergo aliquæ dignitates per Constantinum essent alienatæ (ut dicunt) ab Imperio," etc., lib. 3. “ Therefore to make a rent in the empire exceeds the lawful power of the emperor himself. If, then, some dignities were by Constantine alienated (as they report) from the empire,” etc. In another part of the same treatise he speaks of the alienation with less doubt indeed, but not with less disapprobation : "O felicem populum ! O Ausoniam te gloriosam ! si vel numquam infirmator imperii tui extitisset ; vel numquam sua

pia intentio ipsum fefellisset.”_"O happy people! O glorious Italy ! if either he who

Not thy conversion, but that plenteous dower,
Which the first wealthy Father gain'd from thee.”

Meanwhile, as thus i sung, he, whether wrath
Or conscience smote him, violent upsprang
Spinning on either sole. I do believe
My teacher well was pleased, with so composed
A lip he listen'd ever to the sound
Of the true words I utter'd. In both arms
He caught, and, to his bosom lifting me,
Upward retraced the way of his descent.

Nor weary of his weight, he press'd me close,
Till to the summit of the rock we came,
Our passage from the fourth to the fifth pier.
His cherish'd burden there gently he placed
Upon the rugged rock and steep, a path
Not easy for the clambering goat to mount.

Thence to my view another vale appear'd.

CANTO X X.

Argument. The Poet relates the punishment of such as presumed, while living, to predict

future events. It is to have their faces reversed and set the contrary way on their limbs, so that, being deprived of the power to see before them, they are constrained ever to walk backwards. Among these Virgil points out to him Amphiaraus, Tiresias, Aruns, and Manto (from the mention of whom he takes occasion to speak of the origin of Mantua), together with several others, who had practised the arts of divination and astrology.

And now the verse proceeds to torments new,
Fit argument of this the twentieth strain

Of the first song, whose awful theme records thus weakened thine empire had never been born, or had never suffered his own pious intentions to mislead him.” Lib. 2. ad finem. The gift is by Ariosto very humorously placed in the moon, among the things lost or abused on earth :

Di varj fiori ad un gran monte passa,
Ch' ebber già buono odore, or puzzan forte,
Questo era il dono (se però dir lece)

Che Costantino al buon Silvestro fece. Orl. Fur. c. xxxiv, st. 80. Milton has translated both this passage and that in the text. Prose Works, vol. i. p. 11, ed. 1753.

Ah, Constantine ! of how much ill was cause
Not thy conversion, but those rich domains
That the first wealthy pope receiv'd of thee.
Then pass'd he to a flowery mountain green,
Which once smelt sweet, now stinks as odiously;
This was that gift, if you the truth will have,
That Constantine to good Silvester gave,

The spirits whelm'd in woe. Earnest I look'd
Into the depth, that open'd to my view,
Moisten'd with tears of anguish, and leheld
A tribe, that came along the hollow vale,
In silence weeping: such their step as walk
Quires, chanting solemn litanies, on earth.

As on them more direct mine eye descends,
Each wondrously seem'd to be reversed 1
At the neck-bone, so that the countenance
Was from the reins averted; and because
None might before him look, they were compell'il
To advance with backward gait. Thus one perhaps
Hath been by force of palsy clean transposed,
But I ne'er saw it nor believe it so.

Now, reader ! think within thyself, so God
Fruit of thy reading give thee ! how I long
Could keep my visage dry," when I beheld
Near me our form distorted in such guise,
That on the hinder parts fallen from the face
The tears down-streaming roll’d. Against a rock
I leant and wept, so that my guide exclaim'd:
“What, and art thou, too, witless as the rest ?
Here pity most doth show herself alive,
When she is dead. What guilt exceedeth his,
Who with Heaven's judgment in his passion strives ?
Raise up thy head, raise up, and see the man

Before whose eyes 3 earth gaped in Thebes, when all ? Reversed.] But very uncouth sight was to behold

How he did fashion his untoward pace;
For as he forward mov'd his footing old,
So backward still was turn'd his wrinkled face ;
Unlike to men, who, ever as they trace,
Both feet and face one way are wont to lead.

Spenser, Faery Queen, b. 1. c. viii. st. 31.
How I long
Could keep my visage dry.]

Sight so deform what heart of man could long
Dry-eyed behold? Adam could not, but wept.

Milton, P. L. b. 11. 495.
3 Before whose eyes.]. Amphiaraüs, one of the seven kings who besieged
Thebes. He is said to have been swallowed up by an opening of the earth.
See Lidgate's Storie of Thebes, part iii., where it is told how the “Bishop
Amphiaraüs” fell down to hell:

And thus the devill, for his outrages,

Like his desert payed him his wages. A different reason for his being doomed thus to perish, is assigned by Pindar :

ο δ' 'Αμφιάρηϊ, etc. Nem. ix. For thee, Amphiaraus, earth, Or ever on thy back the spear By Jove's all-riving thunder cleft, Of Periclymenus impress'd Her mighty bosom open'd wide, A wound to shame thy warlike breast. Thee and thy plunging steeds to hide, For struck with panic fear

The gods' own children flee.

