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On all parts by the fen. On those dead bones
They rear'd themselves a city, for her sake
Calling it Mantua, who first chose the spot,
Nor ask'd another omen for the name;
Wherein more numerous the people dwelt,
Ere Casalodi's madness 1 by deceit
Was wrong'd of Pinamonte. If thou hear
Henceforth another origin 2 assign'd
Of that my country, I forewarn thee now,
That falsehood none beguile thee of the truth.”

I answerd, “ Teacher, I conclude thy words
So certain, that all else shall be to me
As embers lacking life. But now of these,
Who here proceed, instruct me, if thou see
Any that merit more especial note.
For thereon is my mind alone intent."

He straight replied : “That spirit, from whose cheek
The beard sweeps o'er his shoulders brown, what time
Græcia was emptied of her males, that scarce
The cradles were supplied, the seer was le
In Aulis, who with Calchas gave the sign
When first to cut the cable. Him they named
Eurypilus : so sings my tragic strain,
In which majestic measure well thou know'st,
Who know'st it all. That other, round the loins
So slender of his shape, was Michael Scot, 4
Practised in every slight of magic wile.

1 Casalodi's madness.) Alberto da Casalodi, who had got possession of Mantua, was persuaded, by Pinamonte Buonacossi, tha he might ingratiate himself with the people, by banishing to their own castles the nobles, who were obnoxious to them. No sooner was this done, than Pinamonte put himself at the head of the populace, drove out Casalodi and his adherents, and obtained the sovereignty for himself.

2 Another origin.] Lombardi refers to Servius on the Tenth Book of the
Æneid. Alii a Tarchone Tyrrheni fratre conditam dicunt Mantuam autem
ideo nominatam quia Etrusca lingua Mantum ditem patrem appellant.
3 So sings my tragic strain.]

Suspensi Eurypilum scitatum oracula Phoebi
Mittimus.—

Virg. Æneid, ii. 14. 4 Michael Scot.] “Egli non ha ancora guari, che in questa città fu un gran maestro in negromanzia, il quale ebbe nome Michele Scotto, perciò che di Scozia era.” Boccaccio, Dec. Giorn. viii. Nov. 9. “It is not long since there was in this city (Florence) a great master in necromancy, who was called Michele Scotto, because he was from Scotland." See also Giov. Villani, Hist. lib. 10. cap. cv. and cxli. and lib. 12. cap. xviii. ; and Fazio degli Uberti, Dittamondo, lib. 2. cap. xxvii. I make no apology for adding the following curious particulars extracted from the notes to Mr. Scott's Lay of the Last Minstret, a poem in which a happy use is made of the superstitions relating to the subject of this note. " Sir Michael Scott, of Balwearie, flourished during the thirteenth century, and was one of the ambassadors sent to bring the Maid of Norway to Scotland upon the death of Alexander III. He was a

“Guido Bonatti 1 see : Asdente? mark,
Who now were willing he had tended still
The thread and cordwain, and too late repents.

“See next the wretches, who the needle left,
The shuttle and the spindle, and became
Diviners : baneful witcheries they wrought
With images and herbs. But onward now :

man of much learning, chiefly acquired in foreign countries. He wrote a commentary, upon Aristotle, printed at Venice in 1496, and several treatises upon natural philosophy, from which he appears to have been addicted to the abstruse studies of judicial astrology, alchymy, physiognomy, and chiromancy, Hence he passed among his contemporaries for a skilful magician. Dempster informs us, that he remembers to have heard in his youth, that the magic books of Michael Scott were still in existence, but could not be opened without danger, on account of the fiends who were thereby invoked. Dempsteri IIistoria Ecclesiastica, 1627, lib. 12. p. 495. Leslie characterizes Michael Scott as 'Singulari philosophiæ astronomiæ ac medicinæ laude præstans, dicebatur penitissimos magiæ recessus indagasse.'. A personage thus spoken of by biographers and historians loses little of his mystical fame in vulgar tradition. Accordingly, the memory of Sir Michael Scott survives in many a legend ; and in the south of Scotland any work of great labour and antiquity is ascribed either to the agency of Auld Michael, of Sir William Wallace, or of the devil. Tradition varies concerning the place of his burial : some contend for Holme Coltrame in Cumberland, others for Melrose Abbey; but all agree that his books of magic were interred in his grave, or preserved in the convent where he died.”. The Lay of the Last Minstrel, by Walter Scott, Esq. Lond. 4to, 1805, p. 234, Notes. Mr. Warton, speaking of the new translations of Aristotle, from the original Greek into Latin, about the twelfth century, observes: “I believe the translators understood very little Greek. Our countryman, Michael Scotus, was one of the first of them ; who was assisted by Andrew, a Jew. Michael was astrologer to Frederick II., Emperor of Germany, and appears to have executed his translations at Toledo in Spain, about the year 1220. These new versions were perhaps little more than corrections from those of the early Arabians, made under the inspection of the learned Spanish Saracens." History of English Poetry, vol. i. dissert. ii. and sec. 9, p. 292. Among the Canonici MSS. in the Bodleian, I have seen (No. 520) the astrological works of Michael Scot, on vellum, with an illuminated portrait of him at the beginning.