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Cried out Amphiaraus, whither rushest?
Why leavest thou the war?' He not the less
Fell ruining? far as to Minos down,
Whose grapple none eludes. Lo! how he makes
The breast his shoulders; and who once too far
Before him wish'd to see, now backward looks,
And treads reverse his path. Tiresias 2 note,
Who semblance changed, when woman he became
Of male, through every limb transform'd; and then
Once more behoved him with his rod to strike
The two entwining serpents, ere the plumes,
That mark'd the better sex, might shoot again.

“ Aruns, with rere his belly facing, comes.
On Luni's mountains 'midst the marbles white,
Where delves Carrara's hind, who wons beneath,
A cavern was his dwelling, whence the stars
And main-sea wide in boundless view he held.

“The next, whose loosen'd tresses overspread
Her bosom, which thou seest not (for each hair
On that side grows) was Manto," she who search'd
Through many regions, and at length her seat
Fix'd in my native land : whence a short space
My words detain thy audience. When her sire
From life departed, and in servitude
The city dedicate to Bacchus mourn'd,
Long time she went a wanderer through the world.
Aloft in Italy's delightful land
A lake there lies, at foot of that proud Alp
That o'er the Tyrol locks Germania in,
Its name Benacus, from whose ample breast

A thousand springs, methinks, and more, between
1 Ruining.] “Ruinare.” Hence, perhaps, Milton, P. L. b. 6. 868 :

Heaven ruining from heaven. 2 Tiresias.]

Duo magnorum viridi coëuntia sylvâ
Corpora serpentum baculi violaverat ictu,
Deque viro factus (mirabile) foemina, septem
Egerat autumnos.' Octavo rursus eosdem
Vidit. Et, est vestræ si tanta potentia plagæ,
Nunc quoque vos feriam. Percussis anguibus isdem
Forma prior rediit, genitivaque venit imago.

Ovid, Met. lib. 3. 3 Aruns.] Aruns is said to have dwelt in the mountains of Luni (from whence that territory is still called Lunigiana), above Carrara, celebrated for its marble. Lucan, Phars. lib. 1. 575. So Boccaccio, in the Fiammetta, lib. 3: “Quale Arunte,” etc. “Like Aruns, who amidst the white marbles of Luni contemplated the celestial bodies and their motions.” Compare Fazio degli Uberti, Dittamondo, lib. 3. cap. vi.

4 Manto.) The daughter of Tiresias of Thebes, a city dedicated to Bacchus. From Manto, Mantua, the country of Virgil, derives its name. The Poet proceeds to describe the situation of that place. Ent see the note to Purgatory, Canto xxii. v. 112.

Camonica 1 and Garda, issuing forth,
Water the Apennine. There is a spot?
At midway of that lake, where he who bears
Of Trento's flock the pastoral staff, with him
Of Brescia, and the Veronese, might each
Passing that way his benediction give.
A garrison of goodly site and strong 3
Peschiera 4 stands, to awe with front opposed
The Bergamnese and Brescian, whence the shore
More slope each way descends. There, whatsoe'er
Benacus' bosom holds not, tumbling o'er
Down falls, and winds a river flood beneath
Through the green pastures. Soon as in his course
The stream makes liead, Benacus then no more
They call the name, but Mincius, till at last
Reaching Governo, into Po he falls.
Not far his course hath run, when a wide flat
It finds, which overstretching as a marsh
It covers, pestilent in summer oft.
Hence journeying, the savage maiden saw
Midst of the fen a territory waste
And naked of inhabitants. To shun
All human converse, here she with her slaves,
Plying her arts, remain'd, and lived, and left
Her body tenantless. Thenceforth the tribes,
Who round were scatter'd, gathering to that place,
Assembled ; for its strength was great, enclosed

1 Camonica.] Lombardi, instead of

Fra Garda, e val Camonica e Apennino, reads

Fra Garda e val Camonica Pennino, from the Nidobeatina edition (to which he might have added that of Vellutello in 1544), and two MSS., all of which omit the second conjunction, the only part of the alteration that affects the sense. I have re-translated the passage, which in the former editions stood thus:

which a thousand rills
Methinks, and more, water between the vale
Camonica and Garda, and the height

Of Apennine remote. It should be added, that Vellutello reads “Valdimonica" for “ Val Camonica ;" but which of these is right remains to be determined by a collation of editions and MSS., and still more perhaps by a view of the country in the neighbourhood of the lake (now called the Lago di Garda), with a reference to this passage.

2 There is a spot.] Prato di Fame, where the dioceses of Trento, Verona, and Brescia meet. A garrison of goodly site and strong.]

Gaza, bello e forte arnese

Da fronteggiar i regni di Soria Tasso, Ger. Lib. c. i. st. 67. * 4 Peschiera.] A garrison situated to the south of the lake, where it empties itself and forms the Mincius,

3

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