i Guido Bonatti.] An astrologer of Forli, on whose skill Guido da Montefeltro, lord of that place, so much relied, that he is reported never to have gone into battle, except in the hour recommended to him as fortunate by Bonatti. Landino and Vellutello speak of a book which he composed on the subject of his art. Macchiavelli mentions him in the History of Florence, lib. 1. p. 24, ed. 1550. He flourished about 1230 and 1260. Though a learned astronomer, he was seduced by astrology, through which he was greatly in favour with many princes of that time. His many works are miserably spoiled by it.”. Bettinelli, Risorgimento d'Italia, t. i. p. 118, 8vo, 1786. He is referred to in Brown's Vulgar Errors, b. 4. ch. xii.

2 Asdente.] A shoemaker at Parma, who deserted his business to practise the arts of divination. How much this man had attracted the public notice appears from a passage in our author's Convito, p. 179, where it is said, in speaking of the derivation of the word "noble,” that "if' those who were best known were accounted the most noble, Asdente, the shoemaker of Parma, would be more noble than any one in that city.”

For now doth Cain with fork of thorns 1 confine
On either hemisphere, touching the wave
Beneath the towers of Seville. Yesternight
The moon was round. Thou mayst remember well :
For she good service did thee in the gloom
Of the deep wood." This said, both onward moved.

CANTO XXI.

Argument.

Still in the eighth circle, which bears the name of Malebolge, they look down

from the bridge that passes over its fifth gulf, upon the barterers or public peculators. These are plunged in a lake of boiling pitch, and guarded by Demons, to whom Virgil, leaving Dante apart, presents himself; and license being obtained to pass onward, both pursue their way.

Thus we from bridge to bridge, with other talk,
The which my drama cares not to rehearse,
Pass'd on ; and to the summit reaching, stood
To view another gap, within the round"
Of Malebolge, other bootless pangs.

Marvellous darkness shadow'd o'er the place.

In the Venetians' arsenal” as boils
Through wintry months tenacious pitch, to smear
Their unsound vessels ; for the inclement time
Seafaring men restrains, and in that while
His bark one builds anew, another stops
The ribs of his that hath made many a voyage,
One hammers at the prow, one at the poor,
This shapeth oars, that other cables twirls,
The mizen one repairs, and mainsail rent;

So, not by force of fire but art divine, 1 Cain with fork of thorns.] By Cain and the thorns, or what is still vulgarly called the Man in the Moon, the Poet denotes that luminary. The same superstition is alluded to in the Paradise, Canto ii. 52. The curious reader may consult Brand on Popular Antiquities, 4to, 1813, vol. ii. p. 476, and Douce's Illustrations of Shakspeare, Svo, 1807, vol. i. p. 16. ? In the Venetians' arsenal.]

Come slentrai Navai della gran terra,
Tra le lacune del mar d'Adria posta,
Serban la pece la togata gente,
Ad uso di lor navi e di lor triremi;

Per solcar poi sicuri il mare ondoso, etc. Ruccellai, Le Api, v. 165. Dryden seems to have had the passage in the text before him in his Annus Mirabilis, st. 146, etc.

Boil'll here a glutinous thick mass, that round
Limed all the shore beneath. I that beheld,
But therein nought distinguish’d, save the bubbles
Raised by the boiling, and one mighty swell
Heave, and by turns subsiding fall. While there
I fix'il my ken below, “ Mark ! mark !” my guide
Exclaiming, drew me towards him from the place
Wherein I stood. I turn'd myself, as one
Impatient to behold that which beheld
He needs must shun, whom sudden fear unmans,
That he his flight delays not for the view.
Behind me I discern'da devil black,
That running up advanced along the rock.
Ah! what fierce cruelty his look bespake.
In act how bitter did lie seem, with wings
Buoyant outstretch'd and feet of nimblest tread.
His shoulder, proudly eminent and sharp,
Was with a sinner charged ; by either launch
He held him, the foot's sinew griping fast.

“Ye of our bridge !” he cried, “keen-talon'd fiends !
Lo! one of Santa Zita's elders.3' Him
Whelm ye beneath, while I return for more.
That land hath store of such. All men are there,
Except Bonturo, barterers : 4 of 'no'
For lucre there an 'ay' is quickly made.”

Him dashing down, o'er the rough rock he turn'd;
Nor ever after thief a mastiff loosed
Sped with like eager haste. That other sank,
And forthwith writhing to the surface rose.
But those dark demons, shrouded by the bridge,
Cried, “Here the hallow'd visage saves not : here
Is other swimining than in Serchio's wave,

Wherefore, if thou desire we rend thce not, 1 Do:l'd.). Vidi flumen magno de Inferno procedere ardens, atque piceum. Alberici Visio, sec. 17.

One mighty suell Heave.] Vidi etiam os putei magnum flammas emittentem, ct nunc sursum nunc deorsum descendentem. Alberici Visio, sec. 11.

3 One of S.ınta Zita's elders.] The elders or chief magistrates of Lucca, where Santa Zita was held in especial veneration. The name of this sinner is supposed to have been Martino Botaio.

Esccept Bonturo, barterers.] This is said ironically of Bonturo de' Dati. By barterers are meant peculators, of every description ; all who traffic the interests of the public for their own private advantage.

5 The hallow'd visage.] A representation of the heart of our Saviour worshipped at Lucca. o* Is other srcimming than in Serchio's ware.]

Qui si nuota altrimenti che nel Serchio. Serchio is the river that flows by Lucca. So Pulci, Morg. Magg. c. xxiv. :

Qui si nuota nel sangue, c non nel Serchio.

Take heed thou mount not o'er the pitch.” This said,
They grappled him with more than hundred hooks,
And shouted : “Cover'd thou must sport thee here;
So, if thou canst, in secret mayst thou filch."
E'en thus the cook bestirs him, with his groonis,
To thrust the flesh 1 into the caldron down
With flesh-looks, that it float not on the top.

Me then my guide bespake : "Lest they desery
That thou art here, behind a craggy rock
Bend low and skreen thee: and whate’er of force
Be offerd me, or insult, fear thou not;
For I am well advised, who have been erst
In the like fray.” Beyond the bridge's head
Therewith he pass'd ; and reaching the sixth pier,
Behovel him then a forehead terror-proof.

With storm and fury, as when dogs rush forth
Upon the poor man's back, who suddenly
From whence he standeth makes his suit; so rush'd
Those from beneath the arch, and against him
Their weapons all they pointed. He, aloud :
“Be none of you outrageous : ere your tine
Dare seize me, come forth from amongst you one,
Who having licard my words, decide he then
If he shall tear these limbs.” They shouted loud,
“Go, Malacoda !” Whereat one advanced,
The others standing firm, and as he came,
“What may this turn avail him ?" lie exclaim'd.

“Believest thou, Malacoda! I had come
Thus far from all your skirmishing secure,"'
My teacher answerd, “without will divine
And destiny propitious ? Pass we then;
For so Heaven's pleasure is, that I should lead
Another through this savage wilderness.”

Forthwith so fell his pride, that he let drop
The instrument of torture at his feet,
And to the rest exclaim’d : “We have no power
To strike him.” Then to me my guide : "O thou !
Who on the bridge among the crags dost sit
Low crouching, safely now to me return."

I rose, and towards him moved with speed ; the fiends
Meantime all forward drew : me terror seized,
Lest they should break the compact they had made.

Thus issuing from Caprona,” once I saw 1 The flesh.] In eundem flumen corruunt: rursumque assurgentes, ac denuo recidentes, tamdiu ibidem cruciantur, donec in morem carnium excocti, etc. Alberici Visio, sec. 17.

2 From Caprona.] The surrender of the castle of Caprona to the combined forces of Florence and Lucca, on condition that the garrison should march out in safety, to which event Dante 'was a witness, took place in 1290. See G. Villani, Hist. lib. 7. cap. cxxxvi.

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